While it is unfortunate that anyone is homeless in this wealthy country of ours, there are far better solutions than tolerating a growing community of “sleepers” on Metro Transit trains and buses (“No easy fix to ‘sleepers,’” Oct. 4). Permanent subsidized housing is simply not available to everyone, but we could create a far improved experience for these individuals.
Our city leaders took a bold step for eliminating the drug-infested Franklin Avenue tent city by designating a temporary trailer site for use through the cold winter months ahead, and to provide access to medical and other social services. We could do something similar for the sleepers. The homeless don’t have any need to travel aimlessly throughout the city other than a safe, warm place to rest. Why not park a few train cars in a quiet area downtown near restroom facilities and provide adequate security personnel as another option?
Everyone needs adequate sleep and access to the most basic needs for healthy lives, and many could become productive workers again. We can do better.
MICHAEL TILLEMANS, Minneapolis
No shortage of views or questions on this court drama
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh should be withdrawn now, no matter what is believed about him and Christine Blasey Ford. This chaos and polarization is not a fitting setting in which to approve a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Controversy will inevitably follow in its wake and surround every court decision he would make. It’s appalling to see senators with police escorts to prevent violence. Withdrawing now is the only appropriate action.
VIRGINIA L. MARTIN, St. Paul
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In regard to the current battle over a potential new Supreme Court justice, I’ve heard the phrase “for a lifetime appointment” so often that I decided to check it out. The Constitution in Article 3 regarding the judiciary doesn’t use the term. Rather, it clearly states “good behavior” as the qualifier to assure citizens that a judge can be removed from office by the Congress through the impeachment process.
Most judges have resigned or retired before they died, for good reason as they recognized their deteriorating faculties for such important decisions. What constitutes lack of “good behavior”? That’s probably as nebulous as “high crimes and misdemeanors” for the chief executive, the president. But it is a viable option for voters to request and demand should the need arise to remove a judge after appointment. For what it’s worth, Wikipedia replies to a search as follows:
“The term ‘good behavior’ is understood to mean justices may serve for the remainder of their lives, unless they are impeached and convicted by Congress, resign, or retire. Only one justice has been impeached by the House of Representatives (Samuel Chase, March 1804), but he was acquitted in the Senate (March 1805).”
Perhaps clarity in terminology would help everyone, including elected representatives and media pundits, discuss fairly the Kavanaugh nomination. If he’s guilty of bad behavior in office, he can be impeached. Otherwise, give the man and his family a break, for goodness sake.
GREGORY LENZ, Edina
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After all these years, and all the pain of the Anita Hill debacle, why has the Senate Judiciary Committee not been interested in fashioning a procedure for handling controversies such as the Kavanaugh hearing? Why was the FBI under the thumb of President Donald Trump while he, as one of the most interested parties in the room, was allowed to thwart the investigation? Why were the people interviewed not asked to submit to lie detector tests — was that Trump’s doing again? The questions are endless.
Let’s hope this time they learn from the pain and at least try to get it right for next time. Though it is looking more and more like there will soon be not one but two tainted men on the Supreme Court, next time it could be a Democratic nominee who skates.
MARY MCLEOD, St. Paul
MEN AND WOMEN — AGAIN
Writer was urged to act, not just listen and learn — and he did
An Oct. 4 letter is a prime example of a misunderstanding. The writer reacted to a commentary from Star Tribune assistant commentary editor David Banks (“Messages for men and boys, then and now,” Oct. 3). After publicly and courageously admitting to hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans that as a preteen and as a student in junior high he immaturely said or wrote disrespectful comments in regard to girls, Banks wrote that he’s now got a basic message for men: “It’s simply: Listen. When the opportunity arises, learn.” The letter writer wrote, “No, Mr. Banks, you must go a step further: Act.”
That’s exactly what he has done. His action, his commentary, can in turn motivate us to act. The first step is to admit to ourselves we probably at least once acted unkindly toward a girl. A second step is to understand as much as possible how women who claim sexual assault could experience it both physically and emotionally (listening open-mindedly to Christine Blasey Ford would have been a good way to start). Once we do all that, we are more likely to act ourselves. Banks’ previous commentaries have consistently displayed how sensitive he is to the feelings of others. I think we readers need to react to the full context of what others write.
JIM BARTOS, Brooklyn Park
Service dogs can make a big difference; think about donating
My family used memorial funds to sponsor a service dog through the Yellow Ribbon Fund. She was matched with a young Marine who suffered from PTSD. From this experience, we learned of the zero suicide rate with these dog/vet pairings. It’s expensive, $20,000-$25,000 per dog, but a pittance compared to the value of a life (“A chilling look at veterans suicide data,” editorial, Oct. 4). Contributing to help fund a service dog is a fine way to help alleviate the veteran suicide crisis.
LAVONNE DIMOND, Richfield
How wonderful to see one of his gems! We’ve missed him
You made my day today! I turned to page A13 and found Steve Sack’s cartoon. How we have missed you, Mr. Sack. Please get well and return to enlighten and delight us. You are the best artist and interpreter of the news in the business.
JAN GREEN, Golden Valley
Steve Sack continues to be out on medical leave but is providing cartoons when he feels up to it.