June 23, 2005History)
A few weeks back I mentioned the Don Empson book, The Street Where You Live: A Guide to the Street Names of St. Paul, which tells the history of St. Paul street names. I went to the library and borrowed a copy and found some interesting stories.
June 21, 2005Construction)
Target has their eye on the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, directly behind an existing Target store as a possible location for the first Super Target in St. Paul. The St. Paul Port Authority is selling the property and Target is the highest bidder. Plans are not definite yet and the sale wouldn't be finalized until October. Since Wal-Mart opened in the same area last year Target has been searching for a location to open a Super Target.
Super Targets typically employ around 400 people, though the 108 jobs at the hotel will be lost. The Business Journal also weighs in.
Let's count the grocery stores in the Midway:
- Wal-Mart (it's not really a grocery store, but they sell enough food to be worth counting)
- Aldi - currently under construction at University & Lexington
- Proposed Super Target
- Countless Asian markets along University
Hmm... does the Midway really need another grocery store?
June 17, 2005Events)
Classic cars of every make, model, vintage and then some have descended upon the Twin Cities, and with them come hundreds of people in lawn chairs lining Snelling Ave. to watch the cruisin'.
So unless you like car watching or sitting in traffic, you might want to avoid Snelling Ave. and the Roseville area, especially near the State Fairgrounds and highway 36.
It's the Minnesota Street Rod Association's 32nd annual Back to the 50s weekend. If you're planning to check it out, tickets are $10 and you might want to consider using a park and ride or taking the bus. You also might be able to get discount tickets at Bumper to Bumper or Champion Autoparts.
Last year the event drew over 10,500 street rods, and most of them spent the weekend driving up and down Snelling Ave.
Update: The Minnesota Street Rod Association is reaching out to younger members with their Ignitors club for people 27 and under.Sports)
With all the stadium talk nobody ever discusses what will become of the Metrodome, the perfectly useful stadium that's barely 25 years old. A similar stadium has met a similar fate: The Pontiac Silverdome outside Detroit. It was once home to the NBA's Pistons and the NFL's Lions. Now both teams have swanky new homes (sort of: the Pistons moved out in 1988).
The Silverdome has drive thru movies in the parking lot and rollerblades in its concourse. It will probably be torn down next year.Culture)
An Ohio geography professor has some good news and some bad news for Minnesota. The good news: Minnesota has way more than 10,000 lakes (it's actually more like 100,000). The bad news: We're only number 7 in the nation, behind Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Kansas (!) and two other states.
The geographers didn't distinguish between natural and manmade lakes, resulting in a huge number of glorified ponds being counted.
June 16, 2005Arts)
You Are Here is a map put out by the McKnight Foundation highlighting examples of art in the Twin Cities suburbs. The goal is to help people see art in unexpected places, like the 44-foot snowman built in the early 1970s in North St. Paul. It started as an eye-sore, but eventually became a source of civic pride.
Personally, I'd like to nominate some examples of inner-city art, including the King CDC playground fence, painted last fall by local artist Dale Johnson.Culture)
The Twin Cities Free Market is the place to score free goods. People list items they're wanting to get rid of and rather than dump them on the curb, other folks can come find what they need. It started in St. Paul seven years ago and has expanded to include the entire Twin Cities and surrounding counties. It's run by Eureka Recycling and has helped keep 4 million pounds of stuff out of the trash. Last year the site saw 11,000 exchanges.
The Star Trib covered the site the other day, focusing on a 1903 upright piano that was given away. (Fellow Twin Cities blogger Nick Ciske actually blogged about this site months ago, but that was before Twin Cities Liver was living.)
June 10, 2005Laws & Ordinances)
Whites are now the majority in the Minnesota prison system, accounting for 58.5% of the prison population, the highest it's been since 1989. Outside of prison and across Minnesota, whites make up 87.2% of the population and 97% of the legislators. The shift in the racial make-up of inmates is primarily thanks to a new focus on sex crimes and meth.
It seems like something must be wrong for the racial math to be so out of whack.
June 6, 2005History)
Local historian Don Empson can tell you everything you probably didn't need to know about the name of your street. In the early 1970s his curiousity led him to write The Street Where You Live: A Guide to the Street Names of St. Paul, a book that's now out of print (though available at most libraries), though he's working on an update for 2006.
Lexington Parkway, for example, was named by an English-born developer in 1871 after his wife complained about the Anglicized names such as Avon, Oxford and Milton. So the developer went with Lexington to honor the Revolutionary War battle.
June 2, 2005Events)
Attend a Minnesota Lynx game on Saturday, June 4 and you could help score a new gym for the Union Gospel Mission. It's part of Faith and Family Night presented by KTIS, the Minnesota Lynx, Fishing for Life and featuring a concert by Twin Cities natives Go Fish.
The WNBA is offering a $25,000 gym renovation as part of their Court of Dreams sales promotion. Whichever community group sells the most group tickets to a single game across the league will win. Last fall KTIS won the promotion after selling 3,467 tickets to a Lynx vs. Storm game and concert by the Christian group FFH. The new basketball court went to Total Victory Church in Minneapolis.
This year KTIS and the Lynx are partnering with the Union Gospel Mission and if they win the gym renovation will go to the Ober Center in St. Paul. The game that counts is this Saturday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m., the Minnesota Lynx vs. the Charlotte Sting. Go Fish will sing the national anthem and perform a post-game concert. Fishing For Life will be promoting their upcoming Fish-a-Thon and offering fishing activities for kids before the game.
How to Order
You can order tickets by calling the Lynx/Timberwolves Christian Community Program at 612-673-1225 or ordering online (though I'm told you get a better seat selection by calling). If you buy tickets through Ticketmaster or at the gate they will not count towards this promotion. Tickets start at $10.
Other Ways to Help
You can also sponsor tickets for the Union Gospel Mission, buying $10 tickets that will be distributed for free to people the Union Gospel Mission serves. This tax-deductible donation is a great way to give people a night out who otherwise couldn't afford to go. Businesses are encouraged to donate.
In addition, the Union Gospel Mission is accepting donations to help remodel the Ober Center.
The Ober Center
Located in the Frogtown neighborhood just west of downtown St. Paul, the Ober Center houses the Promise Program, an office training program for women, and the King Family Foundation Child Development Center, a toddler and pre-school daycare center run by Bethel University. Until recently the Salvation Army also ran after school programs at the Ober Center, though the Union Gospel Mission has been remodeling the Ober Center for new ministry.
My wife works at the King CDC and they often use the gym when the weather prohibits them from going outside. Just last week when I picked my wife up I saw the inside of the gym for the first time and realized just how badly it could use a renovation. It's the size of a single basketball court with absolutely no windows and severe cracks in the walls. It's like stashing neighborhood kids away in the basement.Entertainment)
For all those 89.3 The Current junkies out there, a new site is collecting and posting their entire playlist. You can see the list by top song or artist, as well as alphabetically. It's a fun little tool, though it is missing some nice details, like how much of an archive this is (a day? a week? a month? The Current's entire existence?) and the fact that The Current's playlist doesn't always seem to accurately reflect what they actually play.(link via MNspeak)Business)
The Pulse of the Twin Cities has a nice profile of Dave Campbell, a Twin Cities local music guru who now works with 2024 Records, home of the Olympic Hopefuls, Romantica and other cool local bands. (link via MNspeak)