Animal welfare

Readers Write: Inflation, Animal Welfare, Mozart’s Wealth, Healthcare

Review Editor’s Note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters readers online and in print every day. To contribute, click here.


I keep hearing the media talking about the worst inflation in 40 years, but I don’t agree with the numbers they present to us. The points of sale speak of inflation around 8 to 9%. What is bad. But in reality, it’s much worse than that. Consider: Dollar Tree stores, which used to sell everything for a dollar, have now increased almost all items to $1.25. That, folks, is a 25% increase. And even Walmart, which claims its sales are down, has increased some items by up to 50%! And last winter, my home’s heating costs doubled from the year before! It is much more than 8 to 9%. God only knows what this winter will bring. It’s definitely not going to get better. And although the price of gasoline has fallen in recent weeks, it is still up from a year ago.

I don’t know where these so-called experts are coming from with the 8-9% inflation increase or the worst inflation in 40 years, because what I’m seeing is the worst inflation increase in the world. history of this country. And it hits us terribly, us people on fixed incomes. President Joe Biden can’t take all the blame, but he’s certainly a huge contributing factor. I wish I had a time machine and could fast forward things to 2024.

Tom R. Kovach, Nevis, Minn.


Biden breaks a lot of records, but they’re all bad. His age and his blunders are not the root cause. Biden’s policies are not working. Its rapid transition away from fossil fuels without adequate green replacements is driving record gasoline and energy prices. Its border policies are allowing record numbers of migrants to cross the border and causing record numbers of fentanyl deaths. His economic policies are causing record inflation and his proposed solutions would make inflation worse. A record number of crimes are being committed due to the ineffective law enforcement policies of Biden and Democrats at other levels of government. And appropriately, Biden’s approval rating is at an all-time high.

Dennis A. Helander, White Bear Lake


As an animal advocate, I was disappointed to read the “Kangaroos and Kinkajous Await You” article (July 23) promoting Sustainable Safari, an indoor zoo for exotic animals located in Maplewood Mall.

The owner claimed that he only acquires animals from USDA approved facilities. In 2021, the USDA inspected and reprimanded Sustainable Safari for obtaining animals from an unauthorized source. The owner also said the animals are acquired as babies. Professionally run zoos do not remove newborn babies from their mothers to facilitate public handling, as the practice is plagued with problems. It deprives baby animals of proper nutrition and maternal care, results in physical ailments and behavioral abnormalities, causes great grief to the fiercely protective mother, and subjects baby animals with weakened immune systems to stressful conditions.

Close encounters with wild animals do not promote conservation. Studies confirm that these public interactions mislead people into believing that certain species are not endangered or threatened in the wild. And that encourages people, mostly unskilled, to get exotic animals as pets. It is also troubling that Sustainable Safari is offering public stewardship of COVID-sensitive species, despite warnings from the USDA that this practice should be discontinued.

Those who care about animals should avoid going to Sustainable Safari and similar attractions that allow the public to handle wild animals.

Megan Helling, Lino Lakes


The reported disapproving public response to biologist Wojciech Solarz in Poland classifying the house cat as an invasive species responsible for killing an estimated 140 million birds in his country each year is a sentiment echoed here in the United States among owners of cats who let their cats roam. free (“Cats, an invasive alien species?” July 27). In the United States, free-ranging domestic cats kill an estimated 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually. Cats compete with native wild carnivores, including raptors, for prey and can transmit disease to them and bring disease back from them as well as prey they consume.

As a veterinarian, I care about the health and well-being of cats that are not kept exclusively at home; about their impact on declining wildlife populations and the many diseases that cats can transmit to humans.

I am also concerned about the apparent lack of civic responsibility and municipal legislation applying the same principles of confinement to owned cats that apply to owned dogs. Adding to this problem in many Minnesota communities, organizations are releasing neutered, short-term rabies-vaccinated cats considered unadoptable to fend for themselves, referred to as TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, and release) , according to the Animal Humane Society releasing approximately 1,000 cats deemed unadoptable each year into their “Community Cat” program. My wife, Deanna Krantz, and I have rescued and housed several of these released cats in our neighborhood.

There are humane alternatives to euthanizing unadopted, healthy cats, and releasing them under the pro-life banner of a “no-kill” shelter or humanitarian organization is not a humane solution. .

Michael W. Fox, Golden Valley


The circumstances of Mozart’s death are tangential to the subject of dynamic pricing (“The Painful Reality of ‘Dynamic Pricing,’ op-ed July 27), but it’s unfortunate that the Star Tribune perpetuated the myth that Mozart died in poverty. By the standards of the time, he was doing quite well. That he was buried in a mass grave without registration was normal for most Viennese.

Paul Riedesel, Minneapolis


Damn, what a hypocrite I am. Having lamented in recent years that people only change their minds on political issues (e.g. abortion, same-sex marriage) after they or someone they love has a personal experience of a problem, I find myself in a similar situation: I am moved to action by writing this letter only because of my very recent personal experience. We should base our opinions on facts and evidence, and yet…

This letter is written to praise the M Health Fairview Hospital and Clinics at the University of Minnesota. After an unplanned surgery last weekend, I feel like I need to let people know something in case they didn’t know: M Health Fairview at U is a leading healthcare provider.

I dragged myself into the emergency room in severe pain on Friday. Diagnosed within hours and I was home and recovering Saturday night.

Of course, there are objective measures of excellence, such as time spent in the emergency room, diagnostic tests performed, number of health care provider visits to the emergency room or hospital room, relief from the pain, the success of the treatment, the hours between diagnosis and discharge, the absence of complications from the surgery and, of course, the medical advances.

However, it was the professionalism, advanced science and friendliness of the staff that touched my heart and moved me to tears. The folks at M Health Fairview have you covered.

Sometimes it’s okay to go ahead and freely offer praise, even when more rational judgments are based on objective information, not our own personal experience.

I invite you to pay attention to the good work that is being done every day at M Health Fairview; there is reason to applaud. Of course, we all know that no human institution can be perfect. Let me tell you, though, we have an absolutely top-notch facility here, and I want everyone to know that. Explore for yourself before you need treatment.

Cindy Greenlaw Benton, Minneapolis