I am a retired registered nurse and I would like to renew my license so that I can contribute to health care during this national emergency. I am required to take a refresher class (good idea) in order to get my license back.

Refresher courses have been postponed until this fall (bad idea). So, state government, please expedite emergency refresher classes now for nurses wanting to re-enter practice before the peak of the virus hits. Good idea? Yes!

Mary Bolton, Stillwater

• • •

State Sen. Paul Gazelka’s letter to the editor in Monday’s paper should have just stopped with “heed the experts” (“Heed the experts, and pray,” March 23). Gazelka blessed us with his favorite proverb given to us from an unreachable, unknowable invisible man in the sky. Here is an equally relevant idea attributed to a Greek philosopher named Epicurus from the fourth century BCE:

If God is willing to prevent evil but not able? Than he is not omnipotent.

If he is able but not willing? Than he is malevolent.

If he is both willing and able? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he is neither able or willing? Then why call him God?

The point here is that God knows what’s going on. If you have to beg him for help, is he even worth asking? If prayer makes you feel good, go for it. But in the end, listening to the experts will save you quicker than appealing to the invisible man in the sky.

Thomas Jesberg, East Bethel

• • •

As the parent of two children in Minneapolis Public Schools, I am shocked by their persistence of advancing the Comprehensive District Plan proposal in the midst of an unprecedented disruption of our lives in the wake of the coronavirus.

As a member of the Latino community and a father of a student at Windom Dual Immersion School and another at Justice Page Middle School, I’m extremely disappointed and feel completely ignored by the district’s lack of concern for our community.

There have been no good attempts to reach the Latino families where we best receive information ­— at our local school meetings.

As the Latino community continues to grow in the south metro, taking dual immersion away from our students will sabotage their education.

Dual immersion is the best chance to close the Latino achievement gap and graduation rate, which was 57% in Minneapolis Public Schools in 2018. I see firsthand how Latino students are valued by their school community. As a result, they show leadership, pride and they feel successful and motivated.

Spanish is a world language, and unlike past generations of Latinos who tried to assimilate, my children enthusiastically speak, read and write in Spanish. Dual immersion has led to their academic and social confidence.

I ask the board of directors to please slow down. Now is not the time to move forward with the vote potentially adding loss of our schools to an already challenging and stressful time.

Hugo Camacho, Minneapolis

• • •

It was reported on Friday by Adam Cancryn of Politico that the Trump administration held up distribution of $40 million for fighting COVID-19 to the Indian Health Service. IHS faces the same pandemic as other health care operations in the nation but with even fewer resources. IHS serves the most vulnerable populations. Evidently this is not a high enough priority because the Native Americans don’t own cruise lines or airplanes. Shame, shame, shame.

Ardis Wexler, Edina

• • •

The last thing I’d ever imagined myself doing is writing a letter that in any way appears to defend President Donald Trump. Of course he should have acted sooner, especially now that everyone has 20/20 hindsight. Do we remember what was going on during January and early February when it was time to act? Our Democrats were chasing windmills with their always-doomed attempt at impeachment. They had their hands off the wheel.

Why didn’t they act? Their useless dog-and-pony show is as much to blame as the president’s well-documented denials.

John Greig, Edina

• • •

The fastest and most effective way to get cash to corporate America would be to instruct the U.S. property and casualty industry to pay business-interruption claims and seek full reimbursement from the federal government (“How experts would boost the economy,” editorial, March 20). Efforts have been made to pressure carriers to pay with no backstop, but it’s not surprising they have gone nowhere.

Insurance companies have the infrastructure (claims departments) and data (underwriting info such as payroll, head count, revenue) to best determine a company’s loss of income.

American business owners could be paid quickly — submit a claim and receive an immediate provisional payment with the balance settled after the normal claims review process.

This approach is superior to simply pointing a cash fire hose up in the air, as Washington seems inclined to do. It also avoids the appearance of politicians picking winners and losers in our economy.

The insurance industry is a talented group of patriotic, hardworking Americans. I am confident with government support they would rise to the occasion.

Paul Karon, Longboat Key, Fla.

The writer is the retired chairman and CEO of Benfield Inc.

• • •

We live in Eagan near the airport and Interstates 35E and 494. On the usual or “normal” predawn morning, the hum of traffic and sound of airplanes is ever-present.

Our days have now shifted substantially from that which we used to consider normal. That is not to say, however, that we cannot create new routines. Our recommendation is to begin the day with a 20- to 30-minute walk, right before dawn, especially on a clear and calm day. With the new absence of traffic noise, we can now more easily hear numerous birds beginning their day. Spring is a special time as they call to each other in order to make their location known before the sun creeps over the horizon and provides more light for them to see and be seen.

As any hunter or other outdoor enthusiast knows, predawn spring mornings are special. In that 20 minutes before sunrise, a crescendo of song from our feathered friends can be heard. Within the past week, we heard the beginnings of these many spring calls, including the first turkey gobble and the distinct call of high-flying sandhill cranes. More prominent were geese, cardinals, chickadees and red-winged blackbirds. As the sun peeks above the horizon, these songs subside as the feathered vocalists locate potential mates. With full daylight comes the instinctive awareness of quieting the locator songs, which also help predators such as eagles, hawks, cats and coyotes locate them as well.

We are fortunate in our seven-county metropolitan area to have numerous lakes, ponds, rivers, woodlands and parks where we can enjoy these early morning walks. Leave the headphones at home. There will be plenty of opportunity to catch the news but only a few passing magical moments to begin one’s day as the birds begin theirs.

Establish a new routine during this period of upheaval to enjoy the enhanced song-filled silence until the reassuring sounds of commuting once again fill our mornings.

Peter Thoreen and Jan Marshall-Thoreen, Eagan



We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.