5/26/08 Headlines: Permit for free speech; Stealing houses; Money for MOA; Growing tomatoes


MONDAY , May 26


Free speech–by permit only?
by James Sanna, TC Daily Planet
“Guantánamo, Here We Come!!!” The sign wielded by an audience member succinctly captured the fears and opposition of activists at Wednesday’s meeting of the Public Safety and Regulatory Services committee of the Minneapolis City Council. The committee approved and recommended to the full Council, by a 3-2 vote, an ordinance stating protesters “must” present city officials with a plan for their protest at least 15 days in advance, and receive approval before holding any protests or rallies.

Neighborhood watch: mortgage fraud, copper theft, and now house stealing?
by Molly Priesmeyer, Minnesota Monitor
In late March, the FBI warned of the newest form of identity theft: house stealing. The crime often works like this: A group or an individual finds a vacant home. They look up the deed information. They briefly steal the current owner’s identity (or create a fake one if the home has been foreclosed on) and create IDs, driver’s licenses, etc. They quickly sell the house for sometimes rock-bottom prices, because either way they profit tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Millions of tax dollars going to Mall of America
by Charles Hallman, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s small Black businesses struggle to survive without help.

The Mall of America (MOA) owners lobbied the Minnesota Legislature this session for $300 million in public funding for expansion purposes. DFL Rep. Mike Nelson (Brooklyn Park) sponsored a bill (HF 2237) that originally called for $370 million for the MOA, using a complex plan including a one-percent hotel-motel tax in Bloomington as well as diverting state aid from other Minnesota cities.

No need to complicate—organic gardening means letting nature do most of the work
by Sharon Parker, Southside Pride
Let me tell you about my first garden: I had moved into an apartment on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul some 30 years ago and was determined to grow tomatoes, just as my father did. So I picked a sunny spot in the back, took a breath, and thrust my shovel at the ground, only to have it bounce back up and nearly hit me in the teeth.


Young artists testify to the power of imagination
by Felicia Shultz, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
The cavernous walls of the United States Capitol will be a little more colorful with some of Minnesota’s very own talent, thanks to the great efforts of local high school art students in the Fifth Congressional District.

Michigan potter was told Minneapolis “is the place to be”
by Gail Olson, The Northeaster
Steve Hemingway said he took his first pottery class in 1979. “I dove right in. I loved the process. I loved the plasticity of clay.” Although he doesn’t make many “functional” pots nowadays, he said, “I still get joy from reaching into my cupboard and bringing out something I created.” The secret to good pottery, he added, is that it has to be light and well balanced. “Getting the weight right at the bottom of the pot is the hardest thing to learn. It comes last.”

anti-civ Records on Access to Art
Staff, MTN
anti-civ Records, a new music collective, has created a community of support for 19 local bands. Members pool resources, network and book live performances. Access to Art Correspondent Laura Stopyro attended a show at the collective’s new space. View in the multi-media box in column 3.


The problem with appeasement
by Steve Clemens, TC Daily Planet
It has become the all-too-common political slur de jour: any indication that one is willing to sit down and talk with an adversary is painted with the slanderous epithet used to describe British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain acquiescing to the diabolical ambitions of Adolph Hitler – appeasement. Technically, “offering concessions in order to secure peace” is the definition but modern abuse of the term to slander another seems to involve even recognizing the humanity of the other.


Democracy: “I’m mellllting!”
by Paul Schmelzer, Eyeteeth
Over at Minnesota Monitor, we just launched RNC DIY!, an ongoing series looking at creative responses to the Republican National Convention (if you’ve got a suggestion, let me know). Here’s our first installment: