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Enbridge pipeline proposal goes before Minnesota regulators

Decision time. Mike Hughlett of the Strib says, “After more than three years of rancorous debate, Enbridge’s quest to build a new $2.6 billion pipeline across northern Minnesota is finally in front of the decision-makers. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Monday begins deliberations expected to conclude by June 28 with a decision on the Canadian company’s proposal to build a new pipeline that would replace its aging and corroding Line 3.”

Those 1,000-year rain events are coming twice a decade. KSTP-TV’s story on the latest NE Minnesota NW Wisconsin deluge says, “Flash flooding overnight has washed out several roads in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Law enforcement reports that Minnesota Highway 23 washed out at the Nemidji River bridge in Carlton County of Minnesota, about 14 miles southwest of Duluth. The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office says highway crews were also working Sunday on several other washouts and flooded roads, particularly in the Barnum, Mahtowa, Wrenshall and Holyoke areas. In Wisconsin, the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office reports that U.S. Highway 2 washed out about 10 miles west of Ashland.”

The Duluth News Tribune says, “A flood warning was in effect until 5 a.m. Tuesday for northeastern Pine County and southeastern Carlton County in Minnesota, and northwestern Douglas County in Wisconsin. The National Weather Service in Duluth urged people people to stay off flooded roadways. The heaviest rain overnight Saturday fell in southern Aitkin through Carlton counties, into Douglas and Bayfield counties, with estimates of 6 to 12 inches near Drummond, the Weather Service reported.”

Also up north. Mr. Krueger and Mark Steil report, “A 1,004-foot freighter ran aground Sunday afternoon in the Duluth Harbor, coming to rest just offshore from a breakwall in Canal Park. Duluth Seaway Port Authority public relations director Adele Yorde said the ship, the American Spirit, was loaded with iron ore pellets.” I think I know a captain who’s going to have some ‘splainin to do. 

Marching. FOX 9 reports: “Hundreds of protesters took to the streets on Father’s Day to protest the Trump Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy which sends parents who cross the U.S. border illegally to federal jails while placing their children in shelters. Braving the heat, many gathered in front of the Republican Party office on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis to call for an end to the practice, which they view as an irreparable and traumatic violation of human rights.”

Defending global trade. In the Star Tribune, Jim Spencer writes: “Cargill, the Minnesota-based agricultural and shipping giant that is one of the world’s largest private companies, has emerged as a leading voice in support of global trade as President Donald Trump imposes protective tariffs on other countries.” How long until it earns them a presidential tweet?

Just like in the movies. Says the AP, “A deputy went into a central Minnesota lake to rescue a woman from her sinking car. The Douglas County sheriff’s office says it happened Saturday night in a construction zone on Interstate 94 near Lake Latoka, southwest of Alexandria. The sheriff’s office says 76-year-old Beverly Toso, of Hoffman, couldn’t stop in time before she drove off a bridge that’s being replaced. Her car landed in the lake. Only a few inches of air were left in her car when Deputy Ben Jarvi arrived. He tied a rope to his waist, went into the water, opened the door and pulled her out.”

In the Star Tribune, Emma Nelson says, “The city of St. Paul has designated 27 areas where motorists need residential parking permits and enacted more than 100 policies that control parking in those places. Now city officials are considering one rule for residential parking permits that would apply citywide. … Last year, the City Council asked the Department of Public Works to study the city’s nearly 40-year-old permit parking system and recommend how to simplify it.”

The Strib’s editorial board likes density. “The suburban development model prevailed in this metro region for most of the last 50 years, a time in which growth and prosperity moved almost exclusively outward. Now, as the market seeks better balance between urban and suburban lifestyles, it’s no surprise that skeptics question the best way forward on density. … Perhaps it’s useful, then, in a comparably sparse metro region like ours, to recount the advantages of including more compact neighborhoods. They generate less driving and more walking, biking and transit-riding. They use utilities and infrastructure more efficiently. They spread the tax burden among more housing units and businesses. They increase the housing supply, thus driving down rents and aiding affordability, whether directly or indirectly.” The inbox is going to take a beating for that one.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/18/2018 - 07:25 am.

    Beating the inbox

    I look forward to the ‘Strib listing of all the multistory residential projects being built now that include, say, 20% of the units being “affordable” by current guidelines. Virtually every residential project I’ve seen in the paper in my 9 years here has featured “luxury” apartments or condos, as if everyone in the Twin Cities was in the upper income quintile. Observation on the ground suggests otherwise.

    A few years ago, at a meeting of citizen volunteers for a city committee, then-mayor R.T. Ryback told me that one of the primary benefits of increased population in Minneapolis would be lower taxes. Oddly enough, that has turned out not to be the case…

    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 06/18/2018 - 10:08 am.

      Trickle down housing?

      It’s claimed that luxury and market rate construction reduces demand for older housing, thereby depressing rents or at least the growth in rents. That may be true, provided that the occupants of the newer housing already live in the market in question.

  2. Submitted by Syuart Orlowski on 06/18/2018 - 12:31 pm.

    Beating the Inbox 2:. Where’s the evidence?

    I constantly see newspapers state that increased density lowers rents and increases affordability. Where’s the evidence of this? I have never seen a study done showing that increased density increases affordability in metro regions; in fact I’ve seen the opposite. Also in that Strib editorial: I know for a fact that the two densest cities are the two most expensive rental markets in the country. Why strive to be them?

    If almost all of the new constructions are luxury apartments, they won’t make things cheaper for the average city dweller.

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