Feed aggregator

Lucy Laney School in Minneapolis struggles to meet standards

StarTribune Mpls News - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:56
Principal says new measures mean improvement is in sight.

More apartments pitched for Downtown East

StarTribune Mpls News - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:17
Ryan’s plans for building above a parking ramp now include 360 apartments – and paying the city less for the air rights.

Despite snags, Southwest LRT clears a milestone in Minneapolis

StarTribune Mpls News - Fri, 2014-08-29 19:34
The controversial line was approved by the Minneapolis City Council in a 10-3 vote.

Join the CiviCRM Member Program

Civi Blog - Fri, 2014-08-29 07:03

Back in March of this year, Max Hunter wrote a compelling blog post about CiviCRM's shift to a member-supported project, citing its changing ecosystem, budget requirements and its growth into a full-fledged CRM thanks to the efforts of the many stakeholders involved. His post, along with several others, helped to shape the conversation around the introduction of a member program in which end user organizations contribute back to CiviCRM, a program that we're moving forward with today and will promote throughout the CiviCRM ecosystem.

I read Max's post along with other posts when I first started with CiviCRM in August, 2014. I remember his in particular because while I was reading it, I received a phone call from a good friend. He asked how everything was going and so I told him about this great new position with CiviCRM, an incredible organization and vibrant community. He patiently listened and let me finish and then simply said, “that’s great. What’s the business model for that?” Did I mention that he’s a banker? So that’s pretty much his stock question for everything! But it did get me thinking.

When you peel away the details, the business model isn’t that much different from any other business, except in one primary aspect; ownership. In short, participation in CiviCRM, whether as an end user, core team member, or partner, is ownership of CiviCRM. Participation is ownership.

When you think of it that way, each owner should want to do their part to ensure that the project remains healthy and sustainable. Just like CiviCRM has evolved, we expect that each stakeholder’s capacity to ‘do their part’ has changed and will continue to change over time. We also hope that today’s introduction of a membership program is well received and that end user organizations value CiviCRM enough, and identify sufficiently with its mission, to join.

Today’s membership program is designed to encourage end user participation and to connect members with partners such that the use of CiviCRM is maximized. Membership includes access to member-only benefits provided by partners, 20% off CiviCRM conferences, a member badge, good karma, and access to all new benefits that are added as a result of a growing membership program.

More than ever, CiviCRM relies on a diverse and increasingly complex funding model. And when I say ‘CiviCRM’, I mean all of us that use it, work for it, and leverage it for benefit, because we own it. Membership isn’t about paying to use CiviCRM… membership is about protecting it.

Join members like the International Mountain Biking Association, San Francisco Baykeeper and Fund Texas Choice and become a member today.

Not ready to make the leap to becoming a member? That’s ok. We do encourage you to take 1 minute to register your site. We learn a lot about end users and how to improve CiviCRM just with the information you provide.

Hundreds pay tribute to slain exec Kelly Phillips

StarTribune Mpls News - Fri, 2014-08-29 00:19
The slain man was remembered for his political activism and charitable contributions.

Second Minnesota fighter may have been killed in Syria

StarTribune Mpls News - Thu, 2014-08-28 22:00
The FBI is looking into the possibility that a Twin Cities Somali man was killed in Syria fighting with terrorists.

Minneapolis condo king embraces downtown's east side

StarTribune Mpls News - Thu, 2014-08-28 21:31
Developer Jim Stanton is preparing a condo project in Downtown East, near the Vikings stadium under construction.

U professor pleads guilty in case of sexually explicit Facebook messages

StarTribune Mpls News - Thu, 2014-08-28 20:30
The FBI uncovered sexual messages on Facebook.

Coalition wants Redskins name kept out of TCF Bank Stadium for Vikings game

StarTribune Mpls News - Thu, 2014-08-28 19:15
The anti-racism coalition says the Washington team’s name refers to the scalping of Indians.

Uptown's Neighborhood Involvement Program to stop seeing medical patients

StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 21:58
The Minneapolis community clinic cited “extra­ordi­nary fi­nan­cial” prob­lems brought on by the na­tion­al health care over­haul. Den­tal and men­tal health ser­vices will re­main open.

Shots outside Hennepin County Medical Center highlight need for hospitals to balance security, care

StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 21:58
Shooting at Hennepin County Medical Center highlights the need to balance security, care.

With concerns, Minneapolis council panel gives initial Southwest LRT consent

StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 21:16
After a panel’s grudging approval, the full City Council will vote Friday.

New office aims to zap the gap in Minneapolis public schools

StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 21:00
Director of new office takes to the streets in his high-profile challenge to elevate the achievement of black males.

Minnesota Orchestra, emerging from financial crisis, gets $13.2 million in gifts

StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 14:51
Four anonymous donors include one who gave $10 million, among the largest gifts in orchestra history.

TC Weekend | Ring in Labor Day weekend with community gatherings, the MN State fair and more!

Paige Elliott TC Daily Planet

Where has the time gone? The kids are going back to school, football preseason is off and running, and Labor Day weekend is here, marking the traditional end of summer. According to AAA, an estimated 35 million people will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re planning to stay in town, we found a few events to mix in between the BBQs, picnics, and other Labor Day weekend fun. See what’s on tap below.

Let us know how you will spend the holiday weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to the Storify over the weekend.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


North American Festival of Wales, August 28 – 31

Held in a different location each year, the North American Festival of Wales takes place at the Hyatt Regency this year, offering a full day of festivities. Bring family and friends and celebrate the culture and heritage of Wales in Minneapolis with food, music, children’s activities, a marketplace and much more. Registration is required for entry. View a full schedule of events here.

Hyatt Regency

1300 Nicollet Mall,  Minneapolis


Broadway Day Block Party, August 30

MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change has teamed up 4SeenMagazine to host a block party on West Broadway in north Minneapolis. Come on out and enjoy food trucks, live music, a kid's corner with bike tune-ups, a bouncy castle and mobile arcade, and a job fair with local non-profits and community organizations.

911 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis

Free and open to the public

12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Afrisota: Sounds & Culture of Africa in Minnesota, August 30 

Based on the African Rhythms radio program on KFAI, Afrisota kicks off its first year of celebrating African culture in the Twin Cities. The event features live music, a fashion show, spoken word, DJs, tasty food and more!

Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

8 p.m. (Doors open at 7p.m.)

$10 in advance; $12 at the door

 

Minnesota and the First World War, August 30 - September 1

Bring the family out for a history lesson at Historic Fort Snelling and experience a look inside the “Great War,” when the U.S. joined WWI in 1917. Historical accounts, costumed staff, military demonstrations and weapons firings are sure to give you a glimpse for Minnesota's role in this time in history.

Historic Fort Snelling

National Historic Landmark

200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (all three days)

$11 - $6 

 

Labor Day Weekend Brunch Cruise, August 31

Spend the holiday weekend enjoying the beautiful sights of the Mississippi river on the Padelford Riverboat. Set sail with family or friends for a two-hour trip which includes a buffet of French toast with fresh berries, chef's choice potatoes, carved turkey breast, carved ham, salad, and more. Advance, prepaid reservations required; Seats are still available. Visit the website to reserve your seat.

Padelford Riverboat on the river at Harriet Island

200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd. Saint Paul

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Board at 10:30 a.m.)

$41.50 (+tax & fees) for Adults. $21.15 for Children 3-12. Price includes cruise and brunch. 


TASTE of Friendship, August 31

Try the Taste of Friendship if you’re in the mood for joyous sounds of Gospel music this weekend! The festivities include local Gospel singers, vendors, children’s activities, and guest speakers, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and VJ Smith of Mad Dads, among many others. 

Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

Noon to 6 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

For more information call 612-386-9501

Please note if you live in the area: 38th St will be closed between 25th Ave. S and 27th Ave. S from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31 and buses will detour. More bus detour details here.

 

Tomato Tasting, August 31

If you love tomatoes, you’ll love this event. Hosted by Tiny Diner, the event features over 40 varieties of tomatoes with every color, size and shape. Live music, workshops on seed saving, grilled picnic foods and beverages will also be offered.

Tiny Diner

1024 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

This is a rain or shine event

Open to the public

 

Last Call! - Events wrapping up this weekend:

 

Meat and Greet - Penn and Broadway, August 1 - August 29

Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the last Meat and Greet community gathering, offering free BBQ, live music, spoken word and more!

Penn and Broadway N., Minneapolis

7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Free and open to the public 

 

Minnesota State Fair August 21 - September 1

The Great Minnesota Get-Together wraps up September 1! Get out to the fair if you haven't already. Find all our MN State Fair coverage here.

1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

Adults (13-64): $13

Seniors (65 & over): $11

Kids (5-12): $11

Children (Under 5): Free

 

Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

Music & Movies in the Park - Minneapolis

Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis

Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul

 

 

Updated 8/27/2014 8:22 p.m.

Where has the time gone? The kids are going back to school, football preseason is off and running, and Labor Day weekend is here, marking the traditional end of summer. According to AAA, an estimated 35 million people will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re planning to stay in town, we found a few events to mix in between the BBQs, picnics, and other Labor Day weekend fun. See what’s on tap below.

Let us know how you will spend the holiday weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to the Storify over the weekend.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


North American Festival of Wales, August 28 – 31

Held in a different location each year, the North American Festival of Wales takes place at the Hyatt Regency this year, offering a full day of festivities. Bring family and friends and celebrate the culture and heritage of Wales in Minneapolis with food, music, children’s activities, a marketplace and much more. Registration is required for entry. View a full schedule of events here.

Hyatt Regency

1300 Nicollet Mall,  Minneapolis


Broadway Day Block Party, August 30

MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change has teamed up 4SeenMagazine to host a block party on West Broadway in north Minneapolis. Come on out and enjoy food trucks, live music, a kid's corner with bike tune-ups, a bouncy castle and mobile arcade, and a job fair with local non-profits and community organizations.

911 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis

Free and open to the public

12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Afrisota: Sounds & Culture of Africa in Minnesota, August 30 

Based on the African Rhythms radio program on KFAI, Afrisota kicks off its first year of celebrating African culture in the Twin Cities. The event features live music, a fashion show, spoken word, DJs, tasty food and more!

Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

8 p.m. (Doors open at 7p.m.)

$10 in advance; $12 at the door

 

Minnesota and the First World War, August 30 - September 1

Bring the family out for a history lesson at Historic Fort Snelling and experience a look inside the “Great War,” when the U.S. joined WWI in 1917. Historical accounts, costumed staff, military demonstrations and weapons firings are sure to give you a glimpse for Minnesota's role in this time in history.

Historic Fort Snelling

National Historic Landmark

200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (all three days)

$11 - $6 

 

Labor Day Weekend Brunch Cruise, August 31

Spend the holiday weekend enjoying the beautiful sights of the Mississippi river on the Padelford Riverboat. Set sail with family or friends for a two-hour trip which includes a buffet of French toast with fresh berries, chef's choice potatoes, carved turkey breast, carved ham, salad, and more. Advance, prepaid reservations required; Seats are still available. Visit the website to reserve your seat.

Padelford Riverboat on the river at Harriet Island

200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd. Saint Paul

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Board at 10:30 a.m.)

$41.50 (+tax & fees) for Adults. $21.15 for Children 3-12. Price includes cruise and brunch. 


TASTE of Friendship, August 31

Try the Taste of Friendship if you’re in the mood for joyous sounds of Gospel music this weekend! The festivities include local Gospel singers, vendors, children’s activities, and guest speakers, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and VJ Smith of Mad Dads, among many others. 

Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

Noon to 6 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

For more information call 612-386-9501

Please note if you live in the area: 38th St will be closed between 25th Ave. S and 27th Ave. S from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31 and buses will detour. More bus detour details here.

 

Tomato Tasting, August 31

If you love tomatoes, you’ll love this event. Hosted by Tiny Diner, the event features over 40 varieties of tomatoes with every color, size and shape. Live music, workshops on seed saving, grilled picnic foods and beverages will also be offered.

Tiny Diner

1024 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

This is a rain or shine event

Open to the public

 

Last Call! - Events wrapping up this weekend:

 

Meat and Greet - Penn and Broadway, August 1 - August 29

Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the last Meat and Greet community gathering, offering free BBQ, live music, spoken word and more!

Penn and Broadway N., Minneapolis

7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Free and open to the public 

 

Minnesota State Fair August 21 - September 1

The Great Minnesota Get-Together wraps up September 1! Get out to the fair if you haven't already. Find all our MN State Fair coverage here.

1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

Adults (13-64): $13

Seniors (65 & over): $11

Kids (5-12): $11

Children (Under 5): Free

 

Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

Music & Movies in the Park - Minneapolis

Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis

Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul

 

 

Updated 8/27/2014 8:22 p.m.

© 2014 Paige Elliott

    TC Weekend | Ring in Labor Day weekend with community gatherings, the MN State fair and more!

    Paige Elliott TC Daily Planet

    Where has the time gone? The kids are going back to school, football preseason is off and running, and Labor Day weekend is here, marking the traditional end of summer. According to AAA, an estimated 35 million people will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re planning to stay in town, we found a few events to mix in between the BBQs, picnics, and other Labor Day weekend fun. See what’s on tap below.

    Let us know how you will spend the holiday weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to the Storify over the weekend.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


    North American Festival of Wales, August 28 – 31

    Held in a different location each year, the North American Festival of Wales takes place at the Hyatt Regency this year, offering a full day of festivities. Bring family and friends and celebrate the culture and heritage of Wales in Minneapolis with food, music, children’s activities, a marketplace and much more. Registration is required for entry. View a full schedule of events here.

    Hyatt Regency

    1300 Nicollet Mall,  Minneapolis


    Broadway Day Block Party, August 30

    MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change has teamed up 4SeenMagazine to host a block party on West Broadway in north Minneapolis. Come on out and enjoy food trucks, live music, a kid's corner with bike tune-ups, a bouncy castle and mobile arcade, and a job fair with local non-profits and community organizations.

    911 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis

    Free and open to the public

    12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

     

    Afrisota: Sounds & Culture of Africa in Minnesota, August 30 

    Based on the African Rhythms radio program on KFAI, Afrisota kicks off its first year of celebrating African culture in the Twin Cities. The event features live music, a fashion show, spoken word, DJs, tasty food and more!

    Cedar Cultural Center

    416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

    8 p.m. (Doors open at 7p.m.)

    $10 in advance; $12 at the door

     

    Minnesota and the First World War, August 30 - September 1

    Bring the family out for a history lesson at Historic Fort Snelling and experience a look inside the “Great War,” when the U.S. joined WWI in 1917. Historical accounts, costumed staff, military demonstrations and weapons firings are sure to give you a glimpse for Minnesota's role in this time in history.

    Historic Fort Snelling

    National Historic Landmark

    200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul

    10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (all three days)

    $11 - $6 

     

    Labor Day Weekend Brunch Cruise, August 31

    Spend the holiday weekend enjoying the beautiful sights of the Mississippi river on the Padelford Riverboat. Set sail with family or friends for a two-hour trip which includes a buffet of French toast with fresh berries, chef's choice potatoes, carved turkey breast, carved ham, salad, and more. Advance, prepaid reservations required; Seats are still available. Visit the website to reserve your seat.

    Padelford Riverboat on the river at Harriet Island

    200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd. Saint Paul

    11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Board at 10:30 a.m.)

    $41.50 (+tax & fees) for Adults. $21.15 for Children 3-12. Price includes cruise and brunch. 


    TASTE of Friendship, August 31

    Try the Taste of Friendship if you’re in the mood for joyous sounds of Gospel music this weekend! The festivities include local Gospel singers, vendors, children’s activities, and guest speakers, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and VJ Smith of Mad Dads, among many others. 

    Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

    2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

    Noon to 6 p.m.

    Free and open to the public.

    For more information call 612-386-9501

    Please note if you live in the area: 38th St will be closed between 25th Ave. S and 27th Ave. S from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31 and buses will detour. More bus detour details here.

     

    Tomato Tasting, Sunday, August 31

    If you love tomatoes, you’ll love this event. Hosted by Tiny Diner, the event features over 40 varieties of tomatoes with every color, size and shape. Live music, workshops on seed saving, grilled picnic foods and beverages will also be offered.

    Tiny Diner

    1024 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

    12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

    This is a rain or shine event

    Open to the public

     

    Last Call! - Events wrapping up this weekend:

     

    Meat and Greet - Penn and Broadway, August 1 - August 29

    Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the last Meat and Greet community gathering, offering free BBQ, live music, spoken word and more!

    Penn and Broadway N., Minneapolis

    7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
    Free and open to the public 

     

    Minnesota State Fair August 21 - September 1

    The Great Minnesota Get-Together wraps up September 1! Get out to the fair if you haven't already. Find all our MN State Fair coverage here.

    1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

    Adults (13-64): $13

    Seniors (65 & over): $11

    Kids (5-12): $11

    Children (Under 5): Free

     

    Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

    Music & Movies in the Park - Minneapolis

    Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis

    Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul

     

     

    Updated 8/27/2014 8:22 p.m.

    Where has the time gone? The kids are going back to school, football preseason is off and running, and Labor Day weekend is here, marking the traditional end of summer. According to AAA, an estimated 35 million people will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re planning to stay in town, we found a few events to mix in between the BBQs, picnics, and other Labor Day weekend fun. See what’s on tap below.

    Let us know how you will spend the holiday weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to the Storify over the weekend.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


    North American Festival of Wales, August 28 – 31

    Held in a different location each year, the North American Festival of Wales takes place at the Hyatt Regency this year, offering a full day of festivities. Bring family and friends and celebrate the culture and heritage of Wales in Minneapolis with food, music, children’s activities, a marketplace and much more. Registration is required for entry. View a full schedule of events here.

    Hyatt Regency

    1300 Nicollet Mall,  Minneapolis


    Broadway Day Block Party, August 30

    MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change has teamed up 4SeenMagazine to host a block party on West Broadway in north Minneapolis. Come on out and enjoy food trucks, live music, a kid's corner with bike tune-ups, a bouncy castle and mobile arcade, and a job fair with local non-profits and community organizations.

    911 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis

    Free and open to the public

    12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

     

    Afrisota: Sounds & Culture of Africa in Minnesota, August 30 

    Based on the African Rhythms radio program on KFAI, Afrisota kicks off its first year of celebrating African culture in the Twin Cities. The event features live music, a fashion show, spoken word, DJs, tasty food and more!

    Cedar Cultural Center

    416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis

    8 p.m. (Doors open at 7p.m.)

    $10 in advance; $12 at the door

     

    Minnesota and the First World War, August 30 - September 1

    Bring the family out for a history lesson at Historic Fort Snelling and experience a look inside the “Great War,” when the U.S. joined WWI in 1917. Historical accounts, costumed staff, military demonstrations and weapons firings are sure to give you a glimpse for Minnesota's role in this time in history.

    Historic Fort Snelling

    National Historic Landmark

    200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul

    10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (all three days)

    $11 - $6 

     

    Labor Day Weekend Brunch Cruise, August 31

    Spend the holiday weekend enjoying the beautiful sights of the Mississippi river on the Padelford Riverboat. Set sail with family or friends for a two-hour trip which includes a buffet of French toast with fresh berries, chef's choice potatoes, carved turkey breast, carved ham, salad, and more. Advance, prepaid reservations required; Seats are still available. Visit the website to reserve your seat.

    Padelford Riverboat on the river at Harriet Island

    200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd. Saint Paul

    11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Board at 10:30 a.m.)

    $41.50 (+tax & fees) for Adults. $21.15 for Children 3-12. Price includes cruise and brunch. 


    TASTE of Friendship, August 31

    Try the Taste of Friendship if you’re in the mood for joyous sounds of Gospel music this weekend! The festivities include local Gospel singers, vendors, children’s activities, and guest speakers, including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and VJ Smith of Mad Dads, among many others. 

    Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

    2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

    Noon to 6 p.m.

    Free and open to the public.

    For more information call 612-386-9501

    Please note if you live in the area: 38th St will be closed between 25th Ave. S and 27th Ave. S from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31 and buses will detour. More bus detour details here.

     

    Tomato Tasting, Sunday, August 31

    If you love tomatoes, you’ll love this event. Hosted by Tiny Diner, the event features over 40 varieties of tomatoes with every color, size and shape. Live music, workshops on seed saving, grilled picnic foods and beverages will also be offered.

    Tiny Diner

    1024 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

    12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

    This is a rain or shine event

    Open to the public

     

    Last Call! - Events wrapping up this weekend:

     

    Meat and Greet - Penn and Broadway, August 1 - August 29

    Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the last Meat and Greet community gathering, offering free BBQ, live music, spoken word and more!

    Penn and Broadway N., Minneapolis

    7 p.m. - 1 a.m.
    Free and open to the public 

     

    Minnesota State Fair August 21 - September 1

    The Great Minnesota Get-Together wraps up September 1! Get out to the fair if you haven't already. Find all our MN State Fair coverage here.

    1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

    Adults (13-64): $13

    Seniors (65 & over): $11

    Kids (5-12): $11

    Children (Under 5): Free

     

    Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

    Music & Movies in the Park - Minneapolis

    Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis

    Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul

     

     

    Updated 8/27/2014 8:22 p.m.

    © 2014 Paige Elliott

      Testing... one, two, three!

      Civi Blog - Wed, 2014-08-27 11:59

      For over 15 years, NDItech has been in the business of developing technologies for development. One of our newest pet projects is called DemTools, or the Democracy Toolkit. DemTools is a set of four webapps to solve some of the most common problems our global partners experience: civic organizing, managing constituent relationships, tracking election data and fostering civic debates. Two of them are custom-configured versions of CiviCRM, so we’ve been working closely with the core team throughout our design and development process. 

      The thinking behind DemTools was simple: to design context appropriate solutions for advocates of political change that were informed by user needs and could enhance existing workflows. However, what we learned from conducting a host of usability tests on our Civi-enabled tools was that making them work was anything but simple.

      In a recent DemWorks blog post, we shared some of the guiding principles we followed when designing and conducting our usability test of CiviParty, a tool that allows political parties and civic organizations to organize events, contact or survey supporters via SMS, and track member engagement. Now, we’d like to share what we learned from that process. However, before diving right into our findings, I should mention what our motivation was for investing the time that we did in conducting our usability tests in the first place: to expose any design shortcoming of our tools that made them difficult to use. After all, what good are tools in a toolbox if they make someone’s life harder, not easier? Half of sustainability is how straightforward tools are to use. For us to be able to achieve our goal of solving some of the most common problems faced by advocates for political change, they have to be willing and able to use the systems that are made available to them. Enter usability testing.

      We ran two hour-long testing sessions with NDI staff who were recruited based on their previous real-world experiences as field organizers in an election. Given the partner organizations we work with around the globe, our team wanted to be better understand the challenges of managing an effective campaign and determine whether the tool we were testing could actually meet their needs. During the session, we asked all of our participants to perform several tasks using our CiviParty, including accessing a database, managing contacts and organizing those contacts. Afterwards, we then did a de-brief with them to hear their overall feedback about the tool. Here’s a snapshot of some of the things we heard from them:

      Tester: What did you like about the database?

      Participant A: Nothing! [ed.note: ouch.]

      Tester: What did you not like about the database?

      Participant B: I had to think too much in order to do what I needed to do [using Civi].

      Participant C: For a partner to use this, it has to be dramatically simpler. There’s just too much room for error [using Civi].

      Participant D: New computer users would be easily frustrated [by Civi]. A lot of training would be required.

      So, what’s one to do with all this critical feedback? Devise a strategy for improving the design of our product, that’s what! Working with our partners at AGH Strategies, our team compiled a list of things that would need to be fixed, so that our Civi-enabled tools could help and not hinder the work of our partners around the globe. While some fixes like changing the appearance of the homepage were quite easy for us to to make, others required more than just simple tweaks. The fixes we could implement were applied using extensions, making them easily carry over to any other stock Civi install.

      After several weeks of making improvements, the DemTools kit finally launched on August 12 and the four web apps our team had long labored over were once again made available for demo (except this time by a public audience).

      While all of our DemTools are now available online, our team knows that further collaborative development of the tools is still necessary. As we speak, we’re working to build a robust open source community that’s invested in improving DemTools. Our team recognizes that what we do is not just about the tech, but about integrating tools into holistic programming. It’s for that reason that we’re committed to better integrating usability alongside functionality into our product design and implementation.

      I think it goes without saying that Civi is a powerful tool, but if it wants to reach the next 100,000 civic groups in the developing world, it needs to be a lot more simpler to use. Filling that gap is not an easy feat, but it’s a challenge we’re up for.

       

      Life, no parole for man who used sword to kill mom, nephew in Mpls. home

      StarTribune Mpls News - Wed, 2014-08-27 08:44
      The bodies were found in separate upstairs bedrooms in the home in the 1200 block of 12th Avenue N., where Ishmael Roberts once lived along with numerous other relatives.

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