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Star Tribune settles cities vs. suburbs debate once and for all

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Suburbs or cities … which is better? Star Tribune commentary writer Loretta Ellsworth would like us to stop asking this question. In a piece bearing the neutral and productive headline “Dear smug urbanites, stop ridiculing the suburb I love,” Ellsworth writes, “I’m always disappointed that my urban acquaintances know very little of the suburbs surrounding their city. But I’m never more disappointed than when urbanites spout clichéd opinions about suburban living. … I’ll admit sidewalks are hard to come by and that the cities offer great restaurants, museums and parks all within walking distance. That’s still no excuse for cutting down the suburbs and people who live there. Living in Lakeville is no less virtuous than living in Minneapolis. I’ve found a wonderful community here.”

Appealing to a higher power here … The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson tells the tale of, “A Golden Valley woman [who] is asking the courts to allow her to smoke marijuana for religious reasons — because she belongs to the First Church of Cannabis. … Through her lawyer, 31-year-old Ashley Firnschild is arguing to the Hennepin County District Court that the weed’s illegality places an ‘undue burden’ on her ‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs as a member of the Indiana-based church established earlier this year. The case is coming before the court because Firnschild is alleged to have smoked the weed in violation of a condition of her probation for a drug charge.”

MPR’s Tim Nelson breaks down the potential cost to St. Paul — and value to Minnesota United — of a property tax break on a pro soccer stadium: “Of those, the property tax exemption seems to be the biggest question. It’s thought to be worth millions of dollars a year for an 18,500 seat facility the team estimates will cost $120 million to build. But no one is willing yet to put a dollar figure on the tax bill. … The Ramsey County officials who calculate property taxes say they can’t assess a property tax on a stadium that doesn’t yet exist. Assessors typically count on real estate sales and comparable properties to evaluate taxable value, but stadiums rarely change hands, and there isn’t another venue like it in the Twin Cities.”

Target grocery delivery coming soon? The AP reports (via KARE): “Target is testing the online grocery delivery waters. … The Minneapolis-based discounter has teamed up with Instacart, the online grocery delivery service, to let shoppers in the Minneapolis area order fruits and other perishables, as well as household, pet and baby products, and have them delivered to their homes in as little as an hour. … The service starts Tuesday.

In other news… calls Rochester, Minnesota, the nation’s most livable small to mid-sized city.

No easy answers to this one: “Minnesota Cities Press For Body-Camera Footage Restrictions” [WCCO]

Immigration law violations charged at Foley, Minnesota, vegetable farm… [Star Tribune]

… and 56 cattle seized from a farm near Utica. [KSTP]

Starbucks would like Minneapolis’ permission to open at 4:30 a.m. [WCCO]

Former Bismarck Mayor Marlan “Hawk” Haakenson takes trademark trolling to a whole new level. [Pioneer Press]

Uh, cool joke bro? “FBI agent ties flight attendant to 2nd alleged hoax” [KTAR]

Marlon James makes Man Booker shortlist. [MPR]

Minnesotan horse breeders make major donation to Winnipeg zoo. [CBC]

Say how’d the Vikings do? [Sporting News]

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/15/2015 - 02:11 pm.

    Just for the record

    …I live in the actual city of Minneapolis, and while there’s abundant parkland nearby, there are no museums, restaurants, or other cultural facilities within walking distance, unless it’s exercise I’m after. It’s about 1.3 miles from my front door, making use of city sidewalks, to the nearest retail establishment of any kind.

    Having lived most of my life in suburbs, rather than central cities, I continue to be interested in how affluence is often equated with virtue, and typically by those who are affluent. I do think Ms. Ellsworth is correct to imply that many city-dwellers know little about the surrounding suburbs, and tend to stereotype the residents thereof. That said, however, it seems equally-correct to me that many suburban residents know little about the city to which they’re tangentially related, and they, too, tend to stereotype the residents of the city they know little about.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 09/15/2015 - 05:32 pm.


      Ray, you hit the nail on the head with both accounts. All too often people have no clue as to how the other lives. While I personally prefer the city to living in the burbs, each has its own virtues that works for a certain subset of the population.

      Earlier this summer the company I work at moved to downtown to consolidate facilities. Some of my coworkers came from the burbs as well as rural Minnesota and were a little apprehensive about the shift as it’s a bit of a cultural shock. One day a few weeks after the move I took a coworker out on a little afternoon break, walking down to the river to take in the view and stopping at Whole Foods to get a cookie.

      On the way back she looked around and asked “is THIS Hennepin Avenue?” When I affirmed that it is indeed Hennepin, she shared that her friends back home told her to avoid the street at all costs as it’s “too dangerous.” I told her you’re fine as long as you’re not out here at 2 AM with all the drunk college students.

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