A May 18 commentary (“Water buffer law isn’t ready to go into effect”) presents a sob story about land owners and farmers in southwestern Minnesota “not being ready to implement the buffer zone law.”
The facts are simple, according to other stories published in the Star Tribune: More than 80 percent of the lakes southwest of the Twin Cities all the way to the South Dakota border are permanently polluted, and citizens are advised not to eat fish from the lakes or swim in them.
The commentary writers also want land owners and farmers to be compensated for taking their land out of production. If that is so, then the land owners should also pay for cleaning up the lakes and streams in their area of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers. Is the water drained from their fields through tiling systems even being tested? Rampant dumping into our water is killing our creatures and humans. Don’t be looking for handouts; do what is necessary to protect future generations.
Jerry Wicklund, Northfield
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The 2015 buffer law, according to testimony at a House hearing held in January by the Environment and Agriculture committees, is approaching 90 percent compliance across the state. Officials from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported that many problems that have been brought to their attention were being addressed successfully.
Some anecdotal testimony from disappointed individuals was also presented. There are concerns over the loss of the use of privately owned land and the income losses that have resulted. But the seriousness of the water-quality problems experienced by those with polluted drinking water sources makes the loss of marginal farming lands seem small and surmountable.
At this time, farmers lament the low prices of commodities. Some have reported that it hardly pays to put in a crop. This, then, would be the time for the state to use our resources to augment federal programs that encourage efforts to improve our waterways.
I applaud Gov. Mark Dayton for his leadership on these matters.
Chuck Nelson, North St. Paul
Dayton’s opposition to abortion clinic licensing is perverse
At the end of the month, my husband and I will be required to attend one of those destination weddings, an event that will keep us away from home for several days. Consequently, we are involved in an intensive hunt for lodgings for our two dogs. It’s a comfort to know that these kennels — like our doggies’ groomers — are licensed and inspected by the state of Minnesota.
If only Gov. Mark Dayton believed Minnesota women were deserving of the same health and safety protections my pets enjoy (“Dayton vetoes pair of GOP-backed abortion bills, as expected,” May 11). His veto of the bill to require abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected gives the lie to that “safe and legal” canard spouted for decades by Dayton and the rest of the abortion acolytes of the DFL Party.
Debra L. Kaczmarek, Northfield
THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY
Invoke the 25th Amendment? Better for Obama, not Trump.
As I was reading employment law attorney Marshall H. Tanick’s May 17 commentary regarding the use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president, I continually thought this article should have been published and acted upon about eight years ago. It was at this time that a very ill-equipped and ill-prepared Barack Obama was elected president. If the 25th Amendment had been activated during the beginning of his presidency, we would not now be faced with a badly broken health insurance system, a decimated health care structure, a barely recovering economy, low wages, continued underemployment, the ISIS takeover of Iraq, a decimated military, a sorely divided nation and a loss of respect from our allies abroad. All Mr. Tanick has to hang his constitutional hat on is fake news reports, rabid left-wing hatred of President Trump, illegal surveillance and leaks from anonymous sources to savage President Trump’s rather short-lived presidency.
Bob Maginnis, Edina
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Tanick does not like Donald Trump, whom he describes as “maniacal” and “mentally unhinged.” Since Tanick is strangely silent on the reasons for this visceral antipathy, we are left to infer that it stems at least partly from some profound policy differences with the president.
Tanick’s proposal for resolving these differences involves Trump’s removal from office, a respite that would enable Trump to regain “any equilibrium he once may have had.” This sounds eerily similar to the former Soviet Union’s practice of treating any disagreement with the communist system as a form of mental illness.
Peter D. Abarbanel, Apple Valley
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I am shocked and upset about the negative things said about our president! He is doing a great job of building our country back up after the last administration! We should be ashamed of ourselves of the way he is being treated. Do we want things to be the way they were before Donald Trump took office? I don’t think so!
Elaine Malakowsky, Chanhassen
TRUMP PRESIDENCY, PART TWO
‘We, as an electorate,’ are not, in fact, ‘all complicit’
No, no, no! We are not all complicit and therefore not responsible for how the president has been stinkin’ up the place with his glaring ignorance, incompetence, manipulations of the truth and unbridled ego (Readers Write, May 19).
The letter writer who asserts that we are all complicit disrespects the majority of voting Americans who did not vote for the “train-wreck” president. A majority of us did not subscribe to the savior’s aura and mark the ballot in a Trump trance.
Steve Watson, Minneapolis
On immunization, mutilation, immigrants must accept norms
We have now undergone a whooping cough and measles epidemic among a minority community that refuses to vaccinate their children due to their fears (“Measles cases at 58; virus hits Le Sueur Co.,” May 16). My fear for all children is that a dreaded disease such as polio might return with devastating results. When an immigrant comes to this country, it should be mandated that all receive the necessary shots to preclude an epidemic, no exemptions allowed except for pre-existing physical conditions. This community should also adhere to a country’s laws that prohibit certain harmful cultural mores such as genital mutilation. I see from the Star Tribune that some politicians and leaders are already “loosening” their stands against the latter (“Immigrants raise concerns over bill on genital cutting,” May 19). Assimilating means adopting or absorbing a country’s standards, laws and way of life. It’s time the Somalis learn what assimilation means. It does not mean “separate but equal.”
Michelle Peterson, Plymouth
A role to play, yes, and a responsibility as well
I agree that nonpublic/private schools have a valuable place in educating our children (Opinion Exchange, May 19). However, if public funds (either directly, or in the form of tax credits) are to be dedicated to these schools, they must be held to the same requirements as the public schools.
Among these, take any or all children who walk through the door, regardless of their special needs or circumstances — English-language learners, special-education status, physical or mental disabilities, religion — and keep them, regardless of their behavior, attendance, attitude, parental noninvolvement. Provide for their needs with free and reduced-price meals, counselors, social workers … .
Only then will nonpublic schools be truly offering an educational alternative to all students.
Sue Sherek, Fridley