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Sunday's letters: Misplaced priorities, ranked choice voting, Biden's failures, more
msn.com
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MSN
BingNews
Instead, the Department of Health is apparently investigating arts venues for requiring proof of COVID test or vaccine for entrance.
Stories show state’s mixed-up priorities© HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2019 This season, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, in Sarasota, will require each patron age 12 or older to show proof of a COVID vaccine or a negative COVID test. Everyone over 6 must wear a mask.I’m sure I wasn’t the only one struck by the egregious dichotomy on the front page Oct. 14 between the attention our governor’s department heads give to the importance of protecting our most vulnerable and the attention paid to resisting COVID mandates.Foster children get next to no protection, and minimal inspections and investigations (“Florida finds foster care issues”). Next to no sanctions, even in light of serious criminal abuses. Our children don’t vote. However, the governor’s base need to be catered to. The Florida Department of Health has plenty of money and personnel to investigate arts venues around the state that are merely trying to protect their patrons and bring back business (“Area arts venues under investigation”).How to send a letter to the editorAll they ask is that their patrons present proof of a current negative COVID test or, if they prefer, show their vaccination card.Hardly a burden to anyone with a modicum of social responsibility. How did our state sink so low?Stuart Sinai, Longboat KeyRanked choice would improve election systemTo mitigate the polarization in Sarasota and elsewhere, ranked choice voting would be a breath of fresh air (“Sarasota City Commission may pause plan for advancing ranked-choice voting,” Sept. 24).RCV would:• Give voters more choices and nobody’s vote would be wasted.• Encourage candidates to stay with the issues and avoid negative attacks.• Save taxpayers’ money by eliminating runoff elections.Ranked choice voting is represented in our state by Rank My Vote Florida, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. RCV is successfully used in more than 25 states (both red and blue).Among the large cities already using RCV are New York City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and San Francisco.Let Sarasota be near the front of this successful change and help our city help our country in this significant manner.Susan Cohen, SarasotaSteube ignores query about debt ceilingI wrote to U.S. Rep. Greg Steube about the debt ceiling and my concern that it is an artificial impediment used for political purposes that should simply be removed.Don’t all of us want our Social Security checks? Shouldn’t government contractors who have performed work be paid?Isn’t Congress talking about paying for expenditures that have already been approved by Congress and are owed?The reply I received from the Sarasota Republican was about “Build Back Better,” President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package and how Steube is opposed to this spending.Can’t the man (or his staff) read? Answer the question I posed! I was not looking for a restatement of Steube’s well-known position on the proposed spending plan.Jan Peterson, VeniceBy now, voters must regret picking BidenDemocrats, independents and RINOs, are you feeling good about voting Donald Trump out and electing Joe Biden, the kinder, gentler, yet incompetent president? Biden has replaced most every major Trump policy with his own, which have all failed miserably. Biden changed the country from energy independence to more energy dependence on the Mideast.His crazy spending spree, paying people not to work, and shortages in the supply chain have contributed to inflation over 5%, eliminating wage gains for most everyone. It will get worse!Now Biden and Democrats in Congress want $3.5 trillion more in “freebies.”Nasty Trump’s Twitter comments were bad, but he didn’t leave Americans and allies behind for the Taliban to kill in Afghanistan or sacrifice 13 American troops during the evacuation.Trump’s border policies worked! Biden has allowed tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, some infected with COVID.Trump cut taxes, but Biden wants to raise them drastically, a proposal that has impacted markets and will drive companies and jobs out of America.Violent crime in cities lead by Democrats is out of control. Biden’s answer is to have the Department of Justice and FBI go after parents voicing concerns to school boards.And President Biden forgot to thank Trump for the COVID vaccines.Kenneth Lakich, Lakewood RanchDemocrats will lose majority in 2022In the 2022 midterm elections, the Democrats will be led to the slaughterhouse. I pray that it will be in time to foil their plan to permanently ruin our country.Daniel Johnson, SarasotaREADER BOXWhat do you think about COVID-19 mandates? Should employers like airlines and hospitals require vaccines, or weekly testing, for their employees, as the president has ordered, or is this government overreach?Send us an email of no more than 200 words. Include your name, full address and daytime phone number. Only your name and city will be published. Email letters to: editor.letters@heraldtribune.com.SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITORLetters must have the writer’s name, full address and daytime phone number and should be no longer than 200 words. (Only name and city will be published.) We may condense letters and edit them for accuracy. Writers may have no more than one published letter every 30 days. We are unable to publish every letter we receive. We no longer accept letters by postal mail. Email letters to: editor.letters@heraldtribune.com.This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sunday's letters: Misplaced priorities, ranked choice voting, Biden's failures, more MORE→
today
Oct 17, 2021

 
 
 
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Readers Write: Minneapolis mayoral race, ranked-choice voting, predatory settlement practices, vaccines
startribune.com
Article
9176 chars
Star Tribune
ContextualWeb
Minneapolis will not recover like this.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board's mayoral endorsement ( "As Mpls. recovers, re-elect Jacob Frey," Oct. 10) is premised on the notion that we are in recovery mode. I disagree. Based on the numbers, my discussions with the Minneapolis Police Department and residents, and my own observations, our city is not recovering. I have done three separate ride-alongs — First Precinct, Third Precinct and Fourth Precinct — and my observations were nothing short of shocking. In short, our police are understaffed and overwhelmed. The Editorial Board states that "Minneapolis needs a mayor who will make public safety and police reform coequal priorities. That means protecting residents, workers and visitors from both criminals and bad cops ... ." The editorial mentions interviewing me but does not acknowledge that a two-pronged approach has been the core of my campaign since day one. Our "Safe Streets" platform is based on a two-pronged approach to policing: 1) immediately resetting the narrative and using the mayor's platform to aggressively support our good police (because we need to keep good police and recruit more to achieve public safety), while 2) simultaneously aggressively investigating our police department's problems, exposing them and fixing them. Our website summarizes it this way: "We need a mayor who does not tolerate bullies, whether they are on the street or in the police force." I have been standing up to bullies my entire life. I would encourage readers who want bold leadership on this issue to visit clintconner2021.com and please vote for Clint Conner as your first choice. Clint Conner, Minneapolis ••• The Editorial Board's endorsement of Mayor Jacob Frey seems driven by public safety and City Question 2 — the "defund the police" question. Very simply, Mayor Frey is seen as reliable on public safety, and he is a "no" on Question 2. Candidates Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth are both "yes" on Question 2. But of course, we have ranked-choice voting. Let me raise this fact explicitly to suggest an approach for voters who share the board's apparent view that City Question 2 and the public safety issue are of deciding importance this year. If you do consider Nezhad or Knuth — or any "yes on Question 2" candidate — just don't rank them ahead of Frey. However, do take a look at the positions of other mayoral candidates. Here's the crucial practical issue: As long as you don't rank Nezhad, Knuth, or any "yes on 2" candidate ahead of Frey, then as trailing candidates are eliminated during the vote-counting process your vote will end up counting to re-elect Frey. But with this approach, you'll also learn something from listening to other candidates — and your vote for alternative candidates will promote and advance the ideas and issues we're raising. Bob "Again" Carney Jr., Minneapolis The writer is a Republican candidate for mayor. RANKED-CHOICE VOTING Don't forget majority support The report on ranked-choice voting ( "How ranked-choice voting works in Mpls.," Oct. 10) omitted the most important purpose of implementing the "instant runoff" system. Ranking choices ensures that the winner of an election is supported by a majority of voters at some level! Otherwise only a plurality of voters elects the winner, which is often the case when three or more candidates are running for a position. This was the main reason I supported implementing RCV in Minnetonka. Eric L. Bressler, Minnetonka SETTLEMENTS We can end predatory practices Commercial firms that prey upon victims of personal injury are also lurking in probate proceedings ( "Lifelong payments gone," front page, Oct. 3). Such firms use a similar predatory practice of obtaining an assignment of the interest of an heir in an estate for an immediate cash payment that is a fraction of the amount that the heir would receive simply by waiting several months for the completion of the administration of the estate. This tactic can be successful especially when the heir is an elderly person with diminished cognitive capacity or with diminished financial resources. The remedy is fair practices legislation that requires these firms to pay the present value of the assigned interest. Michael W. McNabb, Lakeville The writer is an attorney. ••• If we start with the premise that most structured settlement damage awards reflect the expected monthly financial needs of the damaged party, any disruption to that financial flow could severely affect the financial viability of that person. So why on earth are predatory companies legally given free license to carry on such behavior on anyone, let alone those most desperate or mentally incapable of financial understanding? ( "Judges hampered by doubts, vague laws," Oct. 7.) Some may focus on individual freedoms, free enterprise, fulfilling alternative needs or other such nonsense, but why do our "vague laws" continue to allow such outright fraudulent behavior that cheats some of the most vulnerable of individuals, or anyone else for that matter? The complexity of these cases requires a thorough review by a judge and certified financial consultant to determine all the facts: current needs for lump-sum cash, alternative sources of income, individual's balance sheet and income statements, ability to survive with a reduced monthly income, etc. There should be discussion of whether structured payments stop at death or continue to any heirs. Finally, if a transaction is allowed by the court, the amount should reflect the present value of the future stream of income — and certainly not be pennies on the dollar! — minus a reasonable fee for profit and any risk of loss to the buyer. It appears that some common sense here could significantly improve this process, which has become long overdue. Thankfully, Minnesota lawmakers are finally taking notice ( "Leaders vow to fix predatory practices," Oct. 10) and will hopefully follow through with new laws to reform this process to one that will truly and fairly consider all the best interests of anyone seeking such financial transactions. Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis ••• This Star Tribune report was very welcome investigative reporting. I have known many people who were given very large settlements, and it led to disaster. I really appreciated how the reporters so succinctly explained how the money can quickly disappear. It clearly explains for everyone who may think, as the owners of the structured settlement industry do, that their "recipients" have not adapted many of the necessary basic life skills that normal people must gain to survive in the world. The report lays out in a very detailed, well executed way how some people think they have nothing to lose, when they don't even understand what losing is. Thank you for this excellent, in-depth reporting. Carla McClellan, Minneapolis VACCINES This is what faith means to you? I am disturbed to read that most health care workers behind a lawsuit now have exemptions from the vaccine mandate — supposedly for religious reasons ( "Vaccine mandate suit at crossroad," Oct. 14). As a religious person myself, I am tired of people using religion as an excuse to not follow legal mandates that are in the best interests of people in general. It is reasonable that people treating COVID should themselves be vaccinated so they won't be spreading the disease while working. There is nothing in the Bible, Qur'an or Torah about vaccines. To pretend there is instruction about medical procedures that were not yet invented is preposterous. It is this kind of folly in the name of religion that perpetuates the false notion that religion is the home of ignorance rather than the home of greater understanding, true morality and hope for the future. Sandra Adelmund, Coon Rapids We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here . MORE→
yesterday
Oct 16, 2021

 
 
 
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Metro briefs: Bloomington, Minnetonka roll out ranked-choice voting
startribune.com
Article
3281 chars
Star Tribune
ContextualWeb
Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
Bloomington and Minnetonka will be among five Minnesota cities using ranked-choice voting when they implement it for the first time in the November election. The west metro cities join Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Louis Park, which have already implemented the system that allows voters to rank multiple candidates instead of choosing just one. Minneapolis and St. Paul have used the system for years, while St. Louis Park adopted ranked-choice voting in 2018. St. Paul and Bloomington allow voters to rank up to six candidates for each office, while Minneapolis, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park allow voters to rank up to three choices. The five cities represent 16% of votes in the state, according to the organization FairVote Minnesota. Kim Hyatt HENNEPIN COUNTY Libraries expanding hours systemwide Nearly all of Hennepin County's libraries will expand their hours starting Oct. 24, in an effort to restore service to pre-pandemic levels and better meet patron needs. The system's largest libraries will have the greatest increase, with 20 hours per week added at Minneapolis Central, Brookdale, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Ridgedale and Southdale. Most other libraries will have an increase of eight hours per week. Several libraries are also bringing back in-person storytelling events. The Osseo and St. Bonifacius libraries are only accepting returns; reopening dates haven't been determined. Visitors are required to wear face masks. To find new library hours, visit hclib.org. DAVID CHANEN Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan District proposes boundary changes District 196 is proposing changes to attendance area boundaries to improve crowded conditions at Rosemount High School and Rosemount Middle School by making better use of space at other schools. Rosemount High is over capacity by 400 students while Rosemount Middle has 40 more students than it was designed to serve. There are four proposed changes at each level. If approved, all students living in the city of Rosemount would stay in the Rosemount High attendance area. Six hundred students in the outermost parts of the Rosemount High attendance area would go to three other high schools — Apple Valley, Eagan and Eastview. Some students in the Rosemount Middle attendance area would go to Dakota Hills and Scott Highlands, and parts of the Scott Highlands attendance area would shift to Falcon Ridge and Valley middle schools. The phased changes would begin next year. Students could choose to start at their new school right away or finish middle or high school where they are. Three informational meetings will be held this week: Monday at Rosemount High School's performing arts center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and at Scott Highlands Middle School's cafeteria from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Tuesday, a meeting is planned at Rosemount Middle School's cafeteria from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Families can provide input on the recommendations at District196.org/Attendance­Input through Oct. 22. Erin Adler MORE→
yesterday
Oct 16, 2021

 
 
 
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Clearwater drops ranked choice voting referendum
tbnweekly.com
Article
389 chars
TBNweekly
Tracey Mcmanus, Tampa Bay Times
Newscatcher
CLEARWATER — After months of discussion, residents will not see a ballot question in March on whether they want to change the city’s elections into a system where voters rank
Florida Department of Health continues to report fewer new COVID-19 cases in its weekly reports. For Oct. 1-7, DOH reported only 25,792 new cases (3,970 a day) the smallest number in more than three months. MORE→
yesterday
Oct 16, 2021
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