Minnesota state shutdown starting July 1, 2011

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  1. MSPeconomist
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    The state of Minnesota has shut down for the second time in the state's history. You should try to check, but it would be wise to assume that things are closed if in doubt. The closure apparently affects the following:

    Road construction--halted and lane barriers removed; skeleton crews on duty for emergencies

    Traffic information cameras and the mn511.org traffic and construction conditions website

    MnPass lane system (express highway lanes for payment based on congestion, requires device in vehicle) is closed and the special lanes are being used as HOV lanes

    Licenses--driver's, tags, professional, hunting and fishing, although some license bureaus operated by different entities (local city hall?) remain open

    State parks--closed, with campers forced to leave yesterday

    Highway rest stops-- 84 with facilities and/or staffing are closed and blocked in anticipation, but simple roadside picnic tables seem to be OK

    Tourist information offices--if operated or partially funded by the state

    MN Historical Sites--closed, regardless of whether located within state parks (This includes the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis.)

    MN Zoo in Apple Valley (southeast of the Twin Cities, near the airport)--closed to the public, but employees are still caring for the animals and it's been announced that a concert tonight by the Monkeys (!) will still be held in the zoo's amphitheater

    Horse racing tracks--apparently because they're regulated by the state, especially in regard to animal welfare

    State lottery

    The State Capitol building--no tours

    Stillwater lift bridge to Wisconsin--reported to be in the down position, so that cars can drive over it in both directions

    **********************************************************************************************************

    Some things that remain OPEN:

    County parks, but expect crowds

    Como Zoo--small but nice, in a St Paul park and free (donations accepted)

    MN Science Museum in St Paul

    Wildlife Science Center--a sort of zoo for wolves and other local animals located on the northern outskirts of the Twin Cities. I was told last week that they will remain open for Saturday tours at 11 and 1 ($6 for adults, less for kids)
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    The Minnesota Zoo has been reopened.

    On Tuesday (July 5) a judge is going to reconsider the closing of highway rest stops. The argument is that this is a safety issue, especially for truckers. (Private truck stops have been full.)
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    BREAKING NEWS: STATE FAIR

    At least one local TV station reported this morning that if the state government shutdown doesn't end, the state fare could be cancelled. This is scheduled for about a ten day period in late August, ending on Labor Day IIRC. The state fair grounds are in suburban St Paul, with special bus service from various points in the Metro area.
     
  4. viguera
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    What about the mall though? :)
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    Mail is federal government, so no impact.

    It seems that state government workers won't be eventually paid for the time they're now not working, so I wonder whether there will be strikes later. This is different from the way it was handled last time, a shorter and less complete shutdown, when they got make-up paychecks for their involuntary vacation days.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    LATEST NEWS

    1. Highway rest stops will remain closed. The judge rejected an appeal by truckers based on rest and safety considerations. Trucks face $150 fines for parking elsewhere to rest.

    2. Miller-Coors soon won't be able to be sold in the state as the company is unable to pay some sort of licensing fee of $30 per brand, roughly a thousand dollars.
     
  7. mattsteg
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    While some would claim that a positive development that improves the overall quality of available beer here, the cases where the state can't accept the fee but can still enforce non-payment strikes me as a terrible definition of "essential services".
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    SHUTDOWN HAS ENDED

    Some state employees return to work tomorrow morning, but....

    It could take weeks to prepare state parks to reopen

    It could be a month or more before some agencies catch up with paperwork

    The good news.....

    Historical Society stuff reopens on Saturday, July 23, including Fort Snelling and Mill City Museum

    No other details so far.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    I agree and I would extend the argument to our pay-based-on-congestion express lanes. My device still beeps at the tollpoints, so why can't I continue to use these special lanes, since I pay a fixed cost too for the privilege of having the payment thingy in my car?
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    That was actually the first issue that really annoyed me, even though I do not live in the west metro area anymore so no longer use any MNPass-enabled roads. Seems ridiculous to call it an essential service to expend resources ticketing people for something that they normally are allowed to do. If you're only funding essential services, keep enforcement to matters of public safety, not enforcing carpool lanes.
     
  11. MSPeconomist
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    ANOTHER UPDATE:

    MNPass lanes are supposedly reopened

    "Most" state parks reopen tomorrow, with their campgrounds generally scheduled to reopen on Saturday

    "Most" roadside rest areas to reopen Friday/Saturday

    Historical Society website seems to be down, despite the fact that local media have announced that their sites will reopen on Saturday, although perhaps not some of those that are located in state parks, if the park isn't open. Earlier their website had a hidden announcement very early that if a state shutdown occurred, all of their sites would be closed for the duration and then when the shutdown started, the website stated very prominently that all sites associated with the state historical society (including some apparently run by local groups with some funding and advertising from the state historical society) would close immediately.

    Road construction to restart more slowly on some worksites

    Rush hour traffic has supposedly returned to normal levels
     

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