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Dayton wants $750 million for construction projects

Cyclist collides at 130 mph; racetrack casino concept is back; S. Dakota woos Minnesotans; court provides ‘win’ to eardrums; and more.

Three quarters of a billion … . Jennifer Brooks of the Strib says, “Gov. Mark Dayton is requesting $750 million to build roads, bridges and convention center, repair the crumbling State Capitol and fund other state-backed construction projects across Minnesota. The governor’s bonding proposal includes $109 million to restore the scaffolding-encrusted Capitol, $20 million to reconstruct Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, $14 million to double the size of St. Paul’s Children’s Museum, $63 million to fund civic center expansions in Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud, and $25 million to improve the roads around a former ammunition plant that Arden Hills once hoped would be the new home for the Vikings Stadium.”

Juuust a little over the limit. WCCO-TV’s story says, “A 23-year-old motorcyclist was going 130 mph when he collided with an SUV in Brooklyn Park, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. At a press conference Monday, the State Patrol said cops began following Tyron Somaiah of Crystal, Minn. after clocking him at 100 mph on his 2005 Yamaha Road Street. Then, as he was heading northbound on Brooklyn Boulevard, he ran a red light at Welcome Avenue North. He then collided at a right angle with a 2006 Toyota Rav4 that was in the intersection already, the State Patrol said. Somaiah was killed.”

Come to where all your millionaires already are … . The Sioux Falls Argus-Leader has a story saying, “Students at Minnesota colleges, universities and technical institutes are hearing from the state of South Dakota this month about what the state has to offer workers. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development is partnering with the Department of Labor and Regulation on a workforce development campaign. … The state is targeting its message in the Minnesota communities of Brooklyn Park, Canby, Detroit Lakes, Eden Prairie, Fergus Falls, Granite Falls, Inver Grove Heights, Jackson, Moorhead, Pipestone, Rosemont, Wadena and Worthington based on their demographics and degree programs.”

So maybe that Facebook photo of you and the mustachioed belly dancer won’t squirrel your chances for a new job … . Annie Baxter at MPR says, “Unless job applicants have strict settings on their social media accounts, they may broadcast revealing details about their lives, including their drinking habits, political views, weight, race and marital status. Such information makes some employers nervous. They would rather avert their eyes. … Legally, that is the safe way to play it, said Teresa Thompson, an employment lawyer at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis. Probing deeper into someone’s online existence can cause trouble. ‘You’re going to get information maybe you shouldn’t get when making hiring decisions,’ Thompson said.”

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The GleanHow come they never blast Mozart? Bob Collins at MPR tells us, “The Minnesota Court of Appeals today provided a ‘win’ to ear drums, ruling that a Minneapolis law regulating car speaker music is not unconstitutionally vague. The court ruled in the case of Marlin McElroy, who was cited by a Minnepaolis police officer, who said he could hear the ‘music’ or ‘loud bass sound’ coming from McElroy’s car from more than 150 feet away. He told McElroy to turn the speakers down; he didn’t, and drove away. The police officer caught up to him at a stop sign and ticketed him under the noise ordinance … McElroy’s attorney argues that the ordinance is vague because there was only one listener —the police officer — and that no one standing on the street testified the music was audible. But the ordinance only requires that it be audible by any person.”

At Field of Schemes, Neil deMause links to Ed Kohler’s post breaking down the revenue and job creation required to pull off the Vikes stadium project. Says deMause, “ … some people are extremely not happy, though the not happiest appears to be the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, which is not happy because this would mean competition for its casino revenues, not not happy because the government is trying to raise money by getting drunk people to gamble their paychecks away. And in case you’re wondering how much gambling it takes to build a football stadium, The Deets has an estimate for you: 94 million hours’ worth. As Deets proprietor (and MinnPost Blog Cabin contributor) Ed Kohler notes: “When Governor Dayton talks about the jobs the Vikings stadium creates, he shouldn’t focus solely on construction workers. He should also consider the 21 gamblers he created to subsidize each of those construction jobs.”

And look what’s back … . Jim Ragsdale of the Strib says, “The racetrack casino concept has been resurrected at the State Capitol as a way to help balance the state budget and solve the Vikings stadium funding problem. Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, and John Derus, a board member of the Running Aces harness track in Columbus, are promoting the idea of installing slot machines and additional electronic games at the state’s two tracks — Running Aces and Canterbury Park in Shakopee. They admitted that it is unlikely Canterbury will participate due to the track’s marketing agreement with Mystic Lakes Casino. …” I still say … slot machines in grade-school cafeterias. Two-thirds of those kids have loose quarters in their pockets.

The Germans are striking down Caribou … . Mike Hughlett and Steve Alexander of the Strib say, “Caribou Coffee will close 80 under-perfroming stores and rebrand another 88 Caribou outlets to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, just five months after the Brooklyn Center-based company was purchased by a German company for $340 million. In a statement Monday, Caribou didn’t name which stores it would be closing on April 14. Caribou will remain a chain of 468 outlets in Minnesota, the Dakotas, western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina and Denver. … The Caribou Coffee at 5309 Lyndale Av. S. in Minneapolis will close permanently at noon next Sunday; store employees said they weren’t given a reason.”

Role-modeling for impressionable youth. Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie links to a McLeod County Chronicle story about GOP Sen. David Osmek talking to high school kids. “ … Osmek was still more than willing to field their questions about a variety of political issues, starting with gay marriage. ‘To me, it’s a First Amendment issue,’ said Osmek, referring to the separation of church and state. If the state endorses gay marriage, Osmek fears, it may lead down a ‘slippery slope’ to the state forcing churches to perform and recognize gay marriage, whether gay marriage is part of a church’s theology or not. ‘I’m afraid it will eventually inflict on religious institutions,’ said Osmek. ‘The pilgrims came here for religious freedom, and we need to respect that.’ Osmek said that domestic partners are already given benefits by many businesses and corporations, and feels it best left to the private sector to create its own definition of domestic partnerships.” Sally Jo asks, “So businesses get to define two committed people’s relationship? Would any married couple accept that?”