We're bottoming out. Yesterday through the middle of next week marks the earliest the sun will set (4:31 p.m.). Starting next Wednesday, the afternoon sun will start setting later. But we still need the Monday Morning Rouser:
1) YOU ARE THE EDITOR
You're the editor of a local newspaper and the Associated Press has given you a gripping account of life with a medical team in Afghanistan. The award-winning photographer has taken many photographs that accurately depict war and that's the problem. Though the AP has informed families of dead soldiers that it intends to provide the images for publication, it's your decision whether to put them in the paper, and risk a backlash that the images are horrible and disrespectful. The AP gave you three months to think about it. Now it's your call to make. What do you do?
The Associated Press is defending its decision to publish photographs of soldiers who were wounded -- and later died -- in the war in Afghanistan.
The distribution and publication of photos of dead servicemen and women can be controversial because some people feel it disrespectful. Others feel such images reflect the realities of combat.
That is the AP's position, said John Daniszewski, the Senior Managing Editor responsible for international news and photos, including a number of conflicts around the globe.
"The photos show the work of the crew and the compassion and professionalism of the medics on board these helicopters in a way that is accurate, true and tasteful," he said.
2) STUDY: GAY TEENS TARGETED BY AUTHORITIES
Gay and lesbian teens in the United States are about 40 percent more likely than their straight peers to be punished by schools, police and the courts, according to a study published today in the Washington Post. Girls are especially at risk for unequal treatment, the paper says.
Related: Though the new leaders of the Minnesota Legislature say social issues aren't their priority, they may have no choice.
Meanwhile, later today Ted Olson will be in federal court representing those seeking to overturn California's ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8. The hearing could be the last stop before the case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Olson is an unlikely warrior for same-sex marriage proponents.
3) A "BUMP" IN THE NIGHT, AND ALL DAY, TOO
I suppose this isn't much of a secret, but journalists spend a significant part of their lives lamenting that they didn't know about a story someone else knew about. A story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about St. Anthony Residence, where alcoholics can drink their final days away, is a perfect example:
But the men staying at St. Anthony say alcohol isn't just a habit -- it is who they are. If any kind of treatment were required, they would return to a homeless life of fear, disease and tremendous public expense.
It's not uncommon for a homeless alcoholic to cost the public more than $1 million during decades of drinking -- for multiple jail stays, emergency room visits, rounds of alcoholism treatment and other costs.
The theory is that taxpayers pay one way or the other. What are the other options?
Part two comes next Sunday.
4) QUICK! TELL ME!
Quick! Name the most frequently suggested name that listeners of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" suggest as a guest they want on the show. On Saturday, they got their wish.
5) "I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING GOOD"
Eleanor Gustafson of Brainerd is 92 now, but she was one of 16 million Americans who served in the military in World War II. She ended up at the front lines in France.
Bonus: We have our first Minnesota Christmas lights video of the year! This one in Clearwater, Minnesota features the traditional carol, Telstar.
Yet another bonus: The kind of thing that makes you appreciates opera more.
Classified diplomatic documents circulated last week describe an Afghan government beset by corruption at the highest levels. Do Afghanistan's future prospects justify the expenditure of American lives and resources?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Cardiologists are looking to stem cells as the new frontier in repairing, and replacing, damaged hearts. Two doctors on the cutting edge of cardiac stem cell technology discuss their research.
Second hour: Avi Steinberg spent time working in a prison library and saw first-hand what books and literature meant to some prisoners. Janie Paul works with prisoners on creative arts projects. They share their perspective on arts and humanities in the prisons.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Outgoing education commissioner Alice Seagren talks about challenges in education.
Second hour: From MPR's "Bright Ideas" series, Stephen Smith talks to the president and CEO of the American Refugee Committee, Daniel Wordsworth.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: TBA
Second hour: They've broken down all your most elemental beliefs -- even taking on that "candy from a baby" theory. It's harder than you think. Join Neal Conan for a conversation with Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The Minneapolis School District is considering whether to push for a new state law that would require an entire redrawing of all school district boundaries in Minnesota. MPR's Tom Weber will have the story.
Cassettes are back, Chris Roberts says. Just as with the LP was once counted out because of CD's and MP3 players, the cassette was deemed dead too. However, some local bands are now rediscovering the lowly cassette as a cheap and hip way of sharing their music. The main challenge may be finding machines which will play the things.
"Dandy" Don Meredith has died. The former NFL quarterback was better known as one of the original broadcasters on the iconic Monday Night Football.
Looking back at the first MNF broadcast is a good reminder that that was a heck of a long time ago, when broadcasters even passed one microphone to the other.
Monday Night Football may well be best known in history as the place where people found out 30 years ago Wednesday that John Lennon had been killed.
How did that historic broadcast come to be? Mere coincidence.
It's a dog-eat-dog world in the non-profit community these days and the "big dogs" are well fed.
"Big dogs" is how Linda Winsor, the executive director of the University Avenue Betterment Association, characterizes non-profit groups who are getting funding in the Central Corridor project while her organization goes without.
So she's quitting. "I'm good at the day-to-day issues, but the fundraising turf wars are unbearable," she says. She says her organization needs a fundraiser in her position.
University Avenue is about to get torn up for light-rail. "Light rail is a looming crisis and while the big boys play an important role, if you don't have the impacted people who can show where the resources need to go, the resources don't get down to them," she says
"Them" are business owners on University Avenue.
"Today I got a call from a new business owner, -- a restaurant owner -- and he's going to lose his on-street parking and he's wondering 'what am I going to do? Where are my customers going to park?' We e-mailed the person who needs to talk to him and we'll figure out what resources we can get for him."
Winsor says groups like hers have the advantage of knowing University Avenue businesses, which makes her group more "nimble." She says larger groups get money that doesn't make it to the people it's supposed to help, likening it to the situation that exists in worldwide disasters.
"There's a big problem when the money floods into the Red Cross. The groups that are on the ground, the people who know people and know how to do things on a shoestring budget, if the big boys don't coordinate with them, you're missing a big piece," she says.
"I see that here, too. I see where the funders go with who they've heard of, who they know and if the funders aren't ready to fund the more nimble groups and the more impacted folks, the people who are trying to maintain the capacity are not going to throw the bones down. The key word is collaboration, but in the end, everyone is competing for the same pot of money. There isn't a collalorative atmosphere. It's a very huge underground turf war and if you're not in the club, you don't get it."
Not everyone is shut out, however. The University Avenue Business Preparation Collaborative received funding from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, the St. Paul Foundation and the Bigelow Foundation.
Slate magazine has an utterly fascinating visual depiction of a developing health crisis in America: diabetes.
Here's the rate of diabetes in 2004
And just four years later, it looks like this:
Compared to the South, as you can see, Minnesota gets off pretty easy. But it's not too hard to see why diabetes is going to cost the U.S. over $3.4 trillion, by one estimate.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a simple change in diet in many cases. But many people don't bother.(6 Comments)