Nude Beach Busted

Mud pit first victim of Hidden Beach crackdown. Hot skinny-dippers may be next.

Hidden Beach in Kenwood has long been the best place for spending lazy afternoons in a mud pit and starry nights skinny-dipping.

But all that may be about to change.

At a recent meeting of Kenwood residents, Minneapolis Park Board Superintendent Jon Gurban announced plans for a beach invasion: a new gravel path for emergency vehicles will allow stepped-up supervision by park police.

At Hidden Beach, it's polite to take off your hat when you greet a lady
At Hidden Beach, it's polite to take off your hat when you greet a lady

"The mud pit's going to have to dry up," Gurban says. "We had over 250 police calls to the Hidden Beach area last year. That's more than all the other parks combined—it's using up a disproportionate amount of resources. And from our perspective, nudity has never been allowed, and people can expect to be arrested."

Even attractive skinny-dippers?

"Absolutely." —Sarah Askari

Encore Performance

If you happen to be staging a show this month, you should know this: Graydon Royce won't be there.

In one of the first shuffles since 24 newsroom veterans accepted a buyout package, the Strib's veteran theater critic has been reassigned to edit the paper's movie coverage and Sunday's "Artcetera" page—a job previously performed by retiree Judy Arginteanu.

"It's only going to be temporary," Royce says, stating that he hopes to be back on his favorite beat by May. "There was a fire down at the old mill, and the managers asked, 'Could you put it out for us?' And being a good team player, I said sure." —Michael Tortorello

Give Them Credit

Landmark's Lagoon Cinema last week granted nine moviegoers free admission to a matinee screening of Maxed Out—an indie documentary about predatory corporate lending—in return for slicing up the patrons' plastic.

Lagoon manager Hugh Wronski, who came up with the idea and persuaded the film's director and distributor to go along, says that Maxed Out has been doing "well" at the theater's box office—which conveniently accepts Visa and MasterCard. —Rob Nelson

Night Moves

In the classic 1987 film Predator, an alien hunter utilized night vision to hunt down future Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. But the state House of Representatives is now considering a ban on the high-tech goggles .

Rep. David Dill, chair of the House Game, Fish and Forestry Division, says that the provision is likely to be included in an omnibus bill that will be voted on this week.

The Crane Lake DFLer is a supporter of the restriction. "It's a technology that is emerging. The cost of the technology prevented people from using it. Now the technology is available much more readily and much more cheaply."

Supporters of the bill should watch out: Ventura might not be the only politician who gets hunted. — Paul Demko

Park Life

Another sign there's trouble for the Twins ballpark: Recently, the regular meeting of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority was canceled due to a lack of agenda items.

The project took a curious turn last week when Jerry Bell, owner Carl Pohlad's right-hand man, hinted that negotiations for land acquisition were moving forward. Bell promised the team would unveil designs for the $522 million stadium on April 5. Questions remain whether the Twins will pony up some of the money for the land.

"The Twins are not currently in a position [where] we can comment on the specifics concerning the various dealings with the county, city or private landowners," Dave St. Peter, president of the Twins ballclub, writes in an email to City Pages.

This is certainly a softening of St. Peter's position compared to a month ago, when we asked him if the Twins were going to fork over cash for the Warehouse District parking lot in question.

"If you could guarantee me that the difference between the county and the land owners is $5 million, then maybe we'd sit down and talk about it," St. Peter said, adding that he understood the gap is "nowhere near that." "But the notion that the Twins would bail out the county or the landowners, that's fantasyland." —G.R. Anderson Jr.

In God He Trusts

You'd think a person would notice if he had an extra $62,611 lying around.

The Rev. Al Gallmon Jr.—former head of the Minneapolis NAACP, past Minneapolis school board member, and current pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church—claims he only recently noticed he was paid an extra $5,000 a month.

A copy of a letter Gallmon wrote to parishioners made its way to City Pages' offices last week. "Due to incorrect data given to ADP, the company which processes the FMBC payroll, I was overcompensated from January 2006 through February 15, 2007," Gallmon wrote. He didn't notice the extra money, he continued, "because I do not look at any of my statements. All were in my desk drawer sealed and were from the day I received them."

Gallmon also told congregants he had used the church credit card for personal expenses over the last three years, and said he was repaying both the extra money in his paychecks and the improper credit card expenditures. —Beth Hawkins

 
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