News tips.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Community Events.

Here is what is happening at the DECC.

XIIR presentsXTREME Ice RacingJanuary 8, 2006DECC Arena3pmTickets on-sale:December 3, 2005 at 10am$30 ice level$18 balconyAll seats general admissionwebsite

You Can't Fix StupidRon WhiteJanuary 14, 20067pm 2nd Show Added10pm DECC AuditoriumReserved seats $37.75SHOW CONTAINS ADULTSUBJECTS & LANGUAGEwebsite

Brad Paisley with specialguests Sara Evans andBilly CurringtonJanuary 25, 20067:30pmDECC ArenaOn-sale: December 17, 2005at 10am. $44.50 (reserved seats)website

Broadway In Duluth42nd StreetJanuary 28, 2006DECC Auditorium8pm$49.50, $42.
All the Right Reasons Tour 2006Nickelback with special guestTraptJanuary 30, 20067:30pmDECC ArenaOn-sale: December 10, 2005 at 10am. $39.50, limit

Broadway In DuluthThe Will Rogers FolliesMarch 8, 20067:30pmDECC Auditorium$45, $37
Broadway In DuluthHal Holbrook inMark Twain Tonight!April 25, 20067:30pmDECC Auditorium$45 & $37

Broadway In DuluthDavid CopperfieldAn Intimate Evening ofGrand IllusionMay 3, 20065:30pm & 8:30pmDECC AuditoriumAdults $48.50, $38.5012 & under $43.50, $33.50website

John Hancock presentsChampions On IceJune 29, 20067pmDECC ArenaPublic pre-sale:December 1, 2005 at 9am(through January 23, 2006).$127 first row (floor)$97 2nd & 3rd row (floor)$67 ice level riser & balcony12 & under/62 & over $61(only in ice lever riser &balcony).website

Purchase tickets at the DECC Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 218-727-2121 or online at

I believe there is colder by the lake at bayfront on the 1st of Jan. I have no details on that event as of yet.

Remember if you have an event you would like me to post please email it to

I want to have events such as bake sales, sales, fishong contest, ect to post just about any event I will post it. Again please in clude date, time, place of event along with any special information you want added.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Clinton would have gone into Iraq as well.

These are two well respected broadcasters that said this. Clinton would have invaded Iraq if he were presidnet in 2003.

Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel: Clinton Would Have Gone Into Iraq, Too Broadcast veterans Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel agree that Bill Clinton would have gone into Iraq just like George Bush if he were still president in 2003.

Appearing on "Meet the Press” with Tim Russert, Brokaw and Koppel also agreed that the press shouldn't be judged too harshly for not pursuing questions about claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

DECC wants to increase food and beverage tax for it's expansion.

Let me start by saying that I am for improving the outdated Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, however I hope people do not vote in the tax increase.

The DECC is asking that there be an increase to the food and beverage sales tax of .75% this increase may not seem like a lot. The fact is that this would be yet another tax or in this case an increase of an exciting one.

This increase would come about by a special election it appears. The Duluth city council will hold a special meeting next Tuesday the meeting the council will work out the wording of the way the referendum will read.

If this tax increase was approved on a $25.00 bill at your farviot restaurant your taxes would then be $2.44, now I am sure this will not break anyone's bank but I feel as we are paying enough when we go out to eat on extra taxes. If approved our food and beverage tax would be among one to the highest at 9.75%.

The special election would be help February 28th.

I would ask that everyone votes NO in the special election.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Judge decided election.

St. Cloud elected two democrats in a special election. What a joke in the 15b house race the democrats had not challenge because Sue Ek was tossed out by a judge. There was a write in for the republicans Kay EK Sues mom but I don't care who you are you will not win as a write in.

The democrat's were scared that Sue Ek would win so they challenged her resident's in the district. I hope that the judge and St. Cloud is happy with the election that tossed the democrat's way.

"In the District 15B House race, Stearns County Commissioner Larry Haws, a Democrat, easily beat a write-in effort by Republican Kay Ek, a retired anti-abortion activist, who conceded the race. With 22 of 23 precincts reporting, Haws had 71 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Ek. "

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Jeff Reardon

I got this from Duke's blog

Former Minnesota Twins relief ace Jeff Reardon is blaming his arrest for a jewelry store robbery on medication he was taking for depression.
According to police, a man entered Hamilton Jewelers, a store in a Palm Beach Gardens mall, and gave an employee a note saying he had a gun and wanted money. The man fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
Reardon was arrested at a nearby restaurant and police said they recovered the stolen money. He was charged with armed robbery.
Reardon did not have a gun and offered no resistance when he was handcuffed, said Lt. David O'Neill
"He said it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry,"O'Neill said.
Reardon's baseball career lasted 16 seasons. He played for the Expos, the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees.
Over his career, Reardon was 73-77 with 367 saves and a 3.16 ERA.
His lawyer, Mitchell Beers said the death of Reardon's 20-year old son of a drug overdose in February, 2004, was painful for for him and he was taking medication for depression.
Beers said that Reardon also underwent a heart angioplasty last week and has been taking medication for that.

I was saddened to here this news. Reardon was a great person and I hope that his illness gets taken care of. If Reardon did in fact do this I hope he takes the punishment and does not use the mental illness defense. It appears that he is going to use that as his defense.

His kid killed him self last year and sense then it is my understanding that Jeff Reardon has really struggled with some issues.

The picture in fact looks nothing like the man I remember.

Powell says it is eavesdropping is ok.

This is from News max

Here again is some one many people on both sides of aisl respect I wonder what people have to say about what Powell said on ABC.

Colin Powell Says Eavesdropping OK to Stop Terror
document.Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday supported government eavesdropping to prevent terrorism but said a major controversy over presidential powers could have been avoided by obtaining court warrants.
Powell said that when he was in the Cabinet, he was not told that President Bush authorized a warrantless National Security Agency surveillance operation after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Powell said he sees "absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions" to protect the nation.

We are just fine thanks Hudelson.

Former school board members rant in today's paper. Thanks for your thoughts, but we are just fine. I hate these wack jobs, and we live in an area filled with them.

For a better 2006
What sad times in which we live.
We have a president who apparently thinks he is above the law. I refer to torture, detention, and secret surveillance ("Rice's rendition of terrorism policy is less than revealing," Dec. 6).
We have a governor who plays with words -- fees versus taxes on cigarettes -- and jeopardizes education funding, (" 'Tax' or 'fee' doesn't matter when it all goes up in smoke," Dec. 22) and who orders only half a study to support his predetermined position ("Pawlenty's immigration stance stirs debate," Dec. 16). Do immigrants really drain the state's economic resources? We will never know, because the governor refused to research how much said residents contribute. This latter posturing against immigrants suggests a racist attitude, given which groups make up the immigrants to Minnesota.
We have a Republican Party that claims St. Cloud residents are being deprived of their right to choose among candidates, when in fact the Republican who filed for office doesn't even live in the area ("Eks (mom and daughter) won't mark spot on ballot," Dec. 21). Deadlines and laws are put in place for good reason, but given the example from up high, is it any wonder some would think the rules don't apply to them?
And closer to home, does anyone else wonder why the School Board has appointed, among the three student reps to the board, two students who apparently are relatives of sitting members? But then, should we be surprised, given the past votes that reflect personal privilege rather than the good of all students?
Let's hope 2006 is a better year.

My rant of the day.

Why does wal-mart always get picked on by people. I shop there affine and will continue too, I also however shop at many locally owned stores.

You can tell me that wal-mart pays less, has bad public relations, and poor work environments. This is all hogwash I know many people that do or have worked at wal-mart and they love or loved it. They would tell me all the time how good it is. Yes there are of course people that hated working there but you will find that anywhere. Many that have and continue to work at wal-mart are well aware of what computerizes pay and there policies about other work issues. They choice to stay at wal-mart.

You can also try to tell me that the company buys from places that buy from low paying distubuters. This may be true but this is how they have low prices. Lew Latto used wal-mart today as an example saying sure you may save 25 cents on something but you will not get the service. Fist off the prices at wal-mart on advanges are a lot more the 25 cents less and I have never had poor customers service at wal-mart.

Wal-mart to me a great place to shop and yes I am all for the local stores as well. As far as big discount stores goes wal-mart beats them all, k-mart, target and what ever else may be out there.

One more question why do you not hear these bad things about sams club?

Howie Hanson Comments on the KDAL.

Howie Hanson made a comments about Gary Doty needing to talk about and answer questions about the health care problem the city is in. Yes former Mayor Doty knew about the city's problem and did not bother to do anything about it. Yes he should have tried to tackle the problem. Anyone that knows me knows I am not a Doty supporter but he is no longer in office and I do not believe he know needs to answer any questions about this. He should have dealt with it when he was in office but he for some reason did not.

I hope that Howie Hanson realizes this started under Mayor Fedo and he would ask that Fedo answers questions as well. Here again I was not a support of Fedo either but he should not have to answer questions about now.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Good for these kids!!!

Good for these Superior high school kids. The pledge should be said in every school in every city.

Republican students count bringing the Pledge of Allegiance back to Superior High School as one of their first victories
aving a conservative perspective in a community that has historically favored a more liberal viewpoint isn't easy.
But a small group of students at Superior High School wants to change that.
Republican students are working to find their voice and make a difference in the Democrat-dominated community, starting at the high school.
"It's easier to get things done when you're in a group, and there are people to support you and back you up," said Haley Ross, a member of the recently formed Teen Age Republicans at Superior High School.
The students already are leaving their mark.
One of the first successes the fledgling group can claim is restoring recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the high school.
"Basically, they just approached me about having the pledge recited during the school day," principal Kent Bergum said. He said Wisconsin law had changed from giving students in kindergarten through eighth grade the option of reciting the pledge to requiring that students in kindergarten through 12th grade recite it daily.
Bergum said he discussed potential problems with the students and asked if they would be willing to help promote the change.
"They said, 'Yeah,' they'd like to do that," Bergum said. "They actually volunteered to recite the pledge every morning."
Every morning about 9:20 a.m., students from Teen Age Republicans head to the school's main office and lead the school, over the public address system, in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
"It's amazing what just a few kids can do to change things at our school," said Sarah Hunter, vice chairwoman of Teen Age Republicans.
"We started with the pledge because there is a state law that it is mandatory," said Nick Feller, co-chairman and one of the group's founding members. He said the group is developing goals, including letting President Bush know that students are working to spread conservative values.
A push for the organization started last year when teacher Craig Rosand, vice chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, was teaching a law class. Rosand said he was teaching students about equal access to education.
Under the law, students can develop a student organization to suit their educational needs as long as it has a goal and doesn't merely oppose other student organizations or clubs.
The lesson interested Feller, who sought help from Hunter and Lauren Massengill to get the ball rolling. Last year, about six students were involved in the organization, Feller said. This year about 20 students are participating.
"I don't know what they're going to learn from it, except perhaps that their opinion matters, the importance of group decisions and the democratic process, and that it's important to be active and involved," Rosand said.
Teen Age Republicans is a national organization with chapters in 31 states, including Wisconsin and Minnesota.
"I think it's important here because people can get together and voice their opinions and ideals and change things that they think may not be right," member Brittney Lugenbeel said.
"I think it just shows that us kids in high school, no matter if you're a sophomore or senior, we are tomorrow," she said. "With the Pledge of Allegiance, we changed it. I never thought in a million years that a small percentage of people could change something that big."

Source Duluth news tribune,

Student housing

This appread in the U.M.D. statesman( current issue).

My question is why then do some councilors such as Gilber and others want to herd the collage students downtown? Students do and should have the right to live any were in town.

"Greg Gilbert, City Councilor for UMD’s District 10, said that there is plenty of room in the Duluth community for students.
“There is more than enough room for students that compliment the neighborhood and work with their landlords,” said Gilbert.
He said he has noticed a lot more “For Rent” signs around the neighborhood than in previous years."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Congressmen that hate Christmas.

Ok on last post, here it is from newsmax,

22 Congressmen Hate Christmas
This year's "War for Christmas" – keeping "Christ" in the holiday has apparently been won. And, like many "wars," there has even been a Congressional resolution in support of keeping Christmas alive and well.
On December 15 the House of Representatives passed a resolution "protecting the symbols and traditions of Christmas" by an overwhelming 401-22 vote.
Representative JoAnn Davis (R-VA), the resolution's sponsor, said the resolution was necessary to counter "political correctness run amok."
"No one," she said, "should feel like they have done something wrong by wishing someone a Merry Christmas."
Twenty-two Democrats played Scrooge and disagreed.
Representative Robert Scott (D-VA) said Republicans were more concerned with the symbolism rather than the substance of Christmas – referring to Republican passage of a bill to slow the rate of growth in federal entitlement programs.
Story Continues Below

Davis lodged a preemptive response to critics who might question the constitutionality of her resolution.
"Celebrating Christmas is not a violation of separation of church and state," she said. "The Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialogue."
The text of the resolution read as follows:
Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and
Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives –
(1) Recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas; (2) Strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and (3) Expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas.
Men: Attract Women Now
U.S. Comptroller: Financial Collapse Looming
The Perfect Christmas Gift For Republicans
Christians Are Still Suffering For Their Faith! Find Out More!
As the Christmas season draws to a close, we thought we would share the names of the 22 Congressman who voted against the pro-Christmas resolution:
Congressman Party-State District
Ackerman D-NY 5th
Blumenauer D-OR 3rd
Capps D-CA 23rd
Cleaver D-MO 5th
DeGette D-CO 1st
Harman D-CA 36th
Hastings D-FL 23rd
Honda D-CA 15th
Lee D-CA 9th
Lewis D-GA 5th
McDermott D-WA 7th
Miller, George D-CA 7th
Moore D-WI 4th
Moran D-VA 8th
Payne D-NJ 10th
Rush D-IL 1st
Schakowsky D-IL 9th
Scott D-VA 3rd
Stark D-CA 13th
Wasserman Schultz D-FL 20th
Wexler D-FL 19th
Woolsey D-CA 6th

Coleman on drilling in Alaska.

Ok one more post. I found this on MN Democrats exposed blog and thought it was interesting,

This is one of the few items I disagree with senator Coleman on. I think we need to be drilling in Alaska at the anwr site.

The lies:"'Sen. Coleman broke his promise and caved to Republican Party leaders,' said State Chairman Brian Melendez. 'He seemed to have conviction about the sanctity of ANWR, right up until the chips were down.'" Source: Associated Press, December 22, 2005The facts:Norm Coleman has voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) every time it has come up and he will continue to vote against it.Had there been a vote on drilling in ANWR, Coleman would have voted against it. He even stated he would have voted against the Defense Appropriations Bill because drilling in ANWR had been included in the bill.Coleman voted for cloture on the Defense Appropriations Bill, which simply meant that debate would end on the bill and it would go to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. Coleman later voted to strip the ANWR provision from the Defense Approptiations Bill."'I'm pleased I had a chance to cast a vote to strip ANWR,' Coleman said in an interview late Wednesday night. 'And I'm pleased we were able to pass a defense bill without ANWR.'" Source: Associated Press, December 22, 2005

Coleman on drilling in Alaska.

Ok one more post. I found this on MN Democrats exposed blog and thought it was interesting.

This is one of the few items I disagree with senator Coleman on. I think we need to be drilling in Alaska at the anwr site.

The lies:"'Sen. Coleman broke his promise and caved to Republican Party leaders,' said State Chairman Brian Melendez. 'He seemed to have conviction about the sanctity of ANWR, right up until the chips were down.'" Source: Associated Press, December 22, 2005The facts:Norm Coleman has voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) every time it has come up and he will continue to vote against it.Had there been a vote on drilling in ANWR, Coleman would have voted against it. He even stated he would have voted against the Defense Appropriations Bill because drilling in ANWR had been included in the bill.Coleman voted for cloture on the Defense Appropriations Bill, which simply meant that debate would end on the bill and it would go to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. Coleman later voted to strip the ANWR provision from the Defense Approptiations Bill."'I'm pleased I had a chance to cast a vote to strip ANWR,' Coleman said in an interview late Wednesday night. 'And I'm pleased we were able to pass a defense bill without ANWR.'" Source: Associated Press, December 22, 2005

Tony Dungy's son dead at the age of 18

I was deeply saddened when I hurt the news that Tony Dungy's son died yesterday at the age of 18.

Many of you know that Tony Dungy is a big name in Minnesota sports he was a coach for both the Minnesota Gophers and Minnesota Vikings. I believe he also played ball for the gophers.

I had the chance to meet Tony Dungy a couple of times and what a great person he is, he loves his family more then anything and this news has to hart on him.

When I first heard the news yesterday morning they did not know much but now I guess it appears that James Dungy committed suicide. This is going to be especially hard on Tony. I would not be surprised to see him coach in the playoffs and then retire as a coach.

My hart goes out to the Dungy family. This is suppose be a joyful time of year it is now a hardship for this great family.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just for the record

I reserve the right to delete any message that I post. I also reserve the right to delete any message left by another person. There does not have be any notice or response on my behalf given.

Superior police lost.

Superior police puzzled by series of thefts. This makes no sense to me the police say it was a short time that the thefts happened however the first call came in at 3 a.m. and it went tell 7 a.m. that is four hours that is not a short amount of time. Why did the police not have cops out in every business district there was, or heck even in the area it happened because the paper reported today that many of them were close to gether. This seems fishy to me I just don't know how the guy or guys were not caught.

Several Superior businesses and residences were burglarized early Wednesday, and there were several more attempted break-ins, according to Superior police.
No arrests have been made, and police couldn't specify how many suspects might be involved in the incidents, which could number more than 13.
Police did not release a description of any suspects.
Superior Police Capt. Chad La Lor said cash and other items were stolen, but he wouldn't specify amounts because of the ongoing investigation. He said Christmas presents were taken from one of the homes.
The path of the burglaries is not yet known, but many businesses were located near one another. Four businesses on the 5700 and 5800 blocks of Tower Avenue were targeted, including Jack's Fast Foods, J-n-J's Bakery Catering Cafe, Carlson's Corner Cafe and Thatcher's Auto Center.

Read the whole article at

Merry Christmas

Audit this Mayor Bergson.

Mayor Bergson gets it wrong again. Why are you getting an audit we already know that the health care cost is at 280 million and it is on the rise as we speak. This issue needs to start getting dealt with now. We can not wait any longer.

The audit was asked by the unions. Remember I have asked many times for the unions not to interfere with task force recommendations. They of course don't care if this gets fixed or not and they are using a pro-union Mayor to prove it.

As I said before these reconditions are great and most citizens like and the council agreed to them as well. Even union heads were at the council meeting and said this was a great plan but it was just a joke and the unions did not want to be the only ones publicly saying bad things about it at the council meeting.

Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson is calling for an independent audit of the city's self-insurance funds, saying the review is needed before he can embrace recommendations to eliminate $280 million in unfunded retiree health-care costs.
Bergson said his call for an outside review was prompted by charges from a City Council-appointed task force that the insurance fund has been mismanaged, neglected or abused for decades.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I will always take the easy way out.

Mayor Bergson takes the easy way out. I think many of use knew he would do this. Now Mayor Bergson does not even have go to court.

Bergson plea, fine payment close drunken-driving case
The drunken-driving case against Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson is resolved, Washburn County District Attorney J. Michael Bitney announced Tuesday.
Bergson and his attorney, Toby Marcovich of Superior, entered a plea of no contest and paid a $784 fine, Bitney said in a letter to the media.
According to the agreement, Bergson will undergo an alcohol assessment and follow through with treatment recommendations from the counselor. He'll attend a victims impact panel where he'll listen to the stories of people who've lost loved ones or suffered other losses at the hands of drunken drivers. And he'll forfeit his driving privileges for six months in Minnesota and in Wisconsin.
"This is the standard disposition for an offense of this type," Bitney wrote. "No preferential treatment was given in the disposition of this traffic case in Washburn County."
Bergson crashed his car the evening of Dec. 9 near Spooner, Wis. He suffered a concussion, bruises and cuts to his face. A preliminary breath test by police indicated his blood-alcohol level was 0.161 percent, more than two times the legal driving limit in Wisconsin.
Bergson announced at a news conference Thursday he had mailed in the signed plea agreement. Bitney's letter confirmed the action.

Merry Christmas

Banning books

The School rejects banning a book. Good for them I am not affine for banning books. The board also had some other notable activities from last night they are listed below.

Board rejects ban of sexually explicit books
EDUCATION:Instead of a ban, the School Board moves toward adopting guidelines for choosing instructional materials.
Some parents, students and teachers in the Duluth school district are concerned about the possibility of banning the use of sexually explicit materials.
District officials have been looking at revising policies related to the selection of instructional materials since early in the school year, when a family complained about a book assignment. The family recommended amending the district's policy to ban the use of sexually explicit books, said Rex Hein, director of curriculum, assessment and staff development for the district.
Although the recommendation was considered, the district is considering using the Minnesota School Board Association's policy, which was approved for its first reading at Tuesday night's School Board meeting. All members voted in favor except Bevan Schraw, who thought the subject needed further review and discussion.
According to district informa- tion, the new policy would require staff members to select materials that:
• support the goals and objectives of the education programs;
• consider the needs, age and maturity of students;
• foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and varied opinion;
• fit with the constraints of the school district budget;
• and are in the English language, though another language may be used pursuant to Minnesota statute.
Teachers, parents and students voiced their support for the policy Tuesday and spoke to the board about their concerns.
Chloe Strand, a 15-year-old ninth-grade student at East High School, told the board that students need challenging and diverse materials to get them to think critically and prepare for the real world.
Jill Lofald, an English teacher at Denfeld, said she spoke for her fellow teachers when endorsing the new policy.
The speakers talked about academic freedoms, and one used Hitler's regime to illustrate the negative aspects of censorship. Board member Tim Grover thought some of the comments were over-the-top and unfairly attacked the family that brought the concern to the board.
"Tonight, I think we have reached a new low with the name of Hitler being brought up," Grover said.

The board also approved for second reading a related policy that included guidelines for parents who would like to request alternative resources. Grover and Schraw voted against the policy, which they said required further review.
The board also:
• recognized departing member Schraw's achievements and gave him a plaque;
• approved a resolution allowing student advisers to the School Board. Three students -- Michael Wasson of East High School, Melanie Schraw of Denfeld High School and Joe Fisketti of Central High School -- have been selected and will begin early next month. The students will not be allowed to vote or attend closed meetings;
• approved a 7.9 percent property tax levy increase.
• heard information on a districtwide facilities plan.

Merry Christmas

Set back for Pawlenty and the state.

I am sure I will get some flack for this. I hope this is not over turned, yes I am fully aware that this would mean our taxes would more then likely go up. As I work in a business effected by Governors Pawleent (fee) tax on cigarettes I was not for it in the first place.

There always seem to be an attack on cigarettes and alcohol when it comes to budget time. To me this is not right, I am not a smoker and don't drink much either however this attack does no good to those company's that make these products they just increase the price of there products and the consumers of these items are the losers. Yes I know smoking is not good for you, but you will never stop those that want to smoke from doing it.

I know that there was a lot of talk of this (fee) tax being illegal in the first place. We will now see what the courts say as it goes father.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and lawmakers are looking at a $400 million hole in the state's budget after a new 75-cents-a-pack "health impact fee" on cigarettes was declared illegal and unconstitutional by a judge Tuesday.
Ramsey County District Judge Michael Fetsch said the fee, which some legislators called an ill-disguised tax, violates terms of a multibillion-dollar court settlement the state and three tobacco companies struck in 1998.
"The state is bound, like any other party, to the contracts to which it freely and knowingly enters," Fetsch said of the court settlement.
For smokers, it was unclear whether the ruling would ever result in a decrease in the cost of cigarettes. Pawlenty said he will seek to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

read the whole story at

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Great commentary on drunk driving and city resolution.

This came from almost on the range blog,

I agree for the most part, however I am one that thinks this mayor needs to go. I am in favor of a recall or for our mayor to resign.

Is it just me or do the rest of you feel like the city needs to do something official to show it's disapproval of Mayor Bergson's drunk driving incident? I don't advocate a recall effort. I believe that such an action would be detrimental to the city, and would face a very real possibility of failing.I believe that Duluthians should expect it's city council to censor the mayor. I didn't write anything about it because I was sure at least one city councilor would put forward a resolution condemning Herb's actions, but nothing has come forward so I'll make my case for it here.This issue has been featured in the media all across Minnesota and Wisconsin, and mentioned in the USA Today. It has all been bad publicity for our part of the state (people in the Twin Cities already think everyone who lives up here is a drunk), and I feel the city should do something to officially show it's disapproval. A City Council resolution is exactly what's called for. I hope it gets introduced at the next council meeting and is unanimously approved.The actual resolution/censure would obviously be longer, but I'd like it to include the following language:Be it resolved that the City of Duluth recognizes that alcohol is a drug, and it is a criminal action for anyone to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. This council understands that anyone choosing to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated creates a real threat to the safety of both themselves and to others. Be it further resolved that because Mayor Herb Bergson drank enough alcohol to become extremely intoxicated and made the choice to drive his vehicle thereby creating a real danger to the public safety this council censors him with the strongest possible language

Monday, December 19, 2005

McCain on the President useing NSA

I wonder what you on the left think about McCains comments on this one. I know many of you respect McCain.

Just for the record I would not support him for President, regardless what the Lew Latto's of the world say. Oh wait Lew is not really a republican.

John McCain: Bush Right to Use NSA
Sen. John McCain disappointed Democrats on Capitol Hill on Sunday by defending the Bush administration's decision to use the National Security Agency to monitor a limited number of domestic phone calls in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Saying that Sept. 11 "changed everything," McCain told ABC's "This Week": "The president, I think, has the right to do this."
"We all know that since Sept. 11 we have new challenges with enemies that exist within the United States of America - so the equation has changed."
McCain said that while the administration needs to explain why it didn't first seek approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, he suggested that the Patriot Act might have superseded the 1978 FISA Act, allowing "additional powers for the president."

Merry Christmas

Resolution on health care problem.

Here is President Ness resolution for tonight's meeting. The resolution is in regards to the task force on the retiree health care in Duluth.

The city of Duluth finds as follows:
(a) By resolution, the post employment health care benefits task force was appointed by the Duluth City Council to report findings and recommendations to the city regarding the impending financial problems and challenges related to delivery of retiree health care benefits;
(b) The task force presented a complete and comprehensive plan for solving the problem to the council on December 12, 2005;
(c) Task force members Don Bye, David Lindstrom, John Nys, Allan Winters, and task force chair Arend Sandbulte have collectively dedicated over 1,000 hours of volunteer time to this report;
(d) The Duluth City Council recognizes and appreciates the experience, dedication, knowledge and expertise of the task force members and their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the city and its citizens;
(e) According to the most recent actuarial valuation, the current unfunded liability facing the city is about $280 million dollars and, if responsible corrective action is not taken, this number is expected to grow to over $300 million by January 1, 2007.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council hereby accepts and endorses the post employment health care benefits task force report as presented on December 12, 2005.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council requests that the mayor and his administration also endorse the report and work closely with the council to implement its recommendations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council intends to implement the task forceÂ’s recommendations by December 31, 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is the councilÂ’s expectation that labor contracts containing provisions that comply with the task force recommendations will be brought to the council no later than December 1, 2006, for approval.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council does not intend to approve any labor contract that does not contain provisions that comply with the recommendations put forward by the task force.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council requests that the administration secure agreements from retired employees to accept coverage under health care plans that are now in effect for active employees and present such agreements to the council for approval by December 1, 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council requests that the administration prepare monthly progress reports that addresses each task force recommendation for each month of 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council asks for the good faith, cooperation and shared sacrifice from all interested parties in order to address this issue.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council views past, present and future employees of the city of Duluth as partners in solving the most pressing local financial issue of our time; we recognize the significant personal sacrifices being called for and we greatly appreciate any efforts to help solve this problem; and in this spirit, the council anticipates a strong and positive working relationship with all parties to quickly and decisively take action to create a sustainable benefit plan for years to come.

Merry Christmas

President Bush on Iraq.

This is from the Duluth news tribune today.
Bush offers more realistic view of war
WASHINGTON - The last time President Bush delivered a prime-time address from the Oval Office was the night he launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, back when he expected a decisive victory and gratitude from a liberated people. Thirty-three months and more than 2,100 U.S. fatalities later, Bush on Sunday was still predicting victory -- but sounding a more subdued note.
As he stared again into the cameras from behind the 125-year-old presidential desk named Resolute, Bush this time found himself arguing with those who "conclude that the war is lost." The president back on national television was, by many accounts, one chastened by the travails on the battlefield abroad and the political freefall at home since the first Special Forces crossed into the Iraqi desert.
"This work has been especially difficult in Iraq, more difficult than we expected," Bush acknowledged. "Reconstruction efforts and the training of Iraqi security forces started more slowly than we hoped. We continue to see violence and suffering, caused by an enemy that is determined and brutal, unconstrained by conscience or the rules of war."
For a president traditionally resistant to acknowledging any miscues, such a concession amounts to a stark political change of course. As more of the country abandons him on Iraq, Bush has embarked on a campaign to bring it back into the fold with a more realistic assessment of mistakes and of challenges ahead. Sunday night's national address from the Oval Office ended a weeks-long series of speeches imploring the American people to stand behind him again, to swallow their skepticism and be optimistic about last week's Iraqi election, to believe a greater good will come from all the sacrifice.
He addressed opponents of the war in a far more direct and less-confrontational manner, acknowledging "this war is controversial" and offering respect to those who disagree with his policies. "I have heard your disagreement and I know how deeply it is felt," he said. He added, "We will continue to listen to honest criticism and make every change that will help us complete the mission." He drew a distinction "between honest critics who recognize what is wrong and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right."
The fresh approach played out over the past few weeks has yielded benefits in some quarters in Washington and may have helped fuel a modest uptick in Bush's sagging poll ratings. "He's taken a step back, he's looked at his hole card," Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., who met with Bush last week, said in an interview before the speech. "He's grown as a leader."
It might be too late to win back many who have lost faith. "When you tell a soldier to go take that hill, you come up with your mission and you tell them what you need to do to accomplish that mission, and you need to tell them clearly when that mission is ended," Army Maj. Tammy Duckworth, who was disabled in Iraq and plans to run for Congress as a Democrat, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "Those decisions should have been made before we even sent troops over there. And they weren't -- they were not doing that."
While many opposed Bush even as he began the war, the political climate has changed so drastically since then that the president's whole approach to the struggle against terrorism has come under fire. Congressional critics have questioned secret overseas CIA prisons, moved to bar cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners, blocked for the moment reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act that empowered law enforcement agencies and now threaten to hold hearings into Bush's order authorizing surveillance of Americans without warrants.
Just hours before Sunday night's presidential speech, a key Senate Republican challenged Bush's surveillance program and suggested it may be illegal. "We can't become an outcome-based democracy," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Even in a time of war, you have to follow the process because that's what a democracy is all about."
If Bush and his team are giving critics some due on Iraq, they remain defiant on the domestic spying program.
"What I'm concerned about... is that as we get farther and farther from 9/11... we seem to have people less and less committed to doing everything that's necessary to defend the country," Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC's "Nightline" during Sunday's trip to Iraq. "Somehow I think a lot of people have lost their sense of urgency out there. That's hard for me to do or for the president to do."

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Donald says no to Minnesota Gal.

I don't know if anyone watches the show or not. I do not but here is a story from the star tribune about the apprentice from last night.

'Apprentice' hopeful slammed by double-snub
Earth to Randal: all that education and still no clue.
The newest "Apprentice" on the popular NBC show of the same name was crowned Thursday night -- he's a bright entrepreneur named Randal Pinkett -- but not before he took an enormous swipe at Rebecca Jarvis, a tough girl from northeast Minneapolis.
The show pits a group of young, successful people against each other in a series of competitions overseen by billionaire businessman Donald Trump.
Still in the running for a job at Trump's corporation Thursday night were Pinkett and Jarvis, a 1999 graduate of St. Paul Academy who grew up in the St. Anthony West neighborhood in Minneapolis.
The 23-year-old University of Chicago graduate also was named one of "20 Teens Who Will Change the World" in 2000 by Teen People.
But she was an underdog because Pinkett, 34, has already run a multimillion-dollar consulting firm and is a Rhodes Scholar with degrees from MIT and Oxford.
Jarvis, who broke her ankle partway through the show playing hockey but continued to compete, won the admiration of Trump for her toughness and loyalty.
Trump's choice: Pinkett, but with a caveat.
Should he hire Jarvis as well? the victor was asked.
No way, Pinkett replied. "It's called 'The Apprentice," not 'The Apprenti,' " said Pinkett. Trump let it end there, and Jarvis lost.
The display left Jarvis' neighborhood pals, many of whom were gathered around a big-screen television at a neighborhood bar in northeast Minneapolis, stunned.
"I thought that Randall had a little more class," said Mike Rainville, a family friend, "but he's going to have to live with that the rest of his life."
Her friends plan to hold a party for Jarvis when she returns to Minneapolis with her family, including parents James Jarvis and Gail Marks Jarvis.
"She's the pride of Minneapolis," Rainville said.
As Jarvis' profile climbs, the show itself is in a slump. The once red-hot series finished 24th in the Nielsen ratings last week and is expected to lose its cushy Thursday night slot in the schedule next year, this after only four go-arounds

Mayor speech

Here is the mayors lies in his speech. I can't believe this guys believes a word he said. He starts with a lie right away by saying he only had 4 and half drinks come on Mayor Bergson. From that point you can't believe a word he says about it.

Why couldn't he just come out and tell us the truth from the beginning to end of his whole day?

Bergson left work at 2:30 p.m. Friday, he said. Contrary to reports, he did not attend a retirement party at City Hall in the afternoon before his crash and arrest.
He drank at a private residence before leaving for Eau Claire, Wis., en route to a conference in Chicago. He declined to identify whose residence, its location or the nature of the relationship.
"This is my mess," Bergson said. "We're not going to drag anyone else into it. It's not germane to the charge."
At the residence, he consumed 2 beers and two drinks of vodka and grapefruit juice, he said. He did not mix the drinks himself.
"I felt like I could drive," Bergson said. "But that's a mistake many people who drink make when they drive. They get the feeling they're capable, and they're not."
"I knew I had too much to drink when I drove," he said later while answering a question about not wanting to speak to police without his lawyer.
The mayor said he did not consume any alcohol in his car after he left the residence. Nor did he make any stops before his accident, he said.
"I was driving and suddenly the car was spinning," Bergson said. "That's all I can tell you. And then the car was stopped.... I can tell you that the car spun out of control."
Police reports said road conditions were good and relatively dry.
Bergson struck the windshield and steering wheel of his 2002 Mercury with his head and upper body. He assumes he was knocked unconscious. When he got out of his vehicle, he saw people around, he said, and could hear sirens and the sound of his car's engine revving.
Bergson disputed police reports that he was uncooperative, resisted medical help and wanted to leave the scene.
"My head hit the windshield at 65 mph. I didn't know I was bleeding. I didn't know I was hurt. I wouldn't call it uncooperative," he said. "As far as not answering questions at the jail... you should have a lawyer present. Anyone should, guilty or innocent."
He said he doesn't recall asking passing motorists not to call authorities, as police reports indicated.
"I still don't remember everything. My doctor tells me I probably won't," Bergson said. "I don't know who would have said I was trying to leave the scene. I'm not going to say it wasn't right because I can't remember. But that car wasn't going anywhere."
Bergson questioned a report by a state trooper that he probably wasn't wearing his seat belt. He's a regular seat belt-user, he said.
"The air bag didn't work and I assume the seat belt didn't work," he said.
The mayor said he has no memory of being led to an ambulance or of riding in the ambulance to the hospital in Spooner. He recalls some of his examination at the hospital, he said, and most of his arrest at the Washburn County Jail.
He consented to a blood test, he said. Police reports indicated the blood test had to be administered against his wishes at the order of the Washburn County district attorney.
"I remember feeling very humiliated, very ashamed and stripped of my dignity," Bergson said of his arrest. "I can't explain it all. It was a bad choice."
Several hours after police released Bergson to his wife, he typed an e-mail to inform acquaintances, reporters and others about what had happened.
"I felt like an idiot," he said when asked why he contacted the media. "I betrayed family and friends and supporters. I needed them to know I was going to be upfront."
Bergson left three days before the conference in Chicago because he wanted to "get away," he said. His intent was to find a hotel room in Eau Claire on Friday night and then arrive in Chicago by Saturday evening. He planned to pay out of his own pocket for the rooms and other expenses.
"Sometimes it's good to get away," Bergson said. "Sometimes it's good to have an evening when the phone doesn't ring and when you don't have a meeting to go to.
"This job, you live in a fishbowl. Anything you do is scrutinized," he said. "I'm not going to blame what happened on Friday on stress. Stress did not turn the key. Stress didn't decide to go to Eau Claire instead of staying in town. Herb did, and Herb is sorry.
"Being tired (also) may have played a factor. But being tired didn't turn the key" either, he said.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Steve Kelly I will do anything for left wing vote.

Kelly's staff trying hard to show he is not a moderate. I understand now why his staff put the sings in his office window next to the recruiting center for the Army. This is because he needs the support of those who do not like President Bush and contunie to harp that our millitary needs to come home now.

Mr. Kelly you show no spin by allowing this. You are doing it for politcal gain only and you should take the numbers down. Of course you will not.

Commentary by RANDY WANKE
The antiwar political activists who dominate the endorsement process at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party have a tendency not to favor moderates.
By some counts, or at least by some standards, DFL gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Steve Kelley is "perceived" as being moderate.
That may be why he allowed the posting of a sign, which lists the number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq, in his Duluth campaign office window right next to the U.S. Army recruiting office. Kelley is keeping the sign up despite requests from local servicemen to take it down.
Kelley appears to be trying to shed his "moderate" image by making a quick dash to the antiwar left. In doing so, he is showing himself to be a political opportunist who is willing to exploit and cheapen the sacrifice of our soldiers. And worst of all, he has done so in a manner that is tantamount to a daily slap in the face of those who bravely serve and are looking to serve our nation.
Here is some unsolicited political advice for the senator: While it may gain you antiwar supporters you seek for your party's endorsement, when the general election rolls around, most Minnesotans won't take too kindly to insulting our service men and women for political gain.
Sen. Kelley may want to listen to the members of the military at the recruiting office, who are forced to read the sign every day when they go to work in service of their country. Perhaps he should listen to Army Staff Sgt. Gary Capan, who called the sign "ridiculous" and said that it "makes it so troops are just a number."
So far, he does not appear willing to take advice from those he claims to be trying to help. A Kelley spokeswoman offered this weak defense of Kelley's actions: "He supports making sure everyone has accurate information" about the Iraq war.
If Sen. Kelley truly "supports making sure everyone has accurate information" about the Iraq war, perhaps he should post some other numbers and information in his campaign office window to reflect the progress in Iraq, which has been made possible by the sacrifice of American soldiers. For example:
• Saddam Hussein, a brutal dictator who butchered countless people, is no longer in power. (According to a 2003 New York Times article, "Accounts collected by Western human rights groups from Iraqi emigres and defectors have suggested that the number of those who have 'disappeared' into the hands of the secret police, never to be heard from again, could be 200,000." The number of lives lost at the brutal hands of Hussein probably are much larger and the true human cost of his rule may never be fully known.)
• In October's constitutional referendum election, more than 9 million Iraqis voted.
• And as U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) recently pointed out, the Iraq war is "between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al-Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern."
Or maybe Steve Kelley could simply put up a sign saying, "America thanks our servicemen and women for their service and sacrifice."
I don't expect that we will be seeing any of this information or these numbers hanging in Kelley's window soon. After all, these are not the kinds of facts that appeal to the political base Kelley is trying to court.
We all mourn the loss of those who have sacrificed their lives in this war. Yet, success and freedom in Iraq are the best monuments that we can build in their honor.
Those are far greater monuments than a politically motivated sign in a campaign office window.
Many Democrats understand that important fact. Unfortunately, in his attempts to curry favor with the antiwar faction in his party, Sen. Steve Kelley has shown himself not to be one of them.
RANDY WANKE is a political analyst from Plymouth, Minn.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CIA to buy Knight Ridder?

This is a very interesting articile in slate magizen. What do you all think. Should the goverment run a news paper business?

Sell Knight Ridder to the CIAOr, how spooks are like (and unlike) reporters.By Jack ShaferPosted Friday, Dec. 9, 2005, at 9:38 PM ET
Now that a major Knight Ridder Inc. stockholder has put the company into play, I suggest the Central Intelligence Agency purchase the 32-newspaper chain. Now, I anticipate the predictable protests from readers that a press controlled or owned by the government is but a propaganda organ, and the objections of Knight Ridder foreign correspondents made skittish by the prospect of becoming the targets of kidnappers and assassins. But the acquisition complements the Open Source Center founded last month to "track and manage unclassified data" from CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. The new operation will gather and analyze such unclassified information as Web sites, blogs, mosque sermons, databases, and even T-shirt slogans. The center will absorb the CIA's existing open-source holding, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, set up in the 1940s to translate foreign publications and broadcasts for the agency.
Knight Ridder employees don't have that much to fear. The company has a stellar reputation because—unlike the CIA—it has never toppled a foreign government, attempted to poison a foreign leader, or doped an unsuspecting U.S. citizen with LSD to see how he would react. As long as the agency keeps its newspaper operations separate from its clandestine work, we shouldn't expect to lose more than five or six reporters to hostile forces each year. It sounds bad, but under current market conditions, it's a better deal than a buyout., to read the whole story.

Check this link out.

Thanks to subdude for making me aware of this. This is a great place to see how much alcohol one can consume before being legally drunk.

House approves partiot act.

It seems that the house had no problem with the patriot act in a vote today. The vote was 251-174. This is part of the stroy.

WASHINGTON - The House easily approved renewing a modified USA Patriot Act on Wednesday, but with the bill facing a Senate filibuster, its Republican leader began talks with the White House on instead extending the current law unchanged for a year.
The House voted 251-174 to approve a House-Senate compromise that would modify and make permanent most of the Patriot Act’s 16 expiring provisions. But a group of Republican and Democratic senators is lobbying for more time to add additional safeguards on the law.
President Bush urged against any delay in Senate action. “The Patriot Act is essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again,” he said in a statement. “In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment.”

Read the whole story on

Open question

Ok so I am sick of people saying all I do is toe the line of the republican party. The thing is if it is what I believe, or at least to the most part what is wrong with that. It seems to me that (you) the democrats do the same thing, you hear something from some one you agree with and then repeat it. Is that not the same thing?

So here it is, what is the deal with the double standard? Feel free to comment on any other questions in this post as well.

More from the Star Trib.

Here is yet another great articale by the star tribune. Why can't the D.N.T. report like this?

DULUTH -- Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson, whose reputation and leadership ability were tarnished by a drunken-driving arrest last weekend, is compounding the damage by refusing to explain the incident, cloistering himself at home and missing important city meetings, officials and pundits said Tuesday.
"I'm not going to advocate his resignation," said City Council Member Jim Stauber, a conservative counterbalance to the liberal DFL-supported mayor. "We all make mistakes. But he's gotta come clean if he wants to regain public confidence."
Stauber said the mayor must either admit to a drinking problem and deal with it or come back to work and lead the city.
Stauber's comments, versions of which were echoing in blogs and coffee shops all over Duluth on Tuesday, came after a crucial City Council meeting Monday night from which Bergson, who was home nursing cuts and bruises, was absent.
The meeting dealt with what Council President Donny Ness called "the biggest issue to face Duluth in decades" -- the presentation of a task force's solutions to a projected $280 million debt on retiree health care, which officials say could bankrupt the city within years if not headed off by aggressive budgeting.
Bergson had consistently pushed the issue to the top of the city's agenda and was featured Sunday in a New York Times story on the nation's problem with retirees and health care.
Conversely, Minnesota newspapers Sunday were focused on his arrest in Wisconsin after he totaled a car Friday evening in a single-vehicle accident while traveling to Chicago on city business.
Duluthians are scratching their heads over the amount of alcohol involved -- Bergson's blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.161 percent, or twice Wisconsin's legal driving limit -- as well as the time of the accident, 6:25 p.m., and the fact that Bergson was headed to Chicago three days before a two-hour conference he was to attend.
They're also troubled by police reports that say Bergson -- a former police officer and mayor of Superior, Wis. -- asked others to refrain from calling the police and instead help him push his car free from a guardrail.
In a scathing editorial Tuesday, the Duluth News Tribune said the jail booking photo of Bergson's bleary and battered face was the "worst mug shot since Glenn Campbell['s]."
"If ever there was an illustration," the editorial said, "of just how far, and how quickly, needlessly foolish and irresponsible behavior can sink someone from the heights of achievement to the gutter of embarrassment, this was it."
While Bergson announced the arrest himself via e-mail, he refused to explain his behavior other than to call it an isolated, "tragic mistake" not indicative of a drinking problem.
He said in an e-mail Monday that he can't talk about specifics of the incident while the matter is pending in court, although he said he plans to plead no contest. He did not respond to e-mailed questions for this story.
Bergson's stance thus far won't easily wash with voters or colleagues in City Hall, said Prof. Craig Grau of the Political Science Department of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
"Maybe there isn't a drinking problem," Grau said. "But if that's true, he'll need to provide an alternative explanation that makes sense to people, and right now, these facts are hard for people to square."
Bergson announced through a spokesman Tuesday that he'll return to work Thursday and issue a statement. The News Tribune's editorial said that for his sake, the mayor better have a lot to say.
"Bergson can begin to undo, or at least put into some perspective, his troubles," the paper said, "by immediately coming clean on the details of the debacle before rumors and innuendo finish the job of burying him that he himself started on the road."
Larry Oakes • 1-218-727-7344

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Drunk or not drunk Mayor to make comments on Thursday.

Bergson to make a statement on Thursday when he returns to work.

Posted December 13, 2005Bergson to return to work, make statement ThursdayBY CHUCK FREDERICKNEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERDuluth Mayor Herb Bergsonwon't publicly answer questions about his car wreck and drunken-drivingconviction until at least Thursday, city communications director Jeff Papassaid.The mayor continued to recuperate at home today, Papas said, and isn'texpected back in his City Hall office until at least Thursday."When he'sback in the office, he'll have a public statement to make," Papas said. "Right

Tookie Williams executed.

California Govnor gets his way. Tookie Williams was executed late last night.

As I said before I am for the death penalty and I believe the right thing happend in this case. I don't care what Mr. Williams be after he killed four people. He started a gang that is very powerful now in most states not just California.

The whole story can be found at

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang co-founder whose case stirred a national debate about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption, was executed Tuesday morning.
Williams, 51, died at 12:35 a.m. PT after receiving a lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison, officials said. Before the execution, he was "complacent, quiet and thoughtful," Corrections Department spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

The papers view of the Mayors DUI if you care.

Our View: Bergson must come clean on details of DUI arrestMayor's personal tragedy shows perils of alcohol/driving mix, especially in holidays
Mayor Herb Bergson was supposed to have been big news Sunday, and far beyond Duluth. For its national story on the problem of health-care benefits for retired public workers, the New York Times sought him out to feature, complete with photo, prominently in its Sunday business section.
Bergson made the spread, but he also made the front page of this paper, as well as the top story on every local TV news show, with the report of his drunken driving arrest. Where the Times displayed his beaming, proud smile, the local media have made famous the worst mug shot since Glenn Campbell posed for the police in Phoenix. If ever there was an illustration of just how far, and how quickly, needlessly foolish and irresponsible behavior can sink someone from the heights of achievement to the gutter of embarrassment, this was it.
What, for Pete's sake, was he thinking - not just by the time he'd raised his blood-alcohol level to twice the legal limit, i.e., stumbling drunk, and got behind the wheel of what used to be his four-door Mercury -- but even earlier Saturday when he decided it'd be OK to pop a few, knowing he was driving solo nearly 500 miles to Chicago or, all right, Eau Claire? That no one was seriously injured or killed is pure luck, and while no drunk driving episode is acceptable, this one was hardly a candidate for pleading "c'mon, officer give me a break. I'm only going home around the corner."
That's especially true because as a former police officer and detective Bergson knows that line all too well. How could he have forgotten the consequences for those who utter those words?
His action also has done wonders to torpedo progress he had been making politically after his unceremonious firing of chief aide Mark Winson, with the New York Times story beginning to give the impression that maybe the mayor from Duluth knew what he was doing after all. Along with recent driving-under-the-influence inductees Minnesota state Rep. Tom Rukavina of Virginia, Wisconsin state Rep. Frank Boyle of Superior and Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, Bergson has helped round out a rogues' gallery of local politicians who have done damage to the reputation of the entire region, to say nothing of the Democratic Party to which they all swear allegiance.
Bergson can begin to undo, or at least put into some perspective, his troubles by immediately coming clean on the details of the debacle before rumors and innuendo finish the job of burying him that he himself started on the road. Where and how much did he drink before setting out? With whom? Why did he think he could make the trip?
If there is any good that can come out of this it will be with the complete disclosure of what goes on in the mind of one who would take so deadly a chance - knowledge that the public desperately needs to understand to end this very real danger.
Bergson can thank his stars that he is around to share this woeful story, and to vow that it never happen again.

MADD reacts to DUI

MADD responce to Mayor Bergson's DWI. This came from the the papers web site,

When it comes to drunken driving, an apology only goes so far, said Cal Haworth, founder of the St. Louis County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Now Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson needs to step to the plate and advocate against drinking and driving, Haworth said Monday, reacting to news that Bergson had been charged with and admitted to drunken driving after a crash in Wisconsin on Friday night.
"What needs to be done is for Herb to go out for the next year and talk to every high school and every college and every civic club he can get in front of - and talk about what a stupid thing it was for him to do," Haworth said. "To talk about how fortunate he was that he wasn't killed and to talk about even more how fortunate the area is that he didn't hit somebody else."
Bergson should reach out to at least 100 audiences in the coming year, said Haworth, who helped launch the St. Louis County MADD chapter after losing a son-in-law to a drunken driver in 1983.
Alcohol was blamed for 177 highway deaths in Minnesota in 2004 and 326 in Wisconsin. Minnesota's 2004 total was a 20-year low, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Dennis Smith.
First-time offenders make up the bulk of the drunken-driving charges in both states, but first-time offenders also account for most of the serious- and fatal-injury crashes. In Minnesota, one of out of every nine licensed drivers has a driving-while-intoxicated conviction on record.
Whether Bergson chooses to go on a campaign against drunk driving is a personal choice, said Kathy Swanson, the director of Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety.
Bergson's admission of his mistake and apologizing for it is an important first step that everyone charged with drunken driving needs to make to keep from re-offending, Swanson said.

Monday, December 12, 2005

More threatening notes in schools.

This is interesting. More notes in our schools I wonder if this will stop. I just hope that a shooting never happens.

Two Duluth middle school students suspended over threatening note
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Two Duluth middle school students have been
suspended after a note was found at their school that threatened a
The note was discovered at Ordean Middle School yesterday
morning. Principal Jerry Maki says the students responsible for the
note were discovered before classes ended for the day. School went
on as usual.
The threatening note was the third found in Duluth public
schools since late October. The first was discovered at East High
School in October, and the second was found at Denfeld High School
in November.
Maki says there doesn't appear to be a link between the note at
Ordean and the ones found at East and Denfeld. The authors of those
notes have not been found.

Mayor Bergson please step down!

I am asking Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson to step down as Mayor. We have been embossed by his latest actions. He was charged with what is now being reported as DWI on Friday December 9th 2005. His blood alcohol level more then twice the legal limit of .08 in Wiscion.

If you would like to help put pressure on the mayor to step down please leave a message here or email us at .

Twice the legal limit for our Mayor.

This is being reported in the Minnapolis paper.

DULUTH -- After crashing his car while drunk Friday night, Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson appeared to have been trying to leave the accident scene in Wisconsin before police arrived, authorities said Monday.
"Mr. Bergson was not at all cooperative," said Washburn County [Wis.] District Attorney J. Michael Bitney after reading the reports on the single-vehicle accident that led to Bergson's arrest for DWI. "He was trying to get the hell out of Dodge."
In an e-mail Monday, Bergson, who was home recovering from minor injuries received in the crash, denied that he tried to leave the scene or avoid prosecution. "Are you kidding?" he asked. "...Where was I going to go?"
Bergson's blood-alcohol level was more than twice Wisconsin's legal driving limit of .08, according to a preliminary breath test authorities administered at the time of his arrest. He was booked at the Washburn County Jail and later released to his wife.
Bergson, 49, a former police officer, was traveling south on U.S. Hwy. 53 in northwestern Wisconsin about 6:25 p.m. when he lost control, struck a bridge abutment and came to a stop with his vehicle hung-up on a guardrail, according to police reports. The accident left him with cuts on his forehead and a black eye.
When Spooner Police Officer DeWayne Olson arrived on the scene moments later, motorists who had stopped to help told him that Bergson had asked them not to call police, according to a report filed by Washburn County Sheriff's Sgt. David Dennis.
"Officer Olson...stated that Mr. Bergson was refusing medical attention," Dennis wrote. "Officer Olson also stated that he had talked with some of the motorists who had stopped to assist...and Mr. Bergson had asked the motorists not to call the police and requested that they help him push his vehicle off the guardrail. I observed the damage to the Bergson vehicle, and it was a total loss."
Dennis wrote that he convinced Bergson to go with ambulance attendants, who had been trying unsuccessfully to transport Bergson to a hospital. Dennis wrote that when a Wisconsin State Trooper arrived, he told him he believed Bergson was "possibly intoxicated due to my observation of his eyes, the nature of the accident scene and Mr. Bergson's request to motorists not to call the police."
Bergson responded today that, "I asked them to help me get the car off the guardrail because the car was revving and wouldn't shut off. The car was clearly totaled. Where was I going to go?"
In e-mails over the weekend to friends and some reporters, Bergson announced the arrest, called it a terrible mistake and asked for forgiveness and understanding. He said he plans to plead guilty to the drunken-driving offense - his first. He declined to say how much he had drunk and refused to say where.
He said he was traveling to a environmental conference in Chicago and had hoped to make it as far as Eau Claire, Wis., on Friday night.

Califorina has interesting people to run Govnor.

Minnesota had Govnor Ventura, but Califorina may have many interesting people run for they Govnor. Click on the link above for more info.

Top ten athletes that give back

This is according to fox sports,

I find it interesting that there is no small market teams on this list. Yet if you look at it the small market teams and the players that play for those teams are the ones that always seem to give more to there community's.

I thought the list was interesting.

1. Dikembe Mutombo, Houston Rockets
Dikembe Mutombo has made some major donations to help his native Congo. (Catherine Steenkeste / Getty Images)
Mutombo has donated an astounding $15 million to build a hospital in his native Congo. The hospital, named after Mutombo's mother, is about 75 percent complete, and the gentle giant is trying to raise another $2 million by the end of the year. He also has donated $150,000 to help underprivileged children in South Africa.
What makes Mutombo so committed to helping the poor in his native land? In many ways, he is honoring his father. "I was raised in poverty — so poor," Mutombo said. "My dad made only $37 a month. But he was so strong that he raised 10 children and taught us everything right. My father did so much for me that I want to have an impact on other people's lives."
Helping others can turn into a chain reaction, Mutombo pointed out. "Maybe you can contribute to someone else's life, and they in turn can make a difference in so many others' lives," he said. "We're here to help others help themselves."

2. Lance Armstrong
As a cancer survivor, the seven-time Tour de France winner has shown a deep commitment to help others afflicted with the disease. The Lance Armstrong Foundation spent $13.7 million last year on education, advocacy, public health and research programs related to cancer.
The foundation recently joined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address issues faced by the growing number of cancer survivors. The joint venture has a national action plan, which specifies ways the public health community can better address issues faced by cancer survivors.
The plan aims to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors, including a focus on preventing secondary cancers and recurrence of cancer; promoting appropriate management following treatment to ensure the longest possible healthy life for cancer survivors and minimizing pain, disability and psychological distress for survivors.

3. Tiger Woods
Golf's shining star has gone to great lengths to help children through the Tiger Woods Foundation, which spent $1.5 million helping kids in 2003 (the latest year for which spending figures are available).
The foundation's work includes the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a 35,000-square-foot, education facility scheduled to open in Anaheim, Calif. early next year. The center will offer after-school programs in science, math and language arts. The $25 million facility will house seven classrooms, a computer lab, a student lounge and a 200-seat auditorium.
In the third quarter of this year, Tiger's foundation gave out almost 30 grants to non-profit organizations around the country, including the Community Resource Center in Nashville, Tenn. and the Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program in Seattle.

4. Vince Carter, New Jersey Nets
The high-flying Carter donated $2.5 million for the design and construction of a new gym at his alma mater, Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. Through his Embassy of Hope Foundation, founded in 1998, Carter has helped huge numbers of people in need.
Among the good deeds performed by the foundation were donating money to the Wings of Hope Foundation for abused, neglected and abandoned children in Central Florida; giving money to the Kiwanis Club of Daytona Beach for a first day of school outfit for underprivileged kids and providing Toronto Raptors tickets to Canadian children doing well in school (Carter used to play in Toronto).

5. Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Lemieux, who overcame a battle with Hodgkin's disease, established the Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993 to fight cancer. The foundation spent $997,000 on its mission in 2003. The foundation spends most of its money to fund promising medical research projects. The foundation gave $5 million to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to establish the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research in 2001.
The foundation also established the Austin Lemieux Neonatal Research Project, in honor of Mario and Nathalie Lemieux's healthy son who was born prematurely. This grant supports research in the division of neonatology and developmental biology at the Magee-Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.

6. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation has been working to keep kids off drugs and alcohol. (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)
Jeter founded his Turn 2 Foundation in 1996 to encourage kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol, adopt healthy lifestyles and focus on academics and leadership development. The foundation spent $742,000 on programs in 2003.
Since it was created, it has awarded more than $5 million in grants for signature Turn 2 programs along with existing substance-abuse prevention and treatment programs, which reach thousands of children in the New York City area and Western Michigan — where Jeter was raised.
The foundation's after-school program in New York City allows almost 400 kids to participate in cultural arts, physical fitness and educational enrichment programs.

7. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Manning's PeyBack foundation focuses on assisting programs that help underprivileged children. It has donated more than $900,000 to programs and events in Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana since its 1999 inception.
One of the programs is Peyton's Pals, which offers monthly outings and activities for abused and neglected kids with Court Appointed Special Advocates. In June, Manning took 20 of the kids in the program on a four-day Disney cruise.
Last December, Manning's foundation treated the entire student body at Desire Street Academy in New Orleans to holiday gifts, including a shopping spree at Barnes & Noble, where each student was allowed to buy $20 in books.

8. Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat center
Mourning's foundation, Alonzo Mourning Charities, assists underprivileged children and their families. It spent $716,000 in 2003. The foundation helps finance 100 Black Men of South Florida, which provides educational and economic assistance for all minorities.
Alonzo Mourning Charities also gives financial support to Children's Home Society of Florida in Miami, which serves abused, abandoned and neglected children, including those suffering from HIV and developmental disabilities. The foundation also delivers complete Thanksgiving meals to 333 families in South Florida communities.

9. Jeff Gordon, NASCAR
Through his Jeff Gordon Foundation, he assists children with serious illnesses and their families. The foundation spent $574,000 in 2003.
The foundation's beneficiaries include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Marrow Foundation, Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital at NorthEast Medical Center in Concord, N.C., which is scheduled to open late next year.

10. Derrick Brooks, linebacker Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derrick Brooks enjoys taking underprivileged kids on trips around the world. (Robert Laberge / Getty Images)
Brooks started a program in 1996 to give free Bucs tickets to disadvantaged children to encourage academic achievement. That turned into the Brooks Bunch, a group of 14- to 18-year-old students from Tampa-area Boys & Girls Clubs, whom Brooks takes on trips around the world each year. He helped finance two trips for the kids to South Africa. His foundation, Derrick Brooks Charities, spent $123,000 in 2003.
Brooks began the travel program after a child at one of the clubs couldn't understand how he could get back to Tampa so quickly from away games. "She was 10 years old and didn't know what an airplane was," Brooks said. "I wanted to give them that experience." It started as a one-day trip to Fort Lauderdale and grew from there.
And what does Brooks get out of it? "The smiles on kids' faces and to see them go out in this community and be driving forces for others," he said. "I like to see kids take effort and change the world they live in. To see them help other people change their lives, that's when I know the message is being passed."

Is this not a great picture.

Hard times for Mayor Bergson. Mayor Bergson after embarrassing Duluth.

Lew Latto blast bloggers

The kind of short of republican talk show host Lew Latto blast bloggers for saying we are writting that he did not allow people to talk about Mayor Bergson's DUI over the weekend. Lew untill you got an email form Howie Hanson you did not let anyone talk about it.

Councilors react to email from a friend of mine.

An email send out by a friend of mine about mayor Bergson's DUI and the councilors responces.

thanks for the note. I began working in EMS in 1972 for WilcolAmbulance and today work for Mayo Medical Transportation (Gold Cross.) Many of those years I was a street paramedic. I have seen much and haveno tolerance for drinking and driving above the legal limit. I am theSafety Manager for MMT at fifteen sites across WI and MN. Years ago we(MMT)implemented a policy that our employees could have no blood alcohollevel while on duty. One strike and you're out. I have very strongopinions on DUI's. Thanks, Jim.

I'm not sure which comment you're referring to, so I'll assume it wasthe statement in the DNT regarding forgiveness. Please keep in mindthat I agree that the Mayor's indiscretion was an embarassment to thecity and showed phenomenal bad judgement. I believe he should bepunished in accordance with law, and should take whatever personal stepsare necessary to see that it never happens again.However, I stand by my statement. We all do make mistakes, and I hopethat if I ever do something foolish, I hope that I will be forgiven if Ishow genuine regret as the mayor has.And for the record, I would respond the same for any of my colleagues onthe council.Sincerely,Russ Stewart

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Wallace talks about his dad comments.

This is from, Chris Wallace said his dad has lost it.

"Fox News Sunday" anchorman Chris Wallace says father Mike Wallace has "lost it" - after the legendary CBS newsman told the Boston Globe last week that the fact George Bush had been elected president shows America is "[expletive]-up."
"He's lost it. The man has lost it. What can I say," the younger Wallace lamented to WRKO Boston radio host Howie Carr on Friday.
"He's 87-years old and things have set in," the Fox anchor continued. "I mean, we're going to have a competence hearing pretty soon."

Wallace Jr. quickly dispelled any notion that he was joking. When Carr suggested that his comments were likely to be covered by NewsMax, he responded: "You know what? Fine. Go ahead. Call them. That's fine. I'll stand by that."
Returning to the topic of his father's competence, Wallace Jr. explained: "He's checked out. I don't understand it," beyond the fact that Wallace Sr. has "problems with the war."

Councilors react to Mayors DUI.

These reaction were in the Duluth paper Sunday. One is from councilor Stewart. I hope he would say the same thing about some one not on his side. I sure he would not, he would use it as a political issue. The other reaction is by councilor Stauber again I also hope he would say the same thing about some one on the right.

I agree with councilor Stauber's comments, over councilor Stewarts.

Duluth City Councilor Russ Stewart said he didn't know details of the accident but was glad Bergson appeared to be all right.
``We all make mistakes,'' Stewart said. ``This is a season of forgiveness and I hope people keep that in mind.''

Duluth City Councilor Jim Stauber said Bergson should have known better.
``I'm very disappointed to learn this occurred. He's supposed to be setting an example to Duluthians,'' Stauber said. ``As a former police officer, Herb has seen himself the damage and devastation drunk driving can do. Yet he still chose to drink and drive.
``Hopefully, if he learns from this and becomes an advocate for zero tolerance, it will come out OK.''

Heffernan retires

Duluth News Tribune journalist Jim Heffernan will retire after 42 years of service at the paper. The paper is calling him a legend, now because he has worked there for ever does not make him a legend.

I was excited to hear he was retiring I was like good I will not have to read his oven pointless and left wing column on Sundays. Unfortunately he will continue to write his column on Sundays only it will be from his house in Hermtown.

Reader letter.

This editorial was in the northland reader it is a free weekly paper, I am not sure if they are online or not.

I believe this letter says what a lot of people want to say. The council and Mayor need to be more accountable for there actions. The Council did not bother to take the time to look at the facts on the SMDC parking ramp and now we are in a spot were business are being forced to make room for the ramp as the cost of the ramp continues to go up. The tax payers will again be on the hook for something we get nothing out of.

Reaction to DUI for our Mayor

The citizens of Duluth have ever right to mad, disappointed and anger with Mayor Bergson over his DWI in Wiscion on Friday night. The citizens of Duluth should be mad disappointed and inverses about Mayor Bergson's actions on Friday afternoon.

The mayor was on his way to Chicgo for a conference when he lost control of his car and hit a guardrail, it was a result of drinking and then getting his car and driving. This is a huge inbarshment for our city. The Mayor who was a cop in Superior should have never gotten in his car and drove . He knows what driving well under the influence can do to people and know puts Duluth on the map for having a mayor that drinks and drives. I am sure he has done it before but has never been caught, you can go to almost any anti-driving well drunk website and see static on this just because you have only been caught once does not mean you have not done it in the past.

Again we have every right to be mad, disappointed and what ever other feeling you may have.

New York Times repots on Duluth health care problem.

Articale in the New York Times about the health care retiree problem for Duluth.

Mayor Bergson's Christmas list wish.

Here is a look at the mayors wish list for Christmas.

1. More money for GLA. ( the fishtank)

2. Beer

3. Parking ramp for SMDC

4. Beer

5. Post-it notes to fire people with

6. Beer

7. To solve the heath care problem

8. 3 cases of Beer

9. a new car

10. Beer

11. Stop homelessness in Duluth

12. Beer

13. The last thing on my list is BEER

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mayor Bergson slapped with DUI

It seems like Mayor Bergson did not care about the city when he was on his way to Chicago. The Mayor like anyother officail is always representing our City and with his DWI on city business to Chicago the mayor gets a DWI and slams into a guard rail.

From what I understand he was going to Chicago for city business. If that is the case there could be many issues that involve the city and lawsuites as well. I wonder now if this is grounds for a recall vote? Anyone know.

The following was printed in the Duluth News Tribune,

Mayor asks forgiveness for 'bad judgment'BY JOHN MYERSNEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson was involved in a one-car accident Friday evening near Spooner, Wis., in which he suffered minor injuries and was later cited for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Bergson was southbound on U.S. Highway 53, on his way to a conference in Chicago, when his vehicle struck a guard rail along the highway.
The incident was reported at 6:35 p.m. just north of Washburn County Highway H, said Karen Snearly, police communications operator for the Wisconsin State Patrol.
According to the preliminary report filed by Trooper Tony DeSteffano, the accident remains under investigation.
Bergson told the News Tribune via-e-mail this afternoon that he was alone in his 2002 Mercury at the time and had hoped to make it as far as Eau Claire for the night.
The State Patrol did not confirm today that Bergson had been charged, but Bergson, 49, admitted to the citation in a message to the media.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Just a question?

Here is a question, I am sure I know the answer to it. I still want to know why you think it is this way.

You hear in the media all the time President Bush approval rating is down down down. A couple weeks ago it was a it's lowest point at about 32% now it is up to about 40% not a big jump but a jump.

So why do not hear that the Presidents numbers are going up like you do when they are down?

Just a toss out there question look forward to hearing from you all.
Here is a group of people I would not want to be part of. This is part of a story about TOokie Williams case in California.

I am for the Death Penality and I hope Williams does not get Clemancy.

But that hasn’t stopped Williams and his supporters. In recent weeks, they have launched a media campaign that suggests they know as much about crafting a compelling biographical storyline as Schwarzenegger once did during his bodybuilding and movie days. In recent weeks, a parade of celebrities, including rapper Snoop Dogg (a former Crip himself), the Rev. Jesse Jackson, human-rights activist Bianca Jagger and actor Jamie Foxx have visited Williams on death row and championed his cause before television cameras outside the prison gates. Other celebrity supporters include Russell Crowe, Mike Farrell, Ted Danson and Richard Dreyfuss. On Tuesday, the NAACP sponsored a series of “Save Tookie” rallies around the state. Williams’s coauthor and publicist has arranged death-row interviews with major media outlets and his supporters have even hired a public-relations firm to organize news conferences and rallies on his behalf. At one recent San Francisco gathering, participants in SAVE TOOKIE T shirts waved signs saying BECOME THE REDEEMER, NOT THE TERMINATOR. More than 60,00 people have signed online petitions supporting clemency or to read the whole story. Any comments are always welcome.

Maybe there is still hope for our area.

This was in the opion page of the Duluth news Trib today. It makes me think there is still hope for us after all.

Here it is for you that did not get a chance to see the paper or refuse to read it.

Northland liberals have closed minds
Regarding the Nov. 17 letter, "Duluthian display unexpected bigotry:" This is not an open-minded area.
In the Webster's Dictionary the word liberal implies tolerance of others' views as well as open-mindedness.
This area is mostly Democratic. Anyone who has an opposite viewpoint that differs from the liberals is met with open hostility. Our local colleges and universities teach diversity classes that openly bash Catholics and the religious right. Is this being tolerant of others' views?
When I grew up in the Northland, I thought this area was wonderful. When I moved away, I missed my family and the beautiful landscape. Returning home, the local people were not as nice as I remembered.
Whether you're liberal or conservative, religious or atheist, none of us are all-knowing. We need to get past our arrogance. How does being nasty to someone with an opposite view improve the quality of life?MELANIE KACER