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Readers Write: Making Minnesota a sanctuary, recycling lumber, friends, D.J. Tice, words

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Readers Write: Making Minnesota a sanctuary, recycling lumber, friends, D.J. Tice, words


Opinion editor’s note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes letters from readers online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.

•••

Enough is enough!

I almost choked on my coffee when I saw the headline in the Sunday paper about a bill that would make Minnesota a “sanctuary state” (“Bill would make Minn. a sanctuary,” Feb. 4).

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Personally, I’m all for immigration as long as it is done according to the laws we have. When the rules for immigration are followed, there is no need for “sanctuary” of any type. Sneaking across the border is bad enough, and offering sanctuary to anyone who thumbs their nose at our laws is infuriating. Why should there be immigration laws in place to protect our sovereignty and safety if some misguided fools offer to protect those who chose to flout our laws? To make such an asinine decision to make Minnesota a sanctuary state is a kick to the crotch to the majority of Minnesota residents and opens this state to busloads of lawbreakers like we’ve seen happen to New York — and the problems come with it. Making Minnesota a sanctuary state does nothing to help this nation’s immigration problem and will only encourage more lawbreakers.

The vast majority of these illegal immigrants are not running from a hostile government in their own country but are economic refugees seeking a better paycheck. That is not a reason to offer them “sanctuary,” especially if they have entered this country illegally.

Democrats, you are on notice. (I was once a registered Democrat, but now am an independent.) Put an end to this stupidity, do the work you were voted in to do for the citizens of Minnesota to make this state a better place for those of us who actually pay taxes — which are high enough already. Are you going to reach in my pockets for a few more dollars to pay for this wrongheaded idea? You were not elected to solve the world’s problems or offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

Wes Hickman, Stacy, Minn.

•••

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I had to do a double take when I read that the Minnesota DFL was proposing to pass a law called the North Star Act to make Minnesota a sanctuary state, essentially permitting illegal immigrants free rein in the state. With the crisis at our southern border already out of control, how in good conscience could the DFL propose such a law? What is it that the party doesn’t understand that people crossing our border illegally are breaking the rule of law to begin with? Indeed, the Biden administration has been incredibly irresponsible and derelict in enforcing our immigration laws. For the DFL to pass this law would essentially be encouraging more illegal immigrants to enter our country and endorse the failed Biden policies.

In a recent CBS poll done Jan. 3-5, 63% of Americans said our border policies should be tougher. In the same poll, 93% of Americans classified the border problems as somewhat serious, very serious or a crisis, with the vast majority (75%) citing the latter two. Sanctuary cities by definition should be illegal to begin with. It’s one arm of the government essentially defying federal law and encouraging people to break it. Although the DFL has a slim majority, its entire agenda has been heavily left-leaning. So much for Gov. Tim Walz’s campaign promise of “One Minnesota”! A good reason to have divided government!

In addition to the proposed North Star Act being in complete defiance of federal immigration laws, it would put undue pressure on Minnesota’s educational, health care and social services systems. Just look at the problems in Chicago and New York, where some students have been forced out of their schools to house illegal immigrants. I suggest if this law passes, every DFL politician should house an illegal immigrant family and pay for their shelter, food, education, health care services, etc., rather than putting the burden on the rest of Minnesotans.

Steve Hayden, Eden Prairie

REUSING LUMBER

Exactly what we should all be doing

I write in support of the “guerrilla” recycling business highlighted Sunday in the Star Tribune (“Lumber gets second life, splintering rules,” Feb. 4). LumberStash is picking up and selling left over lumber from the owner’s driveway to keep it from ending up in the landfill. My garage stores a history of lumber left from various repair projects. Most recently, hail damage gave me a new and bountiful supply of lumber I knew would end up in the landfill if I didn’t ask for it. I’m already using some of it.

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My dad built affordable homes before that was known terminology. The house I grew up in was built in Bloomington in 1948 when I was 2, so my siblings and I could grow up in the country. Dad borrowed $500 from my grandfather and built the house largely with lumber and other materials he offered to haul away when a Minneapolis school building was torn down.

I understand the need for residential codes, but there is also need for businesses like LumberStash to be given larger driveways somewhere to succeed. It’s not just the lower costs for the many consumers who need that. It’s the decrease in environmental pollutants needed by all of us, whether we recognize it or not.

Larry Johnson, Golden Valley

FRIENDSHIPS

Long live new friends

It was interesting reading about Anna Bonavita’s efforts to gather a group of new friends here in Minneapolis (“Are you lonely?”). It reminded me of my experience moving here in 1981. I also found it very hard to break into existing social circles. It wasn’t that people were unfriendly. They just didn’t really think about including us. They had had their own group of friends for years, and sort of assumed everybody else did as well, I guess. At one point someone put an ad in the Twin Cities Reader and started a “Non-Twin Cities Native Group” that got together regularly at local haunts. I remember going to those. What’s old is new again!

Sheryl O’Connor, Minneapolis

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D.J. TICE

Cheers to a fulfilling retirement

Regarding “No room for debate: It’s been a great career” (Feb. 4): Back in 2015, D.J. Tice wrote an eloquent and moving commentary regarding the sorrow he felt over losing his pet, Lucky. The piece, titled, “Of life and death and love and dogs,” described his journey with Lucky, a stray dog, who was also his buddy, soul mate and loyal companion. As Lucky aged and became blind, Tice reflected in his commentary, “life was sadly diminished after that, but Lucky soldiered on.” Tice continued, “He suffered many stumbles, was bruised by many obstacles, but he found his way to the joys that could still be reached, rather as he found his way up and down stairs — lifting a paw into the air and sticking it out into the darkness, feeling for the next step.”

Mr. Tice, your thoughts and ideas, whether we agreed with you or not, have certainly kept us informed and on our toes! Your insights were something we could dissect and chew on.

Eight years ago your story ended with the hope that one day you too would use Lucky’s example and stick a foot out into the darkness in hopes of finding the next step. We wish you well and so much luck in your retirement. Congratulations to you on a fruitful and dynamic career in journalism!

Sharon E. Carlson, Andover

WORDS

No dictionaries here

I could relate to Gary Gilson’s frustration voiced in his column regarding writers using “big” words nobody knows the meaning of (“No need to drive readers to dictionary,” Feb. 4). I, too, hate it when people are sesquipedalian.

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Doug Williams, Robbinsdale



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Minnesota

Minnesota's budget forecast shows improvement, $3.7B surplus projected

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Minnesota's budget forecast shows improvement, $3.7B surplus projected


Minnesota’s budget and economic outlook has shown improvement since the last budget forecast, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) said Thursday. 

The 2024-25 biennium is now projected to end with a surplus of $3.715 billion, which is an increase of $1.324 billion compared to the projections in November, MMB said. However, a budget deficit does loom. 

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“The near-term economic outlook has improved, with growth expected to persist through 2027,” MMB’s website states. “Higher collections so far this fiscal year raise the current biennium forecast for all major tax types. Corporate tax revenue shows the largest change, driven by higher-than-expected corporate profits through the forecast horizon. Spending estimates are largely unchanged from November.”

MMB added, “The higher revenue forecast throughout the FY 2024-27 planning horizon results in improvement to the structural budgetary balance, but spending is still projected to exceed revenue through FY 2027.”

Every two years, Minnesota politicians create a state budget, which they passed last spring. The projected budget surplus will allow Democrats to continue to shape state priorities as the party deems necessary, having control of the House, Senate, and governor’s office.

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This is a developing story. Officials plan to hold a press conference at 8:30 a.m. Watch it live in the player above. 



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Basketball Games on TV in Minnesota: Channel Info & Live Streams – February 29

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Basketball Games on TV in Minnesota: Channel Info & Live Streams – February 29


We’ve got 26 college hoops games to watch in Minnesota on Thursday, February 29 — one men’s, one women’s, and 24 high school. Interested in how to watch? You’ve come to the right place.

Sign up for Fubo, Max, ESPN+, and NFHS Network to make sure you don’t miss out watching a single basketball game.

Minnesota Men’s College Basketball Games Today

Omaha Mavericks at Saint Thomas Tommies

  • TV Channel: Summit League Network
  • Game Time: 8:00 PM ET

Minnesota Women’s College Basketball Games Today

Saint Thomas Tommies at Omaha Mavericks

Minnesota High School Basketball Games Today

Boys Basketball

Stream Live Game Time Location
Cloquet High School at
Proctor High School
Watch on NFHS Network 5:30 PM CT Proctor, MN
Washburn High School at
St. Anthony Village High School
Watch on NFHS Network 6:00 PM CT St. Anthony, MN
South St. Paul Secondary School at
Como Park High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Saint Paul, MN
Mora High School at
Spectrum High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Elk River, MN
Mesabi East High School at
Mountain Iron-Buhl High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Mountain Iron, MN
Wabasha-Kellogg High School at
Southland High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Adams, MN
Big Lake High School at
Chisago Lakes Area High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Lindstrom, MN
St Paul Academy and Summit School at
Trinity School at River Ridge
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Saint Paul, MN
Maple Grove Senior High School at
Rosemount High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Rosemount, MN
St Paul Central High School at
Minneapolis Southwest High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Minneapolis, MN
United Christian Academy at
Avail Academy High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Fridley, MN
Brandon-Evansville High School at
Ashby High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:15 PM CT Ashby, MN
International Falls High School at
Littlefork-Big Falls High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:15 PM CT Littlefork, MN

Girls Basketball

Stream Live Game Time Location
Luverne High School at
Fairmont High School
Watch on NFHS Network 6:00 PM CT Fairmont, MN
Aitkin High School at
Crosby-Ironton High School
Watch on NFHS Network 6:00 PM CT Crosby, MN
Deer River High School at
Chisholm High School
Watch on NFHS Network 6:00 PM CT Chisholm, MN
Rockford High School at
Southwest Christian High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Chaska, MN
Dassel-Cokato High School at
Blake School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Minneapolis, MN
Liberty Classical Academy at
West Lutheran High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Minneapolis, MN
Sebeka High School at
Bertha-Hewitt High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Bertha, MN
Wadena Deer Creek High School at
Park Rapids Area High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT Park Rapids, MN
Columbia Heights High School at
St Paul Academy and Summit School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:00 PM CT St. Paul, MN
Staples Motley High School at
Proctor High School
Watch on NFHS Network 7:30 PM CT Proctor, MN
Belle Plaine High School at
Tri-City United
Watch on NFHS Network 7:45 PM CT Montogomery, MN

© 2023 Data Skrive. All rights reserved.



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OPINION EXCHANGE | What in vitro fertilization meant to my Minnesota family

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OPINION EXCHANGE  |  What in vitro fertilization meant to my Minnesota family


Opinion editor’s note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes a mix of national and local commentaries online and in print each day. To contribute, click here.

•••

No young person planning to start a family imagines they will be one of the one in seven that will struggle with infertility. Similarly, no one imagines they or their partner will receive a cancer diagnosis.

My family is part of an unlucky, although not rare, group that has had to manage both.

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At a time when in vitro fertilization (IVF) and infertility treatments are making national headlines in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court decision that ruled frozen embryos are considered human beings under state law, people all over the country are concerned about access to IVF and the ripple effect this will have across other states.

Ten years ago, my then-boyfriend Ryan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia — a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He was 26. We had only been dating a year. We learned that the full-body radiation he needed would likely leave him infertile. Ryan decided to save his sperm.

While his cancer treatment was covered under insurance, fertility preservation was not — despite the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization defining infertility as a disease.

Thankfully, the cancer treatment was successful, and Ryan was in remission after a year. He did, however, have many post-treatment side effects like tooth deterioration, cataracts and osteonecrosis that all required care and expenses. He was also paying $300 a year to store his sperm.

In 2020 Ryan and I got engaged and thought about our future family. We tried to get pregnant without intervention but weren’t successful, which was no surprise due to Ryan’s health history. My physician recommended IVF but the costs start at $15,000 to $20,000. The process is also emotionally and physically draining.

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We were lucky that my employer-based health insurance covered some IVF costs, but we would still pay around $12,000 out-of-pocket. Many Minnesotans have no infertility coverage.

Cancer took away so much of a normal life for Ryan in his 20s. We were not willing to let it take away our dream to be parents. We went ahead with IVF, and it was successful on our first try. We welcomed our beautiful daughter, Kennedy, in June 2022. She is here today because of IVF.

Now she’s a toddler, and we want nothing more than to have a second child. We have two frozen embryos in storage, but we haven’t done IVF again because we’re not sure if we can afford it. To save as much money as we can, we’ve avoided planning a wedding. We’re paying $600 a year to store our embryos. Yet every year we wait, the less likely an IVF cycle is to be successful.

Now we have something in common with IVF couples in Alabama. They are unsure what the future holds for their frozen embryos. IVF clinics there are already pausing treatments as they weigh legal risks.

The Alabama decision is another clear sign we need to make sure the approximately 185,000 Minnesotans facing infertility have access to affordable care. The Minnesota Building Families Act would require state-regulated insurance to cover diagnoses and treatments for infertility, as well as standard fertility preservation services for medically induced infertility (e.g., for cancer patients). Twenty-one other states have already passed fertility insurance laws.

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No one desires to start a family by using IVF. However, it is often the only effective medical treatment option. Adoption can also be a wonderful choice, but it’s not for everyone and can even cost more than IVF. Would-be parents deserve options so they can choose to grow their family in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Dealing with cancer is difficult and life-changing. Having the additional burden of an infertility diagnosis should not come with a crippling cost for any hope of having a family.

It is more crucial than ever to take action and support the Minnesota Building Families Act to ensure that Minnesota is and remains a pro-baby, pro-family state, and that hopeful families get the infertility treatments they need.

Jennifer Stein is a Minnesota advocate for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She lives in Champlin with her fiancé, Ryan, and their daughter, Kennedy.

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