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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 1/9

The Nicollet Mall redesign and the failure of planning

from by Nathaniel M. Hood

The biggest impediment to improving Nicollet Mall is not the aesthetic of the street, but the buildings themselves and their poor frontages. This fact is apparently lost among the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s Board of Directors, a self-selected group of downtown building owners, property managers, and corporate stakeholders.

Aldermanic Privilege: When it works and when it doesn’t

from North by Northside by Jeff Skrenes

The term “aldermanic privilege” has its origins in Chicago, but the principle is often applied here in Minneapolis as well. The phrase refers to circumstances where the council as a whole defers to the wishes of the council member whose ward is most impacted by a particular issue or vote.  This privilege has its benefits – and not just to the individual council member, but also to his or her constituents. And then there’s the drawbacks, especially in a “weak mayor/strong council” city like Minneapolis, where a liberal application of aldermanic privilege bestows too much power on each council member.

How I deal with some of winter’s challenges here in Minnesota

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

After living in Minnesota my entire life, I’m still learning how to best handle these sometimes brutal winters.

I’m not talking big stuff here. But the little stuff that, on a daily basis, can prove bothersome.

2015: A good year to remind ourselves that we are part of a community of nations

from Thoughts Towards a Better World by Dick Bernard

A key question, for me, is “where would the world be in 2015 without a United Nations?” I think we would rue the day the UN disappeared.

Should you take conference calls in a coffee shop?

from Communications Conversations by Arik Hanson

The coffee shop thing is pretty interesting. You see a lot of solopreneurs working during the day. They set up shop, as if the coffee shop was their office. Not my style, but you do see this.

And, similarly, you see a lot of people taking client calls right in coffee shops.

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