1) LESSONS OF THE FALL
Thanks to the overnight rain, plenty of leaves are on the ground. They're mocking you. It is now officially fall -- thank you for visiting us, sun, won't you come again? -- and few things get people to choose sides like this issue: burning leaves.
This is, of course, Minnesota. We like to burn things, and we like to sit and watch it burn. We like our lawns. We hate our leaves. The solution is simple: Burn them. But that was the old way and we're smarter now, allegedly.
In Brainerd, for example, the City Council appears to be split on whether to ban the burning of leaves. One council member said it requires common sense: Don't burn when the wind is blowing toward a neighbor's house. In my community, the wind is always blowing toward some neighbor's house.
I think my community bans burning leaves. So I rake them up, and stuff them into a large plastic yard bags (which you can't use anymore if you use a trash hauler to remove them), with the intent to take them over to the compost site. Maybe I'll do it next Saturday when it's open. Or the Saturday after that.
Here's a picture of a bag of leaves I raked up last fall. I just never got around to taking them to the compost site.
The bags are shredded, the leaves are half-composted. I think there's some bees that live in there. After the next frost, maybe I'll "repackage" these and take them over to the compost site. Maybe.
Or maybe I'll burn them once the wind shifts toward the neighbors who keep burning their leaves when the wind blows toward mine.
2) FEE TO BE YOU AND ME
Does any industry work harder to drive customers away than the airline business. The Deets' Ed Kohler has noticed yet another fee -- $8 to pre-assign your seat. Check Ed's graphic. People will pay $8 in advance just to get a middle seat?
3) TEEN SUICIDE: SHOULD WE SAY IT?
MPR's Tom Weber lifts the cover on an issue that some people want to keep covered -- suicides in area high schools. Tom reports that seven people have killed themselves in the past year in the Anoka-Hennepin district alone. Tom reports that some parents are urging changes in the district's attitude toward gay students, though he stresses that some, but not all, of the students who took their lives were not gay. Suicide is a crisis in our midst but because it doesn't get the attention that, for example, texting while driving gets, few people know about it unless the occasional letter comes home to parents. Some experts say mentioning it will increase the likelihood of copycat suicides. Indeed, in Tom's story, Superintendent Dennis Carlson says the idea worries him. But one suicide prevention expert told me earlier this year that only about 1 percent of teen suicides fell into the category.
There's some evidence, though, that the fear is warranted. Last year, a study in the UK showed suicides happen in clusters, New Scientist reported:
Numerous celebrity suicides have been linked with increased national suicide rates. After Marilyn Monroe took a sleeping pill overdose in 1962, researchers pointed to her death as a trigger for a 12 per cent rise in people in the US taking their own lives during the following month.
"As society becomes more focused on celebrities, and more celebrities are generated by programmes like Big Brother, the problem might get worse," says Mesoudi.
4) BRETT FAVRE PLUGGED IN
The NFL Network put a microphone on Brett Favre. Find out what he talks about between interceptions here.
5) IMPOSSIBLE SCENES THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
Gizmodo's shooting challenge this week is collecting photographs of the same place at different times. Like the seagull invasion at the Duluth Lift Bridge.
(h/t: Derek Schille, who leads all News Cut readers on contributions. Do you feel guilty about that? Good.)
Video of Rep. Mark Buesgens' field sobriety test. He flunked.
(h/t: City Pages)
One Minnesota legislator recently lost her home to foreclosure, while at least one other lawmaker is facing foreclosure proceedings now. How does the state of a politician's personal finances affect your vote?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Religion and the environmental movement.
Second hour: Talking Volumes with Jonathan Franzen.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Meteorologist Paul Douglas.
Second hour: President Obama's speech to the United Nations.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: An assessment of Obama's speech.
Second hour: The U.N. and the lives of women.
Estimates that I've heard say that about 1/3 of teen suicides are LGBT related. It's also been shown that LGBT people don't suffer from depression related to being gay or transgender if they are raised in a supporting environment where they aren't being shamed by others for being gay or transexual. When do we start holding people accountable for bullying that leads to suicide? When do we start holding the institutions who are responsible for much of this shaming accountable for the suicides that their bigotted practices lead to? You know the institutions. Say for example the one mailing out the DVDs yesterday.
Regarding #5: That's my good friend Shawn's picture! :) I'm flabbergasted, hahaha.
I am perfectly willing to be wrong....But it appears to me that Wright County has no right to release the video of the field sobriety test of Rep Mark Buesgens.
Data Privacy laws are arcane and nuanced. My reading of the law leads me to believe that this video could only be released by District Court Order.
Where am I wrong?
The NYT Well blog has a post about Dan Savage's new YouTube outreach to gay teens:
From 1998-2001 I taught at a high school with an active Gay-Straight Alliance, and a number of out gay teachers. I can't count the number of times I wished some of my high school friends could have had that atmosphere, and role models like that. It takes more than "neutral" to be supportive.
Re: the Buesgens video, it's been on channels 4 and 11 as well. And probably Youtube as well. Just an observation.