Homegrown Minneapolis hands out “Heroes” awards

“Unity will come to local farming, and prosperity will come to the local economy” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in her remarks at the Third Annual Homegrown Minneapolis Open House last Wednesday. The mayor added that “the thoughtfulness and consideration of all of you here helps make sure that everyone can do better, now and in the future.”

The meeting, in the Cedars Hall of St. Maron church, attracted over 200 people, who also heard moderator Russ Henry (HM Food Council co-chair), 3rd Ward City Council member Jacob Frey, and 2nd ward City Council member Cam Gordon speak. Council member Gordon noted that “There has been a breakthrough in how we see the culture of food production and distribution, and we now have bureaucrats and activists sitting down together to help formulate food policy.”

Council member Frey said there are over 700 empty residential parcels in the city and “even after accounting for sales for revenue, there are many potential new community gardens waiting to be utilized.”

The event was made possible by more than thirty sponsors and partners, including City Departments, and fifteen local organizations which had information tables in the hall, ranging from Youth Farm, a Twin Cities youth-leadership organization serving over 800 young people who cultivate local public gardens and sell their produce, to The Beez Kneezs, a collective for local “hive partners,” bee education (apiology) and honey production. Homegrown Minneapolis, and its board, the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council, are part of the City’s Sustainability Office. Continue Reading

Firing of baggage handler may spur Metropolitan Airports Commission to adopt labor ordinance

Delta Air Lines baggage handler Kip Hedges, fired for speaking out about low wages at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, took his case to the Metropolitan Airports Commission Monday – and commissioners said they will consider endorsing worker rights through a “labor peace ordinance.”

Hedges, a 26-year airline employee and known union activist, was fired on Dec. 2 for comments he made in a Workday Minnesota video in support of the campaign to raise the minimum wage at the airport to $15 an hour. At the monthly Airports Commission meeting, Hedges recited the words that got him fired – and challenged commissioners to take a stand in support of workers. “I want you to make it clear to Delta that they stand alone on this,” Hedges said. Continue Reading

What will become of Dinkytown’s Southeast Library?

Dinkytown could soon lose its public library, but Hennepin County will ultimately decide if that’s worth it, or if they should replace or upgrade it. The four neighborhoods that surround the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis are underserved by library services and space, said a consultant who organized a study that could be the first step toward determining whether the Southeast Library at Dinkytown will be updated or replaced. Steve Kelley, senior fellow at the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, was the lead consultant to coordinate the 25-member, four-month Southeast Library Engagement project for Hennepin County. He summarized their report on Dec. 15 to the directors of the University District Alliance. Continue Reading

Review: “Winter Holidays in the Soviet Era” at The Museum of Russian Art

I’ve always thought of December as a glittering month. Twinkling lights appear around buildings and swirl around trees, while festive music is played and coffee drinks mixed with eggnog or peppermint appear on menus. Whether you celebrate a holiday or not, it’s hard to deny that decorations add a magical quality to Minnesota’s December weather. This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

Angela Brown case: Patient advocate to bring petition for dismissal to LQP Co attorney

The case of Madison mom Angela Brown, who gave medical cannabis to her brain-injured son in advance to the implementation of Minnesota’s law legalizing its use under tightly regulated circumstances, has received statewide and national attention. This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Bluestem Prairie. Check out the links below for other recent Bluestem Prairie stories:

Full-page CPL anti-trans ad also published in Duluth, Mankato, St.Cloud & Winona dailies
Jeff Backer’s campaign posts Big Stone Co GOP chair resignation news release without comment

West Central Tribune staff writer Tom Cherveny reported Thursday in Defense attorney to seek dismissal of criminal charges against mother who gave son medical cannabis:
A Lac qui Parle County case that has attracted national attention in the debate over medical cannabis returns to court next week. Angela Brown, 38, of Madison, will appear Wednesday morning in District Court in Madison for a hearing on two gross misdemeanor charges: endangering a child − permitting to be present when possessing a controlled substance and contribute to the need for child protection or services. She is accused of giving her 15-year-old son Trey medical cannabis to treat his pain from a traumatic brain injury. Continue Reading

Housing costs stretch budgets across the state

More than 600,000 households in Minnesota face very high housing costs when they pay their mortgages or sign their rent checks. In 63 out of 87 counties, at least one in every four households spends at least 30 percent of their income on their home. This reality is mapped out in our project with Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Mapping Minnesota’s Future to Shared Opportunities.The federal definition of a “cost-burdened” household is one that pays more than 30 percent of their income on their housing. Census data demonstrate that Minnesotans are familiar with this experience, from the Arrowhead to the farmlands of our southwest. In 83 counties, at least one out of every five households struggles with high housing costs.In every county, renter households are more likely to confront budget-straining housing costs. Continue Reading

Lucia Day: Of cats and saints

For the first time since this little blog began I skipped St. Lucia Day. No scent of citrus and saffron wafted from our oven throughout the house. No sweet buns shaped like S’s found their way to our breakfast table. Not a single home-made, IKEA-bagged, or bakery-baked Lussebulle or Lussekatt eaten on this most awesome of holidays. Continue Reading

“From Prison to Ph. D:” Jason Sole’s memoir tells a harrowing story

Jason Sole realized he had become a statistic when he was convicted for a felony for the third time. Since then, after a life of selling drugs, gang activity and losing close friends, Sole decided to turn his life around. Originally from Chicago, Sole tells his story in the compelling memoir “From Prison to Ph.D.: Memoir of Hope, Resilience and Second Chances,” which is up for a Minnesota Book Award. The raw storytelling follows Sole’s life chronologically from a bright kid with a troubled home life to his dissent into crime, followed by his journey out of the system to where he is today. Now, Sole teaches as an adjunct professor at Metro State University and runs a firm that offers training to help with at-risk-youth and criminal justice agencies in Minnesota. Continue Reading

[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter momentum continues, protesters march on downtown Minneapolis

Over a thousand artists and activists gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Dec. 13 to rally and march in solidarity with the national #BlackLivesMatter movement that aims to highlight the lack of equality and accountability in police dealings with the black community in the United States. The march, organized by a group called the Million Artist Movement, began with a rally at the Hennepin County Government Center, where artists, activists and other leaders from the black community spoke to the crowd about taking action by approaching their elected officials to demand change. The crowd also performed a die-in, lying down in honor of fallen black Americans at the hands of police, and by reading off names of black individuals whose lives were taken by police officers. The march headed west down 6th from the Government Center to Nicollet Mall. Continue Reading