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Archdiocese releases the names of 33 problem priests

Lots of ideas for using state’s budget surplus; Downtown East project details; new Saints stadium sketches; sun dogs on display; and more.

City officials unveiled more details Thursday behind the massive $400 million development project next to the new Vikings stadium.
Ryan Cos.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released the list of priests it says have been involved in sexual abuse over the last 60 years. Madeleine Baran and Laura Yuen of MPR say: “The archdiocese also released the names of four other priests who had been included on an earlier list, but church officials now say those four should not have been included. A Ramsey County judge ordered the archdiocese Monday to release a list of 33 priests that had been sealed since 2009. Seven of the priests named today were not previously known to the public as accused abusers. Five of those seven are still living. Others, such as the Rev. Robert Kapoun, are already well known through lawsuits and media coverage. About one-third of the priests on the list are dead. … Attorneys for victims of clergy sexual abuse have argued for years that the public is at risk as long as the names of abusers remain secret. … It’s unclear how law enforcement agencies will respond to the release of the list, if at all.”

More on that fat budget surplus Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes: “Gov. Mark Dayton said that he will not make any final decisions until he sees an updated forecast next year but if the state has extra money, he wants to cut new business to business taxes and give the middle class a tax break. … House Speaker Paul Thissen, asked about Dayton’s idea of tax cuts if the surplus holds, says ‘we have to look at the whole totality’ of the choices in front of us. Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said the DFL controlled House will consider the tax cut proposals but did not immediately embrace the idea. … Dayton says he would only follow through with his tax cut proposal if the state has a surplus in the forecast that will come out in February. Budget forecasts tend to shift significantly between those two economic predictions.”

At the PiPress, Bill Salisbury writes: “Scrapping the new taxes on business equipment repairs, warehousing services and equipment purchases by telecommunications providers would reduce state revenue by $232 million during the current biennium, according to a Revenue Department estimate. A lobbying campaign is under way to use some of the surplus to provide raises to personal care attendants for people with physical and mental disabilities. A 5 percent raise some caregivers are seeking would cost $80 million a year, according to the Associated Press. Dayton also has said he would like to relieve financial burdens for college students. When there’s extra cash in the state till, legislators typically call for spending more on education. In addition, the governor has said he favors making Minnesota law conforming to the federal income tax code to make filing simpler for state taxpayers.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire says: “Dayton and the Democratic majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate passed a $2 billion tax increase last session, which they said would help stabilize state finances. But those changes have only been in place since July, and the revenue impact from an income tax increase on top earners won’t show up in state accounting until next year. Republicans contend the tax increases will ultimately have a chilling effect on Minnesota’s economy.” Because we already have all our millionaires living in Yankton.

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Brian Bakst at the AP had earlier said: “This is the first forecast since Democrats, who control all parts of state government, passed a budget that increased spending and taxes. Democrats are crossing their fingers that tax projections are hitting — or exceeding — their marks. Republicans will be studying the report closely for signs of fiscal weakness that they would undoubtedly attribute to Democratic policies.” But clearly “tax and spend” has proven ruinous, again.

The latest on the big Downtown East project from the Strib’s Eric Roper: “City officials unveiled more details Thursday behind the massive $400 million development project next to the new Vikings stadium, just over a week before the City Council must approve it. The mayor and developer Ryan Cos. said the deal’s 1.1 million square feet of office space represents the largest city office development in 22 years. Wells Fargo’s plans to own the property is the largest corporate commitment in city history, they said. The plan also features 400 apartments and about 22,000 square feet of retail. … The largest remaining obstacle appears to be Wells Fargo’s insistence on having their bright red and yellow logo atop the office building, prohibited under city ordinance. The Vikings oppose this because of a potential detrimental effect on selling stadium naming rights. An amendment to the city’s zoning code would be required for the signage, city staff said Thursday.”

Sketches of the new Saints stadium have been released. MPR’s Curtis Gilbert says: “People passing by the new Saints ballpark in Lowertown will be able to see all the way to the bluffs of the Mississippi River. New renderings released Thursday show what architect Julie Snow called a ‘porous’ open-air concession area. A building housing team offices was also shortened to save money. And as before, the playing field and most of the seats will be located below street level.” Not bad … even if it lacks the luxury corporate boxes and personal seat licenses to make it a true “people’s stadium.” MinnPost coverage here.

In the PiPress, Frederick Melo says: “Julie Snow, the project’s lead architect, said it effectively turns the warehouse building inside out, and the open-air playing field will sit in what is presently the building’s basement. Home plate and first base will be aligned with Broadway Street, and the height of an administrative building has been reduced to sit below the concourse, allowing Saints officials to keep their offices at the same level as the field itself. The design moves an existing dog park north of the ballpark and closer to Interstate 94, and creates a more visible walking connection to the Bruce Vento Trail, she said.”

Quite the sun dog display this morning. MPR’s Michael Olson has a collection of photos …