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

PLUS: GOP House incumbent taking heat for pro gay marriage vote; Amy Klobuchar goes after the contact-lens cartel; and the world’s worst intersection gets a public hearing.

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.”

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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?