National Guard furloughs 1,207 civilian techs

I doubt many of them will go on a big spending spree … Jim Ragsdale in the Strib says: “A total of 1,207 civilian employees are being furloughed from the Minnesota National Guard Tuesday due to the federal government shutdown. … The statement said of the 2,100 full-time military support workers, ‘1,207 are military technicians who are furloughed.’ Military technicians are federal civilian employees who are also members of the Minnesota National Guard and wear military uniforms to work, a guard spokeswoman said. Their jobs include human resources, mechanics, logistics and telecommunications as well as leadership roles.”

It’s confirmed … In the PiPress, Marino Eccher says: “The search for Anarae Schunk ended with confirmation that her body was found in rural Rice County. The 20-year-old University of Minnesota student had been missing since Sept. 22. She was last seen on surveillance video at Nina’s Grill in Burnsville. … Her body was found was found by Rice County maintenance crews around 4:30 p.m. [Monday] in a ditch in the 7000 block of 60th Street in Wheatland Township near Lonsdale. Rosemount police released a statement Tuesday afternoon confirming the body was Schunk.”

In Orchestra matters … . Euan Kerr at MPR says: “There was no applause Tuesday as two of the orchestra’s top creative minds — Music Director Osmo Vanska and Aaron Jay Kernis, founder and director of the orchestra’s Composer Institute — quit in frustration following another failed attempt by management and musicians to negotiate a new contract. They left exactly one year after orchestra management locked out musicians. Both sides in the labor fight at least agreed on one thing Tuesday — Vanska’s resignation was tragic. … The director also won high praise from the likes of New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, who was struck by a 2010 Minnesota Orchestra performance with Vanska on the podium. ‘For the duration of the evening of March 1st, the Minnesota Orchestra sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world,’ Ross wrote. ‘The question now hanging in the air,’ Ross wrote Tuesday, ‘is whether the musicians could possibly divorce themselves from the MOA and set themselves up as an independent ensemble.’ “

Shades of “Hamsterdam” …  Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune says: “Members of an encampment of homeless people who have taken shelter in tents pitched under the freeway overpass in downtown Duluth organized an impromptu press conference Monday afternoon, calling on authorities to refrain from threatened plans to break up their settlement. ‘We’re like family,’ said Nate Briese, a 38-year-old man living in the colorfully painted gathering spot that locals call ‘Graffiti Graveyard.’ ‘We all look out for each other.’ Samantha McKinney, 46, has been homeless since January and found temporary shelter in the freeway encampment. If homeless people living there are forced to scatter, McKinney said she will feel far less secure than she does today.”

The latest on the in-coming weather ”event” … Paul Huttner at MPR says: “The first waves of rain arrive in Minnesota by Wednesday night. All signs point to a long duration rainfall event, with several waves of rain between Wednesday night and Sunday morning. Much of Minnesota could pick up 1 to 2 inches or more by Sunday noon. The more aggressive solutions lay out a ‘bull’s-eye’ rainfall of 3 inches or more over the Twin Cities and central Minnesota in the next five to seven days. If this verifies, it will put a serious dent in our late summer drought.”

Mary Lynn Smith’s Strib story on the five girls missing from the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis has a happy ending: “There were tears, hugs and huge sighs of relief as five Minneapolis girls, ages 11 to 13, were reunited with their families Tuesday night more than 24 hours after they had gone missing. “I’m still in shock,” said Kelly Ward after holding her daughter Izzy in a long embrace after the 13-year-old was found in St. Paul about 9 p.m. At another home in south Minneapolis, Tammy Nygaard was hugging her own wayward daughter, Gabby. “Oh my God, I’m so happy,” she said. … But Gabby, like some of the others, also is in for some major consequences after families, friends and church members blanketed Minneapolis and St. Paul with fliers, posted pleas on Facebook, and walked parks and streets in search of the girls. “There’s going to be a little bit of grounding. She won’t get her phone back. And there will be a little extra housework,” Nygaard said. The frantic search began when the girls didn’t come home from Seward Montessori School Monday afternoon.”

Well, the architects like the tunnels … Pat Doyle of the Strib reports: “Architects of the biggest transit project ever in the Twin Cities on Tuesday endorsed spending more than a hundred million dollars to hide the Southwest Corridor light-rail line in tunnels through a recreation area in Minneapolis. The pivotal recommendation is intended to quiet critics and buy political support for the transit project, but it won’t satisfy some Minneapolis residents … The proposal calls for digging 1.4-mile-long tunnels next to existing freight rail and bike trails in the Kenilworth corridor at a cost of $160 million. It rejects rerouting the freight trains onto berms in St. Louis Park at a cost of $200 million, an option that drew strong criticism from that city and its residents.”

But then how could they nail Minnesotans cruising through to Chicago? T0dd Richmond of the AP says: “A Republican lawmaker tried to persuade a legislative committee Tuesday to approve his bill that would raise Wisconsin’s speed limit to 70 mph, saying the change would improve traffic flow and allow commuters to spend more time at home. Rep. Paul Tittl, of Manitowoc, told the Assembly’s transportation committee during a public hearing on the measure that Wisconsin drivers are ready for a higher limit, noting that Wisconsin is the only Midwestern state with a 65 mph limit. He said he drove from Manitowoc to Madison at the speed limit and his was the slowest car on the road. ‘It was embarrassing,’ he said. ‘I had little old ladies passing me.’ “

If this were the NFL, there’d be penalties for piling on … The Strib editorial board writes: “As the federal government careened toward the partial shutdown that began Tuesday morning, GOP representatives one after the other repeated the same two arguments: that their party’s stop-Obamacare-at-any-cost budget strategy reflects the “will of the people,” and that Democrats and President Obama simply aren’t willing to compromise. The numbers tell a different, more reality-based story, which is why the natural tendency to blame both sides for the budget debacle should be checked as the shutdown and its potentially harmful economic consequences play out. … That Republicans are willing to risk all of this for what Obama correctly called an ‘ideological crusade’ on Tuesday speaks volumes about their priorities and judgment. … voters and one of the Republicans’ key constituencies — big business — need to loudly say ‘enough.’ The antidote to the nation’s economic woes is good governance, not more gamesmanship.” Can we call that a “self-protective” tendency … ?

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/02/2013 - 07:02 am.

    Tunnel vision or….

    Seems like anything with the complicated design sensitivities as an under ground tunnel – flooding and intricate needs structurally embedded in such a project – demands a major input from the engineers…as they are rarely automatically recognized as overall design functionaries?

    Do wonder why “architects” as a profession are not secondary almost to the expertise of engineers who make good design viable?

    “Architects of the biggest design project in the twin cities…” Or maybe ‘architects’ is merely a generic term which pretty much downsizes either/or professions in its generality? Just curious…and probably trivia and the question of tunnel vision; mine…

  2. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/02/2013 - 08:54 am.

    If it’s good to hide 1.4 miles of the SWLRT,…

    …how much would it cost to hide the ENTIRE thing ?

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/02/2013 - 09:08 am.

    Big business?

    Why would Big Business be concerned about the GOP’s demands on Obamacare? They got their employer mandate exemption from Obama. They’re happy. In fact, many are going to use the next year to plan on dumping their employee health insurance benefit, figuring the government will take care of them now.

    Nope. The GOP is no friend of Big Business and vice versa. They’re all socialists now.

  4. Submitted by Linda Miller on 10/02/2013 - 10:12 am.

    SWLRT

    Can someone explain to me why they aren’t just putting the LR line through Hennepin/Lake/Uptown area? those residents love mass transit and don’t need more cars clogging streets – it is the perfect solution.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/02/2013 - 11:28 am.

      The problem is there are no ghettos along this proposed line.

      Otherwise, the ugly parts could be put where the poor people are, and planning would sail on through without all this unpleasantness.

    • Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 10/02/2013 - 02:14 pm.

      Hennepin & Lake LRT

      The reason SWLRT doesn’t work in Uptown is because the definition of Light Rail (as compared to bus, streetcar or trolley) is the limited number of stops. If you run light rail down the Midtown Greenway trench it would only stop twice before it headed north. That is not enough stops for Uptown. If you stop more often then you defeat the purpose of the LRT.

      It would be more appropriate to run a streetcar on Midtown Greenway that stops every few blocks from the Red Line LRT at Calhoun Village to the Blue Line LRT at Hiawatha (stopping at Dean Pkwy, Lake Calhoun Pkwy, Hennepin, Dupont, Bryant, Lyndale, Harriet, Pleasant, Blaisdell, 1st, 4th, Oakland, Chicago, 13th, Bloomington, Cedar and Hiawatha).

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