American Crystal workers reject contract, Minn. Orchestra delivers in NYC, Pawlenty left too soon?

Union workers reject American Crystal Sugar contract

Locked out union workers at American Crystal Sugar Company Tuesday rejected a second contract offer (MPR News).

Vikings stand by Arden Hills despite stadium tax block

Gov. Mark Dayton says Minnesota lawmakers will not raise taxes to pay for a Vikings stadium without voters approving it by referendum. The Vikings were counting on $350 million from a sales tax increase. Now, both plans appear dead before consideration at the Capitol (KSTP).

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Cash-strapped Minn. cities cut library services

Dollars allocated to libraries have declined. Statewide, according to the Library Agency, total revenue decreased from $216.2 million in 2009 to $214.6 million in 2010, despite an influx of millions from the Legacy Amendment, dollars earmarked for arts, cultural and historical programming (Ground Level).

Duluth ballot asks for tax raise to restore services

On the ballot Tuesday will be a proposal that would establish a dedicated park fund of $2.6 million. The measure would raise property taxes 3.2 percent. If it doesn't pass, the city's 129 parks and public spaces would take cuts beyond those instituted recently and rely more heavily on volunteers (Ground Level).

Mayor's view: Problems solved, it's time to invest in city's parks, libraries

Duluth's parks can and should be a selling point to residents and business owners considering Duluth. Yet this competitive advantage is lost because these world-class places are growing tired with fields not well-maintained, courts with weeds growing from cracks and equipment falling apart (Duluth News Tribune).

Review: High time for Minnesota Orchestra to switch it up

It was high time the Minnesota Orchestra and its Finnish music director, Osmo Vanska, brought something else to Carnegie Hall. For five concerts in a row in previous visits an ensemble known to be adventurous in Minneapolis played only Beethoven and Sibelius (New York Times).

True wild rice probably isn't what you think it is--it's better

While there are species called wild rice in other parts of the world, such as China, manoomin only exists in that north-central region of North America. "It's really a North American species, and that makes us the global stewards of rice," biologist Peter David says (Indian Country).

Below average temps expected in November to April

Expect a cold snap by Thanksgiving followed by a snowstorm near the end of the month. It looks like more heavy snow will arrive sometime during the third week in December. Bitter cold takes over in January, then around Valentine's Day, Mother Nature will attempt to warm our hearts (WDIO).

Did Tim Pawlenty leave the GOP primary too soon?

Given the tumult in the GOP primary, some bloggers are rehashing Pawlenty's decision to exit the 2012 presidential race.

It seems possible ... that Pawlenty badly miscalculated. If we have learned one thing from this election, it is that every candidate will get his or her time in the sun. Bachmann did. Cain did. Even Gingrich is likely to, as Ed Kilgore explains here. Surely this would have been true of Pawlenty, who is a much more credible alternative to Romney -- Isaac Chorner, The New Republic

"He could be winning right now," Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect.

Tim Pawlenty was never going to pass for an anti-establishment candidate -- not when he had been in elected office since 1993, not when he had more support among pundits than he seemed to have among voters, and not when his personality and his campaign were so cautious and predictable. But he sometimes tried to run as one, particularly late in the race when he frequently went toe to toe with Mrs. Bachmann.

Mr. Pawlenty also had problems as an establishment candidate -- especially his poor fundraising numbers, which as much as anything explained why he ended his campaign.

But Mr. Pawlenty might have had a chance to win that way. This would have involved taking the side of the bet that what Republicans really are looking for an alternative to Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney in particular. Mr. Pawlenty would have run as an explicitly anti-Romney but implicitly pro-establishment candidate," -- Nate Silver, New York Times.