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Minnesota’s Mill City, plus the Capital City, and the surrounding MSA.

Northeast Power Vacuum

Paul Ostrow, the 1st Ward’s City Councilmember, has decided against running for a fourth term in 2009. Ostrow, in my estimation, is knowledgeable and diligent. He seems to have the temperament of a bureaucrat, without the obvious passion several other wards enjoy from their representatives. His decision does not create, but merely amplifies, the power vacuum in Northeast.


Sell the Meters

As the municipal home of NRR is facing a deteriorating financial position, I have a suggestion. Divest non-essential services. In particular, sell the rights to operate parking meters.

Chicago just raised $1.15 billion in cash by selling their meter rights for 75 years. They have 36,000 meters, while Minneapolis has only 6,800. But that would still result in a payment something over $200 million, assuming a similar rate.


The Voice of Victimhood

From a press release by the Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

NCRC volunteers have identified over 500 North Minneapolis residents who received adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) in 2007 or are currently delinquent on their mortgage payments. On Monday December 1st- Thursday December 4th from 5pm-7pm we will be going out in groups of 2 to visit these residents to make sure they know they may be able to get a loan modification by working with a foreclosure prevention counselor at one of several local agencies. The counseling is free of charge.


Good Questions

immediately upon taking office, Obama will give our military commanders the new mission of "successfully ending the war." Isn't that the strangest way to put it? If successfully ending the war will be a new mission, what was the old mission (in his mind)?

That’s Engram doing the asking. And if I am to be afflicted with Obama Derangement Syndrome, might as well enjoy it:


NRP Director Running for Mayor

Bob Miller, a familiar face to Minneapolis community activists, wants to be Mayor.

…Miller believes the neighborhoods and residents of Minneapolis are being ignored at the city government level and that the city’s finances need to be reexamined and more carefully managed.


You Can’t Lose What You Don’t Have

Arnold Kling echoes my experience in tracking problem properties, foreclosures and vacant houses as a community activist:

Ending Homelessness Violates the Law

NRR headquarters sits in the center of a vast pool of compassion. In fact, compassion is stated government policy. “The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have passed a plan to end homelessness in our community by the year 2016. This 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, is also known as Heading Home Hennepin.”


NRP Must Die

The north side is the most troubled, most stigmatized quarter of Minneapolis. Over the past few months, activists and concerned folks from all parts of the city—troubled and not troubled—have convened two cookouts on vacant lots in the north side. Their intentions are not entirely defined, but I believe these people do mean well.

A local blogger has been to both, and has posted some reflections from the second cookout:


Mayor Emptysuit is a Hopeless Romantic

R.T. Rybak, the insubstantial Mayor of Minneapolis, thinks he knows how to increase sales of City water. Quality or price improvements are too sensible for R.T. He’s using tax revenue to build pretty fountains.

His (non-)thinking is that if more people knew Minneapolis Public Works sells and distributes water, more folks would buy and use more water. The stuff already flowing from household taps throughout the city and several suburbs isn't flashy enough.


Tyler Street

On Tyler Street we came across a boy who I now know was 9 years old. He was arguing with his little sister at the edge of a parking lot. As this child finished cussing out a baby girl, he flipped her the finger and stomped away. One of us, “The Shirts”, called over to scold the boy.

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