Below are older news items about city, ward, and neighborhood issues that you might find of interest.
U's $650,000 discretionary fund lets Kaler pay Maturi
By Jenna Ross and Tony Kennedy
Star Tribune, 2/9/12
Millions of dollars are available to U presidents to spend at will which further highlights the corrupt funding of Big Indoctrination "at a time of shrinking state budgets and rising tuition." Taxpayers are drained of more of their money while education elites toss hidden cash to their buddies.
Conservation Madness at U of M
By Colleen Mahoney, 2/8/12
"The U is asking students to help cut costs by shutting off lights, recycling, and using less water." Why not save lots of money by eliminating frivolous degrees like, Dance B.F.A.; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior B.S.; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies B.A.; or Youth Studies B.S.? Maybe the whole "School of Social Work - College of Education and Human Development" should go.
Maybe a monumental meeting to help students
By Joe Nathan, School Talk, 2/8/12
"Harvest Prep [Minneapolis charter school where] more than 90% of its students are from low-income families, and more than 95% are African American, 82% of the schools students tested "proficient" in math, and 76% tested proficient in reading. Both are above the state average." The successful students at Harvest Prep should be typical of every school in Minneapolis but they aren't. The status quo has got to go!
Lileks: What's next for Block Empty? Think small - think State Fair
By James Lileks
Star Tribune, 2/2/12
"But if I had my druthers, I'd think small. Open it up to cash-poor entrepreneurs. Rent-free for half a year. Permits, inspection, all that stuff? On the house. Step back and watch it fill up with all sorts of amazing shops. First-come, first- served. If you think there's a market for Mister Fields Cookies, go for it." What a novel idea. Less government, more prosperity for more people!
Target Center deal bound to a 'mistake'
By Maya Rao
Star Tribune, 2/2/12
Oh well, it's only tens of millions of Minneapolis taxpayer's hard earned money down the drain. Once again, the political class central planners dabbled in what they know nothing about and we pay the costs. We don't need new revenue streams in Minneapolis. We need new leaders. In 2013 let's make that happen!
Device firms, FDA reach deal on new product OKs
By James Walsh and Jim Spencer
Star Tribune, 2/2/12
Amy Klobuchar is promoting FDA extortion of the medical device industry which has now "agreed to double the fees it pays to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the next five years. In return, the FDA will hire more people and speed the process for reviewing new products...I think it will create a pathway to quicker approvals, and that is what we really want here," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told the Star Tribune."
U of M Payouts Top $30M
By Mark Albert, Mike Maybay, and Erik Altmann
Minnesota Majority, 1/17/12
"In November 2011, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported $86 million in unused vacation pay, sick time, and other severance had been paid to departing state workers and MnSCU employees in the past three years...Now, the University of Minnesota has released its separate payroll records, showing it paid departing employees $30 million during the same time period. That brings the total to at least $116 million for all departing state workers in the past three years." Big Education. The real 1%.
Voter Fraud By The Numbers
By Dan McGrath
Minnesota Majority, 1/17/12
"The mailings, commonly known as postal verification cards (PVCs) are sent to newly registered voters as a means of confirming their identity and residence. Thousands of voters were flagged for challenge following the 2008 and 2010 general elections in Minnesota...After the 2008 election, over 6,000 Election Day registrants were found to have provided addresses that were undeliverable and after 2010 there were over 1,200 more that remain unexplained even after accounting for voters who moved shortly after voting. This is a strong indicator of the possibility of voter fraud."
Mpls. City Hall Briber Now Wants To Reform City Hall
By Mitch Berg, 1/17/12
"[Basim] Sabri says City Hall is riddled with a culture of corruption and the only way to change it is to overhaul it with term limits. His PAC needs to collect seven thousand signatures of registered voters by the end of July. If he is successful, the amendment to the City Charter would then be on the November ballot. At that point, city voters would decide, if City Hall needs to be completely changed." Yes.
The Circle Closes
By Mitch Berg
Look True North, 1/9/12
"But if the reporters had asked the "tough questions" that really needed to be asked over the past sixty years – is this spending wise? Is Urban Renewal/tearing down Rondo and Phillips to make way for freeways/warehousing the poor in the inner city/the war on drugs a good idea in the long run? Why do our schools get worse, the more money we throw at them? Is one-party rule, even if it is rule by people who reflect our worldview, the way to get better Cities? – then there might not have been a problem in the first place."
Brooklyn Park readies to stretch fire resources by sharing
By Maria Elena Baca
Star Tribune, 1/3/12
"The idea that government can continue to exist as it is, that's a broken idea," Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde [R] says. "We have to change things, [rather than] just to say things have always been done this way." It matters when conservative Republicans are elected to city government. Some day in Minneapolis!
Mpls budget reopened and it'll cost you $5 a month
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/17/11
"The new fixed charges set by the committee amount to about $5 monthly, regardless of how much water you use." This is how it's done, folks. Since property taxes are a target now of residents fed up with never ending increases, all the less visible city utility fees, permit charges, sales and entertainment taxes, etc., will be on the rise. Even while our mayor is popping up everywhere on local media like some vacuous gopher, touting his budget with "no" property tax increases, the central planners are not doing with less. They're just taking our money another way.
North Side riled over Hennepin County social services hub
By Randy Furst
Star Tribune, 12/17/11
"Stenglein said he did not think there would be traffic problems in the area and thinks it would be "a good fit" to have people seeking social services next to the school headquarters." So, that's it for the Northside?! That area of the city has been designated by the central planners as where the permanently poor live? What about making the land available (note how many private properties were condemned or foreclosed upon to make space for this government building) for small or large businesses where Northsiders could work close to where they live? Actually, the city promised residents "to make W. Broadway more vibrant with commercial and retail development." But the only jobs are government jobs. All the residents get is easier access to dependency.
Dept. of Labor: Public School Teachers Are Highest Paid State Workers; Compensation Doubles the Average in Private Industry
By Terence P. Jeffrey, 12/14/11
"Public primary, secondary and special education teachers are paid an average of $56.59 per hour in combined wages and benefits, BLS said in the report released last week...That is slightly more than twice the $28.24 in average hourly wages and benefits paid to workers in private industry." Now we know where a large portion of all the money we're pouring into our failing Mpls. schools is going. It's NEVER been about the children, has it?
Sabri approaches City Hall with charter proposals, not bribes
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/14/11
Basim Sabri, who was convicted on three counts of bribery involving Council Member Brian Herron, now has some interesting ideas to reign in the unchecked power of the city council and mayor. Maybe it takes one to know one!
* Cutting the number of council members from 13 to 5, and electing them and the mayor to no more than two two-year terms.
* Electing the police chief, city attorney, and city coordinator.
* Electing the Planning Commission, with two representatives from each of the five wards limited to two two-year terms, and stripping it of the county, park and school board representatives who sit on it now.
Rybak's stadium plan draws City Council opposition
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 12/9/11
"Rybak's plan to cover the city's $300 million share of a stadium involves redirecting most of the hotel taxes, citywide sales tax and special downtown taxes that currently support the city's convention center...We may need to have another partner on this, because I'm not certain we can totally fill this gap with just these dollars," Rybak said...He noted that the city would be in a better financial position if sales tax revenues exceed expectations or the Legislature approves a 1 percent increase in Minneapolis hotel taxes." Here's how it works, folks: The city central planners find money for their speculative investments by shifting existing targeted taxes which creates an opportunity to replace those taxes in the future. And the beat goes on...
Minneapolis Citizens Demand a New Teachers Contract That Addresses Student Needs
By Education Action Group, 12/6/11
The coalition, known as Contract for Student Achievement, is comprised of parents, pastors, business leaders, elected officials and taxpayers who want MPS’ staffing decisions to reflect the best interests of students, instead of school employees...In an open letter to union and school board officials, the group states, "Minneapolis has the largest achievement gap in Minnesota, with white students more than twice as likely to pass state tests than their black, Latino and American Indian peers and with less than 35 percent of our students of color graduating on time."
College GOP chair: vote for Schwanke
By Ryan Lyk - chairman, Minnesota College Republicans
MN Daily, 12/01/11
Ben Schwanke is the right choice in this election. His common-sense ideas will help college students at the University and make our state a better place. Please join me and support Ben in the 59th State Senate district general election Jan. 10, 2012.
Vikings to help Minneapolis pick stadium site
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 12/01/11
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf just picked up a Manhattan apartment for a mere $19 million (Star Trib, 12/1/11, B2) and now has graciously offered to help the city work out the best plan to fleece Minneapolis taxpayers for a new stadium. Is this one of those famous private/public partnerships Rybak is always touting or just another example of crony liberalism?
Mpls. Downtown Businesses Worry About Proposed Casino
By Jay Kolls,11/28/11
Given the history of failure of city planning for downtown, the one thing we know about this latest scheme is that it will cost Minneapolis taxpayers more that they will get out of it.
Downtown Minneapolis dropped off shoppers' list
By Eric Wieffering
Star Tribune,11/27/11
After listing the failures of city central planners and liberal cronyism--"Minneapolis has put up a valiant fight. It built the Nicollet Mall. It subsidized City Center. It subsidized the Conservatory -- an upscale mini-center on the Nicollet Mall that opened, closed and was demolished in less than a decade. It threw public money at Riverplace, St. Anthony Main, Gaviidae Common and the new Target store. It even tried to subsidize a French development firm that promised to bring Nordstrom downtown if it could build a dome over one end of the Nicollet Mall"--Wieffering concludes that businesses now "limit new store openings to the strongest markets or regional centers, including the Mall of America. Downtown Minneapolis no longer appears to be on that list."
Big Tax Cuts for Small City in Anoka County
By Jay Kolls,11/17/11
"Oak Grove [MN] City Hall is cutting $600,000 from its budget and reducing the city's portion of its property taxes by 18- percent." To Mayor Rybak and your 13 clones we say: YES, YOU CAN! Change and give us hope!
Mpls. Teacher Convicted of Theft Is Back In The Classroom
By Jay Kolls,11/14/11
"Kari Jo Kielsa was convicted of stealing 35-hundred dollars...from Frost Lake Elementary in St. Paul. In July of 2011 she pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor theft and is now teaching at Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis." I wonder if Kari worked in the private sector if she'd be so quickly rehired elsewhere. Just one of the benefits of belonging to a public sector union.
St. Anthony: Caught between Minneapolis' past and present
By Neal St. Anthony
Star Tribune,11/13/11
"[Owner Neil] Ahlstrom, 67, fears that city elders want to banish Smith Foundry. He's had to cope with a rezoning that's made it more expensive to make improvements and likely will inhibit the eventual sale of the business as he contemplates retirement. Oh, and there's the new city noise ordinance, as well. But in a town that preaches 'green,' Smith Foundry recycles 30 tons of metal daily." This 88-yr old business employs "10 administrative staff and 70 blue-collar workers at up to $23 an hour, plus benefits [and] will generate a record $12 million in revenue this year, [but it] is not in vogue in a town where the mayor last week was hailing growth of the service sector. And neighborhood-based manufacturing has declined in Minneapolis for years, partly by design...The idea was that everything along the Greenway eventually would become residential, Ahlstrom said. We were in an industrial-preservation zone. But we got rezoned. And now we seem to be without a place to exist and grow." In his 11/10/11 e-newsletter Rybak happily wrote, "and better yet is the fact that many of these jobs are good union jobs." Union dues equal donations to the Democrat party. The light dawns.
More bikes, healthier cities
By Josephine Marcotty
Star Tribune,
"In Minneapolis, about 4 percent of commuters get to work on a bicycle." Tens of millions of tax dollars for trails and paths that 96% of Minneapolis residents never or rarely use. Automobiles mean prosperity and liberty. We need well maintained streets so people have the freedom to pursue their life's goals wherever that takes them, without being restricted to narrow lanes and two wheels that can't carry the elderly or a family of four and their soccer gear! Enough catering to the elite few and their special interests in this city.
Group calls for teacher union contract reform in Minneapolis
By Corey Mitchell
Star Tribune,
"Lynn Nordgren, president of the teacher union, disputed some findings in the group's letter. 'The group is well-intentioned, but their strategies are misguided,' Nordgren said. 'The teachers are the experts. For some reason, everybody else thinks they are the experts now.'" Well, Ms. Nordgren, these "experts" of yours have given Minneapolis the highest per pupil cost in the state and one of the highest in the country with graduation rates, particularly among minorities, of less than 50%. Maybe we need some "non-experts" whose only concern is graduating children who can read, add, and think critically. Obviously, decades of your "expert" ideas have failed miserably.
Rybak cuts back on internal audit firepower
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune,
Rybak has a staff of 11, but the city, with a budget of $1.36 billion, can't afford 3 internal auditors. What a quiet sound it makes when transparency in city government disappears.
Minneapolis council cool to sales tax for stadium
Star Tribune, 10/27/11
Notice that none of our "representatives" are saying in response to increasing the sales tax for a new stadium, 'the citizens of Mpls. are paying enough taxes, they don't need any more increases. In fact, we're working on reducing their tax burden.' We need new representatives.
Rybak: Ready to re-enter Vikings stadium game
Hot Dish Politics, 10/24/11
"One of the issues with the Arden Hills site is the potential for a referendum on proposed Ramsey County sales tax, which most stadium backers believe would defeat the tax. Rybak said he would not support a similar referendum in Minneapolis." Liberal crony capitalist that he is, Rybak has no problem squeezing the city taxpayer for just one more expensive playpen we don't want and will be paying for for three generations if not longer. It's no wonder he doesn't want the opinion of those who will be stuck with the bill. Let's follow the money and see which government insiders and their friends benefit the most. It's always who not what you know.
Mpls Police Consider Cutting Crime Prevention Positions (video), 10/20/11
Once again our liberal mayor is playing games with public safety to protect the non-essential, but union dues paying and Democrat party contributing, jobs that swell city government. Let's follow the mantra of the Democrats and balance the budget with "shared sacrifice": cut 10% across all departments, freeze all city government pay for two years, and move to a 401K plan from the defined benefit pension plan for all new city employees to start. Then the real examination of what the city does with all our money can begin. Everywhere private companies are laying off or not hiring, but the government continues to grow at all levels. It's time to end this unsustainable trend. Now.
Backyard fires become a burning issue
Star Tribune, 10/13/11
Once again the city central planners have found taxpayers enjoying their property and are determined to shut them down. With no proof of pollution, harm, or damage being done, and based only on alleged complaints from a few cranks and the paranoia of one city councilperson, the council is poised to add to the current numerous restrictions on fire pits on private property. Next in line: wood burning fireplaces.
More Cuts Proposed For Minneapolis Fire Department, 10/5/11
By Jay Kolls
Public safety budgets are readily cut in Mpls., but how about: cutting some of the mayor's 11 assistants; stopping the council's nearly every year pay raises; requiring the mayor and council to switch from defined benefit pension plans to defined contribution (401k) plans for all new employees and to freeze the defined benefits for all current employees which would save the city millions? It's no accident they cut services that people really need. What better way to convince us that they can barely make ends meet on $1.36 billion a year?
Davis & Emmer - 10/5/11 - 8am
News Talk, AM 1130, 10/5/11
This morning on Davis & Emmer (10/5/11 - 8am) the topic was the hundreds of millions of dollars the city of Minneapolis has wasted over the years backing failed development projects and why central planning is designed to primarily benefit politicians and developers. A great listen!
Taxes in Minneapolis are all about location
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 9/26/11
Mayor Rybak's Property Tax Scam: Where a 0% levy really means a 4-10% tax increase for property owners! So city government continues to grow. 31% of the total 2011 city budget is wages and fringe benefits, $415 million. For example, the civil rights department has 19 employees and 49% of the $2.5 million budget is salaries and wages; CPED has 128 employees at a cost of 20% of their $104.2 million budget. Every city program, regulation, and tax requires administrative staff at salaries that are double, on average, what is paid for similar work in the private sector. We are continually forced to pay more while city government grows out of control year after year and the only 'cuts' are to public safety and infrastructure maintenance. The only way to stop government greed is to demand they justify every department, expenditure, tax, and regulation. Wonder what the odds are we'd get any answers from the mayor or council members?
At this school, usual excuses don't apply
By Katherine Kersten
Star Tribune, 9/24/11
It is time to utterly reject the claim of Democrats and teachers unions that minority children cannot learn without expensive government programs. Best Academy is proof that any child can learn if that is the goal. If the goal is funding a political party in return for political favors, then you get the Minneapolis school system.
Mother Disciplined After Confronting Son's Bullies
CBS Minnesota, 9/21/11
"A mother who confronted two boys who bullied her 10-year-old son has been banned from her son's Minneapolis school and even her son's bus stop for the rest of the year."
Utility charges heading up 4.4 percent
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 9/15/11
"The mayor's budget proposal in includes a 4.4 percent increase in the combined utility bill, or about $41.76 annually for a typical residential customer. The increases range from nothing for garbage and recycling to 10.5 percent for the city's sewage system. Water rates are rising 5 percent and the storm sewer charge is up 2.5 percent. The typical householder will pay an estimated $994 annually under the mayor's plan, or $82.80 monthly."
State reading and math test results
Star Tribune, 9/14/11
In Minneapolis, students have a 37% proficiency in math and 56% in reading.
Schooldigger puts Minneapolis schools near the bottom at 418 out of 435 cities ranked in MN. In 2011, the cost per pupil has been estimated to average $18,000, depending on the number of revenue sources that are included. The Star Tribune reported on 9/14/11 that the 2011 state test results show students in Mpls. schools at a 37% proficiency in math and 56% in reading. This is a continuing disgrace and unnecessary waste of human potential. Education costs in the city are up and the results are dismal at best. No more excuses. It's time for Mpls. residents get some real answers from big education.
Rybak proposes no tax increase, acceleration of street repairs
By Steve Brandt and Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 9/12/11
"The 2012 proposal is Rybak's first in 10 annual budgets not to propose a property tax increase." However, because of the Homestead Credit, a lot of homeowners are going to see an increase even at a zero tax increase. This is a good start from the mayor, but it should only be the beginning of real budget reform and the prioritizing of city spending.
Judge dismisses Minneapolis tax assessment challenge
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 9/11/11
"The analysis of post-sale assessments found that homes sold in 2008 in the Near North community were on average assessed the following year at three times the sale price, nearly that much in the Camden community, and twice the price in Phillips. But homes in the Calhoun-Isles and Southwest communities, which are more affluent, were assessed at close to par with their sales prices."
State law might curtail tax testimony in Minneapolis
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 9/7/11
"And a delay means the public will have only a day to review Rybak's budget before tax board meeting." Property values over the past year have dropped 10.8% in the Twin Cities, yet the mayor insists on a property tax increase of 2%. This 2% increase could mean 8%, 10%, or more depending on where you live. It's time to assess city government greed. Government continues to grow without justification, in total disregard of the harmful effects on residents, and with an ever increasing high-handedness and secrecy that is troubling.
Mpls. fountains flow, but few drink
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 9/7/11
"I never really knew it was a water fountain," responded [Charles] Anderson, who said he mistook for a piece of sculpture the fountain designed by artists Gita Ghei, Sara Hanson and Jan Louise Kusske. It's the largest of the four fountains, and there's clearly a lot going on in the design. "Maybe that's why a lot of people don't use it," said Anderson."
Deal saves four Minneapolis firefighter jobs
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune, 9/2/11
"The City Council also votes overwhelmingly to keep new position of bicycle and pedestrian coordinator."
'Stop Arming Our Children' in North Minneapolis Community vigil after deadly shootings of children
By Tom Halden
FOX 9,8/29/11
"'Who is arming our kids and who will stop it?' said Mayor R. T. Rybak." Better questions are: Who destroyed the black family? Liberal Democrats and their policies. Who created sub-standard schools on the Northside? Liberal Democrats. Who created generational welfare? Liberal Democrats. From the New Deal to the Great Society to the War on Poverty human initiative, economic prosperity, and educational opportunity have been systematically removed from the black community. Time to look in the mirror, R.T., and take responsibility for the problems facing the Northside and the poor in our city.
Despite fiscal woes, Minneapolis aims to hire bike coordinator
By Eric Roper
Star Tribune,8/25/11
"The coordinator will earn between $61,000 and $84,000 a year and will serve as the point person for bicycle and pedestrian issues on transportation projects. A number of public works employees now handle bike and pedestrian issues separately, many of them lacking the necessary expertise, city officials said...In addition to the bicycle coordinator, the city is looking to hire a database engineer, a stationary engineer, an internal auditor and a manager of intellectual properties for the police department."
With veto, Rybak stands by Minneapolis fire layoffs
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune,8/20/11
In a move that highlights his spending priorities, Mayor Rybak has vetoed a council plan to save firefighter jobs. Rybak stubbornly refuses to put public safety before his agenda of social engineering and community planning. Where are the cuts to the budgets of Regulatory Services ($48.3 million) or Business Information Services ($26.5 million) or Youth Community Board ($1.3 million) or Neighborhood/Community Relations ($6 million), for example? There is something seriously out of whack in the priorities of our city government.
Rybak trims Minneapolis tax hike to 2%
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 8/12/11
"I don't think an increase translates into property tax relief to individuals," said Scot Pekarek, who protested last year's hike at a City Hall rally.
R.T. Rybak's Budget Disaster
By Gary Gross
True North, 8/10/11
R.T. Rybak, the man who spent $500,000 on 10 artistic drinking fountains, has now decided to lay off firefighters.
Rybak Proposes Plan to Save Minneapolis Firefighter Jobs
Move transfers $1.75M; 10 layoffs still needed
By Shelby Capacio
FOX 9 News, 8/9/11
Watch Mayor Rybak whine about how he has to move $1.45 million from a city slush fund in order to cover his planned cuts to the fire department. Why doesn't the city simply eliminate 311 service (phone books are free) and transfer that $3.2 million to the fire department? That would be a simple, common sense prioritizing of expenditures, which means, that it won't happen. Providing basic city services--public safety, street maintenance, snow removal--is not the way the mayor and city council like to spend $1.36 billion of our money.
A last piece of Grain Belt
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 8/4/11
Once again, the city has squandered 1.3 million taxpayer dollars on property speculation. It's time to shut down the Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department with its budget of $104.2 million and a mission to grow a sustainable city!
Bankruptcy may land Franklin Circle back in city's hands
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 7/27/11
Another failure of central planning, crony capitalism paid for by the taxpayers of Minneapolis.
Taking back Peavey Park
By Matt McKinney
Star Tribune, 7/26/11
Peavey Park area has seen a 36 percent increase in crime this year, spurring action.
$270,000 in pay raises for 35 at Minneapolis schools
By Corey Mitchell
Star Tribune, 7/22/11
The Minneapolis school district boosted administrator pay as it was cutting 118 jobs.
Millions spent, yet Minneapolis streets crumble
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 7/8/11
The city's bumpy streets could have political repercussions for Rybak and the City Council. Sixty percent of residents surveyed late last winter say they're unhappy with the condition of the streets, ranking them dead last among city services. That's up from just 17 percent who were unhappy with the roads as recently as 2003.
After Initial Spike, Some Crimes in Tornado Zone Plunge
By Mark Albert, 6/06/11
Two weeks after the tornado that tore a gash through North Minneapolis, burglaries and thefts have plunged in that area despite an initial surge in crime after the May 22 twister.
The government is not here to help you
By Tracy Eberly
Look True North, 6/06/11
Minneapolis real estate has lost 10 percent of its value over the past year.
Kicked out for doing good: Hastings man who volunteered on scene of north Minneapolis tornado was thrown out
By Chad Richardson
The Hastings Star-Gazette, 6/01/11
[Mike] Haege got more bad news in the mail Wednesday afternoon. He received a $275 fine from the City of Minneapolis.
Increased Looting in Tornado Damaged Minneapolis
By Leslie Rolander, 05/25/11
Police say there's been an increase in burglaries in north Minneapolis since Sunday's deadly tornado, with thieves kicking in doors and using trucks to load up stolen items.
Tornado-Damaged Businesses Face Variety of Problems
By Jennifer Griswold, 05/25/11
Both Fremont Market and Northside Food Market still didn't have power Wednesday. That means almost everything in their coolers has spoiled. Employees at both markets also say they've had packs and packs of cigarettes stolen by looters after the storm.
INVESTIGATION: DHS Admits Child Care 'Errors', Pledges Reforms
By Mark Albert, 05/25/11
Now, in May 2011, our investigation finds millions of dollars are being spent on childcare that doesn't exist, for families and providers that don't qualify.
Minnesota Overpays Millions in Child Care
By Mark Albert, 5/24/11
Surrendering Army of Minneapolis Attempts to Dictate Terms of Surrendered Pension Plans
By Kim Crockett
Minnesota Free Market Institute, 5/19/11
"Younger active and retired police officers worry that the state plan won't keep up with inflation over time. I never expected to get rich on this pension," Sauro said. "I never expected to get poor on this pension. I just expected to maintain my standard of living for the rest of my life."' (Star Tribune, 5/19/11)
46% have negative equity in home
By Patrick Kennedy
Star Tribune, 5/10/11
Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession.
Vikings lukewarm on Metrodome plan
By Burl Gilyard
Finance and Commerce, 5/9/11
The city's plan would raise taxes: A new 0.15 percent sales tax in the city of Minneapolis; expansion of the city's restaurant and liquor taxes; new $10 per vehicle "parking tax surcharge"; and an admission tax on events.
Star Tribune article
Survey says: Here's what you think of Minneapolis
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 4/27/11
The latest triennial survey of city residents finds people feel safer downtown, less confident in the quality of their schools, and fed up with the state of road repairs.
In Mpls., a push to curb Somali-Indian tensions
By Laura Yuen
Minnesota Public Radio, 3/30/11
Pet owners go on guard against suburban coyotes
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 3/30/11
Rybak fires back at GOP lawmaker over 'wasteful spending' charge
by Tom Crann
Minnesota Public Radio, 3/29/11
State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, made the comments during floor debate Monday..."The LGA money is being spent for garden space, for bike to church Sundays program, a low-carbon cook-off, Hour Cab, neighborhood energy conservation, energy sustainable parks, $88,392 for climate change grants."
Minneapolis home prices post steepest decline in U.S.
By Scott Carlson
Finance and Commerce, 3/29/11
Life Time unfit to keep Minneapolis contract?
By Dee DePass
Star Tribune, 3/27/11
Life Time Fitness is at risk of losing a $460,400-a-year contract with the city of Minneapolis because it doesn't provide domestic partner benefits to its employees...At least 800 workers make use of Life Time, according to a police official.
Short sales weigh down home prices
Median drops 10.4 percent in February from year earlier
By Gita Sitaramiah
Pioneer Press,, 3/10/11
Anoka-Hennepin teachers reject merit pay, enhanced evaluation program
Associated Press, 3/10/11
A merit pay and enhanced evaluation program didn't get the support of enough teachers in the state's largest school district to pass.
Ellison overtakes McCollum for "most liberal" in Minn. delegation
By Jeremy Herb
Hot Dish Politics, 2/28/11
Website decision could cost Minneapolis schools
The district may have forfeited more than $70,000 reimbursement.
By Corey Mitchell
Star Tribune, 2/27/11
Minneapolis is confronting even less fire service
The city agreed in 2005 to certain minimum staffing levels, but fire officials say the department's budget is $3.5 million short of being able to provide them.
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 2/23/11
Metro School District Superintendent Compensation Info
By Scott Theisen, 2/16/11
City dreams buckle under taxes' weight
Many homeowners are facing double-digit tax percentage increases in 2011 -- and the prospect of more hikes to come.
By Richard Meryhew
Star Tribune, 2/16/11
Mandate Reform Required
"Since Election Day, counties, cities, townships and school boards have reached out to me and asked that I take a look at over 100 unfunded state mandates on local government. They felt that a significant proportion of the cost of local government is derived from these unnecessary mandates." (Sen. John Carlson, R)
By Gary Gross
True North blog, 2/15/011
Twin Cities home values still skidding downward
"During the quarter, home values fell 12 percent in the Twin Cities metro area compared to the prior year, and Zillow said it was one of the worst quarters since it started tracking real estate trends in 1996."
By Jim Buchta
Star Tribune, 2/9/11
Minneapolis Firefighters Sound Alarm
Minneapolis firefighters are sounding the alarm, by warning residents about potential cuts. Union leaders say 32-positions could be lost through attrition, another eight in layoffs.
By Colleen Mahoney, 2/7/11
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Investigates: Taxpayers Foot Bill for Pension Plan Expense
Your money is being used on a losing legal fight, trips to Las Vegas and Florida, and pricey lobbyists. Millions of dollars in expenses are being racked up by pension plans for retired Minneapolis police and firefighters., 2/6/11
Fighting City Hall - Neighborhood Revitalization Program versus City of Minneapolis
By Cynthia Frost
TC Daily Planet, 1/26/11
Minneapolis schools make $3.7 million error
"The Minneapolis School District underestimated the cost of the new teacher contract by $3.7 million due to a 'significant' clerical error. The contract will cost the district $14.7 million, not $11 million as initially estimated."
By Corey Mitchell
Star Tribune, 1/25/11
Street repaving coming to downtown Minneapolis
By Chris Newmarker
Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal, 1/21/11
Star Tribune, 1/19/11
North Minneapolis charter school won't open until 2012
"Minneapolis has lofty goals for the charter school, which they hope will provide solutions to dismal graduation rates and bring back students who have fled north Minneapolis for suburban districts or other city high schools."
By Corey Mitchell
Star Tribune, 1/19/11
Minneapolis revolt builds over city's budget moves
"NRP director Bob Miller complained that neighborhoods shouldn't have to pay for the city's failure to seriously address its budget problems sooner...The council signaled that it wants to end the NRP outright once the current pact expires. It directed its lobbyists to report next month on state legislation to fold the NRP into the city's new neighborhood department and commission established to help run post-NRP neighborhood programs."
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 12/31/10
!@#$% My Congressman Says
By Luke Matthews
Look True North, 12/24/10
"Keith Ellison is a far Left Marxist/socialist agitator who believes economic liberty, personal freedom, and the American Dream are all reactionary positions. He advances 'progressivism', which is a philosophic position that can most closely be associated with feudalism. "Progressivism" drives each and every position he takes on the issues...Keith Ellison has nothing but contempt and scorn for the ideals of American exceptionalism and American hope for a better future."
Video: Dem Rep wants borders to become an "irrelevancy"
By Ed Morrissey, 12/22/10
"Look on the bright side. At least we have a Democrat talking about God in American policy. Of course, it's Rep. Keith Ellison, who here prays for borders to become 'irrelevant.'"
Rybak, Council Raise Mpls Property Taxes By Up To 15%
"The increase will effect nearly every homeowner in Minneapolis, anywhere from 5-15%, as part of the 2011 budget of approximately $1.4 billion."
By Andy Post
Look True North, 12/15/10
Protesters Confront Mpls Officials Over Proposed Tax Hike
"We're not going to sit in our houses and just take this year after year after year," said Mark Johnson [SD60 Chair], who organized an evening rally on the steps of City Hall and launched the website for the group, Minneapolis Tax Payers United.
By Mark Albert, 12/14/10
Corner stores get healthful makeovers
By Gail Rosenblum
"Aside from being unhealthy, the stores were not complying with the city's Staple Foods Ordinance, which requires grocers to carry at least five types of perishable produce. Now they comply, and more."
Star Tribune 11/20/10
Lawsuit: Mpls. inflates housing values
Plaintiffs say Minneapolis ignored foreclosure woes to keep values, and property taxes, high in certain neighborhoods.
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune 11/18/10
Chanting Points Memo: Balancing The Books
"There appear to be quite a number of precincts -- concentrated in Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties -- where Tom Emmer grossly underperformed the rest of the GOP ticket, and Mark Dayton significantly overperformed the rest of the DFL's floundering line-up.

There also are reportedly a very large number of ballots listing nobody but Mark Dayton. As in someone went in to the polls, registered, stood in line...and filled in only Mark Dayton. Nobody else."
By Mitch Berg
Shot in the Dark blog, 11/17/10

Leading up to recount, GOP files suit against two counties
By Andy Birkey
The Minnesota Independent, 11/15/10
Twin Cities' budgets built on house of cards
By Chris Havens and Steve Brandt, 11/13/10
Students may face felonies over illegal voter vouching
An election judge said students were vouching for people they did not know on Election Day.
By Evelina Smirnitskaya, 11/8/10
GOP Blasts Ritchie's Twitter Posts - Former Sec. of State wants GOP attorney on staff, 11/5/10
GOP's saber-rattling Tony Sutton vows aggressive recount fight
Analysis by Jay Weiner, 11/3/10
Metro Transit Temporarily Closes 2 Mpls. Bus Stops news video, 9/30/10
"At the request of the Minneapolis Police Department, Metro Transit temporarily closed two bus stops on the north side of the response to loitering and drug dealing at the intersection and an increase in violent crime."
Reminder: Rybak proposing cuts in police and fire forces
Star Tribune, 9/6/10
"His budget would eliminate 32 firefighter positions, 24 police."
Want to Put Your House Up For Sale? Better Ask the Government First
By Freedom Foundation of MN
Look True North, 9/13/10
"It's tough enough to sell a house with home sales in the Twin Cities undergoing the biggest decline in the country, down 42 percent in July year to year. Yet some local governments make it even tougher for homeowners by imposing some of the country's most onerous before-sale residential inspection ordinances, adding to the cost and red tape of buying and selling a house at the worst possible time." (See
Franken ratchets up rhetoric in war against corporate power
Star Tribune, 9/6/10
"Net neutrality is the latest issue where he warns that control of the country's future is being hijacked by big business [Al can't admit big government is the problem]...'the First Amendment issue of our time.'"
Rybak proposing cuts in police and fire forces
Star Tribune, 9/6/10
"His budget would eliminate 32 firefighter positions, 24 police."
Federal Lobbying by Minnesota's Local Governments Flies Under the Radar
by Tom Steward, 8/20/10
"Local governments are spending millions of tax dollars to lobby for millions more," said Freedom Foundation of Minnesota Vice President Jonathan Blake." At a time when people are demanding accountability in government and an end to reckless spending, that just doesn't make sense."
How Rain is Delaying Mpls. Street Projects, 8/12/10
Did Rybak get the $1 million city tax dollars for his Green Bike program from our street maintenance budget? It's all about priorities folks! "In the past seven years, the city has reduced the number of repair crews from 10 to seven. Preventative maintenance crews no longer exist. And when rain falls, crews have to refill potholes they've already filled. That will push back other street repairs possibly into next year."
An Open Letter to Representative Keith Ellison Regarding the Tea Party
By Walter Scott Hudson
Look True North, 8/02/10
Judicial Rules Prohibiting Election Fundraising Struck Down
Wersal for Justice website, 7/29/10
Down by the Riverside
By Speed Gibson
Look True North, 7/29/10
"In this tough economy, somebody came up with one of the dumbest proposals I've ever seen: spend over $100 million to rehab Riverside Plaza. This complex of six apartment buildings includes several of the ugliest buildings in Minnesota, which I believe was a contributing factor to its failure."
54% Favor Justice Department Action Against Sanctuary Cities
Rasmussen Reports, 7/27/10
"Fifty-four percent (54%) of U.S. voters say the Justice Department should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Even more think the federal government should cut off funds to these 'sanctuary cities.'" Minneapolis is a 'sanctuary city...'
Chanting Points Memo: Buying Minnesota With Daddy's Money
By Mitch Berg
Shot in the Dark blog, 7/16/10
"So 'Alliance for a Better Minnesota' is essentially a front for a group of unions and, to the tune of millions over the past four years, Mark Dayton's family, friends and ex-wife."
County Requests $600,000 to Teach Kids how to Garden
By Jeff Johnson
Look True North, 7/13/10
"The kicker: $600,000 of this public money would be spent to help kids plant and maintain 40 gardens in the urban core of Minneapolis and at the Home School. In other words, we would be spending $15,000 each for 40 "community gardens" in the name of environmental education."
Judge removes commission chair
Members of the Minneapolis Charter Commission were surprised that the chair wasn't reappointed.
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 7/10/10
Our own Lyall Schwarzkopf was newly appointed to the Mpls. Charter Commission
Brother, can you spare a dime? Is Hennepin County so broke it needs a new tax to fund basic road maintenance?
By Jeff Johnson
Look True North blog, 6/30/10
"Several of my colleagues on the board suggested that it would be all but impossible to find an additional $10 million for roads within our $1.6 billion budget (which would require reallocating just over 1/2 of 1%). Hence, the argument for a new tax."
Charter group ready to forward redistricting plan to City Council
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 6/23/10
Minneapolis wants specifics on pension repayment
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 6/21/10
"Attorneys for the city of Minneapolis have asked a judge to order two pension plans to get specific about how they'll recover $75 million in pension benefits that she ruled were overpaid to retired city police and firefighters."
Mpls. plans to appeal Loring Heights decision
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 6/21/10
"Minneapolis is appealing a judge's decision awarding almost $523,000 to a spurned developer in a case in which it has already sunk more than $700,000 in outside attorney fees and related costs."
Healthy Fat ["We are failing our schools"]
By Speed Gibson
Look True North blog, 6/23/10
"Let me quote another statistic...Minneapolis St. Paul ran on $415 per student in 1962, the suburbs averaging $442. In today's dollars that's $2,998 and $3,193 respectively, and we're clearly spending many times that today. And all that just to tread water on test scores."
Regents review ugly cuts
By Luke Feuerherm
The U faces a $152 million budget shortfall.
Regents approve new construction
By Ashley Bray
"The project has attracted criticism due to its $200 million price tag.", 6/16/2010
Now Playing: The Hiawatha Line
By Speed Gibson
Look True North blog, 6/16/10
"It's flashy and expensive but as a significant transportation carrier, it's insignificant. And you can't depend on it for mission critical trips to the stadiums or the airports, not unless you leave at least an hour earlier. It's always something with LRT, like when they let you board downtown but somehow forget to tell you that the line is closed further down where you'll find a slower though much more comfortable bus waiting to limp through the rest of the stops."
Count Our Blessings
By Mitch Berg
Look True North blog, 5/26/10
"So of the almost $400,000 hike, a third is hypothetically temporary; half the remainder will be saved with new machines; that means elections are going to be $100K-plus more expensive no matter what. And that's the good news!"
Government distrust runs high among Minn. voters
"Minnesota voters have a dim view of the federal government, with more than three-quarters in a new poll saying they "only sometimes" or "never" trust Washington to do what is right. The Minnesota Public Radio News/Humphrey Institute poll published Thursday also found that more than half of respondents think government has too much power and two-thirds want a smaller government."
Judge orders Mpls. police chief to court
Dolan must respond to claims he broke the law in handling of discipline in brutality cases.
By Matt McKinney
Star Tribune,
EDITORIAL: Guns needed to stop Chicago murders
Washington Times, 5/6/10
"Exceptions to the [gun control] rules enable politicians and their personal friends to own and even carry handguns - but nobody else."
Exclusive: Poll results in the 2010 Minn. gov. race
"Exclusive 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS-SurveyUSA poll results show Republican Tom Emmer as the early front-runner in three hypothetical races."
With Republicans in the Heart of the Beast
By Mary Jane LaVigne
TC Daily Planet, 5/4/10
"Keep it sane. Keep it civil. That should serve us all."
Judge rejects developer's claim he lost $11.7 million
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 4/29/10
"[Judge] Aldrich agreed with Hoyt's argument that bias by Council Member Lisa Goodman violated his procedural due process rights and deprived him of a fair hearing before the council. Aldrich said that Goodman improperly tried to sway other council members and helped organize neighborhood opposition, at odds with her quasi-judicial role in hearing Hoyt's appeal of denials by the Planning Commission."
'Club Book' organizers defend pricey allocation
By Betsy Sundquist
Politics in Minnesota, 4/23/10
"The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, approved by voters in 2008, was a financial windfall for supporters of the state's wildlife and wetlands, drinking water, arts, history and cultural heritage. And for Neil Gaiman. The 2009 Newbery Award-winning author earned $45,000 -- all of it coming directly from so-called legacy-amendment funds -- for an appearance a week ago at Stillwater Junior High School in the kickoff event of Club Book..."
Altered States, 4/17/10
"...and just last week, Republicans in Minnesota's 5th District passed a secession resolution."
On Thune's Rant
By Matt Marchetti Blog/Minnesota Voters Alliance, 4/26/10
"In response to the effort to institute Photo I.D. at the polls to prevent voter fraud, Council Member David Thune exploded in a tirade, filled with invective, insult and a complete lack of logic."
City project will photograph every property in Minneapolis
Minneapolis City website, 4/20/10
Minneapolis enters sixth month without a staff auditor
Three positions have been authorized, but the first won't be filled until at least next month.
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 4/13/10
Study: Minneapolis is among pricier cities for corporate HQs
Corporate relocation expert says more firms are looking for low-cost cities, even for company headquarters.
By Susan Feyder
Star Tribune, 4/10/10
"Minneapolis' property taxes were the main reason for its relatively high ranking in the study"
Students Made to Protest for Social Justice at State Capitol
Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Graders Protest Welfare Reform In Minnesota, 3/24/10
"School director Eliza Goodwin said, "It is something that is absolutely part of our curriculum...I think it's appropriate for kids to be learning about how citizen groups can come together and influence the governor or the legislature."
Your chance to tinker with how Minneapolis is run
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 3/24/10
"Openings on the Minneapolis Charter Commission mean an opportunity to examine how city government is structured and whether it needs changes."
Mpls. will pay $75K to settle lawsuit against police
By Becky Nahm, 3/11/10
"This case represents at least the eighteenth police lawsuit settled by the city since 2009."
Don Samuels, Chanda Baker, Sondra Samuels: As the teachers union digs in, it's students who suffer
By Don Samuels, Chanda Baker, Sondra Samuels
Star Tribune, 3/8/10
Picking a police chief
By Tony Bouza
Southside Pride online, March 2010
Hofstede's work faulted by colleagues and constituents alike
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 3/3/10
Johnson's hair, cleaning expenses ruled illegal in split decision
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 3/2/10
City: Yep, it's bad out there
By Jake Weyer
Southwest Journal, February 22, 2010 Issue
"Andy Trawick is done driving in his neighborhood for the winter. The Linden Hills resident drove into an ice crater a few weeks ago near his home...spun into a snowbank and ended up with $850 worth of damage to his car."
Minneapolis Plays Politics With Core Services
By Walter Scott Hudson
Fightin' Words blog, 2/18/10
Mayor Rybak to Craft Supplemental City Budget for 2010
Mpls Mirror, 2/17/10
Embracing the Evidence
By Chad The Elder
True North, 2/10/10
"It is equally difficult to argue now that teacher quality and student test scores are not correlated. Empirical studies from groups such as the New Teacher Project, Teach for America, and the Brookings Institution have demonstrated that teachers matter, and that test scores are a reliably accurate tool for measuring how much they matter." Stephen Spruiell, February 8th edition, National Review.
Minneapolis' $50,000 fountains trimmed from six to four
By Steve Brandt
Star Tribune, 2/08/10
"[Meg] Tuthill couldn't persuade her colleagues to shift the savings into street fix-up...Instead, $134,000 saved in the general fund will return to the city's public art program, while another $134,000 saved from the water fund legally can't go to potholes."
MINNEAPOLIS BIKE PROGRAM--Cash for cops, no, but plenty for pedals
By Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Star Tribune Readers Write, 1/24/10
Bike-share wheels into Minneapolis
By Steve Brandt,
Star Tribune, 1/15/10
"It's an enormously important project," [Mayor R.T.] Rybak said.
Note: this bike project will cost 2.75 million taxpayer dollars.
A Matter Of Focus
By Fred Markus
MPLS Mirror, 1/08/10
A Message To Betsy Hodges
By Kenneth Brown, Former Chair of the Mpls. Civil Rights Commission
MPLS Mirror, 1/03/10
"Twas the Week Before Christmas": The Council Gives Cratchit The Axe
MPLS Mirror, TYzaguirre, 12/22/09
DOJ Decision Can't Obscure Rybak's Woeful Record Cutting Cops, Wasting Money
MNGOP News, 12/22/09
MNGOP Calls on R.T. Rybak to Immediately Apologize for Smear Against Minneapolis Police Federation
MNGOP News, 12/18/09
Police Union Radio Ad Attacks Rybak over Layoffs
FULL AUDIO: Police Union Radio Ad, 12/17/09
RYBAK REWRITES HISTORY: Amid Deep Cuts to Minneapolis Police, Rybak Misleads Greater Minnesota over Record on Wasteful Spending, Gun Confiscation.
MNGOP News, 12/10/09
MNGOP News, 12/01/09
City gathering input on bike boulevards
Southwest Journal, 11/30/09
$150,000 tax dollars to make a smooth ride for bicyclists in Mpls., yet the city hasn't enough money to really maintain the streets!
Cost of New Lowry Bridge Questioned, Becky Nahm, 11/05/09
Hennepin Co. garbage burner
"Between $700,000 and $800,000 is going to be spent for landscaping around the garbage burner"
By Nicole Muehlhausen, Web Producer, 6/10/09
Keeping city budgets in the dark
By: Nicole Muehlhausen, Web Producer, 3/03/09
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