It goes without saying the Senate would really like Michael Brodkorb to go away … Brian Bakst of the AP says: “Minnesota Senate attorneys sought Thursday to have a former aide’s lawsuit dismissed because, they say, the case has been tainted by an erroneous release of a list alleging Capitol sexual affairs. The attorneys filed a federal court motion seeking to end the case and impose sanctions against Michael Brodkorb and his lawyers. … Senate attorney Dayle Nolan argued in Thursday’s filing that a list was deliberately released in defiance of the protective order and that potential witnesses might now clam up. She described the list as ‘salacious material’ that is little more than gossip. ‘The resultant damage to the Senate’s case is irreparable,’ Nolan wrote. ‘In light of the attendant publicity, anyone who learns that his or her name is being brought up in the litigation will understandably assume that privacy cannot be guaranteed, and that false statements about them may be published without recourse.’ ” It’s wrong, but I love it when they talk about “salacious material.”
The deceased’s DNA was on the machine gun … Dave Chanen of the Strib writes: “Forensic tests have identified Terrence Franklin’s DNA on the trigger of a Minneapolis police officer’s submachine gun, fired during a chaotic struggle that ended with Franklin’s death, sources with knowledge of the investigation said Thursday. … Attorney Michael Padden, speaking on behalf of Franklin’s parents, said a wrongful-death lawsuit may commence after the grand jury findings. Padden said he believes that once all of the evidence is released, it will show that Franklin died primarily because he was black. ‘It’s our contention the DNA was planted. The DNA being on the gun fits exactly into our theory of the case,’ he said. ‘This is no surprise at all, and we have expected this from essentially day one.’ ”
He is the eggman … and he’s guilty. Dave Aeikens of the St. Cloud Times reports: “The criminal trial of Alvin Schlangen ended Thursday with a guilty verdict in Stearns County District Court in St. Cloud. Schlangen is a Freeport organic egg producer who had resisted Minnesota Department of Agriculture demands that he get a license, refrigerate eggs, and package and label his food accurately. He will spend the next year on probation and will pay a $300 fine. If he violates state food laws, including those for raw milk, he could be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail. Schlangen contended he’s not in the business of selling food commercially and doesn’t need the $155 license. He argued he provides food to a group of organic and locally grown food enthusiasts who buy and share foods they have grown.”
The composers speak … . Allan Kozinn of The New York Times writes: “On Thursday 91 composers — among them, Martin Bresnick, John Corigliano, Derek Bermel, Stephen Hartke, Philip Glass, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, George Tsontakis, Nico Muhly and David Lang — sent an open letter to the orchestra’s musicians, administrators and board (and, for good measure, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul), begging that all the parties in the dispute “be responsible cultural stewards and break through the year-long logjam” to get the talks back on track. The immediate issue for many of them was the cancellation of the 2013 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute and the prospects for the 2014 edition, in which the composers who had been selected to take part this year were to have been heard, belatedly.”
And there’s this from the Strib’s Graydon Royce: “Negotiations to find ground rules for a mediated settlement in the 11-month lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra are stumbling forward. Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell made a proposal to soften the potential downside for musicians to engage in bargaining, according to the musicians’ negotiating committee. Musicians agreed to the terms but management declined, according to a letter that the musicians’ team sent to board members Wednesday. … Mitchell is working with several key dates quickly approaching. The 2013-14 season would normally start in September. Music director Osmo Vänskä stated last spring he would resign Sept. 9 if no deal were reached.”
A story from MPR’s Tim Pugmire on the thinking of personal care attendants vis a vis unionization: “It’s a labor of love. But is it also labor that should be unionized? That’s the question Kirwin and 12,000 care providers in various Minnesota taxpayer-supported programs may soon answer. In-home personal care assistants, who work with elderly and disabled people, have been quietly moving closer to a vote on whether to form a union. A law passed in the spring opened the door to union efforts among personal care assistants and state-subsidized child care providers. While the child care fight has been more public, the divisions are no less deep among people who spend much of their time caring for loved ones.”
In somewhat the same vein … Heather Brown of WCCO-TV asks a “Good Question”: “In Minnesota, the cost of child care is among the highest in the country. The average cost of infant care is $13,579 a year. For a four-year-old, it’s $10,470 a year. ‘Families are moving from less regulated to more regulated care,’ said Chad Dunlkey, CEO of New Horizon Academy. They operate 60 day care centers in Minnesota. He says most of the money is being spent on staff and the classrooms. He estimates between 60-80 percent is spent on staff, 10-20 percent on the building, 5 percent on food and the rest split up with expenses like insurance, transportation and supplies.”
The emerald ash borer has made it as far as Superior and seems poised to cross either the Bong or Blatnik bridge. Dan Kraker of MPR reports: “Duluth has identified 4,500 ash trees on city boulevards and there may be tens of thousands more within the city’s borders on private property and public lands, said Kelly Fleissner, Duluth’s maintenance operations manager and former forester. It’s not clear how the borer made its way so far north so fast. The critters can’t fly very far so they usually travel from one location to the next on infected ash wood, usually firewood, moved by people, he added.”
Also up north … baby wolves have been heard on Isle Royale. Rebecca Williams of Michigan Public Radio reports: “Earlier this year, researchers from Michigan Technological University who study the wolves reported there were just eight wolves left — and they reported they were unable to find any evidence of pups born to those wolves. But now, that has changed. Michigan Tech researcher Rolf Peterson heard two or three wolf pups in July. Peterson doesn’t have phone access on the island. But by email, he told me he thinks the pups were born this spring, and they were probably born to a pack called the West End Trio. … The three main options on the table are:
Let the current population go extinct, and do nothing.
Let the current population go extinct and then reintroduce wolves to the island.
Attempt to genetically rescue the current population by bringing in some new wolves.”