4/13/08 Headlines: North Side vacant home tour, American Indian students protest, Jack and Jill, JobZ in Wadena


North Side story: A vacant-home tour
by Molly Priesmeyer and Dan Haugen, Minnesota Monitor
You don’t have to go far into North Minneapolis to see it: Homes made dark by boards covering windows and doors. Most of the boarded homes here are festooned with gray plywood. Those boards — the ones the color of street grime or dryer lint — were hammered into place by city workers. Gray boards are a telltale sign that the city has had to intervene.

American Indian students at U of M protest funding loss
by Heidi Hanse, TC Daily Planet
After a decision cutting all funding for next year, the American Indian Student Cultural Center (AISCC) rallied support April 7 at a U of M hearing on student service fees. The AISCC requested $50,000 for next year and the Student Services Fees Committee recommended that they get not a single penny. Last year they received $26, 520.

Jack and Jill Rites of Passage program promotes understanding of African value system
A line of young men makes its way into a hushed ballroom. Fathers, mothers, mentors and friends dressed in traditional formal African attire eye the ones they raised, chided and guided. The solemn tuxedoed processional suddenly breaks into a choreographed syncopated march of youth making their way into manhood. This is Rites of Passage.

JOBZ — love it or hate it
by Courtney Blanchard, Session Weekly
Wadena is a small, central Minnesota town, stuck in the awkward transition from a family farm economy. About 4,300 people live there; mostly retirees and students at the local technical college. In the center of town is the Cozy Movie Theater, which looks much the same as it did in 1938, except now it has three screens instead of one. People work what jobs they can; there are two wholesale grocer distribution centers and a Wal-Mart that opened up a few years back.


Readers, Writers and Books
Two perspectives on Minnesota Book Award finalist The Florist’s Daughter

Book note: The Florist’s Daughter reads like poetry
by Anne Nicolai, TC Daily Planet
Perched on a cot in a hospital room overlooking the Cathedral, Patricia Hampl sits holding her mother’s hand through her last night of life. Balancing a pad of paper on her lap and scrawling notes (the start of an obituary), the author holds the hand that has crushed out countless cigarettes in saucers on the kitchen table, punctuating stories of the soirées decorated by her husband Stan, the florist. Sitting in the dark beside her mother, the florist’s daughter opens and closes her solemn gift of a memoir.

Book note: The Florist’s Daughter opens a family pressure cooker
by Mary Ellen Shaw, TC Daily Planet
I had the good fortune to first encounter Patricia Hampl’s The Florist’s Daughter (2007) in late November 2007 shortly after its release, when Carol Connolly hosted a reading with Hampl and poet Katrina Vandenberg (Atlas) on my husband’s birthday, at the University Club on Summit Avenue. What was especially fun about this location was that it figured in Hampl’s life as the scene of her senior prom – the story of which she told us with wry humor.

Book review: The Window of Brimes
by Lois Quam, Minnesota 2020
Bill Holm’s newest book, The Windows of Brimnes, like Bill Holm, defies categorization.


Beyond the stereotypes and suburban myths
by Tami Mohamed Brown, Minnesota Women’s Press
Just a week ago, my daughter, Nora, brought home a writing project she had completed, a simple acrostic poem describing the suburban public school she attends. I read the list of adjectives she thought best illustrated the place she spends five days a week, noting her improved spelling and commending her smart choice of words, using “I” for Intelligent and “C” for Caring.

I’m still confused
by Myles Spencer, TC Daily Planet
Last Fall I wrote an article about some confusion I seem to have about Iraq; and now looking back, I seem to still be confused. I mean, I sure like just about everything our President has told us about this war…or occupation…or whatever, in Iraq. He’s had a lot to say over more than 5 years now (boy how time flies when you’re…well, you know). And now Gen. Petraeus has returned to tell us again how wonderful things are working out in that country, but kind of “fragile”. I must admit, sometimes I do get a little confused with this kind of talk.


Archbishop Tutu loves George Bush
by Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet
His topic on Friday night was “Making Friends Out of Enemies.”