Now … about that extra $2 million … Curtis Gilbert at MPR reports: “Before St. Paul can build a new ballpark for the minor league Saints baseball team, it needs to plug a $2 million hole in the project’s budget. … [St. Paul Finance Director Todd] Hurley has already shaken virtually every couch cushion in the city budget to come up with the $17 million dollars St. Paul already committed to the project. He tapped seven different funding streams including riverfront revitalization money and leftover sales tax proceeds. He even scraped $500,000 out of a fund for sewer improvements. ‘Either we need to figure out as a team if we are going to be able to find an additional $2 million within the city, or we’re going to have to go back to the drawing table, sharpen our pencils, and figure out how to value-engineer $2 million out of the project,’ Hurley said, ‘or some combination of both.’ ” Have they thought about seat licenses and luxury corporate boxes?
As you might expect … there is confusion in Cheesehead Land over the striking down of the Act 10 collective bargaining law. The AP says: “Wisconsin school and government employee unions on Monday were considering whether to seek new contract talks after a state court threw out a new law that restricts public workers’ collective bargaining rights. At least one major union representing about 4,700 teachers in Madison said it will demand new contract negotiations, while others said they were considering their options. … ‘There are hundreds of questions about what this means for local school districts at this time and I don’t think anybody has the answers,’ said Miles Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators. ‘This is going to take some time.’ ” By which I assume he means, “Even more than it has already.”
Frost! MPR’s Paul Huttner says: “Freeze warnings out for much of northern & central Minnesota tonight. 20s in International Falls, Ely, Brainerd Duluth & Hibbing. Frost likely even in metro suburbs Tuesday morning. 39 at MSP Airport Tuesday morning?”
A St. Paul judge showed leniency but nothing like high expectations at a sentencing. Says the PiPress’ David Hanners: “The judge told the woman that his lenient sentence for bank fraud was a ‘gift,’ but he also said he expected her to screw it up. ‘You come from a family of thieves. That’s all you’ve known all your life, and I expect you to go back out and do it again,’ Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis told Ci’Preanni Ja’Von Stewart as he sentenced her to ‘time served’ in a scheme that cost Target Corp. more than $45,000. In her case, ‘time served’ amounts to the day she spent in jail after she was charged in December. She could’ve faced 14 months in prison. Stewart, 22, of St. Paul, was also placed on five years’ supervised release and ordered to pay $45,823.16 restitution. That’s how much the retailer was defrauded in an illegal ploy that involved passing off personal checks as travelers checks. In June, Davis gave a similar sentence to Stewart’s boyfriend, and another judge sentenced a male-to-female transgender defendant involved in the scheme to four years and nine months in prison. That defendant was also ordered her to pay more than $261,000 restitution.” … Probably not the neighbors to lend your lawn mower to.
Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” has some Minnesota color. Rachel Krause of the PiPress writes: “[B]rilliant is what they’re calling her over at Popular Science magazine. [Associate prof Christy] Haynes’ recent success with the platelets in blood cells is helping scientists get an inside look at how platelets function for the first time. Last week, the magazine named Haynes to its annual ‘Brilliant 10’ list, recognizing 10 young researchers from across the nation who are shaking up science. ‘Basic survival hinges on these cells,’ Haynes said. ‘Understanding these cells means we’re able to measure things no one could measure before.’ Haynes and her researchers were the first to measure the molecules released by a platelet in real time.”
The flap over the $4,000 UMD spent on a “transgender” photo exhibit gets a working over on the Jezebel website today. Doug Barry writes: “A report on Campus Reform — which passive-aggressively refers to Cameron as a ‘self-described man’ — describes the photographs in “Transgender Images” as explicit (as if nudes were a shocking innovation in the art world), and, referring to an anti-racism initiative called the ‘Unfair Campaign’ that the university sponosored in June, claims that UMD is ‘now infamous for funding controversial programs.’ The ‘controversy’ with Cameron’s exhibit, of course, centers around the fact that the university is public, so even the relatively meager $4,000 to cover Cameron’s travel and speaking fees is somehow subject to prudish criticism.” The school ought to stage a “creationist art” show and see what happens.
There are ways around double jeopardy. The AP reports: “The Minnesota Court of Appeals is affirming the conviction and sentence of a man found guilty of ordering the kidnapping and killing of an Iowa teen. The appeals court ruled Monday that the Minnesota conviction of Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez does not violate his right to be free from double jeopardy. … Castillo-Alvarez was convicted in Iowa, but that conviction was reversed because he did not get a speedy trial. He was then prosecuted in Minnesota, where he was convicted and got 44 years in prison. His attorneys argued Minnesota prosecutors violated his right to be free from double jeopardy because they prosecuted him for the same offense. But the appeals court disagreed.”
So maybe the Indians or Chinese can do something with Best Buy and SuperValu? Adam Belz of the Strib writes: “Asia’s largest IT company is opening an office in Bloomington, adding 150 jobs to its presence in the metro, where the firm already has 1,000 employees. Tata Consultancy Services, the Mumbai-based firm with 243,000 employees and $8.2 billion in worldwide revenue, says it will install 300 workers in the 8300 Tower at the Normandale Lake Office Park – half of them new, half of them relocated from other offices in the metro. (As of 2007, the company already employed 1,000 people in the Twin Cities.) … This coming spring, another large Indian conglomerate, the Essar Group, plans to open a $4 billion steel mill complex 20 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. The project could add as many as 500 permanent jobs.”
And under …Oh Hell, It’s Worth a Shot … a story, via Talk Radio News Service: “Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison introduced legislation Monday that would impose taxes stocks, bonds and derivatives being sold by Wall Street. Ellision, a member of the Democratic Progressive Caucus, argues that middle-class families whose tax dollars were used to bail out Wall Street ‘bore the brunt’ of the recession that followed and this new tax would help ‘strengthen American families.’ … The revenues collected by The Inclusive Property Act (H.R. 6411) would be redirected to improving the nation’s infrastructure at the state and federal level, according to a statement released by Ellison. The proposed legislation will tax the sale of stocks by 0.5 percent and bonds by 0.1 percent. Derivatives and other types of investments would be taxed by 0.005 percent.”