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Minnesota company bungles Steve Jobs turtleneck claim

MORNING EDITION

The claim by a Minnesota firm that it was the Steve Jobs’ supplier for his iconic black turtlenecks hasn’t done the company any more good over the weekend. TIME’s Aylin Zafar adds this to the flap: “So, how did St. Croix run away with credit — and the sales — of Jobs' signature style?  The founder of [Minnesota-based] Knitcraft (producer of St. Croix), Bernhard Brenner, gave an interview affirming this relationship just a day after Jobs's death.  Brenner said Jobs would purchase two dozen of their turtlenecks each year, as well paying the company personal calls to say how much he enjoyed the shirt. Reps for the brand are now skirting around the issue, saying that it's the first time they're hearing that it's not their shirt. Well, as long as they're profiting off this lie, at least they're dedicating $20 of each purchase toward the fight against cancer. Still, false advertising — bad look, St. Croix. Bad look.”


A piece by the AP’s Steve Karnowski offers yin and yang on deep mining near the BWCA: “Two executives looking on from Twin Metals Minnesota LLC say the project heralds a new era in mining for Minnesota. It promises ‘hundreds of jobs, if not thousands of jobs’ in a struggling region, said Bob McFarlin, vice president of public and governmental affairs. He described the mineral reserves as ‘vast, world class, possibly among the largest untapped nickel and copper resources in the world.’ But the site is near a jewel of the North Country, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, some 1 million acres of pristine wilderness that draws 250,000 visitors a year from around the world.”

The plastic-tent look didn’t last long at the OccupyMN. Rupa Chenoy of MPR writes: “The protesters, who are demonstrating for economic equality, placed several tents made of transparent plastic in the plaza Saturday afternoon, despite a ban on structures there. Ben Painter of Minneapolis said he was sleeping in one of the tents when, at about 1:30 a.m., more than three dozen sheriff's officers arrived to remove the tents. Painter said he and about 70 other protesters formed a circle around the tents, but the officers dragged them away and took the tents down.”

Then ... Nicole Norfleet of the Strib reports: “[D]emonstrators said they planned to erect more Sunday night on the periphery of U.S. Bank Plaza. That's across the street from the Hennepin County Government Center, where demonstrators have been staked out for more than a week. A subcommittee of OccupyMN protesters decided Sunday night, as this edition of the Star Tribune went to press, to set up tents on the plaza area that's city property, said Nick Espinosa, a protest organizer. Since that would put the group in the jurisdiction of Minneapolis police instead of Hennepin County sheriff's deputies, who confiscated 28 tents earlier Sunday, Espinosa said he hoped for a different outcome.”

Dateline: the Great City of Montevideo … Tom Cherveney of the West Central Tribune says: “Congressman [Collin] Peterson bagged a bird early and was with a party of hunters that harvested five roosters while chasing up lots of hens. Peterson rated the hunt as good as last year’s despite predictions that pheasant hunting would be poor due to an estimated 64 percent population drop from last year. Peterson has been a participant in an annual community hunt hosted by Montevideo, and had originally suggested to [Gov.Mark] Dayton that he make it the site for a first-ever Governor’s Pheasant Opener. By all accounts, getting birds was second to enjoying the morning’s sunshine, the countryside and wildlife, and taking opportunities for good-natured ribbing. Dayton and [House Speaker Kurt] Zellers joked that they had agreed to make Montevideo the site for a new Vikings stadium but would hold off until halftime of the game with the Bears tonight to break the news to the team’s owner. Dayton also teased Zellers that his hunting dog was badly behaved, but added: ‘He behaved better than members of your caucus.’ ’’ That's not saying much, Gov.

The U of M is going to go a bit heavier on the sciences. The PiPress story, by Mila Koumpilova, says: “The University of Minnesota is gearing up for a slight enrollment bump in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields — even as it plans to rein in the rise of other undergraduate enrollment. The plan came out of the work of an enrollment task force led by outgoing U Provost Tom Sullivan; the U's Board of Regents backed it enthusiastically at its Friday meeting, saying the focus on STEM enrollment takes into account the demands of Minnesota's high-tech job market. ‘This is what the state's employers look to us to do,’ said regent David McMillan. The plan ties in with President Eric Kaler's decision this fall to invest in hiring additional STEM faculty.”

Take it from Larry Howes. Don Davis at the Forum papers reports: “A Minnesota House Republican promises that a property tax change that especially hurts rural Minnesota will be repaired next year. ‘We are going to do some fixes on that,’ said Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker. ‘We just are not ready to say what that is going to be.’ But Howes did say part of the way taxes will be made more acceptable is that a property tax refund program may be used to give more money back to those whose taxes rose because of the little-known change made earlier this year. Lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton earlier this year dropped the homestead market value credit program, which lowered many Minnesotans’ home property taxes.”

News that Our Guy, T-Paw, owes $450K from his presidential dream was kicked about the Internets over the weekend. At Slate, Ben Johnson wrote: “Put simply, you have to spend money to make it, but if you don’t make it, you’re in trouble.  In an interview with Minnesota public radio, Politico reports Pawlenty hinted that by the Ames straw poll, the campaign had run out of fundraising steam. ‘You have to raise a lot of money to be successful, and at that point at Ames, our finances had basically run dry.' In the last quarter of his campaign from July 1 to Sept. 30, Pawlenty’s organization spent nearly $3 million and only brought in about $1 million. Maybe this explains his failed efforts to get a job at Fox News.” He had to do something to beat Santorum and Gingrich and Bachmann to their door.

In the latest on the Amy Senser story … Abby Simons of the Strib writes: “Civil court proceedings are on hold for at least four months in the wrongful death lawsuit against Joe and Amy Senser for the hit-and-run death of a Roseville man. Hennepin District Judge Bruce Peterson ordered that neither side may gather evidence in the civil case while the criminal investigation continues. His decision grants a request by the Sensers' attorney, Brian Wood, that proceedings be stayed until Feb. 6. Amy Senser was charged with felony criminal vehicular homicide in the Aug. 23 death of Anousone Phanthavong, 38, whom she struck and killed as he filled his car with gas on the Interstate 94 ramp at Riverside Avenue.”

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Comments (6)

Pawlenty's people said the debt was a surprise... where have we heard that before?

So, in his run for the GOP presidential nomination, former Gov. Pawlenty and his team of advisers demonstrated all the financial acumen that he demonstrated as Gov. of Minnesota. I suppose we should not be surprised.

What IS surprising, however, is that he's not claiming that, when he left the campaign trail, his books were balanced, and that this $450K in campaign debt happened AFTER he bowed out and he's not responsible for it.

Regarding copper-nickel mining near the BWCA. I wonder if the mining companies even begin to comprehend that their track record of massive pollution problems of EVERY location where they've ever conducted such mining,...

covered over by lies upon lies upon lies concerning the extent of the damage they've done (and continue to do),...

makes it impossible for people to believe their assurances that THIS time, they'll keep their operations safe and environmentally clean.

I have EVERY confidence that such safe and environmentally clean copper-nickel mining operations are possible,...

BUT I have even MORE confidence that, since doing things properly would reduce their profit margins, the mining companies have absolutely zero interest in conducting their operations in that way:

They will attempt to do what they've ALWAYS done - promise to keep their operations clean while planning to massively pollute,...

expecting that paying off inspectors, politicians and local elected officials as well as the desperation of local workers will keep those folks quiet and enable the mining companies to get away with it,...

while special tax benefits they'll demand to even start their operations ensure that MOST of the profit of the operation goes to executives and CEOs who live out of state if not in some other nation.

In the end, local workers will get a few years of work at wages far lower than should be justified by the profits they're creating for owners and investors,...

after which the mining company, itself, having given all its assets to its fabulously wealthy executives, its fabulously wealthy corporate board, and its fabulously wealthy investors, will declare bankruptcy and disappear like some fly-by-night driveway paving contractor,...

leaving high and dry its workers and any continuing benefits they were promised, and leaving the state's taxpayers holding the bag for attempting to clean up the toxic waste dump the mining company has, quite purposefully, left behind.

The University believes a great reputation in STEM is more important than giving the greatest number of students in all areas the best possible education? When did prestige come to mean more than getting the job done?

T'Paw's in debt, but so's Rep.Bachmann, who the Strib reported Sunday is running her campaign at a huge deficit. A balanced budget apparently does not start at home.

The governor and his opponents make nice with shotguns. I'll look forward to seeing that happen when the Legislature returns, minus the weapons.

@2: There may be ways to mine without the severity of the problems oyu describe. It would require, however, that the Legislature, the Dayton administration and the public come together to find and to political and economic prejudices.

If I sound overly optimistic it's because I haven't had my morning coffee.

The Iron Range elected the governor. I am therefore skeptical of the state's ability to
adequately control the pollution risks in that area due to the extraordinary pressure that will be placed on the regulators. The pressure of course will be "jobs" vs. environment.

What the Range seems to need if we are to save the environment from likely permanent degradation is the development of jobs (in clean energy, perhaps?) instead of mining.

That would remove the "either-or" aspect from this decision.