What reunions require, what they bring forth

Wow! Sometimes things do work out as intended (“Mother-and-child reunions,” May 11). Such felicitous reunions require a loving and unselfish birth mother, equally loving and dedicated adoptive parents, and an informed and secure adopted child. Consistent cooperation among all of the parents, a lack of bad-mouthing of anyone and concentrating on rearing a competent adult-to-be seemed to be the focus in this family. Would that all adoptions played out this way!

Lloyd K. Sines, Big Lake

• • •

As a mother who helped her three children through the maze of finding their birth families (it always is families, not just birth mother), I read both adoption stories on the May 11 Opinion Exchange cover with feelings. First, I have watched three birth mothers receive a big gift. They fear searching and fear upsetting their child, so by being found, they heal. Think of gifting her with you. Second, put aside your fears. Knowing even the bad part is better than not knowing anything. Third, Minnesota is fast becoming a drag on the adoption reform community by not passing original-birth-certificate legislation. Oh, and one more tidbit: My children and I have been much closer since meeting their “ghost” mother. Truly works as a gift on both sides.

Eunice Anderson, Burnsville



It’s a matter of import to all; it’s inescapable

Regarding Lori Sturdevant’s May 11 column on the omission of caregivers of the elderly from legislation to protect family leave for caregivers: Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter starts her book on caregiving quoting a colleague of hers ­­­— “There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

The rights of caregivers must be taken seriously and ought to be given legal protection, since according to the above quote we are all affected by caregiving. It could be our caregiver who is refused help for his or her rights at work.

Nancy Anderson, Brooklyn Center



Why do some wish to hide participation?

George Will states in his May 11 column concerning donors to conservative political-action committees: “Donors’ anonymity thwarts liberals’ efforts to injure the livelihoods of identifiable conservatives by punishing them for their political participation and thereby deterring others from participating.”

Why aren’t conservatives proud of their views and their participation in politics? If proclaiming their views cost them money, why is this unfair? We often have to pay for the courage of our convictions.

Connie Nardini, St. Paul



Currently, appearance is trumping health

Special thanks for the May 13 commentary by Dr. Diane Lewis (“Is your lawn loaded?”) regarding the direct connection of pesticides going from our lawns and gardens into our drinking water and into our bodies.

As an avid walker in my Edina neighborhood and around my Bryn Mawr work neighborhood, I smell lawn chemical applications from spring to autumn. Every other residential and commercial property owner, it seems, has the goal of having a gorgeous, green, weed-free lawn. I’ve had to take detours to get away from the lawns and parks being sprayed.

No one in their right mind would have their indoor carpets sprayed with those stinky lawn chemicals on a regular basis, yet we’ve bought into the hype to have beautiful outdoor carpets at the expense of human and pet health. Please consider an alternative to toxic chemical spraying. Lewis has inspired me to present her article to my property manager and neighborhood organization to propose ending the practice or skipping a year or two between the applications.

Teresa Diffley, Edina

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As someone who loves the outdoors and gardening and works with green industry professionals every day, I value safe, healthy outdoor spaces. Given this, it’s important to share how best management practices play a role in protecting our environment and our communities.

Pesticide products, including neonicotinoids, are important tools for managing disease-carrying insects, invasive pests and allergy-causing weeds. Together with other common-sense practices, the right pesticide — used when and where needed and according to label instructions — offers reliable control for problems that can impact our well-being and the environment.

It’s important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rigorously reviews the most current scientific and health data for all pesticide products before they are made available for use. Once approved, pesticide products are continually assessed against current scientific and health standards to ensure they can be used safely.

As with all technology, pesticides have improved and continue to do so, making them more environmentally friendly and effective. For example, neonicotinoids replaced other products because of their favorable environmental profile and are registered under the EPA’s Conventional Reduced Risk Program.

Let’s not disregard the value these products offer. Instead, let’s commit to using them appropriately to protect the health of our communities.

Karen Reardon, Washington, D.C.


The writer is vice president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment).