Once power is held, self-interest rules

My compliments to your paper on the editorial regarding the unionizing of day care providers. You are asking the bigger questions, and it was refreshing to hear your insight regarding who would benefit if the legislation passed.

It concerns me that organizations that gain power begin to corrupt themselves. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is the union, big business, Democrats, Republicans or special-interest groups. The old statement “power corrupts” still holds true. I would suggest two things that might give the power of government back to the people and keep it away from the power groups:

1) That all campaign dollars come only from the district the elected officials represent. Say no to national special-interest dollars.

2) All representatives of the people should be restricted from authoring legislation that benefits them personally. Simple ethics.

I desire a government of the people and for the people.

GREGORY M. OLSON, Buffalo, Minn.

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The real ‘ticket’ to the school of your dreams

So colleges’ admissions decisions are about a student’s personal essay? (“Students find all A’s aren’t automatic ticket to college,” May 16.) This, at best, is window dressing. Or an excuse — take your pick. It is not only Stanford. Look around; many are doing the same thing. For many colleges today it is about one thing only. It is about “diversity.”


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Parks are for everyone; some need pavement

The writer of a letter regarding a proposal to put in some paved trails in Dakota County’s largest and most popular regional park (“Lebanon Hills is a paradise that shouldn’t be paved,” May 16) is correct. Lebanon Hills is a paradise, offering canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and more in simply spectacular settings. But paving six and a half miles of trails, while leaving 40 miles of unpaved trails, wouldn’t change that. It probably would attract people who want year-round recreation, which requires paved trails. Families who bike together may try Lebanon Hills. Does this mean more people will use the park? We certainly hope so.

Our parks belong to the public, and everyone should be able to enjoy them. But the lack of paved trails makes it difficult for families with strollers or people on bikes to reach their favorite parts of the park — not to mention those who use wheelchairs, canes or walkers.

More than 30,000 residents in Dakota County have disabilities. They should not be excluded from the beauty of Lebanon Hills.



The writer is the Dakota County parks director

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Streetcar names leave much to be desired

Are the new, sterile, color-coded transit names brought to us by the descendants of those who tore down our historic buildings (“Metro Transit is ready for something new and blue,” May 17)? Fortunately, I am able to distinguish blue, green and red (some folks can’t). But my mind is assisted by no associations between those colors and the areas or directions they will serve.

“Hiawatha” is logical, and figuratively more colorful than “Blue.” Hiawatha also is the name of an iconic railroad train that once ran in the same general direction connecting us to Chicago.

First the airport terminals, and now the transit lines? So what next to strip of romance and character? Shall we rename Minneapolis and St. Paul “City W” and “City E”?

DAVID C. SMITH, Minneapolis

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Some one-percenters more equal than others

While reading the Star Tribune on Wednesday, I noticed the phrase “one percent” twice in section A. One case referred to the percentage of couples in Minnesota who are same-sex. In the other, a commentary writer lamented the claim by prolife groups about the proliferation of late-term abortions. The writer cited a study stating that only “one percent” of abortions are terminated after 21 weeks gestation.

How is it that we change our laws for one group of people who are “one percent” but will pass no laws to protect just one percent of the babies who are aborted every year in this state? Pretty sad.


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Gas prices

Gouging to the left of me, gouging to the right

Are you kidding me? Second in the nation in gas price? Only Hawaii has us beat. We have two refineries in this state. Minnesota is building the Taj Mahal of stadiums. Minnesota is raising our taxes. Now the gas price. You are killing us. Come on, Minnesotans. Stand up and fight back!

Sue Wilson, Savage