Bringing Minnesota and Texas Together

As you may recall, the marriage of Tony and Courtney united the two states on either end of I-35. To commemorate that, Courtney made a pillow that symbolizes that union. If you ever visit our house, you will betray your allegiances.

Gov. Mark Dayton Vetoed Kids

A powerful Op Ed in the Strib reiterates what I’ve been writing here about the governor’s veto of the Shared Parenting Bill: He was swayed by a small group of wealthy, powerful lawyers — lawyers who have a lot to gain by the standing law that forces judges to pick winners and losers. It’s really unconscionable what Dayton did.

In vetoing the bill that would have increased the minimum presumption of shared parenting following a divorce from 25 percent of the time to 35 percent (unless the court found a reason to restrict access), Gov. Mark Dayton may have been swayed by misinformation.

It’s extremely unfortunate that such an important bill, thoroughly researched and carefully analyzed for so many years, and so strongly supported by the majority of citizens in this state, could be obliterated by the stroke of a pen. The heavy lobbying and inside relationships of special-interest attorneys won out over the cries of children and the persistence of the parents. Citizens seeking justice through the courts have been told by judges to talk to the Legislature to change the law. The people did speak through their legislators, and the bipartisan bill passed 132-61.

There is mass public outcry for family court reform. Legislators often say they have persistently and consistently heard more complaints about family court than just about any other issue.

The current presumption of 25 percent parenting time reflects a glorified every-other-weekend and holiday schedule, with an extended summer vacation.

Current law requires a judge to pick one winner parent and one loser parent. This creates conflict.

Read the rest: Kids in the balance |

It’s Not Easy Being a Pro-Gay Black Church

Rev. Oliver White's congregation may not survive his decision to support gay ordination. (Jerry Holt/StarTribune)

As Rose French reports in the StarTribune, the only black congregation that is officially “open and affirming” now hovers on the brink of closure:

The Rev. Oliver White knew not everyone at his St. Paul church was going to agree with his support for gay marriage.

But he never imagined that nearly two-thirds of his congregation would leave.

And now, Grace Community United Church of Christ, the only UCC church in Minnesota with a predominantly black congregation, is in desperate straits. The church has until June 30 to raise $200,000 to pay off a loan, otherwise it likely will be forced to close, White says.

Read the rest, including where contributions are coming from: St. Paul UCC church at brink of closing over gay-marriage stand |

Garden Update

I’ll admit, a couple neighbors gave me odd looks. Not because I tore up a bunch of my lawn and planted a big vegetable garden, but because when they asked where I learned how to do it, I responded, “My blog readers.” Thanks to everyone who gave me advice. I’ve tried to follow it.

Here’s what we did:

If you look closely, you can see the old garden on the left, dwarfed by a 7-year-old.

No, I didn't rent a power sod cutter. That explains the size of my right quadricep.

Built the raised beds with the heaviest lumber that Home Depot carries.

More pics below the fold:

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