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Mayor Rybak still a ‘no’ on top party job

Homeowner unhappy with airport plan; tobacco bonds sold; a cold winter predicted; Walker Art Center facelift; Target bullish on holidays; “Boss” helps Second Harvest; and more.

Brett Neely of MPR is still getting more or less a “no” from Mayor R.T. Rybak about running the Democratic National Committee: “After strongly supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s name has been floating around Washington in recent days as a possible candidate to take over the Democratic National Committee. But Rybak, who’s visiting the capital to lobby Congress and the executive branch on the upcoming spending cuts and tax hikes known as the fiscal cliff, says there’s nothing to the rumors. ‘Nobody’s talked to me about anything, and I haven’t talked to anybody about anything, too,’ said Rybak, shortly after getting out of a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.”

Edina is rising up! In a Strib commentary, Edina-mite Tom Beckey writes: “The FAA has proposed to change the departure flight paths at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by year’s end. The plan is to concentrate the departures onto a few ‘highways’ in the name of improved safety. About 75 percent of the flights from runway 30L will be directed over two of these highways — think ‘congested freeways’ now. If you live underneath one of these freeways, your life is about to change, big-time. … This is not an occasional plane overhead; this is constant noise. Forget about being outside gardening or barbecuing with friends. If you’re lucky, you can hide in your sound-insulated house all day. Most of the houses beneath the freeway will not have this benefit, though, since the MAC’s sound-insulation program never envisioned a flight path like this.”

Still on the Vikings stadium seat license story, Tim Nelson of MPR connects with a couple holding sort of heritage tickets and among those being courted by the Vikings for premier seating in the new place: “The team now plans a venue rebirth, with a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome. The deal the team cut with the state allows the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to sell “stadium builders licenses,” also known as personal seat licenses, to help fund the construction. Back in December 2011, the Vikings told a Senate hearing, including Dayton’s stadium negotiator Ted Mondale, that the average personal seat take for NFL franchises like theirs was $50 million. … Mark Baumhover sounds like he’s not biting. ‘Some part of this is a business, and they can set their price, and we as the customer can decide whether we can afford it or want to afford it,’ he said of the survey experience. ‘Although, it stinks for the part of this that isn’t a business. Which is the attachment to a sports team, there is public funding in it. There are other aspects that should factor in, and why they can ask for as much money as they want, but part of that is listening when people squawk or say that we’re not going to be interested.’ ” That guy doesn’t sound like he cares about being “major league.”

The can-kicking/squirrely patch-job budgeting process continues … . The AP reports: “Minnesota has completed the refinancing of tobacco revenue bonds after the state Supreme Court ruled the move is constitutional. Minnesota Management and Budget said Thursday the state sold $656 million in state appropriation bonds to refinance the tobacco bonds it sold last year. … Last month, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the state has the constitutional authority to borrow money to refinance the bonds it sold last November using future revenue from its 1998 settlement with tobacco companies. The state sold $757 million in tobacco bonds to help with a budget gap.”

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What’s the accuracy rate beyond 10 days? Bill McAuliffe of the Strib writes: “Minnesotans might need a few more logs on the fire this winter. Below-normal temperatures are likely for the state for December, January and February, the national Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicated Thursday in its outlook for ‘meteorological’ winter. And while the outlook is noncommittal on precipitation, officials indicated winter might bring some drought relief to Minnesota and the Dakotas. The outlook is far from bulletproof, however. Because El Niño, a global weather influence that had been mounting in late summer, will instead take the winter off, the new outlook is based on shorter-term and less reliable dynamics.”

.The original part of the Walker Art Center is getting a lift and tuck. At the Strib, Mary Abbe writes: “Come February, Walker Art Center plans to strip off its brick skin and warm up with new undies. The renovation project announced Thursday will remove the burgundy-colored bricks on the outside of the museum’s 1971 section, add new weatherproofing and vapor barriers around the exposed core, and then install new bricks of the same color and design. The center’s newer metal-clad addition, which opened in 2005, will not be affected. The project will start Feb. 25 and be finished by December 2013.”

Fiscal cliff be damned, I guess. The AP reports: “Target Corp. is optimistic heading into the critical holiday shopping season after a strong third quarter. The holiday shopping season can make up 40 percent of a retailer’s annual revenue — and Target expects this year to be ‘highly competitive and promotional,’ said Kathryn Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising. … For the fourth quarter, which ends in January, the company anticipates adjusted earnings of $1.64 to $1.74 per share. Analysts predict $1.51 per share. Target’s stock added $1.41, or 2.3 percent, to $62.49 in afternoon trading Thursday. Target’s upbeat view contrasts with rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The world’s biggest retailer on Thursday issued a fourth-quarter profit outlook that came in below Wall Street expectations.”

Bruce Springsteen’s pitches for Second Harvest paid off. MPR’s Julie Siple writes: “During his pair of concerts this week at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, rock star Bruce Springsteen called on fans to help fight hunger — and they answered. Fans donated more than $17,000 to Second Harvest Heartland food bank, about $6,000 more than when Springsteen made a similar request at just one St. Paul concert in 2009. … Second Harvest will use the money to buy food and transport it to local food shelves. Second Harvest hopes to bring in at least $150,000 as part of Give to the Max Day in Minnesota. If the food bank meets that goal, it will draw an extra $150,000 in matching grants.” Note: Second Harvest ended up third out of more than 4,300 nonprofits, raising more than $314,000, according to unofficial results.

You, of course, remember Bradlee Dean, the anti-gay activist/work-out suit reverend invited by the GOP caucus to give benediction at a session of their jobs-driven Legislature last year and currently under court order to reimburse cable TV host Rachel Maddow and defunct online paper The Minnesota Independent $24,000 in legal fees? Aaron Rupar of City Pages writes: “Tuesday came and went without Dean paying up. So what’s Dean’s plan? It appears he and his attorney, Larry Klayman — who has legal problems of his own involving an allegation he sexually abused his own children — are arguing that Judge (Joan) Zeldon should be removed from Dean’s case because she’s a supporter of ‘leftist ideology.’ … in an interview with [World Net Daily], Klayman offers up this preposterous statement: ‘We need more Bradlee Deans in the world and hateful left wing television commentators must be made to respect not only his mission but the law.’ ” Which I guess is all you can say when you’ve been flattened in court.