The social life of yards with Ursula Lang

The podcast this week is a conversation with Ursula Lang, a PhD candidate in geography at the University of Minnesota who is just completing her dissertation on the social life of yards; I know Ursula through my experience in the same Geography Department. I sat down with her the other day at Cahoots Coffee Shop in Saint Paul to talk bout her research, in which she interviewed and studied people who “practice their yards” in three different neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Ursula explained to me about the history of yards as an idea and a physical space, how people view and experience yards differently, and why thinking about yards might reveal something important about the value of overlooked aspects of everyday life.

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Report calls for more public space along Green Line

(Photo by Bruce Johansen)

The opening of the Green Line light rail has environmental advocates and others evaluating the University of Minnesota’s amount of green space.

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Touring Green Line green infrastructure

This past Saturday I participated in a tour of Green Line “Green Infrastructure” as part of Public Art Saint Paul’s City Art Collaboratory Program. We are a group of multidisciplinary artists and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals who embark on monthly field trips together, exploring the living systems of the City of Saint Paul. One of our cohort is Matt Kumka, a landscape architect at Barr Engineering. He and his coworker, green engineer Nathan Campeau, guided us on this three-stop tour looking primarily at the stormwater management features.

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In historical move, MPCA orders EIS on proposed factory farm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board ruled this week that Riverview LLP’s proposed 8,850-cow dairy operation in Stevens County must undergo an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To my knowledge, this is the first time that the MPCA has ordered an EIS of a factory farm.

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Tar sands, trade rules and the gutting of human rights for corporate profit

A new report released today from IATP takes an in-depth look at how tar sands have developed from an unconventional, inefficient energy source to the spotlight of the corporate agenda as conventional oil supplies dwindle. Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights follows the development of energy policy from NAFTA up to current free trade negotiations to illustrate that while energy sources evolve, one trend remains constant: The protection of corporate profits at the expense of human rights, sovereignty and the environment. With new free trade agreements in negotiation, the time for action is here: The public needs a seat at the negotiating table.

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Residential organics drop-off coming to the South Transfer Station!

Beginning August 5th, 2014, Minneapolis residents will be able to drop-off their organic materials at the South Transfer Station located at 2850 20th Ave S. Residential organics include all food waste, food-soiled and non-recyclable paper, and other compostable materials such as coffee grounds, filters, cotton swabs, dryer lint, and popsicle sticks. Yard waste will not be accepted. Residents must drop-off their organic materials in a compostable bag (either paper or certified compostable plastic). Larger items such as pizza boxes and wax coated boxes do not need to be bagged.

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Best practices from Green Building Tour

On June 21, CNO and The Citizen's League teamed up to lead a "Best Practices Green Building" tour to three "state of the art" green building projects in Minneapolis. The tour was directed to folks interested in CNO's Sustainability Working Group, the neighborhood-led committee collaborating with Hennepin County and the developers of 2225 East Lake St to make the new development as sustainable as possible. We hoped to gain an overview of the best options that currently exist for "green development".

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Democrats turn up heat on McFadden cheaper Chinese steel comment

Minnesota Democrats are trying to turn a comment about steel from Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McFadden into a major campaign issue to unite Iron Range residents against him — something that could help the DFL in other races as well.

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Rep. Nolan opposes Enbridge Sandpiper route

With so much attention focused on the Keystone XL proposal, it can slip one’s mind that there are proposals from Big Filthy Fossil Fuels for pipelines everywhere.

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Moose inspire public-private partnership

Aiming to restore the dwindling moose population, the state of Minnesota has blazed a new trail in environmental research funding. On August 11, Minnesota launched the first of its kind public-private partnership with the Call of the Moose campaign. This innovative collaboration will set a precedent for future public-private relationships to enhance scientific attainability.

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