What might have been: The Strib’s Karen Zamora reports, “The forced resignation of Catholic church music director who married his longtime same-sex partner apparently won’t be challenged in court. Jamie Moore, who was music director at St. Victoria for more than 17 years before he quit at the request of church leaders, decided Friday not to pursue legal action against Archbishop John Nienstedt, according to his former lawyer.”
Strib business columnist Neal St. Anthony has some gaudy numbers to report. “The cash spigot for Minnesota’s young life-science companies is flowing again after several years of investor trepidation. Individual ‘angel’ investors and venture capitalists have invested $273 million so far this year in promising medical technology, pharmaceutical, biological and health IT companies. That’s more than was raised in 2010, 2011 or 2012, according to Minnesota LifeScience Alley, the industry association.”
That promised “snapshot” preview of 2015 MNsure costs will be out this week. Steve Karnowski of the AP says, “According to the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, premiums for 28 percent of the ‘silver’ level plans offered on 19 state exchanges went up more than 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, but premiums for 14 percent went down by 10 percent. Those numbers didn’t include Minnesota. The management consulting firm’s report also says some of the cheapest plans are becoming even cheaper with competitors entering the market and existing companies cutting rates.”
Maybe the birders can give the NFL a tougher fight than the legislature. MPR’s Curtis Gilbert says, “Bird lovers are threatening to file a lawsuit over the glass planned for the new Vikings stadium. … [They want] the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to use what’s called ‘bird-safe’ glass …. The authority has rejected that proposal, arguing the etched or ‘fritted’ glass would be less visually attractive. At a protest Saturday in front of the stadium site, author and conservationist Laura Erickson questioned that rationale. ‘How exactly do the thuds of crashing birds and the sight of dead and dying creatures littering the ground around the stadium fit into any reasonable person’s sense of aesthetics?’”
Josephine Marcotty concludes a Strib series on the bee crisis with a profile of the U of M’s MacArthur Award winner, Marla Spivak. “She’s now 59, a nationally known University of Minnesota professor of entomology and a 2010 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship — a genius grant. She bred a line of bees that can heal sick hives, discovered that bees collect tree resin to self-medicate, and launched a team of experts known as the Bee Squad to help other Minnesotans succeed with hives of their own. Now she is close to achieving her holy grail — a new $6 million lab to study the insects that are crucial to a third of the nation’s food supply.” Uhhh, well, I power-washed my sidewalk.
A record muskie — maybe. Says Sam Cook in the Duluth News-Tribune, “[David] Ramm was fishing with his dad, Gary Ramm, 74, of Davenport, Iowa, when he caught and released the big muskie on Sept. 11. Crane Lake is known more for its walleyes, crappies and northern pike. No muskies have been stocked in the lake. The fish measured 58½ inches long with a 28-inch girth, David Ramm said. Length-weight formulas put the weight of such a fish at 57 to 58 pounds. The Minnesota state-record muskie, caught on Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957, weighed 54 pounds. That fish was 56 inches long with a 27¾-inch girth, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.”
The war on vaping is getting serious(er). The Strib’s Erin Golden writes, “The list of places you can puff on an e-cigarette in Minneapolis could soon be much shorter. City Council Member Cam Gordon is pitching a proposal that would put the vapor-producing devices in the same category as old-fashioned cigarettes — banning their use in indoor public spaces. … Sellers and users of the battery-powered cigarettes, meanwhile, argue that additional restrictions would be heavy-handed, overstating the risk of e-cigarettes, limiting businesses and pushing users of the device into traditional smokers’ areas — putting them at an even greater risk.” Yeah, forced to hang out with smelly smokers? That’s cruel and unusual.
For the record: an item I linked to last week, reporting on a Facebook page urging a “militia” to carry their guns to polling stations to cull out fraudulent voters has been declared “a hoax,” apparently by the same people who created the page Madison’s Capital Times and others were reporting about. For the Capital Times, Steven Elbow writes, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch website says that a Facebook page calling for the harassment of Scott Walker recall petition signers at the polls is a hoax. The Facebook page was originally called Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, then changed its name to Wisconsin Association of Poll Watchers. Then the name was changed back to the original, with the notice that the content had been moved to a page called You’ve Been Trolled by Journalists with Zero Credibility. A post on the page says it was started by William Reginald Jenkins, thought no further identification is included.”
Iconoclastic conservative blogger John Hugh Gilmore returns with a review of this year’s major Republican candidacies: “[Mike McFadden]: No part of this campaign excelled in anything but redistributing republican money amongst favorite groups and people. That distribution was largely controlled by Norm Coleman. If this is news to you then you really haven’t been paying attention. Surreally, we learned several days ago that Coleman is a registered lobbyist for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What was that song John Lennon wrote about Paul McCartney? Oh yes, ‘How do you sleep’?” [Jeff Johnson]: “Uninspired, tired and bereft of true vision or principles, Johnson offers voters no compelling reason to vote for him instead of ‘that guy’ Dayton. Johnson’s chronically lagging fundraising is frequently noted but never really adequately explained. It’s not hard.”