It’s deja vu … vu … again. At City Pages, Aaron Rupar talks about Target deciding to take it to rival WalMart and open Thanksgiving night: “Last Thanksgiving, Target held off on opening its doors until the clock struck midnight and Black Friday began. Nonetheless, more than 200,000 people supported a petition asking Target to remain closed until later in the morning on Black Friday so workers could enjoy Thanksgiving with their families. This morning, Target announced that this year, stores will be opening at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening. Predictably, the announcement sparked renewed petitions asking Target to at least hold off until midnight on Black Friday, including one written by a California Target employee that already has the support of nearly 160,000 people.” But … but … what if all the good stuff is gone?
Minnesota college kids aren’t returning to the habit of spending time abroad. Jenna Ross of the Strib says: “Over three years, the number of Minnesota college students who study abroad slipped 7.3 percent, a report released Monday by the Institute of International Education shows. The state’s figure first dropped in 2008-09, along with the economy. But nationally, study-abroad numbers have since rebounded to record levels. Not so here. Minnesota has long been a leader in sending students overseas for the scholarly and cultural experiences officials say are critical in today’s global economy. But the state has fallen out of the top 10. For two years, it has held 11th place, an analysis of the new report shows. Its top school is still tops. St. Olaf College in Northfield once again ranked first nationally in 2010-11.”
The Minnesota River is getting cleaner. The AP story says: “Oxygen levels are up in the Minnesota River, a key indicator that one of the state’s dirtiest waterways is getting healthier and that efforts to reduce pollution from wastewater treatment plants are working, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Monday. MPCA staff monitored a 20-mile stretch of the lower river for three weeks in August to see if the hot, dry summer and low water flows would deplete dissolved oxygen levels. Such depletion had been a problem in previous droughts, but scientists were encouraged to find that oxygen levels remained high enough to support fish, bugs and other aquatic life despite the stressful conditions.”
You had company out deer hunting. A PiPress item says: “Through Monday, Nov. 5 — the Monday after opening weekend for firearms hunting — more than 446,000 tags were sold, according to data from the Department of Natural Resources. That’s the most at this point in the season — by more than 10,000 — since at least 2000, the farthest back the DNR’s readily available data goes. For much of the state, the regular firearms hunting season ends Sunday, Nov. 11, so the bulk of the licenses that were to be sold have been sold. Still, last year, nearly 512,000 license were sold, so there’s plenty of room for 2012 to not set any records.”
Still another “What will the Republicans do now?” piece, this time from Brian Bakst at the AP: “The result opened a debate within the GOP about how to best position the party for 2014, when all but the state Senate is again on the ballot. Some are pressing for sharp contrasts that leave little doubt where each party stands. Others are worried that voters will punish lawmakers who come off as stubbornly partisan. State Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge said GOP legislators should serve as the ‘principled opposition’ by offering their own proposals when they can’t embrace the Democratic-crafted plans. He said Democrats no longer can use divided government as an excuse for inaction.” There must be a couple more sex or reproduction bills they can push, in a “principled way.”
Is there some place lower than hell? At the Strib, Paul Walsh and Randy Furst report: “A 21-year-old man has been charged with throwing his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daughter onto a bed ‘like a sack of potatoes’ in their north Minneapolis home, leaving the child facing a fate of possibly never walking again. Eric P. Boone was charged Friday with first-degree assault and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail ahead of a court hearing Tuesday. The girl’s medical specialists have indicated that ‘a possible prognosis could result in the victim being a quadriplegic and/or [needing] a permanent tracheotomy to breathe,’ police said in announcing the charges.”
Also at the Strib, Jim Buchta tracks the latest in the area’s housing market: “The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors released its October housing report this morning; here are the highlights.
- Pending sales: 4,483, 34 percent higher than October 2011.
- Closed sales: 4,262, a 15.1 percent increase over last year.
- Median sales: up 14.8 percent to $175,000.
- 10K Housing Value Index (factors in changes in the kinds and prices of sales): up 7.4 percent increase to $172,804.
- New listings: 5,301 homes were placed onto the market, 7.5 percent more than last year.
Total active listings: 15,002, down 29.7 percent — the lowest since at least January 2003.”
Here in blue Edina, we note Tom Scheck and Laura Yuen’s MPR story on the GOP’s belly flop in a normally welcoming pool: “In Minnesota, insight into the mood of voters can be found in the city of Edina. Voters there overwhelmingly rejected ballot measures that would have amended the state constitution to make marriage only between a man and a woman and require Minnesotans to present voter ID at the polls. … As a family, the Atkins have figured out how to give and take. That’s why Nick Atkins, a recent college graduate and the oldest child, said he grew increasingly annoyed with Republicans who controlled the state Legislature over the past two years. He describes himself a fierce independent, as does his 53-year-old father, Dan Atkins, who for most of his life thought of himself as a Republican. In recent years, the elder Atkins said, he had no choice but to claim a new political identity. ‘The Republicans did that, actually,’ he said. ‘The social conservatives’ insistence on hammering through what they think is right basically made me not a Republican.” Atkins’ shift is representative of Edina’s growing unpredictability at the polls. He and many of his neighbors are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. Edina is now considered a swing district, even though Atkins recalls not too long ago, it was a reliably Republican area.” Well, as long as the GOP has Ramsey and Big Lake.
Springsteen newbie Reed Fischer of City Pages took in last night’s show and writes: “Personal Bias: As a Springsteen first-timer, it’s impossible to know where a show like Sunday’s fits into the spectrum. For me, there are few live acts that can mesh a career’s worth of material, a band of virtuosos, and stadium-sized heart so convincingly. He’s only eight years younger than Bob Dylan, but what a difference in the level of energy. Also, you can see how everyone from Bono to Craig Finn (especially on “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City”) gleans from Bruce’s infectious live persona. In two cities filled with aspiring Springsteens everywhere, this is a masterclass on how to get an audience (and band) on your side by leading with unbridled spirit.
Overheard in the Crowd: A guy behind me was trying to be funny and asked “Can you try and stand up a little more?” because I think he actually wanted to sit down a little more. Some folks, huh?
The Crowd: The perfect mix of expensive jewelry, trucker caps, and even an Abigail Breslin look-alike wearing a Nirvana T-shirt who Springsteen brought onstage to sing “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” with him.”
My favorite site was in line for the ATM — (really? $9.75 for a beer?) — a young mother with her no more than five month old in a baby carrier … and the tyke was wearing huge pink earphones to protect it’s tiny ears from Bruce and the band’s wall of sound.