Minnesota’s climate changing faster than other states

MinnPost file photo by Craig Lassig

Mild North. Karen Tolkkinen at the Brainerd Dispatch has a recap from a climate symposium at Alexandria Technical and Community College: “In Milan, about 70 miles southwest of Alexandria, the coldest night of the year during the 20th century averaged minus 27.6 degrees, and was at least minus 30 degrees once every 2-3 years on average. This century, the coldest night of the year is minus 22.3 degrees—more than 5 degrees warmer than last century—and is minus 30 degrees or colder just every 6-7 years on average. ‘That pace of change is remarkable,’ [climatologist Mark ] Seeley said. ‘That’s what’s scary.'”

Keep St. Paul’s water boring. Isabella Murray at the Pioneer Press has the scoop on the Whitaker Treatment Wetlands project: “The project, in White Bear Township, uses engineered materials to filter excess nutrients, E.coli and other contaminants found in Whitaker Pond water, which then drains into Vadnais Lake, the source of drinking water for St. Paul and the surrounding community.… St. Paul Regional Water Services spends roughly $36,000 annually to aerate Vadnais Lake. This reduces phosphorus levels, creating drinkable water.”

A hard sell? Andy Mannix at the Star Tribune is covering the campaign to allow Minneapolis restaurants to serve hard liquor, wherever they’re located: “Currently, neighborhood Minneapolis restaurants looking to circumvent the liquor charter rules have to go to the Legislature. The process is time-consuming and can be expensive, often requiring the business owners to hire a lobbyist. Council Member Andrew Johnson said he favors the charter change because it would allow businesses to go through the city’s liquor license process instead of jumping through ‘flaming hoops of fire’ at the Capitol.”

And potentially higher taxes for everyone else. Frederick Melo at the Pioneer Press examines a new study exposing the pitfalls of TIF loans: “From 2000 to 2014, Minnesota issued $1.4 billion in TIF loans and financial obligations, making the state the fourth biggest user of TIF in the United States. The 72-page report, “Improving Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Economic Development,” by University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Merriman, reviewed more than 30 studies of TIF across the country over several decades. It found that ‘in most cases, TIF has not accomplished the goal of promoting economic development.‘”

Turning drills into plowshares. Iron Ranger Aaron Brown breaks down a study showing the positive economic effects of farming up north: “The Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation commissioned a study by David Abazs and Ryan Pesch. It shows that using more locally produced food would generate hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue for the Iron Range. More to the point, there is enough quality land here to feed everyone in the Taconite Tax Relief Area a completely local diet. Some of the interesting findings include the fact that there are market gaps that could be filled here on the Iron Range.”

In other news…

Equity for Edina:Edina embarks on changes to improve racial equity, drops police oversight board” [Star Tribune]

Welcome: “900 people become U.S. citizens at St. Paul naturalization ceremony” [KMSP]

Use the clutch: “Minnesota Wild Announce New Bag Policy” [WCCO]

Oh, Pooh: “Story of bear rescued from a metal cream can with jaws of life has happy ending” [Grand Forks Herald]

Hero of the Day: “Metal group Metallica donates $10,000 to food bank in Fargo” [Fargo Forum]

Part of a well-balanced breakfast, to be sure: “‘Duck Dynasty’ star to speak at Mayors Prayer Breakfast” [St. Cloud Times]

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