FFM Bulletin 5/5/11

Will Fairmont residents celebrate conservation of taxpayer funds?

Last Friday citizens across the country celebrated Arbor Day, the holiday that encourages tree planting and conservation. But which holiday encourages spending $170,000 to move an old oak tree?

Fairmont School District officials are deciding what to do with a popular Bur Oak tree at the soon-to-be closed William Budd Elementary School. According to the Fairmont Sentinel the unofficial “school symbol” currently stands in front of the main entrance, but a local arborist is planning to raise the $170,000 to move the tree to the nearby Five Lakes Elementary. That must be some tree.

Though school officials have authorized raising the $170,000 privately, taxpayers should keep an eye on future plans and developments if fundraising plans fail. At the very least, we hope they’ll promote the conservation of taxpayer funds.

FFM hosts gambling economics expert Dr. Earl Grinols 

A captivated crowd of legislators and other guests joined the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota last Thursday for a presentation and discussion with Dr. Earl Grinols on calculating the social and economic costs of gambling in Minnesota. Dr. Grinols is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University and one of the nation’s leading economic experts. He has authored numerous reports and studies, including his book in 2004: “Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits.” Dr. Grinols also testified before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last Friday morning on the same topic.

Thank you to those that attended, and be on the lookout for future events from FFM. A summary of his presentation can be found on our website atwww.freedomfoundationmn.com/research.

Minnesota State News Update

Minnesota State News has attracted significant attention lately with several timely and notable stories, including:  a story on legislation that skirts the Constitution and union opposition to innovation.

  • Last week, MN State News was one of the first to report on the passage of a bill in a House Committee that would require the state to cast its ten electoral votes to whomever wins the popular vote nationally.
    Read more…
  • Earlier this week, MN State News released the first of a two part series on a tiny piece of plumbing equipment currently banned for use in Minnesota.
    Read more…
Keep up with all the latest from Minnesota State News, by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and adding www.mnstatenews.com to your list of Bookmarks. 

Green Pricing Plan Leads to Skyrocketing Heating Bills

Why are some ratepayers experiencing unusually high natural gas heating bills, especially with the lowest natural gas prices in years? FFM’s latest “Accountability Alert” examined the controversial “inverted block rate” pricing that charges customers who use comparatively more energy at an inflated rate. 5 Eyewitness News featured FFM original research in a segment on legislation pending in the Senate sponsored by Senator Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) that would repeal the tiered pricing system.

Visit our website to catch the KSTP news clip and more coverage from Minnesota State News on energy rates. 
Register now for the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change

The Sixth International Conference on Climate Change will be held in Washington, DC on June 30 - July 1, 2011 co-sponsored by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota and The Heartland Institute.  Confirmed speakers include: Timothy Ball, Ph.D., Larry Bell, Ph.D., Robert “Bob” Carter, Hon. FRSNZ, Steve Goreham, S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., and Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.

From the Heartland Institute website:

The purpose of Heartland's International Conferences on Climate Change is to build momentum and public awareness of the global warming “realism” movement, a network of scientists, economists, policymakers, and concerned citizens who believe sound science and economics, rather than exaggeration and hype, ought to determine what actions, if any, are taken to address the problem of climate change.

If you are interested in attending this important event, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has 20 free registrations. You would need to cover your hotel and transportation to and from Washington DC.  Please contact Evan Paskach at evan.paskach@freedomfoundationofminnesota.com or 612-354-2194 for more information.


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