People doing good (5×8 – 7/5/12)

The people of Prescott, the dirt we’re breathing, when rules are rules, guerrilla gardening in Fargo, and Marilyn visits the IHOP.


1) WELL DONE, PRESCOTT

There were probably other places hundreds of people and one dog would have preferred to be in yesterday’s heat than out in the sun. But in Prescott, Wisconsin, a missing boy is a thing to drop what you’re doing for.

The images in this KARE video of the volunteers is as impressive as the story of the dog who found Scott Myer, a 5-year-old with autism who disappeared from his home on Tuesday.

More “People Doing Good:” Over in Sun Prairie, some people have spent the heat wave thinking about people who live in their cars…

2) THE DIRT WE’RE BREATHING THIS WEEK

There was a full moon rising on Tuesday night and people in the Twin Cities could barely make it out. It wasn’t because it was cloudy; it was because of the filth and haze in the air.

It’ll be bad again today and it’s difficult to notice — visually — how bad from the ground. From above, however, it’s more obvious. Here’s the view looking north in the Goodhue area yesterday afternoon…

goodhue_haze.jpg

On a typical day, you’d be able to see the cities, dozens of miles away. Each “square” is a mile. You can’t see far.

And the view approaching Red Wing. After about 5 miles, you can’t see much.

red_wing_haze.jpg

In both cases, it’s shot from just 2,000 feet above the ground.

We’re breathing that.

3) WHEN RULES ARE RULES

In Florida, a lifeguard was fired because he left his station to save a drowning man.

“They didn’t tell me in a bad way,” the lifeguard said. “It was more like they were sorry, but rules are rules. I couldn’t believe what was happening.”

This morning, representatives of the private firm (the city had contracted lifeguard operations out to private interests) that made the rules says it will review them.

“We limit what we do to the protected swimming zones that we’ve agreed to service,” the company said in a statement. That company would never last long in Prescott, Wisconsin.

More rules: Clayton Mace of Sioux City, Iowa, put up a sign, 24 feet wide, congratulating all seven of his kids for graduating high school. He’s been ordered to take it down. It’s against the rules.

4) GUERRILLA GARDENING

In Fargo, someone has been secretly leaving tomato plants around downtown, with notes asking people to take care of them, and letting them know that when the fruit ripens, they should help themselves.

The suspicion is it’s the work of devotees to a movement to get people to turn their yards into gardens.

5) MARILYN VISITS THE IHOP

The delightful Marilyn Hagerty, who made quite a national buzz with her Grand Forks Herald restaurant review of an Olive Garden Restaurant, provides another winning column today – a trip to the IHOP.


One of the incentives to come back to IHOP is an online listing where you can answer a short quiz about the restaurant … and promise to get a short stack of pancakes free.

I took the information home and followed directions. I got a message that they were experiencing difficulties. I could try later.

Later, I thought. Oh gosh, no, I will go back and pay for a short stack of pancakes. I don’t have patience with cluttered computer sites.

If anyone ever prints up some Marilyn Hagerty T-shirts, put me down for a couple, please.

Bonus I: The definition of a lucky person: someone who is going to work today to design a wooden roller coaster…

Bonus II: I don’t have video or pictures of it, but a hundred or so people showed up in Minneapolis yesterday for the annual Freedom from Pants bike ride. Here’s last year’s video. Once you’ve seen one tush on a bike, you’ve pretty much seen them all, anyway:

Update 8:05 a.m. Jason DeRusha sends along this year’s video. Compare and contrast.

TODAY’S QUESTION

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that not all calories are created equal. The study found that it is better to reduce intake of refined carbohydrates than to go on a low-fat diet. Today’s question: What rules do you follow when it comes to healthy eating?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The latest in foreclosure-prevention efforts.

Second hour: The future of the Postal Service.

Third hour: Bike safety in the Twin Cities.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): From the Aspen Ideas Festival: Boston Globe reporter Michael Kranish, author of “The Real Romney.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Woody Guthrie wrote some of America’s most important songs, and inspired the folk revivalists of the ’50s and ’60s to take on politics and civil rights. This month, he’d have turned 100. NPR celebrates Woody Guthrie’s centennial from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - To slow the spread of HIV in Kenya, authorities there are trying to persuade a million men to get circumcised. Among the challenges are some Kenyans’ cultural traditions that disapprove of the procedure. NPR will have the story of aground-breaking public health campaign to fight HIV.