Preventive medicine: police encounters, a discussion for the times

Preventive medicine is a board-certified specialty of medical practice that focuses on the health of individuals, communities, and defined populations. Its goal is to protect, promote and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability and death.With that in mind, and considering recent and past events, I have been discussing, in a three-part preventive medicine series, safe and effective ways of dealing with police-citizen encounters. This is something everyone needs to review personally and review with family members and children.This is part three of a three-part series on how to respond during a police encounter. This week I will discuss how to interact with the police when confronted on-foot or if the police knock on your door.The police are here to protect and serve the citizens. Most of the time they do, but like any profession, there can be bad apples.There are also cultural considerations that need to be overcome. For example, if you survey non-African Americans if their parents have ever had a sit-down discussion with them on how to behave if ever approached by the police, the vast majority will say “no.” That is one reason why it is hard for them to relate to past abuses against African Americans by the bad-apple police.This has gone on for decades across the entire country, and it will take a concerted effort by the police and government officials to turn these fears and opinions around. In the meantime, we still need to educate our children on how to behave when approached by police. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Katar River: flavors and aromas of Ethiopia

It’s easy to miss the Katar River restaurant, hidden away in a little industrial strip behind the Lake & Hiawatha shopping center in south Minneapolis. And even if you saw the big sign outside, you probably wouldn’t know that this is specifically an Ethiopian restaurant, and a very good one. The basic menu is pretty much the same as most of the other Ethiopian restaurants in town – you get a big platter draped with thin sheets of spongy pancake-like injera bread, topped with your choice of one or more meat or vegetable dishes. Most entrees are in the $10.95-$12.95 range, and easily big enough for two. The meats are mostly stews of lamb, beef or chicken, ranging from mild to spicy, while the vegetable options include slow-cooked preparations of cabbage, carrots, lentils, split peas, beets, green beans and collard greens. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Curry Diva Heather Jansz brings curried lutefisk and other delights to Our Kitchen

I was kind of blown away to find out that Heather Jansz is doing a weekly pop-up at Our Kitchen, a little breakfast and burger joint in my neighborhood. She’s there most Wednesday nights, except for one week a month when she does a more elaborate dinner – “a romantic and sensual evening of sexy food and fun with Heather,” on Friday night instead.  The cozy little diner at 36th and Bryant is better known for its hash browns and pancakes than burgers than for Sri Lankan lamb rotis and shrimp curries.But maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised – Heather has been doing a Sri Lankan night on Monday nights at the Highland Grill off and on for several years, and she is not afraid to try new things. On Friday, November 7, she will be teaming up with Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts to offer a Nordic Ice with Spice cooking class and dinner at Our Kitchen that will feature, among other dishes, curried lutefisk.Heather – known as the Curry Diva – is a legend on the local culinary scene – the former owner of the Sri Lanka Curry House and the Curry Leaf Deli, and author of a Sri Lankan cookbook, and a great cook. She is also a great teller of stories, some of which are not appropriate for children.For her Wednesday night dinners, Heather usually offers three different entrees, including one vegetarian option, alternating between curries and rotis (flatbreads wrapped around savory fillings), all priced under $15. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Saigon Uptown: Last of the old-time Vietnamese

I tried to tell the two sisters who run the Saigon Uptown that they need to raise their prices. “We know,” one of them replied, “but we’re too busy.” Which seems a little odd, since whenever I have visited, it has been nearly empty. Instead, they have put a little note inside their menu, advising customers that all the listed prices have been raised by 50 cents. So pork with ginger and garlic sauce really costs $6.75, and the chicken with pineapples cost $7.

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IGGERS DIGEST | Somali singer Deeqa Bilan performs Wednesday at the Cedar

On Wednesday night, September 17, Deeqa Bilan will be performing an intermission set at the Cedar Cultural Center with world jazz ensemble Bob’s Band, as part of their Global Roots Festival. (The headliners are Tunisian songwriter and singer Emel Mathlouthi and the Washington D.C.-based Faadel Band, who play Ethiojazz.) According to the Cedar’s website, the Mogadishu native is “part of the new generation of female Somali singers in Minneapolis.”In case you missed yesterday’s post about singer Muhamad Alta, I have decided, just as an experiment, to start posting video clips featuring local ethnic and immigrant performers and groups. Your nominations are welcome! This video is “Maanqaad 2014 *Deeqa Bilan* “, directed By Ahmed Ugaaska.Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Somali singer-songwriter Mohamed Alta

Iggers Digest is where I usually blog about food and restaurants, but I have decided that I want to expand my horizons, and occasionally take on other topics – like cool things I discover around the Twin Cities, or maybe even my musings about journalism ethics.So this week, just as an experiment, I am going to post a music video by a local ethnic or immigrant artist or group every day until I run out of artists to feature. The first few days will be easy, because the Cedar Cultural Center is featuring local Somali performers as part of its 6th annual Global Roots festival, this Monday through Wednesday, September 15-17. (Tickets are free, but reservations are required via Eventbrite.)On Monday, Twin Cities Somali singer and songwriter Mohamed Alta will be performing an intermission set in collabortion with South American folk band Alma Andina. (The headliners are Argentine singer La Yegros with Banda Magda.) I don’t know much about Mohamed Alta, except what it says on the Cedar Cultural Center’s website: he performs locally at Somali weddings and parties, and he recently released a new album, Hoobaan. Here’s a YouTube video featuring Mohamed Alta, posted by Liibaan Jama of Liibaan Studios. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Great ribs, great deal: Lee’s & Dee’s Bar-B-Que Express

I didn’t run into Ice-T, Ice Cube, Patti Labelle or Torii Hunter when I stopped in for ribs at Lee’s & Dee’s Bar-B-Que Express, but over the 22 years that the little BBQ joint has been in business, it has seen its share of celebrities.I opted for the lunch special, and got a great deal – three very meaty, tender ribs with homebaked beans and creamy cole slaw for $6.75. There’s lots more on the menu that I haven’t tried yet, including chicken wings, beef ribs, crispy fried catfish, burgers and sandwiches. The Texas Sampler gets you two wings, a portion of catfish, two ribs, beans and coleslaw for $12.99.Check out Cheo Smith’s more detailed report – and photos – that appeared in the Daily Planet last summer: SOUL FOOD MN | From the back of a station wagon to a St. Paul institutionCoverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading

IGGERS DIGEST | Favorite cheap lunches: Cedar-Riverside’s Mango Factory

Are you looking for a cheap place to take someone to lunch? Why not try the Mango Factory on Cedar-Riverside?The restaurant is located on 223 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, and offers a nice selection of lunch specials for just $8: pick any two basic rolls, or choose from a selected list of entrees including beef teriyaki, pork katsu, chicken curry or a tempura combo (shown here.) With any of the entrees, you can add a bowl of pretty good ramen noodle soup for $2 more, or a side of fried udon noodles for $3. Other items on the Asian fusion menu include a big variety of sushi, sashimi, seafood salads and specialty rolls, and an interesting selection of Japanese and Asian desserts, ranging from fruit smoothies and mochi ice cream to crepes stuffed with exotic fillings such as red bean, mango and durian. Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading