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MinnPost Picks: on good fires, dormzilla and the Butcher of Havana

Our weekly roundup of great stories from around the web, as recommended by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

The University of California, Santa Barbara, accepted a $200 million gift from Charles Munger in exchange for allowing him to design Munger Hall.
The University of California, Santa Barbara, accepted a $200 million gift from Charles Munger in exchange for allowing him to design Munger Hall.
UC Santa Barbara

Yes, Build the Windowless, Bathroomless Dorm in My Backyard, Curbed

This story fascinates me because it demonstrates the evolution of college housing. Many of the ’60s and ’70s dorms at my old college (Washington) were replaced for fancier halls to attract millennials with amenities. Will all those now come down to make room for more Dormzillas?
—Peter Callaghan, state government reporter

For tribes, ‘good fire’ a key to restoring nature and people, AP

As the wildfire crisis worsens, agencies in Western states are beginning to come to terms with the Indigenous practices of ceremonial burns, and their important role that has been missing in ecosystems for more than a century. This piece discusses some of the resurgence, including the work of the Cultural Fire Management Council on Yuruk lands.
—Jonathan Stegall, user experience engineer

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The Butcher of Havana, The Atavist

Not having been alive in the sixties, this story was the first I’d heard of the story of Herman Marks, a small-time criminal from Milwaukee who went on to join the Cuban revolution and become known as “the butcher of Havana.” But this story was a great introduction, covering Marks’ early life, how he ended up in Cuba and how his eventual trial in the United States was part of a landmark series of cases on whether Congress could strip Americans of their citizenship.
—Tom Nehil, news editor

How Patrick Soon-Shiong Made His Fortune Before Buying the L.A. Times, New Yorker

Andrew PutzI was initially drawn to this story thinking it was a deep-dive on the goings-on inside the L.A. Times. It’s not that, but it is a fascinating profile of a compelling character, a billionaire/surgeon/entrepreneur who is either totally brilliant, completely full of shit — or both. (Spoiler: It’s both.)
—Andy Putz, editor