June 9, 2005Roof or no roof?
It's not often there are two contradictory stories in the Twin Cities dailies, but it happened Thursday. The stories involve whether a new Twins ballpark (which is still little more than a gleam in supporters' eyes) should have a roof. The Pioneer Press put its story on the front page. In it Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids, says he'll offer an amendment to the (as yet unintroduced) stadium bill to include a retractable roof at a cost of about $115 million:
"If they want to put the roof on, and if it gets the votes, we're certainly not opposed to it,'' Twins pointman Jerry Bell said.
Now there's plenty of controversy about a roof and how to pay for it which is on top of the baseline controversy over the stadium itself. But here's where it gets really confusing. The Star Tribune has a story about how the Twins are satisfied with a roof-free ballpark:
While there's widespread agreement that the price tag would be too high to build a retractable roof now, there has been off-and-on talk about building a roof-ready stadium so that a retractable roof could be added later. That would include additional steel supports and a track on which the roof would run.
What are news consumers like you and me supposed to make of these stories? I can only speculate. One: The Star Tribune story was probably the result of a couple days work while the Pioneer Press story was a quick turn-around same day story. Two: Jerry Bell didn't feel compelled to call back the Star Tribune reporter when he heard about Solberg's plan. And three, and most importantly, if the Twins say they don't need a roof Solberg's amendment is going nowhere. If a stadium bill passes, get ready for rainouts, snowouts, hailouts and any other kind of outs you can think of.
Back to the main event at the Capitol. DFLers are supposed to make their big counter-offer on the budget today. MPR's Tom Scheck has a look at some of the real world effects of the budget indecision:
Julie Steberg, 45, is watching the debate over the state budget very closely. The Zumbrota resident is a stay-at-home mom with four children. Four years ago, Steberg was pregnant with triplets. Doctors ordered bedrest for Steberg, but she still delivered 10 weeks early. Steberg eventually lost her job when caring for the triplets became a full-time responsibility. Steberg and her husband, who's a farmer, enrolled in MinnesotaCare, a state-subsidized program for the working poor.
I wonder if the jobs at the new stadium will come with health insurance.
We couldn't leave today without checking in on the trial of the Hatch daughters. This is from the Associated Press story:
CHICAGO (AP) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on little as the daughters of Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch went on trial Wednesday on charges stemming from a scuffle outside a Chicago nightclub last year.
The testimony continues today.Posted by Mike Mulcahy at 6:32 AM