Convention Beat: August 31, 2008 Archive

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Something CAN be done!

Posted at 2:30 PM on August 31, 2008 by Tim Nelson (1 Comments)

The Church of Scientology was supposed to give the old Science Museum of Minnesota and Minnesota Business Academy a $7 million makeover this year to turn it into one of give church centers in the Midwest.

tents.JPGIt was supposed to be the third largest Scientology center in the U.S., behind only the church's headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., and another in Los Angeles.

It looks, though, like they're starting small. MPR's Tom Scheck sent this iPhone snap of the Scientology tents that have gone up in the plaza at Exchange and Wabasha.

But hey, they ought to draw quite a crowd. The protest marches for the Republican National Convention will throng right through this intersection starting later today.

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The Hotel Lowry?

Posted at 6:00 PM on August 31, 2008 by Tim Nelson (8 Comments)

I was walking around, watching the streets close around the Xcel Energy Center on Friday when I saw, of all things, the return of a St. Paul landmark. The Lowry Hotel.

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Or the Hotel Lowry, as its soon to be known. Or someday known. Or maybe known. Ever.

Its one of St. Paul's lost landmarks: famed photographer Gordon Parks once worked as a busboy in this hotel and an impromptu piano performance in the ballroom earned him a spot with a touring big band.

But the ground floor of the once stately hotel at one of St. Paul's premiere intersections (Wabasha and 4th) has been boarded up for so long that the chipboard must be on its third coat of brown paint now -- after it stood bare for at least one winter.

Mike Danielson, on the ladder, told my MPR colleague Laura Yuen that the Hotel Lowry will be opening in 2009. Instead of, you know, the night club. Or the restaurant. And... oh, who remembers anymore what all this was supposed to be?

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Coming tomorrow: yesterday's news

Posted at 8:18 PM on August 31, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

If you're wondering how fast the political agenda can change, please consider this Exhibit A: John McCain's booth out at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Weber took this picture is from about 4:15 this afternoon, less than an hour after the Republicans decided to scratch most of their convention agenda for fear of Hurricane Gustav.

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Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Charlie Rose have already reportedly bugged out. Even charming Katie Couric stiffed Mancini's for the dinner CBS was supposed to be having down there tonight. At least Karl Rove's still in town. I saw him get out of a black SUV at Cossetta's a couple hours ago.

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