Sometimes-colleague David Brauer, writing in the Southwest Journal, looks … just a bit closer at the details of the Vikings/private interests’ claim to use of “The Yard,” the supposedly great public space to be constructed in front of The People’s Stadium. “In a Star Tribune op-ed, Rybak noted an original deal gave the Vikes ‘use of the Yard for all 10 home games, and the stadium operators got 10 additional days. That’s a lot.’ What Rybak didn’t say was that in the final month of his own administration, a term sheet gave the Vikings 22 days and the Authority 40 days — two full months. That’s a lot.” What “the people” need more than a stadium is their own army of contract attorneys.
There’s some good jing in those cars and boats and guns … James Shiffer of the Strib says, “On the eve of reforms to criminal forfeiture laws, Minnesota law enforcement agencies netted $6.9 million last year from property confiscated from drunken drivers, drug traffickers and other criminal suspects. A report on 2013 forfeitures from the Minnesota State Auditor showed a rise in both the number of forfeiture cases (6,955 in 2013, versus 6,851 in 2012) and the net proceeds (up from $6.7 million in 2012).”
Echoes of the Watergate hearings: Madeleine Baran of MPR writes, “Faced with tough questions under oath last month, former Twin Cities archbishop Harry Flynn said at least 134 times that he could not remember how he handled clergy sexual abuse cases during his 13-year tenure, according to documents made public Wednesday. Flynn, 81, retired six years ago. He said he didn’t have dementia or other diagnosed memory problems. “I think it has more to do with age than anything,” he said, although he noted that he has been diagnosed with cancer, pneumonia and Legionnaires’ disease. The former archbishop said he did not report any accusations of child sexual abuse to police and doesn’t recall asking anyone else to report abuse claims, either … .” The work of the Lord requires a lot a person’s attention.
From a new study on gender equality, via Northland NewsCenter in Duluth, “The study saw two top competing trends … one that women’s earnings are important to families and two, that there is still a 20 percent gap between men’s and women’s salaries. … Perhaps most startling is 684-thousand women have fallen victim to sexual and domestic violence … enough to fill Target Field 17 times.”
Interesting story on oil-eating bacteria … The AP says, “A Lakehead Co. pipeline northwest of Bemidji split on Aug. 20, 1979, and released about 440,000 gallons of crude oil. Today, the site attracts scientists from around the world who are collecting data from sensors that sample soil, water and air. Scientists are working to learn more about oil-eating microbes. They’ve found the bacteria that breaks down oil is everywhere, even in northern Minnesota.”
Second team? WCCO-TV notes that Kevin Love is not among the Top Five. “The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Wednesday that forward Kevin Love was selected to the All-NBA Second Team. … Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Joakim Noah, James Harden and Chris Paul were selected All-NBA First Team.”
Duluth is more #1 than Minneapolis. Says Pam Louwagie in the Strib, “If you can believe voters on the Internet, Duluth is a better town than Minneapolis — at least as far as outdoorsy people are concerned. Voters hit an online contest in droves through the weekend to promote Duluth in a national Outside magazine contest of best towns. With more than 60,000 votes in the fourth round, which ended Tuesday night, Duluth scored at least 10,000 more votes than any other town on the list. … The town is now facing off against the winner of the South: Asheville, N.C.” How did Superior rate?
Still, a beacon for oppressed North Dakotans … The AP says, “Nearly two times as many same-sex couples from North Dakota have filed for marriage licenses across the border in Clay County than Minnesotans have. Deputy Recorder Lisa Kunze says 40 of the 68 same-sex marriage licenses filed in the county have been between two North Dakotans. Five more involved one North Dakota resident.”
I dare them to call it “Franken’s Trips Festival.” MPR’s Brett Neely says, “The list of celebrities raising money for Sen. Al Franken keeps getting longer. The latest: former Grateful Dead singer and guitarist, Bob Weir, who will perform with his current band, Ratdog, at a fundraiser for Franken next week at the Northrop Auditorium. ‘As you know, I really love the Grateful Dead. Really’, wrote Franken in an invitation obtained by MPR News.” And how about a holographic campaign speech from Owsley Stanley?