Statewide: February 22, 2012 Archive
Posted at 7:43 AM on February 22, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
White supremacy group plans Duluth rally
Duluth News Tribune: "The white unity rally will be held at the Duluth Civic Center and could last up to three hours, a local organizer said."
New political boundaries drawn for Minnesota
MPR News: "New congressional districts released today by a special court panel put DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in the same district. Along with the congressional map, the panel released the new political boundaries the Minnesota Legislature."
Michele Bachmann catches break in Minnesota congressional map
Politico: "Bachmann, a third-term congresswoman who waged an unsuccessful bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, will run in a Republican-friendly district in the suburban Twin Cities area that will actually be slightly safer for her than her current one."
Subtle changes in the 1st and 2nd Districts
Pioneer Press: "The south suburban 2nd District will shift southeasterly. ... The 1st District, meanwhile, will still run across southern Minnesota, though it will lose Wabasha County and two counties and part of a third in the southwest to the 7th District covering western Minnesota."
New boundaries create open seats in Central Minnesota
Saint Cloud Times: "A state judicial panel released the new boundaries as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process, creating several new Central Minnesota legislative districts without an incumbent lawmaker residing in them."
Editorial: Credit judges for fair representation
Star Tribune: "Minnesota should give them a permanent role in redistricting."
Range retains similar legislative delegation
Minnesota Brown: "The 8th CD is largely unchanged, with Rep. Chip Cravaack still here. Iron Range and Duluth legislative incumbents are largely protected, though the orientation moves west (not south as I had suspected). Rep. Carly Melin absorbs a lot of Itasca County precincts."
Ripple In Stillwater: Redistricting poses tough choices for Bachmann's political future
Ripple In Stillwater: "In a fundraising email to supporters ... Bachmann charged the five-judge redistricting panel responsible for the 'injustice' of placing her in the same district as DFL Congresswoman Betty McCollum with 'liberal bias.'"
Redistricting data show a rise in minority populations throughout Minnesota
MNpublius: "The Census, of course, doesn't tell us anything about political affiliations. But there are certain proxies we can use. For example, minority groups tend to lean heavily toward the DFL."
Cloquet area residents plan rally to highlight Cravaack's absence from 8th District
Pine Journal: "As new redistricting maps are made public in Minnesota on Tuesday, a group of Cloquet area residents will be bringing attention to the fact that no matter how the lines are drawn, Rep. Chip Cravaack does not live in Minnesota's 8th District."
Also making news
Foley revives police department, appoints interim chief
Saint Cloud Times: "City Council members voted to re-establish the Foley's police department Tuesday by a vote of 4-1.Mayor Gary Gruba voted against the motion."
NikeeJS raps in praise of small town life
MPR News: "When the rapper Nikee JS started recording rhymes at 14, his lyrics relied mostly on beamers and bling. But 12 years later, he's flipped the script. Instead of rapping of fast cars, flashy jewelry and champagne, Nikee JS now draws inspiration from the cornfields of his native Jackson. He aims to bring a small-town sensibility to the rap scene."
Minnesota Power, the utility serving northeastern Minnesota, has announced it will pay up to 60 percent, or $20,000, of the cost of a new solar electric system.
Homes and businesses would also be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit, in addition to rebates for meeting energy efficiency standards and for nonprofit or tax-exempt customers. That means a typical residential solar system costing $40,000, could cost as little as $8,000 to the buyer.
But to maximize the size of their rebate, customers need to puchase solar products manufactured in Minnesota. That qualifies them for an additional $1,000 per installed kilowatt "Minnesota Made incentive," on top of the utility's existing base rebate of $2,000/kW.
The incentive for locally manufactured equipment matches an existing program already offered by Xcel Energy, the state's largest utility. But currently only two companies manufacture solar panels in the state, TenKsolar in Bloomington, and Silicon Energy, which recently opened a manufacturing plant in Mountain Iron.
Dan Williams, vice president of a Champlin-based solar installation company, told Midwest Energy News that the "Made in Minnesota" rebate programs help Minnesota-made solar equipment compete with cheap Chinese imports. Williams, whose company is called Powerfully Green, said a three kilowatt project with Silicon Energy panels might cost $25,000. But with Xcel Energy's Minnesota made rebate, he said, the homeowner's bill is only about $5,000.