01 September 2006

Frankenstein Drowns the Girl Again

The Monster didn't understand that by putting her in the water he was actually drowning the girl.

The Monster didn't have evil or malice in his heart, he just didn't know any better, but that didn't stop him from proceeding anyway. There are two items back-to-back at City Hall Scoop that make me think immediatly of the hapless Frankenstein.

Item 1
Air quality in St. Paul bars may be a lot better since the smoking ban took effect. But the recent bar study by ClearWay Minnesota (formerly known as MPAAT) has some other interesting data that didn't make the papers. A Minnesota Data Practices Act request to the organization gleaned the data from ClearWay. Click here for the chart.
It's not perfect double-blind statistically perfect study, but the decline in numbers of patrons in the bars from pre-ban to post-ban is stunning, especially to the truth-spinners at ClearWay Minnesota, who aren't happy that they have to share the results of their study.
ClearWay spokeswoman Kerri Gordon expressed her organization's dismay that this information be disaggregated and that the St. Paul bars they went into would be listed by name. "This study was specifically designed to monitor air quality only," she said. "We don't want to embarrass or create hard feelings with any of the establishments." She also said that her organization, while happy to comply with the Data Practice Act didn't create this table for public dissemination and thinks that there are good and worthy reasons not to release preliminary research data.
ClearWay goes out of it's way to poo-poo their data showing that the smoking ban is killing St. Paul bar business, citing that its survey is not statistically ideal. That bit of numerical inconvenience will certainly not prevent ClearWay from disseminating the part of the data that shows how much cleaner the air is.
At the seven bars where researchers thought patronage dropped, the air was on average 93 percent cleaner. At the three bars where patron counts rose, the air averaged only 71 percent cleaner - and had twice the average post-smoking ban particulate count of the bars where patron counts fell. "There are multiple things that could explain this," said Jeanne Weigum, of the Association of Non-Smokers Minnesota, when asked about the patronage figures. "But you know, they may not be any more accurate than first blush, either."
These people are not intersted in precision, truth or the law. They just want smoking gone and will stop at nothing to get their way. Stay tuned.

Item 2

The office of mayor of St. Paul changed hands from a serious person to a non-serious person.
(St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman) joined Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak for a State Fair broadcast of MPR's Midmorning show, the heads of the state's two biggest cities took turns bashing the governor, with Coleman throwing most of the haymakers. "For the governor to sit there and say, 'We tightened our belt' is baloney. All they did is kick it down to the local level," he later added, saying that local property tax increases are the result of cuts in state aid to local governments.
Um, yea, the decrease of state handouts to the two largest Minnesota cities took place in the 2003 (biennial) budget, and, instead of putting his city on its own feet, Rybak is entering his 3rd year of bitching about it. Coleman is only too happy to sing along.

Dismissively referring to developer Jerry Trooien's proposed Bridges of St. Paul project as "a mall," Coleman said building it would cost parkland and require the expansions of Highway 52, the Robert Street Bridge and the Wabasha Freedom Bridge.
Very misleading your honor: The "parkland" it would cost is a 40' strip of grass on the cement ledge squished between Kellogg Boulevard and the fake cliff above Shepherd Road. Another question; ever wonder why roads get expanded? It's because more people are coming and going. What's going on in Saint Paul these days, mayor, that might fill the streets we currently have?
Along with oft-repeated criticisms about ignoring a community development blueprint, Coleman also said the project would only generate menial clerdoesn't sales jobs. "It doesn't create the business ownership opportunities which are so critical to the success of your economy," he said.
Perhaps they mayor will tell us all about tbetter-ass jobs ($40K or bettter) that city government has created for comparison.
As for the site of the Ford plant, Coleman floated the idea of a "zero-emissions village," in other words, a self-sustaining, forward-thinking, environmentally friendly community. "You have an opportunity to create an international model," Coleman said.
Wow. Smells like jobs to me. I'll bet that'll be a real shot in the arm of the local ecomomy.

You know, you don't have to like smoking or the Bridges of St. Paul project, but you had better be wary of the manner in which issues like this are handled by the monsters that run the city; for the do-gooders and busy-bodies that are more and more in charge are more and more cobbled together from the discarded parts of past-dead political activism.

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