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Minneapolis City Council members Robin Wonsley, Jason Chavez and Jamal Osman called the compromise rideshare bill a "historic betrayal by Governor [Tim] Walz" ("Frey: Rideshare deal was on table months earlier," May 24). Wow. We had several competing interests in this complex issue: the rideshare drivers (themselves a diverse lot), consumers who use the service just occasionally, disabled and elderly people for whom the service is a necessity, residents elsewhere in the metropolitan area and indeed the whole state and, yes, the rideshare companies.

The council's "uber-progressives" focused on just one subset of these interests and dismissed anyone who disagreed as a retrograde corporatist. I guess my older sister — who lives in senior housing outside Minneapolis (ergo unrepresented by this City Council) and depends on rideshare for her connection to the world — should be ashamed for hoping someone would find a solution to this dilemma.

Enter Walz, who represents the entire state. He engaged all parties and helped forge a compromise nearly identical to that proposed by Mayor Jacob Frey (and flatly rejected by the council). Which means the council's ordinance did not, in fact, move the needle one iota. Worse still, this diversion wasted critical time at the end of the legislative session, which means we lost on many fronts: bonding for local capital needs, abortion rights, the ERA. You know, things progressives supposedly believe in.

Walz did exactly what I would expect a Democratic governor to do: take the state perspective, consider all sides and stakeholders and find a practical solution. Indeed, this is what distinguishes us from the MAGA crowd, who hurl hyperbolic invective with glee but have no interest in really helping people. To me, calling the rideshare bill a "historic betrayal" is Donald Trump-like nonsense.

Stephen Bubul, Minneapolis


Some things are easy. The passing of the rideshare legislation is a triumph for Democrats. Statewide, improved wages for drivers and no loss of service. Figuring all of that out must have taken a lot of hard work. Framing it afterward as an effective compromise should be easy. Instead, we get phrases like "historic betrayal by Governor Walz" and "we could have ... avoided all the rigmarole." Having a statewide wage policy is much better than a city-only solution. This issue would not have been pushed to the Legislature if some City Council members hadn't advocated for better wages for drivers. What a difference it would make if we saw the City Council leaving the acrimony behind and celebrating its collective role in bringing about this positive change.

Claire Colliander, Minneapolis


Reasoning through judicial ethics

I'm writing about judicial ethics in two areas — money and freedom of expression ("Provocative flag flown at second Alito home," May 23).

First, judicial independence and freedom from influence should be unquestionable. We should take several steps to improve judicial independence and freedom from influence and to avoid the appearance of inappropriate influence.

First of all, judicial compensation should be increased to a level that will attract the best and brightest. Whatever it costs, it is worth it. Judges and justices should have no need to look for outside income to supplement their salaries.

Second, they should accept absolutely no gifts while they are serving as a judge or justice.

Third, they should receive no outside income while they are serving as a judge or justice.

Fourth, if some group wants a judge or justice to speak at an event, the request should be made to a court administrator who would randomly assign a judge or justice to speak at the event. All transportation and accommodations should be arranged by the court administrator and charged to the group seeking a speaker.

We should never have to question whether the decision of a judge or justice is being inappropriately influenced by money.

Then, freedom of expression. Judges and justices are people. They have opinions and the constitutional right to express them. They should not have to give up their constitutional right to express opinions just because they have a job as a public servant.

The recent reporting regarding flying of flags by Justice Samuel Alito and his wife at their home is much ado about nothing. One or both of them have an opinion, and they choose to express it. Alito has opinions whether they are expressed publicly or not. Would you rather he kept his opinions secret? Even if you disagree, sometimes the devil you know is preferable to the one you do not. In any event, he has the right to express his opinions.

Robert LaFleur, St. Anthony


So much for principles

With Nikki Haley coming out to support and vote for Donald Trump, people will ask why ("Haley says Trump gets her vote for president," May 23). How can this be? I think it's simple. Politics, especially now, is not about fairness, not about being honest, not about doing what is good for most Americans and, in this case, not about choosing the most capable candidate to lead the most influential country in the world. It's about false impressions, unsupported emotions and self-preservation.

Lynn Bollman, Minneapolis


Haley announced plans to vote for Trump. Apparently she plans to "kiss the ring" after all.

Thomas Thul, St. Louis Park


Not exactly a ban

I would have expected a more insightful and intellectually honest article by the Star Tribune regarding the new Minnesota law that will ban "junk fees" ("New Minnesota law will ban 'junk fees,'" May 22).

The law does not ban junk fees at all. A business can add all the junk fees they want, providing the customer is informed in advance of the purchase the name of the junk fee and the amount.

In addition, the law allows restaurants to add an automatic gratuity on the end of the bill. Gratuities, rightfully, should be up to the discretion of the customer, not the restaurant.

One other point that should have been addressed in the article is whether local and state taxes are added to the bill before or after the transparent junk fees and automatic gratuities are added.

Melvin Ogurak, Eden Prairie


Entice current PTs to stay

Thanks to the writer of "To heal, Minnesota needs more physical therapists" (Opinion Exchange, May 17) for his appreciation of physical therapists' valuable work. I am one of those long-serving PTs who has recently left the profession. It is great that his group pays PTs what they are worth. It is not the case for all. Many experienced and highly skilled PTs earn much less than the $110,000 stated.

I differ with how to address the PT shortage. The solution is not to turn out less-skilled workers to burn through but rather to keep those PTs and PT assistants already in the field. Decreasing caseloads and paperwork burdens while increasing support will both retain and attract workers. This is a tough sell in the profit-above-all-else health care industry. So to all those hardworking PTs and PTAs out there, go ask for a raise — you deserve it.

Rhonda Breakfield-Uggen, Shoreview