If only they could get a break on their taxes. An AP story by David Crary says, “Even as the income gap widens, the wealthiest Americans are giving a smaller share of their income to charity, while poor and middle-income people are donating a larger share, according to an extensive analysis of IRS data conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. … In Philadelphia and Buffalo, New York, the share of income given to charity fell by more than 10 percent; there was a 9 percent drop in Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Washington, D.C.”
The latest in the slump at the Zoo. Christopher Magan of the PiPress writes, “A projected budget shortfall has job cuts looming for workers at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Management at the state-run facility in September notified the three unions representing zoo employees that cuts were coming. The exact number of people affected has not been decided. … Further squeezing the zoo’s budget is a decline in attendance this summer after a cold spring and one of the wettest Junes on record. So far, for the fiscal year that began in July, zoo attendance is down about 4.5 percent.”
What was left out of the earlier report: TMZ (yes, them again) tells us, “Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson was TASED by cops at a Minneapolis nightclub … BECAUSE PEPPER SPRAY DIDN’T STOP HIM … this according a police report obtained by TMZ Sports. Johnson was arrested early Sunday morning at Seven Steakhouse Sushi Ultralounge Skybar — where he was allegedly causing trouble around 3AM. According to the police report, Johnson was told to leave the building — but refused … so cops decided to break out the pepper spray. But Johnson — 6’3″, 288 lbs — wasn’t fazed … so cops broke out the stun gun.”
Speaking of our football heroes: The AP reminds us that AP has a court date this week. “Minnesota Viking star running back Adrian Peterson will be in arraigned in Texas on Wednesday on child abuse charges. … Prosecutors say it could be next year before the case goes to a trial, if it isn’t settled with a plea agreement or other deal sooner.”
Today in lists: We’re #3! Helmut Schmidt at the Forum News Service says, “Minnesota is the No. 3 state in the nation in the WalletHub website’s recent rankings of the best and worst states for teachers. North Dakota, however, is 38th in the rankings, which aim to identify states that offer teachers the best opportunities in the U.S. Topping the WalletHub list was Wyoming, with Pennsylvania at No. 2. Massachusetts was ranked fourth and Virginia fifth.” Dead last? North Carolina.
With the U.S. Supreme Court taking a pass on gay marriage, the tide may shift in Wisconsin very soon. Jon Collins of MPR says, “The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions. The court’s order effectively makes gay marriage legal in 30 states. Without comment, the justices brought to an end delays in same-sex marriages in five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.” I don’t suppose this means we can now move on to gun law reform or Citizens United, does it?
From next door, The AP reports, “Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general is conceding the fight to preserve the state’s gay marriage ban is over and he encourages everyone to now administer the law ‘fairly and impartially.’ … Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen had filed Wisconsin’s appeal in hopes of preserving a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”
This is how bureaucracies deal with carbon. says Curtis Gilbert for MPR, “Minneapolis City Council members today will vet new agreements with utility companies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The city has negotiated new franchise agreements with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. As part of that process, the utilities agreed to work with Minneapolis on its climate action plan. … The city’s current utility franchise agreements are 20 years old. They expire at the end of the year.” By 2300 we may actually get somewhere.
A surprising commentary from Tea Party activist Debbie Dooley in Midwest Energy News. Dooley, credited as “a founding member of the Tea Party” came up from Georgia to check… solar power activity in Wisconsin. She writes, “It’s a simple fact that free-market conservatives oppose monopolies. Conservatives may be stuck living with monopolies in Wisconsin, but they don’t have to tolerate the misuse of monopoly power. Currently, We Energies is abusing its power by restricting customer access to solar — perpetuating energy security vulnerabilities. We Energies is also abusing fairness, by generating record shareholder returns while proposing to sharply increase prices on those with a fixed-income (just as Wisconsin residents my age start to retire). The company is also stifling innovation by blocking third-party ownership for solar and attacking the integrity of net metering.”