Game day rally at U to draw crowds
protesting NFL, DC team’s mascot
By Matt Sepic, MPR News
Native American leaders and University
of Minnesota students say they’re expecting thousands of people to
turn out for a protest against the Washington Redskins when the team
plays the Vikings a week from Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the
American Indian Movement, said the DC team’s name is racist and
offensive. Bellecourt expects a young group of protesters to gather
outside the stadium to speak out against the name.
"We know that because we’re on a
university campus. We’re organizing all the students," he said.
"We’ve been doing a lot of radio, television, public relations,
so we’re expecting over 5,000 people."
The National Coalition Against Racism
in Sports and Media is organizing the protest along with campus
Aubrey Strenger with the Black Law
Students Association said the university, through its contract with
the Vikings, should prohibit the use of the Washington team’s name on
"The University of Minnesota is
such an influential educational body and they are in a particular
place to affect change," Strenger said.
University of Minnesota officials have
asked the Vikings to limit the use of the Washington team’s name and
logo during the game.
A statement posted on the U’s website,
said while the university "denounces the team name of the
Washington team — and other sports team names that promote negative
and harmful stereotypes — the University does not believe that it
has the legal authority or contractual authority under the facility
use agreement to prevent the game."
Amid the controversy, team owner Dan
Snyder said in a recent letter to Washington’s season ticket holders
that the name is a "badge of honor."
DNR chief: Expect PolyMet environmental
review by early spring
By Dan Kraker, MPR News
Minnesota officials hope to finish the
final environmental analysis for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel
mine by early next spring.
"I know people are frustrated
with this, I’m frustrated with this, but I just want you to know that
we want to be as thorough and diligent as possible," Department
of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said Monday during a
forum on Iron Range mining. "We have to have the best possible
document at the end of this, and we are working as expeditiously as
possible to get that thing out the door."
PolyMet is proposing a $650 million
copper, nickel and precious metals mine near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes.
The state just finished its initial
review of the 58,000 comments received on the draft environmental
impact statement and the DNR will incorporate 8,000 "unique
ideas" from those comments into the final environmental
statement, Landwehr said.
When state and federal regulators OK
the environmental analysis, PolyMet can apply for the more than 20
permits needed to develop a mine.
DNR: Encouraging signs in latest Mille
Lacs walleye survey
By Elizabeth Dunbar, MPR News
A fall survey on Mille Lacs Lake shows
good news for walleyes, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Researchers found the highest number
of yearling walleyes on the lake since 2008. It also found higher
numbers of yearling tullibees, which could help feed predators that
threaten the young walleyes, the DNR said.
The improved yearling numbers are "the
one thing we really wanted to see," said Rick Bruesewitz, the
DNR’s Aitkin area fisheries supervisor. "We’ve had some issues
with survival of juveniles over their first year of life, especially.
It appeared they survived better than they have for about the past
Walleye numbers on the lake remain the
lowest seen in decades and DNR officials say it will take time for
the population to recover.
The agency is still working to
understand the effect of climate change, predators and other issues
affecting the fish," Bruesewitz added. "It’ll be awhile
before the population is back to the way it once was."
Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard on MPR’s statewide radio network or online.