No doubt, the weather people are doing the best they can. The level of the water depends on lots of things, including the temperature and any rain we do -- or don't -- get. But the notoriously unreliable projections are putting residents and officials in a tough position.
This was a big issue in the great flood of 1997, when the National Weather Service understated the river projection. In 2007, MPR's Cathy Wurzer talked to a weather service official who said flood forecasting had improved since then. And it has. In 1997, the weather service was off by 5 feet.
Says its Web site:
The Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs (OPL-IGA) is the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President.
OPL-IGA takes the Administration out of Washington and into communities across America, stimulating honest dialogue and ensuring that America's citizens and their elected officials have a government that works effectively for them and with them.
OPL-IGA will bring new voices to the table, build relationships with constituents and seeks to embody the essence of the President's movement for change through the meaningful engagement of citizens and their elected officials by the federal government.
We'll be adding many more ways for you to interact with OPA-IGA at this page in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, please take a moment to share your thoughts using the form below.
It's hard to hide patronage when it has its own Web site.
Penn's character on House killed himself on Monday's episode. Adding to the absurdity of it all, Fox has created an online memorial to the man who didn't really exist. On Facebook, there are thousands of people mourning someone who didn't really die.
Perhaps we need an office to solve that problem.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
Midmorning - In the first hour, Kerri Miller looks at the regulation of tobacco. In the second hour, Miller further reveals herself as a frustrated biology and science teacher. Her guest considers how much she -- and I guess, we -- are like animals.
Midday - Messrs. Scheck and Pugmire talk about happenings at the Capitol in the first hour. House Minority Leader Marty Seifert's speech to the Humphrey Institute occupies the second hour.
Talk of the Nation: We get an hour of out-of-towners telling us about ourselves. NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin talks about the Minnesota Senate race. In hour two, the 2009 version of "Is God Dead?" This time, it's Newsweek's cover story, "The End of Christian America," an interesting topic for the most holy week of the year. Note the similarity between the Newsweek cover and the famous Time cover.
All Things Considered -- If we were all in the health care business, would we be giving health care the kind of hand-wringing attention that we're giving to the future of newspapers? Unfortunately, that's not the topic of Curt Nickisch's segment, which wrings hands over the coming demise of the Boston Globe.
This is a topic for another day, of course. I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of newspapers, but the next time some journalist tells you there isn't a bias in newsrooms, ask him/her how many stories have been cranked out about the problems in the journalism industry. Then ask why his/her news organization decided that was the pressing problem worth expending resources on.
Of course, it's because it's the problem that personally affects reporters. This is why some organizations -- and, sure, I'll give a plug to MPR's Public Insight Journalism initiative -- have set up vehicles for the public to direct part of the editorial process. There are issues facing you -- and thousands of others -- that aren't covered because they don't personally affect us. That needs to change.(1 Comments)
Next to the weather, Minnesota likes to talk about road construction. This year, we'll have a lot to talk about.
The list of projects for the 2009 construction season has been unveiled. Find the one near you here.(1 Comments)
A news release from the Met Council today suggests that anything is possible:
St. Paul, MN - (April 8, 2009) - After more than three months of discussion, research and testing, Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell and Minnesota Public Radio President Bill Kling announced today that the Met Council and MPR have entered into an agreement to mitigate the impact of light rail transit (LRT) on the MPR Broadcast Center on Cedar Street.
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As part of the agreement, MPR will seek other sources of funding for window reglazing to mitigate LRT noise impacts on critical listening spaces within its broadcast center, an effort supported by both the Met Council and the City of St. Paul.
Under the mitigation plan, the Central Corridor project will:
• Install a 700-foot-long floating slab or its performance equivalent for the full length of the MPR building and two nearby historic churches to mitigate vibration and ground-borne noise from the train.
• Move a planned crossover switch from a location near MPR to a new location north of I-94, removing another source of LRT-generated vibration.
• Work with MPR to design, install and pay for modifications to three MPR studios to achieve "acoustical isolation" from LRT-generated noise.
• Maintain LRT vibration levels below specific thresholds within 32 recording and broadcast studios in the MPR Broadcast Center.
• Restrict the use of train horns in a "quiet zone" in the area immediately surrounding MPR and the churches.
Under the agreement, the Council will monitor the noise and vibration impacts of the line during its construction, testing and first year of operation to ensure the effectiveness of the mitigation plan and address any variances of agreed-upon mitigation criteria.(11 Comments)
It's an odd fact but a fact nonetheless:
The Bemidji Beavers have gotten more attention from the New York Times than from the Minnesota media.(9 Comments)
Can you believe in Christ and not believe in God? The Pew Research Center is out with a survey that says 5 percent of Americans do not believe in God, but only 24 percent of those people call themselves atheists.
Fourteen percent of those who say they do not believe in the existence of God identify themselves as Christians, the survey said.
For the most part, Minnesotans responding to the survey tracked along the same lines as the national results. One of the exceptions was "frequency of answers to prayers." Thirty-one percent of Americans surveyed say they pray and receive answer to those prayers. But in Minnesota, that percentage is only 23 percent.(8 Comments)