R.T. Rybak: A Great Leader for a Great City Volunteer Contribute

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Day In The Life: Feb. 2

Feb 2: Some of my days are spent totally in City Hall, but today was mostly outside.
First thing I had a meeting with what's called the Itasca Group, it's a collection of CEOs of big companies, trying to get them to develop an agenda that they can help promote. They've been helpful because they have been willing to take on transportation, which is really important because they can use their contacts to break the deadlock at the State Capital that has made it hard for the state to do what needs to be done to address congestion. I am also on a subcomittee that will address racial and economic disparties.....so stay tuned.
The afternoon included a couple events with students in Minneapolis, both involving physical fitness. The first was at Waite Park in Northeast....General Mills, which has been such a great partner on so many things, gave 50,000 to the schools to help with fitness and nutrition. Part of the event included having kids jump rope and then have Council President Paul Ostrow and I try to keep up....We looked pretty stupid but it was fun.
(Leaving the school, coming down Johnson Street, we stopped quickly at two great corner businesses I highly recommend...Mary Jane's, a GREAT bakery which has the best hamburger buns around, and Marino's, where I had one of their patened Submarino Sandwhiches, which was first invented by Mrs. Marino, who I think is about 90 and still going strong)
The second event was on Cedar Lake....the city cross country ski championship. About 100 kids from four schools.....Washburn, Henry, South and Southwest. This is a sport where city schools are competing very well, and getting better.....The course was a little wet but still good...it will be part of the course we are going to use for the City of Lakes Ski Loppet this Sunday.


  • At February 2, 2005 at 7:42 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    I'm going to post to Day in the Life when I get a chance so it may be fairly irregular. It's a good place for you to post about events you think I should be going to.....fastest response to that would be to send them to info@rtrybak.com.....or to comment on something in that's day's post.
    Blog on......

  • At February 2, 2005 at 7:42 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At February 2, 2005 at 7:48 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    Pardon the repeat comments above: I'm still getting the hang of this. Here is a "Day In the Life" I posted elsewhere yesterday. You will notice I referred to Elmer the Elm, who was a coverboy with me today in the Stib's Metro section.....:
    Feb. 1: I hope people have a chance to read the story in tomorrow's Star Tribune about trees. We have lost 10,000 (5,000 on private property, 5,000 on Park Board Property....ie. boulevards) in the past year. We had a press event today to call attention to it....and to talk about some of the ways we are approaching it. Boulevard trees are the responsibility of the Park Board. Board member John Erwin has been a great leader on this issue and he and I have been working for the past year on something called CityTrees, an effort to plant 5,000 new ones. This is being coordinated by a citizen committee....my appointee on this is a great citizen volunteer...Tracy Nordstrom. It's going to take a lot of money. I was in Washington a couple weeks ago and met with the U.S. Forest Service to see if we can leverage some federal help. But stay in touch with this issue because it's a very important challenge.
    By the way, if you see this on TV, or if there is a pictuer in the newspaper, you will see Elmer the Elm in the background. The secret is that the person in Elmer's outfit...I never got to formally meet him....is very brave. It's apparently really hot in there and in the middle of a press conference I heard this panting coming from Elmer's trunk. "Are you ok in there, Elmer," I asked. "Well, no I'm not," he said, so we got him out of there quick. Elmer seems to be ok but it would have been a bad omen to have Elmer pass out during a press conference on Dutch Elm.
    Anyway, if anyone knows the real Elmer, be real nice to him.

  • At February 3, 2005 at 7:00 AM, Blogger Third Base Line said…

    Mr. Mayor,

    Speaking of traffic congestion and transportation, I've been pondering the proposed North Star Commuter Line (a St. Cloud-to-Minneapolis light rail extension) and I really think that a better use of those funds would be to run a light rail line between the two downtowns. I'm sure you've tried to get from Minneapolis to St. Paul or the reverse during rush hour--it's terrible.

    Here's a challenge for you, though. Get from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul by bus during off-peak hours. It takes *forever*. I'm sure lots of bus riders in Minneapolis would like to see more of St. Paul, and vice-versa, but as a "Minneapolitan sans car" for over a decade, I can tell you it's just not worth the time. Providing easy access between the two could only bring more people and dollars into both city centers.

    Besides, wouldn't the North Star commuter line, when built, be more useful if riders could easily get to either city? It just seems more cost-effective to pull St. Paul into the light-rail system before the rail line starts reaching out even farther afield.

    Thank you for providing this forum!


  • At February 3, 2005 at 9:47 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    This is great, I really like the fact that you have a blog and are actually interested in the online community...Keep it up! I wish everyone had your same interest...

  • At February 3, 2005 at 8:40 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    Thanks for that point Third Base. There are a lot of times when we have to make tough choices but I think in the case of transit...we should not....What I mean is to really address the serious traffic congestion issues we have to build both the Northstar and Central Corridor. The real key here is we have to put more money into the system, which is why I support the ideas to use either a metro gas tax or sales tax to create the money we need to build Northstar, Central and other projects like the bus rapid transit through the northern suburbs and on 35W

  • At February 3, 2005 at 8:49 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    Feb. 3: I started and ended my day with winners of silent auctions....I do a fair amount of this...help raise money for groups by giving away either a breakfast or lunch or even a bus tour. This morning I had a breakfast in my office with two people whose bid raised money for Barton School. And tonight I went on a bus tour (they actually rented a limo) of nightlife to benefit the Human Rights Campaign Fund. These raise a lot of money and I get to meet some great folks.
    One of the interesting things that happened in the middle of the day was I went to the weekly Code 4 meeting. These are the meetings the police department has every week to go over crime trends and what is being done about it. These used to be in private but Chief McManus and I believe this is the kind of information that can help citizens and police work together to make the city safer. So now they are on television live, and repeated....and we really want to invite anyone interested to come down to City Hall at 12:30 on Thursdays....among the people in the crowd this week were great citizen volunteers who have done so much to make the block watches in the Loring neighborhood so successful.
    After tonight's bus tour I did a live shont on the 10 p.m. news with John Munger, the race director of the City of Lakes Loppet....the ski race that is supposed to go from Wirth Park to Calhoun Square....the warm weather is messing with that but tonight we made the decision that the race is on....Saturday night the pros and kids will ski down the streets of Uptown which will be lined with snow. From 8-9 anyone can ski, so take advantage of that rare chance to ski down the street.
    Sunday the race will be one....with some changes...We are going to start and end at Calhoun Square.....how far we go and where we go depends on the weather. Not as long a ski as we thought but the spectating should be great with this weather.

  • At February 4, 2005 at 4:19 PM, Blogger Jeremy said…

    Hello, Mayor! It's great to see you out and about, promoting local Minneapolis businesses (especially in northeast neighborhoods!). A small correction, though: it's actually SARAH Jane's bakery. :) I can't speak for their buns, but they have the best coffee cakes I've ever eaten, and the price is definitely right.

  • At February 4, 2005 at 7:47 PM, Blogger R.T. Rybak said…

    J is right....SARAH Jane's is a great spot...and across the street is Audabon Coffee, one of hte great neighborhood meeting spots.....I'm always looking for new corner coffee shops for meetings...so if anyone else has a good suggestion, pass it on.

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