PRO SPORTS

Once again, paper’s motives are revealed

We subscribers to the Star Tribune have come to expect any editorials about sports venues for big-money sports moguls to favor them and the construction of their stadiums and ballparks at public expense.

The March 26 editorial (“So far, state is losing its bet on e-gaming”) did not disappoint.

Not one word about the possibility of billionaire team owner Zygi Wilf bailing out the taxpayers instead of vice versa.

Not one word about this terribly flawed bill and subsequent stalled procedure terribly in need of an audit.

Always, the Strib is inimically against the interests of most of its subscribers and readers — the taxpayers forced to underwrite yet another field of schemes — and for Big Sports because the interests of Big Sports are those of the Star Tribune.

It is our little slice of America in microcosm: the 1 percent dominating the 99 percent.

Willard B. Shapira, Roseville

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COLLEGE SPORTS

At U, asking a lot, in more ways than one

Tubby Smith may not be the best basketball coach in the country, but he is the best we have ever had here at Minnesota. When you take away the four vacated seasons due to sanctions, Tubby has three of our eight NCAA tourney appearances. A March 26 editorial (“Tubby had his shot”) spoke to consistency on the court, or the lack thereof. Historically, the program has not averaged even one tourney appearance per decade (at least without cheating), and Tubby gets fired for delivering three in his six years. I guess you are right that the expectations for the program, and for athletic director Norwood Teague, have just skyrocketed.

Roger Norris, Eagan

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A few weeks ago, I got a call from a University of Minnesota student asking for money for the Alumni Club. I turned him down because he had not “sold” me. If he had bothered to engage me in a conversation instead of telling me that the U ranked 29th in scholastic achievement, I might have made a donation and given him a few tips on how to solicit large sums of money over the phone.

Phone solicitors should not feel bad about their work. Nothing ever gets sold unless someone sells it. I would have told this student that phone sales are pretty much like eating at a restaurant. The fast-food script works for someone who just wants to get in, get out and get on their way. The fine-dining script works for someone who has a few bucks, a discerning palette and a wish to be part of something bigger than themselves. If this student had bothered to learn his script, he would have easily gone away with a contribution that far exceeded his expectation — that is, until the news of the firing of Tubby Smith.

The $2.5 million buyout of Smith’s contract, coming just a few months after paying $800,000 not to play the football powerhouse North Carolina, gives this alumni the nagging feeling that my alma mater may have its priorities a little out of whack.

Benjamin Cherryhomes, Hastings

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THE LEGISLATURE

Parenting language not complicated, just fair

Under current law, a child born into a marriage (or conceived during one) is presumed under Minnesota Statute 257.55 to be the biological child of both partners in the marriage.(The language is a bit archaic with the advent of surrogacy, but that is its purpose.) This means the father of a child born to his wife does not have to file legal documents in state court in order to establish his parental rights. They are presumed under state law.

The language in SF925 with which Ryan MacPherson is having so much trouble (“Who’s your mama? Come to papa. Oh, boy,” March 25) has a simple purpose: To treat gay marriages in the same manner as straight marriages with regard to parental rights. If it can be shown that one member of a same-sex marriage is the biological parent of a child born during the marriage, it is presumed under the law that the other partner in the marriage is also the biological parent of that child — without the need for a costly and time consuming formal adoption decree.

Since no one can have more than two “biological” parents under state law, the issue of parenthood would be settled. The subsequent speculation by MacPherson about other parents is just so much irrelevant nonsense dressed up in pretty clothes.

Paul A. Bridgland, Marshall, Minn.

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EXPLAINING GRIDLOCK

Traffic analogy works in reverse

A March 24 letter writer sites the narcissistic behavior of some motorists as an example of why our “self-interest blinds us to the views of others” and has led to our current state of government gridlock. This is a puzzling observation, since serving one’s own interests is typically the starting point of any negotiating process. In reality, a far more pervasive and dangerous trait has emerged in our society and politicians: self-righteousness. The unwavering belief that I am right and you are wrong not only impedes compromise; it apparently justifies uninterrupted use of the left lane of traffic.

Dan Eittreim, Minneapolis

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The driver in this example has prioritized their principle (obey speed limit) above social harmony. The trouble with Congress is the same — we (the public) have elected representatives solely on their principles while neglecting to require they value social harmony or ability to compromise. The only way to rid Congress of gridlock is to elect representatives that both reflect our individual principles and are open to compromise.

Ron Hobson, St. Louis Park