Archive for November, 2007

Swinging too far?

Here at MetroBlogging Minneapolis, we’re in the business of speaking, and speaking quite freely, to be honest. We’re afforded this ability through the First Amendment to the Constitution, granting us free speech. So I whole-heartedly embrace the concept. I can make fun of whoever I want, spoof whatever I want, and even damage some people’s reputations (depending on truth, how famous they are, and other subjective qualifications). But there are limits to this free speech. They say “the right to swing your arms ends at my face.” Those are probably the official legal terms…

A Minneapolis Activist yesterday was awarded $3 (the minimum) after winning a free speech case against the Minneapolis City Council (story found on Star Tribune). The activist, Al Flowers, had his public access TV show removed from the air after a guest said “all ‘house negroes’ should be killed,” referring to city council member Don Samuels. I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t claiming that someone should be killed swinging your arms into someone’s face?

The city council was also charged with paying legal fees of about $50,000.

Short Circuits

TC Open Circuit logoHere’s a venue for PodCamp, MinneBar, MinneDemo, etc. folks and non-profit folks to hug it out.

Open Circuit is “a Twin Cities knowledge-sharing network working to demystify computers and information technology. We foster the free circulation of technical knowledge to help community organizations increase their organizing capacity and improve the common good.”

The group is holding their first public event, Short Circuits, “a series of presentations related to the use and experimentation of open technology in pursuit of social good.” It looks to be unconference-style. It’s tomorrow, Dec 1, at the Acadia Cafe (Franklin and Nicollet) from 1-5pm. Cost is $5 for non-members.

All presentations are 10-15 minutes. Some look really tech-y (“creating a 3 dimensional histogram by mapping the r,g, and b values of each pixel of an image into a 3d space”). Some look more philosophical (“using social media to organize, share information, and build community”) which is more up my alley. Lots to be learned for sure.

(via Minnesota Monitor)

Weather = frightful. No Coast = delightful.


So what if it snows a foot this weekend?
You can still head on down to the Midtown Global Market for the No Coast Craft-o-Rama (doors open at 3PM today!).

If you’ve never been: Don’t expect potholders (I mean, I’m sure you can find them, but…) Honestly, this is my third year going (one year, when life is less insane, I may actually make and sell some handmade awesomeness), but I always find great – local – handmade items (posters by Adam Turman? Check!) for Christmas giving goodness. In the past, I have snagged great soy candles, gorgeous mittens, killer t-shirts, handbags, baby gifts, posters and art (lots and lots of posters), jewelry… I could go on and on.

If you go:
* Bring your own bag to tote around all your loot
* Bring cash … most vendors don’t take plastic
* Go hungry. There’s always somethiung awesome to eat in Midtown.

Buy local, support our thriving (and growing) independent art and craft community.

Many Benefits to Less Driving

Steve Berg at MinnPost: “Here’s a transportation solution: Reduce the need to drive”

He runs down MnDOT’s projected budget needs and the ridiculous shortfall, then comes with: “What’s missing in this bitter and prolonged fight is any serious attack on the demand side.” Amen, brotha! You might think he’d then go the transit-pimping route, but he contiunes with a discussion of sprawl and zoning.

Filling in our neighborhoods with businesses that serve our needs does a number of good things. You can walk or bike to them, so it’s better for your health and it’s better for the environment. It encourages you to actually get out in your neighborhood and experience it; see your neighbors and be aware of what’s going on. And it keeps the cash flow circulating in your hyperlocal economy.

I still say we need to spend some money on transit. Yes, I know, transit also costs a lot of money that MnDOT doesn’t have. I still have to get to work, though.

Long term, people. Long term.

Your Source For Poodle Club News

Apparently the comments at The Deets is the place to go for breaking Poodle Club-cum-Irish bar news. It’s called McMahon’s Irish Pub now. And karaoke is back!

Mugging in the Church Parking Lot

Most every Wednesday night from September through May, I go to Calvary Lutheran Church at 39th and Chicago for choir rehearsal at 7pm.

Last night, at about 6:50pm, one of our members got mugged near Calvary Lutheran’s parking lot. All I know is it was a black guy. He got her bag (so money, id, cell phone, etc.), her music, and her newly purchased choir shirt. She got the license plate of the car he drove off in, but it turned out to be a stolen vehicle.

I had actually arrived at the church at 6pm for another rehearsal. I had just left some of my fellow choir members who were having dinner at Jakeeno’s three blocks up the street. So I was sitting inside the church, warm and cozy, singing away while this was happening.

Minnesota State Bike-to-School League

bicycle covered in snow
Originally uploaded by berry101.

Bike On is sponsoring a bike-to-school challenge to promote fun and cycling. There are two categories: Total Bikes and Ridership.

The first challenge took place in October. Minneapolis South (79), Minneapolis Southwest (68), and Richfield (58)took the top three slots in Total Bikes. Richfield (4.76%), South (4.70%), and Southwest (4.67%) took the top three slots in Ridership.

At the moment, “Minnesota State” means “the 31 public and private high schools with 350 or more students located within an 8-mile radius of the downtown Minneapolis Central Library.” Gotta start somewhere.

The top 10 schools in each category will go on to participate in the winter and spring challenges.

The thing that leapt out at me was that the big private schools had low or non-existent participation (e.g., Cretin-Derham: 2, Breck: 0). But that makes sense. Most of those kids are busing or being driven because they don’t live anywhere nearby.

I don’t know how they’re promoting this in the schools. I presume they are in some way. I expect participation will be pretty low over the winter, but I’d be curious to see how it is in the spring once the students have had some more exposure to it (and assuming the weather in late April is decent).

Bike On also sponsored Global Bike Days at the Midtown Global Market and has an eye towards engaging and educating minorities and children/families in the benefits of cycling.

UPDATE: Further comments from Bike On’s Scott Smedberg…

Not Just a Pretty Face

She’s the face of Fox 9 News (along with Mr. Passolt). She’s the recipient of an Emmy, an Edward R. Murrow award, and been voted Best Celebrity by Skyway news. But that’s not all–its really not all, her bio’s stuffed with awards from this association and that administration. But in addition to it all, Robyne Robinson designs and creates jewelry for her company, Rox Minneapolis. Fancy jewelry. Earthy, art show, clunky jewelry. Are those technical terms? I don’t know. I am man, I built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. But I dare not attempt to build an Amber/citrine/honey jade stone bracelet on silver rope chain.

Robyne’s path into the jewelry industry reads like a modern fairy tale–as long as you cut out the news-anchor-in-a-top-20-market part (she started Rox after becoming an anchor). When Robyne was a young girl, her mom couldn’t afford tons of Christmas presents, so the family turned to child labor and Robyne made jewelry (I know, Robyne, I’m sure you had a fine upbringing). Several years later, enter the Greek boyfriend (prince of sorts), add some worry beads, a challenge to make more, and bam, Rox Minneapolis, happily ever after.

I would buy just about any one of these for my mom, and my aunts. Would I buy one for the cute, blonde 20 something I’m trying to woo? Probably not. Too earthy, art show, clunky.

Robyne’s showing her goods at a Dec. 1 Luna Vinca Holiday Event (thanks to MNMO’s Style File for the info).

the chive

chives“Like The Onion, But Smaller”

Bwaha! I don’t know why that tickles me so, but it does. The Chive is a Gather user who posts, well, like The Onion, with articles like Writer’s Guild Strike Hits White House Speechwriters; No One Seems to Notice.

The tagline may amuse me more than anything the chive has actually written. I like it in theory.

(Also, proof that someone uses Gather.)

(via mediation)

Torii Hunter didn’t give a shit about us.

He gave a shit about $90 million. Why should we give a shit about him? The latest rant on athlete salaries, stadiums, and taxes at MPLS Mirror:

On the day after Thanksgiving while many Minnesotans are homeless, hungry and cold, and while a majority of us struggle with financial stress, wondering how we are going to keep a roof over our head, the heat on and food on our tables, I find it insulting to have all the news consumed with multi-million dollar sports contract signing and negotiations?

Maybe part of the problem is downtown’s bad feng shui.

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