Archive for May, 2009

A fallen biker and a Ride of Silence

from DangerJosh

Today I bore witness to what is probably the most beautiful and poetic event that I have been to in a very long time. Unfortunately a man named Dennis who loved cycling as much as I do lost his life just 12 hours before.

We pulled up to the intersection of Park and 14th and there was already a small gathering there. I assumed that it was a bunch of people from the event as there were support persons all around all the time. But then a woman that I can only assume to be Dennis’ mother walked off crying after seeing so many cyclists show up to his memorial and it hit me: This was his family. Instantly

I got choked up a bit, we heard from Dennis’s girlfriend and a representative from his family. Someone placed flowers at the sign that was at the intersection and it was very touching. A little boy approached me, I assume he was related to Dennis. We talked a little bit after he got permission from his mother and I gave him one of my cycling pins and his family thanked us for being there. Choking back tears from such a beautiful moment, I realized that we were celebrating Dennis much the way that he lived, and what I heard about him I think he would have done the same for me had the roles been reversed.

A photostream from rycera’s Flickr 2009 Minneapolis Ride of Silence

Found on Craigslist: eat this jar of pickles, you get $20!!

If you’re near Coon Rapids and looking for a quick $20 bucks…

Check this out:

I have a 1 gallon jar of hamburger sliced dill pickles. My boss bet me that a human cannot eat that entire jar with the juice in one sitting. I bet he’s wrong…..I have a weak stomach but I want to prove him wrong!! come eat it and I will pay you!!! you need to come here to eat them, as we are working. we will give you a private setting and just start eating!!! one hour time limit and no puking!!

Gang Strike Force in trouble.

As reported by the Strib Legislative Auditor harshly criticizes Gang Strike Force

The strike force was unable to account for at least $18,126 of seized cash and could not locate or support the legal disposition of at least 13 forfeited vehicles and one seized vehicle held as evidence

If disappearing assets and money isn’t enough to get your dander up, how about this gem

“The report also said that the strike force did not adequately segregate key duties over its local checking accounts or properly use confidential informant funds.”

Hmm, not properly using informant funds?

In my opinion the informant double standard has gone on too long. It seems like time and time againlittle to no good results from allowing a known criminal to operate outside the law while being paid by law enforcement. This is so glaringly wrong of a practice it should be made illegal.

In a recent series titled The Informant by the Star Tribune the FBI used informants to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and one of the officer’s attorneys had this to say,

“Edwards and his family are devastated that he was targeted by his own department on the “wholly unreliable” word of an informant trying to save himself from prison, said Klassen, his attorney.”

It’s kind of strange how informants become “wholly unreliable” when investigating the police, but when used by the police their word is reliable enough to walk free while sending others to prison.

The Uptake reports Rep. Beard is concerned that police are “incentivized” to seize valuables from suspects since they can sell and keep the proceeds.

Which could arise from The Task Force “frequently did not follow the state’s statuatory forefeiture procedures,” Now, please correct me if I’m wring, but when someone doesn’t follow the state’s statuatory procedures, aren’t they breaking the law?  Isn’t a law statuatory?

There’s now talk about shutting down the task force.

 View more coverage by The Uptake

So in summary, missing funds, missing property, inproper use of informant funds, and questionable seizures of money and property.

Any questions?

 

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You Have To Emit, Change Is Coming To ‘Minnesota Motors’

A lot of news about vehicles and the emissions they put into our air has been rolling out lately. Here’s a summary, and what it means to Minnesota. This week the White House announced it’s plan for fast-tracking higher vehicle fuel efficiency standards and, for the first time, introduce a national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement has (for the moment) the support of most major automakers and environmental groups. More Minnestoa dealers may be closing soon, a move that will have ripple effects across the state.  A group of partners (including the American Lung Association in Minnesota) is looking to bring electric vehicles to the Twin Cities. The airport has already got one.  Don Shelby at WCCO-TV gets all excited about the idea, and also gets fired up about a student biodiesel project

Bottom line: things are changing fast — fewer dealerships are a certainty, new types of vehicles (and fuels) are coming, and for once, most of the major players are moving in the same direction.

Watch a Minnesota woman give birth

…”tastefully,” though.

A Twin Cities woman named Lynsee is doing her own little online reality show and letting Twin Cities MomsLikeMe.com follow her entire pregnancy and delivery. I have to be honest, I was a little shocked to hear that someone would be so open about such a sensitive, personal experience. After reading more about it, I think what she’s doing is cool and will be helpful for other first time mothers. Read more about Lynsee in this Kare 11 article or on the Twin Cities MomsLikeMe.com site.

Yeah same here, but in a fraction of the time.

Say what?

“someone found my blog by searching for i have no friends no job no life”

That’s not fair.

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Cashiers

I don’t know, I just really like the picture.

Cashiers

Cashiers

Uploaded on May 12, 2009 by CuriousDanielson

When Nanny State meets Police State – Minnesota State Patrol Gets Sued

Have you heard about the latest lawsuit against the Minnesota State Patrol? It’s based on a checklist they created to determine if a Commercial Driver is fatigued and should be taken off the road.

On the surface this seems like a good idea, but there are some problems.

One problem is, The Department of Transportation already has rules and guidlines for determining what constitutes driver fatigue.

A second problem is The Mn State Patrol created their own criteria and then attempted to keep it a secret.
As reported by Landlinenow

Now, a memo has been sent from the e-mail account of an officer in the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Minnesota State Patrol. In the memo, other enforcement officers are told to keep quiet about the checklist, even when they’re using it, even to the trucker they’re using it on.

Here’s the memo:

“Due to much publicity, both on a local and national level, several inquiries are being made about our fatigue report by the State Legislature, news media, etc.

“We as an organization do not want to damage what we have worked so hard to accomplish. Please use your interviewing skills to determine if the driver is fatigued.

“I ask that you do not tell the drivers that you need to fill out a checklist (worksheet), that you are taking a survey or any other statements that you use to reference the report.

“The report is for you to use to document what you observed; statements made by the driver; notes for you to reference to about the event; and as a guide to gather the various indicators from different areas on the report.”

As if that isn’t disturbing enough you really must see the checklist. I obtained a hardcopy and then called upon some sources to get a digital version for you.

Here it is. (a special thanks to Neb Trucking)

Here’s how it works. They take their arbitrary list and for each item that applies the driver get’s a check. After a certain number of checks it’s determined that the driver is fatigued and can’t drive.

Let’s address some of the more ridiculous questions: “Pets in Vehicle”, “Cell Phone”, “Computer”.

 That’s right, if the driver has any of the above they are on the path to being considered fatigued.

How about this one “Driver II” – Yup, if there’s a second driver,as is common safety measure to avoid fatigue, the driver gets a check towards being fatigued.

Let’s take a look at few more “Unshaven”, “Use of prescription meds”, “allergies”, “Money concerns”, “Job/Home stress”, “Driver neck size”.

Setting aside the very illegal act of requiring someone to disclose personal medical information, neck size, really?

So now we have a lawsuit (view in it’s entirety)

It appears that law enforcement is now not only in the act of saying what should be a law, but also making up their own laws as they go along.

What do you think?

 

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Welcome Iowans Tweetup, Thursday, May 14

iowa_minnesota_tweetup
Some traveling Iowans are in town on Thursday and want to experience a Minneapolis tweetup.

Why should I come?
Come and see a real life Iowan up close.

Where?
Bulldog NE (401 E Hennepin, Minneapolis, MN)

When?
Thursday, May 14, 2009

What time?
6 – 10pm (or later)

Hashtag?
#msptweetup

RSVP
Facebook
Twtvite

Aldi’s

As reported by the East Side Review in Aldi makes an East Side entrance . The German retailer known for inexpensive foods and small stores is planning on opening at 2050 Suburban Ave. (near Highway 94 and Ruth)

Also the TC Daily Planet does a nice price comparison between stores that puts Aldi’s at the cheapest.

We are looking forward to having another grocery option in our neighborhood. 

Have you ever shopped at an Aldi’s? What was your experience?

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