I was surprised and distressed after reading the Aug. 17 article regarding Brian Oake’s separation from the Current (“Oake out at 89.3 after incident”). I am an experienced employee relations professional with an employment law background. I have dealt with several instances of an employee’s personal social-media use being brought into the workplace. The circumstances under which an employer can actually terminate an employee for his/her personal social-media use without incurring significant risk are quite limited. Upon learning of Oake’s separation, some questions immediately came to mind: Did Oake actually violate a Minnesota Public Radio policy? If so, was the policy infraction egregious enough to result in this outcome? Is this policy fair, equitable, and appropriate for the industry?
As I contemplated, another well-tenured popular local morning radio host came to mind. This host has in fact established his reputation around speaking his mind on-air, inappropriate comments included. I chose to support the Current because it was a refreshing alternative to commercial radio. It seemed to be a place where radio hosts could express their opinions without fear of repercussion. How ironic that in this case, commercial radio actually seems to be more lenient with its employees’ behavior than MPR.
Another reason I have supported the Current was the value it placed on input from the audience it depends on for financial support. Again, the Current has clearly failed its listeners. The evidence can be found in the posts currently on its Facebook page and other local media outlets, in addition to the strong response to the Change.org petition created on Brian’s behalf.
I don’t know if Oake has any interest in reinstatement to the Current at this point. I will greatly miss his presence on the station, but it is difficult to rebuild burned bridges. I hope he’s able to quickly find another venue where he can share his wit and vast knowledge of music with his many appreciative listeners.
Heidi Walters, Eden Prairie
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Where are Trump, Kudlow getting their economic statistics?
“I don’t think we’re having a recession,” President Donald Trump told reporters as he returned from one of the many golf courses he owns. The president went on to say, “We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”
Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, “Consumers are able to spend and save more.”
Compensation for top business leaders rose more than 940.3% over four decades, according to a survey by the Economic Policy Institute. The typical worker’s wages grew 11.9% during the same period. Who are the consumers Trump and Kudlow are talking about? Their statements are disproved by the statistics.
I am an 86-year-old retiree and received no tax cut from Trump. Instead, I paid more in taxes following what he has called his “tax cut program,” which he says has loaded me up with money. As far as the president is concerned, it appears some of us do not exist! Trump’s fantasy survey apparently did not include, for example, old people, poor people, nonwhite people, minimum-wage workers or sick people. A vote for Trump and his Republican cronies in Congress is a vote for continued servitude to the well-connected.
Patrick Churchill, White Bear Lake
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Now that the left, with the help of many in the media, has failed to take down President Trump with Russian collusion, I see that the Star Tribune, other liberal news outlets and Bill Maher will now “front-page” the headline of the “looming recession.” Apparently all of you would prefer to push the threat of recession to end this presidency over touting the good economy and job numbers. The numbers do go up and down, and with your aid you can help your readers to feel worse about everything, and that will help with the ultimate goal of getting rid of Trump.
I never thought I would see the day that such extreme hatred toward a sitting president would have otherwise sane people hoping for, and potentially welcoming, a recession (that hurts the American people) as you now seem to be headed toward doing.
Along with these headlines, the “R” word (racist) is always waiting in the wings to throw out there every now and then. If these two don’t work, then you can always find something else to throw at him. Maybe you could go back to how much ice cream the president eats.
Mary Linnihan, Minneapolis
OTTO BREMER TRUST GRANT
Will the JCRC also protect Jewish BDS supporters?
I read with interest the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s support for the grant made by the Otto Bremer Trust to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) for improving security at places of worship and “other laudable purposes” (“Bremer grant boosts Jewish community,” Aug. 19). As a Jewish resident of the Twin Cities, I am glad that efforts will be made to improve the physical security of houses of worship.
I am ambivalent, however, about the other laudable purposes, which include “combating anti-Semitism,” because the JCRC, along with the Minnesota Legislature, considers me and my fellow Jews who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to be “anti-Semites.” Is my security going to be improved by a campaign labeling my opinions as anti-Semitic? There might be more here than meets the eye on first glance.
Allan Malkis, St. Paul
In 2009, we asked questions and were met with silence
Nancy McReady, president of Conservationists with Common Sense, wrongly describes conservation groups’ actions over the years regarding copper/nickel or sulfide mining (“Transparency, PolyMet foes demand. If only they’d noticed 14 years of it,” Aug. 19).
In 2009, PolyMet’s opponents were asking for more specific plans regarding the processing of highly reactive sulfide ore, the same kind that has created toxic water pollution everywhere this type of mining has occurred. Later we visited PolyMet’s site, met with its executives and asked how they would contain their highly toxic waste in the old, already leaking LTV tailings basin. We listened in good faith about their environmental reclamation plans and asked for a damage deposit. We asked if they would guarantee using union labor. Then we asked them and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to conduct a health-impact analysis as is now done in other states that received perpetual toxic pollution to their lakes and streams. We asked if Glencore, or Antofagasta in Twin Metals’ case, would put their name on the DNR permit, giving them the liability to clean up their nearly certain toxic mess.
In each and every case the answer was either “no” or crickets.
McReady is wrong in stating that the main argument against this type of mining is that it might pollute our lakes and streams. The main argument is that it always has, and these foreign companies know it. Their goal is not transparency, it’s to win social license and to get us to carry the liability for toxic pollution they would otherwise incur. Minnesotans are too smart to fall for this.
Paul Danicic, St. Louis Park
The writer is the former executive director of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.