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A (Nearly) Complete List of the Banned Books Inside Gov. Walz’s Little Free Library

Plus U of M stalking charges, Wink World coming to MOA, and no Oliphant for Lyn-Lake in today's Flyover.

3:05 PM CDT on March 23, 2023

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Inside the Capitol's First Little Free Library

Happy National Reading Month, and thank you for reading this humble yet beautiful sentence right now. To celebrate, Gov. Tim Walz showed off the State Capitol's first-ever Little Free Library, which his team stocked with books that have been banned in other states. “In Minnesota, we are focused on investing in education, our future, and children and families across the state," Walz said in a statement. "We’re not in the business of taking books away from kids and schools—and we certainly don’t believe in banning books that tell our history.”

According to the the American Library Association, 2022 was a record year for attempted book bans in U.S. schools and libraries, a sad state of affairs that makes this old Isaac Asimov quote ever more prescient: “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.” If you find yourself near the capitol, you'll find those worthy books are already in short supply. The Little Free Library "had a lot of visitors today," Walz spokeswoman Claire Lancaster tells us. With the help of Lancaster and this troll-attacked photo from Strib reporter Briana Bierschbach, we were able to assemble a near-complete list of the titles it once housed. To paraphrase a noted Minnesota author whose work appears on this very list: So we read on, books against the culture-war current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

  • Magnolia Flower by Ibram X. Kendi and Zora Neale Hurston
  • Thank You, Jackie Robinson by Barbara Cohen
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes 
  • Beloved by Tony Morrison 
  • Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard
  • I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Sula by Toni Morrison 
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Melissa by Alex Gino
  • Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi

No Oliphant in Lyn-Lake After All

In early January, it was pretty widely reported that Wisconsin's Oliphant Brewing would soon take over the LynLake Brewery space at 2934 Lyndale Ave. S. Details were rather sparse, but Minneapolis's Business, Inspections, Housing and Zoning committee approved a liquor license for Oliphant at LynLake's address, and employees confirmed to Southwest Voices that they'd been made aware of the changeover. Here comes the but: The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports today that LynLake has called off the sale. LynLake founder Mark Anderson told the Biz Journal's Brianna Kelly that the purchase agreement ultimately fell through: "The deal did not close because Oliphant did not have the financial resources to close on the deal they made." Apparently there was also some concern about the "community fit." As a result, Anderson and co-owner Paul Cossette will continue operating the brewery.

U of M Student Body Presidential Candidate Arrested on Stalking Charges

A University of Minnesota Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidate has been arrested on a felony stalking charge, the Minnesota Daily reports. Romello Lloyd, who the Daily notes is also listed as a current student senator, was arrested on March 12. Two days prior, a criminal complaint was filed stating that the candidate had shown up to the plaintiff’s workplace in July after harassing her for roughly six years. He'd allegedly been sending “sexually explicit and vulgar" messages, including rape references, as early as 2015 or 2016. From the Daily's story:

A search warrant of Lloyd’s “home and devices” revealed “attempts to identify and locate” the plaintiff, 300 searches for the word “stalker,” including stalker fantasy pornography, and video and journal entries referencing the plaintiff, according to the complaint.


The search also uncovered a journal entry from July 2022 “outlining how to win a court case by feigning mental health issues,” the complaint stated.

But hey, when you're credibly accused of a horrific crime, you can always blame cancel culture. “I have not been convicted of any crime, so I am innocent until proven guilty, but this generation loves to cancel people,” Romello said in an email statement to the Daily. 

Popular Vegas Blacklight Thing is Coming to MOA

Have you ever been to a concert that uses blacklight and thought, “Wow, I wish I could enjoy this effect sober and without the live music?” Well this new installation is gonna be your jam. Today, Wink World, a multi-room blacklight installation designed by Blue Man Group co-founder Chris Wink, announced that it's coming to Mall of America this summer. Currently Wink World is only found in Area15, a retail, bar, and touristy art zone in Las Vegas. “We chose Mall of America as our second site because this place really gets it,” Wink says of Wink World. 

So, WTF is this thing? Judging from the videos on the Wink website, it looks disorienting! (But maybe in a fun way?) Like walking through a velvet blacklight poster that’s filled with infinity mirrors, neon slinkies, and those electric orbs that zap at your fingers when you touch them. Or a funhouse without the carnies. Tickets at the Vegas venue run from $14-$18 (add $2.50 to walk through with a pair of 3D glasses). That’s way cheaper than the immersive screensaver experience at LightHouse Immersive, so they have that going for them, at least.

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