Keeping city leaders off of social media, child poverty ticks up, shopping-free Thanksgiving

Lakeville City Council debates social media use by local officials

Council Member Colleen LaBeau said it is “a real frustration for the public that during a meeting there is blogging, Twitter and Facebook” (This Week).

Census: Minn. child poverty rate hits 15 percent

That’s a significant increase from the 14 percent who were living in poverty in 2009, but Minnesota’s child poverty rate remains among the lowest in the nation (MPR News).

State jobless rate drops to lowest level in 3 years

The state unemployment rate fell to its lowest mark in almost three years in October, according to data made available today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That’s balanced against the state’s greatest year-over-year job losses in the St. Cloud metropolitan statistical area (Saint Cloud Times).

Paying for past choices: Cities struggle with infrastructure

Claremont, Minn. — Bordered by farm fields on one side and railroad tracks on another, this southern Minnesota town of 550 people has just a handful of businesses along its main drag, a pub, a bank, a service station. The grocery store closed years ago. So did the school. Like many of the state’s smaller communities, Claremont has been experiencing a long, slow decline (Ground Level).

Vegetable farms seen as economic opportunity

A study by MN2020 found that the state’s farmers markets contribute up to $64 million in economic benefits and that community supported agriculture accounts for an estimated $10.5 million in direct sales to more than 41,000 customers (Mankato Free Press).

Deer hunt numbers on par with last year (Austin Daily Herald). None of the 1,300 deer tested in and around the chronic wasting disease zone in southeast Minnesota have shown signs of the disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Winona Daily News).

Boundary Waters Border Route trip report

View Oct 2011 BWCA in a larger map

The Boundary Waters Border Route starts on the western side of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) at Crane Lake in Voyageurs National Park. It follows the Minnesota/Ontario border for about 200 miles until the Grand Portage, a 8.5-mile portage to Lake Superior. … The Boundary Waters Border Route is THE classic route in the BWCA, and I highly recommend that you put it on your paddling bucket list. It’s by far one of the best two-week trips in North America (Paddling Light).

Rewinding Today’s Question

In the Occupy movement, are we seeing the end of something, or the beginning of something?

Around the country, some Occupy demonstrations are being shut down and others are facing new limits on their activities. And winter is coming, which will bring other pressures to bear on outdoor protests. Today’s Question: In the Occupy movement, are we seeing the end of something, or the beginning of something?

Obviously there are many differences between OWS and the Tea Party, but there are some similarities. The frustration with the status quo in Washington/Wall Street is a part of each. Here is my solution to co-opt both movements into one cause: term limits.

Posted by Lance

I think it is the start of the youth making a move to power. Many youth believed Obama would be that start but to date it really hasn’t materialized.

Posted by Chris

The OWS is sending a message that people can be effective, by combining with other people of like mind. It may require days and weeks and months of work, but it takes nothing more than your true commitment. It’s Democracy unfettered by money.

Posted by Michael

The beginning. The clash of increasingly militarized police forces vs. a decentralized, tech-savvy protest movement will be interesting and probably tragic.

Posted by John P II

It seems to me that we’re seeing the end of the movement, if for no other reason than winter is approaching. From the media’s perspective, the movement has lost its novelty. The rich continue to get richer, and the poor continue to get poorer.

Posted by Mark G

Op-Ed: Give the shopping a rest on Thanksgiving

Enough. We have gone too far in debasing the so-called holiday season by turning it into a commercial Mardi Gras, raising the very real risk of blotting out the meaning of Christmas. Instead, Thanksgiving and Christmas become the opening and closing of a veritable hunting season (Crookston Times).

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