What is today's senior employment scene?

Holding aloft a smart phone, Vergil Wibben joked to an audience of older workers recently gathered at East Side Neighborhood Services that when he had to get one for his job, he looked at the smart phone blank screen and relaxed.

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Suggestions for a safer Jefferson Bicycle Boulevard

Here is my open letter to Saint Paul Public Works and Mayor Coleman.

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A quick fix for Minneapolis transit

Last week, David Levinson asked whether we are “building a city” in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. He noted that rail investments only make sense in areas where there is sufficient density to support those investments. He further wondered whether Minneapolis and St. Paul could achieve those requisite densities for a majority of residents in core areas in 20 or 30 years.

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Hampden Park Co-op sounds call to action

(Photo from Hampden Park Co-op website)

Last summer, Hampden Park Co-op put out a call to action to its members to increase sales at the Raymond Avenue food cooperative. General manager Greg Junge says that call appears to have been heeded.

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Minneapolis approves Prospect Park hotel

The Minneapolis City Council gave the final stamp of approval for a hotel in Prospect Park on Friday.

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Don't let Big Meat eat our bumper crop

The last few years have not been good for the factory farm industry. High prices for corn and other crops (in part driven by the growth of ethanol) made feed costs incredibly high, while at the same time, environmental and animal welfare advocates have been winning ballot and marketplace battles to shift more meat production out of intensive confinement and industrial systems. Hog and cattle producers have been hit by disease, drought and weather related disasters, resulting in losses in both sectors.

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Restore the grid! A vision for the center of Downtown Saint Paul

I live and work in Lowertown. Frequently my errands and wanderings take me up to the Rice Park/Landmark Center/7th Place areas. I’m always either on foot or bike. Over the last two-plus years of living here, I’ve become increasingly annoyed with the presence of the two “SuperBlocks”. These are the blocks that have 7th Street as the northern border, Wabasha Street as the western, 6th Street as the southern and Minnesota Street as the eastern border (See map). They house the Wells Fargo tower and the Bremer Bank tower on the north ends, facing 7th Street. The vacant Macy’s store and DoubleTree by Hilton face 6th Street on the south end. If you are coming from the mostly-pleasant 7th Street pedestrian mall and you want to go over to the eastern side of downtown, the most direct way is through the indoor “shopping” mall and skyway configuration of the SuperBlocks.

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Share Dinkytown stories at a reunion this weekend

(Photos by Bill Huntzicker)

If you have Dinkytown memories and stories, you’re invited to share them this weekend at a couple of events and to reminisce about the area’s past and discuss its future.

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St. Paul aims to lead in workforce racial equity

Nearly $105 million in St. Paul City contracts was awarded in 2013 to businesses owned by people of color, women-owned, and small businesses, according to Saint Paul’s Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) annual report. That was about 41 percent of the “total business opportunity” of more than $255 million. Approximately 18.6 percent of this “total business opportunity,” or $47.5 million of the contracts awarded last year, went to small businesses; $38.5 million (15 percent of total) went to women-owned businesses; and $18.8 million (7 percent of total) went to businesses owned by people of color.

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Snowlessons

We can learn a lot from snow. I had a lot of thoughts as I drove around during and after our instant winter (text is above photos).

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