5/29/08 Headlines: Tea and talk at Mad Hatter; DIY lawn signs; Oil takes school money; Going green gets easier

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HEADLINES

Tea and talk at the Mad Hatter
by Kathlyn Stone, TC Daily Planet
An underlying current of social justice and activism runs through the Tuesday night gatherings at the Mad Hatter’s Tea and Coffee House on West 7th in St. Paul. A core group comes weekly for the Pax Conversational Salons organized by Patty Guerrero. Attendance mirrors that of any local peace vigil—more than half are women and the majority are 50 and up. During introductions at a recent salon, a 60-ish man said he attended every week, and then promptly fell into a nap. But the variety of topics— ranging from the arts, to self discovery to international solidarity efforts—continually draw in new people who discover the salon through calendar listings in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Highland Villager, Twin Cities Daily Planet, local event list serves, and word-of-mouth.

RNC DIY: Yard sign project encourages citizens to stake a claim on democracy
by Paul Schmelzer, Minnesota Monitor
A cacophony of voices and a one-(wo)man-one-vote policy on which messages get amplified: Sounds like the Republican National Convention, right? Not really.

Lawmakers giveth, oil companies taketh away
by John Fitzgerald, Minnesota 2020
Joe Brown, superintendent of Grand Meadow Public Schools, calls the situation a “good news, bad news” scenario: State lawmakers last week found one-time, $51 per student in extra money for the 2008-09 school year. Brown figures this will net his small, southern Minnesota district about $18,000.

Being green gets easier
by Kristal Leebrick, Park Bugle
If you’ve been thinking about starting a compost bin or switching to LED lights in your home, or if you’re just yearning to live a greener life but don’t know where to begin, the answers might be right in your own backyard — or your neighbor’s.

INSIDE THE DAILY PLANET
Views and Reviews

Music note: Chasing the clouds away at Soundset ’08
by Justin Schell, TC Daily Planet
Soundset, the event that hearkens back to the earliest days of Rhymesayers Entertainment, was resurrected this past weekend in the Metrodome parking lot—this time as a celebration for what has become one of the most important and well-respected independent hip-hop labels in America. This year’s Soundset showed the world of hip-hop that Minnesota, and the Midwest, can put on a festival rivaling anything on any coast.

Some of the damnedest guitar you’ll ever hear
by Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet
The Beads are back, which means one of the Twin Cities’ most gifted guitarists has found yet one more way to stay busy. A born-and-bred workhorse, Javier Trejo is already holding down more work than any two or three performers put together.

Put on your dancing shoes
by Lightsey Darst, MN Artists
Critic Lightsey Darst offers an entertaining and helpful primer on adult dance classes, from ballet to bellydancing: what to look for, where to find a class, and the best kind of dance form for your body type, fitness level, and experience.


NEW IN VOICES

What if Hillary Clinton said, ‘I don’t want your racist votes?’
by Molly Priesmeyer, Minnesota Monitor
In CNN exit polls conducting last night in Kentucky, about 21 percent of voters said race played a factor in their decision. Nine out of 10 of those voted for Clinton, according to the exit polls. CNN political analyst David Gergen discusses the data (below) and begs an important question: “What if Hillary Clinton were to say, ‘If you want to vote against him because he’s black, I don’t want your vote?'” (Note: He says “more than a quarter said race was a factor.” He’s wrong there. It’s a little more than one-fifth.)

NEW IN BLOGS

Isn’t it ironic: Time for Al Franken to drop out of the race
by Richard Broderick, Ground Zero
I never expected that the first boot to drop on Al Franken’s vanity campaign for U.S. Senate would concern his tax returns. I was anticipating something more along the lines of the dirt currently being circulated about the “Porn-o-Rama” column he penned for Playboy back in 2000.

And in the Free Speech Zone today:
The Unmemorial Day Concert by Richard Lee Dechert