OLDER PARENTS

Being an older mom really isn't a big deal

Your Mother's Day coverage had a funny chip on its shoulder, startlingly evident in the front-page story about older moms, which focused on negative aspects of the story ("Moms' new due date,'' May 9).

As an older mom (age 46 when my first and only child was born 14 years ago), I'm happy to report the good news: I didn't postpone motherhood because of a career. I didn't even marry until I was 42. Our doctor never responded negatively about my desire to have a child. She cheered us on, and we had a natural pregnancy and birth. While chasing our toddler, sure, I wasn't as fast as I used to be. But, heck, 70-year-old women run marathons. So what's the big deal? And when we went to the park or school, guess what? There were many other moms in my age range.

DEBORAH BLAKELY, MINNEAPOLIS

Expand gambling

Racino proceeds could help state budget, Vikes

A funny thing happened to our legislators on the way to the Capitol this year. They forgot they work for the people of this state.

Minnesotans have made it abundantly clear year after year in opinion polls that they want a racino at Canterbury Park. In fact, in the most recent poll, four out of five Minnesotans favor putting slot machines at Canterbury.

And why not? The simple addition of slots, at a facility where gambling already exists, would provide a badly needed boost to our state's dismal economy.

The most reliable estimates indicate that slots, in a state that already has thousands of them in tribal casinos, would produce some $100 million every year! And that, in turn, would produce thousands of high-paying jobs as well as significant budget reduction. A racino could also go a long way toward funding a Vikings stadium without the necessity of raising anyone's taxes.

DICK DAY, PRESIDENT, RACINO NOW

State sales tax

Don't forget revenues from visiting shoppers

Tim Taylor makes a compelling argument for spreading the sales tax in Minnesota over a wider range of products ("A slacker of a state sales tax,'' May 9). There is, however, another side to this. When I visit Mankato on the weekends, the number of cars with Iowa license plates is remarkable. I've inquired with merchants and Iowa residents themselves as to what the attraction is. The answer? No sales tax on clothing. The few I spoke to make a weekend out of it. They spend their money in local hotels and restaurants while taking advantage of the various tax-free products available here.

MIKE TOUHEY, LE SUEUR, MINN.

Nick Coleman

Pawlenty as Reagan: But will he raise taxes?

I appreciated Nick Coleman's connecting Gov. Tim Pawlenty and President Reagan ("A new Reagan right here in flyover land,'' May 9), but even Reagan had the good sense to raise taxes when it became evident that it was necessary during his second term after the biggest run-up in the national debt in our peacetime history until Bush II came along. Will Pawlenty have such good sense as he follows Reagan's pathway, or does he feel he needs to keep pandering to his conservative base? The situation in Minnesota is certainly as dire as it was in Reagan's second term.

BOB KRIESEL, STILLWATER