The shame of Spirit Lake (5×8 – 4/2/13)

1) THE KIND-HEARTED WOMAN

One in three Native American women is abused. How one recovered and put her family back together was documented last evening on PBS’ Frontline in the first of two parts. The Spirit Lake reservation in northeastern North Dakota has a particular problem with child abuse. Last April, a federal employee blew the whistle on the “unchecked incompetence” of social service workers, who allegedly placed children in homes with registered sex offenders.


“Everything that happened to me — the abuse, the molestation I went through — all of that happened when I was put in foster homes. My dad and foster brothers raped me all through childhood,” Robin Charbonneau, a 32-year-old single mother told the filmmakers who followed her as she returned to college at MSU Moorhead, a stop on the way to changing the lives of others.

But the most heartbreaking moment is when her young daughter acknowledges it’s happening to her, too.

Watch Kind Hearted Woman Part One on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

She’ll be participating in a live chat at 1 pm CT today here.

2) WHAT HAPPENED IN RICE LAKE?

In Rice Lake, Wisconsin a gay employee at Applebee’s was told not to come to work after he was beaten by the husband of a co-worker, the Wisconsin Gazette reports. The manager of the restaurant allegedly was upset about the publicity the apparent gay-bashing incident brought.


The attack appears to be related to an incident that occurred in the restaurant just days prior. After being treated abusively by a diner he was serving, Phares said he asked restaurant manager Tara Steinberg to have someone else take over the table, a party of eight. According to Phares, he was following company policy.

As the diner was leaving the restaurant, other patrons who’d been seated nearby said the diner had made a number of embarrassing anti-gay and homophobic slurs while Phares was serving him, according to Phares.

“The patron called the restaurant the next day and said he would not come back inside the restaurant until I was fired,” Phares said. “(Steinberg) told me they were going to write me up for the situation, and if I got one more write-up I would be fired.”

The CEO eventually intervened and got his job back.

3) MORALITY AND MARCH MADNESS

Colleges rake in a lot of money, thanks to the players who are — at least for the big-money sports — player/athletes in title only. They’re not paid and their coaches — as Tubby Smith’s walkaway money attests — get fabulously wealthy.

Is it immoral, then, to watch them on TV during tournament time, Rick Ellis at All Your Screens asks.


They work for free and their only real tangible reward for their athletic ability is a one-year scholarship that can be revoked if their injured, cut or for any other reasons. If you’re a player and get injured as a freshman, you’re screwed. You lose your scholarship and you’ll likely face medical bills that won’t be covered by the school you were playing for when you suffered your injury. And then there’s the fact that NCAA schools reserve the right to profit off of your image and exploits long after you’ve left, with no requirement to compensate former players in any way.

To say nothing of the fact that players face two unpleasant choices if they need basic items such as clothes or other items necessary to college life. There’s no time for a part-time job so you either take money under the table from boosters or hope your family and friends can help.

In any other business having employees that work for little more than room and board would be denounced as near slavery. Protests will spring up and every person you know on Facebook would be bugging you with snappy anti-NCAA profile pictures. But because these are sports figures and we love sports we turn a blind eye to conditions we know are morally indefensible. We celebrate coaches who sign contracts worth tens of millions of dollars and buy branded sports gear that includes the names of athletes who won’t see a dime from the proceeds.

Related: NCAA battles former players’ lawsuit over revenues

4) CHECK BEFORE YOU CARRY

A Moorhead woman is facing a felony gun charge because she packed her husband’s gun — locked and unloaded — in a suitcase to bring it to him. But in New York, it’s illegal, even though the woman cleared a security checkpoint in Fargo. New York does not honor the gun laws of other states.

The Fargo Forum says Beth Ferrizzi brought the gun on her trip because her husband was going to show her the tough Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. He has a permit to carry.


“I contacted Delta, and I was told that I was doing everything right. I never even considered calling the police in New York and asking them what their laws were, because I’m not familiar with guns. I’m not a gun person. I didn’t think of it at all,” she said.

“While she may have done everything that the airline had indicated – which a lot of people do – this is a common occurrence in New York Port Authorities,” Fargo airport Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said.

In an email Monday, Delta spokeswoman Morgan Durrant reiterated the airline’s policy as stated on its website, including that customers “are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all federal, state or local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms.”

Earlier this year, New York enacted one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation.

5) PUT IT IN THE SPREADSHEET…. YES!

Baseball season is underway. Let the battle — over statistics — begin! The New York Times reports broadcasters, some of the last holdouts against advanced statistics, are caving in and beginning to use the statistics of so-called SABRmetrics, which have revolutionized the the analysis of the game for several decades.

Not everyone is yet on board…


But some old-guard broadcasters have resisted adding obscure percentages and acronyms to their banter and game descriptions. Tom Hamilton, 58, who is entering his 24th year as the radio voice of the Cleveland Indians, said he believed listeners would rather hear stories from the clubhouse than statistics from spreadsheets.

“Nobody after a game is going to remember numbers you throw at them, but they might remember a story about a player,” Mr. Hamilton said.

In New York, listeners can get a taste of both styles. John Sterling, the longtime Yankees’ announcer, has shied away from the new metrics, saying “The more numbers you keep giving to the fans, the more people don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Related: Sellout crowd braves chill at Twins’ opening day (MPR)

Bonus I: “I was a warehouse wage slave” (Mother Jones)

Bonus II: It’s not often you see the New York Times editorials calling out liberal senators, but the Times does today over the vote to strip a medical device tax, a move championed by Minnesota politicians at the behest of the local industry. “But as long as the industry is willing to open its checkbook, it will always find lawmakers willing to do its bidding,” the Times says, naming Sen. Al Franken.

Bonus III: Where are all the bike corrals in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Daily asks today.

Bonus IV: What’s the proper sentence for school officials and teachers who cheat kids out of a proper education? (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

TODAY’S QUESTION

Do you agree with prosecutors’ decision to pursue the death penalty for James Holmes? Holmes is on trial for the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado where 12 people died.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The Mayo Clinic’s expansion plan.

Second hour: Restoring benefits for wrongly discharged veterans.

Third hour: Christa Parravani, author of her new memoir is ‘Her.’

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Dr. Paul Farmer, speaking in Minneapolis at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, about equity in health care.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Women and law enforcement. Historically, women have a hard time breaking into the top ranks in law enforcement. But women now head the police departments in Minneapolis, Wilmington Delaware and Washington, DC. And Julia Pierson now directs the Secret Service. Is the so-called “brass ceiling” broken?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - – A Minneapolis loan program, designed to help Somali Americans start businesses, reveals the special challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs. At the end of last year, close to a third of the businesses financed by the publicly subsidized program had fallen behind on their payments. But the city says the program is succeeding, and the community development organization that runs it is helping the struggling businesses turn themselves around. MPR’s Curtis Gilbert reports.