Vikings stadium pedestrian bridge to cost $9.65 million

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

A truly major league town needs a truly major league pedestrian bridge. So Janet Moore of the Strib reports, “A Metropolitan Council committee approved a new price tag for a pedestrian bridge serving the new Vikings stadium — and it’s nearly $2.7 million more than expected. A final vote on the $9.65 million proposal is expected at the Dec. 9 meeting of the regional planning body. The Met Council received just two bids for the work, which involves constructing a bridge between U.S. Bank Stadium and a new park and other parts of a redeveloped Downtown East. The idea is to avoid a pedestrian scrum near the busy light-rail transit station, which now serves the Green and Blue Lines.” Expect a proposal to sell Personal Walking Licenses.

If true, I’d call this a success. At the Utility Dive website, Robert Walton says, “A new report from Minnesota puts energy efficiency in terms of economic impacts, and finds the state’s nationally-recognized energy efficiency program is generating value at four times the rate of investment. … The cost-effectiveness assessment found a total net benefit of approximately $3.3 billion from lower utility costs and avoided environmental damage. The economic impact test showed a total net benefit of more than $5.9 billion in new economic output and nearly 55,000 job years. A job year equals one job for one year, according to HometownFocus.”

This has taken a while. The Strib’s Alejandra Matos has the latest on Minneapolis Public Schools search for a new leader: “Six educators, including an administrator from Houston, an associate superintendent in Anoka and a regional superintendent in Milwaukee, were named semifinalists for the superintendency of Minneapolis Public Schools. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the national firm hired to find the superintendent, presented the names to the nine-member school board on Monday. The candidates are Michael Goar, the district’s interim superintendent; Charles Foust, an assistant superintendent in the Houston School District; Jinger Gustafson, an associate superintendent in the Anoka-Hennepin School District; Sergio Paez, a former superintendent in Holyoke, Mass.; Kenneth Spells, the superintendent in Alton, Ill., and Jesse Rodriguez, a regional superintendent in Milwaukee Public Schools.”

Hillary Clinton’s people are sounding confident. In the PiPress Rachel Stassen-Berger writes, “Hillary Clinton senior adviser Karen Finney, in Minnesota on Monday, said with confidence that the former secretary of state will win Minnesota next year. Finney and Minnesota organization lead Scott Hogan said the presidential campaign is just ramping up in the state but has two staffers, including Hogan, and volunteer teams in each of the eight Congressional districts. ‘We are going to win. That’s why I’m here’, Finney said.”

Uh, people read that stuff sometimes. You knew that, right? Nick Ferraro of the PiPress reports, “A 21-year-old South St. Paul man pleaded guilty Monday in Dakota County District Court to threatening to kill St. Paul police officers and a Minnesota State Patrol trooper after he was ticketed for speeding in 2014. Harrison William Rund admitted using Twitter to make the threats, according to a criminal complaint. He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison on the felony charge of making terroristic threats. Rund told investigators he was upset that a trooper stopped him early Feb. 4 in St. Paul and that he posted some tweets he should not have, the complaint said. According to the complaint, the first tweet from Feb. 4, 2014, read, ‘(expletive) the @StPaulPoliceFdn they don’t call me the cop killer for no reason’.” Hmm. Might need a bit more nuance next time.

You know the crowd that comes after conservatives who aren’t conservative enough? In the Strib, Michael Brodkorb writes, “New evidence is now connecting the well-known conservative group Freedom Club to negative mailings from the obscure Liberty Minnesota PAC. Days after mailings from Liberty Minnesota PAC targeting Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives started to hit mailboxes, questions were raised if Liberty Minnesota PAC was working with another group on the project. … One of Freedom Club’s founding members, Bob Cummins, was also one of the largest funders of the campaign against same-sex marriage in 2012. In the 2014 cycle election cycle, the Freedom Club raised over $1.2 million from about 50 donors (with nearly 70 percent of the total coming from Cummins and his wife, Joan).”

Apparently Teddy Bridgewater can play next Sunday. But what was Cris Carter talking about? Stribber Michael Rand says, “Former Vikings great Cris Carter has become one of a million shouty talking heads trying to win the daily battle of hot takes on ESPN. With that less-than-flattering preamble, though, it should also be noted that he also has pretty good qualifications to speak specifically about Lamarcus Joyner’s late hit on Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday as 1) a former Viking and 2) someone who works as an assistant coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, where Joyner starred. … ‘He’s a great kid. He’s from Miami. Teddy is from Miami. They know each other. He was trying to slow up. … If he wanted  to explode on Teddy, he could have, alright, he could have. Lamarcus is not that kind of player. Lamarcus was trying to slow up.’” Pal, it’s on tape. You can re-run it.

At Forbes, Josh Benjamin weighs in on the Twins winning the right to negotiate with a Korean slugger … who strikes out 160 times a season … in Korea. “From a money standpoint, submitting a bid for Park isn’t a bad decision on Minnesota’s part by any stretch of the imagination. Without factoring contracts that have yet to be determined via arbitration, the team’s payroll for next season is currently at $73 million, per Spotrac. It was at $106 million in 2015, well below the luxury tax threshold, and there is little to suggest that there will be a significant rise in it come 2016. In the case of Park, if no deal is struck, Minnesota gets it’s $12.85 million refunded and Park heads back to Nexen for next season. No harm, no foul. Long story short, the team can afford him.”

Wisconsin’s “castle doctrine,” which allows you to go ape[bleep] on just about anyone at anytime as long as you think you’re being threatened, will get a work out in court next month. Says Chao Xiong of the Strib, “A Minnesota man charged with fatally stabbing an angler last spring along the St. Croix River will testify at his December trial, attorneys said Monday. Levi Acre-Kendall, 20, of Cambridge, is claiming self-defense in the April 14 death of 34-year-old Peter S. Kelly. … Acre-Kendall’s other attorney, Eric Nelson, filed a motion in July to dismiss the reckless homicide charge, citing Wisconsin’s “castle doctrine,” which gives defendants additional legal protection for using deadly force against someone they believe unlawfully enters their house, business or vehicle and is perceived as a threat. If the case isn’t dismissed, Nelson had argued, jurors should receive an instruction about the castle doctrine.”

Medtronic may have a winner on its hands. Says Joe Carlson in the Strib, “Medtronic says patients using its new battery-sized pacemaker had nearly half the rate of serious complications as people who get larger traditional devices, pointing to study results published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Minnesota-run Medtronic PLC is trying to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve its experimental Micra pacemaker, which is so small that it fits entirely in the heart’s right ventricle and can be delivered through an incision in the femoral vein.”

“The Minnesota Guys” are in court in Kansas. Bryan Horwath of the Wichita Eagle writes, “Two of the highest-profile downtown Wichita investors of the past decade appeared in Sedgwick County District Court on Monday. David Lundberg and Michael Elzufon, proprietors of Real Development Corp., were in Wichita for a preliminary hearing pertaining to dozens of counts of fraud alleged by the Kansas securities commissioner. … Following the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, the Wichita properties controlled by the ‘Minnesota Guys,’ as they are known, began to be bogged down in a series of recriminations, foreclosures, lawsuits and lack of financing. In court Monday, Randy Mullikin, director of compliance and enforcement for the state Securities Commission, said the securities office decided to bring charges after reviewing information provided by investors – most of them from California – who claimed to have been defrauded.”

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Bruce Bednarek on 11/10/2015 - 08:00 am.

    This has taken a while.- – –

    What’s missing from the full Strib article is:

    “Since taking over the district, Goar fired hundreds of central office staff members in order to allocate more resources to schools. In October, he and the board faced intense backlash for purchasing a literacy curriculum that included books that many teachers found laden with cultural and racial stereotypes. Goar blamed the gaffe on not having enough staff members to vet the books.”

    Makes one wonder about his ability to see future needs and plan accordingly.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/10/2015 - 09:11 am.

      It Makes ME Wonder

      why we refuse to fund the school systems in our biggest urban centers sufficiently,…

      to allow for adequate numbers of classroom teachers,…

      AND

      adequate staff for non-teacher responsibilities such as,…

      teacher observation and evaluation, planning, vetting curriculum, and evaluating future consequences.

      When it comes to our urban school systems,…

      MONEY is always the elephant in the room,…

      an elephant that it takes so much of our politicians’ mental energy to ignore that they don’t have any mental power left to actually THINK,…

      and thus are paralyzed and left to utter inanities.

      MONEY is actually messing up our urban schools in TWO ways:

      1) the money needed to fund a school system facing far more complex issues every day than any suburban or rural district could ever dream of,…

      issues that would seem like such a continuous crisis to the average suburban or rural administrator or teacher that it would soon leave them cowering under their desks with their hands over their heads,…

      is NEVER provided,

      and 2) the taxpayer money those so desperately pushing the for-profit (for owners and investors) “charter school” movement model hope to suck into their own pockets,…

      once they’ve convinced parents and political leaders that excellence for all students can be achieved, and achieved with even LESS money than is currently being spent,…

      by destroying the public schools.

      Sadly, our rural and suburban legislators reveal, each and every day,…

      (though they try to hide it behind a smokescreen of various B.S. excuses),…

      that unlike their OWN children, the kids in urban schools don’t deserve a school system which is sufficiently funded to meet the student’s actual needs,…

      because those urban kids are the wrong kinds of people,…

      and, of course, if they can smash the teacher’s union,…

      which they SO VISCERALLY detest,…

      that would just be a delectably plump red cherry on top.

      The fate of each and every student who isn’t making it in our urban school districts can and should be laid squarely at the feet of the members of the legislators who refuse to provide the funding necessary to provide a school system adequately funded to meet the needs of that student and, thereby, prevent that student’s failure.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/10/2015 - 09:54 am.

        Blank Checks

        Only go to the Pentagon, for what we tell ourselves is “defense”, when in fact it is offense. Schools and streets and our infrastructure take a back seat to destroying those things in distant lands.

        (Conservatives say they hate political correctness, but they won’t be able to swallow that.)

  2. Submitted by Carolyn Jackson on 11/10/2015 - 09:39 am.

    Pedestrian bridge

    Remind me again, how much was the quote for the bird protective glass?

  3. Submitted by Bill Willy on 11/10/2015 - 10:29 am.

    Another reason Garofalo and Repubs must go in 2016

    “The cost-effectiveness assessment found a total net benefit of approximately $3.3 billion from lower utility costs and avoided environmental damage.”

    Headline from the Utility Dive article referenced above:

    “Report: Minnesota efficiency program returns $4 for every $1 invested”

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-minnesota-efficiency-program-returns-4-for-every-1-invested/408835/

    Related headline from May 11, 2015:

    “Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program at Risk

    “Minnesota’s energy efficiency programs are at risk! The Minnesota House recently passed legislation that would eliminate Minnesota’s energy efficiency framework, the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), next year. While it’s important to continue to improve CIP as we have always done, we need to ensure CIP repeal does not make its way into any negotiated compromise.”

    http://www.mncee.org/News/Advocacy-Alert-Minnesota-s-Conservation-Improvemen/

    “After many early conversations that led me to think we might be on track to make progress, the clean energy advocacy community was shocked by the omnibus bill that came out of the Minnesota House. The bill included real setbacks to Minnesota’s clean energy policies, such as repealing Minnesota’s energy efficiency framework — lock, stock, and barrel — at the end of 2016. The repeal would have included the Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP), the most successful energy policy in Minnesota state history. Through CIP energy-efficiency measures implemented to date, Minnesota utility customers will save over $6 billion and avoid almost 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, while putting nearly 10,000 Minnesotans to work at 445 energy efficiency businesses all over the state.”

    http://www.mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/July-2015/2015-Legislative-Wrap-Up-Surprise-skirmishes-build/

    So why would Pat Garofalo, chair of the House “Jobs and Affordable Energy” committee, work so hard to REPEAL “the most successful energy policy in Minnesota state history”? Why would anyone use their legislative time, energy, experience, skill, and committee chair influence to get rid of a highly successful program that benefits ALL Minnesotans? And why would all House Republicans vote to do that?

    Hard to understand, isn’t it? Hard to understand why members of the political party that bills itself as “the most fiscally responsible” party in the world would vote to get rid of something paying off at the rate of four dollars back for every one dollar invested. If you owned some stock that did that would you sell it, just throw it out the window, or would you invest as much as you could in more of it?

    Maybe it has something to do with Representative Garofalo representing the interests of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) while serving as THEIR Chairperson in the MN House at the same time he’s supposed to be representing his constituents and, as Chair of the Jobs and Energy committee, all the people of Minnesota.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Minnesota_ALEC_Politicians

    Note to Representative Garofalo’s District 58-B constituents (in the Farmington area): Getting rid of things like the Conservation Improvement Program, that is saving you money on your energy bills while improving the environment and creating thousands of new jobs, is what you’re voting for when you vote to elect people who think and act like Pat Garofalo.

    Same thing goes for anyone in the state being represented by a member of the Republican party: They tell you again and again that they’re working hard on your behalf, but when they get to the capitol they vote to get rid things that benefit you as much or more than they do the industries you give your hard-earned money to in the form of the bills you pay.

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