SPOKES and Cycles for Change to Merge

On January 1, we had a big change: SPOKES (the community bike center just east of the LRT on 22nd Street) merged with Cycles for Change, a community bike center headquartered in St. Paul. The two community bike centers have very similar programs. Also, Cycles for Change provided fantastic support to SPOKES when it was starting two and a half years ago.We will keep SPOKES great staff, location, programs, and hours. (details at www.SpokesConnect.org) • Our Open Shop (where we help you fix your bike) stays on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings,•Our Earn-a-Bike course continue,• Our Learn-to-Ride course will start again this spring• Our volunteer nights stay the same,• The Hub Mini Store @SPOKES will actually add hours this spring (adding Sunday to sell reconditioned used bikes) SPOKES is actually merging with an old friend. There has been a long history of collaboration between SPOKES and Cycles for Change (as long as that a two and a half year old program can have):• Most of SPOKES’ programs and policies were designed using Cycles for Change’s programs as a template.• For its first year, SPOKES contracted with Cycles for Change to provide staff support for the Learn-to-Ride program and Open Shop.• SPOKES has been a branch of Cycles for Change’s Community Partners Bike Library Program for the last two years. In addition, SPOKES is joining with a couple old friends: Cycles for Change’s current Executive Director (Jason Tanzman) and current board president (Katya Pilling) were the two people responsible for the original idea of starting a community bike center in Seward. Continue Reading

The Obama Stimulous Package, Broadband, Minnesota and Leadership

The Blandin Foundation just hosted a gathering of people interested in making sure Minnesota gets it share of the Obama Stimulus Package money devoted to getting people broadband Internet service.(More detail on the broadband portion of the package here)

Six major take-aways from the meeting:

  1. No one knows the exact process the federal governement will use to distribute the money but much of it (around $4 billion to $5 billion) will be by competitive grants.: Continue Reading

Irony File: Minneapolis Climate Chage Innovation Grant is changing the climate

I just submitted a proposal in response to the Minneapolis Request-for-proposals for ideas to reduce greenhouse gases on the neighborhood level.

The proposal did not allow electronic submission and required:

Six copies of:
* A cover Page
* A six page application form (the maximum but I challenge anyone to answer all their questions in less than 6 pages)
* Attachments (in our case, 4 letters of support from partners)

Plus, one copy each of:
* An organization chart (1 page)
* List of board members (1 page)
* Audit (11 pages)
* Annual report (we didn’t have one but assume a minim Continue Reading