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Bicycles make big economic impact on Minnesota, Twin Cities


Pedal power. The Star Tribune’s Josephine Marcotty reports: “For many Minnesotans cycling is nothing more than a Sunday frolic, but a new report finds that the state’s bike industry produces $780 million in annual economic activity, 5,519 jobs and millions of dollars in health care savings because of reduced obesity, diabetes and heart disease. … And get this: Fully 13.6 percent of Twin Cities residents commute by bike, at least once in a while. … Those are the results of the first major investigation into the health and economic effects of the state’s bicycling industry, commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to help measure the financial return on taxpayers’ investment in biking infrastructure.”

A thorough look at some of the issues driving Minnesota’s teacher shortage. MPR’s Solvejg Wastvedt and John Enger report: “It’s always been a challenge convincing young teachers to put down roots in remote northwestern Minnesota. But these days it’s an especially hard sell. … The northland schools have struggled like never before to fill open jobs the past few years, said Bob Jaszczak, superintendent of the Kittson Central district. ‘I’d be talking to area superintendents,’ he said, ‘and they’d be saying, “Oh my God, I cannot find a ‘blank’ teacher.”‘ … While that may be a fact of life in Hallock, state and local school leaders have become increasingly concerned by the rising number of Minnesota school districts confronting Hallock-like troubles. Once viewed only as a rural problem, filling critical jobs in high-need teaching areas has become a serious struggle across the state.”

With Walz officially in for governor, let the CD1 speculation begin. The Rochester Post Bulletin’s Heather J. Carlson gets things started: “Republicans eager to win back the 1st Congressional District seat see a golden opportunity with Democratic Congressman Tim Walz opting to run for governor. … First District Republicans Chairwoman Carol Stevenson said she was optimistic about the GOP’s chances to win the seat even if Walz sought re-election. That is in large part thanks to Republican Donald Trump’s strong showing, winning the district by 15 percentage points in November.”

Dirty tricks in the Minneapolis City Council race? The Southwest Journal’s Dylan Thomas reports: “False claims about the city’s plans for bicycle lanes on Eat Street are being spread in anonymous mailings that have, in some cases, included faked signatures. … The letters claim City Council Member Lisa Bender ‘plans to abolish Eat Street’ through a plan to add protected bicycle lanes and remove parking. The Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan does not call for protected bicycle lanes on Eat Street, a multi-block segment of Nicollet Avenue known for its multicultural restaurant scene, and Bender has attempted to dispel the rumors, which began spreading on social media in recent days. … A version of the letter received Friday by the Southwest Journal was unsigned and included no return address. But other versions have included signatures indicating they were sent by Ricardo McCurley, executive director of the Whittier Alliance neighborhood organization, and Tammy Wong, owner of Rainbow Chinese. … Both have denied they were the source of the letter. Wong said she hadn’t heard about the letters until she was contacted by a reporter Tuesday morning.”

In other news…

Disturbing: “Suspect stabs man in Minneapolis, says he ‘hates Muslims’” [KMSP]

Looks like we all owe Tom Emmer an apology: “Restaurant group: Minneapolis servers make $28.56 per hour” [Star Tribune]

Spring is here: “Nice Ride’s 1,700 bikes will be back in the racks Monday” [Star Tribune]

See also: “Nelson’s Ice Cream Will Open for the Season on Saturday, April 1” [Stillwater Current]

At this point, it’s barely even a duke’s highway: “King’s Highway Residents Are Taking Complaints to the Streets” [KSTP]

Dispatch from the tiny house beat: “A tiny house village springs up near Lake Mille Lacs as a refuge from rat race” [City Pages]

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 03/28/2017 - 01:00 pm.

    More complaining might do the trick

    Maybe we aren’t demeaning enough to teachers, complaining about their pay, their summers “off”, their Union protecting “bad” teachers or school budgets in general doesn’t seem to be producing the desired results: more teachers, so maybe we’ve been being too nice?

    Or maybe, I know this sounds crazy, maybe we should try respecting them a little more, paying them a wage that is reflective of the education and training they have. My Republican friends are oh so concerned with the welfare of our children and we are entrusting Teachers with those children, shouldn’t we be showing them a little respect for what they do for us?

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/28/2017 - 01:35 pm.


    …not far enough into cheek, Henk, though I like that first paragraph anyway.

    Your Republican friends ought to, first, get out of the country occasionally. Europe would be a good place to start, though there are Asian countries that would do nicely in this regard, as well. Second, while in other “modern” industrial societies, they could learn some interesting and useful things by looking around and paying attention. Among the things they’d notice is that, in those industrial societies we think of as “successful,” teachers generally are not paid just a little more, or accorded just a bit more respect. They’re paid a LOT more, with commensurate levels of respect, because citizens of those societies understand how difficult the job is, and the multiple levels of expertise it requires in order to do it well. It’s also worth noting that the responsibility for a student acquiring an education in those societies is placed squarely on the student’s shoulders, not those of the teacher or, for that matter, the parents. In some parts of the U.S., this is considered remarkable.

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