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‘Long-simmering’ tension at South High leads to ‘all-out brawl’

Gaviidae to get fresh look; first woman to head St. Thomas; Durenberger pushes gun votes; Dayton tax plan hit; a tougher-looking Viking; and more.

That “all-out brawl” at South High in Minneapolis got coverage from virtually every local outlet. At WCCO-TV, Esme Murphy reports: “Twelve people complained that they had been sprayed with mace. Police at the scene said they had to use chemical agent to get the crowd under control as they were being pelted with objects as they tried to break things up. … [One student] said the fights were over pride. ‘I know it’s a pride thing between Muslims and black people,’ she said. ‘They want their pride back for something. I don’t know.’ She also said ‘boys were hitting girls’ and that some people were lying on the floor, with their hands over their heads, in surrender.… The fight, students say, was the result of long-simmering tensions between the 8 percent of students who are Somali  Americans and the 20 percent who are African Americans.”

The Strib story, by Paul Walsh and Kelly Smith, says, “Guled Omar, a senior, said he was sitting in the cafeteria when the outburst began after a boy hit a girl. ‘I don’t feel safe here,’ Omar said. ‘This is something that has been going on’ for at least two years, he said. ‘I don’t know if it’s because we’re minorities of the newest immigrant group,’ Omar added, saying he has complained to the principal and the School District.”

KSTP-TV’s story, reported by Joe Mazan, says: “Classes will be in session Friday, the district said Thursday evening. The school will implement a safety plan ‘to ensure that there is support for a safe learning environment.’ Additional counselors and support staff will be on hand. The school will operate under a ‘code yellow’ Friday. Students will remain in their classrooms during class periods and access in and out of the building will be limited. The school will be on its normal schedule.”

The Strib’s Janet Moore writes about a “freshening” for the Gaviidae complex in downtown Minneapolis: “KBS intends to spend $3.8 million to retool the retail and restaurant options at Gaviidae II and spruce up the RBC Plaza lobby. When the deal was announced, KBS regional president Rodney Richerson said it’s a good time to ‘rethink the four-story retail section.’ … The street-level entrance off Nicollet Mall … and the lower-level valet parking entrances will be given a ‘more contemporary, professional look’ which will ‘carry up through the skyway level,’ KBS said in an e-mail statement, which noted, ‘Right now, many of the colors and finishes are dated and in need of a face-lift.’ ”

A woman leading St. Thomas? Alex Friedrich of MPR says: “The University of St. Thomas today made history by choosing a new leader who is not a priest. The St. Paul-based school has named Julie Sullivan, 55, to replace Father Dennis Dease, who steps down later this year as president. Sullivan is the first lay person and the first woman to head the school in its 128-year history. Dease, 69, is retiring on June 30. Sullivan is currently the executive vice president and provost of the University of San Diego — a Catholic campus with about 8,300 students.”

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The GleanIn his latest commentary for the St. Thomas-based National Institute of Heath Policy, former Sen. Dave Durenberger reacts to Tuesday’s State of the Union message and says: “The second test of Congressional Republican willingness to do common cause is national legislation to lessen gun violence in America and to change the uniquely American gun culture. … No single issue group in America has the power of the gun lobby called the National Rifle Association.  No single issue should determine anyone’s right to a seat in the United States Senate or its House of Representatives.  This is the time to determine who each of these 535 people represent.  I hear that’s a tough vote for old time Democratic politicos like Harry Reid and Pat Leahy.  Well, make them take that vote, along with everyone else, on every single legislative proposal.  We the people are more important to the future of America than is their re-election.”

For a sampling of what the Durenbergers of the world are up against, here’s a taste of Power Line’s John Hinderaker … on Valentine’s Day: “One month ago, in response to the administration’s gun control initiatives, the NRA produced an ad that called President Obama an ‘elitist hypocrite’ because he sends his children to a school that is protected by armed guards, while insisting that your children be gun-free, i.e., defenseless. I wrote about that ad, which I thought was good, effective and fair, here. … The organization has now released an ad in response to the Democrats’ proposals to ban average-capacity magazines. Its theme is similar to the first one, and it is, I think, similarly effective. I like how it takes off on the administration’s endless bleating about the ‘middle class.’ ” And if the NRA’s primary “effectiveness” is driving even more women away from the GOP?

Not that we’re accusing anyone of naked self-interest, but let’s watch how many times the Strib trots out a commentary or editorial slamming Gov. Dayton’s business-to-business tax proposal. Today it’s John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management: “Regrettably, cutting expenses seems to be the last thing on our political leaders’ list of options — whether in St. Paul or Washington. Our state and federal governments are both suffering from structural deficits caused by expenses (government spending) growing faster than revenues. In his budget proposal for the 2014-15 biennium, Gov. Mark Dayton has put the governmental equivalent of raising prices at the top of his list, by raising $2.1 billion in net new taxes. In fact, the governor’s budget includes $12 of proposed revenue increases for every $1 of spending cuts. … I know what a CEO would do. The governor should do the same.” Because, in the end, just like a frozen burrito company, it’s all about shareholder value, right?

And the Viking is getting tougher … looking. The soon-to-be-Super Bowl-champion Minnesota Vikings have subtly adjusted their logo. On the team website, they point out what’s different:
“1)  Horn Shape
The shape of the horns has been adjusted and the shading in the horns has changed.
2)  Horn Base
The base of the horn now resembles the horn on the players’ helmets.
3)  Face Detail
Thicker lines have been added to the mustache and face.
4)  Vikings Gold
The Vikings Gold is now brighter and less brassy.
5)  The Braid
The braid has been shortened, resulting in a reduced logo height.
Why now?
As the Vikings transition into the drafting of plans for the new stadium and the prevalent Norseman usage throughout that facility, the team realized this is the appropriate time to make these logo enhancements. The evolution will not happen overnight; Vikings fans can expect to see both versions of the logo during the transition period, but the enhanced mark will be noticeable immediately throughout Merchandise with the enhanced Norseman could be available as early as March.”

Boy, I hope we can buy merchandising licenses, in case there’s another “enhancement.”