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Minnesota lawmakers wade into debate over restroom restrictions

State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, right, the lead author of the bill, listening to a question from a member of the House Civil Law Committee during a packed hearing at the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday.

Says Brian Bakst at MPR, “Minnesota lawmakers tiptoed on Tuesday into a brewing national debate over gender-based restrictions on restroom use, airing their divide during a House committee hearing featuring legal analysis and personal accounts on both ends of the transgender issue. They took no vote. Introduced with 35 Republican co-authors on the heels of North Carolina’s enactment of a law designating bathroom and locker room use based on biological sex, the Minnesota bill won’t advance this year. But that didn’t quell emotions during a 90-minute House Civil Law Committee hearing in which the chair frequently resorted to her gavel to quiet the crowd.”

Wither the snowbird? Dave Chanen of the Strib reports, “Minnesota residents who live part time elsewhere could see a dramatic jump in their tax bills as a result of a ruling Wednesday by the state Supreme Court. The 4-3 opinion sharply defined what the justices described as an ambiguous law that determines when a person is considered to be a resident in Minnesota. The law says full-time residency starts at 183 days, or half the year. … .”

It could have been worse. Also at MPR, weather guy Paul Huttner says, “This year we skated by with the 10th ‘least miserable’ winter on record according to Pete Boulay and the outstanding staff at the Minnesota Climate Working Group. … NOAA’s GFS model 16-day forecast output for MSP continues to favor above average temperatures and below average rainfall overall. The majority of days in the 60s and 70s should jump start spring’s green wave in a big way.”

Karen Zamora of the Strib says, “A former Mrs. America was charged with theft by swindle after she allegedly made several fraudulent returns worth $5,000 to Macy’s. Jennifer Susan Kline, 50, of Wayzata, made her first appearance Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court. Kline, who was crowned Mrs. America in 1989, was also a home shopping network host for ShopNBC/EVINE Live, according to a news release from the Hennepin County attorney’s office. … .”

For the PiPress, Joe Soucheray writes, “That [Vikings] stadium gives off a dark vibe.  Sheathed in black. Knife-edged. Towering. Ugly. No, ugly is too quick to the keyboard. Not charming. That’s it. It is not charming. It looks like a hangar for the bat-winged flying machines of evil alien forces. It was supposed to resemble a Viking ship, I thought, but the only vessel shape that comes to mind is a bloated Noah’s Ark, and I am sure the architects and the Wilfs didn’t imagine that.”

Emoji confusion. Also from St.Paul, Marino Eccher says, “That grinning, pixelated face you just sent your friend could mean you’re either ‘blissfully happy’ or ‘ready to fight’ — and the sender might have a very different interpretation than the recipient, according to a University of Minnesota study. The report, released last week and set to be published in May at the International Conference on Web and Social Media, quizzed 304 American participants on how they interpreted a smattering of commonly used emoji — the little icons, often of faces making various expressions, that have become ubiquitous in digital communication. It found that the same images could provoke very different results, especially as they morphed across platforms — creating ‘significant potential for miscommunication.’”

Also: Nick Ferraro of the PiPress reports, “It was a secret that, when eventually let out, drew gasps and loud cheers from the Rosemount High School marching band. On Tuesday afternoon, the more than 220 marching band members were told they have been invited to perform in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Their selection was kept under wraps until an announcement by parade officials in the school’s performing arts center, an occasion attended by a number of local and state elected officials, including Gov. Mark Dayton.”

For the Forum News Service, Don Davis says, “Getting a low-income family’s infant off to the right start can make a big difference in that baby’s life, a Minnesota House committee heard Tuesday as it considered funding a program to give items ranging from diapers to spoons. The box the items come in even can be used, as a bed for the newborn. The $500,000 state program would help a variety of babies, but especially minorities, bill sponsor Rep. Dave Pinto, D-St. Paul, said.”

Yet another reason to hate the CowboysIn the Strib, Jason Gonzalez says, “Leading up to the Wild and Dallas Stars playoff series, The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday reminded us that [former Cowboys quaterback Roger] Staubach helped lure the North Stars out of Minnesota in 1993. The newspaper dusted off and republished online an article published in March 1993, when the franchise announced it would move to Dallas, that told readers it was Staubach who drove North Stars owner Norm Green around Dallas and befriended him.”

Also in the Strib, Rochelle Olson writes, “The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee claimed Tuesday the Twin Cities metro area will reap $338 million in economic impact from the 2018 game — an estimate that immediately was stamped as too high and that will be debated much longer than the length of the actual football game at U.S. Bank Stadium.”

Martin Moylan at MPR reports, “General Mills is facing another age-discrimination lawsuit. Twenty-nine employees who were let go during recent cost-cutting campaigns have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that workers age 40 or older were more than three times as likely to be cut loose as workers under 40.”

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/13/2016 - 07:30 am.

    I always worry when I agree with Soucheray…

    …but Joe called it right on that monstrosity that dominates the Minneapolis skylight. Ugliest. Stadium. Ever.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 04/13/2016 - 09:33 am.

      More adjectives

      Since Joe seemed to be casting about for ideas, the two descriptive terms that came immediately to mind for me when I had cause to drive close to the stadium last week were:




    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/13/2016 - 09:48 am.

      Really, it is the ugliest thing that can be – or ever will be.

      Not only because it lacks even the slightest traces of grace, style, beauty, or good taste – but because it is a symbol of the corruption of local and state government which led to this monstrosity being financed by the taxpayer.

      It is as though some giant pulled down his pants and shat a big one.

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 04/13/2016 - 11:53 am.

        Well, that’s a picturesque metaphor …

        Though not inapt. In our household, we refer to it as the GV: Gargantuan Vulgarity. And the umbilical cord to feed the visitors directly from the parking ramp into the stadium, though comparatively tiny, is, in a sense, even worse. It reminds me of the way that above-ground utilities are snaked across the landscape in provincial Russian cities where there is no effective planning & zoning, and it serves to spread the blight from the site itself.

    • Submitted by Dan Berg on 04/13/2016 - 10:44 am.

      Another descriptor…

      Darth Vader’s pole shed.

    • Submitted by Laurie Zelesnikar on 04/13/2016 - 12:22 pm.

      That Place, That Thing

      We refer to it as The Poseidon.

    • Submitted by Richard Callahan on 04/13/2016 - 12:26 pm.

      I find it intimidating

      and one of the few buildings that looked better under construction than when completed.

  2. Submitted by AJ Lawson on 04/13/2016 - 09:23 am.

    I just hope they have a way of wiping off all the dead birds.

    Oh I get it now. It’s an Origami Viking Ship!

    Just add giant chopstick oars and we’re all set!

  3. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/13/2016 - 09:36 am.

    Only $ 338 million flooding in for the Super Bowl??

    These local boosters are way too modest.

    It will obviously be many billions, or even trillions!!

    How did we get such timid people on a booster committee??

  4. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 04/13/2016 - 10:50 am.

    So the stadium looks like a Viking screaming, “Uff da”

    …after the fact?

    Wait until the movers and shakers as they say, begin to defend themselves on the design. They will certainly call in those two powerful words..’organic’ or ‘sustainable’? Then everybody will have to bow their heads and eat it, whatever it tastes like…too late, too late.

  5. Submitted by Tom Melchior on 04/13/2016 - 12:12 pm.

    NFL ripoff

    Given the tens of millions the NFL clears every year it is absolutely criminal that they extort money from local “host committees” to host the super bowl.

  6. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/13/2016 - 12:40 pm.

    Aliens from outer space laid an egg at 5th and Portland

    We can only pray it doesn’t hatch !!

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/13/2016 - 12:44 pm.

    My 2¢

    Though “ominous” and “looming” certainly seem accurate enough, from a distance (to the north, which is my typical viewing angle), and with that sloping roof, it strikes me as a huge, black, cockroach. I also like the “hangar for alien space ships” idea, though I don’t read the PiPress. Having seen it, as have most, under construction for many months, I think Robert Callahan has hit on something with his suggestion that it looked better while under construction than it does as a finished building. It just looked big and impressive (surely those were goals of the design competition) while under construction. The “ugly,” “looming,” and “ominous” notes didn’t become prominent until the exterior glass began to be draped on it.

    To its credit (speaking as a photographer), the enormous glass surface facing downtown should provide ‘Strib photographers (and amateurs like me, too) with some really cool imagery of the downtown skyline being reflected in all that glass. It’s a lot of money for taxpayers to have to spend for a photographic effect that only a limited number will really enjoy, however…

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 04/13/2016 - 07:00 pm.

      Fair Point for Photo People

      Would floating a huge mylar balloon around downtown work nearly as well?
      Or, we might simply anchor a few here and there to offer several scenarios.
      That might be less expensive and likely more interesting to all.

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