Private sector to the rescue?

As a newly minted think tank fellow seven years ago, I heard Bob Poole, the libertarian Reason Foundation's thoughtful and nonpartisan transportation expert, argue in a local luncheon speech that private investment offered the only feasible way out of America's chronic shortfall in funding roads, bridges, transit and other ways of getting around.

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Your House at the Minnesota State Fair

(House Photography file photo) An entrance gate to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds along Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.

Fairgoers are invited to meet and greet legislators and weigh in on hot political topics during their visit to the House of Representatives booth at the Minnesota State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 21 through Monday, Sept. 1.

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A one-sided fight over St. Paul's streets

Under pressure from the City Council last week, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman outlined a $54 million street-improvement program—more than 10 percent of his proposed $515 million operating budget for 2015. Hizzoner thus significantly raised a group of rebellious council members' bid of $22 million for streets after they likened his earlier plan to "putting a Band-Aid on a broken hip."

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Hennepin County invites community to new Northside service center

(Photo from Hennepin County Facebook page)

Hennepin County celebrated the opening of its third regional human services center, located at 1001 Plymouth Ave., N. in Minneapolis.

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Mayor Hodges proposes Minneapolis’ 2015 budget

In her first budget address as Minneapolis mayor on Thursday, Betsy Hodges proposed several initiatives aimed at combating racial disparities and bolstering public safety citywide.

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The state as a model employer

Our public workforce should reflect our state’s diversity, but Minnesota is not living up to this standard. Research shows that 10 percent of Minnesota’s civilian noninstitutionalized population has a disability, but only a little more than three percent of state public employees are disabled. The state’s disabled workforce has been shrinking for 15 years—now is the time to reverse the trend.

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City data could help you catch a bus and improve your neighborhood

(Photo by justgrimes published under Creative Commons License)

City-generated data my soon help people track buses from their phones and help monitor problem properties for things like noise violations and landlord abuses. These are just two potential uses that may go public by November under the city’s new open data policy.

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Somali president visits Twin Cities, receives mixed welcome

(Photos and video by Christina Cerruti)

It was completely dark by the time Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived at Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus on Aug. 9. But the lack of light didn’t stop protesters, many of whom had been demonstrating for hours, from rushing to the curb and chanting “Down, Hassan, down!” as the president arrived.

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Unbound opportunity thanks to open data in Minneapolis

Due to a recent policy passed by the Minneapolis city council, macro-data about city processes and day-to-day operations will become available online. MinnPost’s Bill Lindeke best characterizes open data as “a movement that combines government transparency, bottom-up crowdsourcing, and high-tech geekery into an unpredictable stew of numbers.”

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