MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 7/25

The $10 billion ‘Non-Issue’

from Fiscal Fitness, the blog of the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence by Mark Haveman

That statement deserves a much closer look for a couple of reasons. First $10 billion in unfunded government obligations is still nothing to sneeze at, especially when the recent improvement has been made possible by what is nearly the longest bull market in 85 years. More fundamentally, the idea of dismissing the pension situation as an emerging “non-issue” based on reported improvements in unfunded liabilities is a myopic perspective on the pension problem and is in many ways a failure to understand what the problem really is.

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The North Minneapolis-Southwest LRT connection

from streets.mn by Aaron Isaacs

The Southwest Corridor will dramatically improve the transit connection between North Minneapolis and the southwest suburbs. Today, if a Northside resident wants to travel to Hopkins, a one transfer bus ride is available during rush hour every 20 minutes, and it takes 46 minutes to get there from the corner of North 7th Street & Olson Memorial Highway. During off-peak hours, that same trip takes three buses and about an hour. Travel to Minnetonka and Eden Prairie is even less convenient. Light rail transit (LRT) will shorten the trip to Hopkins to 23 minutes, with 10 minute frequencies and much more availability during many more hours of the day. That opens up all sorts of employment opportunities for Northside residents.

Touring Israel local style

from Old and In the Way by Gary Sankary

There aren’t many tourists in Israel at moment, for obvious reasons. The running joke is everywhere we go the business and tourism folks already know about that “family from Minnesota”. It’s basically us, a few groups of pilgrims in the Christian holy sites and a couple busloads of Jewish kids on Birthright trips touring the country in mass. This has worked out pretty well for us for the most part, no lines anywhere.

Amazon helps a town appreciate its small businesses

from Across the Great Divide by Charlie Quimby

…what happens to those strong bonds when an online retailing giant comes in with a deal that benefits one side and threatens the other? That was the question at the heart of a recent mini-rebellion led by a feisty western Colorado bookseller, who heard her favorite community radio station, KAFM, promoting a new fundraising partnership with Amazon.

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