You don’t even have to ask which side of the ideological spectrum thinks this is a good idea. Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “A four-day campaign to allow some students, faculty, staff and visitors to carry firearms at the University of Minnesota kicked off Monday with organizers hoping to attract attention to the issue. … Minnesota College Republicans, Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Young Americans for Liberty and the Minnesota Republic newspaper are advocating allowing people 21 and over who are legally permitted to carry weapons to do so on campus.” How about trailering a howitzer?
Elsewhere in guns … . The Strib’s Nicole Norfleet writes: “An 84-year-old man, who a relative said has threatened to hurt family before, shot and killed his 36-year-old son on Monday at their Maplewood home. After a two-hour standoff with police, Pang Vang was taken around 2 p.m. from the residence in the 1800 block of County Road B East and transported to Regions Hospital in critical condition with self-inflicted stab wounds to the neck and chest. His son Chue Vang was declared dead at the scene, shot with a long gun … .”
Local Oscar nominee’s legal problems. The Strib’s Mark Brunswick reports Captain Phillips phenom Barkhad Abdi faces “a possible hearing this week with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” based on an August 2012 Iowa drug arrest and suspicion of credit card fraud in North Dakota and Minnesota. The story, which cites one anonymous source, doesn’t detail the outcome of those arrests, which don’t necessarily equal criminal convictions, though the Strib calls them “criminal offenses.” Abdi “could not be reached for comment” and regional immigration official didn’t return comment requests … by name, anyway.
Interesting piece from MPR’s Brett Neely on data-mining masked as a petition drive. “Sen. Al Franken’s campaign sends out a lot of emails this time of year, but a lot of them don’t ask for money. For now, it’s your data he wants. … You might sign the petition expecting lawmakers to read it, but that’s not likely the case. It’s meant instead to glean information to help fundraisers find you later — part of the latest way campaigns are learning more about potential supporters and donors.”
Meanwhile, others are more interested in “solar gardens.” Bob Shaw of the PiPress writes: “A large-scale solar field – maybe the first in the Twin Cities area – could be selling solar power to Washington County residents as soon as next summer. According to the developer, the 1-acre field would give people their first opportunity to buy solar power without buying solar panels. The solar garden of 4,000 panels would generate a maximum flow of 1 megawatt of electricity, enough to power 140 typical homes.”
Well, it was one of the few places they actually won a game … . Ben Goessling of ESPN reports: “ … the [NFL] is talking about going from three London games in 2014 to four in 2015. Could the Vikings make a return to the United Kingdom in 2015? We wouldn’t bet against it. By then, the Vikings will be in their second season at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, and whatever adjustment period comes along with moving into a college stadium for two seasons will presumably be over.” Is the NFL squeezing the Brits for multi-million dollar hand-outs?
Vaporizing “vaping.” The AP says: “A plan to classify electronic cigarettes in the same fashion as the conventional kind survived its toughest committee test Monday and now awaits a Senate floor vote. The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee after an attempt to weaken the proposed regulations failed on a 7-6 vote. It would add so-called vaping to state indoor air laws that bar tobacco use in public places and most businesses.”
So … he did NOT vote for tax cuts, you say? Tim Pugmire of MPR reports: “When the Minnesota Senate passed a major tax bill last Friday, a Republican candidate for governor was not in the chamber. Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, did not cast a vote on the bill that provided $443 million in tax reductions through several federal conformity measures and the repeal of three business sales taxes. The Senate passed the bill 58-5. Thompson explained today he had a previous commitment Friday … .” Tell me it wasn’t an anti-tax rally.
Some news on this year’s Fringe festival … . The PiPress says: “Minnesota Fringe Festival announced its 2014 venue lineup Monday afternoon. Twenty venues in Uptown, Downtown and the West Bank will host 170 productions of theater, dance and more over the course of the 11-day festival. … Uptown: Bryant-Lake Bowl, HUGE Improv Theater, Intermedia Arts and Minneapolis Theatre Garage. Downtown: Illusion Theater, Music Box Theatre and New Century Theater. West Bank: Mixed Blood Theatre, Southern Theater, the Playwrights’ Center, Theatre in the Round Players and four stages at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center.”
How about a standardized competency test to weed out the nitwits? Eric Roper of the Strib says: “Minneapolis election officials are recommending that city rules be changed to speed vote counting, eliminate frivolous candidacies and give tabulators more privacy. A detailed report provided to the City Council’s elections committee, which meets Tuesday, also shows that 2013 city elections cost $1.7 million. That’s just over what city clerk Casey Carl originally requested, but much more than the $1.3 million the council approved.”
There’s some flex in the MNsure deadline. Says Jackie Crosby in the Strib: “Aiming to give Minnesotans every possible chance to buy health insurance before the March 31 deadline, MNsure officials on Monday said they will grant some flexibility to those making a good-faith effort to buy coverage when the clock strikes midnight that night. MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz stressed the state insurance exchange isn’t softening the deadline. He compared the newly announced steps to allowing people to vote if they’re standing in line when the polls close.”