Start sweating, LifeTime Fitness — activist investors on your tail

Yahoo Finance reports activist investors have bought into locally based Lifetime Fitness. That usually portends asset stripping or debt-ladening, so strap in, upscale heath chain. The Business Journal’s Mark Reilly boils down the activists’ aim this way: “Manager Richard ‘Mick’ McGuire has a lot of experience in real estate dealings and could press Life Time to convert some of its holdings into a real estate investment trust.”

Bear researcher/hand-feeder Lynn Rodgers lost an appeal over losing his research permit, the Pioneer Press’s Dave Orrick reports. The state Department of Natural Resources had cause to terminate the permit, but a DNR official with no ties to the saga will make the final determination.

Is there anything around here that even looks like California? Amy Forliti of the AP reports, “The state Court of Appeals has upheld the drug conviction for a man who claimed he should have been allowed to show that he can legally possess marijuana in California for medical purposes. Jeffrey Thiel was convicted of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance after authorities found two jars of marijuana in his vehicle in 2011. He wanted the case dismissed, saying Minnesota law violates his rights. But the appeals court disagreed.” MPR’s Bob Collins has more here.

Meanwhile across the river … . The AP tells us, “Wisconsin Democrats are scheduled to approve a platform that reaffirms the party’s current support for legalizing gay marriage and recreational marijuana use. The party on Tuesday released its proposed platform and resolutions that were to be voted on by delegates at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention which begins June 6 in Wisconsin Dells. Wisconsin Republicans drew heat at their convention last month for a proposed resolution to affirm the state’s right to secede from the union.” So which party sounds like it was smokin’ ditchweed?

Minneapolis City Hall wants to consolidating its sprawling officesTwin Cities Business’s Burl Gilyard reports. City workers now inhabit seven different “functionally obsolete” buildings and their overlords would like to consolidate that to three. “[T]he city analysis will include weighing the ‘potential’ sale of three city-owned office buildings and ‘the potential city purchase of an existing building or city participation in a “build to suit” development partnership with the private sector.'” Then again, the city may just be squeezing its outside landlords in a down market.

Following last week’s UnitedHealth survey declaring Minnesota the best place to be old, Stribber Jeremy Olson writes, “While its superiority largely reflected health care infrastructure — a high rate of seniors with prescription drug coverage, a sizable supply of home health care workers, and its rates of seniors receiving regular dental care and flu shots — Minnesota also stood out for the vitality of its older citizens. Nearly 40 percent of Minnesota seniors volunteer — the second highest in the nation — and 68 percent are able-bodied, meaning they have no disabilities … .” So if you don’t get off my lawn, I’ll chase you down, you damn little twerp … .

The GleanToday in housing recovery news … . Jim Buchta of the Strib writes, “The foreclosure crisis in Minnesota is nearing an end, but communities of color are still struggling to keep pace with the recovery. …  For example, in North Minneapolis prices have fallen so far that a homeowner who bought in 2006 at the neighborhood’s median price would need to see their 2013 home value increase by 85 percent to return to its purchase price. On the other hand, in Southwest Minneapolis, house prices have risen to pre-crash levels.”

Also in Minneapolis … . Jon Collins of MPR says, “The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges signed off Friday on rules that will allow mobile grocery trucks to operate in neighborhoods, some of which lack easy access to healthy food. … ‘We really like the idea of creating an independent business that can collect and consolidate vegetables from multiple farmers and…then be able to serve multiple communities, whether it’s high rise senior centers or community centers,’ [nonprofit businessman Brian] Noy said.”

The tortured tale of the Vadnais Sports Center may have finally reached its conclusion. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “The Ramsey County board of commissioners voted 6-to-1 to approve a purchase agreement with the owners of Vadnais Sports Center for $9.8 million. The county will also buy two neighboring commercial lots for $752,200. The decision authorizes the county manager to close on the purchase from Community Facility Partners by June 30.”

Add Sun Country to the “pre” list … . Tom Webb of the PiPress says, “Sun Country Airlines on Wednesday joined the TSA Pre Check program, designed to give qualifying fliers a quicker trip through airport security.”

Wait a minute!? Is six wins enough to get to the Super Bowl? Kevin Cusick of the PiPress tells us, sadly, “The Vikings managed to squeeze out five victories and one tie out of their 2013 schedule, and Las Vegas bookmakers expect them to do a little better this season. About a half-game better. Several of the major Las Vegas casinos have set their over-under lines for 2014 victory totals, and they have set Minnesota’s line at a less-than healthy six wins.” I think this means we can go 24/7 with the mock draft chatter starting right now.

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