Friday News Digest

Thursday night I was in Maine Prairie Township, a town in Central Minnesota surrounding the city of Kimball. The event was great and I enjoyed the people. The ride home was also incredible, with our first spring thunderstorm heading in from the west, lightening and all. 

Unfortunately my trip to the Twins game last Friday was canceled when my wife was ill. She takes care of me and the rest of the family 364 days a year, so there was no way I could abandon her on the one day she couldn't make it. Plus, I'm planning to be behind the plate in the 17th row this Tuesday night against the AL Champion Devil Rays. Yes, I have a charmed life.

Enjoy this week's news.

  • The law of supply and demand is a powerful thing. In a housing crisis where there is an oversupply of lots, there are two options. The first is to grow demand, which means bring in more people.  Oops.  
  • The second approach is to reduce supply. Consider that notion for a minute, then read this article about a major city (Detroit) that is considering demolishing houses in order to do just that. Doing so would create a floor on housing values, but wow. It is a weird time we live in, is it not?
  • I have a great idea. Let's build high-capacity roads, straight and wide and flat, right through our residential neighborhoods. Then (get this), we'll put squiggle lines on the road to freak drivers out so they will slow down and not kill the pedestrians. Brilliant.
  • So many of our small towns have aging infrastructure that is badly in need of replacement with no hope of having the funds to do so. This article reinforces the notion that the clock is ticking down, but is worth clicking on just for the pictures of water mains made of wood (no joke - cool photos).  
  • When rural meets urban in 1950 you get suburbs. When rural meets urban in 2050, will we get "Pig City"?  
  • I spent nine years in the National Guard, doing drills at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.  When the Pentagon told me that smart bombs hit their target, I believed. When, as a planner, I told people that Camp Ripley was a good neighbor, I believe it. Double oops
  • If you ever decide to open a nude, dude-Ranch, keep two rules in mind. First, you must wear pants to ride the horses. Second, remember to get your permit
  • Next week the American Planning Association will hold its annual conference in Minneapolis. Former Community Growth Institute planner Beth Elliott, working for the City of Minneapolis, has had a role in promoting the city as part of the conference. Those of you familiar with Beth will enjoy seeing her usual enthusiasm and cheer in this video, albeit in her natural (urban) element.