To no one’s surprise, Jean Hopfensperger and Tony Kennedy at the Strib say, “Citing growing financial trouble linked to clergy sex abuse cases, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday raised the prospect that it will seek bankruptcy protection. In its annual report in the Catholic Spirit online newspaper, archdiocese officials said the unfolding settlements of clergy sex abuse cases are a key factor. The report says litigation claims are expected to grow beyond the $5.3 million the chancery has reserved for them.”
For the AP Amy Forliti says, “Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation ‘disheartening,’ but assured the faithful that the finances won’t directly affect parishes or other Catholic institutions. ‘I am determined to see that the ministries and essential services provided by the Chancery Corporation will continue and that we will strive to minimize the impact of cutbacks on our Catholic people and the larger community,’ he wrote.”
Not in my front yard! Reporting on an obscene outrage, John Reinan of the Strib says, “A plan to build sidewalks in neighborhoods throughout Edina is erupting into a high-stakes fight about the city’s future — and what kind of identity a suburb should have in the 21st century if it wants to thrive. … Edina, one of the oldest and most affluent suburbs, is meeting with heated resistance from longtime residents as it strives to become friendlier to bikers, walkers and transit users. While sidewalks are common in Edina’s oldest neighborhoods, large swaths of the city were built without them.” A pitched battle is coming, folks. Next thing you know we “the people” will be hurling stale croissants and half empty bottles of Bordeaux at police shock troops from behind the cover of our overturned BMWs.
A couple of stories via Vox. No one who can read a weather map will consider this, but Matt Yglesias writes, “Few people wake up on an unseasonably cold morning and say to themselves, “I wish I lived in Minneapolis.” But if you’re young and looking to get ahead in the world, you should probably move to Minneapolis. The five highest-income large metropolitan areas in the United States are San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Greater New York, the DC-Baltimore area, the Twin Cities area, and Greater Boston (Anchorage is also way up there, but tiny and I’m not entirely convinced Alaska is real). Four of those five metro areas have something in common — they are very expensive places to live. The Twin Cities are the exception. The $54,304 median household income in Minneapolis carries more purchasing power than the $59,799 median household income in New York.”
But if you do move up here, besides snow tires, thermal blankets, shovels and flares, you’d better buy a LoJack system for your Honda Accord. Danielle Kurtzleben reports on the most stolen vehicles in every state of the union. Up here … Honda Accord, which is (and has been) the case for quite some time. But in case you needed further proof that our fine and glorious neighbors to the east truly are beasts of a different stripe, Ms. Kurtzleben reports that thieves’ vehicle-of-choice over in Wisconsin is a … Dodge Caravan. Preferably one with two cases of Keystone Light visible on the back seat.
Add another $5 to the cost of that pulled pork sandwich you’re planning to buy at the new Vikings stadium. Rochelle Olson of the Strib says, “The Minnesota Vikings’ owners have agreed to put more money into the $1 billion Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium. … According to [Michelle] Kelm-Helgen, the Vikings have agreed to increase their contribution to the stadium by $647,838. The biggest chunk, $234,889, would go toward ‘changing finishes and food service capabilities’ on the second level of the stadium, which is under construction in downtown Minneapolis. Enhanced concessions revenue is one of many reasons the Vikings wanted a new stadium.”
Speaking of chow … . I’m sorry. I shouldn’t. There are far more important issues. But this #grapegate thing won’t die. In the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Judy Walker tells readers in The Big Easy, “Each state was assigned a dish. Louisiana got David Gaus’ version of his Granny Lilly’s Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons. OK, Gaus doesn’t live in the state anymore and sucks up much media attention, but he is a New Orleans native and we love him (and mirlitons). Arkansas was one of a handful of turkey states. Alabama got Lucy Buffet’s Oyster Dressing. All good. Click here to see heirloom dressing recipes from NOLA.com readers, and here to see chef Frank Brigtsen’s mother’s signature Oyster Dressing and his other Thanksgiving dishes. Minnesota, however, got Grape Salad. Not wild rice or hot-dish. Worse, the reporter wrote that he got the recipe from ‘a Minnesota-born heiress.’ Wooo-hee. The state’s residents took to social media with #grapegate and #embracethegrape, and to the NYT Facebook page to say hundreds of times that they have never heard of the dish, and ‘no one from Minnesota would never admit to being … an heiress. Seriously. Not our style.’ “
Now even The New York Times’ Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan has responded to the furor. “As Thanksgiving spreads go, this one was lavish. Called “The United States of Thanksgiving,” the online interactive graphic and the printed version over most of the 16-page Food section took a state-by-state approach to the big American meal of the year. Each state had its dish: In New York, Double Apple Pie. In Mississippi, Ale-Braised Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock. The effort was impressive, and engaging, and – in at least one case – bizarrely wrong. The epic recipe fail came in the Minnesota entry: Grape Salad. A reasonable choice might have been the potato-dough flatbreads known as lefse or a wild rice dish. But instead The Times offered something that the state’s residents not only did not traditionally serve, but also – according to my mail – had never even heard of. One reader, Michelle Goedert, wrote to me as follows:
Dear New York Times,
What the hell is ‘grape salad’?
All of Minnesota.”
At the foodie site The Daily Meal, Karen Lo writes, “Minnesotans are annoyed — some more than others — at being falsely aligned with grape salad, the recipe for which the Times got from ‘a Minnesota-born heiress,’ who tells [reporter David Tanis] it was always part of the holiday buffet in her family. … On the same post’s lengthy trail of dissent, another resident voiced her displeasure thusly: ‘By the way, Times staffers, don’t mistake the mild mannered comments below as gentle disagreement. What you are witnessing here with each additional post is simmering rage and contempt Minnesota-style.’ ” As Mr. Jensen thunders at Howard Beale in “Network,” “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, [Mr. Tanis]!!”
Finally, under the allegedly ruinous fiscal policies of the past few years … Minnesota’s unemployment rate has dropped below 4%. At MPR the story goes, “State employers add added 9,500 jobs in October, dipping the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent in September, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said in a statement Thursday. State officials said data revisions for September also led to an increase of 2,800 jobs counted for September. Minnesota has added 28,300 jobs over the past three months — the strongest three-month span on record, dating back to 1990, the agency said.”