Inside the Daily Planet, 10/26/08

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Readers, Writers, and Books

For Peter Blau, 2008 brings both recognition and awards by Deb Pleasants, TC Daily Planet • If it’s true good things come in threes, then 2008 has been a banner year for Peter Blau.

First, the year kicked off in January with the Daily Planet profiling Blau’s volunteer work as a creative writing instructor at Volunteers of America, Regional Correctional Center for Women. Next, members of the VOA administration decided to highlight Blau’s service by republishing (with author permission) the Daily Planet article in the VOA Board of Director’s annual report. That brought him to the attention of Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, which honored Blau (along with nine other volunteers and philanthropists) by placing him in their Volunteer Hall of Fame earlier this month. He and the other recipients each received a plaque as well as $1000 to be donated to a nonprofit agency of their choice.

150 best Minnesota books #29 and #30: Republicans in Minnesota by Patrick Coleman, Minnesota Historical Society • You may be surprised to hear this but it is hard to overemphasize the significance of the Republican Party in Minnesota. They built this state; all the great Minnesota institutions—like the Historical Society and the University—are Republican institutions.

Book Highlight: • The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones by Staff, Center for American Progress • Posted on Metro CERTS • In The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, acclaimed activist and environmental leader Van Jones tackles the challenges of oil dependence, a sagging economy, and global warming itself, transforming these looming threats into enormous financial opportunities.

Zinefest by MTN • Zinefest is an annual festival of do-it-yourself art and literature sponsored by the Stevens Square Center for the Arts. Since 2004, Zinefest has showcased the finest self-made talent in the Midwest. The festival includes craft presentations, readings and an art show. Access to Art Correspondent Laura Stopyro attended this year’s Zinefest and talked to organizers and participants.

NEW IN BLOGS

CABBAGES AND KINGS | A Tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer by Phyllis Stenerson • Fannie Lou Hamer was an extraordinary woman who needs to be remembered and honored. She was born on October 6 in 1917 in rural Mississippi, a child of sharecroppers and descendant of slaves, had only a few years of schooling and suffered from polio as a child. She and her husband lived and worked on a Mississippi plantation.

THINK FORWARD | Creating an Allergic Food Environment? by David Wallinga, M.D., 10/24/08 • The first federal report on the issue documents an apparent rise in food allergies in American kids, now affecting about 3 million children.