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They took our beers! Teamsters fight Sunday growler sales

The shot-and-a-beer guys take a shot at your beers … . The Strib’s Jon Tevlin has a stemwinder on the Teamsters union torpedoing Sunday “growler” sales at brewpubs. Growlers are jugs that allow you to take brewpub product home, and though Teamsters typically don’t work at brewpubs, the union says wholesalers will torpedo their contracts if Minnesota lawmakers approve the bill. That resonates in DFL-dominated St. Paul. The Teamsters aren’t talking much to the brewers, and not at all to Tevlin (though they did to MPR’s Tom Scheck, who broke the story last week). No one has talked to the Teamsters’ bosses, who sound like the real jerks here. 

This kind of resolution is an all too rare thing. Dan Nienaber’s Mankato Free Press story on the return of the unjustly accused football coach says, “Fighting back tears and taking several breaks to regain his composure, former Minnesota State University head football coach Todd Hoffner announced he will return to his coaching position in Mankato. Hoffner, 47, who said he made his decision right before Tuesday’s news conference, said he is going to resume his duties Wednesday in Mankato. … [Attorney Jim] Fleming wants Blue Earth County Attorney Ross Arneson held accountable for the decision to pursue criminal charges.” MPR’s Bob Collins unpacks all the bizarreness.

Talk about decades overdue … . MPR’s Jon Collins says, “A redevelopment plan that could lead to the reopening of Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street in Minneapolis took another step forward on Tuesday with approval from a City Council committee. Neighborhood groups have long supported the effort to reopen the street but previous efforts to negotiate with landowners and Kmart, which holds a lease on the site until 2053, have petered out. The plan would allow the city to spearhead future development on the site.” However, there’s no money yet and the city has tried this before.

But I thought the roads were unsubsidized … . MPR’s Dan Olson on cities’ losing battle to fund pothole repairs, at least from dedicated funds. Despite $1.8 billion in direct taxes, “Minnesota this year is short $1.5 billion to properly fix and maintain the state’s 144,000 mile road network, fifth largest in the country. … Shoreview will get about $869,000 in state road money this year. ‘That gets me about three-quarter miles of roadway reconstruction,'” says the city’s public works boss.

The Six Months and a Day crowd just can’t catch a breakStribber Adam Belz says, “Snowbirds and high earners are discovering that they must do more than buy a condo in the Sun Belt and register a vehicle there, after a court decision last year reinforced the state’s ability to use any of more than two dozen criteria to determine who is a Minnesota resident. ‘People refer to it as Hotel Minnesota,’ said Matt Shea, a lawyer at Gray Plant Mooty. ‘You can come any time you like, but you can never leave.’”

There’s gold in them there ambulances. Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress writes, “The federal Medicare health insurance program winds up paying the fare for many of the ambulance rides provided by the city of St. Paul. That’s why the city in 2012 was one of the largest single recipients of the program’s payments among non-hospital health care providers in Minnesota … . Of more than 19,000 providers who in 2012 cared for Medicare patients in Minnesota, St. Paul’s take of more than $2 million was the ninth-largest individual sum.”

This kid’s life just took a serious turn. The Strib’s Mary Lynn Smith says, “A 19-year-old northwestern Minnesota man was arrested Tuesday and accused of shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the back during a traffic stop. Steven Anthony Henderson, whose last known address is Fertile, was being held in the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston after a two-hour manhunt involving more than 70 officers from a dozen law enforcement agencies, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.”

At least he got a picture … . Doug Smith of the Strib says, “When Andy Fronek went sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River for the first time last weekend, he thought it would be cool to catch a fish bigger than his kids, ages 9 and 11. ‘Instead, I caught one bigger than me,’ said Fronek, 41, of Eden Prairie. Fronek stands 5-feet-10. His monster sturgeon measured 5-11. It had a 29-inch girth. He caught the lunker on a gob of worms and fought it for 35 minutes.”

If only I could buy a growler on Sunday … . Michael Olson of MPR tells us, “A handful of Minnesota breweries have won 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. August Schell Brewing brought home two awards, one included a gold for their Vienna-Style Lager. Steel Toe Brewing won a gold for their Scotch Ale. Canal Park Brewing Co. Summit Brewing Co. and Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub also won awards this year.”

We’re #8 and #10. St. Paul beat Minneapolis by two slots in a list of “The 25 Greenest Cities.” Sreekar Jasthi of NerdWallet Finance says, “St. Paul, Minn. In addition to its great air quality and low rate of wasted fuel per commuter, St. Paul boasts more than 20 buildings that are certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design … Minneapolis, Minn. Much like its twin city St. Paul, Minneapolis offers great air quality and a relatively uncongested environment for transportation. With 92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street paths, Minneapolis is one of the best biking cities in the nation.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/16/2014 - 07:18 am.


    If the DFL folds on this one without insisting on the opportunity to examine the actual contract language the Teamsters are supposedly being threatened with by the wholesaler in order to determine the legitimacy of the threat, I will be mightily disappointed.

  2. Submitted by Ed Kohler on 04/16/2014 - 07:59 am.


    I find it impressive that the Teamsters’ clients have managed to get the Teamsters to fight their battles for them. It reminds me of the Building Trades lobbying for tax subsidies for our local NFL team owned by a family in NJ.

  3. Submitted by Marc Post on 04/16/2014 - 08:01 am.

    DFLers should support beer

    Every DFL member should hold a news conference today in support of beer. It’s the perfect opportunity to show the aren’t owned by the unions. It’s a win-win.

    The anti-beer Teamsters have made a huge mistake. What are the Teamsters going to do anyway? Give their money to the tea party?

    Hey, Teamster rank and file, time to elect some new leadership.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/16/2014 - 08:37 am.

      I’ll withhold judgment

      The local brewery in my area has created exactly 3 jobs, essentially the 3 owners. The staff that works there serving are “volunteers”. Maybe the teamsters are just trying to delay the dream of The 1%, whenn the 99% are all volunteers.

      • Submitted by Marc Post on 04/16/2014 - 10:13 am.


        You are actually trying to equate 3 small business owners with the 1%? That’s absurd. Nobody has a gun to the head of the “volunteers” either. They do it because they love it and have a passion for it. They aren’t in it for the money.

        Those 3 small business owners are EXACTLY the kind of jobs we need to create. The aren’t the 1%.

        My point is that it’s political folly to oppose this bill because the Teamster’s leadership doesn’t like it. The DFL should tell them, loudly, to get off our side.

  4. Submitted by David Koski on 04/16/2014 - 09:16 am.

    The restaurant and brewery revolution

    I am not a Teamster, but there will be a point where the boom of new restaurants and breweries converge with unions.

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