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Tribes uninterested in getting into pot business

Plus: the latest on the Nicollet Mall makeover; a nude woman blocks traffic on I-94; reporters take the “lutefisk challenge”; and more.

Apparently tribes across the country are not that eager to get into the pot business. An AP story from Jeff Barnard and Gosia Wozniacka says, “Many in Indian Country are wary of the idea of growing and selling marijuana on tribal lands, even if it could present an economic windfall and the U.S. Department of Justice says it’s OK. … Whether tribal pot could become a major bonanza rivaling tribal casinos is a big question. [Oregon U.S. Attorney Amanda] Marshall said only three tribes — one each in California, Washington state and the Midwest — have voiced any interest. She did not identify them.” But have they considered the Cheetos sales on the slot floor?  

The Fed chief has had enoughAdam Belz in the Strib says, “In a surprise move, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced Friday that he will not seek a second term as leader of the bank. Narayana Kocherlakota, who took over the bank in 2009 ‘so that I could be of service to my country in an economic emergency,’ said he told the board of directors that he will step down when his term ends in February 2016.”

Did you make the deadline? Frank Jossi at Midwest Energy News writes, “Expectations are high today as Minnesota’s largest utility [began] accepting applications for community solar projects at 9 a.m. today. It’s anyone guess show many solar garden developers will submit on the first day of business for Xcel Energy‘s Solar Rewards Community program. Some developers have already marketed and sold out projects that have been not formally approved. … Community gardens allow customers to buy panels or subscriptions from developers who manage and operate the systems. Customers can buy up to 120 percent of their energy needs, or as little as one panel. They receive a credit on their utility bills based on the output of their panels.”

But the buses will stay, right? Kristen Leigh Painter of the Strib covers the unveiling of the latest plan for the makeover of the Nicollet Mall. “Retrofitting the city’s most recognizable retail corridor is critical, proponents say, to capitalize on the dramatic resurgence of office and residential development in Minneapolis’ urban center. The emerging vision for the project calls for a streetscape that is more pedestrian-friendly, punctuated by more trees and artistic features. Most property owners and businesses say they support renovating the city’s signature 12-block street, which hasn’t been updated since 1990. But they are growing anxious for details on the $25 million assessment that they will shoulder.”

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A sight you don’t ordinarily see. Adrian Glass-Moore of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “A nude woman blocked traffic on Interstate 94 Thursday afternoon, lying down in the center eastbound lane and then casually walking to her parked car on the side of the road, according to a witness and police. … He said the woman cooperated with officers, and he did not know if alcohol was a factor. The woman almost caused an accident by lying on the Interstate, said Goetz, 25. ‘I was almost rear-ended,’ she said.”

Speaking of The Herald, Garrett Richie of the Bemidji Pioneer says, “What began as a simple challenge for some North Dakota reporters to try lutefisk — the traditional, Norwegian lye-soaked cod — is now a challenge spreading through northwest Minnesota and it’s receiving attention from both regional and national media and blogs. The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald originally rounded up a group of its own staff members who had never tried lutefisk to record a brief video of the experience. … The Pioneer quickly churned out its own video Wednesday, which featured reporter Zach Kayser struggling to swallow a piece of lutefisk for more than 10 seconds before running to a trash can to accept defeat.”

Big gummint is coming for your drone. The Strib’s Abby Simons writes, “Drones have evolved into small, increasingly sophisticated remote-controlled devices capable of shooting crisp, clear video and pictures from hundreds of feet in the air. They also are igniting a fresh phase in the nationwide debate on the right to privacy vs. the need for surveillance. … ‘One of the questions we’ll be asking is whether it’s even ready for regulation — whether we know about the field, the uses, the possible misuses’, said state Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park. ‘Do we really know enough yet to shape regulations’?” The countdown has started for the first drone tax.

Maybe national attention will shame someone out of this prosecution. For the Forum News service, Tom Cherveny writes, “A Lac qui Parle County case in rural western Minnesota that has attracted national attention in the debate over medical cannabis returns to court next week. Angela Brown, 38, of Madison, will appear Wednesday morning in district court in Madison for a hearing on two gross misdemeanor charges: endangering a child — permitting to be present when possessing a controlled substance and contribute to the need for child protection or services. … Angela Brown has appeared on the national television morning talk show ‘The View’ and both state and national news programs. There is an online petition asking that the charges be dismissed.” It’s time for Whoopi to deliver a whoopin’!

Right. More “partisan” will clean up this problem. Over in Wisconsin, Scott Bauer of the AP says, “An audit critical of the nonpartisan board that oversees ethics and elections in Wisconsin fueled calls Friday for change from Republicans who control the Legislature and have been saying for months that they may want a more partisan model. … ‘The audit is another illustration of why we must change the GAB,’ Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a statement. Vos has said he wants to oust the board’s director, Kevin Kennedy, and possibly replace the board or lessen the influence of staff. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said last month he was looking into returning to a partisan model. The GAB, unlike the boards that preceded it, is nonpartisan and consists of a board of former judges appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. It handles both ethics and elections issues and has drawn the ire of both Democrats and Republicans over the years on a variety of issues. Recent criticism focused on the board’s decision to approve an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by Gov. Scott Walker’s recall committee in 2012 and more than two dozen conservative groups.”

Finally, points to the Strib for running a commentary from one of its most persistent critics. Attorney/PowerLine blogger Scott Johnson is given space to rip Keith Ellison (yet again). Says Johnson, “Ellison’s book would thus be of interest even if it weren’t interesting in its own right. But it is. Putting to one side the predictable left-wing platitudes that Ellison espouses throughout, the book is of interest both for what it includes as well as for what it leaves out. Nevertheless, it has attracted amazingly little attention in the local media. … I turned to the book as soon as it was published to discover how Ellison dealt with his long membership in — and his record of activities on behalf of — Louis Farrakhan and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam in Minneapolis.” No doubt Mr. Johnson will now be inviting guest bloggers to PowerLine.