Photo of worker adjusting a wireless access point.

Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Minneapolis Unwired: Park Board decides to throw its weight around
This is a follow-up to my last post about Wi-Fi in the Minneapolis parks.

Brandt Williams at Minneapolis Public Radio has an excellent update (Jan. 9) that covers the parks issue along with the issue with "dark" areas (where Wi-Fi won't work) which is limiting the usefulness of the network to the City of Minneapolis which is paying $1 million a year for a current service level worth $50,000.

Park Board Commissioner Scott Vreeland is interviewed in the piece and says that he is "not aware of any staff that knew about it.... It certainly wasn't brought to the commissioners." Scott, Wi-Fi in the parks has been discussed from the beginning of the implementation and it's part of the contract. What you are telling me here is that our Park Board Commissioners ignore anything that isn't officially presented to them to the point of now causing considerable delay in the full use of the Wi-Fi network here in Minneapolis and costing the City a significant amount of money. Thanks.

So the City makes a formal request and the Park Board turns it down "pending further study."

And by the way, I'm pretty sure we're talking free Wi-Fi in the parks. So the Park Board resistance is also holding back a valuable service for residents. Thanks again.

I hope this issue is raised as the campaigns for Park Board Commissioners gear up. I've talked about the Park Board before relating to the Red Bull bike route blockage. Our park system in Minneapolis is one of our most important assets and I want elected representatives who are paying attention to who they are representing.

Thursday, January 08, 2009
Everyone welcome! Seward Co-op (re)opens today!

[Update: Photos of the Ribbon-Cutting]

Seward Co-op's new sign, Dec. 14, 2009

It's been a long time coming and loads of work (including a lot of financial twists and turns to secure the money) but today the newly built and designed Seward Co-op will rise up on the ashes of the old Riverside Market. (OK. I exaggerated that ashes part but this is the site of the old Riverside Market which was a grocery fixture in Seward Neighborhood.)

Seward Co-op Preview, Dec. 14, 2009
Cooking classroom

The ribbon-cutting is at 10 today. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is supposed to attend. I'm sure our Green CouncilMember Cam Gordon will be there. I will be there. Mary (the wife) will be there. My youngest grandson will be there. Will you be there? Probably not but make sure to drop by soon. I hope to have some pictures up today so you can vicariously relive the ribbon-cutting.

For now, you can check out the Seward Co-op web site, view my pictures from the preview day, and read a nice article by Deets man Ed Kohler. (Seward also has a Facebook page.)

Seward Co-op FTW!

Historical notes: Our family is very connected to the Co-op. Mary was an early employee and part of the collective management when we were still a worker's co-op. She was once known as the Seward Co-op Cheese Queen when she revamped the cheese display at the old store (where Welna Hardware currently resides). I served on the board of Seward Co-op during the transition from the Welna site to the current site and I was the editor and publisher of an early member newsletter called Whole Wheat News. I also organized my class at Minneapolis Community & Technical College to build a web site for the store and hosted it via my PF Hyper entity for several years. My daughter Hallie worked checkout at the Riverside Market and met her husband there while on-duty.

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