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Michael Friedman

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commenter for
2 years 26 weeks

Recent Comments

You are correct that 13.43 is badly in need of reform. It prohibits release of any information whatsoever regarding an investigation of a public employee unless formal discipline results. While it may appear to protect employees from false allegations, the real effect is that it encourages controversial incidents not to be addressed so as to shield media and public inquiry. A summary of the reasons an investigation was closed should be provided to whoever initiated the complaint, if not...

Posted on 05/23/14 at 11:12 am in response to The public has a right to know about public-employee arbitrations

I'm interested in good government management; I'm not interested in attacking the rights of union members.

In this context, I agree with the author that public grievance information is important because discipline that's overturned on a factual basis is very different from discipline overturned due to inconsistent management standards (i.e. because the government agency has been too tolerant or lenient in the past, or is discriminatory).

Language protecting the privacy of...

Posted on 05/02/14 at 02:31 pm in response to Why your brain keeps you off the train

I'm from NYC and lived seven years in Connecticut so I know the territory. Metro North (which runs on Amtrak tracks) is not comparable to the light rail version of public transport in any sense of the word. The closest raIl comparison would be the Northstar if it went to St. Cloud and perhaps had another branch splitting off towards Mankato. And then comparable only if the SW LRT and the Central Corridor were already operational and there was a good chance the St. Cloud commuter would...

Enhanced segregation also occurs when Minneapolis zoning and permitting variances, under the rationale of density, only end up supporting non-inclusionary housing projects in select neighborhoods in which rents are relatively higher: Downtown, North Loop, Uptown, and the Wedge. It would be good if the city's interest in density and "One Minneapolis" was not an either/or proposition, with mixed-income returning to the city's development lexicon alongside mixed-use.

Posted on 04/22/14 at 11:54 am in response to Citizen participation: blessing turned curse?

I live a few houses away from being adjacent but I do wish to corroborate David's view that the nearest neighbors are concerned about specific and immediate livability impacts, and are not opposed to site redevelopment. As someone from NYC (and coincidentally an alum of one of Hunter College's campus schools), I find offensive any association between Staten Island racists and those in Minneapolis trying to give voice towards development which does not harm others. The author's disdain for...

Posted on 03/07/14 at 03:54 pm in response to Lyndale & Franklin: New hope for a neglected intersection

It's obvious that the writer and the commenters have little information to work with besides what the developer says.

The issues ultimately will not be to build something or build nothing, or neighborhood vs. city interest. The project as proposed is not in the city's interest, just as the specifics of K-Mart on Nicollet was not in the city's interest 40 years ago even if the premise of desiring some big retail was correct.

A comment is not the space to provide developed...

The cameras are in use in other cities-- including in Minnesota (meaning the same data practices laws) --which of course have domestic abuse cases and children. So the argument about data policy is likely a smokescreen.

The choice presented to Mayoral candidates Samuels and Hodges is as follows. On one hand, a likely benefit (based on data from other cities) would be improving police-citizen interactions, reducing police misconduct, and proving police misconduct when it occurs for...

If there's money for tunnels, there's money to shift the Minneapolis stops to better serve its own residents. Abandon the Kenwood stop and go back to earlier options.

Posted on 10/09/13 at 11:34 am in response to Democracy of, by, and for the people … with money

The easy and creative solution is not to limit the amount a person can give but the amount a candidate can receive from all combined sources. If a donation is akin to free speech, receiving a donation is metaphorically equivalent to listening, and there's no constitutionally guaranteed right to listen.

Combine such a rule with a disclosure obligation and one can see if a candidate received donations from 2 Koch brothers or 100,000 AFSCME workers, but neither total would be unlimited...

Posted on 07/23/13 at 11:54 am in response to Schools are key to ending the devaluation of black life in America

Why suspend for truancy? Seems pretty insane on the surface -- and on a deeper level reflects the rigid Euro-religious culture we perpetuate that believes forgiveness for offenses is only earned by enduring punishment. Not at all an evidence-based practice for adolescents but that's a topic for another day. (I'm familiar with Mr. Westgard advocating for evidence-based approaches in other writing.)

But racism can reveal itself unintentionally. Why does Mr. Westgard imply that black...