Saint Paul: Meet The New Mayor; Same As The Old City Council President

Melvin Carter won a slight majority of first-round ballots in the election for mayor of Saint Paul last night.

A long-time friend of this blog, who is a resident of Saint Paul, writes:

“White privilege elects next St Paul mayor”

That’s a headline that is accurate, but we won’t see. From what I know of Carter, and I know people who worked closely with him in his role of council member, he didn’t do a lot for his constituents. Black families in Frogtown felt disappointed by him, told his aide that they wouldn’t even vote for him in the special election when Carter left his council seat.

When he was on the council, Carter had a reputation for yelling “Off what” when Kathy Lantry – the then-president of the City Council – said “Jump”.  He wasn’t what you’d call a leader – which, when you’re dealing with DFL politics, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But it is what the DFL establishment wants in a city with a nominally strong-ish mayor system.

But, lots of white people supported Carter. They seemed to hand pick him as the token candidate of color who could represent those people in St Paul. They hand picked him as the candidate of color who would help bring whites and blacks together. “See? We are so progressive, we elected a black candidate for you. One whose father was a cop. Doesn’t that help with all your recent problems?”

There are many problems with that logic. Is this the candidate that Black people wanted? St Paul Black Lives Matter supported Pat Harris.

To be fair, they are surveys that show less than a third of African-Americans approve of BLM.

But the correspondent is right about the institutional virtue-signaling among honkey progressives that’s accompanied Carter’s election.  On a Saint Paul politics forum, one writer – a white woman with impeccable “progressive” credentials – wrote “I had personal friends who are Latino, Asian, Black, and White, all of whom voted for Melvin Carter”.

Can you imagine the howling if a white, Republican male had written “some of my best friends are minorities and voted for the minority?”

But, from what I know of Carter, he will look to the White people and ask, what do you want me to do? He will ask Chris Coleman to leave a check list so Carter can continue down the same path. Nothing that will help people in poverty in the city, though Carter will probably keep them in their place like Chris Coleman did. Which will help the Whites who elected him feel good about their decision.

It’s not that any of the candidates really had much different opinions, but at least some of them had independent thought and had the appearance of being able to make a decision based on reality versus the fantasy that all is well if we just declare the city to be liveable.

The PR bubble enveloping Saint Paul’s political class is impermeable to reality, reason and fact.

Of course, I have my own fantasy world. I keep thinking that at some point, the city will be degraded enough that a sensible, conservative candidate will bring out the angry voters in droves. And that a sensible conservative candidate will get fair media coverage so that those angry voters will be aware of the candidate.

I think that’s really the only hope for both cities.  it’s not a completely demented fantasy; it happend in NYC in the eighties with Giuliani (yes, he was a conservative, at least on money and crime), and in Jersey City in 1991 with Brett Schundler.

But like any mid-level addict, Saint Paul has a ways to fall before it hits bottom, yet.

Another Good Guy With A Gun?

Details are sparse as this is written, but it seems as if a citizen with a carry permit shot a would-be robber in downtown Saint Paul last night :

The shooting happened during an attempted robbery at Wacouta St and 5th St E in St. Paul just before 8 p.m.

Lindsers say the would-be robbery victim happened to be a conceal carry permit holder and shot him. He received non-life threatening injuries.

Was it a good shoot?  Well, if it was, we likely won’t hear any more about it.

Fingers crossed.

Election Day

A longtime friend of this blog writes:

Every election, I hear people complaining that voting is on a Tuesday, that it should be on a weekend, that it should be a holiday. Of course, the people complaining also seem like the people who do find a way to get to the polls. And I always laugh at such a blatant example of how out of touch people like that really are.

For one, who is it that they believe can’t make it to the polls? I am guessing they envision people with minimum wage jobs who are afraid to speak up and actually take time to vote as is allowed by law, providing they are actually at work during voting hours.

But, how many of these minimum wage workers are also working on weekends, on holidays. Why is it that people think voting turn out would be any different? And we do have absentee voting as well as early voting now. Again, who is it that is not voting that would magically appear if voting day was a holiday or on a Saturday? Maybe the people who are not voting already understand that most of what happens in government screws them, insults them and says it’s for their own good. Why bother voting for that?

And on that note, happy voting day. I do know who I am voting for. But, I’m curious where to rank Nosemarie, Clu, and Puff this year for St Paul mayor?

I’ll be putting Clu at the top of my ballot.    Nose and Puff have both left is in the past 18 months, so they are no probably registered as DFL voters.

The Syndicate

Saint Paul reaches an “agreement” on Cuban North Korean Sopranos-style trash collection.

After 14 months of negotiations, seven contract proposals and 10 drafts, St. Paul officials say they have reached an agreement for coordinated collection with the city’s 15 private waste haulers. The city council will vote on the contract next Wednesday and set rates the following week.

“This contract allows us to provide residents with efficient and equitable service at reasonable and uniform rates,”

The “Reasonable and uniform rate” is, naturally, about $5 a month higher than I’ve been paying for the past five years.

Which will, of course, help pay the salary of at least another DFL-union-dues-paying city employee.

Mayor Chris Coleman said in a written statement. “It also ensures that all current haulers will maintain their market share, which was one of my top priorities. It is the right direction for garbage collection in Saint Paul.”

Bobby Stewart, head of operations with Highland Sanitation, said while he and other haulers had been opposed to coordinated collection, “it is a plan that we can live with and shouldn’t endanger our ability to survive as a business.”

City officials say the proposal incorporates most — though not all — of their 17 goals, from implementing predictable rates and services to reducing the number of trucks on city streets.

Crime is rising.  The city’s tax and employment bases are shrinking.  The achievement gap is among the worst in the nation; the public schools are collapsing.

But hey, we’ve got “coordinated” trash collection.

Saint Paul city government; stupid and worthless.

Open Letter To Melvin Carter

To:  Melvin Carter, DFL Candidate for Mayor of Saint Paul
From:  Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re:  Gandered

Councilman Carter

I’m Mitch Berg.  I’m one of Saint Paul’s tiny film of conservatives, so you’ve never had the faintest hint of a reason to pay attention to me, and you likely never will.  And it – like everything about Saint Paul’s governance – shows.

But I come today not to bury you, but to show you some common ground.

Councilman Carter, you may be a politician, but otherwise you are by all accounts a law-abiding citizen.    There’s no indication you don’t follow the rules [1].

And yet here you are, getting smeared by the police union (an integral part of the Metro DFL establishment) that you are also a loyal, elected part of) for things that are not you fault, that you’re not responsible for, and that you have nothing to do with [2], *even as* the person who allegedly burgled your house – the bad guy, here – slides anonymously and without ceremony toward his eventual, inevitable catch-and-release date.

In other words, Melvin Carter, yoiu on the business end of the same collective smear Big Left dishes out to *all* law-abiding gun owners; blaming the law-abiding for the actions of the criminal;  burdening the law-abiding but ignoring the criminal.

(“But wait!  It’s not bigotry against gun owners!  It’s racism!”, someone will say.  Why choose? It’s both; the roots of gun control are intensely racist).

Welcome to the party, Councilman Carter.  Perhaps you might want to rethink your party’s assumptions about the rest of us?  [3]

Mitch Berg
The Midway

[1] Including the laws and rules about securing the guns;   the law is about safeguarding kids, not burglarproofing your collection; a trigger lock or locked gun box is ample to meet the law’s requirements.  If the law required us to make every potential danger in our houses theft-proof, we’d all live in fortresses, and we’d all *still* be criminals one way or another.

[2] Other than, of course, the culplability he shares with this city’s current government, ruling party and political class of which he’s a part, of course.

[3] Speaking conceptually, here.  I don’t own guns.  They terrify me.

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

A friend of this blog writes:

The title of this piece says a lot

The title: “Mayor: If restaurants can’t be ordered to use recyclables, persuasion is a lost cause”.

And it means exactly what it says:

Mayor Chris Coleman’s office and St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections are showing little enthusiasm for spending another year encouraging store owners to voluntarily switch toward recyclable and compostable to-go food containers.

The city council voted 5-2 on Oct. 11 against requiring restaurants, convenience stores and other eateries to make the switch outright. Instead, council members opted to give city staff another year to help connect them to environmentally friendly container vendors.

Why, it’s almost as if free-market businesses, when given the “choice” over whether to cut their margins to little or no economic or environmental benefit, will choose “No thanks!”.

Which just frosts the city’s rice krispies (emphasis added):

But on Wednesday, DSI staff and the mayor’s office informed council members by email that after roughly a year of outreach, they would not devote another year of staff time to the effort without a guarantee that the new rules will be adopted.

You drown more flies with vinegar than honey.  Just look at Minneapolis.

Foreman Said “These Jobs Are Going, Boys, And They Ain’t Coming Back…”

Coopers Super Valu, the longtime West Seventh / Highland Park anchor, is closing.

And while the city’s establishment will do its darnedest to suppress any mention of it, city “social justice” policy is at least in part the culprit:

“Sales here have been shrinking,” said Cooper, who noted that difficult union negotiations, record-keeping related to the city’s new sick-leave mandate, the decline in strip mall tenancies and the store’s pension liabilities were of no help.

Strip malls come and go – and Sibley Plaza seems to be on the “..and go” side of the equation – but as the city pours money into Lowertown and upper West Seventh, it’s orgy of regulations is  causing problems in parts of town where prosperity is a little more strained.

Reasons To Get Your Carry Permit, Part CLXVIII

Four Saint Paul yoots arrested for systematic robberies, followed by brutal rapes.

The sexual assaults began with a robbery. The suspects used a gun to threaten the teens and two of their friends and, before stealing their cellphones, forced them to unlock the phones and turn off applications used to find stolen cells.

Three of the four young men charged are gang members, the Ramsey County attorney’s office said.

“Despite the victims complying with their orders and handing over their valuables, the perpetrators in this case forced the female victims into a car and repeatedly raped them,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “These allegations are brutally horrific, and we will prosecute these defendants to the fullest extent of the law as we attempt to achieve justice for the victims, their families and our community.”

I”m gonna go out on a limb and say that not only would “jiustice” have been achieved if one or more of the thugs involved had ended up sprawled on the ground with 4-5 shots to the chest, but the deterrent effect would make the riverfront a lot safer.

I mean, has anyone tried to rob anyone on East River Road by Saint Thomas lately?

Judges Gone Wild

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This case turns on an idiotic interpretation of the statute which these three judges made, I suspect, because the judges don’t agree with the notion of individual citizens having a right of self-defense and therefore choosing to sabotage that right by intentionally being obtuse.

The case hinges on the definition of “carry” as in “carry a pistol in a public place.”  What does that phrase mean?  The court decided “carry” was not defined the same as the section of the statute right before this one, but instead was intended to have an entirely different definition in the broadest general sense to mean “convey or transport,” the same as you’d “carry” a bag of groceries from the car to the house.  Can anyone imagine them being as cautious, as restrained, as obsequious to Webster’s Dictionary, when deciding a gay rights or abortion case?

Everybody knows the way you carry a gun in the car when driving from your house to the shooting range is to unload the gun, put the gun in a case, put the case in the trunk, and drive to the range.  When you get there, you park, take the gun case out of the trunk and carry the gun case into the range.  That is the ordinary, normal, and perfectly acceptable way to transport a firearm.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re stone-cold sober or not: the procedure is the same.

Yes, technically, you have “conveyed or transported” a gun in a public place, and yes, technically, you did it with your hands so the gun is “on or about your person,” but until this case was decided, nobody would have believed you were “carrying a gun” within the meaning of the Permit to Carry statute. And it’s even dumber to believe there’s a distinction between carrying a pistol in this manner versus carrying a rifle or shotgun in this manner.

This ruling is idiotic.  The Permit to Carry statute was intended to make it easier for honest citizens to carry a loaded gun in public, typically in a holster.  Everybody knows that – it was endlessly debated; enacted and struck down and enacted again; and it’s been working just fine since it was adopted.  I suspect these judges simply don’t like the law.

Note well: this is a City of St. Paul case meaning the liberal Democrats running this city are ones pushing the judges to tighten and narrow and undermine the law statewide, using a pathetic excuse for legal reasoning.  Now imagine what they’ll do to you if you are forced to shoot somebody.

Joe Doakes

If the City of Saint Paul (and Minneapolis) can’t repeal the Pre-Emption Statute, they’ll undermine it in court.

Pounding A Square Peg Into A Round Hole – On Your Dime

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County tore down the old jail and West publishing buildings on Kellogg Boulevard, now the county is ready to negotiate with a developer for new buildings on that site.  When government “negotiates” with developers, I fear the only question will be “how much are Joe Doakes’ taxes going up to pay this developer to take this white elephant off our hands?”

The part that kills me is this: “One of Saint Paul’s greatest assets is the Mississippi River,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Saint Paul. “Redevelopment on this site will play an important role in further enhancing downtown vibrancy and embracing our position as a river city. This site allows us to connect our downtown community to one of Saint Paul’s most incredible natural landmarks, and I applaud Ramsey County for entering negotiations with a developer who shares that vision.”

No, Jonathan, you’re dead wrong and your council knows it, which is why the City isn’t jumping into this briar patch, they’re letting the County do it.  The river is nothing in St. Paul as presently situated – that’s why the initial colony was located to the East of the present downtown and was called Pig’s Eye – because that’s where the land slopes down to the river so you can get out of your canoe.

San Antonio has a riverfront development.  Tours, shops, restaurants, a wonderful natural resource to exploit.

 

Here is a photo of the West building, nearly demolished.  This is the view from Kellogg Boulevard, the major street that runs past the Xcel Center where the Wild play hockey.

 

 

 

 

Fine, an ugly three story building gone, right?  Not quite.   Here’s the view of the building from the bridge over the river.

 

 

 

There were three stories ABOVE Kellogg Boulevard and six stories BELOW Kellogg Boulevard, then a railroad track that cannot be relocated, and then a four-lane road (Shepherd Road) before you get to the riverbank.  You won’t be sipping your latte on the bank of the river or strolling along the waterway, you’ll be looking at it from 200 yards away, right about where the yellow crane is sitting in this photo.

Minnesota doesn’t have riverfront developments, mostly because the river bank is a flood zone.  Even St. Anthony Main isn’t on the river – it’s separated by a road.  It’s not a “riverfront” development, it’s a “river view” development, and if you’ve ever priced homes you know that distinction is incredibly important.

This whole thing is idiotic.  Which means nobody would build it on their own, they’ll build it only if they can get a big enough bribe.  I’m already paying for a better Minnesota; I’m not looking forward to paying for a nicer riverfront.

Joe Doakes

But pay you shall.

The Twin Cities are  noted as two river cities whose downtowns turned their backs on their riverfronts, literally and symbolically.   And in Saint Paul’s case, it’s happened in ways that’ll take a generation or two and an exquisite amount of money to fix.

Speaking Justice To Power

On March 4, a group of thugs, concealed in an un-permitted counterprotest, attacked a pro-Trump rally in the Rotunda at the State Capitol; a 17 year old girl was punched, at least one man was maced by someone who was trying to crash through a group of Trump supporters to disrupt the peaceful pro-Trump rally, a woman was hit in the head by a smoke bomb – an incendiary device…

…and you have already spent more time reading this than Ramco Attorney John Choi spent in deciding not to press charges against the six upper-middle-class snowflakes that were arrested, incuding Linwood Kaine, son of Hillary Clinton’s veep candidate.

They are, of course, the children of the golf buddies of the city’s DFL establishment, or at least the children of similar Democrat apparatchiks elsewhere.  Urban Liberal Privilege grants them a separate, unequal, nicer brand of justice than the rest of us get.

But there’s an effort afoot to change that.  The “Protecting Civil Discourse” rally on March 18 demanded that the Ramco and Saint Paul City Attorneys offices actually listen to the actual evidence, and follow the logical conclusion and charge the snowflakes.

Calls and emails are eminently appropriate:

Of course, John Edwards was right – there are Two Americas.  The children of our misbegotten “elite” live in one of them, where people with the right political backing can beat people up, block freeways and vandalize not merely freely, not merely at will, but with a nudge and a wink from the powers that be.

Time to let those powers know we’re watching.

Watching…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

1984 is a little late, but it’s arrived in St. Paul.

 Those new blue recycling carts in St. Paul, you know the ones, you got one.  The City forgot to mention that each has an embedded microchip.

 St. Paul has mandatory recycling and the chips allow the trucks to see if you’re recycling enough.  The City claims they have no plans to enforce the recycling ordinance that way . . . but that’s what the State said about seatbelts, too.  Has nobody heard of the camel’s nose?

 When they quietly implement the next phase, the justification will be to save the planet ‘for the children.’ But that means the recycling company (hence the government) will be able to track not just how many pounds of recycling you submit, but also which brand of booze you drink, which magazines you read (Playboy ‘for the articles’, NRA kook stuff, survivor militia newsletters, right-wingnut National Review), what foods you eat (so they can assist you in healthier life choices no doubt), and so on.

 I suppose next, I’ll have to go sneaking around putting my recycling in neighbors bins so I don’t get targeted by the gun control squads coming to take my weapons and ammo ‘for my own safety.’  I tell ya, it gets harder every year to justify living in this burg.  

 Joe Doakes

Never put anything past Saint Paul.

For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.

Win-Win

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County Sheriff Bostrom is retiring to move to England to study whether it would improve law enforcement if they hired persons of good character as police officers. 

The fact he’s having to go all the way to Oxford to find anybody willing to seriously consider the question shows just how far American academic and law enforcement standards have fallen.

 Meanwhile, St. Paul has decided the less people know about law enforcement practices, the better police oversight will be.  So when civil rights activists complained the Internal Affairs Review Commission was biased, the City ordered a report of interviews with 25 people conducted by the U of M Center for Restorative Justice and now the Council has decided to adopt the recommendations of the “study.”  Kick the cops off, pack it with activists, move it out of the police department, hold meetings out in the neighborhoods and give its recommendation to the Chief of Police.

 My question is: when the Commission finds that a St. Paul cop acted wrongly but the Chief of Police declines to accept that decision on the grounds the reviewers don’t know what they’re talking about, will there be more peace in the community, or less?

 Joe Doakes

Either way, the needs of both the bureaucracy and the “activist” communities – both fully-owned subsidiaries of the DFL – are served.

And that’s called a win-win!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mayor Chris Coleman is running to replace Governor Deer-in-the-Headlights, hoping to bring the same vibrant economy to the rest of Minnesota as he’s brought to St. Paul.

St. Paul is facing a $32 million shortfall after the Supreme Court declared its special assessment scheme was illegal.  Black unemployment in St. Paul is nearly 20 percent.  St. Paul high schools graduate 75 percent of their classes but only 38 percent of St. Paul students can do math at grade level and only 39 percent can read at grade level. I can’t find current data on crime and shootings – looks as if bad news isn’t published anymore.

Brakes On Magic-Thinking Gravy Train

The Midway in Saint Paul – at least, the part between Selby and Thomas – could use a break.  After the “Green Line” strangled dozens of local businesses and ate up most of the parking that the street’s businesses depended on, the city looks ready to inflict a soccer stadium on the neighborhood.

But it appears at least one business thought it’d be worth taking a risk on stale, blighted, and ostensibly demo-bound Midway Center.

Which makes the local Soccergentsia nervous:

Magical thinking is, apparently, not robust thinking.

Public-Private Partnerships

A friend of the blog writes:

Neighborhood Facebook page was discussing what will happen when non-profits are no longer paying ROW fees in St Paul. I questioned exactly what our property taxes, which continue to rise, are paying for if the ROW assessments are paying for basic city services. Now, I see- people are paying higher taxes which then go into grants to small businesses to hire city contractors to pay workers double wages to do shoddy work

Read the whole thing; it’s a classic contractor horror story combined with a classic incompetent government story.

Exodus

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

Joe’s got some good ideas…

…but when you combine a “one size fits all” model of education, combined with a system that is designed to provide sinecures for the ruling political class’s care and feeding much more than “educating” people (despite the best efforts of a lot of teachers), what do they expect?

Or, more importantly, what do they expect you to expect?

Mystery!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 

Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

I’m not saying “Making the schools crappy” was a diabolical DFL plot to make conservative-leaning people leave Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to consolidate control forever in the hands of the DFL.

But if it were their plan, how would it be working any differently?

Follow The Trail

Fearless Prediction:  If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Black Lives Matter will disappear faster than you can say “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”.

Reason for my Fearless Prediction:  Given its funders, it’s bald-facedly obvious that Black Lives Matter largely exists to inflame the black vote for an election where the Democrats will be fronted by a geriatric woman, rather than an black man.   While it’s not strictly an arm of the Democrat party, it may as well be.

Evidence:  BLM has come out against charter schools – an institution whose most passionate supporters in the Twin Cities are in fact black families.  So much so that their controversial Saint Paul organizer, Rashad Turner, is resigning from the group:

Rashad Turner, who led Black Lives Matter St Paul for nearly two years, says he is leaving his position after the national Black Lives Matter organization joined forces with the NAACP to call for a moratorium on charter schools….Turner says public schools not only have a bad record of staff assaulting black students [to say nothing of consigning them to an inferior education – Ed.], but offer less options for black families, stating, “I think that this moratorium really takes away the student voice, it takes away the parent voice, because we’re seeing families in increasing numbers want to attend charter schools.”

Mark my words.   Budget cut to zero by January.

Planning!

A friend of the blog writes:

On the neighborhood Facebook page, someone was noting concern over the camps being set-up on the MNDOT green space at Snelling and I94. She then commented that she found out the city had loosened regulation on homeless camps and panhandling. 

A few months ago, I mused that the excessive green space being advocated for in poor neighborhoods must be for starting “Colemanvilles.” I may have been more right than I thought. 

If there is a positive to something like this, maybe meddling south of the freeway folks will stay away?

The correspondent is referring to the plague of plush-bottomed “progressive” activist yoohoos who live in tony, Subaru-sodden Merriam Park, south of I94, who seem to like to use the Midway, north of 94, as a social laboratory to romp and play in.

“In Your Best Interest, Peasant!”

The Midway.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood off and on for 29 years, and continuously for almost 23 years, now.

The neighborhood gets a bad rap from people who don’t know Saint Paul – which is about 95% of the population of the Metro Area.   When most of them think of the Midway – if they think about the Midway – they think University Avenue; hot and treeless in the summer, cold and wind-swept in the winter, lined with tatty big-box stores at Snelling, check cashing shops and Popeyes at Lexington, and little H’Mong, Lao, Latino, Black and African shops down by Dale and Rice that probably strike visitors from Eagan and Circle Pines and Kenwood and Crocus Hill for that matter as “sketchy and dangerous”.

The part they miss is that people live, work, play and socialize here.

Even at the McDonalds and Perkins in the huge parking lot by the Midway Center strip mall.  The two franchises are much-loathed by hipsters and pseudo-sophisticates and the entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set that sees itself as soccer fans, most of whom would likely crap a kitten if dropped into the colorful diversity of University Avenue street life that uses the two places as its social center.

It’s up by Snelling that the Saint Paul City Council gave approval yesterday to start working on building a Major League Soccer stadium, paving the way for billionaire Bill McGuire to get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build a stadium for a sport that resonates with precisely three classes of people:

  • Immigrants – many of whom play soccer, and many of whom don’t have the money to go to a big-dollar Major League Soccer game, with the inevitably inflated ticket and concession prices.
  • entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set, with their quadrennial “pretend to give a crap about the World Cup” ritual figuring prominently on their social “see and be seen” calendars.
  • Suburban soccer families – kids and their “soccer parents”.

Do the immigrants have the money to come out and see games?  Will the hipster class do soccer for more than a year, until the “been there, done that” sets in?  Will soccer families from Blaine and Apple Valley chance coming into the city, especially given that the stadium is going to have fairy minimal parking, deliberately forcing people onto the “A Line” bus from Rosedale and the “Green Line” train from other places suburbanites hate going to?

I doubt it in all three cases.

But that isn’t stopping those who seem themselves as members of the taste-setting class from trying to tell the Midway what it really needs; no more McDonalds or Perkins.

At the thought of “6,000 people” (dream big!) crossing McDonalds’ and Perkins’ property, one sniffed:

Yeah, soccer fans are a pretty tony lot:

Sign me up for the high freaking tea concession!

But no – let not the little people and their “businesses” and “social framework” get in the way of their betters’ plans:

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.30.05 AM

Can you imagine if a Walmart proponent had tweeted any such thing?

GOTV, Saint Paul DFL Style?

My district – House 65A – features a primary between two DFLers; incumbent Rena Moran and challenger Rashad Turner, who’s earned a reputation this past year as one of Black Lives Matter’s more militant organizers.  (And for those who want to get out of the fever swamp, it also features endorsed GOP candidate Monique Giordana!)

Over the weekend, this flyer started turning up on Saint Paul social media:

13962764_1427348540613327_782313410590327320_n

First things first: I’m not positive it’s legit.  On the one hand, something smells funny about the flyer.

On the other hand, it is totally in character for the Saint Paul DFL, funny aroma and all.