Minneapolis council member: Send stadium bill back to the Legislature

Go ahead, man. Give it a shot … Maverick Minneapolis Council Member Gary Schiff still hasn’t got the memo about the Vikings stadium. In a Strib commentary, he says: “This week the Minneapolis City Council should send the bill back to the Legislature to ask for a financing plan that spreads the cost fairly to all who value the Minnesota Vikings. Gov. Dayton and the Vikings negotiated a stadium financing package that was good enough to pass at the Legislature, but perhaps one of the reasons they were able to come to an agreement is because they’ve offloaded the largest share of stadium costs onto Minneapolis. Minneapolis’ share of the stadium costs is not limited to the $150 million construction costs often mentioned. In the financing bill, the city is also responsible for interest on the construction debt, plus ongoing operating, maintenance and upgrade costs over the next 30 years. The minimum cumulative cost to Minneapolis sales taxpayers will be $675 million, while another clause in the deal allows the subsidy to swell to $890 million. Minneapolis is being given a white elephant — with horns.”

If you remember the flap over mineral mining leases up north, leases that would allow mining under private property, it’s coming to a head next week. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Minnesota’s Executive Council is set to act on 77 mineral exploration leases next week that have been delayed for a year because of concerns by private landowners that their rights could be infringed. The council, comprised of the governor and the state’s other top elected officials, twice considered the leases in 2011 but delayed action. However, notice came today that the council will hold a special meeting May 31 to consider the leases. It’s expected the leases will be approved. The mineral leases are auctioned off nearly every year by the Department of Natural Resources to mining companies to explore where the state owns the mineral rights. The companies pay a small fee to the state for exploration and then, if any ore is actually mined, the state gets big royalties. But several of the state-owned mineral leases under consideration are underneath land that is privately owned. Some landowners say they didn’t know they didn’t own their mineral rights. Others say they knew but never expected mineral exploration on their land far from the traditional Iron Range.”

Now I ask you, how would you like this guy living next door? The News Tribune also reports: “A Big Lake, Minn., man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for producing child pornography in a Hibbing hotel room.In a news release, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Joel Grogan Zigler, 48, admitted that in October 2010 he lured the juveniles into a hotel room and induced them to engage in sexually explicit behavior. He recorded the behavior using a digital camcorder. The camcorder, videos and other media were seized during a search of the home of Zigler’s parents, where Zigler was staying.”

This story, too, covers a lot of unusual facets. Abby Simons in the Strib writes: “A Minneapolis woman is charged with starting a fight outside a bar last year that left a friend of hers dead and led to murder charges against Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, in a case that became a rallying point for the transgender community. Molly Shannon Flaherty, 41, was charged May 11 with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, both felonies, for allegedly smashing a glass in McDonald’s face outside the Schooner Bar in Minneapolis on June 5. … McDonald, who is transgender and lives as a woman, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter May 2 and is expected to be sentenced to three and half years in prison. For months before the plea, McDonald’s supporters protested the charges against her. Flaherty and Schmitz were among a group smoking cigarettes outside the bar just after midnight when McDonald and friends walked by, the charges said. Schmitz allegedly began hurling racial, homophobic and transgender slurs at McDonald’s group, who then confronted [Dean] Schmitz, the charges said.” … and on a related note there was an incident of expired tabs in Edina.

The Trevor Cook cronies’ Ponzi scheme trial continues to be a guilty pleasure. Dan Browning of the Strib writes: “Ty Schlobohm testified Tuesday that within 20 minutes of meeting Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook and his associates, he knew that the currency investment program they were pitching couldn’t be real. ‘I thought it was a farce,’ said Schlobohm, a 39-year-old equities trader and former investment banker from Orono who became an undercover government informant. Cook was claiming that the investment program he pitched from 2005 to 2009 had made consistent, double-digit returns for years with zero losses. ‘It was statistically the most impossible list of returns I’d ever seen,’ Schlobohm said.”

On the topic of yet another new stadium, Roman Augustovitz of the Strib writes: “Mother Nature is getting a head start on the demolition of Siebert Field. Over the weekend, one of the nine wooden poles holding up the huge black batter’s eye behind the outfield fence toppled over. The pole on the far left — looking from home plate — fell onto the outfield grass, taking out one of the green wooden panels between the NCAA logo and the numbers 380, painted in white, indicating the distance to dead center. … The stadium’s time has come. [U of M baseball coach John] Anderson said he expects the U of M’s board of regents to approve the first phase of construction on a new ballpark — at a cost of $7.5 million that Anderson helped raise — when it meets in early June. A ground-breaking ceremony for the stadium is planned for June 11.”

Oh, and this one, too. Frederick Melo of the PiPress writes: “The St. Paul Port Authority has signed the paperwork on a land purchase that could eventually replace a 30-year-old St. Paul ballpark with a brand new one. The St. Paul Saints moved a step closer to finding a new home in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, thanks to a $1.85 million purchase-and-sale agreement between the Port Authority and the owners of a shuttered downtown warehouse. The agreement with the Diamond Products company was signed Tuesday … by Port Authority President Louie Jambois. The Port Authority expects to close on the land on July 31. The Port Authority plans to buy the old Diamond Products / Gillette building in Lowertown and then swap it with the city for Midway Stadium off Energy Park Drive.”

The Guthrie’s full schedule for its 50th anniversary season has been released. Euan Kerr’s story for MPR says: “The initial line-up for what will be the theater’s 50th season drew controversy from some quarters due to the lack of diversity amongst its playwrights and directors. In a final announcement the Guthrie revealed it has added a Pillsbury House Theatre production of ‘Buzzer’ by Tracey Scott Wilson, directed by Marion McClinton. Pillsbury House and the Guthrie co-commissioned the play, which premiered at the south Minneapolis venue in February this year. The play explores the impact of gentrification on a neighborhood from the perspective of a mixed couple and their friends. The Guthrie also announced Lisa Peterson will direct the production of the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘Clybourne Park.’ Peterson directed the Guthrie’s recent productions of ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘Major Barbara.’ She also worked with Denis O’Hare to co-adapt ‘An Iliad,’ a one performer presentation of Homer’s classic tale. Guthrie veteran Stephen Yoakam will take on the role.”

We might be getting some serious rain over the next 36 hours. Paul Huttner at MPR says: “A cold front will cut into a warm and increasingly humid air mass over Minnesota Wednesday. Scattered storms should begin to develop in central Minnesota along the front Wednesday afternoon. A few of the storms may reach severe limits, and SPC [Storm Prediction Center] has placed parts of southern Minnesota under a slight risk for severe weather, including the Twin Cities metro area. The best chance for storms appears to be anytime after 2pm Wednesday, and storms should continue to develop through Wednesday night into Thursday as the front stalls overhead. Topical downpours may deliver same heavy rainfall totals. The upper wind flow will run parallel to the front, and that means storms may ‘train’ moving over the same area and dumping heavy rainfall. Locally 1″ to 2″ rainfall totals may be common, and it’s possible some areas could pick up in excess of 3″ by Thursday afternoon.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Jim Camery on 05/23/2012 - 09:31 am.


    When do the Lynx get their own building?

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