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Fixing Vikings stadium’s bird-killing glass would be ‘relatively cheap’

Minnesota Vikings

Apparently the issue of the new Vikings stadium and its bird-killing glass is not going away. Now, Mother Jones has gotten in on the act. Sam Brodey says, “As for the transparent walls, the fix was relatively cheap: A different kind of glass—with lots of small dots that signal to birds it’s a hard surface—would cost just over a million dollars extra. That’s one-tenth of one percent of the total cost of the project. Plus, the Vikings had already contracted with the manufacturer of this special glass—a Minnesota company to boot. But on July 17, Anderson said, the Vikings and MSFA balked, claiming the special glass would make the project too expensive. The improvement had seemed like a PR slam dunk. Now, the Vikings’ resistance puts them squarely at odds with a growing trend of eco-friendliness in stadium construction.”

MPR’s Tom Scheck files a story on a GOP House incumbent getting hammered for voting in favor of gay marriage last year. “In Eden Prairie, a high-ranking Minnesota House Republican faces a fierce Aug. 12 primary challenge in large part because of her vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Deputy Minority Leader Jenifer Loon was one of five Republicans in the Legislature to vote for a bill last year legalizing same-sex marriage and that’s made her the target of a Republican challenger, Sheila Kihne.” For more on the race, check out MinnPost’s coverage of the money being poured into the contest.  

The Forum News Service detects space between the four GOP gubernatorial candidates on how to handle outstate issues. “Those questions especially show a stark difference between Orono businessman Scott Honour, a first-time candidate, and three veteran politicians. Honour stands alone in insisting that outstate Minnesota should get no special treatment, saying his policies would help all Minnesotans.”

Milk prices down — for producers. Kevin Allenspach at the St. Cloud Times writes, “The price per 100 pounds peaked at $26.60 in April, according to the latest data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. In May, it was $24.80 and in June it was down to $23.60 — the lowest price of the year so far. After annual gains of 20 and 25 percent respectively in average annual price during 2010 and 2011, milk prices held relatively flat the past two years. A year ago, the price was $19.10, but since then took off.”

Too bad milk isn’t a single, gettable company. Stribbers Neal St. Anthony and Patrick Kennedy write, “The stone-cold, postrecession mergers-and-acquisitions market has gradually heated into a 2014 deals market that could be the best year since 2007. ‘It’s a seller’s market,’ said Leslie Frecon, founder and CEO of LFE Capital, which sold one of its portfolio companies in the second quarter ended June 30.”

In their latest candidate profile, the Strib’s Abby Simons follows GOP Senate candidate Jim Abeler and says, “On paper, Abeler looks like a solid GOP bet for U.S. Senate. A chiropractor with six kids, Abeler has represented the Anoka area in the Legislature for 16 years, honing an expertise on health care. But Abeler lacks both personal wealth and the financial backing possessed by investment banker Mike McFadden, the novice candidate who wrested the party endorsement from Abeler and other challengers.”

Elsewhere, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is concerned about … what you pay for contact lenses. Says Corey Mitchell of the Strib, “Klobuchar and others are concerned the moves by Alcon, Bausch & Lomb and Johnson & Johnson, which make up roughly 75 percent of the estimated $4 billion per year U.S. contact lens market, will snuff out competition and put consumers at a disadvantage. Nearly 39 million people in the United States use contacts, according to industry estimates. The companies began unilaterally setting minimum sale prices on some of their products over the last 15 months.” Clearly, another Big Gummint attack on the free market.

Meanwhile, Doug Belden of the PiPress files a look at the Sixth District race to replace Michele Bachmann. “[Rhonda Sivarajah] pitches herself to voters as an unflashy workhorse who has cut taxes and streamlined government at the county level and paints [Tom] Emmer as a creature of the establishment who’s difficult to work with and lacks a record of accomplishment. Emmer, 53, who came within a half a percentage point of the governor’s office four years ago, says he’s running for Congress as a ‘customer service’ candidate — asking people what’s important to them and how he can help deliver it.” I’d like a pony.

Today is your chance to tell someone what you want out of the potholed mess that is the Hennepin-Lyndale “intersection” in Minneapolis. John Van Heel a Hennepin-Lyndale Task Force member, says in the Strib, “The reconstruction that will happen next year has its most profound impact on the heart of the corridor, the place where Lowry Hill, the Walker Art Center, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church and Loring Park all come together. The biggest need at this location is for more space for pedestrians, landscaping and public art. This is where we have a great opportunity.” Here I thought the ruts and potholes were some kind of neo-brutalist art installation?

Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 08/04/2014 - 08:49 am.

    “Too expensive” is very relative

    In watching the Vikes stadium process closely, I’ve noticed a penny wise-pound foolish attitude. That they won’t spend $1M extra for a lifetime benefit to birds is, sadly, not surprising. They’ll lavish many times that on premium fan amenities as well as cost overruns, but do something eco-conscious? “Too expensive.”

    Of course, we know what the ticket prices at the finished (so-called) people’s stadium will be: Too expensive.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/04/2014 - 09:13 am.

      nothing pound foolish about it

      A million bucks will buy Ziggy some new furniture for his 10 million dollar apartment in New York. Mother Jones and the City Counsel and all the bird loving tax payers should have thought of this before they signed a contract for this boondoggle. Doesn’t do much good to complain about a contract after it is signed and I doubt all the people buying over-priced tickets for Viking games give hoot about birds dying by crashing into the glass. Ziggy got rich being penny wise and not caring what anyone thought about it.

      • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/04/2014 - 09:35 am.

        Those tickets are not over-priced, Bill !!

        They’re subsidized by public monies to make them cheaper.

        Maybe there will be added entertainment value for the football fans as the broadcasters can replay the birds crashing into the glass: “What a hit !! I could hear that all the way up here in our box !! Let’s watch that one again.”

        • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/04/2014 - 10:29 am.

          There’s no price too high to pay to watch the NFL…

          Birds don’t pay taxes and birds can’t sue. Maybe down the road, if the NFL is feeling generous, they’ll get some compensation for concussions and early onset Alzheimers.

          Maybe Hennepin County can impose a new tax on purple grease paint, NFL authorized grease paint, of course. GO VIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/04/2014 - 09:31 am.

      Zygi thought the birds were getting too good a deal,…

      …so the only thing to do is give them a good screwing.

  2. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 08/04/2014 - 09:09 am.

    I’ve said it before, but…

    …there they go again Minnesota GOP Guber politicians talking about “Out-state Minnesota” which begs the question…then all else is Lying-In-State, eh?

    I suggest to the Forum News Service and Honour and glory Scott, whomever…try ‘Greater Minnesota’ as a better label?

  3. Submitted by Wanda Jacobsen on 08/04/2014 - 11:20 am.

    Bird Friendly Glass

    I enjoy birds, but my question is if it is so important to have bird friendly glass on the new stadium, why in the world wasn’t this brought up FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, when building materials were first listed??? This issue is more than a “day late and a dollar short”.

  4. Submitted by John Edwards on 08/04/2014 - 11:25 am.

    An easy solution

    Why doesn’t the Audubon Society itself simply raise the ‘relatively cheap’ amount it would take to solve the problem. It would amount to $1.75 for each of its 600,000 members. What a PR bonanza: advocates who actually put their money where their mouths are and do not demand that others pay for what they want.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/04/2014 - 12:04 pm.

      “Pay for what they want” Give me a break.

      Tell me who is financing part of the stadium?

      If were weren’t on a significant migratory route then you might have a point. But there are more people who watch birds than football so lets put it to a vote shall we.

      • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/04/2014 - 02:55 pm.

        vote? You are kidding

        The people didn’t get to vote on the stadium. You think they’ll get to vote on the windows? Jody, there are more people who see birds than watch football but there are certainly not more people who “watch” birds.

        By the way I saw some indications in an article, probably in the Star Trib, that birds crashing into windows downtown is a pretty common event. I am totally opposed to this stadium but why should it have special windows when the IDS tower and all those other buildings don’t?

    • Submitted by Tom Clark on 08/04/2014 - 12:18 pm.

      The responsibility for negative externalities

      doesn’t lie with those who suffer from them, it’s with those who create them. The Vikings should do the right thing here and spend the money to ameliorate the problem with bird strikes. It’s not as if fans walking over dead birds around the stadium is great PR either.

    • Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 08/04/2014 - 12:22 pm.

      Good sentiment

      “advocates who actually put their money where their mouths are and do not demand that others pay for what they want.” If you were referring to the stadium funding itself I would agree with you.

  5. Submitted by jody rooney on 08/04/2014 - 12:11 pm.

    Emmer is a joke and it

    isn’t surprising that he doesn’t know where greater Minnesota is. I have never met a potential candidate that was so arrogant that he was ready to throw a temper tantrum at public meeting because his “data” was corrected.

    You can tell these folks don’t know what they are talking about none of them is using current information. Perhaps their support teams are so focused on message that they ignore real data.

    As for focusing on constituent service Bachmann has set the bar pretty low. But if that’s his focus he might be a great staffer for Representative Kline but my guess is that he wouldn’t hire him.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/04/2014 - 12:27 pm.

      Not to go all Peggy Noonan

      but considering the number of Sivarajah lawn signs I’ve seen as opposed to virtually none for Emmer, I’m thinking Emmer’s political comeback is going to be rather short-lived.

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