Booze at TCF
THUMBS DOWN: Legislators are taking another look at whether or not booze can be sold at the new University of Minnesota on-campus football stadium. The stadium was dry last year when it opened, the results of an ultimatum by state lawmakers that alcohol be sold throughout the stadium, not just in select places. Now, our state lawmakers - like they don't already have enough to do - are for some reason revisiting the issue and might just allow the university to sell alcohol. That means you can go to a Gophers game and drink. If you can afford to sit in a premium seat or a suite. If not, you'll be left to image how nice it would be to be in one of those seats as you're washing down a hot dog with a cool Bud Light. This idea stinks worse than stale beer. Sen. Sandy Pappas said her bill permitting limited sales would be a financial boost to the university, which had to offer discounts after backtracking on plans to offer beer and wine in luxury seats and suites. Pappas, chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, said the decision to go dry cost the university $1 million to $1.3 million. Too bad. You can't offer one thing to one fan and not to another in the same venue. If you go to a Timberwolves game you can watch as fans down by the floor get waited on by concessions staff, but at least there you can get the same fare - you just have to get it yourself. To exclude certain fans from enjoying a brewski at a football game while letting others guzzle a Guinness just because they can afford a "premium" seat is an ugly idea. It's time to decide: Keep it dry or let 'em (all) drink. There is no in-between. The university should focus more on building a better football program since it is a major revenue sport. Perhaps if the Gophers put a better product on the field, fans wouldn't feel the need to drink
Losing 'continuance' of care?
THUMBS DOWN: The Marshall city council was pretty clear on its stance of whether or not to repurchase Home Health Care at its meeting Tuesday. They want no part of it. You can't blame the city for not wanting to get back in the health care business, especially if doing so would start with the purchase of a money-losing entity. Unfortunately, a city purchase of Home Health Care looks like it would be the only way to keep the service going. Councilman Charlie Sanow strongly questioned Avera's continuance of care at Tuesday's meeting and prompted Avera officials at the meeting to revisit tapes of meetings that took place during the sale of the hospital. He said the thing he heard "time after time" was that Avera would provide a continuance of care and that Avera staff had told him at the time of the sale that HHC would stay open after the the hospital was sold. The transfer agreement, however, didn't guarantee the survival of any individual services, said Marshall City Attorney Dennis Simpson and Amber Crowley, vice president of human resources at Avera. The issue comes down to how continuance of care is perceived and these two sides - Sanow and Avera - obviously interpret it differently. They can argue all they want, but it won't change anything. The unfortunate bottom line is the people who have been receiving care under HHC will be forced to look elsewhere for services.
AG needs to put politics aside
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says she isn't ruling out a request from Gov. Tim Pawlenty GOP lawmakers to sue over the federal health care overhaul like some other states have already decided to do. This should be interesting since Swanson is a Democrat. Pawlenty and all 68 GOP members of the state Legislature have asked Swanson to challenge the constitutionality of a federal requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014. Swanson said Wednesday she is weighing constitutional issues and Supreme Court case law before making a call. This is one decision where Swanson, who has spoken out in favor of universal health care, has to forget she's a Democrat and do what's in the best interest of Minnesotans, because all of us, whether we're a Democrat or Republican, would be mandated to buy health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care plan. Swanson has to look at this as an attorney general, not a Democrat. Looks like a no-win situation for her personally.