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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 4/15

Special prosecutors for police shootings; a greener move than a plastic bag ban; the problem of traffic enforcement; and more.

Special prosecutor in police shootings — a worthy conversation

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

Sen. Scott Dibble has proposed legislation “that a special prosecutor be created to handle every case in which police use deadly force.” … I believe this is a very good idea.

Moving houses can make Minneapolis ‘greener’ than a plastic bag ban

from North by Northside by Jeff Skrenes

Four and a half years ago, I was at a Hawthorne environment committee meeting, and the icebreaker was to say our name and the “greenest” thing we did that day.  “I picked up trash around Farview Park,” or “I recycled a pop bottle” were common introductions.  When it was my turn, I said, “My name is Jeff, and today I had an offer accepted to purchase and rehab a home that would have otherwise been demolished.”  I think I won that round.

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On April 1st, the Minneapolis City Council wasn’t playing a joke when they adopted a ban on plastic bags that are ubiquitous at most retailers.  They received a fair amount of criticism for taking up the issue in the immediate aftermath of the decision not to prosecute the officers involved in the shooting of Jamar Clark.  Personally, I found the timing to be a bit tone-deaf, but I don’t mind an elected body that can focus on more than one hot-button issue at a time.

The problem of enforcement

from Biking in Mpls by Ward Rubrecht

The key to the problem, according to Fawley, is that Minneapolis lacks a city-wide, comprehensive traffic enforcement policy. The question of which traffic laws to enforce and when is mostly left up to individual cops, and he says that’s a problem for cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians, a problem that thus far has remained largely ignored by both police and bicycle advocates.

John Carter of Minnesota: The ‘Convict Poet’ who won his freedom

from A Prairie Populist by Joshua P. Preston

Not much is known about John Carter—in fact, that’s a penname and the public record’s silent about his personal life. All we know is that he was an Englishman from a well-to-do family, and when he’d failed the family business he was sent to Canada. After he was arrested, like so many who pass through the prison system, Carter was on his way to spending his sentence hidden from the public eye. But this changed as, trying to pass the time, Carter wrote essays and verse, publishing them in the nation’s major magazines. Through his art he won public support and, eventually, even his freedom, leaving the state prison hailed as a brilliant, creative mind.

Beer walk: Able Seedhouse + Brewery

from by Janelle Nivens

After a stretch of cold, windy days, my husband Scott and I were thrilled to see that Sunday, April 10 was forecasted to be sunny and between 40 and 50 degrees. Perfect weather for another beer walk after having so much fun on our Wabasha Brewing Company walk. This time we chose to walk to Northeast Minneapolis, where there is a large concentration of breweries. Once again, this walk proved that getting there is half the fun!

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