By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
Too bad, all good things must end, so the saying goes. It's a shame that this one had to end because of human greed, ego, and mismanagement. It was a great thing while it lasted. It will be missed. RIP Ron M.
I have attended Taste for years. There has been hot weather before. There is only one reason I did not attend this year: because the price to get in was jacked up by the new management. It was way too expensive for me and my friends. I missed it so much. A Minnesota tradition is now out of reach for many people. There used to be whole families that could afford to go. With entrance fees of $20 to $30, how could most families afford it? Sad.
The entry fee, far more than the weather, is what made this fail.
Don't forget that the only reason that Taste of Minnesota was moved to Harriett Island was because of political pressure from the city of St. Paul. So much damned money was poured into the island to try to force it to become a "venue" that the politicos just had to force events down there. No parking, poor bus service, 30-plus-minute walks for families and kids, jacked-up prices to pay the now-mandatory city fees, etc. With the sole exception of the self-financed Red Bull Flugtag, every single event on the island has been a failure. Winter Carnival hates the place, ToM has been killed, and the 'droids at Park & Rec don't give a damn.
It would be nice for the 24-hour Walgreens locations to have some additional protection for its employees. Do you maybe think that the reason that Walgreens has more robberies is because they have more stores in locations that are easier to get in and out of than any of the other pharmacies? I know that the police know what is best for the city, but sometimes this is a shakedown for retailers to hire off-duty cops to help pay the bills when they can no longer get overtime pay from the city. End of story: Create a city regulation and everyone will follow.
Bulletproof glass is nice in theory, however it doesn't scream "safe place" for the customer or employee. Not to mention it probably violates a HIPAA law of some sort. It's true that there are more Walgreens than any other chain, and scammers and thieves are known for repeating attacks once a retailer's weakness is found. It's understandable to request smaller-dose tablets, but what people also need to remember is that it's the duty of the pharmacist to dispense the easiest dose for the least cost to the patient, meaning twice the amount of 40 mg for the single amount of 80 mg isn't convenient for the patient or insurance. Off-duty cops aren't cheap, especially on overnight premiums. Panic buttons are cheaper and more easy to hide. Also, placing these safety features in the pharmacies being hit only pushes the criminals further into the "normal" hours of operations when more customers will be affected, and to other local pharmacies that can't afford the securitiy and risk overnight break-ins.
Drugstore robberies in Minneapolis are only a small fraction of the larger metropolitan problem. I am a Walgreens pharmacist at a suburban 24-hour location. I have personally been robbed at gunpoint by the same individual three times. Walgreens never got a good picture of the guy, and only after the third robbery (four months after the first) did they reluctantly upgrade the camera system. Walgreens would not authorize any further security measures.
City Pages, you missed an opportunity in Jessica Lussenhop's "Cop Killer" article. Who cares what the specific events of the 24 hours prior to Sgt. Bergeron's senseless murder were? His family lives the horror of those 24 hours on a daily basis, I'm sure. The real story is how our community failed these two "brothers."
They were not "silly, normal teenagers," as someone from Central High School remembered them. They were deeply troubled boys with a long history of being in special programs for kids with severe problems. Where were their extended-family supports when their parents were paying attention to their addictions instead of their children? Where is the outrage that our communities and families create young men who engage in criminal acts because of the "adrenaline rush"?
The story of Josh Martin and Jason Jones is predictable in so many ways. Two people have children and don't parent them. Mom and Dad pay more attention to their addictions than to their sons, and live in a gang-infested neighborhood. Why is it a surprise that these young men acted in monstrous ways?