COMMUNITY VOICES | The Big E sizes up MN GOP candidates

The Big E, confessing to Minnesita Progressive Project (MPP) readers and contributers, recently wrote that his heart no longer pines to hose down right wing sparkle ponies like Michele Bachmann or even review books by the likes of a Keith Ellison.  The Big E (known to his Minneapolis neighbors as Eric Pusey), is the founding scold of the MPP lefty sentry post and appears on the current edition of Democratic Visions as he retires from political blogging. After a moment of posing as a weary blogosphere elder  (as if blogging was old enough to earn elders), the smart, liberal confederate, prompted by an actual DFL elder,  Tim O’Brien, shines with bemused and bewildered takes on the current state of the Minnesota Republican Party and its clownish, hopeful State and Congressional candidates.   Mr. Pusey, who has splashed gleefully in the rushing stream of blogs, Tweets, Facebook twerking and probably Skype, does quite well in the “legacy” medium of television where I operate.  Fox Nine News knew that and for a while put him on from time-to-time.  But the Fox 9 News producers didn’t have the cojones to make him a regular pundit.   Too bad.  Mr. Pusey has good chemistry. This ten-minute Eric and Tim segment is yours to consider.  Its “tagged” (the TV producer’s sense of the word) with an homage to the late, great, populist troubadour Pete Seeger and Twin Cities activism thanks to the air guitar wonders -The Junk Yard Democrats, a peoples’ anthem, and creative editing.  Enjoy!  Enjoy!  Democratic Visions February Segments Ex-blogger Eric Pusey and Tim O’Brien on senate and gubernatorial hopefuls.Jon Spayde as a clinically depressed motivational speaker with advice for Republican hopefuls.I report on the DFL 48 Precinct Caucuses and present an award winning short film making change. Democratic Visions is handcrafted by Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka volunteer Democrats at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission. Democratic Visions Cable ScheduleMinneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m.; Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Bloomington – BCAT Cable 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. The entire Feburary program and 183 archived Dem Vis segments can be seen on the Democratic Visions Channel on YouTube. Democratic Visions has become the  liveliest political issues show in Minnesota.   I know.  I produce the darned thing.   Continue Reading

West Broadway Holiday Pop Up Boutique features 20 local vendors

The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) is announcing the West Broadway Holiday Pop Up Boutique, to take place December 13th and 14th at 201 West Broadway in North Minneapolis.The produce and craft market will be host to over 20 area vendors selling a variety of locally produced goods, from fresh apples and honey to fine art, baked goods, clothing and jewelry. Northside favorites such as Juxtaposition Arts Textile Lab, Ancestors Voices Press and Right on Thyme Catering will be joined by other crafters, artists, bakers, and even the popular urban farm, McKinley Community CSA, which will offer 2014 vegetable share registrations, t-shirts and volunteer opportunities.Earrings by Neisha Reynolds, Juxtaposition Arts, Sky Blush Crush Bath and Body Products, and Cookie Cart are a few of the participating vendors in the West Broadway Holiday Pop UP Boutique. This boutique will make affordable, unique gifts available for purchase.The concept for the shop is a Pop Up Boutique with affordable, unique gifts for purchase. The boutique will occupy a vacant space at 201 West Broadway (know as the Masters Building) for a weekend during the holidays and give Northside residents, those that work there and visitors a way to keep their holiday shopping in their community.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Insight News. Check out the links below for other recent Insight News stories:Profiles in Excellence: David NicholsonArtspeak: Black Feminist Anthropology—Building an intellectual legacy one book at a timeThe purpose of the Holiday Pop Up Boutique is twofold: create an economic opportunity for local vendors and shoppers while also drawing attention to one of West Broadway’s available vacant properties. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Hmong North Minneapolis Soccer Players Cheer Coach Blong Yang Victory

 Farview Soccer Shout-Out:  “Yeah Blong Yang!!”North Minneapolis Hmong soccer players have some special reasons to cheer  the election of Blong Yang as Minneapolis’ first Hmong councilmember:  not only is he their new alderman, he is also the founding league coach for their  Farview Park soccer team.As the van picked up  Farview soccer players Saturday for indoor soccer, they were asked what they thought of Blong Yang’s election.“I think Blong Yang will be a good councilmember, because he was a good coach,” says Ab Vue.Je Yang gives his thumbs up to Blong as councilmember “Because he is a Yang like me.”“Blong will have some new ideas,”, says Yeng Vang, “and he speaks Hmong, so he can talk with my parents.”Tou Wang Lee is proud that “Blong is the first Hmong elected in Minneapolis.”Coach Blong Yang with 2006 Farview Park 14u soccer teamIn 2006, Blong Yang coached the Farview Park 14u soccer team. This team literally came out of nowhere:  18 months before, all but one of the players were living in a Thai refugee camp.  The players were small and scrawny, and the players from the other teams towered over them:  But with Blong’s drive and guidance,  they won their first game 6-1, and went on to an undefeated regular season and league championship in the Minneapolis Parks Soccer League.  Coach Blong talks strategy with his soccer playersBlong coached Farview teams for three more years, and each year his team won the league championship. As their coach, Blong heard about the many problems his refugee players had in  their schools:  getting hit, lack of bilingual teachers, overcrowded classes.  And he also heard about criminal attacks suffered by the refugee families:  doors busted down while the families were inside, a robber pointing a gun at children  in their house and threatening to blow their heads off, assaults on the street,  thefts and car break-ins. Two  Farview soccer players were hit with stray bullets – both survived. Blong also knew that these refugee families spoke very limited English and would face challenges getting their voices heard.  Blong Helps refugee families explain to Minneapolis Public Schools officials that a 45 student classroom is too bigHe came to meetings and supported families when they said their 40+ student classes were overcrowded and needed to be cut. Continue Reading

The Sheltering Arms house has a buyer!

At today’s Community Development committee meeting the Minneapolis City Council took an initial step towards approving the sale of 2648 Emerson Avenue North, aka “The Sheltering Arms House” to a Charlie Browning. Charlie rehabs homes as his profession, and does excellent work. This is his first venture into north Minneapolis, and I can’t welcome him enthusiastically enough. The proposed rehab work would be to convert the four-unit structure into a spacious duplex, and then resell the property, hopefully to an owner-occupant. But even as a rental, the quality of work that Mr. Browning does will almost certainly attract good owners and tenants. Continue Reading

UMAMI by Travail: Asian comfort food eatery

Chef Bob Gerken prepares a sushi course at UMAMI by Travail. (All photos by Dudley Voigt)Before even serving the first course of its ten-course tasting menu when it opened September 18th, UMAMI by Travail had already generated much excitement among the Twin Cities and national culinary communities. Online ticket reservations for the first two weeks sold out within 24 hours. Fortunately, the team at the Asian comfort food-inspired pop-up restaurant at 904 West Broadway has proved itself worthy, dazzling food critics and average customers from its local Northside community alike. Brian Mogren, a North Minneapolis organizer and resident, dined at UMAMI on the second night and said simply, “It was wonderful.” Mogren thoroughly enjoyed the unique experience of a Travailian tasting menu, explaining, “It was so much more than a meal…it was fun to have them keep bringing stuff out that I wouldn’t just order off a menu, and I tried everything,” even the octopus. “It was so great to be in my own neighborhood; I loved that,” Mogren added.UMAMI opened on West Broadway in North Minneapolis thanks to a partnership between the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) and Travail Kitchen and Amusements. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Farview Hmong Soccer Players Help Sanneh Foundation at Gala 4 Goals Fundraiser

Farview soccer players with Tony Sanneh, at Gala 4 Goals fundraiserOn February 2, Farview Hmong soccer players went to support the Sanneh Foundation’s Gala 4 Goals fundraiser.The Hmong soccer players went on stage to let others know how the Sanneh Foundation has helped their players and  team. Talking in front of hundreds of people at Gala 4 Goals Fundraiser10 Year old Jee Vue had to stand on a chair to reach the microphone.  She said:“My name is Jee Vue.  We play soccer for Farview Park in North Minneapolis.  We are Hmong refugees,were born in Thailand, and are still learning English.  Our families are very poor.  The Sanneh Foundation donated soccer shoes to half our soccer players.  We loved coming to the Sanneh soccer camps this summer.  With the Sanneh Foundation’s help, we won two city championships last year and  two more championships this year.  Thank you Sanneh Foundation.”Trying new foodsThe Farview soccer players also had the chance to sample new foods they couldn’t pronounce, such as Gorganzola cheese and Portabello mushrooms.Good job, girls!The Sanneh Foundation’s Gala for Goals was held at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis.  Farview Park is located in North Minneapolis.Last summer, over 50 soccer players participated in the Sanneh soccer camp at Farview ParkSanneh soccer camp at Farview ParkGet the ball away from Tony Sanneh!Having fun at Sanneh soccer campThe Sanneh Foundation donated soccer shoes to half the Farview soccer playersFree Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. The opinions expressed in the Free Speech Zone and Neighborhood Notes, as well as the opinions of bloggers, are their own and not necessarily the opinion of the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading


North Minneapolis has many fences. Four feet high chain link fences, ten feet high homemade wood fences, chest high white plastic picket fences. Fences staked in the 1920s, last fall, in the 70s. I notice them on my runs, which span from six to ten miles, total, every six days. Sometimes I run into neighboring northeast Minneapolis, and on occasion into suburban Robbinsdale. Continue Reading

Court, MPCA hearings on shredder at Northern Metals

URGENT UPDATE 3/26/2012, 2:40 P.M. CDT: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Board hearing on the need for an Environmental Impact Statement, which is referred to in the story below, was stopped when Ramsey County District Court Judge David Higgs issued an order stopping environmental review of the Northern Metals emissions permit until other court proceedings are completed.The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA’s) plan to postpone its environmental review of Northern Metals’ emissions permit application hit a snag Feb. 27. The snag is called a writ of mandamus, a court order requiring MPCA to speed up the process and make a key determination at its March 26-27 meeting. MPCA, however, has appealed the ruling and is asking the court to delay the writ until the appeal is decided. A hearing on that request is scheduled for March 26, just hours before the MPCA is set to begin its Northern Metals discussion if the writ stays in effect.For information on the public meetings this article describes, including live webcasts, click here.The judge will also be asked to decide whether MPCA can introduce newly-produced emissions data at the March 26-27 meeting. Continue Reading