Categorized | OPINION

Letters to the Editor March 2020

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Thanks for sharing story on overlooked dark side

Dear Editor:
I wanted to thank you and Leigh Ann Block for her bravely for coming forward to share her story about her daughter Mikayla Olson Tester.
It is such a sad story and of course Leigh had to relive it all over again. How brave of her!!
Thank you, Tesha, for reporting carefully and eloquently an often overlooked dark side of our society.

Corinne S. Rockstad


Consider MN Tool Library

Dear Editor:
It will be sad to see Hamline Hardware Hank close their doors after serving the community for so long. We wish Jim, Jan and all their staff success and happiness in their next endeavors. We realize this may be unhappy news for people with ongoing or upcoming projects, but we’d like you to know there is another resource close-by that can help local residents obtain the tools they’d need to continue maintaining their homes and property. It is the Midway branch of the Minnesota Tool Library.
Our library has thousands of home-repair, yard-work, and other tools, including power tools, available to lend out. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers can help you select the tools you need and plan your project. We teach classes on home-repair and other topics, and we also have a shop space with larger equipment members can use. We’re located in the same building as Can Can Wonderland near Prior and Minnehaha. Please visit us Friday evenings or Saturday and Sunday during the day, or at www.mntoollibrary.org.

Thank you,
Bruce Willey
MN Tool Library Member and Volunteer

The latent cost of potholes in Saint Paul

Dear Editor:
“Pothole-related auto repair costs average $306, but some unfortunate drivers wind up paying more than $1,000 to fix the damage,” according to AAA Exchange website. This is a hefty price for drivers to pay, even in a great economy, and especially in Saint Paul, where potholes seem ubiquitous.
Currently, the city of Saint Paul has a pothole problem, and this problem impacts more than just the citizen driver. These potholes impact the government drivers as well, local, city, and state vehicles. This includes (but is not limited to) public works vehicles, city buses, school buses, police and fire vehicles, etc.
Perhaps, the cost of repairs and maintenance on these vehicles, let alone the cost to the average citizen of Saint Paul, add up to huge losses for our state and local government. Count the number of government vehicles you see in a single day.
The price we pay for potholes also impacts what we don’t use that money for, this is basic economics. The cost to repair damage caused by potholes this year, depletes funds for government vehicles next year, and for years to come. Money not spent on these repairs could go to something else, name any of the multitude of policies the mayor and city council can think up.
Neglecting our pothole-covered streets costs us all in extra services to our vehicles, all encompassed, citizen and government vehicles alike. The latent costs of pothole-related repairs may be measured by increased taxes each year, as requested by the leaders of our city; furthermore, it may be measured in higher taxes statewide, requested by our state government. Minnesota has the fifth highest tax burden nationally.
Think about that cost the next time you hit a pothole on your commute through Saint Paul, you aren’t the only one taking on damage. City and state vehicles are hitting them, as well. And this is hitting their pocketbook, which is hitting your pocketbook. The two are correlated, as are the costs of repairs and the amount you pay in tax dollars.
That money could have gone into our schools, lowering our crime rates, or into programs that help our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Minnesota.
Pothole related damages are costly to all in our city, especially in future costs. Waiting to repair these potholes will have a greater less obvious cost to all: higher taxes for things those repair costs could have paid for but don’t.

Terry Scott Niebeling

Responsibility for taking gender out belongs to men

Dear Editor:
I’m writing this letter in response to one published in the February Monitor.
Mr Mark Brandt wrote, in response to your article “It should never have happened,“ to suggest a “slight rewrite” to a sentence on page 2, column 3: “Like many men, he didn’t really start showing his abusive side until…”.
Mr Brandt suggested “Like many eventual abusers…”, claiming that “would take the gender out of it,” as he felt the sentence you wrote “was a little unfair to my gender.”
I suggest the responsibility for taking the gender out of domestic violence belongs to the 71% of abusers who are men. They are the only ones who can do this, by stopping their abuse of women, children, and other men.
There are, of course, two genders involved. The gender of the victims is mostly female, except for half of the children.
Reading about domestic violence often elicits automatic reactions from women (“If my partner ever raised a hand to me, I’d be out of there immediately.”) and men (“But what about women who abuse men?”).
Please, before shutting off what you’re reading with an automatic response, listen to the end of the story. Then look for more information about domestic violence. These excellent articles include a lot of information. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is another good resource.

Helen Hunter
St Paul