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Anti-‘Redskins’ stance urged by American Indian Movement

Shutdown prompts jump in state jobless claims; Minnesota weighs reopening Voyageurs; St. Croix boat tours are back on; new MOA shops target young women; good news, bad news for lakes; and more.

Minnesota is “ground zero” for eradicating “Redskins” as a pro football nickname? Abby Simons of the Strib says: “A letter co-written by representatives of the Minneapolis-based American Indian Movement asks the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority … to refrain from printing or broadcasting the Redskins’ name or logo within the Metrodome during the team’s Nov. 7 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Doing so within a publicly owned facility, they reasoned, violates federal labor laws, hate-speech protections and the civil rights of American Indians. Failure to honor the request could result in legal action ranging from a temporary injunction to a class-action lawsuit on behalf of American Indian children.”

At MPR, Tim Nelson says: “For now, the NFL isn’t showing any indication that the league is ready to change.  Redskins owner Dan Snyder sent a letter to fans Wednesday saying he won’t break with his team’s 81 year tradition, and that the name stands as quote: ‘A symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride and respect.’ NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the matter at a press conference at the league meeting this week in Washington, D.C., and asked for understanding about the team’s name.” But then if the league could figure out a way to sell re-naming rights … .

As you might expect … . Jim Spencer of the Strib says: “First-time unemployment claims jumped 47 percent in Minnesota during the first week of the federal government shutdown, state officials said Thursday. The sharp increase put the state well ahead of the nation, which saw a 21 percent increase from 308,000 to 374,000 applications between the weeks ended Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, according to the U.S. Labor Department. About 2,000 of the 5,000 new applications in Minnesota came from employees ‘linked to federal government employment,’ said Blake Chaffee, a spokesman for the Department of Employment and Economic Development.” Would you like to place bets on which end of the political spectrum will point to these numbers as proof of Barack Obama’s economic policies?

Minnesota is assessing the value of spending state money to open Voyageurs National Park. The AP story says: “Minnesota officials say they’ll review an offer from the Obama administration to let states use their own money to reopen national parks that have been closed by the federal government shutdown. Matt Swenson, a spokesman for Gov. Mark Dayton, says the administration will review what it would cost and how much revenue it would bring in before deciding. Minnesota has one national park — Voyageurs National Park on the Canadian border. The National Park Service also runs the Mississippi and St. Croix national scenic river areas.”

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Coincidentally, Mary Divine of the PiPress says: “The St. Croix River boat tours out of Taylors Falls, shuttered by the federal government shutdown, can run again. Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours got word Thursday afternoon that their tours can run Friday, Saturday and Sunday — their last three days of the season. ‘It’s very good news,’ said owner Amy Frischmon. ‘We had estimated that we would have lost $100,000 to $150,000 (because of the shutdown). I have no idea how much we will recoup in the next three days. I’m hoping a lot because it’s beautiful in Taylors Falls right now.’ “

Heart, be still … John Ewoldt of the Strib reports: “Teen girls and young women, Mall of America wants you. The Bloomington megamall’s latest addition of eight new retailers and restaurants includes six that will appeal to a young, female demographic. ‘Young women are the key to all malls,’ said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail. ‘They’re not the most affluent shoppers, but they visit not only the tenants but also the movie theaters and the food court.  Ugg Australia, Free People, A’Gaci, Pink, Live Love Dream and Flip Flop Shops are new retailers to Minnesota.”

The GleanThe old “unintended consequences” issue … Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR says: “Phosphorus, a nutrient that is washed into Minnesota’s lakes with leaves and lawn fertilizer, can cause algae blooms and poor water quality. But efforts to reduce it in lakes can have an unintended consequence. According to a new University of Minnesota study published online Thursday in the journal Science, reducing phosphorus can also result in less of the microbial processes that eliminate another unwanted nutrient: nitrogen. As a result, nitrogen can accumulate in large lakes and lead to nitrogen pollution downstream, the study says. But rather than relaxing efforts to reduce phosphorus, the researchers said the new assertions mean efforts to reduce nitrogen in lakes should be stepped up even more.                                           

There’s big money coming after Congressman Rick Nolan. Kevin Diaz of the Strib says: “Mills Fleet Farm Vice President Stewart Mills III formally launched his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan with campaign events Thursday in Cloquet and Rush City. The rollout came nearly four months after he first announced his plans to carry the Republican mantle in northern Minnesota’s Eighth District, which has been largely in DFL hands for the past half century. … Mills, a third-generation member of the Mills Fleet Farm family empire, owns assets worth between $46 million and $150 million, according to personal financial reports filed with Congress.”

You’re excused if you’ve lost track of the cast of priests accused of sexual impropriety. But do you remember Father Huberty? Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports: “A woman parishioner told Maplewood police that she was “led into” a sexual relationship with her pastor while seeking religious and spiritual guidance from him, according to a search warrant affidavit. The Rev. Mark Huberty, a priest at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, met the woman in 2008, and she later went to him for counseling, she told police, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court in Maplewood. … On April 11, the woman and Huberty argued. She recorded a phone conversation between them, in which she says, ‘And everybody that you have done this with is just darn happily back at the church with you saying Mass?’ Huberty responds, ‘As far as I know, any people I’ve been involved with are still fully part of the life of the church, and whatever I’ve done with them has not caused irreparable harm to their marriages, um,’ the search warrant affidavit says.”