I have to give a shout out to my friends and radio-colleagues at KAXE.  Not only did we veer into an interesting conversation on city planning and budgeting while on the air yesterday morning, they have linked their morning show blog to TPB.com.  Welcome KAXE'rs.  

This week's news digest: 

  • I will post a longer entry on this article and the related background information soon.  For now, let's just say this is what you get when you cross bad law with a judge that apparently thinks living three hours from Minneapolis/St. Paul puts you either in Wisconsin or the Wilderness.  As soon as I saw a refernence to Lake Elmo in his judgement, I knew what went wrong.
  • I guess I'm not sure why this is news, but since it apparently is: duh.  There is a lot of lamenting going on right now about the burden on cities in these tough financial times, but not a lot of analysis as to why.  I thought Governor Pawlenty hit it on the head today when he asked the legislature to cut mandates to local governments.

"It's no secret that funding for cities and counties is going to have to be reduced to close our budget deficit. Since it's not secret we're not going to send them as much money, we need to help them in other ways. We should reduce or eliminate as many state mandates as possible. We should also allow townships, cities or counties to opt-out of some state mandates by vote of their governing body."

  • If you read my review of the Big Sort this week, or if you have read the book yourself, perhaps you are all relieved that many crazy people seem to have sorted themselves to Madison, Wisconsin (and not your town).  More power to them.  You have to respect the fact that they would pass this on themselves instead of simply advocating for the rest of us to live with it.
  • I really think that as much as the news itself is bad, it is the feeling of powerlessness that is almost worse.
  • It's dangerous.  It's popular.  It's tearing the community apart.  Sex? Drugs? Tickets to spring training in a warm climate?  Nope - a road project in my favorite disfunctional city.
  • And finally, in the category of applauding ingenuity, you've got to hand it to Greenpeace.  This is brilliant and I am certain will soon become a favorite strategy of environmentalists everywhere.

If you would like to listen to our conversation from KAXE, the audio is split into 15-minute segments. The conversation starts midway through the first segment and ends midway through the second. Click here for the first segment and click here for the second.