5/15/08 Headlines: Courage under fire; Critical college needs; Taxi driver and journalist; New biofuel rules



Tou Saiko Lee: Courage under fire
by Justin Schell, TC Daily Planet
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Hmong hip-hop in Minnesota—and specifically for one of its most well-respected and well-known figures, Tou Saiko Lee. In the span of two weeks, he’s been laudably profiled in a video piece for the New York Times and skewered by radio host Jason Lewis on KTLK.

Critical need for college opportunities
by John Fitzgerald, Minnesota 2020
College graduates earn more, pay more in taxes, are less likely to use taxpayer-funded programs like welfare or Medicaid and spend less time in the law enforcement, justice and prison systems. Unfortunately, statistics point to fewer college opportunities for Minnesota students.

Taxi driver at dawn, Somali TV cameraman by noon
by Anthony D. Advincula, Mshale
Before the first light shines over the Mississippi River, Siyad Salah is already on the road outside Minneapolis, driving a taxicab for a living. By early afternoon, he’s carrying around his video camera, interviewing and shooting images for his volunteer work at a local Somali television station.

Minnesota doubles down on biofuels
by Tom Elko, Minnesota Monitor
As a growing chorus of voices from all corners begin to question the benefit of agriculturally derived biofuels, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed into law a new biofuel mandate. The agriculture and veterans policy bill (SF 3683) mandates that by 2015, diesel fuels sold in Minnesota must contain at least 20 percent biofuel (B-20). The state currently requires diesel to contain 2 percent biofuel (B-2) but that must increase to 5 percent by May 1, 2009, and 10 percent by 2012.


Views and Reviews

Interview: Hmong emcee Tou Saiko
by Justin Schell, TC Daily Planet
“During the 90s, the first people that were rapping, it was all this very violent gangsta-type rap. That’s the environment we grew up in, and that’s a lot of what we heard too. My parents were not digging the idea that we were rapping until I started doing spoken word poetry, thinking more consciously about what I was doing through hip-hop, and started going into schools and communities and doing it for the youth.”

Music note: Two songbirds, two styles
by Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet
I recently listened to Allison Scott’s debut album Wish on the Moon and a pair of albums by Jevetta Steele: My Heart and Two Queens, One Castle (the original cast recording from the hit play). Scott doesn’t quite live up to her rising-star reputation. Steele, on the other hand, shows you why she’s ensconced in the area firmament and has attained international fame.

Onstage now: Theater x 3

Theater note: Real Women, proudly revealing their curves
by Jennifer Holder, TC Daily Planet
About an hour into Real Women Have Curves, the five women triumphantly shed their clothes and revealed their curves. The audience shared their glee because in doing so, the women were relieved—if only temporarily—of the constant pressures in their lives.

Theater note: American Pilot explores global tensions
by Juliette Cherbuliez and Michael Opperman, TC Daily Planet
In 2005, the phrase “Mission Accomplished” appeared on a banner hung from the deck of the supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln and was displayed during a televised appearance by President Bush, announcing the success of the invasion of Iraq. In the same year, David Grieg’s The American Pilot opened. Grieg’s play has certainly aged better than the current presidency.

Theater note: Cabaret turns the Ordway into the Kit Kat Klub
by Rebecca Mitchell, TC Daily Planet
Audiences visiting the Ordway Center through Sunday will be transported to the Kit Kat Klub, where “life is beautiful, the girls are beautiful, even the orchestra is beautiful.”


Solidarity with Postville
by Amalia Anderson, Carlos Ariel, Axel Fuentes, Reginaldo Haslett Marroquín, and Ana Nájera Mendoza
As Guatemalans (by birth and by family origin) living in Minnesota and Iowa, we strongly condemn the Postville, Iowa raid–the largest single-site enforcement operation of its kind in the history of the United States. Of the 390 workers reportedly detained, nearly three hundred are from Guatemala.


Bike/Walk to Work Week
by Mary Turck, 5/14/08 • A vegan tofu scramble, pancakes, vegan caramel rolls, scrambled eggs and tortillas, and more—the breakfast spread at the Green Institute was more like a bounteous buffet than the continental breakfast promised on the Bike/Walk to Work Week Web site. And I was ready for it, after biking over from St. Paul, passing the Daily Planet office on my way to the celebration.