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Chanhassen says 'No' to Wal-Mart

MORNING EDITION

Well, somebody is making a stand, and in this case, it's the city of Chanhassen. Tom Meersman of the Strib explains: “The Chanhassen City Council has rejected Wal-Mart's proposal to build a 120,000-square-foot retail store near the intersection of Hwy. 5 and Powers Boulevard, ending for now an often contentious debate about the impact the big-box retailer would have on the area. The city's action Monday night came after citizens organized a petition drive against the store and the City Planning Commission voted against recommending it Nov. 1. ... Wal-Mart spokeswoman Lisa Nelson said the company is disappointed that the council turned down its plan ‘to bring jobs, tax base and low prices to our customers in the area.’ ... Citizens opposed to the new store said that it would increase traffic, hurt ‘local homegrown businesses’ in Chanhassen, and cause safety concerns requiring additional policing. They also said the retail outlet was not needed because Wal-Mart already has a store in Eden Prairie, about 7 miles away. Competitor Target has stores in both communities.”


The petition drive to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says it has collected 300,000 signatures already, over halfway to its goal. But Daniel Riemer of the Guardian writes: “Winning a recall election, however, will be another issue. The election would take place after the signatures are submitted in January, and six to ten weeks after they are certified. Because it will take weeks to certify more than half a million signatures, the recall election could conceivably coincide with the Republican presidential primary of 3 April 2012. If this happens, Democrats will have only the hope of recalling Walker to drive them to the polls, while Republicans will have two strong motivations to vote — keeping Walker in power and helping select the next Republican nominee for president. In an evenly divided swing state like Wisconsin, high Republican turnout will be a tough challenge for Democrats' get-out-the-vote mobilisation. A Walker recall election would have national implications and would attract national money from both sides.”

It’s not just that it's almost December, but Buca di Beppo is moving to Florida for good. Mike Hughlett of the Strib reports: “[C]orporate offices will move from downtown Minneapolis to the Orlando, Fla., headquarters of the restaurant chain's parent company, Planet Hollywood International. The 45 workers at Buca's headquarters will be offered jobs in Florida or given severance packages if they don't want to relocate, said David Crabtree, Planet Hollywood's chief executive. The move will occur April 1.” I believe it was Lizz Winstead who said, “If it weren’t for India, Florida would lead the world in weird news.” But it’s still pleasant to visit.

But, come on, Wisconsin  has to be a contender. I mean ... 11 years for killing ... a deer ... with a snowmobile? The AP story says: “{The] judge has sentenced a rural Weyauwega man to 11 years in prison for running down and killing deer with a snowmobile. But Rory Kuenzi, 27, will serve the sentence concurrently with the 23 years he is serving for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. Kuenzi pleaded no contest ... in Waupaca County Court to three counts of felony animal mistreatment in the 2009 incident ... He also pleaded no contest to two forfeiture offenses for possessing deer carcasses during a closed season. Last November, a jury found Kuenzi guilty of homicide by drunken driving and hit-and-run in the 2004 death of Kevin McCoy.”

But, of course, we still have stuff like this, from Richard Chin at the PiPress: “When a 5-year-old girl was asked about the pictures she was drawing at school of naked people, she told police that her babysitter had showed her movies of adults and children having sex and had asked her to ‘dance sexy,’ according to a criminal complaint in Ramsey County District Court that was made public Monday. The complaint charges the babysitter, Robert Michael Benike, 40, of St. Paul, with nine counts of possession of child pornography. Each of the felony counts carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.”

MPR weather guy Paul Huttner is getting optimistic. “Our mild and nearly snow free November means that the winter of 2011-'12 has now given up one potential month to mild and relatively sunny weather. Unless we get slammed in April which is unlikely, that means we will not have a 5 month winter like we had last year. In fact the GFS is hinting at near normal temps and below average snowfall into mid-December. That may mean this will be a shorter than average winter. It almost certainly looks shorter and less snowy that last year at this point. It's still too soon to say if we'll be milder with below average snowfall overall. For now I'm sticking to my forecast of near average temps and snowfall for this winter. But with each passing snow free week, the chances for below average winter snowfall increase a little.” Just give me one month of good snow for skiing and then rev 'er back up for spring.

It’s good to see Nick Coleman is still in full Irish form. On his blog, he’s merrily ripping Tuesday’s stadium hearing. “Check out the agenda for the meeting being held jointly by the Senate’s Committee on Taxes (chaired by Wilfare procurer Julianne Ortmann) and the Committee on Local Government and Elections. Item E, the final agenda item, is an insult to the taxpayers: “e. Public testimony related to site specific support or opposition.” That’s it. Yes, you can drag your weary public ass down to the Capitol to tell your government officials the full depth of your thinking on robbing your state to pay Zygi a Wilfare ransom. Just as long as your comments are either A) Arden Hills is great! or B) I’d prefer the Farmers Market! or C)  I am employed by the StarTribune so I am required to say that only the site next to our weedy parking lots is acceptable. Another ‘hearing’ (barf) is scheduled for Dec. 6, and that agenda shapes up to be just as much of a sick joke: That meeting will hear from the NFL (wow, brave!) and discuss current sources of revenue AND potential sources of revenue to build a new stadium, including robbing arts funding, building casinos and brothels on Block E, and replacing your kids’ teacher with a palm pilot. I exaggerate, but not much.”

As anticipated, the latest issue of GQ is out and Our Guy, T-Paw, is the No. 1 “Least Influential Person Alive.” Says Drew Magary in the glossy fashion mag: “Every election season produces a number of hilariously pointless candidates who have no chance of winning. Some of them have value as novelty items. Look! It's Alan Keyes, the token black Republican! And over there! It's David Duke! He's a racist! These are the fun, fringy candidates. The Sharpton Sector, if you will. Then there are folks like Pawlenty, who fail to register even as novelties. T-Paw (as he calls himself) spent much of 2011 as a six-foot-tall paperweight, an aggressively forgettable fellow perfectly suited to the role of debate filler. The $1 million he spent to lose the Iowa straw poll might as well have been burned in front of a group of orphans.” But hey, he’s 18 places up the ladder from Tila Tequila.

Today in Bachmannia: Our Gal for veep? In TIME’s “Swampland” blog, Jay Newton-Small writes: “Michele Bachmann abruptly canceled scheduled events in Iowa on Tuesday to do nine conservative and Christian radio programs. Her No. 1 topic? Newt Gingrich’s soft stance on immigration. Which candidate does this most help? Mitt Romney.
Throughout the summer and fall, Romney has hardly needed to attack any of his rivals; Bachmann has done it for him. When Rick Perry was rising in the polls, it was Bachmann who went after him for supporting a HPV vaccine mandate. When Herman Cain was on the ascent it was Bachmann who shot down his 9-9-9 plan and his ‘inconsistencies.’ Sure, the Minnesota congresswoman has taken an occasional dig at Romney. On Nov. 9 she called him a ‘frugal socialist.’ But in debates and in comparison to the vehemence with which she’s attacked other rivals, she’s gone easy on Romney. In fact, the two seem to have a pact of mutual non-aggression. Remember that round-table debate last month when Romney lobbed that softball question to Bachmann about her jobs program? ... none of his advisers are going to allow him to pick a man even blander and wonkier than the candidate himself to be his running mate. Bachmann, for all her flaws, is an attractive second option. She’s a woman who has a proven draw with the Tea Party. And she has repeatedly shown she has no problem going negative. So, Romney-Bachmann 2012? I certainly don’t imagine Bachmann would mind.”

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Comments (8)

Thanks a lot Brian. As a Chanhassen resident, you make me feel proud of my community and elected leaders for telling Walmart "no". But then, just when I'm feeling good about my town, you deliver a swift kiick to my groin, reminding me that the Failure that is Sen. Ortmann is our legislator.

"Wilfare." Excellent.

Glad to see local blogger Nick Coleman in full form. Ironic given the guy "who knows stuff's" attitude toward bloggers a few years back.

Also, still confused though as to how it is okay to dismiss his unhinged media personality and bizzare obsession with certain people in this town as him "being Irish". As someone with a large proportion of Irish genes I am looking for the list of what ethnicities, races,and cultures it is okay to dismiss being nuts to just a product of where our ancastors came from. If Patrick McMurphy causes an injury on the freeway because he was drunk can we just dismiss it as being in full Irish form?

Nick's "Wilfare" is indeed great.

And so is the GQ writer calling T-Paw "an aggressively forgettable fellow."

Thanks, MinnPost, for increasing my vocabulary today!

Nice to see that there's full employment in Chanhassen. It's the rare, affluent community that doesn't need more entry-level jobs for its teenagers and part-time jobs for its older adults. Count your blessings.

I am sorry to see people potentially losing their jobs but the garlic-fest known as Buca lost its lustre years ago. No loss.

It's the rare, forward-looking and principled town that is willing to make decisions about how it would like to shape its community and its values, rather than throwing everything overboard in the name of the all-powerful market god and its associated race to the bottom of the jobs barrel.

Thanks, Brian for todays comments. You were certainly in full English, French, Dutch, German form today.