Headlines 6/16/08: Tasing the “excited,” voting to raise taxes, summer jobs for teens

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HEADLINES

Getting tased, Part 2: Beware of the ‘excited’
by Molly Priesmeyer, Minnesota Independent
Tasers were originally created as a firearm alternative—a weapon that didn’t kill, supposedly. But Tasers have become a popular police tool to use on suspects suffering from what Taser International calls “excited delirium,” a term coined in the 1980s after cocaine use become more widespread. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, all officers on the Crisis Intervention Team, which mostly deals with unarmed persons who are on drugs or mentally ill, carry a Taser.

Voting to raise taxes
by David Seitz, TC Daily Planet
“As a parent, your first thought is ‘I don’t care about state funding and unfunded mandates, I don’t want excuses, I just want it to be fixed,'” said Courtney Cushing Kiernat, a Minneapolis Public Schools parent. She was skeptical of the district after class size went up, but now she’s co-chairing the effort to pass a referendum increasing school funding.

Summer jobs
by Alexandra Sifferlin, ThreeSixty
For some teens, summer is a time to kick back, relax, and soak in the sun. But for many others, it is a time to make money by landing a summer job.

However, across the nation the job market has been weakening and teens are feeling the impact.

First U.S. charter school is here in St. Paul
by Vickie Evans-Nash, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Teachers for YES Prep, a Houston, Texas, charter school that reports a 100-percent graduation rate, described in a previous MSR story [“Charter school graduates every child,” May 15] how they were able to bridge the educational gap for students in the Houston inner city who had previously struggled in the traditional public school system.

INSIDE THE DAILY PLANET

Music note: Billy Bragg takes brave stand against fascists and bad tea
by Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet
Onstage in Minneapolis Friday night, Billy Bragg took multiple opportunities to let us know that he appreciated the fact that not all Americans are supporters of George W. Bush. The enthusiastic response he received confirmed that Republicans are distinctly in the minority among Bragg’s fans. In fact, if the crowd attending Bragg’s performance at the Cedar Cultural Center were representative of the American voting public, not only would Bush not be president, we’d have a national health care system offering medical marijuana for paper cuts and stubbed toes.

Retooling the process
by Session Weekly staff
No matter which party has control of the House when it convenes in January, there could be changes to how the body conducts its business.

Consumer protections lacking in individual health insurance, report finds
by Workday Minnesota staff
Key consumer protections are lacking in the individual health insurance market in Minnesota, according to a new study published by Families USA, and released Thursday by TakeAction Minnesota.

Editing your garden
by Scott Russell, The Bridge
I’m not a great gardener, but I love to weed. It’s a trait I got from my mom, who is an Olympic weeder.

NEW IN VOICES

Yellow flagging reading rest results
by John Van Hecke, Minnesota 2020
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Education gleefully released the state’s sophomore graduation reading standard test results. 75% met the requirement, a fact that the department fell all over itself announcing.

NEW IN BLOGS

Perpich Art Center—An awesome but underused resource
by Joe Nathan, School Talk
Anoka veteran teacher Kevan Nitzberg and Deanna Gotschall, a younger music teacher from Forest Lake agree. As Gotschall told me”it’s a very good resource that helps save us money.” But while many Minnesota art teachers praise the Perpich Center, it appears to be an under-used library for the general public.