Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Minneapolis Park Board votes to stop permitting homeless camps in parks

Plus: Northern Minnesota hospitals fear capacity strain in event of another COVID-19 surge; St. Paul attorney would be first Native American U of M regent; and more.

Signs on a tree located near the entrance to the Powderhorn East homeless encampment in south Minneapolis. The encampment was cleared by Minneapolis Police on July 21, 2020.
Signs on a tree located near the entrance to the Powderhorn East homeless encampment in south Minneapolis. The encampment was cleared by Minneapolis Police on July 21, 2020.

Policy shift. In the Star Tribune, Susan Du reports: “A divided Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted to stop permitting homeless people to camp in city parks, ending a program that gave sanctuary to hundreds last summer but also brought complaints of violence and drug use. … In addition to repealing last summer’s directives that created temporary permits for encampments, commissioners directed staff to create a new Unsheltered People Policy. … Last June, about 200 tents sprung up in Powderhorn Park amid Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency eviction moratorium, the park board offered sanctuary to all unsheltered people. A month later, there were nearly 40 encampments in parks citywide with some hosting nearly 300 occupants.”

On hospital capacity. KSTP’s Kirsten Swanson reports: “The coronavirus pandemic is exposing the delicate nature of hospital capacity around the state. In northern Minnesota, the tradition of relying on larger, regional hospitals to take on critically-ill patients has been compromised as COVID-19 cases push all facilities to their limit. … Health care providers are increasingly concerned that new variants of the virus could result in a spike in hospitalizations. … ‘The system as a whole is very fragile,’ Dr. Shultz said. ‘We could easily be at capacity and overwhelmed again if we get another surge.’”

Working for a first. In The Circle, Lee Egerstrom reports:D. Brandon Alkire, a St. Paul attorney representing various Native American and family causes, is among candidates recommended for election to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. … If elected by the Minnesota Legislature this year, Alkire would become the first Native American to serve on the university’s governing board in its 170-year history. Alkire is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.”

Article continues after advertisement

In other news…

Notable floor speech from the Third District’s representative:

Too cold to ski:Loppet ski races in Minneapolis this weekend called off due to extreme cold” [Star Tribune]

Go… to church:Christian music stations to replace Go 95.3 and 96.3 FM in April” [Star Tribune]

Attention Prince fans:How Prince won the Super Bowl” [Anil Dash]