We wish we shared his confidence. But US Bank CEO Richard Davis says he doesn’t see the country heading into a “double-ip recession.” Annie Baxter at MPR reports: “US Bank CEO Richard Davis said Monday the economy is still encumbered by weak consumer confidence, but he does not expect it, or Europe’s sovereign debt problems, to halt economic growth in the U.S. ‘I think what we’re going to see is we’re going to have a very slow recovery, and it will feel like a recession, because it isn’t going to be a fast recovery,’ Davis said at the opening of a new US Bank branch in Minneapolis on Tuesday. ‘I think if you look at all the statistics, it will probably be the longest, slowest trajectory out of a downturn,’ he said. ‘But I don’t expect anything to double dip. I think we’ll just see a slow, measured improvement that will take torturously long for all of us to feel good about.’ Davis said he doubts that consumers will lead the nation out of the economic slump. Instead, he predicted businesses will likely be the drivers, as they invest more and lower prices of their goods and services to lure consumers back.”
Deceased hockey player Derek Boogaard’s brother has walked on the charge of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The AP story says: “A Minnesota judge threw out a felony charge against the brother of hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard on Thursday for supplying a painkiller that contributed to the player’s overdose death earlier this year. Aaron Boogaard, 24, told police he gave his brother an oxycodone pill at the start of a night of partying that led to Boogaard’s death May 13 at age 28. Aaron Boogaard was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. In dismissing the charge, Hennepin County District Judge William Howard said the facts of the case didn’t support the charge. Howard wrote that Derek Boogaard had acquired the drugs and asked his brother to hold them, and that Aaron Boogaard’s act of giving him the pill was merely returning his property to him.”
Sometimes the little guy wins … a battle … if not the war. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Residents and cabin owners in the Ely and Isabella areas won another reprieve Wednesday from any mining company exploration under their lands. The state’s Executive Council voted unanimously to wait six more months before reconsidering a proposal to lease state-owned mineral rights to mining companies to explore in Northeastern Minnesota, including under private property. Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie led the effort to delay the vote, saying too many people are unaware of state laws and regulations, some written in the 1870s, that allowed the state to own the mineral rights under people’s homes and cabins. Dayton said the state’s entire mining lease procedures may need updating.” Uh … yeah.
The mayors of Worthington and Cloquet are reminding readers of the NewsTribune why their property taxes are shooting up: “It has been a hard pill to swallow but Greater Minnesota cities have come to terms with the budgetary decision to cut over $600 million in property tax relief to cities and counties to balance the budget and end the state government shutdown. The real insult is not the devastating cuts themselves, rather the rhetoric from certain state lawmakers who deny that deep cuts to programs like Local Government Aid, County Program Aid and the Market Value Homestead Credit will increase property taxes. That’s the real shame. Is there any wonder why the public is so upset with officials in St. Paul and Washington DC? These same lawmakers blame local units of government for property tax increases when we all know rising property taxes are necessary to offset the massive losses of state aid.” Worth noting is that the mayors carefully avoid pointing fingers at any specific dogma.
Tents and a “soup kitchen” are not going to be allowed at the Wall Street protests starting Friday. Tim Nelson of MPR writes: “[Sheriff Rich Stanek] said the county is likely to rule out several key requests — like staying in tents and a setting up a ‘soup kitchen.’ ‘Tents aren’t going to be part of it,’ he said. Stanek said he doesn’t think food preparation, particularly anything involving cooking fires or equipment, will be allowed. He said he was meeting with representatives from the Hennepin County Attorney’s office to get more legal advice before he meets with protest organizers.”
No doubt we’ll be hearing plenty about the “union thugs” conniving behind the scenes to organizethe Wall Street protests. But (no, not that) Michael Moore at the union website workday Minnesota says: “Several unions and labor federations have rallied behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Thousands of union activists swelled the protesters’ ranks during a march and rally Wednesday afternoon. Osha Karow, a spokesperson for organizers of Occupy Minnesota, said a handful of unions have been loosely involved in planning the local demonstration, which will begin at 9 a.m. Friday in Government Plaza downtown Minneapolis — or the ‘People’s Plaza,’ as protesters will call it — and continue through the weekend. ‘The occupy movement is all about creating a unified voice for everybody, including unions, to speak for the 99 percent,’ Karow said. ‘We’re the taxpayers that are people just like you and me. We’re union workers, college students, the elderly … who don’t have the loopholes that get the other 1 percent out of having to pay taxes.’ Of course, that’s a message several labor unions have been preaching for years.”
The PiPress has a photo gallery of fall color around the state: “Most state parks are reporting foliage reaching 75 percent to 100 percent of fall color, with a couple of parks in northern and central Minnesota now past their peak, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Andy Wendt, DNR naturalist at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, said Wednesday that colors there have peaked. ‘We’re starting to lose some of our leaves already,’ he said. ‘But there are still quite a few oaks and maples that are set ablaze with some nice oranges and reds.’ “
What’s the old line about “bayoneting the wounded”? Emily Gurnon of the PiPress writes: “Scott Ostrom feels like he got the shaft. Twice. First, the former Rainbow Foods manager was stabbed in the chest by an irate customer in a debit card dispute. That man, Russell Terry Johnson, 68, was sentenced today to three years in prison. Then the company where Ostrom had worked for 12 years fired him. The company alleged ‘job abandonment,’ Ostrom said. He believes it was because he had to take breaks during his shifts to cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. ‘I worked hard for the company,’ Ostrom said after the sentencing hearing in Ramsey County District Court. ‘I guess I was just another number to them.’ Vivian King, director of public affairs for Roundy’s Supermarkets, which owns Rainbow, said the facts as Ostrom described them are ‘not the facts that I have.’ “
Also in the PiPress, Frederick Melo and Doug Belden remind readers that the “Farmers’ Market option” for a Vikings stadium is by no means dead. “[A] group pushing the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market site has been quietly busy. The group has come up with a concept it says would bring sanity to the ‘broken and dysfunctional’ stadium process in Minnesota, and it has been shopping it to city, regional and statewide leaders. Its idea is to create an agency, modeled after the Metropolitan Airports Commission, that would manage the major Minneapolis and St. Paul sports, convention and entertainment facilities. ‘We’ve been on a reckless course of communities competing with each other, taking each other’s money, letting the sports team sit in the driver’s seat,’ said Mark Oyaas, a Minneapolis public affairs consultant who is promoting the idea along with architect and planner David Albersman and real estate investor Bruce Lambrecht. A ‘Minnesota Entertainment Commission’ would eliminate duplicative operations, de-politicize the planning process and be able to pursue a broader public good, the men say. The message would be: ‘If you want to operate a team here, we’re going to have a sane and sensible operation,’ Oyaas said.” But does “sane and sensible” translate to, you know … winning?
The upside to really crummy sports teams is … big discounts on team merchandise. A Strib story says: “Now that the Vikings are 0-4, fans can officially declare 2011-12 an ‘off season’ and expect discounts on team jerseys, hats and hoodies. With a shorter season than baseball and the strength of the conference — including the undefeated Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions — Vikings fans begin to break away when the season starts with four or five straight losses, said Steve Mocol, vice president of retail at Jacobs Trading liquidation in Hopkins. ‘In pro sports, apparel sales definitely slow down when a team is doing badly’, he said. ‘If they keep losing, their shirts won’t move and there will be markdowns.’ “ So who’ll give me $10 for my purple-and-gold Bernard Berrian union suit?