Situation reeks of bias. But which way?

The Catholic Church once again earned headlines with news that the county attorneys for Ramsey and Washington counties lacked evidence to charge archdiocese leaders with failure to report abuse by two priests (“Church avoids charges on two cases,” Jan. 30). The story read more like the church “beat the rap,” with a quote from the media’s favorite lawyer to provide credence.

Meanwhile, an article about the state paying bonuses to MNsure executives in 2013 (“MNsure managers got bonuses for work on balky website”) was consigned to the bottom of the Business section.

Didn’t this story deserve front-page coverage? Is it reasonable to suggest bias?


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I don’t understand how simple facts reported in this newspaper and elsewhere that clearly demonstrate that officials of the archdiocese failed to report potentially illegal behavior by priests can fail to persuade Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to bring the appropriate charges. Either the reported facts are incorrect, or Choi is giving the archdiocese a “get out of jail free” card. Failure to hold church officials responsible for illegal behavior effectively sanctions this behavior, enabling future violations while bringing dishonor on the county attorney’s office.




Remember the victims — all of the victims

I don’t want to minimize the horror that was the Holocaust or the impact of Phil Chernofsky’s book-as-art, “And Every Single One Was Someone” (“Book tells of Holocaust in 1 word, 6 million times,” Jan. 26). The death of 6 million people is a tragedy that we should never forget.

But it seems that is exactly what we are doing. The toll of the Nazi extermination camp was not 6 million. It was 12 million — 6 million Jews, and another 6 million who weren’t Jews. The categories seem like a cross-section of the outliers of German society: Communists, homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts, Freemasons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Slavs, Russians, the physically or mentally disabled, and just about anyone who was anti-Nazi. These people were put into the same factories whose product was death.

The Nazis’ goal was not just the extermination of the Jews. It was to purify the German race. The Nazi elite had a vision and a plan, and if you were not part of that plan, you were to be removed like a weed from a garden.

The next time we’re asked to remember the Holocaust, remember the other victims, too.




Another potential risk of the extreme cold

Many thanks to the excellent commentary by Janelle Holmvig about the challenges schoolchildren face in extreme temperatures (“From where I sit, days off for cold not ‘silly,’ ” Jan. 28.) Just in case anyone still thinks it was “wimpy” of schools to close, here is another factor to consider: What happens to students if they go to school in this cold and the fire alarm goes off? Students are drilled to leave all items behind during fire alarms, including jackets, hats and mittens. Then they must wait outside the school until the fire department can ensure that the building is safe. How well do you think a 5-year-old kindergarten student wearing only indoor clothes would do outside in these temperatures? It’s not just getting the students to and from school, it’s ensuring that they’re safe all day.

KARI SIMONSON, Minneapolis



Whatever they are now, here’s what they were

We keep reading nostalgic articles about the good old days of streetcars in Minneapolis. In those good old days, it cost a fortune and took months or years to install tracks and overhead lines, resulting in a landscape of power poles and a skyscape of wires.

The streetcars were cold and drafty in winter and stifling hot in summer. Access was an exercise for the majority and impossible for the disabled.

You couldn’t pass on the left because of oncoming traffic or on the right if the streetcar was stopped. Traffic proceeded at the pace of the streetcar.

There were no shopping centers, Wal-Marts or industrial parks.

The streetcar was succeeded by the trolley bus, which was succeeded by the motor bus. That is called progress.

I am 84 years old and remember the good old days of streetcars. May they rest in peace.


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Ah, the nostalgia of streetcars.

You had to leave the safety of the curb and walk out into the street to get on.

In the winter, there was a noxious smell from the firebox.

There were often cars in the way of the streetcar on the track because of piles of snow on the side of the road. The motorman had to blow his horn to get the owners of the cars to move them so the streetcar could pass.

Yes, the nostalgia of streetcars.

MARY LOU LINDHOLM, Circle Pines, Minn.



All right, who clicked on the Bieber headline?

The fact that Justin Bieber’s reckless behavior is among some of the most-read news for the Star Tribune is a disgrace to this paper and its readers. In regard to the Star Tribune, this is supposed to be an accredited newspaper, not a tabloid. In regard to the readers, news like this doesn’t deserve your attention. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

EMMA GARTON, Eden Prairie