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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 7/10

Getting money out of politics; what’s wrong with the Bottineau light rail line; what Jeb Bush really meant; privatizing public housing; and more.

Getting the Money Out of Politics: Two Essays

from LeftMN by David Schultz

On July 8, I had two different essays published which address the role of money in politics.  One essay takes us along the history of how our campaign finance laws broke down, the other describes four fixes the president can take to act.  Here are reprints of both essays.

The Other Other Bad Light Rail Alignment: The Blue Line Extension

from by Nick Magrino

Right around the same time the Green Line extension was starting to go to pot, three entire years ago, Hennepin County was going through the process of choosing a Locally Preferred Alternative for the Bottineau Transitway. This is the northwesterly-aiming transit corridor heading out of Downtown Minneapolis, through North Minneapolis, and hitting a couple first-ring suburbs before ending up in either Brooklyn Park or Maple Grove. In retrospect, it is unfortunate that maybe we focused on complaining about Uptown and beating a dead horse that was buried under a light rail tunnel under a bike trail–we probably could have been paying more attention to what was going on in other parts of town.

Shifts and shiftlessness

from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

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What makes someone “obscenely wealthy” is a discussion for another day. So, did you sense that ol’ Jeb is saying people are shiftless? I didn’t. Bush is talking about the workforce participation rate, which is at a lower point than it has been in generations. A lot of people aren’t working full time hours at present. For some, it’s a conscious decision. For some others, it’s because full time work isn’t readily available. For some people, the job search has been so fruitless that they’ve given up.

Privatizing public housing in Minneapolis: the Glendale problems

from News Day by Mary Turck

With average apartment rent in the Twin Cities at a record-breaking $1018 a month, Minneapolis Public Housing plans to send 184 families out looking for new places to live. That’s just one of the problems with the Minneapolis plan to knock down Glendale public housing and replace it with 550 new units that will mostly rent for market rates.

What it’s like to witness a hit and run

from Biking in Mpls by Lindsey Wallace

On Thursday, June 2nd, I witnessed the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen: a hit-and-run between a black SUV and one of my closest friends on a bike. I’m writing about this now, while it’s fresh, because many people have heard that this happened and I feel like it’s worthwhile to put it the experience out there.

Cathartic Moments: Spinning Stories Pioneers New Technique to Connect MSP Bicycle Riders

from RedCurrent by Tesha M. Christensen

When people are on a bike, they naturally start telling stories. And when you’re in a city, those stories often get prompted by a place. In March of 2014 Brian took that natural part of riding a bike, and pushed it a little further to create Spinning Stories, a place-based storytelling series that travels by bike.

“Spinning Stories was a way to take all my favorite things from urban bicycling, refine them and combine them into something that the whole city could enjoy,” remarked Brian.

Minnesota Faces: The Hitchhiker

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

For a hitchhiker, he wasn’t traveling light. A pile of bags, rather than a single backpack, rested at his feet along a rural highway.

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Years ago, I would have thought nothing of a person thumbing a ride. But today and in the middle of southwestern Minnesota farm country? Yeah, I wondered.

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