Wednesday, May 8, 2013
A bill to let states impose sales tax on big online retailers passed the U.S. Senate Monday. Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted for the Marketplace Fairness Act, as did many Republicans.
Why should online shoppers pay sales tax? Why or why not? Leave a comment below. You could pay the same sales tax for online purchases as you do for shopping at a physical store if a bill that passed the U.S. Senate Monday becomes law. The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to collect sales tax from retailers with more than $1 million in annual gross sales to out-of-state customers. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (both DFL-MN) voted yes, joined by 67 other senators including 21 Republicans. Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans praised the Senate action in a press release: "This legislation levels the playing field for all those Main Street businesses in Minnesota and across the country. It also helps large retailers like…
Monday, May 6, 2013
After Gov. Mark Dayton called a recent town hall audience rude, Patch wants to know what you think is acceptable behavior.
A week ago, an audience at Shakopee High School responded with laughter, head nods and interruptions when Gov. Mark Dayton said that the state's legislators are underpaid. In a Tuesday press conference, Dayton said the behavior was juvenile and reminded him of his ninth grade general science classes in New York City. Such responses are hardly unknown. As debate heated up on health care reform a few years ago, protests often greeted Democratic members of Congress trying to sell the legislation to constituents in Town Halls. More recently, Nick Espinosa and Sam Richards dumped glitter on presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the beginning of a speech in Eagan in February 2012. Such outbursts aren’t confined to the United States either. In …
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The state dropped two spots in the League of American Bicyclists’ annual rankings.
(Editor's Note: The map above was created by the League of American Bicyclists.) Minnesota is still among the top states in “bike friendliness,” but its ranking fell a couple notches in 2013, according to the League of American Bicyclists. The state was ranked fourth this year, down from second in 2012. It ranked high in legislation and enforcement, policies and programs and education and encouragement. But it was middle of the pack in infrastructure and funding and lower tier in evaluation and planning. Minnesota was also missing three of the league’s “Top 10 Signs of Success: Use the map above to see how Minnesota compares to other states in the various categories. Do you think Minnesota needs to do more to support cycling? Share your …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
'Not even a drop or snowflake': The predicted May Day snowstorm largely spared Minneapolis and its suburbs.
There's no snow to shovel, so you might as well look at what other people in your situation are saying about the surprisingly dry driveway pavements in Minneapolis and its suburbs. Check out the Storify above or at Storify.com.
A new Visa survey says families are spending over $1,000 for their child to go to prom. What price works for you, and how do you agree on a limit with your teen?
It has gotten more expensive to do most things in life, so we shouldn't be surprised that it has gotten more pricey to go to a high school prom. On average, parents and teens will spend $1,139 on prom this year. This is only a slight increase over last year but a 40 percent increase from the $807 average of 2011, according to a new Visa survey. The list of "needed" items can be endless: dress, tux, shoes (one pair formal and one for the dance?), corsages, limo, dinner, actual prom tickets and after-prom activities. "Prom is the new wedding," said Kit Yarrow, a consumer research psychologist, in a CNN Money article. "I think that every society has to have a rite of passage into adulthood for young people, and prom has become that." Have …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Proposed legislation would ban school boards from dropping coaches' contracts 'solely' because of parent gripes.
Do high school coaches need a law to shield their jobs from parent complaints? Leave your comment below. A Minnesota Legislature conference committee is weighing whether to include this sentence in its omnibus policy and finance bill: "The existence of parent complaints must not be the sole reason for a board to not renew a coaching contract." The legislation is in response to increasing non-renewals of coaches' contracts, with as many as 35 percent in one sport (boys' hockey) involving parent complaints, according to a Star Tribune report: “This just came out from athletics directors and coaches who thought something more needed to be done,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, a Grove City Republican who co-authored the bill. “The problem is … parents…
Monday, April 29, 2013
Blogger Joel Magnes reflects on the recent terrorist attack that struck a city with which he shares a close emotional bond.
Do the discussions taking place bring people together or tear them apart?
Race has been an inflammatory subject in local schools over the past few months. On Friday, about 150 Hopkins High School students walked out to protest what called the school’s unfair treatment of minority students. The protest followed news the week before that prosecutors had charged two Hopkins students with misdemeanors after a confrontation in the assistant principal's office over the school’s handling of an incident in which they say several white students mocked black culture. The two students accused Hopkins ski team members of organizing a "ghetto spirit day." The ski team members say it was actually called “rapper day.” Hopkins is not the only school facing such controversies. In March, about 300 South High School students from …
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Whether it's being the first in your family to graduate college or raising money for a local cause, tell us your stories. Sponsored by Grape-Nuts.
Saturday, April 27
In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic scaling of Mount Everest, Patch is asking our readers across the country: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome? Have you kicked your smoking habit or finished a triathlon? Or maybe you made your final student loan payment, defeated cancer, lost 50 pounds or learned to knit. From everyday to extraordinary, please share your stories of the mountains you've conquered in the comments section below. You’ll not only inspire others, but also earn some well-deserved kudos! Tell Us: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome? Share your story in the comments section below. About this sponsorship: Patch has teamed up with Grape-Nuts cereal on this…
Friday, April 26, 2013
Which have you used to cover your baby?
No matter how old your kids are – diaper changing always seems to make its way back into the rotation as friends and family bring new little ones into their lives. And, I have yet to change a baby wearing cloth diapers. Most of my friends and family have opted for the convenience of a disposable diaper. However, it appears the cloth diaper continues to be a popular choice for many. For example, a group of Twin Cities parents that joined together recently for the “Great Cloth Diaper Change” event – or the Burnsville-based business that sells cloth diapers. So, before I continue to share my parenting “wisdom” with family and friends with little ones – which do you choose for your child? Disposable or cloth? SHARE: Which is better – cloth …