Letters to the Editor for April 11, 2014

Solution today will avoid future catastrophe

To the Editor:

Today nearly 2.5 million commuters drive across more than 1,000 deficient bridges every day. The images from the fatal Interstate 35W bridge collapse are still vivid in our memories while more recent examples like Duluth’s I-35 bridge column that collapsed, closing a major artery for the region and our state, prove that we can’t wait until collapse, fatality or closures force us to deal with the problem. We need a comprehensive solution that will address the problems today and avoid catastrophe in the future.

We’ve seen what investments in transportation can do. Without the 2008 funding, crumbling river bridges in Hastings, Red Wing, Winona and St. Paul would not have been replaced. Many needed bridge improvement are shovel-ready, but we don’t have the funding to begin construction.

This is an issue of safety for our families and economic development for our businesses that need efficient roads the move freight without delays and restrictions.

After almost 25 years of neglect, the Minnesota Legislature has an opportunity to fix the state’s roads and bridges and invest in our critical transportation needs. Contact your legislators and tell them to make transportation a priority in 2014.

Bart Andersen

Be careful what you wish for

To the Editor:

Many people (eg. Rod Kuehn, April 4) seem to have a distorted view of Christianity as an ugly amalgamated caricature of the worst elements of religious history.

Christianity is about recognizing our need for a Savior, that we are all imperfect. It is about the joy of finding a way out of hopelessness, and the desire to share that joy with others. And it is about how we should behave in the realization that God Himself suffered and died for each of us, personally.

Christians do not “[demand] the right to control the lives of others,” but we prefer to live in a society and with a government that is not hostile to our beliefs. Hence our support for life, over the death of innocents; our support for male-female God honoring marriage, over same sex relationships that serve man; and our belief in a conscious moral design of the universe, over a system that teaches we are little different from salamanders.

Christians feel religiously violated when we are compelled to actively participate in activities we consider sinful, such as paying for death pills; assisting abomination with cakes and flowers; or teaching that we are not God’s created and loved beings.

But we can live with that. We can even die with that, because we know Jesus will be victorious and in fact already is. We have the peace of the cross. But we also see a lost humanity careening toward disaster. And as Christians, we are called to proclaim the message of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. And the best of us does so with a joyful heart.

If you wish to silence that message, be careful what you wish for. And ask yourself if you are being intolerant.

Jeff Bauman
Coon Rapids

Bill a disservice to patients

To the Editor:

I want to alert citizens of House bill file 435 and Senate bill file 511. As a practicing pain physician in Blaine, Minnesota at Midwest Spine Institute, this bill would allow certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice in a dangerous specialty of interventional pain management (IPM). IPM involves injecting medications and burning nerves near the spine or brain to help people with chronic back and neck pain.

The big loser of this bill would be the patients. CRNAs would perform all of these procedures in hospitals. Hospitals are more expensive than outpatients clinics – on average seven to 10 times more expensive for the same procedure. CRNAs also get paid three times more money than a doctor performing the same procedure. This is ironic with the main point being that CRNAs win big financially at the cost to the patient. Health care is already too expensive.

Besides the significant increase in health care costs, CRNAs have no training to perform these dangerous injections!

Sometimes a millimeter is the difference between pain relief and paralysis. The people of Anoka, Blaine and Coon Rapids should be aware of this potential dangerous bill. I assume everyone expects when they go to a hospital that if a procedure can cause death or paralyzation, it should be done by a physician with extensive training in how to do the procedure. I encourage anyone who needs spinal care for chronic pain to object to CRNAs untrained to do these dangerous procedures.
I am encouraging people to write to their local legislator objecting to these bills. Thank you for taking the time to read about my concerns.

Mark Janiga M.D. DABPM

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