1. “My run-in with hate speech at a Vikings game,”  by Deepinder Mayell, an attorney and director of the Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee and Immigrant Program in Minneapolis.

It was my first Minnesota Vikings game and my first NFL game. I am not new to football, though. As an undergrad at Boston College, I went to many Eagles games, and I played junior varsity football. I knew what to expect on the field. What I didn’t expect was for a man to push aside other people and point his finger in my face, demanding to know if I was a refugee.


2. “I now owe my lion-slaying dentist a sincere apology,”  by Annie Sager.

I am an animal-loving fanatic from Bloomington. I was enraged when I found out that my dentist, Walter J. Palmer, had killed Cecil, a popular lion living in a national park in Zimbabwe, with a bow and arrow. I slammed Dr. Palmer on social media. I wanted to buy Palmer a one-way ticket back to Zimbabwe. And, because I felt so passionately about this, I actually researched the cost and was ready to pay the airfare. In short, I was part of the angry mob.


3. “Minnesota and Wisconsin: How did two peas in a pod grow apart?” by Roger Feldman, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Lots of people are looking for political ammunition by suggesting that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, are largely responsible for the economic conditions of their states, even though each has only been in office since 2011. The story goes back farther than that.


4. “From runoff to ruin: The undoing of Minnesota’s lakes,”  by Ron Way, a former Minnesota Pollution Control Agency official, and Steve Berg, a writer and urban design consultant.

No one can deny the mystical bond that ties Minnesota’s people to its lakes. “Going to the lake” evokes sensations so vivid that they define who we are: the lapping of water, the wail of a loon, the tug of a walleye on the line, a breeze in your face, the sun on your shoulder. Memories pass from one generation to the next. And yet, we Minnesotans are in deep denial about the critical condition of our lakes and the culpability we share. We are loving our lakes to death.


5. “As long as we’re discussing flags, what about Minnesota’s?”  by Judith Harrington, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The current interest in the removal of the Confederate battle flag from public displays and store shelves should make Minnesotans reconsider what their state flag projects about their state.


6. “A youth movement in the priesthood,”  by Katherine Kersten, a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment.

What is Minnesotans’ image of a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis today? They may imagine young men recoiling from the prospect of a life of “thou shalt nots,” leaving seminaries empty. Folks with this view probably haven’t met the Rev. Andrew Brinkman, 29, assistant pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Church in St. Paul.


7. “6 signs you’re a Twin Cities bike jerk,”  by Steve Stratman, a Minneapolis author.

2) You are quietly stymied when you realize there are people out there who don’t share your infatuation with yourself. After you’ve zoomed past cowed mortals who flee your directives like peasants in a pogrom, you think, “Don’t they understand that I’m the god of special pants?”


8. “Dance team: A sport that doesn’t get the respect it deserves,”  by Michelle Rotter, booster secretary and Hype Committee chair of a metro-area dance team.

What if there were a women’s sport that would challenge your daughter’s strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, and build her self-confidence? What if this sport were so popular that more Minnesota high school girls participated in it than in any other sport? And what if this sport had amazing boosters? Too good to be true? It’s not. It’s the high school dance team.


9. “North Minneapolis: Caught in the middle,”  by Rebecca Stewart, a school social worker who lives in St. Paul.

This morning I couldn’t decide whether or not to wear my Black Lives Matter T-shirt to work. Today I rode in a squad car with a white police officer and sat with a grieving black parent. I want to share my experience in the hope that it might help fists unclench.


10. “Murder-suicide in Greenwood: Making sense of a senseless crime,”  by James Densley and Susan Hilal, who teach in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University.

Minnesotans are reeling after news last week that a family of five, including three children, was found dead in a Greenwood home. As criminologists who have researched murder-suicide at length, we feel compelled to try to make sense of this senseless crime.


11. “How about a wilder river? Imagine this Mississippi,”  by Ron Way and Steve Berg.

A secret river runs through Minneapolis and St. Paul. Almost no one knows that 30 feet beneath the surface of the languid Mississippi there are rapids. The question now is: Why not restore these mighty rapids?


12. “It’s our gun culture that’s mentally ill,”  by author Kent Nerburn, a Minnesota native who now lives in Lake Oswego, Ore.

OK. I have nothing to lose, so I’m going to go all the way out to the edge on this gun issue. In 2005, I watched as my friends at Red Lake were killed, traumatized and besieged by reporters, then forgotten, after a confused and alienated kid drove to the school where I had worked and killed seven people. I am, as I write this, on a plane back to my home in Portland, Ore., 180 miles north of the mass-murder site in the town of Roseburg.


13. “University of Minnesota spending is arrogant, out of control,”  by Steven Dornfeld, a retired journalist and former public affairs director for the Metropolitan Council.

The latest evidence comes in published reports of the lavish, almost laughable expenses of administrators and coaches in the athletic department that were reimbursed by the university. How could any public institution justify spending … $2,298.85 to transport the dog of men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino by car from Miami to the Twin Cities.


14. “Mall of America protest: A large assembly, a prosecutorial error,”  by Mark Osler, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas.

Just before Christmas (2014), hundreds of nonviolent protesters organized by the group Black Lives Matter rallied at the Mall of America. Before the protest, mall officials had told the group they were not welcome. Now, Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson has charged 10 of the organizers with multiple misdemeanors. It’s an unwise use of discretion, which is the core power of prosecutors. Where that great power is used in favor of the powerful against those who are not, it is almost always a mistake.


15. “Everyone loses if Lebanon Hills plan is approved,” a commentary by Maryann Passe, vice president of Wilderness in the City.

The Twin Cities’ parks have an abundance of built amenities and paved trails that draw visitors and revenue. However, all of this built infrastructure must be recognized as separating people from the very natural environment for which the parks were preserved. The result is that there are lots of parks filled with lots of stuff and crisscrossed with paved trails but few truly natural retreats left in the Twin Cities area, especially near the urban core.