Lack of indoor pool a ‘civil rights struggle’?

Maybe not so crazy when you know the facts. At MPR, Laura Yuen says, “A broad coalition is trying to revive a long-shuttered swimming pool in south Minneapolis, calling it nothing less than a civil-rights struggle. Owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the pool in the Phillips Community Center has been closed since 2008. Minneapolis has just three public indoor pools, all located in schools in more affluent corners of the city.”

Meanwhile, in another water-related civil rights issue, the Minneapolis City Council has dumped a day honoring noted sailor Christopher Columbus in favor of Indigenous People’s Day, the Strib’s Eric Roper reports. There was a time when you wouldn’t have messed with Minneapolis Catholics and their legendary hero, but times have changed. MinnPost’s Karen Boros offers her take here.

Medical marijuana on the march: In a bipartisan advance, a bill legalizing marijuana passed a state Senate committee 7-3, the PiPress’s Christopher Snowbeck reports. Sponsor Scott Dibble reined in patient access and tightened dispensary rules, earning support from Ham Lake Republican Sen. Michelle Benson. DFL Sen. Chris Eaton voted no. The Strib’s Pat Condon has more play-by-play.

No legislature jokes, please. WCCO-TV reports, “An officer in the city of Chaska … recently took pictures of turkeys who were strutting their stuff in the middle of the a major road. The two male turkeys weren’t allowing vehicles to pass and were also coming up right to them. The turkeys forced several drivers to turn around. Police say the male turkeys can be aggressive this time of year as they try to establish their dominance during the mating season.”

In that same vein … . KMSP-TV’s Bill Keller reports, “The land of 10,000 lakes is teeming with wild animals, but a fully grown lion is a rare sight — especially when it’s just lounging around in the back yard of a metro suburb. A photo of an animal control officer posing by the giant cat got a lot of people talking, especially since Eden Prairie residents are prohibited from keeping exotic animals — but apparently, it’s OK as long as it’s just visiting. ‘When we walked into the back yard, it was just like, ‘Woah! There’s a lion sitting right here in the back yard!’ Pastor Jordan Fleig said.” I think we know what Sunday’s sermon will be about.

Not exactly in step with the party line … . Randy Furst of the Strib writes, “Former Vice President Walter Mondale testified in U.S. District Court in St. Paul Thursday, defending his decision to pay a woman $30,000 less than a man at the Norwegian Consulate in Minnesota, when he was honorary consul general. In a civil trial that entered its fourth day, Mondale insisted the jobs were not comparable and the wage discrepancy was not due to gender, even though he later co-wrote a strongly worded letter to the Norwegian ambassador in an unsuccessful effort to get the woman’s wages raised.”

$8 million is real money … . James Walsh of the Strib reports, “Snaring the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was quite the coup for the Minnesota Twins and the Twin Cities. But who knew that it would be such a hit for Minnesota charities as well? On Friday, the Twins and Major League Baseball announced that the team, the Twins Community Fund, the Pohlad Family Foundation and the MLB Charities will contribute more than $8 million to local organizations and community projects connected to the celebration of the 2014 game.”

Interesting crime story by Mara Gottfried of the PiPress … . “Heidi Firkus has been gone for four years, and her family yearns to know the facts surrounding her death. The 25-year-old was fatally shot in St. Paul on April 25, 2010. Her husband, Nicholas Firkus, told police there had been an intruder in the couple’s Hamline-Midway home and he had armed himself with his shotgun. He said he and the man struggled, the gun went off, and Heidi Firkus was shot in the back. The only time police talked to Nicholas Firkus was the day his wife was killed.”

In the mood for some Old School traditional-conservative thinking on taxes? In a Forbes column, Travis Brown looks at several recent taxation moves and says, “Minnesota is neither open for business nor willing to let one leave or visit freely. With $4.24 billion in annual adjusted gross income leaving Minnesota between 1992 and 2011 … it is no surprise that lawmakers are seeking to keep more working wealth from leaving the state by any means possible. The fact that the DOR used a man’s visits to his grandchildren and doctors against him to claim more revenue for the state is enough evidence of this claim. Rather than using higher tax rates and the courts to balance these losses, Minnesota should go the way of Wisconsin and Michigan and cut taxes –states that are experiencing surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the first time in years, as well as overall economic growth – rather than California.” Would you buy a book by a money guru who wasn’t aware of the surplus here?

A few days old, but same vein … here’s conservative blogger Mitch Berg reacting to news of Glen Taylor buying the Strib and his talk with our Britt Robson. “So what does the Strib really need? … an Editorial Staff that actually puts accuracy and completeness ahead of politics.  Today — when they’ll sit on video of Mark Dayton giving an embarassing speech, but race to press with even the most foetid allegations about Republicans — they do not.  This editorial staff needs to crack the whip on, if not “objectivity” (which I believe has always been a myth in the major media) at least detachment, balance and development of sources outside the current crop’s clubby Rolodex full of left-leaning contacts.”

Want to keep reveling in the Wild’s stirring 2-1 series-evener over the Colorado Avalanche? The Strib’s Howard Sinker posts the last, frenetic 2 minutes of the 2-1 win.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/25/2014 - 12:32 pm.

    Medical marijuana

    If medical marijuana has proven benefits it should be approved. If recreational marijuana is approved at some point Minnesota will never smell the same. It will have the putrid odor of marijuana. We have enough ways to kill each other on the highways without legalizing marijuana. Just because it generates revenue it is not a rational to ever approve it for recreational use.

  2. Submitted by Greg Price on 04/25/2014 - 01:56 pm.


    Cmon Brian,

    With all the South Dakota bashing you do in this column…we need a little equal time on the Columbus Day/Native peoples issue…see below:

    Minnesotans are just re-inventing the wheel…we progressive South Dakotans are ahead of the game…

    In 1989 the South Dakota legislature unanimously passed legislation to proclaim 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” for Native Americans and to change Columbus Day to Native American Day. Since 1990 the second Monday in October has been celebrated as Native American Day in South Dakota.

    Greg Price

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