THE PUBLIC MESSAGE
Wrong signals sent in recent examples
I was very disappointed to see another headline about suspected drunken driving ("DFL Party executive charged with DWI," Feb. 9). As an older sister, I am constantly thinking of what example my actions set for my siblings, but I know plenty of people who do things without realizing that others are looking to them for guidance.
When you lead a public career, there is no excuse for not knowing that you set an example for others through your actions. In a December article about the incident -- which involved the party's executive director, Corey Day -- party chairman Ken Martin was quoted as saying: "As far as I'm concerned, it is a personal issue. This did not happen on work time."
I don't think people who work in positions of public responsibility such as Mr. Day's have "time off" when it comes to setting a good example for citizens. As a Democrat, I am thoroughly disappointed that the representatives of the party are dismissing something as serious as this situation seems to be.
JANE LEACH, ST. PAUL
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In a recent article about the proliferation of heroin use, especially among 18- to 25-year-old white people in the suburbs, Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the state Department of Human Services, said: "This isn't some sort of inner city problem. It's across the state." What exactly is that supposed to mean?
It sounds as if because the problem isn't contained to the inner city, it deserves much more attention and investment of dollars for treatment and education.
And if it were "just some sort of inner city problem" my bet is that there would be less concern by anyone but those who live in the neighborhoods -- more enforcement and less willingness to address it as a public-health issue.
It's always amazing to see how important an issue becomes when it affects those outside the inner city.
JEANNE TORMA, MINNEAPOLIS
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While I appreciate many things that Kim Ode writes, it surprised me that she so rigorously promoted a new local pinup business ("Less is more in pinup world," Feb. 12). I was disappointed in the naive justification that because the new MNUps Magazine is run by women, it is not about sexism or objectification.
Many a woman "fronts" for porn operations and other objectionable businesses, to make them seem palatable and acceptable to women. Most women I know understand that sexualized images of women are seldom benign.
While I support women-run businesses, I will be sorry if this one becomes popular, because it is expanding on the idea that women are judged by their laying themselves out like prize hogs at the fair. Whatever the message, girls are increasingly judged almost entirely on their appearance. Is this really what women want?
JULIE MELLUM, MINNEAPOLIS
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SALES TAX PROPOSAL
A destructive end, or a starting point?
I operate a small business from a home office -- a one-woman shop. I specialize in travel to only one part of the world. In order to call myself a specialist, maintain relationships with tourism boards, etc., and compete with the steady influx of travel information from the Internet, television and print, I am required to keep continually updated and educated through courses, conferences and travel. I have normal business expenses and a very small advertising budget. Sometimes I don't take a paycheck, as the ebb and flow of the industry makes things tight.
So under Gov. Mark Dayton's sales tax proposal, what are my options? As a Feb. 7 letter writer said, I can pass the tax along to my clients and risk losing the business. Or I could move, but I've lived here all my life and choose not to leave.
I'm not a "corporate pirate undermining economic free-market principles," as a Feb. 8 letter writer put it. I'm simply a small-business person with a very narrow profit margin, doing something I love. I wish to continue my career. However, I believe if Dayton's idea to impose a tax on my services becomes reality, it will force me out of business.
BARB MACKENZIE, WAYZATA
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I'm sorry, but I have lost 30 percent of my income and 30 percent of my home value, and have received property tax increases totaling 22 percent over the last six years, all while working for two small, family-owned businesses (62 and 77 employees) who both saw 30 percent increases in their bottom-line profit margins. So I personally can understand why Dayton has proposed what he has and find it a perfect starting point for opening dialogue between the parties.
JEFFREY GRAY, MINNEAPOLIS
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Kline's complaint was disingenuous
U.S. Rep. John Kline's Feb. 11th opinion that President Obama is tainting the National Labor Relations Board is as absurd as it is false. Kline knows that recess appointments are common, especially in a gridlocked scenario. I am sure he remembers John Bolton's recess appointment.But the larger point that Kline is more cowardly hiding behind is that he is infuriated that his buddies on the Chamber of Commerce are not stacking the deck against labor.
Obama won the election, and it's time that Kline settle in for some good old pro-labor politics.
DAVID GEISSINGER, ST. PAUL
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Hats off to Downtown Improvement District
I am a disabled resident of downtown Minneapolis and get around on my electric scooter. Even when streets and sidewalks have been cleared, the corner crossings present particular challenges. The corner of 12th and Harmon was impassable, and if it had frozen as it was, it would have been blocked until the next thaw. I e-mailed the Downtown Improvement District at 4:18 in the afternoon and received a reply at 6:08 to inform me that a crew was at work and that the corner would be cleared within the hour. I was utterly flabbergasted, grateful and deeply impressed.
ADELE EVIDON, MINNEAPOLIS