Archive for the ‘News’ Category

We want street food!

There’s been a lot of griping over the last few years (myself included) about the lack of street food vendors in the Twin Cities and the obstacles the seemingly arbitrary regulations faced by someone looking to start a street food business. (think St.Paul’s rule on taco trucks having to change locations)

Sheila Regan of TC Daily Planet covers the recent bruhaha in Minneapolis with Street vendors coming to downtown Minneapolis?

Minneapolis’s Regulatory Services and Public Works Committee on March 22. After hearing testimony pro and con, the committee voted to forward to the City Council, without recommendation, an amended ordinance that would allow 25 street food vendors to set up their businesses in downtown Minneapolis. In the next two weeks, city staff will make changes to the proposed amendment related to issues brought up at the public hearing.

As you might expect T.C. food guru Andrew Zimmern has something to say and in his column titled Moron Awards he lets loose on local favorite Hell’s Kitchen.

Most ironically the article included a quote from Cynthia Gerdes of Hell’s Kitchen who opined that “I paid $33,000 in rent last month, and now I have to compete with someone who pays $400 a year for their food license?” What a bone headed idea that is. How is this any different than any other business? If you choose (and yes, it is a choice) to pay $33,000 in rent then you are crazy. Second, these types of complainers already compete with those paying less overhead and have been for as long as there have been restaurants. Third, a falafel cart selling 100 sandwiches at lunch helps businesses in the same way that restaurants on the same block help each other to grow business. Fourth, HK is getting into the mobile food game so its unfairly hypocritical, and fifth, based on my visit there last Sunday for brunch, the biggest problem HK has is not the burgeoning groundswell of support for mobile food carts. It’s their own food and service, which have gone downhill in a big way over the last year.

What a disaster of a meal…rude greeting, a 40-minute wait for food, missed items on our order, major service missteps, six out of seven cold plates of food, and inedible items (truly). And the most puzzling of all: Even if you think its kitschy to have your servers wear pajamas, the least you can do is insist they are clean, not pilled, stained, and wrinkled. What a turnoff.

I don’t care what universe you’re from, that’s gotta hurt.

What kind of street food would you like to eat?


Minnesota ranks 28th in penis size.

Last week Condomania made stats available from it’s database of penis sizes which it measured in length and girth. It listed the top twenty cities by population and penis size and ranked the states accordingly.

Minnesota shows up fair to middling at 28th while our neighbor Wisconsin aka “tiny” comes in at 31st.

Huffpost has the rankings

What’s been your experience?


Hennepin County hearts spying on you

With the massive healthcare debate going on Hennepin County has decided to fly under the radar and approve a twice denied request for KingFish cell phone tracking equipment.

According to the Strib This time, Stanek lands KingFish phone tracker

After twice coming away with nothing, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek received approval Tuesday to funding for a controversial tracking device that can pinpoint cell phone locations even when they’re not being used.

The equipment would be used by the sheriff’s investigations bureau, according to County Board documents. “The system acts as a mobile wireless phone tower and has the capability to find, track and/or deny mobile phone service,” the documents state.

The tracking device can receive information from all cell phones that are on, even if they are not being used.

I’m certain this will not be used in an intrusive and possibly illegal manner. Though, I wonder what Ol’ Smash-and-Grab Stanek has in mind?


One step closer to booze

I wrote about when legislators banned alcohol at the newly built TCF Stadium and most agreed of-age college students should be allowed to drink beer at games. Now it appears the Mn Legislature is having a change of heart as A Senate panel OK’d a bill allowing limited alcohol sales in TCF Stadium.

A Senate panel gave quick approval Tuesday to a plan that would let the University of Minnesota sell alcohol in some areas of the year-old TCF Bank Stadium, reversing an all-or-nothing policy that resulted in a prohibition on sales throughout the stadium.

In reviving a debate at the Legislature, Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, said the university — at a time it was facing $36 million in legislative cuts — also was losing at least $1 million a year because it did not sell alcohol at the new facility. The proposal, which would go into effect this fall, will head to another Senate panel, but still faces an uphill fight at the state Capitol.

Good? Bad? Doomed to fail again?


Talking Minnesotan – 03/19/10


Minnesotans have been crazy talking up the recent goings on, much to the dismay of… well … other Minnesotans. We’re a fickle lot, we like to talk a lot, sometimes. Other times we don’t want any talking. Most of the time we don’t want to hear or read about things we aren’t talking about. Of course, maybe I get too much of my information from Twitter.

If FLOODWATCH2010 is your thing Sornie is pulling together an impressive group of flood pics over and yon at Minnpics

MPR brings us a boatload of events this weekend

This weekend is burgeoning with more events than I know what to do with: book signings, dance concerts, theater, birthday celebrations, music, comedy… If you can’t find something in here to tickle your fancy, well all I can say is, you’re missing out.

Your weekend outlook: the (w)rite of spring

2and21 says forget lakes. we got bikes.

While Simplegoodandtasty points out our great Mn craft beers Locavore Beer Lovers Have Much to Like About Minnesota Brew

Bob has some helpful information @justplainbob “@BCollinsMN Perhaps 90% of people don’t know — as I didn’t until recently — that you can recycle CFL at Menards for free. Spread the word!”

Remember that Duluth Google video I posted a while back?
Now Public Knowledge asks “Will Minnesota Senate Kill Duluth’s Chances of Getting Google Gigabit Project?”

Minnpost is talking healthcare Behind-the-scenes on health care maneuvering: how Tim Walz is deciding, how lobbying pressures mount

While is taking on the ever popular immigration debate Minnesota Compass: The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota

•Immigrant-owned businesses generated $331 million dollars in net income to the Minnesota in 2000.
•Hispanic-owned firms in the state have grown 350% since 1990.
•Foreign-born workers account for the majority of growth in the labor force in Minnesota.
•Nationally immigrants represent 25% of physicians and 40% of engineers holding doctoral degrees.
•The U.S. Labor Department reports that the nation has an immediate shortage of 126,000 nurses, yet the average wait for a nurse to get a “green card” is six years.
•Rural Minnesota alone faces a predicted shortage of 8,000 RNs in the next decade.

In sad news longtime Mpls.St.Paul Magazine editor Brian Anderson passed away this week. In my household Brian was viewed as a thoughtful writer and it was his stories my wife would discuss the most.

MSPMAG has the details on his services

On Saturday, March 20, he will be remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and readers at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Lakewood Cemetery. All of those Brian touched, either through his deeds or his written words, are welcome to attend

Let’s wrap this up with Mn’s own Romantica – These Things Are Too Beautiful (Live on The Local Show)


Is journalism influenced by advertising revenue?

Have you heard about The Emily Program? It’s a great company that helps with eating disorders for both adolescents and adults.

From the their website:

1. Who is Emily?

She’s both a real person and a philosophy. When Dirk Miller opened his new clinic for people with eating disorders, he named it for his sister, Emily, who had recovered from an eating disorder.

Through the years, that name has come to signify personalized care for all individuals struggling with eating disorders – the hallmark of The Emily Program. Members of our treatment team develop a personal connection with clients.

This connection is often the start of long-term relationships, because eating disorders tend to be difficult, long-term illnesses by their very nature. Strengthening this connection is The Emily Program staff’s unparalleled commitment. We help clients heal, and we do much more. We work hard to prevent eating disorders by promoting awareness of their causes and their effects on families and every one of our communities.

Our staff has extensive experience in the field. Several also have a personal experience with recovery.

“We think like people with eating disorders think,” says Miller. “We ‘are’ our clients… we know the changes people need to make to live through patterns of thoughts and feelings.

There has been a considerable amount of media related to the program over the last few weeks as they attempted to convert a long vacant school into a ten bedroom health facility in Orono. Seems simple enough, until the nighbors decided they didn’t want to facility in town due to “increased traffic” concerns.

One of the most vocal opponents and certainly one of the most influential was Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel Strib reports

Steinhafel, in comments at a Feb. 22 City Council meeting, said, “We strongly believe that Emily’s Program has no place at the Hill School location.”

And while Target has tried to distance itself from the conflict by releasing a statement saying they are not involved some are claiming it may not be that simple.

The Emily Programs has pulled it’s application and opted to fight no further against the Orono residents, but one commenter in this editorial,

In the face of opposition, the Emily Program opts to move on., has a lot to say about the Star Tribune’s treatment of this story.

posted by gollyg on Mar 19, 10 at 11:26

What gives, Star Trib?
There have been FOUR stories written on this subject in the past few weeks and all of them had lively and informative discussions in the comments section. ALL of the stories have had the comment sections removed without cause or explanation – the latest one being written just a couple of days ago, with over 60 comments posted. (One from a couple of weeks ago had over 200 comments.) At one point, people even asked if a rep from the Star Trib could explain why these comment sections were being removed, but there has been no response. I have read all the comments and except for a select few – and I mean FEW (which were rightfully deleted) – there wasn’t anything in the comments to warrant the removal of the entire section. The Star Trib is certainly giving the impression that it is willing to censor and/or delete comments that might be seen as unfavorable towards the CEO of one of their large advertisers. I was trying so hard not to believe that and to give the paper the benefit of the doubt, but doubt has now been erased from my mind. After having four stories written and four comment sections removed (why offer a comment section if you’re unwilling to allow people to speak their minds, by the way?), it is clear to me that indeed, the Star Trib IS reacting to some sort of pressure from its advertiser. How sad. For the paper – to give in to such strong-arm tactics; for the advertiser – to be so thin-skinned against a few comments on a website; for the reader – who is of the belief that they have a forum whereby they can exchange opinions with one another and in the process learn to consider other viewpoints, maybe even sharing their own personal stories in an attempt to help others take a second look at their OWN way of thinking….only to have those comments removed – over and over and over again. This paper has struggled in this economy and has been asking for customers to support and stand by them. How can we do that when the paper itself won’t even allow us a voice? I guess the only way I have left to be heard is with my dollars…the ones I’ll be taking with me when I cancel my subscription to the paper.

This is not only one person’s opinion, I have heard similar complaints made against the Star Tribune early on with the Denny Hecker situation, at the time he was a heavy advertiser in the paper.

It’s a shame that the people of Orono fought this facility, but the Emily Program will find another home. Still, one has to wonder if this is a situation where the news is teeting awefully close to the line that separates reporting the news to becoming the news.

What do you think, are newspapers and/or media outlets more beholden to their advertisers than their journalistic ethics? Can a comment section be considered part of an article? If no, then why have them? If yes, then why censor things that are within the usage guidlines?



Taking the fun out of fundraising

Forest Lake Press reports

A Century Junior High School parent said her son and another student are being unfairly punished after a school fundraiser took a wrong turn into alleged sexual misconduct last month.

The incident took place during a charity fundraiser where three teachers, a male and two females, volunteered to be taped to a school wall. Students could buy a three-foot piece of duct tape for $1 and secure the teacher to a wall in front of the student body.

Amanda Valencia said a group of classmates dared her son and another student to place tape on a female teacher’s chest. She said her son placed his portion of tape across the teacher’s collar bone, but the second male student applied tape across her chest.

The action resulted in cheers and high fives among the group of students involved in the dare.

Valencia said approximately a dozen students involved in the incident were questioned by school authorities and asked to write an apology to the teacher. She said her son was sent home and suspended for two days.

Valencia said the punishment seemed to fit the circumstances but then her son was questioned by police for alleged sexual harassment and disorderly conduct.

“They took part in an event that was put on by the school, volunteered to by the teachers, and tape provided by the school for the students to place on the teacher,” she said, “and they want to charge my son with sexual harassment or even disorderly conduct? That seems a little extreme.”

Quiring said police will take no action in the case, but Valencia said school authorities threatened to expel her son and plan to classify the incident as sexual harassment in his school file.

The comment section is lighting up and mostly it is in support of the kids.

Russ writes

” I agree that the behavior of the students appears on the surface to be nothing more than plain ordinary immaturity. I think having the reason why it was inappropriate being explained to them, and having to write an apology should have been the end of it. But once again the administration has to take things to a level above silly. To move the children to a new school seems like a knee-jerk reflex rather than a well thout decision. ”

Mary answers

” This is just another reason why I’m glad that I moved my children to another district. I think that the staff and district are seriously lacking in many areas. The top being that most lack the brains that they should have for the positions that they are in. The kids were just being kids and lacked a little good judgement. Tha adults on the other hand???????? ”

mom2 adds

” Agree with Russ & Mom -the school totally over reacted to this situation. The teacher being taped to the wall should have said something such as “dont even think about it” and the whole issue could have been avoided. Ross Bennett states the worhwhile cause was marred by 2 students. Guess what dumn idea to begin with and doesnt the staff member have some fault as well? “

And the mother of one of the boys weighs in.

mamabear wrote

” i want to thank you all for your logical and caring comments given the fact that my son is one of the “accused”. What most of you do not yet know is that the police were called and these boys were questioned without benefit of parental knowledge or involvement. My son; to this date has served 2 ISR punishments, forced to write and then re-write letters of apology, been interviewed (without parents) on at least THREE occasions, referred to a “behavior and consequence” class at youth service bureau and has been given an assigned lunch seat with the severely disabled kids. Anyone a parent of one of these kids?? How do you feel knowing that your child’s disability is being used as punishment for a non-disabled child?? My child is not one of the two the UNINFORMED mr Bennett speaks of– he is one of 12 that are involved and being continuously punished. My child finally could not force himself to return to school last Friday as a result of teacher’s treatment of him and feeling like they were calling him a “rapist.” His documented offense: “inappropriate laughter toward a staff member.” documented staff response : “police action”. Make sense to anyone????????????? The principal and vice principal both told us it makes perfect sense to them and we are also told they dont know yet if they are though punishing our son. I cannot figure out how these people sleep at night!!! Can anyone else?? furthermore– its important to note that the female teacher who was “so damaged” by the inappropriate strip of tape and subsequent laughter~~ continued her role as tapee for two additional lunch periods!! the principal’s response to that? “she chose to continue so as not to draw further negative attention to the event” REALLY??? so calling the FL police department was what ??? positive attention??? The school district considering further punishments for these kids??? The punishment needs to turn on the faculty and Mr Bennett, in my opinion…. shame on these people! “

Here’s a glaring problem with zero tolerance, besides the fact that it throws out judgement calls and common sense, the authority figures are never treated with zero tolerance.


Speaking of Jesse The Body – CENSORED!

HuffingtonPost has put the smackdown on the The Body and pulled an article he was published.

Editor’s Note: The Huffington Post’s editorial policy, laid out in our blogger guidelines, prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories — including those about 9/11. As such, we have removed this post.

Apparently the bright bulbs at Huffpost hadn’t heard Jesse has a show called “Conspiracy Theory”

The full original post can still be read at yahoo For Some, the Search for What Really Happened on 9/11 Isn’t Over

You didn’t see anything about it in the mainstream media, but two weeks ago at a conference in San Francisco, more than one thousand architects and engineers signed a petition demanding that Congress begin a new investigation into the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9/11.

That’s right, these people put their reputations in potential jeopardy because they don’t buy the government’s version of events. They want to know how 200,000 tons of steel disintegrated and fell to the ground in 11 seconds. They question whether the hijacked planes were responsible — or whether it could have been a controlled demolition from inside that brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7.

Oh Jesse, will you be our governor?


How would you like an extra-long Dinger Dog?

I’m sure you’ve heard Twins Announce New Hot Dogs For Target Field, but the names crack me up.

“The four dogs are the Original Twins Dog, the Twins Big Dog, the Dugout Dog and the Dinger Dog.”

The original Twins dog is a seven-to-one, ballpark frank-style hot dog, it’s a skinless hot dog that will be available in various locations throughout the ballpark,” said Peter Spike with Delaware North Sports Service.

The Twins Big Dog is a quarter pound, all-beef dog that officially replaces the former Dome Dog.

“We have the quarter-pound all-beef hot dog, that’s the Twins Big Dog,” said Spike.

An old-fashioned pork and beef hot dog in its natural casing has been named the Dugout Dog and will be sold in the stands at Target Field by retro-attired vendors during all home games.

“And then vended in the seats is a little bit different twist, we’re going retro, our vendors will all be wearing retro garb, kind of back to old Met Stadium days, and its going to be a natural casing hot dog that will be served and assembled, component wise, right there in the seats for you,” said Spike.

The Dinger Dog is an extra-long, pork and beef hot dog which will be available at the Hennepin Grille in Target Field.

“We have the Dinger Dog, which is our foot-long version of the smaller hot dog,”

JD then follows it up with a GQ about eating meat. Good Question: Why The Baseball-Hot Dog Link?

The song may talk about peanuts and Cracker Jack, but everyone knows the food most associated with baseball is the hot dog. Exhibit A: the kerfuffle over the end of the Dome Dog with the Minnesota Twins. So, why is baseball so closely linked with hot dogs?

“There’s something about the smell. You can just smell you’re at a ballpark if you close your eyes because this is how it’s supposed to be,” said Clyde Doepner, the archivist for the Minnesota Twins.

MMmmmm mmmmm, nothing like the smell of hot weiners . . heh.
I really should grow up, one of these days . . . one of these days.


Porn is OK for Minnesota Lawmakers, just not violent porn.

Strib reports Minn. lawmaker: No more violent hotel porn

A bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tarryl Clark of St. Cloud could prohibit spending public dollars at in-state hotels or meeting facilities that provide their customers with pornographic materials that link sex with violence. Nonviolent adult movies would be OK.

The bill gets a hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday.

The Department of Administration would keep a directory of approved facilities to help employees plan travel.

All I want to know is, who gets the job to watch all the hotel porn and determine if is it’s violent or not?


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