ACLU-MN director on Michael Brown: "Ferguson is maybe the canary in the coal mine"

Michael Brown (left) was shot dead by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson (right).
The officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is symptomatic of nationwide problems regarding the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they're supposed to serve and protect, Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU-MN, tells us.

"A lot of the ACLU's concern is that Ferguson is maybe the canary in the coal mine," he says. "There are a number of other communities where relationships between primarily white police departments and minority communities have been strained for years."

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Stillwater cafe now charging customers a "minimum wage fee"

Oasis Cafe says the minimum wage increase will cost it $10,000 yearly, and it's passing some of that on to customers.
:::: UPDATE :::: River Oasis Cafe getting killed for "Min Wage Fee" on Yelp

Last Friday, for the first time in nearly a decade, Minnesota's minimum wage went up. The first in a series of incremental hikes brought the wage floor from $6.15 to $8 per hour for relatively large companies, and from $5.25 to $6.50 for small ones.

As you'd expect, some businesses aren't thrilled about that -- especially bars and restaurants, as the new law doesn't include a tip exception.

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Mpls native Tim Torkildson fired from Utah school for blogging about homophones

Tim Torkildson photo via Facebook
Tim Torkildson was born in Minneapolis and lived here through his mid-20s, save for a stint working as a circus clown in Florida. (Seriously.) In fact, he even spent three semesters at the University of Minnesota.

After that, Torkildson bounced around, including stints in Thailand working both as a missionary and an English teacher. Back in the U.S., he got his teaching English as a foreign language certification, and earlier this year, that led to a job as a social media specialist and blogger with Nomen Global, a school in Provo, Utah that bills itself as "America's English Language School."

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Stillwater church's sign vandalized to read, "God bless the KKK" [PHOTO]

The pastor, asked about suspects, says, "It looks to be like somebody who is a white supremacist."
Pastor John Kaiyalethe was summoned to work on his day off yesterday when the Oak Park Heights Police Department let him know somebody had vandalized the sign at his church, the Calvary Assembly, which sits just across the border from Stillwater at 5805 Osgood Avenue N.

The lettering of the sign, which had read "God Bless Oak Park Heights," had been changed to read, "God Bless the KKK."

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St. Paul road sign reads, "Local Moms Need C**k" [PHOTO]

Courtesy photo used with permission of Neal Lambert
Come again?
:::: UPDATE :::: Here's video of the sign in action

Tuesday night, someone messed with an electronic sign that was supposed to warn drivers about the flooding-induced closure of a stretch of Shepard Road in St. Paul.

As you can see above, the message was manipulated to read, "Local Moms Need Cock."

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Anti-LRT Woodbury guy has epic Obama-bashing Twitter account

Thumbnail image for SteveEllenwood.jpg
WCCO screengrab
Steve Ellenwood, the "very active" Republican from Woodbury who organized Saturday's ill-fated anti-LRT protest, has some cogent reasons for opposing projects like the Green Line. We detailed them in this post.

His reasons for opposing just about everything else associated with the Democratic party are not quite as compelling. But thankfully for our entertainment, he's outlined them publicly on his Twitter account.

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Satirist Dan McCall battles Hillary Clinton PAC over "Ready for Oligarchy" design [IMAGES]

Dan McCall
This is the design that has McCall in trouble with a Hillary-supporting PAC.
:::: UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) :::: The Ready for Hillary PAC today retracted its "takedown demand," meaning McCall resolved the dispute and can resume selling his products on Zazzle without the need for litigation after all. Read a commentary by McCall's lawyer here.

Earlier this year, Sauk Rapids satirist Dan McCall won a legal victory over the federal government after National Security Agency reps tried to get online retailers to stop selling shirts emblazoned with the the agency's seal and slogans like this: "The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens."

The NSA essentially claimed their logo is copyrighted and couldn't be used without permission, an argument that didn't pass muster in light of the First Amendment's protection of satire. Now, a pro-Hillary Clinton group is making a version of that same argument to once again get McCall's products pulled from stores. (McCall also sells his shirts on his own site,

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Minneapolis considering park vaping ban

rpavich on Flickr
The proposed ban would cover all forms of smoking and vaping.
The e-cig regulation Gov. Mark Dayton will almost certainly sign into law over the weekend doesn't outright ban vaping in public places. Bars and restaurants can continue to allow e-cigs inside their premises, assuming local laws don't prohibit it.

Speaking of local regulations, one that will soon be considered by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board would ban all forms of smoking and vaping throughout all Minneapolis parks.

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Rush Limbaugh on MN's "Asian carp" ban: "Political correctness is just going nuts"

rush limbaugh rect.jpg
The Minnesota Senate recently approved legislation to remove the term "Asian carp" from statute. As we reported in March, the effort, spearheaded by Sen. John Hoffman (D-Champlin), is a response to concerns that "Asian carp" paints Asian people in a negative light.

But during his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh expressed a very different type of worry -- one about how sensitive our public discourse has become (though expressed a bit more gruffly than that).

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Lawsuit is last-ditch effort to save historic T.P. Healy home in Wedge [PHOTOS]

Photos by Aaron Rupar
With the city unwilling to preserve it, the fate of 2320 Colfax will be decided in court.
:::: UPDATE (May 6) :::: The Healy Project elected not to seek an injunction during yesterday's hearing. Since the owner of 2320 Colfax doesn't plan to evict residents for at least a couple months, one isn't needed. Healy Project representative Trilly Busch tells us a judge ordered the case to move forward "with dispatch." A meeting between the preservation group's counsel and a judge is scheduled for later this month, Busch says.

The Minneapolis City Council recently green-lighted the demolition of a historic home built in 1893 by T.P. Healy at 2320 Colfax Avenue South in the Wedge. A lawsuit that will be the subject of a hearing today represents a preservationist group's last-ditch effort to spare it from the wrecking ball.

The house, which now serves as a 15-unit boarding home and is sometimes called the Orth House, was recognized as a possible historic resource by the Minneapolis Historic Preservation Commission last year. But property owner Mike Crow successfully applied for an application to demolish a historic resource, and the plan is to convert the property and an adjacent parcel into a large apartment building. (See a rendering of it here.)

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