Blue algae on lake in western Minnesota tied to death of dog

Fear the what? The Strib story, by Paul Walsh, says, “A specific type of algae in a western Minnesota lake is making dogs sick — one of them later died — and conservation officials say that children are particularly at risk of falling ill. Blue algae is suspected in the poisoning of two dogs last week as they swam in Red Rock Lake in Douglas County, according to the Sheriff’s Office.”

He’s said it before, and he’s saying again. For Michigan’s MLive, Rick Hagland writes, “Regular readers might think I’m a little obsessed with Minnesota. Maybe so. I’ve written occasionally in this space about Minnesota’s vibrant economy and public investments that have helped the state achieve an enviable quality of life. And — full disclosure — I authored a report last year for Michigan Future Inc. comparing the tax and spending policies of Michigan and Minnesota. Minnesota isn’t a utopia. Its schools don’t do a good job of educating minority students. And Mark Dayton, its Democratic governor, has been feuding with the Legislature over his plans to improve preschool education and transportation. But the state excels in virtually every benchmark that matters — per capita income, employment, educational attainment and health of its residents among them. Minnesota far outpaces Michigan in all those measures.”

Only people kill people. The Strib’s Walsh also says, “A teenage boy accidentally shot in the neck by his father last week at a central Minnesota residence has died, authorities said. Dawson Vanportfliet, 14, of Aitkin, died Thursday after being taken by air ambulance on May 31 to Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The gunshot wound was inflicted by his father, Dennis Vanportfliet, 37, the Sheriff’s Office said. The father was cleaning a pistol when it fired, hitting the boy.”

The New York Times’ Mitch Smith on the charges filed against the Archdioces: “The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by American authorities against a Catholic diocese.”

Here’s Don Davis of the Forum News Service on how the legislative session got to this point. “After lawmakers saw some bills for the first time minutes before they had to vote on them before the regular session ended May 18, dozens demanded that legislation be posted online at least 48 hours before any special session vote, allowing plenty of time to get to know bills’ contents. ‘The public — and legislators — need 48hrs to read the bills before voting,’ Sen. Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, tweeted, joining a chorus of legislators from both parties. Reinert and other lawmakers also appeared to get more information from the media than they did from legislative sources. The Duluth senator tweeted to political reporters: ‘I’m pretty thankful for you … right now.’”

If you didn’t catch it Sunday, Ricardo Lopez’ Strib piece on how they got here is a very good read.

The Glean

At least it’s not another artisanal brewery. Nancy Madsen of the Mankato Free Press says, “The Gaylord City Council approved an option and sale agreement with the developer of a possible medical school in the shell of the not-yet-vacant Sibley East elementary school at 500 Court Avenue. Sibley East Schools plans to build a new pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school building in Gaylord … . For the city, this is the second step toward this reuse project. On April 15, the City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Danza Group, Middletown, N.Y., to give the developer rights to pursue a project at the school. That developer transformed the former Horton Hospital into a medical school for Touro College, a project that took three years.”

This stuff always plays badly. Maura Lerner of the Strib says, “When it comes to salary, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler ranked 30th in the nation among public college presidents last year, according to a national survey released Sunday. Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, ranked 122 out of a field of 227 nationwide. The survey, by the Chronicle of Higher Education, compared the salaries and benefit packages for the leaders of more than 200 public colleges and universities. It found that Kaler, at $610,000 a year, was well above the national average of $428,000.”

If you are one of those who believes the real benefit of LRT is a fattened tax base from new development, Kevin Duchschere and Janet Moore of the Strib report, “A year after the Green Line opened to great fanfare, ridership numbers are high, travel times have shrunk and small businesses that came in after its construction — like Dick & Jane — now are reaping the benefits of proximity. But while new projects move forward at the University of Minnesota, downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, the pace of development continues to be slower along the corridor’s most challenged stretch: University Avenue in St. Paul.”

MPR’s Tim Nelson says, “Electronic charitable gambling is posting a turnaround this summer, years after state officials wrote it off as a source of stadium funds. Lawmakers picked e-pulltabs and electronic-linked bingo to help pay for a new Vikings stadium. But the games initially fell flat, and forced Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature to come up with a new financing plan. But a bingo player in Eveleth won $71,000 Saturday night, a sign that play is picking up and driving up jackpots to unprecedented levels.” How many moms will be booking buses to the Iron Range after hearing this?

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/08/2015 - 06:26 am.

    Playing badly

    “This stuff always plays badly…The survey, by the Chronicle of Higher Education, compared the salaries and benefit packages for the leaders of more than 200 public colleges and universities. It found that Kaler, at $610,000 a year, was well above the national average of $428,000.”

    Mr. Kaler’s responsibiities at the U are a pale imitation of the responsibilities of the President of the United States, whose salary is about 2/3 of what Mr. Kaler is taking home. The same could be said of the many dozens of corporate CEOs who are padding their bank accounts at shareholder expense.

    Yes, I’d say it plays badly, and deservedly so.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/08/2015 - 06:45 am.

    Blue-Green Algae

    I haven’t heard it called “blue algae” before. More properly it is called “blue-green algae” (cyanobacteria). Every summer it kills dogs as the warm temperatures arrive and blooms form, and it is a risk that anyone who spends time around lakes with their dogs should be aware of.

    Here is an article about the risks:

    http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/blue-green-algae/

  3. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 06/08/2015 - 11:51 am.

    Maybe I’ve been cleaning my guns all wrong…

    ..but for me its about cleaning the powder residue out of the barrel. That’s damned difficult with a shell/cartridge in the chamber, that’s why I look there first. How do these yahoos keep killing loved ones while cleaning their gun and is it really appropriate to call these accidents? In a sense they weren’t meant to happen, mostly, but its so simple and so preventable that it really doesn’t strike me as accidental.

  4. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 06/08/2015 - 12:08 pm.

    Bakk can’t be trusted.

    It goes without saying that Daudt can’t be trusted. The real Republican agenda is so repugnant that honesty would mean the end of the party, but Bakk? Earlier this year he and the Governor had a disagreement with Dayton claiming Bakk lied to him and Bakk claiming that it was all a big misunderstanding. With that in mind its very difficult to take this as just another one of those misunderstandings. If his top aid was out there telling Democratic Senators that the Auditor change had to be in the Bill, you’ve got to beleive Bakk knew about it and supported. He’s got to go.

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