Key words … “packed hearing.” Jon Collins at MPR continues his coverage the proposal for a new mosque in St. Cloud: “The St. Cloud Planning Commission Tuesday said it needs more information about traffic before deciding whether to approve an Islamic center, after a three hour discussion at a packed hearing. … Mark Thieroff, an attorney hired by some nearby residents, argued that the commission could deny or table the application because the plan represents such a drastic change from previous zoning that a completely new plan needs to be submitted. Others argued that the large development wouldn’t fit with the character of the neighborhood.”
In the St. Cloud Times, Kari Petrie writes: “The commission made its decision after a two-hour public hearing. More than 300 people attended the meeting, with members of the public speaking both for and against the project.Many of those who spoke in support of the proposal shared their own stories about coming to St. Cloud. They said the building would be a place to welcome all members of the community. … Numerous people who spoke against the project said they were not against it because of religion or race. They said their views were based on concerns about the neighborhood and traffic. Several speakers said the property is too small for the proposed development and the buildings are too large.”
Gov. Mark Dayton reiterated his disappointment in the Wilf family’s business ethics. Eric Ringham of MPR writes: “[H]e stopped short of saying that the Wilf controversy might scuttle the Vikings stadium deal. ‘This goes way beyond acceptable business practice,’ Dayton said on The Daily Circuit. ‘It certainly undermines my confidence in their veracity and what they’ve presented to us and provided as the basis for working out the agreement we did. But the bottom line is, they still own the Vikings. … so I don’t think that part of it would be at risk.’ … Although the judge’s ruling came in a lawsuit that had been covered in the media, Dayton said he had been unaware of the suit until the recent news broke. ‘I didn’t know anything until the news reports came out with the judge’s statement in New Jersey,’ he said. But he said the revelations about the Wilfs had not shaken his view that the deal to build the stadium will benefit Minnesota. ‘I believe that we’re better off with the team. …We’ll look back in 20 years and say yeah, we got a really good return on this effort.’ ” As long as there’s a guarantee that we’ll always be “major league.”
Really. Go. Get it out of your system. At MPR, Sasha Aslanian reports: “If you’re tired of the same old corporate team-building golf outings, you might want to consider taking up a sledge hammer, spray paint and driving a 19-ton excavator. That’s the idea behind Extreme Sandbox, a company in Hastings, Minn., that lets corporate groups and individuals drive heavy equipment — and maybe smash a car. … Extreme Sandbox opened in April of 2012. Stenger hoped customers would come. ‘We originally thought it would very be middle-aged males,’ Stenger said of the clientele. ‘You know, mid-life crisis, ‘I wanna go out and destroy something!’ I’ve been shocked though.’ As it turns out, women make up more than a third of Stenger’s customers.” I’ve met a few of those gals.
We’re so happy! An AP story says: “A new statewide survey gives Minnesota consumers new tools to shop for health care. The survey is a joint project of the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Community Measurement. Overall, the survey finds many Minnesotans are happy with their care. Those surveyed say they’re satisfied they’re getting care when they need it and are receiving clear information about their concerns. They also say medical office staff is courteous and helpful and that they’re generally satisfied with their providers.”
Your scam alert of the day … Alejandra Matos of the Strib says: “Travel vouchers from American TAD, based in Arizona, are landing in mailboxes across the Midwest, according to the Better Business Bureau. The letter, which states this is a ‘final notice,’ informs recipients that American TAD has been attempting to contact them on several occasions. ‘Enclosed is your Travel Check Voucher. This Travel Check Voucher can be redeemed for a certificate for 2 round trip airline tickets anywhere in the continental US from any major international US airport,’ the letter says. … The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota issued an alert on these vouchers in July, saying airlines such as US Airways and American Airlines are not affiliated with the offer in any way. In Arizona, 37 complaints have been filed with the BBB, and the consumer agency could not confirm a physical address for the company.”
Why us? Tim Kludt at Talking Points Memo reports: “A Republican lawmaker in Minnesota will seek to raise money Saturday by offering supporters handgun training in exchange for a contribution to her re-election campaign. For a $125 donation, supporters of state Rep. Cindy Pugh (R) will receive a one-day training course to apply for a “Minnesota Permit to Carry,” better known as a ‘concealed carry’ permit. Those who already have a permit can donate $100 for a renewal or to contribute to a ‘carry class scholarship’ for someone who cannot afford the course. Participants are required to have experience shooting a pistol, rifle or shotgun, and must pass a criminal background check. A flier for the event, scheduled to be held in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, Minn., said that the one-day class will provide ‘everything you need to apply for your Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol.’ Pugh told the website Watchdog Minnesota Bureau that the fundraiser is a unique way to connect with constituents.” So does this affect Chanhassen’s rating by CNN Money?
Related … The AP says: “A task force studying security at Minnesota’s Capitol is starting a review of regulations for having firearms in the building. The Advisory Committee on Capitol Security has two hearings planned on the topic, the first coming Wednesday. Next week, the panel expects to take public testimony. People with proper permits and notice can have a gun with them in the Capitol and nearby buildings. Hundreds of people have declared their intention to do so since Minnesota last updated its handgun permit law. During last session’s hearings on eventually unsuccessful gun legislation, some people showed up with their firearms holstered to their hips.”
Josh Rosenthal at KSTP-TV reports: “[Paul] Haas and the other inspectors checked out more than 11,000 gas pumps through June. ‘What we’re seeing is that for Minnesota this year, the pumps that we’re seeing are a little bit more accurate than they were last year,’ explained Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce Mike Rothman. According to Department of Commerce numbers, just over 90 percent of the pumps inspected through June were approved as found, compared to nearly 88 percent at the same time last year. About 9 percent of the pumps inspected in the first half of 2013 weren’t immediately approved. Most of those were either repaired that day or shut down and fixed within a month.” And octane ratings …?
Several billion died last night … . The Duluth News Tribune says: “Temperatures dropped below freezing in parts of the Northland this morning. The morning low was 30 degrees at Brimson and 31 at Embarrass, the National Weather Service reported. The Grand Marais airport and Silver Bay each reported lows of 32 degrees. International Falls fell to 35 degrees, which ties its record low for the date — matching the mark reached in 1964 and again in 1997.” … Mosquitoes, I mean.