Spring has finally sprung in the Twin Cities

After one of the worst winters in years and a first week of spring filled with snow, spring temperatures may finally arrive this weekend — and here’s what people are saying about the long winter and the hope of spring. [If you don’t see the Storify photos and comments below, please refresh your browser window.][<a href=”//storify.com/madgerrard/spring-has-finally-sprung-in-the-twin-cities” target=”_blank”>View the story “Minnesotans can enjoy spring (for real) this weekend” on Storify</a>]This is one of a number of articles produced by students at Macalester as part of a New Media class. Continue Reading

How does E-Democracy work in Frogtown?

Frogtown “is a complete news desert. There’s a complete absence of access to local information,” said E-Democracy founder Steven Clift. With no local papers and limited coverage by regional publications, Frogtown residents struggle to find a way to connect. According to Clift, E-Democracy offers residents an opportunity for connection, providing an online forum for community conversation. “For no cost, someone can reach hundreds of people in Frogtown, who care about Frogtown, in minutes.”

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Rents rising in Frogtown as light rail opening day approaches

The Green Line’s opening is four months away, but the train has already brought rent increases for Frogtown renters.Organizations working closely with Frogtown have been worried about rent increases for years, and recent data from HousingLink shows that these fears may be justified.According to Minnesota Housing Link’s third quarter analysis, median rent listings for the “shadow market” in Frogtown — duplexes, condos, single-family housing, and townhomes — have risen remarkably in the last year. In 2011, the median rent was $807. In 2012 it rose to $850, and by 2013, the median rent had jumped to $995. Rent listings for multi-unit apartment buildings have remained unchanged.The rent increase for duplexes, condos, single-family housing, and townhomes is particularly significant for Frogtown. According to the Minnesota Housing Preservation Project (MHPP)’s Before the Train report, 43 percent of the housing in the Midway East area (which roughly corresponds to Frogtown) is single family or duplex housing. Continue Reading