I hope you’ve got plenty of Brahms and Rachmaninoff on your iPod. The MPR story, by Euan Kerr, says: “After Minnesota Orchestra management rejected a last-minute request for binding arbitration, it appears that the organization is headed for a lockout at midnight Sunday. After a 90-minute meeting in which management rejected the arbitration request and another request to continue negotiating with the terms of the current contract in place, musicians emerged to say that no deal had been reached. … Meanwhile, musicians and management at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra wrapped up a negotiation session Sunday by agreeing to keep talking past their midnight contract deadline. They will next meet to talk on Oct. 10.”
At the Strib, Graydon Royce says of the Minnesota Orchestra situation: “The two sides have been meeting since management offered an extensively rewritten contract proposal that would have cut average annual pay to $89,000, from $135,000. Musicians say that in fact, some players would see their pay cut by 50 percent under the proposal. … The Minnesota Orchestra has an annual budget of about $31 million. Management said labor costs consume 48 percent of the budget.” Well, the musicians are what I pay to hear …
The “Vote Yes” crowd on the marriage amendment will have a couple of TV ads up today. The AP says: “The group promoting a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Minnesota is debuting its first two TV ads of a heated campaign on Monday, one that argues it’s important to keep the traditional definition of marriage between opposite sex couples only and another that mentions several ways that definition could be changed through legal or judicial means. Minnesota for Marriage campaign manager Frank Schubert told The Associated Press the group is spending about $175,000 to air the two ads throughout October. … Both ads avoid an aggressive tone, with one featuring a narrator who says that ‘everyone has a right to love who they choose.’ But together they argue that male-female marriage has been a building block of society for centuries.”
Ex-Viking Matt Birk, who is in favor of the amendment, offers his thoughts in a Strib commentary: “The union of a man and a woman is privileged and recognized by society as “marriage” for a reason, and it’s not because the government has a vested interest in celebrating the love between two people. With good reason, government recognizes marriages and gives them certain legal benefits so they can provide a stable, nurturing environment for the next generation of citizens: our kids. … Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions. … The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage? Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children — the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society.”
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie talked to the Duluth News Tribune about the GOP’s voting amendment. John Myers says: “Ritchie, a DFLer, and some county auditors say there are several other problems with the amendment that most people have never heard of — most notably the cost to taxpayers. Ritchie said the state is in for some major election headaches trying to account for absentee, overseas military and even rural voters who now vote by mail. And he said it virtually will eliminate same-day registration … [He] is encouraging all Minnesotans to find and read the full wording of the amendment … ‘Not only will the actual words in the amendment not appear on the ballot, but the question on the ballot doesn’t address all the issues involved here,’ Ritchie said. For example, voters across parts of rural St. Louis County, in so-called unorganized townships, now cast all their election ballots by mail. But Ritchie said that may be impossible if the constitutional amendment passes because no one sees them vote; no one could demand their identification card. ‘There were amendments offered to solve many of these problems, but the Legislature voted all of them down. Now we have this very bad amendment question, and it’s either an up or down vote,’ Ritchie said.”
So is there a dangerous precedent lurking within the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the DFL to swap out the name of Kerry Gauthier on the November ballot? Don Davis of the Forum papers writes: “The Republican candidate in a Duluth legislative race argued that if the high court approved swapping names it would allow parties to do that whenever they felt it was to their political advantage. Days after Travis Silvers urged the court to ban the swap, justices allowed it. In his official comments for a Minnesota Supreme Court case that eventually ended up removing Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, from the Nov. 6 ballot, Silvers’ attorney wrote that Democrats wanted to replace the incumbent to have a better chance of winning. ‘At the heart of this petition is the DFL’s desire to avoid further entanglements with the actions of Rep. Gauthier and to limit the risk of losing an election,’ attorney Sara Van Norman wrote. ‘If the DFL’s position is adopted, various candidates for various offices will now be able to be substituted by their party throughout the election as they commit errors of judgment and faux pas on the campaign trail.’ ” Of course those candidates not caught in a scandal would probably throw up quite a stink.
How bad off is White Bear Lake, The Lake? Real bad. Bill McAuliffe of the Strib writes: “Sometime this fall, probably soon, White Bear Lake will reach its lowest level on record — lower than the mark it reached only two years ago. But the course of the shrinking lake can’t be entirely blamed on this summer’s drought. … Since 1980, growing communities in the northeast metro have more than doubled the volume of water they pump from the Prairie du Chien aquifer beneath them, pulling water from White Bear Lake and other lakes nearby, according to Perry Jones, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologist. Jones just completed a two-year study of groundwater-surface water interactions, which found that since about 2003, White Bear continued to drop even in wet periods — a significant new trend. One reason: The city of White Bear Lake and nine surrounding communities pumped 2.6 billion gallons of water from the Prairie du Chien aquifer in 1980, but 6 billion in 2008.”
We’re No. 10 … and No. 12! The Bloomberg survey/poll says St. Paul is two slots more liveable/better than Minneapolis: “St. Paul may be the smaller of the Twin Cities, but the state capital is also cleaner and safer, if slightly behind Minneapolis in median household income.” Yeah … but good lord … those streets! And … “Known as the City of Lakes, Minneapolis has some the nation’s best parks and bodies of water. Add in the cold, and you get the local University of Minnesota’s combined eleven ice hockey national championships.” “Ice” hockey championships? That’s what makes Minneapolis “Best”? Do these people even try to explain their thinking?
As you know, a currently popular point is that political polling is being cooked in favor of Democrats. This works hand in hand with the traditional, unequivocal, unabashedly, wildly liberal bias of the mainstream media. On his blog, Residual Forces, Andy Aplikowski criticizes GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills for being too overt in his attack on the Strib: “Is the Star Tribune left leaning? Absolutely. Any honest person can sit back and compare the coverage of [Michele] Bachmann, [Keith] Ellison both ‘extreme in their own right and left principles …. something you don’t see in the failed liberal paper. Again, I can say that, Kurt Bills and his official campaign cannot. Think of how the Strib covered [Norm] Coleman to how it does [Al] Franken. Klobuchar now as the person in power to Mark Kennedy back in 2006, the roles reversed and so has the coverage. [Tom] Emmer vs. [Mark] Dayton with this unserious Tom Horner thrown in simply to confuse people who may accidently be draqwn to conservatism. You know, the only politicians who can really sell liberalism is the ones who call themselves independents or Republicans…… It doesn’t take a Doctorate or fancy tittle from a University to see there is a rush to debunk any GOP claim and aid any DFLer in most of the MSM today. But your campaign manager can’t say ‘its daddy’s paper’ or make prom queen references. Your campaign manager also can’t say a newspaper is ‘Pravda on the Mississippi’ or if he does, he needs to do so with class, professionalism, and in a way that voters will take to heart.” Mr. Aplikowski brands his blog as a “stream of conscious.” I presume his fellow travelers understand what he’s trying to say.