Minneapolis City Council taking the happy out of happy hours

Dear City Council: Prepare to learn the meaning of "angry drunk"

Dear City Council: Prepare to learn the meaning of "angry drunk"

The Minneapolis City Council is currently exploring new regulations that would take all the fun and affordability out of drinking in public. Could Minnesota drinking become any more lame than it already is? Apparently Minneapolis is trying to make it so.

City Council members are discussing options to ban happy hour and other drinking specials at bars to help prevent binge drinking. They are also looking at ways to ban drinking games in bars (think beer pong and flip cup). Because, you know, young people can't play those games at home if they are so inclined.

Minneapolis is forming a task force to take a closer look at the recommendations on limiting drinking in bars to decide if the regulations should be considered by the City Council.

These recommendations are ridiculous. Businesses should be allowed to price their drinks how they choose. Particularly in a tough economy, bars have to find creative ways to get customers into their establishments. —Emily Kaiser

Suicide savior

A man stood on the ledge of the Washington Street/Fourth Avenue bridge last week, swinging his foot over the edge until police convinced him to crawl back over.

Several cops and a police negotiator reasoned with the man for half an hour while officers waited underneath the bridge by the train trestle below. Paramedics and firefighters were also at the scene. The man was standing on the outside of the railing, gripping it with his hands.

At one point, the man swung his body around so that he was facing away from the officers, with his arms outstretched and holding the railing—nothing standing between him and the plunge.

It appeared that the man may have intended to jump in front of a train. Luckily, no trains passed.

Sgt. Jesse Garcia of the Minneapolis Police said the man will not likely be arrested, but rather taken to a crisis intervention. —Erin Carlyle

Darwin Day

You feeling it? That feeling of apes making love, of fish going land-roving, of birds going deep-sea diving, and the potential for spider lips?

Yeah, us too.

The occasion was Darwin Day, an opportunity to cherish science. The Big D came into the world 200 years ago, and while his stay was only 73 years long, his memory lives on—primarily on the bumpers of Subaru Foresters.

In honor of the world-renowned scientist, Minneapolis and St. Paul made proclamations celebrating the stupendous Charles D, according to local atheists. Somewhere, Koko the Gorilla is smiling.

The proud atheists of our land deserve a thank-you for making this possible. August Berkshire, president of the Minnesota Atheists, submitted the proclamation documents to Mayors Coleman and Rybak. He's obviously excited that they took him seriously.

"Well, this is the first time anyone got a Darwin Day proclamation in Minnesota," says Berkshire. "I think it is the fact this is his 200th birthday. We all wanted to honor his tremendous accomplishments. He is often listed as one of the top three scientists of all time: Einstein, Newton, Darwin. His work should be honored." —Bradley Campbell

No job for you

Minnesota's horribly unawesome economy won't be getting better any time soon. Suck it up and deal, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis says. The recession in the upper Midwest will last through 2009, with unemployment numbers continuing to rise.

How bad will it get?

Nonfarm employment in Minnesota is expected to fall 2.3 percent this year. Minnesota will have the second-highest unemployment rate at 7.8 percent by the end of 2009. How we compare: Wisconsin (6.9 percent), Montana (5.8 percent), North Dakota (4.4 percent), and South Dakota (4.2 percent).

Our only recourse is schadenfreude: Unemployment in Michigan's Upper Peninsula could hit an estimated 14 percent by the end of the year. —Emily Kaiser