Five by 8 – 4/12/10: What’s changed in stadium debate?

It’s a Monday, and that calls for the weekly rouser:

1) Some people in Minnesota are going to work today. But about 40,000 are going to be at Target Field, and a lot of company bandwidth will be used following the first regular season game at Target Field (which, by the way, is desperately in need of a nickname). MPR News has created a fan’s guide to the new stadium. The experts say there’s no real economic gain to offset public investment in a stadium. That debate is going to continue and won’t be solved today, tomorrow, or next year. Others say it doesn’t have to; that it’s a nice investment in something that’s “cool,” like a bike path across the state, or a public radio network. Let the debate continue!

Has your opinon of a public tax for a new Twins stadium changed since the Legislature debated it?trends

We’re asking attendees to send us their picture of the Target Field. Want to see a beauty? This came from Ken Friberg of St. Paul. Click for a larger image.


2) If you’ve got a World War II veteran in your family, you’re running out of time to grab a tape recorder or video camera and have a chat. Jack Agnew died over the weekend. He was a member of the Filthy Thirteen, who operated behind German lines and provided the inspiration for The Dirty Dozen.

3) Last week, KSTP caused some journalists’ eyebrows to arch higher because it turned over unaired footage of St. Paul Department of Public Works employees goofing off on the job. The city might take some additional action. Usually, journalists protect their notes and unaired or unpublished material because news organizations aren’t supposed to be an arm of law enforcement. To the extent they do, it’s usually because a judge issued a subpoena.

Here’s a similar situation that’s come up since. In France, TV producers who interviewed pedophiles who fell for a scam in which a reporter pretended online to be a teenager, has turned them in to the cops.


For the newspaper Humanité, this is fundamentally at odds with the most basic tenants of journalistic ethics. “A journalist worthy of the name… forbids his or herself from assuming an imaginary title or identity… and does not confuse his or her role with that of a police officer,” the paper said in an editorial, citing the French journalists’ code. Christian Aghroum, chief of the National Cybercrime Unit, said he feared that the journalist’s actions could inspire vigilante “Internet sheriffs” to seek out suspected pedophiles on the web. “Let us do our job,” Aghroum said this week during a televised debate.

What say you? Should CBS turn over its unedited footage of this?4) On, Wisconsin! Unless you’re a condom. A district attorney in Juneau County — that’s just south of the Toma area — has sent letters to area schools warning health educators they face criminal charges if they tell or show students “how to put on a condom or take birth control pills.” This is in spite of a new law in Wisconsin that requires teachers who teach sex education to teach a comprehensive view. The DA is a Christian evangelical who says that constitutes contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

5) Most every vista in the country has been spoiled by a cellphone tower in one fashion or another. But we made the choice: We love our cellphones and we want five bars for a signal and if the blight of towers is what we have to do to get them, that’s what we have to do. Now, a dispute over an expansion of the state’s power transmission lines is beginning to rage, MPR’s Brandt Williams reports. He focuses on the reaction to a new line in Minneapolis. Over the weekend, some area newspapers looked at objections from families living in the more rural part of the route. Opponents want more concentration water, wind, and solar power, but those need lines to get the power to the people who use it, too. What’s the answer?

Minnesota is no stranger to these debates. Back in the ’70s, normally peaceful west-central Minnesota went engaged in full revolt over a powerline project that crisscrossed the state.


After years of controversy, the Minnesota Twins finally open their home season today in a new outdoor ballpark. Now that Target Field is built, are you glad we have it?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: President Obama’s controversial decision to change NASA’s course on manned space exploration puts more focus on earth science and biomedical projects. Will this shift in NASA’s mission cede our leadership in space exploration?

Second hour: Conventional wisdom tells us that talent and high intelligence are rare gems that are genetically scattered throughout the population. But author David Shenk argues that the new science of human potential suggests otherwise.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Both hours feature guests discussing Target Field and the Minnesota Twins.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What civilians don’t understand about war. The leaked video showing a U.S. Army helicopter crew shooting civilians on a

Baghdad street in 2007 provided a rare, unvarnished look at war. For those who

don’t serve in uniform, it’s difficult to comprehend life in a war zone.

Second hour: Merely remind a group of female math majors, that women are considered inferior to men at math, and they’ll do less well on a test. The power of stereotypes

is undeniable — and insidious. In his new book, Whistling Vivaldi, social psychologist Claude Steele has a plan to overcome them

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – MPR’s Tom Weber is the cleanup hitter on today’s Target Field coverage. How have teams typically done in the years they christen a new ballpark?

A locally-based cult author and Twitter icon launches a week of library events. This sounds like a job for MPR’s Euan Kerr.

Undercover recordings made by the FB.I. helped the bureau break up a Michigan militia that planned to attack police officers. The FBI. had another valuable resource– other local militias. NPR will have details.

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  • Bob Moffitt

    Heard Brandt Williams’ piece on proposed powerlines this a.m. Struck by the critic who said he wanted “more solar and wind power,” but not powerlines. Clearly there is a disconnect here. Xcel should cut his power for a week to help him figure it out in the dark.

  • bsimon

    “Opponents want more concentration water, wind, and solar power, but those need lines to get the power to the people who use it, too. What’s the answer?”

    Produce power closer to the point of consumption, using smaller-scale generation.

  • Bob Collins

    //Produce power closer to the point of consumption, using smaller-scale generation.

    That would be a difficult proposition in the case of windpower.

  • Jennifer

    That Wisconsin sex ed debate is a doozy. There are a few things that came to mind after reading that article.

    1. If he believes the new guidelines contribute to the delinquency of minors, shouldn’t he file suit to try to repeal the guidelines since he believes them to be in conflict with current law rather than threatening teachers with the possibility of fines and jail time??

    2. Is there any justification to the contribution to delinquency of minors debate since the new guidelines would be taught alongside not only the benefits of abstinence, but also the criminal penalties of underage sex? That doesn’t exactly sound like an encouragement or a ringing endorsement to me. Should health classes also not teach about the effects of drugs and alcohol?

    3. How in the world can districts be expected to improve their schools and recruit new teachers when they face ideological bullying from not only some parents, but now a district attorney when they try to follow comprehensive curriculum guidelines?

  • kennedy

    The Juneau County DA is abusing his office. He doesn’t have the authority to rewrite or reinterpret state laws. That is up to the state legislature or supreme court. If he follows through on his threat he could be spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on an invalid legal challenge. If this is part of a campaign for higher office, he should fund it at his own expense.

  • Jim B.

    // //Produce power closer to the point of consumption, using smaller-scale generation.


    // That would be a difficult proposition in the case of windpower.

    Or water, for that matter, and even solar to some extent. Besides, even if you produce the power close to where it’s needed, these forms can’t produce a constant output – you still need power lines to supply additional energy when it’s not windy or sunny, and to be able to sell off any excess electricity you need. If anything wind, water, and solar will need more power lines as they likely will result in power production being more spread out.

    The question of power lines is really independent of how the power they’re carrying is produced.

  • kimberly L. Lawler

    Every one of the county and state legislators who arranged for this should be run out on a rail.

    Why the taxpayers should support millionaires playing ball on that GRASS…is that REAL GRASS?

    Hot Dog! It’s outdoor baseball!


    I can’t wait to get to a game!