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The Oct. 11 story “Family dog helps chopper locate missing toddler” provided both a terrifying drama and an underappreciated reality.

A 2-year-old lost in the woods at night with central Minnesota temperatures approaching freezing would have had a heart-wrenching outcome. Instead due to the dedication, character and love of a wondrous species, the tragic outcome was averted.

I’m not referring to our loyal friends the dogs, but to the two-legged heroes who took to the roads, forests, fields and skies to effect the lifesaving rescue.

The Sheriff’s Department, State Patrol, and “various fire and rescue department personnel,” plus roughly 200 volunteers and the State Patrol helicopter, joined with the family’s dogs to avert a horrific tragedy. After the boy had been lost in the dark for three hours, law enforcement brought him “back to his house, where he was reunited with his mother.” I don’t think the article’s words do justice to what that reunion was like.

I love dogs, but in addition I greatly appreciate knowing that if I or mine are ever in such desperate need, law enforcement personnel, fire/rescue, EMS and countless others will give their all to help.

I hope each and every person (and dog) involved in saving this child gains a just reward. Thanks for brightening my day and providing a reminder to appreciate all the special folks who are ready 24/7/365 to help.

Tom Combs, Plymouth

DEVELOPMENT POLICIES

St. Anthony needs affordable housing; other interests prevail

Thank you to the Star Tribune for its continued coverage of the consequences of the Lowry Grove mobile home park closure and of St. Anthony’s saga over affordable housing (“St. Anthony soundly rejects Lowry Grove plan,” Oct. 12). Many of us fought to retain the mobile home park in the village. And there are many of us who are working to make our town accessible to people needing affordable housing, and who are perplexed by the City Council’s actions. The council has made many public statements in support of affordable housing. Similarly, the draft plan of St. Anthony’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan states, “Because only 1% of land is undeveloped, increasing density allows for affordable housing, walkability, and better opportunities for redevelopment.” It’s clear to them that this kind of project is part of the solution to easing the burdens on working families. And yet, when presented with the chance to have affordable housing, the council unanimously voted “no.” So which is it, council? Or do the facts change during election season?

Kate Martin, St. Anthony

THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

It’s Corker’s po-tay-to against the administration’s po-tah-to

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a recent news briefing, said that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. (This is a famous and beloved quote by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.) As a “fact,” she provided the following: “The fact is, this president has been an incredibly strong leader on foreign policy and national security. And he’s been a leader on this front, and I think that’s been seen and demonstrated time and time again since he took office.”

What we have here is a serious problem with agreeing on the definition of a “fact.” Her example of a fact is, it has to be said, an opinion, as anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the English language would have to agree. So this response provides a new window into the Trump administration. Those in the administration feel entitled to present their opinions as facts, and to quote a beloved statesman as supporting their right to discount opposing statements as mere opinions.

Kent Bailey, Rochester

• • •

I presume the Star Tribune’s editors realize they are partly to blame for the Trump-hate in Minnesota and the rest of the country. Many days they have allowed obviously slanted stories (New York Times) or false or twisted items in the opinion section. For example, in Wednesday’s paper they printed a letter from a woman who says that she and others will not let the government and male politicians strip away the right to use birth control! Both the editors and the writer know that will never be proposed.

Thank you for not using Steve Sack every day. Wednesday’s cartoon was another of his worst. Trump has given the North Koreans a warning message to stop them in their tracks (as we did to Russia to start the Cold War), and Sack is leading people to assume it will hasten conflict!

Robert E. Robertson, Eden Prairie

PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND RACE

Today’s students don’t need the lessons some think they do

As the parent of a high school senior, I am very perplexed by Annie Mogush Mason’s assertion that today’s students need to “unlearn racism” by obsessing about the races of their classmates (Opinion Exchange, Oct. 10). Since kindergarten, my son has enjoyed attending diverse public schools with classmates whose families come from dozens of countries and are Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and even (gasp) atheists. He thinks a hijab is no more exotic than a crucifix and views Ramadan as a holiday worthy of the same respect as Easter or Christmas. Rather than struggle to “unlearn” racism, I think my son and his classmates of color would need considerable indoctrination to embrace it. And filling him with guilt, and his classmates with anger, about crimes committed or endured decades or centuries ago by people who shared their skin tones would be a great place to start.

Jerry Anderson, Eagan

IMMIGRATION POLICY

Illegal entry is illegal entry, and we need not accommodate it

I refer to an Oct. 12 letter concerning immigration. I doubt the writer has ever been to Guatemala. I will make the following comments:

1) Jacobo Gabriel-Tomas is in my country illegally — we are a nation of laws; he is breaking our laws.

2) I have been in Guatemala many times — I have manufacturing interests in that country.

3) We fund and support a foundation that educates and trains, etc., many young women in this country — it has been very successful over the years.

4) As far as the statement that Gabriel-Tomas escaped violence in Guatemala — I would suggest there is more violence in north Minneapolis and most certainly in Chicago.

I always enjoy and laugh at these crying liberals who write in — totally underinformed. Bottom line: They lost, we won — try again in 2024.

George J. Peyton, Minneapolis

• • •

I absolutely believe in protecting our borders, which would prevent tragic situations like that of Gabriel-Tomas from happening in the first place. However, I also have a heart for a “decent, hardworking, churchgoing, taxpaying, exemplary family man.” Pleas aren’t very successful when we learn that this person’s first act in our country was to break the law by illegally crossing the border. So what can we do to help him return to the U.S. legally? I don’t know Jacobo or his family. Maybe a fellow church member and/or the pastor could begin raising funds and contacting immigration lawyers (possibly to work pro bono) to learn how to accomplish this the legal way. I’m sure this very newspaper would print that information so those of us who would like to contribute can do so. Just let me know the where and when.

Julia Beauchaine, St. Paul