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16,000 MNsure applicants left in ‘limbo’

More on the archbishop watch; more on the Target watch; $48 million flood tab; video of the monster plane taking off; and more.

Oh, good lord. Says Jackie Crosby of the Strib, “About 16,000 Minnesotans who applied for Medical Assistance through MNsure are still without health insurance, some caught in limbo for as long as six months. State officials said Wednesday that letters notifying consumers of problems with their original insurance applications never got sent out.”

On the Archbishop Watch … . Esme Murphy of WCCO-TV asks whether “stepping down” should be seriously considered? “Outside the Basilica of St. Mary’s noon mass, we found supporters of the archbishop like Joyce Borealino. ‘It just makes me so angry that these allegations would even come up,’ Borealino said. ‘The archbishop is a great man.’ And we found critics, like Sharon Link. ‘I’m not surprised,’ Link said. She says she’s always been troubled by the archbishop’s crusade against gay marriage. ‘He just went out of his way to talk about gay priests and … gay everybody,’ she said.”

And on the I Need a Rifle to Shop in Target Watch … . Polly Mosendz of The Wire writes, “The Wire reached out to Target to explain the details of this statement [about “requesting” that customers not tote loaded guns], and Target’s stance on Concealed Carry. ‘This isn’t a policy change, this is a position,’ said Molly Snyder, a member of Target’s public relations team, in a phone interview. ‘We are requesting that people do not carry any firearms in our stores, including concealed carry. We will continue to follow local laws, however, concealed weapons are included in our position.’ Target also confirmed that they have not sold any guns or gun paraphernalia in their stores since the early 1980s, and have not sold realistic toy guns since the 1990s.”

The flood damage tab for public property is now up to $48 million. Peter Cox at MPR says, “Whatever the final total, though, officials say it could have been much worse. Communities, they say, are better designed for flooding now than in decades past — homes moved, levees built and redesigned landscapes are helping to reduce flood damage.”

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Fellow geeks … (and there were about 2000 of us in one location off 28th Avenue) … here’s video — via KMSP-TV — of the one-of-a-kind Antonov 225 taking off from MSP last night. (BTW, strictly speaking the gigantic cargo plane is a Ukrainian machine, not Russian).

I still say a thorough questionnaire would be more effective at winnowing the chaff. Maya Rao of the Strib says, “Minneapolis residents will get to decide in November about increasing the filing fee to run for mayor to $500. The Charter Commission voted Wednesday 10-5 for the referendum proposal, which now goes to the City Council to sort out the exact language of the ballot question.”

This is “Edina” not “M-edina.” Stribber Mary Jane Smetanka reports that horses are not going to be part of the plan for “The Fred.” “Although the future of Edina’s soon-to-close Fred Richards Golf Course is still up in the air, two things are certain: There won’t be horses there, and the 42-acre site will be used for more than one purpose. This week, the City Council acted unanimously to put the kibosh on horses at ‘The Fred’ after a vigorous campaign by a group that wanted an equine center there that would offer therapeutic riding to disabled people.” Isn’t stroking mink therapeutic?

A shortage of … cattle? Says Mike Hughlett of the Strib: “Dakota Premium Foods said Wednesday that it will temporarily cease production at its South St. Paul beef processing plant due to ‘extremely short cattle supply.’ The shutdown is effective immediately and will idle 300 workers. Dakota Premium said it does not know how long the plant will remain closed.” Can they do anything with Asian carp?

After this we’ll check back in a year … . Curtis Gilbert of MPR writes, “The new light rail Green Line between Minneapolis and St. Paul saw a 16 percent jump in riders during its second week of operation. According to preliminary numbers, last week 32,368 people boarded Green Line trains each weekday. That’s 4,500 more people than rode each weekday during the previous week, and well ahead of Metro Transit’s projections.”

File it under “Other than Target and the Archbishop it’s a Slow News Week” … . Erik Thompson at City Pages has a … list. Of the 10 Best local albums so far this year. As a longtime fan of pop music critic grandiosity, here’s a couple:

Votel Votel

This evocative, electro-pop masterpiece comes from a talented crew of Twin Cities music scene veterans … . There are sonic elements of those other bands layered within Votel’s seven intoxicating songs. Still, the pulsating work on this record is consistently fresh and original, and will take you somewhere special if you let it. …

Leisure Birds Tetrahedron

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There are plenty of electronic layers to get lost in on Leisure Birds’ saturnine new album, Tetrahedron. The record’s seven songs are drenched in exquisite synth strains and drone-fueled rhythms, which fluidly combine to give the material plenty of room to breathe when they require it, while also crafting a dense, moody modern sound.”