And if beer doesn't help, try free tuition


As a season-ticket holder since the Lou Holtz days, I have heard many times about the University of Minnesota hiring marketing companies to fill the student section. Judging by Saturday's game, the efforts are failing. The entire upper-deck student section was empty. The U has sold only about 3,000 student season tickets out of an allocation of 10,000.

How to sell the rest? Simple: Give away one annual tuition at every home game. Current tuition is $13,459 per year. With seven home games, such a promotion would cost $94,213. Look at it this way. Selling 10,000 student tickets at $80 or 12,994 beers at $7.25 would certainly cover the cost.

What U of M parent wouldn't shell out $80 for their kid to have a chance for free tuition?


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Honest or clueless on taxes, spending?


The Sept. 13 headline "Dayton renews call for higher taxes, more spending" caught my eye this morning. Wow, did he really say that?

A bit later a story popped up on the Yahoo home page that referenced an article from Kiplinger titled, "10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees." Guess what, Minnesota is ranked fifth-worst in the country!

These two articles caused me to look further at our tax situation. I looked at some data on the website, which indicated that Minnesota has the sixth-highest top tax rate, the seventh-highest overall individual tax burden and the 45th-ranked business climate.

We collect almost double the per capita tax compared with states like Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and Missouri. Are we really getting double the value?

How about we work TOGETHER to figure out how to get more value for our tax dollar? Considering that retirees and small business are also significant taxpayers, maybe we also should focus on how to keep both of them in our state instead of running them off with higher taxes and more regulations.

Considering that this is the same governor who wanted to unionize day care workers, I guess it is not inconceivable that he really did say we need more taxes and spending. I hope people will remember his comments the next time we vote for governor.


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How refreshing to have a governor who will say what he believes instead of worrying about what it will look like for the next election. Dayton says what we need is more tax revenues and more spending. Agree or disagree, you know he isn't calculating his reelection or his desire for higher office. We need more of that on both sides of the aisle.


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Get a broader view beyond mainstream


Cass Sunstein observes that most of us get our news from a few trusted sources and avoid sources with which we're not familiar ("You know you're right -- but do you know why you think so?" Sept. 15). He advises us to break out of our "information cocoons." He's right. We should.

Just six companies -- GE, Time Warner, Disney, News Corp, Viacom and CBS --control 90 percent of what Americans read, watch and listen to. That's a tight cocoon. If we want to take Sunstein's advice, we should explore the world outside of mainstream media. We should open our minds to news and views from sources that are not controlled by the big six.

Or, maybe that's not what former White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Sunstein had in mind.


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Focus on police chief's race speaks volumes


How sad that I am reading a headline in 2012 that a Minnesota city, St. Cloud, has an person of color heading its police department ("New police chief is a sea change in St. Cloud," Sept. 16).

Why should that be newsworthy? I was embarrassed for St. Cloud and Minnesota. I read the article because I thought this man must be bringing some remarkable history or law-enforcement ideas to the job.

No, sadly, he is making headlines because he is black.

Really, Minnesota? How sad. Just when I thought it was safe to come out of the 1960s, too.


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You want them? Then you must manage them


In response to a recent letter stating that there is "no sport" in hunting wolves: Man has altered the ecosystem so greatly that we now have to function as "God" and control the top predators. If we don't do this, the deer, moose, elk, cattle and sheep will all be consumed by the wolves, since there is no "control" on them as the apex predators.

There has been a major decline in deer and moose populations in northern Minnesota due to wolf overpredation. If you want wolves in the ecosystem, then you have to assume responsibility for managing them. This isn't done with birth-control pills, or darting them with anesthetics and spaying/neutering them. This is done with a rifle at long range, because they are too smart to get close to us.