Inside the Daily Planet, 04/05/11


Don’t miss the bus by Arvonne Fraser, TC Daily PlanetDon’t Miss the Bus:  Transit in the University District in the Age of Central Corridor.  That was the title of the University District Alliance forum I set off for at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday  (March 29) on the #2 bus, a little known but heavily used U-student oriented line. Using my new Go To card, with its senior citizen chip implanted to guarantee me that fare during non-rush hours, I heard someone speak my name.  It was our Marcy-Holmes land use committee co-chair bound for the same meeting.   Plunking down beside her, I decided we two increased the average age of the bus load by over a decade.

MUSIC | MJ Kroll burns barns at the Fine Line by Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet • Country-pop singer-songwriter MJ Kroll does great things for a stage, especially with a band behind her. The woman is a born performer, a smart songwriter, and one of the more distinctive vocalists you’re apt to come across: hers is a wry, wizened quality, passion clear in her bright vocals. She ain’t all that hard on the eyes, neither. All told, the term “one-of-a-kind” definitely comes to mind.

Freeway banner drop protests Republican budget cuts by Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet • The Senate budget bill passed last week “is as bad as Madison, but people just don’t know about it,” said Julie Nerbonne, as she held a banner over Interstate 94 on a cold Monday morning. Clean water, strong schools, healthy cities-that was the message for a half-dozen determined Minneapolitans who braved the rain and snow to hang banners during the 7-8:30 a.m. rush hour. [Video below.]

Collegiate concerns conveyed by Mike Cook, Session Weekly/Session Daily • Tuition would go up, funding levels would drop to levels not seen in more than a decade and top officials’ salaries could go down.
These are among the potential results of the omnibus higher education finance bill passed 69-60 by the House March 29.

Wisconsin braces for elections, day of action by Michael McIntee and Sam Mayfield, The Uptake • The anger stirred up by Republican anti-workers’ rights actions may be felt at the ballot box on Tuesday. Wisconsin is electing Supreme Court Justices, normally not a real attention getting election. But turn out is expected to be high as this is the first opportunity voters will have to register their approval or disapproval of Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to take away most collective bargaining rights from public employees. The UpTake’s Sam Mayfield is in Madison to cover the run-up to the election and gives us a preview of Monday’s rallies and Tuesday’s election.

School vouchers for D.C. parents passes U.S. House by Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent • A bill to continue a defunct school voucher program in Washington, D.C., passed the U.S. House on Wednesday afternoon by a largely party-line vote. Reps. Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack, John Kline and Erik Paulsen voted for the measure while Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz voted against the bill. The controversial program has been criticized as ineffective and essentially a tool to funnel taxpayer money to religious schools. President Obama stated on Tuesday that he opposes the measure.


RESTLESS GRAY GIRL | It’s time: A reflection on war, family and action by Lisa Gray • On February 27th, 2011, Corporal Andrew Wilfarht, cousin to my husband, and son to Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt of Rosemount, MN was killed in Afghanistan. This begins a story I did not know needed to be told.

TRYING TO PAY ATTENTION | Spring break in Europe by Steve Date • As a teacher, I get quite a few weeks off every year (not as many as you might think, but that’s another discussion). Travel abroad during the summer months and around Christmas is expensive and crowded. So Mrs. D and I have often used my week off in the spring to travel, usually adding a Friday or Monday to make a 10-day trip.

OPEN SECRETS MN | MnDot beginning to monitor your mileage and driving for taxes by Rich Neumeister • In a provision tucked in the Omnibus Transportation bill, Article 1, section 3, in 2007,  the Minnesota Legislature approved $5 million for a pilot project for a future replacement for the gas tax.  That pilot project is now being implemented by MnDot.

BARATARIA | Fault tolerance by Erik Hare • You pay the insurance bills every month.  Car, home, life – they’re all about the same, a bet against yourself that you actually hope is money wasted.  But when things go wrong, like a drunk driver smacking into you one sunny day, it’ll be there when you need it.  If you listen to the commercials, what you get for your money is peace of mind.  It should help you sleep at night without anxiety.

BLOG OF THE MODERATE LEFT | Uterus? You hardly know us! by Jeff Fecke • Let’s face it: the GOP has some problems with understanding science. It probably comes from embracing creationism, or their refusal to listen to those dread agents of the government, teachers. But whatever the cause, Republicans tend to react to discussions of scientific fact by covering their ears, shouting “LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU!”, and asserting that several lobbyists have assured them that the Sun does too orbit the Earth, and that there’s no such thing as “water,” and that contraceptives actually increase the likelihood of pregnancy when they’re not causing abortions.