Sounding vaguely like Gen. Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove” demanding his fellow warriors “not allow a mine shaft gap,” the Strib editorial board sees us becoming a weak echo of that powerhouse … Green Bay. Says the board: “[A] public investment in pro-sports facilities is the standard price of admission for communities that value major-league status. What [Vikings owner Zygi] Wilf likely envied in Green Bay on Monday could be emulated at any of the three downtown Minneapolis sites now under consideration. And this page continues to believe that an investment in Minneapolis would generate the most economic benefit for the region. … It’s not just a matter of keeping pace with the competition to the east and the rest of the NFL. Just ask the downtown restaurant, bar and hotel owners who are coping with the growing possibility that the NBA season will be lost. It’s the owners of those businesses, along with the leaders of the area’s largest corporations, who should be joining the stadium debate and pushing the governor and legislators to finally get serious about a stadium solution that includes a responsible investment in a statewide asset.” Taxpayers! Come to the rescue of your local bar owners!
Neither local paper has shown much interest in the now nationally notorious ” ‘duck,’ not ‘dog’ ” fiasco at WCCO-TV. Kevin Hoffman at City Pages writes: “New details have emerged regarding the WCCO-TV story broadcast October 31 that falsely claimed local dogs were being sold as meat for human consumption in New York City’s Chinatown, and it doesn’t look good for I-Team reporter James Schugel and his bosses. The entire chain of command was involved in the decision to run what has become known as the ‘duck/dog’ story, all the way up to CBS corporate in New York, according to a WCCO newsroom source who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. ‘It was approved by multiple middle-manager producers, and the CBS lawyer,’ says the source. ‘Our news director hasn’t said a word, hasn’t approached anyone in the newsroom about it. He may make heads roll before his head rolls.’ … WCCO has also removed all traces of the duck/dog story from its website, including the only known video of the original broadcast. The secrecy surrounding the story extends internally, according to our source, and all remnants have been deleted from WCCO’s newsroom servers, which typically archive pieces long after the original air date. ‘Everything related to that story is gone,’ says the source, who suspects the files have been preserved in a private location in the event of litigation. ‘Maybe they just moved it to a different place for the lawyers to take a look at.’ The source says it is the worst controversy to hit WCCO since the Northwest Airlines case in 1996, and the station’s refusal to address the situation casts a cloud over the newsroom.”
So how are they fixed for drugs and rock ‘n’ roll? Fox9’s Leah Beno and Shelby Capacio report on … sex, Occupy-style. “[T]here have been multiple reports of sex on the Hennepin County Government Center plaza. ‘People have sex. When you have people, there are needs to be fulfilled — not that I advocate that, but yeah. That did happen,’ said John Steitz. Steitz wasn’t the protestor involved in the in-the-open intercourse, but he knows who was. Still, he says he and other occupiers are trying to follow most of the rules. ‘We try our best not to urinate in public, but it gets tough when you have nowhere to go and you have a couple hundred people,’ he said. … the Occupy protest could be worse — especially compared to other areas of the country. ‘It’s not good to have public sex on a public plaza … Or to have a Port-a-Potty set on fire, but as you said, it could be a lot worse,’ [Hennepin County commissioner Mark] Stenglein said.” No kidding, what if the Tea Partiers had sex in public?
The Dayton-Hann feud continues pretty much unabated. Elizabeth Stawicki at MPR reports: “The rancor grows between Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP state Sen. David Hann over the use of federal health grants. Grant money is a key point of conflict, as the governor and the health and human services committee chair spar over how the state should implement the federal health care overhaul. … Dayton and Hann are at odds over using federal grant money to implement the federal health care law in Minnesota. Hann questioned Dayton’s authority to unilaterally use up to $28 million in grants. Hann, a strong opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law, took action to hold up unrelated federal grant money earlier this month. In response, the governor said Hann was guilty of ‘unconscionable behavior.’ During Tuesday’s hearing, Hann said the attack was personal.” And apparently he’s sensitive about that.
Because most people like to see what they’re buying, the downtown stadium crowd laid out some super-slick drawings of their dream facility Wednesday. Matt Sepic of MPR writes: “The group 2020 Partners unveiled site plans for two Minneapolis locations on Tuesday evening. One site along Linden Avenue near the Basilica would include an art garden and hotels. Another proposal would be built near the farmers market site in Minneapolis, and concept art shows the market and stadium operating side by side. The group says a proposal for the Metrodome site will be released later. The public should have more say in the Vikings’ plans, said developer Chuck Leer. ‘The perception of what’s happening is that the public isn’t calling the shots,’ Leer said. ‘I think it’s important that with us, the public, putting in most of the resources — and we’re the ones who are going to make this investment — that it should be shaped and in a form that serves our public purposes.’ ” Of course, the public’s choices need to be, shall we say, guided …
Today in Bachmannia: The AP serves up a bit more from Our Gal’s new book: “Bachmann doesn’t get into the campaign gaffes in the book, but she indirectly acknowledges past missteps. ‘I’ve learned the hard way at the national level that any erroneous statement will very quickly be magnified,’ she writes. ‘So, as someone who talks for a living, I’ve learned to check, double-check and triple-check my sources. And yet I still make a mistake or two!’ In her closing chapter, Bachmann said her key to victory is to not stray from her conservative principles. ‘I believe that a conventional, play-it-safe campaign will ensure that America has to endure another four years of Barack Obama and his wrecking-crew policies,’ she writes. ‘That is, if the Republican presidential nominee fails to energize key constituencies, or worse, if the nominee is seen as insincere, then we will lose.’ ” She may need to triple-check to see who among her competitors is most insincere.
You are aware that the NBA is not playing, right? In fact, on Tuesday, the first major legal action in the lockout took place here in the Twin Cities. Kurt Helin at ProBasketball Talk writes: “Four players — Anthony Tolliver, Ben Gordon, Caron Butler and recent No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams (who does not yet have an NBA contract) — became the first plaintiffs in a players suit to challenge the lockout on antitrust grounds. Minnesota is where the NFL players filed their case, a place the players see as friendly to their case. A second suit is expected to be filed soon in Northern California with the plaintiffs being Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Leon Powe and Kawhi Leonard (another rookie without a contract). This is a class action lawsuit that states (according to the AP) that the owners’ lockout ‘constitutes an illegal group boycott, price-fixing agreement, and/or restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act.’ ”
The Strib’s Jeremy Olson, on his “Daddy-O” blog, looks at census numbers and writes: “The recession and housing bust severely impacted the migration of people to and from Minnesota, according to new U.S. Census reports. Comparing 2005 and 2010 estimates from the American Community Survey, Minnesota saw as much as a 10 percent decline in people moving into the state. Fewer people moved here from large states such as Illinois, California and New York, and also from border states such as Iowa. Likewise, Minnesota saw fewer people leaving for larger states where the cost of living and housing is higher. Cost might also be influencing retirement choices; while the number of Minnesotans moving to Arizona remained somewhat steady from 2005 to 2010, the number moving to Florida cut in half (11,224 in 2005 to 5,439 in 2010).”
That former Nativity priest was found guilty of one count of third degree criminal sexual conduct in the case involving a young parishoner. Richard Chin at the PiPress writes: “A Ramsey County District Court jury found the Rev. Christopher Thomas Wenthe, 47, guilty of having sex with the parishioner — a woman in her early 20s who recently had converted to Catholicism — during a meeting in late 2003. The incident violated a state law prohibiting clergy members from having sex with someone seeking or receiving religious or spiritual advice, aid or comfort in private, the jury decided. The jury, though, acquitted Wenthe of a second count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct that alleged that he had sex with the woman from November 2003 to February 2005 while the woman was receiving religious or spiritual help on an ongoing basis.” The PiPress has spared no ink on this story.