Broadway proposal not exactly a pinnacle

West Broadway needs big ideas. The stretch along the south side of Broadway, from around Bryant to Emerson, needs comprehensive investment and change (as does Lyndale to Bryant, and almost every other segment along the corridor). Those two needs, however, do not unilaterally go hand in hand. At a West Broadway Coalition presentation tonight, Tim Baylor's Pinnacle Management group exemplified that specific dynamic.

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The present, past, and future of collective bargaining

Recent experiences suggest that the generations-old practice of collective bargaining as the normal, if not dominant, method of negotiating the terms of unionized employment is losing its legitimacy. Notoriously, upon taking office in January 2010, Wisconsin’s Governor Walker introduced a bill to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Despite a massive upheaval and a series of electoral and legal challenges, Act 10 is now the law of the Badger State. And last year in Seattle, when 30,000 workers, represented by the International Association of Machinists, rejected Boeing’s insistence on a restructuring of their pensions and an unprecedented eight year extension, Boeing blackmailed them into a revote by threatening to move their work to another state. Management’s demand just squeaked by in the second vote. In Chattanooga last month, when Volkswagen management announced it would remain neutral in the face of a United Auto Workers’ organizing drive, Republican office-holders launched their own anti-union campaign, threatening that state financial support for the plant would be withheld if the workers unionized. The vote for a union narrowly failed.

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Tax bill is on its way to the governor

A $432 million tax bill that would conform the state’s tax code to several federal provisions and repeal three business-to-business taxes was re-passed overwhelmingly off the House floor 126-2 on Friday. Earlier in the day the Senate passed the bill 58-5. It now moves to Gov. Mark Dayton for action. He said during a press briefing today that he would sign the measure as soon as it reaches his desk.

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COMMENTS of the WEEK | Present, past and future of…

There are so many ways of l writing about the past, comparing it with the present and looking to the future. We had articles last week that did just that for two very different subjects — collective bargaining in modern America and neighborhood family life in North Minneapolis. Each of them inspired a slew of reader comments.

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The dirty truth behind Park & Rides

Park and ride facilities are darling infrastructure of the transit planning profession. By providing “free” parking to lure choice riders out of cars and onto buses and trains, ridership can get a big boost. No wonder transit operators in our metro provide 258% more “free” parking spaces than fifteen years ago, when the first Regional Park & Ride survey was conducted by the Met Council.

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Chances of new transportation funding dim

A major transportation funding package OK’d Thursday in the House Transportation Finance Committee appears unlikely to become law, with DFL leadership saying the bill lacks the broad coalition needed to pass it off the floor.

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Move to make farming practices green and greener

Environmentalists would like Minnesota farmers to plant more cover crops that enrich the soil as alternatives to corn and soy beans. Farmers want to run profitable operations. State funding is being proposed for the University of Minnesota to make those two aims compatible rather than mutually exclusive.

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The story behind "The Street Where You Live"

This post is unlike any I’ve done before because it doesn’t involve a bike ride. Although it veers from the stated goal of the blog, it is related. This post consists of the first part of an interview I did in January 2014 with Donald Empson and his wife, Kathy Vadnais. They are the authors of the book “The Street Where You Live: A Guide to the Place Names of St. Paul”, one of my primary research resources. A sincere thanks to Don and Kathy for their time and support of my project. This interview has been edited for clarity.

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'Your account is closed' — Banking while Muslim in Minnesota

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The letters arrived at the end of a busy semester, the middle of summer, and even as recently as a few weeks ago, according to the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). They notified Minnesota students, families, and business owners that their TCF Bank accounts would be closed. Despite the fact that none of the letters provided an explanation for the account’s closure, TCF Bank maintains that they did not discriminate against their former customers. However, all of the account holders happened to have Muslim-sounding names.

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Memo to bikers: Follow the law

“Bikers need to follow the law.”

I often think about the cultural acceptance of bike-rider-bashing. Then Melody wrote her piece here about how the media presents crash victims.

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