Breakfast of Champions: 1/30


The Slumlord of South Minneapolis, Jonathan Kaminsky's feature this week, uses the power of the Web in a way that I wish more investigative projects would. Many of the facts in the story can be corroborated by supporting legal documents, and within the story you can find links to image files that verify important facts.

Also, we created an interactive map of properties owned by the story's subject, Spiros Zorbalas.

A small version of that map is here:

View Larger Map

The end of an era has come. Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl has penned her final column for us, and it's of course a must read. We wish Dara all the best for her great work over the years, and we're excited to begin our new, expanded food coverage with Rachel Hutton, James Norton and Bridgette Reinsmoen.

Ever want to be a porn star? Patrick Strait tried to become one when he visited the Adult Video Awards. He came up, uh, short. If you catch my meaning.

Drama in local Spanish language media: Kaminsky's story about Radio Rey and upstart challenger La Invasora contains several intriguing elements, including the following:

[Radio Rey owner Guadalupe "Don Lupe"] Gonzalez also charged that during their confrontation in his office, [Alberto] Monserrate, [owner of Latino Communications Network] "got inches away from my face" and said he "was going to start a war," according to Gonzalez's affidavit.

Monserrate, as the story notes, categorically denies this. Pity. We need more of this in Twin Cities media. Just last week I said this self-same thing to the people who put out the Kingfield Neighborhood Newsletter.

National talk of why infrastructure is such a crucial issue comes from the NYT's Bob Herbert, who cites the 35W bridge collapse as his central example. Herbert explains why funding infrastructure projects is one of the best investments America can make in its future.

You know about our expanded food content that debuts next month. Here's another, smaller scale new project: Nate Patrin and others are going to begin regularly reviewing video games for us. Nate's first crack at this -- which might result in a dedicated blog at some point after March -- is the latest in the Burnout series of racing games. It's an extensive, in-depth review with screenshots, and we're going to try to do more of these longer posts.

Another exciting new initiative is going to pop up in the next week, related to local arts. Stay tuned.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that Bam Bam the monkey will be spared. If I thought he'd get along with my dogs, I'd adopt him myself.

The best pitcher in baseball was traded. By us. To the Mets. For less than the Mariners are giving up for Erik Bedard. I'm putting my bankroll on local Prozac futures.

Elephants in the Room saw another primary liveblog. It (thankfully) didn't take as long as we'd feared to find a winner. Three of yesterday's posts from Elephants that I think are worth revisiting are Jeff Severns Guntzel's remembrance of Rudy on race issues, this post highlighting John McCain's devastating attack ad on Mitt Romney and my review of the concession speeches.

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