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Talk of ‘restraint’ in bid for Amazon draws criticism

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton

Seems some people want to restrain that restraint. Evan Ramstad and Nicole Norfleet in the Strib say, “Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges expressed less enthusiasm at the prospect than their peers elsewhere. Dayton said the state’s bid for Amazon, due Oct. 19, would be “restrained” and both leaders cited conversations with Target and Best Buy, who together employ about 20,000 people at headquarters in the Twin Cities. Some executives said Wednesday that they fear the deference to those companies shows that officials are more concerned about the state’s present than its future.”

How to make a bad thing worse. The Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman reports: “Brent Patrick Ahlers, 25, of St. Louis Park called 911 shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and reported that he had been shot by a suspicious person he confronted in a wooded corner of St. Kate’s campus along Cleveland Avenue. That set off an extensive manhunt that lasted till midnight and included 55 officers, four dogs and a Minnesota State Patrol aircraft. No suspect was located nor was a physical description ever detailed. Ahlers, who was treated Tuesday night at Regions Hospital, told investigators during questioning Wednesday that he had accidentally shot himself while handling his personal handgun and lied about it because he feared he would lose his job, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul Police Department spokesman.”

Oh, boy. In a Strib commentary, Minneapolis PD union boss Bob Kroll has this to say, “If the goal is to be fair and balanced in response to concerns voiced by the community, then we need to be sure that the community is aware of hard facts affecting the daily lives of officers and citizens. Police officers are being killed at an increasing rate. Worse, irresponsible comments by public officials are fueling the creation of police widows and widowers.”

Not a good sign when you’re “Too drunk to be booked.” John Meyers for the Forum News Service reports, “The Minnesota State Patrol on Wednesday, Sept. 13, reported the results of a recent two-week crackdown on drunken and other unsafe driving that included an Ely woman so drunk when she was arrested that officers had to wait until the next morning to book her into jail. The woman in Ely recorded a 0.24 percent blood-alcohol concentration, three times the legal limit.”

Seems kind of light. In the PiPress, Sarah Horner says, “A former Edina woman whose disruptive behavior prompted a pilot to return a Delta flight to the Twin Cities last winter was ordered to do community service and sentenced to probation for her conduct.” Was she required to reimburse other passengers for their tickets?

Smokey air is heading back. Says Paul Huttner at MPR, “Intense smoke plumes from persistent western wildfires continue to drift eastward over Minnesota. … Some of the smoke has mixed down to ground level in Minnesota. The MPCA has issued an air quality alert for Thursday.”

If it works in D.C. why not Shakopee? Liz Sawyer of the Strib reports, “A Shakopee City Council member who was censured in April for boorish behavior may be asked to resign Tuesday for accusing another council member of a crime without any proof. The center of the firestorm, Mike Luce, says he already has a response in mind if he’s asked to quit: ‘Pound sand!’” Is this guy angling for a job in White House communications? 

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 09/14/2017 - 08:47 am.


    How about we give it a complete pass?

    Anyone who thinks Amazon hasn’t already carefully examined its options and made a list of its top choices hasn’t paid attention to Amazon. This is the company that calculates exactly how long it should take an employee to go from A to B and return to C with an item in its warehouse.

    We either are on the list or we aren’t. At this point, it’s simply a matter of Amazon finding out how much its top picks are willing to pay to get them. The rest of us/them are wasting our time and money while at the same time telling other enterprises we are open for business. (Target and Best Buy will be among the next in line, by the way, should they ever decide to expand.)

    At some point, American cities and states are going to have to learn to turn off the tap. I say start right now, right here.

    • Submitted by Richard Callahan on 09/14/2017 - 11:59 am.

      City council and unilateral work rules

      Why would Amazon choose to expand in a city where the City Council creates special work rules and employee benefits based on political pressures? Why would Amazon take the risk?

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 09/14/2017 - 12:17 pm.


        They need an educated and qualified workforce, which is much more important than local work rules, employee benefit mandates, etc.

    • Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 09/14/2017 - 12:07 pm.

      And the tap should have been turned off for the Vikings Stadium

      I agree with James Hamilton. At some point enough is enough. Look at Wisconsin and Foxcon and the billions that will be spent for a few thousand jobs. How about finding ways for the smaller and medium sized businesses to grow? Be good to what is already in the community, instead of always looking for the grand slam.

  2. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/14/2017 - 10:51 am.

    Rupert Murdoch’s Minn Post?

    So Kroll is a union “boss”, huh? He was elected by a majority of union members voting in a secret ballot election. You don’t choose your boss.

    Why the pejorative? But then, I guess I should give credit for not calling him a “union thug.”

  3. Submitted by David Wintheiser on 09/14/2017 - 04:01 pm.

    Less disturbed…

    …by MinnPost referring to Kroll as a ‘union boss’ — he is a polarizing figure — than I am by Kroll’s own misleading rhetoric regarding officer safety.

    According to FBI statistics, the number of police officers killed per year in the U.S. during the 1970s ranged from about 100 to over 120, depending on the year. Over the past ten years, meanwhile, the average number of officers slain in the line of duty is less than 50 per year. Even if this specific year has seen more officer fatalities than last year or the year before, the overall arc of officer deaths has been going down, as have many crime statistics, over the past 40-50 years.

    Kroll, of course, has a vested interest in making the public think that policing is a much more life-threatening profession than it really is, because it lets him try to justify otherwise unpalatable facts about the MPD and police forces in the U.S. in general. But the reality is that today, it’s significantly safer to be a police officer (7 deaths per 100,000 employed officers per year) than it is to be a farmer or rancher (26 deaths per 100,000 per year) or recyclable materials collector/garbageman (36 deaths per 100,000 per year).

  4. Submitted by ian wade on 09/14/2017 - 10:44 pm.


    I find it fascinating that to most conservatives, unions are evil incarnate, except when it comes to the police union. I guess collective bargaining and representation is all well and good, as long as you’re wearing the right uniform.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/15/2017 - 12:24 pm.

    For The Record

    Parse my words carefully. I did not defend Bob Kroll’s words. Which aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

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