Musicians, at least, have got it together


While the Minnesota Orchestra management has boasted of its business model ("Orchestra makes a stand," Oct. 11), it seems unable to organize concerts. Subscription contracts have been canceled. Yet the musicians have shown it can be done ("Musicians put on their own show," Oct. 19). The business model does not work. The management has failed the public's trust as stewards of this cultural resource. It is time for the Orchestra Board to recognize the need for new leadership.


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It's visceral, but get good information


People are passionate about wolves, whether they revere them or revile them. These strong feelings often lead to the promotion of misinformation. The International Wolf Center is devoted to promoting accurate, science-based information about wolves and wolf management.

Unfortunately, the spate of recent articles has produced more misinformation, which we would like to correct. For example, "Wolf activist strikes up aggressive campaign" (Aug. 19) stated that "wolves kill for fun." We know of no studies or wolf biologists who believe this; rather, wolves risk their lives attempting to kill most of their prey, even deer.

Similarly, "It's a fragile restoration for wolves" (Oct. 18) claims that "an estimated 300" wolves will be killed illegally. Again, there are no studies documenting this number; it is mere guesswork.

The International Wolf Center believes that only accurate information will lead to ecologically and culturally sound wolf conservation. For objective information, please see www.wolf.org.


The writer is executive director of the International Wolf Center.

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Put your focus where it belongs


The writer in the Oct. 29 letter of the day suggests that President Obama is in touch with the middle class, and bases this assumption on the difference in suggested donation amounts in letters received from both the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns. I recently made an online contribution to the Romney campaign, and the suggested amounts started at $15, which is lower than the starting donation in Obama's campaign letter. There also was an option for a quick $5 donation. However, my determination on which candidate can best represent the middle class has nothing do with suggested donation amounts, but with the candidate's track record.


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As I write, I'm sitting at the Education Minnesota Conference, something I, as an educator, enjoy doing. There is always more to learn, and the small-group presenters offer a wide variety of excellent sessions.

Unfortunately, throughout the event, the Education Minnesota organization can't help but bash the GOP (and those who support it) while glorifying their own political party. Where is the balance and level-headedness parents hope are offered their children by educators? Some might call the MEA's overt political discourse and one-sided support of politics ... "fair."

Others might call it "bullying."

Let's model the behavior we want to see in our children.


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Church throws around parishioners' goodwill


The Oct. 19 article on local Catholic financial support of the "Vote Yes on the Marriage Amendment" efforts quotes Joel Hennessy, a spokesman for the Winona Diocese, claiming that the diocese's $50,000 contribution did not come out of parishioners' donations. He explains: It was money the bishop brought us. It came directly from investment income.

I'll bet the bishop didn't get this money by robbing supermarkets. Somewhere down the line, some parishioners donated it, most likely to further the church mission of helping the poor, educating children and doing general good for the community.


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They sound pretty bad (but not all of them)


My wife is president and CEO of an American business: She is responsible for the company's finances, ventures, investments, strategies, and most important, its 60 or so employees -- who in many ways depend on her success or failure for their livelihood.

She answers to a board, works hard, sleeps little and still manages to help run our family as a parent. She is always on call. When an employee recently died in a car accident, it was my wife who made the arrangements to fly the body back to Africa. She attended the funeral and set up a fund to help with the grieving family's expenses. When a longtime customer lost her home due to finances, it was my wife who gladly chauffeured her around to find a new place to call home. She loves her job.

I hear the news and I read the articles; CEOs are not a beloved bunch in the America mainstream. They lie, cheat and steal for their own profits, and sometimes for the companies they work for.

But back to my wife (here is the catch): She has no stock options, no golden parachute and no profit sharing. She makes as much as a college professor and is still driving the bare-bones Hyundai she bought six years ago.

So all I ask is that when you vilify the CEO, you vilify the individual, for I am sure they deserve it, but the majority of CEOs are like you and me -- they just drive a crappier car.