Women of color who ride bikes in the Twin Cities

On a rainy Saturday morning two women are at bike work stations receiving hands-on learning about the ins and outs of bicycle mechanics. These two women are not white or Lycra clad, nor would you confuse them with the “creative class” that is associated with the biking community. They are learning bike maintenance skills at SPOKES Bike-Walk Connections (1915 E. 22nd Street) in the Seward Minneapolis neighborhood. According to their bulletin, this organization is an innovative community bike and walking center with a goal of getting more people biking and walking for transportation and exercise. On their wall is a picture of bicycle parts written in Amharic, Eritrean, Ojibwa, and Oromo translations.Fatima Omer, a thirty-something Somali woman, is one of the two women working on a donated but still in good condition bike. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The future of Southwest Transit and light rail

Southwest Transit CEO Len SImich and progressive broadcaster Nancy Nelson discuss the future of commuter bus service and light rail transit in the southwest suburbs on the current edition of Democratic Visions.Simich says that Southwest LRT project planners and the Met Council are expected to begin negotiating terms that would enable light rail to share SW Transit’s large station, parking ramp, restaurant and condo-apartment complex wedged between Highway 212 and Technology Drive and Purgatory Creek Park, Eden Prairie’s most heavily used, non-athletic park.But those negotiations, says Simich, will only occur if the Met Council chooses to run light rail as far as or beyond Southwest Transit’s large Eden Prairie hub at Technology Drive and Prairie Center Drive.  The publicly owned bus company serves Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Chaska.  Simich and Nelson agree that the Met Council should not attempt to diminish this award winning commuter service to provide advantage to its own, much larger Metro Transit bus service or light rail.  Carver County, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Chaska have passed resolutions of support for Southwest Transit’s position, but Simich reports that to date, the Met Council has shown little interest in discussing the issue with Southwest Transit.This is a direct link to the story on YouTube.Democratic Visions is produced by volunteers through DFL Senate District 48 at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission.Cable cast times:Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:30 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.Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m.Segments of the program are posted on the web on YouTube’s Democratic Visions Channel. Continue Reading

In the Obama era, plans revive for a Northfield-Twin Cities rail line

With the national economy still a giant question mark, Northfield community leaders are pushing ahead to revive a long-delayed project to build a commuter rail line that would link the town to the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The national economic downturn is precisely why a serious reconsideration of the commuter line, called the Dan Patch Corridor, is especially warranted right now, the line’s advocates say. “It would create jobs, it would put people to work, it would make the community more attractive,” said Rep. David Bly, Northfield’s representative in the Minnesota legislature and a strong proponent of the line.Bly and his state Senate counterpart, Kevin Dahle, sponsored a proposal in this year’s legislative session to remove a 2002 ban on study and discussion of the route. They did so at the behest of Northfield constituents and community leaders, as well as the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, the transit planning agency serving the seven-county metropolitan area.The legislation was stopped in conference committee, but many Northfield leaders remain committed to bringing some form of reliable alternative transportation to the community. And according to Northfield City Council member Kris Vohs, the Obama administration, which has made infrastructure a priority, has potential to help this effort. Continue Reading

St. Anthony Park Community Council’s October News Blast

St. Anthony Park Directory 2009Green Remodeling Backyard Talk (Oct 8)October Commuter of the MonthAnaerobic Digester Recommended for Rock-TennThis Fall, Leave the LeavesSenior Chore Service Will Help With Fall ChoresSingle Hauler Workshop Success and MaterialsMnDOT Sound MonitoringThank You to Neighborhood Cleanup Volunteers
For other neighborhood events, please check out the Park Bugle’s online calendar. ST. ANTHONY PARK DIRECTORY 2009A group of your neighbors, with the help of the St. Anthony Park Community Council, are putting together a directory of St. Continue Reading