Shane Bauer: Out of Iran, investigating America's prison system

Categories: Q&A
Photo by James West, courtesy Shane Bauer.
Shane Bauer in Pelican Bay's SHU.
For two hellish years, the Iranian government held Shane Bauer prisoner on suspicion of being a spy. The worst part, he now says, was the four months he spent in a solitary cell. But since his release, Bauer has been surprised to discover even more troubling prison practices happening on American soil.

Guards arrested Bauer and two others -- including his now-wife, Sarah Shourd -- on July 31, 2009, while the group hiked through the mountains of Kurdistan on the Iranian border. With no evidence, Bauer, formerly of Onamia, was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was released in September 2011.

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Twins fans hope for 2014 All-Star game at Target Field

Categories: Q&A, Twins
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Kelsey Reid
Target Field may finally get to see some quality baseball again.

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-- Minnesota Twins have increased in value more than any other pro sports franchise since 2000

Two years from now Minnesota baseball fans may be able to sing "Take me out to the All-Star game!"

Target Field is reportedly the likely host of the 2014 All-Star game, giving the Twins a chance to show off the field on the national stage. Its biggest competition is Wrigley Field, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary that spring.

It's a matter of a rundown historical ballpark versus one that's shiny and (relatively) new. (Be sure to check out our comparison of the two parks at the end of this story.)

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Minnesotans weigh in on "nice" reputation

Categories: Q&A
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We wondered, what exactly is "Minnesota nice?" Are Minnesotans really nicer than residents of other states?
Maybe it's our friendly faces or inability to merge onto highways, but Minnesotans are known for our kind (some may say passive-aggressive) demeanor.

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Bill Kling: The City Pages Q & A

Kling built MPR from a small station in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Bill Kling has come a long way since he started what is now Minnesota Public Radio 45 years ago. He's now the outgoing CEO of one of the most financially sustainable and commercially successful radio empires in the country -- which in turn has made for plenty of controversy. Here's a recap of our initial interview with Kling at MPR's headquarters.

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Cory Merrifield, leader, boosts new stadium plans

Vikings superfan Cory Merrifiled, right, has been lobbying for a new stadium since 2009.
On Tuesday, a lot of Vikings fans celebrated a victory when team owners struck a deal with Ramsey County to build a new stadium in Arden Hills.

But even with a location supposedly locked down, celebration is premature. The plan still requires the Legislature to pass a bill that would allocate state funds to the stadium -- a deal that's far from complete -- and the clock is ticking on both the legislative session and the Vikings' lease with the Metrodome.

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R.T. Rybak laments fire department cuts: Q & A

The mayor says Pawlenty-era cuts have put the city in a tight spot.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's 2011 budget proposal calls for at least 32 cuts to the fire department. Many in the department think personnel levels are already too low, making it more dangerous than ever to be a fire fighter in Minneapolis. Here is an abbreviated version of our interview with Rybak on the cuts.

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David Carr Q & A: To Hell and Back, then Back to Hell, Then to the New York Times

Categories: Q&A

David Carr is riding high. That's a bad phrase to use given the subject matter of his latest book. Let's say, after years of struggle, things are going his way for once. The former editor of the late Twin Cities Reader is touring to support his heartbreaking memoir The Night of the Gun. In it, Carr writes about his time spent in Minneapolis getting high, wasted, and in trouble with the law. His approach to the book was to interview people from his past, and report on himself as he would anybody else. Carr will be reading Aug. 14 at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis and Aug. 18 at Common Good Books in St. Paul at 7:30 both nights.

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Deal or no deal?

Categories: Q&A

Stadium expert weighs in on Twins ballpark

If anything was sorely missing from the recent stadium debates at the Capitol, it was a dutch-uncle figure to bring some much-needed reality to the proceedings. Lawmakers, in fact, would have been wise to consult Neil deMause. In 1998, deMause co-authored Field of Schemes, the authoritative book on stadium boondoggles across the country. Since then, deMause has tracked stadium deals on his web site of the same name, and through various stories on the business and politics of sports in numerous publications.

More recently, deMause contributed to a new book from Baseball Prospectus called Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong, where he dispassionately dispels the many myths surrounding the economics of new ballparks. DeMause watched the Twins deal closely, and did this Q&A with City Pages via e-mail.

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Jobs Scam: A Q&A With Greg LeRoy

Categories: Q&A
Greg LeRoy is the founder of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that works to insure that companies receiving public subsidies create decent jobs. His latest book, The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation, was published last month. LeRoy will be in town on Monday for a Labor Day event. I caught up with him by telephone this morning.More »