We’re Nos. 4, 17 and 21! CNN Money has … a list … of the country’s “Best Small Towns.” Here in Minnesota they are, in order — Chanhassen: … “One perk of Twin Cities-area living is access to the great outdoors. Chanhassen’s highlights include 34 parks, 90 miles of trails, and the 1,137-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. When below-zero wind chills set in, there’s February Festival with ice-fishing contests, sledding, and cookouts.” Apple Valley: … “If you don’t mind cold winters, there’s plenty to recommend this family-friendly Twin Cities suburb. There’s a wide range of affordable homes: The median sale price is around $200,000.” … and Savage: “ … invested nearly $5 million to create a new indoors sports center that allows families to stay active during Minnesota’s snowy months. The town also has a quaint, walkable downtown.” Not to quibble, but are these outer-ring suburbs anyone else’s idea of “small-town America”?
While so much of the local media avoids indignation over the latest twist in the Vikings stadium financing, uh, spectacle, blogger Neil deMause is not under the control of ownership who are civic partners with the whole scheme: “I don’t know if you were paying attention to the fine print in this post about how Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf once reneged on a land deal, but it was about a lawsuit against Wilf in a 20-year-old real estate partnership in New Jersey, and, well, Wilf lost … Or more specifically, was found guilty of fraud, breach of contract, and violations of the state’s civil racketeering statute. … It’s highly unlikely anyone would really blow up the deal over this, but the state still hasn’t approved selling the stadium bonds, though it did last month approve devoting a one-time cigarette-tax windfall of $26.5 million, plus an estimated $20 million in annual taxes on out-of-state corporations doing business in Minnesota, to help make up for all that electronic gambling money that isn’t pouring in. At this point, pretty much the only certainty is that the final Vikings funding deal won’t look much like what was initially passed last year — but then, we’ve seen that movie before.”
Here’s the Strib’s Janet Moore on an exhibit of what Minneapolis will look like in another 20 years: “The 14th-annual Building Community Exhibition is scheduled for Aug. 22 and 23 in the IDS Center’s Crystal Court. A series of models and renderings will explore the recent development boom in Minneapolis and beyond. Highlights will include the new Vikings stadium, the 5th Street light-rail corridor and other projects, said Peter Bruce, the event’s organizer. With downtown Minneapolis’ population expected to double by 2025, residential units are multiplying quickly — a fact that will be reflected in many of the exhibits. ‘We’re building taller buildings, 27 stories for Nic on 5th and another that is 13 stories,’ said Trace Jacques of ESG Architects, which will have more than a dozen projects on display.”
Steve Alexander of the Strib writes: “Medtronic Inc. said Monday it would spend $200 million in cash to acquire Cardiocom, a privately held firm in Chanhassen, to expand into remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases. Medtronic, which expects the deal will be financially neutral for its current fiscal year, said it is expanding into broader health care services, initially into the treatment of heart failure. It said Cardiocom’s technology and patient services, which that firm initially developed for people with diabetes, would help it reach more patients.”
Do you want to believe? The website RealUFOs has the story of strange lights over Loring Park last Friday night: “The objects themselves were dual colors. They looked like two square lights of some sort attached to one another, which you cant tell from the video due to the low quality. If I remember correctly the colors were a solid blue and green, but dont quote me on that … I cant recall for sure. In the video each object appears a different color versus each being a dual color. Before I started to record, the second object had been hovering back and forth. Its the object you see hover up from the lower left in the video. … How did I lose sight of the objects? See the video. They did their thing and then flew off. The second one looked like it had been landing or taking off before I started recording.”
“The General” shows AP some love … Kevin Cusick of the PiPress says: “The Vikings’ Adrian Peterson might be an MVP running back and the NFL’s biggest star, but he has yet to lead his team to any championships. That doesn’t matter to General Mills, the Minnesota cereal giant that is putting Peterson on the box of the ‘Breakfast of Champions.’ Peterson graces the front of a limited edition box of Wheaties that hits store shelves this week, and he’ll be on the front of two more boxes in the coming weeks. … Folks buying their All Day cereal will get more than just Peterson’s picture and a pound or so of wheat flakes. They’ll also get some digital surprises.” Go ahead. Roll your eyes. We’re … this close … to playing e-pulltabs on cereal boxes.
Who doesn’t want a new co-op grocery store? Julie Siple at MPR says such people exist, in south Minneapolis no less: “In south Minneapolis just east of Interstate 35W, the Bryant neighborhood is designated a food desert — a low-income community without a large grocery store within one mile. The Seward Co-op in Minneapolis has announced plans to open a second store in the Bryant neighborhood and has signed a purchase agreement with a church for its property. The co-op still needs financing and city permission to use the site. If all goes as planned, the Bryant area co-op, at East 38th Street and Clinton Avenue South, would open within two years. … In the neighborhood, opinions about the proposal vary. Some people are thrilled that a co-op might open nearby. But others worry that many neighbors would not be able to afford to shop in a co-op. ‘My gut reaction was: What the hell? It made no sense to me,’ said Marjaan Sirdar, a member of At the Roots Minneapolis, a group of neighborhood activists. ‘I began to question, who are they really building this store for?’ “
Yeah, the devil really is in the details of that “martyr” thing. Rodney Muhumuza of the AP reports: “The Islamic extremist from Minnesota smiles as he compares Somalia to Disneyland, urging other Muslims to come and ‘take pleasure in this fun.’ But Troy Kastigar, one of three fighters featured in a nearly 40-minute Internet video recently released by the Somali extremist rebel group al-Shabab, was killed in 2009, not long after leaving Minneapolis to join the militants’ bloody campaign to seize power in Somalia. … Although the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has previously made videos to seek out potential recruits, the latest video focuses on the tragic stories of a trio praised by the narrator as the ‘Minnesotan martyrs’ whose ‘decisive moment’ came when they were killed in combat.” Umhmm. Dead: About as “decisive” as it gets.
Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly shut down or clog the roads any worse than they are … Jennie Olson at KSTP-TV reports: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation is warning of possible delays along Highway 169 near Belle Plaine because of a power transmission line project. Helicopters will be stringing heavy-duty transmission lines through Friday. The lines are part of the CapX2020 project that involves 250 miles of transmission between Brookings County in South Dakota and Dakota County in Minnesota. The first part of the line is expected to be energized later in the year.”