Readers Write: Police PTSD Claims, “Virginia Model”, Minnesota’s Exports, Fusion Energy, Rondo – Natural Self Esteem

Why do we allow our elected officials to continue wringing their collective hands to secure payouts for police officers? (Front page, April 3.) We should force them to take the one big step it takes to begin solving the problems of every police department in our state. Our state and cities need to start requiring officers to have professional indemnity insurance as a condition of employment.

Instead of paying millions in city funds to victims of police misconduct, we should put the onus on officers to ensure and certify that they have a personal stake in police practice. Only then will you see the officers’ behavior change. Only then will the officials surrounding the villains act quickly to protect their professional liability insurance and livelihoods from damage caused by bad actors. The events that caused the rise in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) claims would have been far less likely to have occurred if the officers causing the problem had already been accounted for by their co-officers with a large stake in the game.

Gregory Groess, Andover

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When I Googled “Minneapolis PTSD Claims,” ​​the first entry was an ad titled “Police Officers and Firefighters Make the Most of Your PTSD Claim.” Perhaps this helps explain the Public Employees Retirement Association statistics cited in the well-researched Star Tribune article: Of Minnesota public safety employee disability claims from August 2020 through December 2021 (most of them related to PTSD), 43 were % filed in Minneapolis, 9% in St. Paul.

Judith Monson, St Paul

‘VIRGINIA MODEL’

I always chuckle when I read about a “new” Minnesota GOP approach to winning elections (“GOP taps ‘Virginia model’ in hopes of November Sweep,” April 3).

The “Virginia Model,” awkwardly named and first revealed because Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in that state last fall, is being presented as a possibility for that state’s GOP party, the House of Representatives, and fall to take over the governor’s office. The article says it was Youngkin’s focus “on the economy, public safety and more parental control in the classroom” that brought about his win, and Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt is now drooling over the prospects.

Minnesota’s economy is healthier than the country’s even after the country added more than 400,000 jobs in each of the last 11 months. Unemployment continues to fall and corporate profits are good. Minnesota’s cash surplus was largely the result of unexpected sales and corporate/income tax receipts, a signal of a growing economy. Gov. Tim Walz has taken difficult steps to ensure public safety during the pandemic, and he continues to advance action to protect public health by supporting efforts to reduce pollution and use of fossil fuels.

As for parental control in education, get serious! Access to teachers, curriculum directors, and course content is already available in every Minnesota school district. Would you like to get more involved? You will be welcomed.

It’s reassuring to know that these three issues are important to the Minnesota GOP now. Achieving good things together just got a lot easier.

Loren W. Brabec, Braham, Minn.

SPORTS BETTING

It was with more than a little dismay that I read the April 3 editorial supporting legalized sports gambling in the state (“The Time for Sports Betting May Have Come”). But not for reasons readers might think. That’s because the Star Tribune editorial board suggests that a portion of the proceeds should be used to support youth sports competitions.

Why is that? Is it because sports stars are constantly signing multi-million dollar deals? Perhaps it’s time an equal amount was spent on academic competitions, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) competitions. These competitions are rarely reported, but are constantly touted as the country’s future. In contrast, the sports section on Sunday comprised 14 pages. Maybe it’s time to reconsider our priorities.

Peter Lilienthal, Minneapolis

MINNESOTA’S EXPORTS

I was interested to read about Minnesota’s exports in the April 3 article Curious Minnesota. For me, it was a good report that put Minnesota’s manufacturing and manufacturing industries in perspective and reminded me of where most of our state’s produce went.

It occurred to me that this information should be better known among all of us in Minnesota, part of our common knowledge base. It should be taught in social studies classes, reinforced by teachers throughout our students’ school years, and used by guidance counselors for career planning. We expect our residents to know a variety of basic facts about our state; knowledge of the basics of our country’s economy are part of it.

Lois Willand, Minneapolis

FUSION ENERGY

Jon R. Clark’s April 3 commentary, “If there was ever a time to turn our energy to fusion,” encourages us to move forward full steam ahead to making fusion energy available for large-scale power generation. Controlled fusion reactions have been studied for decades and much is known about them. Most of the negatives are buried and only the positives are heard.

The Sun uses hydrogen under extreme pressure and high temperatures to form an isotope of helium without emitting any radiation. The mass difference between two hydrogen atoms and one helium atom is released as heat according to Einstein’s equation E = mc2. On Earth we don’t have a vessel to hold the high temperatures and pressures required to use hydrogen as a fuel. We must use a vessel containing a plasma composed of fully ionized atoms with powerful magnets. Since we cannot reach the pressure of the sun, we have to replace the hydrogen with deuterium and/or tritium, and we get helium and a bunch of high-energy neutrons. These neutrons make up much of the energy released by the reaction. The neutrons also activate the nuclei of the materials containing the plasma, and so the container becomes radioactive waste. The neutrons from a fusion reactor can be used to create plutonium by irradiating uranium-238, allowing the reactor to be used to make bomb fuel. Fusion will probably not be a significant positive factor in the energy sector for a long time.

See “Fusion Reactors: Not What They’re Intended For” (tinyurl.com/bulletin-fusion).

Martin Urberg, Edina

‘RONDO RESURRECTION?’

“Rondo resurrected? That’s her plan” (local section, April 3) omits many necessary points of discussion. Such as: how a land bridge of homes and businesses could be financed to become primarily black owned; how is that even a legal goal; where the vast amount of equipment, components, materials and supplies leading up to and during the construction project can be stored without demolishing (many?) existing houses and buildings; how side effects such as air, dust, smoke and noise pollution are mitigated; and given known real-time challenges in this regard, how will expected rising property values ​​and property taxes affect the near- and long-term ability of probable Black owners to acquire and retain property for generations to come.

In addition, please inform us of ongoing strategies to gain sufficient public, legislative, state, and federal support given the divisive political environment in Minnesota and the nation. Finally, let the public know how you can participate in these discussions.

The resurrection of the Rondo community is a timely, worthy goal. However, reconciling goals and dreams with real, informative details must surely become a top priority in the continued publication of related news.

Jim Cox, Circle Pines

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