Posted at 8:00 AM on October 13, 2009
by Than Tibbetts
1) Tuesday is gossip day at the watercooler, right? Time to share all the juiciest bits we heard over the weekend but were too busy on Monday to share.
Well, the New York Times is now digging into some Dayton family dirty laundry that apparently resolves around some prankish vandalism and the long-festering question over whether Blake or Breck is the better school. (The Star Tribune got there first in September.)
Now the family is suing ex-classmates of Caleb Dayton, which is either surprising or expected when you're a member of the "Minneapolis elite" and you need to exact retribution on a few high school kids.
2) Hey, remember when President Obama won that Nobel Peace Prize thing? As is his custom, Ze Frank puts it into perspective.
3) Here's your heartwarming federal-medical-industrial complex story of the day from the Atlantic.
The CDC now says that 1 in 100 Americans has autism. But is the epidemic real? It turns out that many children with other developmental problems are being given autism diagnoses just to get them state funding.
4) In an item related to our coverage of the Pvt. Hafterson PTSD saga, writer Katie Drumm looks at an initiative to help soldiers cope with their experiences through social networking. We'll have to wait and see on the results — the company involved is a sub-contractor of Lockheed Martin, and is being asking to develop "a publicly-accessible search engine" (umm, hello?) — but if the Hafterson story is an indicator, the military's mental health care structure could use the improvements.
5) When your red squirrel population is on the verge of catastrophic collapse, who do you call? The squirrel doctor, of course.
President Obama recently repeated his promise to repeal the Clinton-era law concerning gays in the military. What should happen with the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The myths of the teen mind.
Second hour: Religious thinker and writer Karen Armstrong argues that the major religions of the world share a view that compassion is essential.
Midday (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) - First hour: Rabbi Harold Kushner will be in the MPR studio to talk about his new book, "Conquering Fear: Living Boldly in an Uncertain World."
Second hour: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Nicholas Kristof at the Westminster Town Hall Forum.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) -
All Things Considered (3-6 p.m.) - Tom Scheck looks at Gov. Pawlenty's stance on Afghanistan. The governor says the president should expand the U.S. presence in Afghanistan no matter what the cost.
A little more than 2 years ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced a plan to create a state park at Lake Vermilion, about 90 miles north of Duluth. By May 2008, the governor had secured $20 million from the Minnesota Legislature to pay for the park, all 3,000 acres and five miles of shoreline.
Except that price wasn't good enough for U.S. Steel, the current owner of the land, and since then, Britt Robson reports for the Capitol Report, not much has been done.
Yet even now, the proposed state park has its die-hard supporters, and they remain convinced that the land sale can eventually be completed. They are heartened by the fact that, nearly six months after getting the bureaucratic green light to develop the site, U.S. Steel has not turned a shovel's full of dirt to further the project.
"I drive by it at least 10 times a week, and I haven't seen any improvements on the road going in, or any other activity," reports Mike Forsman, one of the St. Louis County commissioners who voted for the development last spring. "My own suspicion is that the downturn in the economy has made it harder to buy and build housing up here. It certainly is not like it was three years ago. I imagine [U.S. Steel] will wait for the market to improve."
It was poor market timing by U.S. Steel, but they have time on their side. Gov. Pawlenty will likely have other things on his hands this legislative session. The state's revenues are running millions of dollars short and Pawlenty seems intent on running a practice presidential campaign.
In short, unless the market for high-value lakeshore developments makes a spectacular recovery in the near future or Pawlenty reopens negotiations, it will likely mean little closure to the state park question until after the next governor of Minnesota is seated in 2011.
Despite the political gamesmanship, or lack thereof, this never addresses the fundamental question: Do we need a new state park on Lake Vermilion?(2 Comments)