Inside the Daily Planet, 09/20/10

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MUSIC | Khaira Arby sings of women’s rights at the Global Roots Festival by Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet • Malian singer Khaira Arby begins every concert with a song called “Salou” that is an invocation, though she doesn’t stress the importance of a particular religion. The spiritual singer, who is on tour in North America for the first time after 20 years as a professional singer in her home country of Mali, believes it doesn’t matter the name you call God-whether it’s Jesus or Mohommed or some other name-matters. The important thing, she believes, is to live a good and spriritual life. “There is only one God, even though there are many religions,” she said in an interview.


Swaying to the hidden melodies by Mordecai Specktor, American Jewish World • Jeremiah Lockwood imbibed hazzanut, cantorial music, at the knee of his grandfather, a renowned cantor from New York City. On Hidden Melodies Revealed (JDub), the debut album from The Sway Machinery, Lockwood sings a number of songs with Hebrew lyrics straight from the Jewish liturgy.


THEATER | An overstuffed Last Seder at Park Square Theatre by Matthew A. Everett, TC Daily Planet • Remember the TV show The Love Boat? A random assortment of actors and comedians, current and classic, were assembled on a weekly basis to perform in a series of disconnected stories of romance and heartbreak, loosely tied together by the notion that they all take place on the same cruise liner, with the same crew people weaving in and out. The characters and situations were quickly sketched in because the whole thing had to be crammed into an hour (well, 45 minutes once you cut the commercials out). And of course, there was Charo.


Minnesota’s high school dropouts by Guadalupe Sayers, KFAI • Guadalupe Sayers, a sophomore at South High School in Minneapolis, explores why students drop out of high school, and hears about efforts to keep students in school and re-enroll dropouts.


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MINNESOTA BUDGET BITES | New Census data underlines the need for federal health care reform by Christina Wessel and Scott Russell • The U.S. Census released new data on Thursday morning that looks at poverty, income and insurance coverage in the United States. And while most of the headlines will likely focus on the significant jump in poverty – a two percentage point increase nationally since 2008 and a four percentage point increase in Minnesota since the beginning of the decade – we want to highlight what’s happening with health insurance (see our press release).


OUTSIDE THE WALLS | Down and dirty political advertising by Dick Bernard • The Woodbury Bulletin’s Aug. 25 “Our View” (“Hoopla over YouTube video on local GOP website…”) causes me to think back a few years.


I had written a letter, published in the Bulletin, which criticized a local legislator. It was, as are all letters I write, signed with my real name and town. I was a Woodbury resident, [then as now], listed in the phone book. Your paper came out on Wednesday. About 3 a.m. the next morning our doorbell rang twice in rapid succession. I went down, turned on the light, and on landing was what the Woodbury Police Report later referred to as fresh “feces.”


HINDSIGHT 2020 | What’s North America’s most dangerous animal? by Conrad deFiebre • The most dangerous animal in North America, according to Roger M. Knutson, is the whitetail deer. Why? Because it’s the most likely critter to be hit by your car on a lonely rural road. About 200 Americans each year are killed in collisions with deer and other large animals, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports.


EYETEETH | John Morse’s haiku bandit signs by Paul Schmelzer • At first glance, John Morse’s art might read as a scam: installed on telephone poles around Atlanta, he borrows the vocabulary and medium of “bandit” or snipe signs — illegal ads, often for weight-loss schemes, payday loans or work-at-home jobs — but delivers more positive kinds of messages.


GROWTH & JUSTICE | Michael O’Keefe with budget wisdom by Dane Smith • Michael O’Keefe was one of the standouts in a highly respected state cabinet that came together to help neophyte Gov. Jesse Ventura in 1999, and O’Keefe served ably as commissioner of the Department of Human Services, one of the state’s largest and most complex agencies. He has also had a distinguished career as a foundation CEO (McKnight) and a college president (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), and he has degrees in mathematics and physics. So when he talks about state budget crisis realities, we really should pay attention.