MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 6/5

Note to Blog Cabin fans: Minnesota Blog Cabin is taking a brief break the week of June 8th. We’ll be back with new posts and a roundup starting Monday, June 15.

What if we upzoned all of Minneapolis tomorrow?

from streets.mn by Alex Cecchini

Up-zoning is scary; the thought of massive, neighborhood-wide construction is a doomsday scenario for most (though most seem blissfully comfortable with the scale of redevelopment that allow us all to hop on freeways today). We can’t even replace single family homes with slightly larger single family homes without slamming the brakes.

But I’m a curious man. I’d like to know what it would even look like if we did something totally crazy and up-zoned the whole city to R5 tomorrow. Would the world end? Grab a huge block of salt, suspend your disbelief, and join me on this thought experiment with rough math.

The soccer stadium should pay taxes

from streets.mn by Scott Shaffer

My attitude is the same as Council Member Andrew Johnson’s: I’m in favor of a new soccer stadium, as long as it’s completely privately financed. The confusion arises from Mr. Rogers’ implied assumption that if Minneapolis must give tax breaks to the stadium to show that the city wants it. This assumption is wrong. It’s impossible for a city to give tax breaks to every establishment that belongs in the community.

If you look around the city, you’ll see that many establishments necessary for everyday urban life also pay property taxes. Grocery stores irrigate our food deserts, and provide the literal sustenance for our lives. And yet, the Uptown Cub Foods pays $158,000 a year in property taxes. Coffee shops facilitate knowledge spillover and cross-pollination of ideas (as they have since the Renaissance), and caffeine rejuvenates our workforce. And yet, the Spyhouse in Northeast pays $95,000 a year in property taxes.

My brother, Professor Brown and avian flu

from News Day by Mary Turck

Professor Brown, Belushi, Bronzie and B2 strutted toward me across the June-green farmyard, accompanied by their entourage of hens. Back toward the barn, the neat little Production Red laying hens and glossy Black Jersey Giants scratched in the gravel, overseen by Goliath and the other Jersey Giant roosters.

They’re obviously healthy, and even state-certified healthy, but in quarantine nonetheless. Why? Because some unidentified commercial flock in the area, tens of thousands of birds that never once walked outdoors in sunlight or scratched the ground for bugs, was infected by avian flu and destroyed to the last bird.

Millions of philanthropists

from Next in Nonprofits by Steve Boland

Donors, as it turns out, are largely people. Yes, nonprofits consistently chase grants from foundations, governments and other still bigger nonprofits because it feels great to catch a large sum of money. But the majority of giving in the United States comes from individuals. Giving USA reports at least $335 billion in charitable giving in 2013. 72% of that number comes from individuals. Those donors don’t all think of themselves as philanthropists and mission communicators.

At least, not yet.

Intrinsic genderhood: Womanhood and femininity

from Girl Meets Geek by Kate-Madonna Hindes

I suppose in some circles, I’m not a woman. Women have reproductive systems that enable the creation and birth of children. After cancer, I don’t have any of the necessary ingredients to create another being.  Sometimes, I call it, “Phantom Womb Syndrome.“ I’m losing my body, piece by precious piece- to what can only be assumed to be a tub of medical waste. The unnecessary. Here I am without my womanly bits. But say it again- I think: The unnecessary. I am still here. I am still a woman.

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