News Tribune Editorial Board
Did you know the speaker of the Minnesota House had the power, at the push of a button, to silence his lawmaking colleagues? Neither did lawmakers — until Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt pressed his "chamber mute" button during what the Associated Press called "an acrimonious debate" during the 2016 legislative session. This was a year after Daudt had the button installed, giving him the power to turn off the microphones on all of his colleagues' desks all at once.
Duluth's legislative representatives are again making themselves publicly available so constituents can grill them, hear from them, and more actively participate in state government. Public town halls and other similar events are great opportunities citizens can strive not to miss. Elected officials can be commended for scheduling them.
Simple common sense may have prompted some ice anglers Saturday morning to take one look over Superior Bay, note the open water in the distance and the gusting strong winds, and say to themselves, "Nope, not the smartest or safest day to venture out onto this ice."
During his campaign, Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz, during a sit-down with the News Tribune Editorial Board, talked a lot about thoughtful and responsible spending for education, transportation, and other core government services. He already had a reputation in Congress as a watchdog against waste. He even co-authored a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and he pushed to audit the Pentagon to make sure taxpayers' dollars weren't squandered.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security imagined the unimaginable: a catastrophic failure of the Poe Lock, a part of the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Yes, a person can legally break the law in an emergency situation in order to prevent a greater harm. For example, a passerby can smash a car window on a hot day to rescue a baby forgotten in the back seat without fear of being cited or arrested for damaging property. A clear emergency. A clearly necessary action.
There are so many things Northland residents can be thankful for today that it's hard to whittle it down to just 10. But everyone does top-10 lists, right? So as you gather with family and friends today for the Thanksgiving holiday — whether at home, at Grandma's house, at someone else's house, at the 29th annual free Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet at the DECC, or elsewhere — feel free to add to this list. Treat it as just a starter list in the annual remembering of reasons to be appreciative.
It can't be allowed to happen again. The despicable, bullying actions of masked, chanting protesters at an Oct. 22 Duluth City Council meeting can't be allowed to be repeated.
Preparing her proposed spending plan for the city of Duluth for 2019, Mayor Emily Larson had this bit of good news to work with: The city's property tax base grew by 5 percent this year, its highest increase since 2010's 7 percent-plus bump. "It's a big deal," Mayor Larson said in an interview last week with the News Tribune Editorial Board. "That is a really big deal. I think it says a lot about how people are feeling, how they're investing, how the city is being a partner. And I think it's (a sign of) consumer confidence."
In May, the Duluth City Council approved a sick-and-safe-time ordinance without having any idea whatsoever how much it might cost taxpayers. Worse, as Mayor Emily Larson revealed in an interview this week with the News Tribune Editorial Board, no city councilor even asked her or her administration about potential costs. "That did not happen," Larson said.