Category Archives: National

Osama bin Laden killed in a covert operation. Now what?

Osama bin Laden

NY Times:

President Obama announced late Sunday that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, was killed in a firefight during an operation he ordered inside Pakistan, ending a 10 year manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist. American officials were in possession of his body, he said.

We occasionally discuss national/international issues and events here on LoGro.  Not often. This is one of those times.

Suzie Nakasian and Betsey Buckheit: Get your pens boys, they’re threatening our post office

Betsey-Buckheit Suzie Nakasian 
Northfield City Councilors Betsey Buckheit and Suzie Nakasian are circulating a letter titled: Get your pens boys, they’re threatening our post office.

Get your pens boys… we encourage local residents to immediately write to Post Master General Patrick Donahoe and District Manager Anthony Williams (addresses below) to let them know that the proposed move does not make sense for the majority of our local residents and businesses. Share with them your personal observations and particular stories to help make the case: the proposed consolidation will hurt Northfield and is a bad business move for the Postal Service.

They’re also asking people to sign a petition on Northfied Patch.

Comments on this blog post are closed. Continue the discussion here.

US Postal Service considers closing the Northfield Post Office

Northfield Post Office Northfield Post Office Northfield Post Office Northfield Post Office

Nfld Patch: Downtown Northfield Post Office Could Close

Peter Nowacki, a spokesperson for the United States Post Office, said Monday that the Northfield branch is one of 16,000 sites nationwide being considered for closure.

Nfld News: Downtown post office on the chopping block

While the closing, if it does occur, would likely impact the traffic in the city’s historic business district, the reduction would be temporary, said the city’s economic development director, Jody Gunderson. “I don’t see it staying empty long,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal building. I don’t think it would be very difficult to figure out a reuse for it.”

It seems like a perfect location for a local Northfield church. But maybe there are better reuses for the building?

Update 4/6: I’ve added a recent photo of the exterior and 3 other photos of the interior. I’ve also removed the “Churches to compete for space?” from the blog post title.

After the tragedy in Tucson, can we be better?

The three best opinion pieces about the killings in Tucson that I’ve read thus far are:

I thought tonight’s speech by President Obama at the memorial service in Tucson was pretty darn good.

But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.

Yes, we can be better.

We can be better

Obie Holmen: Obama at mid term

Obie Holmen has a new blog post titled Obama at mid term.

Obie HolmenIt should be remembered that following Churchill’s historic and inspired leadership during WWII, the British voters turned him out in the first election after war’s end.

In the recent midterm elections, it would seem that the voters rejected President Obama.  Six fewer Democratic Senators will serve in the new Congress.  Speaker-to-be John Boehner and the Republicans wrenched control of the House from the Democrats.  According to the voters, it would appear that Obama’s first two years have been an abysmal failure.

Did the voters choose wisely?  Was their judgment sound?

Discuss here or there.

No Labels: A new politics of problem-solving. Northfielders, want to Meetup?

I had lunch with a colleague at the Edina Grill last week and happened to sit at a table next to Tom Horner. (I know Tom a little bit from a consulting gig I did a few years ago.) I asked him about his post-gubernatorial race plans and he indicated he was looking for a way to tackle the political polarization that prevents problem solving.

Perfect timing. I hope Tom read this commentary in Sunday’s Strib: Beyond parties, beyond planks by William Galston and David Frum, introducing No Labels (also on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Meetup).

A single concern brings them together: the hyperpolarization of our politics that thwarts an adult conversation about our common future. A single goal unites them: to expand the space within which citizens and elected officials can conduct that conversation without fear of social or political retribution…

Here’s what it isn’t: It is not a nascent third-party movement. It is not a stalking-horse for an independent candidacy. And it is not a front for anyone’s agenda. In an act as old as America, citizens are coming together out of frustration and patriotism to give their country a better future.

The No Labels site says:

No LabelsNo Labels is a group of American citizens from across the country – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – who are concerned about the extreme polarization of our politics, and the resulting breakdown of effective governance in Washington, DC. 
Politics can be carried out more effectively and progress can be made if we come together. The end goal, our shared political destiny, is the same: a successful, prosperous, and safe America. Together, we can bridge old divides and move America not left or right, but forward.

My buddy Bruce Morlan commented here earlier this week:

Rational, calm and cooler heads must cease being wallflowers at the political dance, must seize the floor, and must work together to mainstream and make happen a better vision of the future…

No Labels just might be a way to do this.

Want to meet with other Northfielders who are likewise interested?  Sign up for the No Labels Meetup in Northfield and we’ll figure a time and place to meet F2F.

News analyst Juan Williams fired by NPR

It’s all over the MSM, blogosphere and twittersphere today. MPR’s News Cut blog has a good overview: Should Juan Williams have been fired?

The story of the day today seems to be NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, who exercised the poor judgment to go on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox to admit to being concerned when he sees Muslims on an airplane, but cautioned O’Reilly not to brand Muslims as terrorists.

Lots of Fox and NPR fans in Northfield so this should be a good discussion.

Tonight’s public hearing on revision of flood plain ordinance CANCELLED

The Planning Commission will NOT be holding a public hearing on the proposed revisions to the City’s flood plain ordinance at their meeting tonight; the item has been pulled from the agenda due to some jurisdictional requirement that was not met. (Nothing to do with the City of Northfield, its ordinances, or procedures.)

When I asked City Planner Dan Olson for details, he responded,

Apparently FEMA did not give one community in Dakota County the “full right of notice and appeal” to according to the federal process. As such, FEMA is now ruling that all communities in Dakota County have to stop their adoption process while FEMA attends to the procedural oversight for the one community. This will take approximately 1 year.

Just in case anyone was going to attend tonight’s meeting just for the public hearing….