Got to "enjoy" a Twins game on Thursday with my co-blogger, Ben Oleson. By "enjoy" I enjoyed the conversation and we actually did a lot of brainstorming work we needed to do, but the game was far from enjoyable. The Twins have now lost seven games this year to the hated Yankees. Thankfully, we don't play them again - at least not during the regular season. The way we have been playing, I would not count on extra frames, so perhaps that is the last of the Yanks for 2009. I really hate those guys.
Enjoy the news.
- There was an article this week in the New York Times that delved into the question of rural/urban split of stimulus funding. The conclusion: cities are getting the short straw, despite having a greater need and providing more return on the investment. Friend of TPB.com, Jon Commers, penned a blog post in the Star Tribune on this subject - worth a read.
- Those of you that felt my suggestion yesterday to narrow instead of widen a local road that has been labeled a "major thoroughfare" was perhaps crazy will want to read this article. Tear down a highway, relieve traffic jams, improve safety and save your city. Believe it.
- And again, my suggestion of roundabouts was likely to have drawn scorn by that same subset - those who somehow find it sensible to sit at traffic lights for long lengths of time. You will likely find your views challenged by this article on roundabouts.
- And just for some more context on this week's posts, the City that is considering spending $5,400 per resident on my shortcut has the highest unemployment rate in Minnesota amongst cities with populations over 10,000.
- Oh yeah, and they (like everyone else) are expecting a significant declines in sales tax revenue. We talked about on this blog that last December - another example how a small town has leveraged it all for the growth ponzi scheme.
- Old spending habits are hard to break, though. Honest to God - this is a true story. My favorite line from the article was a quote from Utilities Commissioner Don Samuelson.
"It's nice, but it's kind of expensive."
- As we have been saying, it is not at all clear that the gravy train is going to keep rolling for our small towns. In fact, there are some rather glaring signs that things are about to change.
- And as cities retool, more and more small towns are going to start facing the situation that Bismark, ND is now facing: empty big box. I hope they didn't use public bonding to run that infrastructure way out there.
- Americans can be so fickle. Too bad we built large parts of our economy on this type of thing.
- But there is one glimmer of hope from Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, for those craving a return to the days of excess and glutony: a 15,000 square foot garage (complete with spiral staircase, fireplace and elevator).
- Just read this article. It is not as crazy as it sounds, actually. I am planning a book roughly on tis topic. Read it and just file it in the back of your head for a later date.
- This was a fascinating slide show entitled "Ruins of the Second Gilded Age", the remnants of the housing bust.
- And now we all know, we can have our Chalupas and save the environment at the same time. Hey - you can even take the drive thru.