CV | Alan Muller: Every contaminated site in Minnesota needs to be reviewed

Decades of disregard leave families exposed to toxins.One of the best elected officials I know of is Cam Gordon of the Minneapolis MN City Council. Gordon is a Green Party member, one of a relative handful of official Greens holding office in the United States. I don’t agree with all Gordon’s positions, of course, but he shows an impressive ability to maintain independent and thoughtful positions while seeming to maintain working relationships with his colleagues. In March, 2014, Gordon posted this commentary (below) on one of the more consequential environmental scandals to surface recently in Minnesota.Some background(Disclosure: I have not done anything like a full file review of this, and nobody has asked my opinions on it. But the patterns shown–patterns of negligence–are consistent with patterns of inadequate “cleanup” and overdone coverup seen at contaminated sites nationwide. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The Big E sizes up MN GOP candidates

The Big E, confessing to Minnesita Progressive Project (MPP) readers and contributers, recently wrote that his heart no longer pines to hose down right wing sparkle ponies like Michele Bachmann or even review books by the likes of a Keith Ellison.  The Big E (known to his Minneapolis neighbors as Eric Pusey), is the founding scold of the MPP lefty sentry post and appears on the current edition of Democratic Visions as he retires from political blogging. After a moment of posing as a weary blogosphere elder  (as if blogging was old enough to earn elders), the smart, liberal confederate, prompted by an actual DFL elder,  Tim O’Brien, shines with bemused and bewildered takes on the current state of the Minnesota Republican Party and its clownish, hopeful State and Congressional candidates.   Mr. Pusey, who has splashed gleefully in the rushing stream of blogs, Tweets, Facebook twerking and probably Skype, does quite well in the “legacy” medium of television where I operate.  Fox Nine News knew that and for a while put him on from time-to-time.  But the Fox 9 News producers didn’t have the cojones to make him a regular pundit.   Too bad.  Mr. Pusey has good chemistry. This ten-minute Eric and Tim segment is yours to consider.  Its “tagged” (the TV producer’s sense of the word) with an homage to the late, great, populist troubadour Pete Seeger and Twin Cities activism thanks to the air guitar wonders -The Junk Yard Democrats, a peoples’ anthem, and creative editing.  Enjoy!  Enjoy!  Democratic Visions February Segments Ex-blogger Eric Pusey and Tim O’Brien on senate and gubernatorial hopefuls.Jon Spayde as a clinically depressed motivational speaker with advice for Republican hopefuls.I report on the DFL 48 Precinct Caucuses and present an award winning short film making change. Democratic Visions is handcrafted by Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka volunteer Democrats at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission. Democratic Visions Cable ScheduleMinneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m.; Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. The entire Feburary program and 183 archived Dem Vis segments can be seen on the Democratic Visions Channel on YouTube. Democratic Visions has become the  liveliest political issues show in Minnesota.   I know.  I produce the darned thing.   Continue Reading

The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library, part 2: Design library dreams for Prospect Park

This is the second article in a six-part series on the future of the Southeast Library in Minneapolis. Previously, part 1: A part-time library isn’t enough.Some Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhood residents fear that Prospect Park will compete for the location of a new Southeast Library, choosing a site that would be less convenient to residents of both Marcy-Holmes and Como neighborhoods.Dick Gilyard, an architect who lives in Prospect Park, presented a slide program last spring that proposed a library at the 29th Avenue light rail station as part of his neighborhood’s plan for the transit corridor along Washington and University avenues. Too late. “That train has already left the station,” McLaughlin said. “The station is under construction, and there is no room for a library.”Gilyard continues to advocate for a new library in the Prospect Park area, but he insists that his plan is separate from the future of the Southeast Library at Dinkytown.“That will be decided by others—the county through its community-engagement process,” he said. “We’re now talking about a different kind of library with a theme-based focus independent of what Hennepin County decides to do with the Southeast Library.”Gilyard said the Textile Center at 3000 University Ave. Continue Reading

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Gateway Mural Project turns a University District underpass into the world’s biggest paint-by-number project

When is an underpass not just an underpass? When it’s a high-traffic gateway between the Como and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods, for one—and also, when it’s a work of art.That’s the happy fate to be met by the railroad underpass on 15th Avenue Southeast; the retaining walls are being painted into a community-designed mural using a paint-by-number system devised by artists Carly Schmitt and Sara Udvig.Opportunities are at hand for you to dip your brush in this project and help to add color to our neighborhoods for years to come. Painting events will be taking place on September 15, 16, 22, and 23; for details, see the project’s Facebook page. Continue Reading

Golden Gate Park on the Mississippi? University of Minnesota architecture students suggest grand plans, encounter grander obstacles

For years, the future of Minneapolis’s riverfront along St. Anthony Main has been rich in promise but lacking in follow-through. New proposals for the area poured in after a plan to reinvigorate the area collapsed in the 2008 recession. To help educate them on options for their neighborhood’s future, residents of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood and the greater University District sought the help of Ignacio San Martín.

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