Ryan Faircloth


University bonding requests draw disagreement

With a growing list of campus buildings in need of repair, University of Minnesota officials and state legislators are clashing over which projects require state funding. Since 2012, the University has requested $888.2 million for new buildings and repairs from the state’s Higher Education Asset Preservation and Renovation (HEAPR) fund.

MPCA to focus on environmental justice

A new justice advisory group in the state wants to help underrepresented Minnesotans voice their environmental concerns. The group will be tasked with advising the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on how to incorporate environmental justice into the organization while keeping it accountable. David Thornton, assistant commissioner of the MPCA, said the agency has been working to form the group since last winter, with members of the group announced by the MPCA on Sept.

New arboretum director takes on position Friday

Growing up in Richfield, Minnesota, Peter Moe — soon-to-be director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum — often gardened with his mother. His admiration for horticulture deepened in high school at one of his first jobs in the field: a garden center. “I already knew I was interested in horticulture ... and then I decided to enroll at the University of Minnesota in the horticulture science department,” Moe said. On Friday, Moe will become the director of the place where he worked as an undergraduate in 1973.

Minneapolis City Council to consider implementing bird-safe skyway glass

Minneapolis City Council members are chirping in with efforts to make downtown skyways safer for birds. The proposed ordinance amendment — introduced by City Council Members Cam Gordon and Linea Palmisano — would require that all new downtown skyways use bird-safe window designs to reduce the amount of bird-skyway collisions.

Minnesota Supreme Court shuts down minimum wage vote, but U effect may be negligible

University of Minnesota Junior Patrick Griffin thinks a higher minimum wage would harm, not help, students. Griffin — who works as a gallery guard at Weisman Art Museum — said he believes raising Minneapolis’ wage to $15 an hour could likely result in fewer jobs for students and cuts in hours. “If I’m not one of the best of the best of the best, I’d probably get fired because it’s unsustainable to have such a high minimum wage,” he said. After hearing arguments from both the city and petitioners last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a proposed $15 minimum wage charter amendment from reaching the November ballot. The decision comes after a legal back-and-forth between city officials and residents backing the petition. Ginger Jentzen, executive director for 15Now Minnesota, said the court’s ruling was disappointing. “Clearly it’s a setback to getting on the ballot, but I think that the main reflection at this moment is that low-wage workers took on City Hall, and now there’s a real mandate to move forward on $15 an hour,” she said. Jentzen said the Minneapolis City Council still has a chance to show they support a higher minimum wage by passing the proposal as an ordinance. “City Council can no longer hide behind procedural arguments to defend big business, and the main conclusion out of the Supreme Court’s decision is that City Council has the power to pass 15 [dollar minimum wage] as an ordinance.” Ward 3 City Council Member Jacob Frey said he supports a citywide minimum wage increase but wants to do it through an ordinance rather than a charter amendment because legislation via referendum can’t be changed. “With legislation via referendum, you have to set the language perhaps eight months in advance,” he said. And not being able to change the language, Frey said, would stop the council from making changes after the language is set. “Inevitably, there are changes that need to be made, and you just can’t do it via referendum,” he said.

Minneapolis City Council vote on $15 minimum wage could put amendment on ballot

A proposal to raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis has drawn contention from some who think it will negatively affect businesses. The petition, with over 8,000 signatures, was received by the City Council Friday. The proposal would raise the city’s minimum wage incrementally over several years to $15 per hour. If passed by the council, voters could expect to see the city charter amendment on the November ballot.

Thefts hit ‘Pokemon Go’ players

“Pokemon Go” players now have something other than rare Pokemon to watch out for.   The University of Minnesota Police Department responded to two phone thefts from “Pokemon Go” players last week, according to a recent University public safety update. One theft occurred at 222 Pleasant St. SE on Monday night. The second theft happened late Tuesday night at 207 Pleasant St. SE, According to police records. 

Recent thefts hit Pokémon Go players on University of Minnesota campus

“Pokémon Go” players now have something other than rare Pokémon to watch out for.  This week, the University of Minnesota Police Department responded to two incidents of phone theft involving individuals playing the game. According to police incident reports, one of the thefts occurred at 222 Pleasant St. SE on Monday night. The second occurred late Tuesday night at 207 Pleasant St. SE.

Apartments proposed for popular Como corner

A new apartment proposed for the Southeast Como neighborhood has culled safety worries, though some longtime residents think the plan will draw much-needed diversity to the area. The three-story, 30-unit building proposal was recently submitted to the city planner for review. The Southeast Como Improvement Association held a public hearing about the plans Thursday. The development would be built at 1501 Como Ave. SE, taking the place of current auto repair shop Como Imports.