CenturyLink may exclude service to minorities, critics say

Competition is good, right?Of course it is. Competition in business is so needed that there are rules in our nation that guarantee a competitive marketplace. So it may come as a shock that when CenturyLink announced it wants to compete against Comcast – Minneapolis’ only cable provider since 1983 – the communications company was met with opposition. But those opposed to CenturyLink say they agree with competition in a free marketplace, what they don’t agree with is CenturyLink being able to cherry pick where to compete – especially if CenturyLink chooses not to service areas of lower income that tend to be minority concentrated. “I would support cable competition,” said Pete Rhodes, who operates BMA Network, a channel dedicated to multicultural programming and distributed through Comcast. “It’s good for our consumers and minority communities as long as it provides minority business and programming opportunities and a fair and equitable distribution of services.”In its application to the city CenturyLink has said it will launch via new and existing lines with a 15 percent minimum coverage, but at issue is the low threshold and the company’s unwillingness to say where that area of coverage will be.”We do have maps of coverage, but we don’t want to show them in a public forum because they’re competitively sensitive and Comcast would love to have that information as well,” said CenturyLink executive, Jim Campbell during a hearing of the Minneapolis City Council Ways and Means Committee.Ward 8 Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden said the 15 percent coverage was too low of a threshold to start and called for a minimum 30 percent city coverage and a growth plan beyond that. Continue Reading

An Orthy Adversary: The Battle of Orth House, as told by a local internet junkie

I spend too much time on the internet. The internet has lots to offer for every noble desire and depravity imaginable. A lot of what it has to offer is a respite from boredom. Waiting in lines, waiting through commercials, waiting for something to happen at work. All that waiting has a tendency to make me crave drama and conflict.I’d say one of my favorite pastimes is watching people lose their shit and turn into nasty, ugly jerks over disagreements. Continue Reading

GLOBAL GROCERIES | One of the few true butcher shops still left in Minneapolis has a lot of fans

The Finer Meat Company, the tiny butcher shop near the corner of Nicollet and 38th, has been providing the best in meat to South Minneapolis since the depth of the Great Depression. First opened in 1932 at 36th and Bryant (now Gigi’s,) the shop moved to its current location and was then sold to Aaron Knopik in 1963. It hasn’t changed very much since then.Many customers have been coming to Finer Meats for years, even before a very young Brian Knopik stood on a milk crate helping stock the shelves for the family business. “My grandfather bought it on Saturday and opened it again on Monday,” said Knopik, who now runs the place. Knopik works with his fiancé, Stacy Tollefson who met Knopik five years ago and signed on as a rookie butcher the same night.The shop’s customer demographic is mostly the same as it was 50 years ago – African-American soul food cooks from the local neighborhood. Continue Reading

Student documentary explores media portrayals of women

This documentary explores how the media portrays women and how that affects how women see themselves. It specifically links media portrayals with body issues and eating disorders in women. Through interviews with students and professionals, the video dives into the root of the issue to discuss how everyone can work to lessen the impact of these media portrayals.This video was directed by Alaina, Maddie, Morgan and Taylor in the VOICES class of 2014-2015. VOICES stands for Values, Options, Issues and Choices Explored in Society. Students in the VOICES class create social issue documentaries with the guidance of teachers Delainia Haug and Laura Lanik and Teaching Artist/videomaker John Akre. Continue Reading

Meet the Abu Huraira Islamic Center

With a box of Little Caesar’s pizza and a chai tea, Abdirahman Omar sits down at a long table inside the building at 3055 Old Highway 8 in St. Anthony. He’s meeting with other members from the Abu Huraira Islamic Center, who convene almost every day to discuss current needs and events.Omar, an imam and spokesman for the group, says they have many hopes for the building, which they’ve owned since August 2012. One is to make a floor dedicated to healthcare for Somali people, who require a different cultural confidence in their medicine. Spaces could be rented to dentists, urgent care and other healthcare providers.More than that, they want to make this building something that can belong to the Somali people, for the community and beyond. Continue Reading

Sexual Violence Center heals wounds of ‘a rape culture’

Small, quaint, intimate, private, relatable — words to describe the space and the open house held by the Sexual Violence Center in North Minneapolis. Annex Teen Clinic, UROC, and the Minneapolis Police Department were all a part of the many groups and organizations that attended this event held January 13.Executive Director Kristen Houlton Sukura says, “We are a rape crisis center. We work three counties — Hennepin, Carver and Scott. We’re an advocacy agency… We’re not therapy. We are not a clinic. Continue Reading