Then, thing number two, we have one of those deviant sex offenders filing a worthless so-called lawsuit which sues, oh, everybody. Click here for more info.
But what does the Star Tribune write in today's paper? Do they write about either of these two important issues? Or the always-neglected issue of how North Minneapolis is being changed, revitalized, made better almost daily? (Even though it sometimes seems like three steps forward, two steps back, click here for an example of the good, and here for an example of the bad)
No, with all these interesting, pressing stories, the Star Tribune went with a non-story. Johnny Northside managed to dodge legal service. (I admit it!) And it's not even against the law! (Um, yeah, I knew that. I told everybody that. Sure glad you did some fact checking there, "dead tree" reporter)
The story itself is riddled with error, so let's start the brutal, ugly, but oh-so-necessary process now, shall we? Here we go...
My comments are in parentheses and begin with "JNS says."
Blog boast: 'Great escape' at Mpls. City Hall
(JNS says: It's all the fault of newspaper headlines that people are confused over the use of single versus double quote marks, but I guess when you have to kill so many trees to disseminate your words, best to save space whenever you can)
An aide to Mayor R.T. Rybak denies helping a blogger duck a deputy trying to serve him a lawsuit.
By MATT McKINNEY, Star Tribune
Last update: March 9, 2010 - 8:48 PM
After learning last week that a sheriff's deputy was about to serve him a lawsuit in Minneapolis City Hall, a North Side activist slipped out through a back office -- accompanied by an aide to Mayor R.T. Rybak.
(JNS says: I'm clearly more of a blogger than an activist)
The "great escape," as blogger John Hoff refers to the episode in the City Council chambers, was inadvertently broadcast on the city's cable network during its coverage of Police Chief Tim Dolan's reappointment hearings.
(JNS says: Awkward and dumb choice of wording. What was "inadvertent" about the broadcast? The camera was right where it was supposed to be, doing what it was supposed to be doing. No, "inadvertent" would be accidentally broadcasting the kind of stuff "Spanky Pete" does to minors)
Though he admits running down three flights of stairs to avoid being served, Hoff and mayoral aide Sherman Patterson both told a Star Tribune reporter this week they didn't intend to evade anyone when they walked out a rear door of the council chambers through a staff area.
(JNS says: You totally got that wrong, to the point I will have to demand a correction from your editor. I never denied I was trying to evade, in fact I made it very clear I was)
They said they went that way to set up an interview with City Council Member Don Samuels for Hoff's blog, "The Adventures of Johnny Northside."
(JNS says: Did you skip the "grammar slammer" review in Journalism 3101, Matt McKinney? Note your pronoun, "they." What was the last proper noun before "they?" The last proper noun is the word "staff." So is the word "they" supposed to refer to "staff?" No, clearly "they" is supposed to refer to John Hoff and Sherman Patterson. Your writing is unclear. It also mangles the bigger, more complicated truth. I have made it very clear that I weaseled my way into chambers for the OSTENSIBLE purpose of interviewing somebody but, in fact, I had another purpose in mind--to leave through the back door and avoid the process server)
But that explanation doesn't fit what a Star Tribune reporter saw and heard before the pair left.
(JNS says: Wait, a Star Tribune reporter? Who are we talking about, here? Oh, wait, it's Matt McKinney talking about himself in the third person. I thought the venerable Star Tribune avoided this kind of gonzo thing. I thought they left that to the bloggers. What's the matter, are bloggers grabbing up all the market share?)
Directly in front of the reporter in the crowded chamber, Hoff approached Patterson and spoke into his ear, with Hoff saying loudly enough for the reporter to hear that he was about to be served and needed a back way out. He asked Patterson to help him.
(JNS says: Pronoun issues, Matt. What proper noun does the word "he" refer back to in the first sentence? Is it "Hoff?" Or is it "the reporter?" Clearly, you mean to refer to "Hoff" but the proper noun before the word "he" is, in fact, "the reporter." Was somebody going to serve YOU, Matt? Now that you mentioned Peter Rickmyer in print, the odds just increased dramatically, let me tell ya)
The video recording of the meeting shows Hoff with his arm around Patterson as they speak. Patterson's head inclines toward Hoff. Hoff gestures toward the rear door. When the meeting adjourns, Patterson and Hoff walk out that door together.
(JNS says: This paragraph makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Thank you, Matt, for that feeling)
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a deputy waited outside the chambers to serve Hoff. "We would never recommend to any citizen to help somebody else evade a deputy or any law enforcement officer who's carrying out an important duty," said spokeswoman Lisa Kiava.
(JNS says: What an interesting parsing of words. Maybe the Sheriff's Department doesn't find the serving of Pete's gibberish-filled lawsuit to be an "important duty.")
Hoff said: "I am not going to confirm or deny whether I spoke to Sherman Patterson"
(JNS says: What the heck, Matt? You are missing a period. Also, writing in the sarcasm font, here, let me say this: Sherman who?
Patterson told the reporter that he wouldn't interfere with an officer serving papers. He said he didn't hear what Hoff asked him because he was focused on the meeting. "I was not paying attention to him, really," he said. Yet the video shows Hoff began speaking to him during a brief break, with the chambers relatively quiet as people waited for a speaker.
(JNS says: Oh, please. Notorious loon Al Flowers was there and a bunch of the folks who were at the RNC 2008 demonstrations. You seriously think the chamber was "relatively quiet?" My friend Jeff is deaf in one ear, but what's YOUR excuse?)
"Sherman," Hoff began in an agitated voice, then told Patterson about the waiting deputy. Despite his explanation for why he needed to leave by the rear door, Hoff said that Samuels wasn't available, so he left.
(JNS says: This is all mixed up and confused. "Hoff said" to who? To the reporter writing the story? To Patterson? No, what makes more sense here, Matt--and it's what I went and wrote on my blog--was that Samuels not being available was the excuse I seized upon to leave the council offices through the side door AFTER I GOT INSIDE. I've made it clear from the start my stated goal of meeting with council members was an excuse and I wanted to dodge service. But if any of the council members were going to meet with me, I wouldn't have dashed off. Good heavens, that would have been rude and burned bridges! Besides, if I stayed inside the offices and met for a while, the process server would have thought I was gone anyway. No, Matt, I went through all the correct motions of checking schedule availability, and the first office I checked was that of Don Samuels. When Samuels was not available, I seized the excuse to leave. And then I ran. Down three flights of grand Italian marble stairs)
(JNS adds: But you're not after me, Matt. You only care about some aide to the mayor. My neighborhood is full of concentrated puree of Level Three sex offender but instead you're chasing this non-story about how somebody supposedly let me dodge service)
The plaintiff who tried to serve Hoff via the deputy is Peter Rickmyer, a registered sex offender from the Jordan neighborhood.
(JNS says: Oh, yeah, mention the neighborhood but leave out the Level Three part of "sex offender." Nice. Really nice. Well, Matt, the Level Three designation is relevant. HIGHLY relevant. This guy is the most dangerous of the most dangerous, likely to reoffend. This deviant pedophile has now subverted the court system, using sheriff's deputies to serve his worthless papers--for free, your tax dollars at work. Dodging Pete's legal service is like an act of good citizenship. While I remain unserved, the court system retains a small, unviolated increment of purity while otherwise suffering through Pete the Pedophile's lawsuit)
He filed a lawsuit this year naming several people, including Hoff, for what Rickmyer says are damaging comments about him by Hoff on his blog. Several defendants said Rickmyer has filed multiple suits and grievances against his neighbors and area groups, including a church.
Hoff gave blog readers a detailed account of what he called his "great escape."
"I ran down three flights of grand Italian marble, quickly but prudently, no bannister-sliding, and at the ground floor I dashed past Poseidon, the Father of Waters," he wrote.
Hoff, a former law student, wrote that evading service is not illegal, and the Sheriff's Office agrees. "There's nothing that those folks could be charged with, as far as we're aware of," said Kiava.
(In conclusion, JNS says: I didn't just attend law school...I have a degree. And it served me well that day, knowing dodging service is NOT AGAINST THE LAW, though most people just assume it is. The reporter should have asked Kiava whether she was aware of any MEDALS for which we might be eligible)