St. Paul looks poised to complete ‘Grand Round’ bike route by 2020

The Saint Paul Grand Round
St. Paul Grand Round bikeways are shown in gold; upcoming projects are in marked in red.

Can’t really blame this one on cars, since this has been put off since before cars were really even a thing. But, in any case, the Pioneer Press’ Frederick Melo has some good news for Twin Cities cyclists: “After more than 125 years, the vision of Twin Cities parks architects H.W.S. Cleveland and Frederick Nussbaumer is coming together in St. Paul. … A pedestrian and bicycle path looping the Twin Cities has been on the drawing board since the 1880s. … Until now, Minneapolis mostly led the way. By 2020, St. Paul could complete the lion’s share of its long-stalled ‘Grand Round’ by installing new off-street trails from Burns Avenue in Dayton’s Bluff to Pelham Boulevard in Union Park.”

Meet the guy who blew the whistle on the St. Paul cop who posted on Facebook about running over protesters. Ben Keller of Photography is Not a Crime writes:Minnesota activist Andrew Henderson recently shined a light on a cop who was urging readers of a local newspaper to run over protesters in the comments section of an article about an upcoming Black Lives Matter rally that took place on Martin Luther King Day. … Using the moniker JM Roth, the cop explained to readers that all they had to do was say they were in fear for their lives and the courts would rule in their favor. … But with a little internet sleuthing, Henderson was able to connect that moniker with the name Jeff Rothecker, a St. Paul police officer with a long history of disdain, hostility and aggression against protesters.”

Don’t let them catch you firing up an e-cigarette in Glyndon (or Dilworth, for that matter). The Grand Forks Herald’s Tu-Uyen Tran writes, “Glyndon recently passed one of the toughest sets of tobacco laws in the area, following in the footsteps of neighboring Dilworth. … One of the laws, set to go into effect Monday, would ban the sale of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of any school, house of worship or youth facility, and ban the sampling of tobacco products outright. … Existing tobacco vendors who now sell traditional cigarettes are out of range and won’t be affected, City Clerk Denise Anderson said. The real aim of the law, she said, is to keep e-cigarette and hookah vendors away from Glyndon’s children.”

This ruling might have implications for other groups. MPR’s Bob Collins reports on the latest ruling out of the Minnesota Court of Appeals: “Take note, people who demonstrate and disrupt government meetings. You don’t have a free speech right to do so, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled today. … The court ruled in the case of Robin Hensel of Little Falls, Minn., who “disrupted” a City Council work session in June 2013. She showed up with signs and wearing a sign on her head. She regularly films the sessions and posts the videos to YouTube. … ‘Notably, laws prohibiting the disturbance of public meetings are neither unique to Minnesota nor of recent vintage. And such laws are generally construed to “proscribe only those disruptive physical actions and verbal utterances that are in violation of the normal customs and rules of governance, implicit or explicit, of the meeting,’ Larkin wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel.”

In other news…

Why Minnesota isn’t like Finland when it comes to education. [Citizen Ed]

There was another rise in Metro Transit ridership last year. [Metro Transit]

Check out St. Paul’s amazing ice palaces. [Pioneer Press]

Twin Cities Black Sabbath fans’ world is about to get a little darker: “Black Sabbath to play last Twin Cities show” [MPR]

Kind of a compliment, really: “Too good to play? Rogers basketball team kicked out of league” [KMSP]

“Dog Medicine” kind of a big deal: “Julie Barton’s ‘Dog Medicine’ Acquired by Penguin Books” [Think Piece Publishing]

Adios, Chatterbox St. Paul: “St. Paul’s Chatterbox Pub closed” [Pioneer Press]

Photos: Ski jumpers take to the sky over Bloomington” [MPR]

Think warm thoughts for these brave souls:

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