1) Let's explore the mystery that is the parking/no-parking system in Minneapolis for the rest of the winter:
I heard from News Cut reader Andrew David yesterday who tells his side of the story:
My girlfriend recently was ticketed as were many others recently regarding this goofy parking we have in Minneapolis now. What is unique is that she was parked on a Snow Emergency route and there was no warning about any rule changes. This was on Thursday of last week.
We called 311 and spoke with someone who claimed there were signs indicating we cannot park on Bryant (the street in question) or Grand on the even side.
Fair enough, except when we drove all the way from Lake Street to 50th looking for any signs there were none, absolutely zero. We've been calling over and over and getting the run-around and basically lied to. Come Friday evening when coming home they finally put up signs, little paper ones all up and down the block.
To recap: The city is -- allegedly -- ticketing people first, and then telling people they can't park there. True? If it's happened to you, chime in.
Keep in mind that the new no-parking-on-even-side-of-the-street rules that were announced earlier this month were for non emergency snow routes
2) During the recession, Minnesota has lost something like 11 percent of its manufacturing jobs. It'll be interesting to see whether there's been a corresponding increase in heart attacks in the state. The New York Times today is tracking what it suspects is a correlation between the heart attacks and the loss of jobs:
A growing body of research suggests that layoffs can have profound health consequences. One 2006 study by a group of epidemiologists at Yale found that layoffs more than doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke among older workers. Another paper, published last year by Kate W. Strully, a sociology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, found that a person who lost a job had an 83 percent greater chance of developing a stress-related health problem, like diabetes, arthritis or psychiatric issues
Jobs and the economy: Change the word "Brits" to "Americans" in this headline, read the story, and respond. Are jobless Brits scared by hard work?
3) Dale Connelly's recipe for humble pie. Because sooner or later, we're all going to need it.
As long as we're on the subject of my favorite Public Radio funny people:
4) In Southbridge, Massachusetts -- the little town that gave a certain news blogger his radio start -- the YMCA is banning parents from the final weekend of games for a youth basketball league. If I have to tell you why, you've never been to a youth sports league game.
The league wants kids to learn to have fun, but this will aggravate those of you who think that unless a kid is learning how to get his soul crushed (See "Vikings, fans"), he is not being properly prepared for the realities of life.
Each division has about 40 players making up four teams. But no records or standings are kept.
After each game, the scoreboard is erased. And after each season, every player gets a soda, a pizza, and a trophy. No first-place teams are announced.
"We don't even know who wins the most games,'' Casine said.
And do you invite the partisans to this game? The mayor of Springfield, Ma. wants a game between teams captained by Barack Obama and Sen. Scott Brown. In our political climate, could fans enjoy the game for the fun of it, or would it be yet another venue for the same old arguments between the two?
5) The health care summit is being held today, prefaced by silliness over the arrangement of the table.
The president's emissaries favored a U-shaped table that would have had Obama and Vice President Joe Biden seated at the head with lawmakers in front of them on either side, like an audience, The Washington Post reported.
Uh-oh. Republicans balked, not wishing to be upstaged at the televised event and find themselves in a situation similar to their retreat in Baltimore last month, when Obama -- himself the guest -- unexpectedly opened a question-and-answer session to television cameras.
When's the last time the shape of a table was news in the U.S.? 1968.
Today President Obama convenes a bipartisan summit on health care reform. Imagine that you were one of the negotiators at the White House meeting. What one element of health care reform would you push for the hardest?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Broadcast of a health care forum held at MPR's UBS Forum on Tuesday night.
Second hour: Elizabeth Gilbert's first memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love," on world travel and personal renewal after divorce became a blockbuster bestseller. In her latest book, "Committed," she explains how she came to make peace with marriage as she gives it a second try with a new partner.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Theologian and best-selling author Jim Wallis speaks at the Westminster Town Hall Forum.
Second hour: Highlights from the health care summit in Washington.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Three health care bills are all on life support. NPR's Ron Elving and host Neal Conan go inside the health care summit.
Second hour: Tom Goldman and Howard Berkes discuss the Olympics.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The Minnesota Senate will vote today on whether to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a bill extending GAMC -- the health care coverage for the poor. Tim Pugmire is following the maneuvering at the Capitol.
Several International Falls residents have formed Icebox Radio Theater, a group dedicated to writing and producing original theater for radio, and to bring the Northland's stories to the world. The group now has its own studio, and produces live streaming radio and podcasts. MPR's Tom Robertson profiles the group.
Thomas Mullan, the author of "The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers," sits down with Euan Kerr to talk about how his novel links the wild lives of '30s gangsters with the tough economic times of today. He reads in Wayzata tonight.
It's estimated that one of every five college women is sexually assaulted. Margaux turned to the authorities, but what happened afterward seems typical to many victims of rape. National Public Radio looks at what happens when a school fails a sexual assault victim.
Coincidentally, the Boston Globe carried an article this morning on the subject and finds "a widespread failure of schools to issue tough sanctions against perpetrators."
In the NPR story this morning, Wisconsin has some explaining to do.(5 Comments)
Douglas and Anita "Annie" Gervais weren't watching the big health care summit in Washington at their St. Paul apartment this afternoon. There's not much they need to know about health care that they haven't learned firsthand. And there's nothing going on there that will save them from what's going to happen here in the next 24 hours.
A couple of miles away from the Gervais' apartment, the Minnesota Senate overrode Gov. Pawlenty's veto of a bill that would extend a program providing health care to the state's poorest citizens. The fate of the override effort in the House, however, is less clear. "If they would get out and see the people he (Gov. Pawlenty) is trying to shut the door on..." Douglas Gervais says, without finishing the sentence.
Annie has breast cancer. Douglas, who has had a kidney transplant, has mental health issues. They'd be wondering how they're going to provide for themselves when MinnesotaCare cuts them off if they weren't preoccupied with where they're going to live after tomorrow.
Mrs. Gervais, 48, was a victim of the collapsing economy before the cancer moved in. She was an assembly line temporary worker at Colder Products Company in St. Paul until the hours started drying up last spring. "Finally, they didn't call at all," she said today. A few months later, she felt a lump in her breast. A mastectomy followed, and now she's undergoing once-a-week chemotherapy.
"I put applications for work in, but that chemo really knocks me out," she says. Her husband works as a building manager but his hours have been cut to about 10 a week. He's trying to care for his wife, but his mental health issues have flared with every piece of bad news. He recently checked himself into the mental health unit at Regions Hospital.
"My nerves are completely shot. I have to work around her appointments," he says. "When she's down, I'm the caregiver. I'm a lunatic trying to care for her."
MinnesotaCare has been providing coverage for most of the health care costs. Their $40 monthly premium had been cut to $16 and now to $8. "I've got the monthly bill here," she says, "but I don't have $8."
She also doesn't have the $720 rent payment that's overdue. Last week, the couple went to court to learn that they have to be out of their apartment by Friday if they don't come up with the rent, plus penalties, which now totals $1,145. The Minneapolis-based Angel Foundation, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients, helped pay last month's rent but while it bought them some time, it didn't buy an answer or a job.
"If we have to, we'll live in the truck," Douglas says. They'll have to. Even if that's a solution to their housing, it's not a solution to their health care. "Look at all these medications we have to take. A $3 co-pay doesn't sound like much, but it adds up pretty quick."
They may qualify for free health care. Annie has an appointment with a Ramsey County financial aid worker on Friday morning. But most other efforts are stuck in a fact of life -- it takes time, and the couple doesn't have it. A disability application with Social Security hasn't been processed yet and even if everything fall into place, the earliest they can get help is April.
(Disclaimer: The East Metro Adult Crisis Stabilization Partnership is trying to assist the Gervaises. My wife, Carolie, is one of the E-MAC team members on the case.)