A Very Special Birthday: Torching America’s Best Transit System

All in all, June 19th, 1954, was a crazy day. Maybe surreal was a better word.

A regular at the Brass Rail bar on Hennepin sauntered outside and had to do a double take at the passing rail car. Could it be? That sure looked like Hubert Humphrey, our famous senator wearing a Twin Cities Rapid Transit (TCRT) motorman’s cap and driving the eight carriage Oak-Harriet street car toward St. Paul. And as the trailing cars swoosh past, they are filled with well-dressed civic leaders dining on chicken salad over white table cloth tables. The bar patron shook his head and darted back in the bar to get another drink and regain his bearings.

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Who Do You Trust? Comey or Trump?

Last Thursday, a reported 19.5 million people watched former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on television. For context, this huge viewership number is roughly equivalent with this year’s NBA Finals, which have been among the most watched games in league history. (The 19.5 million viewers of the Senate hearing doesn’t include those who watched via live stream online. At their desks. At work. Like I did.)

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Sully in Cuba — Is This The Next Seminal Moment for Cuba Travel?

Not a bad deal — Key West-Havana for only $100 one way?

The brochure beckoning you to “Travel The Comfortable Way.” And then Vic Chenea, the airline representative, crowing about the wide wicker seats, sweeping glass windows and even free bags — before plying you with rum on the airline’s tab. Who wouldn’t jump on that type of personal service? You’re in and a convenient return time from Havana at 3:55 p.m. to boot. What could go wrong?

Well it started with the rain and low visibility out of Havana. And then wondering by 5:00 p.m. — isn’t the flight supposed to be one hour?

By 5:15 p.m. the pilot and mechanic are using binoculars to look for Florida and then asking if you can help find the Sand Key Lighthouse and its beacon? Minutes later, flying at low altitude, the pilot spots a tanker ship below. The co-pilot is writing out a message on stationary. OMG, message in a bottle? Instead, he affixes it to a large metal lever, wraps it in a cloth sack and then drops it out the window. You’ve got a good view from the seat behind him and watch incredulously as the package falls into the ocean and sinks.

What the hell type of procedure is this?

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$1 Billion US Bank Stadium Still Facing Building Issues

Construction on the $1 billion, “people’s stadium,” has been complete for almost a year now. The Vikings have already spent one season breaking fans’ hearts after starting 5-0 and plummeting to an 8-8 record. But despite the price tag, issues with the palace still persist.

The stadium, coined by many as the crown jewel of NFL stadiums, is still facing some of the same issues from when it opened — issues with exterior panels. The water leaking into the stadium was actually so significant that puddles accumulated in a women’s restroom, the concourse and a storage area.

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Our Relationship With Food and Getting Children “Into the Mix”

The Food Connection

A common factor of the American food system has been the industry that surrounds a food item and its production. While other countries have been influenced through the progression of mass production, America has also been influenced and has experienced a shift in their food relationships.

In the past, Americans farmed locally and had a close relationship to the production and consumption of their food items. Now, during the industrial economy of mass production, Americans and other global producers do not hold this close relationship to the production practices associated to their food.

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Minnesota Man Jumps His Car 210 Feet Over Open Water — Lands on Ice

In what is the scariest and most unbelievable story I’ve heard this month (including Kellyanne Conway’s claim that our microwaves can transform into cameras to spy on us), the Pioneer Press reports a Minnesota man launched his car off an embankment, clearing 210 feet of open water, then landing on the ice of Lake L’Homme Dieu in Alexandria.

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Kiss Off Minneapolis — Following the Mob to Tropical Paradise

Unlike the downtrodden accused on Dateline, Kid Cann (given name Isadore Blumenfeld) had no qualms whatsoever about taking the stand in his own murder trial. That several other witnesses fingered him for gunning down prominent newsman Walter Liggett, didn’t seem to deter him either.

Edith Liggett was clad in widow black from head to toe and devastatingly resolute from the witness stand:

“He was the man who handled the gun,” Edith Liggett said. “I saw him leaning out of the car and grinning as the gun spurted flame. It was Kid Cann.”

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Like Seinfeld, Rachel Maddow’s Trump Tax Return Special Was A Show About Nothing

On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow spent an hour talking about nothing.

MSNBC used the time slot leading up to her show hyping the idea Maddow had a “special report” revealing Donald Trump’s “tax returns” using that little graphic box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen with a countdown timer. You know the one.

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89th Academy Awards Ends with Awkward Mix Up

The 89th Academy Awards made history last night and not in the way you might expect. Of course, there were plenty of political jokes, commentary, and hijinks, including a moment when Jimmy Kimmel tweeted President Trump. The whole night, Kimmel made sure to make things uncomfortable and weird, too, like bringing in a real Hollywood tourist group to take pictures of all the celebrities and dropping food from the ceiling attached to parachutes. However, in one epic, awkward, and gut-wrenching twist that Kimmel couldn’t have dreamed up, the Academy Award for Best Picture was given to the wrong movie.

Here’s how everything went down. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, looking like two drunk wedding crashers, presented the nominees for Best Picture. When Warren Beatty opened the envelope and read the winner, he looked puzzled, smiled, and didn’t say anything, keeping the audience in suspense. He looked over at Faye Dunaway and handed her the envelope. She read the name and immediately said, “La La Land.” Everyone cheered and all the winners of La La Land came up to the stage.

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Where Does Minnesota Rank Nationally as a Caring City?

caring in Minnesota

Everyone has a need to feel like we belong. One of the most intimate ways we express this is caring for one another. We express this in multiple ways by doing things such as helping an elderly person with various tasks around their home, helping a neighbor with a project or just being a friend.

In a recent article, Wallet Hub ranked the most caring cities for 2016 among the 100 most populated cities in U.S. They used several metrics such as volunteer hours per capita, percentage of sheltered homeless people and percentage of income donated to charity. The three categories they ranked were: caring for the community, caring for the vulnerable and caring in the workplace.

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