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New Jersey judge says Wilfs must disclose wealth

Deadly car chase criticized; State Patrol completes review of another crash; brilliant fall colors predicted; same-sex marriage OK’d for sex offenders; pheasant numbers down; one more call for Orchestra settlement; and more.

It is my experience that the very wealthy aren’t big on this kind of transparency. Jim Spencer of the Strib says: “A New Jersey judge on Monday said Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf must disclose their personal wealth as part of a lawsuit in which they were found to have defrauded their partners in a real estate deal unrelated to the team. Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson, who has yet to award damages in the case, said she will not unseal specific numbers until the Wilfs have a chance to appeal her decision. She gave them 20 days to do so. … Shep Guryan, an attorney for the Wilfs, sparred with Wilson in court on Monday, challenging the public’s right to know the Wilfs’ finances. He called the public’s interest in the Wilfs’ wealth ‘prurient,’ because the Wilfs already have demonstrated that they can pay whatever damages Wilson assesses.”

At MPR, Tim Nelson reminds his listeners: “It isn’t the first time the Wilfs’ wealth has come up in stadium talks. Zygi Wilf raised eyebrows in 2011 when he reportedly bought a home on the top floors of an Upper East Side building on Park Avenue for $19 million. But it’s also unclear how much of the Wilfs fortune a stadium deal might impact. An MPR News analysis of other NFL stadium deals indicates that naming rights and personal seat license revenue similar to other NFL teams, along with a League-subsidized loan, could pay for more than 99 percent of the money the Vikings have pledged as their part of the stadium financing.” A wise man once told me the secret to accumulating great wealth is: “Never use your own money.”

 Purely anecdotally … this chase isn’t playing well in Edina coffee shops. John Brewer and Andy Greder of the PiPress write: “One man is dead and another injured after a suspected drunken driver fled a traffic stop early Monday and crashed in Northeast Minneapolis. A Minnesota State Patrol trooper tried to stop Yia Her, 34, of St. Paul on suspicion of speeding and drunken driving about 1 a.m. in Minneapolis, according to the State Patrol. Yia Her initially stopped his 1997 Nissan Maxima but then drove off … His car broadsided a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue at Fourth Street Southeast and Central Avenue. Driver Brody Sotona, 20, of Spring Valley, Wis., was killed and passenger Connor Macklin, 24, of Stillwater was seriously injured. Yia Her was injured but not seriously, according to the State Patrol. Later Monday, Sotona’s family questioned the pursuit in a written statement. ‘The family would like to know why the Minnesota state trooper pursued the suspect into a high-speed chase in DOWNTOWN Minneapolis at 1 o’clock in the morning when it was quite clear that they already had the suspect’s license plate and likely the name and address,’ the family said. ‘If they would not have pushed him, our son and brother would still be alive today’.”

Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “[A]ddressing the family’s criticism directly, Roeske said the patrol is ‘deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss’ of Sotona due to a suspected drunken driver. ‘The trooper was attempting to stop the driver as quickly as possible to prevent the kind of tragedy the driver ultimately caused,’ he said. Her’s driving record in Minnesota includes at least 17 violations since 2001, with 10 of those being for speeding. He’s also been cited for driving without a license. Roeske said Her’s license was suspended at the time of the crash.”

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Coincidentally, Stribber Matt McKinney writes:The Minnesota State Patrol has completed its review of the fatal May 10 collision between a motorcycle and Minneapolis police vehicle, a police spokeswoman said Monday. … The collision at W. 26th Street and Blaisdell Avenue South killed motorcyclist Ivan Romero, 24, and injured his passenger and girlfriend, Joselin Torrejon-Villamil. The police sport-utility vehicle driven by officer Joshua Young was responding to the scene of a deadly police shooting in Uptown when it passed through a red light and into the intersection. Romero’s motorcycle struck the rear quarter panel of the SUV, according to police. … Police Chief Janeé Harteau said at a news conference held five days after the collision that the police vehicle was traveling 16 to 17 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The chief said an onboard video system that displays the vehicle’s speed while recording video from a forward-facing camera showed the exact speed.”

You may want to make that run up the North Shore … An AP story says: “The Department of Natural Resources predicts a brilliant fall color season for Minnesota. Despite dry weather lately, Patricia Arndt of the Division of Parks and Trails says trees got adequate rain earlier this season. She says the state just needs a combination of sunny days and cool nights in the weeks ahead to bring out the fall colors.”

Well, that was fast. John Schrade of the Strib says: “Minnesota Department of Human Services officials will allow sex offenders in the state’s high-security treatment program to marry one another while in treatment, a top DHS official said Monday. The announcement comes Monday in response to requests from three pairs of men in treatment at the state facility in Moose Lake who are seeking marriage licenses following the change in state law Aug. 1 that allows same sex couples to marry. ‘We don’t intend to interfere with their right to marry one another,’ said Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry, whose duties include overseeing the sex offender program.” And how about the honeymoon … ?

The fields are a little light on pheasants this year. The News Tribune up in Duluth says: “An extended winter season and cold, wet spring contributed to a significant drop in Minnesota’s pheasant count this year, the state Department of Natural Resources reported Monday. The annual August roadside count of Minnesota’s pheasant population showed a 29 percent decline this year compared to 2012. Last year the state had seen a rebound in pheasant numbers after a dismal 2011, when winter storms took a big toll.”

Another Orchestra commentary. This time from two women active with the Orchestrate Excellence group. They write in the Star Tribune: “As of today, Sept. 10, Minnesotans have just five days to salvage any semblance of their world-class Minnesota Orchestra and retain their world-renowned music director, Osmo Vänskä. Please join our citizens group, Orchestrate Excellence, in calling upon the Minnesota Orchestral Association Board; the orchestra’s musicians, and influential leaders like U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Minnesota legislators to do all that is in their power to bring the Orchestral Association and the musicians together immediately to negotiate an interim agreement that will end the current crisis. This agreement should have two goals:
1) The musicians should resume playing by Sunday in order to be in shape for scheduled engagements.
2) The parties should establish a clear framework and timeline for ongoing conflict resolution and negotiations that will result in a durable, longer-term contract.”