from beyond the LOOP…#033115

just like Africathe NorthSide’s a continent…one acts not for allEditors Note: This is a new series by Minneapolis photographer Bill Cottman. For more than five years now, a poem, a musing, or a few words shows up in my inbox. Some with numbers in the title. Some with no title at all. There was no regularity either. Continue Reading

We expect better from the StarTribune

The StarTribune article on March 18, “Nonprofit paid to help with minority hiring at stadium short of goal…Workforce Is Diverse, But No Thanks to Nonprofit That Was Hired to Help”, totally missed the mark. We expect better of the StarTribune. This story was far beneath the standards we expect from a major newspaper in a growing and diverse community. It is no secret that Minnesota has the worst racial disparities on most socioeconomic indicators in the nation. The success of minority employment hiring on the Viking Stadium construction could have far-reaching implications for the economic well-being of our community as a whole. This begs the question of why the success of the Viking’s Stadium, which is exceeding all its workforce and business development goals for people of color, is not being trumpeted. Rather than applauding and understanding this unprecedented accomplishment, the StarTribune squandered this opportunity to educate its readers concerning employment disparities in our cities.  Instead, it chose to unfairly castigate a well-respected African-American led legacy institution – Summit Academy Opportunities Industrialization Center (SAOIC) and its African-American leader Louis King.King, like many others, may have underestimated the actual effectiveness of Mortenson Construction, THOR Construction, subcontractors, the MSFA equity program and the trade unions; and therefore overestimated the actual needs on the project. Continue Reading

Videos: Lorna Landvik & John Marty

Author Lorna Landvik reveals that her recent novel best to Best to Laugh borrows some from her own life in Hollywood.  Minnesota’s most gifted humorist, like the Korean-American protagonist of her book, had been a stand-up comedy hopeful in L.A. who supported herself with a series of eclectic temp jobs and a residential complex injected with LaLa Land characters and urban legend.  Landvik also tells of her real-life adventures on the 3,700 miles long Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament from L.A. to D.C. in 1986.  Landvik’s quick, sharp and easy wit is a delight that is rarely seen on home flatscreens. I consider her Dem Vis appearance a satisfying stew of sly insight on being Minnesotan. State Senator John Marty, Minnesota’s leading progressive law maker, here makes a solid case to Democratic Visions host Tim O’Brien for SF 890 the “Worker Dignity Bill.”  Marty (DFL, Roseville) and co-author Senator Chris Eaton (DFL, Brooklyn Center) proposed legislation would extend the phased-in minimum wage increase; increase the working family credit to exceed the federal earned income tax; provide increased child care assistance to all low-income workers and, among other actions, would reform MinnCare.  SF 890 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Housing on February 16 where it awaits further action. The full version of the current Democratic Visions includes a short segment on the St. Olaf College dedication of its memorial to civil rights martyr James Reeb.  Rev. Reeb, a 1950 graduate of the Northfield school, was murdered in Selma, Alabama fifty years ago.  He and two other activist clergy had been beaten on the evening of the “Turnaround Tuesday”  march led by Dr. Martin Luther King.  This demonstration had concluded with prayer on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the highway to Montgomery, the Alabama State Capitol. Lorna Landvik on Dem Vis - John Marty on Dem Vis - Full Democratic Visions program CABLE TV SCHEDULEEden Prairie, Richfield, Minnetonka, Edina and Hopkins Comcast Channel 15 – Saturdays 2:00 p.m.. Sundays 9 p.m., Mondays 10 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 p.m., Bloomington – BCAT Channel 16 — Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 — Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.  Program is streamed at the MTN website during cablecasts.Champlin, Anoka,Ramsey, Andover – QCTV Channel 15.  Click here for schedule. Democratic Visions is produced by Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Edina volunteers at the Bloomington Community Access TV studio. Continue Reading

Stadium update: Where are the true numbers?

It has been a while since we have talked about what is supposed to be the greatest employment story in the history of Minnesota: the new Vikings stadium, with its price tag of over a billion dollars and thousands of jobs.In terms of dollars added to the local economy, it is a success. In terms of jobs for Whites, it is a success. But in terms of jobs for Blacks, it is a disaster. Worse, it is another scam our Black leadership pulled on our own Black community.Black leaders are as corrupt as White leaders. Not the kind of integration and equality we were looking for. Continue Reading

How Many Must Suffer for Us?

New York Times Columnist David Brooks:Maybe you’re familiar with Ursula Le Guin’s short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” It’s about a sweet and peaceful city with lovely parks and delightful music.The people in the city are genuinely happy. They enjoy their handsome buildings and a “magnificent” farmers’ market.Le Guin describes a festival day with delicious beer and horse races: “An old woman, small, fat, and laughing, is passing out flowers from a basket, and tall young men wear her flowers in their shining hair. A child of nine or ten sits at the edge of the crowd, alone, playing on a wooden flute.”It is an idyllic, magical place.But then Le Guin describes one more feature of Omelas. In the basement of one of the buildings, there is a small broom-closet-sized room with a locked door and no windows. A small child is locked inside the room. Continue Reading

Police Brutality and City Hall

Michael Cavlan has the expressed permission of the  X Vandals to use this song and video clip Plan B in his article titled Police Brutality And City Hall. Please note that it was written on Friday March 6th, 2015 but due to technical copyright issues was not published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet until Saturday March 14th, two days after two police officers were shot in Ferguson, Missouri. On November 25th, 2014 Jeffrey Patrick Rice of St Paul, Minnesota plowed his car into a protest against police killings in Minneapolis. After knocking over a group of protesters and trapping a 16 year old girl under his car, he sped away, putting others at risk. The Minneapolis police talked to him after the incident and let him go without even a ticket. Their initial report called Mr Rice the “victim” and the young girl that had been trapped under his car and others injured by him as “others.” The Minneapolis Star Tribune initially reported the police version of Mr Rice being the “victim” who was “fleeing the mob.” Continue Reading