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Tonight’s the night for first gay marriages

Weisman Museum spiff-up; Stillwater inmate suing Corrections; Senate takes up Jones nomination; missing mannequins; Dayton’s “mystery trip”; and more.

Well, tonight’s the night. Jon Collins at MPR writes: “The city of Minneapolis is hosting an extravaganza at City Hall tonight where Mayor R.T. Rybak wil officiate at the marriage of 42 same-sex couples. The celebration, which will stretch well into Thursday morning, includes performances by local musicians, a brass quintet and a reception at the nearby Hotel Minneapolis. Rybak staffer Andy Holmaas, who helped organize the Minneapolis event, said everyone from photographers to General Mills, which provided the cakes, have pitched in for free to help make the event successful.”

The reflection alone must be a killer … Spencer Doar of The Minnesota Daily tells us about the cleanup of the building’s exterior: “The Weisman Art Museum, finished in 1993, was designed by architect Frank Gehry.  His profile has since risen dramatically, making the Weisman’s presence a coup for the University of Minnesota. A $14 million expansion, also designed by Gehry, was completed in 2011. The Weisman’s stainless steel exterior and the matching panels along the Washington Avenue footbridge aren’t different from some kitchen appliances. Its convoluted metal contortions are just as prone to dirt and grime, with the added curves and twists providing more nooks and crannies that don’t get naturally cleaned with rainwater. … In spite of its abstract appearance, the Weisman gets cleaned with a mild, diluted detergent once every two years or so.”

A Stillwater inmate wants a judgment against the prison system. Paul McEnroe of the Strib writes: “After Erick Thomas collapsed in his Stillwater prison cell one evening last year, a nurse gave him a hasty examination and then wrote “Faker” in the prison’s nightly medical log. But when Thomas was rushed into emergency surgery at a St. Paul hospital the next morning, doctors found a near-fatal blood clot pressing on his spinal cord. Now Thomas has sued the Minnesota Department of Corrections, alleging medical negligence that left him temporarily paralyzed and numb in half his body even today. … Thomas was convicted of dealing cocaine in Austin, Minn., in 2008 and is scheduled for release in 2018.”

If it’s Wednesday (or Monday or Tuesday or Thursday or Friday) it’s time for a “showdown” in D.C. Alan Fram of the AP reports: “The Senate is ready for a showdown on President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives in a battle that carries echoes of this year’s gun control fight. Democrats were forcing a vote Wednesday on ending Republican stalling tactics against B. Todd Jones’ nomination to head the agency, which enforces federal firearms laws. They are hoping for a different outcome this time for Obama and his allies, who were defeated in April when the Senate refused to expand background check requirements for gun buyers. … The NRA has opposed past nominees to head the ATF, an agency which has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2006, and long has accused it of making it hard for legitimate, would-be gun owners to acquire weapons.”

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The GleanMannequin-napping! Kevin Bonman of the Grand Forks Herald writes: “Authorities are looking for clues into the disappearance of two longtime fixtures of the Union Lake community near Erskine, Minn. Manny and Kin, a pair of mannequins that have been part of Lillian Rux’s family for more than 30 years and have become a lakeside landmark, went missing sometime overnight Friday. ‘We don’t have any suspects at this time,’ Polk County Chief Deputy Sheriff James Tadman said. ‘They were last seen in the yard down by the lake at about 11:30 p.m. We received a call the next day that they were missing’ ” If it’s not nailed down … .

Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib dogs Gov. Dayton for his latest “mystery trip”: “The governor’s mysterious Wednesday trip is designed to woo a different company than Dayton tried to lure last week, spokesman Matt Swenson said. … Dayton has made a quest for transparency a hallmark of his first term — voluntarily releasing both his tax returns and his campaign finance data — but said on Tuesday that requests to know the details of his jobs trip were ‘unreasonable.’ … Dayton got some support for his secrecy from Senate Minority Leader David Hann. ‘I think it’s fine, in my opinion, for the governor to go out and promote the state. I wish him well,’ Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said on Tuesday. But, Hann added, ‘I think he could do a far better job, though, of promoting the state by paying attention to our tax policies and regulation policies that would make Minnesota more attractive.’ ” Exactly! Like, stop suppressing the job creators!

Another bad habit/compulsion/lifestyle will cost you more … The AP says: “Getting caught engaging in prostitution or soliciting sex for pay will come with a higher cost to Minnesota offenders. A new state law permits authorities to forfeit the cash that was used in or intended for the sex solicitation. It applies to prostitutes, patrons or pimps. The law goes on the books on Thursday. The forfeiture is in addition to other penalties offenders can face, either monetary or time behind bars.”

It’s like a … super weed … man. Stephanie Hemphill of MPR reports: “Planted among neat rows of six-inch-tall soybeans are bristly two-foot-tall camelina. It’s a new crop of sorts for Gerald Gellee, a farmer who for years has planted corn, soybeans, oats, rye and other crops. This year Gellee has turned to camelina, a member of the mustard family that produces seeds with twice as much oil as soybeans. The spindly plant looks more like a weed than a crop, but Gellee and his colleagues hope it’s going to be a whiz at producing biodiesel. They know that for the camelina effort to be successful, farmers will have to grow it and manufacturers process it.”

We’re No. 10! … in “aspiration.” Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox at The Daily Beast say: “To determine America’s current aspirational hotspots, we focused in large part on economic indicators … But we also took into account demographic factors … Finally, we considered quality-of-life factors … Not all our top aspirational cities are in Dixie. If there’s enough growth and opportunity, solidly blue-state regions can perform well enough to stay near the top of these rankings. Such cities include No. 8, Washington, D.C., and No. 10, Minneapolis–St. Paul, as well as No. 12, Seattle; No. 16, Denver; and even No. 22, Boston. In these cities, high-tech and professional-service growth has created enough wealth to offset higher costs while offering the next generation the chance to live in a culturally vibrant place where affording a home and raising a family are still possible.” Dead last of 51 cities? Los Angeles.