Statewide: February 16, 2012 Archive
Posted at 7:30 AM on February 16, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Different approach, same message from Gov. Dayton: Work together
Bemidji Pioneer: "Gov. Mark Dayton took a kinder, gentler approach in his Wednesday night State of the State speech, but his message still was the same as in recent public comments when he harshly criticized Republicans." MPR News: "In a speech that was part conciliatory and part confrontational, Gov. Mark Dayton outlined his priorities for the legislative session, and politely asked legislative leaders to pass his job creation plans." Star Tribune: "The DFL governor, who just last week called Republican leaders "too extreme to lead," asked them to pass his bonding bill, vote on a Minnesota Vikings football stadium and vacate the State Capitol for several years to accomplish a major overhaul of the aging structure." MPR News live blog coverage of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address.
Santorum goes after Obama in Fargo, N.D.
MPR News: "Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum drew a crowd of hundreds at a campaign stop in Fargo, N.D. Wednesday evening." Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "Candidate holds up Sioux jersey and says 'I sort of like that logo.'" Santorum releases federal tax returns showing rise in wealth in 3 of 4 years AP: "Santorum, 53, has sold himself in the Republican primaries as both a Washington outsider and a social conservative, stressing his family's coal-mining background and his appeal to religious and working-class voters. His personal finances tell a different story."
Six Chippewa bands to split $28 million federal payout
Duluth News Tribune: "Congress moves to settle an 1800s land transaction that took timber and farm land from Chippewa reservations."
Potter, Pottinger lead women's division at national curling tournament
Bemidji Pioneer: "The Cassie Potter and Allison Pottinger rinks share first place heading into Wednesday's action at the National curling tournament as each team owns a 6-1 record."
Whooping cough cases cause one Northland school district to cancel classes
Duluth News Tribune: "After enduring absentee rates of 25 percent to almost 33 percent for days, the South Shore school district administrator decided it was time to close down for a few days. The culprit, Clendon Gustafson said: whooping cough."
MN Voter Photo ID Passes In Senate Committee
UpTake: "A Republican backed Minnesota constitutional amendment passed in its first Senate committee vote today. The amendment would require a photo ID to vote in a Minnesota election."
Politics, cost derail sex offender policy overhaul
Politics in Minnesota: "Key Republican legislative leaders hoped to push fundamental changes, but that now looks unlikely."
Sen. Paul stalls Klobuchar bill on synthetic drugs
Star Tribune: "A broadly popular bill by Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar to outlaw synthetic recreational drugs across the nation has run into an increasingly common obstacle in the U.S. Senate: the objection of a single senator."
Moorhead City Council member says city should step in on Bluestem
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "In hopes of pushing for more events there, a Moorhead council member wants the city to join talks between the Fargo School District and Bluestem Center for the Arts to fix the finances of the performing arts facility in south Moorhead." The Mayor says city "has no place in discussion."
Ron Paul to visit North Dakota this week
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "A second Republican presidential hopeful will be visiting North Dakota this week.Ron Paul will be visiting Williston on Sunday, according to North Dakota Policy Council Director Brett Narloch."
Field of study: Twins continue to analyze Target Field's dimensions
Star Tribune: "The Twins haven't been afraid to tinker with Target Field during its infancy. After the inaugural 2010 season, the club removed the black spruce trees from behind the center-field fence and hung black mesh off the batter's eye behind the bullpens to improve the hitting background."
Posted at 10:56 AM on February 16, 2012
by Julie Siple
Filed under: Hunger
Michael Latsch, program director for Seeds of Success, tends a garden plot in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood. MPR Photo/Julie Siple
Community leaders have many ideas about how to address food access in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood west of downtown Duluth that lacks a grocery store. We reported this week on the challenge the absence of a grocery store poses for low-income residents.
Some people want to lure a small grocer to the area, others suggest cab vouchers or a free bus to help residents get to existing supermarkets.
But one program is already doing something about it.
As MPR's Stephanie Hemphill reported in 2010, Seeds of Success hires low-income Duluth residents to transform vacant urban lots into vegetable gardens. Last summer, the program produced 4,800 pounds of produce and employed 17 people, sending them home with gardening skills and vegetables.
Organizers have been selling the rest of the produce to grocery stores and high-end restaurants. For the most part, that's going to change.
"This year we're moving to a model of selling it directly to low-income people," said Angie Miller, executive director of Community Action Duluth, which runs the program through a partnership with the A.H. Zeppa Foundation and the City of Duluth.
Miller has noticed more people struggling to get enough healthy food as poverty rates have risen.
"We've listened to low-income people. We've had focus groups, and they indicated a clear desire for more produce at affordable prices," Miller said.
This summer, Seeds of Success will pack their produce into boxes and sell it in Lincoln Park, where residents don't have much opportunity to buy fresh food. If the program secures funding, it will also sell in several other neighborhoods where residents can't find plentiful supplies of fresh produce. The sales will be weekly and year-round, supplemented in the winter by other sources.
They'll set up in churches and community centers, places people can reach on foot.
"It's not the best way to buy produce, to have to show up in a particular spot on a particular day," admits Michael Latsch, program manager for Seeds of Success. "But we feel like we can meet the need immediately, so we're looking to do that until someone can find a way to work out the financing, and to work out a business plan, for a grocery store in this neighborhood."
The program has drawn praise for its comprehensive approach, proving jobs, skills, food, and neighborhood revitalization.
But it might take more than access to change diets, Latsch said. That's why there will be cooking education at the distribution sites.
"There is a lot of research coming out now that suggests that physical and economic access to produce is a start, but it needs to be matched with education and with promotion," he said. "In my view, access is the start, but then people need to have the knowledge to cook the produce, and the desire to consume it as well."
Mayo Clinic researchers estimate the hospitalization costs for underage drinking in the United States is about $755 million a year, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Researchers found the largest part of this expense, or approximately $505 million, goes toward treatment. They also say underage drinking can also lead to other destructive behavior as well as a greater dependence on alcohol in adulthood.
"When teenagers drink, they tend to drink excessively, leading to many destructive consequences including motor vehicle accidents, injuries, homicides and suicides," said Dr. Terry Schneekloth, a Mayo Clinic addiction expert and psychiatrist, in a statement. "Harmful alcohol use in adolescence is a harbinger of alcohol abuse in adulthood."
Young people who start drinking before the age of 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which describes underage alcohol use "a major public health problem."
Youth aged 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States, and more than 90 percent of this is consumed in the form of binge drinking, according to the CDC.
Mayo researchers also found geographic and demographic differences in the incidence of alcohol-related hospital admissions. The study shows the average age of alcohol-related hospitalization was 18 and 61 percent of those young people hospitalized were male.
Mayo's study also shows hospitalization is more common in the Northeast and Midwest and lowest in the South.
Posted at 2:03 PM on February 16, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
By Elisabeth Pedersen, contributor, MN Today
Keeping the love alive in Minnesota
Valentines day may be over, but this weekend presents many opportunities to celebrate, or in some cases, to "anti-celebrate."
On Friday, February 17th at 10:00, Tycoons Alehouse will be celebrating the 8th annual Anti Valentines show.
This event is 21+, and it ideal for individuals who prefer beer to chocolate. Duluth Tycoons states how they "proudly pour award-winning Fitger's Brewhouse Beer from a fully stocked bar." This celebration is also in recognition of Duluth's weekly magazine for "art, music, and swearing," Transistor.
Transistor plays a crucial role in Duluth's arts and culture scene by providing a weekly calendar, quirky comics, and sarcasm. The Anti-Valentines show will feature performances by local groups Crew Jones, and the Uptown Boys.
Land by Hand: Fiber Artists Explore Place opens in Mankato tonight that will be featuring original work by Minnesotan artists.
- Image credit: Jill Lynn
The themes of this show are natural landscapes, and historical traditions. The artists in this show demonstrate their work in various media with an emphasis on fiber art. Each piece of work is unique to the artist, but they also reflect a larger sense of the environment that surrounds us. The landscape of Minnesota is inspirational in various aspects, and this show allows the opportunity to view the diverse perspectives that each artist has of their surroundings. This event supports Minnesotan artist, and upholds artistic traditions as a way to provide a sense of community and culture. The show opens Thursday, February 16th and goes from 12:00p.m. until 4:00p.m. and will remain on display through March 28th, 2012.
Yellowtree Theatre, located in Osseo is a place "where good stories live," and this weekend the stage lights will warm Still Life with Iris a play written by Steven Dietz.
Yellowtree Theatre explains, "set in the magical land of Nocturno, Still Life with Iris is a fantastical adventure chronicling a little girl's search for the simplest of things: home." It is an educational, entertaining, and inspiring play that involves Poe's literary figure Annabell Lee, and the iconic Mozart as companions in Iris's adventures and trials. It is an excellent play for the young, and the young at heart. Yellowtree Theatre is an exceptional venue that can be seen in the aesthetic quality of the venue itself, as well as the brilliant performances they put on with each show.