06.18.10 notes, links

Way too much on my plate this morning, so I need to keep this brief. I’ll be unpacking my thoughts/notes today on last night’s Policy & A Pint on “Cities, Bicycling and the Future of Getting Around.” I’m also going to be talking/playing phone tag with a few more entrepreneurs I want to feature in next week’s issue of The Line.

I’m going to get straight into the links now:

SUSTAINABILITY
The Seward Co-op celebrated its new 32-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system with a “commissioning party” on Thursday. The array was installed by Solarflow Energy, a Seward neighborhood company that is trying to prove a solar leasing model. I wrote about ’em this week for The Line.

MEDICAL DEVICES
ProUroCare
, an Eden Prairie medical device startup, announced an extra infusion of cash from its existing investors. The company makes an imaging product that it believes can help doctors diagnose and document prostrate cancers. Thomas Lee wrote late last year that the company may have a hard time convincing reimbursers that the product is necessary. I was humming the Yeah Yeah Yeahs after reading this story in the Star Tribune this morning: an airline worker in Arkansas came across a container of human heads and head parts on their way to Medtronic that were apparently not packed or labeled properly. The state confiscated the body parts until it can confirm they were obtained legally.

ECONOMY
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced May job numbers on Thursday. Minnesota employers created a net 5,600 jobs during the month while unemployment fell to an even 7 percent from 7.1 percent in April. It was the second consecutive month of job gains — a first since Jan.-Feb. 2008. U.S. Census hiring is responsible for a large chunk of the increase, but private employers in the state still created 2,600 jobs. Construction and financial services were the only sectors that didn’t see growth. I spoke with an official from an IT staffing agency in the Twin Cities, who told me that it’s placing a lot more web and app developers than it was a year ago, although much of the activity is temporary contract work.