Tornado tales (5×8 – 6/6/11)

The Monday Morning Rouser….


1) WHEN NEIGHBORS ARE IN NEED…

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The Minneapolis tornado has exposed more than open rafters. It has exposed the way some people are forced to live in north Minneapolis. Peter Kerre, who runs the MplsTornado.Info blog, is calling attention this morning to the plight of several families living in one house that in uninhabitable. Their calls to the city, they said, have gone unanswered.


Becky, Chris’s gilfriend says she has called the city 3 times. The first time she called was after Benny ( the neighbor) got the letter from the city asking them to move out of the structure. Becky tried to explain to the city lady that their house is literally attached to Benny’s so they need a place to go but the city lady shut her down and told her that the city had inspected all houses in the area and that if they hadn’t received a red sticker on their door, they should stay in the house and stop bugging her. Becky then called a second time to complain about the ceiling and roof due to the tornado damage and once again, the city employee she spoke to shut her down saying that they had inspected everything and that if there were no stickers, the house is fine. Becky then decided to call a third time and NOT mention anything about the tornado, and that is when the city agreed to send someone out but they do not know when the inspector will be going to the residence so they can show the damage. As for the landlords, the tenants say it is not even a complaint anymore, it is evident that the landlords do not care at all and they are just trying to get by ( bear in mind that they are still obligated to pay rent). I do not want to offer personal opinion because what I saw was just disturbing……..the pictures do not even capture the reality and severity of the living conditions………if you know there are 10 kids living in a property you own, for you to go there after a disaster and board up all windows in the residence then walk away and leave them living in an uninhabitable structure is HEARTLESS!! especially knowing that there are toddlers in the house.!! This MUST be adressed ASAP and the families resettled before the kids fall sick or harm themselves. I know this isn’t the first, and isn’t the last, but some action needs to be taken. Yesterday on the facebook page, I mentioned the story of the lady who lives on Logan and 30th with a similar situation. Landlord came and boarded up house and disappeared. She has a flooded basement and an athsmatic grand daughter. While this might not be the worst there is out there, it is indeed grave. What is even more alarming is that from outside, you could easily ignore the boarded up house and drive by assuming no one lives in it.

In Duluth, a man was putting a tarp over a leaky house when he fell off the roof. A few days later, he had a massive stroke. He had been laid off in October and had no insurance. The city shut down the construction because it didn’t think the first floor would hold the second floor.

Cue the people of Duluth

Bob Lindberg, who lives across the street, saw the situation and decided to help. He contacted the News Tribune, which told the story, and on May 27 volunteers were on the roof. Roofers worked from 8 in the morning until after 10 at night, Lindberg said, putting on plywood sheeting, finishing the trusses, putting on the wrap and tar paper. That was enough to keep the Memorial Day weekend rains out.

Last Tuesday, a crew finished that part of the job, installing shingles that Mike Sheehan had purchased.

Workers from Miller Roofing Co. and Builders Commonwealth were among those participating in the project, but help came in beyond the actual roof work, Lindberg said.

“There were neighbors that dropped off a lot of food,” he said. “A lot of donations of cash were made. People were driving by and handing $150 checks out the window, a hundred dollars in cash out the window. … There was huge support from the community.”

2) EXTREME HOME TAX BILL

What happens when ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover builds you a big new home? It leaves behind a big tax bill. The Fargo Forum ran the numbers on a new home built for a Moorhead couple and found the current tax bill of about $1,500 will shoot to $5,400 in 2014.

3) PINECONES: THE NEW CURRENCY

The perfect summer job? The U.S. Forest Service is paying $50 for a bushel of pinecones, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Seed banks are low at the tree nurseries usually used by the agency to reforest lands.


Collectors must stop by a Superior National Forest District office to get specific instructions on what they are looking for and where to find the cones. Registration is required to get paid.

“You need to know what a jack pine cone looks like,” Reichenbach said.

Jody Buffman, a reforestation technician in the Tofte district station, said gatherers will get some visual depictions of jack pine cones to take with them into the woods. Just back from planting in the forest, she said the difficulty in collecting cones will depend on one’s outdoors experience.

4) PALIN: “I KNOW MY HISTORY”

Tim Pawlenty’s spiffy videos for his presidential campaign are at the heart of a debate at NPR: Do voters need to be entertained in order to be interested in presidential politics? “They demonstrate a new, emerging trend in campaign advertising. We’re seeing a blurring of the line between politics and entertainment,” the author of a book on political marketing says.

A follow-up to last Friday’s post about Sarah Palin’s interpretation of Colonial history. She says she didn’t get her facts wrong about Paul Revere’s ride.

She said the question that got her in trouble was a “gotcha question.”

“I would describe her as lucky in her history as opposed to knowledgeable in her history,” a Boston history professor said.

Meanwhile, someone tried to edit the Paul Revere page on Wikipedia to try to make it even more correct.

5) VIRAL VIDEO: THE BIKE KID

This video of a Twin Cities kid is en fuego on the Internet…

Let the spoofs begin!

The kid was on Good Morning America today…

TODAY’S QUESTION

The U.S. Agriculture Department has abandoned the old “food pyramid” of dietary guidelines. Instead, it has adopted a new, simpler symbol called “my plate.” Today’s Question: What rule or guideline governs your eating habits?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The job market for recent college grads.

Second hour: Anatoly Liberman, professor in the Department of German, Scandanavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Etymology for Everyone: Word Origins and How We Know Them.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Charlie Kyte of the School Administrators Association on the status of the K-12 finance and policy bills, which were vetoed by the governor.

Second hour: Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, and founder and CEO of Square. He spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California about the impact of communication technologies.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Bill Keller, outgoing executive editor of the New York Times. Jill Abramson, the incoming executive editor.

Second hour: The relationship between doctors, and nurses.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Medical systems and clinics are in the midst of moving from a paper system to an electronic one. Physicians can search for important information in patient records in a flash, but the systems don’t talk to each other. MPR’s Elizabeth Stawicki will explain how they work.

Broadway star Linda Eder credits the musicals in which she appeared in high school in Brainerd for giving her a start in the business. She’ll talk to MPR’s Euan Kerr about those early days, before Jekyll and Hyde, and all the rest when presenting the SpotLight Musical Theatre Program in Minneapolis tonight.