SEXUAL ABUSE

Downside to ending statute of limitations

I’m glad for efforts to champion the rights of victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers past the six-year statute of limitations (“End the statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse cases,” March 20). But consider the collateral damage this may cause to child care centers, schools and congregations if the liability of organizations for this abuse is extended indefinitely.

When so many of us are laboring to help ready children for kindergarten, succeed in school and extend their education past high school, I’m afraid the cost of insurance will simply be prohibitive, and many such organizations, particularly those serving children in the inner cities, will have to shut down operations. Children will suffer.

GARY REIERSON, St. Louis Park

The writer is a retired president of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.

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MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA

Gridlock over contract hurts Minnesota

The Minnesota Orchestra now has canceled almost its whole 2012-13 season (“Orchestra’s entire season is in jeopardy,” March 21). Management says the musicians haven’t presented a counter to their initial proposed contract. This is clearly disingenuous, since management has never followed through on its own pledge to work with the musicians to establish a common understanding of the organization’s financial condition. Apparently, maintaining the present quality of the orchestra is not a priority.

TOM JONES, Roseville

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The late great conductor Robert Shaw delivered a speech at a Westminster Forum in Minneapolis on the 300th birthday of J.S. Bach in 1985. The last two sentences seem particularly relevant to our present situation: “Administrators, advisers, supporters and friends of the arts in the Twin Cities, and particularly of that orchestra called Minnesota, hold fast to the joys and responsibilities of the creative, liberating arts for man in all of his glory is only clothed by such as these. And without them there soon would be nobody to clothe.”

HENRY CHARLES SMITH, Eden Prairie

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LONG WINTER

Some people don’t have a right to whine

I can relate to the negative impact this long winter is having on our collective mood, but I question a reporter’s choice of writing about an Andover woman (“Winter without end,” March 19) who’d just returned from her honeymoon in Hawaii and was upset with the continuing snow and cold weather in Minnesota. Well, on behalf of the people who have slogged through every single day of winter without a voyage to a warm island, let me just play the world’s saddest song on the world’s smallest violin.

ROBERT MUCHLINSKI, Hudson, Wis.

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The suggestion that Minnesotans should forget about a “quick escape to warmer climes” shows a lack of imagination. Take a look at a map. There are places within driving distance where balmy temps can be relief enough to a Minnesotan with cabin fever. Beaches aren’t needed. Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville are among cities south of us that offer the pleasure of trading a puffy winter coat for a light jacket and walking on ice-free sidewalks.

ANNE SOVIK, Northfield, Minn.

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GUN DEBATE

More questions than answers to violence

To opponents of background checks: Why do you consider registering a gun, or having a background check, to be punishment? Is it punishment that you’re required to have a license to drive? Is it punishment that you must to have a title to your car? Is it punishment to be asked for identification when buying Sudafed or alcohol? You say that it’s not the government’s business whether or not you own a gun. You want invisible gun ownership, but law enforcement is still supposed to find those who buy and carry guns illegally? Explain how this would work. I am all ears.

KATHRYN KAATZ, Minneapolis

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The media coverage and social media frenzy surrounding the lockdown at New Prague schools provided me needed details of the situation (“12-year-old boy arrested in Minn. School lockdown,” March 20). Sadly, I also took to social media to share information. This incident was a huge stress on the community, given the bomb scare last month. We can’t prevent this from happening, but spending more time tuned into real people instead of electronic gadgets might prevent a child from making such a horrible, life-altering mistake. I’ve nothing but praise for the school district employees, law enforcement and emergency responders. My kids are home and safe. There’s lots to talk about. Life is real, not reality TV.

MARY HANSON-BUSCH, New Prague, Minn.

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Senator’s support wasn’t noble

I’m glad to hear that U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, changed his mind on gay marriage, but troubled that it took a gay son to get him to the point of acceptance (“Gay marriage: Senator’s shift, GOP soul-searching,” March 15). Many of us supported the 1960s civil-rights movement without having personally witnessed abuses or having black relatives or friends. I have no gay children or grandchildren but support equal rights for gays. I would encourage all legislators to hit the street and meet some of the people affected by their policies. It might just change the dialogue.

JOHN F. HETTERICK, Plymouth