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Klobuchar asks TSA to address security lines at MSP

REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Senator to the rescue … or else. Susan Elizabeth Littlefield of WCCO-TV says, “Amy Klobuchar held a press conference at MSP airport on Sunday to try and get TSA to do something about long wait lines. Lines at Terminal 1 have been especially long since a new checkpoint opened up. It seems there aren’t enough TSA employees to fully staff the checkpoints. Around 5:30 Sunday morning, lines at the MSP airport were up to 63 minutes long. … ‘They didn’t staff this airport adequately in my mind. We are now asking them to do that,’ Klobuchar said. She said the funding is there to make more hires, but congress capped the number of staff.”

There may even be voting this week. Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “It appears two issues will be up for debate almost as soon as Minnesota legislators return for their 2016 session Tuesday: extending Iron Range unemployment benefits and overturning a gag rule preventing key state officials from working toward making Minnesota identification cards meet federal standards. … Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said he has told key legislators to have a bill ready to introduce Tuesday.”

This probably won’t surprise you. Shopping for medical treatments doesn’t really save you much money.  At the Star Tribune, Christopher Snowbeck says, “ … the burden of overall cost control remains with health care providers that negotiate prices, [David Newman, executive director of the Health Care Cost Institute] said, and insurers and employers that pay most of the bills. His group’s study found that only 7 percent of all spending in employer health plans comes from the pockets of individual consumers … .”  

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo explains how the cost of fixing Jackson Street doubled. “A series of factors came together at just the wrong time just as construction prices were on the rise for the public sector, according to St. Paul Public Works officials.”

Also over on the east side, Mara Gottfried in the PiPress writes, “A vehicle crashed into a house on St. Paul’s Greater East Side early Sunday, bursting into flames that spread to the home. No injuries were reported. … The fire in the home, off White Bear Avenue and few blocks from Larpenteur Avenue, started about 1:10 a.m. The driver ran off, said St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.”

And this is even worse. Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “A drunken motorist lost his passenger from the bed of a pickup truck while driving off a dark lake early Sunday north of the Twin Cities, and the man was thrown to his death, according to authorities. … .”

Here’s Paul Douglas writing about the week ahead. “A good chance of 60 degrees Monday and Tuesday before a slight midweek cool-down. Impressive, considering average highs are in the mid-30s in early March. It is still early March, right? … .”

It’s a face-to-face. In the Strib, Anthony Lonetree reports, “Black Lives Matter St. Paul is demanding the firing of a Como Park Senior High teacher who the group claims portrayed students as drug dealers and gang bangers when he vented in social media about a lack of district support in discipline matters. The group has threatened a ‘shut-down action’ at the school if special-education teacher Theo Olson still is on the job Monday. Since that Thursday posting, however, arrangements have been made for Rashad Turner, a leader with Black Lives Matter St. Paul, to meet on Monday with Superintendent Valeria Silva.”

Congratulations to Wayzata and Hermantown for winning the hockey part of the state high school hockey tournament. Nearly as important, culture-wise, are winners of this year’s All Hockey Hair tournament. Says Mike Mullen at City Pages, “The video, posted by the GameOnMN hockey blog, starts off with the narrator’s explanation that they were ‘getting Minnesota with it,’ flashing on a few state cultural touchstones — lefse, SPAM, the Purple Rain  album — before calling us the ‘Land of 10,000 Locks.’ Once the countdown begins, viewers will be overwhelmed by the sight of teenagers skating toward the camera sporting some remarkable looks. The skate-up introduction lets guys build up a nice head of steam, so their long manes come trailing behind by a couple seconds.  This year’s winner is a ‘controversial’ combination award for Burnsville High School, which managed to send out a guy with a beard, followed by a mullet, followed by red hair, capped off by an afro.”

WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy wonders aloud what a Donald Trump presidential campaign might do to the way down down ticket slots next November. “While Trump continues to lead in the delegate count, Cruz is not far behind. It’s a contest that has become so bitter that Republicans are concerned it could not only cost the party the White House, but affect Congressional and even state house elections. … Here in Minnesota and across the nation, Republican leaders are expressing concern that the bitter GOP presidential contest and the insurgent campaign of Donald Trump has so divided the party that it could affect elections at the state and local level.” And their next biggest worry? Ted Cruz.

But can he hold on to a ball? The AP says, “A day after using his feet to set two NFL combine records, Wendall Williams was trying get ‘a little grounded.’ The wide receiver/kick returner from NAIA University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, ran a hand-clocked time of 4.19 seconds in the 40-yard dash Saturday at Winter Park, Minnesota, to set a regional combine record. Chris Johnson’s electronically-timed 4.24 in 2008 remains the gold standard.”

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/07/2016 - 07:48 am.

    Weird spelling

    “Combine record”?

    I thought the NFL either left out the “d” or maybe they – for some strange reason – were conducting competitions using very large farming equipment:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combine_harvester

    But no – I Googled it – and apparently they actually DO have something called a “combine record”. Not a “combined record”, but a “combine record”.

    No wonder kids have so much trouble with proper word usage and spelling . . . . . .

  2. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 03/07/2016 - 08:37 am.

    Shopping for medical treatment

    Just try getting a healthcare provider to tell you what something costs. Outside of a few fairly definable procedures (colonoscopy, maybe mri) it’s darn near impossible. Even if your doc cares, he/she probably doesn’t know.

    And of course it all depends on how the provider plays the diagnostic and procedure coding game.

    It’s like going to the grocery store and buying a box of cereal. Except the store doesn’t tell you how much it costs until after you’ve eaten it.

    Shopping for healthcare, like selling insurance across state lines, is an insignificant bite out of a very large problem – when done at the individual level.

    • Submitted by T J Simplot on 03/07/2016 - 09:17 am.

      Comparing cereal & healthcare?

      I respectfully disagree with your comparison. With a purchase of cereal, you know what you are getting ahead of time. With medical care, you won’t know what you got until is it done What if during the colonoscopy they find polyps that need to be removed and are removed. That will make the cost higher than originally quoted.

      There are just too many potential unknowns to make a cost prediction very accurate.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/07/2016 - 09:34 am.

        Non-transparency

        You’re *defending* non-transparency?

        Yes – you can’t always predict what may turn up during the diagnostic. But just as a mechanic can publish a price list for standard procedures with the caveat that any problems that turn up will cost more, a doctor/hospital/clinic should be able to tell you what the cost would be for a basic, uncomplicated procedure – sans complications – so as to allow a consumer to make comparisons and informed choices.

        It shouldn’t be that difficult.

        • Submitted by T J Simplot on 03/07/2016 - 10:41 am.

          I’m not defending non-transparency, but saying that it is harder than it sounds. Visits could take longer than expected, there could be complications, insurance companies have different discount percentages, etc.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/07/2016 - 12:38 pm.

            Nope. Not buying it.

            They can still have a transparent basic pricing structure that allows for baseline comparisons. And as for the different discount percentages by different insurance companies – that’s just part of the underlying non-transparency that makes this whole scheme so user-unfriendly.

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/07/2016 - 10:16 am.

    Senator Klobuachar

    Once again, our senior senator is going way out on a limb and taking a courageous stand on a very controversial issue.

    I can’t believe people talk about her being a VP candidate or SCOTUS appointee. But perhaps milquetoast mediocrity deserves some say n the law of the land.

  4. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 03/07/2016 - 01:13 pm.

    Congress Capping the TSA Staff

    Is that a fact? That would explain the long lines I experienced a couple weeks ago returning from Atlanta. I read that Atlanta or the Georgia legislature is considering privatizing the TSA there.

    Capping staff that results in long checkpoint wait lines sounds a lot like closing highway lanes during an expected rush hour to get revenge on a political opponent. We need to hear more about this and if it’s true why it’s not being mentioned in any political campaign.

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