Vision Zero or Zero Vision?


Vision Zero

Chances are you haven’t heard of the Vision Zero Network yet, but a whole mess of cities across the United States are implementing their policies into their future planning and ordinances. What is it? Their stated goal is “to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.” Of course Minneapolis has jumped on board and included it in their new 2040 comprehensive plan. Minneapolis is already completely unnavigable.  It is a virtual obstacle course driving on their streets. That’s exactly what we need, narrower lanes, choke points at intersections, lower speed limits, speed bumps, roundabouts… sounds like a recipe for road rage. You need to be aware of this program, because now that Minneapolis has adopted it, it can easily make it into St Paul, St Louis Park, Edina, Golden Valley, and then down to the your suburb. I mean who doesn’t want to eliminate accidents? We all do, but that doesn’t mean that this is the way to do it. We shine some light on this extremely expensive and restrictive program.

In the Local Lowdown, the city of Victoria was slapped with 38 open meeting law violations in 2016. The law is very clear about when and how a quorum of elected officials can communicate with each other. All of the council members that were indicted have been removed from office… right? Right? You will have to listen in to find out. Also, Andrew makes some bold and very wrong primary predictions (Jason, however, inadvertently nails the governor’s race).

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!

Advertisements

August 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

Money For Absolutely Nothing


dollars-banknotes-money-cash-bills-currency-1

There is a movement out there to make sure that the government provides income to people for… well, we’re not sure. Some cities are toying with the concept of Universal Basic Income, where a small subset of seemingly random residents get some small stipend of money, for… well, there seems to be no criteria at all. Cities like Seattle, Stockton, and Chicago are pushing for it, but it’s not a new idea either. It seems like it’s been around for a long time, but the push in America started in the Progressive Era.  The strange thing about it? There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how it is distributed, and the amount given seems to be little more than a nod to the plight of the poor, rather than a solution to it. Is it part of what we can expect under a new set of American values? How do the socialists, being small in number, drive our national policy? Get to know more about it before your city decides to try it on in the name of equity.

In the Local Lowdown, Eric Lammle is finally stepping down in New Hope, leaving a legacy of… yeah, we don’t know either. We make an appeal for people to get involved.

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!

 

 

August 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Join the Club


colosseum-rome-italy-roman-architecture-landmark

What comes to your mind when you hear “The Club of Rome“? Chances are that if you’ve even heard of them, you think of conspiracy-laden rumors of shadowy figures huddled in an underground room or locked away in some swanky hotel or boardroom. That’s what they’d like you to think. The thing is, it’s a very real group that gathers together and discuss policies that should be focused on. “The Club” focuses on decarbonization, global governance, and a circular economy (reduce, reuse, recycle). They also have a U.S. chapter. It is groups like these that design policies that would never pass federal or state legislatures and implement them at the local level through groups like the National League of Cities, The American Planning Association, or the U.S. Conference of Mayors. What are these ideas and policies? What do they plan to do about these issues?

In the Local Lowdown, Elk River just approved a $35 million dollar park project, using the local sales tax option, which will create a general election ballot referendum question. We break down how the local sales tax option works. Find out exactly what they are proposing to do inside.

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!

August 9, 2018 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Brains and Braun


sheriff

When we are talking about non-partisan races, we usually think about city councils, county commissions, and school boards. We often forget about the offices of sheriff, county attorney, and soil and water conservation boards. These seats are also important, because they wield great power. Yet, as little attention as we give city, county, and school elections, these races get even less. In this episode we interview Stacy Braun, who is running for Wright County Sheriff. We discuss what all is involved in running a sheriff’s department (you may be surprised), and what are the biggest issues for the sheriff’s department in Wright County. Most cities in Wright County don’t have local police departments, so the sheriff’s department is all that more vital. He talks about personal responsibility, and being innocent until proven guilty. The primary is on August 14th, 2018. Make sure you do your due diligence and vote all the way down the ticket. These races are no less important.

In the Local Lowdown, we discuss Golden Valley’s attempts to to create a city-wide gun safety program. They want to follow in the footsteps of St. Louis Park and Excelsior. They would like to authorize putting their Human Rights commission on this (that’s why it’s imperative for you to get on local advisory commissions, including the human rights commission), but not everyone on the council agrees. It’s currently 3-2, and Mayor Shep Harris is using the power of the local press to put pressure on bringing the rest of his city council into line. Things are getting a little heated down in Golden Valley. You can hear the council clips here:

6/12/18- about 1hour 02 minutes in

7/10/18- about 1 hour and 53 minutes in

7/17/18- at 1:45:30

Also in the Local Lowdown, Democrat candidates like Keith Ellison (running for MN Attorney General) and Margaret Anderson Kelliher (Congressional District 5) are busy gathering a lot of endorsements. The strange thing is the number of local office holders that are stepping up and putting their name on that list. I thought that that city, county, and school board offices were “nonpartisan”? Yeah… not so much. Unfortunately, many democrats at the local level tend to put party first.

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!

August 1, 2018 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

Taking the “Sub” Out of Suburban


IMG_5400

In cities across America, zoning laws guide what kind of buildings are allowed to be constructed in various parts of a city. Whether it’s R1, R2, or R3… industrial, commercial, or agricultural, zoning laws are meant to keep order and separate the various uses so that homeowners don’t have to deal with the problems that higher traffic areas can create. Lately, however, planning trends have been to create smaller cloisters that mix housing types, and place them closer to commercial centers. This is meant to cut down on travel and discourage car usage. These laws now aim to maximize density. Do these laws really help, or do they just turn suburban areas and small towns into urban centers?  Who is driving these zoning laws? Why are they changing?

In the Local Lowdown we discuss a brawl on the Thief River Falls city council. Two city council members decided to go toe to toe over a proposed splash pad. Someone grabbed a chair. Jerry Springer would have been proud.

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!

July 25, 2018 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

The War On Cars


GT500

In the early 20th century, the United States went through a huge economic boom. it defined the decade… the Roaring 20’s. The opportunity to buy an automobile was an important part of that. People bought them in such numbers that they changed the face of our country. Roads were built to accommodate the flood of cars that were being swooped up by middle income families. The car brought a new level of freedom, allowing people to get wherever they wanted to go, whenever they wanted to go there, and get there faster. Cars became central to the American experience. We have car shows to celebrate the cars of the past and the cars of the future. Who doesn’t drool over a ’67 Shelby GT500? There are multiple groups, however, that want to restrict the use of cars, whether it is by creating a complete street, restricting parking, writing a complex set of laws that favor other modes of transportation, or publicly shaming drivers without any shred of compassion.

So what is the answer? According to these people, it is to put more people and more types of transportation into the same corridors. Dockless bike sharing and dockless scooter sharing are becoming the new rage among these trendy cities that want to get listed among “America’s 10 Most Yuppie Cities”, or something like that. Some other cities actually promote “car-free living” or “open streets”. As a driver, like it or not, you are a target of the political environmentalists and the alternative transportation crowds.

Also on the Local Lowdown, Minneapolis is looking at implementing City ID cards. The city council states that it will meet certain constituency needs. The state of Minnesota already makes ID cards (with the green stripe at the top) available to those that don’t have a driver’s license. Are these just a way to get people a way to vote that aren’t allowed to? Is it a way to limit people driving into the city? We discuss it all this week.

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!

July 18, 2018 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

What’s in a Name?


Lake Calhoun 3

What’s in a name? Are names important? Is it important to remember our history, even when it’s uncomfortable? Should we only name things after people that have no blemishes? I’d like you to find me that perfect person. Would those on the right and left ever agree on someone in this day and age? Sports teams are changing their names and their mascots.  It’s also happening locally with our lakes and our schools. Lake Calhoun became Bde Maka Ska? They want to rename Patrick Henry High School and Ramsey Middle School? What do people even know about John C Calhoun, Alexander Ramsey, and Patrick Henry? They are certainly flawed people, but aren’t we all? We judge people of the past on 21st century morals. We erase all the negative out of our past, but whitewashing it only means that we can’t learn from it. Radicals are trying to push everything out of the public sphere that they disagree with from elected politicians to popular businesses. How far is too far?

In the Local Lowdown, we also discuss a new luxury apartment complex with (you guessed it) a sweetheart Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to prop up the deal. We also discuss In the Robbinsdale School District, Patsy Green is not seeking re-election, and she thinks that you’re not paying enough in taxes to the school district.

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!

July 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts


Twitter Updates

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

Archives