Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Great Rebuttal To The Star Tribune's "Great Escape" Article...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

So here we are in a neighborhood where Level Three sex offenders have been stacked up--six to a block, three to a house, that kind of thing--contrary to a state statute. OK, that's important issue number one, why has this been allowed to happen? And wouldn't now be a great time to buy a house next to a Level Three sex offender because you know what? There is a crusade afoot, and their foul numbers will be--mark my words--drastically decreased once their slumlord benefactors are exposed.

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)


Anonymous said...

I clicked through to Matt McKinney's article in the Strib, and then through to his bio. I though he was some kid, but, um, not so much. He should have known better and written better.

While I would be inclined to complain to the paper, I must say, that creating antipathy (look that up in your Funk & Wagnells, Matt) appears to be his objective. Plus, I assume he's reading this blog, so why bother.

How's about some substantive, responsible journalism for a change?


Anonymous said...

I don't want to read a Blog concerned with society's issues to be taught grammar.

What is important here is not about you Mr. Biggs, rather it is about Mr. Patterson and his job responsibilities as an employee of the City.

As the Mayor's Aide, why was he wandering around with you during a work related event?

This is not the first time Patterson has been doing non-work related activity during work hours. If he would like to assist people other than Mayor Rybak then I suggest work in the private sector. We don't pay him to be at his friends beck and call.

In summary, key here not so much you intentionally wasting the Police Department's time, (= money). It is the work habits of Sherman Patterson, my good fellow!


A Nouveau American.

Johnny Northside said...

First of all, as a writer I consider grammar to be an important social issue. If a reporter for the Star Tribune doesn't even know the "pronoun rule," then print is even deader than we all thought.

Second, it is CLEARLY the role of Sherman Patterson (whoever he is) to make arrangements for a prominent North Minneapolis blogger (if I do say so myself) to speak to council members about the issue of Level Three sex offender concentration, which is contrary to a state statute.

Yes, I had an ulterior motive to get back in those city council offices--I admit it--but are these public officials supposed to be mind readers?

Ask yourself why the deputies didn't want to come inside and serve me.

Anonymous said...

The deputy (only one was seen, not two) obviously did not take the service very seriously. He knew exactly who John was, where he was sitting. And he was told that John was not coming out in the hall way.

He didn't even stick around until the end, evidentially he left the papers with some private detective to be served (see the ridiculous youtube video and Mpls Mirror article).

So, if the deputy wasn't there at the end of the hearing, and John left via another exit, then really he didn't waste any deputy's time. It was the private detective and the Mpls Mirror who was waiting with her video camera but they both were both shook and left holding the bag.

It's so nice to see these folks acutally teaming up with a child molester just to try and embarrass a neighborhood activist that they disagree with.

Here's a suggestion: put down the video camera, stop partnering up with a child molester and go do something for your OWN neighborhood. I'm sure Powderhorn has plenty of current events that need volunteer help, attention and maybe some publicity in your online publication, that is if anyone actually reads it.

Johnny Northside! said...

Yeah, at the end of the day...taking the side of a sex offender pedophile for ANYTHING is a political albatross that might grow very hard to wear months, years, even DECADES later. (For the origin of the cool expression "wearing an albatross," see the Rime of the Ancient Mariner)


I knew the Mpls Mirror was always taking the side of the "alienated malcontent class," like Al Flowers and Jim Watkins--best friend of the T.J. Waconia fraudsters--but sticking up for a Level Three sex offender and a pedophile? They have truly sunk to the lowest of the low, and I'm sure every time the Mpls Mirror has something to say which is really STOOPID, I'll be sure to drag out that nasty, rotten albatross.

Pedophile defender.

Pedophile defender.

You defended a pedophile.

You stuck up for a pedophile.

What's the deal with that, why are you chumming up to the PEDOPHILE, Mpls Mirror?