What!? Patrick Coolican of the Strib tells us, “In the final minutes of the legislative session Monday, the Senate feverishly passed a bonding bill that included a priority of Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook: $7.2 million for an underground parking garage at the State Capitol that would provide a grand total of 30 vehicle spaces. That works out to $240,000 per parking space. The underground garage would obviate the need for what’s there now, a surface lot that in the past was used for the governor and constitutional officers and a few select staff. With the surface lot gone, it could be landscaped to improve the site’s aesthetic properties.”
This is how they run a government. Don Davis of the Forum News Service reports, “Minnesota’s education funding dispute means more than 800 state education workers will begin receiving layoff notices June 1. Gov. Mark Dayton said he regrets the need to upset workers’ lives, but state law requires that workers who could be laid off receive a month’s advance notice, even though if his education funding differences with lawmakers could be settled before July 1.”
Chutzpah alert. The AP says, “A Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party fundraiser featuring Gov. Mark Dayton and top legislative Democrats is off. The party said Wednesday it was postponing the downtown St. Paul event due to occur Thursday because of the looming special session. The long-planned fundraiser sought contributions between $100 and $1,000 and was to be headlined by Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Minority Leader Paul Thissen.”
Also in the final budget goody bag. Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune says, “Just a few ticks before the midnight deadline to adjourn Monday, the Minnesota Legislature fulfilled Duluth’s $4 million request for funding that could accommodate the expansion of Cirrus Aircraft and the creation of at least another 150 local jobs. … The proposed site for the new 60,000-square-foot building is on city-owned land located southeast of Cirrus’ existing Duluth operations, which already employ about 600 people. That number should grow substantially if the Federal Aviation Administration certifies Cirrus’ first personal jet, the Vision SF50, potentially opening the door for production to begin by year’s end.” Get your order in before it’s too late.
He was hot rodding in a Ford Ranger? Says Tim Harlow of the Strib, “A Wisconsin man who said he just wanted to race a Minnesota state trooper he encountered on a northern Minnesota interstate highway Wednesday morning is in now in jail. The driver was heading north on I-35 near Askov, Minn. when a trooper heading to training in Duluth tried to pull him over around 6:45 a.m. The driver failed to stop and a pursuit began. It went on for 10 miles at speeds between 90 and 100 miles per hour … . Officers from Moose Lake joined the pursuit and deployed stop sticks on the freeway. The driver hit the sticks, which punctured the left front tire of the speeding Ford Ranger. When it came to rest, the driver, 42, was arrested and he told police ‘he was trying to race’ the trooper.” Ford might think of using this for one of those trendy viral ad campaigns.
Did you see Bob on Dave the other night? Here it is.
In comparison to WalMart numbers, Target looks very, very good. For the Wall Street Journal Paul Ziobro reports, “Target Corp. outdid big-box rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at the beginning of the year, as stronger growth in more profitable categories like apparel and home goods produced a third straight quarter of sales growth. Both companies are in the middle of turnarounds after long stretches of weak traffic and sales in their home U.S. markets. But Target appears to have the edge for now, posting better-than-expected earnings a day after a disappointing showing by Wal-Mart sent that company’s shares down sharply. … According to data from the consultancy Kantar Retail, 42% of Target’s shoppers make more than $75,000 a year, versus 28% at Wal-Mart.”
Again, not a clue who they’re talking about. But Michelle Persad at The Huffington Post seems very excited to report, “Mark your calendars: Target just released details about its latest designer collaboration. The American retailer took to Twitter this morning to announce it is partnering with jewelry designer Eddie Borgo for a limited-edition collection of customizable jewelry, accessories and wall art. Although Borgo may not yet be a household name like other designers and brands who’ve partnered with the store (including Lilly Pulitzer, Missoni and Proenza Schouler), he’s garnered a lot of attention over the years for his jewelry line that features conical studs and geometric shapes.” Note to self: Get “conical studs” somewhere on grease-stained Who ’75 Tour t-shirt.
More than $400,000 and counting. Brandt Williams of MPR says, “Federal authorities Wednesday indicted a Minneapolis police officer on nine criminal counts, including civil rights violations and perjury, tied to allegations of using excessive force and lying about it. Officer Michael Griffin was already at the center of two police brutality lawsuits that have cost the city more than $400,000. He’d been investigated more than a dozen times but never been disciplined.”
One of the first rules of any work place. “Be nice to the janitors.” Says Martin Moylan at MPR, “Janitors working at Macy’s and Herberger’s stores in Minnesota have sued their employer, Capital Building Services, alleging they’ve been cheated on their wages. The janitors have filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the Illinois-based company, which provides clearing services to retailers, with failing to pay workers the minimum wage and earned overtime. The suit also alleges other labor law violations.” Obviously, no one at those stores ever saw, “Election.”
Finally, will the National Guard be called out to provide a protective cordon around the corporate jets? Says Libor Jany of the Strib, “The Minneapolis Police Department has been quietly meeting for months with other local and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss security preparations for Super Bowl LII, which promises to be the biggest test in the history of the department. With the opening kickoff still nearly three years away, Minneapolis officials have been assessing potential threats to the big game, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of fans to the Twin Cities.” Or put another way, the meter is already running.