Minnesota to host national LGBT meeting this week

Minneapolis will host more than 160 national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates this week for an event where participants will celebrate legalization of same-sex marriage measures and discuss how to push the movement forward.

The event will run from Tuesday to Aug. 2. The Equality Federation Institute, a partner with state-based LGBT advocacy organizations, will sponsor the event, which attracts gay rights supporters, national leaders and lobbyists.

Officials said Minnesota was chosen to host the meeting because of its “spectacular three years” in advancing rights of gay and transgender people, including defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in 2012 and then legalized such unions a year later. The state passed antibullying legislation in 2014.

Liz Sawyer


DNR to give free training on fighting zebra mussels

In the battle to stop the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species in Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, the state Department of Natural Resources is offering free training Aug. 6 for lake businesses to learn how to decontaminate boats.

For the second year, the agency will teach lake service providers how to pressure-wash boats with 160-degree water to kill off any invasive species.

The sprayed water is captured in a mat so it doesn’t wash into lakes and streams, then it is filtered and reused. The businesses then could offer the service to their customers.

The class will take place 1-4:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at Tonka Bay Marina in Excelsior. To preregister by Thursday, contact April Rust at april.rust@state.mn.us or at 651-259-5706.

KELLY SMITH @kellystrib


Council, mayor reach agreement on street fix

Rutted stretches of 11 heavily traveled streets in St. Paul will be milled and repaved with asphalt this year, following the City Council’s approval Wednesday of Mayor Chris Coleman’s street repair plan.

Coleman proposed spending $2.5 million to repair the streets, which are included in his “Terrible 20” list of the city’s worst arterial roads.

At first the council balked, preferring to use unallocated state funds to generate $20 million in bonding to start rebuilding the streets. But the mayor promised to unveil a comprehensive plan for street improvement in his budget address next month, and the council agreed to go along with the short-term fix.

Part of the $2.5 million will come from closed-out areas and projects such as street sweeping.

Kevin Duchschere @KDuchschere


Farmington wants to serve as fill-in for State Capitol

Republican State Rep. Pat Garofalo said his city should host a possible special legislative session to address spring flooding damage.

Gov. Mark Dayton requested federal-disaster aid and raised the prospect of a special session to approve additional state funds for repairs.

Garofalo and other civic leaders said the city’s high school has the space, technology and volunteers necessary to host 201 legislators.

With the State Capitol in disarray due to renovations, the idea would ensure public access and save money at the same time, he said. It’d likely be a first for Minnesota politics.

The Legislative Reference Library found no evidence of any legislative sessions outside the Capitol walls since it opened in 1905.