ST. CROIX CROSSING
State should be mindful of taxpayers’ money
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has agreed to pay $58.1 million instead of $52.3 million on the bridge approach work for the St. Croix Crossing because the lowest responsible bidder didn’t meet the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises subcontracting goals (“Do millions mean nothing in bridge bid?” May 2).
The low bidder certified that nearly 11 percent of the work would be done by DBEs, short of the 16.7 percent MnDOT goal. So, in effect, the state is paying millions more because of a short percentage difference. Are these the same principles that our government will apply in its expanding role in managing our health care system?
MICHAEL WOLF, Bloomington
* * *
Former governor in South rises again
Cheers for former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (“Mark Sanford renews career, must build reputation,” May 8)! He proves that you can be a lying, cheating, taxpayer-money-wasting, derelict-of-duty, lawbreaking, vow-breaking, court-order-breaking hypocrite and still be elected to Congress. He’ll fit right in with his new colleagues in Washington.
JOE TAMBURINO, West St. Paul
* * *
Ease suffering for humans and animals
Make what you will of the government research showing aggressive cancers in lab animals who were given large amounts of Ginkgo biloba (“New doubts about Ginkgo biloba,” May 7). What’s never discussed is that cancer tumors frequently cause severe pain that requires expert pain management — at least, when the cancer patient is human. But what happens when the cancer patient isn’t human and has no power or voice? How long and how intensely must the (involuntary) research animals suffer?
CHRISTINE LEWIS, Minneapolis
* * *
Vikings out of touch with Minnesota values
Various political and social views espoused by Chris Kluwe are widely shared in the Twin Cities (“If and when the Vikings cut Kluwe, the loss will be ours,” May 5). Sacking Kluwe is another way team owners are thumbing their noses at those forced to help pay for the new stadium. They love our money but despise our values.
PAT MULOY, Minneapolis
• • •
People who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds need a quick reminder: Marriage is a legal contract, not a religious one (“Same-sex marriage opponents call religious protection efforts a ‘big lie,’ ” Hot Dish blog, May 6).
While a wedding can be a religious ceremony, the actual marriage has nothing to do with churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, etc. Just ask yourself, “Where would I go to get a copy of my marriage certificate?”
The last time I checked, it involved a trip (or online visit) to a government service center. Please realize that this issue is more important than your own personal fears or religious beliefs. It’s about fairness, equality and above all, love.
ELIZABETH PAVLICA, Minneapolis
* * *
DHS commissioner should be excluded
When it comes to one individual, I disagree with your glowing assessment of the new health care exchange board (“Solid leadership for exchange board,” May 5). Minnesota law requires Lucinda Jesson, the Department of Human Services commissioner, to be on the newly created board.
This isn’t right given that she allowed millions in taxpayer money to pour into HMO pockets in defiance of her agency’s contracts with them. Her inability to stop this as well as other matters should disqualify her from overseeing the health care exchange. Woe is me, the price-gouged taxpayer. The very decisionmakers who should guard the public purse with prudence are betraying the public trust.
DIANE J. PETERSON, White Bear Lake
* * *
Politicians put their own interests first
For those in Washington who voted against the background check on gun buyers and those in St. Paul who hid the bill until next year, you have nothing to fear about attacks on your character, because you don’t have any (“A shameful day for the U.S. Senate,” April 18).
EARL HALVERSON, Fulda, Minn.
• • •
I don’t remember seeing the NRA on the ballot last vote around. How come it’s voting? Let’s toss this bum out — the sooner, the better!
JO WELCH-YOUNGREN, St. Anthony Village
* * *
An increase is sorely needed
Thanks to state Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL Golden Valley, for sponsoring the House bill to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage. It’s about time that this happened. I’m not certain an increase will spell the economic hardships to small-and-medium-sized businesses that some suggest. I have no trouble paying more for services if it means making things a bit more fair for the lowest paid workers.
JIM BRERETON, Minneapolis
* * *
A BETTER SOCIETY
Two ways Star Tribune can be part of solution
In light of the recent liberation of three kidnapped women in Ohio, I had a thought about how the Star Tribune can make a difference (“In Ohio, the value of not turning away,” May 9). Sadly, people forget about those who have been missing for many years. How about routinely running features on a missing person from Minnesota and the surrounding area, even if only online? We must remind people that many more are still missing. Someone out there has the answers.
RACHEL OAS, Hanover
• • •
Everyone is concerned about the lack of civility and manners in society today (“Gov. Dayton vs. Shakopee hecklers,” May 1). Perhaps your newspaper might make a contribution to civil discourse by resuming use of the courtesy titles of Mr. and Ms. instead of referring to individuals by their last names only.
JOYCE GROSS, St. Louis Park