Soccer, or at least the American version of it, is coming to St. Paul. Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s office has rented out the Midpointe Event Center, also known as the Dancer’s Studio, on Pascal Street for a media event at 1 p.m. Friday. The mayor and Minnesota United FC team owner Bill McGuire are expected to announce that a professional soccer stadium will be built just off University and Snelling avenues on vacant property owned by the Metropolitan Council. Metro Transit’s former ‘bus barn’ facility has been the center of the discussions for the last six months. The team, which currently competes in the North American League, would join MLS and likely begin play in St. Paul in 2018.” So does this mean Real Madrid and Manchester United will be coming to town?
Despite our soul-crushing, job-killing, anti-business tax climate, Neal St. Anthony of the Strib says, “Business is brewing at Dunn Bros, the Minneapolis-based coffee-shop of 86 locations, mostly operated by Minnesota franchisees. ‘Our comparable-store sales system wide are up 7-to-8 percent,’ said co-CEO Chris Eilers, who started with a single store nearly 30 years ago. ‘For us, this will be the best year since the [2008-09] recession. We’ve hired a few people in the corporate office in marketing and operations and are at 20 employees. Our small business owners, the franchisees, are happy to hire, if they can find people. It’s a battle to find good people.’ Dunn Bros dovetails with a warming Minnesota economy in which nearly half, or 47 percent of the state’s employers expect to add workers over the next year … .”
The guv is cool to Bernie. Tom Scheck at MPR says, “One day after Vice President Joe Biden decided against running for president, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton took a swipe at Hillary Clinton’s chief Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. When asked by a reporter what he’d tell Minnesota Democrats about why they should back Hillary Clinton in the precinct caucuses, Dayton praised Clinton’s experience. But he also suggested Sanders hasn’t been fully committed to the Democratic party. ‘She’s been secretary of state for four years and has legislative experience. She’s much more rooted in, as Paul Wellstone used to say, the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,’ Dayton said. ‘Sen. Sanders has not been a Democrat, self-defined, for his entire career.’”
Never mind that Benghazi spectacle, the real buzz in D.C. yesterday was over shiny Canuckistani paper. The Duluth News Tribune story says, “U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan testified Thursday before the U.S. International Trade Commission to press for a crackdown on the unfair Canadian subsidy of supercalendered paper imports. The U.S. Commerce Department recently determined that Canadian paper producers have been receiving unfair subsidies, allowing them to sell shiny paper in the U.S. at below cost, and eating into markets for Minnesota-made paper.”
So … the ducks are clean. Steve Karnowski of the AP reports, “Tests on more than 750 ducks shot by Minnesota hunters this fall have turned up no signs of the kind of bird flu that devastated the Midwest poultry industry earlier this year, according to data released by the Department of Natural Resources on Thursday. Wildlife agencies are testing wild waterfowl to see if ducks and geese flying south for the winter are carrying highly pathogenic forms of avian influenza such as H5N2, which could provide an early warning if the disease returns.”
Despite record municipal liquor sales we have this story from the Forum News Service. “Minnesota and North Dakota, which have reputations for ranking among the worst states for binge drinking and overall alcohol consumption, managed to fare well in a recent study of the impact of heavy drinking in each state. North Dakota ranks 41st in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of how much each resident pays because of excessive alcohol consumption, including lost workplace productivity, health care costs, law enforcement response and motor vehicle crashes. Minnesota, which ranked 37th, paid $733 per resident to cover the costs of over-indulging. North Dakotans paid even less, at $725 per person, according to the CDC report.”
Live by social media, go to jail because of social media. A John Myers story in the Grand Forks Herald says, “A 13-year-old girl was taken into custody Monday morning after making threats on Facebook that she was mad at her foster parents and might cause harm at South Ridge School outside Duluth. The girl posted ‘something to the effect that she would go to school and shoot it up,’ said Dave Phillips, St. Louis County Undersheriff. ‘So, being extra cautious, the school called in our people and we found the girl before she got to the school,’ Phillips told the News Tribune.”
An implicit appeal for continued federal funding of magnet schools by Scott Thomas at The Hill. “The success of Glacier Hills [in Minnesota, where Thomas in principal] is not unique however. The federally run Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) that helped turn around Glacier Hills has helped a number of struggling and racially segregated schools around the country. We now have over 4,000 magnet schools across the US serving over two million students. There are over 80 magnet schools in Minnesota, many of which were created using MSAP funds. … But the federal funding used to start magnet schools—the only assistance targeted at eliminating racially and socioeconomically segregated schools—has always been kicked around and pushed aside. With the current change in leadership at the U.S. Department of Education and a new president on the horizon, educators are worried about the direction that federal education policy will take now.”
First, we’re going to look at the books. The AP says, “Gov. Mark Dayton revealed Thursday he will seek legislative permission to hire an outside law firm to examine the financing behind the proposed PolyMet Mining Corp. copper-nickel venture in northern Minnesota before his administration would issue a final permit. In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, the Democratic governor said his administration would approach a joint House-Senate panel as soon as next month for sign-off. Dayton said he hopes to bring a firm aboard by January to conduct a financial review alongside the environmental permitting process already underway.”
I’m packing for South Dakota! Nick Halter at The Business Journal tells us, “The mayor of Edina says a proposed 7 percent property tax levy increase is partly due to mega liquor retailer Total Wine & More taking a bite out of municipal liquor store profits that help fund city services. In a quarterly newsletter to residents, Mayor Jim Hovland said profits from the three Edina Liquor stores are projected to be $900,000 in 2016. That is about on par with profits recorded in 2014 and predicted for 2015, but down from 2013, when profits were $1.45 million.” Can’t they just issue more tickets out on Hwy. 100?
Consider the source. Stribber Allison Sherry writes, “Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan leads his GOP competitor Stewart Mills by 11 points in a poll released Thursday, paid for by Democrats. … The poll, paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, surveyed 402 likely voters on Oct. 15 and 16. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus four points.” It might be just a wee bit closer than that.
St. Paul resident Amanda Karls files a commentary on Grand Avenue parking meters … in the Strib. “This is not about ‘paying the piper.’ None of the money from the meter initiative is earmarked for Summit Hill — or streets, or the environment for that matter. And no, we do not have ‘lavish city services.’ We have one non-school public playground; we don’t have a library, and our streets are poorly plowed. We are not arrogant or crazy. We are frustrated with the lack of engagement of stakeholders. Yes, there were boos at Monday’s forum, but consider that the mayor’s office chose to stifle the vast majority by giving half of the public comment time to the few plan proponents in attendance.”