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  • Minnesota taxpayers subsidize Hollywood superstar's vanity project

    Independent non-profit publishing house Graywolf Press recently released Directing Herbert White, a book of poetry written by Hollywood superstar James Franco. Franco, whose filmography includes the blockbuster Spider-Man trilogy and his Oscar-nominated lead role in 127 Hours, could presumably self-fund and self-publish any vanity project he chooses. And he certainly would not be the first Hollywood star to produce a self-indulgent side project.

  • Transit-oriented underdevelopment

    According to a new study in Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Blue Line (aka Hiawatha light-rail) has failed to spur economic development in the areas surrounding LRT stops. The authors examined areas within one-half mile of LRT platforms and found that “neither construction nor operation of the line appears to affect land use change relative to the time before construction.” And one of the study’s authors told the Star Tribune, “The effects of light rail, at lea...

  • Shining a light on teachers' contract negotiations

    As we’ve written about previously, many public employee contracts are negotiated in private thanks to weak state laws that allow a public employer or a government employee union to unilaterally demand closed-door contract mediation for any reason. This year alone, dozens of Minnesota school districts and local teachers’ unions have negotiated teachers’ contracts out of the view of the media, taxpayers, and the general public. It is the antithesis of open government, and thankfully some legislato...

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