6/25/08 Headlines: Ethiopian defector decries genocide; St. Paul Teaching Fellows; “Diploma Counts”; The ordeal of Blake Officer



Ethiopian official defects to U.S., decries Anuak genocide
By Douglas McGill, TC Daily Planet
An Ethiopian government official seeking to distance himself from what he says is a continuing attempt by Ethiopia to eradicate an African tribe living within its borders, has defected to the United States.

St. Paul Teaching Fellows program launched
by Jennifer Holder, TC Daily Planet
Earlier this year, the St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) district made a public call to “recruit and train highly qualified individuals from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds to make a difference where they are needed most – in the classroom.” Six hundred thirty-eight individuals answered that call. After a rigorous screening process, 42 qualified and talented individuals were selected.

‘Diploma Counts’ brings clarity to achievement gap, education needs
by John Fitzgerald, Minnesota 2020
The key to Minnesota’s future is an effective workforce. The key to creating this workforce is education, and a quality education requires coordination between early education, K-12 and higher education institutions. It also requires a cure for the achievement gap, which keeps a quality education away from some students.

The ordeal of Blake Office: a not so “juvenile” justice system
by Anna Pratt, Minnesota Independent
Last Dec. 29 Blake Shamar Officer, a 17-year-old African-American, was on his way home from work at a local sandwich shop when he stumbled onto a crime scene in South Minneapolis. A middle-aged Latino man had been shot nonfatally during a robbery in front of an apartment building at Pillsbury and 28th avenues south. As Blake happened by, he caught the attention of police officers who believed the tall teen-ager matched the victim’s physical description of the shooter. After officers questioned him, the innocent yet nervous teen-ager was arrested, charged with four felonies and placed on house arrest. In a kind of legal limbo, he waited several months before charges against him were finally dropped.


HIV/AIDS awareness takes center stage amongst Liberians in Minnesota
by A. Kiatamba, African News Journal
The Brooklyn United Methodist Church, also called BUMC, launches a massive HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Minnesota. “The project is in response to efforts aimed at fighting against the further spread of HIV/AIDS, especially in minority communities”, said Richmond Tobii, Coordinator of the project.

Film note: Gentrification is funny
by James Sanna, TC Daily Planet
Wouldn’t it be great if all gentrification was caused by a murderous, ambiguously gay Adonis?

Previewing the Queer Takes Film Festival with curator Dean Otto
By Lydia Howell, TC Daily Planet
Aging, identity, and relationships are among the themes explored in Queer Takes, the Walker Art Center’s annual festival of GLBT films from across America and around the world. Dean Otto, the Walker’s film curator, has selected several new films as well as some American gay classics in danger of disappearing.

Celebrate Northeast Parade Grand Marshal cooked on Central Avenue for 35 years
by Gail Olson, Northeaster
“Well, isn’t that nice?”

That was 101-year old Mary Marino’s reaction, when she learned that she’ll be Grand Marshal of the Celebrate Northeast parade this year.

Rash of street robberies in St. Paul
by Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet
St. Paul police report a rash of armed robberies in the western district in the past two months.


A well considered patriotism
by Tom Heuerman, Special to the TC Daily Planet
I learned as a child that patriotism is love of our country and devotion to the ideals we believe in. Patriots are people who act courageously for their country. I love America, but never thought of myself as a patriot—that title was reserved for those who sacrificed greatly for the rest of us—usually on the battlefield.


Speak nothing but good: A helluva week for the mainstream press
Rich Broderick, Ground Zero
I remember reading a sly satire of what was then called The MacNeill-Lehrer NewsHour in an old issue of Harper’s.

Vergne heading to the Empire State
by Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet
Just across the wire: Philippe Vergne, chief curator at the Walker Art Center, is heading east to take a position with the Dia Art Foundation. There’s been some understandable local grumbling in recent years about whether the museum’s administration has sold Jasper Johns’s soul to Wolfgang Puck, but even the grumblers have smiles twitching at the corners of their mouths, like a father complaining that he never sees his son any more because the boy’s always hanging out with that homecoming-queen girlfriend of his.

Far, far away (from Muslims) you say?
by Heba Abdel-Karim, 6/23/08, Engage Minnesota
You have an everyday link to Muslims. Yes, you do. You may not realize it, but there are many things we use in our daily lives that come from a “Muslim” background. From math and science to education and commerce, it may surprise you how much Muslim inventions have influenced the world, starting centuries ago and making their overlooked way into our day-to-day lives.

A blue highway across the Mississippi
by Mark Weaver, TC Daily Planet
The Solstice River Celebration XII included dance, banners, music, and audience participation. I watched last Saturday as performers, marchers, kayakers, and musicians paraded, paddled, and danced around and under the Stone Arch Bridge, on the dike of the lock, along the banks and mooring cells, on the grain silos by the mills and the Guthrie, and near the St. Anthony Falls.

Returning favorites—Joseph Scrimshaw
by Matthew A. Everett, TC Daily Planet
In the time it takes me to finish this blog post, Joseph Scrimshaw will write another script. He is depressingly prolific. And extremely funny.

MSP bike posters
by Brian Moen, East-Lake.net
I really want the Greenway poster.