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I am a small-business owner who offers more than competitive wages: benefits; a steady Monday-through-Friday, 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. work schedule; and mentorship for anyone who wants to learn new skills and move up in the business. This is not some new business; we have been operating in the same location since 1982, and we obviously have stability.

We struggle to hire reliable, entry-level employees. Finding an employee who is willing to show up to work on time, work their scheduled hours and perform their duties is next to impossible. Entry-level employees have complained that the $15-an-hour wage is not enough while being late every day for work and being late every day from lunch. Not to mention the days they have not bothered to show up at all.

They all have said they want to move up, learn more skills, get better-paying positions. Why should an employer invest in training you when you haven’t even bothered to show up for your shift and cover the very basics of the job you were hired for? What makes you think you are entitled to anything?

People complain about capitalism and they think they are being discriminated against, but they have not bothered to self-reflect on what they have done to earn better pay or treatment. You should not even have a job if you lack respect for your employer, supervisors and co-workers, who must make up for your poor performance and attendance.

Parents, quit giving your children this sense of entitlement. Teach them to be responsible and that the world owes them nothing. Teach them to take pride in their work and not do just the minimum. Teach them that most learning happens in the workplace and to take internships and start with the lowliest job — when you take your work seriously, you will move up. Remember, the children you are raising today will have to take care of the world you leave behind. And if there has been no responsibility taught, they won’t have the ability to take care of this world, themselves or their families.

Steve Adams, Crystal

SUMMER

End the scourge of air conditioning

As summer winds down in Minnesota, most of us cling on to the last warm days of the season as we brace for the coming cold winter days that are sure to come. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if we all got to experience a little more summer warmth, given that it is so short-lived? By this, I’m referring to the excessive use of air conditioning that has become so prevalent in our society.

Let me clarify by stating that I’m not opposed to air conditioning! What I do oppose is the low temperature setting that I encounter everywhere I go (public transit, office buildings, shopping malls, restaurants). I realize that everyone has a different comfort level, but my perspective is that air conditioning’s primary function is to remove excess humidity in the air. Once that’s accomplished, why do we also need a low temperature? Especially in Minnesota, where we endure some of the harshest winter weather in the country?

Tom Schleyer, Chanhassen

LITTER

Our park shouldn’t need a dumpster

To the tissue tossers, litter lobbers and poop people: Congratulations! You have diligently and consistently shown enough lack of respect for yourselves, coupled with a total lack of respect for our communities (as demonstrated by the excess in used tissues, litter and animal poop within our park systems) that you have made a difference. It matters not where you live, because I am sure that your indiscretion is not specific to my park but equally shared with all public parks and streets.

You have been so successful that my city has joined your ranks by adding a “trash dumpster site” in our Veterans Park next to the farmers market area. How thoughtful of them. But apparently you haven’t noticed it yet, because even though it is quite large, the tossing, littering and poop-leaving has continued. In an effort to be part of a solution, the city has just added to the visual pollution and environmental issues associated with the proximity of this dump site to a farmers market, children’s playground area and a mini-golf course with food offerings that has an outdoor sitting area.

As a member of the community, I am asking you to please show more pride in yourselves and respect for our parks and public streets by stopping tossing, littering and leaving. Hopefully, my city will come to see that this new dumping site isn’t really needed within our parks and will be moving it to a more appropriate place.

Thank you in advance for showing more pride in yourselves. With your help, we can all assist in reducing this trashing of our parks and maybe get at least one dump site moved.

Kathleen Balaban, Richfield

OBESITY

State Fair should rethink the unhealthy eating it promotes

As a lifelong Minnesotan, I always felt proud about our state being one of the healthiest in the nation. I was disappointed when I recently read that our obesity rate hit 30% (“Three in 10 Minnesota adults are obese,” front page, Sept. 13). But then I thought, it’s no wonder — the State Fair just ended.

I recall hearing a State Fair radio ad that spoke only of trying this food and that food. Why, state leaders, has our fair turned into a food fair when we are struggling with an obesity crisis? You know there is something wrong when the largest moneymaker at the fair is a food booth that sells not one cookie but a bucket full. Tell me another time of year that you are proud to walk around in public with a bucket full of cookies! Obesity is a crisis that costs all of us millions in extra health care costs. It is time the State Fair rethinks what it is promoting.

David Born, Shakopee

• • •

The front-page news about obesity in Minnesota points to lack of physical activity and consuming sugary beverages as major contributing factors in what is now a nationwide and international health issue. In 2018, an estimated 56% of dogs in the U.S. were overweight or obese. So, we may ask, what are the connections and possibly related causes in the human and companion animal populations, since these animals do not drink sugary beverages? Most significantly, high-calorie meat and fat diets and lack of complex carbohydrates (including dietary fiber) in whole grains are a major cause of canine obesity, more whole grains being an effective way of preventing and dealing with excess weight.

It seems that our dogs, like canaries down in the mine, are telling us what is wrong with our diets, and we would be all better off eating fewer high-calorie fatty meats, including poultry, and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Michael W. Fox, Golden Valley

The writer is a veterinarian.

ENVIRONMENT

Making America ever greater?

It’s now clear what it took to Make America Great Again. America had too many wetlands, too much wildlife and too many acres of wild lands. The atmosphere needed more smog, smoke and carbon dioxide. Human health required a boost with more chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals (“Administration to roll back clean water rules,” Sept. 13). Billionaires had too little and the rest too much. And now, thanks to our Great Leader, American is again great.

But enjoy it now, as one wonders how much more greatness America can take.

Greg Larson, Excelsior

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