The novelty factor hasn’t worn off yet. In the PiPress, Frederick Melo says, “Metro Transit officials say … leisurely boardings — combined with regular commuter service — helped the new light-rail line’s opening week surpass ridership expectations. Customers boarded the Green Line 139,027 times during the first five days of regular operations, from June 16 to June 20. That averages 27,805 rides per weekday.”
Not exactly across the street … . Jon Bream of the Strib reports on the new location for Taste of Minnesota. “Taste of Minnesota is making a comeback — far away from its home site of Harriet Island in St. Paul. Because of flooding at Harriet Island, Taste is being moved to the Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia, it was announced Wednesday afternoon. The event is set for July 3-6 with two-dozen food vendors and about 30 musical acts, including Soul Asylum, Halestorm, Cowboy Mouth, Starship and Joe Nichols.”
Speaking of food … that last winter is nowhere near a remote enough memory to start talking … State Fair. Still … Rick Nelson’s Strib story talks about the 28 new items of chow. “Beer Gelato: Gelato blended with local craft beer and made fresh daily, on-site (Manciniʼs Al Fresco) … . Blue Cheese & Corn Fritz: Four deep-fried corn fritters stuffed with crumbled blue cheese … and served with a fresh herb chimichurri (The Blue Barn, a new vendor). … Deep-Fried Breakfast On-a-Stick: American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, an egg and Canadian bacon all sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in batter and deep-fried (The Sandwich Stop).” The snobs of course turned down my Super State Suds Boat … a can of Keystone Light deep-fried, rolled in cheese, dipped in chocolate and wrapped in bacon.
Thinking of, you know, maybe just driving over to see the Prez? The Strib’s Emma Nelson says, “President Barack Obama’s visit means major disruptions for Minneapolis residents over the next couple days, particularly those near Lake Harriet. For starters, access to the boat launch shuts down at 10 p.m. Wednesday. And starting early Friday, no boats will be allowed on the lake and people who have sailboats on the lake won’t be allowed to access them. … People who live near the Band Shell, where Obama will speak Friday, will have to be escorted to and from their homes that morning.”
The president’s visit is tied to the idea of the struggling middle-class, women’s economic issues in particular. So he may want to swing by western Wisconsin while he’s in the area. The AP says, “An exotic dancer is suing a western Wisconsin strip club, accusing the owners of violating state and federal labor laws by failing to paying dancers hourly wages and overtime. Elizabeth Mays claims the owners of 4 Mile Gentlemen’s Club in Fountain City charged a ‘stage fee’ of $5 to $27 and forced dancers to perform even when the club was near empty and the customers weren’t tipping … .”
The U.S. Supreme Court will look at the long sentence for a white supremacist. Says Randy Furst for the Strib, “When U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle ordered a white supremacist from Austin, Minn., to prison for 15 years for illegally possessing ammunition, he made it clear that he felt the sentence was too long but had no choice under the law. … Federal prosecutors said Johnson planned to support the [Aryan Liberation Movement] by counterfeiting money and had manufactured napalm, other explosives and silencers for it.”
Veteran Atlantic writer James Fallows finds inspiration in Duluth to consider the well-received article on reparations by colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates. “The importance of recognition is why I was so struck by the monument … in downtown Duluth, Minnesota, to the three victims of a famous lynching there 94 years ago this month, in June 1920. … Still the monument is there, barely one minute’s walk from the main-drag Superior Street. I can’t confirm what I heard from several people in Duluth: that this is the only such monument of its type in America, or at least the most detailed and personalized about its victims.”
And in the Columbia Journalism Review, another veteran writer/editor Steven Brill offers up stories he’d like to see reported on, including something on people other than Hillary Clinton who might be viable Democratic contenders. He says, “So far only Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has gotten much attention. … What about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has high approval ratings but infuriates critics who decry his cautious, poll-driven approach to almost everything? Or Amy Klobuchar, the highly regarded senator from Minnesota? I’d like to know more about her.”
This isn’t surprising considering the crowd that feels the need to express their Second Amendment rights in the place. The AP says, “More uniformed security personnel are being hired to help keep watch on the state Capitol and nearby buildings. … Lawmakers approved the security measure but decided against changing laws related to guns. Members of the public who are licensed to carry firearms can bring them to the Capitol as long as they give notification of their intent to do so at some point.”
Good employment news across the southern chunk of the state … . In the Owatonna People’s Press Al Strain says, “In May, several communities across southern Minnesota saw their unemployment rates hit their lowest levels in months. According to statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the unemployment rate in Owatonna fell to 3.9 percent in the month of May. It is the lowest the city’s unemployment rate has been since November, which was also the last time Owatonna’s jobless rate was below 4 percent. Similarly, Steele County’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May after sitting at 4.4 percent in April. It was the county’s third straight month showing a decline in its jobless rate.”
Our Favorite Congresswoman has a new target … . The Export-Import Bank. Brett Neely of MPR writes, “The bank, which backs American exports overseas by offering federal loan guarantees and insurance, is facing new scrutiny from Republicans, including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who view it as little more than a subsidy for large, politically connected corporations. With the bank’s current authority set to expire in September, its future is uncertain. On Wednesday, Bachmann and others on the House Financial Services Committee renewed their effort to kill it.” She may think that if she kills it Obamacare too will die.