What would it be if we each pitched in a couple rolls of Gorilla tape? Eric Roper of the Strib says, “A hefty repair bill is coming due for a group of historic bridges that have spanned the Mississippi River in Minneapolis for about 90 years. Three local government entities are separately planning major repair projects over the next five years for the Third Avenue, 10th Avenue and Franklin Avenue bridges, with the total price tag possibly exceeding $130 million. The nearly identical concrete arch bridges are cousins of sorts, built over a 12-year time frame around the 1920s.”
Another ripple in the U of M’s Dan Markingson case. The Strib’s Maura Lerner offers a short profile of a faculty bioethicist. “[Carl] Elliott, a bioethics professor at the University of Minnesota, has emerged as one of the most relentless critics of his own academic institution. In the past few years, he has waged a contentious — some would say reckless — campaign against the U’s psychiatry department, which he blames for the 2004 death of a mentally ill patient. Elliott is convinced that the department’s research is putting patients in danger, and he has used every means at his disposal to spread that message.”
WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy was the latest to enjoy Our Favorite Congresswoman’s farewell tour. “She says she will be just as vocal in her retirement. She plans to make speeches around the country and write editorials. While for now she is ruling out another run for the White House, she promises to be very active in the 2016 presidential race, especially if Hillary Rodham Clinton runs. ‘While serving on the intelligence committee, I was able to have front row seat on Mrs. Clinton during with the Benghazi tragedy, with her failed Russian reset, also she … was the architect behind opening up the door to Cuba,’ Bachmann said on WCCO Sunday Morning.”
Speaking of Benghazi: Scott Mayerowitz of the AP writes, “Dish Network subscribers were unable to watch Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network on Sunday when the channels were taken down as part of contract negotiations. The Fox blackout is just the latest skirmish as cable and satellite TV providers fight with networks over subscription fees. Dish Network just settled disputes that led to the temporary blackout of some local CBS stations and a separate blackout related to Turner Broadcasting channels — including Cartoon Network, CNN, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies. Dish has more than 14 million satellite TV customers. Fox is urging viewers with emails and tweets to switch to another TV provider.” So that explains all the disoriented white guys yelling at traffic lights and park benches.
A law designed to help veterans appears to be working. At MPR, Sasha Aslanian says, “The 13 firefighters who graduated today in Minneapolis were chosen from 5,000 applicants. Twelve of them are veterans. ‘Of our last 53 hires, 47 of them have been veterans,’ said Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel. ‘There are a number of veterans coming back from overseas, and they’ve done a lot of great work for this country. And the country is paying back a little bit.’ The 2014 Veterans Preference Act gives veterans extra points when applying for civil service jobs.”
There’s some schmoozing that needs to be done to protect gambling. The AP says, “Armed with sales statistics tailored for each legislative district, the Minnesota Lottery chief is paying visits to lawmakers as he attempts to repair strained relationships and head off another showdown over tickets sold on the Internet, through automated cash-machines and at gas station pumps. Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten acknowledges he ‘kind of opened my mouth too much’ last session amid a fight to protect a new slate of games from a bipartisan push to scrap them, a skirmish he won thanks to Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto of a bill passed overwhelmingly.”
Obviously, word got out. Dave Shaffer of the Strib reports, “In the week since opening Minnesota’s door to community solar gardens, Xcel Energy Inc. said Friday that 427 applications have arrived from energy developers, a much bigger response than anticipated. The Minneapolis-based company said the applications propose a total of 420 megawatts of solar output, or the equivalent of a sizable power plant. A megawatt is 1 million watts. ‘It is a gaudy number — I am a little shocked,’ said solar developer Rob Appelhof, president of Cedar Creek Energy of Coon Rapids, Minn., which has not yet submitted its four planned solar gardens.”
In case you missed this one from Curtis Gilbert at MPR, “Road construction around the site of the new St. Paul Saints baseball stadium is adding millions of dollars in additional costs related to the project. The city now estimates that sewer and street construction surrounding CHS Field will cost as much as $7 million to complete — more than twice what it originally projected.”
At least Ol’ Sooch knows what it’s like to black in America. Dismissing the Obamas talking about slights they’ve endured, Joe Soucheray writes in the PiPress, “The Obamas seemed to have conjured up stereotypes from about 1922. They are intimating that, because they are black, they were deemed to be subservient. I imagine the readers of People Magazine are supposed to hear the word ‘fetch’ when Obama was asked to get somebody a cup of coffee. How this is supposed to help heal racial enmity is beyond my comprehension. Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He is the most powerful man in the world. For him to cling to a missed cab or the fact that he might very well have been mistaken for a waiter at some gala dinner is laughably harmless on the scale of true pain or suffering. The Obamas have effectively marginalized the likes of me so that our stories can never be shared experiences and thus have the colors of our skin become meaningless, which is what I thought we all wanted.” For his next column, I’d love to hear Sooch’s stories of being subjected to wolf whistles and leering comments by construction workers.