It’s deadline day for MNsure

It’s deadline time for MNsure. At the PiPress Christopher Snowbeck reminds procrastinators: “Q: If I don’t sign up for coverage Monday, can I do so Tuesday or later? A: After March 31, many won’t have another chance to purchase coverage until the next open enrollment period opens Nov. 15. Policies bought at that point would take effect Jan. 1. There will be some exceptions. After Monday, people still will be able to enroll in the state’s Medicaid and MinnesotaCare health insurance programs. There’s also a chance to buy coverage after March 31 in the case of ‘life events,’ such as the loss of job-based coverage, marriage or the birth of a child.” Blowing your knee out playing pick-up basketball is NOT a “life event.”

Government employees: What are they good for? Pam Louwagie of the Strib writes: “Jim Brandt’s steel-toed boots treaded nimbly across the railroad ties as he scanned the track around him for loose bolts, unfastened clips, gaping switches — anything that could prove dangerous for massive trains. Everything looked good, he confirmed with a quick nod; time to move on. The rest of the state’s 4,500 miles of rail awaited. About 150 trains a day rattle throughout Minnesota, the eighth-largest rail network in the country. The mild-mannered Brandt is the only state inspector overseeing those tracks for safety.” And he probably gets a pension!

Speaking of…Go ahead, hold your breath. The AP story says: “Minneapolis teachers have ratified a contract with the school district that takes steps toward smaller class sizes…The union says it includes a class-size target of 18 students for grade K-3 in high-priority schools and a commitment to bring all class sizes down over time.”

As you would expect Doug Belden of the PiPress says: “When state lawmakers rushed to approve $20 million in emergency heating aid in February, there was lots of talk about coming back to address the deeper structural issues that contributed to the severe propane shortage and consequent price spike. With two committee deadlines now come and gone, the bill that’s had the most hearings would protect consumers but would do little to avoid the shortages. Of the two other bills making headway at the Capitol, one simply calls for a study and the other’s fate is doubtful.” Let’s wait until it’s 25 below again.

Here’s the conservative Daily Caller reporting the push to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (and her $150,000 fee) from speaking at the U of M. Says Eric Owens, the site’s education editor: “A small group of angry white liberals is trying to force the administration at the University of Minnesota to revoke a speaking invitation extended to Condoleezza Rice because she played a role in the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.…The two white people attempting to block Rice’s appearance at the University of Minnesota are math professor William Messing and undergraduate student Nick Theis.” You did catch the race cards, right?

When life without parole…isn’t. Callie Sacarelos of the Strib writes: “Roman Nose, convicted of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced to life in prison without hope of parole — or so the Stuedemann family thought. Now, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Jim and Jeanne Stuedemann and their surviving daughter, Jessica, find themselves living the nightmare all over again. In a swift change of legal fate, Roman Nose could leave prison after he serves 30 years, in 2031. The thought terrifies the Stuedemanns of Woodbury], who believe he will kill again….”

Filed under “Developing.” Blois Olson says: “According to multiple people ‘in the know,’ Taylor Corporation and MN Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is very close to reaching an agreement to buy the Star Tribune.Taylor has expressed an interest previously, and has intensified negotiations recently.  One person with knowledge of the transaction suggested that  think that there is ‘an agreement in principle.’”

Champps in Maplewood has closed. Says Nick Ferraro of the PiPress: “Champps Americana bar and restaurant at Larpenteur Avenue and Interstate 35E in Maplewood closed this week after more than two decades in business. Owner Wayne Belisle shuttered the business Tuesday, general manager Wes Isaacs said Friday. ‘It’s a long story,’ Isaacs said, when asked why it closed.” Does “Business wasn’t so good” cover it?

Did you like the weather Sunday? Don’t get used to it. Jon Erdman and Nick Willgen of The Weather Channel say: “The Weather Channel has named Winter Storm Xenia, the 24th named storm of the 2013-14 season and the first since the spring equinox. Blizzard warnings have been issued for parts of Northern Plains in advance of this next storm.…Monday: Snow, likely heavy, will continue in parts of the Dakotas and spread into parts of northern Minnesota, with blizzard conditions possible. Rain may change to snow Monday night farther south in the Upper Mississippi Valley, including the Twin Cities.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Jeff Michaels on 03/31/2014 - 08:18 am.

    A comical sight

    Yes, Brian, we did catch the racial reference regarding the story about the war liberals are waging against the “free” speech rights of African American women such as Condolezza Rice. Ugly as the sight may be, it is comical to see some on the left being hoisted on their petard.

    If a conservative can get $150,000 for a speech, you have to wonder how much the U of M lefties fork over to hear one of their own. Fortunately, I am certain the fair and balanced reporters at the Star Tribune will follow up on that story idea.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 03/31/2014 - 09:16 am.

      Uninviting was a sham when it happened at St. Thomas.

      Desmond Tutu was un-invited to St. Thomas, in 2007.

      The objections to his speaking were said to be because Reverend Tutu gave verbal support to Gaza Palestinians, made even more awkward by President Jimmy Carter’s calling it Apartheid.

      Unquestionably, political and religious leaders of non-violent persuasion should be heard wherever they chose, and students can never have a complete education until they have heard from these modern day giants of PEACE.

      Even though Condi Rice might have a different take on the Bush Administration she served in now that time has passed.

      Maybe those who invited her already know if she will be defending the Bush-Cheney invasions, or if her views have been tempered by “how it all turned out”.

      As for who has more of value to say to the students, Rev. Tutu or Condi?

      IMO there is no comparison. Save the money.

      I suggest Malala.

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 03/31/2014 - 08:48 am.


    I’m utterly astounded some at the U are attempting to bounce Condi from speaking. I don’t agree with anything the woman stands for, but if you only want to “hear views like your own”, become a Republican and watch Fox News.
    At the very least, her talk will fall under the category of “learning from the mistakes of others”.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/31/2014 - 12:48 pm.

      Some at the U

      Are there more than two people involved in this? They are wrong to agitate to keep Dr. Rice from speaking, but they are hardly the mass movement of white liberals the Daily Caller makes them out to be.

  3. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/31/2014 - 08:57 am.

    The Daily Caller is pulling the race card here, not any ‘leftists’ as you call them. Nowhere was it stated that race was a factor in opposing Rice’s speaking engagement.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/31/2014 - 09:10 am.

      Race must be a factor

      If you follow conservative media, you will know that only liberals are racists. Conservatives believe in advancing people only by merit (just ask Justice Thomas about that), so that any criticism of them, their policies, or their actions in office is automatically racist.

  4. Submitted by richard owens on 03/31/2014 - 09:32 am.

    Pipelines and LP shortages

    The attention paid to the Keystone XL project has not focused on the busy changes being made to pipelines across the U.S.

    Pipeline are usually sold when they reach a certain age, to new managers that may or may not have maintenance resources and expertise to run them. The leaking tanks in West VA similarly were sold several times, even AFTER the tanks had rifle bullet holes and rusty bottoms. The liability in owning something like these “time bombs” should not be shed by subsequent sales. The older the pipeline the more risk to the public.

    But that said, the N.Dakota oil boom and pipeline use and pressures are changing. Some, like propane, run from the refineries to the North, and reversing them to move oil is more lucrative than bringing in LP.

    If the public were adequately informed, new pipelines would be contingent on fixing the leaking and aged lines we already have, as a pre-condition to more permitting.

    A need exists too, for a pipeline’s public liability to be attached to every sale, that the new owners know the current condition and allowable pressures on the line, and existing leaks be repaired as a condition of the sale.

    A quick Google search will show the jaw-dropping frequency of pipeline leaks and poor maintenance all over this country.

    We need this form of transport for LP, oil, water, sewer and natural gas. But we also need to manage it in the best interests of the public’s risks.

  5. Submitted by Elsa Mack on 03/31/2014 - 01:57 pm.


    As an employee of and student at the University, in a Humanities department where we are constantly being pushed toward greater efficiency and asked to show that we’re worth funding, I find it appalling that the U of M would waste that much money on a half hour of “inspirational” platitudes from anyone. Rice’s political views aren’t even part of the question, much less her skin tone.

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