Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Recommendation: Clean out Target’s boardroom

Underling contradicts Nienstedt; a new veterans’ cemetery; St. Paul writes off a big mortgage; and more.

Show ‘em all the door … . Kavita Kumar of the Strib says, “A new report recommends that Target shareholders oust seven of the 10 board members at the retailer’s shareholders meeting next month, saying that those directors failed to protect the company against the massive data breach.” One is the board chair Kumar approvingly profiled 10 days ago.

MPR’s Madeleine Baran is back on the archdiocese’s case, noting that ex-vicar general Peter Laird contradicts Archbishop John Nienstedt. Nienstedt said under oath he did not talk to Laird about an abusive priest; Laird said he told his boss immediately. Laird also advised Niestedt to resign, as Laird did.

A second veterans’ cemetery is under construction. John Weiss of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says, “On Thursday, about a dozen dump trucks, bulldozers and other earth-moving equipment had turned the once serene woods and meadows into a swirl of dust, grinding noise, ground-shaking vibration and the smell of diesel. In a year, that same location will be Minnesota’s second veterans cemetery,a green, quiet place where the first of maybe 70,000 veterans and their spouses will be buried.”

If you thought you understood government finances … . Curtis Gilbert of MPR writes, “It was a fake $2.4 million mortgage, and now the city of St. Paul is poised to write it off. Say what, you ask? The convoluted financial arrangement dates to the late 1990s, when the city acted as a middleman between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Presbyterian Homes of Minnesota in a deal to rehabilitate Central Towers, a low-income apartment complex on Exchange Street in downtown St. Paul.”

Article continues after advertisement

As Homer Simpson might write, “Quick … how do you spell ‘flummoxed'”? Five Minnesota kids are still alive in the National Spelling Bee. KARE-TV says, “Alyssa Boynton from Slayton, Minn.; Mark Kivimaki from Edina, Minn.; Kellen Rodriguez from Fairmont, Minn.; Shane DeSeilva from Austin, Minn. and Lauren Crabtree from Brainerd, Minn. all spelled their words correctly in Round 2. … The finals are set for Thursday night.”

On the conservative site Real Clear Politics Carl Cannon posts much of a letter from a U of M student regarding the flap over former Secretary of State Condi Rice’s campus appearance. “One Twin Cities undergrad — his name is Anders Koskinen — felt sufficiently aggrieved at my passing reference to his school (I wrote that the character assassins at Rutgers ‘apparently were emboldened by their brethren at the University of Minnesota’) to send me a note. … ‘I am proud to be a student of the University of Minnesota, in part precisely because it is an institution where the students, faculty, and staff for the most part recognize that free speech and academic discourse are things to be valued over the feelings of overly sensitive left-wing activists who only support free speech when it agrees with them.’”

“Murder … .”  Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress reports, “The Washington County attorney’s office has charged five teenagers in connection to a girl’s fatal drug overdose. Woodbury police received a call at 9 a.m. Jan. 11 that Tara Fitzgerald, 17, was unresponsive. She was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where she died a short time later. Her friends told police she had ingested what she believed was LSD the previous night, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators began to trace the chain of custody for the substance, which turned out to be a synthetic drug called 25i-NBOMe … .”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel remains fascinated with the machinations out front and behind the scenes of Gov. Scott Walker’s long-running “John Doe” scandal. Jason Stein, Patrick Marley and Bill Glauber report, “Until now, the conservative editorial page of the [Wall Street Journal]  has defended Walker against what it says is an unconstitutional violation of his campaign’s free speech rights and those of other right-wing groups by prosecutors. But in the editorial published Tuesday, the newspaper attacked Walker, alleging that his attorney was negotiating with authorities at a time when the prosecutors have had their investigation halted by a federal judge.”

Very much a part of the drama … .  Brendan Fischer at the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy writes, “The federal judge who ordered a halt to Wisconsin’s ‘John Doe’ criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections has regularly attended all-expenses paid ‘judicial junkets’ funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and other ideological and corporate interests.” Your expression of shock and disbelief is duly noted … .

Oh hell, while we’re at it — and scrolling further down the site … this also from Fischer … . “The ‘charitable’ wing of David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity has dropped nearly $900,000 on ads to boost Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection campaign, just days after polls showed Walker tied with his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke. Incredibly, whomever provided the funding for the ads — whether it was David Koch himself or a collection of deep-pocketed donors — can write-off the expenses as a charitable contribution, just like a donation to a neighborhood church or the American Red Cross.” Because … they’re doing God’s work.

We’ll hold him to this … . Paul Huttner at MPR says, “The latest data from the tropical Pacific shows warmer water is building fast. This suggests chances for an El Nino by this fall or winter may approach 80 percent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. … My hunch is we could be as much as 5 to 10 degrees warmer in Minnesota next winter compared to last winter if El Nino really gets cranking.” So … 29 degrees in early April instead of 19?