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Poll: Dayton in good shape for re-election

Like Al Franken, Gov. Dayton appears to be starting his re-election cycle in good shape. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib looks at the latest Public Poliy Polling and says: “The year before he will face voters for re-election, Gov. Mark Dayton got high job approval marks from more than half of Minnesotans and beat all potential Republican rivals pollster Public Policy Polling tested him against. According to the poll, 53 percent of Minnesotans said they approve of the job the governor is doing. The vast majority of Minnesotans who call themselves liberal, very liberal or moderate said they think he is doing a good job. They were joined by 24 percent of people who said they were ‘somewhat conservative.’ ‘He’s popular on his own merits, and none of his potential Republican opponents appear to be particularly strong at this point — most of them are unknown and the ones who are well known aren’t very popular,’ said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.” But just wait until Mike Parry gets in that race.

There’s bear trouble up north. Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have locked horns again. In late December, the DNR renewed Rogers’ research permit to study black bears, but cut back the number of bears he may radio-collar from 15 to 12. The permit is valid only through June rather than December, so that future renewals won’t have to be made when bears are denned and Rogers has den cameras deployed, DNR officials said. ‘We continue to be concerned about the lack of scientific publications resulting from your research,’ DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in the letter to Rogers that accompanied his permit. The agency claims Rogers, who leads the nonprofit Wildlife Research Institute near Ely, has not written recent peer-reviewed papers that demonstrate ‘hypothesis testing, statistical tests or other protocols.’ ”

The noted healthy-living event the Minnesota State Fair is cracking down on … smokers. Says Paul Walsh of the Strib: “Smokers can forget about puffing away while strolling the State Fair midway or while waiting in line for a spin on the Ferris wheel. The fair's board of managers over the weekend gave the go-ahead for the creation of outdoor designated smoking areas starting with the 2013 Great Minnesota Get-Together. That means smoking in virtually all other open-air spaces on the 320-acre grounds will be banned. Smoking already was prohibited in fair buildings or in entertainment seating areas, such as the bandshell and the grandstand.” Next … trans-fat and cholesterol patrols.

Repeated abuse of official state databases has several legislators looking for solutions. The AP story says: "Sen. Scott Dibble, a Minneapolis Democrat, and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, a Republican from Lakeville, plan to unveil a bill Wednesday, Jan. 23, to curb the misuse. It's illegal to access drivers' license data without a government purpose, but investigations have found that misuse is common.”

Never mind … that Zephyr train car auction. The PiPress story says: “The Andersen Corp. in Bayport has reached an agreement with the owner of six Minnesota Zephyr dinner-train cars, nixing the public auction originally set for Wednesday, Jan. 23. The agreement with Dave Paradeau resolves storage fees and allows Paradeau until March 1 to remove the railcars from the Andersen Corp. property, according to Laurie Bauer, vice president of corporate communications for Andersen.”

The GleanBeleaguered Best Buy will pop for a couple of Super Bowl commercials, with Amy Poehler providing some comic energy. Says the AP: “The Minneapolis-based electronics chain said Wednesday it will air a 30-second spot featuring Poehler, fresh off from her gig co-hosting the Golden Globes earlier this month, in the first quarter of the big game, which airs Feb. 3 on CBS. The ad will convey a branding message and comes as the electronics retailer works on a turnaround plan to combat tough competition from online retailers and discounters. The spot will be supported by a social media component, and a second ad will air after the game detailing several special offers. A Best Buy executive said Poehler’s frank humor dovetails with Best Buy’s marketing message.” Really?

On his “Good Question” segment, WCCO-TV’s Jason DeRusha asks whether all-day kindergarten is worth it? ‘Unlike 29 other states, Minnesota only funds half-day kindergarten. Gov. Mark Dayton proposed changing that Tuesday in his new budget. He proposed giving schools $910 for each student attending a free all-day, every day kindergarten program. But is that extra investment in kindergarten worth it? … Students who attended all-day kindergarten far outscored their classmates who had attended kindergarten outside of the district on the standardized math and reading tests, according to the CAREI report.”

Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib has a piece on a higher-stakes ATM fraud: “U.S. financial institutions have been put on alert for a potential round of more sophisticated, and more dire, ATM cash-out fraud schemes. Both credit card juggernaut Visa Inc. and Fair Isaac Corp., a leading payments fraud analytics company, issued separate alerts to clients in the past two weeks with general warnings about the potential risk of ATM cash-out fraud schemes. A copy of the data security alert Visa sent clients around Jan. 10, obtained by the Star Tribune, warns of cases in which organized criminal groups in various parts of the world have been plundering cards and accounts by penetrating internal networks at financial institutions. ‘In a recently reported case, criminals used a small number of cards to conduct 1000's of ATM withdrawals in multiple countries around the world in one weekend,’ the Visa advisory begins.” And final liability for ineffective security lies with …?

What expertise do these people have in the context of our precious Second Amendment freedoms? Says the AP: “A group of Minnesota sheriffs want to make it harder for those suffering from mental illness to obtain guns. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson and others are holding a news conference Wednesday to announce proposed reforms to the state's gun laws. Among them, the sheriffs want to strengthen background checks for those who want to own guns. They also want law enforcement to have more access to an individual's mental health records.” Stalinist tyranny!

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Comments (11)

Less Smoking at the State Fair

Way overdue. My organization (American Lung Association in Minnesota) were among those requesting this move. Glad to see it happen.

all-day kindergarten

Kids in kindergarten have really short attention spans. To keep the benefits from being a wash, the class probably would need reading and math sessions in both the morning and afternoon. Usually what happens is in the afternoon, there is naptime, another recess, science, social studies, music and art, not another session of math and reading.
School readiness could better be achieved by holding back boys from starting kindergarten until the age of 6. For some reason the part of the brain in little boys that controls reading and math develops more slowly than it does in girls. The delay wouldn't cost as much money and the results would be better.

Kindergarten

Studies have shown that now only is all day kindergarten good for kid's development, but also pre school too. Start them at age four and they've got a good jump on life. Start them later though and they find the kids start behind their peers and never catch up.

Raymond Moore Says

Better late than early.

Data-driven decisions

DNR complains that Lynn Rogers has not utilized "hypothesis testing, statistical tests or other protocols."

Kind of like the DNR did before letting people start running out killing wolves who had only just been delisted?

No Chance For Stanek

Sheriff Rich Stanek has been mentioned as a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Dayton. No chance that will happen, now that he wants to disarm us all. It's a shame he wants to curtail our freedoms.

It is Often the Case That Low-energy Teachers Mistake

High energy in their youngest students for lack of intelligence.

Thus have been born the self-evident truths regarding the inability of boys to learn before a certain age, myths which the actual evidence proves not to be true.

Boys (and some girls) may be more exuberant and more active than many girls (and some boys),...

but if we mistake the non-compliant, uncomfortably active behavior of some students for lack of intelligence we are only revealing our own ignorance (and perhaps the reality that we need to be teaching at a level where students are moving a bit more our own speed).

It remains a major challenge for teachers of these youngest students to deal with the VERY wide range of activity and learning styles of those students, something with which only the highest-energy, most patient, best at boundary-setting, teachers can deal effectively. Loving young children is NOT enough (I certainly could never have done it, myself, although I did have considerable success teaching Kindergarten children to sing melodically and on pitch ).

Typical gunsel oversimplification

"now that he wants to disarm us all"

Exactly where did the story say this?

This is the kind of resistance to ANY change to the status quo that gives reasonable people who own firearms a bad name.

Sorry Bill..

..it's the NRA that gives reasonable people who own firearms a bad name.

"now that he wants to disarm us all"

I actually read it differently than you did - as a "Brian-style" bit of hyperbole offered to wryly make a point opposite that of what the words actually say.

In that - any time you suggest ANY change in gun ownership rules to gun advocates - they tend to immediately take it to the other extreme shouting "You want to disarm us all!" (with the same style of emotional delivery as "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!")

Frank Phelan can correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I read what he wrote. The fact that simply by joining the discussion on some possible and reasonable changes to gun ownership rules, Sheriff Stanek may have torpedoed any chance at a political future backed by the current GOP.

You may be right, Pat.

If you just read a snippet of Swift, you might believe he was being serious. Some of us are slow and it takes a couple of paragraphs for us to get it.

Maybe Frank can enlighten us?