GOVERNOR'S RACE

All DFL candidates should vie in primary

To DFL gubernatorial candidates: Please stay in the race regardless of party endorsements. Let "we the people" select the candidates we want to represent us.

Yes, the endorsement will help you. And for many who are too busy to study your platform, an endorsement will be an easy way to decide how to vote.

But if elected, you will represent everyone, not only the party activists. So you should address all of us and let us select the candidates via real, not rubber-stamp, primaries.

HANNA HILL, PLYMOUTH

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS

Don't let a selfless act become a selfish one

There appears to be incongruence between families of adopted children who have made their way into the public awareness lately and the seemingly coincidental legislative push to support the international adoption process ("A silver lining to a heartless act?" April 17).

While I am a supporter of adoption, I have concerns that needs are shifting from children to parents and from a selfless act to a selfish one.

Those working in the field of infant and child mental health know that there is great significance in understanding the first three years of any child's life. Trauma that occurs preverbally can be the most detrimental and difficult to repair. This kind of damage can impair a child's ability to form attachment bonds and trust and to interpret the world around them accurately. Add the fact that just as their brains are beginning to learn their native language and culture, they are removed and flown thousands of miles around the world to a family waiting with the highest of expectations.

When potential parents have the desire to save a child, or that their baby will conform to their values and beliefs, they can have unrealistic expectations that can turn to bitter disappointment. We cannot just love a child enough to make the damage of childhood trauma and the resulting pain go away.

The commitment to love these children should not be conditional or require reciprocity. More understanding is needed around what it means to adopt a child who is 3 years old with little background information, what it means for the parents to enter the child's life vs. the child entering theirs, and finally: Are parents ready to love a child who may never come to love them?

STEPHANIE DIBB, APPLE VALLEY

STILLWATER BRIDGE

Don't build it just for western Wisconsin

In an April 22 letter, a Wisconsin commuter weighs in on the Sierra Club's and other groups' opposition to the $668 million bridge across the St. Croix River. I agree, to a point. It's hard to argue "irreparable harm" from a bridge built right next to a coal-fired power plant.

What really irks most of us in Minnesota is the huge cost to us just to make the drive easier for some. A smaller, less costly bridge has been proposed, and it would also reduce congestion in downtown Stillwater.

What the smaller bridge won't do is facilitate massive new development in western Wisconsin. To see what I'm talking about, take a drive from Houlton to Somerset on the new four-lane superhighway and exit on one of the overpasses. Take a look to your right and you'll notice that the roads dead-end in cornfields waiting to be turned into housing developments. There's the real reason for the clamor for a new bridge.

Maybe when New Richmond turns into the next Woodbury, some of these megabridge advocates will regret what they wished for.

TIM WIRTH, LAKELAND

YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

Latest example of our perverse priorities

We have health care CEOs making millions a month, while about 45 percent of Americans don't make enough money to even pay federal taxes. We build huge sports palaces for multimillionaires and billionaires. We pay athletes staggering salaries, while millions of Americans go unemployed and some politicians threaten cutting off any federal assistance to them.

Then I read "Youth homelessness on rise" (April 20), with its main subject a broadly smiling 17-year-old waif expelled from her home because she can't find a job.

What a sad commentary on America and Minnesota, a state that used to make all of us so proud.

GREG VAN HEE, PERHAM, MINN.

EARTH WEEK

Stores, restaurants: Use cardboard, not plastic

It's Earth Week, and we're encouraged to buy reusable bags at the grocery store so we can feel good about decreasing our carbon footprint. We then fill the bags with nonrecyclable plastic that holds food.

It is almost impossible to buy food without it being packaged in hard plastic. Many takeout restaurants are also guilty of using plastic plates, covers and cups that end up in the garbage.

It's time to get back to cardboard containers for restaurant leftovers, deli takeout, yogurt and cottage cheese, as well as paper bags for donuts and cookies.

I can then use my organic recycling bin and feel a little better about my carbon footprint.

KRIS MACDONALD, MINNETONKA

MOVIE TITLE

'Kick-Ass' kicks civility all the way to the curb

Call me a prude -- I don't care. But I am appalled by the title of the movie "Kick-Ass." We are trying to teach our children and grandchildren values, good manners and good choices of words.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it does not sound as if the movie industry wants anything to do with this philosophy.

We ask, "Whatever happened to our children?" I ask, "Whatever happened to our adults?"

The title may amuse you, but it's not funny.

Where will it end?

MARY BETH LEITZE, CAMBRIDGE, MINN.

REAL AMERICA

Aren't we all just a nation of immigrants?

An April 22 letter writer referred to "America: the home of, and for, Americans." By this does he means Native Americans?

DAN JOHNSON, MINNEAPOLIS