“Mai Village is everyone’s village”: Back from the brink, St. Paul favorite is ready for the Green Line

The beautiful design of Mai Village was only outdone by its high-performance air conditioning when I visited recently, on a hot July day. I found the Nguyen family members (who also double as staff members) gathered together enjoying the after-lunch rush and another day in business on University Avenue, where they have been for over 23 years. Thanks to community support, the restaurant has survived foreclosure on their building and will be keeping its doors open indefinitely.Mai Nguyen insists that the success of the restaurant is due to the local Frogtown and Midway area and feels deep gratitude to not only her regular customers, but to the Asian Economic Development Association who started a “Save Mai Village” campaign and attracted customers who flocked to the restaurant for many weeks. The campaign raised more than $40,000 from individual donors that helped Mai Village stay afloat during the foreclosure redemption. Without the donor support, Mai stated, they would not be in business today. Continue Reading

Getting on board the Earth Train: Six-year-old Minnesota boy heads to DC rally “to save the moose”

Six-year-old Theo Holdsworth said he showed up at the St. Paul Amtrak station at 7 a.m. “to save the moose.” He was one of more than 100 Minnesotans sang along with Prudence Johnson and Simone Perrino at the send-off for the Earth Train delegation heading to Washington DC for the Forward on Climate rally at noon on February 17. The rally, billed as the largest climate rally in history, is organized by 350.org, the Sierra Club, Hip Hop Caucus and dozens of other national and local organizations, to urge President Obama to provide strong leadership to curb climate change.The sing-along included “Earth Train” set to the tune of Cat Stevens “Peace Train” and heartfelt sharing from passengers answering the question “I’m riding the Earth Train because…” Minnesota novelist Louise Erdrich said, “I want my children and grandchildren to live in the beauty I have known;” and Barry Brooks of Maplegrove said, ” I am doing this for my six-year-old granddaughter. Continue Reading