thanks for the pointer,  i forgot totally about the local e-democracy
stuff that's been going on for quite some time.  it sounds like, in
reading the list archives (i just subscribed) that there's some
resistance to expending tax-payer $$s on the project.  however, it
does seem like a good venue for letting neighborhood orgs know about
some of the efforts and seems to touch on the outreach goals that were
mentioned previously. 

when last we saw our hero (Saturday, Aug 23, 2003), 
 Neal Krasnoff was madly tapping out:
> From the mpls list, and my response and invitation:
> From: "John Erwin" <erwin001 at>
> Date: Fri Aug 22, 2003  9:14:54  AM US/Central
> To: <mpls at>
> Subject: [Mpls] RE: WI-FI through the Parks
> Hello Folks,
> Just wanted to let you know that I initiated a process where the
> Minneapolis Park System would start exploring providing WI-FI
> internet access to Minneapolis citizens through the park system.
> The Park Board approved my motion to initiate exploring providing
> WI-FI through recreation centers with a unanimous vote.  Annie Young
> has also been particularly supportive of this effort.
> A few things came together at once that spurred this on: 1) I
> remember Phyllis Kahn suggesting such an idea awhile ago, 2) my new
> portable computer and many other new ones are now sold 'wireless
> ready' (times have clearly changed), and 3) routers now have a
> distance of 3.5 kilometers.  The increase in router range now allows
> complete coverage of Minneapolis from Park Recreation Centers
> (Minneapolis has 49 recreation centers).  Minneapolis is unique in
> that it has a grid of recreation centers all with active web
> capabilities. We also recognize that there will likely be some cost
> for this service to users.  I envision interested Minneapolis
> residents purchasing an annual password that would enable internet
> access at their local recreation center for a nominal fee.
> Clearly, other organizations should and would be part of this.  For
> instance, the School Board, I imagine, would be interested.  In
> addition, the mayor has clearly identified an interest in this for
> some time and is also exploring this area.  Lastly, the Green
> Institute may have an interest in participating.  However, the Park
> Board already has the physical infrastructure to mount the routers
> on.
> My hope is that such an effort would make web access more affordable
> and accessible in Minneapolis while decreasing some infrastructure
> costs in city/park/school government facilities.  Thus, the average
> citizen with other forms of internet access would likely save money.
> Lastly, we would have access anywhere, backyard, cars, parks, etc.
> There is some precedent for this.  Paris just initiated WI-FI
> service about 3-4 weeks ago.  Also, it is my understanding that
> Buffalo, Minnesota and Chaska, Minnesota both are initiating such a
> service as well.
> Let me know your thoughts/concerns/ideas! (erwin001 at

{ snipped - misc previous correspondence }

steve ulrich                       sulrich at
PGP: 8D0B 0EE9 E700 A6CF ABA7  AE5F 4FD4 07C9 133B FAFC

Twin Cities Wireless Users Group Mailing List - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
tcwug-list at