Archive for October, 2008

I’m sad there aren’t any Krispy Kreme’s left in MSP.

According to Truemors:
“The emporium of sweet, doughy goodness known as Krispy Kreme wants to reward Americans who exercise their right to vote November 4 by offering a free patriotic doughnut.”


  • The Daily Planet has the scoop on what Minneapolitans need to know about education issues. School board candidates, a referendum on changing how school board members are elected (Councilmember Cam Gordon says vote yes), and a referendum on a property tax increase for school funding. I promise, you can stop all the cramming on candidates and issues in four days. Hang in there.
  • CM Gordon also had the deets on reorganization in the city government that will better engage residents on the neighborhood level. “Last month, the Council voted to establish a new Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations and a new Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission. These lay the foundation for what will likely be a similar, but significantly different, neighborhood revitalization program and a potentially much more effective City community engagement system in the future.” Sounds like the exact future of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program is still unclear.
  • Amy Rea recently visited the James J. Hill House for a social studies assignment. I don’t know what her kid’s homework looked like, but Amy’s looks pretty good.
  • Buy the Change (building community through commerce) wants you to truly put your money where your mouth is. They have the following goals: “To help people connect with their neighbors and people who share their values while supporting the organizations and businesses they care about.” AND “To raise awareness of the power of individual purchasing decisions and to provide tools that harness this power as a force for social change.” This video explains how it works. This better video explains how it works. They have larger goals, geographically speaking, but right now they’re heavily focused on Twin Cities neighborhoods. [Buy the Change blog] (via @MNWINwebmaster)
  • Ban the Ban Minnesota is “a nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the people and independent small businesses in the state by providing advocacy, education and data, and information dissemination regarding smoking bans so that the real heart of the matter can be addressed; namely the issues of rights, essential liberty, and our ability to live our lives and run our businesses as we so choose. We demand that we be treated like the responsible adults that we are and be free of busybodies who think that we need to be forcibly protected from ourselves.” Those crazy Libertarians! [facebook group]
  • This MnIndy item is ancient news now, but I still think it’s hilarious. “This [I Will Vote] sticker was observed Oct. 21 stuck to the parking lot surface at the K-Mart in Minneapolis — clear evidence that ACORN has been illegally registering inner-city blacktop to vote.” Why’s it gotta be blacktop?
  • Leif reports that the downtown Target is now has groceries and a deli, meaning they have beaten the Lunds and Whole Foods projects to the punch (somewhat) and have probably made a whole lot of downtown residents pretty happy.
  • Are you planning to take Election Day off? You work that out with your employer (they’re required by law to at least let you out to go vote). If you feel a need to declare more formally your intention to sit on the couch with CNN all day, RSVP on facebook to TAKE ELECTION DAY OFF, hosted by The Campaign for Change (Ellison, Obama, and Franken). And should you get hungry or thirsty at some point in the day, The Herkimer will be having 2 for 1s all day and all night and will also have election-type stuff up on the big screens.
  • Minneapolis has a fire fighter museum? (via @g_rote)
  • Growing Communities of Science is a blog chronicling one local teacher’s use of computers in his science classroom. (via Conner McCall)

It shouldn’t be scary to vote!

I found this cool web tool called My Vote on the Star Tribune site, which actually has the ballot listing after you enter in the information. Hopefully I won’t have to wait in line to long and I can decide before I get in there.

Who are you going to vote for and why? Maybe you can change my mind?

Minnesotans Making Movies

I can’t help but wonder what it is that Joel is reading.

A script? Mpls.St.Paul Magazine?  Skymall?

I’ll bet it’s Skymall.

“On the set” Originally uploaded on October 23, 2008  by katbaro

Yep, Winter Is Coming

Ok, so maybe for some reason it’s 70 degrees outside today. But it’s still technically that time of year: Fall in Minnesota. Most of the leafs (leaves) are off the trees, ponds are freezing overnight, and Target has a whole section dedicated to Christmas stuff already, even though it isn’t even Halloween yet. It is at this time of year when two very different kinds of people emerge.

The first is the kind of person who lives in the moment and, despite vast amounts of knowledge, including memories from, say, six months ago, says things like “I can’t wait for it to snow!” This person represses memories of negative high temperatures, wind chills, icy roads, snow in March, snow in May, and everything else that makes a Minnesota Winter the best in the world.
Winter in Minnesota. Love it or SHUT UP.

The second kind of person, what is known as a “rational human being,” mopes and complains about the impending winter. They like warm, comfortable temperatures and they are sad to see them leave. For some reason.

These two kinds of people can be classified, as your favorite Congresswoman and mine might say, as Real Minnesotans and people with some very un-Minnesotan beliefs.

I often enjoy hearing Real Minnesotans and those with some very un-Minnesotan beliefs discuss Minnesota Winters. Those with some very un-Minnesotan beliefs will, very smartly and with every fact in their favor, complain about the awful winters in our state. Real Minnesotans will hear this and become incredibly defensive and dismiss all complaints, saying things like “Well, you don’t understand, it wasn’t this bad last year, this is just a fluke” or “Yes, but it makes you appreciate the summer that much more.”

I am a Real Minnesotan. I have said all these things. And you know what? It’s time to stop being so defensive about our legendary Minnesota Winters. We live here because it’s cold, damnit. I say love it or leave it. THESE COLORS DON’T RUN.

(photo came from here, btw)

Target Cart Videos

Something makes me think this was planned/planted given the clear video, access to the file footage, positioning of the Target brand on the truck to the right of the door, and fact I just saw this on WCCO.

But I’m a sucker, so thought I’d share the fun from our local retail big box chain (although this actually was at a store in Cincy). Supposedly it took two hours to repack the trucks.

Nuclear Energy should go back on the alternative list

A friend of mine just posted a pretty great rant about “True Conservatism” of natural resources.

I was doing some research about nuclear power to provide a counterpoint to his call to change our driving habits and “go green” in our buying habits and found this fabulous Opinion piece in the Rochester Post-Bulletin from Phil Araoz.

Here are the highlights:

Winter is coming! Heating bills are rising! Oh if only there were safe, efficient ways to generate electricity without creating all those horrible greenhouse gases like coal plants do.

Wait a minute. There is one. Nuclear energy.

That’s right. Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases. It does produce waste, but the waste is low volume and can be contained, not spewed out into the atmosphere. In fact, in the United States, electricity production, mostly from coal, is the No. 1 producer of greenhouse gases. That’s right, our electrical production produces more greenhouse gases than cars, trucks and all our transportation.

And nuclear energy is working right now. In France, nuclear energy accounts for 78 percent of electricity produced, and France has the cleanest air of any industrialized country. Here in Minnesota, 20 percent of our electrical power is now generated from nuclear power. We should be generating more.

But to date we’ve been having trouble even maintaining what we have, mainly because of concern about the plants’ waste products. Here in Minnesota, we have two nuclear power plants (Prairie Island and Monticello), and not since 2003 (and even then after a long struggle) has the Minnesota Legislature approved expanded waste storage for either plant. Waste storage must be increased if these plants are going to meet growing electricity needs.

And if we really want to keep up with energy demands, we should be building more nuclear power plants. Our two plants were built in the 1970s. Think what we could do with a few more plants, built with modern designs and ready for our 21st century needs. Unfortunately, the state has banned construction of new plants since 1994. That ban should be lifted.

The reason for these bans and restrictions is concern. Concern about the waste. Concern about radiation leaks. It’s OK to be concerned. But concern shouldn’t turn into paranoia.

Our two Minnesota power plants have been operating for more than 30 years. Both have excellent safety records. Neither has ever had a major incident….

Yes there is a very small risk from nuclear energy. But what is that weighed against? How does the small risk from a nuclear power plant compare to the “true planetary emergency” of global warming? How does the small risk from nuclear energy compare to real risk that high energy prices will make some people choose between paying heating bills and buying groceries?

Nuclear energy is a real-life, present-day, emission-free technology. Unfortunately, too many politicians (especially liberal ones) like to only talk about “alternative sources” of energy that are years and years away from working. We’ve got a safe, clean energy source right here, right now. Let’s use it.

Other alternatives should be pursued too, of course. But have you see the windmill farms in northern Iowa? Not only are they an eyesore, I will testify they disrupt radio and cell reception every time we drive down 35W. And how many windmills would it really take to replace a coal plant?

Why is it that Minnesotans are so afraid of nuclear power? Educate me, please.

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Will You Vote for the Constitutional Amendment?

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment would increase the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent, which would raise ~$300 million each year in new revenue…approximately $54/family for more than 25 years.

According to the Census Bureau, Minnesota already has the 7th highest per capita tax burden in the nation. Earlier this spring, our elected officials voted to raise our taxes nearly $7 billion dollars in gas tax, license fees and sales taxes. There is no end to the spending spree in St. Paul, and the taxes just go higher.

And while it’s no secret I’m not a big fan of increasing spending while raising taxes, I’m more concerned about allocating funds through the constitution to pay for things.

Pretend it’s not culturally popular topic of the environment it’s funding. Take the emotion of the 30 second “Save our Drinking Water” commercials and think about the longterm impact of this action.

If we change our constitution to fund natural resources what could be next? Mass transit? Or what if you heard this on the local news:

“Voters across Minnesota today overwhelming passed a Constitutional Amendment to allocate three-eighths of 1 percent, ~$300 million a year in new revenue, to keeping public swimming pools clean and preserved for the generations”

There’s that slippery slope again.

It was always my assumption it’s the legislative branch’s responsibility to allocate funds, balance the budget and raise taxes. If the politicians in St. Paul aren’t doing their job, do we really want to turn our state’s founding document into a balance book to be amended every November?

What do you think?

Care to talk football?

Football! Or really FOOTBALL!!!!!! is an IM I receive atleast a fewtimes a week during football season.

This weekend, with the Vikes taking a week off to lose some weight, the Gophers stepped up for the big W against Purdue.

Which brings two things to mind:

1) From the Williams’ article “A text message to Pat Williams was not returned. ” just makes me think HUH?!! A text message? Really, what did it say “RU doping?”

2)The Gophers are now ranked #20 in the country and #17 by the BCS. Go Gophers!




There is Jazz in these here parts.

Being a local music writer/editor, my one shortcoming is local jazz. Where it’s played and who’s playing it. I do know of bands like Happy Apple who sort of walk the fine line between Jazz and Indie, but the rest is all a mystery. I decided to compile a few jazz links, for myself and whoever else might be interested. Happy Jazz hunting, and if you know of others not listed here feel free to comment and let me know.

Twin Cities Jazz Society

Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

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