State flouts judge’s orders on sex offender program

Attorney General Lori SwansonAttorney General Lori Swanson

The state is going to fight it. Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress writes, “Instead of offering remedies for the shortcomings of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, as ordered by a federal judge, state officials this week issued a 33-page document decrying the opposing side’s proposals and questioning the court’s power to enforce changes. … The state, which operates the MSOP, was to submit its proposals by Sept. 21. The Minnesota attorney general’s office, representing the state, submitted a document — but there were no proposed remedies, only pushback.”

Trending down. The Forum News Service reports, “Drunken driving arrests and fatalities are continuing a five-year downward trend, said the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Thursday. The recently released Minnesota Impaired Driving Facts 2014 report shows impaired-related traffic fatalities dropped to 91 in 2014, down 24 percent compared to 121 in 2010 leading to the  five-year downward trend. The 2014 figures also show 25,258 motorists were arrested for DWI, compared with 26,012 in 2013.” Now if we can just wall off the eastern border.

Speaking of neighboring states, if she lived in one we’d start a regular “watch.” Tom Scheck at MPR tells us, “Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has named a 21-person leadership team for her presidential campaign in Minnesota. The co-chairs will be Republican Senate Minority Leader David Hann and Molly Corrigan Cronin, who co-chairs the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Elephant Club fundraising committee. Cronin also serves as a board member of the Center of the American Experiment. … Mike McFadden, who lost the 2014 U.S. Senate race to Al Franken, will serve as vice chair of the committee. Several state lawmakers, including Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point and Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, are also serving on the committee.” Did she make them all watch that horrible dying fetus video she told us all about? Oh, wait.

They do throw out a lot of fumes. Tim Nelson at MPR reports, “The 56-foot Mississippi River towboat Becky Sue got a heart transplant Thursday, when a pair of 600-horsepower diesel engines were lowered into her hull. Towboats are big and rusty and wet, covered with clanking hardware and cable and rope. Engines the size of chest freezers roar and strain below decks. Exhaust spouts from the boats’ stacks as they churn along the river. But the modification to the Becky Sue represents a new effort to curb pollution and carbon emissions. The vessel’s new engines were subsidized in part by the Minneapolis-based Environmental Initiative and Flint Hills, which owns the oil refinery in Rosemount.”

Angie Craig, a DFL congressional candidate in John Kline’s district, is getting some interesting support. MPR’s Tom Scheck, again, says, “WomenWinning, a group that backs female candidates who support legal abortion, announced that it’s backing Angie Craig for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. … The group’s endorsement is surprising, considering Craig isn’t the only Democratic woman seeking the endorsement. Mary Lawrence, a former doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is also seeking the Democratic nomination. WomenWinning will help steer donors to Craig’s campaign.” Is the for-profit college donor base still up for grabs?

She was as surprised as anyone. Paul Blume at KMSP-TV says, “Mrs. Minnesota United States, Allison Crandall, never thought she’d be diagnosed with melanoma at age 31. But on Thursday morning, she had the melanoma and the surrounding skin literally cut out of her upper leg. … Sun and UV ray exposure is often blamed, but Crandall said she’s not a tanner — “I never worshipped tanning beds. I wear sunscreen all the time. So it’s just scary. You do all the right things.” I mean, she even lives in Minnesota.

In a Strib commentary, Peter Bell explains why he resigned from an advisory board.  “The reason for my resignation was that it had become clear to me that the committee wanted to commit far more time, attention and resources to issues that were not a priority with the broad general public. … I found the committee spending considerably more time discussing diversity and inclusion than issues I believe are more central to our core task, and that would provide benefits to all communities — namely, the adequacy of our bike and walking paths, parking, traffic congestion, transit connections and water quality. Our committee hosted a number of open houses where more than 200 members of the public had an opportunity to share their ideas. When I asked staff if the public mentioned any issues related to diversity or inclusion, they said no. In fact, a dirty little secret of our group was that virtually everyone had great difficulty figuring out just what the real diversity and inclusion problem was at our parks.”                        

Maybe a Black Friday sale? You know, to get people in the doors? Says Jennifer Brooks in the Strib, “Both of Minnesota’s medical marijuana producers offered patients a price break this week. Minnesota legalized marijuana as a medication in July and set up a strictly limited, tightly regulated system designed to be as clinical and non-recreational as possible. But that doesn’t mean that the state’s two designated medical marijuana companies aren’t competing for your cannabis business. At Minneapolis-based Minnesota Medical Solutions, new patients can get a 50 percent discount on their first purchase during the month of October.” But apparently no BOGO on bongs.

Completely unrelated, I’m certain. KMSP-TV’s Jonathan Choe says, “A Golden Valley, Minn. man had 8 pounds of marijuana and 100 grams of marijuana wax mailed to his home from a sender in Oregon, according to charges filed this week in Hennepin County. Jason Goodfallow, 36, is charged with 3 counts of intent to sell marijuana and 3 counts of possession of a large amount of marijuana. … In an interview with police, Goodfallow said the marijuana found in the house belonged to him, but said he had no idea the packages claimed at the post office contained marijuana.”  

Ann Wessel of the St. Cloud Times reports, “The DNR’s waterfowl migration and hunting report out Thursday afternoon, stated: ‘Waterfowl production (number of young hatched) was expected to be good in Minnesota and elsewhere with favorable wetland conditions reported from most areas this summer.’ The report called local duck production in Central Minnesota ‘possibly one of the best in the last 10 years or more.’ The weekly report is based on information from state and federal wildlife managers. May rains followed a dry spring in Minnesota. Locally, water levels are high enough to attract migrating ducks. [Nicholas] Snavely said conditions in North Dakota, where potholes filled later in the season and then dried out, have forced ducks into larger congregations — and pushed some into Minnesota, from the Central to the Mississippi flyway.”

Or say screw it and tele-commute. Sarah Horner of the PiPress writes, “Anyone sick of sitting in traffic on their way to and from home in the northern suburbs could get the chance to blow past it in the next few years. After analyzing the congestion clogging the commute through the north corridor of Interstate 35W, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation have settled on what they believe is the best strategy to ease it. The working solution is to build two MnPASS lanes along the interstate — one in either direction — between Minnesota 36 in Roseville and Lexington Avenue in Blaine … .”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Brian Krause on 09/25/2015 - 09:32 am.

    Good For Peter Bell

    He’s right on this one. The loonies involved in the naming dispute should not be allowed to capitalize public resources for this pet project.

  2. Submitted by Bill Willy on 09/25/2015 - 01:29 pm.

    Market Forces at Work

    “At Minneapolis-based Minnesota Medical Solutions, new patients can get a 50 percent discount on their first purchase during the month of October.”

    Besides the more obvious “mistakes” made in the restrictive legislation (no “leaf form” and “no smoking”) Brian’s reference to this issue got me to thinking, wondering and checking on whether or not “taxpayer dollars” are spent on helping people that need assistance pay for highly addictive, problematic, often deadly drugs like Oxycodone and Oxycontin (the manufactured synthetic heroin, morphine, etc., called “opiods”).

    And it appears we taxpayers certainly DO help people purchase those drugs with out taxpayer dollars. A quick search seems to show clearly that they are covered for anyone enrolled in Medicaid, MinnesotaCare or Medicare.

    I’m not saying those drugs shouldn’t be covered by those programs. Not at all. But the question is, if we are okay with using “taxpayer dollars” to help people pay for prescribed but highly addictive, sometimes deadly, drugs, why are we NOT okay with making the exact same assistance available to help people pay for MUCH less addictive and never deadly potential opioid replacement medicine?

  3. Submitted by Jim Million on 09/25/2015 - 02:53 pm.

    Clean Glean

    Hey, Brian, this is a clean Glean perfect for a Friday afternoon.

    My irony meter is pulsing with Peter Bell’s revelation of PC predispositions in seemingly complete absence of diversity issues. Given that, can one still use the phrase “Black Friday”? It’s all so confusing now.

    For me, this is a Bright Blue Friday, now that my three-month search for a doctor to certify me for the Med Can (I prefer PotRx) program has culminated with official State registration. Now, booking the first appointment remains the only stepping stone to the highest level of participation.

    Well, in any case, 48 years of degenerative Crohn’s Disease (all other options exhausted) may finally become a more docile life partner, as it were. MinnPost should follow this saga with regularity.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Oct. discount. I guess I can wait another week for relief.

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