I was saddened by the negative spin splashed on the front page with regard to Target’s decision to close stores in Canada: “fiasco,” “embarrassing and costly debacle,” “black eye” (“Target pulls plug, ends fiasco in Canada,” Jan. 16). Why sensationalize the bold efforts of our own hometown, homegrown company, which has contributed so much to our community and those across the United States? Can you name one other company who gives back more?

When I started working for Target headquarters in 1989, I was struck by the openness to innovation, the desire for big ideas, the courage to blaze new trails. I have always called Target a big-city company with the heart and friendliness of a small town. I am honored to have been a part of hundreds of collaborative meetings and to have felt the joyful spirit inside those walls. When I left my employment with Target after 22 years, there wasn’t one person I didn’t love and respect.

Judy Bell, Minneapolis


What would be true penitence, real justice?

That the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would seek to stop trials and avoid full compensation for its victims demonstrates how insincere its leaders really are (“Crushed by legal costs, archdiocese seeks relief,” Jan. 17). True repentance demands doing everything in one’s power to make victims whole, whatever the cost.

Demanding full compensation would test the pretense that any church or diocese is truly independent of Rome. The worldwide pattern of evasion, victim-blaming and willful failure to even try to stop abuse, much less rectify it, all but proves the conspiracy reaches to the top and that independence is nothing but a legalistic fig leaf. Would the pope really allow pieces of the church to be sold off with no attempt at rescue? Liquidation is in order.

John Bickner, Stillwater

• • •

I am not from the United States, and maybe that is why I do not understand justice being about money.

In the archdiocese sexual-abuse scandal, justice means that the world would know that the Catholic Church covered the abuses, protected the abusers and did nothing for the victims. Despite their knowledge of what was happening and their teachings about doctrine (not to mention the Bible), church authorities let the abuse continue.

Justice in this situation needs to be a public recognition of the abuses and the coverup. The trials need to continue forward, not toward a monetary award, if bankruptcy is real, but toward the public recognition of the evil committed. At a minimum, though, the abusers and those who covered them up should pay by going to jail and showing publicly their repentance.

Ana Mara Abugattas, St. Paul

• • •

While archdiocese officials and some advocates of the abused assure that the bankruptcy will accommodate the rights of victims and even creditors, one group is regrettably left out of the process of vindication: wrongfully accused clerics.

While there might not be many of them, they do exist. Regrettably, there is no practical way for them to seek and obtain any remedy. Individuals falsely charged with wrongdoing, even convicted criminals, generally have means of seeking relief and even financial compensation. But clergy who are subject to improper accusations of abuse, albeit a small segment, have no realistic way to address the allegations and alleviate the harm caused to them.

The bankruptcy proceeding now gives abuse victims, their attorneys, creditors, and employees a vehicle for protecting their rights and interests. No such forum exists for the redemption of the ruined reputations of clergy members victimized by erroneous accusations of improprieties.

Marshall H. Tanick, Minneapolis



Pluses and minuses in Obama’s plan

I read about President Obama’s planned proposal to cut taxes for the middle class, to be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy (“President will seek tax cuts for middle class,” Jan. 18). Over the past decade, American wealth has become increasingly concentrated at the top of the income scale, and it’s time for our tax regime to adjust accordingly. I hope that Congress, including our Minnesota delegation, recognizes this.

Max Milstein, St. Paul

• • •

The lack of education and experience in our political leaders is again showing itself with the idea of taxing the rich by eliminating the step-up in cost basis for assets bequeathed upon death. Making executors research the actual cost of inherited assets was proved to be unworkable after its passage in 1976. Two presidents in a row have now called for this impossible change to our tax code without regard to its previous failure. When will we learn from the past? When will we learn to elect leaders who are connected to reality rather than power?

Carl Berdie, Minneapolis

The writer is a retired estate planner.



Taxpayers are likely to get back what they give

As a child of the Depression with no hope of attending college, I was accepted as a member of the National Nurses Cadet Corps. It was 1944, and there was an acute shortage of RNs because so many were needed in the army. My entire college program at the University of Minnesota was paid for, including a $10 monthly stipend (which I could spend as I wished).

After graduating, I worked in Minneapolis hospitals for 40 years. I do not have the figures, but I assume that 40 years of paying taxes more than offset the public cost of my free education. I would suggest that sending qualified students to community colleges would have similar payback.

Ellen Wolfson, Minneapolis



Who’ll pay, then, for bird-safe glass later?

Much has been said and written about the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s unwillingness to install fritted, bird-safe glass in the new stadium (Jan. 17).

I have heard no one talk about the financial risk that proceeding along this path creates for the team and/or the citizens of Minnesota as represented by the MSFA.

Who pays for changing the glass to fritted glass if the alternative, a 3M coating, does not work? Are the Vikings willing to pay? My guess is not, and the cost will end up back in our laps. Cost to manufacture glass is relatively low; costs of installation, removal and reinstallation are high. What is the cost to replace the glass someday, as opposed to changing gears and doing it now?

Stuart Ackman, Orono