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Regarding "Border security talks grind on" (Dec. 18): The silence is deafening. Where is the outrage from GOP congressional members about their presumed presidential nominee's spouting of Nazi-like slogans?

Julie Kollitz, St. Paul


Echos of another flawed prosecutor

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty's recent actions put her in the same school as John "Mad Jack" Remington Graham, who was the Crow Wing County prosecutor in 1991. Graham failed to prosecute various cases, notoriously those involving domestic abuse. Most significant was the reduction of a charge against a father who had raped his young daughter. The man was sentenced to 21 months in jail instead of seven years. Readers can read the article discussing Graham in the May 26, 1991, issue of the Star Tribune. (It is online.)

Compared to other county political races, selection of the county prosecutor is rarely at the top of the list. But it should be, because, as Moriarty has done, the person in that position has the power to make themselves the accused's defense lawyer, social worker, psychologist, judge and jury. Dangerous criminals can walk free and the voting public can do nothing about it.

Elections do have consequences!

John D. Sens, Savage


The recent series in this paper highlighted problems in child protection services in our state. It was justifiably met with statements of concern by elected officials and stated commitments to do more to protect children. It was ironic, then, to read of the agreed-to plea deal with a man that beat a 2-year-old to death and severely injured his infant brother ("Man gets 6 years for killing boy, 2," Dec. 13). This was a man who was previously convicted of domestic assault and has a history of abusing children.

The Hennepin County prosecutor, with agreement of the judge, reduced the charges from second-degree murder and malicious punishment of a child to first-degree manslaughter and malicious punishment of a child. Manslaughter for beating a 2-year-old to death. Malicious punishment of a child for inflicting fractures and burns on a 4-month-old infant. A more accurate term for this is torture. And with this, the judge agreed to a downward departure from sentencing guidelines giving the man six years and two months in jail. How much of this will he serve?

If there is more to this story, tell it. Otherwise you must conclude the "system" in this case, prosecutors and judge, put very little value on those two young victims. They failed in their duty as protectors and advocates to the most vulnerable in our society. Where is the outcry on this from the grown-ups in charge?

Frank Lynch, Maple Grove


Use water for habitat, not my hobby

I want to add my voice to those who are concerned about using groundwater to make snow. I am a longtime skier, and winter has always been my favorite season, so I grieve our changing climate most during the winter. But the evidence is clear: In the last few years the ice has often been too thin to ski on the lakes, and rain often follows snow, so our tracks become icy and unfit for skiing. Unfortunately, this year we are having a brown winter. There is no doubt our Minnesota climate is changing, and as we enter our fourth year of drought, I believe we would be much better off saving our groundwater for what may be a future of dry years. Instead of depleting our water resources to supply ski slopes for recreation, I suggest we learn to adapt and teach our children to adapt.

And part of adaptation is looking ahead. This summer, I walked the city's lakes every day, often early in the morning since we had so many days of smoke and extreme heat. I couldn't help noticing the number of young and mature trees that were in trouble, shedding leaves in July or not sprouting leaves at all. Instead of using groundwater for ski slopes, I would like our Park and Recreation Board and city officials to think about buying a fleet of water trucks and using our groundwater to water trees that benefit all people and keep cities from becoming heat islands.

In the future, choices will have to be made, and as much as I love to ski, I believe making snow during a brown winter will ultimately prove to be a waste of our water resources. I don't know enough about who makes these decisions, but I do know when water tables shrink and lakes and rivers dry up, we'll all be asking who's to blame.

Carol Dines, Minneapolis


A recent CBS "60 Minutes" program featured the two-term Republican governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, a strong proponent for aggressive action on climate change. Wyoming is planning a 600-unit wind farm that will generate sufficient power for 1 million homes along with building a high-power transmission line to Southern California. It is installing an advanced, modular nuclear plant with seed funding from Bill Gates of Microsoft that can help solve the intermittent issues of wind and solar. Further, it has built small generating units powered by natural gas that would otherwise be flared off. Finally, Wyoming is developing carbon capture technology.

If a conservative, Republican state like Wyoming can have a forward-looking climate change program, why can't a politically divided state like Minnesota show more bipartisanship in the coming contentious election year? We could start by repealing the moratorium on nuclear power, which offers the potential to resolve the intermittent issue with wind and solar. We could streamline the approval process for new transmission lines critical for an efficient electrical grid. We could more assertively promote energy efficiency incentives of the federal Inflation Reduction Act. Can Minnesota show more bipartisanship leadership in energy efficiency? How about it, Gov. Tim Walz and Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson?

Gary Carlson, Alexandria


It won't be perfect, but it'll be better

The Dec. 14 article on police contract negotiations, "Mpls. cops ask state to join talks," reported that the possibility of going to mediation has caused the coalition MPLS for a Better Police Contract to voice increased skepticism about our city's efforts to implement the court-ordered changes to the Minneapolis Police Department. This skepticism appears unwarranted on the basis of my attendance at all of the negotiations and my review of the contract proposals and counterproposals. Although the city's negotiators did not incorporate many of the coalition's suggestions into the city's contract proposal, the key accountability enhancements that the negotiators have demanded to the contract clearly show our city leaders' commitment to fundamental change, and many of the coalition's other suggestions can (and should) be implemented outside of the contract without needing to negotiate for union approval.

We should not let the union contract situation inspire skepticism but rather recognize that "perfection is often the enemy of the possible." We must insist that the city hold fast to the accountability enhancements it has already proposed, whether in mediation or in continued negotiations with the union.

John Satorius, Minneapolis

The writer is a retired attorney and co-chair of Plymouth Church Re-imagining Community Safety Group.