An anti-union group based in Michigan has taken aim at some of the fringe benefits in the Minneapolis teacher contract, arguing that they cost teacher jobs. Nevertheless, group spokesman Steve Gunn said that the Minneapolis contract has fewer such provisions than the Milwaukee contract. Education Action Group of Muskegon, Mich. argues that Minneapolis would have $21 million more to balance its budget if it eliminated some of the features that make up the $268 million in salaries and benefits for on teachers and others represented by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. That’s nearly 8 percent of what the district pays them. "As expenses have piled up and depleted the fund reserve, MPS has continued to spend a great deal of money on salary, benefits and other perks for employees, particularly those covered by the teachers union collective bargaining agreement," the group said in its report titled "Sucking the Life Out of America's Public Schools." MFT President Lynn Nordgren … [Read more...] about Group takes aim at Minneapolis teacher benefits
Consumers are used to making sandwiches and wraps with Hormel’s myriad meats. Now, Hormel is making a wrap for consumers, assembling cheese, deli meat and flatbread into an on-the-go concoction called Rev. It is one of Hormel Foods’ most significant new products in years, an item with few if any direct peers. And Rev is new terrain for the company, a ready-to-eat product in the refrigerated case, a place where Hormel is accustomed to selling cuts of pork and turkey. “This is one of the biggest product launches in our history,” said Holly Drennan, a Hormel senior product manager. “This is a missing product in the grocery store.” Rev, which rolls out nationally this week, comes in eight varieties — Meat Lovers Pizza, Italian Style Ham, Peppered Turkey, to name a few. It’s being marketed particularly to teenagers as a snack, but Drennan said it also has a broader appeal. Whether it flops or flies, Rev is another example of the innovation … [Read more...] about Hormel’s latest product launch: Rev, a snack wrap aimed at teens
After four consecutive years of finishing seventh or eighth in the Western Conference, the Wild is familiar with eking into the playoffs. In a division with the Chicago Blackhawks, who have won three Stanley Cups in seven years, or a powerhouse regular-season team such as St. Louis, a wild-card spot basically becomes the expectation. But during the Wild’s 11-game winning streak, Eric Staal has talked consistently about catching and overtaking the Blackhawks for the Central Division lead. And now the Wild is one point behind Chicago despite playing three fewer games. Staal says setting the bar high starts with first-year coach Bruce Boudreau, who earned division titles in eight of nine seasons with Washington and Anaheim. “He’s won wherever he’s been, and he’s making sure he’s pushing us to be at our best every night,” Staal said. But teammates also say the team’s sudden aim of winning a second division championship in franchise … [Read more...] about Eric Staal points the way as Wild aims toward high goals
Just weeks after activists lost a high-profile development fight aimed a protecting the character of the University of Minnesota's Dinkytown area, another proposal for the neighborhood has emerged. Unlike the earlier proposal from Opus, however, this would be built on Dinkytown's more iconic 4th Street Southeast (between 13th and 14th Avenues). A staff report on the Doran Companies' development says it would be a six-story, 70-unit building with ground-floor retail. This building would be erected on properties that appear to now house Mesa Pizza, Camdi Restaurant and a coffee-frozen yogurt shop. It would be adjacent to the venerable Al's Breakfast. The development is likely to be controversial, as it would transform a core Dinkytown streetscape. Council Member Diane Hofstede has already introduced a development moratorium for the area. Whether that passes could affect whether the Doran project moves forward. Here are the renderings, posted yesterday on the city's website: … [Read more...] about New project aimed at heart of Dinkytown
Ensia, a print and online magazine published by the Institute on the Environment and the University of Minnesota, are banking on it. By combining high-end design, data visualization, engaging videos, compelling storytelling, expert op-eds, and strong reporting and writing, Ensia aims to succeed where many others have failed: To spark environmental conversations and solutions versus ongoing debates. The publication celebrated its one-year anniversary last month with 750,000 page views, and its video, "A Song of Our Warming Planet," which uniquely turned dry data into powerful, artful sound, has been viewed more than 145,000 times in nearly 160 countries. What does this mean about how we want understand important information, and our planet? Ensia director and co-founder Todd Reubold talks about how a new age in digital and print storytelling is helping to alter the climate change conversation. What was Ensia's goal … [Read more...] about Can storytelling impact climate change? The U of M aims to find out.