MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 1/16

Minnesota’s January Economic Update brings good news for right now

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Clark Biegler

News on the economic front shows some improvement from the November forecast. The nation’s GDP grew faster than expected during 2014, and growth was over 4 percent for two quarters in a row for the first time since 2003. Looking forward, the economy is expected to grow faster in 2015 than predicted in the November forecast. This is due in part to lower gas prices, which have freed up more income for other household needs.

GOP minority senate is actually right on Sen. Tomassoni

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

I sympathize with our legislators financial status….being part time legislators and the commensurate low pay. But this is still representation for the state….and all cases of even the appearance of conflicting interest need to be eliminated.

Map of the Day: State highway taxes vs. State highway spending

from by Bill Lindeke

Here are two maps showing the same basic dynamic: for all its talk of geographic inequality, rural Minnesota has been getting more than its fair share of road money for a long time. These two maps come from the excellent Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, which is one of the many groups attempting to create a more sustainable policy landscape at the state capitol.

Thoughts on mass transit in Minnesota: memories & more

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Decades ago, when I visited my Aunt Rae and Uncle Bob each summer, riding the Greyhound bus solo from my Uncle Harold’s gas station along Highway 19 in Vesta in southwestern Minnesota all the way to downtown Minneapolis, I experienced big city mass transit.

An excited nervousness jittered through me as Rae and I boarded a Minneapolis city bus to wherever she wanted to take me. To the Munsingwear warehouse to sort through piles of fabric. Or maybe downtown to view an art exhibit. Specific destination details mostly elude me now all these decades later.

But the wonderment of wheeling along narrow city streets, the bus pulsating to a stop, door swishing open, passengers boarding, remains with me. To be young and in the big city hustle far from corn and soybean fields and bellowing cows opened my eyes.

The woman behind Cafe Maude

from Squeaky Green Machine by Heidi Van Heel

Cafe Maude in southwest Minneapolis, for example, was named after Maude Armatage, a woman basically forgotten to history. Enticed to do a little Googling, I learned that Maude was considered a driving force in helping Minneapolis come of age in the 20th century. Born in 1870 to a family whose farm is now the entire Armatage neighborhood in Minneapolis, her grandparents founded Harmony, which later became the city of Richfield. When she first married, she moved to South Minneapolis – an area that was considered the wilderness at that time.

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