Expect a new fundraising appeal … Politico’s story, by Rachel Bade, says: “Bribery, awarding special favors to campaign donors, violating gift rules, soliciting illegal campaign contributions, using campaign cash for personal gain, and having sex with patients. Those are some of the allegations against lawmakers in a new Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington report on the ‘most corrupt members of Congress.’ … The list also hits on some of the bigger ongoing ethics spats and scandals. The ‘corrupt list,’ for instance, includes Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who will retire at the end of this term, for allegedly using her presidential campaign to promote her memoir, stealing e-mail lists, and refusing to pay certain staff until they signed nondisclosure agreement about the campaign. House Ethics, the FBI and FEC are all probing the matters.”
Yes, e-pulltabs are a punchline. But they have stirred up a few bucks for charities around the state. The AP story says: “While the stadium project never benefited, scattered charities have found ways to make the electronic games successful and generate dollars for their programs. Mike Petroske, president of the St. Cloud Youth Hockey Association, told Minnesota Public Radio News that two bars where the association operates electronic pulltab games saw upticks in gambling proceeds. The money allowed them to increase the number of skaters in the program by 5 percent this year. Marion Coffman, gambling manager at American Legion Post 491 in Bayport, said electronic pulltabs turned around charitable contributions this year. ‘It makes it more attractive for locals to come in to the establishments and not drive all the way to the casinos,’ Coffman said.” Mission accomplished!
Another AP report, on various lake associations fighting invasive species, says: “The Gull Lake Chain of Lakes Association cleaned 642 boats in 2011 to keep zebra mussels from spreading to other nearby lakes. But the next summer, it pulled the plug on the project. Stover said cabin owners wanted an aggressive approach that would decontaminate boats that left the lake and boats that came from other waters infested with any invasive species. But he said Department of Natural Resources rules limited how often and where boats could be cleaned. In Hubbard County to the northwest, the focus is still on prevention, and so far it’s worked. None of the lakes in the Park Rapids area are infested with zebra mussels. Local governments and lake associations there raised $140,000 this year to hire 22 boat inspectors and set up a decontamination station.”
South American dinosaurs will invade … next spring. Maja Beckstrom of the Pioneer Press says: “The Science Museum of Minnesota announced Wednesday it will host the traveling exhibit ‘Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana,’ to open March 1. The exhibit was created by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and includes reconstructions of 20 dinosaur skeletons. But don’t expect a Tyrannosaurus rex. The exhibit focuses on dinosaurs that evolved in isolation in South America, Africa and Madagascar, species unfamiliar to most North Americans. Visitors will learn how geologic history affected the evolution of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era, 250-65 million years ago, and why these southern dinos are different from their northern brethren.”
Copper-nickel mining critics are having their say … The AP says: “Critics of proposed copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota said Wednesday they have gathered petition signatures from all 87 Minnesota counties. Officials with Mining Truth said 12,604 people have signed the petition since the summer push began July 8. The petition asks Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to require ‘yes’ answers to four questions: Will Minnesota’s water stay safe and clean? Are there safeguards in place from when things go wrong? Will the company leave the site clean and maintenance-free? Will Minnesota’s taxpayers be protected?”
As predicted … . Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line won’t begin rolling between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul until mid-2014, but St. Paul officials say they have proof it’s already inspiring economic development along the 11-mile corridor. In 2013 alone, building permits along the St. Paul portion of the corridor — to be known as the Green Line — have reflected $143 million in construction activity, a five-year high comparable to pre-recession levels. The city issued $96 million in building permits along the line in 2009, $102 million in 2010, and excluding permits issued for projects directly related to light rail construction, $51 million in 2011 and $142 million in 2012.” But remember, government doesn’t create jobs.
Also from Melo, news that by Nov. 1 you’ll be able to eat outside in St. Paul: “In Lowertown, a block of Sixth Street by Mears Park soon will be expanded to accommodate sidewalk seating. Work on the sidewalk expansion is expected to begin Sept. 24, with an anticipated completion date of Nov. 1, according to the St. Paul Department of Public Works. The project is funded by building owners along the block, which is home to the popular Bin, Barrio, and Bull Dog restaurants. The St. Paul City Council voted in March to expand the sidewalk between Sibley and Wacouta streets. The city’s Public Works Department will widen the north sidewalk from 10 feet to 18 feet in front of the restaurants, eliminating six metered parking spaces.” Will the misters be working by then?
Strib editor Nancy Barnes’ work is done in Minnesota. A piece in the Strib — without a byline — says: “Star Tribune Editor and Senior Vice President Nancy Barnes was named Wednesday as editor and executive vice president of the Houston Chronicle. Publisher Mike Klingensmith announced simultaneously today that the Star Tribune has begun a search for a replacement that will include internal and external candidates.”
Pat Reusse has had it with the 2013 Twins. In his Strib blog, he declares: “[B]aseball has remained my No. 1 sport to follow, even as NFL madness has overtaken the nation. But what the Twins have offered up this season is a disgusting collection of garbage matched only by the final two seasons at Met Stadium in 1980 and 1981. … 2013? There’s nothing owner Jim Pohlad, or team president Dave St. Peter, or General Manager Terry Ryan, or my season-ticket representative, can say other than to admit this stinking pile of garbage was doomed from Day One. You remember Day One, right? The starting pitcher was Vance Worley. … Here’s our ace, offering the exciting combination of lifeless pitches and being out of shape. … I hate this team. I hate the pitching. I hate the hitting. I hate the nucleus as it looks ahead to 2014.” Hey, that Pinto kid looks like he might be good …