Deep thoughts from dead trees

Observations while reading the morning papers, listening to what Alexa has to say, with good coffee, and an old mutt.

The toxic chemicals dumped in the East Metro have shown up in the water of Lake Elmo. The city that hates growth has been on a building boom that’s turning it into North Woodbury of late. What’s the cumulative drop in property values in the last 24 hours? Do real estate agents reveal what 3M did when they’re showing homes?

Mary Franson apologizes. She’s sorry you misinterpreted her. The Alexandria state rep says you misconstrued her Facebook post about Hitler youth that just happened to coincide with the nationwide marches by young people against gun violence. It’s not the first time you’ve misconstrued her intent. Each time she has shut her accounts down. Her Facebook account is down; it’ll be back.

It was 20 years ago today the St. Peter tornado hit Gustavus, home of KGAC/KNGA, the two MPR stations in St. Peter. They still exist but before the tornado hit they were staffed. I always had a soft spot for them because the station was one of the first I visited when moving to Minnesota. But the building was damaged and, if memory serves, Gustavus wanted the small space for something else so the reporters were distributed elsewhere. They’ve done all right. Lorna Benson, who provided much of the MPR coverage of the tornado, went on to become host of All Things Considered and is now a news boss at MPR. Another reporter is a successful PR exec in higher education. A third is an author on the East Coast.

Most of the pictures you see in Catharine Richert’s story are from the Mankato Free Press because MPR didn’t have a digital news operation back then. A lot can happen in 20 years.

Why are there party busses?

Labs are still the top dog, but French bulldogs have jumped in popularity in an American Kennel Club survey which again ignores mutts, the only type of dog that is pure love.

Dark matter is missing and nobody seems to care. Circle Me, Bert disappears for a few hours and we go to DEFCON 1.

“It’s like finding a body without a skeleton,” said an astrophysicist about the discovery that could change the rules and affect experiments on earth — like one in South Dakota — that are trying to capture dark matter.

Tiangong-1, the space station knock-off from China, will fall to earth on Sunday (give or take a day). Your last chance to see it in the Twin Cities is Sunday morning at 6:11 a.m. in the south, traveling to the SE at 10 degrees above the horizon for two minutes.

It’s opening day. So a Pioneer Press writer channels Nipsey Russell.

Baseball, Ray. Invite your dad over for a game of catch…

… and throw some money at the Miracle League of Blaine.

  • jon

    “Why are there party busses?”

    Why are rival gangs from different sides of the city on the same party bus?

    Back in my day you didn’t party with rival gang members.

  • Gary F
  • MrE85

    “It’s not the first time you’ve misconstrued her intent”

    Poor woman. When will we ever learn to understand her?

    “Tiangong-1, the space station knock-off from China, will fall to Earth on Sunday”

    I’m old enough to remember when American space stations were falling from the skies.

    • Mike Worcester

      //I’m old enough to remember when American space stations were falling from the skies.

      We stood in our yard to watch Skylab (right?) flame through the atmosphere. Or was it one of the other satellites? It was something, and I almost missed it as I sneezed….

    • RBHolb

      I’m old enough to remember when the newspaper published a list of what satellites would be going overhead that night.

      • MrE85

        Years ago, when I was watching an outdoor theater performance with my mom (“Hello, Dolly,” as I recall), Skylab appeared in the night sky, drawing oohs and ahhs from the audience.

      • Rob

        I’m old enough to be a first-generation Georgia Satellites fan.

  • Barton

    French Bulldogs…. where to start without offending people? I don’t think it can be done. I have an issue with breeding a dog to a standard where it cannot pro-create naturally. They are artificially inseminated and must have c-sections to have puppies. Are they cute? SUPER CUTE with those ears and being so small. Until you hear them struggle to breath….

    And that is really the problem with all the “standards,” isn’t it? They breed in certain characteristics that create problems for the animal. Hip displasia in setters, lung/breathing issues in any short nosed dog, and the skin folds in British bulldogs.

    I’ll take the mutt, thank you. (I am ready for any hate that may come back at me for this opinion).

    • MikeB

      We are a rescue dog family and whenever I hear “breeder” I mentally grab a baseball bat. I’m sure there are good breeders out there but most belong in a dirty kennel themselves, outside when it’s 12 below zero. Shelters are full of loving dogs looking for a home. I hope for karma for dog traffickers, just want it to happen quicker.

      • Rob


      • X.A. Smith

        The Breeders will be playing First Avenue on May 13th.

        • MikeB

          I’ll grab a beverage instead 😉

    • RBHolb

      No hate here.

      The selective breeding that created the dogs who set the standard also involved the destruction of the non-conforming dogs.

    • Jeff

      I’m not a breeder (of that sort) nor played one on TV, but I respond as a purebred owner and in defense of uppity dogs. There are the many breeds that were selected for particular purposes and not necessarily to look cute. Dogs in the Sporting and Working groups especially. I know that there are many breeders and likely the majority who are very responsible about maintaining the integrity of the breed and breeding out diseases and defects. We recently adopted an older dog from one of these.

  • Rob

    Lake Elmo can’t ask its residents to drink bottled water, because it’s likely to
    be full of tiny plastic particles.

    Re: Franson – Slimy is as slimy does.

    Perhaps the state legislature will pass a law that doesn’t outlaw party busses, but requires vendors to only have one association or group on the bus at a time.

    Re: Bulldogs – At least now Paul McCartney’s song, “Hey Bulldog” has a reason to exist.

    Concerning dark matter, it’s good to know that something interesting is going on in South Dakota.

    We can listen to Devo’ s tune “Space Junk” as we watch Tiangong-1 flame out.

    As for opening day: Meh

    • Jeff

      I was going along with you until the last statement. What????? What kind of American are you?

      • Rob

        The kind that prefers opening day at Brainerd International Raceway. : )

  • Mike Worcester

    It is likely barring anything drastic, Rep. Franson will be handily re-elected by her west central Minnesota constituents. That she is forever being “misconstrued” means nothing apparently.

    I did not realise that before the tornado devastated the St Peter, there was that much disconnect between the factions of the community. (Seeing all the boarded up windows on GAC and downtown as we drove through barely a week later was a bit surreal.)

    And since it’s opening day, how can you go wrong with the classic.

    • KariBemidji

      It’s the whole ‘wink, wink’ cycle of politicians on Facebook that is driving me bonkers – I’m going to post/share a meme how I really feel, remove it and apologize when people get upset, post/share a meme how I really feel, apologize. Repeat as necessary. As long as her constituents are sharing those same posts (have family in her district, especially one of my aunts – loves her) she’ll get re-elected in the bible belt of Minnesota.

    • You’ll never be able to un-hear this jazzed up version:

  • East of Woodbury is Afton, which is flatly refusing to become East Woodbury. Eventually, though, those farmers are going to want their payday.

  • Erik Petersen

    When I was growing up in Lake Elmo in the 80’s, for YEARS 3M pumped tainted groundwater up and diffused it into the the air at a station on Jamaca Ave. You could see it from the street, and in the winter it made for a wondrous ice castle. This is like a mile from the city’s new-ish water tower on Ideal Ave. that they are closing, so one wonders at the logic of having built this water tower at that location.

    As a youth in Lake Elmo, walking or Huffy-ing through the woods and shelterbelts one would encounter 3M barrel dumps.

    I live in Lakeland now, a sister village to Afton. Within the township there are some farms to carve up for future development, but it wouldn’t seem it can be done in bulk like was for Woodbury. Topography is a bit different.

    • Curiously, there’s a Woodbury well/tower about a mile south. Wonder if that’s affected.

      • Erik Petersen

        K, now I find myself confused which tower LE is closing… I recall there’s also a newish tower at Inwood and 10th, which must be the one you reference.

        I think the practicalities are the same, underground water tables can stretch for miles.

        • I was under the impression the one that closed is the one up by the DPW barn on Hwy 14. I thought you were referencing the new one.

          • Erik Petersen

            K i was right the first time

  • Jeff C.

    Dead trees indeed. I learned today that half a million trees are cut down to produce all the Sunday papers each week.