Sexual assaults at U of M up 31% since 2008

It is an amazing, lamentable set of statistics. Rebecca Harrington of the Strib says, “Reports of sexual assault at Minnesota colleges have risen sharply in recent years, lending urgency to a national call to bring down the number of sex offenses that occur on campuses across the country. The University of Minnesota, which has had two high-profile rape cases this school year, reported 31 percent more sexual assaults in 2012 than in 2008… Across Minnesota, the number of reported sex offenses rose from 115 in 2008 to 141 in 2012, according to data supplied by colleges as required under the federal Clery Act.”

At MPR Elizabeth Dunbar talks “financial assurance” vis a vis PolyMet Mining: “Financial assurance in the mining world has only become more complex in recent years as state and federal regulators look to avoid past costly mistakes. Cleanup costs can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and last decades or even centuries, especially when long-term water treatment is required, as could be the case in PolyMet’s proposal. Right now, and likely for many more months, state and federal regulators are executing a souped-up background check of sorts — a massive environmental review designed to assess the mine’s potential environmental impacts. If that study passes muster, PolyMet would ask the state Department of Natural Resources for permission to mine. The mining permit includes a financial assurance proposal, and the DNR would have to evaluate whether it would be sufficient.”

They’ve about had enough… Nina Moini of WCCO-TV says, “About 3,000 teachers in St. Paul will be asked to take a strike vote later this month, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers has announced. On Monday night, a press release from the union said a vote will take place on Feb. 24. The time and location have not yet been determined. Earlier in the day, a meeting was held with the 23-member executive board, and it discussed whether to put a strike-authorization vote before the full membership.”

About time… A KMSP-TV story says, “Minnesotans can now apply for enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) or identification cards (EID) and wouldn’t need a passport to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean. Minnesota is now the 5th state to accept the enhanced cards along with Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington.”

Say what you will about Zygi and his contract-negotiating skills… Ben Goessling of ESPN writes, “Zygi Wilf released a statement on Monday afternoon supporting Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s decision to announce he is gay, calling Sam ‘courageous’ and saying the Vikings would welcome any player they feel can help them win.”

Almost simultaneously ex-Viking Chris Kluwe’s thoughts on Sam’s disclosure were appearing on The Huffington Post. Says Amanda Terkel, “Kluwe objected to the unnamed coach saying an openly gay player would be a ‘distraction,’ noting that teams always have to deal with players’ personal issues, ranging from their dating lives to their problems with the law. ‘One thing I thought was really interesting was the very word ‘distraction,’ said Kluwe. ‘You see that used a lot by the front office and coaching. It’s very similar to how the word ‘thug‘ was used when Richard Sherman was the topic of conversation. It seems that this word distraction is code for, I don’t really like the idea of a gay player on my team, but I know I can’t come out and say that, so I’ll use the word ‘distraction’ instead.’ ” If Ben Roethlisberger isn’t a “distraction” why should a gay guy be a problem?

The GleanGood. The AP reports, “An American Indian reservation in the Dakotas that has been hard hit by the nation’s propane shortage is getting help from the Shakopee Mdewakanton (mehd-WAH’-kuh-tuhn) Sioux. The Minnesota tribe that operates several enterprises including a casino and runs a charitable giving program is giving the Standing Rock Sioux $500,000 for propane. As many as 5,000 homes on the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border rely on propane, and many residents can’t afford the higher fuel prices tied to the shortage.”

The governor had another operation at Mayo. The AP says, “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is recovering from a surgical procedure to alleviate pain in his hip. A Dayton spokesman says Monday’s surgery at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic went as planned. Dayton had postponed it last week so he could attend the funeral of Joan Mondale.”

We’re Numbers 3 and 7! A survey from Central Connecticut State University says, “Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States. This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: number of bookstores, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing resources, and newspaper circulation.” 

CITY

FINAL RANK

Washington, DC

1

Seattle, WA

2

Minneapolis, MN

3

Atlanta, GA

4.5

Pittsburgh, PA

4.5

Denver, CO

6

St. Paul, MN

7

Boston, MA

8

St. Louis, MO

9

San Francisco, CA

10

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 02/11/2014 - 08:17 am.

    Michael Sam and distractions

    I think they don’t want a gay guy in the locker room and these big, tough guys are afraid of something they don’t understand. I imagine when major league sports were integrated there were the same fears and similar comments although I bet the true feelings were less well hidden back in the 50s. I think it is a classy move by Sam to come out before he’s drafted putting dignity and truth ahead of a guaranteed pay check. The Green Bay coach had comments similar to Zygi’s last night on the news. Notice how all the negative comments are anonymous.

  2. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 02/11/2014 - 09:58 am.

    A plan to sweep the streets for the next 500 years,…

    …or FOREVER, if need be !! Trust us !!

    Do you believe a plan like this ? Think it’ll work ?

    If you think a street-sweeping plan like this is dubious, or even a delusion, how plausible do you find a 500 year plan for mitigating natural environment water pollution of unknown scope and unknown scale ?

    Anybody else see anything wrong with 500 year plans ? From the way the DNR talks, you’d think they’re in the 500 year planning business – which they ARE NOT. It is mere pretense.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 02/11/2014 - 12:09 pm.

    SPPS negotiations

    Those who haven’t already staked out a position on this and would like to know where the parties started in their negotiations may want to review the 2011-2013 agreement, which you’ll find here:

    http://hr.spps.org/uploads/c_teacher.pdf

    It’s worth noting that the agreement contained this clause regarding attempts to reach an already agreed upon class size for each grade:

    “During the negotiations of the 2011 – 2013 teacher contract, the District and the Federation engaged in extensive discussion regarding class size. Each party recognizes the importance and relationship of class size to student success and the closing of the achievement gap.
    In 2011 the District adopted the Strong Schools, Strong Community strategic plan. As part of that strategic plan, specific class size ranges were established to provide more consistency of class size across the district while also allowing for some flexibility within each school. The established class size ranges are:
    GradesClass size range
    PreK 20 or less
    K – 3 22 – 28
    4 – 6 25 – 30
    7 – 8 29 – 35*
    9 – 12 30 – 39*

    *Range for core classes (social studies, math, English, science).
    The District is committed to, that by the start of the 2013-2014 school year, class sizes will, on average, be equal to the lowest number of the class size range indicated above. Both the District and the Federation understand that to achieve this, resources must be available to fund such class size numbers and that if such funding is not available the district would be unable to fulfill this commitment. It is also understood that circumstances beyond the control of either party may circumvent the efforts to reduce class size. It is the intent of both parties to work collaboratively to secure funding and additional resources to reach these class size goals. In order to secure funding the district understands that specific commitments must be made as to the distribution of those funds. It is the intent of the district to honor those commitments should such funding be provided.”

    Larger classes (should) require larger time commitments from teachers. More time typically translates into greater compensation, even for those of use who are salaried.

    Average salaries are precisely that. They do not reflect what entry-level teachers are paid or how long they may have to be employed to reach the average. If SPPS similar to other districts, the salary schedule is back-end loaded, with entry level teachers being paid far less.

    This website lists average salaries far below that cited by the district in this news report.

    http://www.teachersalaryinfo.com/minnesota/teacher-salary-in-st-paul-public-school-district/

    If this site is accurate, the 10th percentile earns $30,000 to $35,000 per year while the 90th percentile earns approximately $66,000. (That’s about the same as a postal carrier with 20 years or more.)

    I’ve not yet found any work-day requirements in the agreement. If one assumes that a teacher works a straight 8 hour day, 180 days a year, then we’re looking at a 1440 hour work year. That’s roughly 2/3 of what is considered a full time job on an annual basis. If we assume that teachers work an average of 10 hours per day over 180 days, that’s an 1800 hour work year or roughly 5/6 of of a full time job. Based on my experience with the district, as a parent and tutor, I’m sure some work the lower end while others far exceed the upper end.

    The question people need to ask themselves is “Who do we want teaching our kids?” I want a salaried professional, not someone bound to a clock. I want someone who chose education not because it was the best they could do academically but because they saw it as a challenging career in which they could make a decent living.

    What I don’t want to see is what I saw this past year, as a bright, talented young woman tossed aside her plans to teach in her fourth year of college because she could start work as a dental hygienist at almost $20,000 a year more, with a two year degree. Her lifetime earnings are likely to be substantially higher than they would have been as a teacher.

    http://www1.salary.com/MN/Minneapolis/dental-hygienist-Salary.html

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 02/11/2014 - 12:10 pm.

    Let’s Face It

    We’ve long since reached the point where “corporate responsibility,” especially in the area of mining concerns protecting the environment, has about as much meaning as “jumbo shrimp” or “colossal olives.”

    Once the profits are extracted (to out of state investors), Polymet will declare bankruptcy and their promises of “financial assurance” to provide continuous cleanup of runoff from their mine and their waste storage areas will evaporate into thin air.

    But, sadly, our friends in Northeastern Minnesota are likely to succeed in their desire to gain two or three decades of moderately decent jobs with benefits, the future wasteland they’re leaving to our children and grandchildren be damned!

    I hope someone will extensively document in photos and video what currently exists in that area, because we’ll want to remember what we used to have.

    Meanwhile, Polymet will get their copper/nickel mine and our descendants will curse us for allowing it to happen.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 02/11/2014 - 12:11 pm.

    I’m sure

    “the Vikings would welcome any player they feel can help them win”, if they don’t cost too much.

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