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Liquor activists organize convoy in support of Sunday sales

Plus: extensive shoreline damage around the state; Medtronic is studying bears; Chanhassen settles bill over George W. Bush rally; and more.  

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

“Liquor activist,” you say? By loose definition that could include most of the population of a certain neighboring state. Karen Zamora of the Strib writes, “A multi-car trek from St. Paul to Hudson was more than just another Sunday afternoon beer run to Wisconsin. About 30 vehicles made the 19-mile trek from the State Capitol to liquor stores in Hudson in support of legalizing Sunday alcohol sales in Minnesota. ‘This is a symbol,’ said Andrew Schmitt, director of Minnesota Beer Activists. ‘This is just a small representation of money that’s leaving our state every Sunday.’ At a parking lot in front of the Capitol, local business owners and state leaders spoke to the small group of beer and liquor activists before the crowd headed for the border.” 

In the event you haven’t given those oil trains a moment’s thought, Elizabeth Dunbar at MPR reports, “Eight state commissioners and others who are members of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board will learn more this week about the health, economic, and environmental implications of pipelines carrying crude oil from North Dakota and Canada through Minnesota. … Minnesota saw 80 oil spills over 10,000 gallons between 1960 to 2012, though none was as big as one that occurred in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010.”

With winter winding down and spring in the air young and old alike can turn to thoughts of … ash borers. The AP says, “Daunted by the cost and difficulty of stopping the insect, many cities are choosing to destroy their trees before the borer can. Chain saws are roaring in towns where up to 40 percent of the trees are ashes, and rows of stumps line streets once covered by a canopy of leaves. About 50 million trees have been removed so far. With roughly 7 billion ash on public and private land in the U.S., the job has only begun.”

But before “it” leaves, Chelsey Perkins of the Forum News Service reports, “Shoreline damage due to ice and frost heaves is extensive on Brainerd area lakes this year, toppling walls and trees and forcing up ridges as high as 10 feet in some places. Similar damage also has been reported in Otter Tail County farther to the west. Not only is it affecting shorelines, but also possibly some homes as the ground moves. The ground can also be disturbed by frost heaves. As frost descends deeper into the ground, the water below freezes and expands, causing disturbances in pavement and building foundations, according to officials.” 

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The U of M and Medtronic are chasing bear. Says Brad Dokken of the Forum News Service, “Bear biologist for the Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids, Minn., [Dave] Garshelis and a team of grad students and scientists were in the field as part of an ongoing black bear research project with Medtronic, the Twin Cities-based medical technology and research firm, and the University of Minnesota. While the DNR is monitoring GPS-collared bears to learn more about their food and habitat preferences and where the animals spend their time throughout the year, partners from Medtronic and the University of Minnesota are seeking to gain insight into why hibernating bears can spend four to six months in a state of suspended animation and hit the ground running, so to speak, when spring arrives.”

Not a Hillary e-mail-gate story, I think. The AP says, “The paper-trail hunt to shed light on Minnesota government decisions is increasingly missing a key element: the paper. As more deliberations occur via email, text messaging and other paperless platforms, there’s less left for the historical record — in part because state data retention laws haven’t kept up with fast-moving technology or the changing habits of those in power. Minnesota’s main records retention law hasn’t had a major update in more than three decades and last received a touch-up in 2007.”

Do they give trophies for role-modeling? Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “A postgame scuffle involving youth basketball players in Bloomington prompted dozens of adults to take up the confrontation verbally, police said Sunday. The altercation occurred Saturday evening at Bloomington Kennedy High School and erupted when three 12-year-old boys “engaged in a physical confrontation” after the game, said Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley. Soon after the boys were done being boys, about 40 adults faced off in a ‘verbal dispute,’ Hartley added.”

I don’t suppose they considered asking the Republican Party of Minnesota for the money? Parker Lemke of the Strib says, “Eleven years after a campaign stop by President George W. Bush in Chanhassen, the public safety bills the west metro city incurred have finally been settled. Carver County recently wrote off more than $18,000 stemming from the resources its Sheriff’s Office devoted to the Oct. 9, 2004, rally. ‘I think people were generally excited about the president coming to Chanhassen,’ said County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik. ‘People didn’t realize, though, that their local governments would incur a cost.’”

Noted climatologist John Hinderaker, blogging at Powerline says, “We have written a number of times about the Left’s effort to smear scientists who don’t toe the alarmist line on global warming. Apart from generally suggesting that ‘deniers’ be jailed, liberals are trying to discredit realist scientists by claiming that they are funded by the fossil fuel industry or other supposedly nefarious interests. This is hugely ironic. The American environmental movement is paid for in part by oil interests — Russian oil interests, which don’t want American petroleum developed via fracking. Beyond that, alarmist scientists are massively funded, to the tune of billions of dollars every year, by the worst special interest of them all: government.” So is that what they’re calling anyone pretending to be a climatologist, a realist scientist?