Gov. Dayton: Too early to decide on special session for flooding

Governor Mark Dayton says he is still waiting for more damage assessment of Minnesota's flooding to decide if he needs to call a special session of the legislature. This [past] week the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [was] in Minnesota looking at the damage and many counties still haven't estimated how much it will cost to repair the damage since they are still fighting the floods.

COMMUNITY VOICES | Constant growth--the cancer model: Southwest LRT v. democracy

Shallow tunnel construction, St. Louis MO, 1/7/2005

I can’t help thinking about the easiest, cheapest, action to mitigate climate change: plant trees.

We would lose 10,000 inner city trees with the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit shallow tunnels plan through the Cedar Lake Park and Kenilworth bike trails. In the current but ever-morphing Met Council plan only 480 "significant" trees would be cut—the largest trees.

The other almost 90 percent of the vegetation is "not significant." In Met Council/Hennepin County Commission SWLRT development plans, not all trees or people count equally

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General Mills plans for TCE cleanup, likely won't begin for at least another year

New strategies to address above-normal levels of a potentially harmful vapor in the Southeast Como neighborhood are surfacing as area residents continue to grow restless with the ever-changing problem.

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E-DEMOCRACY | Wildlife marauders in St. Paul

Photo by Nina Stawski, Some rights reserved, published under Creative Commons license.

Gail O'Hare posted at 7:00pm, Jun 28:

Over the past two nights, lilies along the side of our house have been savaged by something. What's going on? This has NEVER happened before, and those treasured lilies have bloomed there for at least 15 years. Neither rabbits nor deer ever touched them. There does seem to be a multitude of aggressive chipmunks (a contradiction in terms? uh-uh) that actually climbed tulips to bite off the flowers earlier this spring. But whatever is doing this makes the first bite about a foot off the ground and then munches leaves and buds clean off the fallen stalks.

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Summer reading: Bygone ethics underscore soil stewardship and conservation farming practices

Recently a friend who happens to be a farmer asked, “When did you become so anti-farmer?”

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When a crisis strikes, the poor are most vulnerable

Emergencies of any kind, natural or manmade, are unpredictable and can occur at any time. A previous story in the MSR (“People of color most vulnerable to toxic chemical disasters,” May 15) highlighted a report, “Who’s In Danger? Race, Poverty, and Chemical Disasters.” The report documented that Blacks and Latinos are more likely to live in “‘vulnerability zones” — areas up to 20 miles in all directions of the facility — where they are less likely to escape from a toxic or flammable chemical emergency.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Strange nonsense at the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (and the MPCA)

Minnesota’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB), and it’s Climate Change Subcommittee, held a meeting on June 18, 2014.

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Rain won't solve our water supply problem

With the recent downpours across Minnesota, it may feel like water is an unlimited resource in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, even record-breaking rainfall will not solve the problem of depleting groundwater, which continues to threaten the state’s water supply.

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Why I can't get excited about Minneapolis banning styrofoam

Recently the city of Minneapolis proposed a ban on styrofoam containers. The logical part of my brain says this is a positive development and our council should be hailed for a move that will be great for the environment and put our city among the leaders in the nation around this issue. The illogical part of my brain, on the other hand... well that part of my brain looks out my front porch every day and sees a city-owned house at 2101 26th Avenue North. It's tornado-damaged and by outward appearances looks to be a perfectly salvageable house. Or at least it WAS. The shredded blue tarp remnants on the roof indicate exactly how long the city has left this property to deteriorate. At this point, there's no telling how much water damage has occurred in the year and a half that time, neglect, and a city that hasn't sufficiently valued its housing stock have let this slide.

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One rural community responds to climate change

Extreme weather brought on by climate change will affect each community differently. Rural communities face particular challenges, as they often have higher transportation and energy costs, and their economy is frequently linked to agriculture—a sector directly impacted by a changing climate. But as we learned at the first Rural Climate Dialogue held in Morris, Minn., last week there are effective community-level options to respond to these climate concerns—as well as important opportunities for rural communities to be part of the climate solution.

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