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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 5/24

The case against Majority Leader Tom Bakk

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

…quite frankly, the whole problem centers around 1 person — Majority Leader Tom Bakk. This session should have been a chance for a lot of DFL priorities to get a full hearing….and in the end, most of them did. But the petty shenanigans that seem to abound within the Majority Leader’s office nearly derailed a good session.

Session shifts state priorities, creates opportunity for northern MN

from Minnesota Brown by Aaron J. Brown

Locally on the Iron Range, a new minerals article in the tax bill will pay for several projects out of the region’s unique mining production taxes — money paid by mines in lieu of local property taxes. Most of these projects relate to renovation of aging community facilities. Itasca County got a particularly good haul, thanks in part to the presence Rep. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam Township)* on the conference committee. The Reif Center, Greenway’s arena and several local fire departments will be able to proceed with plans to consolidate or renovate space. Several other projects on the central and eastern Mesabi were also green-lighted, with leadership from Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook). 

Ortman faces uphill climb in potential race against Franken

from Brick City Blog by Sean Olsen

There’s not a lot of good news in the polling data for Ortman.  Ortman’s name recognition is low (80% didn’t know who she was), but among those who did know her, almost four times as many had an unfavorable opinion as had a favorable opinion.  Those numbers gave her the lowest favorability numbers among the potential candidates in the poll.  Worse, she had an unfavorable opinion among Republicans and self-identified conservatives who knew who she was. 

Marriage equality: A different Jewish perspective

from TCJewfolk by Bradley Machov

TCJ has not been shy about voicing support for marriage equality — with articles, Facebook posts, tweets, and more. Yet we’ve always strived to be a home for ALL hip young Jews in the Twin Cities, not just those that agree with us. So last Monday, on the day the Senate passed the bill, we spoke to two different rabbis who, while eschewing labels themselves, would fall closest to the Orthodox practice of Judaism.

The Boy Scouts

from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

After wrestling with the issue in a very public manner for a few months, the Boy Scouts of America announced that they will no longer ban gay scouts from the organization. A few thoughts.

Touring a third-generation family print shop in Fergus Falls

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

ON A RECENT IMPROMPTU TOUR of a third-generation family-owned print shop in Fergus Falls, I couldn’t contain my giddiness over drawers of aged logos/artwork, handcrafted stamps, stacks of paper, even the vintage cabinets and stools and carts.

Whitewater State Park interpretive programs for Memorial Day weekend

from Bluff Country Woman by Beverly Sandlin

The following is a list of programs offered by Whitewater State Parks Interpretive Services this weekend.  Program information is also available online at (check under events, but they don’t have all of them listed). 

Pets on Trains Act of 2013: A solution in search of a problem

from by Julie Kosab

Apparently, amid the rising ridership of Amtrak — which had a record year in 2012, and has been busting records through March 2013 — there is a new class of passengers clamoring to get on. And pee.

Yes, it’s apparently time for the Pets on Trains Act of 2013.

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