Weak students can hold back the strong
I agree with Mitch Pearlstein that we need to create a different environment for the strongest students ("Our strongest students don't measure up in science, technology, engineering and math," Sept. 23).
Being an Advanced Placement and honors student myself, I've almost always excelled during school and found myself bored. There have been numerous times where I, and some fellow students, are ready to move on, but we're told to help the struggling students instead of giving ourselves more of a challenge. This holds students like myself back and is simply unfair.
At the same time, I understand that it's important to help the students who fall behind. Selective schools would help those of us who are ready for the next step to be challenged and reach our fullest potential.
RACHEL RUE, HAM LAKE
* * *
A few obstacles that might arise
It's not surprising that more women than men oppose the voter ID amendment (Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, Sept. 23). Perhaps thinking women realize that the name that appears on their birth certificate may not be the same as the name they now use. A man may only need to show one document to obtain a government-issued photo ID.
But I, for example, would need to bring a birth certificate with my birth name, a marriage certificate with my first married name, divorce papers terminating that marriage, and a marriage certificate from a second marriage to prove that the name I'm now using is my legal name.
Moreover, every person who votes signs on a page that begins with the warning that if they sign their name but are not legally eligible to vote, they are committing a felony that could be punishable by five years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both.
Almost 40 percent of registered voters do not exercise their right to vote. Do you honestly believe that others are willing to risk a felony conviction and five years in prison for the privilege of casting one vote? Think and then vote against this costly and unnecessary amendment.
CAROLE RYDBERG, PLYMOUTH
• • •
In her recent commentary, Elizabeth Mansfield said that her handicap wouldn't hinder her chance to get a photo ID in order to vote ("Will photo ID rock the vote?" Sept. 24).
In 2009, when my handicapped brother lost his driving privileges, I went to the public license bureau to ask how he could get a photo ID. The response was that he would have to have his photo taken. I was shown the bureau's camera, which required the person to stand. I said that he couldn't stand, and the reply was that the bureau could not help him.
Three years later, my brother is bedridden and unable to use a wheelchair. He has proudly voted every year, but the voter photo ID requirement will make it impossible for him. Sadly, there are many people who share this type of handicap, and they also will be denied a citizen's right to vote.
NINA BUZZELL, BLAINE
* * *
Let's wait until the investigations are done
Thanks for the reporting on the David Feinwachs case ("Hospital ex-lobbyist loses appeal," Sept. 26). He's the former hospital executive who says he lost his job with the Minnesota Hospital Association, in part, over exchanges he had with insurance companies and their method of setting charges for low-income, disabled and elderly Minnesotans.
The article says that two federal investigations and one state investigation are ongoing regarding these matters. I would hope that when these investigations are completed, a decision will be made based on more evidence than what is currently available.
ROBERT REINKOBER, NEW BRIGHTON
The writer is a retired Minnesota Hospital Association employee.
* * *
What was the Editorial Board thinking?
Did the Star Tribune Editorial Board really endorse New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on regular sodas over 16 ounces ("Soda ban spotlights pop's health risk," Sept. 26)? Setting aside for the moment the absurd notion that this will reduce obesity, let's look at what this ban means.
Apparently, we're so stupid that we don't know that sugar contains calories and the government knows better, so we need to be protected from ourselves. Or, perhaps, we do know better, but the government is needed to force us to change our behavior. If this is not an assault on liberty well, then, exactly what is it? A public health policy? Please! Editorial Board members, don't promote the nanny state.
ERIK EDIN, MINNEAPOLIS
* * *
Kersten's equation has something missing
Katherine Kersten's column ("Really? Don't limit freedom to marry?" Sept. 23) used the word "love" only once in relation to same-sex marriage, but used the word "sex" 12 times. I always thought people got married for love. If it's all about sex, then people shouldn't get married and could reduce the divorce rate.
When people get old, the sex tends to fade, but not the love. Gays and lesbians getting married won't stop straight people from having sex. Maybe Kersten should take a closer look at what marriage is really all about.
ROBERT PETRO, MINNEAPOLIS