Twin City Lampposts #20

 [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

 [Midway, Saint Paul.]

 [Capitol Heights, Saint Paul.]

[Capitol area, Saint Paul.]


Signs of the Times #156


[Boulevard. West 7th, Saint Paul.]


[Door. Smith Avenue, West Saint Paul.]

 Parents, please
While in this tore
Thank you

[Door. Location forgotten.]


[Sidewalk. West Bank, Minneapolis.]

 Clean Cedar
Planks for
Firewood or DIY Project

[Planks. West End, Saint Paul.]


[Door. Grand Avenue, Saint Paul.]


[Sandwich board. West 7th, Saint Paul.]


[Pole. Downtown, Saint Paul.]


Writer Lewis Hyde on the History of Little Crow's Burial

[Dakota chief Taoyateduta, or Little Crow.]

There's a local angle in Chistopher Lydon's wonderful Open Source podcast this week, a thoughtful discussion by the writer Lewis Hyde about .

I first discovered Christopher Lydon's work when he guest hosted the MPR flagship talk show program over ten years ago, in the brief interim between Katherine Lampher and Kerri Miller. I've been a fan ever since. He's an amazing interviewer and his discussion with Lewis Hyde is a good example of that. Hyde was a sociology major at the University of Minnesota, and his new book is called "A Primer for Forgetting," and includes some info about Minnesota's traumatic 1862 Dakota Wars and their aftermath.

Here's the excerpt about Little Crow and Minnesota history, from about 12 minutes into the conversation. Hyde describes the story of Little Crow and his burial:

Little Crow… Yeah so the 1860s in Minnesota, he was a Dakota Sioux a leader of what was called the Sioux rebellion. The Sioux had entered into a treaty with the US government in which the Sioux would settle along the river and they would be given annuity and certain goods and then what happened was that the US government reneged on this treaty, so the Sioux were mad. They rebelled. The rebellion was put down. Many were killed. 
Little Crow escaped, but then there was a bounty on his head. There was a bounty on a head of any Sioux to be captured and killed, and there was a double bounty on Little Crow’s body. And he was shot while foraging for berries in Hutchinson, Minnesota by a farmer. And they took him into town, took the body and they dragged it through the streets with dogs picking at his head. And they scalped him. 
And when I was in college in the late 1960s the scalp of little crow was owned by the Minnesota Historical Society. I knew this because I was friends with the poet Robert Bly, and the Vietnam war had one of its almost hidden motivations a kind of ancient American racism. It was easier for us to kill people of color in a foreign land, because we had been killing people of color in our own land 100 years ago. 
So it’s almost like cases like this require the proper burial, the remains of the Indians who were killed the Indian Wars in the 19th century. I have aphorisms in this book and one is to be steeped in history, but not in the past. And to be steeped in history is to be steeped in many of these stories and to know what our past contains. 
And in this case, I would say that the proper burial of Little Crow’s scalp would be an act of foreign policy, in that it would lay to rest a kind of local impulse that has been exported into our foreign wars. 

Check out the whole conversation at the Radio Open Source website.


Mayor Carter's Complete Remarks to the Senate Democrats Climate Change Panel

[The Wabasha street landslide mentioned by Mayor Carter.]
The other day, Mayor Carter was in Washington DC to talk about climate action and the future of Saint Paul. You can read about it here, or watch it yourself, but I transcribed his statement for you below.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify about what is without question one of the most critical issues we face, our climate crisis. My name is Melvin Carter and is serve a s mayor of St. Paul Mn. I stand alongside four other mayors int eh room and over 400 climate mayors who represent over 400M Americans who have pledged to uphold the Paris climate agreement through local action despite the withdrawal of our federal administration. We thank you for our efforts and urge you to carry on your work toward our future. 
In the tragic event that you’ve never visited St. Paul, we are Minnesota’s capitol city found 165 years ago where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers converge. We boast a nationally recognized network of parks and trails and beautiful white stone cliffs for which our original Dakota inhabitants named the area i'mnizha ska.  
Our most iconic feature is our unmatched 65 miles of Mississippi River frontage which is filled with canoes, houseboats, and barges that move more than 145 million tons of commodities through the area terminals each year. St. Paul’s defining natural features, its northern location, and dependence on our river, make us particularly sensitive to changes in temperature. From the polar vortex of this past winter to the summer heat waves, we have an acute perspective on how the climate crisis plays out at the local level. Three of our ten biggest floods ever recorded have occurred in the past decade, and our stretch of the Mississippi River spent a record 42 consecutive days at major flood stage this year with mitigation costs exceeding 2M.  
Warmer winter temperatures and an increase in snowfall have made it more expensive to maintain public infrastructure and accelerated erosion on our bluffs. Last year that erosion resulted in a major slope failure and landslide that dropped 400,000 pounds of limestone onto a local arterial street. Clearing the debris and stabilizing the bluff above cost our city $1 million, and interrupted the lives of countless businesses and residents. 
But I'll always remember how narrowly we evaded catastrophe. those rocks fell onto the route of our annual Cinco de Mayo parade exactly one week before thousands of people would have flooded the same street for the festivities.  
We have no choice but to adapt to our changing climate while working to mitigate its harmful impacts. Saint Paul's Climate Action and Resilience Plan aims to do just that. Our plan prioritizes efforts to reduce energy and transportation costs and create pathways to opportunity for low-income residents. It proposes local actions to reduce emissions from buildings and transportation, including public and private investments led by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to build charging hubs and the nation’s first electric car share powered completely with renewable energy. Transitioning to LED lighting to reduce energy use in city buildings, a major investment that will have only a 5-year payback period for us. And improving pedestrian and bike infrastructure to make it safer and easier for residents to get around our city. 
We are also pursuing an unique opportunity to develop a sustainable energy efficient demonstration neighborhood on a 122-acre site that once housed a ford production plant. Buildings on this site will generate 80% less emissions than those built to code in 2005 and most homes will be powered heated and coiled with renewable energy. Finally Xcel Energy, our electric utility has committed to providing 100% clean renewable electricity by 2050, a commitment we strongly support.  
We are doing our part on the local level to address our climate crisis, but without significant federal actions our efforts will not be enough. America must rejoin and accelerate the Paris Climate Accords. Our federal government must help us build for the 21st Century with major investments in pedestrian, bicycling, and transit infrastructure, electric buses like those made at New flyer of America in St. Cloud, Minnesota, public charging equipment to help us transition to electric vehicles, and R & D to advance technological solutions.  
Communities across our country are counting on you to continue pushing this vital work forward and we stand as ready teammates int eh work ahead. Thank you again for the opportunity to address you hear today. I look forward to our conversation and any questions you may have.

One of the reasons St. Paul’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan centers around transportation and buildings is because the vast majority of our emissions come from transportation and buildings. And so we are taking efforts to revise our building codes to make sure that new buildings are built up to energy standards and support from the federal level is critical from where that is concerned. If there’s one area where we would love to partner with the federal government, if I had to narrow it down to one area that could have far reaching impacts on all the other things we’re talking about, I would certainly appeal for increased funding for transit and high speed rail. As an opportunity, I heard Mayor Bottoms say that this is an equity crisis for us that the impacts of our changing climate are hitting our lower income communities harder than everyone else and I heard moved by mayor Caldwell’s statements about how everyone in their government is responsible for impacting sea rise it’s obvious to understand why Hawaii would see that issue with that urgency and I would encourage us all especially in Washington DC to meet it with that same level.

One thing St. Paul is leading is  reducing energy use in buildings. We have a district energy system that powers our downtown, it's the largest combined power and heat system in North America and it uses 50% local wood waste. 
Connecting opportunities to reduce emissions to opportunities to increase sustainability and growth in our cities is a must, and we’ve successfully been able to partner with our private sector including our businesses downtown. We recently launched a :race to reduce", it's essentially the TV show Biggest Lower but for buildings. We’re challenging commercial buildings to benchmark energy production and have over 100 buildings downtown and across our city sign up for that, and we are working to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from buildings in St . Paul.
As we’ve all mentioned, we are cities from entirely different locations with different geographic features. But we are all sharing with you how our geographic features make us vulnerable to climate crisis. As I mentioned, being on the river, we’ve seen record flooding on our river three of our largest ten floods ever recorded have happened in the last decade. We had a heat advisory, this past weekend and the record breaking snowfall, I tell folks that in a state like Minnesota or Wisconsin it takes a lot of doing to break a snowfall record, and we’ve been doing that. And the record-breaking snowfall we’ve been experiencing creates additional costs, makes it more expensive to maintain public inrasatrucute, creates more wear and tear on our streets as the freeze and thaw cycles wreak havoc on our streets. And that certainly is a major challenge for us. 
As we’re building our new Ford neighborhood along that Ford plant, and as we’re seeing a lot of development opportunities right now one of the things we’ve led on is how to manage storm water. Adapting to our new environment, so when we have those events we have to make our city more able to recover from them and more able to deal with the precipitation and that water. And we are working, just as we are working to have the conversation with business leaders to save them money against their bottom line, we’re working to have that conversation potentially with our taxpayers and our residents that these are necessary investments we have to make. Often they are significant investments and it would be helpful to have partnership from the federal and state government partners to be able to do that. These are investments we are making because they match our values, and they produce a return to our community over time. 
Our administration focuses really heavily on engaging different voices in our communities often voices who coming into the room  assuming they’ll disagree. Our race to reduce strategy with downtown buildings, we're showing business leaders in our community that there are opportunities to reduce emissions while saving money for their businesses while contributing to their bottom line. And they're all in in that and interested in participating in that.  They've been enthusiastic participants with that.
We're learning in our community in St. Paul that as we engage people, whether its residents, low-income residents, or business leaders, their concerns, that are valid in many cases, is that pressures they have against themselves will be not heard or taken into effect. We need to bring those voices to the table, voices of union leaders and those concerns, and make sure that they understand that we are thinking about the challenges they bring to the table and produce solutions for them as well. 
That's a critical question we are working to leverage public and private investments our most ambitious project in partnership with Bloomberg, local utility, state government and local leaders, working to build the state's first electric car share hubs powered completely with renewable energy. Our goal is to have all residents be within a ten-minute walk of four low carbon mobility options like transit, bike share, car share, or a scooter ride, and that's one of the most ambitious things we're doing, in partnership, I should say with the city of Minneapolis, who is our city next door. That's critical for us for a number of reasons you described, and to address the equity issues involved in transit.
Yes I would.


Objective and Rational Twin City Suburb Power Rankings 2019

The first annual power rankings, ranked according to where I'd most like to spend time.

Also, there are too many suburbs in this town. I tried my best here.

[Richfield dreams.]


1. Richfield -- your urban hometown, now with awesome bike lanes; this is best suburb these days
2. Hopkins -- by far the most rental and affordable housing in any suburb, plus tons of bike trails, and soon to have a light rail train
3. Miesville -- best ballpark and burger combo in the state
4. Robbinsdale -- lovely main street with great food
5. North St. Paul -- lovely main street with OK food
6. Excelsior -- quaint-if-far-too-bougie perfectly situated walkable downtown on the lake; they have parking meters for boats!
7. St. Louis Park -- they really are trying, honestly
8. Roseville -- sometimes sort of has sidewalks, nice lake and parks
9. Wayzata -- awesome lakefront downtown and bike trail; the people tho…
10. Bloomington -- sometimes sort of has sidewalks, nice rivers, close to other cities, has light rail
11. Hastings -- amazing riverfront downtown history, many walkable sidewalks
12. Willernie -- one-of-a-kind place with cool dive bars to boot
13. Shakopee -- historic river downtown with sidewalks
14. South St. Paul -- some great sidewalks; weird enough to be cool
15. Columbia Heights -- has sidewalks, old theater, diversity and awesome strip mall shops
16. West St. Paul -- sidewalks, diversity, some historic bits
17. Lauderdale -- no sidewalks but a bizarre pocket between STP and MPLS with great views of industry and freeways
18. Stillwater -- great historic river downtown with sidewalks, but that bridge tho
19. Chaska -- great historic river downtown with sidewalks
20. Nowthen -- best name 
21. Lilydale -- scenic, has the benefit of not really existing
22. Hilltop -- the only suburb 100% surrounded by another suburb; has a Flame Burger!
23. White Bear Lake -- quaint walkable downtown, a little too quaint
24. Anoka -- i want to hate it but i can’t hate the historic downtown
25. Burnsville -- well, they tried
26. Falcon Heights -- if only there were somewhere to go; this really should be part of STP
27. Shoreview -- best off-street suburb bike lanes in the state, every ‘burb should do this
28. Fridley -- kind of like a city, i guess
29. Newport -- quaint town right on the river, if only it didn’t smell so bad
30. Brooklyn Park -- the most diverse suburb, now with a City Council that's not all white!
31. Mendota -- the smallest town closest to the big city
32. Mound -- best mini golf in the state
33. Afton -- good place to bike to or to be from
34. Landfall -- lake and 10 mile per hour streets!
35. Dayton -- i like a bar there
36. Brooklyn Center -- i hear it’s cool but cannot personally say
37. Mendota Heights -- i grew up here
38. Coon Rapids -- has a nice a roller rink
39. Edina -- has a nice library
40. Inver Grove Heights -- the part along the river is cool
41. Chanhassen -- good ads for the theater, i guess, some sidewalks in farm fields
42. Coates -- great bar in the shadow of the refinery
43. Lakeville -- at least they built an arts center
44. Apple Valley -- if you can find the park, it’s cool
45. Maple Grove -- they tried to create a downtown sort of
46. St. Paul Park -- right on the river is nice
47. Little Canada -- the other Flame Burger!
48. St. Bonifacius -- cute place to bike to
49. Marine on St. Croix -- also a cute place to bike to
50. Plymouth -- i have heard there are lakes here, minus points for having opt-out buses
51. Elko New Market -- i biked to the speedway once
52. Cottage Grove -- a least there’s an old street
53. Maplewood -- should really be Saint Paul
54. Scandia -- quaint, and they have a bike rack now
55. Medicine Lake -- hosted the Art Shanties a few times
56. Shorewood -- not to be confused with Shoreview, they’ll have you know
57. Golden Valley -- they invented the Minnesotan corporate campus
58. Victoria -- I like the brewery
59. Ramsey -- Anoka’s evil twin
60. Forest Lake -- i bought something on Craigslist here once and it was a weird experience
61. Woodbury -- yeah
62. Eagan -- not a fan
63. Oak Park Heights -- I blame them for the bridge somehow
64. Medina -- like Edina but worse
65. Eden Prairie -- Bearpath is in this
66. Crystal -- i think i went here once
67. Dellwood -- points for having my Grandpa’s name
68. Minnetonka -- birthplace of LeAnn Chin’s
69. Oakdale -- nothing to report
70. Vadnais Heights -- tore down the best dive bar in town
71. Blaine -- good place to play soccer
72. Spring Lake Park -- used to have a decent mini golf course but it was torn down
73. Rosemount -- worse than Lakeville, somehow
74. St. Anthony -- despite some sidewalks, everything is bad here
75. Farmington -- is like it sounds
76. Sunfish Lake -- a lake surrounded by millionaires with good lawyers
77. Circle Pines -- not sure where this is
78. Deephaven -- if you can find it, you must live there 
79. Arden Hills -- their City Council seems terrible
80. Hugo -- good awards ceremony
81. Lino Lakes -- everyone here voted for Trump
82. East Bethel -- everyone here voted for Trump
83. Independence -- everyone here voted for Trump
84. Rogers -- the only things people care about here are freeways and fences
85. Ham Lake -- five-car garages are the norm
86. North Oaks -- Jim Crockarell lives here
87. Lake Elmo -- the worst

(lack of information)
I don’t know where these are or haven’t intentionally been and don't really plan on it either 

Mounds View --
New Brighton --
Savage --
Tonka Bay --
Jordan --
Andover --
Bayport --
Belle Plaine --
Bethel --
Birchwood Village --
Carver --
Centerville --
Champlin --
Cologne --
Orono --
Osseo --
Columbus --
Mahtomedi --
Minnetonka Beach --
Minnetrista --
Maple Plain --
Corcoran --
Gem Lake --
Grant --
Greenfield --
Greenwood --
Hamburg --
Hampton --
Lake St. Croix Beach --
Lakeland --
Lakeland Shores --
Lexington --
Long Lake --
Loretto --
Mayer --
New Germany --
New Hope --
New Trier --
Norwood Young America --
Oak Grove --
Pine Springs --
Randolph --
Spring Park --
St. Francis --
St. Marys Point --
Vermillion --
Waconia --
Watertown --
Woodland --