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Minnesota exports off the most since 2009

School test confusion; “attack” wolf not rabid; Edina luxury development; new Whole Foods; Surly Brewery plans; Minnesota legislator disputes Gov. Walker claims; and more.

Neither Canada nor China spent as much on Minnesota products as they did last year. Adam Belz’ Strib story says: “Minnesota’s exports fell sharply in the second quarter as declining sales in Canada and China, the state’s two largest international markets, prompted the first such decline since the recession. Minnesota companies posted international sales of $5.2 billion, a 5.7 percent drop from the same period a year ago, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. … Exports to Europe, where the economy is showing signs of recovering, rose 12 percent, driven by growing sales in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.”

Nick Woltman’s PiPress story says: “[DEED’s Madeleine] Koch said sales to Canada specifically of ore, slag and ash, mineral fuels and oils were down; of China, Koch cited the slowdown in the rate of economic growth there as a cause. Although the state’s machinery exports fell 4 percent to $1.09 billion, that sector remained its largest exporter overall. Of any single sector, Minnesota saw the highest percent growth — 87 percent in beverages.”

The Strib speaketh on consistency in student testing: “This year a new, more difficult test was given — in other words, the two sets of results were not an apples-to-apples comparison. The test result confusion highlights an ongoing issue in Minnesota. For political and other reasons — some of them necessary and some not — there have been lots of changes in standardized tests over the years. It’s time for the state to settle on strong education standards and exams — then stick with them long enough to make the results meaningful. … The MCA scores released this week once again showed troubling disparities between white students and students of color. Only around 30 percent of black, Hispanic and Native American students met or exceeded reading proficiency standards on the exam. That translates into tens of thousands of young people without a basic skill they need to secure living-wage jobs as adults.”

Good news for the kid in the wolf attack … the animal was not rabid. Doug Smith of the Strib says: “The confirmation was made Wednesday by a laboratory at the Minnesota Department of Health. The wolf was trapped and killed at the campground on Monday, about two days after the attack, and its carcass was sent to the Twin Cities for rabies testing. Naturalists with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Thursday that they can’t say with 100 percent confidence that the wolf is the one that inflicted the bites. They hope DNA testing will settle that question. The youth’s shirt, a potential source of wolf saliva DNA, and wolf muscle tissue have been sent to a laboratory at the University of California, Davis, for forensic analysis. The analysis is expected to take several weeks.”

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Edina, so long underserved with luxury housing, is finally getting some across from Southdale. Stribber Jim Buchta says: “Lennar Multifamily, a division of Miami-based Lennar Corp., plans to build a luxury apartment building in what has become a hotbed of housing development across from Southdale Center in Edina. On Wednesday, the company presented plans to the Edina City Council to demolish a furniture store and build an 273-unit upscale apartment building with retail on the first floor and five single-family houses at 6725 York Av. S. … the company said the apartment building would include 22,289 square feet of retail space, possibly a supermarket-deli … .” Personally, I was hoping for a combo Tiffany’s Outlet and Whole Foods. I mean the nearest ones are over 1,000 yards away …

Speaking of … Emily Weiss of City Pages says: “The long-awaited Whole Foods on the corner of Hennepin and Washington Avenues is set to open on September 25 at 9:00 a.m. This location will feature Neapolitan pizza, house-made gelato sold by the scoop and to take home, as well as a beer and wine shop. They’ll be celebrating the grand opening all day with free food samples, live entertainment, and prizes.” Thereafter there’ll be agents to set up home equity loans for deli purchases.

Also in real estate, Curtis Gilbert of MPR reports:Curious how the fancy new Surly Brewery will be laid out? The Minneapolis Planning Commission [took its first look Thursday] at the floor plan for the 48,000 square foot building near the U of M Transitway, west of 280 and north of University. … The Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development department has concerns about the way the structure is situated on the property, and staffers also think the building needs more windows.” There are diagrams at the link.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is “full of” … what? Oh … “baloney.” Tim Pugmire of MPR writes: “The DFL chair of  the Minnesota House Commerce Committee says he wants Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker to stop trying to lure companies across the border by portraying the Badger State as the better place to do business. Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, said that’s why he held an interim committee hearing [Thursday] that included a comparison of the business climates of Minnesota and Wisconsin. He invited Walker to attend but did not get a response. … Kim Babine, director of government affairs at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, offered data that show the state outperforming Wisconsin on key measures for educational attainment, economic growth, job growth and per capita income. Afterwards, Atkins said the verdict on business climate was clear. ‘I think Gov. Walker is full of baloney,’ he said.”

Finally, I went hunting for some local conservative saying anything … really, anything … about the new book of Our Favorite Congresswoman. I found nothing of the sort. But I did come across this, from Mitch Berg’s “Shot in the Dark” blog. Mitch is remembering being set up cheek-by-jowl with lefty Pacifica radio at the 2008 Republican convention:

 “At the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, King Banaian, Ed Morrissey and I were on the air during Sarah Palin’s electrifying first speech to the crowd.  On the other side of the curtain from us was the Pacifica booth — which is some pretty drastically bad event planning, putting the most conservative station in town across a curtain from the most liberal network in the country, but whatever. During the run-up to the speech, the Pacifica anchors were doing the sort of level of commentary you’d expect from, well, Minneapolis leftybloggers; ‘she looks like the third runner-up for head cheerleader,’ or ‘maybe the caribou can shoot back,’ that sort of thing. Anyway Palin started her speech.  And for those who weren’t there, and don’t remember the doom-y feeling that the whole inevitability of John McCain gave us all, it was electrifying.  The three of us jumped up at our seats, cheering; I think King may have yelled ‘We Are Not Worthy’!, although maybe that was me.  I dunno.  Anyway one of the Pacifica crones leaned through the curtain.  ‘Shhhh!  We’re doing radio!’ ”

There must be a clinic somewhere that offers irony-deficiency therapy.