Minnesota's orchestral strife is hardly alone

Leonard Slatkin
Leonard Slatkin, music director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, said the financial meltdown of 2008 and resulting 'Great Recession' has given orchestras an opportunity to rebuild their organizations.
Photo courtesy of Donald Dietz

Today on the update we put the state's orchestra turmoil in context. A Faribault prep school makes headlines with allegations of sexual abuse. The trial of an accused al-Shabab associate continues in Minneapolis. And in Anoka, a gay youth group is denied a place in the town's annual Halloween parade.

ORCHESTRAL BUDGET MANEUVERS: American orchestras are going through a tumultuous period that may forever alter how they're run and their relationships to their communities. Horrible economic conditions and menacing long term trends have spawned an economic tempest which first reached a crescendo in Detroit and is now sweeping the rest of the country - including Minnesota.

MORE VICTIMS? The law firm that's repeatedly sued religious institutions for covering up alleged child sexual abuse says it's working on behalf of possible victims of alleged sexual misconduct at the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school in Faribault. Meanwhile, the Faribault are investigating a second staffer at the school in connection with the sex probe -- a 34-year-old teacher who killed himself with a shotgun in 2008.

RAISING NOBEL WINNERS: Here's the kind of free publicity a university public relations department must dream about: The Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to a Little Falls, Minn., native who says that his experiences as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Duluth made him want to pursue a research career. Dr. Brian Kobilka graduated from UMD in 1977 with degrees in biology and chemistry. He's now a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He and Duke University professor Robert Lefkowitz will share the prize for their work on G-protein-coupled receptors.

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DOING HIS DUTY: A third Minnesota man recruited to fight for the terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia told a federal jury on Wednesday he was convinced he would be a "good Muslim" by joining the war in his homeland. Now he's testifying against another man accused of accused of helping send fighters from the United States to Somalia. On Tuesday, defense attorney's turned up the heat on another man testifying for the prosecution.

LIFE RAFT DEBATE: The premise: Civilization is decimated and only one seat remains on a life raft for the survivors who will rebuild society. Academic disciplines vie for the seat, arguing their worth as an indispensible area of study that the new civilization will need to flourish. It's a fun exercise that reflects a larger discussion: What is the value of college, especially a liberal-arts education?

BACHMANN AND THE MILL: Former employees of the now-shuttered Verso Paper Mill in Sartell kept up their complaints Tuesday that Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann didn't reach out to the mill workers following the company's Memorial Day fire and explosion.

PREYING ON DESPERATE HOMEOWNERS: Even as the economy climbs out of the basement, the impact of the housing market crash will be felt for years to come. Here's latest example: Federal investigators have charged 530 people for allegedly defrauding more than 73,000 desperate homeowners around the country who fell behind on mortgage payments, leaving them vulnerable to con artists offering to help them avoid foreclosure.

CARLSON vs. KIFFMEYER: Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson and state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer are on opposite sides of the voter ID amendment. They debated Tuesday night, and we've got video of the event.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD: It's a familiar pattern in American presidential campaigns: Victory hinges on being able to sway the so-called "undecideds." So, in Today's Question, we're asking: In two sentences, how would you sway an undecided voter to vote for your candidate in the presidential contest?

NO LAST NAME: Organizers of an annual Halloween parade in Anoka denied a request from a gay youth group to walk in this year's parade. Justin's Gift, a nonprofit group created to support gay youth after several suicides in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, received a letter dated Sept. 25 denying their request to walk in the Oct. 27 parade. The letter is signed by the parade chair, who included only her first name, Liz.

CLIMATE AT YALE? MPR's meteorologist Paul Huttner reports from the Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media, presenting updated data on how climate changes are unfolding globally and in our backyard. Many of these researchers have spent entire careers studying climate change and effects from different angles.

PASSED OUT: Finally we bring you the story of 21-year-old Roseville resident Andrew Bishop. According to police in Madison, Bishop smashed his way through a door at the state Capitol, then broke another window so that he could get out on one of the building's domes. That's where the cops found him, passed out. Alcohol is said to have been involved.