The beauty in a brewing disaster, a story of struggles, the Facebook IPO, bike-to-work day, and your moment of Minnesota zen.
Friday already and time to pick the favorite video of the week. This one's easy.
In Lawrence, Kansas this week, Tyler Gregory was playing some music and raising a couple of bucks when Jacob stopped by. He's blind and autistic.
"It was a powerful moment that made my day and reminded me of the good things in life," Tyler writes on his journal. "Reminded me why I love different interactions with people when playing music. Reminded me of how powerful music can be between two people. It also reminded me not to take things for granted, for most of us have it pretty easy in our everyday life. So, I just simply went home with a very big smile on my face that day, and a story to tell my close ones."
(h/t: Elaine Love)(2 Comments)
You're a female janitor at Elk River High School. Your boss, a man, prohibits women from talking to each other, tells the male janitors he doesn't want women on his crew, says "women have their place -- the kitchen and the bedroom," and says Elk River High School is not the place for women.
Is this a hostile work environment under Minnesota law?
This week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled it's not.
In ruling in the case of Carol LaMont, the Supreme Court overturned lower courts' rulings that under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, a claim of a hostile work environment cannot be based on harassing conduct that's not "sexual" in nature.
"One type of behavior that can alter a female employee's conditions of employment, amounting to discrimination, is conduct that amounts to sexual harassment," Justice Helen Meyer wrote in her opinion. "Another type of behavior that can alter a female employee's conditions of employment, amounting to discrimination, is verbal and physical harassment based on sex. This, too, is 'disparate treatment of female employees merely because they are female,' the kind of behavior we have said the MHRA seeks to eliminate."
But in awarding LaMont that victory, Justice Meyer ruled that the actions in Elk River are not a hostile work environment because it wasn't severe enough. It said the boss' comments were "offensive, but infrequent," and that they were not physically threatening, severe, or intimidating. Meyer also said the statements, while abusive, did not appear to have "unreasonably interfered with her ability to do her job."
But in a dissent, Justice Alan Page said that LaMont's boss directed his comments at LaMont "because she was a woman. When treatment 'is directed at female employees because of their womanhood, female employees are faced with a working environment different from the working environment faced by male employees.'"
Page also disputed Meyer's observation that the the boss -- Doug Miner -- also subjected men to harassing behavior. Page called the determination "troubling."
"An employee subject to discriminatory conduct by 'an equal opportunity harasser' is nevertheless protected by the MHRA," Page wrote.
Page said the Supreme Court's standard applied in this case will not "'secure for persons [in Minnesota] freedom from discrimination' in employment because of one's sex."5 Comments)
There's still a fair amount of arguing over last week's decision by the Minnesota Legislature to send millions of dollars in taxpayer money and subsidies to the Minnesota Vikings for a new stadium, but the intensity is dwarfed by what's happening in New England with a former Major League Baseball star whose conservative politics are almost as famous as his World Series wins.
Curt Schilling, who once considered running for the U.S. Senate, and who has famously endorsed the saying, " If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him," is looking for someone to take care of him.
Schilling started a video game company in Massachusetts, then moved it when Rhode Island offered much of its available economic development resources to him in the form of state-backed loans. "(It was) one of the great bonehead economic development deals of recent history," the Boston Globe's Steven Syre writes.
He missed a $1 million payment on the loan this week, then delivered a check that bounced today. Late in the day, he delivered another payment that the governor of Rhode Island says cleared.
Earlier this week, he asked his Rhode Island state government friends -- already on the hook for $75 million -- for more.
The people back in Massachusetts are having a field day. The Globe's Brian McGrory:
Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008.
He did it for Scott Brown in January 2010, when he wrote in his blog, "He's for smaller government,'' and lauding Brown's opposition to "creating a new government insurance program.''
Smaller government? Call me crazy, but I'm betting that wasn't exactly what Schilling was extolling when he sat behind closed doors on Wednesday pleading with the members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to put more public money behind his fantasy video game venture. And insurance? It seems like that's precisely what he got.
We often don't get to determine how our final exit from our careers will go, so it was lump-in-the-throat time at Wrigley Field today when Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood announced his retirement, before making his final appearance in a game.
That game came this afternoon when Wood, who holds the single-game strikeout record, struck out the only batter he faced.
As he left the field, he was greeted at the top of the dugout steps by his son, Justin, with whom he'd shagged fly balls in the outfield before the game.