Tuesday, January 16, 2018

App Matches Minneapolis Politicians to Their Fine Art Dopplegängers

Google now has an app that will match your face to fine art. I have determined you can point your phone's camera at a computer screen to match Minneapolis politicians to faces in old paintings. Disclaimer: much like DNA testing services provided by sites like ancestry.com, these results are not 100% genetically accurate.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Billboard Proposal is "Rash That Won't Go Away"


Update: New Ward 3 Council Member Steve Fletcher has confirmed that the billboard proposal is dead.

The mysteriously persistent proposal to allow more billboards in downtown Minneapolis has Planning Commissioner John Slack feeling as if he'd like to pour a bottle of antibiotics all over it:
For me this is like the rash that won't go away. I don't see how this supports any of the comprehensive plan goals, I don't see how this improves livability in the downtown. All I see is negative and adverse effects.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lisa Bender Expected to be Elected President of Minneapolis City Council

Commemorative shirt. Get yours today!
In the Minneapolis City Council's virtual one party system it can be tough to know how election results translate to actual governing. This morning we get answers to some of the big questions lingering since last November's election, setting the stage for the next four years.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Acme Comedy: The Parking Crisis That Wasn't

Acme Comedy's remaining parking lot was half-filled during a Friday show last June

In 2016, Acme Comedy Co was the subject of the most high-profile movement to save a parking lot in recent Minneapolis history. If the owner of an adjacent parking lot was allowed to turn it into apartments, Acme's owner predicted he would be forced to move his business out of Minneapolis to a parking-rich suburb. Nationally-known comedians rallied to Acme's defense. Nearly 6,000 people signed an online petition to save a parking lot -- in order to save a beloved comedy institution.

Today, with a new apartment building occupying that former parking lot, Acme owner Louis Lee tells the Star Tribune (in a story unrelated to parking) "Acme is enjoying its strongest business in a decade." 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My response to Rebecca Gagnon's campaign statement about my post

Planning Commissioner, and candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, Rebecca Gagnon has released a statement in response to the post I published yesterday morning. She makes a couple of interesting points. My response is below.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lame Duck City Council Faction Pushes Billboard Deregulation Ahead of Super Bowl

Clear Channel touts their existing billboard stock in downtown Minneapolis.

Back in September, the City Planning Commission (CPC) unanimously rejected (6-0) the idea of more and larger billboards in downtown Minneapolis.

"I still fail to see the public benefit of adding billboards in the downtown" said Commissioner Alissa Luepke Pier.

Commissioner Matt Brown expressed concerns about billboard blight in a part of downtown that's rapidly changing for the better: "If we're adding a lot of really large, kind of permanently mounted billboards, that can almost be a barrier to new development in an area where all of our policies suggest we'd like to see it."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Unaffordable by Design, and How to Change It


A duplex at 4257 Vincent Ave South was demolished recently. The land is zoned for single family, just like a lot of the Linden Hills neighborhood that surrounds it, so the duplex will be replaced with a single family home (I suspect this explains why nobody vigiled or tried to give the house a pedigree by researching a famous former resident). Many of the exclusive single-family neighborhoods that we know today, the kind dotted with small apartment buildings and grandfathered triplexes, have become that way because of some long-forgotten downzoning that made new multi-family housing illegal.