RANKED-CHOICE VOTING

Easy? Not with 35 candidates, it’s not

A Sept. 30 letter writer tells us that ranked-choice voting “couldn’t be easier.”

With 35 candidates for mayor in Minneapolis, with voters allowed to rank just three, how many of the ballots will go into the “exhausted” pile? Is that what the letter writer means by “easy”?

And, because of a huge number of “exhausted” ballots, will the winner be selected by, say, only 40 percent of the people who voted for mayor? Will the supporters of RCV then be saying, “Well, we never promised that the winner would have an absolute majority to give him or her a mandate?”

The election will prove that voting for real, live candidates is a whole lot more complicated than merely selecting fruit juice at a group breakfast.

STEVE CROSS, Minneapolis

 

SEX OFFENDERS

Complexity here, too, as 2004 movie shows

“The Woodsman,” with Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, is a 2004 film dealing with child molestation. While not easy to watch, it’s very insightful and thought-provoking. It may not change minds (“Public meeting reveals an unhelpful belief,” Readers Write, Oct. 4) but it will show the viewer that sexual predators are indeed human, as opposed to the opinion of the mental-health worker quoted in an earlier article about resistance to a supervised-living facility for sex offenders in Cambridge.

SUE KEARNS, Minneapolis

• • •

I would like to see those espousing sex offenders as being “human” leave their children or elderly parents alone in a room with a sex offender for a few hours. Sex offenders are “psycho-sociopaths,” most of whom are untreatable by most standards. The mental-health worker who stated they are “not human” was correct. They are evil by any moral, religious or nonreligious definition. Just ask the victims. I’m tired of the psychiatric community trying to put them on a level with the rest of humanity.

MICHELLE PETERSON, Plymouth

 

MOOSE MORTALITY

Research should not endanger calves

Northern Minnesota researchers recently revealed interim results for a large and impressive moose tracking study (“How the moose are dying,” Sept. 28), and numbers indicate that the research may have caused a much higher than normal mortality in the moose calf population over the summer (71 percent vs. 50 percent). It is not surprising that a collared calf would be more susceptible to predation or rejection by the mother. Adult mortality, on the other hand, was said to be much lower (18 percent). The article described a 35 percent drop in total moose population by aerial monitoring over the last year (a 52 percent decline has been observed in the moose population since 2010), confirming that the moose is in trouble and indicating that the study is not causing harm to the adult moose at least.

But what a shame that, in an already stressed population, there was a greater mortality of newborns. Is it really necessary to collar the calves? Could lower-profile wildlife tracking and monitoring devices such as ear tags be used if monitoring of newborns is needed?

ERICA TENBROEK, Roseville

 

TRAFFIC FLOW

Smooth and steady is slower in this case

In Tim Harlow’s “Study cites commuter behavior for congestion” (Sept. 30), John Hourdos, a researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies, said that on Interstate 35W, “it’s easier to go 40 miles per hour for 10 miles than to go 60 miles per hour for seven miles and 30 for three miles. That is a collective decision.”

Is it, though? As a math student, when I crunched the numbers I found that driving at 40 miles an hour for 10 miles takes 15 minutes, and driving at 60 mph for seven miles and then 30 mph for three takes only 13 minutes. Though Hourdos advocates for the former driving method, the math shows the drive takes longer.

KATIE TALERICO, Maple Grove

 

FATAL CHASE IN D.C.

Perhaps event could have ended differently

Hindsight is always helpful! (“Police fatally shoot driver after car chase near U.S. Capitol,” Oct. 4.) Why didn’t at least one of the law enforcement officers think to shoot out the tires on the woman’s car while they had the car surrounded?

CHUCK WATSON, Baxter, Minn.

 

FEDERAL SHUTDOWN

However will you cope with this disturbance?

“Shutdown spreading pain as it takes hold,” reads the front-page headline about the impact of the federal impasse in Minnesota. The first quote, used to back this up, says: “I feel very, very inconvenienced?”

Oh, the pain and indignity of being inconvenienced!

You’d think the Star Tribune would find someone with a stronger message. Maybe someone who is annoyed, too. Maybe even perturbed, although that might be too much for Minnesotans.

JOHN LAMPRECHT, Robbinsdale

• • •

If you ever wonder why we have such disarray in our government, look no further than an Oct. 4 letter writer, who freely makes up facts and blames just one political party for our “troubles.” Here’s his quote: “Americans have shown in the polls that we do not want this health care takeover.”

I’d be interested in his source — maybe it’s the neighbor over the fence, or Jason Lewis, or his local Tea Party official. But his diatribe about President Obama and Democrats in general doesn’t help anything. It only shows an ignorance beyond belief. To see only what you want to see in our politicized government these days is what frustrates the rest of us.

Jim Stromberg, Edina