The most effective way to significantly reduce the polluting of our waters from salt ("Road salt is pickling lakes," April 11) would be to make it impossible for people to sue businesses and property owners for slips and falls where weather related conditions are to blame. We live in a state that has snow and ice and temperatures that thaw and refreeze water. Guess what? It's slippery. So we salt. And salt. And salt.
My husband and I own a few convenience stores, and I frequently tell my employees that salt is less expensive than being sued. And it is. But not for the environment. This is a personal responsibility issue in my opinion. Be careful and dress accordingly. If you fall and are injured, that is very unfortunate, but it should stop being anyone else's fault. It's an accident that was partly due to you and partly due to weather. Countries all over the north DO NOT use salt, and their populations have survived. Weird.
Kerry Bement, Chaska
• • •
I have a very steep driveway. I stopped using salt several years ago and now use only sand. No one has fallen on my driveway or failed to make it up the hill. My neighbor doesn't have to worry about my snowblower shooting salt onto his lawn. I can use as much as I want with no negative effect on the environment, and it's cheap! And if the rain washes it down the hill, I just sweep it up and reuse it!
Jean Routh, Savage
Vets' fatalities match other wars
An April 11 letter writer (in the package about Syria) states, in part: "Approximately 75 percent of Vietnam veterans who had their boots on the ground have died." That statement is simply not true. That figure comes from an erroneous calculation that compared the number of deaths of all Vietnam-era veterans with only the number who had served in Vietnam, rather than the entire number who served during the Vietnam era. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that deaths of veterans who served in Vietnam are comparable to those of their peers who served elsewhere.
Andrew Eisenzimmer, New Brighton
The writer served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army in 1967-68.
More revisionist history
The April 11 editorial cartoon "How to Draw a Red Line," contrasting President Trump's action in Syria with his predecessor's, omitted a crucial fact. President Barack Obama asked Congress for authorization to back up his red line with an attack on Syria, and Congress refused. So, shouldn't Congress be included in the image, such as with a broom, trailing behind Obama and sweeping away his line in the sand?
Richard Sethre, Minneapolis
About that management …
I could only shake my head after reading the April 8 article "United Way confronts shift in giving." It started off by letting readers know that the Greater Twin Cities United Way laid off nine staff members and will leave two positions unfilled. The reason: missed 2016 fundraising goals. It then was stated that staff salaries and benefits rose 10 percent or $1.6 million. That included a $54,000 raise for President and CEO Sarah Caruso to a compensation of $415,000 yearly.
You're down in funding, so you lay off staff and leave positions unfilled, but you give the "lucky" people a 10 percent raise, plus a bigger windfall to the CEO? OK, somebody help me out with that. I think that with that kind of structure, my future donations will go to our local food shelf.
Randall Anderson, Red Wing, Minn.
Abortion funding seems minimal
The April 8 article "State-paid abortions targeted" said that the Minnesota "paid $1 million on more than 4,200 abortion procedures in 2015." That works out to $238.10 per procedure — an amount that wouldn't pay for an uninsured person to visit any of the doctors I've been to recently, even for far less weighty matters. And it strongly suggests that all the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life noise about Planned Parenthood raking in the dough from abortions is being used to deceive people into believing that Planned Parenthood is a profiteering abortion "industry" instead of a much-needed but beleaguered nonprofit trying to help women who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
Jeff Koon, St. Paul
MEALS ON WHEELS
Know budget plan's full context
I refer to the heartfelt letters on April 12 in support of Meals on Wheels, wherein the contention is "this program is imperiled … service programs like Meals on Wheels will see their funding slashed."
I have been one of the thousands of people who volunteer every year to deliver a meal, a well-being check and a smile to their neighbors. Thus, I understand the feelings of those who are taken aback by the news that President Trump "wants to cut funding for Meals on Wheels." But, the truth (as to federal-government-related budget cuts) is being undermined by the spin of political partisans and the mainstream media.
Concerning the relevant Department of Housing and Urban Development section of the budget, Forbes reports:
• What Trump's budget proposes cutting is the corruption-prone Community Development Block Grant program, run out of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
• It eliminates funding for the Community Development Block Grant program — a savings of $3 billion from the 2017, annualized Continuing Resolution level.
• Will there be consequences for the Meals on Wheels program? Of course. But, contrary to news reports, Trump is not eliminating funding for Meals on Wheels.
Investor's Daily reports:
• As Meals on Wheels America explained, some Community Development Block Grant money does end up going to some of the local Meals on Wheels programs. But it's a small amount. HUD's own website shows that just 1 percent of CDBG grant money goes to the broad category of "senior services." And, 0.17 percent goes to "food banks."
• As soon as the political spin started to spread, private donations began pouring into Meals on Wheels. In two days, the charity got more than $100,000 in donations — 50 times more than it would normally receive. Clearly, private individuals are ready, willing and eager to support this program.
Meals on Wheels will continue to provide support to older adults who desire to grow older in their homes and the communities they love. Amen.
Gene Delaune, New Brighton
SCENTS AND SENSITIVITIES
If bothered, stay away
While I have empathy for an April 10 letter writer and her medical problems that caused her scent sensitivities, a heightened sense of smell is a family trait for me, and I have lived with it for 67 years now. Restaurant servers are not encouraged to wear scents, but would the letter writer rather the alternative be an overpowering body odor as the servers go about their business, which at times causes them to sweat? Everyone, servers or not, has scents about them from products, whether she likes it or not, including other patrons. For her to base a tip on scent is absolutely ridiculous. If I owned a business, I would much prefer she went elsewhere where she felt more comfortable. Perhaps the comfort of her own home.
Brenda Steinberg, Minneapolis