Ecolab signs deal to go all solar in Minnesota

Let’s hope there’s no funky fine print to this. Dave Shaffer of the Strib says, “Ecolab Inc., a global company based in St. Paul, says it’s going all solar in Minnesota. The company said Monday that it signed a deal with renewable energy developer SunEdison to acquire enough solar-generated electricity to offset virtually every watt of electricity used in its Minnesota business operations. … The deal by Ecolab, a Fortune 500 company, is the most dramatic evidence that a solar boom is looming in Minnesota.”

Moving quickly … . The AP story says, “Minnesota lawmakers are trying to get a bill containing a slate of tax credits and deductions on Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk soon. The Senate Taxes Committee advanced the bill on a voice vote Tuesday, setting up a final vote as soon as Thursday. A House committee is expected to move its version along for a final vote this week. The bill matches Minnesota’s code up with recent federal changes. Lawmakers want to enact the changes before the personal income tax filing season opens next week.”

At MPR, Peter Cox reports, “Middle aged people are taking their lives at a rate that’s growing faster than other age groups. As other causes of death such as heart disease and stroke decline, the state’s overall suicide rate has been increasing, Minnesota Department of Health Epidemiologist Jon Roesler said. In 2013, 683 people committed suicide in the state. More than 30 percent of them, or 209, were men between the ages of 45 and 64. Roesler said the troubling rise hits a group often counted on to provide for their families, ‘and not contributing when we need to have them contributing.’ Experts say there isn’t one clear explanation for the increase. But relationship changes, substance abuse and financial hardship all play a part.”

We’re … among the lowest! Says Jon Collins for MPR: “Minnesota gas prices continue to be among the cheapest in the country, according to an analysis released by AAA. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Minnesota is $1.94 as of Tuesday. That’s down almost 50 cents from just a month ago.” We’re like some kind of cold Oklahoma!

And when should privilege have exceptions? Stribber Dave Chanen writes, “During a required therapy session for anger management, Jerry Expose Jr. threatened to seriously hurt a child protection worker if a future court case didn’t go his way. He promised to break her back or to get somebody else to do it. A therapist for the 46-year-old St. Paul man, believing she was ethically and legally bound to report the threat, notified the worker and police. The threats, which Expose assumed were made in a confidential setting, were admitted as evidence at his trial. He was convicted on a felony charge of making terroristic threats. Last year, his conviction was reversed on appeal because Minnesota law doesn’t recognize a ‘threats exception’ to breaking the client-therapist confidentiality privilege.”

Obviously a grueling job. The AP story says, “A small community in southeastern Minnesota is hiring a new police chief that local leaders hope will bring some stability to the position. The Lewiston City Council is expected to hire Scott Yeiter Wednesday. He will be the city’s seventh police chief in seven years. The 45-year-old Yeiter has been second in command at the Houston County Sheriff’s Department.”

The sales of new pickups might take a hit this year. Mark Steil of MPR says, “In bad news for farmers who are struggling to stay solvent, low prices for corn and a smaller than expected harvest in 2014 have combined to cause a big drop in the value of Minnesota’s largest cash crop. The low yields and poor prices dragged down the value of the corn crop to about $4.7 billion, down more than a third from the previous year. The U.S. Agriculture Department’s final corn crop estimate for 2014 showed a sharp and surprising drop in the number of bushels harvested per acre.”

If the powers that be can ram a stadium down our throats, there has to be way to finesse this. In the Strib, Eric Roper reports, “A developer for Walgreens is buying a key part of the Kmart site on Nicollet Avenue, throwing a curve ball at city officials trying to reopen the intersection. City officials say Semper Development outbid the city for the former Supervalu site beside Kmart — owned by a local real estate partnership. The news adds a layer of complexity to the city’s quest for a coordinated redevelopment of Nicollet Ave., but also shows there is strong private sector interest in the area. The purchase agreement means if the city succeeds reopening Nicollet, the new area will likely feature two major national retail chains. Kmart, which has several decades left on its lease, has already insisted that it remain at the intersection as part of the redevelopment. The city is still working to purchase that part of the property.” 

You gotta give this guy credit for doing business on his terms. For City Pages, Mecca Bos writes, “Remember the strange, ill-fated Belmore/New Skyway Lounge on the strange strip of Fourth Street situated between the cop shop and the defunct Om space? No? What about Nick and Eddie, Bakery on Grand, or A Rebours? Doug Anderson is nothing if not prolific, and he’s back on the scene, with Al’s SSSuper Ass Friday, somewhere in Uptown, sometime spring-ish. … There will be no more than 20 seats, (‘It becomes about how many people can you tolerate without completely losing your [bleep], and that number gets smaller and smaller with each passing year’). It’s just a room, with pizza and San Francisco ‘Mission-style’ burritos and a few whites and a few reds and a few beers. ‘People can go drink their 30 [bleeping] beers somewhere else — I don’t even give a [bleep]’.”

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/13/2015 - 01:57 pm.

    I was against it before I was for it…

    Current gas prices show, in terms of self interest, we should find agreement on pipelines that bring petroleum resources here and against those that send them elsewhere. Sandpiper: yes, Keystone XL: no. Flint Hills, our local Koch Bros. facility is doing a bang up job on the supply side with Bakken and Tar Sands crude.

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