The option we really want is a la carte channel choice. But until then, Erin Golden of the Strib says, “Minneapolis residents could soon have another option for cable TV service, as CenturyLink looks to dislodge Comcast’s monopoly on the market. CenturyLink plans to seek a new franchise agreement that would allow it to provide its Prism TV cable service alongside Comcast’s offerings. The digital cable service is distributed through a fiber-optic network and allows customers to watch live programming on smartphones and tablets, in addition to their televisions.” Woo hoo! “Fat Guys in the Woods.” On my phone! Now we’re talking progress.
But this is more like what we’re talking about. In the PiPress Julio Ojeda-Zapata says, “U.S. Internet has dialed up its download speeds for some Minneapolis residents from 1 to 10 gigabits per second. The Minnetonka-based company claims such download speeds put it in the top tier of global Internet providers for service aimed at consumers and small businesses. Corporations can obtain such service at high prices. And it isn’t cheap. The speedier service, slated to roll out Tuesday, will run about $400 a month. By comparison, the firm’s 1-gigabit service runs $65 a month and 100-megabit-per-second service is $47 a month.” At 10 gigabits, I think you can hack North Korean nuke plants.
They may not be making any more of it, but they are giving it away. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier reports, “For three years, the southeastern Minnesota city of Claremont has offered free residential lots to people willing to build a house. Officials got the idea from the city of New Richland, which is also trying to give land away. But in Claremont, there have been no takers. It’s a small place — 500 residents, three churches, three parks, a gas station and a bank, all in one square mile. The city’s located between Owatonna and Rochester along busy Hwy. 14. About a decade ago, city officials signed on with a developer to build a 15-home subdivision on the city’s north end. The hope was to attract workers from both cities to live there.” Maybe if they started with a stadium?
Anything’s better than last year. Also at MPR, Matt Sepic says, “Since January, when propane sold for a stratospheric $4.61 a gallon in Minnesota, the price has dropped to $2 a gallon — and many rural Minnesotans who rely on propane to get through the winter are hoping it stays that way. Last winter, temperatures throughout Minnesota regularly dipped into the negative double digits and fuel bills rose across the state. But for people who heat their homes with propane it was especially rough, forcing many to cut spending on other items, including food.”
We’re No. 3! And the Chamber of Commerce ain’t braggin’ on it. At WCCO-TV (via WebMD) the story goes: “Recently, the metro area landed on a list of the sickest areas in the United States. According to WebMD, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has the third highest levels of cold and flu symptoms in the nation. Moreover, health experts say we haven’t even hit the peak yet. About 40 outbreaks of influenza have been reported to the Health Department since the beginning of November. However, the sickest city is across the border, in Madison, Wisconsin.”
Still a mystery. Grace Lyden for the Forum News Service says, “In the past 10 years, neither Fargo, N.D., nor Moorhead, Minn., police have solved a homicide case that went three months without a suspect, which is how long it’s been since the body of a slain North Dakota State University freshman was found in Moorhead. Eighteen-year-old Tommy Bearson was found dead Sept. 23 — three months ago — at an RV lot in south Moorhead. His case was ruled a homicide and remains unsolved, without a suspect or motive.”
Not too late for Christmas. At Rolling Stone, Jon Blistein says, “The first piece of new, original music from the recently reunited Replacements may not be what fans expected from the snotty kings of college rock, but “Poke Me In My Cage” is a holiday gift nonetheless: A 24-minute improvised jazz track, which the band uploaded to Soundcloud last week with little fanfare. Written by Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson, ‘Poke Me In My Cage’ was recorded at Wooly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, Massachusetts in October. The track features plenty of out-there guitar noodling, with Westerberg letting loose over relentless, scattershot drumming from Josh Freese, a session vet who’s now the band’s third drummer.”
Grant money for cleaning up Midway Stadium. Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has awarded $4.16 million in pollution clean-up grants to 10 projects across the state, including $200,000 for an apartment and hotel complex on West Seventh Street and $1.25 million to convert Midway Stadium on Energy Park Drive into an industrial site. … Midway Stadium, which had been home to the independent league St. Paul Saints since the early 1990s, was once the site of an unpermitted dump and sits on old landfill and manure taken from the State Fairgrounds.” Not to mention whatever was in all those coolers emptied in the parking lot.
And this while most men only read Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. Stribber Laurie Hertzel reports, “The folks at Minneapolis’ Graywolf Press are finding themselves in a strange position these days — defending their commitment to diversity. Publisher Fiona McCrae recently announced the 2015 lineup for fiction — a strong list by any measure, including two books by perennial favorite Per Petterson, a new book by IMPAC Dublin award-winner Kevin Barry, and a title by Jeffery Renard Allen (whose previous book for Graywolf, ‘Song of the Shank,’ was highly praised). Half of the books are in translation — from Serbian, from Russian, from Norwegian, from Spanish. But there are no women. No women on the fiction list. … ‘Whoa. So many dudes. Disappointing,’ wrote one person. ‘I can’t believe you even had the balls to publish the photo of these writers,’ said someone else.”
City Pages salutes its “Artists of the Year.” Included in the mix: First Avenue’s general manger, Nate Kranz. Writes CP’s Erik Thompson: “‘Just don’t [bleeping] ruin the place.’ That was the blunt opinion of most Twin Cities music fans when they found out that First Avenue had purchased the Turf Club, and was planning to remodel the beloved St. Paul hole-in-the-wall. … First Ave’s general manager, Nate Kranz, was tasked with the unenviable job of trying to fix something that technically wasn’t broken in the first place. … So they closed the Turf for a few months this past summer to install a new sound system, add a full-service kitchen, enlarge the stage, and update and expand the bathrooms (hooray!). … Miraculously, when the club reopened in late August, the overall vibe of the place remained largely the same, something that surely pleased longtime — and somewhat skeptical — Turf Club customers. In addition to a continuously packed concert calendar (First Avenue talent booker Sonia Grover had already been scheduling shows for the club since well before the purchase), the Turf is now open at 11 a.m. every day for lunch, with brunch on the weekends, adding to the friendly, neighborhood vibe of the place…. “ Imagine what they could do with Nye’s.