A clear case of car-ism … Eric Roper of the Strib says: “Minneapolis leaders want to attract more than 100,000 new residents to the city without adding more cars to the street, further amplifying one of the toughest challenges for planners at City Hall: parking. The debate is playing out in places such as Uptown and Dinkytown, where development is booming and neighbors say on-street parking is becoming scarce. A dust-up over parking near a popular restaurant recently spurred a lawsuit in southwest Minneapolis. Striking a balance between too much and too little parking is a growing quandary, particularly as more residents bike, walk and take transit while also holding onto their cars. ‘The first reaction of most neighborhoods would be that there’s not enough parking,’ said Ted Tucker, president of the city planning commission.”
Speaking of The War on Cars … Says Liala Helal at MPR: “A proposed long-term plan to add 214 miles of bike trails and lanes in St. Paul will be officially released today. It’s already online here. The plan will designate areas throughout the city for future development for cyclists. MinnPost’s Joe Kimball has coverage here.
And yet another war … this, a War on Mugshots … Aaron Rupar of City Pages tells us: “Rep. Pam Myhra, R-Burnsville, was recently contacted by a constituent who reported their mother’s mugshot had appeared on a website that publishes booking photos en masse. The website offered to scrub the photo from the internet for a $500 fee, Myhra told us. But after her constituent forked over the money, the photo popped up on another site of the same sort. As a result of stories like that, Myhra is chief author of a bill that would dramatically restrict access to booking photos in Minnesota.” Some of those shots are comedy gold.
At the PiPress, David Hanners takes a bite of the Sean Nienow story, saying: “In a civil complaint filed against the Cambridge Republican, the SBA says Nienow and his wife signed for a loan in January 2009, stopped making the $7,500-a-month payments 18 months later and now owe more than $748,337 when the principal, administrative costs and other amounts are tallied. … Records filed with the Minnesota secretary of state show the business was incorporated May 29, 2008, with 200,000 shares. … The January 2009 loan documents show the Nienows secured the loan with a deed of trust on their home in Cambridge. The real estate website Zillow.com values the four-bedroom, 114-year-old home at $128,873.” $128K to secure $748K! 2005 is back.
At The Huffington Post, Michael Kaiser, president of The Kennedy Center, looks at the Minnesota Orchestra experience and says: “The board of the Minnesota Orchestra is not the first, and will not be the last, to attempt to cut costs dramatically by cutting artists’ salaries. … Don’t assume that union artists will cave easily. They won’t. They have many, many friends who provide opportunities to survive during a lockout or strike. And while the problems of an arts organization may concern board members deeply, they rarely matter to them as much as they do to the artists for whom the institution is a livelihood and a way of life.”
Did you catch the story of the “recycled” Metrodome seats? For KMSP-TV, Paul Blume says: “In the small city of Wells, the school district has some big plans for their own sports program now that the iconic stadium is coming down. When it comes to athletics in the United South Central School District, the rebels are about to see a major improvement to their arena. A brand new football stadium will soon ditch the temporary seat backs as they welcome the familiar blue seats from the soon-to-be razed stadium in Minneapolis.”
Another report on the high cost of Minnesota day care … In the Dairyland Peach, John Michaelson says: “The cost of child care continues to increase faster than income, and a new analysis also shows that parents in Minnesota pay among the highest rates in the nation. The average annual cost for care for an infant in Minnesota is nearly $14,000, and for a four-year-old it’s more than $10,000. According to Ann McCully, executive director of Child Care Aware of Minnesota, however, those numbers are based on care at centers, while Minnesota is actually more of a state of home providers, which generally charge less.”
Info for commiseration … . Paul Huttner at MPR says, “Welcome to the the coldest two weeks of winter historically in Minnesota and the U.S. It’s not a big shock to see sub-zero temps on the weather maps this week. This winter is delivering on the promise of arctic cold, and this week will be no different as the pattern we’ve been locked in since Dec. 6 hangs tough for now. … This will be the first of a series of three potential clippers in a northwest flow pattern the next week. … The big national weather story today on your late TV newscast will be the east coast snow storm winding up. You’ll see plenty of corporate style promotional briefings and media hype on this one.”
A familiar name in Minnesota politics has died … . Bob Collins at MPR writes: “There will be no more Facebook conversations between the old wooden stove and former legislator Win Borden. Borden, 70, died last night. His downfall from the state Legislature — he didn’t pay taxes and served prison time — was not something he ignored when he preached from his Facebook pulpit, from a small farm in Crow Wing County, where he retired to a life as a gentleman farmer and philosopher. Over a year ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and documented his experience and things seemed to be looking up until a month ago when he stopped posting.”