A woman was attacked in St. Paul last week while on a run near Como Park. Last year, Scott Spoo was struck and killed by a car as he ran in St. Paul. The Midtown Greenway is currently looking to expand its run-and-bike path. These are just some recent local stories in which the media described runners as “joggers.” Please. It’s 2018, and according to statistics available last year, there are more than 65 million Americans who run. It’s time to use “run” and “running,” instead.

“Jogging” and “jogger” are terms that have been around a long time. Jim Fixx famously popularized running in the 1970s, and in 1984 the New York Times reported he died “while jogging.” I’m sure he would have strongly disliked that description. Probably the most infamous example of the use of “jogger” was in 1989, in describing a Central Park rape victim as the “Central Park Jogger.” Ever since then, it seems that deaths, attacks, accidents and other mishaps that occur to runners while running are widely reported by the media as happening to “joggers” while “jogging.”

The running community dislikes these terms, mostly because they seem judgmental and inaccurate. A “jogger” sounds slow compared to “runner.” “Jogging” sounds less serious, less committed, than “running.” Runners come in all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels. One thing they all have in common is the desire and spirit to attempt something physically challenging and daunting. Run and jog, and running and jogging each have the same number of letters, so it should not be difficult to change the editorial default.

So why minimize in the media who runners are and what runners do when unfortunate and sometimes tragic events happen while we run? Please. We are runners, and we run.

Phillip J. Trobaugh, St. Paul

The writer is the director of the BFM Running Club, based in the Twin Cities.


The first step in solving it is to acknowledge its existence

When I went to the websites of our Minnesota representatives to express my feelings about the shooting incident at the Santa Fe High School in Texas, I found that they have an “issues” list to select from to indicate what it is that you are contacting them about. The lists are long, but nowhere did I find “gun violence.” So my first question to them is, “Why isn’t ‘gun violence’ on your issues list?”

Skip Senneka, Mound


‘Animals’ comment deserves context, and context to context

Lots of irony around the “animals” statement from President Donald Trump (“Trump calls people ‘animals,’ and it is, sadly, emblematic,” Readers Write, May 18). In fairness, it was made in the context of MS-13 gang members coming into this country. Now, the irony: The gang originated in Los Angeles and spread throughout the hemisphere.

From Wikipedia: “MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha; also known as simply MS or Mara) is an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles, California, US in the 1980s. The gang later spread to many parts of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and is active in urban and suburban areas. Most members are of Central American origin, principally El Salvador.”

The biggest problem in this instance is Trump’s rudimentary vocabulary that can be imprecise and thus inflammatory.

Harald Eriksen, Minneapolis


Give the U Medical School time to introspect over its training

The writer of the May 14 letter “Abortion: Ideological accommodations at U Medical School are alarming” (regarding the May 11 article “Abortion factors into regent pick”) needs to reread her own quote from Dr. Jakub Tolar, the new dean (by a matter of months) of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who said “the U will examine the value of this training [performing abortions] in the context of our mission, along with the values of the community.” Tolar never said it was a permanent decision. The letter writer needs to be patient and see the future decisions covering abortion training at the U Medical School.

I strongly agree with women’s right to make decisions regarding their bodies. A classmate I knew was raped at age 13 by her father and was impregnated with a badly deformed baby many years ago. She was forced to go to another state for the procedure. Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court made the correct decision (Roe vs. Wade) for national women’s rights to choose abortion.

Let’s be fair: Give Dr. Tolar and the university’s Board of Regents a chance to “examine” options, pros and cons, for teaching this medical procedure at the U. I am confident they will recognize there are many instances whereby decisions made by women must be honored — whether incest, rape, the health of a pregnant woman, or other circumstances or situations when the choice is to abort. The decision must never be based on religious beliefs, but on solid facts and rights of parties involved.

Barbara Nylen, Minneapolis

• • •

The May 14 letter writer laments that the Medical School buckled under community pressures in forgoing a Reproductive Health Access Project fellowship to facilitate student abortion training. As a prolife advocate, I wish that was the dominant determinant of the decision, but it was far more likely a government and donor funding decision. Again, all about the money.

Perhaps the U finally understands that as a public institution it must respect the values of all our citizens to sustain its financial streams, especially confronting a Republican-dominant Legislature. Past scandals have not sat well and required major reputation damage controls. Thankfully, the Board of Regents is adding quality representation in its efforts to consider a better future.

Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis


Oh, the future?

Regarding a May 18 letter touting self-driving cars over Southwest light rail (“Don’t spend that money; future is upon us, and it looks like this”): Our metro area already has too many cars, with or without drivers in them. The writer’s future still has congestion as a major problem, especially as the population grows. The writer speculates that new houses won’t have garages and there won’t be parking ramps. However, people will still want their own car, kept in their own garage.

In the writer’s future, where will all the new self-driving cars be stored? Who will move them during a snowstorm so the plows can work? Who is going to clean the snow off all of them after a snowstorm? Who will dig them out after the plow goes by, leaving them behind a wake of snow? When there’s 8 inches of new snow in the streets, does anyone think a driverless car will be able to get to their house to pick them up? Has this letter writer ever driven in a snowstorm, on the freeway, at night, in a construction zone, with no white or yellow lines visible? That’s the last place I want to be with driverless cars zooming around me.

I’d say the future is people rarely using their own car, and taking mass transit as often as is possible, either using a bus or light rail. If the letter writer is correct about solar power, then use that electricity for mass transit. If I want to ride in a vehicle that I don’t have to drive, I get on a bus and read the newspaper. Besides, I don’t have to wait his five years to do this; I’ve been doing it since the mid-1970s.

Peter Berglund, St. Paul