From Bridges to societies

Without maintenance, expect collapse

“I-35W bridge was doomed from the start” says the Oct. 26 headline.

Excuse me, but everything that mankind builds is doomed to fail if it is not maintained. Potholes come to mind.

When the people in charge do not understand the need for maintenance, we have collapsing structures of all kinds, from bridges to societies.

William Hawkins, Bloomington

Election '08

Challengers and incumbents earn praises

I urge a vote for challenger Dan Griffith for the Minnesota Court of Appeals Seat 16.

First, Dan Griffith is a man of character, extremely qualified, who passionately believes, “It’s a judge’s job to hear the facts, find the truth and apply the law — not rewrite it.”

Second, he runs not as a politician but as a public servant who wants to keep our right to vote for our judicial leaders. He does not support the Quie Commission’s proposal to amend our Constitution giving the power to only one person — the governor who will appoint all our judges.

This isn’t just about voting for a qualified individual; it’s also about voting for a person who is courageous enough to challenge a system of elitism by informing Minnesota voters about their right and privilege to vote for our judicial leaders.

Carol Kuhn, St. Cloud

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While I did not find it surprising, I believe that the Star Tribune’s endorsement of Paul Rosenthal for the 41B House seat is completely wrong. Jan Schneider is a much better fit for the district.

Jan has lived and worked in west Bloomington for 25 years. She shares many of the same concerns and priorities as her neighbors there and in south Edina. With the state facing another huge deficit next year, her business skills of organizing priorities and reducing inefficiencies will be exactly what the Legislature will need.

John P. Azure, Bloomington

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When I see the ads the Republicans are filling the airwaves with attacking Al Franken, I click the mute button because I can’t stand to hear one more word from them. They are not the Al Franken we have come to know.

In fact, Minnesota has had the chance to get to know both Al and his family because Franni and Thomasin are on the campaign trail with him at almost every event. The love they share says a lot about Al Franken. It also says a lot about how he feels about the Minnesota families he will represent. Family is important to him. Franken will stand by us and support us as he has done with his own family.

Randi Reitan, Eden Prairie

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Like Annette Meeks (Opinion Exchange, Oct. 31), I am dismayed that class sizes have risen in the Minneapolis public schools, despite the 2000 school levy referendum focused on keeping class sizes small. My elementary school children are in classes of 34 and my high school daughter is in classes of 40. But defeat of the renewal of the referendum, as Meeks urges, will only increase class sizes to unacceptable levels and doom the public school system in the city. With even larger class sizes, families will flee the district, property values will fall, and the city as a whole will suffer.

Punishing our children with larger class sizes is not the appropriate way to voice frustration with past management of the levy referendum.

Susan Diem, Minneapolis

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In 1989, when I watched Jane Ranum prosecute a perpetrator for sexually assaulting two little girls, her tenacity and passion for protecting victims was demonstrated.

When I observed Sen. Jane Ranum chair the Senate Judiciary Committee and introduce legislation that toughened our laws on sexual and domestic crimes and expanded victims rights, her commitment to victims and community was demonstrated.

When she traveled to Russia to teach judges, prosecutors and police/military officers about making domestic violence a crime and prosecuting perpetrators, her commitment to justice was demonstrated on a global level.

I am voting for Ranum for judge and encourage all residents of Hennepin County to join me.

Bev Benson, Plymouth

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Nearly 30 years ago, as the Wilkin County attorney, I requested help from the Minnesota attorney general’s office with a grand jury proceeding for a murder case. The attorney general sent out a young attorney by the name of Norm Coleman to provide me assistance.

That was the first time I met Coleman. Since then, I have watched Coleman continue his commitment to each and every Minnesotan to make our state a better, safer place to live. Coleman was promoted through the attorney general’s office becoming solicitor general, the prosecutor for the state. He became mayor of St. Paul and succeeded in restoring the vitality to our State Capitol. Most important, he has never forgotten his commitment to the people of Minnesota he met along the way.

Both of our senators, Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar, proved their commitment to the citizens of our state by years of dedication and public service before we put them in one of the most important offices of this country. Let him continue his commitment. A vote for Coleman is a vote for Minnesota.

Timothy E. J. Fox, Breckenridge, Minn.; Wilkin County attorney