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The day-care brawl is on

AFTERNOON EDITION

Need a good brawl? Eric Ringham at MPR puts up the question of unionizing day care. Good idea or bad? You can imagine what happens … even at MPR. A sample:
Says “Kurt”: “Unions exist to protect workers from their own sloth and misbehavior. This didn’t used to be the case but it is now. No one is accountable — no one is ever rewarded — no one is ever fired. If Day Cares were unionized, Jerry Sanduzsky [sic] couldn’t be fired.
And, “Kurtsy”: “I have no problem with the freedom to organize and vote for union representation. A lot of people in MN like the idea of unions, even if they aren’t in one. As I understand the situation, no one will be forced to join a so-called daycare union. I believe the union could act as a lobby to represent the interests of the daycare providers. Also to use the union as a way to help draft uniform regulations and safety standards for the industry.”

And, never ones to skip an opportunity for a good fight, the GOP is planning immediate retaliation on Gov. Dayton’s day-care union idea. From the AP: “Republicans vowed to commence immediate legislative hearings on the issue, saying Dayton exceeded his authority, is pushing through the issue too quickly and that unionization of day care workers would likely result in higher child care costs. Rep. Steve Gottwalt, who chairs the House Health & Human Services Reform Committee, held a hearing on the issue in Waite Park last month. Since then, Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, said he’s been contacted by many constituents who oppose the unionization effort. ‘They see it as a union power play, at the expense of our children and the affordability of day care,’ Gottwalt said Tuesday.”

Here’s a list we can be proud to top. Jean Hopfensberger of the Strib writes: “Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes aren’t our only claim to fame: Those cabins around the lakes belong to some of the most philanthropic-minded residents in the nation. The state, for example, ranks at or near the top of national charts in volunteerism each year. Its ‘Give to the Max Day’’ — a one-day, online giving blitz in November — raises more money than similar fundraisers in any other state: about $10 million last year. And Minnesota business leaders forged a model of corporate giving decades ago that has been replicated across the nation.” And please consider MinnPost when you give to the max.

The next reality TV show? “Carp Wars!”  Dennis Lien at the PiPress reports: “Brought to Minnesota in the 19th century, common carp have taken over thousands of shallow lakes and wetlands, rooting on the bottom for food and turning many of them into mud holes that no longer sustain ducks and other species. Now, though, relief could be on the way. Led by professor Peter Sorensen, U scientists are trying to figure out what makes these carp tick: where they go, when and why, and what attracts and repels them. The goal: to come up with a coherent and sustainable set of approaches that will reduce their numbers and help Minnesotans recapture bodies of water they’ve damaged. Over time, there would be bonuses — better fisheries, clearer water and new strategies that limit the impact of other invasive species such as Asian carp, large, voracious newcomers at the state’s border, if not already here.”

Thursday’s the day for the Cities 97 “Cities Sampler.” Ross Raihala at the PiPress says: “The “Cities 97 Sampler” has become such an annual tradition for the station’s fans, it probably doesn’t matter much which artists are actually on the charity CD. This year, however, those who manage to score a ‘Sampler’ are in luck, as the disc is filled with some of Cities 97’s biggest and most-loved acts. They include: David Gray (‘Only the Wine’), Florence and the Machine (‘Dog Days Are Over’), Mumford and Sons (‘The Cave’), Amos Lee (‘Windows Are Rolled Down’) and Adele (‘Someone Like You’), whose sophomore album ‘21’ is this year’s biggest selling album in any genre. The 23rd ‘Sampler’ goes on sale at 8 a.m. Thursday at area Target stores and is likely to sell out within hours. It’s priced at at $25.97, with a limit of two per person.”

Woo-hoo! Freeway access … in downtown Minneapolis. Says Steve Brandt in the Strib: “Downtown Minneapolis has regained some of the freeway access it lost because of light rail construction, but it’s taken twice as long as predicted. The S. 4th Street ramp onto southbound 35W, westbound 94 and other points south and west has now reopened after closing in late March. The ramp near the Metrodome was supposed to reopen in July under the construction schedule posted by the Central Corridor office. Spokeswoman Laura Baenen said work on a retaining wall for a transit line bridge over 35W took longer than expected.”

Today in Bachmannia:  With Newt Gingrich today’s GOP flavor-of-the-hour, Our Gal has decided to get tough with him. From CBS News: “Bachmann on Wednesday slammed rival Newt Gingrich for working with Rep. Nancy Pelosi when he was speaker of the House in the 1990s. Bachmann launched a new website, nosurprises2012.com, which aims to highlight the differences between the conservative lawmaker and her seven rivals for the Republican nomination for president. ‘This highlights just one of the many examples where former Speaker Newt Gingrich had positions that are really against what the people in the primary states are looking for,’ Bachmann said on CBS’ ‘The Early Show.’ Republican primary voters tend to be more conservative than Republicans as a whole and are certainly more conservative than general election voters. ‘He was standing with Nancy Pelosi to advocate for a national sales tax on energy. That’s not what we need right now in our economy. He was also the chief author of the individual health care mandate and that is what is (now) known as Obamacare. No one wants to see that either,’ she said, referring to conservative primary voters who oppose the president’s signature legislative achievement.” I wonder what she has saved up when it’s Rick Santorum’s turn to lead in the GOP polls?

I’ll take it. David Shaffer, in the Strib’s business section, says: “Xcel Energy Inc.’s residential electric customers in Minnesota can expect roughly a $25 refund if a scaled-back rate request is approved, a utility official said Tuesday. In a proposed settlement with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and business customers, the Minneapolis-based utility reduced its two-year rate increase request to $72.8 million, nearly two-thirds lower than what it sought originally. It would raise rates 2.8 percent for residential customers and 2.7 percent for commercial and industrial users —- roughly half the interim rate increase now in effect.”

$7 million is a getting real close to Manhattan money. Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher is laying down that jing for a condo … in Minneapolis. Says Jim Buchta: “Horst Rechelbacher threw an extravagant bash for his 70th birthday by featuring Irish pop star Donovan and an invocation by four Buddhist monks. He also celebrated the party venue: his new, 18,000-square-foot Minneapolis condo overlooking the Mississippi River. Rechelbacher, owner of Intelligent Nutrients, recently bought the entire top two floors of the Phoenix on the River condo building and plans to convert them into what is thought to be the largest and most expensive condo in the state. He paid $6.995 million for the unfinished space. Even bigger than the condo deal is the psychological lift it is giving the market. Condo sales have suffered because of economic fears, but the Rechelbacher purchase and a spate of other upper-bracket deals are signs the condo segment is improving.” Really? I don’t understand real estate.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 11/16/2011 - 03:43 pm.

    I am mystified why any daycare provider would want to be in a union. The providers will end up paying dues for something they already have. The union will add nothing. The providers will still be negotiating with the parents of the children in their charge, and the union will have absolutely no say in it.
    Dayton is just pretending he is offering the providers a choice to be a de facto government employee, but it’s a choice he has no authority to offer.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/16/2011 - 07:15 pm.

    Rep. Bachmann is free to attack with impunity any other Republican candidate who’s ever held office and actually accomplished something. She’s done nothing but oppose legislation in her 5 years in the House. For that matter, I don’t recall that she ever got a bill passed in the Minnesota Legislature.

    Go, Shelly!

  3. Submitted by Luke Ferguson on 11/17/2011 - 09:44 am.

    Rosalind,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe daycare providers have much, if any, lobbying presence at the state capitol. So I’m not sure why you think a union would provide “something they already have”. Unions are great lobbying organizations, both in terms of pooling money to hire professional lobbyists and organizing members to contact legislators and make their voices heard.

    Daycare providers get money from the state in the form of subsidies paid to low income parents for daycare. When year after year things are on the chopping block, it’s important to have a voice at the capitol telling legislators why it is unwise to reduce your funding. It’s also important to have a voice when you work in a government regulated industry, so you can have input when those regulations are discussed.

    Obviously a child care provider union wouldn’t be the classic collective bargaining against the employer and improving working conditions and pay sort of situation, but it could still be very beneficial for providers, and parents.

  4. Submitted by Angela Elser on 11/17/2011 - 02:38 pm.

    RE:$7 million is a getting real close to Manhattan money.

    The local story missed here is the Architecture & Interior Design Firm – U+B Architecture & Design [http://www.uplusb.com] which only got a teeny tiny mention in that article. I realize that in the context of a celebrity name like Horst or the other gigantic shocker of the purchase price that the choice of Firms for the projects seems – well, not worth dwelling on.

    However – I think that the fact that Horst is using a local favorite firm for both the store and his residence is BIG news and deserves mention. Go Minneapolis! Rechelbacher could clearly afford to use any firm in the world. But has chosen U+B – again. I’m constantly impressed by the caliber of Minneapolis’ local talent.

    Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

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