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Short takes for Feb. 11

February 11, 2011
Marshall Independent

Timing not right on bridge project

THUMBS DOWN: Any controversy surrounding the Madrid Street bridge project shouldn't necessarily be about the need for said bridge or how it will serve/benefit the city of Marshall - that can be debated on ad nauseum - but more so on the timing. The state, which will pay for 70 percent of the costs related to building the bridge, is broke, and even though that money is available, it's only there in fiscal year 2011, meaning the clock is ticking. But as tempting as it would be to take advantage of the grant money from the state while it's there, the city of Marshall shouldn't make any rash decisions on how to pay for the remaining 30 percent just because it finds itself watching the sand run down the hourglass. There's no debating the importance of a strong and prosperous airport in Marshall, and every city wants to expand and bolster its economic base through development, but this is not an emergency project, nor is it the time to spend TIF money or borrow - and that could be said for any city in Minnesota.

More bad rhetoric

THUMBS DOWN: A mailed brochure that urges voters to protect their gun rights from "Liberal St. Paul Politicians" includes a hunter pointing a shotgun and the words "Take your best shot." An inside page carries a picture of Carly Melin, a Democrat running in a special election for a northern Minnesota House seat against Republican Paul Jacobson. Republican Party head Tony Sutton says the brochure was "obviously a hunting piece" and dismissed any link to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as "the worst kind of politics." Hunting piece or not, there's really no place for this kind of literature in politics anymore, especially in a time when every nugget of political rhetoric is put under a microscope. Fresh off all the criticism Sarah Palin took for her rhetoric, you would think politicians have learned a lesson and learned not to put themselves in a position where they have to defend or justify what they do or say.

Lottery money for Vikings stadium

THUMBS?UP: Is using Minnesota State Lottery proceeds the perfect solution to a new Vikings stadium? Not exactly, but Gov. Mark Dayton would be foolish not to give it serious consideration. Dayton says gambling revenue is too volatile to rely on and it might not satisfy bond holders, but given the fact that the Vikings' $10 scratch game has brought in $12 million in less than a year and considering the team really has no solid, viable plan to present to a busy Legislature, this is the way to go. The Vikings, who say they will pay one-third of the cost of an open-aired stadium, need to up that amount and concede to put a roof on any stadium so it can be used as a multi-purpose facility, which would go over much better in the Legislature and to Dayton than the team's current push for an open-aired stadium.



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