Everyone loves tax cuts … . Brian Bakst at the AP says, “Minnesota lawmakers from both parties hailed a deal Thursday to deliver $103 million more in tax relief, including extra refunds and credits for homeowners, renters and farmers. The bill finalized late Wednesday night won’t be voted on until next week, leaving room for tinkering as the Legislature works to complete other big items in its annual session. But Gov. Mark Dayton already pledged his signature.”
Today in ACLU battles … . Maya Rao of the Strib reports, “The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota sued Minneapolis in federal court today, claiming that a ‘clean zone’ approved by the city to restrict certain activities in areas around the Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in July are unconstitutional. The organization is representing James McGuire and Robert Kolstad, who are planning a street festival that month to honor the anniversary of the 1934 Teamsters strikes, when police officers shot 67 protesting truckers and killed two.” The city hasn’t rejected that event.
Meanwhile, in digging holes deeper … . Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib writes, “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will ask the court Thursday for permission to interview family members of an alleged victim of priest sex abuse, and to have him undergo a psychological evaluation by a psychologist of its choosing. The court will also be asked to determine what is ‘good cause’ for releasing the name of priests accused of abusing children but not criminally charged.”
At City Pages, Jesse Marx adds at bit more to the latest Climate Assessment released earlierr this week. “By 2100, you can say goodbye to the moose and the pines of the Boundary Waters, says Paul Bolstad, a professor in the U of M’s Department of Forest Resources. ‘It’ll look more like central Missouri.’ Bolstad was one of hundreds of academics and researchers to contribute to Tuesday’s report.”
Wait until the usual suspects get a load of this … . At MPR, Dan Olson reports, “Sex education is part of the curriculum in every Minnesota high school. But 32 Hennepin County schools are expanding on the effort through the outreach program, known as TOP, which includes frank discussions on the biology of reproduction and also on healthy relationships. Funded by nearly $17 million federal grant over five years, TOP is offered to schools and teachers willing to participate and this year will reach 2,200 students.” If education by superstition, snickering and innuendo was good enough for me, it’s good enough for kids today.
Don’t be uncool to bees. In the Strib, Kim Palmer advises gardeners, “ … bee-friendly gardening was named a top national trend for 2014 by the Garden Media Group, and Minnesota, in particular, has become a hive of bee-related activity and advocacy. … Research on neonicotinoids’ impact on bees is currently underway. But in the meantime, several large local players, including retailers Bachman’s and Gertens and wholesale grower Bailey Nurseries, have decided to err on the side of caution and eliminate or sharply reduce their use of neonicotinoids.”
On-line barristers … . Says Maura Lerner’s Strib story, “A Minnesota law school will become the first in the country to allow students to earn their degrees largely from home, with the blessing of the American Bar Association. On Wednesday, William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul plans to announce its new hybrid option: Students will spend only a week or two on campus each semester, and take the rest of their classes online. It’s the first such program at a fully accredited law school.”
You know they’re bad when the cops say, “forget it.” Marino Eccher of the PiPress reports, “Rosemount police will drop a traffic ticket against a driver who said he was cited for swerving to avoid potholes on a rough stretch of road. Allen Moe was pulled over and ticketed May 3 for not staying in his lane on southbound Shannon Parkway between Dearborn Path and 145th Street West. Moe said he moved to avoid numerous potholes in the road while driving to his daughter’s dance class. He planned to fight the ticket, which carried a $128 fine, in court.”
Having slaughtered a hundred forests in nearly six months of 24/7 “mock draft” hype, the Strib, PiPress and the nation’s untold other pro football geeks will begin living with their predictions as the NFL actually conducts it’s draft this evening. Some predictions … for the record:
Brian Hall at FoxSportsNorth: “If [GM Rick] Spielman finds the right ‘dance partner’ for No. 8, he’ll move down a few spots and accumulate more picks. But if Spielman and the Vikings sit at eight, here are a five options for when they finally get on the clock: Quarterback Blake Bortles, Cornerback Justin Gilbert, Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Linebacker C.J. Mosley, Quarterback Derek Carr.”
Matt Miller at Bleacher Report: “The Pick: ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (trade with Giants). This just feels like a Mike Zimmer pick, doesn’t it?”
Mark Craig at the Strib: “Top need: Quarterback of the future. Trade potential: Down. Trader Rick Spielman can get what he wants outside of the top 10. The pick: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State.”
Charley “Shooter” Walters, at the PiPress: “It’s unclear whether the Minnesota Vikings will be able to trade down a slot or two with their No. 8 pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft. If they are, they still might be able to get the player who makes the most sense for them, linebacker C.J. Mosley from Alabama. If unable to move down, though, no one could blame the Vikings for taking Mosley at No. 8. It’s the justifiable and logical pick.”
Chris Thommason, PiPress: “C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama. If the available quarterbacks make the Vikings skittish about a Christian Ponder repeat, they’re also desperate for a linebacker. They also could trade down to get Mosley.”
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: “Blake Bortles QB, UCF.”
If the dailies had spent half as much ink explaining Obamacare we might have avoided a lot of hysteria.