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Legislature expected to pass health insurance rebate bill

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Minnesota State Capitol

The deal is done. In the Pioneer Press, David Montgomery writes: “The roughly 120,000 Minnesotans facing skyrocketing health insurance premiums on the individual health insurance market are about to get taxpayer-funded 25 percent discounts after Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers overcame their differences this week. Just a few final steps remain before the $325 million relief package becomes law. Both chambers of the state Legislature are likely to pass the relief bill Thursday, after a joint committee of lawmakers approved a compromise Wednesday afternoon.”

While not exactly Prince — or Hubert Humphrey — we think of Mary Tyler Moore as one of us. For KARE-TV, Jay Knoll says, “People in Minnesota and across the country are remembering legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday at the age of 80. ‘Mary Tyler Moore will always be a Minnesota icon. The Mary Tyler Moore Show shared Minneapolis and our entire state with the world, as a place where everyone has the chance to work hard, follow dreams, and succeed’, said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Thousands of others are sharing their thoughts online. From politicians to journalists, celebrities to sports teams. Ellen DeGeneres to Brittney Spears, to Dan Rather and Newt Gingrich.” Newt Gingrich?

For FOX 9, Allie Johnson gets a statement from Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “’Mary Tyler Moore was an inspiration for a generation of women and far ahead of her time when it came to women’s rights and leadership both on-screen and off. Although born in New York, Mary Tyler Moore was an honorary Minnesotan, whose popular and groundbreaking show was filmed and set in our state. From the outdoor opening sequence of the show along Nicollet Mall where she tossed her hat, to her bronze statue, we will always remember Mary Tyler Moore in Minnesota. She will be missed, and my condolences go out to her family today.’”

Stribber Neal Justin writes, “Few sitcoms achieved more critical success or resonated more deeply with viewers than ‘MTM’, in large part because of the character of Mary Richards, who valued work and friendship above marriage, a radical concept when the show debuted on CBS on 1970. During its seven-year run, the show collected 29 Emmys, a record only surpassed by ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Frasier’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ More important, Richards became a role model for teenage girls who would emulate her character’s can-do attitude as adults.”

At MPR, Tracy Mumford writes, “The show revolved around Mary Richards, who moved to Minneapolis from the fictional small town of Roseburg, Minn., after breaking up with her boyfriend. Though the episodes were not filmed locally, many establishing shots were, including Richards’ apartment building — which is actually a single-family home. (The house sits at 2104 Kenwood Parkway, near Cedar Lake, and was on the market this fall for $1.69 million.) Doug Rosenquist, the owner of Twin Cities Tours, has been leading a ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ tour, which stops at six sites around Minneapolis, since the mid-1990s. He led 30 to 40 bus tours of the route this summer alone.”

For CNET, ex-Twin Citian Gael Fashingbauer Cooper writes, “I drove out-of-towners past the impressive home that pretended to be Mary’s in the credits, and explained the owner didn’t want it used in updated credits. So the owner hung a huge ‘Impeach Nixon’ banner out the window to prevent anyone from getting clean film of the house. Even years before Minneapolis put up a statue of Mary tossing her hat on the city’s iconic Nicollet Mall, co-workers and I went out and sleuthed out the exact spot to take a hat-tossing snapshot of our own. When I watch the credits now, I see home in every corner, memories in every intersection and escalator Mary takes. Minnesota’s claims to Mary Tyler Moore are more loose than its hold on another beloved celebrity we lost in the last year, Prince, who was born and actually lived in the area. But because we loved Mary, and her show, and what it meant for women, and for progress, and for Minnesotans, we’re mourning news of her death Wednesday much in the same way as when Prince died last April.”

For The New York Times, Margaret Lyons says, “For those looking to revisit some of the best episodes of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ these are five standouts. Only the first three seasons are available on a subscription streaming service (Hulu), but all seven are available to purchase on Amazon for $1.99 and on iTunes for 99 cents an episode, and each has been released on DVD. … [Of course it includes … ] “‘Chuckles Bites the Dust’ Season 6, Episode 7. No M.T.M. list can exist without mentioning this, one of the most beloved sitcom episodes of all time. So here goes: When the fellow WJM employee Chuckles the Clown dies in a bizarre accident, the rest of the staff struggles to keep a straight face. The brilliance of this episode comes not just from the jokes but from the specificity in everyone’s reactions, like Ted’s not knowing the phrase “Ask not for whom the bell tolls,” or even better, Sue Ann’s declaration that she wants to be cremated and have her ‘ashes thrown on Robert Redford.’”

In The Guardian, John Patterson writes,There’s an eerie and tragic symmetry to the death of Mary Tyler Moore coming just four days after the most exhilarating display of feminist power and consciousness the world has ever seen. Chances are, if you insta-polled the women marching on Saturday, a huge number would have told you just how important Mary Tyler Moore and her fictional other selves – Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but particularly Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show – were to their lives as girls and women. Mary Richards was the smiling, friendly side of 1970s feminism in the women’s liberation era: she got by on charm, brains, wit, talent and hard work.”

For US Weekly, Sierra Marquina tells us, “As a self-described “product of pop culture,” former First Lady Michelle Obama once said during an August 2016 interview with Variety that she was inspired by Mary Tyler Moore, who passed away at the age of 80 on Wednesday, January 25. The child obesity and female education activist — and not to mention first-ever black first lady — said it was Moore’s single, hardworking character Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show who caught her eye at the age of 10 when she would watch TV with her family while eating dessert.”

In Variety, Cynthia Littleton talks with Carl Reiner. ““The Dick Van Dyke Show” was consciously designed to break the mold of the bickering spouses that were so common for sitcoms in TV’s early years. ‘This was Rob and Laura against the world,’ he said. Moore and Van Dyke had immediate chemistry. ‘Years later they both admitted that if they hadn’t been married to other people at the time (of the 1961-66 series) they would have been a couple,’ Reiner said. Moore, according to Reiner, was aware of her status as a role model to women, and she did not struggle with the burden of fame. ‘She carried it well. The show she did informed women, and a lot of the equality that women achieved has a lot to do with that show laying the groundwork,’ he said.”

Finally, also for Variety, Maureen Ryan writes, “In 1969, she and her then-husband, Grant Tinker, founded MTM Enterprises, which went on to produce a roster of shows that helped define the television industry for the next two decades. Though Moore wasn’t a hands-on manager at the company, it reflected the humane worldview present in so much of her work. MTM produced the kind of warm-hearted, sharp, observant comedy that she excelled at, and TV would be so much poorer without the shows that the company put on the map, among them ‘The Bob Newhart Show,’ ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ and ‘St. Elsewhere.’”

In other news, the Star Tribune’s Dave Chanen writes about the court fight over last year’s tribute concert: “The two heirs expected to receive a significant share of Prince’s massive estate are seeking at least $7 million more from a botched tribute concert in October. In a court document filed Wednesday, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson and his half-brother Omarr Baker accused Bremer Trust and well-known entertainment lawyers L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman of mismanaging the star-studded concert and refusing to turn over profits.”

More pay to play? For the Forum newspapers, John Myers writes: “Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration on Wednesday outlined its natural resource budget proposal for the next two years, saying it raises spending, and license fees, to help boost both environmental health and outdoor recreation. The plan includes increased fees for fishing, hunting and boating licenses, among others, in an effort to keep services and operations at the current level, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials said Wednesday.” 

Another urban-rural divide: The PiPress’ Christopher Magan writes: “The Mississippi River leaves Lake Itasca in near-pristine condition and stays that way as it meanders the north woods until it reaches the edge of the Twin Cities metro area. That’s where contaminated runoff eventually makes it unsuitable for aquatic life or recreation. That’s the takeaway from a report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released Wednesday, which found runoff from farms and cities damages an important source of drinking water and recreation. The report also found tributaries that empty into the river bring contaminants such as nitrate and phosphorus from upstream.”

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