Daily Glean: Global warming, local dimming

WCCO interviews its own meteorologist, Mike Fairbourne, about signing a petition questioning man’s role in global warming. The Strib.com’s Paul Walsh unearthed the story, in which Fairbourne denounced “squishy science” and “extremism.” Although ‘CCO deserves kudos for not ignoring the controversy, it wasn’t one of Esme Murphy’s tougher probes; Fairbourne complains people “won’t allow me an opinion.” No Mike, they’re criticizing you for it, perhaps aware of the vast preponderance of scientific evidence.

More meteorologists: OK, so why should we care? Local meteorologists are the most listened-to weather commentators around, and can be a pretty big speed bump to public understanding. Murphy corrals other Twin Cities forecasters; KSTP’s Dave Dahl says, “I’ll believe the sun is controlling our climate until the day I die.” Very scientific. KARE tells its crew to squash opinions, and Fox9 hides behind corporate policy. That means zero local TV types publicly agree with the vast majority of scientists.

The PiPress’s Dave Orrick scores a nice get: the U’s favored light-rail route fails federal funding tests. That’s according to a new study sponsored by — The U! The school wants to change the federal scoring system, but its route would still fail, Orrick writes. Action and/or anger could come today.

The Strib aims for rough equivalence by comparing Al Franken’s bawdy, 8-year-old Playboy satire with Norm Coleman’s refusal to return $10,000 from lobbyists tied to Myanmar’s dictatorial regime. Franken’s links to “pornography” and a Christie Hefner donation get top billing over foreign-policy implications; go figure. Who can pass up a chance to get “Franken” and “oral sex” in the same sentence? At the Strib, it’s apparently the sex, not the violence.

While everyone watches the Vikings and Star Tribune’s land sale, Finance & Commerce’s Burl Gilyard chronicles another eager land-buyer: Hennepin County Medical Center. Despite recent eminent domain changes, HCMC might still grab nearby parcels — though the first isn’t the Strib’s. The Vikes say they’ve met with HCMC and “apprised them of our intentions.” Both parties may be interested in a parcel southwest of the Dome. The Vikes also say they are discussing, not negotiating, a Strib land deal.

Minnesota Monitor’s Britt Robson has a hard-edged look at how the recent budget deal makes the next biennium’s shortfall tougher to fix. We’re staring at a $2 billion real-dollar deficit, about half of 2003’s crippling shortfall — and it could get worse. Robson tracks how the state’s forecasting firm has consistently underestimated oil-price hikes. They’re betting on $100-per-barrel oil in 2009. Feel good about that?

One of the Felt-Tipped Vandals has confessed, KARE reports. Apple Valley Eastview High gets the dishonor of housing the student who defaced three gubernatorial portraits last week. Apparently a second student is involved. All the portraits will be back in place by week’s end. Fixing the three pieces cost all of $175.

The Chanhassen Dinner Theater seems like a pretty innocuous place, but don’t get ’em mad. The theater’s owner blames GOP legislators for a rather specific provision banning them from moving to the Mall of America — a key last-minute subsidy hangup. The legislators tell the Strib they didn’t think the state should enable the move. A theater owner calls the Mall “Our Disneyland” and planned a post-2013 switch. KSTP has video on the “backroom deal.”

Ouch: The St. Paul Basilica needs $14 million in repairs, the PiPress’s Alex Friedrich reports. Leaky dome, unsettled arches. Stones are shifting, though somehow not fatally, Friedrich notes. Then there’s this detail: “When lightning strikes and shakes the cathedral, a fine layer of powder covers the pews the next morning.” Yikes.

City Pages’ Beth Walton details Minnesota’s new second-in-the-nation sentence-mitigation program for mentally ill veterans. One in five service people don’t get adequate care, and if a vet is arrested, a screening process can help get V.A. care. It’s a weird sort of triage, but better than none at all.

CP’s Matt Snyders offers a fascinating look at FBI recruiting of “moles” to infiltrate local protest groups. The key source is a man arrested for graffiti vandalism who spurned the FBI’s entreaties. Apparently “vegan potlucks” have local authorities keenly interested.

The Strib’s Terry Collins delves into a Minneapolis pilot program charging $3,000 a year for all-day kindergarten. Large suburban districts already do it. The fee only affects medium- to high-income households, and for many, is as cheap as after-school care. Eighty families outside one pilot school’s boundaries have joined a waiting list. Fees slide as income falls.

Context: The PiPress’s Doug Belden notes that St. Paul schools will receive $2.3 million in new state aid, but that means state payments still fall $700,000 short of keeping up with inflation.

The Strib’s Steve Brandt reports that Minneapolis will require apartments be heated to 68 degrees between Oct. 1 and April 30. This means I have to hide the Metro section from my wife; I’m the evildoer that keeps our winter thermostat at 66.

Minnesota News Network notes that the Legislature’s report on the 35W bridge collapse is issued today. (Full disclosure: My wife works for the law firm the legislature hired, but she did not work on the report.)

Thank you, sir, may I have another? Fifty percent of Minnesota Poll respondents say the NWA-Delta merger should go through. Fifty-nine percent say higher fares will result. Related: The local airport ranks last among 19 nationally. Most folks, like me, scratch their heads; MSP is fine. The hometown airline drags down the grade, experts posit.

Nort spews: The Wolves get the third pick in a two-person draft, and now have to choose among a soft Stanford center, an Italian enigma and an alleged USC cheater. Huzzah! The Twins have again won more than they’ve lost with an 11-4 pasting of Texas. [Update: Sore Loser is here. Sorry!]

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bill Siegel on 05/21/2008 - 11:54 am.

    Hey, what happened to the sore loser link?

    DAVID BRAUER REPLIES: Ack! Will be added. Sorry!

  2. Submitted by Mike Keliher on 05/21/2008 - 12:11 pm.

    I understand the intent behind the 68-degree requirement, but damn it, that’s too warm for my Irish (and libertarian) blood. What if I want my apartment to be 62 degrees? Am I just out of luck because the city has to protect people who can’t afford heat and live in a building run by bastards who won’t keep the place warm?

  3. Submitted by John Olson on 05/21/2008 - 10:08 am.

    $100/bbl oil? How about $200?

    Oil is hovering around $130/bbl right now and a Goldman Sachs analyst who was laughed at for predicting $100/bbl oil several years ago predicts a super spike of $200 coming ($6/gal at the pump). T. Boone Pickens says $150/bbl is coming very soon.

    I don’t care who occupies the Governor’s office–the forecasts need to be done using realistic data.

Leave a Reply