A double whammy for the Senser family Wednesday with the judge ruling against Amy Senser and criticizing her husband. Abby Simons of the Star Tribune reports: “A Hennepin County judge for the second time has denied Amy Senser’s bid for freedom while she appeals her criminal vehicular homicide convictions. In the order released Wednesday, Judge Daniel Mabley criticized numerous aspects of how Senser’s defense handled the investigation and trial. “The theme of the defense from day one has been avoidance of responsibility,” he wrote, referencing a defiant and angry statement her husband, former Vikings star Joe Senser, had given to the media following her Monday hearing. “The defendant and her counsel have employed a strategy of extensively using the media to argue the defense case, apparently hoping to influence the jury pool,” Mabley wrote.”
At the Strib, Jackie Crosby gets the job of laying out results of the paper’s latest Minnesota Poll: “Minnesotans are evenly divided on whether to keep or repeal the federal health care law, with likely voters split sharply along partisan lines, according to a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. About 46 percent of the state’s likely voters say they support keeping the Affordable Care Act, whose main tenets were largely upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, while 47 percent believe the law should go. Support was strongest among voters ages 18 to 34 and those who make less than $50,000 a year. More than eight out of 10 Democrats said the law should stay in place, while nine out of 10 Republicans back GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s pledge to repeal it.”
Also, Dave Shaffer at the Strib reports on a “cyber attack” against Wells Fargo: “Wells Fargo & Co. was working to protect its website Wednesday after being under cyberattack a day earlier. ‘We apologize to customers who may be experiencing intermittent access issues to wellsfargo.com and online banking,’ the San Francisco-based bank said in an e-mailed statement. ‘We are working to quickly resolve this issue.’ The bank said customers can still access their accounts through ATMs, stores and by phone. The Wall Street Journal reported that 220 customers filed complaints with the bank Tuesday. A web-based site-tracking service called sitedown.co also reported many complaints, including that customers could not log in and that pages would not load. The bank was not immediately available to respond to questions, though its main web pages appeared to be loading properly early Wednesday.” I certainly hope nothing happened to their foreclosure mediation department.
Tough year for Honey Crisps. Elizabeth Baier at MPR says: “Unusually warm weather in March, followed by a hard frost in April, killed off a lot of apple blossoms. A few months later, thousands of apples that were left on trees were damaged from summertime hail storms and drought, a big blow to the $12.6 million apple industry. ‘Normally, even this time of year, we’d be just fine,’ said Fred Wescott, whose Elgin orchid typically produces 600 bushels an acre. ‘We’d have all kinds; these trees would be just loaded with fruit … The significant damage this year, no matter how you cut it, is the fact that there is no fruit.’ “
“Final offer” is the way the bosses of Minnesota Orchestra musicians are describing it. Graydon Royce of the Strib says: “The Minnesota Orchestral Association on Tuesday made what it calls a “final contract proposal” to its union musicians. And in St. Paul, the musicians made a new proposal to the board of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Both moves came as current contracts expire at midnight, Oct. 1. The Minnesota Orchestra offer clarifies and adjusts proposed changes in work rules, but maintains the original deal’s financial package: a cut in average annual salary from $135,000 to $89,000; guaranteed pension contribution of 7.63 percent of base salary, 10 weeks of paid vacation and up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave. A spokesman said the musicians are studying the offer.” Will a “replacement string section” play as well as the NFL’s “replacement refs”?
In Duluth, the News Tribune picks up Reyna Crow’s column on the voting amendment from the Budgeteer News: “The provision that the state provide free photo identification to eligible voters doesn’t address all of the barriers to obtaining acceptable photo identification, according to Churches United in Ministry intern Elaynie Johnson. ‘We know this will directly impact the people we serve.’ Johnson added that ‘Homelessness is not easy,’ and that people without stable addresses, such as area resident Craig Eckhoff who told rally attendees that he ‘sets up camp wherever he can,’ may experience significant burdens in accessing even free photo IDs that will likely lead to reduced voter participation among these populations. Native Americans also are potentially affected. Tribal member Martha Marceau said at the rally that if the amendment passes and she can’t use her tribal ID to vote, that will tell her her nation means nothing. Duluth city council president Dan Hartman believes that the negative impact on voter turnout among certain demographics of the population will be so severe that he refers to the amendment as a ‘voter suppression amendment’ that ‘will limit the number of people who can vote.’ ”
Also from up north … John Myers at the News Tribune writes: “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency citizens board on Tuesday approved a permit for Essar Steel Minnesota to operate its tailings basin to handle waste material from taconite production as early as next year. The board voted unanimously to reissue a so-called NPDES-SDS permit to Essar, which is building the state’s first new taconite operation in more than 35 years. Those permits must be reissued every five years. The plant, being built in Nashwauk, will send a slurry of waste rock and water into the old Butler Taconite plant tailings basin south of Highway 169. The basin is being redesigned to prevent any seepage off the premises.”
(Subjective) taste is everything, of course, but City Pages has a list of what it claims are the “10 Best Sandwiches” in the Twin Cities. A couple samples:
“9. Saffron’s Lamb Bacon “BLT.” Sameh Wadi’s Lamb Bacon ‘BLT’ ($9) at Saffron in Minneapolis might win the title for most creative sandwich on this list. The lamb bacon is house made from lamb belly seasoned in a rub of sugar, salt, and a blend of spices, including cardamom, paprika, and orange zest. The bacon is served on vanilla egg bread with a generous swipe of saffron-tomato jam and crunchy, peppery arugula, making this a mesmerizing spin on an American classic that everyone should try at least once (though we bet you’ll be back for more). …
3. Be’wiched’s Pastrami on Rye. Everyone we asked named Be’Wiched Deli as the purveyors of some mighty fine sandwiches in the Twin Cities, and we couldn’t agree more. The pastrami on rye ($9.50) is a fine example of the kind of magic that Be’wiched can concoct. One bite and you’ll be sold on its layers of smokey, house-cured pastrami, and the balancing, mouth-puckering crunch of pickled cabbage and coarse, grainy mustard. If you’re feeling brave, order double the pastrami ($13.50). We bow down to you.”
Sometimes the things that bother people leave me … mostly amazed. Also at City Pages, Aaron Rupar notes the recent Wall Street Journal piece on “homers,” i.e., baseball TV announcers who root for the team they cover. “[I]f you’ve managed to take in a Twins game with the sound on — and we know it ain’t easy, with all the losing the team has been doing the past couple years — then you also won’t be surprised to learn that Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven rank as one of the most biased duos around. With nine ‘biased remarks’ — defined by the WSJ as comments including the use of words like ‘we’, ‘us’, or ‘our’; referring to a player by a nickname (e.g., ‘Morneau-sie’); or blatantly rooting for the home team — Dick and Bert tied for the seventh biggest homers in baseball. … In the accompanying WSJ piece, Dick tries to explain Bert’s homerism by pointing out that ex-players ‘have tremendous equity in the franchise they played for.’ ‘From their perspective, I could imagine a strong desire for the team to do well,’ he said. That’s all well and good as far as Bert is concerned, but then what’s your excuse, Dick?” Maybe because Dick is under the impression his audience is rooting for the Twins to win … once in a while?