Tip of the hat to downtown beautification efforts in Minneapolis

(Finance & Commerce, March 15, 2012)—A full slate of high-profile, ambitious plans are on the horizon for downtown Minneapolis parks and public spaces, from a Sculpture Garden expansion and Nicollet Mall renovation to the proposed Gateway and Water Works parks that would better connect the city to its riverfront.

All of those projects won’t be enough to satisfy David Wilson.

“We will not be successful if we only achieve those big goals,” said Wilson, chairman of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District’s greening and public realm committee. (His day job is managing partner at one of downtown’s largest employers, Accenture.)

As Wilson and his committee see it, making downtown as green, pleasant and inviting as possible will also require countless smaller efforts from businesses and individuals — from sidewalk planters to urban gardens.

That’s why the improvement district honored the best of these unsung efforts Tuesday at its second annual Greening and Public Realm Awards, which were presented at the Minneapolis Central Library. The awards recognize residents, businesses, associations and community members who enhance downtown by creating and maintaining greenery in public spaces. Continue reading “Tip of the hat to downtown beautification efforts in Minneapolis”

Critic: Nuclear power risks greater than advertised

(Midwest Energy News, March 12, 2012)—Over the weekend I had the chance to sit down for breakfast with Arjun Makhijani, author of Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy.

Makhijani is also president and senior engineer at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) in Takoma Park, Md. He’s on a mini-Midwest tour this week to promote a new report on Minnesota’s renewable energy potential — more on that tomorrow — and attempt to throw some cold water on renewed nuclear energy interest in Iowa and Wisconsin.

IEER is a member of RE-AMP, which also funds Midwest Energy News.

Makhijani spoke Sunday in Des Moines and Iowa City. He’s in Madison today for a 12:30 pm press conference (State Capital room 300SE) about the need for new, post-Fukushima health and safety regulations. Continue reading “Critic: Nuclear power risks greater than advertised”