There’s Something in the Water


IMG_1699

We have mentioned Watershed Districts in the past, but have never really laid them out for you to understand exactly what they are and what they do. The Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts (MAWD) say that there are 42 Watershed Districts across the state of MN. They define the a watershed district as such, “Watershed districts are local, special-purpose units of government that work to solve and prevent water-related problems. The boundaries of each district follow those of a natural watershed and consist of land in which all water flows to one outlet.” They manage water quality, ground water levels, draining systems, regulate and control the use of water, provide recreational opportunities, flood protection, and more. MAWD has a whole legislative agenda that they lobby for in St. Paul, and it’s your tax money on the line. They each have a board of appointed people that has an administrative staff, and engages in projects that take your tax money. You can find out if you are near one and how to research their website on the MAWD website. It is yet another place for you to get involved and watch what your government is doing.

In the Local Lowdown, we discuss why more starter homes aren’t being built around the Twin Cities. There is an apparent shortage of these type of homes. The average home in the Twin Cities costs $294,000. That’s a lot of money! There is really only one reason for that… you guessed it, and the government is to blame! Regulation, permit costs, inspections all drive up the cost of homes but that’s not the whole picture. Cities are tearing down a lot of starter homes to build larger homes, luxury apartment buildings and town homes. City policies have reduced the stock of starter homes available.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

Advertisements

August 16, 2019 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

Hey, Measure This!


IMG_1596

We here at Community Solutions MN are huge environmentalists. We love to fish and hunt. We believe that we should be good stewards of what we have been given; that we should take care of our natural resources and re-use things when possible. We do not, however, go off the rails with the crazy contingent that wants to use environmental regulation to restrict and control our behaviors in parks, in our businesses, and in our homes. There is a new practice to create energy benchmarking to track and limit the amount of emissions we produce through meter readings and building conditions. MN cities have been early adopters of this practice. Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Edina may be leading the way, but it’s also being implemented through level 4 and 5 of the MN Green Step Cities program. It’s going to affect public and private buildings, including single-family homes. It’s time to stop this practice now, before it becomes next to impossible to have a building in compliance without super costly upgrades.

We also discuss the move in Golden Valley to take up Tobacco21. This is a nationwide push to restrict people from buying tobacco products if they are under 21… even though they can still possess it and smoke it. What a ridiculous policy that only serves to hurt your businesses as those between ages 18-20 will just go to the next city to buy it. Golden Valley put out a survey in advance of an upcoming public forum on Monday, August 5th.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

August 2, 2019 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Like Money Down The Drain


IMG_1536

There are few things as hard to understand as state school funding. It’s not just $xx.xx per student. Is that pupil in special education? Is he or she on free and reduced lunch? Enrollment as a whole needs to be considered. There are a whole number of other factors that weigh into that cost. It’s as complicated to figure out as the year is long. We try to explain how schools get their funding and where it goes. It’s a shame that our schools use fuzzy math in showing where all the money goes. This is what allows them to come back to the table and and pass a new levy every few years. After all is said and done, you will see that there is no easy way to determine education funding.

We also discuss the July 8th city Council meeting in St. Cloud. A group called #UniteCloud has organized with the explicit intention of disrupting city council meetings and grandstanding for the camera during citizen input time. #UniteCloud is rallying around the removal of Council Members Paul Brandmire and Mike Conway, citing racism regarding a disagreement with the controversial state refugee resettlement program. This program has seen the numbers of Somali refugees in St Cloud mushroom in recent years. We cover the dust up and show you how easily a group of crazies can step into the limelight and cause chaos.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

July 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

GOP Won Nothing in St. Louis Park


By Andrew Richter

Republicans around the country, from President Trump on down, have been patting themselves on the back in recent weeks since the republic of St. Louis Park has reinserted saying the Pledge of Allegiance at city council meetings.

First let me say that I think the decision to stop saying the Pledge on the grounds that it’s racist or not inclusive is perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The entire argument makes no sense and the St. Louis Park city council may be the worst in this state (and that’s saying something when this state Minneapolis and St. Paul.) They are total nutjobs and Mayor Jake “The Snake” Spano is clearly angling for higher office.

Yet, the Republicans conduct here has got me scratching my head even more. Where have they been? This council has approved every progressive idea from Tobacco 21, to light rail, ranked choice voting, green step, warrantless rental inspections, racial equity plans, mixed use development, and a Minneapolis-style bike lane system and Republicans never uttered a peep. Only when they can wave the flag and dress up as Uncle Sam does the Republican party get off their dead asses and show up to a council meeting.

This tweet from Republican Chair Jennifer Carnahan says it all;

 

 

 

Folks, there you have it! Victory has been declared! It’s V-STLP day!

There’s no mention that St. Louis Park has elections this fall. There’s no call for candidates to run for office. There’s no call for people to serve on city commissions. We restored the Pledge and now its on to Trump 2020!

The DFL, on the other hand, is sure to working behind the scenes to see to it their people get re-elected. They aren’t ignoring these critical local races. We will continue to monitor what goes on here and we will probably be the only ones. The current council is packed with extreme liberals, but my guess is that you won’t hear another word about their progressive push from the GOP, unless their flag is targeted again.

July 25, 2019 at 10:11 am 1 comment

You Can Do It


life-beauty-scene-achieve-accomplish-win-victory

Week in and week out, we advocate for people to stand up and get involved in their communities. We give you story after story about the trends and harmful policies that affect all of your communities. Garrett Christianson noticed that something wasn’t right in Elk River, MN. The city wanted build a new ice arena and redevelop the area around Lake Orono. A local option sales tax was going to be on the November ballot to pay for this project. That’s good, right? The people were going to decide… well, not really. If the measure wasn’t approved, the council was going to raise property taxes to cover it anyway. Wow. So, the people really didn’t have a choice “if” they were going to pay, just “how” they were going to pay. Garrett knew that he had to do something, so he decided to run for city council, and he won. Now with the ability to directly make a difference on the city that he calls home, he has had the opportunity to make his voice heard, and to affect change for the better. Here’s the moral of this story… it doesn’t matter where you live, you can make a difference. You can get involved and begin to see things change. You can begin to call attention to the things that are threatening to change your community from a city with its own character to an urban center. It’s time to get up and do something! Listen to Garrett tell his story on this week’s podcast.

We also review the most recent “Plymouth Financial Times”, which is a full color, glossy, tax payer-funded, propaganda piece that tells residents how amazing everything is in the city.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

July 19, 2019 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

By AND For The People?


IMG_1203

City government is where our elected leaders are supposed to be closest to the people, yet sometimes they act as far away as those in St. Paul or Washington. They act completely removed from the people and act according to their own misguided intentions with no regard as to the wishes of those that put them there.

Case study one brings us to Big Lake, MN, where after the mayor (Reanne Danielowski) was elected to be Sherburne County Commissioner, the lame duck council decided to promote from within the current council to make council member Mike Wallin the new Mayor. Of course that left a vacancy where Mike Wallin sat, and so Rose Johnson (the third highest vote-getter in the election) was appointed in a very closed and non-transparent process. Not too much time has passed, and council member Dick Backlund has resigned. This leaves a third vacancy on this council. That’s three out of five. They would never try to appoint a majority of council members to their positions… would they? Wrong! In a three-to-one vote (Knier dissenting), they chose to appoint yet again. This is a bad idea. MN statutes allow it, but that doesn’t make it the right choice for your community.

Case study two centers around St. Louis Park, MN, where they just voted to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance at their council meetings, citing diversity and saving time (a whopping 13 seconds). These are ridiculous assumptions. This proposal was floated by council member Anne Mavity, but mayor Jake Spano wasn’t even there to vote on it. It’s one thing if you don’t want to say the pledge. It’s another when you need to have so much control that you don’t allow others to say it. It’s also saying quite a lot if you want to be elected to be a representative of the people in the system of government for the United States, but you refuse to pledge allegiance to it.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

https://youtu.be/pI8RS1LLRAY

July 9, 2019 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

From Bad To Worse


Hennepin County

In the last election, Hennepin County decided that it wasn’t radical enough. It elected four new county commissioners, all worse than the terrible ones they replaced: Irene Fernando, Marion Green, Angela Conley, and Debbie Goettel. They were endorsed by radical special interests and unions. They also received partisan endorsements for nonpartisan races. They are pushers of equity in transit, housing, and social programs. We find out, however, that while they support transit for others, they prefer to drive. We find out which one of the new commissioners started out on welfare and became commissioner, which would be a great success story, had she not worked for the government the entire 20 years in between. With these guys it’s always about sustainability, the war on cars, mass transit, social justice etc., etc… It’s more of the same, except that the players are more extreme. While it may not be happening to these degrees, we see similar trends in counties across Minnesota. It’s time we start paying attention to county races across the state and get involved.

We also discuss a couple of documentaries that Andrew watched about the conspiracy theories around the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. While we believe the official version of the events, we have fun to talking about the other stories that are out there, and ask whether we can trust our eyes and ears anymore with the technology that is around the corner.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

June 27, 2019 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archives