Kids, children and a Crawl


Here’s a sample of the stories that I wish I had time to cover, from goats to infant mortality to the St. Paul Art Crawl. Goats come first, under the heading of “wish I had written that story.” Madeleine Baran covered the Minneapolis City Council decision to bar goats from inside the city limits, and the eloquent (albeit completely wrong-headed) statement by council member Meg Tuthill:

“I do not want hoofed animals next door to me,” said Council member Meg Tuthill. “I’m fine with bees, and I’m fine with chickens, but I spent enough time on farms as a kid picking cucumbers for pickle factories, cleaning barns, slopping the pigs, the whole shooting match. I’ve chosen not to have that lifestyle. And for those of you that are unfamiliar with that lifestyle, when the wind blows the right way, it can be very fragrant in our homes.”

Hey, Meg, I grew up on a farm, too, and I’d rather have a goat than chickens any day! (Good thing I live in St. Paul, an equal opportunity city where residents can keep goats, chickens, or even horses.)

On a more serious note, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health) reported that Minnesotans enrolled in the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare public health care programs, have a “significantly higher” rate of infant mortality than others. The results of the 10-year study are consistent with Wilder Research findings that show racial and income disparities in mortality, life expectancy, and health outcomes in general. Among the Wilder findings:

Income matters / Each additional $10,000 in an area’s median household income is associated with a full year gain in life expectancy.

The St. Paul Art Crawl is on this weekend, with hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors defying the double whammy of late winter (yes, I saw a snowflake yesterday) and the Central Corridor construction zone that stretches from the University of Minnesota to downtown St. Paul. Among the intriguing offerings:

The Center for Hmong Arts and Talent will offer live performances on the second floor of the Sunrise Building at 995 University Avenue, with artwork for sale by Hmong visual artists. Visit them Friday from 6-10 p.m., Saturday from noon-8 p.m. (with a reception at 1:30) and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. (Free parking in back of building.)

Farther west, Gisela Hoelscher is offering the University/Raymond History Walk, starting at 795 Raymond Avenue, on the hour, from 12-5 on Saturday and Sunday. She writes:

Worried about the construction? Don’t be! The tour will let you experience it first hand without having to drive through it. Also, my studio has free parking in the rear of the building.

A few other stories I wish I had written (and hope that you will read):