Category Archives: Twin Cities

Minnesota Goes Smoke-Free on October 1, 2007

The Minnesota Legislature passed a bill that will ban indoor smoking, including all bars and restaurants, effective October 1, 2007. It’s about time. I think this is a simple public health issue. I just don’t get these kind of complaints:

“I don’t smoke, but I’m a small-business owner and this is a huge violation of personal choice. It is a simple violation of people’s rights,” said Sue Minehart, owner of the Main Street Grill in Alden, Minn.

Personal rights end when they infringe on the rights of others. My right to healthy lungs trumps your right to destroy your lungs. And frankly, I don’t see why we shouldn’t ban smoking entirely. We ban other harmful substances regardless of personal choice, why not cigarettes? It’s not like they offer a shred of benefit or even illusory medicinal value. They just kill people.

Minnesota to Ban Smoking

I hope the state of Minnesota will soon be going smoke free. Ramsey County passed a smoking ban two years ago when St. Paul couldn’t get one passed (thank you very much former Mayor Randy Kelly–I voted against you based on this issue) and I think it’s the right move for public health.

Now that we’re moving out of Ramsey County I’m not eager to return to smoke-filled restaurants, so I hope the state-wide ban is passed. I just e-mailed my state representative urging him to support the bill (find yours and do the same).

What if Google Bought St. Paul’s Ford Plant?

Now here’s a lovely little proposal: Google Should Buy Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant. The Ford plant has cranked out Ranger pickup trucks but is closing in 2008. Ford’s departure will open up a huge chunk of real estate in a pretty pricey area of St. Paul. Plus it’s river-front property (well, close enough–our trails and a parkway get river-front dibs, all from atop the bluffs of course).

The only downside to the bid to Google is that it doesn’t sound like the hydro-electric plant is part of the sale. This article from the Star Trib makes it sound like the power plant is a separate sale from the assembly plant. Which would be too bad for Google. Some clean energy would be a nice little feather in their ‘don’t be evil’ hat.

I just love the idea of Google in St. Paul. How cool would that be? (link via MNSpeak)

Score a Gym Makeover for an Inner-City Ministry

All the details are posted over at my Twin Cities Liver blog, but I’d encourage you to support Faith & Family Night at the Minnesota Lynx game this Saturday night. There’s a chance we could win a $25,000 gym makeover for the Union Gospel Mission’s Ober Center in St. Paul (my wife works there). And you don’t have to live in the Twin Cities to help. You can send people to the game. Check it out.

Seth Godin on Minnesota Nice

Marketing guru Seth Godin was in Minnesota this week and was nice enough to comment on our state:

In addition to extremely nice people, inspiring architecture, a vibrant arts community and surprisingly good food, there’s a vibe in the air about the work people are doing. This placed is filled with organizations that are working hard to create stuff that’s worth doing.

Thanks. I know he’s not talking about me or the hard work I do, but I’ll happily take the credit. Go Minnesota! And some people think we should move to California. Ha.

Sadly, I did miss Godin speaking before the Timberwolves game, but not being a basketball fan I couldn’t justify $24 for 30 minutes of talk (I suppose you got a free book, but still). That and youth group trumped the marketing lesson.

Non-Smoking Cities

The Twin Cities will become a non-smoking section on Thursday when smoking bans for Hennepin and Ramsey counties go into effect. I’m quite happy about it, though a bit peeved that Ramsey County has an exception for bars where liquor accounts for over half their sales. Which means most Ramsey County bars won’t be smoke free.

Though it will be funny to watch the masses of smokers gathering outside bars and restaurants as they try to hasten their own death. Thankfully they won’t be hastening mine anymore.