LIND THREATENS TO SUE
A non-PC champion
Why is the Star Tribune bashing dissent ("Suburban school case is a cautionary tale," Jan. 5)? There were never any editorials bashing the ACLU when it threatened to sue the Minneapolis public schools if they didn't get rid of that venerable institution called the Boy Scouts of America.
Maybe the fact that a school district is finally catching on to the downside of the politically correct crowd and has found a champion in Prior Lake-Savage school board member-elect Chris Lind is what upsets the editorial board.
I think Lind should get his job back. Heck, in Minneapolis, a serial sexual harassing fire chief kept her job for a long time because the politically correct crowd had so intimidated those in the responsible positions of power that they failed to do their duty to rid the fire department of her.
LOREN PILLER, MINNEAPOLIS
DISCIPLINING STATE WORKERS
Two items in recent editions of the Star Tribune have jumped out at me.
• Two Department of Motor Vehicle employees are fired for allegedly looking up records in a public database.
• Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gartner calls a high level meeting to discuss possible criminal charges against Sonia Morphew Pitt, former MnDOT emergency management director.
The contrast couldn't be more striking: Two low-level employees are summarily fired while a high-level former manager is treated with kid gloves.
Based on what has been reported, the low-level employees were not engaged in criminal behavior, broke no laws and caused no harm. At worst they transgressed some informal policies, which made their supervisors uncomfortable. The database in question is a public resource that is open to anyone who wants to look up public records.
Meanwhile, Pitt continues to oppose her firing for gross misconduct, abuse of her position, neglect of her duties and possible theft of public funds. The county attorney faces an embarrassment of riches when it comes to evidence, intent and actual harm.
Comedy or tragedy? It's hard to tell them apart these days.
GEORGE HUTCHINSON, MINNEAPOLIS
PAWLENTY ON WARMING
He talks a good game
If Gov. Tim Pawlenty is so concerned about global warming, why did he veto bills (raising the gas tax and funding transit) that would do something about it?
RICHARD ADAIR, MINNEAPOLIS
Good Democratic field
I am 56 years old and a lifelong Democrat. I am extremely proud of my party following the Iowa caucuses. I look at the four front-runners and I see a profile of my country, diverse in race, ethnicity and gender. I look at the GOP and I see the same profile of front-runners that have been there since we were British colonies.
It is easy to simplify in sound bites but I really do see new hope for tomorrow in the Democratic Party as opposed to the same old GOP litany of fear and tax relief.
TIM MOUNTAIN, BEMIDJI, MINN.A flawed argument
Hillary Clinton urged Democratic voters not to build up "false hopes" by choosing an inexperienced presidential candidate. She was talking of Barack Obama.
I am electing the CEO of the most powerful country on the planet, not the best political manipulator on the planet. I am not impressed by Clinton's "experience" in politics. I am simply looking for someone who is smart and doesn't have a bunch of political ties (so you don't have a lot of "cronies" in your Cabinet, ala our present administration).
WILLIAM ERICKSON, CROOKSTON, MINN.A repeat of Bush?
Excuse me for being skeptical of Mike Huckabee, but I seem to remember that the last time people voted for a Southern governor with support from the evangelical base we ended up with multiple scandals, two wars and one big international embarrassment. Here's hoping that the result of the Republican Iowa caucus was a fluke.
ANNE CHRISTIANSON, ARDEN HILLS
THE TRUTH ABOUT PIT BULLS
Don't blame the dogs
I was very pleased to finally see an article in the Star Tribune portraying pit bulls in a positive light ("Licking the stereotype," Dec. 29). The article did a lot toward educating the public about bully dogs.
Although Ruby is a shining example for her breed, there are many wonderful pit bull dogs throughout the Twin Cities living average lives as typical dogs. They may not all be therapy dogs, but they contribute to many lives as companions, guardians and beloved pets.
I hope that this marks a turn for the Star Tribune, which had previously gone down the path of tabloid journalism in its coverage of dog bites and attacks in the Twin Cities. Its focus on certain dog breeds, the antics and misinformation of a few cavalier politicians and a lack of support for proven strategies for helping dogs be a safe part of our communities had been disappointing, to say the least.
The fact of the matter is that educating everyone (children, parents and dog owners) about safety around dogs, legislation that requires humane care of animals and enforcement of leash laws is what will actually reduce dog bites. The ranting of inner-city council members and the not-so-thinly veiled racism of many suburbs in demanding breed bans and impossible restrictions on dog owners will not make us safer. If a father would keep a loaded weapon and a dog with a history of biting at home with his children, can we really believe he would have surrendered his banned pit bull or purchased a $300,000 insurance policy?
KAREN GRIMM, MINNEAPOLIS