Inside the Daily Planet, 10/5/08

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NEWS YOU CAN USE | Absentee voting: Let the voting begin!
by Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet
Anyone who qualifies for an absentee ballot can vote now—today—at the county auditor’s office in the county of their residence. Voting for the November 4 election has already begun. In Minnesota, voting started on October 3.

Wellstone legacy: Mental health parity bill signed into law
by Kathlyn Stone, TC Daily Planet
The Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was added to the financial bailout package, passed, and promptly signed into law last week. The mental health parity legislation was added to the package to win support after the House rejected the bailout legislation earlier in the week. The law requires health insurers to provide benefits, co-payments and treatments for mental health services and substance abuse disorders equal to traditional medical coverage.

Dialogue with lawmakers: Minnesota Korean adoptees meet with National Assembly members to discuss rights and roles of adoptees in Korean society
by Martha Vickery, Korean Quarterly
Whether some strategic legislation would make the way easier for the hundreds of Korean adoptees who return to their birth country to live and work, or the thousands who visit there annually, was the topic of a meeting at the University of Minnesota of nine South Korean legislators with representatives of three Minnesota organizations of adult Korean adoptees.

Riders in black honor victims of recent bike deaths
by Chris Steller, Minnesota Independent
Dressed in black and wearing orange armbands, 50 or more bicyclists crowded a traffic median on Snelling Ave. in St. Paul Saturday morning just a few blocks into a 14-mile memorial ride to honor four cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles last month. The group set off from Snelling and Summit avenues—near the site where the latest fatality took place a week ago—headed for Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis.

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BLOG OF THE MODERATE LEFT | Battle without honor or humanity
by Jeff Fecke
Johnny Maverick has decided, at this late date, to simply shred any last bit of honor he used to have, and go for broke.

KEEPING THE FAITH | Guns and bombs and things that go boom in the night
by Mary Turck
Over the past month, both Sheriff Bob Fletcher and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman referred to “guns and bombs” that “anarchists” brought to the RNC. The massive local, state and federal security presence is credited by both men with saving the city of St. Paul from the people with guns and bombs. But who were these people and how many guns and bombs did they bring?

THINK FORWARD | A chance to do the right thing
by Allison Page
The Phillips neighborhood (comprised primarly of people of color and low-income households and including a federal superfund site for arsenic) provides a stunning example of what environmental justice means.