Capitol parking ramp in sorry state of repair

Copyright Minnesota House of Representatives

Being directly impacted by failing infrastructure may be what it takes to get the Legislature to actually fund this stuff. KSTP’s Tom Hauser reports on the sorry state of the capital parking ramp: “The largest parking ramp on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds is in urgent need of repairs to prevent ‘total closure or collapse.’ … That’s according to documents supporting a request for $10.9 million in Governor Mark Dayton’s capital budget bill submitted to the legislature last week. … The documents paint a dire picture after the discovery of damaged and severed steel cables that run through the concrete support beams in the Centennial Parking Ramp. … ‘Although the ramp is currently safe, failure to make these repairs will render the parking ramp unsafe over time and could result in catastrophic failure,’ according to a request submitted by the Minnesota Department of Administration.”

Well this is embarrassing. The Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman noticed something amiss in the program for the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in St. Paul: “You might notice a few out-of-towners wandering around St. Paul’s riverfront this weekend searching for the Stone Arch Bridge. Yes, the one that’s in Minneapolis. … It’s not their fault. Blame figure skating. … The program sold to spectators at the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the Xcel Energy Center included a letter from Mayor Chris Coleman welcoming them to St. Paul — above a photo of downtown Minneapolis. … ‘The mistake was an honest and unfortunate one,’ U.S. Figure Skating spokesperson Renee Felton said in an email. ‘We mean no disrespect to our wonderful host city of St. Paul which has welcomed us openly this week.’ ”

Then again, maybe it’s time for St. Paul to finally throw in the towel and do the whole St. Anthony thing. As the Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried reports, they may even hire a Minneapolitan police chief: “The first potential outside candidate for St. Paul police chief has emerged, while a longtime member of the department said Thursday that she may also apply. … Minneapolis police Lt. Eddie Frizell and St. Paul police Cmdr. Colleen Luna said Thursday they’re considering putting their names in. …The St. Paul top cop job was posted Tuesday, and applications will be accepted until Feb. 17. Previously, two St. Paul police officers have said they’ll apply — Assistant Chief Todd Axtell and Senior Cmdr. Tina McNamara. And Senior Cmdr. Shari Gray has said she’s considering it.”

In Rolling Stone: Keith Harris was pretty impressed by Prince’s solo show at Paisley Park: “As we could have guessed, Prince’s first-ever (first ever?) solo show last night at Paisley Park, his home compound in suburban Minnesota, was no simple, straightforward affair. The 57-year-old funk-pop wizard approached the performance as a challenge, an opportunity to prove that he could deliver a full Prince show without much of anything we expect from a full Prince show: No powerhouse band, no impossibly lithe dancing, no masterful guitar fireworks. Just, as the show’s official title put it, ‘Piano & a Microphone.’ And a lot of Prince. Maybe more Prince than he’s ever shared before.”

In other news…

Alan Greenblatt on Milwaukee’s problems, and the consequences they may have for Mayor Tom Barrett [Governing]

“Authorities Seek Help Finding Level III Predatory Offender” [WCCO]

We’ll have a State of the State speechbut WHERE? [KSTP]

Minnesota. Accent. Showdown. [Minnesota Brown]

Awwww: “Mushers’ daughters, ages 3 and 5, to race in Beargrease Cub Run” [Duluth News Tribune]

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