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Minneapolis council winners heavily anti-stadium

Supreme Court disciplines 3 lawyers; lobbyist reports detail usual “big spenders”; Mayor Coleman talks achievement gap; one last Blockbuster store in state; Kanye cancels; and more.

At MPR, Tim Nelson frames Minneapolis council election results this way: “The elections in Minneapolis proved an off night for officials who supported the city’s deal on the Vikings stadium last year. Most of the seven council members who voted yes back in May of 2012 fell short of either their re-election plans or attempts for higher office. And although the most vocal of the stadium opponents in the mayoral race, Dan Cohen, fell short of a top-3 finish in first choice votes, stadium opponents fared pretty well facing the voters for the first time since the stadium deal was cut. … It makes last year’s stadium victory, at least at first blush, look a little pyrrhic.” Anecdotally, “where they were on the stadium” was a regular facet of election conversations I heard.

Figuratively speaking, the state Supreme Court spanked three lawyers. Dave Chanen of the Strib says: “Three attorneys were disciplined this week by the Minnesota Supreme Court based on petitions filed by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Clark Griffith II, of Minneapolis, will be suspended a minimum of three months and will be required to apply for reinstatement. … In other disciplinary actions, Tucker Hummel, of Minneapolis, was disbarred for misappropriation of client funds, failure to keep required trust account books and records, making false statements to the Professional Responsibility Office and failure to cooperate with the disciplinary investigation … Susan R. Anderson, of Alexandria, was suspended for a minimum of two years with the right to apply for reinstatement. The court order stated she committed professional misconduct when she failed to act with diligence, communicate with clients and promptly provide clients with billing statements.”

There’s a real déjà vu quality to this one. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib reports: “The usual suspects appear in the line up of big spenders on Minnesota lobbying, according to the report on 2012 lobbying just released by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. ‘The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce reported the largest total disbursements during the period. The largest total disbursements for administrative action lobbying was reported by Xcel Energy Services Inc. Lobbyists for Education Minnesota reported the largest total disbursements for legislative action lobbying, and lobbyists for the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors reported the largest disbursements in attempts to influence metropolitan governmental units,’ the report said.”

Freshly re-elected St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman talked about his new term with MPR. Phil Picardi and Tim Nelson write: “Appearing on MPR’s Morning Edition program this morning, Coleman said he wants to help reduce the disparity in achievement between white students and students of color in the city’s schools. ‘The one thing I learned is the sense of urgency that is shared in almost every corner of the city to really address this education issue, and this deficit we have, this achievement gap between kids of color and white kids in our community,’ the mayor said. … Coleman said he plans to push forward with plans to make St. Paul a transportation hub, including street cars and the Gateway Corridor to Stillwater and beyond. He didn’t rule out subsidies for redeveloping the site of the former Macy’s store, but said he prefers to see private enterprise.”

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In case you still have a copy of “Transformers 3” you have to return … The Forum News Service reports: “Bemidji’s Blockbuster video store will be the last location in Minnesota early next year as hundreds of Blockbusters close across the country, officials confirmed Wednesday. The store, owned and operated by North Central Management Group, is a franchise location, saving it from the fate of 300 corporate-owned Blockbusters in the U.S. that parent company Dish Network will close. ‘There is no plan at this point to close or do anything different than what we’ve been doing,’ said Kevin Seeger, North Central general manager.”

And now he’s just said, “The [bleep] with it” … WCCO-TV reports: “Publicists in charge of Kanye West’s concert tour announced Wednesday that the show he was supposed to play at Target Center on Tuesday night has been canceled. The Nov. 5 concert had been postponed last week after a tour truck was involved in an accident that damaged some of the staging equipment. The equipment included a custom-made video truss and a 60-foot circular LED screen. A number of other concerts in the Yeezus Tour that had been previously postponed were also flat-out canceled, including shows in Vancouver, Denver, Columbus, Montreal, and St. Louis.”

Last time I checked golf courses were having a tough time attracting players … Janet Moore of the Strib says: “The Minneapolis City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee will consider an item Thursday that has been bandied about for many years: putting an indoor golf facility atop the Seventh Street (or Ramp A) parking garage. Actually, the idea has morphed since the late 1990s to include the roof of the adjacent Hawthorne Transportation Center parking ramp, as well. Now, two groups, Downtown Rooftop Golf LLC and Downtown Rooftop Youth Center LLC, are proposing additional activities for the vast space, including playing fields, a running/walking track, clubhouse, retail/food outlets and perhaps a green roof performance space — in addition to some type of golf facility. Part of the space is expected to be indoors, part outdoors.” Don’t forget a Panera and a casino.

The GleanSteve McQueen — the director — will make a second appearance in the Twin Cities this weekend. Euan Kerr of MPR says: “British director Steve McQueen, currently receiving huge acclaim for his startling movie ‘12 Years a Slave,’ has added a second public appearance during his visit to the Twin Cities this weekend. McQueen will participate in a  question and answer session after the 12:30 p.m. Saturday screening of the film at the Brooklyn Center 20. The film’s distributor organized the session after a dialogue between McQueen and MoMA curator Stuart Comer at the Walker Art Center scheduled for Saturday evening sold out quickly, drawing criticism for local blog Opineseason which said more effort should have been made to get tickets for the event to African-Americans, still affected by the legacy of slavery.”

Finally, where’s the outrage? Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says: “Health insurance premiums for 2014 are so low in many parts of Minnesota that some consumers aren’t qualifying for tax credits through the state’s new health insurance exchange. Access to tax credits has been widely cited as a key reason for shopping on MNsure — the new government-run health insurance website — so some consumers have been confused by the vanishing subsidies, April Todd-Malmlov, the MNsure executive director, said during a board meeting Wednesday in St. Paul. Paraphrasing a common question asked at MNsure’s call center, Todd-Malmlov said: ‘I think there’s something wrong with the system — I’m supposed to be getting a tax credit, but I’m getting a zero.’ The calculation is correct, she said. ‘The premiums are so low that some people at higher income levels and some in lower age groups — they don’t qualify for the tax credit,’ Todd-Malmlov said in an interview.” Prices so low you can smell the socialism on them!