No, thank you, the fuel tax will do just fine

How could the state be foolish enough to consider installing recording devices in vehicles to tax the vehicle according to the miles driven (“A bumpy road test for statewide mileage tax,” March 28)?

The best solution has been in place for more than 80 years. It’s the tax you now pay every time you buy fuel. This is a use tax. This tax automatically adjusts for the size and weight of the vehicle driven based on the miles per gallon of the vehicles.

Besides, vehicles already come with a mileage recording device. It’s called an odometer.

Perhaps the state should require electronic pulltab machines to be installed in all vehicles to fund road improvements. That’s working so well funding the new Vikings stadium.

BRUCE GRANGER, West Concord, Minn.

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Some don’t want to hear the bad side

Thanks to Doug Champeau for speaking the truth about smoking (“Remember when people smoked and liked it?” March 24). My husband and I are smokers. We’re also charged by his employer for smoking. We’re polite smokers, but truly are tired of being treated as third-class citizens. We don’t have horns growing out of our heads. We pay our taxes. It’s time to give smokers a break.

SUE WILSON, Savage, Minn.

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I grew up in a smoke-filled house with two parents who smoked. I remember sitting in restaurants breathing other people’s smoke and sitting in nonsmoking sections of airplanes, as if you could contain the smoke. I remember my once-healthy, athletic father dying of smoke-related heart disease at the too-early age of 62, after 35 years of smoking. I remember my mother dying of smoking-related cancer a few years later. My siblings and I, as well as our children, continue to have these memories, and we don’t like them.

THOMAS KELLEY, Minneapolis

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Shedding light on a worrisome reality

Thank you for your article highlighting the violent culture our youths face (“How I got my gun: Young offenders speak,” March 17). Some feel guns are needed for safety; others see violence as the way to solve problems with others. The public needs to know how accessible and even acceptable guns are for young teens. As as result, too many young children are being killed or spending years in prison. This must stop. We need to continue to talk about this issue and make it a priority.

NICOLE BOYLES, Savage, Minn.

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Mayor’s ideas for broad approach make sense

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport benefits all Minnesotans, but for an increasing number of airport neighbors, the cost is torture. Not only are property values declining, but the noise is agonizing. We need to heed Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s plan to regionalize air traffic planning, thereby spreading the economic benefits to more cities (“Just wait. You’ll hear,” March 17).

We need to invest in high-speed rail to facilitate movement between Minnesota cities. We need to do more for airport neighbors, such as buying out neighborhoods as we did in Richfield or demanding quieter planes. And we need to recognize that when someone at zero decibels argues that airport expansion at MSP benefits us all, they are really asking that airport neighbors suffer more with no benefit. We pay the price for all each day, each flight.

DIANE JENSEN, Minneapolis

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Minnetonka fears may not reflect reality

So a 62-year-old woman opposes a senior housing development because “she fears the facility would bring traffic and parking congestion from ambulances and visitors to the quaint neighborhood” (“Cities fight senior-living towers,” March 24)? My wife and I live in a cooperative housing complex for seniors. We don’t shovel snow or mow lawns; we do a bit of flower gardening if we want, and we live independently. Residents are assigned parking, and there’s an off-street lot for visitors and guests to use. Ambulances may come occasionally, but always quietly, without sirens shrieking.


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A slice of life that’s inspiring to read

Thanks to Star Tribune reporter Randy Furst for bringing us up-to-date on Tony Bouza (“Ex-Minneapolis police chief often testifies against cops,” March 27). He’s a remarkable character. He shows us problems in society and works to correct them. He’s a good example for the rest of us.


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Don’t blame men’s sports for U’s woes

Star Tribune letter writers got it wrong about the money the University of Minnesota will pay Tubby Smith after firing him (Letters of the Day, March 28). The men’s basketball team, as of 2010, generated $8 million in profit for the university. The women’s team operates at a loss. The reason some students can’t go to school “for free” is because of women’s athletics and not because of men’s athletics.