Letters to the Editor for May 2, 2014

Residents concerned with Main Street access

To the Editor:

As members of the Woods at Quail Creek community in Blaine, we would like to offer some additional perspective on your paper’s recent article (“Access to neighborhood big issue on Main Street project,” April 24, 2014).

The major concern for our rapidly growing community centers on the proposal for restricted right-in-right-out access to our neighborhood beginning in 2015, upon completion of the 125th Avenue reconstruction project.

This proposal not only causes considerable safety and serviceability concerns for all Blaine residents using Main Street (unnecessary, dangerous traffic maneuvers, heavier traffic through The Lakes, and issues with school bus and emergency vehicle traffic), but also a major inconvenience for all surrounding developments. These are all driven by the recommendation of the project’s designers for motorists to perform dangerous U-turns at either Harper’s Street or Cloud Drive (both already busy intersections along Main) when coming home from the west, or when exiting the development heading East, on 125th Avenue.

The current plans appear to be shortsighted for the speed at which the area is growing. As the third phase of our development nears completion, our once small neighborhood will be a sizeable community of 109 homes, all sharing the same right-in-right-out access point to 125th Avenue. This, coupled with the large church planned to open across the street from our development, will only increase traffic at the already busy intersections along 125th Avenue.

What we’re asking for already has precedence set, in many cases along Radisson Road and Lexington Avenue – to simply be afforded safe, convenient, logical full access to our neighborhood.

We ask that other Blaine residents concerned with road safety, convenience, serviceability, and a pragmatic approach to these things, review the information related to the 125th Avenue reconstruction project at http://www.sehinc.com/online/blaine14.

Then, contact the project manager, Mark Dierling (mdierling@sehinc.com) and Associate City Engineer Dan Schluender (dschluender@ci.blaine.mn.us) to voice their concerns, resulting in full access at Xylite Street and 125th Avenue.

Dan Markus
and Matt Graff
Blaine

Reputation was more important than safety

To the Editor:

A recent letter-writer is concerned that the entire Catholic Church is being vilified for the actions of a few priests.

It is true that any large number of people will include some bad apples.  It’s also true that the uproar would have been avoided If the offenders had been removed.  Instead, bishops protected the criminal priests and moved them from one parish to the next.

The predatory rights of the priests and the Church’s reputation were more important than the welfare of the children.

Church officials then viciously attacked the complaining victims as anti-Catholic and had to whisk one cardinal out of the country just ahead of the law.  The Vatican continues to protect the offending bishops.  Now the Vatican claims it has no control over the bishops and is therefore not criminally or financially liable for their actions.

Archbishop Nienstedt’s deposition didn’t go well, either.  He was forced to admit that discussions of priestly misconduct were undocumented specifically to block legal discovery.

Their disgraceful handling of priestly criminality has landed them in front of the United Nations Committee on Torture.  The Vatican is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture and is now being held legally accountable for its protection of serial rapists.

While defective priests are an obvious problem, I can’t help but think that such behavior was widely known by the other priests and by the nuns.  Why did no one speak out?  The worldwide nature of the problem and the Church’s uniform response strongly suggest that these outrages are an integral part of the institution.

The sexual corruption of the Catholic hierarchy also begs the question of how many doctrines (celibacy, birth control, male-only priests) are designed for institutional advantage, as opposed to genuine faith / moral statements.

The Catholic Church has done many fine things but has also caused incredible suffering.  Its credibility and moral authority have been obliterated.

Please do not indirectly support the Church hierarchy’s hideously immoral behavior by suggesting that only a few miscreant priests are to blame.

Rod Kuehn
Ramsey

Mental illness research gives hope

To the Editor:

I recently came across a new study that found mental illness is, in fact, not usually linked to criminal activity within the Twin Cities. This research gives me hope. A hope that people will begin to realize that mental illness is not as highly correlated with criminal activity as we believe it to be. A hope that stigma surrounding mental illness will decrease so people can begin to reach out for the help that they need.

Furthermore, that services can be developed around evidence based needs that will be most effective in helping the community members of the Twin Cities. The ScienceDaily article, which can be found at bit.ly/1mswxcJ, makes a wonderful point in urging criminal treatment programs to focus not only on mental health, but specifically on criminal thinking and behavior issues of the individual.

I urge community members of the Twin Cities to learn about and keep an open mind about mental illness. This way, we can come together and provide services to people with mental illness that are effective, cost efficient, and address the real issues.

Jessica McIntyre
Coon Rapids

Take what you see on TV seriously

To the Editor:

Imagine a commercial showing a car hurtling down a dirt road. The car brakes, causing a cloud of dust to appear. Before this dust has settled, the car is already heading in the opposite direction at full speed. Advertisements like this can give consumers false impressions as to the true nature of a car’s potential. The impressions we get from the commercials we see can influence both our car purchases and our everyday driving.

Often we see cars in impossible and obviously imagined situations. These commercials are easy to take with a grain of salt.

However, when the commercial portrays an ordinary situation, such as going to work or taking a road trip, the danger of false impressions grows. Although there is often a phrase that says:“Professional Driver. Closed Course. Do not attempt,” the phrase has lost its meaning through excessive repetition in virtually every car commercial. We tend not to think about the warning, especially if the commercial shows average driving scenarios.

A common commercial theme, and one which is likely to distort our views of both car purchases and driving in general, is cars accelerating as they approach a tight turn. When the car is already traveling at high speeds, accelerating around a turn is likely to end badly unless, like in the example of the quick turnaround, the situation is ideal. We don’t think twice about a car driving down a road and accelerating around a turn, but then the time comes when we are driving, and suddenly what we have seen in the commercials is playing out in front of us as we accelerate around a turn.

I propose that we need to start seriously considering what we see on television. We need to once again take the warning displayed at the bottom of the screen seriously. Certainly, if the makers of the commercial were showing scenes that were true to real life, there would be no need for the warning. Therefore, the need for the warning shows that the need to consciously consider the content of the commercials is real.

Katrina Schrock
Ham Lake

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