Medical records must be modernized

After four months of shuffling between three nursing homes and two hospitals, my cousin died. Each move required a transfer of medical information to maintain consistent care, but this task proved to be impossible. Each facility required my cousin to provide, by memory, a complete medical history, including hospital stays, doctors, medications, surgeries, procedures and diagnoses. How is such an expectation realistic?

At each location, a new team of doctors, nurses, aides, therapists, diagnoses and recommendations was assembled. You do the math — think of how much information my cousin was expected to retain. At the time of her death, she'd been in the hospital for more than a week, and records from the previous facility had yet to arrive.

Those who would argue that the sharing of medical records is an invasion of privacy, I would have to respond: It's a matter of life. To those who would say she got lost in the system, I would ask: What system?



Something's gotta give. Musicians?

I recently returned to Minneapolis after a month outside the country, and perhaps the distance gave me perspective about "the elephant in the living room." After 10 months, there is no progress in resolving the dispute between the Minnesota Orchestra board and the musicians' union. I find it stunning, in this state that prides itself on civility and collaboration, that we endure months without performances of a treasured orchestra.

Possibly the deadlock results from widespread misunderstandings. I've talked with normally well-informed friends, who express the following:

1) "It is a shame that the board won't even talk with the musicians that they have locked out." Fact: The board has pleaded with the musicians' union to meet and talk, but the union simply refuses.

2) "I wish the board would be more transparent and provide the musicians with the financial information that they keep requesting." Fact: The board has shared its full financial information.

3) "If only the board was not so miserly. Surely they can afford to pay the musicians what they are worth." Fact: Given the resources of the orchestra, the only way the board could agree to continue paying the full complement of musicians at the most recent pay scale would be to empty the endowment over the next five years. The board is hardly miserly. The board members and their sponsoring corporations have donated more than $60 million to the orchestra in the past five years.

I'm a lifelong liberal Democrat, and my knee-jerk reaction is to support the union side, but in this case I believe the musicians' union needs to recognize financial realities. In 1972, Nixon went to China and shook hands with his nemesis Mao Zedong. Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty. Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years in prison and began talks with F. W. de Klerk that ended apartheid. Surely the orchestra's union leaders can sit down and start talking.

DAVID KOEHLER, Minneapolis

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When the expensive renovation of Orchestra Hall is finally completed, and locked-out musicians have all found other jobs, a large marble marquee can be placed out in front with these words engraved: Monument to Foolishness. Tours at 1:00 and 4:00.



A caring community brings him home

Thank you to the dog lovers who helped me find my missing terrier/bichon mix. Thank you to the Burnsville neighbor who was up on his roof and saw Barry escape the back yard. Thank you to the neighbor a block away who called to report finding my dog's three tags. Thank you to Mary Joe in Woodbury who saw that my online posting had a sighting a mile from where Barry escaped. Thank you to the person who posted seeing him a mile away. Thank you to the mother and daughter with the 218 area code who told me they saw him south of the elementary and junior high and kept looking for him until I could get there from work. Thank you to the man who said he just saw Barry run across Nicollet Avenue. Thank you to the young girl who told me her dogs had just chased him to the park and who helped me find him in the trees near the warming house. Thank you to the veterinarian who gave me the pills so that Barry will not get sick after I took 25 ticks off him.

My dog had five days of abandonment, but all of these guardian angels looked out for him.

Mary E. Jones, Burnsville


In praise of Peter's Grill

Recently, a friend of mine and her father came from South Dakota to see a Twins game. We had only an hour to meet before the game, so I decided to take them to Peter's Grill. I didn't want to show them a restaurant that was part of a nationwide chain that could be found in any city. I wanted to show them something that was unique to Minneapolis. My friend's dad, who is surrounded by good, country-style home cooking, said his slice of rhubarb pie at Peter's was the "best" pie he had ever eaten.

The food trucks on Marquette Avenue have their advantages, but they will never replace an old-­fashioned diner that has offered comfort food for almost 100 years.

JERRY T. JOHNSON, Bloomington