Statewide: April 13, 2011 Archive
Posted at 9:00 AM on April 13, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
UMD scientists have deployed a new tool in their efforts to understand Lake Superior. The tool, a solar powered buoy, was deployed by the Large Lakes Observatory on Tuesday and is already generating data about air and water temperatures.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that the $75,000 probe "gives nearly real-time data" to UMD researcher Jay Austin's "computer back at UMD. But it may take years, even decades, before researchers see long-term trends from the information."
"More data is better. But it will probably be someone else, long after I'm gone, who actually uses this to figure out what's going on," Austin told the Tribune.
Austin and his team continue to produce important research relating to climate change and warming trends on Lake Superior. Last year, at 68.3°F, Lake Superior reached its hottest average surface temperature on record.
MPR's Bob Kelleher reported from the beach when the lake reached it's record high. The story is worth revisiting for the sounds of the beach alone.
Austin attributed the record surface water temperature, in part, to the lack of ice cover the during the preceding winter.
This summer will be the first major opportunity for the new probe to shed insight into the lake temperatures. Given the ice cover this winter, August temperatures are expected to be closer to the normal average high near 55°F.
Also clicking on MN TodayGOP plan comes up $1.2B short Gov. Mark Dayton's administration blew a $1.2 billion hole in the Republican Legislature's proposed budget Tuesday and raised fresh doubts about an orderly path to a budget deal (Star Tribune).
London community reacts to news about high-risk offender
Feelings of fear, frustration and worry were at the forefront Tuesday during a meeting hosted by the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections set up to educate the public about a high-risk sex offender moving to the community (Albert Lea Tribune).
No. 1 overall pick Maya Moore arrives in Minnesota
In college, Maya Moore's challenge was to uphold UConn's long and storied legacy. With the Minnesota Lynx, she'll have an entirely different kind of challenge (ESPN).
Between soybeans and sugarbeets a balance is found
We found that with soybean following sugarbeet in a rotation, the soil is dry enough to facilitate early planting, and that early planting could increase dry matter accumulation and the number of nodes and branches on the plant (Farm and Ranch Guide).
Tax dollars for stadium make Krinkie cranky
Phil Krinkie, the former Republican legislator, still does not like public subsidies for sports stadiums.Now the president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, Krinkie said Tuesday that the proposal to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium would raise taxes more than $500 million (Star Tribune)
"If hair is going to be a factor in this race ... then I'm going to grow my mullet back out" -- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, on the possibility of running against Donald Trump (City Pages).
Insight NowYour views
Is it time to tax consumption in Minnesota?
Some of you don't like Gov. Mark Dayton's idea to raise income taxes on the wealthiest. Some of you say government can't just pare back spending as a way to close the budget and not touch raising some tax revenue, as the GOP legislature would support.
Okay. How about sales taxes. Did you know that there have been rumblings in the state legislature to spread the sales tax to clothing in Minnesota. We are one of the few states in the nation that don't impose a sales tax on clothing
And did you know that Gov. Dayton's original budget proposal calls for a tax on certain Internet sales (those done through state-owned online sales companies).
What if the sales tax were broadened even further - to other currently exempt purchases like food and medical care - if the overall rate of 6.875 was reduced? An attorney, former state revenue chief and current tax policy analyst, John James, suggests this (here is a letter he wrote to the gubernatorial candidates in 2010 making the case).
So in this time of state budget belt-tightening and a fight over how to raise new revenue - How would you change the way sales are taxed in Minnesota, if at all?
Jump into our new "open mic" thread ... where we ask you to pretend you are Larry King or Kerri Miller - what would you would ask if you had an interview show.
A federal program that helps poor mothers buy food took a hit in last week's budget deal in Washington. In the deal that averted a government shutdown, federal lawmakers cut $504 million from the Women, Infants, and Children program.
But those cuts won't affect the WIC program in Minnesota, said Betsy Clark, WIC progarm director for the state. She wants to make sure news of the deal doesn't deter mothers from applying for benefits.
"We will continue to serve everyone who applies for WIC who is eligible," Clark said. "We think the revised [funding] level will be adequate for the current fiscal year because the birthrate is dropping and our participation is somewhat reduced," she said. "And we haven't had much food inflation yet, though we're execting that fairly soon."
WIC provides food aid to pregnant women, new mothers and their children. This year, it will serve about 9.3 million people natiownwide and cost about $7.2 billion.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the cuts can be made to reserve funds.
Both the House and Senate are expected to vote Thursday on the last-minute deal. Overall, it cuts about $28 billion from the government for this fiscal year, ending on Sept. 30.