CRIME COVERAGE

Please downplay photos of the suspects

 

Color photos of alleged murderers don't belong on the front page ("With the darkest news, we walk a fine line," July 22). We need to hear the crime stories, but those images can be omitted. Stories about the victims and their photos would be a better choice. With so many lives broken, there must be a more positive emphasis.

DEANNA KIVI, EAGAN

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DEFINING MARRIAGE

Why we should protect the traditional view

 

It would be irrational to think that preserving the definition of marriage is discriminating against anyone. There are many American citizens who would like the definition of marriage to allow for multiple spouses.

Polygamy is illegal in the United States. Is it discrimination to not allow this lifestyle in the definition of marriage? Marriage does not allow for uniting one man with several women or vice versa. If a group of citizens want to marry people of the same gender, is that any different? Would making marriage all-inclusive avoid discrimination?

The answer is, simply, no. All American citizens have the same right to marry, or to choose not to. Marriage is not required for polygamist, heterosexual or homosexual relationships. Marriage should be reserved for relationships that are natural and essential for building a perpetual society.

JOEL WOLFRATH, ST. PAUL

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PARKING LOTS

A community vibe is needed downtown

 

The fact that parking lots make up a large percentage of "businesses" in downtown Minneapolis is only a symptom of the larger problem ("Sea of lots drowns downtown," July 25).

In his remarks regarding the decision by Neiman Marcus to close its Nicollet Mall store, Mayor R.T. Rybak hinted at an overwhelming obstacle to creating a thriving and vibrant downtown. That's the fact that the City Council and planners favor making downtown a destination rather than a community.

The explosion of food trucks downtown is an example of the problem. While they create a festive atmosphere, they contribute little to community goals and are given an advantage over brick-and-mortar restaurants. Transient vendors who only operate weekdays over the lunch hour (and usually only in fair weather) provide no amenities to those who live downtown.

Rybak acknowledged that Minneapolis needs to "evolve more quickly to have more services that represent that this is a 24-hour downtown." Calhoun Square developer Ray Harris has long talked about converting some of the cavernous empty retail spaces downtown into one-of-a-kind retail to both attract visitors and serve neighborhood needs.

Why not enlist him to create Midtown Global Market-type spaces from these retail dinosaurs? It might be the first step to converting those eyesore parking lots to storefronts.

KEVIN SMITH, MINNEAPOLIS

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WORKPLACE BULLIES

Policies are needed to protect people

 

Thank you, Hennepin County Board, for "getting it" regarding workplace bullies ("Country Board bans bullying at work," July 25). The board member who thought having a bullying policy is "silly" because "we're all adults" obviously doesn't get it.

This is why the policy is needed, so that workplace bullying is defined and management is taught how and why they should deal with it. I hope private businesses get a clue and adopt similar policies.

Bullying isn't about nonsense like popularity or feeling criticized or not being invited to lunch. It's about a sustained effort to intimidate, defame and sabotage a coworker's job and career. It's an organizational dysfunction that harms employees and employers -- productivity plummets, staff turnover is constant and disruptive, and the organization regresses each time an individual bully or group succeeds in driving off another target. B

eing an adult doesn't have anything to do with being a bully. Where do the playground bullies go when they leave school? Into jobs, where they continue their learned behavior in a different playground, in which people's reputations, careers and health care are deliberately put into jeopardy. That's not so "silly."

DONNA CALLENDER, EDINA

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PENN STATE

Assessing priorities in aftermath of scandal

 

We now know of the unspeakable acts committed by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State that were covered up for years to protect the football program. The sanctions imposed by the NCAA have, for all practical purposes, ended the sports programs as we've have known them at Penn State for many years. Now, perhaps, students will attend the university for the intended purpose of an institution of learning -- to get an education.

CHUCK TURNQUIST, MINNETONKA

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Southern Methodist University in Dallas paid students out of a slush fund and the NCAA gave that school the "death penalty." Penn State condones and covers up child sexual abuse, and the NCAA fines the school and bans it from bowl games for a while. The moral: In college football, money is more important than kids.

DANIEL PINKERTON, MINNEAPOLIS

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POLITICAL METAPHORS

Some of them are more appropriate than others

 

The term "battleground states" has been used a lot in the media lately, including in the Star Tribune. It, of course, refers to states that are close with voters between two political candidates -- mostly President Obama and Mitt Romney. I'd like to make an appeal to your newspeople and other media to try to coin another term describing such states.

"Battleground" is a not the appropriate word. It is too strong. It's a word depicting events in history with violent bloodshed and shouldn't be used so loosely. Words like this used by the press very well may be part of the reason Congress is so nonconciliatory and why campaigns are so negative.

"Politically tight" or "politically locked" states may be better terms to use. Please give more consideration regarding feelings words evoke with your readers.

DUNCAN ODEGARD, MINNEAPOLIS