Category Archives: State

Election 2012 straw poll: Whom and what are you voting for?

Make your selections, then weigh in with your rationale.










Continue reading Election 2012 straw poll: Whom and what are you voting for?

Cart-in camp site #1 at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park: saaaaaweet

Cart-in camp site #1 at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Cart-in camp site #1 at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park shore, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Robbie and I are camping at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park for a few days.  The camping sites are primarily cart-in, which means that you have to get a military grade backpack just to haul your gear  to your campsite, unless you want to use these old, rickety wheelbarrow-type carts.  Advantage: the sites are more secluded. I took the photo in the center from the rocky bluff above our tent.

And since parks are on my mind, see the New Urbanist blog for Kevin Klinkenberg’s recent series on What makes a good park? Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Get visible with ‘Vote No, Don’t Limit the Freedom to Marry’ t-shirts, bumper stickers, lawn signs and buttons

Suzannah Ciernia & colleagues: Minnesotans United for All Families table in Northfield Lawn sign, t-shirt: Vote No, Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry Minnesotans United for All Families
Northfielder Suzannah Ciernia and colleagues were staffing a Minnesotans United for All Families table at the Taste of Northfield last week.

Griff Wigley with t-shirt: Vote No, Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry Griff Wigley's laptop with bumper sticker: Vote No, Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry Griff Wigley with bumper sticker: Vote No, Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry
I purchased a ‘Vote No, Don’t Limit the Freedom to Marry’ t-shirt and a bumper sticker for my laptop. It’s been cool to have many people make a “I like your shirt” type comment when out and about.

You can get ‘Vote No’ gear from the MN United online store.

General Mills takes a brave public stand against the marriage amendment. Which Rice County area companies, organizations, government units, and churches will do likewise?

In last week’s Strib: General Mills against gay marriage ban

General MillsGeneral Mills is taking a stand against a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, becoming the most prominent corporate voice making such a public declaration. Chief executive Ken Powell voiced the company’s opposition Wednesday at a General Mills function attended by 400 gay and lesbian professionals, followed Thursday by a Web letter from the company’s vice president for global diversity and inclusion, Ken Charles. “We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy,” Charles wrote. “We value diversity. We value inclusion.”

Rice County Votes NO! FlyerMy first thought: Cool!

My second thought: Will Malt-O-Meal/MOM Brands do the same?

My third thought: What about other Rice County area companies? Non-profits? Churches? Governmental units?

There’s a Rice County Votes NO! Community Kickoff tomorrow evening, Monday, June 18, at the Weitz Center.

Voter ID: is the cost worth the benefits?

Voter_IDI’ve not been very interested in or informed about the Voter ID debate thus far, but now that we citizens will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment this fall, it’s time to try to get smarter about it.

Randy Maluchnik, Carver County commissioner and president of the Association of Minnesota Counties, had a commentary in last week’s Strib titled Let serious debate begin on voter ID that I found to be a good starting point.  Two excerpts summarize the partisan divide:

Opponents of the voter ID proposal accused supporters of disenfranchising seniors, college students, minorities and the poor. Proponents suggested that their opponents were simply trying to protect an election system fraught with fraud and open to manipulation. The hyperpartisan rhetoric did little to help inform public opinion…

The debate ended the way it began. Republicans called it a common-sense measure to tighten up Minnesota’s voting system and make sure voters are who they say they are. DFLers said the requirement would not prevent the tiny amount of fraud that exists but may erect barriers to certain voters and throw a bombshell into Minnesota’s popular election-day registration system.

Maluchnik’s concerns about costs:

If approved, this constitutional amendment would require the state to spend millions to provide free IDs to thousands of Minnesotans and to educate citizens on the state’s new voting requirements.

In addition, local governments would need to implement provisional balloting, a process that allows voters who arrive at the polls without an ID to cast a ballot that would be counted only if they subsequently provided the necessary identification. This process would require local governments to print special ballots, purchase new equipment, hire and train additional election judges, and pay for storage and security of provisional ballots. Studies have shown that implementing a provisional balloting process will cost local governments — and, in turn, property-tax payers — millions of dollars every election season.


Props to Republican legislators for bill that allows full range of consumer fireworks

I’m thrilled to see that consumer fireworks might be coming back to Minnesota. In yesterday’s Strib,  Fireworks bill survives committee test:

The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, would allow the sale and use of the full range of consumer fireworks, including aerial rockets and firecrackers. Currently, the state only allows the sale and use of ground-based items such as small fountains, sparklers and snakes.

Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, is the author in the Senate.

Griff Wigley and Larry WigleyOne of my cranky dad’s passions was his love of fireworks, one of the few things that that he loved to do with me and my brother. He’d buy $100 or more of fireworks every year, and this was back in the late 50s when that would buy an arsenal.

Black CatsHe showed us how to blow up sandcastles and cardboard houses; how to launch tennis balls high in the air by putting them on top of lead pipes and lighting a cherry bomb underneath; how orange juice cans were great to use with regular black cats; how to launch cherry bombs into the air with a slingshot. He loved that we loved it and I cherish those memories.

Cherry BombsWhen Minneapolis Tribune columnist Cedric Adams successfully led a campaign to ban fireworks in the state, he was not deterred. He and many fellow Munsingwear employees would place an annual fireworks order with the interstate truck drivers. They’d purchase them down south and bring them back for distribution at the loading docks. ‘Civil disobedience’ he called it.

I know the dangers of fireworks firsthand. When I was 13, some buddies and I climbed to the top of an empty barn silo to drop Black Cats mid-air for the big echo effect. I had about 20 of them stuffed in my front shirt pocket and when the fuse died out on one that I was ready to throw, I put it back in my shirt pocket so that I could harvest its powder later.  It exploded in my pocket which set off a couple more went off.  I was sure my left nipple was blown off but fortunately, the burns were just below it. I borrowed a shirt from a friend and hid the injury from my parents for about a week.  A real memory-maker. There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury attorney when you’ve been injured in a car accident, especially if your injuries are serious. (See Craig Kelley & Faultless)

Follow Krisel and Jungbauer on Twitter. And see this KARE-11 clip from this morning, Fireworks bill moves forward at Minnesota Capitol:

St. Cloud hosts a Pride March and Marriage Equality Rally: Northfield needs to do likewise

The 2nd Annual Above the Clouds Pride March was held in St. Cloud on Friday morning, followed by a Marriage Equality Rally in the evening.  See the  Saturday St. Cloud Times: Parade, rally support GLBT community.

That’s a familiar family face in photo #4 of the gallery, holding a sign that says “Straight, not narrow.”

Caption: Gilly Wigley, 25, St. Cloud, waits for the start of the Above the Clouds Pride March Friday. -- St. Cloud Times photo by Kimm AndersonCaption: Gilly Wigley, 25, St. Cloud, waits for the start of the Above the Clouds Pride March Friday.”

— St. Cloud Times photo by Kimm Anderson

In November 2012, Minnesota voters decide whether to approve an amendment to the constitution banning same-sex marriage.   Those of us who are straight are especially needed to help defeat the amendment.

Straw poll: should our legislators vote for ‘the deal’ that would end the state gov’t shutdown?