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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 3/11

Sen. Klobuchar and GMO labeling; how an unpopular legislature might win re-election; questions about Cano ethics complaint; and more.

Amy Klobuchar moves to the DARK side on GMO labeling

from News Day by Mary Turck

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar joined Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee last week to vote for the DARK Act — the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act. That’s the bill that would forbid state and local governments from requiring labeling foods containing GMOs.

How DFL legislators with only 29% voter approval could win in November

from Wry Wing Politics by Joe Loveland

DFL state legislators are an awfully unpopular bunch. According to an August 2016 Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of registered Minnesota voters, only 29% have a favorable view of DFL state legislators, while 49% disapprove. Not many candidates with 29% approval get reelected.

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Still, DFL legislators may manage to do well in the November general election, due to at least five factors.

What happened to the Alondra Cano ethics complaint? (And why it matters)

from North by Northside by Jeff Skrenes

Late last year, Minneapolis Council Member Alondra Cano found herself in a controversy of her own making when she attended a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America, and used her Twitter account to publish the names and addresses of several of her constituents.  One of them filed an ethics complaint, or at least publicly stated his intentions to do so.  The issue was picked up nationally, and even on a global scale, with mainstream media calling it “doxing” and local bloggers offering a spirited defense of why this was not a violation of that nature. …

When that post was published, it took the story to a completely different place than what Minneapolis needed it to be, if we’re to learn from it and arrive at better local governance.  Cano’s actions weren’t “doxing,” and almost certainly didn’t violate any laws.  They may, however, rise to the level of an ethics violation.  And that’s where Minneapolis needs its elected officials to aspire to behavior that better facilitates constituent interaction with local government.

Punk debaters need an old-fashioned schoolmarm lesson

from After Thought on Unheralded.Fish by Nancy Edmonds Hanson

If there’s one big lesson we’ve learned from the latest Republican debates, it’s that this nation desperately needs more women in politics.

And not just any women. What front-runners Trump, Cruz and Rubio badly require to upgrade their discourse are a few battle-hardened sixth-grade teachers.

In defense of a paved Minnesota Valley State Trail

from by Monte Castleman

Recently there’s been a lot of controversy about filling in a link in our protected bicycle trail network, the portion of the Minnesota Valley State Trail through the Minnesota River Bottoms in Bloomington. The idea to add a paved trail to the existing dirt mountain bike trail is nothing new, the concept of a trail from Minneapolis to Le Sueur (and later all the way to South Dakota) has existed since 1969. What’s different now is that construction of the controversial segment is imminent. Ann Lenczewski, the (now former) longtime DFL state representative from Bloomington, secured $2.5 million in funding in the 2013-14 legislative session. Plans are to do various engineering and survey work this year, with heavy construction, starting with a bridge over Nine Mile Creek, next year. City Pages recently ran an article, “The High-Priced Paved Trail Bloomington Doesn’t Want” and this has generated a lot of comments on Bloomington-related Facebook Groups, so I thought an article here would be timely.

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Protected bikeways are even more useful in winter

from Biking in Mpls by Lindsey Wallace

This summer, I volunteered for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition at Open Streets. My role consisted of standing around with a sign and encouraging people biking by to try out a temporary protected bikeway. This was part of a block sectioned off as a protected bikeway, with some fake planters and chalk. The idea was to give people an idea of what biking in a protected bikeway would feel like.

While volunteering there, the most frequent question I got was, “How are these going to be maintained in winter?” People were concerned. They were concerned that the city was going to spend money on facilities that would be costly or impossible to maintain amidst ice and snow.

Herbivorous Butcher

from Kinda Different by Keith Dawson

We ventured into Northeast to visit The Herbivorous Butcher (yeah, it sounded unlikely to us too) at 501 NE 1st, just inside the border. The place opened last month to widespread buzz, incuding in the international press. There the brother-and-sister founders claim to be producing vegan and gluten-free “meats” and “cheeses” unlike any others experienced (or suffered) by those in search of alternatives to food raised on the hoof.

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