COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading

St. Paul: East Side transit group awarded for inclusion

After six months of work on the east side of St. Paul, Fostering an East Side Transit Equity Conversation (FESTEC) will receive its first award. The Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is given annually by the local Chapter of WTS International. Founded in 1977, WTS is dedicated to building the future of transportation through the overall advancement of women. The annual awards process recognizes local individuals or organizations, and local winners are placed in contention for the international award to be given later in the year.

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Dayton’s Bluff prepares for 2014 Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour

The annual Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 10:00 am-5:00 pm and Sunday, April 27, 1:00-5:00 pm. During the home tour, residents in Minneapolis and St. Paul open their homes to the public to showcase city living. This year we have an apartment in the old Mound Park School building on the tour; many people have wondered what it looks like inside. Some Dayton’s Bluff people attended school there years ago.

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OUR STORIES | Centromex Supermercado in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood

The new owners of the Centromex Supermercado, Rosa and Henry Garnica, told me they were too “shy” for me to take their photograph, so they asked me to photograph the outside of their business instead. They bought the Centromex 6 months ago, and wanted the neighborhood to know that it is under “new management, lighter, and clean” with a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables.And what a variety of produce it is! We can no longer say that Dayton’s Bluff is a fresh fruit and vegetable desert with the Centromex offering all it does.Editor’s note: I saw this Facebook post in the Market on the Bluff page, and asked Diane May for permission to republish it on the Daily Planet. May is an artist from the neighborhood, and also produces Humans of Dayton’s Bluff, described as “Like ‘Humans of New York,’ only more local.”Cilantro, limes, oranges, tomatillos, and 3 different chili peppers kick off the start of the wall of produce. Rosa helped by giving me the Spanish equivalent for the rest of the aisle’s offerings: ajo (garlic), aguacate (avocado), yerbabuena (mint), jitomate (tomato), nopal (cactus leaves), ejote (green beans), calabacita (a soft zucchini), papa (potatoes), zanahoria (carrots), and cebolla blanca and cebolla amarilla (white and yellow onions).Then came a vegetable I had never seen before that needed an explanation from Henry so Rosa and I trekked over to the medicine counter. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Born into organizing on the East Side of St. Paul

It was October 31st and a six-month-old girl and her father were out trick or treating on the East Side of St Paul. The father is Jose Morales, an organizer on the Fostering East Side Transit Equity Conversations team, and his little daughter is Sophia and again she is only six months old. On this night, little Sophia sat in a baby pouch that hung from Jose’s shoulders. At each stop, Sophia was receiving candy with one hand while handing out a flyer for a community event with her other hand. This was happening as her mother was handing out candy and flyers back at home.This is true family organizing in a community where civic engagement has not been front page news. The reality is that the East Side residents are taking more and more ownership of their community and this is an example of how much passion an organizer has about his community and how he is passing on this value to the next generation.      Continue Reading

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Saint Paul dignitaries help raze Erik’s Bar

Mayor Chris Coleman and City Council Member Don Bostrom took the first shots in the razing of Erik’s Bar on Saint Paul’s east side earlier today.City Council Member Don Bostrom, AKA Demo Don, brought his own sledge hammer. Mayor Chris Coleman was the first to man the heavy machinery. The bar was purchased by the Port Authority and was razed in what officials are calling the final final phase of the Beacon Bluff redevelopment project on Saint Paul’s east side. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | East Side of St. Paul is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ until a serious incident happens

In recent weeks, a devastating incident occurred on the Eastside of St. Paul where several teens allegedly beat a passerby until he was unconscious. This is a circumstance that no person should have to endure. One of the notable pieces of information that has surfaced is the fact that the passerby was white and the teens were African American. Although some within the broader community argue that the attack was based on race, the reality is that in light of the circumstances under which the attack occurred, the victim could arguably have been any individual who was within the vicinity of the young people in question. Actually, a similar severe beating of an innocent Black man, Edwin Daniel, by five young Somali men occurred on the Eastside just a few years prior to this most recent incident.The factors that contribute to these types of horrific episodes, including shootings by young people against other young people, may revolve around underlying issues at the intersection of race and poverty that are pervasive on the East Side of St. Continue Reading