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The Web is an amazing place that’s full of fun, helpful and even just time-wasting things. Each week, I try to find a sampling of it all. In this week’s column, you’ll find a site that compiles Rochester crime data, one that has fun with the fair, portraits of Hurricane Katrina and a mapping program that ties lawmakers to deficient bridges in our state.

This site was designed and is maintained by Josh Pankratz, a Rochester-based analyst/programmer with a background in data warehousing, data analysis and research, according to the site. It’s got lots of potential to compile information and help you see what the situation is in your neighborhood.

I can’t always get up to the Minnesota State Fair, but I love this blog because the writer takes you along for his daily strolls. He’s a fan, and you’ll get critiques on what’s there and raves about things he likes. Take a tour through his blog for pix and commentary before the fair ends Monday.


Clayton Cubitt’s a photographer in the Gulf Coast area. He’s got some powerful images of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. Especially moving are the portraits of the people.

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy released maps and databases this week on more than 300 Minnesota bridges, which it says will allow citizens to learn the state of their bridges and the votes of representatives on transportation issues. You need some GIS software and to unzip some files, so it takes a little time. Still, it’s a real great way for a group to make a point on an issue.

Dan Goodsell is a guy who writes about things he likes. What’s fun is he really likes Willy Wonka candy and products. Wow! He’s got so much listed and shown on this blog.

Think the world is going to the dogs? Check out this site. They’re going in style. This is a fun site full of products for the pooch. Most are pretty useful; others are just nice if you want to spoil your dog.


Do you have a favorite blog, Web site or technology item? How about some great local links? Send them our way. Mike Dougherty,

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