TEENS LED INTO TEMPTATION
But they didn't drink
The Woodbury teens who reported that their assistant coach brought a case of beer to their hotel room ("Teens turn in coach who offered beer," March 25) should be commended for doing the right thing.
The question looming in my mind, however, is why a sports team from Woodbury needs to stay overnight in a hotel in St. Paul when any one of those students could be home within 15 minutes of leaving downtown?
Why would any coach feel his athletes will be more focused and ready to compete after spending a night in a hotel during events where there has traditionally been enough carousing and alcohol consumption that off-duty police officers are hired to keep things under control?
While the five Woodbury wrestlers demonstrated good judgment in declining to drink, the same can't be said for the coach who reserved rooms knowing the temptations that would be confronting these teens.
TRACY BLODGETT, WOODBURY
PULLED OVER BY PATROL?
Use common sense
While I agree with most of your March 26 editorial "Taser death deserves timely answers," I think your parting shot was below the belt.
"And it would help the public know what to expect -- and how to behave -- when a patrol car's flashing lights appear in the rear-view mirror."
If the patrolman was not doing his duty, then it is not a representation of the countless stops the State Patrol makes a day.
You should behave with a good dose of common sense. Driving is a privilege, not a right. I was stopped recently by a State Patrol officer and have dealt with them at the scene of an accident in which a drunken driver hit me. Both times the officers were polite, direct and concerned about my safety.
JOHN MARION, BROOKLYN PARK
A HIGHER TAX BILL
But do they get more?
Yes, Mark Dayton! Please let us be fair about the budget gap (Opinion Exchange, March 24). Your $40,000-per-year Minnesotan pays $4,880 a year in state and local taxes -- 12.2 percent of his income -- according to you.
The 1 percent of Minnesotans who make $350,000 per year or more pay $33,600 per year or more in state and local taxes at 9.6 percent of their income, according to you. So one individual pays $28,720 more each year, but you think that is unfair to the one paying the lesser amount.
Please list the additional state and local services that are provided to the higher taxpayer for the additional $28,720 he or she pays each year, which you believe should cost even more.
BILL SLATTERY, EXCELSIOR
Not a killer
Mitch Pearlstein's right-wing talking point about corporate taxes being "bad for business" (Opinion Exchange, March 24) sounds plausible -- unless you know how corporations are actually taxed.
Unlike individuals, who are taxed on all income except for a small range of permitted deductions, businesses pay income taxes only on what is left over after they have paid all the costs of doing business, from the price of a box of paper clips to executive salaries.
They don't pay any income taxes unless they show a profit, so don't believe the right-wing lie that income taxes can drive a sound business under.
KAREN SANDNESS, MINNEAPOLIS
STATE REP. TINGELSTAD
An effective lawmaker
Thank you for the March 26 Editorial Shorts, which included "Tingelstad retirement is a loss for Minnesota."
What the state of Minnesota needs are more people like Kathy Tingelstad, who work for the people, not just the party.
FRED STORMS, ST. PAUL
Andrew Klavan's glowing praise of David Mamet's "coming out" as a conservative was quite disappointing ("Wing man," March 25). The article starts out on a fairly promising note, but rapidly degenerates into baseless, vague generalizations about everyone on "the left." For someone who claims to love enlightened thinking, Klavan's slams on liberalism are strangely grade-school level.
I am a liberal, yet I have long since realized that liberalism isn't synonymous with intellectual maturity. Neither is conservatism. Klavan's article is proof of that.
KEVIN CHILES, PLYMOUTH
It misreads the public
Norm Coleman and his campaign are already sounding like a broken record -- calling Al Franken "angry" at every chance they get. I think they fail to see that the American public is angry at the Coleman-Bush-Cheney-McCain approach to governance which has served so many of us Minnesotans poorly.
I prefer to look at Franken as "Fightin' Al." He's fighting for workers in Minnesota and for our brave veterans. He's fighting to recover America's place in the world through enlightened foreign policy. He's fighting for those without health care, for seniors, for students. He's fighting for all that Coleman has neglected during his time representing Minnesota. I'm ready to fight for Franken's right to be angry at Coleman for how he has let Minnesota down.
PETER ROGAN, MINNETONKA