I read the June 28 article “Coin dealers headed for the clink” as a longtime collector of rare coins. There should be a special place in hell reserved for people who prey on the elderly, as these men did. Since I have been buying rare coins since the 1970s, I was a bit shocked to learn that at that time the industry “rapidly filled with smooth-talking drug users and drunks who would say and do nearly anything to make a sale.” I personally know quite a few honest and hardworking coin and bullion dealers. I think they too will find that the article painted an entire industry with a very wide brush.

Please understand that it’s the reckless remarks in the paper that have helped push the Legislature to pass the horrible Minnesota bullion laws and that these new laws are completely destroying the coin-collecting industry in Minnesota. Small coin shows are disappearing. Larger shows are struggling to get dealers to come to this state, and a good number of eBay dealers will no longer even ship a coin to Minnesota. Even worse, this industry will die and the Star Tribune won’t even notice it.

Michael J. Cheney, Brooklyn Center

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Hard to see how it works the way Minnesota’s designed it

Wednesday will be the first time that people will be able to legally obtain cannabis in this state.

I can’t really understand how this multimillion-dollar new industry is supposed to thrive. There will be fewer than 200 “patients” who are expected to pay an access fee of $200 a year; then, they will have to pay for their expensive oil on their own. Doctors are reluctant to enroll patients. It’s going to be much cheaper, though illegal, to find a pot dealer and be done with it. Or one could move to Colorado, Alaska or anywhere else that allows casual use of marijuana. Minnesota had to make the process boutique and so expensive that it will be out of reach for many who could benefit from it.

David Marty, Minneapolis

 

U.S. SUPREME COURT

Redistricting ruling was a third key case in recent weeks

The recent Supreme Court decisions dealing with the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality have received a great deal of media attention, and rightly so. However, a third decision handed down by the court may have similarly important long-term implications. I refer to the Arizona decision in which the court upheld the right of states to establish independent voting commissions as an alternative to having politically motivated legislatures redraw congressional lines following each decennial census. The practice of gerrymandering has long been held illegal since the time Elbridge Gerry attempted to draw up voting districts shaped like salamanders to aid his interests.

However, the practice has continued under more subtle forms. The New York Times reports that in 2012 Democrats received 1.4 million more votes for the House of Representatives, yet Republicans won control of the House by a 234-201 margin.

Thirteen states currently use redistricting commissions to exclusively draw up electoral district lines following each decade’s census. Minnesota and the remaining 36 states should join these 13, ensuring that — as Justice Ruth Ginsberg advocates in her opinion for the court majority — we restore the idea “that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

Allen W. Moen, Greenfield

• • •

Justice Anthony Scalia’s reckless, frivolous language in his dissent from the Affordable Care Act decision diminishes the dignity of our nation’s highest court. Law students 100 years from now will read Scalia’s dissent and wonder: Who was this clown?

Herb Cashdollar, Coon Rapids

 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Archdiocese must end its secrecy if it wants to move forward

Kudos to the Rev. John Bauer for calling for the release of the Greene Espel investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by former Archbishop John Nienstedt (“Reveal details of Nienstedt probe, basilica pastor says,” June 27). It is painfully obvious that if this investigation had exonerated Nienstedt, the report would have been made public immediately. The untimely halting of the investigation only increases the mistrust in the archdiocese.

The investigation was paid for with archdiocesan funds. Those of us who wish to support our local Catholic parishes are forced to also support the archdiocese, which levies a percentage of local parish income. Therefore, the report belongs to us, the people in the pews.

Unless the archdiocese becomes transparent, honest and forthcoming, it will never be able to move passed its transgressions — real or perceived. This and any other reports addressing these allegations, as well as the financial records relating to the investigation and protection of abusive priests, must be released.

It is not possible to “move on” under this cloud of secrecy.

Mary Riley, Chaska

 

THE ENVIRONMENT

Well, this is one way to make sure the public isn’t protected

Wow. A judge asking the MPCA to stop air-quality monitoring near the property of a known polluter (June 30) is like asking the police to stop monitoring repeat offenders. I’m sure the cops would consider that a bad idea. As someone who breathes the air, I think it’s smart to continue air tests of the Northern Metal scrap yard in north Minneapolis.

Pam Wollum, Minneapolis

 

K-9 ABUSE CHARGES

It’s not the same as a lawbreaker attacking a police dog. Here’s why:

Concerning a June 30 letter’s accusation that there might be a double standard for the police officer who allegedly abused his K-9 charge, I would like a chance to perhaps clear up a misunderstanding that has been around ever since I started as a police officer many years ago and still persists.

When a police officer is attacked, it is not the officer who is being attacked, but rather the badge. That is, a police officer is a person who is charged with enforcing the laws enacted by the people through their elected officials. When the officer is assaulted while enforcing the laws, it is not that individual officer who is being attacked (although it sure does feel like it when it happens!); the assaulter is attacking the people and their system of justice. This is why certain laws are written that may seem to have a double standard, but in actuality, they recognize an attack on the people as opposed to an attack on an individual.

When a lawbreaker attacks a K-9, it is an “in-your-face” attack on the people’s need for protection. If the evidence proves that the officer in the Ramsey County case in fact abused his charge, he needs to be held accountable for his actions and receive the same level of punishment that any animal abuser would receive. There is no comparison to be made in the letter writer’s complaint.

Mike Auspos, Ramsey

 

CLARIFICATION

A June 25 letter misstated the path of Minnesota legislation pertaining to sex offenders in the early 1990s. The chief author was state Rep. Wesley Skoglund, then chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Dave Bishop was the original and then second author. The law, which lets the public know where Level 3 sex offenders live after being released, was passed by the House in 1991 but not by the Senate until a 1992 special session.