Friday, August 03, 2007

Strib-Letter: Appreciation

I enjoy looking through Letters to the Editor (and Netlets) at the Star-Tribune. They often show the kind of thinking (left-leaning at best and moonbattery at worst) not just from the legion of hand-wringing readers, but from the reporters and editors inside the Red Star.

Ocassionally, they print a contrary opinion. Maybe they print them to show how "weird" those few and rare Minnesota conservatives think and live. However, sometimes they manage to understand the tone and the atmosphere of the subject at hand and they print the right letters.

This is where I give credit where credit is due.

Netlets for Thursday August 2

In the aftermath of Wednesday's bridge tragedy, Minnesotans can take pride in the bravery and professionalism of our emergency workers, and in reports of survivors who helped evacuate a school bus full of children before rushing on to safety.
We can honor their courage, and the memory of the lost, by broadening the definition of "homeland security" to include a sustained commitment to intelligently strengthen our country's aging infrastructure.

The only point I disagree with is in his last comment. Working on infrastructure such as roads and bridges is a role of government, one that shouldn't require special action.


And also in prayer

Let's thank God for the number of many hands that made lighter the work during the tragedy Wednesday. Let's remember that it will take many hands to do the same in the months and years to come.

A word to our elected officials: Put your finger-pointing hand to good use. Cover your mouth and think before speaking, and use your cell and keyboard to call upon creative, competent men and women to see that this doesn't happen again.

Finally, put both of your hands together and pray for wisdom and understanding. We'll be doing the same and keeping an eye on you.

Mr. Walker, you should send a special letter to the Star-Tribune's own Nick Coleman. Who knows, perhaps the Strib printed his letter as a small counter to Coleman's rediculous column.

Letters to the Editor for Friday, August 3

We stood tall ...

The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge was truly a horrific event, and our sympathies should first and foremost be with the victims of this accident.

As I watched CNN and others unfold the grim details I realized a sense of pride in the way Minnesota was handling this disaster. The level of professionalism and preparedness shown by the responders and their leadership was unique in the face of this dire event. Those interviewed by the media, whether they were police, fire, medical or others, spoke with compassion, concern and competency not always apparent in other areas. Even our often-maligned elected officials stood tall.

There will be much dialogue regarding the cause of such a failure. Repercussions may result, but in the face of an extreme situation on Aug. 1, 2007, Minnesotans did very, very well.

Everyone but Don Shelby looked pretty good. Shelby, apparently, acted like a damn fool.

Someone else mentioned another lame element to the television news.

Thumbs down to TV

The collapse of the I-35W bridge Wednesday evening has undoubtedly affected all of us who call the Twin Cities our home. I commend the efforts of firefighters, medical teams, and all other invaluable individuals and organizations who worked throughout the night to rescue victims and reunite families. However, I found the local TV media coverage of this catastrophe very insensitive to the victims and, for the most part, devoid of news value.

KARE-TV, Ch. 11, showed an injured woman being lifted into an ambulance while a man was standing between the woman and the camera man, telling the camera team to back off and give the injured woman and health care providers some space and privacy. The camera team responded merely by airing more footage. Just moments later, two young men were interviewed at the wreckage site. It soon became apparent that neither of them could provide any information as to why the bridge collapsed, and only offered descriptions of "bodies flailing" in the river.

One would hope that a local news team would show more consideration and respect for their neighbors with whom they share the community.

Regarding the finger pointing folks are talking about...

Bridges are crying for help

I drove over the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge three times on Aug. 1. The shock of this bridge collapsing rocked me like 9/11. I wanted to cry, and did. So many thoughts went through my head. I went home and turned on the TV.

I have worked with the highway construction companies. They have been begging for increased funding for years.

Based on my clients' objective analysis, I believe there are many bridges around the state, and country that need help. This is a warning to do something.

The title is a little melodramatic, but that was not likely something Mr. Gubrud wrote. That's the work of the paper. In any case, that's hardly something to get too worked up over. The letter is perfectly fine.


Grieving from afar

Please know that any worker who has ever been involved in bridge construction or rehabilitation grieves with your city today. We ache at the thought of this happening to a bridge we may have worked on. Each one of us is asking ourselves, "Did I do something that may have contributed to this tragic event?"

I can't speak for all construction workers, but I know a great many are sending their prayers to Minnesota right now.


Of course, after all of that we have a series of finger-pointing letters with snark and jackassary.

Perhaps I'll cover them later.

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