Thursday, January 16, 2014

Valerie Holler Makes Public Denial On Facebook That Holler Family Ever Demanded One Million Dollars For Their Property In Path Of Library Development, Calls Star Tribune Reporter Biased And Inaccurate...

Photo contributed by a dude on Facebook, I do not know where he got it,
used under First Amendment Fair Comment And Criticism and (sarcasm
font) Green Green Grass of Home Exception To Copyright, (end sarcasm
font) blog post by John Hoff

This blog has previously reported and editorialized about Kevin M. Holler and Valerie Holler, property owners whose spare house at 1423 45th Ave. N. was in the path of library development. Overcoming the obstructionist stance of the property owners, Hennepin County recently voted to obtain the property by eminent domain. Since the founding of our great Republic, eminent domain has been the right of sovereign entities, albeit under the Fifth Amendment just compensation must be paid for any such "taking." This would be true under any interpretation of the Constitution, including an Originalist interpretation. Those who wish to dispute this (though they are wrong) should feel free to comment.

Word I'm receiving behind the scenes from one high-ranking city official is the Hollers (or anybody whose property is the subject of eminent domain in Hennepin County) will be crying all the way to the bank with a skip in their step.

It is interesting, however, that part of...

... the spirited public debate about the eminent domain question has revolved around a fact--stated in both Star Tribune coverage and in the Camden News--that Mr. and Mrs. Holler demanded the sum of ONE MILLION DOLLARS for their property.

However, in a spirited debate recently on North Talk Facebook page, in response to a comment by forum participant Kevin Sawyer, Valerie Holler issued a denial that an asking price of one million dollars had ever been placed on the table, saying as follows:

Valerie Holler Kevin Sawyer We did not ask Hennepin County for any amount of money. We never had any asking price because we were not trying to sell. We asked them to please not take our property away. They agreed. We believed them when (in 2009) they removed the threat of eminent domain. Rochelle Olson's reporting is not only biased, but also contains errors. Much of what we learn in the media has to do with the people and the affairs of government. Governments want to convince the public to support their policies and their officials. And because the media draw on content from the government, journalists and government sources at times cooperate with one another. Thus is the case with Rochelle Olson and Hennepin County.

As her only example of alleged error by the Strib, Valeria Holler put forth this example.

Valerie Holler Here is an example of an error. The Strib article says "She also said the new library location was the desire of only Opat and Higgins." I did not say that. This is what I did say: "On December 11th, 2013, Commissioner Higgins acknowledged that it was only she and Mike Opat who decided where the library should be. I am still hopeful that Commissioner Linda Higgins will not act paternalistically, that she will let the people of our community have a real voice. We, the residents here, deserve to be treated with the same dignity as those who live in the Lowry Hills, Kenwood, Bryn-Mawr and Nokomis neighborhoods. Commissioner Higgins has not even had a single public meeting for community conversation and input about the site for the new library." There is a big difference between the words decide and desire. Goodnight.
To which this blogger says: Even a half-literate child can tell the difference between a paraphrase and a direct quote, and what you're citing is a paraphrase, and a good and correct one at THAT.

For the record, I do not believe the denial of Valerie Holler that "one million dollars" wasn't put forth as an asking price, even if there may have been some static in the transmission and receiving, i.e., the words "a million dollars" may have been uttered as a way of saying, "We won't sell" and then were taken as an offer. But, then again...

No, I won't even go that far.

I simply do not believe the denial. But this written public denial is VERY INTERESTING and I figured it should be part of the public record especially since it is the job, sometimes, of bloggers to play watchdog to the mainstream media.

Whether the asking price was ever a million dollars and whether that can be proven, documented, or disproven will not, of course, have any effect upon stopping the bulldozer nor, for that matter, the very generous check the Hollers will receive for their property.


Johnny Northside! said...

An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled eminent domain as "imminent domain." The error has been fixed and thanks to Jeff Skrenes for giving me the heads up.

Anonymous said...

The seizure is imminent isn't it?

Anonymous said...

The seizure is imminent isn't it?

Johnny Northside! said...

That's the old joke about eminent domain. It doesn't MATTER how you spell it because it's usually both.

Anonymous said...

The statements by Higgins that she and Olpat were the sole deciders of the location was made on December 11th, 2013 at the Victory Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. The secretary hopefully has those notes. The statement is also true that Higgins and Olpat have held no public hearings or community meetings on the location of the library.

One thing Valerie Holler appears to have left out is that another neighborhood resident stated John Olson at one point offered the currently unused park building site on Fremont as a location for the library. I have no idea if it was considered.

Valerie Holler also asked Linda Higgins to provide data showing the decision making process or any data that would explain the location as a prime location for the library. I do not know if any was provided.

I wish I had more detail, but I have a terrible time with names. Other than Linda and Valerie who were definitely at odds during the meeting I'm not sure who the other residents are.

Oh, but one note that amused me was when asked by Valerie Holler to explain why the site was chosen, Linda Higgins attempted to refuse to answer as it she was not comfortable discussing the use of eminent domain against a resident with the resident present. The point was put to Linda that a public library built with public funds for public use that involves taking of private property by a government entity has no better forum than open and public. She could not refute which is why the statements became public about her and Olpat's decision to use that location.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll sent this post to their attorney to see if they want to add you to the suit:

Johnny Northside! said...

Fascinating! Thanks for the link, anonymous dirtbag troll!

Johnny Northside! said...

The defamation lawsuit by the Hollers was dismissed.