Sunday Summary – September 25, 2016

Vote zapAbsentee voting for the November 8, 2016 General Election began Friday in Minnesota, so local readers can now vote multiple ways. Waiting for the excitement of going to the polls on November 8, taking your ballot to the voting booth, feeding the completed form into the machine and getting your “I voted” sticker is wonderful, but since 2014 Minnesota voters can also vote “absentee in person” or, more precisely, vote early at your County election office and many municipal locations (usually your local City Hall) or request a ballot delivered by mail or email (ballots must be returned by mail by Election Day). If you don’t know where you vote or your municipal ward or precinct, check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s pollfinder for where you vote and who is on your ballot.

Turnout was low on this week, however, with only one substantive satiric post plus cartoon from Andy SingerA Cure for Fear of Parking Loss which paints a pathological picture of parking struggles by pretending “the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced it was adding “Fear of Parking Loss” to its official “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”. Fear of Parking Loss (FPL) is characterized by a belief that having free, on-street parking next to the front door of your destination is essential for human survival and a fear that this publicly subsidized parking might be taken away, resulting in bankruptcy, physical hardship, injury or death.” The post also includes links to very real incidents where people where shot in disputes over parking spaces.

A Device to Prevent Road Rage

Other streets-related stories in local media

From Finance & Commerce, Transit board cuts Orange Line funding again. The Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) approved transit-related projects on Wednesday, September 21, but the Orange Line BRT project got most of the debate, but less of the money. CTIB voted to allocate $30 million toward the $150 million project significantly reducing its commitment from an earlier agreement to for $45 million and an amended agreement in August to provide $37.5 million with the result that “Dakota County and Metro Transit planners are still facing a $7.5 million gap – the same as last month. CTIB’s share is being decreased by $7.5 million due to project planners at Metro Transit increasing their federal funding request by that amount.” See recent posts on about the Orange Line funding issue here and here.

The Star Tribune reported Amtrak announces easier bike storage for cyclists traveling by train with bike racks in baggage cars so cyclists need not box their bikes. “Stops between the Twin Cities and Chicago that take bicycles are Winona, La Crosse, Wis., Columbus, Wis., and Milwaukee…The service is also available at Amtrak’s stop in Glacier National Park.” Also in the Strib, Minnesota woman accused of texting in killing of cyclist is convicted of careless driving was the result in the McLeod County case charging Emily Givens of Hutchinson with criminal vehicular homicide for hitting and killing Penny Verdeck in 2015: “In a ruling this week, Judge Timothy Looby said prosecutors couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Givens was distracted by a text message. He found her not guilty of a misdemeanor charge of using a cellphone while driving and not guilty of the more serious felony charge — vehicular homicide.”

MinnPost published Alex Schieferdecker’s post The Midtown Greenway is the missing piece of the St. Paul soccer stadium plan proposing that the stadium project transportation challenges could be addressed in part by extending the Midtown Greenway. See Alex Schieferdecker’s posts here.

Quick looks

Chart of the Day: Land’s Share of US Home Prices “[v]ia Visualizing Economics, here’s a cool chart showing the percentage of a home’s value that is tied up in land (as opposed to the house itself).”

National Links: Ancient Ruins, Redesigned Crosswalks, and Sprawl is the roundup of great links from The Direct Transfer.


And that’s the week on, but we’d welcome your voice as one of our contributing writers or joining us as a member. Have a great week!

Betsey Buckheit

About Betsey Buckheit

Betsey rides her pretty blue city bike, walks her energetic black dogs, and agitates for more thoughtful, long-range decision-making in Northfield, MN. You can follow her blog at