If the departure (in August) of the Minnesota Orchestra’s CEO opened the door, the maestro seems ready to step through. In the New York Times, James Oesterreich says: “But if any kind of resolution in the matter of artistic leadership is imminent, no one is yet willing to discuss it. ‘I don’t know what happens next,’ Mr. [Osmo] Vänskä said in a brief conversation on Wednesday, the first formal press interview he had given since October 2012. ‘They asked me last weekend. Negotiations are underway.’ Asked what? Do the negotiations have to do with whether Mr. Vänskä should return as music director or in some other capacity, like principal conductor? ‘We shouldn’t get into that’, Mr. Vänskä said.”
In an interview with MPR’s Tom Crann, Vänskä said only slightly more:
“Crann: Now at the first concert after the lockout, I was there when the board president got up to speak, and people shouted, ‘Bring back Osmo!’ and he said, ‘We’re addressing that situation.’ What are you hearing about the addressing of that situation from orchestra managers, board members, about how much they’d like you to return as music director?
Vänskä: I have no idea how much do they like me to return, but I can tell you that we started negotiations last Saturday and I think that the purpose of those negotiations is to try to find out if there’s a way for me to come back.
Crann: What would that return, as far as you are concerned, have to look like?
Vänskä: If the negotiations are going on, there is no reason to comment on them yet.”
Graydon Royce’s Strib piece says: “Vänskä would not comment on whether [CEO Michael] Henson’s presence until August would affect his decision. He also declined to discuss his feelings about the board of directors. … Vänskä was terse during his interview, declining to comment on a few occasions and smiling infrequently. Asked where he will put his Grammy Award for the orchestra’s recording of two Sibelius symphonies, he said he had ‘no reason to think about that.’ ”
Sid has a scoop … and it’s about new University of Minnesota sports facilities. Says the estimable Mr. Hartman: “[B]oosters must be contributing because the Star Tribune has learned that ground will be broken this December on a $70 million football facility that will include not only a modern indoor practice facility but coaching offices and other amenities for the football program. The new facility is expected to be located in an area behind the Bierman Building, and speculation is that the new outdoor track will be moved to somewhere in St. Paul.” I can practically smell the Rose Bowl tickets.
I’ve seen sinkholes smaller than some of these things … Bill Salisbury of the PiPress says: “After the worst winter in a generation, a House committee on Wednesday tacked $15 million into a transportation funding bill to pay for patching potholes. Rep. Barb Yarusso, DFL-Shoreview, proposed the appropriation as a common-sense safety measure. … Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said Wednesday that she is looking to spend an additional $1 million to add two additional pothole-filling crews for two months this spring and contract for two spray patching units for that time as well.”
We’re getting closer to Sunday fills for your growler. The Northland News Center story says: “A liquor bill containing a number of measures, except legalizing Sunday liquor sales, cleared a hurdle Wednesday in the Senate Commerce Committee. The omnibus bill would allow brewpubs and taprooms to refill and sell beer growlers on Sundays.”
Belt tightening … at Cargill. Mike Hughlett of the Strib says: “Cargill Inc. will outsource some of its information technology services, a move that will affect 900 jobs worldwide, including 300 in the Twin Cities. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant told employees this week that it will move certain IT functions to Tata Consultancy Services, a big global IT outsourcing firm based in Mumbai, India. The transition will take up to 9 months.”
Show me the pork! The website WalletHub broke down the “makers” from the “takers” state-wise, and damn, but we need to be gettin’ more back from D.C.: “The extent to which the average American’s tax burden would vary based on his state of residence represents a significant point of differentiation between state economies. But it’s only once piece of the puzzle.” Minnesota has the third lowest return on federal tax dollars … only 57 cents come back here. Wisconsin, where “it’s working” … gets $1.68 back.