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Search time for Mayo subsidy ‘alternative’?

An “alternative” might be worth looking at. At MPR, Tom Scheck writes: “When Minnesota lawmakers return to the state Capitol on Tuesday to focus on a two-year budget, they will also weigh whether to approve the Mayo Clinic’s request for $500 million to support its $3 billion expansion plan. … Lawmakers say they want to help the hospital and clinic system grow, but some have concerns about the size of its funding request and the overall financing plan. That has key lawmakers asking for an alternative proposal. … State Sen. Rod Skoe, chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, said he is largely comfortable with the Mayo Clinic’s plan. But Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, has concerns over the funding of road and bridge construction needed to support the project. Senate Democratic leaders have also suggested the city of Rochester and Olmsted County need to spend more money on the plan. Rochester is promising to pay a portion of the city’s local sales tax for the project. Meanwhile, Republicans are urging the Legislature to move quickly on the existing bill. State Rep. Greg Davids said he will blame Democrats if a deal isn’t done this year.” So much for the temperate, prudent conservative approach …

Possible GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson sinks his teeth into the Vikings stadium financing mess. In a Strib commentary, he says: “Building Zygi Wilf a new stadium was a populist piece of legislation that the governor and politicians of both parties decided last year simply had to get done — regardless of the details. Consequently, the stadium deal the governor fought so hard for was more about negotiating votes and support for any deal than it was actually looking at the deal as a business decision or attempting to get the best possible agreement for Minnesota’s taxpayers. … It’s an easy but cheap shot to criticize Dayton for his lack of leadership and oversight on the stadium issue. What ought to be of more concern to Minnesotans is his aggressive leadership on expanding the scope of government into even more areas of our personal lives. The governor who engineered the Vikings stadium deal has now turned his attention to engineering a state-run health insurance exchange that will dramatically change the way Minnesotans purchase health care.” He was on a solid track there for a minute …

So we’ve even outsourced snowfall predictions? Bill McAuliffe at the Strib says: “Saunil Shah came to Minnesota from Mumbai, India, in 2010. But he’s proved to be a quick study on snow, winning this season’s Guess the Snowfall game. Shah guessed way back in November, when drought was in force, that the Twin Cities would receive 48.5 inches of snow December through March. And that’s how much fell. Exactly.’I saw that extremely snowy winter in 2010, and one with not so much last year,’ he said. ‘I tried to look for an expert prediction, but I don’t think anyone was offering any. I decided to be conservative. I did some digging. But I think I just tried to roll the dice and pick a number.’ ” So give the guy a slot on the late news …

The explanation doesn’t make anyone feel any better … Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “Stephanie Shields committed suicide, and her two young children were drowned in the family’s Zimmerman, Minn., home, according to preliminary rulings by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office. The rulings in the deaths of Shields, 35, and her children Nolan, 7, and Josephine, 6, were made following autopsies by the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office.”

The GleanThe Best Buy/Geek Squad/Target flirtation has gone cold. Thomas Lee of the Strib is saying: “Best Buy Co. and Target Corp. have ended their experimental Geek Squad partnership, the Star Tribune has confirmed. Last October, the two Minnesota-based retail giants launched a six-month pilot program in which Geek Squad agents staffed the electronics departments at 29 Target stores, mostly in the Denver area but also one location in the Twin Cities region. Target had hoped Geek Squad agents would add value to its efforts to sell more televisions and computers, a category the Minneapolis-based company has struggled with in recent years.”

Thank god! Finally we have a third sports talk station … . Neal Justin’s Strib item says: “Where did the Love go? Apparently to the ball game. Love 105 FM, a radio station that specialized in romantic pop music, is now known as The Ticket, a CBS arm dedicated to sports talk. All the personalities on the roster are national figures, including John Feinstein and Jim Rome. Calls to executives have yet to be returned.” Now, if we can just get four or five more religious stations, we’ll have the cultural spectrum covered.

Are you hip to what a CSA is? I didn’t think so. Jennifer Vogel, for MPR, writes: “Jerry Untiedt, of Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm in Waverly, already has tomato plants in the ground under giant “high tunnel” metal and plastic field houses. The houses, which look like makeshift Quonset huts, trap the sun’s heat and extend the growing season. The upside for the farm’s customers is that tomatoes will be part of its first CSA [community supported agriculture] boxes, scheduled to go out in mid June. … the Untiedt farm joined the rapidly expanding roster of CSAs in the state. This year, there are more here than ever before, 99 compared to just eight in 2004 and 42 in 2009, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which publishes an annual directory called Minnesota Grown. The Seward Co-op in Minneapolis will hold a CSA fair on April 13 that will include more than 30 farms, including Untiedt’s. The co-op has been hosting the fair for 12 years and has seen a growing number of farms interested in participating.” Do they have … bacon?

What!? They’re letting this dangerous perp walk!? WCCO-TV’s story says: “A great-great-grandmother charged with voter fraud will have her case dismissed, according to her attorney. Margaret Schneider, 86, was accused of filling out two ballots in last year’s primary, after she ‘simply forgot’ she voted absentee and then filled out another ballot later. Schneider suffers from Parkinson’s and frequent memory loss. ‘You get 86 and you try to remember everything you’ve done in your life,’ Schneider said. Prosecutors in Nicollet County say they had to file charges because that’s Minnesota law.” In a time of rampant voter fraud, what kind a precedent does this set?

“Activist” Coya White Hat-Artichoker turns up on the Huffington Post discussing her /sexism/marriage situation vis a vis Minnesota: “The other significant thing I realized was that my relationships were not going to look like the heteronormative model that I had been spoon-fed since childhood. That was frightening and inspiring at the same time. It offered me the opportunity to really understand what choice and consent mean for me. Because my relationships had no boundaries, I was able to imagine what love could look like in much different iterations and forms. I have been part of polyamorous relationships and monogamous relationships; I have dated men and women. The freedom I felt really allowed me to fully delve into my sexuality and my desire, and to find who and what it is that makes me feel sexy or whole or wanted. I was able to develop a vision and understanding of love that is so much more expansive than I could have imagined. To an extent, as a Lakota person, I view marriage and the idea of the nuclear family as an extension of the colonization that my people have experienced.” … OK.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/02/2013 - 02:55 pm.

    Jeff Johnson

    His commentary is typical of what we have come to see from the “moderate” Republicans. They start out with something reasonable, making well-tempered, logical arguments. After a few minutes, they realize that this isn’t going to play well with the Republican base, so “Freedom! God! Guns! Gays! Hate all Democrats!” After that, there will be a complaint about Democrats and liberals not reaching out to work with them.

    I swear, it must be physically painful for those poor folks to try to communicate.

  2. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/02/2013 - 03:25 pm.

    JJ

    As an obvious candidate for governor, Mr. Johnson’s reaction to this situation is unsurprising.

    Unfortunately for him, the blame rests on both DFLers and GOPers in the state legislature last session. Mr. Johnson will recall that the GOP was in the majority in both houses and could, presumably, have stopped this method of funding the stadium.

    So instead of trying to make political football out of this and blaming it on Dayton, perhaps Mr. Johnson should make some real suggestions to help fix this.

    Any member of the GOP who thinks attacking Dayton personally is going to help them win the governorship next election is dreaming. The general feeling among the voters seems to be that Dayton is trying to make the government run while overseeing a bunch of very sore losers from last election.

    As close as the election was last time, the Norm declines to run again. This illustrates the location between a rock and hard place where the GOP finds itself.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/02/2013 - 04:06 pm.

    A third sports talk station

    Thanks for the reminder of just one reason why I stopped listening to the radio decades ago.

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