Tag Archives: Northfield

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

MinnPost blog critic asks “What’s the best platform for bloggers?”

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Coutesy of minnpost.com

Tooting my horn here: Justin Piehowski, 30, blog critic for MinnPost.com and winner of five Regional Emmy Awards for his work as a Web Manager at KSTP-TV, asked bloggers some questions about their experiences launching blogs. Piehowski mentioned my RepJ blog and LocallyGrownNorthfield.org. See what he wrote below in quotes:

“Bonnie Obremski uses WordPress on her new Representative Journalism Project blog. She was exposed to it while contributing to the community news site Locally Grown Northfield.”

She said she really likes the attractive templates on WordPress and has already recommended it to a family member. However, she gets very frustrated with trying to embed .html code of videos and slideshows from other sites onto her WordPress blog. The process is not smooth, she said.”

OK so not earth-shattering information coming from me there. But in case you’re interested in seeing the whole interview, which Justin and I did via e-mail (we’re facebook AND Twitter friends now!), read on.

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Filed under Anecdotes, Business, Citizen Participation, LocallyGrownNorthfield, Project discussion, Project progress

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

How should online news look?

Today, I’m trying to come up with a way to make my news features look good. Producing well-reported news is important, but I think that information can get lost online if the information isn’t presented in a thoughtful, attractive way. My mother (boy she’s been sending me a lot of good links lately!) came across a new online magazine based in New York City and I’m interested to hear thoughts on the presentation. The online publication is called FLYP. Make sure your volume is not at full blast, the only part of the site I find annoying is the sound of flipping pages.

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Filed under Project discussion, Project progress

RepJ mentioned on NPR’s Day-to-Day program

Listen to the story here, approximately 5 minutes.

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Filed under Citizen Participation, Project discussion, Project progress

A mini-photo essay of the Union of Youth open house at the Key

The Key

For additional photos and discussion about the open house, visit LocallyGrownNorthfield.org.

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Filed under Youth