Suggestions of racism dog Brainerd, the myth of the green job, matrimony in Mora, neighbors in the news, and can anything save the Minnesota Timberwolves?
I’ll be live-blogging the release of Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget this morning at 10:30. Stop by and provide your reaction. His office gave reporters a look at the package in advance with a promise not to say anything until this morning’s news conference. They couldn’t keep the secret. Welcome to the Capitol, governor.
1) DOES BRAINERD HAVE A PROBLEM?
I wrote yesterday on 5×8 about the African American man who was beaten in Brainerd because he is black. Brainerd is being forced to take a long look at itself. Last night, for example, one parent wondered why Brainerd schools don’t recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a holiday, but take a day off a week later as a semester break?
“My hope is that you’ll recognize that people of color should be recognized by recognizing this day,” said the parent, as reported by the Brainerd Dispatch. “I know we talk about Martin Luther King Jr. (during the school day) but it’s not the same as having this day off. I would contend also that something needs to be done. … As more and more people of color come into this community, more people are going to ask you to recognize this as a holiday.”
The school officials said they’d address the situation later this year when they work on next year’s calendar. The subtle — maybe not-so-subtle — suggestion is that Brainerd has a race problem.
2) THE MYTH OF THE GREEN JOB
A new study says the push to “green jobs” won’t increase employment much; it’ll just snuff out “non-green” jobs, Slate reports today.
The Copenhagen Consensus Center asked Gürcan Gülen, a senior energy economist at the Bureau for Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, to assess the state of the science in defining, measuring, and predicting the creation of green jobs. Gülen concluded that job creation “cannot be defended as another benefit” of well-meaning green policies. In fact, the number of jobs that these policies create is likely to be offset–or worse–by the number of jobs that they destroy.
But maybe Minnesota could be a lab rat to see if that’s true. Seventy-percent of the green jobs created in Minnesota, MPR’s Tom Robertson reported last month, are in rural Minnesota.
Kyle Uphoff, an analyst with the agency, said employer surveys have so far identified fewer than 1,000 green job openings. Many of those aren’t new jobs, but rather traditional jobs that have taken on some additional role related to green practices.
Meanwhile, former TV newsman Don Shelby is blowing the whistle on Rep. Michael Beard, the state lawmaker spearheading efforts to roll back climate change legislation in Minnesota:
I wondered where Beard learned his climate science. He says he reads a lot. I asked him what he read, and he gave me the names of several conservative blogs sites. The scientist he pays particular attention to is Dr. Patrick Michaels. Michaels admitted on CNN that 40 percent of his funding comes from fossil fuel producers.
But Shelby barely grazes one aspect of Beard’s scientific analysis: his religion:
Beard believes that “God is not capricious. He’s given us a creation that is dynamically stable. We are not going to run out of anything.”
Journalists hate to quiz anyone about religion — none has yet pursued former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s assertion that “God is in charge” and should “be part of the discussion.”
3) MATRIMONY IN MORA
What do you do in Mora, Minnesota at the end of a cross-country ski race (the Vasaloppet) ? You get married, of course:
More pictures are on the race’s Facebook page.
Neighbors in the news today:
In the UK, a man’s garden is littered with old military vehicles. He likes to fix them up an then drive them around the neighborhood (video from BBC).
In Pennsylvania, a man stuck a large, lighted cross on his lawn. The neighbors weren’t impressed.
I’m not looking to be a bad neighbor, I believe in God, I believe in being Christian, but if you are truly Christian, then you would be supporting and respecting your neighborhood,” said a neighbor.
5) CAN ANYTHING SAVE THE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES?
A few weeks ago, Mayor R.T. Rybak, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and a group of downtown businessmen, pitched the idea of $150 million in taxpayer money to gussy up Target Center, owing to the economic shot-in-the-arm it gives Minneapolis.
This was last night’s tip-off crowd at Target Center:
The announced crowd was about 11,000, which means Target Center was half full. It wasn’t.
The DNR has given the Legislature a 25-year plan for maintaining and improving the state system of parks and trails. What would you do to improve Minnesota’s parks and trails?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: An oncologist examines cancer through history, to show how social attitudes and scientific understanding have changed over time.
Second hour: In his new book, neurologist Oliver Sacks shares his encounters with the most fascinating medical mysteries of the mind and recounts his recent struggle with eye cancer.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Jacob Hacker of Yale on “Winner Take All Politics.”
Second hour: MPR’s Mike Mulcahy and Tom Scheck explain the governor’s budget.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA
Second hour: Talk to a college freshman today, says sociologist Richard Arum, and you’ll hear something interesting: They thought college would be harder. What are college students are learning?