1) SLOWLY SHUTTING DOWN
There's little indication politicians at the Capitol are capable of avoiding a state shutdown, the net effect of which is difficult to say for certain because the parameters for shutting it down haven't been set yet (although I took a shot at it here)
MPR's Tom Scheck visits with some of the state workers who will be asked to pay the price for the Legislature and governor's apparent failures. A woman who works at the security hospital in St. Peter says it'll cost $1,300 a month for health insurance, an important thing for her because her husband is recovering from cancer.
The state workers will get the bulk of the news coverage during the shutdown because they're the most visible -- and easily found -- victims. But we should -- and will -- get an opportunity to hear from the people the workers serve through what they do. Is that you? Tell us about it below .
Meanwhile, City Pages assesses who's to blame for the mess.
This morning I woke up feeling fat, and it took a little while to realize why: I must have gained weight reading and re-reading Rick Nelson's review in the Thursday Star Tribune of "Tilia," a new restaurant in southwest Minneapolis.
"The scallop was evaporating inside my mouth, collapsing on itself in a cloud of ethereal juiciness," he begins. "It was one of those dining-out moments where my body's involuntary response was to slump into my chair, block out everything else around me and wallow in the bliss that was enveloping my taste buds."
You wouldn't think Rick could maintain that level of swoon for long, but he does: He goes on that way for an eye-popping 1,120 words. (For comparison, the play story in this morning's Strib, about the severance packages a state shutdown might trigger, brings home the goods in just 731 words.) Here's more:
"The top of the heap is what's easily the City of Lakes' most awesome way to greet the weekend: delicate cornmeal waffles topped with perfectly poached eggs, chunks of sweet poached lobster and so much supple hollandaise that it should be served with a cardiac defibrillator. It's a dish I could happily consume every Saturday. And Sunday. Forever."
And this -- as my colleague Molly Bloom pointed out - was for a restaurant that Rick only gives three and a half stars. What would a four-star review look like?
Say what you will about the generous helping of steaming adjectives. What I admire about Rick's writing is that he clearly loves good food and enjoys sharing what he knows about it. I just wish he wouldn't tell the whole world. Until yesterday, I'd never heard of Tilia. Now I'll never get a table.(6 Comments)
This Pioneer Press article about a Woodbury man finding a solution to his neighborhood goose problem has been making the rounds.
It's an interesting approach and it might work for a while, but this video suggests that the fake gator's effectiveness is going to be short-lived.
A Border Collie may prove to be a better solution for the long-run.(3 Comments)
A paper from a Twin Cities professor calls on us to rethink our negative views of "invasive species."
Some of our negative views about the species are informed by warnings like this one from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota's natural resources are threatened by invasive species such as the zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil, purple loosestrife, gypsy moth, and garlic mustard. These species, along with new invasive species, could be easily spread within the state if citizens, businesses, and visitors don't take necessary steps to contain them.
Considering the harm these species can do to our environment and the challenge of raising public awareness to stop the spread of these species, it seems like urging tolerance and understanding of non-native species could be a bit misguided.
But Mark Davis, professor with Macalester College, argues that our simplistic nativism perspective that is based on a black and white reading of native species are good, non-natives are bad has had too much influence among conservationists.
"Scientists who malign introduced plants and animals for thriving under favorable conditions seem to be disregarding basic ecological and evolutionary principles," say Matthew Chew, an ecologist and historian of invasion biology, and Julie Stromberg, a plant ecologist, with Arizona State University. "Evaluating whether a species 'belongs' in a particular place is more complicated than just finding out how and when it arrived."(5 Comments)
Scientific studies show that while some introduced species have resulted in extinctions, not all natives are beneficial, as in the example of the Pine Bark beetle, which is decimating North American pine forests (Physorg).