Protesters gather to fight parking meters on Grand Avenue

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Not in our front yards! Marino Eccher of the PiPress reports, “With green ‘No Meters’ signs and fake citations for Mayor Chris Coleman and the St. Paul City Council, a crowd of Grand Avenue residents and business owners gathered Sunday to voice opposition to metered parking on the street. About 150 people showed up to the rally in the parking lot of Dixie’s on Grand, directing full-throated boos at City Hall over the proposed meters.”

The, uh, Minneapolis-based Star Tribune sees things a bit differently. In an editorial, the paper on the West side of the river says: “Placing revenue-generating meters along the avenue — perhaps with some special provisions for residents and employees — is a sensible idea. Metered parking would bring the area in line with other popular urban commercial strips and raise needed funds for the city.  Grand is an established destination with numerous bars, restaurants and shops. Finding parking to patronize those businesses is a growing challenge. Meters would drive more turnover, allowing more customers access to spots for quick trips. And meters would likely encourage more walking, biking and transit use to get into and out of the area.” If you only go there twice a year, what do you care?

Looking at the, shall we say, erratic nature of the current stock market, Stribbers Tony Kennedy and Neal St. Anthony write: “The U.S. stock market, after a record run since it cratered during the 2008-09 Great Recession, backed off in August and September, reminding investors that nothing goes up forever. So far this year, and despite the October uplift, the Minnesota index of 66 publicly held companies with market values of at least $100 million has underperformed national indexes, including the S&P 500 index of America’s largest companies and the Russell 2000 small-company index. The S&P 500 dropped by about 12 percent in August and September from its recent high, before moving up during the October market rebound. The Minnesota index was down 11.6 percent through Thursday.”

This sounds like something they cooked up at Hogwarts. From Nathan Bowe of the Forum News Service we learn, “Move over flowering rush, a new invasive species is now threatening Minnesota lakes – and Big Detroit may be especially vulnerable. Starry stonewort may sound like something that pixies sprinkle from their magic bags to make you go to sleep at night, but it is actually grass-like algae, which produce dense mats that interfere with recreational use, choke out native plants, and have other impacts that alter lake habitat.”

Speaking of invasive, the AP says, “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says zebra mussels have spread to two more Minnesota lakes. A citizen involved in a monitoring program reported a single zebra mussel in Lake John, in Wright County, in late September. But surveys revealed a more widespread infestation. … In another case, a single zebra mussel was recently reported in Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie by Three Rivers Park District staff.”

You mean someone was here before the Norwegians and Germans? At MPR Tim Pugmire writes, “A group made up of state lawmakers, historians and others is trying to decide how art portraying Native Americans should be used inside the renovated Minnesota Capitol building when it reopens in 2017. … State Rep. Dianne Loeffler, DFL-Minneapolis, said many people have raised concerns about the historical accuracy of some of the current Capitol paintings. ‘Some are romanticized visions of Native Americans that portray them in ways that we don’t believe the historical record supports them, in terms of dress and those sorts of things,’ Loeffler said. ‘So, as a place people go to learn history, that’s a concern.’”

And while we’re on the subject of who was here first, Mary Hudetz of the AP reports, “More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country. As the U.S. observes Columbus Day on Monday, it will also be Indigenous Peoples Day in at least nine cities for the first time this year, including Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Olympia, Washington. Encouraged by city council votes in Minneapolis and Seattle last year, Native American activists made a push in dozens of cities in recent months to get local leaders to officially recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Their success was mixed.”

Naturally, an Italian guy has other thoughts on the matter. In a Strib commentary, Lou Caravello (living in L.A.) writes, “Last year, the Minneapolis City Council voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day, a national holiday. Busy smearing the villain Christopher Columbus, the council failed to honor the fact that, in practice, Columbus Day is Italian-American Heritage Day, and has been celebrated as such for decades. This year, by continuing to ignore how the holiday is actually observed, the council and mayor demonstrate cultural myopia and racial disrespect.”

We’re No. 6! MPR’s Martin Moylan tells us, “Twin Cities consumers using ATMs outside their bank or credit union networks pay the sixth highest fees in the nation, according to a new report from Bankrate.com. Locally, the average surcharge is $4.71 according to the report. Nationally, the average fee for using an out-of-network ATM has risen 21 percent over the past five years to $4.52 per transaction. Atlanta’s average fee tops $5. San Francisco is a bit under $4.” Good luck to anyone trying to do anything about that.

Wait, we’re No. 1! The Strib follows a USA Today story, saying, “The Great Minnesota Get-Together has been named the best state fair in the nation by readers of USA Today’s 10 Best website. Already known as the largest in the U.S. judged by average daily attendance, the fair packed in 1.78 million visitors over its 12-day run at the State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights this year, slightly below the 2014 record of 1.82 million fans. … Completing the top 10 were, in descending order: Iowa State Fair in Des Moines; Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.; State Fair of Texas in Dallas; Great New York State Fair in Syracuse; California State Fair in Sacramento; Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis; Ohio State Fair in Columbus; Arizona State Fair in Phoenix; and North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh.”

Particularly attractive to all our millionaires who have migrated there. Barry Amundson of the Forum News Service says, “The marijuana plants are already growing in a remodeled building on the Flandreau Santee Sioux reservation as the southeast South Dakota tribe shoots for a New Year’s Eve opening for its first-of-its-kind resort. The state-of-the-art marijuana growing operation with its 65 strains of plants is in its infancy as finishing touches are being put on the building where it will take about 14 weeks to grow about 80 pounds of pot. That’s how much the tribe hopes to sell weekly at its smoking lounge and entertainment resort just south of their casino that is noting its 25th year of operation this month.” Hey, knock yourself out. But you’ll still be in South Dakota.

Yeah, it was warm. The AP says, “It’s October, but summer is having a last hurrah in Minnesota. Temperatures on Sunday soared into the 90s in parts of Minnesota as southern winds pushed in warm air. The National Weather Service says the temperature in Minneapolis reached 84 degrees at 4 p.m. Sunday, trying a record set in 1930. The average high for Oct. 11 is 61. In west-central Minnesota, Wheaton hit 97 at 3 p.m.” Which made it a perfect day for sawing out a stump. Just sayin’.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/12/2015 - 06:32 am.

    Columbus Day confusion

    “Lou Caravello (living in L.A.) writes, ‘Last year, the Minneapolis City Council voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day, a national holiday. Busy smearing the villain Christopher Columbus, the council failed to honor the fact that, in practice, Columbus Day is Italian-American Heritage Day, and has been celebrated as such for decades. This year, by continuing to ignore how the holiday is actually observed, the council and mayor demonstrate cultural myopia and racial disrespect.’”

    I understand the cultural myopia part, but “racial disrespect?” Toward whom? By current standards, at least, there’s no Italian “race,” and I confess I don’t see how “Indigenous People’s Day” would be disrespectful to… um… indigenous people.

    While I lived in the vicinity, Columbus Day parades in Denver almost always generated a sizable protest, and similar sentiments here don’t quite make sense to me, either. I do understand the desire not to honor someone responsible for the cavalcade of destruction that descended upon native populations in the western hemisphere, but at least in Colorado, many of those most vocal about this are Hispanic. It’s at that point when my irony meter breaks.

    Columbus may have been from Genoa, but Italy, as a nation, didn’t exist for another three-and-a-half centuries after 1492, so making Italian-Americans the object of protests doesn’t make sense to me, particularly in North America. I’m not aware of ANY Italian colonies in North America over the succeeding decades and centuries. In the meantime, protesters don’t seem to be aware that Columbus, even if we consider him to be symbolic of the destruction of native peoples and societies, was in the employ of Ferdinand and Isabella – the king and queen of Spain. It’s Spain that paid for his voyage of “discovery,” and it’s Spain that sent both troops and missionaries to Caribbean islands, then Central America, South America, and eventually to the American south and southwest. It was also Spain that initiated the importation of African slaves to the western hemisphere, and was responsible for the obliteration of dozens of native cultures and languages, not to mention most of the native population (i.e., millions of people) of the hemisphere from Mexico south.

    That citizens of Spanish descent would then join in protests of Columbus Day, when it was their leaders who sponsored Columbus, and their ancestors who were responsible for most of the damage done to indigenous peoples and cultures, strikes me as oddly disconnected from reality.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/12/2015 - 09:27 am.

      Citizens of Spanish Descent

      An interesting point, but I would note that many people whose culture is Mexican or from other Latin American countries identify as “Latino” rather than “Hispanic.” To many of them, Hispanic implies an identification with European colonists, and is a rejection of their heritage as indigenous people. They would tell you that they are not of “Spanish descent.” Latino refers to a shared language and a culture that is more Western Hemisphere than European Spanish.

    • Submitted by Peggy Reinhardt on 10/12/2015 - 09:40 am.

      About those protestors in Denver

      Are you sure that they were Spanish descendants protesting in Denver? There were native people in Mexico and Central America when the Spanish arrived. Just because someone now speaks Spanish doesn’t mean they’re not Indigenous.

  2. Submitted by Greg Price on 10/12/2015 - 08:30 am.

    Native American Day

    We have been celebrating Native American Day in progressive South Dakota for more than 25 yrs…looks like MN can congratulate itself for being ahead of the curve after all…

    As to the pot deal in Flandreau…it involves a little issue called tribal sovereignty…you will probably have some pot parlors in Red Lake or maybe even Shakopee in the not too distant future…

    greg Price

  3. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 10/12/2015 - 09:31 am.

    Say no to poorly designed parking meters

    A couple of years ago I checked out a book on design thinking. In it there was a case study of poor design and, wouldn’t you know–in fact you might very well anticipate–the very same meter Minneapolis (St. Paul?) uses was the example under examination.

    But you don’t need design scholars to tell you this. The design and usability problems of the meters seem apparent, and their usability improves only slightly even after repeat use, but only to the point of basic function. It’s still unclear to me after many dozens of uses how much time I might be getting for a given amount of money.

    There’s the dim screen, the cluttered low contrast between letters and background, and poor flow of use. I’ve seen newbies stand in bewilderment in front of the pay stations for long periods as more experienced users start lining up behind them.

    One sees the rationale for parking meters, but wouldn’t it be nice if protestors said, “You blew your chance to install intelligently designed machines. No more. It’s too late to nip this mistake in the bud, but we can thwart the spread of the problem.”

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