Indie First Day/Small Business Saturday, November 29

Reading is such a personal thing to me, I’d much rather give someone a
gift certificate to a bookstore, and let that person choose his or her own books.
-Writer & journalist, Erik Larson

A gift suggestion to consider as you work your way down this season’s holiday shopping list. A best path to the perfect book – – or the gift certificate — starts with a visit to a favorite indie bookstores on Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014 – a day now known to bibliophiles as Indies First day! Continue Reading

Pope Francis speaks out on the right to food access

Over the past couple of years I’ve tried to focus on the seminal issue of the human right to access to food, an issue so complex, political and gnarled that I’ve given up the quest to plumb the depths – until Pope Francis brought it up. Truth to tell, the Pontiff didn’t conjure it up out of the rarified atmosphere of the Vatican – the challenge to unravel the issue has fostered countless efforts, stymied many and challenged human rights activists for a couple of centuries. Continue Reading

Giving thanks for food — and food workers!

What image comes to your mind when you think of a “food chain worker?” Is it the efficient functionary at the super store? Or a friendly neighborhood organic grocer? Or do you take a more holistic approach and envision the field worker who plants and harvests your favorite veggies? Or the truck driver who gets the food to market? The packer at the cannery? The street vendor? Or the waiter at a neighborhood restaurant? These and scores of others are all links on the food chain – and members of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. (http://foodchainworkers.org) Continue Reading

Women in prison: Visiting author imagines options, honors work of local volunteers

“Imagining a world beyond incarceration” is the theme of Maya Schenwar’s new book, a critique on the nation’s prisons entitled Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. Schenwar will read from her book and help readers imagine a world beyond incarceration on Saturday, November 22. The reading and discussion, set for 3:00 p.m. at Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Avenue South in Minneapolis, is free and open. Schenwar’s reading is sponsored by the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) which is housed at Boneshaker. Continue Reading

Post office closings call for national day of action

For eons we have heard murmurs, then shouts, of post offices closings. No problem, we thought, as we skimmed lists of closings in towns we couldn’t find on a map. Not our problem – we’ve got e-mail; we can buy stamps at any big box or grocery store; we’ve more delivery drop offs than mailboxes; we pay the bills online. Folks just need to get with the times. Continue Reading

Northern Lights and Insights: Conversations come alive as videotaped interviews go digital

Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it’s just the beginning.

The words of Marshall McLuhan, guru of an earlier time, came to mind when I learned that Northern Lights and Insights, a library of videos produced in an earlier time, has been added to Minnesota Reflections, the Minnesota Digital Library collection. http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/search/collection/p16022coll38 Continue Reading

Open data opens opportunities for small business

You know it’s holiday shopping season when the toy commercials start popping up to lure toddlers, Thanksgiving dinner has to be moved up so shoppers can get to the mall and small business owners remind the shopping public of their unique merchandise and contributions to the main street economy. Continue Reading