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Democrats run toward, not away from, Obamacare

Eden Prairians to flood Southwest LRT; same-sex marriage group declares victory and goes home; justified shooting; and more.

Just a guess, but we may be seeing a lot more of this … . Brett Neely of MPR reports, “Democrats appear to be less worried about the political fallout from the troubles of the Affordable Care Act. Second District DFL candidate Mike Obermueller’s first TV ad embraces the law and condemns the multiple votes incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline has taken to repeal it. The ad shows insurance company executives dancing at the thought of the law being repealed by Congress (actually, the health insurance industry’s primary trade group backs the Affordable Care Act) and ties Kline to last fall’s federal government shutdown.” 

Eden Prairie will send the most riders down the Southwest LRT. At MPR, Laura Yuen says, “Projections by the Metropolitan Council show that the line would be most popular with people traveling to and from select stations in Eden Prairie, Hopkins and St. Louis Park. The opposite is true for the three stops that skirt the edge of north Minneapolis … .”

MPR’s Jon Collins has a sweet story on the sunsetting of Project 515, which was set up to undo 515 Minnesota laws “that once treated same-sex couples differently than straight couples. The laws touched on areas as distinct as hospital visitation rights to being able to buy a family fishing license.” Last session’s gay marriage bill fixed all that, so it’s time for Project 515 to close.

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The deputy shot at in an incident up in the northwest corner of the state last month has been declared justified in firing at the suspect. The Forum News Service says, “Norman County Deputy Nathan Warner returned fire after being shot April 15 near Perley in northwest Minnesota. Warner was shot in the back in his bullet-resistant vest, and another round struck his portable radio on the front of his vest. … [Steven] Henderson and his brother had just traveled from Oklahoma to Minnesota when they were pulled over April 15 in a pickup that Henderson had stolen the day before in Kansas or Nebraska. He had found a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun inside the glove compartment.” I believe the key words here are: “Pickup,” “stolen,” “found,” “.45”.

Water use permits are getting a work over … . The AP says, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is rolling out a new system for managing water use permits as part of its continued effort to assure the sustainability of precious groundwater. The DNR has created an Internet-based system to make it easier for people to apply for permits or seek changes in current permits.”

It’s in the bill, but Strib outdoor writer Dennis Anderson says the legislature can do the right thing by the Bell Museum. “The Legislature has a chance in its final days to atone for a long-festering funding embarrassment and set in motion construction of a new Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. … why should the U’s administration support a proper learning environment for science, technology and related education and outreach when there are so many athletic facilities to upgrade, coaches to buy out and bills to be paid for canceling Gophers football games the team fears it might lose?” Heh, heh, heh.

This is not good … . Eric Litke of Gannett Media Wisconsin reports, “Heroin continues to leave its deadly mark on Wisconsin, claiming a record 227 lives last year, according to Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team research. The death toll is a 10 percent increase from 206 deaths in 2012.”

The GleanDoes this mean more or fewer of those “40% off the already on sale, yellow-tagged, not-to-be-confused with red-tagged discount items prior to 15% coupon” deals? John Ewoldt of the Strib tells us, “Herberger’s has opened its first free-standing outlet store in the Birch Run Station shopping center, one block west of Maplewood Mall. … Herberger’s 27,000-square-foot outlet space in a former OfficeMax includes a large selection of ladies, kids and men’s clothing, accessories, shoes and home goods at discounts of 60 to 80 percent.”

This week’s breathless “Best of” collection appears in the Strib. Among the usual ad-enticing touts is “Best new arts neighborhood,” which coincides with this weekend’s Art-A-Whirl. “Northeast Minneapolis has long been the city’s mini-Bohemia, but the area bordered by Central to Madison (east/west) and Broadway to 18th Ave. NE. (south/north) has become a beehive of new energy in the form of studios, microbreweries, boutiques and ethnic dining.”

Barring a blizzard, there should be good crowds all over Nordeast for the annual art crawl. Erik Thompson at City Pages puts up a list of the bands (and times) playing at various venues. “The sheer amount of outdoor music (and art, naturally) during Art-A-Whirl weekend in Minneapolis is already quite staggering. With 331 Club, 612Brew, Indeed Brewing Co. already announced, more stellar lineups from the Anchor Fish & Chips and Grumpy’s NE are crowding the schedules.”