Let’s please bring some balance to the treatment of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
The 3 million Americans who live in Puerto Rico do not derive their livelihoods solely from tourism. Many work at several facilities across the island that produce pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Also, Puerto Rico’s distilled spirits are internationally famous. The radio telescope at Arecibo is booked by astronomical researchers throughout the world.
Ambition and hard work are a way of life in Puerto Rico. When I was at a hotel there and needed some help, a young employee assisted me efficiently and then turned back to study a thick hotel management textbook he kept by his side.
In Puerto Rico and in such U.S. Caribbean territories as St. Thomas, a disproportionately large number of young people enlist in the U.S. military. Every year, men’s organizations and women’s auxiliaries work energetically to create enthusiastically patriotic celebrations of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
When Texas and Florida were hit with hurricanes, our government immediately began streaming in aid. It was a week and a half before intense and high-quality aid started to flow to Puerto Rico. For Texas and Florida, our government immediately waived regulations that required that aid and supplies be delivered only in U.S.-registered ships. After Maria, several days passed before our government made such a waiver for Puerto Rico.
Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico deserve to be treated as well as all other Americans, certainly not patronizingly and perfunctorily.
Frank Malley, Minnetonka
See something, say something: Looking for a new normal
From the outside looking in, I’m a normal middle-class, middle-aged woman. From the inside looking out, I carry the same powerful emotions as all the women sharing their stories in response to Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior (“ ‘Me, too’ is what we now must be able to say,” Oct. 17). By the time I was 20, I’d already experienced gender-bashing, stalking, sexual harassment and assault. It was a hard lesson to learn, that it’s quite normal for one-half of the human race to sexually prey on the other half — my half.
Thank you to all the courageous women who are telling the world about their tragically “normal” lives. We’re on a slow train to freedom. It would surely help if all the caring, respectful men and boys jumped on board and spoke out. See something, say something. We’d get to our destination much faster.
Laurel Regan, Apple Valley
Judging the hit on Rodgers, and the overall stadium experience
An Oct. 17 letter writer suggested that by publishing the photo of Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter “congratulating” each other while Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lay on the ground in pain in the background along with the headline “Left ’em hurting,” the Star Tribune is somehow suggesting Rodgers’ injury should be celebrated or the Vikings should be exalted for potentially ending Rodgers’ season. This is laughable.
I’m a Vikings fan and did not for one second celebrate Rodgers’ injury, knowing full well the crushing feeling of injuries ending a quarterback’s season (see: Bridgewater, Teddy, and now potentially Bradford, Sam, whose career may be over entirely).
The photo was well-chosen, in my opinion, and the headline factual and harmless in its somewhat cheeky tone. This is a non-life-threatening injury incurred in an inherently physical game, after all. At that precise moment, neither Barr nor Hunter knew the extent of Rodgers’ injury. Barr didn’t jump up and down or perform an extravagant celebration dance, as defensive players sometimes do after a big hit on the quarterback. Instead, he reached out for a rather subdued low-five from Hunter and walked back to the huddle. The hit, while forceful, was routine and well within the rules per the overwhelming consensus of NFL and officiating experts. The photo underscores how even routine hard hits can cause major injuries, particularly for a player like Rodgers whose style of play involving frequent scrambling from the pocket exposes him to such hits to a much greater extent than many other quarterbacks.
John Grimes, Minneapolis
• • •
I was interested in how different the Star Tribune story on the U.S. Bank Stadium (“Vikings vs. Packers provides Super Bowl security preview,” Oct. 16) differed from my experience at Sunday’s Vikings game. The story lauded the new security system and spoke of the lack of lines inside the stadium. For me, there was a 40-minute wait to get through security (as opposed to the Gopher game the day before, where there was a five-minute wait). At halftime, the line to the men’s room was six abreast and disappeared down the crowded concourse. Seems to me you should get more for a billion dollars. Hope they can do better for the Super Bowl.
Al Zdon, Mounds View
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Time for alumni to celebrate, in the sense of being grateful
Homecoming has arrived at the University of Minnesota, a tradition since 1914. This is a time for alumni and friends to celebrate their pride and support for the U. As one of 477,000 alumni, I’ve found that its effects on my life have been huge, and some were very unexpected.
Personally, I owe the U (and all Minnesotans) big-time, for two degrees. The first, a B.A. from the College of Liberal Arts, came while tuition rose from $85 to a startling $125 per quarter — can you imagine? Later, a J.D. from the U launched me on my legal career, beginning with a clerkship to Minnesota Chief Justice Doug Amdahl — the best job I’ve ever had.
More recently, Dr. Robert Olson at Fairview University Hospitals has brilliantly treated my son Matt’s major mental illness. Matt has done much better since becoming Dr. Olson’s patient 12 years ago, remaining out of the hospital, and living a happier life. As a mother, the care provided to my son overshadows everything else the U of M has meant to me. My heart is full of gratitude.
For some, the U means statewide impact as the state’s economic engine and source of sophisticated research. But, for me it is personal, life-sustaining, and there was no way to fathom its future impact on me as a 20-year-old student. But trust me, the time will come when you will need it, and the University of Minnesota will be there for you. As Garrison Keillor famously said, it’s “the jewel in the crown” of the great state of Minnesota.
Mary McLeod, St. Paul