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Black Lives Matter chant draws criticism

Plus: State Fair seeing big attendance numbers; another invasive species appears in Minnesota; Mary Lucia’s stalker pleads guilty; and more.

Marchers making their way from Hamline Park to the fairgrounds on Saturday.
MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue

The cops are not amused. Says Nicole Norfleet in the Strib, “The president of the St. Paul police union has sharply criticized some protesters at Saturday’s Black Lives Matter march to the Minnesota State Fair for what he calls a ‘disgusting’ chant promoting violence against officers. … A short video posted on Twitter shows that at one point in the march, at least several protesters were at the front carrying a banner and shouting, ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!’ as the camera pans to show police on bikes, squad cars and a utility vehicle.”

The Strib calls it “insensitive”: “The clear lowlight of the march came when some protesters chanted that ‘pigs in a blanket’ should ‘fry like bacon.’ That kind of senseless rhetoric has no place in any protest, but especially one in which police did an exemplary job protecting both protesters and onlookers. It was especially insensitive just days after suburban Houston police officer Darren Goforth was shot and killed while filling his gas tank in what Sheriff Ron Hickman said was a ‘clearly unprovoked’ attack. ‘Our assumption is that [Goforth] was a target because he wore a uniform,’ the sheriff said. It’s dismaying that Black Lives Matter St. Paul lead organizer Rashad Turner didn’t condemn the chant when it became a national news story Monday, and instead told the Star Tribune that it was not meant to threaten officers. ‘It was a chant,’ he said.”

If you use em you pay for ‘em. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “The city of St. Paul is claiming victory in a long-standing legal dispute with two downtown churches over routine street assessments. The decision issued Monday by the Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds St. Paul’s right to treat downtown churches like businesses when it charges annual right-of-way street maintenance fees. ‘I would say this is a win for the city, and hopefully, this does bring an end to what has been years of litigation over this issue,’ St. Paul City Attorney Samuel Clark said. An attorney for the churches has promised to continue to press their case in court.”

And it’s not even September. Jaime DeLage of the PiPress reports, “A motorcyclist died Monday morning after driving into a barricaded construction zone in Lakeville. The rider, 57-year-old Wayne Robert Dewolf, struck a parked piece of paving equipment about 5 a.m. at the intersection of 217th Street and Dodd Boulevard, according to Lakeville police. Dewolf, whose hometown wasn’t listed by police, died at the scene. Investigators determined that he had driven around ‘road closed’ barricades onto a portion of Dodd Boulevard that was under construction. He was not wearing a helmet, according to police. … The number of people killed in motorcycle crashes this year in Minnesota already has exceeded the number killed in all of 2014, according to the Department of Public Safety.”

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Fair stuff you actually wanted to know. At WCCO-TV Zac Farber reports, “Each year the five animal barns at the Minnesota State Fair serve as temporary lodging for about 15,000 cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, rabbits and other livestock. There is a lot of manure. State officials estimate more than 250 tons of manure accumulate over the 12 days of the fair — the excremental equivalent of five sperm whales.” Insert political campaigning joke here.

Attendance? The Andy Rathbun of PiPress tells us, “It’s been a big start for the Minnesota State Fair. While no records have been broken, 592,919 people passed through the gates from opening day on Thursday through Sunday. That’s the busiest start for the Fair since 2010, when 593,288 attended over the first four days.”

The latest from the Watchdog.org outrage machine. Writes Rob Port, “[Mark] Dayton, a Democrat, had some sharp words for the approach to climate policy taken by his state’s Republican-led neighbor to the west.’These other states like North Dakota … just have their heads in the sand and want to profit and then pollute our air accordingly,’ Dayton said during an interview with Minnesota Public Radio while praising his state for meeting climate goals. He reportedly used the term ‘Neanderthal’ to describe North Dakota’s policies. Dayton’s comments aren’t terribly surprising. The progressive view of what was once called global warming — now called ‘climate change,’ given the globe’s stubborn refusal to warm all that much — has become more an ideology, perhaps even a theology, than a rational and scientific point of view.” Apparently science is optional in Watchdog-land.

Crop check. The AP tells us, “Minnesota’s corn and soybean crops are developing ahead of last year’s pace. According to the USDA’s weekly crop report Monday, 65 percent of Minnesota’s corn acreage was in or beyond dent stage. That’s 10 days ahead of last year and six days ahead of the five-year average. Corn condition was rated 88 percent good to excellent. Soybeans also are outpacing last year.”

Not that that is good news for bees. MPR’s Dan Gunderson says, “Corn and soybeans may be good for cattle and humans — but not bees. The insects prefer plants with lots of pollen and nectar, and in this part of the country it’s become increasingly difficult for them to find what they need to stay healthy. Good times in agriculture have led farmers to roll land out of conservation programs and into crops. It’s a shifting landscape that can be seen across eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, and bees are paying the price.”

There goes the last reason to visit downtown. Says Eric Roper of the Strib, “The likelihood that a professional soccer stadium will land in St. Paul instead of Minneapolis seemed to grow Monday with the expiration of a deal securing land near downtown Minneapolis. A development entity associated with Minnesota United FC had secured the exclusive right to purchase industrial property near the city’s Farmers Market for a $150 million stadium. But time ran out on that deal Monday, and there was no sign it was extended.”

Invasive species watch. The West Central Tribune reports, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced the first confirmed case of the aquatic invasive species starry stonewort in Minnesota in Lake Koronis near Paynesville. It was also confirmed in Mud Lake, which is connected to Lake Koronis, according to a news release from the DNR. Starry stonewort was first discovered in the U.S. in the St. Lawrence River in 1978. It was first confirmed in Wisconsin in 2014.” That sounds like something out of Harry Potter.

He concedes he’s guilty. MPR reports, “Patrick Henry Kelly pleaded guilty Monday to charges of felony stalking and making terroristic threats after he violated restraining orders to keep away from Twin Cities radio host Mary Lucia. … Prosecutors say he left a bottle of wine, candle and note on her front step and a plastic bag with a note in it at her back door, though he said he dropped it over her back fence and denied going into the yard. Kelly, of Minneapolis, also said he left flowers and letters other times in August.”

Walker (waning) Watch: In his hometown paper, Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel chronicles reaction to the rapidly evaporating Tea Party darling’s proposal to wall us off from Canada. “Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin called Walker’s suggestion ‘plain goofy since immigrants are not exactly streaming in from Canada’. And Canada’s minister for national defense and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, told BBC that his country would ‘vigorously oppose any thickening of the border’ and that a relatively open border was essential to trade. … The latest weakness for Walker appeared last week in a poll by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg in Iowa, where Walker was at 8 percent behind Trump (23 percent) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (18 percent). Walker once was seen as a likely winner of the Iowa caucus, the first presidential nominating contest in the country.”