China with North Korea for some time now has offered through a negotiated agreement to put all nuclear weapons programs on hold. In this agreement, the U.S. has been asked to discontinue all hostile military maneuvers on North Korea’s border, including all flights by nuclear-capable B-52s. We are culpable for North Korea’s nuclear aggression because of our unwillingness to cooperate by pulling back our own aggressive behavior on its border. The American people don’t hear this side of the conflict. Instead we are being lied back into another war. The recent deceptive explanations from our current president regarding China’s willingness to help us are reprehensible. Total fabrication for warmongering — again.
Claire Auckenthaler, Minneapolis
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It is interesting to note that in a 2013 survey by WIN/Gallup International, the U.S. was overwhelmingly regarded as the nation representing the greatest threat to peace in the world, with 24 percent of the global vote. Pakistan was second with 8 percent. China garnered 6 percent of the vote, and North Korea 5 percent. Perhaps maintaining 865 military bases abroad — the Pentagon’s own statistic — is seen as somewhat domineering by the international community. The machismo chest-beating being employed by the U.S. military off the Korean Peninsula is not helping to ease this tension, and I fear serves only to increase the chances that Earth will witness a nuclear holocaust. May cool heads prevail.
Thomas Strommen, Plymouth
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It’s going to cost a fortune to really clean it up
The blight caused by the Freeway Landfill has been a problem for a long time (“Bill would protect ex-users of dump,” April 14). More than 40 years ago, a group of concerned citizens who called themselves the Burnsville Environmental Council tried to get the Burnsville City Council to close or clean up that dump. The landfill sat on the banks of the Minnesota River near Interstate 35W and was oozing pollutants into the flood plain and the river. The environmentalists had no luck convincing their local officials to clean up or close it then. Building a tax base was more important than protecting the flood plain.
Frustrated, the tree-huggers turned to Washington and proposed that a game refuge be put in the river valley to protect and save it for future generations. The idea caught on with public-spirited voters on both sides of the river; many meetings were held and many letters were written, and eventually Congress was convinced to act. Forty years ago, a law was passed, and as a result we now have the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, based in Bloomington, protecting some of the river valley. The refuge’s first manager was Ed Crozier, one of the citizens who started the whole movement.
The Freeway Landfill was eventually closed and covered, but now it is estimated that it will cost between $60 million and $80 million to clean up the mess it made. We gained a game refuge but will pay a huge price to clean up a dump that never should have been on a flood plain in the first place.
Dick Duerre, Bloomington
Financial resources are needed to attract capable workers
Regarding the news that child abuse reports are soaring across Minnesota, straining the child-protection system (April 12):
I wish I could shout from the roof of my Minneapolis apartment the statement by James Koppel, assistant commissioner for children and family services at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, that “we absolutely have to put more of an emphasis on prevention.” I also want to add that mental health professionals want to help, but we need the financial resources to do so.
As a student in a master’s program for social work, I have had the opportunity to spend the past nine months as a therapist for children ages 0-5 experiencing mental health challenges. I work with families to help them understand challenging behaviors, such as aggression and defiance, as a result of their child’s mental illness and help children and adults alike learn to better cope with these behaviors. Mental health intervention like this helps prevent things like child maltreatment from happening!
I, and my classmates, want to do this work, but we need to able to make a living doing it. I have classmates who would have to take a pay cut in order to work in the mental health field. If we truly want to invest in child-abuse prevention, we need to invest in those working toward it.
Rebecca Hotchkiss, Minneapolis
THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY
The White House visitors log, and home sweet home
If you are an entertainer or a retail businessperson, the decision by the White House not to release a visitors log is good news. Because of the politics and social media, anybody who darkens the White House door or appears at White House functions is targeted. There were calls to boycott any entertainer who appeared at any function during the inauguration. The L.L. Bean company (after an heiress and board member donated to a Trump political action committee) and Trump’s daughter’s retail business both came under a call for boycotts. A professional golfer caught some flack for playing golf with President Trump. It’s good that the White House addressed the problem with this in-your-face decision.
Tom Carlson, New Brighton
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I am a supporter of President Trump. However, I am extremely upset that he feels justified in traveling to Mar-a-Lago almost every weekend, which is costing millions. Why can’t he remain in the White House, where he wanted so badly to be?
Lila Dales, Minnetonka
Using a casual term for a tragic death was inexcusable
I am repulsed by the insensitive Associated Press headline “(Anguish, sympathy for Heap after ex-NFL player’s kid killed,” reprinted verbatim at StarTribune.com) for the April 15 article about the tragic death of a child. Notice I use the term “child,” not “kid.” As a mother, grandmother and educator, I find that word choice not just offensive, but highly unprofessional. “Kid” is an acceptably casual term in conversation — “I can pick up the kids” or “He’s a great kid” — but very diminishing when referring to a deceased child. While the article itself conveyed empathy, its headline was an inexcusable gaffe.
Ruth Koob, Jordan
A PINCH OF SALT
Minnesotans look after each other; that’s why I moved here
The April 13 letter from the employer who tells her staff “salting is cheaper than lawsuits” sure missed the bigger picture. “Salting, though not ideal environmentally, prevents the very real suffering of very real people” might be a more humane way of looking at it. A moment’s distraction on icy surfaces can result in much suffering, and the stressful transversing of icy spots has its human cost as well.
Being told Minnesotans looked after each other and de-iced their walkways was one of the selling points of moving here from Seattle.
Casstinna Hanson, Columbia Heights
Treat overdose appropriately
Everybody in Minnesota loves Prince. He is our local rock star, our hometown hero. But why does the media keep protectively describing his death as an “accidental” overdose? Does someone think the normal 91 people who die from opioid overdoses every day in this country are doing it on purpose? Those 91 deaths include our sons, daughters, honor students, neighbors, veterans, mothers, fathers, rich, poor, famous and unknown. Prince was no different. It’s time to lose the stigma around drug addiction.
Rochelle Eastman, Savage