Fairness, compassion come into play as panel divides $36.6 mill...

Pollee Chit, of Mendota Heights, holds tightly to her daughter Alexandra Petry, 4, crying quietly as officials orate about the I-35W bridge disaster and its consequences at a press conference Monday, September ... Read more
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Common Sense

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Sep 16, 2008
and so the 'entitlement' fight begins...... I'm not sure if it can be traced back to Hurricane Andrew, or directly to the September 11TH fund, but how in the world did we get to this point? A disaster occur's and the unfortunate victims automatically are 'entitled' to large sums of money, either from the pockets of good samaritans who want to help (which is fine), or from the coffers of the taxpayers (not so fine). Whatever happened to having life insurance/health insurance? You hear it everytime there is an unfortunate accident or disaster nowdays......how much am I going to get? It's sad that the greed in our country has come to this.
NObs

Galesburg, MI

#2 Sep 16, 2008
These people should not be taking our public money to cover their personal losses. It should be the responsibility of the individual to insure themselves against the risk they are exposed to. That goes for individuals as well as corporations.

If you are worried about having a accident and not being able to work buy disability policy. If you are worried about dying and leaving your family strapped financially go buy a life policy. If you are concerned for your health then I would say go buy a health ins policy but this is MN and you don't need to the state will pay for most of you.

It is complete BS that I have to cover loses from risks that I chose not to expose myself to.
Jeanne

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Sep 16, 2008
Isn't is something how our state can afford to give the bridge builders a bonus for early completion (millions) but they WON'T give more money to the victims of the bridge colapse. Boy - nothing like putting a price on people. How sad.
Jeanne

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Sep 16, 2008
Common Sense and NObs - you two are idiots. When you do have ins.- they only cover so much per year, per life for that matter. And "I chose not to expose myself to" are you kidding? Who the heck thinks about a bridge falling down when riding over it? If this had happened to you or a family member of yours - you both would be thinking differently. I am totally sure of that!!!!!
Sarah D

Saint Paul, MN

#5 Sep 16, 2008
Jeanne wrote:
Isn't is something how our state can afford to give the bridge builders a bonus for early completion (millions) but they WON'T give more money to the victims of the bridge colapse. Boy - nothing like putting a price on people. How sad.
Bonuses are given to provide incentive.

I just find it interesting what things become a big deal in the minds of the public and what doesn't.

There recently was a train accident in California. 25 people were killed. 25, that's more than were killed by the collapsing bridge. Yet the story is already off the news.

Why is a bridge collapse that kills 17 people such big news that it leads to a memorial and talks of compensating the families of the victims yet a train derailment that kills 25 people gets mentioned one day and then the story vanishes?

I'm just wondering what the criteria is for deciding which tragedies become big news and which tragedies quickly get forgotten.

Madman

Saint Paul, MN

#6 Sep 16, 2008
Sarah D wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm just wondering what the criteria is for deciding which tragedies become big news and which tragedies quickly get forgotten.
I don't have THE TRUTH, but I have an opinion:

Train accidents are infrequent, but not rare. Jay Leno has made lots of jokes about the ineptitude of Amtrak. When you board a plane or bus or railcar, you know there IS a real possibility of accident. They DO happen!

Interstate bridge failures are extremely rare -- almost unheard of. I say the utter randomness of the fate of those on the bridge is what makes that event terrifying -- therefore newsworthy. We all instinctively get the "There but for the grace of God go I" feeling of hopeless wonder when we contemplate how totally interchangable we each are with the unlucky 13.

Heck, I was southbound on I35W a little after 6 pm that fateful day, coming from I694. I made a last-minute choice to go east on Hwy 36 to meet my family instead of using I94 as usual. I could SO easily have been on that bridge when it fell!

So that is my take on why the bridge victims are still in the news, have a memorial planned, et cetera. I am certain others will have equally valid opinions to share.
Paul

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Sep 16, 2008
Jeanne wrote:
Isn't is something how our state can afford to give the bridge builders a bonus for early completion (millions) but they WON'T give more money to the victims of the bridge colapse. Boy - nothing like putting a price on people. How sad.
Most of the bridge "bonus" was spent on materials and overtime to get the bridge done three months early. I'd say it's money well spent.
Rose

Minneapolis, MN

#8 Sep 16, 2008
It's just too bad that our governor and legislature can award $200,000 per day bonus to a company for the simple act of working swiftly, when this same $200,000 per day could have been used for the people injured. I alos wonder why our government doesn't see fit to reward it's own state workers with hefty bonuses for swift and competent work?????
However, once again the real $$$$ goes to business, not injured people or dedicated employees.
Andy

United States

#9 Sep 16, 2008
Rose wrote:
It's just too bad that our governor and legislature can award $200,000 per day bonus to a company for the simple act of working swiftly, when this same $200,000 per day could have been used for the people injured. I alos wonder why our government doesn't see fit to reward it's own state workers with hefty bonuses for swift and competent work?????
However, once again the real $$$$ goes to business, not injured people or dedicated employees.
A hefty bonus to do your job? Why do the injured deserve "$$$$?"
bugs

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Sep 16, 2008
Carol Molnau should pay the vicitms out of the profits she made selling her farm for the new highway, that she voted in favor of
Allison

Hastings, MN

#11 Sep 16, 2008
Opinion...The bridge fell out of no where. There were warning signs that it was possible like there are with a lot of bridges in this country. Incidents like these don't pick certain people to give pity on. They just happen. And for the people that were injured, they deserve every penny. That incident took their life out of their own control. They now have to learn to adapt to whatever injury or horror they have to continue living with. I don't know any of the people or severity of the injuries but I'm pretty sure it changed their lives and some their capabilities to continue living "normally." And for people that push responsibility on having insurance...What happens if the stock market continued to crash and the places where you put your insurance into wasn't there anymore. Would you blame yourself for investing? Or what about the people who do have health insurance but their policies only cover certain things or places for treatment, even a high deductible could be enough to cause someone to go bankrupt.
Allison

Hastings, MN

#12 Sep 16, 2008
Anyways, I think it is so great that so many people are devoting their time and effort into helping these people! Everyone again missed the writers intent on writing something positive out of a negative situation. Now turning it into another negative issue that will not help these people be positive. I hope the bridge victims don't read the insensitive comments on here!
Andy

United States

#13 Sep 16, 2008
Allison wrote:
Anyways, I think it is so great that so many people are devoting their time and effort into helping these people! Everyone again missed the writers intent on writing something positive out of a negative situation. Now turning it into another negative issue that will not help these people be positive. I hope the bridge victims don't read the insensitive comments on here!
The time for BS is over.
Retired Soldier

Saint Paul, MN

#14 Sep 16, 2008
Jeanne wrote:
Isn't is something how our state can afford to give the bridge builders a bonus for early completion (millions) but they WON'T give more money to the victims of the bridge colapse. Boy - nothing like putting a price on people. How sad.
The feds are the ones paying for the new bridge, not the state. The circumstances of the location, and importance of that particular roadway dictated that it be replaced as quickly and safely as possible. That means it's going to cost more. Nice try though.

Officials put the pricetag for the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis at $235 million. Total cost of the entire project, including demolition of the old bridge, cleanup and related costs, is more than $400 million.

Nearly $372 million in federal dollars are paying most of the cost. State dollars account for most of the rest
Retired Soldier

Saint Paul, MN

#15 Sep 16, 2008
Rose wrote:
It's just too bad that our governor and legislature can award $200,000 per day bonus to a company for the simple act of working swiftly, when this same $200,000 per day could have been used for the people injured. I alos wonder why our government doesn't see fit to reward it's own state workers with hefty bonuses for swift and competent work?????
However, once again the real $$$$ goes to business, not injured people or dedicated employees.
Again, your misinformed and obviously part of the Greed rules crowd. First, you said 'Government worker and swift and competent work' in the same sentence. We ALL know that's a joke. Second, the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS PAYING FOR THE BRIDGE, NOT THE STATE GOVERNMENT. Just because you were in an accident dosent mean your ENTITLED to anything.
Retired Soldier

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Sep 16, 2008
Jeanne wrote:
Common Sense and NObs - you two are idiots. When you do have ins.- they only cover so much per year, per life for that matter. And "I chose not to expose myself to" are you kidding? Who the heck thinks about a bridge falling down when riding over it? If this had happened to you or a family member of yours - you both would be thinking differently. I am totally sure of that!!!!!
I think if you read his post more closely, and take off your blinders, you see he has no problem with funds from donations. I believe the September 11TH fund was largly private donations. In this case, we've come full circle and this fund is entirely taxpayer funded. You should be more cautious before calling someone else an idiot, just before you pass in front of a mirror.
MnRoadsOnly

Minneapolis, MN

#17 Sep 16, 2008
Look at what the Mn DFL did for them! Thay are HEROS! They Take from the State Tax Payers and Give SOME of it to these poor people! Now we can all vote them back in office for another round of TAX and Grab for 2009. Vote DFL and Pay More for everything!
Bubbles

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Sep 16, 2008
I am not sure about the numbers, but I thought that the profit motive for the contractor was solely in the bonus structure. This means that if the bridge came in on the last day they would pretty much break even. The contract was put together with the time incentive to make sure that a main thoroughfare was promptly restored. It seems as though some people see the word bonus and immediately freak out. My guess is that those that object to others getting bonuses have probably never gotten one themselves. And complaining about state workers not being rewarded for working so efficiently and fast??? Where is that coming from? I wouldn't say that I have ever been overwhelmed by the service provided by any state agency. On the other hand, I haven't really been underwhelmed either. That would mean the the service was adequate, or in other words, not worthy of a bonus.
Bubbles

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Sep 16, 2008
There has been a growing entitlement mentality in this country. Ask any doctor that decides not to practice because they fear a multi million dollar judgement against them. So much of the human and financial capital of this country is wasted trying to figure out who is entitled to what. The funny thing is that the average person that is out there working and paying taxes is almost never the one entitled to anything.
Owl Gore

Monroe, LA

#20 Sep 16, 2008
Sarah D wrote:
<quoted text>
Bonuses are given to provide incentive.
I just find it interesting what things become a big deal in the minds of the public and what doesn't.
There recently was a train accident in California. 25 people were killed. 25, that's more than were killed by the collapsing bridge. Yet the story is already off the news.
Why is a bridge collapse that kills 17 people such big news that it leads to a memorial and talks of compensating the families of the victims yet a train derailment that kills 25 people gets mentioned one day and then the story vanishes?
I'm just wondering what the criteria is for deciding which tragedies become big news and which tragedies quickly get forgotten.
it's more fun(and easier) to blame the living politicians than blame a dead conductor.

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