MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 4/17

Latest state economic update shows higher revenues but slower economic growth

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Clark Biegler

Minnesota’s spring is arriving with mixed economic news. State revenues have come in higher than expected, but the U.S. economy is not expected to grow as quickly as earlier predicted. That’s according to the April Economic Update from Minnesota Management and Budget.

How power companies profit from net metering

from The Deets by Ed Kohler

One of the nice things about residential solar systems in Minnesota is that they’re eligible for net metering. You have an upstream meter and a downstream meter and are charged for electricity based on the net consumption. So, if your home uses $40 of electricity over a month but your panels produced $60, you’ll get money back from Xcel. Not $20 back, since there are base fees to cover, but you’ll still get a check.

A common beef from the pollution industry and their legislative allies against net metering goes something like this:

Residential solar users are freeloaders. They’re selling electricity to the grid at retail rates, yet benefit from being attached to the grid when they really need it.

The case for closing Portland Ave. in Downtown East

from by Nick Magrino

A debate exists online and perhaps in real life over whether or not we ought to close Portland Avenue through the new, not-yet built or even designed or paid for Downtown East Commons in Minneapolis. Many smart people do not want to close Portland Avenue. Others think closing Portland Avenue would be just fine. A post about a month and a half ago suggested that, “Hey, maybe we could just close it for a few weeks and see how it plays out?” Here are some more detailed thoughts about that whole situation.

To turkey farmers hit with avian influenza: I’m sorry

from Minnesota Farm Living by Wanda Patsche

With all the news reports about the numbers of turkeys affected by the avian influenza, it’s easy to overlook the “human side” of the virus. The human emotional toll is difficult to hear, but an important dimension to the story.

Shelter Report: Disposing of the estate, Part 2

from Across the Great Divide by Charlie Quimby

We provide three dozen or more people a secure storage bin where they can safeguard papers, clothing, keepsakes—whatever they don’t want to risk at the shelter, at a campsite or in a backpack. As long as they don’t store food or drugs, we don’t ask questions. As long as they actively use their storage and don’t overfill the bin, they can keep it.

Abe first signed for his bin in October 2006. He hadn’t used it since November. Today we emptied it. 

A photo documentary of Minnesota barns & thoughts on their demise

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

BARNS ONCE SHELTERED cows, pigs, sheep, a farmer’s livelihood. Some still do. But most don’t.

Today all too many barns stand empty of animals and are used instead for storage of recreational vehicles and other possessions. Others are simply slumping into heaps, like rotting carcasses with backbones exposed.

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