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Supervalu execs pocket $22 million in ‘golden parachutes’

Adelman heading back to Wolves; woodworkers “recycle” diseased trees, Rukavina joins Nolan staff; Stanek, Harteau meet with president; many lakes way below normal levels; and more.

Is this someone’s idea of “merit pay”? Tom Webb of the PiPress says: “Four Supervalu executives will collect $22.75 million in ‘golden parachute’ compensation as they exit the troubled company. Wayne Sales will collect more than half of that — $12.8 million in cash and equity — after serving as chief operating officer for the past six months, Supervalu said Friday, Jan. 25, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Three other top executives were granted retention agreements last July, adding to their multi-million-dollar ‘golden parachute’ compensation, now that they’re leaving the company. On Jan. 10, Eden Prairie-based Supervalu announced that it was selling most of its retail supermarket chains to a group of investors, led by Cerberus Capital Management, which also promised to buy up to 30 percent of Supervalu stock. That infusion was intended to breathe new life into a company in peril.”

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman is returning to the team after three weeks caring for his wife. The AP story says: “Adelman’s return to practice on Monday was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Associated Press. The coach hoped to be on the sideline against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all continued to progress with Mary Kay Adelman, who was being treated for an undisclosed illness. The person requested anonymity because Adelman had yet to publicly address the situation.”

At MPR, Matt Sepic has a story on a woodworking shop making something out of diseased ash trees: “Here in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis parks department forestry crews were cutting down hundreds of trees at the Fort Snelling Golf Club after many became infested. Normally the wood is chipped up and burned. But some are being salvaged along with many other varieties of unwanted urban trees. At Wood from the Hood, cyclists whiz by on the Midtown Greenway just over the fence from the shop. Rick Siewert, a co-owner, showed off some of the dozens of logs stacked up in the back lot. Some were 3 feet or more in diameter, and all were cut down within a few miles of his business. … It could be a scene out of ‘Portlandia’ — the TV satire of urban hipsters. As with organic milk and free range chicken from the neighborhood co-op, consumers can now buy hardwood flooring, cutting boards and picture frames made from trees cut close to home.”

Tom Rukavina is back in the political game. John Myers’ Duluth News Tribune story says: “Rukavina, 62, the longtime Iron Range state lawmaker, has agreed to go to work for newly elected U.S. Rep Rick Nolan. Rukavina supported Nolan in his successful bid to unseat one-term incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack in November, and Nolan credits his strong showing on the Iron Range to Rukavina. ‘Tommy is coming to work for Congressman Nolan,’ Steve Johnson, Nolan’s communications director in Washington, told the News Tribune this morning. ‘The details of it all haven’t been worked out yet.’ Johnson said Rukavina will be a paid staffer, a ‘district liaison’ who will focus on mining, timber, tourism and other Iron Range issues.”

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The GleanWith the moose population declining rather rapidly, at least one expert says its time to call off the annual hunt. Sam Cook of the News Tribune writes: “[D]espite diligent and ongoing research, nobody yet understands just why moose are becoming much less common on the Minnesota landscape. A growing number of Minnesotans are wondering why, in the face of such a decline, moose are still being hunted. The DNR plans another limited, bulls-only hunt this fall, and DNR biologists say the restricted hunt has no adverse effects on the population estimated at 4,230 animals. Last fall, just 45 bulls were taken by state-licensed hunters (fewer than 100 counting the tribal harvest). … Moose researcher John Pastor, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said he knows that moose hunting is popular in Minnesota, but thinks it’s time to stop hunting them.”

Two of the cities’ top cops were in D.C. today to meet with the president. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “Minneapolis Chief Janeé Harteau, Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek and a handful of other law enforcers met Monday at the White House with President Obama and other senior administration officials to discuss gun violence and other issues. … Harteau and Minneapolis Assistant Chief Matt Clark are in Washington attending the Major Cities Chiefs and Major County Sheriffs’ Associations legislative meetings. Harteau is one of six chiefs and six sheriffs meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Stanek is president of the sheriffs’ association and is attending in that role. Along with gun violence, topics on the table include immigration, data sharing and homeland security.”

Adversity” covers a lot of emotional territory, but a report says half of Minnesota adults experienced it as children. Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress writes: “More than half of Minnesota adults surveyed said they experienced adverse events in childhood that could later affect their health, according to numbers released Monday, Jan. 28, by the Minnesota Department of Health. The health department surveyed 13,520 adults during 2011 and found that 55 percent of them reported at least one adverse childhood event such as divorce or separation of their parents. Other adverse events include: an incarcerated household member; a mentally ill parent; domestic violence against a parent; a household member with an alcohol or substance-abuse problem; and verbal, physical or sexual abuse.”

We could use a lot of anything … snow, sleet, freezing rain … whatever. The AP reports: “Minnesota wildlife officials say lake levels in southern Minnesota are about 12 to 18 inches lower than normal. T.J. DeBates is a fisheries supervisor in the Waterville area. He says the southern part of the state will need late-season snowfalls along with early spring and summer rains to return lakes to normal levels. An Austin Daily Herald report said the lower lake levels don’t seem to have affected ice fishing. DeBates says the lack of snow cover this winter has allowed sunlight to penetrate ice, causing aquatic plants to grow and improving levels of dissolved oxygen.”

As flame wars go, this one at least has the upside of accurate spelling. Aaron Rupar at City Pages is following a Twitter skirmish between former Strib columnist Nick Coleman and media attorney Ron Rosenbaum over the latter’s role in the Amy Koch affair: “The revelation that Rosenbaum played a key role in orchestrating Koch’s political downfall didn’t sit well with Nick Coleman, who got into a bitter Twitter war with Rosenbaum after characterizing his December 2011 behavior as falling somewhere between unethical and odious. … Coleman blogs independently these days but has been out of the Twin Cities media limelight since taking a buyout from the Star Tribune back in early 2009, so Rosenbaum’s ‘Been away from work too long’ line might be a bit of a low blow. Then again, Coleman did put Rosenbaum on blast first, so this might be one of those proverbial instances where  you have to expect some heat if you’re going to hang out in the kitchen.”