You can sue for ‘pesticide drift,’ Appeals Court says
Hey, you can sue for “pesticide drift.” The AP reports: “The Minnesota Court of Appeals says it can count as trespass under the law when pesticide drifts from one farm to another. The appeals court revived a lawsuit by organic farmers Oluf and Debra Johnson against the Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Company. They allege the co-op has repeatedly sprayed pesticides onto other fields that have drifted onto theirs, preventing them from selling their crops as organic. The decision says no previous Minnesota case has addressed whether unwanted pesticide drift from a targeted field to an adjacent organic farm can constitute a trespass.”
Reaction to the spat between T-Paw and Our Favorite Congresswoman has caught the attention of pundits far and wide. At Mother Jones, Tim Murphy notes Ms. Bachmann’s attacks and says: “Up until now, though, fellow Republicans have been reluctant to call Pawlenty out on his budget bluster, likely because their own ideas are mathematically flawed to some degree. The Paul Ryan budget (which Bachmann supports) would require raising the debt ceiling (which Bachmann opposes). And in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, seen as Bachmann’s top rival in Iowa should he jump in the race, recently employed more or less the Pawlenty method to balance the state’s budget. As the AP described it, Texas relied on ‘accounting maneuvers, rewriting school funding laws, ignoring a growing population and delaying payments on bills coming due in 2013.’ “
Another Mother Jones story looks at the teen suicide rate in Minnesota’s 6th District. Stephanie Mencimer writes: “State public health officials have labeled the area a ‘suicide contagion area’ because of the unusually high death rate. Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district — including the high school that she attended. Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an ‘earthquake issue,’ and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the ‘homosexual agenda.’ “
Along with Joe Kimball here, Brian Bakst at the AP covers Gov. Dayton asking questions about what federal default will do to Minnesota’s budget sheet: “Dayton gave no timetable for his Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner to report back. Dayton said he hopes “wiser heads will prevail” and federal leaders won’t let an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the nation’s debt limit pass without a deal. ‘I still believe they’ll realize it’s too catastrophic to let it happen,’ Dayton said. Officials in some states are worried that a federal default would pinch them because credit agencies could reassess credit ratings for several levels of government. Also, roiled stock markets could drive down state investment portfolios, which include public pension funds.” But, you know, chaos is a price we have to pay to stop recklessness in government spending.
Veteran DFL Sen. Linda Berglin is retiring. Says MPR’s Tom Scheck: “Berglin, who served in the Minnesota Legislature for nearly 40 years, has announced she’s retiring from the Senate next month. The Minneapolis Democrat has been influential in setting health care policy. She helped create MinneaotaCare, a state subsidized health insurance program for low and middle income Minnesotans. Berglin said the fact that Democrats no longer hold the majority was a factor in her decision, as were a decade of budget cuts to Health and Human Services programs. ‘During the last six months, I felt that my talents and skills have been underutilized in the Minnesota Senate,’ Berglin said in a prepared statement. ‘As I see so much of what I have worked on over the years being chipped away or repealed entirely, I worry that our state is moving away from the community spirit that has made us such a great place.’ ” Thank you, Ma’m.
And … well, that didn’t take long … Scheck also reports: “DFL Rep. Jeff Hayden is wasting no time. He announced he was running for DFL Sen. Linda Berglin’s Senate seat just three hours after Berglin officially announced that she was retiring on August 15th. Hayden, who was elected to the House in 2008, says he hopes to continue Berglin’s legacy. … Hayden is the first of what could be many Democrats to announce a run for the seat. Senate District 61 is considered a DFL stronghold. Governor Dayton has not declared when he will call a special election for Berglin’s seat.”
The groom-to-be involved in that fatal boat crash over the weekend has been released from the hospital. Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR reports: “Leo Pohl of Buffalo, Minn., was treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released Saturday, spokesman Paul Meznarich said. Pohl was supposed to be married Saturday. He, his brother Luke Pohl and four friends were on a Princecraft boat on the Chippewa River Friday night that collided with a Larson speedboat carrying two people.”
Another day, another high-finance fraud case. John Welbes of the PiPress says: “An Edina man was charged Friday in a $20 million mortgage fraud scam, and the charging papers indicate that the case could eventually pull in several co-conspirators. Derrick Ivan Lance, 40, was charged in a ‘felony information’ with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He’s accused of receiving about $200,000 for helping buyers secure mortgage loans on 26 properties in Minnesota. Such ‘information’ charges typically indicate that the defendant is working out a plea deal with prosecutors.”
Shockingly, the NFL lockout has ended, days before anyone was going to lose any revenue. Barry Wilner and Howard Fendrich of the AP report: “A tentative timeline would allow NFL clubs to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday, and their signings could begin Friday. Under the proposed schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday, another 10 on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday. Both sides set up informational conference calls for Monday afternoon to go over the details of the agreement. The NFLPA told player agents they would be coached in particular on the guidelines and schedule for signing free agents and rookies; the NFL alerted general managers and coaches they would be briefed in separate calls.”