Archive for August, 2008

Ok, maybe just a little RNC

There’s a caption contest

Sorry, “WELCOME TO MINNESOTA” is taken.

What’s your caption?

Who has time for the RNC?

Well, not Georgie or Cheney or Cainey; so certainly not I. 

Besides, I know the real reason no one has time for the RNC. 

 Before I left for vacation I posted a challenge at MnSpeak about out-K.K.-in’  K.K. “You love her, You need her, but . . .” and all too few few took up the challenge.

Now look!

 K.K. took it up and out done herself with Heteroflexible: Girls kissing girls is the latest trend.

I can attest to this, today as I was driving home from Duluth, the wife popped the latest Islands release Arm’s Way in the C.D. player and commented “This C.D. has chick on chick action.”

It’s true.

Though, that C.D. was released  May 20’th 2008 which in Internets time is like 8000 years, so I have question “the latest”.

In the mean time I do have some great Northern Mn stories, video, and news and we’ll see about this “RNC” thing.

RNC08 Roundup

Coverage of this weekends raids and various protests, parades, marches, etc. continues.

The Uptake has a nifty google map of the raid locations. Click on the markers to see video from each location. MnIndy has the deets as well. The Pioneer Press had a pretty good story, I think, but when I tried to hit it again they redirected me to the registration page (GRRRRR!).

Coldsnap Legal Collective is an autonomous legal collective based in the Twin Cities whose purpose is to work in solidarity with other groups or individuals in order to EDUCATE, EMPOWER, and SUPPORT the radical community by sharing knowledge, raising awareness, and developing a network of legal support and solidarity.” They’re tweeting updates on police activity, organizer activity, and calling for legal observers to show up/help out at locations where there could be conflict. And LOLcats. [web] [twitter]

Minnesota Public Radio on street medics. If you’ve ever gone through first responder training at your place of employment, you can be a street medic. Featured: The Northstar Health Collective, which also provides training.

You already know your local independent media joints are all over the action. Independent citizens are out gathering stories, photos, and video themselves. Tony Webster [twitter] and Matt Albiniak [twitter] are just two who are frequently tweeting their observations. Tony’s got a great photoset of the Earth Justice bus that was pulled over and impounded, leaving the occupants on an I-94 exit ramp.

While I ordinarily am not a fan of media reporting, I do enjoy MinnPost’s David Brauer, who is tweeting copiously and insightfully on the coverage of the police activity and the RNC. [twitter]

And, oh yeah, the Republican National Convention is going on, too. They have decided to delay the start of the RNC for a couple days, on account of the big-ass hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Originally scheduled for September 1-4, the RNC will now delay its start until Wednesday, September 3. I don’t know what’s the best way to handle it, but I’d like to see the convention go ahead and just get the damn thing over with already. Delay the start, fine, but finish it early, please, and go on home.

Ramsey County Sheriff Raids in Saint Paul and Minneapolis Ahead of RNC

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office conducted four raids late last night and early this morning, three of which were in Minneapolis. Remember: St Paul, home of the 2008 Republican National Convention, is in Ramsey County. Minneapolis is in Hennepin County. Jason Barnett of The Uptake notes: “Why the Ramsey Co Sheriff is important – he’s the only GOP elected official in Saint Paul, and wanted to set up holding camps.”

On 2320 23rd Ave S in Minneapolis, aka Food not Bombs:
MnIndy: “Crackdown begins: Food Not Bombs house among Saturday raids”

On 827 Smith Ave in St Paul, aka the Convergence Center:
TC Daily Planet: “Police break down doors in night-time raid on anarchist meeting”

On 3500 Harriet Ave S and 3240 17th Ave S in Minneapolis:
MnIndy: “The crack-down on demonstrators continues”

A mass public meeting to discuss the raids will be held at 11:30 am today in Powderhorn Park.

The Uptake has video forthcoming. Twin Cities Indymedia is continually updating as well with submitted reports from citizens. Keep your eye on The Uptake, Indymedia, and MnIndy for continuing updates on further developments.

Pedestrians: Learn the Damn Rules

It is safe to say that I am very ped-centric. I went to school in Boston, where pedestrians own the city. They own it. I have never seen such brazen enforcement of pedestrian right-of-way. And quite frankly, I loved it.

Moving back to Minnesota, I’ve noticed something else: pedestrians will scurry guiltily across the street if a car is waiting—even if there is a “Walk” signal in their favor. And today I was at a four-way stop and there was a pedestrian waiting to cross. I stopped and waited for the pedestrian, who was just standing there. “We are in a suburb,” I mused to myself, “Maybe she assumes I don’t know the rules.” I waved her across. She then waved me across!

No! That is wrong! That is so horribly, embarrassingly wrong! Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Always!

According to Minnesota Statute 2005, Chapter 169.21:

Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.

Nowhere does it say, “When at a crosswalk, the pedestrian can direct traffic at his or her whim, especially to the effect of confusing drivers and slowing traffic.”

Learn the damn rules.

No Risk of Governor Molnau

It’s official: Governor Pawlenty will in fact not be John McCain’s running mate this fall.

Wouldn't it have been hilarious if John McCain died and this guy became president? No? Yeah, probably not. But still! [click here for hilarious reaction to this news]

I kind of wanted him to get the pick. This is not because I wanted him to be vice president (I don’t even think McCain will win in November, Palin or Pawlenty), but because I was proud that our governor was worthy of such rigorous national attention. Lil ol’ us in Minnesota! Our leader! How neat is that! I disagree with a lot of what the Governor says, but I’m happy for him that he was considered for such an important job. And if the rumors are true, I’m a little pissed that he was used as a red herring. That’s just not nice you guys.

What about you? Did you want to see TPaw on the ballot this November? Or could you not stand even the slimmest chance of Governor Molnau?

Plymouth, MN CNN’s #1 Best Place to Live (really?)

The greater Twin Cities metro area had quite a few cities that made CNN’s top 100 best small cities to live in this year. Plymouth, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Burnsville, Blaine and Maple Grove all
made the list.

Here’s the full link.

Okay, so I’ve only been in MN for 5 years and can’t remember driving through Plymouth. What’s so great about it?

Dinner with Presidential Candidate

Barry Obama and John McCain won’t be offering to sit down to dinner with you next week (well, not for at least a few grand in donations).

But Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr is coming to Saint Paul this Monday and will be hosting a dinner for 50.

There are still spots left, so RSVP here.

If you missed Barr on the Colbert Report on Tuesday, check it out here at the 11:30 mark.

City of Minneapolis Needs Bicycle Count Volunteers on Sept 9

The city of Minneapolis is conducting its second annual bike and pedestrian count. [last year’s report (pdf)]

They need volunteers to click the counter button (or record a bunch of hashmarks on paper or however they do that) in 2-hour shifts, starting at midnight on Tuesday, 9/9. That’s Monday night/Tuesday morning. Counting will take place for all 24 hours of Tuesday and again from 4-6pm on Wednesday, 9/10, in multiple places around the city.

So open shifts will be:

Those interested in volunteering may contact Shaun Murphy at or 612.275.5128. Please leave your e-mail address, phone number, a preferred day and time slot, and if desired, a neighborhood where you would like to volunteer. Since these counts are city-wide, we will do our best to place volunteers in convenient locations.

They’re looking for about 100 volunteers. Extra people are needed during the 4-6pm rush hours.

This is important because, while the state of biking in the Twin Cities is already pretty good, data like this helps make it better.

These important counts will begin to establish trend lines showing the impact of biking and walking on Minneapolis streets and trails. The counts will also measure the impact of several bike lane and path improvements…. 24-hour counts will help to establish new knowledge about non-motorized travel during the evening and nighttime hours.

The city is partnering with Transit for Livable Communities on this. TLC will also be conducting a count on these same days and is also in need of volunteers, according to the email I got from the city of Minneapolis, but I can’t find anything about it on their website.

P.S. Volunteers are also needed for the “Freewheelin’ & Bikes Belong” bike share program during the RNC. (pdf)

[Bicycling in Minneapolis]

Overheard at the RNC

In the great tradition of Overheard in Minneapolis and the rest of the Overheards

Overheard at the RNC, which now has one post:

Woman #1: So, I was watching the Democratic National Convention last night…
Woman #2: Oh, is that here?

Saint Paul, Women’s restroom just a few block from where the RNC will be next week…
Overheard by Amazed and saddened.

Definitely add it to your RSS feeds for the next couple weeks.

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