“Call it the Burning Man of the Midwest: a temporary city, built around artistic expression. Only this one takes place in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minn., in the middle of winter.”—National Public Radio takes a look at the Art Shanties.
Paula Merns, of New Brighton, Minn., on watching the promise of retirement in the private sector crumble, and how that has prompted her to re-enlist again and again in the National Guard. Now 41, she was 18 when she joined the Guard, and has served in Iraq. (1.24.2011. Interviewed by Jeff Severns Guntzel.)
“When you first come into the military, if you’re enlisted, you’re in for 6 or 8 years and then you’re out — unless you decide to go back in. I’ve decided to go back in multiple times. Every time, part of my reasoning has been, ‘I will get benefits for this. I will get something in return. I will get promises from the government for giving them my life.’”
More from Merns here, answering the question, “What are the shoulds in your life?”
Special thanks to David Pajo for letting us use his song, “Pink Holler,” from the album Live From A Shark Cage.
“In the arena of religion, my soul is a topic of contention. I’ve heard that I’m going to hell, but I’ve also heard that God loves everyone. It’s kind of cool to be the center of so much attention and gossip.”—Commentary writer Taylor Brorby wonders why everyone is so worried about his being gay.
A: Starting Tuesday, Feb. 21, a new program called The Daily Circuit will launch and be on air 9 a.m.-noon. The noon - 1 p.m. hour will become MPR News Presents. Morning Edition will still be on air from 4 a.m. -9 a.m.
Q: What will I be hearing before Feb. 21?
A: You will hear your regularly scheduled shows - Morning Edition and Midmorning — plus MPR News will broadcast a special winter season of Midday with special guest hosts, co-hosts, and guests.
Q: What is The Daily Circuit?
A: The Daily Circuit is the new MPR News talk program. You can expect an energetic pace, but similar depth and civility heard on the current shows. The radio program will be integrated with online, mobile and social media components. The show will be hosted by Kerri Miller and she’ll be joined in-studio by Tom Weber. In each hour, the show will dive deep into a topic, with shorter features and newscasts rounding out the hour. We’ll offer more topics, more guests and more insightful news and information on issues that matter most.
Q: Tell me more about Kerri Miller and Tom Weber
A: You’ll recognize Miller as the host of Midmorning and the Talking Volumes book club series. She joined MPR News in June 2004 and has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981. Weber joined MPR News in Jan. 2008 as a reporter on the K-12 education beat. He was the lead reporter on MPR News’ investigation into Minnesota’s anti-bullying law last year. You can find both of them on Twitter: @KerriMPR and @webertom1.
Q: What’s MPR News Presents and what happened to Midday?
A: The show will feature important speeches, documentaries and news programming involving thought-leaders and public officials. Gary Eichten’s long-time producer, Sara Meyer, will produce and direct it. The time slot also will feature great programming from elsewhere in public radio.
Q: What topics will we hear in The Daily Circuit?
A: First, and most importantly, it will cover news and trends. But expect plenty of interviews about politics, policy, health, the economy, science and the arts. And because Kerri Miller loves books, you’ll continue to hear conversations with authors.
Q: Why change?
A: We’d like to cover more topics than what the typical talk show allows. Moreover, audiences told us they want more choice in how they access and involve themselves with news topics and news makers. As a result, we are creating a show that will give audiences many ways to engage via our website and social media.
Q: Will the new show have a political point of view?
A: No. It will be a non-partisan, unbiased conversation about the most important topics in the news.
Chairman's spending decisions on insiders helped lead to GOP debt
A Republican leader with 25 years of hard-earned respect from the party that prides itself on fiscal discipline, awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to consultants, lawmakers, candidates and party insiders over the course of nearly 30 months as state party chairman, contributing to the financial wreckage the party is trying to fix today.
MPR News reviewed the Minnesota Republican Party’s finances since 2007 to find out how the party got into deep debt. Read the full story here.
Our Washington correspondent Brett Neely has been asking Minnesota’s congressional delegation where they stand on the Stop Online Piracy Act (also known as SOPA). Here’s Neeley’s wrap-up of their position statements (click here for his full post):
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) - Opposed - “I have serious concerns about government getting involved in regulation of the Internet, and about ambiguities in this legislation, which could lead to an explosion of destructive, innovation-stalling lawsuits,” Bachmann said during an Oct. 20 speech while campaigning for president. UPDATE “Congresswoman Bachmann has said that she has ‘serious concerns about government getting involved in regulation of the Internet.’ It is because of those concerns that she opposes SOPA,” said Bachmann spokeswoman Becky Rogness.
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) - Opposed - “While we need to confront copyright infringement and online piracy, SOPA and PIPA legislation preempts due process of law. These are the wrong bills to accomplish this task, leaving too much room for interpretation, ” said Cravaack.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D) - Opposed - As mentioned above, Ellison has blacked out his campaign website in solidarity and says the bill would, “harm internet innovation and jobs.”
Sen. Al Franken (D) - Supports - A spokesman for Franken said he would issue a statement on PIPA.
Rep. John Kline (R) - Opposed - “I am not a co-sponsor of this bill, and do not support the legislation because it fails to maintain the freedom of expression provided by the Constitution and infringes on our liberties,” said Kline.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) - Supports
Rep. Betty McCollum (D) - Opposed - “I oppose SOPA because it threatens personal privacy, imposes unnecessary costs on Internet providers, and undermines open access to information on the web,” said McCollum.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) - Opposed - “While I believe copyright infringement and piracy should be prosecuted to the full extent that the law affords, I have deep concerns about the effects of SOPA and therefore cannot support it in its current form,” said Paulsen.
Rep. Collin Peterson (D) - The long-serving congressman is leaning against the measure, Peterson’s chief of staff, Cherie Slayton, told MPR News.
Rep. Tim Walz (D) - Opposed - “The innovation and the entrepreneurship that we’ve seen come out of the internet, it’s a model that is working and has worked and I’m very fearful that an overreach on this squashes that innovation,” Walz said Wednesday.
Perhaps the most, um, self-aware of the bunch comes from the esteemed Journal of American Rocket Science, which claims to have designed a stadium that the authors deem fitting for Arden Hills and other northern suburbs. It apparently involves a mammoth pickup topper, a set of giant sawhorses, some railroad tracks and a fleet of Bobby and Steve’s tow trucks.
Our Big Story Blog is covering the latest on a potential new Vikings stadium. All plans for a Vikings football stadium are due to Gov. Mark Dayton by 5 p.m. today. Below is Minneapolis’ proposal. Read more and see other proposals at the Big Story Blog.
“The wonderful thing about the Internet is that if want to hear what your customers are thinking, you can just ask them. The terrible thing about the Internet is that you may not like entirely what you hear.”—Communications consultant Jon Austin reacts to a recent blog post by Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn. The post has attracted more than 2.3 million page views and has drawn over 200 comments — many from employees and customers.
“No one can know who Bill would have become had he not been injured. The person he did become was funny, complicated, interesting and talented. I am still grieving his loss, and the multiple tragedies he endured, and the overall unfairness of his situation. But I am forever grateful that I knew and loved him, that I saw the world through his eyes on occasion, and that he may have served as a source of courage for others facing obstacles.”—In the wake of Jack Jablonski’s hockey injury that left him paralyzed, Ali Lozoff writes about the inspiring life of her uncle, who suffered a similar injury in 1960 when he was 17.
“To finance my $30,000 year-long program (2008-2009), I sold my car, cashed in unused vacation from my job and used a good bit of savings. The loan was what was left.”—Alex Friedrich, our higher ed blogger, is finally free of his student loan debt.