consultants are sandburs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Does north metro Republican Party official Andy Aplikowski speak for his party and its candidates, in expressing a dislike of Medicare?

This link.

"Addicted to government" he calls reliance upon Medicare.

Will others disavow that position, or is it widespread among CD6 Republicans, including those seeking state house and senate seats?

What about Social Security, Andy and cadre? Disrespectful toward that too? Wanting to gut it?

We need to be watchful.

What is Andy's alternative to Medicare and Social Security? Pray?

UPDATE QUESTION: Are veterans' benefits next? Scuttle the VA? Where does this stop?

Visit to contribute online or mail your donation to the address given below.

Among the several candidates, I believe Perovich has the maturity and diverse private sector work history within House District 35A to best represent the district. He has done more than work on other people's campaign and pursue academic goals. He is raising a family in the district in today's economic times, and knows what it takes to hold things together and do that well. He understands others in such a situation. I believe he will embrace the hopes of district residents he will represent and "work to protect the interest of affordable health care, job creation, and environmental protection." Those are his words from a mailing, which further states:

Now is the time to make sure our state remains progressive, keeping this the best state to live and raise our families. I look forward to hearing from you and welcome your suggestions, comments and ideas. I will be honored to represent you in the state legislature and will work hard in the months ahead to win in November.

Winning does require citizens who share many of Peter's values to help the campaign financially.

While I am not a wealthy person, (never mind not a 1%-er); Perovich is, so far, one of the two candidates for office in November's election who I have felt strongly enough about to contribute something to the campaign. I urge readers to do the same.

As already noted in the headline, the Peter Perovich for House website fosters e-contributions, while I prefer mailing a check. After all, checks get cash to the candidacy without any "Visa fee" or "ActBlue" sharing. It all goes to the effort to win in November.

So the address:

Peter Perovich for House
5435 152nd Ave NW
Ramsey, MN 55303

Please help, and bookmark the website.

[disclosure - I have no role, formal or informal, in the Perovich campaign/candidacy. I know him, like him, and respect his style, capability and judgment. That's it. Nutshell version. He is the best person running for the task of representing and listening to all residents of the district.]

ANOKA - WEST MAIN STREET - Authentic Mexican food, no liquor license, no noise, no pretense fake ambience, good food fairly priced and no big menu selection where things are cold by the time they reach your table.

And the help speaks Spanish, with a small Mexican food market next door.

Not Tony and Bridget Sutton and Bill Cooper Baja Sol astroturf Mexican imitation folded into bankruptcy because it was more hype than substance.


Not where it's easily found, possibly not going to survive because of the obscured location -- but if enough people try it and like it, who knows?


530 West Main Street
Anoka, MN 55303

Call to pre-order - take out or dine in.

The business card says: "Tacos, Burritos, Sopes, Tortas, Quesadillas, and More."

It has never been crowded when I've been there, and it should have more traffic/business to stay operational.


This Google Maps screen capture, Google's marker for the turn-in location. A left turn if heading west on Main Street, the place is in the back where the building dog-legs. Parking is never a problem.

click thumbnail to enlarge image

No website, but a Facebook page. This excerpt:

again, click the thumbnail image

While not liking Facebook in general, given that is the restaurant's web presence the main link is given above, and there's more - the menu, as a thumbnail of a screen capture, below (enlarged from the previous image), and a Facebook photo link to show what the food looks like (no thumbnail of that, access the page and judge it, please):

That's the story. Try it to see if you like it. And check that "see the food" link, as given above, and earlier, this sentence.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What an insult. "Bachmann calls Emmer 'so reflective of the district.' " Rubbing our noses in it.

Bay area coverage, this link.

UPDATE: We are not that bad, are we? If Emmer truly is "reflective of the district," the district is doomed.

No way. We have low-key educated people here too, besides Bachmann and Emmer. Reflect on that.

Anoka County has dumped taxpayer money into a cosmetic website redo.

Levy of Strib reports, here. Most useful page, the sitemap,

Luckily, the property tax [assessor's] search page has not been tampered with [dumbed down]. Yet.

The money for the redo would have been better spent on County Road resurfacing in Ramsey [County Board District 1]. (At least a tad of cold patch pothole work has been done on Ramsey Blvd., making things better than otherwise.)

Levy noted:

“We wanted to design something that would look good and be easy to use on a phone or tablet,” said Martha Weaver, the county’s public information manager.

[link not in original]

UPDATE: All sizzle, no steak? In the search box I typed "liens." 51 items returned, none indicating I can find recorded lien data details, online. What's that worth? A redesign by some firm from Kansas, and no better extended data access? Thanks a bunch.

Our friends at Flaherty and Collins making Chicago area news. Arguably unfavorably so ...

The below screen capture is from this Chicago Tribune online report; click the image to enlarge and read or go to the original item for the full report.

That "Metra Triangle FC, LLC" thing, the M.O. being to form a thinly capatilized LLC for each Flaherty adventure. With the initials "FC" somewhere in the made-up name.

As in Ramsey. As in North Carolina.

I only saw David Flaherty once at a council work session. Well spoken, thin and looking as if he ran, exceptional suit, nice shoes, and an expensive looking gold wrist watch. Whether any accoutrements were subsidized, or purchased entirely from Flaherty's own money was then and remains unclear to me. Prior to his appearance to speak, he and the head of Coborns were in the Norman Castle lobby, chatting before the start of the meeting, and once the meeting started the Coborns man endorsed the Flaherty adventure in Town Center as in line with what he'd like to see happening there.

Does any reader know if there are any liens against Fhaherty's Town Center thing? If so, please add as detailed a comment to this post as time allows. And, thanks.

A later paragraph in the Trib's coverage indicated an 86% occupancy at Flaherty's Orland Park thing, with all the Flaherty people contacted clamming up about the lien foreclosure litigation.

Curiously, the official Village of Orland Park's website news page has yet to post mention of the lien foreclosure litigation; unless it was posted some time ago with the Trib only now noticing. Also, the Trib item is the only online reporting found so far.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
A request again for reader help. My best understanding of construction law, mechanics and materialsmen liens, is that they are filed with the county recorder's office; and that Anoka County does not make lien filings available to the public online. Is this so, or can one research liens against property online, without paying for any special service or going to the County records and researching there in person or via an agent? It seems sensible that such things would be online for citizen review, but sensible and Anoka County practices sometimes diverge.

Any reader knowing of the lien status of the Flaherty adventure, or how to check it out online, is requested to provide a comment, or to email using the sidebar address.

Doing a websearch =

contractor lien filings minnesota

did yield an interesting batch of links on lien/construction law in Minnesota, but nothing specific about any online county record searching opportunity.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Doing web searching disclosed a previously missed Minneapolis report [on All Fool's Day] of Flaherty's empire building spree, nearby. Here [behind a paywall, so don't bother unless you care to see a lackluster rendering of the proposed apartment complex], and Bizjournal, here, with a bit more detail - an alleged $51 million thing, design by alleged architects, with expected detail:

Preliminary plans for the project include 248 apartments (studios and one- and two-bedroom units) and 7,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, according to the city. About 50 apartments would be affordable, defined at 50 percent of median income or below.

The developer has requested $1 million in federal funding and nearly $7.3 million in local tax exemptions through tax increment financing and tax-exempt bonds.

Subsidy sought, and from the rendering online, it looks ugly.

Same as it ever was? Except there over twice the retail square footage as was grudgingly accorded Ramsey, despite the multi-million loan subsidy, and the free parking ramp space. We don't rate 7000 sq.ft. retail? Just a pocket with cash to be reached out, but don't expect 7000 sq.ft. retail?

Another intriguing Flaherty item, this from Indiana, here; intriguing from the slant of the item and the comment stream. Not the local chamber of commerce thumping the glory of it all.

However, bottom line, all that additional info is irrelevant to something as basic as the construction contractors on a Flaherty adventure filing good faith claims of contracting debts not being paid. That is serious stuff. Especially with the same pack of operatives owing City of Ramsey money.

Strib has an online item about noisy restaurants, a turn-off for some.

I wonder how the Acapulco chain restaurants are doing these days.

Strib item, here.

I recall the one Acapulco restaurant years ago on Coon Rapids Blvd, back when the food was good and the serving staff seemed predominantly Mexican. The place had a now-lost ambiance and appeal.

And the food was really good, back then, there.

Before trendy times took over.

The food then was exceptional. Requirement numero uno.

Below a screen capture from Google+, of the service's most recent reviews received, re the Acapulco in Ramsey Town Center; none mentioning noise level:

click image to enlarge and read - this link to explore things

Developers are Crabgrass readers who use Google+ and have had recent dining experiences at the Town Center Acapulco outlet are urged to take a moment to post more current reviews of the place's status quo - including noise level as whether adding charm or annoyance - or as a non-factor in the dining experience. And, food/service?


Remember the days -- promise of high quality dining and shopping, "nice shops and restaurants" being the promotional buzzterm used by promotional propaganda from people involved there, that outcome -- if only the Town Center dream were to be launched in Ramsey ...

Reader comment of whether that's panned out as promised or not is welcome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pre-presidential preening. Same as it ever was. Including mainstream media lack of mention of Rand Paul forging ties with Ken Cuccinelli.

Yahoo News posting an interesting - where are they now, why it's New Hampshire - item, this link. It is well written and thorough. Readers are urged to follow the link.

From late in the item, this excerpt:

Conservatives who embrace the party’s traditionally robust foreign policy stance have severe reservations about [Kentucky's junior Senator, Rand] Paul's quest for executive power and views that the U.S. should play a more limited role abroad. Republican donors who gathered last month at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Nev., expressed concern over Paul’s rise, telling TIME Magazine that they may have to undertake concerted efforts to undermine his political ambitions over such positions as cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel and other countries. Republican mega donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, TIME reported, is considering spending massive sums to keep Paul from becoming the GOP nominee.

In response, Paul insists that those concerned about his foreign policy views just need more time to hear him out. Paul plans to discuss these issues with Adelson himself in the future, he said.

“When he gets to know me, he’ll like me too,” Paul told me.

I asked Paul about the time Christie called his foreign policy “dangerous” and when former U.S. ambassador to the U.N John Bolton described Republicans like Paul as “unfit to serve.” (Both men, particularly Christie, harbor presidential ambitions of their own.)

“The people who are saying that are the dangerous people,” Paul said. “The people who wake up at night thinking of which new country they want to bomb, which new country they want to be involved in, they don’t like restraint. They don’t like reluctance to go to war. They really wouldn’t like Ronald Reagan if they read anything he wrote or were introduced to it.”

[links in original]. Earlier Crabgrass noting of Rand Paul's romancing the ideologically proactive bloc of the GOP represented by Cuccinelli, here. It is unclear whether mainstream press' ignoring coverage of this questionable alliance is intentional, or inattentive negligence. What is "liberty" to mean, if attached to Cuccinelli and his peers on their desired and attempted force feeding of religious precepts upon the rest of us? Isn't freedom from religion a necessary aspect of true "liberty?"

The appearance is one of Rand Paul doing a fence-straddle attempt. One that is unbecoming and impeaching his professing certain core beliefs that simply fail to square with any force-feeding of Jesus to those not wanting the wafer or wine.

FINAL NOTE: John Bolton as a presidential hopeful? You have got to be kidding me. Neocons had their 15 minutes of fame yielding the Iraq fiasco and waterboarding becoming a too frequent addition to our public-debate vocabulary; and it's not coincidence that several oppose Condoleezza Rice as a U of Minn highly-compensated public visitor/speaker. Taxpayer money to the tune of $150,000 for the neocon retread's visit? Whatever happened to fiscal decency with public money? [here, naming the speaker's fee amount, also, here and here - interested readers can do their own web searching]

The UM's Daily, here, makes it clear, the Rice speaker fee of a hundred and fifty grand is covered from private [Carlson] money and not taxpayer loot. I erred.

The Carlson Family Foundation will cover the $150,000 cost for Rice’s visit, which Stanoch said is not an unusually high price tag for this type of speaker.

Humphrey spokesman Kent Love-Ramirez said Rice will talk about overcoming adversity as an African-American woman who faced discrimination growing up in the southern U.S. The topic is consistent with the school’s yearlong series “Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice: The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

“We firmly believe in [students’] right to protest and welcome it as an extension of the public discussion,” he said.

Rice in promotional posting is billed as not talking politics, but rather, "Condoleezza Rice shares her perspectives on the progress achieved and challenges ahead in efforts to promote civil rights for all Americans." That's a little easier, but if not Rice, that Carlson cash could fund somebody else, say Dennis Kucinich, another up-by-the-bootstraps theme being possible. The bet is Dennis would charge less per pop and he's done one hell of a lot more to "promote civil rights for all Americans," than Rice ever has. Better Dennis, no doubt about that.

Rice and all that neocon trash pack, they remain offensive, even with the fee covered by Carlson Family cash.

Rice has every right to speak her mind. It is paying her to show up and do so that is less than ideal. Free speech (in the other sense) would offend less. Either way, show up for a Rice event or don't, that's your choice while it is not worth my time. Dennis? Maybe. Bill or Hillary? What's different from Rice except party ties?

One striking image from the televised U.Conn. - Kentuckey college basketball final was an in-attendence shot of Clinton and Bush II sitting together. Feathers very alike. Flocking together.

Yesterday was Jefferson's birthday. On his tombstone he prescribed recognition not of his presidency but of two things he authored, one stating in its preamble, "... That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical; ... That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, ...".

The preamble was quite longer than the statute; reprinted in total at Wikipedia.

See: Google websearch = Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

While lacking any proof either way whether the question of taxing churches and their property was an issue of Jefferson's time, or whether he had any opinion, it seems he would have reasoned that the property is no different than if owned by any other person or economic venture besides a church. That a church had no inherent merit to special tax treatment, and that to accord it special treatment was a questionable judgment of human beings, not a divine mandate. Happy birthday, sir.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Erik Paulsen, current CD3 Rep., has been as bad in voting as Bachmann and Kline, but has received largely a free pass on his Tea Party ways. It's time to help Sharon Sund in her DFL challenge to the awful CD3 status quo.
also Facebook -

Enlightment in Minnesota's Third Congressional District is still possible. Sund winning has a better probability than Paulsen being struck by lightning, so contribute to better the odds of the DFL taking over that seat.

Most important, here is a subpage of Sund's campaign site, (detailing where you send the check).


P.O. Box 46142
Plymouth, MN 55447-1446

Make the check out to: Sharon Sund for Congress.

It is that simple and for anyone favoring online contributing (via ActBlue), this page.

[Check writers note, please in mailing your contribution pay attention to the personal disclosure needed for FEC reporting, per that ActBlue "DONATE" page. Occupation/Employer info disclosure is a legal requirement; e.g., for me it would be "Retired" as a sufficient indicator. Lobbying ties and such are the target of having that requirement; so it makes sense.]

There was a weak challenge to Paulsen last cycle, when Sund was ignored for the DFL endorsement. Yes, the endorsement process does sometimes fail.

Now Sund's strength as a candidate, with funding support, can carry the challenge to the Tea Partier in "moderate" disguise. The wolf in sheeps clothing. The Kline clone. So -

Go, Sharon.

For a few online links concerning Sund's candidacy; MPR, ballotpedia (where Sund needs to correct a few erroneous footer links to the present), Greg Laden (here, jointly posted at MPP here with a following note, here),, and for the sake of presenting polar opposites on a continuum of coverage; Brodkorb post tagging and Kos. For example, the MPR item reported:

Sund, the Hennepin County DFL chair, dropped her 2012 campaign against Paulsen after losing the DFL endorsement. This time she is the only Democrat aiming to oust Paulsen from the seat, which represents the western Twin Cities metro area suburbs.

In announcing her campaign outside a church in Plymouth, Sund criticized Paulsen for supporting what she called "endless cuts" to federal programs and his brinksmanship over budget matters.

"I want us to reinvest in our children, our seniors and our families and our small businesses," she said.

Sund has said that she will abide by the endorsement process if more Democrats join the race.

"I'm running for Congress because Minnesota families deserve a thriving economy that rewards hard work and innovation," she said. "But with Erik Paulsen that's not happening. Instead, what we're getting is government shutdown tactics and endless cuts."

The lady speaks the truth, and presents CD3 voters a choice between status quo and an upgrade.

The Kos item states feelings I share:

I could go on at great length about why Mr. Paulsen should not be allowed in any responsible public position, but I won't. Bad for my blood pressure. I will only say that I am convinced that Sharon has what it takes to beat him and to be a strong, vocal, progressive voice in Congress.

She is getting into this late. The Tea Party Boy already has over $3,000,000 Koch dollars. Sharon Sund personally has what it takes, but she could sure use a hand right about now. She is going to have attacks to fend off.

Those Koch dollars make opposition harder, but not in any way doomed. So help out, please.

FINAL NOTE: Most contributions (almost all) from my family are handled by another family member, yet each cycle I try to find two or three candidacies or issues that merit my fifty buck token contributory attention (e.g., last cycle, one fifty dollar check to the Democrat running for Paul Ryan's Wisconsin congressional district seat; too bad, the outcome). Sund will be my first foray into personal contibutory support this cycle. Join in, please. The more the better.

UPDATE: Sharon Sund's LinkedIn page, here.

ANOKA COUNTY - Accountability. Who hired this person? Who approved her expense accounts?

Read the story of a court administrator that seems to have done what James Norman did in Albert Lea. But without the follow-up prosecution.

Paul Levy, Strib, April 10, this link.

"Hired in 2011," with "Michael Moriarty, Schlieper’s supervisor."

It is taxpayer money, and that pack of Republicans now in power on the County Board postures as if caring for taxpayer plight.

So, who hired?

The Courts have a degree of independence from the remainder of the county, budgeting detail is unclear to me, but this kind of abuse of office by a public employee paid a hundred grand salary - something not the norm in the private sector where many work minimum wage - it is unforgivable. And no prosecution? Insufficient evidence? The story reads as if the evidence was there but the will to prosecute was absent.

What's up? The public deserves to know. There was likely dereliction of duty, in supervision, for it to run 2011 to the present without that door being slammed shut tightly and promptly, earlier than now. Taxpayers deserve better attention to public dollars. There are no two ways about that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Windows 8, and Chrome OS; in light of Microsoft's ending extended [free] update support of Windows XP.

With Win XP meeting its end, some readers might be looking to change systems, economically. Chromebooks are being pushed as lower cost/performance options, especially for school use.

However, you can get an 8-inch high resolution touch-controlled Windows 8 tablet or a full Windows 8 Acer laptop from MicroCenter for $230, not touch screen but with mouse and keyboard capability [touchpad if you prefer that to a cordless mouse]. That price point, try to find a Chromebook priced there, with comparable memory. There is one Acer model for $200, with an 11-inch screen, but the price difference is minimal and the Windows 8 units will run legacy applications. Photoshop and Office users might pay attention.

If an onscreen touch keyboard meets your needs, the tablet is compact, but bigger than some Android models while smaller than an iPad. Some Android models are larger, but as with an iPad, higher priced.

Unless gaming use is contemplated where more processor power and a GPU is desired, instead for the things a Chromebook is marketed for, the Windows 8 options are price/quality competitive. BestBuy has an Acer model at $250, but the MicroCenter offering is quad-core vs dual-core [the dual core processor does have a higher clock speed].

BOTTOM LINE: Low end Win8 equipment is being sold, and it is adequate for most purposes. If somebody steals your laptop it's better it be one priced under two-fifty, than a thousand dollar model.

Also, while there are reviews online whining about Windows 8 and the Microsoft Store offerings, it is simple to use one of the low-end Win8 laptops in desktop mode, with little difference from the Win XP or Win7 interfaces. And update support for Win8 will not expire until 2020, even as now scheduled without any extended support beyond that yet offered. Finally, Win8.1 was recently updated at the multi-megabyte level, and seems fully stable and user friendly.

[NOTE: links/prices are as of time/date of posting, and the two mentioned merchants often change pricing]

Emmer - who cares? Cohorts can hand him a crown, but there will be a three-candidate primary. Possibly more, Krinkie-wise.

S. C. Times, this link, noted at Bluestem Prairie, here; and also blogged by Gary Gross, here. That gives reporting and more. Gross questioning "their judgment" and talking of "Tom Emmer’s 100% name recognition" while Sorensen speculated:

Would a split conservative vote in November create a pick-up opportunity for the DFL? November is a long way away but the prospect of a brutal primary and conservative alternative may cause Tom Emmer to experience a 2010-esque defeat all over again.

Emmer lost to Governor Mark Dayton by under 9000 votes, in part because Horner drew moderate Republicans from the Emmer ticket. Is Krinkie spoiling for another Emmer defeat?

Viewpoints do differ. SC Times reported:

Anoka County Board Chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah will take her congressional campaign to a primary election, she announced Wednesday in an interview with the Times.

The 6th District seat is being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is serving her fifth term. Republicans are set to endorse a successor Saturday in Monticello.

The other GOP candidate in the 6th District, former state Rep. Phil Krinkie, said Wednesday that he won't attend Saturday's convention or seek the endorsement. Krinkie also said for the first time that he's mulling a third-party run but said a Republican primary remains his most likely path.

Both Sivarajah and Krinkie long have left open the possibility of running in a primary. Only Emmer has said he'll abide by the GOP endorsement.

Sivarajah still intends to seek the endorsement Saturday, but said she expects Republican delegates to endorse Emmer on the first ballot.

[...] Sivarajah said she wanted to announce her primary plans before the convention so delegates wouldn't be taken off-guard.

"I really believe that the voters in the district deserve a choice," Sivarajah said. "I believe that the voters will want someone that has a record of real accomplishment, rather than rhetoric."

Emmer, by implication, is long on rhetoric, short on accomplishment - something where it appears Sivarajah's judgment is spot on, not questionable at all.

With the DFL having an endorsement contest over Secretary of State between Steve Simon and Debra Hilstrom, where each is expected to abide by the endorsement; and the Sixth District endorsement contested between Jim Read and Joe Perske as active candidates (is Judy Adams still drawing breath); a question is whether any unendorsed DFLer will cause a primary. If there is none, or if Hilstrom and Simon go to a primary where either is a fine choice, the DFL leaning voters are free to cross-over and look to the GOP primary ballot side. Fun, no?

A parting thought on a GOP CD6 primary; here's hoping it costs Stanley Hubbard a bundle. If Emmer's his bet in the horserace, let him pay to play.

Hubbard's pocket is deep enough, so how exactly will that factor into things?

Best seat in Congress money can buy?

Emmer? Sure 100% name recognition, but the same can be said for Warren G. Harding, or Vlad Dracula.

Replace an ineffective blow-hard CD6 Rep. with ------- Emmer?

GOP folks. Please don't.

Do better. Reach higher. Sure, it's all among low hanging fruit; appropriate in terms of where Mark Kennedy and Michele Bachmann set the performance measure. But ...

UPDATE: Readers are strongly urged to read each of the three linked items (see the opening paragraph).

Gary's post even has an impressive comment thread. At least one comment there looks out of lockstep, as to Emmerism/Hubbardism destined to carry the day. Have a look. Actually, a range of opinions is expressed, and the notion that a handful turnout of preprogrammed zealots at caucusing will prove decisive in August, even that is questioned within Gary's comment thread. From Gary's own main statement and comments one can infer he'd prefer to not have his boat to be rocked. Don't Rock My Boat, as an Emmer/Hubbard et al. campaign song?

FLAHERTY: Indianans get over ten thousand square feet of useful retail space. We got a grudging three thousand in Ramsey. And Raytown gets mixed use. We got dense housing.

This Indiana item, noting:

Downtown Terrace is a collaborative effort between the following: City of Petersburg, Pike County Progress Partners, Jim Higgs Associates, Myszak & Palmer, and Flaherty & Collins Properties. These agencies have teamed up for this wonderful downtown development, which is made up of 40 units of senior housing and approximately10,500 square feet of retail/office space. Pike County Progress Partners, Inc. is the sponsoring not-for-profit agency for this community development initiative. Good Samaritan Hospital will also be a major anchoring tenant for the newly constructed building. They will run an urgent care facility on the main floor, providing mental health service and a physician’s clinic.

"We are ecstatic to officially break ground on this exciting project," said Duane Miller, Vice President of Community & Asset Management for Flaherty & Collins. "We are looking forward to what this development will do for the City of Petersburg and our partnership." Flaherty & Collins Construction will build the development, which is scheduled to open December 2014.

Designed to feature energy efficiencies that will keep ongoing monthly utility bills reduced, Downtown Terrace also maximizes location, with many Petersburg amenities, such as restaurants, parks, grocery stores, shopping, entertainment, banks, churches and medical facilities, all located within close proximity to the project.

Downtown Terrace will be funded by the National Equity Fund, Indiana Housing & Community Development Funds, Pike County Progress Partners, and deferred development fees. Chase Bank will be the construction bridge lender for the development.

That report does not list the town the development is to be built in as having any part of ponying up active cash funding. (In fairness, "deferred development fees" are mentioned, but not any second ill-secured cash position.) Different than here, that way.

Considering Raytown, Missouri, there is this online:

The proposal, from Flaherty & Collins. includes a possible grocery store, a possible new City Hall and some 200 rental apartments.

The structure, which could stand up to five stories, could attract as many as 325 residents to Raytown’s downtown district, generate perhaps $30 million in construction investment and perhaps create 500 construction jobs.

“The Flaherty & Collins proposal definitely met the overall goals that Raytown has had for its downtown for quite a while – a nice multi-family development with some mixed use,” Cole said.

Raytown is getting mixed use. We got Darren Landform in the process, City of Ramsey serving as multimillion dollar banking of last resort in things. And so it goes. Should we be thankful for having had Darren Landform working with Ryan Cronk?

Should we always keep that in mind, as election follows election? Should cash lending participation be barred, in Ramsey's charter? It is a good question.

Watching the Watchdog. "STAFF?" What staff?

Most Crabgrass readers know by now that the Chairman of the Taxpayer League maintains a website, under his auspices, and with an implication of "hands on" posting.

click the image to read the right sidebar

Curiously, here, there is this:


Erstwhile Alaska governor and former McCain running mate Sarah Palin came down from on high this week to make a Facebook endorsement of state Senator Julianne Ortman in her race to be the GOP candidate to take on Al Franken this fall.

Seriously, does Sarah Palin's endorsement mean anything? Is she considered an opinion leader in the GOP or in conservative circles anymore?

This publication has no issue with Sarah Palin and doesn't endorse candidates, but the immediate thought the staff had upon hearing the news was, "does it matter?"

You tell us, readers. Send an email to Harold at and tell us. Does the Palin endorsement make you more likely to support Sen. Ortman over her rivals?

[red-flagging of text added, email address given in original] If Harold's stuff is ghostwritten, please sir, in fairness to your readers, on that website homepage name the ghosts.

Any Crabgrass reader so inclined is urged to email The Chairman, at that email address with a "Name the Ghosts" email, so that citizen sentiment can be registered with the gentleman.

The Chairman might consider imitation of the MN Progressive Project in its handling of content. Whoever the author of an item is, is identified with the item. For anyone caring, aside from a few guest posts in the past (where authorship was identified), Developers are Crabgrass is authored by one person, as identified in each post footer note. Shouldn't Harold Hamilton identify his "staff" in terms of credibility seeking behavior, since, in general parlance, one is led to believe a watchdog IS somebody's staff-dog, not a dog having a staff of hirelings responsible for the "watching."

BOTTOM LINE: What staff?

UPDATE: Think of it this way: Agree or disagree, Mitch Berg writes his own stuff. Andy Aplikowski writes his own stuff. Gary Gross writes his own stuff. WHO writes Harold Hamilton's stuff?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dan Burns at MPP posts about legislative district 35A, mentioning Peter Perovich as the DFL endorsed candidate.

This link. (Interesting image included.) One wonders, whether either Justin Boals or Abigale Whelan, if losing in a GOP primary, would go to the general election as a write-in candidate. It is conceivable. (Apology to Boals, and to ABC Newspapers, for omitting this link from earlier House District 35A Crabgrass posting, here. There was a quote from the Boals reporting item ABC had posted, but the link itself was inadvertently omitted.)

If any reader is aware of whether debate between Boals and Whelan is contemplated or has been scheduled, a comment giving information would be greatly appreciated. While both are seeking office via the GOP, there likely are policy differences voters on the GOP primary ballot side might want to know, to become informed vs channeled voters.

Burns' post terms 35A an R+6 district, which was not a clear term to me until I followed his link - hPVI meaning, as I read things, a state house Partisan Voting Index. appears to be another politically oriented site readers might want to bookmark. has a subpage link on its main opening menu bar, re sulfide mining.

As with any politically motivated website, readers must understand they are accessing opinion/editorial content more than direct objectively-impartial reporting of news. Take things with a grain of salt (and you also can put salt on Crabgrass to contain its spread).

A "Patent Troll" story.

Ars Technica, this link.

Lose your job over expressing your views, over a political contribution? Is that a good thing when it happens.

Two links on the same story, here and here. Each story has links, and readers can web search =
Mozilla Eich proposition-8.

Or search only = Branden-Eich

If an organization can be pressured to release a recently-appointed CEO, who had been a long-term affiliate, what about the person who serves your table at a restaurant, who might be a member of the other party from the one the boss embraces? Is political correctness a one-way street, coercive vs. liberating to multiple viewpoints?

From the other side, pressure via boycott has been embraced as lawful First Amendment conduct. By the Supreme Court. Is that "right" or "wrong?"

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

More woof-woof from the ostensible landlord.

click thumbnail to enlarge and read

Sayings of the Taxpayer League's Chairman. An apology to the gay marriage opposition? Really, Harold, why not be a sensible libertarian about things? Why straddle a troublesome fence for obstreperous people? People opposed to live and let live.

Ramsey and road maintenance. Eric Hagen has authored an ABC Newspapers item Crabgrass readers should check out.

This link. No summary/paraphrasing, no quote. Read it or later perhaps wish you had. It's tightly written and informative.

Related, via road condition considerations, Anoka County has done some cold patching along Ramsey Blvd.

It is a step, but resurfacing the road may be a present necessity.

An open thread for comments - What do readers think about Glen Taylor buying Strib?

Recall that besides being a billionaire, Taylor is a former legislator.

This link.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Questions for Sean and Matt. Did Matt get paid or was it another Nienow deadbeat debt? And if Matt was paid, was it out of SBA money?

From Look Signs, Inc.'s Website:

My guess, and it is only a guess, Matt's smart enough to operate cash and carry. As to SBA, ask Nienow.

Recent Nienow coverage at MN Progressive Project, here, "Nienow decides responding to lawsuit is optional, by Eric Ferguson on April 3, 2014." Ferguson speculates and asks the follow-the-money questions:

How do you blow through $650,000? How do you not answer when that question is coming from your lender? Sen. Nienow, where is the money? No one apparently can get an answer because they’re still trying to answer the question, where are you?

Just to clarify the issue, or rather what the issue isn’t, I don’t care that he ignored all the conservative rhetoric about government can’t and shouldn’t do anything and accepted the SBA loan. That’s what the SBA is for, and in January 2009, we were plunging into what looked like the Second Great Depression partly because no one could borrow any money. So it was a good thing the SBA was giving out loans. They were about the only entity doing so, and the stimulus was desperately needed. I’d wonder if Nienow thought stiffing the government was OK, but he stiffed a private creditor too, so sounds like he just couldn’t or wouldn’t pay his debts.

I also don’t care that his business failed, unless it turns out to have been a scam all the way along. Assuming Nienow really intended to consult on choosing summer camps, most businesses fail, even when the Republicans haven’t collapsed the economy again. So big whoop, in the sarcastic tone of the scandal sense. Plenty of businesses default on loans. Some can’t pay, and some find the costs of defaulting are less than the costs of paying so they default (e.g. American Crystal Sugar), which stinks but is legal.

What I care about is that he behaves like someone with something to hide by dodging creditors and courts. I care that it’s OK for him to stiff a government entity of $650,000, but a kid whose parents are a few dollars behind on the school lunch account should have his food taken away in a publicly humiliating manner. Not that Nienow necessarily approves of the public humiliation or of children going hungry. He just thinks fixing the problem for the whole state by spending an amount merely six times his one SBA loan is too high a price to do anything about it.

Or as I imagine Nienow putting it, “That’s just my opinion of government spending. So sue me!”.

[for linked items to follow, go to the original, complete MPP item]

AS SPECULATED IN THE CRABGRASS OPENING, ABOVE - If Nienow commingled cash from SBA lending to a corporation [not a real person despite Citizens United], toward the political ambitions and advancement of Sen. Sean Nienow [a person], then while being a real person Nienow has characteristics of a noxious weed. With weeding needed. Perhaps Nienow's reticence (a reticence and unavailability noted in Ferguson's MPP post) has to do with Fifth Amendment norms against self-incrimination. Commingling private, political, and corporate/personal money into one mish-mosh slush pot to where it cannot be sorted out; would that be a crime it that is what happened? (So far only the Nienow spouses KNOW as a certainty what happened to the cash.)

What in the world would you guess [given his reticence] Nienow's motivations - his intent - might have been in all this? Ditto, about his present reticence about it all. What's a voter to infer?

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
On rereading the post - how some might read it --- I am not, not! NOT, inferring Matt Look has any overlap responsibility for what Nienow may have done with lent cash. Matt is an independent businessman. He is in business making signs and making cash flow from that activity. He prints items, folks pay set prices. Matt is NOT any part whatsoever of the interesting dimensions of the Nienow mystery. (The only interesting question for Matt, did he get paid, with it likely, since Matt's been around the block.)

The Usual Suspects [movers/shakers?]

Republicans. And never mind the alternates. They are spear carriers. Wannabes.

Ongoing entrenchment ...

click image to enlarge and read
(guess first, be largely correct)

Did I say, "ongoing?"

Did I say, "entrenched?"

Did I say, "cadre?"

Did I say, "predictably so?"

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Anoka County - Potholes and County Roads.

In Ramsey, County Board District 1, both Ramsey Blvd. and Armstrong Blvd. suffer severe pothole damage, right now.

Curiously, while driving the stretch of Roundlake Blvd. between Highway 10 and Bunker [Hwy 116], despite much stop and go lighting and heavier traffic, it was noteworthy -- the road was largely free of potholes.

Road bed quality, upkeep, and paving quality may all be factors.

However, the critical question is whether county roads in Ramsey are scheduled for improvement/upkeep later this year, or whether, out of a penurious (penny-wise pound-foolish) tax policy inclination on the Board, road upkeep suffers because politician posturing over lowering the levy or holding the course trumps prudent and needed expenditure for public goods?

Election timing. Add to that the observation - the County Board District 1 seat is not in play this election, but will be in 2016.

That raises the question - will we in Ramsey have to wait that long to see an election-timed attention finally paid our county roads after a period of clear neglect by our board rep and his anti-tax political cohorts on the Board?

Tax policy goes beyond trumpeting holding a course, should that course cost us individually more in automobile damage, via pothole induce wear and tear; i.e., cost shifting in order to appear fiscally responsible might be an actuality in the opposite direction.

The roads appear unforgiving of neglect.

So, as voters should we be?

Most readers are familiar with the "franchise fee" proposal in Ramsey as a means for the town to meet the public duty of maintaining safe and sound town roads. Awareness is there, despite disagreement over how the road needs should best be financed. City of Ramsey, however is not responsible for County roads. The County is. And the county's roads are those most heavily traveled, and coincidentally those clearly in the worse shape.

A town recognizing and making the effort to meet a public duty contrasts with a larger more-inclusive political entity appearing more neglectful. This is not good. All levels of government in the state must recognize and FUND needed road expenses. Government not doing that is all sizzle and no steak.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Where you live reflects the degree of public governmental care your roads get; according to Strib coverage in the Twin Cities area. Hopefully our county is not that way. I would be distressed if the roads used most by the Watchdog [Taxpayer League chairman] get better care and love, than ours in Ramsey.

Say it ain't so, Joe.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Dear Abby: She tweets, she greets, and she wants the District 35A seat. Yet -- She's not my cup of tea.

Abigale Whalen. She tweets:

She greets and wants that seat:

But - and those images show it - wanting to screw over the ultra-poor, the full time laborers suffering under an outdated and inadequate minimum wage; that is bad policy and uncharitable to boot. (It is her "firm and unwavering position on" that issue; per Cato rhetoric -- pie charts, and all.)

No matter what biased "think tank" rationalizations and propaganda points the lady musters, she clearly dumps on raising the minimum wage to help working folks in the district and that's not my cup bag of tea.

Not if opposed to an increase in the minimum wage.

No way. No how.

It offends. Everybody should have a living wage for a day's work in our legislative district, and in our state and country.

We, after all, remain the most prosperous nation in the world. The money for boosting the wage is there, but the will is lacking among Whalen and her cadre of privilege.

If only those Ms. Whalen is catering to were to take a little bit less, there would be sufficient cash to spread around to help our working poor and our middle class folks who struggle to make ends meet.

Whalen seems to Romney away any shot at appealing to the 47% of us who know we're getting screwed, in order to hope to propagandize and mislead enough of our remaining working folks who have yet to fully figure out the scope of the screwing (and which side of it they and family are on).

SO: Will propaganda prevail, or will a sufficient number of those needing to wise up do so? Whalen must really be prospering to lack suitable sympathy for those being left behind.

A quick online background search suggests Whelan is not a privileged Republican of the Mitt Romney mould; but more a Michele Bachmann clone, one or two generations younger. And --- that's scary.

From her campaign website [see above image/link] Whelan is running her campaign from a townhome she and her mother jointly own, on the Mississippi just west of the Anoka Bridge. Online county assessor info notes the home's last sale was to Whelan and her mom, 12/13/2011 at $145,000 with all taxes paid timely.

Online litigation docket info shows no litigation involving Abigale Whelan. Mother sued in Anoka County for marriage dissolution, 09/05/2007, with an order of dissolution granted, 10/09/2008; Case No. 02-FA-07-1279. Father, Dean Michael Whelan had an Olmsted County DWI, 11/20/2007, Case No. 55-CR-07-11221. A civil case is listed involving a Lori A. Whelan, 07/10/1985, also Olmsted County, Case No. 55-F7-85-006032, unclear as to the issue.

Whelan's LinkedIn page reveals a history of odd jobs, lifeguard, barista, academic TA, political volunteer, and intern, with ties to Republicans Mike Jungbauer and John Pederson; neither of whom are, to me, impressive figures.

The odd job history suggests summer work during Whelan's extended academic career. It is unclear if she ever has held a full time day job at above minimum wage during her life; the closest to full-time work appearing (from LinkedIn):

Intern: Campus Ministry, University of Minnesota

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

June 2013 – March 2014 (10 months) Twin Cities, MN

Spreading God's love to students, faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota, seeking to make Christ known to all. Praying for God to move on campus, to raise up leaders who follow Jesus completely, and ultimately for Truth to reign in hearts and minds at the University and beyond.

Inexperience in the real world might be inferred. Although that might not be the case, the question exists for Whelan to clarify as her campaign progresses. Whether the record shows a seasoned enough person to send to the legislature will, obviously, be determined in November in the event Whelan prevails in a likely GOP primary.

To me, there is a touch too much Michele Bachmann to Whelan. Two generations younger, without the law degree, but otherwise a close match. Opinions may differ. She did prevail against Huizenga at caucus. I of course was not there and do not know how factionalism within the local GOP played out at the time. There is this tweet:

Retweeted by Abigail Whelan
Andy Aplikowski ‏@AAARF Mar 1

@MarthaWeaverMN @jenniska @HarryNiska nancy and Jim Bendtsen deserve a huge kudos for all the work they did

All the usual suspects, and that March 1 date was Dist. 35 caucus/convention time.

In closing: with an odd-job work record it is unclear why Whelan opposes a long overdue, decent minimum wage. That, again, may become a campaign issue she will have to face and explain.

FURTHER UPDATE: The Student Debt Crisis Issue -- Whelan needs to make public a "firm and unwavering" stance here. As an extended academic, she has to know of and thought over the issue even if she was fortunate to have had taxpayer subsidy during her extensive schooling to where she herself may stand relatively debt free.

Surely the TA situation with Larry Jacobs was paid out of university (i.e., public) funds, or via a possible publicly funded grant. Either way she faces a debt load or has had a free ride on those working and paying taxes. Either way Whelan has to have a position grounded on both personal experience and on direct familiarity with the problem.

Voters deserve to know. It seems an issue Whelan cannot credibly avoid. Should she be a typical Republican hard-liner, with a Franson-like "don't feed the animals lest they grow dependent" attitude she should say so, while if more understanding of nuance, that needs to be publicly disclosed.

And whatever stance Whelan takes, we need to view it in light of her own actual education financing experiences. Meaning if she wholly bootstrapped her education costs from working summer and part time, she should say so, while if subsidized, then make that fact clear while defining a position.

Any try at side-stepping things will speak for itself.

Ball's in her court. However, her hard-lining on minimum wage relief nonetheless stands in stark contrast to her willing acceptance of the Jacobs TA handout. There are no two ways to that. No me vs everybody else. How Whelan explains away that inconsistency will be definitive of the credibility she can muster. Voters deserve to know.

FURTHER UPDATE: Specious argument about low-end jobs somehow disappearing, if the minimum wage increases, must be avoided. Little reflection over Whelan's own resume is needed to belie that notion. However priced, Dunn Brothers needs retail servers in its shops and public municipal pools need lifeguards - be it at minimum wage or better compensated.

Most likely Whelan's summer jobs would have paid her better had the minimum wage then been higher.

It seems wrong, misguided if not mendacious, for one with Whelan's background to not sympathize with the downtrodden.

It looks as if Whelan is turning her back to something she should face and empathize with, and support.