MEET THE NEWSROOM // New reporter joins the Journal

Southwest is my home, and I’m thrilled to put my proverbial finger on the pulse of the neighborhoods as a new reporter for the Southwest Journal.

Don’t get me wrong — as a long-time resident, I think I already know a thing or two about the area’s arteries. For more than three years, I’ve bounced around Uptown from apartment to apartment. At various times I’ve lived in Whittier, Linden Hills and Lyndale. Undoubtedly I’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of your tales, tall and otherwise, at neighborhood haunts like Muddy Waters, the CC Club and perhaps even the YWCA. I look forward to continuing to hear such tales in my new role, though don’t fear — I promise to give you plenty of fair warning if our conversation is on the record!

Here’s a brief outline of my story: I grew up in Forest Lake and had the pleasure of going to college at Hamline University in St. Paul, where I studied political science and philosophy. Following college, I moved to Washington D.C. and interned as a reporter for United Press International. I loved D.C. but wanted to continue my education, so I decided to try my hand as a philosopher. After applying for schools all over the country, I eventually decided to move to Minneapolis to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and last May, I completed my MA. Perhaps I will never become a modern-day Aristotle, though at the least I do think I am well-qualified to work as a metaphysics or epistemology correspondent.

In all seriousness, I love ideas in themselves — studying philosophy as many years as I have would be difficult if one didn’t — but I’m particularly interested in how ideas affect the day-to-day lives of real people. This interest, combined with my background in political science, motivated me to find work as a government reporter following the completion of my graduate studies. I soon found myself in Faribault, Minn., where I worked as an education, courts and crime reporter for the Faribault Daily News from last summer until December. 

My stint in Faribault was a valuable experience, but I’m very happy to be working as a journalist in a major metropolitan area once again. Even better, this time around, the metropolitan area I’m covering is one I’ve called home for years. And in addition to reporting on neighborhood councils and other community groups, I will now have the added pleasure of simply sharing the (hopefully not too tall) tales of my neighbors in these pages.

Of course, this job is about more than just telling stories. We’re also here to inform you about neighborhood news and events. I’ll be writing about new businesses, crime and political developments of interest to residents of the Southwest. The idea is to publish something that is informative yet interesting and enjoyable to read — kind of like the logic textbooks I become so familiar with while in graduate school.

I look forward to getting to know many of you as I begin my tenure here at the Journal. And please feel free to contact me if you’d like to share a story or tip that you think would be of interest to others in our neighborhood. Contrary to popular belief, I assure you that us philosophers can be both personable and friendly! 

Reach at Aaron Rupar at arupar@mnpubs.com or 436-4367.

Editor’s note

We recently said goodbye to our longtime reporter and assistant editor Jake Weyer. He is now a writer at FenderBender, a St. Paul-based magazine that covers the collision repair industry. Jake did outstanding work during his time here. We wish him the best and hope to see his byline again in the Journal on occasion as a freelancer. In addition to adding new reporter Aaron Rupar to our news team, we’ve moved Nick Halter to the City Hall/Park Board beat and Dylan Thomas has been promoted to assistant editor. 

— Sarah McKenzie