Tag Archives: Economy

Poll: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

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Recovery and Reinvestment Act may curb unemployment in Minnesota

As early as tomorrow the $789-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 may be passed, leading to positive changes for Minnesotans and U.S. citizens nationwide (or not, depending on the perspective – added 2/14 1:15 p.m.). Today, I am calling up Northfield’s representatives and political experts to talk about how the act could directly influence our lives.

Congressman Jim Oberstar, who represents Minnesota’s eighth district, wrote about what the act could mean for the state on Tuesday in the Duluth News Tribune saying, “I want to see that bill on President Obama’s desk to be signed into law by Monday, Presidents Day. By June, that final stroke of the president’s pen will have men and women going to work building and maintaining roads and bridges, upgrading schools and modernizing public buildings.”

“In Minnesota, the department of transportation has a backlog of 200 shovel-ready road and bridge projects. This legislation will speed $477 million to the state to start work on those projects, creating nearly 17,000 jobs.”

“A recent economic analysis by Moody’s concluded that the recovery bill could put a total of 91,000 Minnesotans to work by 2010, holding the state’s unemployment rate down by nearly 2 percent.”

See Moody’s Report here.

Not everyone in Minnesota seems as optimistic as Oberstar, however. The Austin Post-Bulletin ran a story on Jan. 30 that questioned whether the act could actually lead to less funding for public schools.

“Fourteen area superintendents met with 1st District Rep. Tim Walz on Thursday to talk about the proposed “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” commonly referred to as the stimulus package. The education leaders were aware that the estimates are long from final.

Dover-Eyota Superintendent Bruce Klaehn said several people are worried that the Legislature will decrease education funding once the federal money is awarded.”

On the matter of federal funding of public schools, an article in the Sillwater Gazette offered a different perspective on Feb. 5.

“Buried in the $819 billion stimulus package approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week is an estimated $2.75 million for special education programs and construction projects in District 834.

If the stimulus package is also approved by the U.S. Senate, local school officials said the additional federal funds would help the district absorb any budget shocks at the state level, where money remains tight.”

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Filed under City Government, Economy, National

Is it ‘fair’ to only pay for the NY Times?

The Associated Press article “NY Times Editor Hints At Return Of Online Access Fees” is attracting lively discussion on the Huffington Post Web site. Cynthia Typaldos, founder of the soon-to-be-launched Kachingle, recently posted the following comment. Kachingle is a company that will allow the public to easily bestow micro-payment donations contributions to their favorite Web sites.

“I fully understand your desire to pay something for the NYTimes. But what about the HuffPost? You are here too…are you getting some value from this news site? And what about the other sites/blogs that you read/use?

My point is that it might not be ‘fair’ to pay only for the NYTimes, but not for anything else that you actively use and value.”

What would the people of Northfield pay for, how much would they pay, and why? That’s one of the questions I’m trying to figure out and I’m wondering if my latest story is drawing any closer to a product citizens would value.

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Filed under Business, Citizen Participation, Poll, Project discussion

Get yer summer intern! A RepJ feature story

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Discuss this story on LocallyGrownNorthfield.org.

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Filed under Business, Citizen Participation, Economic development, Youth

Can the stories of Northfield’s seniors offer perspective on today’s economy?

Linda Seebach, the Representative Journalism Project’s copy and collaborating editor, told me about a story she read on PoynterOnline today that discussed how a Minneapolis television reporter collected stories from local senior citizens who had lived during the Great Depression.

We’re interested in gathering similar stories that Northfield’s senior citizens have to tell. Send a story, photographs, video or a tip to RepJNorthfield@gmail.com. Or begin the discussion here.

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Filed under Citizen Participation, Senior Citizens

Could locals score more college interns as large corporations nationwide cut programs?

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Courtesy of Carleton.edu

A Wall Street Journal blogger wrote last week about why you should consider getting yourself a summer intern.

“Many students who might have sought internships with large companies will be more open to working for small and mid-sized companies, says Tom Kozicki, executive director of the MBA Career Center at the University of California in Irvine.”

(On another note, a different Wall Street blogger pointed out that some parents are so worried about their child getting a decent job, they’re paying companies thousands of dollars to employ them as interns.)

This week, I’m finding out what Saint Olaf and Carleton college career center workers have to say about internships. In addition, I’m talking to city professionals who are teaming with interns in order to help develop their business or organization, while offering job experience to a young person.

Interns: Could small businesses need them more than ever in these tough times, even as larger companies are turning them away?

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Slideshow: Northfield Economic Development Authority’s Infill and Redevelopment Committee

Subcommittee Meeting 1/28

Stay tuned for comments from the subcommittee members regarding the meeting.

Update Wednesday Jan. 28, 10:45 p.m.: I asked members of the subcommittee to write a sentence about what they believed was the most important result of the inaugural meeting. The first to respond was Victor Summa, a member of the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA).

“With the exception of a series of rather non-public meetings in the past few years concerning the NW annexation effort, this meeting was the inaugural (your word, and an apt one) meeting of a new process for the Northfield EDA. While not all that innovative as meeting process generally goes, we have sorted our task into categories, assigned EDA members to serve on various committees and have opened these ‘sub-committee’ meetings up to more public involvement. In a sense, we have moved ourselves toward the prompt of getting ‘shovel ready,’ a term that’s been bandied about here in Northfield … argued over and redefined to fit our purposes. I found this new effort rather refreshing and reassuring.”

Update Thursday Jan. 29, 9 a.m.:

Ross Currier, executive director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC):

“I think the steady increase of the use of the Economic Development Partners, the Chamber, the NDDC and the NEC, by the EDA over the past year or so is a great idea that will get more leverage from our E D resources and accomplish more of our shared E D goals. The staffing of EDA subcommittees with a mix of EDA members and Partner members is more than a clear sign of collaboration, it is a powerful tool for implementation.

By the way, did you only take pictures of us looking serious? Although this group represents a wide range of economic theories, I was struck by how much we could laugh at ourselves and rib each other as we discussed our work plans. At least for me, it demonstrates the comfort and confidence we have with and in each other, and the positive energy that we are all bringing to the current challenges.”

Jody Gunderson, Northfield Economic Development Authority staff liaison:

“Today’s meeting represents the City of Northfield’s on-going inclusive approach to addressing issues that will strengthen our community and businesses utilizing our financial and intellectual resources. The Northfield Economic Development Authority is a results driven organization.”

Update Thursday Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.:

Blake Abdella, director of the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC):

Today’s meeting demonstrated that those groups who see Northfield Infill and Redevelopment as part of their purpose, do come together constructively, in an effort to work together. I was encouraged by the openness of all participants to roll up their sleeves and get things done. I felt we left the meeting with an understanding of where we are headed as a group, some key next steps, and a commitment to the work ahead of us. Thanks to Dave Van Wylen for taking the lead with this group. I’m encouraged by today’s meeting and energized to take action.

Update Thursday Jan. 29, 1:15 p.m.

Kathy Feldbrugge, executive director of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce:

“Local economic development partners and stakerholders understand the importance of working together and identifying action items that need to be accomplished in order to enhance, grow and develop the local business community and ensure economic prosperity for the Northfield area.”

Update Friday Jan. 30, 8:45 a.m.:

David Van Wylen, chairman of the Infill and Redevelopment Committee:

I think the most important aspect to the meeting was the development of a common sense of purpose in regards to the issue of infill and redevelopment in Northfield.

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