If I'm too tired, just think about these kids and their families

Yesterday was the single most taxing day I've experienced in the classroom since I started volunteering in the shelter preschool in early 2009.

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Unsafe and unseen—Minnesota's ghost bikers

(Photo by centralniak published under Creative Commons License)

The Twin Cities are regarded as America’s litmus for bicycling. Minneapolis has been rated the number one bicycling city, while Bicycling Times lauded “the nation’s finest network of off street bicycle trails”. Former Mayor Rybak told visitors: “Biking has become a large part of what we are.”

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Freeway roofs and wine

Following up on a couple recent posts, with the definition of “recent” being arguable in one case:

In a recent post on the two charter amendments on the ballot in Minneapolis, I spent most of the post on the increase in election filing fees because I understood that issue, but had to leave readers with just the text of the food requirements for wine licenses because it was Greek to me. Or French or Californian, I don’t know what kind of wine it was. Minnpost has an article explaining it. Essentially, the city council and the charter commission felt that the rules for restaurants that serve wine or beer don’t make any sense given changes in the restaurant industry, especially as regards craft beers. The council passed a replacement ordinance unanimously, and removed an archaic ordinance, but some rules are in the city charter and thus the need for a charter amendment. It probably seems ironic if you’re a conservative that this liberal city coucil is acting to simplify and modernize regulations to encourage business development. I’m going to vote “yes” just to watch some conservative heads explode. Feel free to drown your sorrows in a craft beer at a Minneapolis neighborhood restaurant.

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Daybreak Bookstore brightens St. Paul's Grand Avenue

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

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Babe's new diet: Nanomaterials in animal feed

How much would you pay for a pork chop that was two percent leaner? Would you eat such a pork chop if nanoscale minerals were mixed into the hog feed to achieve that two percent reduction? Such questions are before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it considers what to advise the animal feed and mineral supplement industry about their efforts to incorporate atomic- to molecular-sized materials into feed.

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Minnesota beats national figures, but prosperity still out of reach for many

Minnesota is among the top ten states in terms of incomes, but that above average performance is not reaching all communities. That’s according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s Census data confirms that incomes are substantially lower and poverty more prevalent in Minnesota’s communities of color. While the economic gap between white Minnesotans and communities of color is wide, there has been some improvement in poverty among black and American Indian Minnesotans.

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Minneapolis Park Board, along with City, addresses inequities

(Photo by Charles Hallman) (l-r) Tom Godfrey, Michelle Kellogg and Cordell Wiseman

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges since her election nearly a year ago has made racial equity a cornerstone of her administration. The City Council earlier this summer approved her agenda, calling for all city departments to reduce racial disparities. Does this also include the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB), which historically has struggled with diversity issues both internally and externally?

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Debate continues on what to do at Upper Harbor Terminal site

At the end of the year, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal will stop operating, ending an era that began when the site opened in 1968. The 48-acre industrial stretch on the west side of the Mississippi River between the Lowry and Camden bridges is destined for transformation in the coming years, but just what shape it will take remains up for discussion.

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Bus stop amenities shorten wait

(Photo by Zachary Bielinski) Students and staff board a bus in front of Coffman Union Friday evening. A University researcher conducted a study on how different amenities at bus stops like hooded shelters, benches and schedules change how people perceive wait times.

Crowds of commuters flocked to the Coffman Union bus stop, patiently waiting for their ride to arrive, headphones distracting many of them from the buzz of the world.

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Metropolitan Council calls for affordable housing

The Twin Cities metro and the University of Minnesota area need more housing — especially affordable units — to stave off a looming housing deficit, according to the Metropolitan Council’s long-term housing plan.

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