More than 300 Catholics died on the snowy steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul last week.
The "die-in" was part of an organized protest of the new Archbishop in town: John Nienstedt. Last month the Archbishop declared his position on homosexuality in an article published in The Catholic Spirit. Here's the abridged version: "grave evil."
Responding to Nienstedt's article in an open letter, Michael Bayly, editor of The Progressive Catholic Voice, wrote: "By the threat of sin, you have divided parents from children, family members and members of loving communities from each other." Then, a question: "Is it a mortal sin if we support homosexual family members and friends?" And: "May we have them to dinner?"
The archbishop's response was stoically indirect: "The teaching of the Catholic Church about God's plan for human sexuality is the same today as it has been for centuries. It is not discriminatory."
The corpses in front of the Cathedral, no doubt, rolled over in their graves. —Jeff Severns Guntzel
Last Friday afternoon, current and former Star Tribune employees held a wake at Matty B's bar in downtown Minneapolis. The occasion: the final day of employment for the newspaper's seven remaining ad designers. "Another day of infamy," stated a flyer announcing the gathering.
The design work is being outsourced to a company in India. More than two dozen such jobs have been phased out in recent months.
This personnel decision was made shortly after the Strib's ad designers voted to unionize. A complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the personnel move was punitive and violated federal labor laws, was rejected.
Some see the hand of the Strib's former publisher in the outsourcing maneuver. Said one union leader: "This entire thing absolutely reeks of Par Ridder." —Paul Demko
The Mean Drunk
On the night of the first snowstorm of the season, a state trooper happened upon a car stuck in a snow bank on Chicago Avenue.
Upon ambling over to investigate, the officer found a reluctant recipient of his help. "Why are you fucking with me?" asked Donald Hunter, according to a criminal complaint.
Noting that Hunter both smelled of the drink and sounded sloshed, the trooper asked him to take a breathalyzer. After blowing a .13, according to the complaint, Hunter insisted the whole thing was a misunderstanding: It was his lady friend seated beside him who'd spun out the car. He'd just been trying to get it out of the snow bank.
Unmoved, the officer placed Hunter under arrest. In the squad car, Hunter indicated he didn't agree with the decision. "If he takes that gun and badge off, I'm gonna beat his ass," Hunter said, according to the complaint. "I'm already going to jail on some bullshit, so I might as well make the shit real. 'Cause he can park somewhere and get his bitch ass beat. Bitch-ass motherfucker! Let's get it on! Let's get this shit on! Open the motherfucking door!"
Hunter, it turns out, knows from "going to jail on some bullshit." He has three previous drunk-driving convictions. — Jonathan Kaminsky
Stuffing Molnau's Stocking
The holidays are just around the corner, and that means it's time to think about gift giving. For those hard-to-buy-for public figures on your list, we offer some helpful suggestions:
• Lt. Gov. and Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau: a roadmap
• Gov. Tim Pawlenty: Taxes for Dummies
• Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan: a CD of "White Christmas"
• Twins pitcher Johan Santana: luggage
• Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten: a clue. —Matthew Smith
Ode to Par
Par Ridder has graced us with so many sublime moments over these last nine months. The stolen laptop. The courageous court testimony. The 8,000-square-foot, $2.73-million mansion. The pilfered non-compete agreements. The firing of old ladies and the mentally retarded. Outsourcing to India. Excuse me while I wipe a tear from my eye. We'll miss you, pal. Drinks are on us. —Paul Demko
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