Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
U of M Regent: Is Diversity Scaring the Whites Away from Morris?
The student body at the University of Minnesota at Morris is nearly 60% white. But Board of Regents member Steve Sviggum wonders: Is that white enough? Not that he said that exactly. While discussing declining enrollment at a recent hearing, Sviggum wondered, “Is it possible that at Morris we’ve become too diverse?” His evidence? Two letters from friends whose kids weren’t going to Morris because “they just didn’t feel comfortable there.” The Regent did not back down on WCCO today, instead hauling out the ol’ “I was just asking a question” excuse and fake-apologizing, “I’m sorry some feel the question might be offensive.” Side note: One reason Morris has such a relatively high percentage of Native American students is that when Congress deeded the campus, which had been a school for Native Americans for nearly a century, it stipulated that Native students must receive tuition waivers. So… is it possible, if Morris wants more students generally, the Regents could lower tuition and demand an increase in state funding? Just asking questions here.
MPD Requests Database That Tells Them Everything About Everyone
That CLEAR exists at all is kind of scary. The Thompson Reuters product collects all the publicly available information about individuals in one place, then adds in some non-publicly available info from law enforcement and third-party data brokers. This information—your information—is then made available to subscribers. Naturally, the Minneapolis Police Department wants in. As Wedge LIVE!™ reports, at today’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee meeting, the city requested a three-year CLEAR subscription for $187,009. (It’s the extra nine bucks that gets me.) As Mr. LIVE!™ also points out, CLEAR has already raised privacy concerns in a law enforcement setting: ICE was using it to track down immigrants who’d tried their best to stay off the grid. Meanwhile, an ongoing federal lawsuit in California has brought the legality of the product into doubt. (Click through for some shocking details about what information your own CLEAR dossier might include.) Anyway, no, absolutely not.
Burger Moe’s Wants to Raze Historic Home for Bigger Patio
Moe Sharif, owner of Burger Moe’s on West Seventh Street, has applied to demo the Justus Ramsey House, a historic pioneer-era structure built in 1852. The limestone home is owned by Sharif, and it’s on BM’s property. When called by James Walsh at the Star Tribune, Sharif dodged questions, but his neighbors and other St. Paul business owners have been willing to go on record with what they think is going on: tearing it down would mean a bigger patio. “That’s what Moe always says,” Dave Thune, a resident and business owner in the area, told the Strib. “‘I could get four more tables in there.'” The St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections has condemned the building, which now has roofing issues and a collapsed outer wall, but several neighborhood groups argue that since the building is on the National Register of Historic Places it falls on the owner to maintain the property. Meanwhile, preservationists are fighting to stop the demolition; because of its status Sharif needs to get the okay from the Heritage Preservation Commission. That hearing is scheduled for November 7.
Bigfoot Believers Gather in Grand Rapids
“The only thing I could describe it as is Chewbacca,” Lisa Muggli, an attendee of the Minnesota Bigfoot Conference, told the Duluth News Tribune’s Jay Gabler. “These are real. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here talking about it,” adds Abe Del Rio, who helped organize the annual Grand Rapids gathering that drew around 250 cryptozoology enthusiasts earlier this month. Russell Acord, co-host of the Travel Channel’s Expedition Bigfoot was in attendance, as were members of Del Rio’s Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team. Gabler’s fun, judgment-free report from the conference is loaded with Bigfoot-size anecdotes, theories, love for northern Minnesota’s Sasquatch-friendly natural beauty, and, most importantly, good vibes. (One attendee’s T-shirt read “Just a boy who loves Bigfoot”—who can argue with that?) We encourage you to embrace your inner believer and read Gabler’s entire dispatch.