The Minnesota House is going to look into Target’s data breach problem. Martin Moylan at MPR says: “A Minnesota House committee will discuss the Target data theft Tuesday. Some members are considering legislation to better protect consumers when such crimes occur. Forty-six states, including Minnesota, have enacted legislation requiring notification of individuals whose personal information has been stolen. Minnesota law requires ‘expedient’ disclosure. [DFL Rep. Joe] Atkins says it might make sense to mandate a deadline in some cases.” And standardized liability for debit cards?
“Fake” … Twitter followers? Nick Winkler of KSTP-TV writes: “5 EYEWITNESS NEWS audited high profile politicians in Minnesota and found they have thousands of fake twitter followers. For instance, approximately 6,000 of Governor Mark Dayton’s twitter followers are not real. We checked and candidates for the Republican nominee for Governor have fake followers as well.”
Some insights from the real world … Mark Steil of MPR reports: “The debate over immigration reform is heating up in scores of Minnesota crop fields, livestock barns and farm homes. As Minnesota Milk Producers Association President Patrick Lunemann puts it, ‘we’re struggling to find labor.’ Lunemann employs immigrants as part of the work force on his 700-cow dairy farm near the central Minnesota town of Clarissa. He’s seen an estimate that half the nation’s dairy cows are milked by immigrant labor, and it’s about the same in the state as well. The nation’s largest agricultural organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation, launched a major effort this month to influence the immigration debate.” Milking cows? I heard on the radio that they were all drug-mules and terrorists?
How about an app for “fixing” parking tickets? Tim Harlow of the Strib reports: “[David] Hegarty has developed a new app called Fixed that calculates your chances of getting out of a ticket that you feel you got unjustly. ‘You grumble about it, but you don’t fight it. That is what the city is banking on — that it’s just below your threshold where you want to fight it and are happy enough to pay it. That is what we hope to change. We have to make it easy to fight your ticket and access the due process that you are entitled to.’ Fixed is only available in San Francisco at present, but it will be rolled out to other U.S. cities over the next 18 months. The Twin Cities is near the top of the list, he said.”
Better late than never … Jim Adams of the Strib writes: “As three generations of his family looked on Sunday, Benny Arechiga, 92, of Osseo officially became a French hero. Nearly 70 years after the young soldier manned a tank machine-gun and helped liberate France from Nazi Germany, he was appointed a knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction. … The family only recently learned that Arechiga qualified for the Legion of Honor and began the process of applying on his behalf.”
The Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger story on the retirement of GOP Rep. David FitzSimmons, one of the Republicans taking fire for voting in favor of gay marriage, says: “He was challenged by Republican Eric Lucero and others. Much of Lucero’s opposition to FitzSimmons focused on the lawmaker’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Lucero won overwhelming backing at a Saturday convention. FitzSimmons, long a Republican operative and activist in the most conservative circles, entered the Saturday fight with support from Republican state heavyweights.”
At MPR, Curtis Gilbert writes: “FitzSimmons’ same-sex marriage vote went against the will of his constituents, said Minnesota Family Council Communications Director Autumn Leva. ‘They feel disenfranchised. They feel betrayed by how he voted,’ Leva said. ‘That’s what we were hearing from delegates and others at the convention over and over. We didn’t expect this from David. We know David. We thought he was going to stand with us on this issue, and he didn’t.’ ”
As for the Metrodome demolition … . Samantha Grossman of TIME writes: “In 2012, TIME named the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings, the number 1 worst stadium in the United States. Well, somebody was clearly paying attention, as the arena is now undergoing demolition to make way for a new and presumably much better facility, scheduled to open in July 2016. On Sunday morning, a series of controlled explosions brought parts of the old structure crumbling to the ground. … The video [linked] shows the rapid succession of explosions as major portions of the structure buckle and crumble. It’s all strangely mesmerizing and satisfying.” MinnPost has MPR’s video here.
Yeah! Why are (some) Wisconsin roads in better shape than ours here? Kate Raddatz of WCCO-TV says: “Todd Rehnelt, St. Croix Highway Department’s assistant patrol supervisor, says there is one major difference between the neighboring states. … The Minnesota Department of Transportation is responsible for 5,000 miles of roads in the metro alone, while it’s up to the individual counties to plow in Wisconsin. Another difference is that some counties in the land of cheese use cheese brine, according to MnDOT spokesperson Kevin Gutknecht.” Laugh, but it probably works better than skunked beer.