By Andrew Richter
New Hope’s approved development is perhaps technically not high density but it is definitely higher density than the surrounding areas. Check out this map;
Check out the houses just to the south. Notice how the housing proposal contains much narrower lots, especially on the east side.
How many places to live can be crammed into such as small area? We have high density Winnetka Greens on the southeast side of the Winnetka/Bass Lake Road. There are more town homes and apartments on the northeast corner. then there are apartments on Bass Lake Road on the south side. On the north side there is the St. Therese senior living and Northridge on Boone. With a school at the old Hosterman site, how much more housing can be crammed in such a small area.
I wonder what is planned for the area west of the New Hope golf course? Of course, the city is probably eyeing that for housing as well. We can’t leave it as green space…..no no……we have to tax it right New Hope?
By Andrew Richter
Well, we did an article on “how to throw a green party” in November. Now Hennepin County is picking up the story and they put it on the front page of their website;
This year, give back to the environment by celebrating a greener Christmas, Hanukkah , Kwanzaa or winter Solstice. Putting a wrap on wasteful traditions might seem like a Santa-sized endeavor, but thinking sustainably can save you time and money over the long run.
Look at that diversity!!! Winter Solstice? Who the hell celebrates that?
Get started with these tips from Hennepin County Environmental Services
Tips? Don’t these people have anything better to do?
Much of the work of creating more sustainable holiday practices can start right away.
Sustainable! There’s that word again. Can we just strike that word from the dictionary?
Plan your gift giving
A deliberate approach can help decrease car trips and shipping costs. Also, choosing gifts thoughtfully can minimize impulse shopping and the kinds of gifts that end up traveling back to the store, or worse, into the trash. Consider non-material gifts, such as concert tickets and museum passes, music or cooking lessons, memberships, or music downloads and e-books, or gifts to help loved ones be greener, such as reusable coffee cups or cloth napkins.
Reusable coffee cups and napkins as gifts?
Decorate using LED lights
LED lights use only a tiny fraction of the electricity demanded by incandescent lights. LED strings are long-lasting and pose less fire danger, since the bulbs are cool to the touch. Donate usable, unwanted decorations to charity to rid your house of clutter and give that plastic Santa or felt wreath a chance at another life in someone else’s home.
Yes, Santa will appreciate that!
Send electronic holiday greetings or one-piece photo cards. Take the time to remove your name from unwanted mailers and catalogs.
What about all those postal workers?
Encourage car-pooling to gatherings of friends and family.
Of course, maybe you should make your family members join the Green Step Program and implement standards demanding that a percentage of your relatives walk, bike, or take transit.
A warm home
Rather than opening the house to vent warmth from the kitchen and guests’ body heat, consider turning the thermostat down a few degrees, just before they arrive.
Sure, just let grandma freeze!
Set the table
Use reusable or recyclable dinnerware. If you’re short a few plates, borrow what you need from friends for an eclectic and sustainable table. Try to cook for your guest list, to minimize food waste, and set out recycling bins, well-marked to encourage use.
Eclectic and sustainable table!!! This is hilarious!!
Just think, some spastigated idiot at Hennepin County actually got paid to come up with this garbage and someone took the time to put it on the web site!!!
You can’t have a Christmas (oh excuse me Holiday) Party without the county involved!!
By Andrew Richter
Now we haven’t done much posting on the Robbinsdale School District, but that’s about to change. My sources have informed me that School District 281 (Robbinsdale) will be seeking an operating referendum in 2014. They are projecting a deficit for the 2016-2017 school year. Here is some information from their work session last Monday, December 2;
We will keep you posted on what is happening but look for complaints about state funding, class size, and unfunded mandates…..they have until August 22 to officially adopt a resolution calling for a referendum. We WILL stay on top of this issue!
By Andrew Richter
On the one hand, this story is funny yet on the other, its pathetic;
When Jesse Baker fired up a computer at Minneapolis Central Library on a recent Wednesday, a pop-up box alerted him to services – at the library – for people who are experiencing homelessness, or who are in danger of losing their housing.
Baker, who had slept at the Salvation Army shelter since he arrived in Minneapolis a few days before, seized the opportunity to be connected to opportunities for shelter and food. In a back corner of the library, Derek Holt, emergency shelter case manager at Our Savior’s Housing, was ready to guide him.
The Hennepin County Library system soon will be able to expand its outreach services for people who want help preventing and getting out of homelessness, thanks to a $55,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. It was only part of a $157,327 grant to promote health equity in Hennepin County, and the cities of Rochester and Duluth.
Um, how long have we thrown money at people who are homeless and what has it gotten us?
“Hennepin County Library is honored to be one of three grant recipients in the state,” said Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “Together with our partners, and building on the fine ongoing work of our staff, we are committed to increasing our capacity to serve individuals who are homeless.” The library system will use the infusion of money to expand the services it already offers and to add new opportunities, said Amy Mars, health equity advocate for the library system.
Health equity advocate for the library system? Do they ever interview anyone with an opposing point of view?
Already, the library system offers space for nonprofit partners to meet one-to-one with people who are already homeless, or who are in a situation of precarious housing, to direct them to not only county resources, but to help they can get from the community. Mars would like to make the space available weekly, rather than bi-monthly. She’d like to be able to give out more bus tokens, more state ID vouchers, more copies of the “Handbook of the Streets” and other resources to help connect people to the organizations that can help them.
She hopes to expand the volunteer network and offer new opportunities for people to explore how to improve their own situations, by teaching practical skills like budgeting and cooking, but also those that encourage people to think of something different in the future. “When you’re experiencing homelessness, you feel like your options are so limited,” she said
Increasing service also would allow advocates to reach more people, Holt said, and in some cases, help to prevent them from becoming homeless. For his part, Baker went to the library that morning to use the computers and meet up with friends. He left with a map to a long-term shelter, where he could stay, starting that night.
The library is a natural fit for these kinds of services, Mars said. “We hope people see the library as a place you can go to empower yourself with information and resources,” she said. “When people don’t know where else to go, they come to the library.” Mars hopes to expand service at the library in January. For now, people can get help 10 a.m.-noon, the first and third Wednesday of each month, in rooms 110 and 111 at Minneapolis Central Library.
Ok if you want to end homelessness you have to concentrate on WHY people are homeless; take this money we are wasting on these libraries and get these people some clean clothes, deodorant, and haircut. then teach how to do a resume and have them apply for jobs!!! Expanding the library will not solve homelessness!
By Andrew Richter
So how much would pay to live in New Hope? $100,000? $150,000? $175,000? Well, with the purchase of New Hope Learning Center, get ready to shell it out;
The New Hope City Council selected Centra Homes as the preferred developer for the former Winnetka Learning Center site at its meeting on November 25. In related action, the Council approved plans and specifications for demolition of the building on the site.
The city of New Hope finalized the purchase of the nearly 17-acre Winnetka Learning Center site at 7940 55th Avenue N on November 6. Two residential developers — Centra Homes and Pulte Homes — presented redevelopment proposals to the City Council in late May. In selecting Centra Homes as the preferred developer, the Council noted that its concept plan includes both step-up single family homes and a housing type not previously available in New Hope — high quality detached townhomes.
If a “housing type” is not “available” it’s probably because of market conditions…..that is if we still actually practice capitalism in this country. Isn’t it interesting that townhomes and higher density housing is going up everywhere? Yet of course I’m the conspiracy theorist if I even point that out,
The Council also appreciated some of the proposed amenities, including two ponds to handle groundwater runoff from the site and a central green in the townhome area.
Yippy! Here’s back breaker;
Centra concept plan includes 34 single‐family homes with an average sale price of $315,000, and 27 detached townhomes, with an average sale price of $250,000.
Single family homes for an AVERAGE price of $315,000!!!!! Granted these homes are new but $300,000!!!! If you had that to spend would you live in New Hope or would you go to Maple Grove or Minnetonka? And townhomes for $250,000????? Ridiculous! Of course the housing lots are much narrower than other homes in the city. Gotta cram as much as possible in a single area.
Centra Homes has offered to purchase the property from the city for $1,050,000.
But wait, didn’t it cost $1,7500,000 to buy this property??
When the vote came at the November 25 council meeting Councilman Dan Stauner made the following statement:
“It’s worth noting since we’ve all gotten emails about density of housing in new developments, that the developmer we’re naming as the preferred developer has the less dense of the two proposals.”
OK, now I appreciate the councilman’s comments (especially since I’m one person who sent in an email about the density) that still doesn’t mean that the density is the same as the rest of the city. What is up with this movement to try and stick as many houses as possible in one area? While it may not be technically be “high density” it is much more dense then previous single family homes in the past. The only thing I can think of is that there is some financial reason why this is happening.
Never fear, the vote was 5-0 in favor of the project. No councilperson even asked a question.
By Andrew Richter
So do we have “citizen representation” on the west Metro Fire Board or don’t we? It looks as though Crystal Section 2 Councilman John Budziszewski has decided that he wants to remain on the west Metro Fire Board. You recall that Budziszewski was appointed to fill out ReNae Bowman’s term on the board as Crystal’s “citizen representative.” Since that time it appeared that the Crystal city council had agreed to appoint a citizen to that role when the councilman’s term expired (which is December 31 of 2013).
Now, however, Budziszeski wants his own term despite the fact that two residents have now come forward to apply for the position. The council seems to be wavering now on whether to appoint a citizen or continue to game the system by appointing a council member.
Now here’s another disturbing piece of news; the word from my city sources is also that Budziszeski intends to VOTE on the appointment rather than recuse himself. While I don’t don;t know the legal ramifications, I think it is highly unethical to vote for yourself for an appointment when there are others who want the job. Is that right?
In fact when Budziszewski was appointed back at the march 19 council meeting he actually recused himself from voting even though there wasn’t another candidate running! Why did he recuse himself then, but he is reportedly refusing to now? Could it be to guarantee that won’t represent Crystal on the Board?
Call or email the councilman and the entire council and tell them to appoint a citizen to the citizen representative position and that if Budziszewski wants to be considered he must abstain from voting!
|Jim Adams||Mayor||(612) email@example.com|
|Laura Libby||Section I; Wards 1 & 2||(763) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mark Hoffmann||Ward 1||(763) 531-1006||MrkHoffmann@aol.com|
|Joe Selton||Ward 2||(763) email@example.com|
|John Budziszewski||Section II; Wards 3 & 4||(763) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Casey Peak||Ward 3||(763) email@example.com|
|Julie Deshler||Ward 4||(612) firstname.lastname@example.org|
by Jason Bradley
In the early 1900’s, America found herself in the beginning stages of a trend that would last for over 100 years. That trend is called progressivism. It was a school of thought that places the government as the arbiter of all human affairs. It makes government a benevolent leader that must have its hands in everything we do. It brought us income taxes, prohibition, “affordable” healthcare, and other such programs. Whether in steps bold or small, we have implemented progressive policies in the name of the common good.
Rarely, however, have these policies been good for everybody. They have taken from those who have, to pass around like party favors at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Whether set up well or not, these programs are so monolithic, that they have become impossible to remove or replace.
Lately, however, I see hope on the horizon. I see a younger generation that values true liberty. It all started in the music industry. Music was handled by large record companies that acted as gatekeepers allowing you to hear the music that they wanted you to hear. With the invention of Napster, everything changed. Gone are the days of being told what to listen to. You can find thousands of acts, signed or unsigned, on platforms like Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, or some other upstart company. You can find anything at all with the click of a button. The same thing is happening not only in music, but in news, movies, and books. Platforms like Kickstarter give access to regular people to make a high quality product. The limits have been removed. No one person or small subset of companies will be able to control output ever again.
What does this mean? There is a lot you can take from this. Young people want choice. They don’t want to be shoved into some one-size-fits-all program. They understand that freedom is choice, and that’s where we see the world of technology heading. This is the new post-progressive America. Of course government will be the last to respond. Why, because it is antithetical to the current trend to decentralize power. The Progressive era is coming to a close, and will fall under the weight of its own gluttony. We can’t continue to fund these programs. At some point they will all run out of money. What will take its place? Only the best ideas will stay alive. The things that are customizable, efficient, and portable will go on. Whatever is closed, limited, and restrictive will come to an end.
These two forces, liberty versus tyranny, have been battling back and forth since the beginning of time. We saw it in stories of ancient civilizations that started out as free associations of people, but gave themselves up to live under the rule of a king (as in the examples of the Israelites or Greeks) or an absolute dictator (like the Romans or Germany after World War I). Because of the oppression under kings in England, many fled across the ocean to start over here with complete freedom. Yet, those same people allowed England to have control of this new land until we could no longer stand it and fought a war for our independence. We struggled with slavery, and eventually freed millions of people that had not known freedom. We have since allowed ourselves to become enslaved again under the auspices of progressivism.
Big government Republicans and Democrats have progressively put together the pieces of a framework that would give the government control over every aspect of our lives. Look at any city in America. Their long range comprehensive plans are to build more high-density housing close to transit hubs, limit low-density housing, and encourage hiking, biking, and mass transit. Now, you may be asking what’s wrong with those things. There is no problem with walking, biking, or living in a condo or apartment… if that’s what you choose. The issue comes in when the government takes billions upon billions in our money and uses it to force these concepts upon us as the wave of the future. Walking, biking, and driving are all choices we have. The fading progressive model would tell us that we have to steer people toward the results they want by creating the conditions to make it so. In a post-progressive world, we would build biking paths, high rise rentals, and light rail lines because there was enough of a demand to make these solutions viable on their own.
How do I know that? Look at the new tech companies, the leader in this movement. When something is no longer in demand, what happens? It goes away. Where are MySpace, CDs, manual cameras, pay phones, encyclopedias, pagers, newspapers, typewriters, answering machines, dial-up internet… you know exactly what I’m talking about. Technology is multiplying at an astronomical rate, making more things obsolete every day. Heck, Facebook is already starting to lose its hold on younger users. How old is that? Technology is starting to invade every aspect of our lives, so how can we not see everything in our lives fall into this new mindset? We are starting live in the future that we only dreamed about in science fiction movies: video phone calls, cars that drive themselves, touch screens with the ability to swipe between pages or applications, personalized advertising… and only the best ideas will survive.
So why is government trying to lock us down into some 1980’s Chinese model of civilization? Because it’s what they have been working toward for 100 years. Government is always the last to catch up. China just beat us to it, because they can force people to do as they please. We must be led. Government has to be in control. It is force and violence. The progressive dream is dying on the vine. They know it, and are trying to finish what they started at a record pace. The writing is on the wall, however, and their time is limited. We are in the beginning throes of a new industrial revolution that can show the world what we are capable of. It is one that will propel man forward, provide unlimited choice, and allow us to live free. That is what the next generation and anyone in touch with them desires. As these people begin to come into leadership in business and government, we will see changes to these spheres that will emulate what is happening now in technology. Funny thing is, the conditions for this kind of economy to thrive were written on a piece of parchment over 230 years ago. They said that government shall do this much… and no more. The authors of our constitution saw this simple precept: make man free, and you will see the doors of his (her) mind unlocked, and amazing things will happen.
If you are interested in having choice at your fingertips without being shamed or forced into doing something else, want to see the limits of the human mind use technology to improve and change our world, and take the government controls off of these pursuits, you’re in luck. Personal space travel, virtual reality, and things we have never even dreamed of before are all on the table. That’s what you can expect in the new Post-Progressive era.