Court cases naturally deserve to play out
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter says the stadium bond issue delay is over issues “previously dealt with,” implying that the matter is already settled. What Douglas Mann and David Tilsen are actually doing is appealing the court decision on their original suit, which objected to stadium proponents’ end run around a referendum by Minneapolis taxpayers. The issue will not be considered “dealt with” until those appeals are exhausted. No doubt Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf feels the same way about the court decision he is appealing — the New Jersey case in which a judge ruled that Wilf and his brother committed real-estate fraud.
CHRIS TODD, St. Louis Park
Incentive enough to increase recycling?
The article and large photos about the bottle bill (“Bottles pile up in trash,” Jan. 14) suggest that the debate over a 10-cent container deposit will be “contentious.” Why? Our neighbor Iowa has had a container deposit law for 30 — yes, 30 — years. Iowa redeems 86 percent of beverage containers yearly. Let’s adopt the best from that system. Instead of a goal of 80 percent drink container recycling, let’s aim for 87 percent.
LANE AYRES, Edina
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Another factor that lawmakers should consider is the effect of plastic bottles on our waterways and on the Gulf of Mexico. Plastic has been mass-produced only since the 1950s, and it is degrading our waterways and choking our sea life. I always make it a point to pick up litter on my daily dog walks. I find plastic bottles on storm drains. I will find them in the morning, then more will have accumulated by the afternoon. The bottle bill’s time has come. People need incentives to do the right thing.
GERRY TYRRELL, Minneapolis
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I recycle every possible thing that I can, but it seems to me that a deposit system isn’t likely to change the behaviors of most people who now simply throw away their recyclables. If they have to save them, then carry them to some recycling depot to get their deposits back, how likely is it that they’ll do that if they just throw them now? Plus, it would make for a more difficult process for those of us who are good recyclers.
What I find most frustrating is that outside my house, there are very few places that make it easy to recycle. Go to a park, or even someplace like a gas station, and all you’ll find is a trash barrel. We’ve got to get those recycling barrels out where people are, and then we’ll see more people getting their bottles where they belong.
JIM STROMBERG, Edina
IRS controversy wasn’t Obama’s tone-setting
In the Jan. 14 letter “Speaking of leaders setting a tone …,” the writer listed the IRS “scandal” as an example of a political activity the Obama administration used to further its own interests, adding that “groups that had names such as ‘Tea Party’ and ‘Patriot’ ” were targeted. This is true, but it’s only part of the story. It’s a narrative that took months to unravel and became less sexy as new discoveries came to light. Here are just some of those undercovered revelations:
• The IRS targeted many different organizations, not just the conservative ones.
• It was only the progressive groups who were denied tax-exempt status by the IRS.
• At congressional Republicans’ request, the inspector general’s report was limited to only Tea Party groups.
• It was revealed that there was no connection to the White House, and no one in the administration became aware of the situation until the story broke.
If Obama set a tone, it looks like the IRS was singing its own song.
STEPHEN MONSON, Golden Valley
The West cares about the choice, not the style
The Jan. 14 commentary “Survey of ‘appropriate’ attire for Muslim women inappropriate” misconstrues the attitudes of Western women when it comes to Muslim people or Muslim dress. I am not particularly concerned about what is worn — but as an American, the real question is: Did they get to choose?
We as a culture may be influenced by the fashion industry, as the article suggests, but we are not told what we must wear — we make that decision ourselves. And for the money that is spent in the various wars around the world, it is freedom and democracy that the great men and women who serve are trying to protect. Because without freedom, we have no choice.
ELISE RYAN, Chanhassen