House passes Voter ID amendment; MN-08 DFL candidate debate; BWCA smog
House GOP passes voter ID amendment
Capitol View: "Republicans in the Minnesota House passed a proposed voter ID constitutional amendment early this morning on a 72 to 62 party line vote, after nine hours of debate.If the Senate follows suit, the question will appear on the statewide ballot in November." Hometown Source: Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, proposed the bill said during floor debate, "We don't say close enough is good enough." Pioneer Press: "Democratic Rep. Steve Simon of St. Louis Park said voting requirements should be changed by laws that the Legislature can amend, not by a constitutional amendment that could only be altered by voters. 'Amending the constitution should only be done when absolutely necessary to accomplish a goal - not because you can, not because it feels good, not because you have the votes, not because you feel passionately about an issue. That's not good enough,' Simon said. While 16 other states require voters to show photo IDs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Simon said only one other state, Mississippi, has set that requirement in its constitution."
MPR News Primer: Voter ID
Minnesota Today: Voter ID news
DFLers Nolan, Anderson and Clark debate
TPT Almanac: "The top three Democrats who want to represent congress from Minnesota's 8th District joined Cathy and Eric on the couch. Rick Nolan, Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark faced off."
Rep. Cravaack talks oil, politics, PolyMet
TPT Almanac: "Last week we heard from his DFL challengers and this week Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-8th District) sat down at the Almanac table with Cathy and Eric."
Superior police captain Chad La Lor resigns
Duluth News Tribune: "The separation comes after La Lor was accused of providing untruthful testimony during a Police and Fire Commission hearing in November."
No answers yet in death of 27-year-old Fargo man found near railroad tracks
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "Family and friends of a 27-year-old Fargo man whose body was found Monday along the railroad tracks between Glyndon and Hawley, Minn., said Tuesday that Jared Nilles was a good-natured theater lover who left many friends behind."
Faribault City Council tries to close smoking loophole by banning "tobacco sampling"
Faribault Daily News: "The administrative mess that would come with introducing regulation was deemed too much. A ban settles the issue, which councilors believe the state will get involved with in the future. Tobacco sampling uses a sort of loophole in the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibited smoking in many indoor places statewide -- even though the Freedom to Breathe Act, added in 2007, expanded those restrictions, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health."
Environmentalists take on MPCA over pollution in BWCA and northern parks
MinnPost: "The view in the BWCA isn't what it used to be. The air, vaunted as some of the cleanest in the world, is growing more polluted. Sunsets and sunrises are dimmed by haze."
Wadena, Minn., seeks aid as residents, businesses leave
West Central Tribune: "'Wadena is losing residents and businesses, city leaders told a Minnesota Senate committee Monday in seeking state aid to rebuild facilities lost in a 2010 tornado. 'We have been planning for 21 months,' Mayor Wayne Wolden told members of the Senate committee that recommends public works project funding. 'This is the time to complete this.' Four businesses have closed in the past six months and it is hard to attract new ones, he said, partially because amenities such as offered in a community center and swimming pool were destroyed."
Op-Ed: Protect Minnesota's environment and mining, too
Rep. Mindy Greiling writes in the Star Tribune: "For years, companies have routinely understated the cleanup costs of nonferrous metallic mineral mines. Often it takes years after these mines have shut down for the damage they inflict to become apparent. To get out of these exorbitant costs, the companies will simply declare bankruptcy and leave the taxpayers holding the tab. For instance, in Montana, the Zortman-Landusky Mine left residents with a $33 million bill. In Colorado, Summitville Mine's tab is $185 million and growing. In South Dakota, unpredicted acid drainage problems and failed containment liners left local streams unable to support aquatic life. The company declared bankruptcy in 1999 and left taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in cleanup costs."
Op-Ed: Bills should broadly deter shutdowns
Star Tribune: "It's better to spare all from the pain than to exempt some."
Michigan event puts electric snowmobiles to the test
Highwire: "Each year in early March, teams of college students from across the country converge on Houghton, Michigan to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge."
Marshall hotel owner urges caution on development
Marshall Independent: "He's not against economic growth or development in Marshall, Scott Hicks said, but plans to bring growth to the area need to take the survival of existing businesses into account."
Farm Family of the Year
Albert Lea Tribune: "Andy Bakken is the fifth-generation in his family to work on the farm and has spent the last 13 years doing so. Bakken and his wife, Jody, have used the farm as an opportunity to teach their four children responsibility and the difference between right and wrong."
Don Shelby leaves MinnPost for news aggregator Bring Me The News
The prom and the porn star
News Cut: "Mike Stone, allegedly from Oakdale and allegedly a senior at Tartan High School (I've been unable to confirm this), has been asking porn stars on Twitter to be his date for the senior prom."
I find this Voter ID amendment, and the proposed marriage amendment cowardly attacks that are divisive and unsupportable. From I letter I submitted:
Dear Senator Cohen,
I am a new constituent of yours; I moved to St Paul last September.
I would like you to vote against each of these measures. I believe each of them will create more partisan based division in our political and public spheres.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, each of these proposals are in conflict with my professional values. As a resident and citizen of Minnesota, these proposals are reprehensible in that they serve to disenfranchise at-risk, already disempowered groups and individuals. These proposals are not spiritually empowering to anyone, they serve to justify hatred and will give their supporters tools to put down the groups they hate. With these tools in hand, the individuals who support these disenfranchising proposals can sit back with pride and without having any individual, public responsibility for their actions.
When a group is allowed to disempower another group without any accountability for taking that action, it leads to laziness, smug satisfaction and a sense of superiority that reduces the quality of life for all of us in Minnesota, including those who are being allowed to express their values anonymously and in a cowardly fashion.
Thank you for your time, will I be hearing back from you on your stand on these issues? I hope so.
St Paul Voter