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Judges deny Wilfs’ argument against revealing their wealth

Orchestra musicians strike note of resolve; rare Guthrie Theater deficit; deer-hunt numbers down; charitable gambling up; high school inequities; unusual water spouts; and  more.

A state appeals court has declined to hear Zygi Wilf's family’s arguments against publicly revealing its net worth.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

If you thought he was upset after that game in Baltimore … Ben Horowitz of the Newark Star-Ledger reports:  “A state appeals court has declined to hear the Wilf family’s arguments against publicly revealing its net worth. … The Wilfs had opposed release of their net worth on grounds that it constituted an invasion of their privacy and might cause people to target their children and grandchildren. The Wilfs’ legal team accused Wilson of ‘an anti-wealth bias that gave undue weight to public curiosity.’ … The one-page order by the two-judge appeals panel did not give a reason for denying the Wilfs’ motion. But the appeals court allowed the Wilfs’ net worth to remain sealed until Wilson enters final orders in the case, which could happen by the end of the week or sometime next week. And if the Wilfs get their way, their net worth won’t be released even then. The Wilfs’ lead attorney, Sheppard Guryan, said he will ask Wilson to delay releasing the net worth, pending the Wilfs’ full appeal of the case. Guryan has vowed to appeal all of Wilson’s rulings that followed a two-year trial.” Is anyone going bet against them stringing the appeals out for 20 years?

Ordinarily $650,000 would be a good haul … Graydon Royce of the Strib says: “Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra sounded a note of resolve Monday to continue performing concerts if they remained locked out in their long and bitter confrontation with the Minnesota Orchestral Association. At a community meeting in Minneapolis attended by more than 300 people, the musicians revealed that they have raised $650,000, much of it coming from individual donors but also from players at 87 orchestras — including international ensembles. In addition, 70 orchestras have hired Minnesota musicians during the 14-month lockout. … The musicians revealed that they have earned $201,289 from concerts since Oct. 1, 2012, while spending $288,587. Donations have covered the difference. In an interview, [Clarinetist Tim Zavadil, leader of the musicians’ negotiating team] said 75 percent of the group’s concert budget goes to pay musicians. In addition, the group pays rental fees and compensates guest artists and conductors — who often return the check.” Our Doug Grow has also covered this.

And on the other end of downtown … Royce reports again: “The Guthrie Theater announced Monday that it lost nearly $438,000 in the year ended Aug. 31, the theater’s first operating deficit in 19 years. ‘We didn’t reach the box office goals we set,’ Guthrie director Joe Dowling said. ‘We’re still very healthy, but clearly a deficit is not a happy thing for any arts organization.’ The Guthrie saw significant declines in season-ticket and single-ticket sales, which contributed to overall attendance of 375,702, a drop of 50,000 from fiscal 2011-12. … Dowling indicated his greatest regret of the season was the attendance for ‘A Long Day’s Journey Into Night,’ which he directed. ‘Helen Carey gave a monumental performance, and it’s sad that it was not seen by the multitudes,’ Dowling said.” Next year maybe: The Guthrie does “Phantom of the Opera” with Michael Bolton?

Good news for auto body shops … Steve Karnowski of the AP says: “Minnesota’s firearms deer hunters haven’t been as lucky as last year, according to preliminary figures released Monday. Firearms hunters killed about 148,400 deer from when the season opened Nov. 9 until a late season closed in southeastern Minnesota on Dec. 1, the Department of Natural Resources said. Excluding the late season, hunters killed about 144,000 deer during the main season, down 6 percent from 153,000 in 2012. Southeastern hunters took 4,400 deer in the late season, down 600 from the 5,000 last year. Overall, Minnesota’s firearms, muzzleloader and archery hunters have registered 164,500 deer as of last Wednesday.”

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Pulltabs … paper variety … are up. For the Strib, Shannon Prather writes: “After a decadelong slide, pulltabs, bingo and other forms of charitable gambling are bouncing back in Minnesota, with gross receipts up 8.6 percent statewide this fiscal year and expected to top $1.1 billion, according to the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. That’s the biggest percentage increase in more than 20 years and the third straight year-to-year rise. ‘It’s just clear to us the economy has rebounded,’ said Al Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota, which represents the nearly 1,200 nonprofit groups running charitable gambling operations in the state.”

Minneapolis School Board member Carla Bates explains the city’s high school dilemma … In a Strib commentary, she says: “[W]e have about 3,300 open seats in our high schools. In three years, even if enrollment goes up by the expected 1,300 students, we’ll still have 2,000 empty high school seats. Only if the school district were to woo back almost all students who open-enroll or go to private schools would there be a capacity problem in the city as a whole. So why is the district proposing to spend $40 million on an addition to Southwest High School? Why not simply shift the school boundaries and send more students from overcrowded classrooms in the southwest to the other high schools in our city? Answer: Because parents at those two schools would rise up in revolt. And they’d have good reason, because currently not all Minneapolis high schools are created equal.”

I think this is what they call “small ball” … Jon Collins of MPR reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton has extended an executive order that lifts some restrictions on drivers carrying propane. The state is seeing a substantial shortage of propane, which many Minnesotans rely on for heating and agriculture. Dayton’s order said the state’s main source of propane has reduced capacity. The Cochin pipeline, owned by Kinder Morgan, is shut down until Dec. 17 for repairs. The company is in the process of completely switching the pipeline from propane to light condensates used in shale oil production.”

Good video of winter water spouts over Lake Superior at MPR’s site. Paul Huttner writes: “One of the benefits of life in an arctic air mass is you might see things you just don’t see anywhere else. That happened Saturday over Lake Superior, when relatively rare ‘winter waterspouts’ danced across the big lake. Jordan Deters was looking out over Superior near Knife River, Minn., Saturday when he noticed what looked like small tornadoes forming out over the lake. The video he captured next was a family of fairly rare winter waterspouts that formed offshore. … You need a bitter arctic air mass passing over relatively warm lake water, and just enough light, low level wind shear to get the rapidly rising air currents spinning nicely. Saturday’s contrast between bitter arctic air (air temp was about -7 degrees at Two Harbors nearby) and relatively warmer lake water (offshore surface water temps were around 40 degrees) create an ‘enhanced lapse rate’ as temps cooled rapidly with height above the water.”

The U has a new 110-ton Tesla … Lorna Benson of MPR reports: “After a month-long journey from England, the world’s largest imaging magnet has been unloaded in its new home at the University of Minnesota. The 10.5 Tesla whole-body human magnet will help researchers create much more detailed maps of the human brain and body, showing brain structures in a half-millimeter resolution or less, said Kamil Ugurbil, director of the university’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. Researchers, he added, want that level of detail so they can better understand how neurons organize and compute. … The magnet, funded in part by an $8 million federal grant, uses 720 miles of coiled wire to generate its powerful magnetic field and 40,000 liters of liquid helium to cool it. It weighs 110 tons and was transported to the university from Duluth harbor on a 64-wheel trailer.