Daily Digest: brothels, volunteers, protests

by Taryn Wobbema

Here’s your Daily Digest for Monday, Feb. 28:

U.S. Senator Harry Reid from Nevada wants to close the legal brothels in his home state because Nevada needs a new identity, according to the New York Times. It was a unexpected comment that has led prostitutes, brothel owners, and legislators who support the industry to put up a fight. For those in the brothels, they have a right to work. For state lawmakers, they have a right to collect taxes from these lucrative businesses. It’s enough of a win-win that even the most outspoken critic, a state senator, said he wouldn’t introduce a bill because he knows it would fail.

Across Minnesota, volunteers have begun filling holes created by layoffs. They answer city phones, plant city gardens, and archive decades-old City Council minutes. In Wayzata, 10 employee positions have been cut in the last two years  to salvage the city budget, so 120 volunteers are picking up the slack. 55 cities in Minnesota currently use volunteers to fill these gaps, according to the Star Tribune. This is a way for cities to cut costs while keeping important services going, and all the volunteer positions are temporary. With so many unemployed skilled workers, city officials haven’t had trouble filling their open slots.

Where there are large groups of people defying the government, there are photographers to capture the energy. Check out this Libya slideshow by the Times. And on the home front: The Time’s take on Wisconsin.