The Strib’s Mike Meyers pens a surprisingly sanguine analysis of Meltdown Monday’s effect on Minnesota. Sure, there’s a huge credit crunch, but a local Fed adviser thinks damage will be contained to Wall Street. Another expert says, effectively, “Huh?” and notes asset and credit evaporation won’t leave us unscathed. Minnesota’s financial-sector employment is growing and some NYC refugees could find work here. Leave the bubble stuff in Manhattan, though, folks. MPR’s Martin Moylan echoes the relatively rosy view
Not so sanguine: A new Strib poll reveals four in 10 Minnesotans are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent, David Phelps writes. Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s a wish for government activism: 63 percent say the feds should keep people in homes nearing foreclosure. Seven in 10 want the government to do more to fix the economy. How does this interventionism add up to a dead heat for John McCain?
The PiPress’ Nicole Garrison-Sprenger notes local financial stocks dipped less than the national players: Wells Fargo’s valuation fell 9.6 percent, but that paled in comparison with Bank of America’s 21.6 percent drop. US Bankcorp was down 2.6 percent.
KSTP’s Steve Shaw reports a Brooklyn Center bank ran out of cash Monday. Time to wear pickle barrels? Nope. Turns out the Bremer branch mistimed cash deliveries to cash an influx of student loan checks.
Everyone reports the new Twins ballpark will be called Target Field, connected to Target Center by Target Plaza. The deal is probably worth at least $100 million, though Finance and Commerce’s Bob Geiger helpfully notes the final price hasn’t been agreed to yet. (The announcement was for an agreement in principle.)
More moneyball: if you’re keeping score at home, the Twins will fork out about $167 million of the ballpark’s $517 million cost. That means the team’s out-of-pocket is no more than $67 million if they reap $100 million from the Target deal. The Strib’s Herón Márquez Estrada says the Twins only seriously negotiated with the discount giant. In F&C, one expert speculates that Target Center could get a new named sponsor when the current deal expires in 2011. (See MinnPost analysis here.)
The Strib’s ATV series — which has shown the state hopelessly outgunned when it comes to preserving natural areas — concludes by noting political appointees overruled staff and opened wide swaths to riders. ATV groups say they get to gun through state forests because they’re excluded from parks and wildlife areas. The state says it ratified trails that were there already.
MPR’s Mark Zdechlik profiles Dean Barkley, the man who might decide who wins the U.S. Senate race. The Independence Party endorsee is at double digits in the polls, and thinks he hurts Norm Coleman more than Al Franken, based on 12 days at the State Fair. Could Ventura-effect lightning strike twice? Barkley lacks Jesse’s star power and spends most of his time fundraising for radio campaigns. Stranger things have happened, though. KSTP’s Tom Hauser also analyzes the three-way.
Everyone notes the 35W bridge will open at 5 a.m. Thursday; nearby Gold Medal Park will feature a $1 million, 13-upright-girder memorial, which you can see here. The Strib’s Jim Foti and Pam Louwagie note the feds have kicked in $400 million overall for the quickly done highway project. The construction firm won’t get the max bonus but is still eligible for a $25 million spiff. The Strib’s Nick Coleman notes not every survivor is happy with Monday’s political grip-and-grin.
Fun regulatory story: St. Paul bans unsupervised health clubs. But unstaffed is the new 24-hour fitness-club trend. The Strib’s Chris Havens says a council majority wants to change the rules. Can’t wait for the first naughtiness to make local TV news!
Speaking of naughty: A Colorado RNC delegate was robbed of $150,000 by a woman he met at Minneapolis’ Hotel Ivy. The PiPress’ David Hanners says 29-year-old Gabriel Schwartz, who was drugged, “lost a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring, a necklace valued at $5,000, earrings priced at $4,000 and a Prada belt valued at $1,000.” Schwartz was highly quotable during the convention, advocating bombing Iran. The Strib’s Lora Pabst values the loss at $150K and says prostitution may not have been involved.
Sun Country execs say their airline has become profitable because of charter flights, the Strib’s Liz Fedor reports. Charters (which now include Joe Biden’s plane) represent a return to the airline’s roots. Still, the PiPress’ John Welbes notes that the airline’s cash cushion has been cut in half to $2.3 million. Despite the new profits and declining fuel costs, airline execs still want a Metropolitan Airports Commission handout, but the MAC doesn’t sound helpful.
MPR’s Mark Steil says Minnesota organic grower profits doubled in 2007, to $59,000 per farm. Organic grain farmers saw tenfold increases.
Nort spews: The Twins lose 3-1 to some Baltimore no-name and still trail Chicago by a game and a half. Time’s running out. The Vikes will be blacked out unless they sell 3,700 tickets by noon Thursday. Also, the football Gophers received votes in the AP Top 25 poll. Who’s the idiot? Aditi Kinkhabwala of the Bergen (N.J.) Record. Take away her ballot!