New Vikes stadium will be 100 feet taller than Metrodome

Perhaps you were expecting a platinum gild to the roof, with diamond inlays? Stribbers Richard Meryhew and Janet Moore write: “The new home for the Minnesota Vikings will be taller and bigger than the Metrodome and will have a sloped roof and possibly, sliding walls, windows or doors that open to the downtown Minneapolis skyline … Those details, spelled out in a nearly 400-page draft Environmental Impact Statement … provide the first glimpse of a project that is expected to replace the Metrodome by the 2016 NFL season. … The stadium’s roof, which will be nearly 100 feet taller than the Metrodome’s highest point (195 feet), could be permanent or retractable, and include a combination of hard deck and fabric, which would allow sunlight into the building much like the Beijing Water Cube made famous in the 2008 Olympics.” Why, it sounds splendid enough to host the 2016 E-Pulltab Championship.

Tom Scheck’s MPR story on the Senate’s struggle passing the big tax bill says: “The bill’s final passage came after the Senate initially defeated the measure. Senate Democrats quickly met in private and then voted to reconsider the initial vote. Two Democrats switched their votes. Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL- Apple Valley, says he switched his vote from no to yes because he was worried the Senate would not be able to commit to spending priorities if the tax bill failed. … DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says several DFL members were confused when a few Republicans signaled they would support the bill but eventually switched to a no vote.‘There were people that voted no because they thought there were plenty of votes up to pass it,’ Bakk said. ‘I think people didn’t realize that people were going to play a little trick when the roll was closed and switch their vote back. I think there would have easily been the same number of votes had the Republicans had been honest and put up their red vote when the roll was called’.” It’s not nice to prank the majority.

Overtime? Family leave? Talk about a one-two punch to the plexus of the job creators. Says Rachel Stassen-Berger in the Strib: “Lawmakers are looking to make it easier to get overtime, double the amount of family leave that workers can take and boost the minimum wage for up to 400,000 Minnesotans. On Monday, a House panel approved the sweeping changes, which backers say would make work pay off for Minnesotans struggling with poverty. The bill could be headed for a vote by the full House as early as this week. But even among the Democrats who control the Legislature, there is some turmoil on how far to take the worker-friendly changes. DFLers in the House and Senate have yet to agree on how much to raise the minimum wage and whether to require overtime pay after 40 hours.”

Here’s fodder for the “nanny state” crowd … MPR’s Julie Siple says: “[T]hese days, food shelf directors are aware that some of their clients are obese or have diseases related to their diet. With that in mind, they increasingly focus on providing not just enough calories but the right kind of calories. … Among those trying to help is University of Minnesota associate professor Susie Nanney. … she recently conducted a pilot study of six food shelves …. Nanney, who works in the university’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, … conducted an inventory of every food item. She then calculated a score using the Healthy Eating Index, a widely used measure of diet quality that employs a 100-point scale. ‘Our food shelves scored a score of 67,’ Nanney said. ‘This is higher than the McDonald’s dollar menu, so that’s a plus.’ The food shelves also scored better than the average American diet, which earns a 53.” America … where poverty is a prescription for obesity.

The Glean The KMSP-TV story, by Paul Blume, on the Hopkins High walk-out last Friday says: “While the district isn’t commenting much on what happened inside Hopkins High School, FOX 9 did confirm that listening sessions are being held with students, administrators and staff — and that a third-party specialist trained in racial sensitivity curriculum has been brought in to help. School ended quietly on Monday, but that’s a far different scene from the one that was seen on Friday afternoon when more than 100 students walked out in protest of what they call racial inequality on campus. … [Student Malika] Mousa and others pointed to several incidents in the school this year that have left minority students feeling mistreated, including an episode in February where members of the ski team apparently dressed up for something called ‘rapper’ or ‘ghetto spirit’ day.”

It’s nice to be able to keep the lawyers’ meter running. Abby Simons of the Strib says: “Amy Senser won’t be watching when her attorney pleads her case before the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday, nearly a year to the day from the guilty verdicts in a hit-and-run case that began with a man’s death on a darkened freeway ramp and resulted in a prison sentence. Senser, 46, will remain within the walls of the Shakopee women’s correctional facility, nine months into a 41-month term for the death of Anousone Phanthavong … Attorney Eric Nelson, who defended Senser at trial, will bid to overturn her felony criminal vehicular homicide convictions. His key points: a lack of evidence that she knew she struck a person when she hit Phanthavong and left the scene that night, and alleged legal mistakes and abuses of discretion by the judge during her April 2012 trial in Hennepin County.”

Pricey dang birds … Mike Hughlett, also in the Strib, says: “Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.’s quarterly profits dropped 11 percent, falling short of Wall Street’s forecast, as the company said Monday it was again vexed by high wholesale chicken wing prices. The sports-themed chain said it is dealing with one aspect of the nettlesome wing cost issue by changing its portions. Beginning this summer, the company will base portions on wing weight, not the number of wings, meaning customers are likely to see five- and 10-piece meals, for instance, instead of six or 12. The company buys wings by the pound and has sold them by the piece, but chicken growers are producing bigger birds — with bigger wings, of course — leaving Wild Wings with fewer wings per pound.” Two words: “Food, Inc.”

This is pretty close to a “Man Bites Dog” story. The Duluth News Tribune reports: “The Cloquet Police Department said Friday that it is looking into an alleged assault by a school bus driver against a first-grader. ‘The driver is being investigated for allegedly pulling the hair of a first grader or doing some similar action to gain compliance with his directives to the student,’ Superintendent Ken Scarbrough wrote in the e-mail. ‘There is no allegation being investigated in this case of such an assault as sexual fondling or beating of a child. At this time, the investigation is not completed, and no charges have been filed’.”

How will former Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem vote on gay marriage? “Spontaneously.” Heather Carlson of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says: “At least one Rochester lawmaker is not sure how he’ll vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Republican Sen. Dave Senjem said he is just going to wait until the day of the debate and make a decision when he is faced with pushing the red or green button. ‘I am just going to wait until that magic moment and make that decision in a pretty spontaneous way,’ he said.” Why take criticism or acclaim before you have to, right?

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/30/2013 - 08:00 am.

    Now I know why Senjem’s a GOP leader

    ….he cowardly refuses to simply take a position, believing the issue is best decided by not putting any real research or thought into it and instead just deciding it on a whim.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/30/2013 - 08:10 am.

    “Bold, Iconic”…

    …is the way the ‘Strib’s cheerleading piece above the fold this morning describes the stadium’s design.

    To those terms should be added “ironic.”

    In last Saturday’s ‘Strib, John Kass described rather accurately, I think, what will make a new NFL stadium a sizable purple elephant in the living room of Minneapolis and the state. Thousands of athletes around the country, their parents, their loved ones, and their survivors, have joined lawsuits against numerous sports entities, including the NFL, with the focus of those lawsuits being head injury and brain damage.

    The evidence is piling up, and continues to do so, that repeated concussion and brain trauma is both part and parcel of the game, and a life-long handicap applied to those who play it. As Kass describes it, parents will be the death of football, primarily because the evidence shows permanent and irrevocable negative effects on the brain as a result of the repeated collisions that make up the game. If parents let their kids play, he says, they might as well hold up signs saying “I give my kid cigarettes and whiskey.” It’s morally indefensible for a parent to suggest that, for his/her entertainment, s/he is willing to see permanent injury inflicted upon a child.

    And on the other hand, if parents don’t let their children play, the whole system collapses for lack of raw material. No little kids playing football means no high school players in a few years, and no college players a few years after that. Eventually, there’ll be no professional players, save a few old-timers who soldier on despite impairment, and a few impaired adult males is not the stuff of athletic dreams and fantasies.

    The metro area and the state have signed on to make one of the most glaring and damaging fiscal and ethical errors in Minnesota history.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/30/2013 - 09:12 am.

    How Old Are Our Republican Senators?

    Since they can’t get their way, they play dishonest, naughty little boy and girl games in the voting process, then (although it wasn’t mentioned here) are described as being “gleeful” when they temporarily prevented from passing a bill that was clearly GOING to pass in the end.

    They remind me of a group of “mean girls” that developed in and made life miserable for a 6th grade class, it’s teacher, the principal, and an entire school for a few months way back when.

    But here’s the REAL difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. NONE of the Democrats who voted against this bill will be kicked out of the Democratic Caucus or the Democratic Party.

    Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats understand that there are differences of opinion across the state, that legislators are each in a unique situation, and that lock-step agreement such as that forced upon the Republican Caucus in recent years are fascist and anti-democratic,…

    and mean that Republican legislators are not ALLOWED to represent their constituents, but only the MN Chamber of Commerce, Grover Norquist, ALEC, the Koch bros., and Rush Limbaugh.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/30/2013 - 10:59 am.

    How many working Minnesotans

    can be exempt from Federal labor law requring overtime after 40 hours? Far more than you might think.

    http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/minwage.htm

    The Act applies to enterprises with employees who engage in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or handle, sell, or work on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce. For most firms, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies (i.e., the Act does not cover enterprises with less than this amount of business).

    However, the Act does cover the following regardless of their dollar volume of business: hospitals; institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises; schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted; preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and federal, state, and local government agencies.

    Employees of firms that do not meet the $500,000 annual dollar volume test may be covered in any workweek when they are individually engaged in interstate commerce, the production of goods for interstate commerce, or an activity that is closely related and directly essential to the production of such goods.

    In addition, the Act covers domestic service workers, such as day workers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks, or full‑time babysitters, if they receive at least $1,700 in 2009 in cash wages from one employer in a calendar year, or if they work a total of more than eight hours a week for one or more employers. (This calendar year threshold is adjusted by the Social Security Administration each year.) For additional coverage information, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #14: Coverage Under the FLSA(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs14.htm).

    The Act exempts some employees from its overtime pay and minimum wage provisions, and it also exempts certain employees from the overtime pay provisions only. Because the exemptions are narrowly defined, employers should check the exact terms and conditions for each by contacting their local Wage and Hour Division office(http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm).

    The following are examples of employees exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements:

    Executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and certain skilled computer professionals (as defined in the Department of Labor’s regulations) 1
    Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments
    Employees of certain small newspapers and switchboard operators of small telephone companies
    Seamen employed on foreign vessels
    Employees engaged in fishing operations
    Employees engaged in newspaper delivery
    Farm workers employed on small farms (i.e., those that used less than 500 “man‑days” of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year)
    Casual babysitters and persons employed as companions to the elderly or infirm
    The following are examples of employees exempt from the overtime pay requirements only:

    Certain commissioned employees of retail or service establishments
    Auto, truck, trailer, farm implement, boat, or aircraft salespersons employed by non‑manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers
    Auto, truck, or farm implement parts‑clerks and mechanics employed by non-manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers
    Railroad and air carrier employees, taxi drivers, certain employees of motor carriers, seamen on American vessels, and local delivery employees paid on approved trip rate plans
    Announcers, news editors, and chief engineers of certain non‑metropolitan broadcasting stations
    Domestic service workers who reside in their employers’ residences
    Employees of motion picture theaters
    Farmworkers

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/30/2013 - 11:02 am.

    It’s not just a matter of running the meter.

    Amy Senser has the right to appeal her conviction, just like the rest of us. Whether we think there’s any merit in it is irrelevant.

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