A June 22 letter writer (“Trump as candidate”) first mentions two wealthy philanthropists of the past donating millions for worthy causes. He then compares them to Donald Trump and the Koch brothers, who he says “ … want to use their wealth only to gain the presidency …”
He couldn’t be more wrong about the Koch brothers. Each year Koch Industries and its affiliated companies and charitable foundations donate many millions of dollars to worthy causes. In addition to the company’s corporate giving, each brother has his own foundation, giving millions more. Close to home, their subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources, commits hundreds of thousands of dollars to Minnesota programs and organizations.
Yes, the Koch brothers donate to Republicans and conservative causes, but that amount pales in comparison to what they give to universities, hospitals, boys and girls clubs, Goodwill Industries, the Special Olympics, United Way, and (surprise, surprise) the Nature Conservancy — hardly a right-wing organization!
Gary Nash, Chanhassen
Taxpayers feel the burden as American dream grows elusive
“Workforce housing has to be as important as low-income housing, or our job creators will be stifled,” Austin (Minn.) city administrator Craig Clark wrote in a June 24 letter.
One hundred years ago, companies provided housing and groceries at the company store. After two world wars and thanks to a strong labor movement, workers began to finally achieve the American dream, with homeownership and all the good things a few extra dollars well managed could buy.
Now after 40 years of declining real wages, subsidized housing, food stamps and subsidized school lunches help replace the company store all on the backs of the taxpayers. What a good deal for the investors in the corporations that have the duty to provide profit. Living-wage jobs are what America needs, not jobs where taxpayers subsidize low-paying corporations and workers living in substandard housing.
Jim Goudy, Austin, Minn.
Be skeptical of any research backed by the Mayo Clinic
Thank you for your balanced article on the debut of proton beam radiotherapy at the Mayo Clinic (“Mayo harnesses proton power,” June 23). I have only one issue regarding the reporter’s statement, “Research supports its use for certain adult brain tumors and tumors in children …” In fact, no such evidence exists to date. I applaud the intent to do research to prove the technology’s effectiveness, but with Mayo having such a huge stake in the game, the research must be subjected to intense peer review to assure that the conclusions reached are objective and valid before exposing vulnerable populations to an as-yet unproven technology.
Christopher L. Moertel, Minneapolis
Why don’t we hear their solutions for what ails church?
Your reporters are missing half the population when they quote and only seek out statements from male Catholic officials and professors.
Recently we have read articles from various sources, only one of which included a female “whistleblower.” Surely there are many thoughtful and knowledgeable Catholic women who might give a fresh perspective to solving the problems (shortage of priests, abuse, etc.) of the church. Many of us would like to hear their opinions and ideas.
Mary Gravier Janicke, Forest Lake, Minn.
A little artspeak on ‘visual consumption’ in Minneapolis
Tristan Al-Haddad, one of the four artists selected to add an artwork to the redesign of Nicollet Mall (“Four artists to create new works on Nicollet Mall,” June 23) should consider a career in comedy. His send-up of the impenetrable world of artspeak made my morning. As he described it: “On the one hand, the project will serve as an aesthetic work to be visually consumed and experientially relished; on the other hand it will serve as a complementary extension of the urban fabric itself.” I just hope the selection committee appreciated the humor.
Joel Jackson, Maple Grove
WHAT’S A DOG TO DO?
In ‘pet-friendly’ condoland, there’s little relief in sight
Here’s how a North Looper knows the season has changed in Minneapolis. The rare plots of green are artistically planted with decorative kale and sea grass. The plots of cherished not-sidewalk are expensively re-sodded to a carpet of golf-course green. Tiny urban gardens in front of condos and by sidewalks have sprouted the eye-catching urban flower: Signs saying “Keep Pets Off!” “No Pets!” “No Trespassing — No Pets!”
The urban pet owner/handler/trainer has a responsibility to teach their dog to relieve itself in appropriate areas. But how can I look my dog in the eye on a beautiful summer day when she has walked over to the rocks to do her thing and I have to tell her, no, that grass we paid for is just to look at?
Let’s plant things that can take a little walking on by people and pets so we can enjoy the short season of green. Let’s not worry about that one spot over by the rock that is always brown. Let’s mean “pet-friendly building” when we say “pet-friendly building.” We dog owners can and should make sure our pets relieve themselves in an appropriate area and then clean up after it. But I don’t always want to put my elderly dog in the car, drive her to the river so she can enjoy a walk on the grass when my landscaped yardlet (with two “No Pet” signs) is right out front. It makes me long for winter.
Cynthia Baxter, Minneapolis
WHY NOT CAITLYN ON THE $10?
Given the state of the nation, Jenner is a perfect choice
I propose that the U.S. Treasury place Caitlyn Jenner on the $10 bill (“Make way, Alexander Hamilton: A woman to be on $10 bill, first on paper money in a century,” June 19). I think this would capture the American zeitgeist perfectly, as a nation obsessed with narcissistic celebrities and preoccupied by delusions of empire and exceptionalism. That exceptionalism includes: a nation awash in weapons of mass destruction that most recently required the sacrifice of nine humans in order to begin a conversation about removing a symbol of hate and treason from around some of our state capitols — and please, don’t mention the overriding issue. A nation that tolerates pervasive poverty and racism, a “democracy” bought and sold by a tiny group of plutocrats, in which 36 percent of the eligible citizenry participated in the most recent national election. A nation that tolerates irrevocable environmental devastation, a national security state run amok and the capricious application of military mayhem. All in the name of “freedom.” Anybody got two Lincolns for a Caitlyn?
Gene Case, Andover