New bicycle advocacy group aims at students, protected bikeways

From improving existing bike lanes to giving city officials suggestions on upcoming projects, a new advocacy group at the University of Minnesota is working to address cyclists’ concerns.The group is a collaboration between members of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and the Minneapolis Public Interest Research Group. It aims to formulate plans for improving campus-area infrastructure and raise people’s awareness of bicyclists’ issues.“Our goal is to have bike infrastructure that works for students and connects them to the rest of the city,” said Daniel Lubben, an urban studies junior and co-leader of the group.He said the group is focusing on several bike projects that city officials are pushing forward in the coming years, including the Oak Street Southeast Bikeway — a city-funded project that will begin construction this year. The project will create a bike path along the west side of the street. According to a city report, the road carries more than 1,100 bicyclists a day.The group met earlier this month to discuss the new bikeway and examine its potential problems.“It is important to get the earliest generations of bike lanes correct,” said Steve Sanders, the University’s alternative transportation manager.Sanders suggested the group discuss challenges the new bike lane could pose at the busy intersection of Washington Avenue and Oak Street.Lubben said members of the bike coalition asked him and Bailey Shatz-Akin, an environmental science policy and management junior, to lead the bike advocacy group.Shatz-Akin said the group will also focus on proposing updates to the Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan, a plan aimed at improving bicyclists’ safety and increasing the amount of them in the city.She said the group will analyze the plan and offer suggestions to city officials.About 30 students and bike advocates showed up for the group’s first meeting on March 12. Laura Kling, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition’s community organizer, said the turnout represents the high amount of involvement people have in cyclists’ issues on campus.Among those who attended the meeting was Rob DeHoff, owner of Varsity Bike and Transit in Dinkytown.DeHoff said he hopes the group can expand on existing bike projects in the University’s area, like the 15th Avenue Southeast bike lane.Chris Stanley, a neuroscience sophomore and member of the group, said the group’s goals will ultimately benefit everyone traveling in the campus area.“We’re a community of people who want to improve the way our street systems work by making it friendly for both cars and bikes,” he said.[See original post here: http://mndaily.com/news/campus/2015/04/08/new-group-rides-student-bicyclists] Continue Reading

VIDEO: KSTP owner Stan Hubbard refuses to apologize during Augsburg #Pointergate protest

Outside of Sateren Auditorium on Augsburg College’s campus, dozens of protesters convened in the cold November air, demanding KSTP publicly apologize for their report last week, now dubbed #Pointergate.Inside, a packed auditorium listened to KSTP owner Stanley Hubbard present his points on the success of broadcast journalism. But the sold out event wasn’t because of Hubbard’s insights into broadcasting. About a third of the audience there, organized by Augsburg’s Minnesota Public Interest Group and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, were there to demand a public apology for KSTP’s report.Less than 30 minutes into Hubbard’s speech, protesters interrupted the event demanding he apologize on air. Watch the unedited video below to see what happened, or keep reading to find out more.Related article: #Pointergate protesters plan rally against KSTP owner Stan Hubbard(UNEDITED VIDEO: Stanley Hubbard refuses to apologize during Augsburg #Pointergate protest)“Speaking of integrity,” says a man wearing a large, red foam hand. “We demand an apology on air.”The foam hand, the kind seen at sports events, is pointing with one finger, and at this point dozens of protesters stand up in the auditorium, all wearing the same red finger.“No, of course not,” Hubbard replies to the man. Continue Reading

#Pointergate protesters plan rally against KSTP owner Stan Hubbard

Updated: Watch KSTP owner Stanley Hubbard refuse to apologize during Augsburg #Pointergate protestKSTP’s report of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges supposedly flashing a gang sign on camera sent the local news station straight into the national spotlight. Social media erupted in anger, demanding the station retract the story and apologize on air.But KSTP decided to stand behind their report, so protesters are now taking their chants off Twitter and onto the streets.Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of this issueAugsburg College’s Minnesota Public Interest Group (MPIRG) along with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change are planning to protest an Augsburg event hosted by KSTP owner and chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting Stanley Hubbard on Nov. 13.The protesters plan to rally before the event at 4:15 p.m. at Anderson Music Hall on 22nd Avenue South.“Last Thursday night, KSTP aired an outrageous and inflammatory story accusing MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) organizer Navell Gordon of flashing a gang sign with Mayor Betsy Hodges,” wrote MPIRG organizers on their Facebook event page. “In reality, the photo snapped during the event shows them merely pointing at each other … We must show up in solidarity with Navell and demand KSTP issue an on air apology.”KSTP has been unavailable for comment but issued a statement on Nov. 7, standing behind the story.Augsburg College also issued a statement on their website, saying, “Hosting a speaker on campus is not an endorsement of a speaker’s comments or business practices … The College has communicated with student leaders who are organizing a demonstration before the event to establish a safe location for the expression of their opinions while, at the same time, ensuring a positive experience for participants attending the event to hear the speaker’s comments.”Hubbard’s speech, taking place at Sateren Auditorium, is now sold out.“This story is a prime example of how the Minneapolis Police Department Union is attempting to use the media to negatively influence public opinion,” said Filsan Ibrahim, co-chair at MPIRG’s Augsburg chapter. Continue Reading

Hamline’s MPIRG rocks the vote

Hamline Chapter of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) wants to make voting less intimidating for those who have never voted before. The non-partisan organization works on informing and registering college students for Election Day.“In reality, all elections are important. It seems that people think that if we aren’t electing the president that means whatever is on the ballot isn’t going to affect them. That isn’t true at all!” said Lizy Busta, a second year at Hamline University and MPIRG co-chair.This election season, the state of Minnesota is voting for Governor, State House Representative, U.S. House Representative, U.S. Senator, Attorney General and school board members.“All of these people on the ballot have a huge impact on our state, so it’s important to go and vote for who you think will benefit Minnesota,” said Busta. “The President of the United States isn’t the only person that works in the government and it’s important for people to realize that.”In order to help inform college students MPIRG is hosting Voter Awareness Series, with several of this year’s candidates. Continue Reading