The other marathon has been cancelled. Says Tim Harlow in the Strib, “After a week in which race organizers tried to move the event to Dakota County, officials from the Team Ortho Foundation on Wednesday called off the June 5 race and related events. … The race’s fate has been up in the air since the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board last week denied a permit request because the proposed route took the race along roads that were closed or under construction.”
Well, that didn’t take long. Stribber Maura Lerner says, “More than three months after he was banished from campus, Dave Berger has been told that he can return to Inver Hills Community College and resume teaching. Berger, a sociology instructor who helped lead a no-confidence vote against the school’s president in January, was put on ‘paid investigative leave’ on Feb. 12 after an unidentified complaint was filed against him.”
At City Pages, Mike Mullen reports on the goobers who got themselves in a lather over “Beyonce Day”: “[Governor] Dayton’s done this for visiting music acts before: Sir Paul McCartney got a day, as did the Rolling Stones. These non-events passed with little fanfare. But hoo boy! This Beyoncé thing has got people up in arms. Specifically, online commenters, who have freaked right out on both Dayton and Beyoncé since the announcement came down. … But the real [bleep] show happened over on Fox 9’s Facebook page. The outrage exploded instantly and raged for hours, leaving only a pile of ash; within it lay the once-great reputations of Beyoncé, Mark Dayton, Barack Obama, Satan, Minnesota, Facebook, and humanity itself. Note how many people agreed with and ‘liked’ this comment.
As others pointed out, Minnesota’s had its share of shameful moments. There’s the mass execution of 38 Sioux soldiers during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, for example, or the 1920 lynchings of three black men in Duluth. But no. Beyoncé Day is worse.”
Maybe some of those trolls have what this movie company is looking for. In the PiPress, Richard Chin says, “Would the office politics of putting on a Renaissance festival be good fodder for a sitcom? A group of actors, writers and film and TV veterans based in Minnesota think so. They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $365,000 by June 9 to fund the creation of a half-hour pilot episode of “RenFest” — a TV ‘nerd comedy’ that’s billed as a workplace satire set at a Renaissance festival. Shawn Otto, a novelist and screenwriter from Marine on St. Croix, said the initial idea was to make a Renaissance festival mockumentary, but the idea then shifted to making a television sitcom in the same vein as ‘The Office’ or ‘Parks and Recreation.’”
Not quite Flint. But not that far removed either. Lorna Benson at MPR says, “In years past, St. Paul struggled mightily to meet federal Environmental Protection Agency standards. The EPA at one point forced the city to remove 7 percent of its lead service lines for three years in a row. But the effort paid off. City lead levels are now below federal limits and officials expect to have the last lead pipes out within 20 years.”
Also in St. Paul, looking for a better way to move garbage. (No Legislature joke intended.) Says Tim Nelson for MPR, “For decades, the city has essentially let the private sector take care of trash hauling. The city licenses them but leaves it to individual homeowners and businesses to decide which firms pick up the garbage, when they do it and what it costs. Some 14 companies now compete for trash removal business on a house-by-house basis. … St. Paul officials say they’ve been hearing more about the traffic the city’s current system generates — sometimes nearly a dozen garbage trucks going down any one block every week. St. Paul’s alleys date back to the start of the city, and public works officials say they’re just not built to withstand this kind of truck traffic.” How would New Jersey handle this?
Also, this from Mara Gottfried in the PiPress: “The Minnesota Capitol building was closed to the public, but a staff member earlier this week found an intruder inside the House of Representatives chambers — he was hanging up signs and said he was there to see a senator. Soon, Minnesota State Patrol troopers discovered the handwritten signs ‘were cryptic but disturbing. They made references to religion, war on his family and murders,’ according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday against Robert Joseph Anderson, 47, of Minneapolis. The troopers also saw a large knife had been stuck in the chambers’ podium and it was securing papers. The papers were a harassment restraining order that a family member, who isn’t connected to the Capitol, had obtained against Anderson, according to State Patrol Capt. Eric Roeske.” Doesn’t sound like he minded getting caught, does it?
Some of these vets charities need a bit more oversight. The AP says, “The state of Minnesota is suing a professional fundraising company and its affiliate, alleging the Michigan firms are deceptively soliciting money for a veterans’ charity. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Hennepin County against Associated Community Services and its affiliate, Central Processing Services, both of Southfield, Mich. The companies solicit donations for Foundation of American Veterans. The lawsuit says the defendants made fundraising calls to prospective donors and then sent false pledge reminders that indicated they had pledged to donate, when in fact they had not.” I’ve heard of worse.
Also in the realm of things certain people do not want to hear. Christopher Snowbeck of the Strib says, “Health insurers passed along big rate increases in Minnesota’s individual market for 2016, but a new report suggests premiums on the state’s MNsure exchange were still relatively low. The report from the Urban Institute says the average monthly premium on MNsure across all parts of the state for the lowest-cost ‘silver’ plan in 2016 is $250 for a 40-year-old nonsmoker.”
Stuff that actually did get passed in St. Paul this spring. Dan Kraker of MPR reports, “A package of subsidies designed to lure a still-unnamed wood siding manufacturer to the Iron Range was included in bills passed by the Minnesota Legislature over the weekend. Supporters say the incentive plan, which ultimately could total in the tens of millions of dollars, would create 250 jobs in Northeastern Minnesota.”
Exciting times at “The Terror Trial.” Stephen Montemayor of the Strib writes, “Chaos outside the courtroom delayed the start of testimony Wednesday in the federal trial of three men accused of trying to join a terrorist group after agents rushed to break up a physical altercation between a witness’ mother and his sister.”