Mzenga Wanyama, a professor at Augsburg University for many years, and his family, have met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to discuss “plans for removal” (“Longtime Augsburg professor braces for deportation,” March 9, and “Prof who lost asylum bid appears before ICE,” March 10). lt seems to me if you throw out a wide net, you will gather in everyone regardless of their value to the community. You will lose those who help our country grow just like generations have done since its birth. We should be considering these cases on an individual basis.

Norman Holen, Richfield

The writer is a retired Augsburg University professor.

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If Wanyama is facing deportation, the St. Paul ICE office has lost sight of its priorities. He is an educated man and has long contributed to the community. No criminal issues. Has faithfully checked in with ICE. Focus on the “bad hombres.”

Mary McFetridge, New Hope


We need better staffing (and maybe cameras) in assisted living

As one who has spent more than 20 years dealing with elder care issues, I appreciate all the articles Star Tribune reporter Chris Serres has written on this very important and timely subject. Assisted-living facilities are popping up all over the place as a way to take care of our aged loved ones rather than putting them in a dreaded “nursing home.” But for far too many people, these facilities cannot and are not meeting the needs they claim to offer.

It is enough that “nursing homes” are understaffed, but now these assisted-living facilities are eager to boast if they have even one full-time RN 24/7. That might be sufficient for people who need “a little” more care than living on their own, but for people with dementia, that is not nearly enough.

Our loved ones will continue to die and suffer due to overt abuse, but also due to inadequate staffing and supervision. And when you are spending $3,000 a month or more, who the hell is making all the money? Certainly not the underpaid and overworked staff!

Besides more legislation, I think residents should be allowed to put surveillance cameras in the rooms of our loved ones. Many of us can check on our pets while they’re in doggie day care or overnight facilities, but we can’t monitor our human family members in the same way.

And as bad as the problems are now, just wait until more of us boomers totally overwhelm the system as we age.

Pamela Pommer, Bloomington

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How many of the thousands of reported crimes against old people revealed by the media and a recent audit were reported to law enforcement? Why is a state bureau, rather than local police, reviewing complaints? How many criminals are in jail for their crimes? Are facilities owners and managers guilty of abetting criminal activity when they don’t report it?

Nicki Harper, Danbury, Wis.


‘Where have you gone, Teddy Roosevelt? Our nation …’

I waited to read any editorial rebuttal of Dennis Anderson’s excellent March 4 column “Touch for nature is dimming,” comparing Teddy Roosevelt progressive ideas of conservation “an appreciation for the vulnerability of the nation’s land, water and wildlife” with “Today’s politicians [who] by comparison are, shall we say … lame.” I fear the lack of response to Anderson’s claim is further evidence that the protection of our natural resources is no longer a political priority.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans are clearly at war with the environment. Notice how congressional Republicans unanimously voted to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Here in Minnesota, the Republicans have won over rural voters by claiming DFL environmentalists are forcing a “Twin Cities agenda”on any regulations protecting the state’s natural resources.

While we can’t expect any environmental protection measures from today’s party of Teddy Roosevelt, the Minnesota Democrats have not produced any TR-like champions. Gov. Mark Dayton has made attempts to do what TR wrote was government’s “great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.” But Dayton has met stiff resistance from the Republican-controlled Legislature. With Dayton leaving, the biggest loser in the 2018 election will be Minnesota’s natural heritage.

John Eret, Chisago City, Minn.


Men, don’t be so sensitive about feminism. Just be understanding.

Calm yourself, March 9 letter writer on “two-way” gender bias: A March 8 letter on feminism and abortion was a thoughtful discussion, addressing a consolidation of women’s power to help ourselves, to improve the world. The author had added parenthetically that she was “uninterested in the views of men.” But beyond that, she wasn’t writing about men.

The male gender across time and the globe has done incalculable harm to women and, through them, children. On Feb. 15, this paper covered the U.N. report on sustainable development: “Women poorer, hungrier, than men across world.”

Consider the Jesuits, a global Catholic priesthood. At its 34th General Congregation, the Society of Jesus pronounced that it had sinned against women, took responsibility for its sexism, expressed regret, asked God for help in converting its collective heart, and aligned itself solidly with women. Its paper read, “We have been a part of the civil and ecclesial tradition that has offended against women. And like many men, we have a tendency to convince ourselves that there is no problem … we have … been complicit in … clericalism, which has reinforced male dominion with ostensibly divine sanction.”

Are you looking for offense? Men went to World War II. Women built planes, ships, trucks, weaponry to protect them and end the war. Menial work? Millions of women still do it. The U.N.’s “The World’s Women 2015” told that women are overrepresented in positions of low pay, long hours with a lack of social protection. The March 8 letter wasn’t hate-filled or zealous. A sentence was dismissive, yes. Women know well the receipt of that judgment.

You be the best feminist you can be.

Eugénie de Rosier, St. Paul


Is it a useful catharis today, or a pure wallow in entertainment?

Fast-forward to the ancients. Or slow-forward. Whatever it takes. “Catharsis” was a grand reminder in the caption under Aristotle’s image viewing a modern movie with a theater audience (“No hooray for Hollywood,” Readers Write, March 6).

We’ve probably passed a point of no return, but we at least ought to know what we’ve lost.

Ancient Greek theater was seen by Aristotle as a place for release of harmful human emotions: “catharsis of emotions.” Let it happen there, he wrote, rather than in real life where we may hurt or kill someone and ourselves. Get it out of the system, as in purge for purification by way of imagination. It’s an ideal, one that humans can’t attain as a species. It was a grand new idea that Ari conceived at the beginnings of Greek drama.

But we’re big boys and girls now and won’t pay that much attention. Instead, we want to be entertained, not instructed. In his “Poetics,” Aristotle viewed theater attendance as experiencing an imaginative life offered for entertainment and edification. Surely that is happening now, for some, but maybe not as readily as simply enjoying the spectacle of bigger and often more violent special effects that have not been available for us until recent decades.

As another letter writer put it, we enjoy violent movies. Mostly, we want to be entertained, not taught about how to handle our real lives.

Rodney Hatle, Owatonna, Minn.