I met my husband at work, so I understand the dilemma of a workplace relationship. It’s a common meeting place. What is OK? What is inappropriate? My guidelines:


 1) Keep it professional. Jokes, teasing and touching can cause discomfort. If you wouldn’t do it with a respected superior or client, don’t do it with anyone else.

 2) Co-workers can make good friendships. Get to know a workmate in a group, during break, lunch or after-work activities.

 3) If you’re married, stop. At friends. Go home to your spouse.

 4) If you’re looking for sex, stop. Look elsewhere.

 5) If you have a power differential, stop. When either of you has authority, supervision, age or influence over the other or their career, it’s out of bounds.

 6) If you’re both available for possible romance, without control issues, it should be safe to assess taking the friendship to the next level. Go slowly. Be cautious.

 7) If you get a no, stop. Go back to professionalism and friendship.

 8) If you get a yes or maybe, take it outside of work. Keep it professional at work.

 9) If the relationship develops, without stops, you’ll know what to do.

10) If a relationship stalls, see No. 7. If the power differential changes, see No. 5. If it gets complicated, seek advice from a trusted authority before it gets messy.

Karen Lilley, St. Paul


Even before recent allegations, he was unqualified to hold office

If it takes a sex scandal for a few Republican members of Congress to finally disavow Alabama candidate Roy Moore, well, I guess that’s better than nothing. As far as I’m concerned, though, the moment he claimed a Muslim should not serve in Congress was the moment each and every member of Congress should have spoken, “This bigotry has no place here. We are better than that.”

Debbie Hadas, Northfield


Surprised about misconduct? Message is baked in the product.

Over the past weeks, numerous revelations out of the entertainment industry have surfaced specific to inappropriate behavior toward women.

Unquestionably this society embraces a pop-culture-centric attitude of sex, drugs/alcohol and rock ’n’ roll, as evidenced by the daily tabloid attention given to movies, television, music and audiences for the Oscars, Emmys, People’s Choice, BET and similar awards programs.

Perhaps a question that should be on the table is, when looking at the product a sizable portion of the entertainment industry provides, why the surprise in behavior when looking at the acceptance of the product being promoted? When people go to movies, turn on a TV program or download a song that promote such excesses, that is exactly what one’s entertainment dollar is supporting.

Lawrence A. Ellis, St. Paul


They’re using reams of paper so, uh, we don’t have to?

Call me naive, but for a promised “taxes one can file on a postcard,” it seems strange that Congress would need a 426-page tax overhaul plan (photograph accompanying Nov. 12 editorial “U.S. tax reform is too important to rush”). It appears that the proposed legislation contains much more than simplicity.

John Zimmerman, Lakeville


Assault rifle stopped the shooter. Even so, consider the numbers.

A Nov. 11 letter writer bemoans the fact that news media did not highlight the fact that the man who killed 26 people at the church in Texas was himself stopped by a bullet from an assault rifle, wielded by another citizen. His point seems to be that assault rifles have gotten a bad rap and, by extension, that we would all be safer if more of us were toting them.

The logic is breathtaking. Over the past few decades, politicians in thrall to the NRA have blocked nearly all efforts to restrict access to dangerous weapons, and have in fact dismantled many of the sensible regulations that were in place. The result is that our country leads the world by a wide margin in two categories, and it’s not even close: the number of guns in private possession, and the number of mass shootings. According to a recent article in the New York Times, America contains 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but suffered 42 percent of the world’s mass shootings over the period from 1966 to 2012. And a recent analysis published in the American Journal of Medicine found that Americans (a) have the highest number of guns per capita in the world, and (b) are 10 times more likely to be murdered by guns than residents of other developed countries. The correlation is clear: More guns do not make us more safe.

John Baker, Roseville


Here’s an idea for perhaps both mitigation and prevention

I have left it to others to raise the environmental concerns related to the PolyMet project. Instead, I have been raising the issue of paying for environmental cleanup after closure or a major mishap. In previous cases throughout the country the company goes belly up and the bank or financial institution backing it goes bankrupt at the same time. My solution would be to require a bond issued by a reputable institution like Lloyd’s of London. Their refusal or proposal of an unmeetable rate should say something about possible project problems. Please join me in this request for an addition to copper sulfide mining proposals.

Phyllis Kahn, Minneapolis

The writer is a former member of the Minnesota House.


Commons Park lawsuit should shine a light where it’s needed

As a Minneapolis resident, I fully applaud the lawsuit relative to the ownership of the Commons park (“Council candidate sues over Commons park,” Nov. 2). That may well open the doors to a better public understanding of how much public money continues to be poured into all these stadium projects. Let the sunshine in.

Arne H. Carlson, Minneapolis

The writer was governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999.


We had to wait 34 years, but the comeuppance came

I moved to Minnesota in the summer of 1983. Football season rolled around, and one of my new work buddies wanted to bet with me on Nebraska. I wanted to like my new home-state team, but I didn’t want to bet on the Gophers.

“I’ll give you points,” he said.

“How many?”

“How many do you want?”

“60,” I told him, thinking we’d have a little laugh and that would be that.

“OK,” he said.

“Uh-oh,” I thought.

The Gophers lost that game 84-13, and I handily lost the bet.

It’s taken a long time, but what a great win to steamroll the Huskers 54-21 (“Big steps, giant strides,” Sports, Nov. 12). Way to go, Gophers!

George Westfall, Edina