West St. Paul is “close to it all,” as our city motto proclaims, but we have an opportunity to not just be close to it all, but to be at the center.
Dakota County has a number of popular trails that encourage exercise, get people out into nature and connect communities. These trails also connect to wider regional trails throughout the Twin Cities.
West St. Paul has always been close to these trails, but barely a part of them. Thompson Park connects to Kaposia Park and eventually trails along the Mississippi River. But you have to get to Thompson Park. Last year a trail improvement project connected trails from Henry Sibley High School through the Dodge Nature Center to Garlough Elementary School. But the trail effectively ends at Marthaler Park.
Now we have the opportunity to complete the County’s River-to-River Greenway trail, routing it through the heart of West St. Paul and making our city part of a regional attraction.
Dakota County wants to complete the River-to-River Greenway trail and add a safer pedestrian/bike crossing at Robert Street. They are currently considering a few options with a tunnel at Crawford Drive (the old Blockbuster property).
Such a route would send bikers and pedestrians past the library, YMCA, the Dome, City Hall and Marthaler Park, as well as within stopping distance of a number of businesses and snack spots on Robert Street. Dakota County projects the trail will see 140,000 people visits each year.
Could you ask for a better way to highlight West St. Paul? Continue reading How to Make West St. Paul Awesome: The Greenway Trail
Twin Cities band Romantica has officially released their new album, Shadowlands, after a five-year hiatus and a one-year delay. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s worth the wait.
Last year the band crowd-funded their new project and recorded it in a barn south of the Twin Cities. One of the rewards was a pre-Valentine’s Day show that I gushed about.
While the new album was done, and lucky backers like myself got copies, it never quite released publicly. Turns out the album landed a record deal and an official release, which happened last week. Now you can listen to the album on Spotify or Apple Music and buy a copy on iTunes or Amazon.
And you should buy a copy. It’s good. Continue reading I Love the Shadowlands Record by Romantica and You Should Too
The current political climate, in the third week of the Trump presidency, is a little, um, overwhelming. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the constant political discussion on social media, and retreating from the conversation.
I get that.
But at the same time, well, this is not a normal time. I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this new not normal. I think we all are.
The Era of Fake News & Alternative Facts
It’s frustrating because as much as Donald Trump complains about the media and “fake news,” hasn’t he been one of the main perpetrators and benefactors of fake news?
He stoked the birther movement against Barack Obama. He questioned the legitimacy of a sitting president, refusing to believe that the son of a black, Muslim immigrant could rightfully be president.
It was the epitome of fake news.
And where did it get Trump? The oval office. Continue reading How Does Our Democracy Move Forward in the Trump Era?
We’re two weeks into the Trump era, and I need to apologize.
In just two weeks we’ve entered brand new territory. I say that in the most non-partisan way possible. Some folks say this is just the polar opposite of eight years ago when Obama took office, but I think this is something different (and when I talk to conservatives, most [though not all] agree with that sentiment).
I need to apologize because I never took this election seriously.
In general I’m not a big fan of debating politics publicly (which may come as a shock, given my flurry of political tweets in the past few weeks). I’ve talked before about how I did too much of that in 2008, and didn’t like it. Throughout the 2016 campaign I didn’t say a lot. I said things here and there, but in general I didn’t engage.
I kept thinking there’s no way Trump will get the nomination.
Then I thought there’s no way he’d win the presidency. Continue reading I’m Sorry