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A lucky day for all Minnesota ‘Burgers’

Wolf-hunt opponents lose; attorney donates 549 nature acres; more Bachmann vs. Graves; St. Croix Bridge groundbreaking; roundabouts big in traffic circles; and more.

Are you are a lucky “burger”? WCCO-TV says: “Today is National Burger Day, not to be confused with National Cheeseburger Day, which is in September. And anyone with the last name ‘Burger’ — or variations of that name — can get a free burger from any Twin Cities Smashburger location. The company said there are nearly 500 people in Minnesota with that last name — 492 with the last name ‘Burger’ and 25 named ‘Hamburger.’ Of course, all Berger’s, Weinberger’s, Rosenberger’s, etc. get to cash in on a free burger as well. Proof of last name is required … .”  No, really. The DMV screwed it up. It’s supposed to say “Lambertburger” …

It’s been a bad day in court for friends of wolves. The AP says: “Minnesota’s Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a petition aiming to undo rules that allowed for a wolf hunting season, the first of which was held starting in November. The appeals judges decided that the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves lacked sufficient legal standing to challenge the Department of Natural Resources rules. Minnesota resumed sport hunting and trapping after the region’s wolves came off the endangered list early last year. Hunters and trappers then killed 413 wolves during the state’s first wolf season, which ended in January.”

This is what the old-timers talked about … The AP reports: “A Minneapolis attorney has given the Department of Natural Resources one of its largest donations ever — 549 acres of wetlands, prairie and woods in Freeborn County. … John Goetz is the attorney who donated the land, which is valued at more than $664,000. Goetz bought the land in the mid-1990s as a place for recreation and rental. Goetz says he loves nature and has a longing to know what Minnesota was like before it was settled. He says standing in the middle of the section feels like being back in the 1800s, with waving grasses, wetlands and birds.”

On Monday, Politico painted an upbeat picture for Michele Bachmann challenger, Jim Graves. Today, Brett Neely at MPR sees it as “uphill”: “Democratic-leaning outside groups also plan to spend money to oust Bachmann this time. But they might have something of a conflict of interest. Privately, many Democrats admit that keeping Bachmann around is great for their fundraising and that she serves as a useful face of the GOP to campaign against. Meanwhile, national Republicans acknowledge that Bachmann could have a tough race in 2014 — but say they’re not too worried. ‘Michele clearly has a national following that’s very strong, she has a large cash on hand number and she is a very effective campaigner,’ said Oregon U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, who heads the National Republican Campaign Committee. … By coming so close to unseating Bachmann, Graves has become something of a hero to many liberals. But if Graves is successful and unseats Bachmann next year, Kondik says Graves would face a new challenge: He would be the rare Democrat representing a Republican-leading district. Just three House Democrats represent districts more conservative than Bachmann’s, according to analysis by the Cook Political Report.”

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It’s a “go” … Jessica Mador of MPR reports: “A formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held Tuesday afternoon in Stillwater for the St. Croix Bridge project. Work is already underway on the project, which will cost between $580 million and $676 million. … ‘We are just looking for a salutatory event just to say that everything is underway,’ said Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Mary McFarland Brooks. MnDOT is also establishing a no-wake zone for boaters near the bridge site, which will remain in effect for four years or until the bridge is complete.”

The GleanThe age of roundabouts has only just begun … In the PiPress, Bob Shaw says: “Roundabouts are becoming the most popular thing on Minnesota roads since dotted white lines. There are more than 115 of the circular intersections statewide, and an additional 39 are planned or under construction. The state champion? Woodbury — with 11 roundabouts built, planned or under construction, more than any other city. As more are built, a growing amount of data is proving that roundabouts save lives and increase the flow of traffic. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for more opportunities to build them.” Aren’t roundabouts another import from those socialist hellholes in Europe?

Pete Danko at the EarthTechling website continues the talk about Minnesota’s new solar mandates: “By 2020, 1.5 percent of the energy that public utilities in Minnesota generate will have to come from solar. It’s estimated that this new requirement, signed into law last week by Gov. Mark Dayton, will result in a 32-fold increase in solar capacity in the state, up to 450 megawatts. … The advocacy group Fresh Energy noted that wind and flexible financing options that allow more Minnesotans to access solar projects got ‘short shrift’ from St. Paul lawmakers, and pointed out that the legislative victories it did win won’t benefit customers of cooperative and municipal utilities. Still, it said, the ‘bills passed into law were a good first step in answering Governor Mark Dayton’s call to transition to a cleaner energy future that creates thousands of jobs for Minnesotans.’ ”

Talk about public indifference … Kevin Duchschere of the Strib reports: “Only one person testified Tuesday about the Ramsey County Board’s proposal to raise its pay next year by 1 percent, and even he rather grudgingly liked the idea. The board is expected next week to approve the raise for 2014, matching the pay hike given to county employees this year. The board’s raise would take effect January 1. Under the proposal, the salary of the board chair — currently Rafael Ortega — would be increased by $867, to $87,542. The board’s other six commissioners would get a pay hike of $840 each, making their salary next year $84,888. According to the ordinance, the board intends to set its salaries in the future to match general increases given to county employees.”

The Onion is on to Vikings superstar Adrian Peterson. It says: “Responding to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson publicly asserting his firm opposition to gay marriage, the reigning MVP’s longtime boyfriend Scott Oakes told reporters Tuesday that he ‘can take a hint’ and now understands that the athlete isn’t interested in marrying him. ‘All right, Adrian, I get the message loud and clear,’ said Oakes, noting that Peterson’s stated position that gay marriage is ‘not something [he believes] in’ perfectly explained why his lover had yet to pop the question at any point in their three-year relationship. ‘He can’t see himself being with me in the long term? That’s fine, but if that’s how he feels, he should have had the guts to tell me directly rather than letting it slip out in some radio interview. I’m not with that.’ ” And please, for the hopelessly uninformed … The Onion is … satire.