Archive for August, 2007

Stop Stealing Links

Open letter to the Rake Forums MNspeak:

Dear Rake forums MNspeak,

Knock it off.

There is lots of info to go around and it’s entirely possible for lots of people to come across something – especially a news item – independently. We all have the right to spread what information we find interesting and perhaps useful to our respective audiences. Maybe you don’t get to something in a timely fashion and forget where you found it in the first place.

But this was blatantly taken from us. Items are routinely taken from Mediation without attribution.

This is all I’m asking for:


Just that. You don’t even have to say my name.

This is a broader blogging courtesy issue, but since we’re all trying to serve overlapping audiences, I’m calling on you, Rake forums MNspeak, and every blogger and commenter in the Twin Cities to be nice and throw a link to your source wherever possible. I’ll do my best to do the same.


Greenway Assault and Coalition’s Response

A biker was recently attacked on the Midtown Greenway. The Midtown Greenway Coalition has put up a great response to the incident. Here’s what it does well:

  1. It explains what happened.
  2. It assesses the danger to other users and allays fears where possible.
  3. It relays some practical safety advice.
  4. It explains what they’ll do to help prevent it from happening in the future.
  5. It explains how you as a member of the community and a user of the Greenway can help.

Not to mention it gives the happy community warm fuzzy.

There’s a lot more good info on their website. Subscribe to the MGC’s e-news for monthly updates.

(via Peter Fleck)

Did you know that…

…the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium is based at William Mitchell’s Tobacco Law Center? (via Workplace Prof Blog)

…the Twin Cities are home to one of the largest unicycle clubs in the country?

…there are lots of podcasters in Minnesota?

MNBeer has t-shirts now?

…the muni wifi devices in Minneapolis do not look like the shotspotter detectors.

…you should probably not have too much faith in your fellow human beings if you’re being raped in an apartment building in St. Paul?

…it’s almost time again for the Soap Factory’s $99 sale?

…everything you ever wanted or needed to know about the Jucy Lucy is now available in one convenient place?

…it really pisses people off when bikers don’t say, “On your left!” Especially if you are illegally sans lights at night.

A Stitch In Time.

The 35W bridge collapse has affected us all, personally and as a community. Although most of us can’t do much to build the bridge back up, we can do something to support the families of those injured or lost.

In response to this tragedy, some local crafting friends and I (thanks in large part to Crafty Planet for their coordination efforts) have combined efforts toward —


A Stitch In Time Saves Craft Sale

Grumpy’s Downtown
1111 Washington Ave S.
September 6, 2007
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Come join us — check out some local artists stuff, support bridge victims, and grab a beer while you are at it.

PS — are you thinking, “Gosh, Sarah, how can I contribute?” Read past the jump.

Public Comment on I-35W Bridge Rebuild

Three open houses are scheduled.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the (east bank) campus of the University of Minnesota from 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. The address is 200 Oak St., S.E. Minneapolis. The open house will be held in AI Johnson Room.
  • Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Humphrey Institute Atrium (west bank) from 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. The open house will be held in the Atrium. The address is 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis.
  • •Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the IDS Center and the open house will be held in the Crystal Court from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The address is 80 South 8th St., Minneapolis.

Here are MnDOT’s requirements. Proposals from the design/construction teams are due September 10, and the builder will be selected by the end of the month.

From what I’ve read, the design/construction process is pretty concrete (so to speak), and engineers are expressing frustration over the strong desire of the public to have so much input. Seems like it’s bogged down in political process enough as it is. Although I’d rather see at least a token show of public inclusion than nothing at all.

I also read a comment somewhere that made a pretty good point: There are so many bridges across the river that are pretty looking bridges. This one doesn’t need to be a masterful work of art. This one is functional, not fashionable. So we needn’t worry ourselves too much over what it’s going to look like as long as it does what we want it to (like maybe having LRT service).

(via SW Journal)

My State Fair feelings can best be expressed…

… in this monologue from We Have Mixed Feelings About Sven Sundgaard:

I truly believe the anchors serving for the local news networks are hard-hitting journalists, giving us the news we need. As it happens, here is the news we need for the next 10 days:

Food you can get at the state fair.

Interviews with fair people.

Interactions with rubes that don’t matter and give one word answers.

Lots of smiling and folksy banter.

More stories about the food you can get at the fair.

Behind the scenes features on how the fair works.

More stories about food, usually some sort of item on a stick.

Thank you, journalists. The fourth estate is definitely doing its service to society.

When you put it that way, the State Fair sounds like that old school McDonald’s slogan, “Food, folks and fun.” Both inspire that dirty, “I know this is really bad for me but I sort of like it anyway” feeling in me. Except that I don’t like the State Fair.

the beginning of the end


Good morning. It’s Thursday, the week before Labor Day weekend. If you have lived here for more than a year-ish, you likely know what that means…

it’s State Fair time.
(if you are nostaligic, and possibly a native, like me, you also know this means the end of summer is nigh.)

The fair has a great website, including downloads to every possible brochure you would ever dream to want.

I’m reminded of the state fair because:
a) Its the one time of the year I deign pronto pups slathered in a sheath of yellow mustard not only nutritionally sound but also the only way to say I’ve had a complete fair meal
b) I adore the all-you-can-drink milk stand.
c) the bus I took home yesterday had a State Fair advertisement on it. Which creeped me out — mostly because it said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Come so often the goats recognize you.” With a goat looking mildly frightened, saying, “Bill?” It mostly made me think something inappropriate. Has anyone else seen this? I wish I’d have thought enough to snap a photo on my phone.

The Skeptical Diner: Dixie’s on Grand

There’s a theory on BBQ joints that basically goes like this: the quality of food you’re going to get is in inverse proportion to how fancy the place seems. If the restaurant is one beaten up old piece of plywood on cinderblocks with plastic chairs, that’s probably a good sign.

And whether I’ve been eating in Little Rock, Chapel Hill, or Memphis there’s been a lot of truth to this. Even Redbones in Boston, a mega-profitable urban BBQ joint that I frequented back when my zip code was 02141, took pains to be boisterous and rough-hewn.

On that front: I knew Dixie’s in St. Paul was a questionable choice. The place looks like an upscale chain restaurant — an elegantly laid-out dining room with carefully staged planters and artfully deconstructed brick hearths that help break up the space and make a big restaurant feel cozy.

Note to self: Gotta trust the gut.

Traffic trouble

I got stuck in some serious rush hour traffic leaving work yesterday (mostly on 62 heading West). W was in town. The commander in chief was attending a fund raiser for Norm Coleman at a private residence in Eden Prairie. Sure he declared something about the bridge, but the fund raiser was scheduled long before the bridge fell. I don’t have exact times, but I know he was landing around 4 p.m. at MSP and taking off around 7 p.m. If the Prez was around 494 twice between those times, that probably could contribute (or cause) super rush hour. One co-worker took 30 minutes to get from 494 to 62 on 77. That’s something even the 1-star Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker duo would avoid. If this is the kind of afternoon we are saddled with so that Coleman can bump up his checking account, maybe he can send checks to those of us for the gas we wasted trying to get home in time for dinner.

Lyn-Lake In Chaos

Police cars and barricades have blocked off 31st and Lake Streets in the vicinity of Lyndale — several square blocks are off-limits to traffic, be it car or pedestrian. At least one firehose was deployed on Lake Street, and firemen seem to be pretty active right at Lyn-Lake.

The cop I chatted with on Lake Street blamed a “gas leak,” which could be code for “move along, nothing to see here.” That said, the streetlights were out on several street corners, and there were guys in yellow vests all over the place.

Also, the Bryant Avenue Market seems to have recently been hit by a smash-and-grab, or, at the very least, a “smash.” Shattered glass covered the sidewalk on 32nd St., and the shop’s window was boarded up.

Looks like I picked the wrong day to walk to Taco Bell.

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