Tom Gottfried, program director for Office of Transit, joins us this week to talk about public transit in Greater Minnesota. Tom gives us a rundown of one of Transit for Our Future, one program that focuses on helping Greater Minnesota transit systems work with MnDOT and with each other to be more efficient, more effective, and expanding access as much as possible across the state.
We continue our conversation with IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips about the IRRRB’s role up on the Iron Range. Last week we talked about timber, and this week Commissioner Phillips discusses the need for change in the taconite industry and new developments in tourism.
IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips joins us this week to talk about the three T’s of the Iron Range, timber, taconite and tourism. There’s been a decline in the timber industry since the recession, especially in the area of paper and building materials. Clever biotech researchers, though, are finding new ways to use woody biomass and commercialize it. Minnesota is well placed in the biotech arena, says Phillips, because it’s where the forest meets the prairie.
Teachers are in short supply throughout the state, especially in speciality areas. Places that used to get applications in the hundreds are now getting them in the single digits. In the second part of our conversation with state Senator Vicki Jensen, we talk about some specific policies that can be examined to address the teacher shortage and help more young people make it into a teaching career.
Setting policy on water quality requires understanding the influence federal law has on the process, says state Senator Vicki Jensen, Owatonna. State agency are meeting all over the state to discuss water policy in an effort to meet federal requirements, and therefore it’s important that everyone affected shows up and is heard.