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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 5/3

Health and human services omnibus bills make good investments using wrong resources

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Christina Wessel

Policymakers have made some important strides in health care this session, expanding health insurance for very low-income Minnesotans and creating MNsure, a state health insurance exchange. And we are relieved that the House (House File 1233) and Senate (Senate File 1034) health and human services omnibus bills do a surprisingly good job of making some new investments and avoiding harmful cuts in the face of these difficult targets.

Unfortunately, the secret to this success is the controversial decision to tap hospitals and HMOs for additional resources; and even more troubling, use hundreds of millions of dollars from the Health Care Access Fund. 

Conflicted about the tobacco tax? Listen to the tobacco lobby

from Wry Wing Politics by Joe Loveland

But what about  tobacco industry officials themselves?  In their private unguarded moments, what do they say about the impact of the tobacco tax on smoking behaviors?  After all, probably no one has studied this issue more carefully and thoroughly than them.

Why do we need laws to prevent parking in bike lanes?

from streets.mn by Julie Kosbab

Is it legal to park in traffic lanes? No. Is it legal to park blocking alleyways? Don’t think it is, but I could be wrong. Is it legal to park completely randomly? Of course it’s not.

Our lunch with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu

from TCJewfolk by Bradley Machov

Rabbi Gershom Sizomu leads a community of 1,500 Jews. What’s remarkable about this is not the number of Jews in his community, but who they are and where they live. Rabbi Sizomu is the leader of the Abayudaya community—a group of Jews in the landlocked country of Uganda.

A zippy thing: Understanding the zipper merge

from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

Minnesota drivers always merge at the first sign that a lane closure is coming and you will regularly see two lanes worth of traffic jammed into one lane, while the lane that is closed is empty for up to a half-mile before the merge point. It’s a fascinating exercise and it’s a behavior pattern that you don’t see in other areas.

Some restaurant gluten-free pizza isn’t quite gluten free

from The Savvy Celiac by Amy Leger

More restaurants are coming forward and offering gluten-free pizza!  It sounds great, until I call and ask for more information about it.  Let’s just say they aren’t telling me what I want to hear.

Morel mushroom hunting tips for Bluff Country

from Bluff Country Woman by Beverly Sandlin

Morel mushrooms tend to grow around trees, especially dead elms. With all of the hardwood forests in this area, we have morel mushrooms! Look for deadfalls, old stumps, fallen trees, where wood has burned, and moist areas with heavy leaf debris. They like rich black or sandy soil, often where there is moss on the ground, or next to streams or rivers. They tend to congregate in groups, so when you find one there will probably be more!

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