Reporter's notebook

SHAKOPEE

10 fingers, one brain

Timothy Johnson, a University of Minnesota law professor who is also a Shakopee resident with children who attend Shakopee schools, came forward at the end of the Jan. 6 Shakopee School Board meeting to say a tweet sent by a school board member could be racist.

The tweet Johnson referred to, which has since been deleted but was shared with the Valley News, was posted by board member Joe Aldrich, who referred to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick as a “media whore” for kneeling during the national anthem. At the time, Kaepernick kneeled to call attention to the Black Lives Matter movement and police shootings of black people. 

“Tweets that are nasty, that are perpetually racist … are unbecoming of this school board,” Johnson said. “Imagine being a student reading a post and wondering what is going on with our school board members.”

At the Jan. 11 school board retreat, the board reiterated the district’s internet use policy, which prohibits reckless or defamatory social media posting on the school district’s internet system.

Aldrich and the other board members didn't directly reference the tweet during the retreat, but Aldrich said he needed to be more careful about his usage of social media.

“(We) have 10 fingers and one brain; use that in proportion,” Aldrich said. “I’m very snarky online, and I just need to quit that.”

-Maddie DeBilzan

SAVAGE

Artful bike racks get donation boost

Ordinary bike racks around Savage could be replaced this year with new, artistic bike racks as city officials look to incorporate art and history into public spaces.

The effort recently received a $5,000 boost from the Burnsville Lion's Club, which City Administrator Brad Larson said might help the city secure more grant money.

"We're looking for something colorful, bright that will catch your eye," Larson said during a City Council work session this week.

The city might commission an artist to create the bike racks, he said, depending on costs. Otherwise the city will likely buy some.

-Christine Schuster

JORDAN

Inactive, not for long?

The Jordan City Council's Hockey Arena Planning Committee lives to fight another day.

Earlier this month, as the council prepared to vote on committee assignments, Councilman Robert Whipps joked about nixing the committee, which has been largely inactive. Mayor Tanya Velishek, with a grin, said it might come back.

"I have to tell you, the high school boys have been texting because they want that rink," Velishek said.

"We can't even make ice in January, how are we going to do it indoors, guys?" Whipps quipped.

Councilman Terry Stier said he wasn't even aware such a committee existed when a community member asked him about it earlier. The council approved the committee appointments, with Whipps, Velishek and Councilman Jeremy Goebel sitting on the hockey arena committee for 2020.

-Michael Strasburg

South regional editor

Deena is the regional editor for Shakopee, Jordan, Prior Lake and Savage and is passionate about uncovering the truth. Deena also enjoys gardening, playing tennis and up-cycling furniture.

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