Apparently the tipping point has been reached. Stribber Jim Buchta says, “With developers building more apartments with amenities like yoga rooms and dog wash stations, Twin Cities rents are reaching dizzying highs — and that is pushing more renters to look for houses. New data on Thursday underscored the influence of those forces on metro-area real estate. The monthly report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors showed that home sales rose a whopping 17 percent last month. Meanwhile, Zillow, a real estate website, reported that local renters spent 25.6 percent of their income on rent, a near-record and well above the 13.7 percent that homeowners are spending on mortgages.”
Sexual harassment, non-Norwood Teague Division. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports, “A woman who grew up in Minneapolis and appeared in two TV episodes with Bill Cosby is among the newest accusers in the allegations of sexual misconduct by the once-revered comedian. With celebrity attorney Gloria Allred at their side, Eden Tirl and fellow accusers Colleen Hughes and Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer spelled out at a Los Angeles news conference their own encounters with Cosby, whose accusers dating back decades number several dozen. Tirl, 49, who grew up in south Minneapolis and attended public grade school before graduating from DeLaSalle High School in 1984, was in the midst of shooting two episodes of ‘The Cosby Show’ in 1989 when time alone in Cosby’s dressing room quickly turned into what she contends was sexual harassment.”
Speaking of Norwood, Ruben Rosario in the PiPress writes, “Although he admits it’s pure conjecture on his part, [Michael Paymar, the former state senator from St. Paul and a domestic violence abuse expert who has worked in that field for over 30 years] said he would not be surprised to learn that several people in Teague’s circle of peers or associates, both men and women, knew of the behavioral problems but for various reasons kept silent. That silence, he says, is why such behavior will continue to play out in big and small ways. ‘How do you change the culture, how do men in particular get the courage to tell someone they know that what they are doing is inappropriate?’ Paymar said. ‘We don’t want to say anything, or we are afraid the person has more power. But that’s what needs to change in our culture if we are ever going to stop gender violence.’”
Every so often you have to pity the average bear. Dan Gunderson of MPR reports, “Researcher Mark Ditmer has tracked black bears for years in northwest Minnesota using heart monitors and satellite collars, and the bears barely noticed. That changed, though, when he started experimenting with a drone. The bears were not pleased. Flying a small craft over four bears in his study, he saw their heart rates spike in each of the 17 flights. Rates returned to normal soon after the drone left the area. Ditmer said it’s clear the bears were stressed by the drones.”
Very good. Keep up the good work. MPR’s Elizabeth Dunbar says, “An analysis released Thursday shows Minnesota is the only state in the Midwest on track to exceed federal targets aimed at reducing climate change. The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, said Minnesota’s early investments in renewable energy and energy conservation will help it surpass the targets set for 2022 and 2030. The Clean Power Plan requires states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, and each state has different targets to meet. Minnesota’s is roughly 40 percent from 2005 levels.”
Since when is “not getting anything accomplished” reason for legislators to stop “working”? Tim Pugmire, also at MPR says, “A legislative working group abruptly stopped working Thursday when it became clear it was no closer to an agreement with the governor on a special session to help Mille Lacs Lake resort owners. The co-chair of the panel, Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, said DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and his commissioners failed to provide a specific plan for assisting businesses hurt by the lake’s declining walleye population. Hackbarth said a fix will have to wait until the 2016 regular session.” Cuz that’s when things get done, by god.
They’re starting to feel like the Vikings again. Says ESPN’s Ben Goessling, “On the Minnesota Vikings’ final day of training camp at Minnesota State University, coach Mike Zimmer ended practice about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. That wasn’t because he was happy with what he’d seen. Zimmer issued a stern rebuke to players in his news conference after Thursday morning’s session, calling it a ‘terrible practice’ and saying it was ‘not up to my standards.’ Asked what he didn’t like about practice, Zimmer quickly replied, ‘Everything.’” But we’ll still be going to the Super Bowl, right?
The EMT who pocketed money from car crash victims’ wallets? The story rolls on. Emily Welker of the Forum News Service reports, “Authorities may also look at whether there are any other thefts reported from crash scenes. Tara Lindquist, a volunteer firefighter with Dalton Fire and Rescue, has been charged in Otter Tail County District Court with one count of misdemeanor theft after she allegedly told an investigator she took $120 from one of the boys’ wallets after she responded to the crash scene. … Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter said BCA agents are working to find out who took the rest of the missing money. Schlueter said his department is waiting to see if other complaints come in from families reporting personal property missing from scenes to which Lindquist responded before determining if law enforcement officials need to expand the scope of their investigation.”
Heading back to $4 a gallon? Nate Hansen in the LaCrosse Tribune says, “the BP Whiting Refinery in northern Indiana shut down the largest of its three crude distillation units Saturday for what the company in a statement called ‘unscheduled repair work.’ BP says that the rest of the refinery is operating at reduced production. The impact is being felt everywhere, AAA Wisconsin director of public affairs Nick Jarmusz said, with prices rising the most closer to the refinery. In the Chicago and Milwaukee area, prices have gone up 20 to 30 cents, he said, while areas of western Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota, with more options to source fuel, are seeing less of a spike.”
Shocker. Frederick Melo of the PiPress, “As part of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s 2016 budget proposal, downtown meters that expire at 5 p.m. would continue to charge for parking until 10 p.m. … Some downtown residents and business owners are livid. They say the effort will discourage visitors who are just beginning to take a chance on areas such as Lowertown. ‘If you talk to anyone who frequents downtown St. Paul, in previous years it’s basically been a ghost town,’ said Matt Keliher, who manages SubText Bookstore at Fifth and Wabasha, which opened June 26. ‘This year has been a big year for downtown, and to institute this would cripple that momentum. To me, it doesn’t make any sense.’” It may be better than it used to be, but it’s still not exactly the West Village over there.