Should subsidized housing gentrify North Minneapolis?

Eric Roper of the Strib reports, “Hundreds of houses and apart­ments are rising in north Minneapolis, thanks to ample government help in the wake of the foreclosure crisis and the May 2011 tornado. But not just anyone can live in them. Major public intervention in the city’s poorest area has created a new generation of housing stock that some worry is overly restricted to lower-income people. … just six of 501 new and proposed apartment units on the North Side are open to people of all incomes.”

Also, in the second helping of the Strib mega-donors series, Rachel Stassen-Berger delivers the not-exactly startling news that most of the big money crowd live here in the Twin Cities. One in every three $5,000-and-up gubernatorial dollars comes from Hennepin County, (though — unstated — one in every five Minnesotans lives in Hennepin County). More than 85 percent comes from the metro area (54 percent of the state’s population lives there). The story also notes $204,000 in out-of-state cash coming to GOP governor hopeful Scott Honour, and a pro-Honour PAC from a colleague at his old company. 

One of the first reports on that northwestern Minnesota underground pipeline explosion yesterday came from “Tyler Miller, Warren, MN: ‘It sounded like thunder. I didn’t think anything of it. I looked out and all of a sudden shooting flames out of the ground. I shook the house, pretty loud.’ Reporter: “Did it continue to make a big noise?” Miller: ‘Yeah, up until I even left this morning at a quarter to seven it was still… the house was shaking. It was roaring.’ … Luckily, it happened out in the middle of a farm field and not in the middle of any towns in this region.”

Similarly … . The AP reports, “Residents along the scenic Columbia River are hoping to persuade regulators to reject plans for what would be the Pacific Northwest’s largest crude oil train terminal — the proposed destination for at least four trains a day, each more than a mile long. The increasing numbers of trains, each carrying tens of thousands of barrels of potentially volatile crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, have raised concerns around the country after nine accidents in the past year, including one last month in Virginia.”

The GleanThe story is the age of the subjects … . Raya Zimmerman of the PiPress says, “A 79-year-old woman died Saturday after the motorcycle she was riding on crashed into a ditch in western Wisconsin, according to the St. Croix County sheriff’s office. Charlene Kastens, 79, of Deer Park was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after the accident and later died there, the sheriff’s office said. Kastens was the passenger on a 2012 Honda Trike GL 1800 that was driven by Robert Kastens, 88, also of Deer Park.”

The client, it turns out, was not a fool … . Stribber Randy Furst writes, “A federal prisoner without a lawyer would hardly seem to stand a chance with the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals after his suit over a police dog bite was thrown out by a judge in Minneapolis. But in a three-page ruling earlier this month, the Eighth Circuit stunned legal observers by siding with Demone Smith, who wrote out most of his motions in block print.”

Two veteran education specialists argue on behalf charter schools — in this case charters for predominantly black communities. In a Strib commentary, Joe Nathan and Bill Wilson ask, “Where is the criticism of metro-area schools that are 90 percent or more white, not because anyone was assigned, but because that’s where white families choose to live? (For example, Orono, 92.5 percent white, Waconia, 92.6 percent white.)”

Today’s talker: the tornado that struck the North Dakota “man camp,” via KSTP.

I’m sure they found her presence reassuring … . Stassen-Berger also reports, “U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is visiting troops in Afghanistan for Memorial Day, as part of a congressional delegation that arrived on Saturday, according to her office. … The delegation also includes Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-FL, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-OK, Rep. John Barrow, D-GA, Rep. Sean Maloney, D-NY, Rep. Peter Gallego, D-TX, Bachmann spokesman Dan Kotman said.” She didn’t really thank the troops for keeping America safe from Obamacare, did she?

The Strib’s Steve Brandt offers a great slice-of-life profile of a West Bank squatter who has lived under a 35W bridge for 14 years: “Chester’s world is about to change. A new bike trail that’s expected to draw hundreds of riders daily is being built just feet from this urban squatter’s domain. A city rehab is scheduled for the bridge overhead that keeps the rain and prying eyes from his shed, his abandoned vehicles and the folk art that decorates his compound.” It’s really the ultimate West Bank story.

This is rich … . From WWLT-TV in New Orleans, Thanh Truong reports, “At a charity softball event, Saints quarterback Drew Brees inserted himself in a debate about whether the city of New Orleans ‘needs’ a new sports stadium. His comments came one day after New Orleans lost a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.  … ‘Listen, the league wants to encourage new stadiums to be built.  This motivates and incentivizes cities, especially the small market teams, to pass legislation and approve bills that end up funding those types of stadiums’, said Brees.” Eeeeyup.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Gerald Abrahamson on 05/27/2014 - 10:31 am.

    Nothing stops private investors from building in N Mpls

    The problem is the fact their “target market” does not want to live in that area. So the investors make a conscious choice to not buy, invest, or build for their chosen demographic. Then the outcome is as shown–public housing. What would happen if many of the shiny new apt/condo locations were instead public housing–and all new construction HAD to be in N Mpls? Renovation there would be happening fast–or not at all. Maybe they need to work on it the same way they did Uptown and Lake Street. Look how THAT has changed over the last 20-40 years. Does the same potential exist in N Mpls? WHERE?

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