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5,000 Allina nurses begin seven-day strike

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Strike! Workday Minnesota’s story on the Allina nurses strike, reported by Michael More, Steve Share and Barb Kucera says, “Nearly 5,000 nurses employed by Allina Health began a seven-day strike Sunday morning, setting up picket lines outside five metro-area facilities. The walkout is taking place at Abbott Northwestern and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, United Hospital in St. Paul, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley. … Since contract talks began in February, Allina has refused to budge from its demand that nurses give up four union-sponsored insurance options and transition into ‘core’ plans that cover most of Allina’s other employees.”

WCCO-TV’s story says: “The CEO of the state’s largest employer of nurses says amongst picketers, there’s a lot of misunderstanding, saying the new plans are fair and this was avoidable. ‘I think we are quite honestly here because we can’t have a willing partner to engage in what could be, I think, could be a transition to a better plan over time for our nursing staff,’ Dr. Penny Wheeler said. One thing both sides agree on: That having replacement workers filling their jobs today is not ideal.”

Plainly there’s too many of one or the other. Kristi Belcamino of the PiPress says, “Three Minnesota motorcyclists were injured in the past week after striking deer darting onto state roadways. Although none of the bikers had injuries that were life-threatening, according to statistics provided by the State Patrol, fatal crashes between motorcyclists and deer are on the upswing. From 2002 to 2012, 48 Minnesota motorcyclists (five times more than in the previous decade) died in collisions with deer, accounting for 6 percent of all motorcycle-related deaths.” Were any of the deer wearing helmets?

FOX 9’s Rose Heaphy’s story on the new Miss Minnesota says, “Judges crowned Madeline Van Ert as the new Miss Minnesota at the The Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant on Saturday. …Van Ert is a legislative intern at the Minnesota Senate and a student assistant to the Dean at the Walter Mondale School of Law. She graduated from Rochester Mayo High School and is currently pursuing degrees in political science and Latin at the University of Minnesota. … As well as the title, Van Ert also won awards for the preliminary lifestyle and fitness competition and the preliminary talent competition for her performance of ‘What a Wonderful World.’” No contestant has ever sung, “Wild Thing” by The Troggs, I’m guessing.

Also from FOX 9: “A youth ministry director in Ramsey, Minn. is being charged with stealing more than $39,000 from a church since 2010. Benjamin Carruthers, 35, of Elk River, Minn. had been working as the director of kids and youth ministry at the Lord of Life Church since 2007. … A recent audit of the credit card found that between December 2014 and June 2015 Carruthers had checked out the card numerous times and charged more than $3,000 to the card for personal items without the church’s authorization.”

I say, again, stick with Slim Jims. KARE-TV reports: “GNP Company, parent company of the Just BARE and Gold’n Plump brands, has recalled 55,608 pounds of chicken. Contrary to initial reports, only one of the products being recalled is sold in the grocery store meat case, the rest are bulk and custom items sold through foodservice and institutional outlets.”

For the Strib, Paul Walsh says: “In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, the company said, ‘Extraneous foreign matter … is linked to an isolated product tampering incident that occurred at the company’s Cold Spring processing plant the week of June 6.’ An employee, who has since been fired, is believed to be behind the contamination, Reischl said. Cold Spring Police Sgt. Jason Blum said Sunday ‘there is a known suspect’ being investigated, but an arrest has not been made.”

Also from Walsh, and Prince-related: “A onetime business associate of Prince’s who ran the music star’s downtown Minneapolis nightclub in the 1990s was found dead over the weekend in his Minnetonka home, his sister said Sunday. Paul Pudlitzke, 48, was cold to the touch when emergency responders arrived at his house in the 5100 block of Woodhill Road about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, according to police dispatch communication.”

Some sensible energy thinking from Rolf Westgard in a Strib commentary. “The journal Science noted in an issue: ‘The electrical grid demands exquisite balance. At every instant, the supply of electricity throughout the system — thousands of power plants, substations and transmission lines — must equal demand. … A stable, low-emissions power grid could consist of roughly equal parts base load nuclear, wind and solar renewables, and natural gas that can balance the variable renewables. To get about a third from each of these sources in the U.S., nuclear would need to increase from its current 20 percent.”

Can he play tomorrow? La Velle E. Neal III of the Strib tells us, “The Twins have reached an agreement with outfielder Alex Kirilloff, their first-round pick from the June 9 draft, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. … Kirilloff, whose father operates a year-round baseball and softball facility, was considered one of the top hitting prospects in the draft with the potential to hit for power.”

What?! Transparency in accounting? Jim Spencer of the Strib writes, “Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is among a group of senators who want U.S. multinational corporations to publicly name the countries where they book profits. In a recent letter to the secretary of the Treasury, Franken and several colleagues called for country-by-country disclosure of foreign profits as a way to head off accounting maneuvers many corporations use to redirect revenue from countries where they are earned to tax havens.” Is he trying to kill the American economy with this stuff, or what?

Still fighting the fight no one is interested in fighting. Steph Bazle at writes, “The American Family Association’s Target boycott has not had the intended effect, and they are doubling down. In the past week, they’ve aimed to add names to their boycott list, and further pressure Target to change the company’s bathroom policy.

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