Abruptly, the entire board of the Minnesota Dance Theatre has resigned. Graydon Royce of the Strib says: “In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, the entire Minnesota Dance Theatre board resigned, saying ‘it is no longer able to serve the needs of the organization going forward.’ A statement signed by the board said “the organization remains solvent and critically successful. We hope that the company and school will continue to succeed in the hands of a new board and the artistic director.” … In a statement Tuesday night, artistic director Lise Houlton thanked the board for its service and said she anticipates moving forward with the company, which was founded by her mother, Loyce.” Were I a betting man, I’d say someone somewhere wasn’t playing well with others.
More “blasting” … At City Pages, under the headline “Mark Dayton blasted for publicly financed trip to Super Bowl,” Aaron Rupar writes: “[T]he fact that the bill for lodging and flights to this year’s Super Bowl site will be picked up by Minnesota taxpayers doesn’t sit well with Republican Marty Seifert, the former House minority leader who is currently running to take Dayton’s job. ‘A multimillionaire like Mark Dayton expecting average Minnesotans to foot the bill for his taxpayer-financed Super Bowl vacation is an insult,’ Seifert said in a release. ‘First, Mark Dayton raised their taxes to pay out-of-state billionaire owners for a new stadium and now, he’s expecting hardworking Minnesotans to pay for him to vacation with the same people.’ ” So that’s two — count ’em, two — overworked cliches in the same story.
But then … The AP reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton has canceled a scheduled trip to New York on Friday to promote Minnesota’s bid for a Super Bowl in order to deal with a shortage of heating fuel in the state. Instead, Dayton will convene a meeting of the state Executive Council to consider extending the state of emergency order he issued Monday to alleviate a shortage of propane and other home heating fuel supplies.”
Has anybody noticed that it is pretty darn ugly? MPR’s Curtis Gilbert writes: “If the Saint Paul Port Authority decides to demolish the downtown Macy’s building, it will have to come up with an estimated $13.5 million. The Port is scheduled to buy the property … for $3 million. It will immediately try to re-sell the property with the building intact. If that doesn’t work, the fallback plan is to tear the structure down and prepare the site for new construction.”
At the PiPress, Bill Salisbury detects bipartisanship on Capitol Hill: “Democratic and Republican lawmakers agree that online voter registration is a good idea — if it is done right. At least, that consensus emerged Tuesday during a House Elections Committee hearing on a bill that would authorize online registration and absentee ballot applications.”
So did the state get a better or worse deal on those stadium bonds? In the PiPress, Doug Belden reports: “Minnesota Management and Budget completed the bond sale for the new Vikings stadium Tuesday at a lower interest rate than it likely would have received two weeks ago, the head of the agency said. … Bloomberg reported this week that the state was likely to pay roughly an additional $15 million over the life of the bonds because they are backed by appropriations rather than the state’s full faith and credit. [Commissioner Jim] Schowalter said that’s a reasonable estimate. He said that because there is a risk — though extremely remote— that the state could fail to appropriate money for bond payments, the market charges a bit more.”
Target data breach check … Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib reports: “U.S. banks have spent more than $153 million so far replacing 15.3 million debit and credit cards after the huge data heist from Target Corp., and the numbers are only growing. The Consumer Bankers Association announced the numbers Tuesday, saying that as more retailers announce breaches, the price tag for banks could grow to ‘hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly billions.’ It’s time for Target to step up to the plate and pay some of the costs for one of the largest data thefts recorded in the United States, the industry group said.” Well, there must be a way to pass this cost of doing business on to their consumers; I mean, “guests.”
Meanwhile, another Minnesota business, Punch Pizza, got a State of the Union invitation. Lindsey LaBelle at KMSP-TV says: “Founder and co-owner John Soranno and employee Nick Chute [were] recognized by President Barack Obama for establishing a starting wage of $10 an hour for their 8 Twin Cities locations. Punch announced in Nov. that it would increase wages to a minimum of $10 for entry-level employees and pay other positions higher wages to attract and retain quality employees. … Pizza cooks are paid $12-15 an hour, the most skilled cooks at a level equivalent of more than $30,000 a year. New manager salary/bonus more than $50,000 a year and experienced general manager pay of $100,000 a year.”
Finally, while most of you were noting with some sadness the passing of Pete Seeger, Scott Johnson at Power Line was saying: “In the title of his excellent essay on Pete Seeger, Howard Husock (accurately) proclaimed Seeger ‘America’s most successful Communist.’ Seeger faithfully toed the Stalinist line through more than two decades and publicly declared that he was still a communist periodically ever after. … It is something beyond pathetic that the White House has issued this statement in the name of President Obama on Seeger’s death yesterday at the age of 94:
‘Once called ‘America’s tuning fork.’ Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song. But more importantly, he believed in the power of community — to stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be. …”