A culture of forgiving, Legacy money for school art programs, a death in Easy Company, end of the door-to-door sale, and embracing winter again.
Posted at 9:45 AM on February 29, 2012
by Bob Collins
Warnings from University of Minnesota Duluth administrators to the student section at UMD hockey games appear to have worked.
The students got carried away earlier this month, yelling racial and ethnic slurs against the University of North Dakota Fighting Sious.
Lauren Renneke, a reporter for LakeVoice News, found students on their best behavior when she checked out the section.
Unless you think a "Hey, Thorny, I spit in your Olive Garden" sign offensive.
As we guessed two days ago, the new airline flying out of Minneapolis St. Paul will be Spirit Airlines, starting at the end of May.
It's a low-fare, high-fee airline, which has dampened some of the initial euphoria among travelers when the Metropolitan Airlines Commission teased them on Monday with news of a pending competitor to Delta.
Spirit will fly direct to Las Vegas (the most popular destination from MSP) and Chicago (from which you can make connections to civilized locations).
What does this mean for fares?
Let's take a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas on June 1, spend the weekend, and come back on Monday.
Our first problem? You have to fly in the middle of the night.
The airline is advertising an $83 .29 fare, but that's (a) only if you're in the $9 "Fare Club" and pay the $60 to join and (b) only if you're willing to fly at 10:15 PM.
If you want to fly at 11 a.m., you certainly can, if you pay $212 one-way, much higher than competitors on the route.
The two flights back are both red-eyes. One leaves at 12:35 AM Monday morning and is non-stop. The other leaves at 1 a.m. and doesn't arrive until 10:20 a.m. with a stop in Chicago. Curiously the non-stop is cheaper: $88.79 ($10 cheaper if you join the Fare Club).
The total cost of the flight is $182.08, including fees which are:
Passenger facility fee: $13.50
Passenger usage fee: $33.98
Segement fee: $7.60
9/11 security fee: $5.00
Unintended consequences of DOT regulations: $4.00
If you buy your tickets online, you save $10 on Spirit's baggage fee -- $30 for checked baggage and carry-on (laptops and bags that fit under the seat in front fly free).
That's another $60 for a total of $242.08.
What's Delta got?
First, it's got flights when people are actually awake. The fare is $328.60. Adding the cost of a checked bag (free if you fly with their credit card), the total is $378. Is the convenience worth an extra $156 to you? Spirit is betting it's not.
But if you want to fly at night, Delta's fare is $277.60, not including baggage, and $50 less if you apply for their credit card.
That fare matches Sun Country's, but Sun Country provides flights that leave in the daytime. And Sun Country's baggage fee is $5 less than Delta's.
Southwest is a non-player on the route. Its lowest roundtrip fare is $434.
There is, however, an indication that Spirit's entry into the market has already had an effect on fares. A Friday-to-Monday Las Vegas trip in May will cost about $355 (not including baggage).
If you fly a week before Spirit starts flying to MSP, it'll be $379.60 on Delta, and a whopping $489.60 on Sun Country. Southwest -- remember when it was a low-fare airline? -- provides flights for $540 on the low end.
So Spirit's contribution to the market may not be flights when few people want to fly, but lowering the cost of flying on airlines people would rather take.
That is likely to be a short-term benefit. Airlines that lower fares on other airlines while flying few passengers don't stay in Minnesota for very long.(7 Comments)
If you want to start a good argument, experience tells me, a good topic would be: Who was more involved in the community while a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves -- Kevin Garnett or Kevin Love?
Love wrapped up his campaign to collect coats for the Salvation Army this week. Here's a video the team provided of the delivery.(2 Comments)
Like it or not, Grover Norquist is the straw that stirs the conservative drink. He may be the most influential man in America when it comes to the "anti-tax" movement that's dominated American politics and changed the shape of state governments, including Minnesota's.
He also really makes people who disagree with his influence angry. A few e-mails that came in while MPR News Presents aired his speech to the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce today suggests that people don't want to hear what he has to say and think MPR is wrong for presenting his speech.
Is this they kind of poor judgement we can now expect from MPR after the departure of Bill Kling and Gary Eichten? Count me as UNimpressed!
If I want to listen to Weasel news, I know exactly where to find it, thank you very much!Grover Norquist has ample platforms from which he can spew his dysfonic misinformation to the detriment of our nation, and the continuing reduction in levels of awareness of reality so desired by those who want to hear the falsehoods that ooze from his lying mouth, falsehoods that further reinforce the alternate-reality bubble in which their psychological dysfunctions have them trapped.
That you would waste valuable airtime on MPR to provide him a platform is highly offensive to me. The vast majority of your listeners were already well aware of what he would say, and NONE of his devoted fans will ever become MPR listeners.
WHAT were you thinking?
Why do you let this man insult people with his lies? Please follow up with a look at this man, Grover Nordquist as to the lies he tells and the harm he is doing. Guilt by association is too cheap for honest radio.
Peter, St. Paul.
It's a fairly typical response when a polarizing figure gets air time. But it speaks to a larger problem, which is not that the listener doesn't want to hear Grover Norquist (there's an on/off button to solve that problem). It's that the listener doesn't want anyone else to hear Grover Norquist.
Speeches aren't meant to be the sum and substance of a conversation. They're meant to start an ongoing conversation. The program's format is to air these speeches, just as the second hour of Midday under Gary Eichten did. The program is produced by Sara Meyer, the longtime producer of Midday. She knows what she's doing.
Is it time to let Minnesotans decide what constitutional amendments end up on the ballot?
Today, a bill was filed in the Minnesota House that would -- if approved by voters -- allow citizens to put measures on the ballot if they get enough signatures. It comes from Rep. King Banaian, R- St. Cloud, who also filed a bill a few weeks ago to make it harder for lawmakers to put constitutional amendments on the ballot.
The notion is known as "initiative and referendum." The challenge for its supporters is explaining how it works.
Under the bill, a proposed law could be put to the voters if supporters get signatures from each congressional district, totaling at least 5 percent of the total number of votes cast for governor in the previous election.
The system could also be used to repeal a law via the same means. But if the law hasn't gone into effect yet, it is suspended until voters get a chance to decide whether it should.
And amendment to the Minnesota constitution would require signatures totaling 8 percent of the previous gubernatorial election.
No more than three "laws" could be proposed on any ballot, a governor can't veto a law voters approve, and a new law would take effect 30 days after the election.
The system exists in Washington state, where the governor recently signed a same-sex marriage bill. An opposition group immediately announced it intended to more than 120,577 voter signatures by June 6th to put the issue on November's ballot.
During the spring flooding in the Red River Valley last year, I was taken with the people who went water skiing in the roadside ditches.
It's only fair, then, that we give equal time to the other side of the state and a different season. Today in Duluth, someone went skiing behind a Jeep.
Others just tended to the chores, and put them to song.