As everyone assumed from the start … Richard Meryhew and Janet Moore of the Strib tell us: “The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority said after a nearly two-hour, closed-door executive session Wednesday that the Vikings’ owners have the financial capability to move the stadium project forward. It’s not necessary to wait for a New Jersey court ruling on the Wilf family finances for the authority to move forward with [the] stadium, authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said. ‘We have almost all the information, both financial and legal, that we need to finalize the due diligence review …,’ she said in a written statement. … Authority members were briefed on the due-diligence work Wednesday by attorneys representing the Dorsey & Whitney law firm, which is leading the probe, and by representatives of FTI Consulting, an international forensic accounting firm.” And the cost of that is what, again?
Quaint, quiet little Scandia is beginning three years’ worth of mining … Mary Divine of the PiPress says: “Crews from Tiller Corp. this week will begin initial site work on a controversial mining and reclamation project along the St. Croix River in Scandia. Tiller, based in Maple Grove, plans to extract up to 1.2 million tons of gravel from the 114-acre site, owned by Jim Zavoral, over a period of a little more than three years. The property, which hasn’t been mined since the 1980s, is just east of the intersection of Minnesota highways 95 and 97. One of the first projects will be installation of a silt fence, designed to control and manage stormwater, said Jess Myers, a spokesman for Tiller.”
Organic farms are cash-flowing quite nicely … The AP says: “Profits at Minnesota’s organic farms took a big jump in 2012. A report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management shows a median net income of just over $85,000 last year, more than double the $38,000 organic farms earned the previous year. … The center says its study of conventional farmers showed an average profit last year of nearly $200,000 per farm. Size was a big factor in the difference. Conventional farms in the study were on average more than twice as big as organic ones.”
MPR’s Euan Kerr talked with Minnesota Orchestra CEO Michael Henson this morning: “Osmo Vanska has been an ‘astonishing’ conductor, and the Minnesota Orchestra wants him to stay, but management is facing some tough choices over its long-term financial health, the body’s president and CEO said Wednesday. ‘Ultimately, if Osmo decides to go, that is his decision,’ Michael Henson told Euan Kerr on The Daily Circuit. ‘We want him to stay through to the end of his contract. However, in the longer term, we have to look after the health and well-being of this orchestra.’ “
Nice photo essay by Derek Montgomery on the artifacts left by Dorothy “The Root Beer Lady” Molter. They are here at MPR.
And not a word about “death panels”? Christopher Snowbeck at the PiPress writes: “Minnesota hospitals are getting relatively high marks in a new national study that’s critical of end-of-life care elsewhere. Nationally, the report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project found that many Medicare patients with advanced cancer in 2010 were not receiving hospice care until they were on their deathbeds. Plus, more advanced cancer patients in 2010 were being treated in intensive-care units — an aggressive treatment that does not necessarily reflect patient preferences, according to the report released Wednesday. ‘Previous studies have found that patients on average near the end of life, or with advanced cancers, receive far more aggressive care than they prefer,’ said Dr. David Goodman, co-principal investigator for the Dartmouth Atlas Project, during a news conference.”
It was never much of an idea … Pat Doyle of the Strib reports: “A group of metro leaders voted Wednesday to reject a $330 million deep tunnel for the future Southwest Corridor light-rail, citing opposition to its cost. The nearly unanimous decision by the advisory panel seemed likely to kill that option for the LRT in the Kenilworth corridor of Minneapolis. Two remaining options involve digging a shorter, shallower and less expensive tunnel through the area or rerouting the freight train tracks now in that area into St. Louis Park to make room for the light-rail line.”
The place needs a few invasive species to even things out … Doug Smith of the Strib says: “Leech Lake’s walleye population is now so high that state resource managers likely will relax fishing regulations next year, making it easier for anglers to keep more fish. Officials want anglers to take more walleyes from the 175-square-mile lake. Spurred by the current 18- to 26-inch protected slot, the lake’s walleye biomass is at a near-record high — and is having negative impacts on the fishery.”
Former Sen. Rod Grams is in a bad way. Tim Pugmire at MPR reports: “Former Republican U.S. Sen. Rod Grams is suffering from cancer and has entered home hospice care, according to his wife Chris. News of Grams’ poor health was circulating this morning on Twitter. Chris Grams confirmed the basics of those messages to MPR News, but she declined to provide details. The Associated Press reported that Grams was diagnosed with cancer in April 2012.” Our best wishes to his family.