Twin Cities light rail exceeds 100,000 daily riders for first time

MinnPost file photo by Bill Kelley

Trains? Pssh, nobody’ll ride ’em. “Fans heading to metro area sporting events helped Metro Transit set a single-day ridership record on light-rail trains,” reports Tim Harlow in the Star Tribune. “The agency provided more than 109,900 rides on the Green and Blue lines on Sept. 3. Passengers took more than 64,000 rides on the Green Line and 37,000 on the Blue Line. It was the first time daily ridership has topped the 100,000 mark since Blue Line trains started running in 2004 and Green Line trains started rolling last year.”

Minnesota was introduced to Amaiya Zafar, a 15-year-old Muslim woman from Oakdale who wants to box competitively wearing a hijab and clothes that cover her arms and legs. From (separate) profiles in:

we learn that the crux of the matter is not the hijab but Zafar’s desire to cover her arms and legs. This violates a USA Boxing rule that is actually safety-oriented: uncovered arms and legs allow officials to judge the severity of competitors’ injuries during matches. “I could be an advocate for her,” Angel Villarreal, USA Boxing chief of officials, told the Star Tribune. “We want to get people in the sport. … If they would make an exception, I would be thrilled. I feel bad for the young lady.” But rules are rules. Jaylani Hussein, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations isn’t buying it: “I think it’s important for them to recognize that and to be able accommodate her needs. This would open up a tremendous opportunity for other young Muslim girls who are interested in boxing,” he told MPR.

The District 3A special election sounds brutal. At Minnesota Brown, Aaron Brown explains the latest developments: “We reported yesterday on the rising tumult in the race for next Tuesday’s DFL primary in the House 3A special election. Earlier this week the Iron Range’s largest newspaper attacked candidate Bill Hansen on some rather overdramatic accusations that he was speaking against unions in his criticism of copper-nickel mining rhetoric and boom-chasing economics. The next day, establishment Iron Range forces seemed to rally to Hansen’s opponent, labor favorite Rob Ecklund.”

Minnesota wetlands are in rough shape. That’s according to the new reports from the Pollution Control Agency that MPR looked at: “Overall, researchers found 33 percent of the state’s 10 million-plus acres of wetlands in fair or poor condition. These are places where vegetation is degraded and native plants are being replaced by cattails and other non-native invasive plants, the agency said. … ‘Excess phosphorus and nitrogen levels from runoff pose a significant threat to the biological integrity of these wetlands,’ Michael Bourdaghs, MPCA research scientist and author of the report on overall vegetation quality, said in a statement.”

In other news…

Can’t get out of there fast enough: after announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election, Sen. Branden Petersen is taking it a step further by resigning from the Legislature. [Pioneer Press]

Don’t give in: “Feds heading to Minnesota to talk ID cards” [MPR]

TimeOut New York ranked the 26 best art museums in America; the Walker clocks in at a respectable #13.

If you only look at one terrifying photo of a school bus crashed into the front of a house today, make it this one. [KSTP]

Holidazzle moving to Loring Park. [WCCO]

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