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Higher property taxes possible for most Minneapolis homeowners under 2017 budget

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

You mean the city is still paying for stuff? Eric Roper of the Strib reports, “About 60 percent of Minneapolis homeowners could see a higher property tax bill as a result of Mayor Betsy Hodges’ proposed 2017 budget, based on preliminary estimates released Monday by city staff members. … Hodges’ proposed $1.32 billion budget for 2017 spends 7.6 percent more than this year. It adds about 59 new employees, or 148 after factoring in hires for one-time construction projects.”

Remind me, what day did the Lord create the sun? Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib writes, “across Minnesota, there’s been an unprecedented surge in religious congregations installing rooftop solar panels, subscribing to off-site solar ‘gardens’ and urging their faithful to do the same. The most ambitious project is slated for this fall at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis … .”

Now this does not come as a surprise. Boyd Huppert at KARE-TV says, “A 2013 trip to the Minnesota State Fair is responsible for the towering vines that now dominate the landscape on the farm of Russell and Paula Oehmy. After getting their first look at hops at the fair, the Oehmys dove into production of the key ingredient in beer, under the business name Country Bitters. … Minnesota’s hops acreage has tripled the past year, but remains tiny when compared to the epicenter of hop production, the Pacific Northwest. Washington State alone has more than 35,000 acres planted in hops.  Some two dozen Minnesota growers are currently farming a total of about 75 acres of hops.”

The PiPress’ Nick Ferraro reports, “A South St. Paul elementary school teacher who was the subject of a criminal investigation and on paid leave is dead from an apparent murder-suicide last week in Washington state. A criminal investigation into teacher Aric Babbitt and his husband, Matthew Deyo, began about two weeks ago after allegations were made against both of them, South St. Paul Police Chief Bill Messerich said Monday. … Babbitt’s sister Sara said in a text message to friends Friday that Babbitt and Deyo were found dead Thursday on Lopez Island, in the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of the state about 100 miles north of Seattle. ‘There was an investigation that was going on, and they felt like they didn’t have an out and ending their lives was best for them,’ she wrote in the text message ….”

Former Stribber Sharon Schmickle takes issue with the paper’s editorial position on “shutting down the Clinton Foundation.” In a commentary, she writes, “The responsibilities we Americans collectively assume when we set out to do good work around the world is deadly serious and directly personal for the recipients of the aid. The Clintons should have weighed those responsibilities more carefully when they created their foundation … . At this point, though, it is breathtakingly reckless to argue that the foundation with nearly $200 million in annual program initiatives should abruptly shut down — reckless in terms of the potential impact on the recipients of that aid.”

Euphemism alert. Elizabeth Hackenberg of the Williston Herald reports, “A Williston woman was arrested for carrying more than $13,000 worth of drugs after police say they fell out of her clothes while she was being questioned on other charges. Bags of drugs fell from the groin area of Stephanie White, who was being questioned at the county jail in connection with alleged retaliation for a robbery, police say. White, 33, told detectives she wanted a cigarette, but as she was walking toward the smoking area at the Williams County Correctional Center, small bags containing drugs began to tumble out of her clothes, according to police.”

Also making a nuisance of himself? This guy. From Tad Vezner in the PiPress: “A man reportedly attempted to open an exterior airplane door during a packed cross-country flight Monday, prompting an emergency landing at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Alaska Airlines flight 7, traveling from New York City to Seattle, made an emergency landing at the Twin Cities airport about 9:45 a.m., according to a spokeswoman for the airline. Once on the ground, an ‘unruly passenger’ who, according to flight crew, had attempted to open an exterior door on the plane was removed by law enforcement, said spokeswoman Halley Knigge.”

End of life for a funeral home. Nicole Norfleet of the Strib says, “Representatives from Alatus, the developer planning to build a 40-story condominium tower across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, spoke in front of city planners Monday after it wasn’t able to give away the 8,500-square-foot building now on the site. … When Alatus bought the property with plans for the tower, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission asked it to spend three months trying to find someone to repurpose the building. Alatus put up signs that said ‘Free Building,’ but prospective takers soon learned that movers had estimated the cost of relocating the building would exceed $1.5 million.”

“Some people say … .” FOX 9 has this story: “A Minneapolis gun buyback program targeting weapons used in street crimes may be shooting blanks, as detractors said a Saturday collection mostly took in antiquated, unused or homemade arms from legal owners and did little to thin the firearm supply actually available to dangerous criminals. … The lure of a Visa gift card worth between $15 and $300 was enough to make some enterprising Minnesotans get creative. One person constructed a ‘shotgun’ out of a piece of wood, some tape and a pipe. They were given a $100 gift card for the contraption, according to a Facebook post from the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.” I really gotta spend more time in the Gun Talk chat room. 

His crime? Talking to the media. Emma Nelson of the Strib says, “A Lakeville police officer who was fired after talking to the media is suing the city in federal court, arguing that the termination violated his First Amendment rights. Rick Bussler, a Lakeville officer for about 17 years, was fired in November 2014 on the grounds that he violated a policy barring officers from talking to the media without the police chief’s permission. … He says city officials violated both the First Amendment and federal civil rights laws in firing him, and he’s seeking damages of more than $50,000, including loss of income.” And what is the Strib’s policy on talking to the media? 

Pick on something your own size! Mara Gottfried of the PiPress writes, “Vandals flipped over two car-sharing cars in St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland during the weekend, damaging both, police said Monday. The car2go vehicles were tipped half a mile apart and police will investigate whether the cases are connected, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman. The two-seaters weigh roughly 2,000 pounds, about half that of an average vehicle.”

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/30/2016 - 08:23 am.

    Excellent question

    “…And what is the Strib’s policy on talking to the media?”

    My guess is that the answer won’t be appearing in the ‘Strib any time soon.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/30/2016 - 10:08 am.

    Just When I Thought that the Strib

    under new ownership,…

    had gained the courage to begin to steer a more objectively middle path,…

    despite the abuse “conservatives” would heap on their heads for doing so,…

    and I thought I might occasionally visit their web site again,…

    they’ve now proven (twice in recent days),…

    that they will bow to whomever is most willing to be nasty and mean in the media (i.e. weasel news and “conservative” talk radio) and in their readership,…

    and take whatever “conservative” positions will get those MEAN guys and gals to stop yelling at them.

    Somehow they fail to realize that taking this cowardly approach leads to destruction,…

    and is exactly how the Republican Party, once a party filled with thoughtful, intelligent, caring, emotionally healthy, fiscally conservative people,…

    became the party of Trump,…

    a party which now rejects EVERY SINGLE ONE of those qualities.

    I’m disappointed.

    From the days when I delivered the morning Tribune in the small town where I was growing up,…

    (sadly, in days when “bad new on the doorstep” was far too common: Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King),…

    I was a devoted subscriber and reader of the Tribune, then the Star Tribune,…

    until they were sold to more conservative owners,…

    began to focus on nothing but profit in order to pay back the massive debt that had been incurred in buying the paper in the first place, (and second and third?)…

    laid off all the best talent in favor of more rabidly (or willingly) “conservative” staff,…

    and began to try to convert their readers to the “conservative” point of view.

    It used to be the Strib offered food for thought.

    Now it offers mostly a suitable lining for the bottom of bird cages throughout the state.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/30/2016 - 02:28 pm.

      Not sure it is a

      Suitable lining for the bottom of bird cages

    • Submitted by Scott Kelley on 08/30/2016 - 10:51 pm.

      If you talk to conservatives, they call the Strib “The Red Star” and the Strib is of course vilified on this blog site whenever possible for its evil conservative stances.

      Hey, I thought the editorial stance on the Clinton Foundation wasn’t one of their better ideas but to condemn the whole paper is rather silly. The NYT or the WasPost it’s not but it stacks up damn well against other mid-size city dailies in presenting complex issues.

      Since both the virtuous left and right think the Strib is prejudiced, I think maybe it’s doing something right. Also, remember it’s the paper that publishes Steve Sack (who won a Pulitzer in 2013) and Bonnie Blodgett (including her strange ones).

  3. Submitted by Allan Wilson on 08/30/2016 - 10:45 am.

    Strib’s Right Turn

    The Star Tribune (“shutting down the Clinton Foundation”) has been slowly injecting “doses” of its new reality to readers for about a year. The new “reality” is that it is !) yet another bauble owned by a Right Wing Billionaire and 2) there may be money and profit in catering to the tastes of largely west suburban fatcats.

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