The homeless kid (5×8 – 3/26/13)


There was a time when the idea of homeless 8-year-olds in Minnesota would spark a level of outrage.

Discussion point: Are those days over? Are we too desensitized to homelessness to be able to garner public sentiment to do much about it?


Today’s must-read commentary comes from Chris Bauer of Maple Grove, writing in the Star Tribune about her nephew:

My 19-year-old nephew is staying with me this week while my sister and the rest of her family are on spring break. My sister didn’t want to leave him home alone, but it’s extremely difficult to have him here.

Not for the reasons you might think — like that he’s out partying or being uncooperative. It’s difficult and heartbreaking because Andrew, or what remains of him, is sitting on the mantle in a bronze urn, draped with a rosary that belonged to his grandfather.

The family doesn’t yet know for sure why the young man died, although he had a history of drug use and mental illness. The column paints a painful picture of what can happen even if everyone does everything right and asks for help.


It’s time to face the reality: You’ll be paying for news online if you aren’t now. This week, the San Francisco Chronicle was the latest big-city paper to adopt a pay-for-premium-content on its website. The Washington Post announced it, too, will soon escape behind a paywall.

The New York Times started all of this when it erected a paywall with enough holes in it to get around paying, but in the last few weeks, the Times has been closing the loopholes. This week, it closed another one when it neutered the “NY Clean” bookmarklet that let readers dismiss the “over the limit” messages that blocks Times stories.

It probably didn’t help freeloaders that last month The Atlantic published a lengthy article on how to get around the Times’ paywall with NY Clean.

If you’re keeping score, Fast Company details all the ways the Times has played Whac-A-Loophole.

Related tech: How We’re Turning Digital Natives Into Etiquette Sociopaths (


The story here isn’t that the drought affected corn-cob pipe sales at this company. The story here is that there still are corn-cob pipe sales at this company.5) WHY CAN’T U’S MINORITY STUDENTS GET THEATER OPPORTUNITIES?

The Minnesota Daily looks at the problem facing minority students looking for parts they can play in drama productions. There aren’t many.

“There is no doubt that what is considered by some people the traditional canon of theater in America is, at times, greatly lacking diversity at many levels,” Carl Flink, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, says.

Bonus I: Might you want to get your head shaved? Children’s Hospitals is holding a fundraiser next month for St. Baldrick’s Foundation:

Head-shaving for a cure for childhood cancer from Children's of Minnesota on Vimeo.

(H/T: Julia Schrenkler)

Bonus II: Isle Royale wolves may have stopped reproducing. (Associated Press)

Bonus III: New poll shows a lot of people who wanted strict gun control after Newtown have now changed their minds (CBS)


The University of Minnesota fired men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith after he led the team to a better record than his recent predecessors. He will be given a buyout of more than $2.5 million. Today’s Question: Do you agree with the decision to fire Tubby Smith?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The impact of nurses being allowed to set up primary-care practices.

Second hour: Redesigning the classroom.

Third hour: St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking at the Commonwealth Club about her new book “Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Amid the debate on gun violence, some epidemiology: If you’re white and died by gunfire you likely lived in a rural area, opposed strict gun control and committed suicide. If you’re black and died by the gun, you were likely shot by someone else, lived in an urban area and supported gun control. On this segment: race, gun deaths, and gun policy.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – On farms, grain bins can be dangerous places. They claim the lives of 16 workers each year, on average. Despite tougher safety rules, the death tolls have remained steady as some employers flout the law. NPR will have the story.