Archive for June, 2008

Posters for the Twin Cities Biking Fan

Cage Design has created a series of eight posters depicting scenes from the best biking spots in the Twin Cities. They also have two “commemorative-style” posters with four designs each.

Twin Cities Cycling Midtown Greenway posterTwin Cities Cycling High Bridge poster

They are OhMyGod seriously so cool.

I totally want these to go with the Hiawatha Line Art Deco poster that I’ve been wanting but haven’t actually bought yet. Probably just the two commemorative posters for me, since they’re $35 each and then you’ve got to hang them all and I don’t even know where I’d fit eight of them.

But I could save up. And maybe move some furniture around.

SO COOL!

(via east-lake)

UPDATE: Tim from Cage Design shared how the posters came to be.

The poster scenes are some of my favorite locations to ride … I took the photos and my daughter Kjersten did the graphic design and picked the colors. She’s a graphic designer who has lived in Boulder, NYC, and is now in Munich, Germany. She made a special trip back to the TC a couple weeks ago when we had them printed.

The Value of Small Business

An editorial by “Papa” John Kolstad, Mill City Music president and Metro Independent Business Alliance co-founder, in The Bridge.

Small businesses provide employment, create new jobs, provide services and stability to the community, and they often provide the first jobs for youth in the neighborhood. Small businesses create the character and charm of the community and add to the quality of life. Business owners are active in the community and committed to solving problems and dealing with local issues. Small businesses are creative, innovative, adaptable, versatile, and practical. They see new and needed trends quickly and can make decisions to take advantage of them. They are problem solvers.

Read on for more on how small businesses fuel local economies and why the MetroIBA is so important.

Bed-and-Breakfasts coming to Hopkins. Where else are they?

Hopkins City Council just approved the operation of B&Bs. You couldn’t run a B&B in Hopkins before now and there are no hotels or motels or other such things to boot.

Apparently all you have to do is ask. Someone (maybe someone who owns a really nice house and wants to start renting out rooms?) asked the city why they didn’t permit B&Bs and so the issue was brought before the city council. The Zoning and Planning Commission recommended approval at the June 3 city council meeting (pdf) and the ordinance was passed at yesterday’s meeting.

Maybe it’s because I live here, but I never really think about B&Bs in the area. But you know what would be a great use of a B&B? Putting my parents up when they come to visit. It’s gotta be way better than one of the bajillion chain hotels along 494. Even the fancy ones which my folks can’t afford. My parents aren’t frequent or high needs travelers, but they do enjoy a comfy bed and a good breakfast. They don’t even care about internet access. Anything else they’d need or want I’d be responsible for anyway.

Google Maps suggests there aren’t many near Hopkins. A couple in Chaska. Some in Minneapolis. More in St Paul, mostly in that Grand/Summit/Selby/Lexington/Dale area. Surprisingly few near Lake Minnetonka. Predictably a few in Stillwater and Hastings.

If not for my parents, a weekend getaway that is not very far and is not my house and provides me with food is always a nice option. Especially in St Paul since I have always lived on the west side of the metro and that’s like a whole different city over there.

Are there any B&Bs in town that y’all would recommend?

Minnesota Wikipedia user broke news of Russert’s death

russert_wikipedia.JPG
First discovered by Jon Fine at BusinessWeek, but covered very succinctly by the Minnesota Independent:

Forty minutes before NBC News reported of its own anchor’s sudden death, someone updated Tim Russert’s Wikipedia page, changing all the present-tense references to past-tense ones — and once again, the leaking of a news story had become the news.

After Russert collapsed on June 13, word spread quickly to its affiliates and other news organizations, but the network embargoed the information until Russert’s family could be notified. NBC waited over an hour before reporting the news — and both Fox and CNN waited with them — but before their newscast aired, Russert’s Wikipedia page had already been altered. Just five minutes before NBC announced Russert’s death, the New York Times reported the news.

The Times later reported that a “junior-level employee” at Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS), the St. Paul-based company that provides websites for TV stations, had changed the entry, thinking it was public knowledge. Eleven minutes later the Wikipedia page was changed back, by someone else using an IBS computer. The first employee was promptly reprimanded (some sources say the employee was fired, others that he or she was suspended).

This is yet another example of information’s desire to be free and fast.

Although the MSM news organizations desired to hold back the news, donduct diligent reporting and fact checking and ensure families were notified first, the news itself was too compelling not to spread via the Internet as quickly as possible.

You can see the record of the Wikipedia edit change and timestamp here.

I can’t fault the guy for wanting to be first to update the Wikipedia entry. This was good stuff.

Cops are 1000 points

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Internets, via the Roadguy blog, on a recently-passed law requiring drivers to move over a lane when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road:


It’s not that I’m in favor of patrol cars and officers being hit while they perform their duties on our roadsides. Having been “rear-ended” twice in my life, I’m not in favor of anyone — patrol officer, EMT, firefighter or civilian — being hit on the side of the road. But I’m pretty sure that it’s not happening due to the lack of a law forbidding it or because drivers just don’t care who or what they hit.

Once again, the Minnesota legislature has passed a band-aid law instead of addressing a deeply-rooted problem. Hooray!

MNSPJ Award Winners for Independent News

Art was just talking about how totally tubular our local internet news sources that aren’t affiliated with newspapers or tv are and I mentioned how much I like the TC Daily Planet (or the idea of it, anyway, on account of the abysmal state of their RSS feeds).

Well, a lot of people like the Daily Planet. The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists love the Daily Planet. So much so that earlier this month MNSPJ awarded the Daily Planet first place in the 2008 Page One awards for Best Web Site (Independent).

That was cool news presented by Twin Cities Media Alliance Executive Director Jeremy Iggers, tacked onto the end of his latest brown bag lunch with a journalist announcement. Then I looked at the whole list (xls).

2nd place in that category went to MinnPost. 3rd place went to Minnesota Monitor (slash-Minnesota Independent).

These three publications are the only ones that won anything in any independent news website category (see also, newsroom blog and single news story). I mean, if I had to name the top three sites that fell into the category of independent news website, it would be those three, but I wonder if there were any others even in consideration.

Still, I’m pleased that MNSPJ even has a category for independent news websites. I kind of wonder how they’d stack up if you threw them into the mix with affiliated websites.

All three of those sites are among my primary sources for local news. None of the affiliated websites are.

Northeast Parade

Damn, I hate parades. They are loud, you have to get there early to get a good spot and the people. Don’t get me started. Plus the Northeast Parade starts about five blocks from my house, so 27th has no parking and our street fills up with cars.

That is my two cents worth, but I guess there are tons of people who enjoy the Northeast parade. The kids and the parents who enjoy that smile on their kids faces. Plus you get to see all the people from your neighborhood milling around.

Supposedly it’s the second oldest parade in the state or something like that, but I am not going out of my way to check out those facts.

Here is the Chamber of Commerce page for the site. If your looking to go. It’s tonight, but if you miss it you can see it on cable on one of those stations only a handful watch. Watching a parade on TV is way worse, in my opinion.

Have fun and in my tradition of missing the parade every year, I won’t see you there.

Yoda Accepts Visa

Vader

This weekend I had family in town for my niece’s 13th birthday and on Saturday we descended upon the Science Museum like an Army of Wookies to celebrate with Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.  

First we watched Special Effects which is billed as ‘a behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars movie magic’, but we pretty much unanimously agreed ‘grrrrrraAArrhhghhh grrrr’ which is Wookie speak for ‘Gosh, this sucks’.

That’s right, Wookies say ‘gosh’.

After the show we had some time to kill in the museum so we assembled on the deck overlooking the river and made a plan ‘let’s split up and meet at the exhibit at 2:45’.
The deck at the Saint Paul Science Museum.
At 2:30 I was standing near the front of the exhibit line eavesdropping on a seemingly normal family aside from one small aspect: the lightsabers on their belts.

Then the doors opened and we flooded in; there were a ton of cool costumes, models, videos, and interactive stations.

We probably spent an hour wandering the exhibit, but I could see someone hard core enough to spend two hours and someone not really into it being done in 15 minutes.   

Pros: It was very cool to see the original costumes and models up close.
Cons: The exhibit’s videos were kind of lame. I was a little disappointed in the lack of people in costume.
Considerations: Every Star Wars fan I’ve talked to has loved it, but someone not into Star Wars probably won’t.

Don’t forget to check out the store,

Yoda accepts VISA Yoda accepts Visa.

‘Strong with the Force our shirts are

"Oh No You Di-int!" Quote of the Day: Racist Flood Coverage?

From yesterday’s STrib opinion Letter of the Day, in which Jeffrey Seyfert from Farmington tries to compare the recent midwest flooding to Hurricane Katrina.

The suffering that is being endured by our fellow Midwesterners is no less than the suffering of those in Louisiana. The difference is our fellow Midwesterners are picking themselves off the ground, brushing themselves off, and getting to work. Their first instinct is not to blame government; their first instinct is to help each other out and try to put their lives back together.

To which I say “PUH-LEAZE,” “Pfffft,” and “How much did you do to help, Jeffrey Seyfert?”

Bob Collins takes on the perceived bias at MPR’s News Cut blog, mentioning that this is not a unique opinion in the Midwest. Interesting stuff in the comments, including a really good response from a native Iowa Citian explaining how the two situations are not comparable at all except for the fact that they both involved flooding.

(And even though I disagree with some of the comments, the level of discourse is waaaaay above any comments I’ve read today at the STrib.)

Film Your Own TV Program with Saint Paul Neighborhood Network

Saint Paul Neighborhood Network logoHow many people know what the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network is? I’ll admit I had a vague sense of it being a community television station, but I didn’t know much about it beyond that.

There is oh so much more to the SPNN. They don’t just produce community television. They train anyone in the community who wants to learn how to produce video to make your own program.

Once you are a member of SPNN and become certified you can use our cameras, field gear, edit suites, and studios to create your program.

You cannot use SPNN gear for personal purposes, commercial content, weddings or family events.

You can use SPNN gear to tape your kid’s soccer game, public events, documentaries, and anything you want to share with the St. Paul community.

Anyone using SPNN gear must broadcast their program on one of SPNN’s five channels.

If this sounds interesting to you, the first step in your journey is to attend an Intro to SPNN class. It runs the first Tuesday of every month. The next class is Tuesday, July 1, at 6:30pm at SPNN studios. In this free class you will learn how to become an SPNN member and the basics of producing your own program. There are no pre-requisites for this class, but this class is a pre-req for a lot of the other classes SPNN offers and is required for any person or organization wanting to become a member.

For questions regarding training contact Ed Sanders at sanders@spnn.org or call 651-298-8914.

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