MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 4/3

Reduce affordable housing need in three steps

from by Janne Flisrand

I’ve dedicated the last 15 years of my life working on affordable housing policy. Mostly, I’ve worked where some sort of subsidy helps make it (more) affordable.

In this post, informed by what I’ve learned about the scope of our problem and the inadequacy of existing subsidy programs, I’ll share actions and policies that I think could ameliorate our affordable housing problems.

Women and money: Earn, save and spend (in that order)

from The Middle Stages by Amy Gage

St. Paul-based financial educator Ruth Hayden has been giving women the same advice about money for 25 years.

And it’s not because she’s out of touch with the persistent problems of the gender pay gap or the glass ceiling. Far from it. No, Hayden — who literally wrote the book about women and money back in 1992 — is discouraged about how little has changed for female wage-earners in the past quarter century.

Twin Cities bicycle riding: the safe way

from Thoughtful Bastards by Paul Udstrand

Cycling may be incredibly popular in the Twin Cities, but our fine metro area like the rest of the country is still experiencing growing pains and culture clashes between cyclists and everyone else out on those roads and trails. For now this is just kind of an American thing, we’ve had an explosion of people riding bicycles in a country that for decades was designed around automobiles. We’ve also had an explosion of exercise in the last couple of decades.  Millions of people started walking and running and cycling in communities that were largely designed or redesigned around automobiles. There is some “tension” out there… to say the least.

The history of Lake Nokomis

from Squeaky Green Machine by Heidi Van Heel

Originally only about 5 feet deep, the lake was dredged in 1914 to increase its depth to approximately 15 feet. When the dredging was complete in 1917, the lake’s surface area had been reduced from 300 acres to 200 acres, the surrounding marshlands and wetlands had been filled with dredged materials, and the swimming beach on the northwestern shore had been created.

A visit to the West Concord, MN museum in three parts

Audrey Kletscher Helbling at Minnesota Prairie Roots trained her camera on the collections of the West Concord Historical Society. If you enjoy Americana of a certain era, you’ll want to check out all three parts:

Meeting the Hmong (in Saint Paul)

from Macaroni by John Toren

The current exhibit of Hmong history and culture at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul is both delightful and profound.

Christ is risen — how about you?

from Kristine Holmgren — Drama Queen by Kristine Holmgren

In June the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. agreed to acknowledge the legitimacy of gay marriage by permitting clergy to perform weddings where allowed by the state.

I snorted when I heard the news. Leave it to my church to be the last of the “main line” Protestants to join the 21st Century. 

Schools, pools, beer and deer

from Saint Paul by Bike by Wolfie Browender

Students in Saint Paul went back to school this week, making the visit one of my favorite school buildings, Randolph Heights Elementary, apropos. This gorgeous 1916 building has several uncommon and attractive elements. The first is the Spanish-influenced design itself. Lead architect Charles Hausler visited schools in California and adopted qualities (stucco exterior, flat roof, curves and arches) into the design of Randolph Heights…

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