I’m a psychiatric registered nurse and doctorate of nursing practice student at the University of Minnesota, specializing in psychiatric-mental health and integrative health and healing. I am a nurse at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center in pediatric mental health and am deeply concerned about the potential plan our company has for closing St. Joseph’s Hospital and its 100 mental health beds.

I did my student clinicals this fall at St. Joe’s in integrative health. I was so impressed and inspired by the culture of St. Joe’s and the care the staff gives to their patients. I was inspired that just giving a hand massage or guided meditation can help a client so much, whether they are going through opiate withdrawal or getting a knee replacement. I got to explore the entire hospital and was amazed by St. Joe’s.

Then, the last week of my semester, I got word that my preceptor and all of integrative health was being let go. I believe this is extremely shortsighted by Fairview, as these interventions could help prevent the use of opiate prescriptions in the hospital, as well as potentially prevent restraint and seclusions in our mental health units.

If St. Joe’s closes, it will be a grave mistake. I worry that there will be a lack of coverage for the underserved in St. Paul. It would really make me question whether I would want to continue to work at a company that would leave the underserved out of their picture but at the same time open a clinic at the Mall of America. I see a large disconnect in values here.

David Wrobleski, Minneapolis


We should question the official story

I want us all to ask ourselves some questions about the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani (“U.S., Iran tensions on hold — for now,” Jan. 9). The administration has said it had “specific” information that he was planning an “imminent,” “broad, large-scale attack,” but it didn’t know where and when it would happen, so:

1. If the administration doesn’t know where and when, how is the attack imminent, and how does the administration have specific information?

2. Why kill the guy who knows the where and when? Why not capture (we knew where he’d be and when) so we could interrogate him to find out and stop the attack? The administration could also take him to stand trial for war crimes and/or have leverage over Iran to trade for Americans being held.

3. Did killing him stop the attacks? Was he carrying the plan in his pocket when he was blown up and no one else knew the plan?

4. Was there any thought to what Iran might do in retaliation that put Americans in harm’s way?

5. President Donald Trump now says Soleimani was planning embassy attacks, so why didn’t congressional Republicans and Democrats hear that at their confidential briefing?

6. Trump has said his intelligence chiefs were “passive and naive” and suggested they “should go back to school” when they contradicted his beliefs. He also has said he doesn’t need intelligence briefings so he often skips them. So why does he believe them now?

7. If he believed them this time, didn’t they tell him what Iran’s reaction would be?

These are all matters of life and death and war and peace, and the evolving narrative coming from the administration shows we need to ask these questions even if we risk the ire of Trump’s followers, even if they call us traitors for asking questions. We have seen this program before in the run-up to Iraq. We don’t need to be lied into another war. So many seem to live in constant fear, anger and resentment and this agitation doesn’t allow critical thinking. It throws common-sense questioning out the window.

We must ask hard questions and be presented with facts by our government. We must hold our government accountable; it is a citizen’s right and responsibility to do so.

Sanda Oslin, Grand Marais, Minn.


Big farms vacuum up federal payouts

How on God’s green earth (or whomever you pray to) is it acceptable for Cargill’s profits to jump 61% while the very family farmers who work to keep our earth green and sustainable are facing an economic crisis that is entering its sixth year? (“Cargill’s Q2 profit jumps 61%,” Jan. 8.) Something is very wrong here. We need more nutrition and fewer toxins in our food and water, and that won’t happen while big agriculture is usurping our food system. The Land Stewardship Project has outlined some basic steps to recovering the stewardship, fairness and justice in our farming communities in its most recent newsletter. Among those steps are asking the Minnesota attorney general’s office to investigate farmer-owned cooperatives that seem to have left family farmers behind in favor of large producers. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency must return to its responsibility to manage water pollution by placing a moratorium on permits to massive dairies.

Both of Minnesota’s senators are on the agriculture committee, and they must pass a moratorium on any pending corporate agricultural mergers and address economic fairness within the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). Most importantly, federal farm subsidies should have payment limits and should be tied to stewardship rather than extraction. Currently 50% of farm payments go to 10% of the farmers. Something smells rotten here.

I live in the city and see this as an issue for all of us, not just those representing rural Minnesota. I hope the Star Tribune will look carefully into the favoritism behind our food and farming systems.

Barb Klatt, St. Paul


More context next time, please

In general, I hold the Star Tribune in high regard as a credible source of news. But it is a major journalistic failure that its coverage of the effort by former state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Chair Neel Kashkari to amend the education section of the Minnesota Constitution made no mention that Kashkari championed charter schools in California in 2014 (“Quality schools a constitutional right?” Jan. 8). I had to learn that from a letter to the editor. Star Tribune readers deserve and need far more depth about such a potentially momentous amendment than the newspaper provided in its first-day coverage.

Steve Schild, Winona, Minn.


Truly, the future is here

Thanks to Delta’s planned use of biometrics (“Delta sees technology reshaping travel,” Jan. 8), plane passengers will soon be able to glide seamlessly to their seats where they can continue to get cramps from no leg room while ramming their elbows into their rib cage to avoid bumping a seatmate. Nice sleight of hand, Delta.

Catherine Johnson, Minneapolis


OK, what about this solution?

Since correct mathematical rigor was not used in 525 A.D. when our current system of counting years was introduced (there was no year 0; 0 wasn’t in the number system then), we are under no obligation to maintain such precision in our modern decadal nomenclature. So it’s 2020, the third decade of the century, as just about everybody prefers to say.

The astronomical system of year-numbering does have a year 0 (at 1 B.C.) and negative numbered years. Use that for your mathematical correctness and you’ll get your third decade of the millennium this year.

Dennis Fazio, Minneapolis

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