Since many of our readers don’t read anything else besides recommendations for NYE parties, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.

News: The Journal reports on Byte, a new nerdy cafe in downtown MPLS that’s also collectively run.

Notes: We’re very curious, like many others, to see how their high-wages model works, especially in such a weird spot. That upper First Avenue location in downtown MPLS can use all the help it can get, thought, even from a board game and dice spot with a good looking menu.

News: The NYTimes includes STPL in its example of “arrest fees“.

Notes: It’s one of those things that’s somewhat reported locally, but could definitely use more signal boosting to garner reform. Whether or not you’re ultimately innocent of charges, if you get arrested in St. Easy, you can expect to pay incremental fees as a way for the city to use police as a revenue generator. Super whack.

News: Poet Junauda Alma (who included in this CP’s Artist of the Year list, a really good list you should read) responds to the City of MPLS soliciting a poem from her and then rejecting it because of the language.

Notes: Is it censorship by the City? Is the City being totally practical? Read her open letter and draw your conclusions. Honestly, we’re more offended by steel-sculptured lanterns as a part of the Nicollet Mall redesign.