Strib: Stadium ‘investment’ standard for major league status

MORNING EDITION

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.

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by William Souder on 11/16/2011 - 07:22 am.

    Yes, when I think of hip, progressive, exciting urban centers one of the first cities that comes to mind is Green Bay, Wisconsin.

  2. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 11/16/2011 - 08:03 am.

    The WCCO fiasco with their “duck/dog” story indicates a severe dysfunction with WCCO management. Instead of pursuing stories that inform viewers about things we need to know on a local and national level, Caputa and his boss concentrate on stories that are either poorly researched and vetted, or that have no place in a newscast, because they aren’t newsworthy.

    Frank driving a tank is newsworthy? Nope, it’s a pure stunt, designed only to garner eyeballs during the sweeps period. Same with the story about training celebrity “bodyguards”. Schugel’s story could have avoided being the farce it became with proper vetting and actual on-site confirmation, but WCCO and CBS are cheap, so they won’t pay for that. As a result, it’s their own fault.

    As viewers, we need to stop tuning in to all the local newscasts to send them a message that we want real reporting on local and national issues, not fluff pieces or cursory dismissals of those stories.

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/16/2011 - 08:35 am.

    “communities that value major-league status”…hey, we lost that when Kim Kardashian dissed us.

  4. Submitted by Nick Coleman on 11/16/2011 - 08:48 am.

    “Taxpayers! Come to the rescue of your local bar owners!” No, that’s not the gist of the Strib stance on the Billion-dollar Boondoggle. The real meaning of its position: “Taxpayers! Come to the rescue of your local newspaper!” The Strib still is shilling in the hope of unloading its weed-strewn parking lots… Sad…just sad…

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/16/2011 - 08:51 am.

    What $650 million might do instead:

    U.S. 3M company plans new plant in China to produce green energy products

    April 08, 2011

    The 3M corporation will invest one billion yuan (about 152.8 million U.S. Dollars) to build a plant in Hefei, a city in east China’s Anhui Province, to produce new energy products, including solar photovoltaic materials, authorities said Thursday.

    The construction of the plant is set to kick off in June 2011 in the high-tech industrial zone of the city, and the plant is expected to generate an annual output value of about two billion yuan upon its completion at the end of 2015, said Xu Junxiong, 3M head of Greater China.

    The U.S.-based company, formally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation, was founded in 1902 and it produces over 50,000 products, such as electronic materials, medical products and car care products.

    The 3M company built its first subsidiary in China in November 1984 and it now has 12 subsidiaries across the country, plus three technical support centers and one research and development center, employing more than 5,700 people, according to a document posted at the 3M company’s website.

  6. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/16/2011 - 09:16 am.

    Note to Rep. Hahn: If Gov. Dayton calls you a schmuck, THAT’s a personal attack.

    If Gov. Dayton offers his opinion on your behavior, an opinion I happen to agree with, he’s commenting on what you’re actually doing (not on who you are as a human being). Doing so is NOT a personal attack.

    Just because you can’t deal with being criticized, even when you do things that are clearly very worthy of criticism, doesn’t mean those who are criticizing your actions are attacking you. They’re attacking your behavior. Can you comprehend that there’s a difference?

    If you can’t stand the heat get yourself out of the kitchen (or at least stop turning up the flame on your favorite burners while complaining about how hot it’s getting).

  7. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 11/16/2011 - 09:38 am.

    “Taxpayers! Come to the rescue of your local bar owners!”

    Already do this, thanks.

  8. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 11/16/2011 - 10:58 am.

    If there was a like or recommend button, I’d click it for #6. Hann through away free money because he just doesn’t like Obama or health care reform. Supposedly fiscally conservative Hann throws money away when the purpose violates a GOP talking point. if it was his money that would be fine, but that was everybody’s money.

    Reminds me of when Gov. Traffic Jam Pawlenty threw away highway funds because a DFL congressman arranged for Minnesota to get them. Then these guys claim to be such good stewards of the public money.

  9. Submitted by Bob Rumpza on 11/16/2011 - 11:26 am.

    WCCO TV “News”

    And really, Amelia’s exclusive interview with the White House chef a couple of weeks ago? Hard-hitting stuff!

  10. Submitted by Howard Salute on 11/16/2011 - 12:02 pm.

    Nick…sounds like you are still bitter. Most people see the conflict the Strib has, but give the professional journalist the benefit of the doubt.

  11. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/16/2011 - 03:30 pm.

    What Mr. Hahn would like to see become law is the proposed Healthy Minnesota Contribution Act. All Minnesotans would be required to purchase private insurance (didn’t the Right just say that was unconstitutional?). The state’s “contribution” would be to pay 80% of the cost of premiums.

    Families would have to buy a separate policy for each member and pay a deductible ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 for any member in order for insurance to cover expenses in full for that person after the deductible is met. There would be various co-pays, surcharges for using out-of-network providers or buying brand name drugs instead of generics, even if a brand name drug is the only one that helps.

    Hats off to the governor for standing strong.

  12. Submitted by RODNEY COPELAND on 11/16/2011 - 11:07 pm.

    _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!_

    1) Those bars are not local to me…

    2) Forget joining the debate; if a stadium is so important to their business, they should cough up the $300 million among themselves.

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