Maybe this will help … Graydon Royce of the Strib reports: “Osmo Vänskä says he will resign as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra if the ensemble loses a prestigious engagement at New York’s Carnegie Hall because of the current musician lockout. In a letter to board chairman Jon Campbell and chief executive Michael Henson, Vänskä said he believes the orchestra needs to be playing by late May or, at the very latest, early September to achieve the proficiency needed for the Carnegie appearance — which he called one of the most significant goals of his tenure. ‘I must make it clear, that in the case Carnegie Hall chooses to cancel the Minnesota Orchestra’s concerts this November, i.e. if they lose confidence in our ability to perform … then I will be forced to resign,’ Vänskä wrote.”
Flip Saunders has a new job with significant influence over the Timberwolves. At ESPN, Brian Windhorst writes: “Flip Saunders confirmed to ESPN on Thursday night that he has signed a long-term deal to become the Minnesota Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations and will hold a minority ownership stake in the team. With Saunders as a part-owner, longtime owner Glen Taylor is expected to take the team off the market, sources said. He had been looking for a buyer who would keep the team in Minneapolis. The ‘godfather’-style deal with Saunders, who coached the Wolves from 1995 to 2006, is similar to the arrangement Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat.”
Jeremy Olson of the Strib has new details about two previously reported infant deaths at day-care providers. “An infant who died in January at a Hastings home day care had been placed face down on a blanket on a carpeted floor after the provider couldn’t get him to fall asleep in a crib, according to a state investigation released Thursday. … After discovering the unresponsive baby, [provider Ann] Quigley attempted CPR and called 911. She then gave authorities “conflicting information” about whether the baby had been placed in a crib, the report said. When law enforcement and social services personnel in Dakota County tried to reach her to clear up that question, she did respond.” Olson and others won a Pulitzer for their work on those earlier stories.
It was pretty much party line again as the Senate pushed forward the bill requiring public reporting of nurse staffing standards. Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says: “Backed by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor majority in the Senate, the bill passed on a 36-25 vote that fell largely along party lines. The compromise measure between unionized nurses and hospital administrators addresses an issue that in 2010 prompted a one-day strike by 10,000 nurses against 12 hospitals in the Twin Cities. In addition to requiring public information about staffing standards, the bill would spend $250,000 on a study that investigates possible correlations between nurse-to-patient staffing levels and patient outcomes.”
True tech nerds are already hip to graphene. For the rest, Richard Chin of the PiPress provides some valuable info: “Graphene is the thinnest material in the world, basically a sheet or layer of carbon only one atom in thickness, which has led it to be described as the world’s first two-dimensional material. It’s transparent, yet it’s a superb conductor of heat and electricity. It’s stretchy and flexible, yet it’s harder than a diamond and hundreds of times stronger than steel. And it’s so cheap and easy to make that a smart high school student probably could create a sample of graphene. Among the few ideas being suggested for potential uses of graphene are flexible electronics, such as a cellphone that you could fold or roll up into a tube or a piece of clothing or a even a potato chip bag that could function as a digital device. Rust-proof metal coatings, medical sensors, seawater desalination, even a potential replacement for silicon in semiconductors are among the ideas being considered as graphene applications.” Add cold fusion and our problems are solved …
Of course we don’t want to be anything like Colorado or Washington … Jennifer Brooks of the Strib says: “It’s too late to push a bill through this session, but about 40 legislators in both parties, including more than a dozen committee chairmen, sent a strong signal that they want to add Minnesota to the 18 states where marijuana can be legally prescribed. Legislators passed the legalization of medical marijuana in 2009, but were stopped by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who vetoed the bill. … The marijuana would be available through licensed dispensaries that would grow the drug on site in locked greenhouses. Patients in remote areas could be licensed by the state to grow a small number of marijuana plants for their own use. But is a state that doesn’t allow wine sales in grocery stores ready to legalize marijuana dispensaries?” Is that a trick question?
How powerful is the gun lobby? In his “Reality Check” segment for WCCO-TV, Pat Kessler says: “Minnesota, like many states, made a push for stricter gun laws after the murders in December 2012 of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school. After Newtown, many states introduced strict gun measures, like assault weapons bans, background checks and magazine limits, but only four states passed them: Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York. Many more, however, went the opposite direction, loosening gun laws. It’s TRUE. Fifteen states made it easier to get a gun, carry it or use it, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.” Or … pretty much the same pack that won’t allow you to buy beer on Sunday.
Obviously there will be some consideration of the source … But John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says: “A poll conducted for the Sierra Club shows most Minnesota Power customers surveyed support a “fundamental change” in electrical generation to focus on efficiency, solar- and wind-generated electricity and a move away from coal. … The poll, conducted as the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission reviews the Duluth-based utility’s long-term energy plan, found that eight out of 10 Minnesota Power customers agreed with the statement that ‘we need to fundamentally change the way we get our energy in Minnesota by modernizing the electric grid to maximize energy efficiency and wind and solar energy use.’ ” And if power costs more?
Curtis Gilbert at MPR says St. Paul is willing to pay full union wages in return for a no-strike agreement on the new Saints ballpark: “The city council last night agreed to negotiate a project labor agreement (PLA), which will serve as a master contract with the unions representing the various building trades. Such agreements are required to include a no-strike clause. … Project labor agreements have become commonplace for publicly funded developments in the Twin Cities. The Twins ballpark was subject to one and the Vikings stadium will be, too. A 2009 city council resolution requires St. Paul to consider such a contract when it spends more than $250,000 on a building project. But critics say the agreements constitute a giveaway to labor interests.” And after you’ve given away pretty much all you’ve got to league and ownership interests, there isn’t all that much left …