Daily Digest: salty lakes, Qaddafi corruption, Wisc. recalls

Katherine Lymn

Check out this interesting Strib piece on how road salts in the winter affect our lakes. The Pollution Control Agency will start a four-year project to look at solving the issue of chloride that seeps into lakes, hurting the wildlife. A bigger problem may be sociological, though — getting over the obstacle of “Minnesota nice” so people stop salting their sidewalks and driveways as a common courtesy. “Folks who grow up in Minnesota have a clear idea of that expectation and responsibility,” said U sociology prof Kristen Nelson. In the average Twin Cities winter, 350,000 tons of salt are spread onto surfaces. Because salt is denser than other materials, about 78 percent of it just stays in the Minnesota lakes, rather than flowing down to the Gulf of Mexico, according to the article.

 The New York Times has a retrospective on Qaddafi and his corrupt Libya today. Some U.S. companies were those involved in helping Libya pay off the $1B bill after its role in the Pan Am flight attack, according to the article. The Times’ investigation portrays Libyan life as ripe with corruption and kickbacks since the U.S. reopened trade with Qaddafi in 2004. Col. Qaddafi and his family seem to run like a high-profile organized crime unit, with money in banks worldwide and exploitative holds on business partners and governments alike. Coca-Cola, Boeing, Caterpillar and Halliburton are among the American companies that have once been tangled up in the Qaddafi web.

 MinnPost’s Jay Weiner has a look at how Wisconsin recall efforts are bringing the whole state to action — and making activists out of residents who wouldn’t otherwise be in an effort to ultimately rid the state of Gov. Scott Walker. “The nitty-gritty battle for Wisconsin’s future is under way on small-town street corners, in suburban shopping malls, on factory floors and at neighbors’ front doors,” he writes. The level of activism isn’t the only novel part of the situation: the magnitude of activists efforts is as well. Since 1913, only 13 U.S. lawmakers have been recalled. In Wisconsin, it’s an attempt to recall 16 senators.