Inside the Daily Planet, 10/7/08

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Increase in safety should follow increase in cyclists by Conrad deFiebre, Minnesota 2020 • To “promote and increase bicycling as an energy-efficient, nonpolluting and healthful transportation alternative” has been statutory policy of the state of Minnesota for more than 30 years.

A social neighborhood is a safe neighborhood by Nancy Ward, Uptown Neighborhood News • Walker’s groups, also known as “Stroll Patrols”, are happening in the ECCO neighborhood, and YOU are invited to join them. These groups of neighborhood residents are meeting and greeting and keeping eyes open for both regular and irregular activities as they walk and talk. 911 calls sent from a safe distance by these groups can prevent or interrupt unwelcome activity. Reports sent by Stroll Patrols to MPD provide information that enables them to provide better and targeted service. The more we know each other, the stronger the community, and the safer we all are.

Volunteers cover the world by Lisa Steinmann, The Park Bugle • Britta Hansen, originally from St. Anthony Park, has spent the past year as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, near the eastern edge of the Andes Mountains, training villagers in apiculture. Family and friends in Minnesota have directly supported Hansen’s efforts by contributing funds to launch a beekeeping business in the village of Paredones.

NEW IN BLOGS

ARTS ORBIT | The Genius of iTunes by Jay Gabler • Though I’m an avid iTunes user, I normally don’t rush to download each new release—generally, the primary “improvement” with any given release of the free program is a feature that makes it more efficient for Apple to sell music and videos. That’s true of the most prominent new feature in the latest release (8.0), but the new feature has also changed the way I listen to the music I already own.

HISPANIC FANATIC | Dogma vs. Cheese by Daniel Cubias • Among my numerous flaws is the fact that I’m not very charitable. Yes, I give money to worthy causes and all that, but I’m stingy with my time. My wife does volunteer work, which is one of the eight thousand things that I admire about her. Still, I’ve never found the energy to join her on her endeavors or to paint a dilapidated inner-city house or to devote a holiday to working in a soup kitchen or to do something else community-driven and altruistic.

BY THE PEOPLE | A “citizen naturalist” on St. Paul’s East Side by Ellen Tveit • On a spectacular fall afternoon, Neil Cunningham led me through a planting of native Minnesota hazelnut and plum trees, grasses, and elderberry bushes—not the kind of scenery you’d expect to find across the street from a Burger King in a lower-income neighborhood.