1) WHEN PEOPLE DO GOOD (Cont'd)
More stars have been added to a benefit to raise some money for tornado victims in north Minneapolis. Tickets go on sale today. MPR's Brandt Williams reports the General Mills Foundation has pledged $125,000 to tornado relief efforts in north Minneapolis. The city's effort to recruit some volunteers for a cleanup effort this weekend signed up the needed 2,000 people quickly. People respond to people. Period.
Mayor R.T. Rybak provided yesterday's cringe-worthy quote. "There's no other part of the country that I know of where a tornado could have come and there could have been a better coming together of community response."
We get it. A pat on the back well deserved. But people aren't any better or worse here than anywhere else, and it's not about comparing us to other people, anyway. Good people do good things. For the record, it was a private organization -- not the city -- that organized volunteers to move into north Minneapolis within minutes of the tornado nearly two weeks ago. It was a private citizen -- in New York, no less -- who created a Facebook page and Twitter account that became the go-to places for information. It was a group of nurses who went door to door this week looking for people who needed help with anxiety.
But it's not just here that people rise up. In New Jersey, for example, a woman realized disaster victims are getting lost in the news about stupid things, so she's set up a tent in her yard and is raising money for people she doesn't know. "I did it because I wanted to make a statement that I can choose to go camping for a couple of days in my yard," Berit Ollestad said. "But then when that's up, I have the choice to go back to my home -- and so many people don't have that choice."
In Joplin, a group of volunteers from Cedar Falls, Iowa has just shown up to pitch in. It's churches leading the way, a newspaper editor says.
In times of disaster, people will usually show politicians how compassion works. It's not as if they expect something for nothing. They just want the pols to lead, follow, or get out of the way...
Yesterday, Republican Sen. Scott Brown toured Springfield, Massachusetts, where a tornado struck on Wednesday. What did he think? "We need some federal disaster assistance," he said.
We're about to head out for another summer weekend, and there's plenty of road construction to encounter. The atmosphere is right to try out the "zipper merge."
MnDOT, last month, created a video to try to get people to change the way they merge from two lanes to one...
Here's the problem: People see "lane closed ahead" and they automatically change lanes. It's like planning for retirement. You don't wait until the last minute to do it, right? Why should merging be any different?
Then, once you merge, some jerk goes racing by in the soon-to-be closed lane and scoots ahead of everyone who had the good sense to plan ahead. Face it, you silently wish that whoever is up ahead won't let them in.
But the "jerk" is the one who is merging correctly. And we early-adopters are the ones who are actually messing things up.
The problem is not enough people know this so in order to merge correctly, you have to be willing to absorb the grief from other drivers.
Try it out this weekend and report back here how it went.(26 Comments)
As a son of the Bay State, I always enjoy it when politicians hit the Freedom Trail in search of a photo opportunity to somehow relate the beginning of the American Revolution to their campaign. They frequently don't know what they're talking about, which is ironic because the whole point of the existence of the Freedom Trail is for people to understand how the Revolution started.
Step forward, Sarah Palin...
1. Paul Revere didn't warn the British not to take away our arms. He was riding to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were on their way to arrest them.
2 Paul Revere didn't ring any bells. He was on a horse. However, after he was arrested he was released by the British when bells began ringing and shots were fired.
3. He didn't ride his horse through town. He took the water route to Charlestown and then picked up the horse. The patriot leaders weren't in town, that's why he had to ride to warn them. They were hiding in outlying areas.
These factoids tend to trip up presidential candidates. A few months ago, Michele Bachmann got the state wrong when she started talking about the beginning of the Revolution...
Assuming she's following the entire Freedom Trail, her next stop should be the USS Constitution, which people probably know better as Old Ironsides. On a slow news day, we're rather hoping someone asks about the history of the ship.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards cheated on his dying wife, fathered a child with a campaign staffer, and may have illegally diverted campaign funds to help keep the affair quiet.
And if that's not bad enough, he also checks his smartphone for messages while driving...(2 Comments)
Sen. Linda Scheid, a DFLer from Brooklyn Park, has entered hospice after an extended fight against cancer. There's really not a lot to say at a time like this that isn't already obvious. But a glance at her Caring Bridge guest book reveals quite a few entries from lawmakers past and present, from both the DFL and GOP, each written with a love and obvious respect that provides its own measure of comfort to the state.
Sen Scheid publicly revealed her cancer in March 2007. It was in the middle of a debate on a bill from Sen. Linda Berglin that established expenditure limits and insurance rate restrictions on health care. Sen. Berglin said the market-based means of controlling health care costs "doesn't work."
Sen. Scheid says she didn't like the bill because government health care doesn't work.
Despite her moving speech and acknowledgment of her illness, the bill passed the Minnesota Senate. It never got a hearing in the House.