GLOBAL GROCERIES | Starting a new farmers market in Minneapolis isn’t easy

Todd Douma and Brad Tetzloff quickly learned that starting a farmers market from scratch in Minneapolis isn’t for the faint of heart. But after three years of planning, the Nokomis Farmers Market is finally open for business.The new market, located at the corner of Chicago Ave. and 52nd St., is currently in a test phase, and with two Wednesday evenings down and one more to go, no decision has yet been made for its fate for next year. But so far, organizers are calling the Nokomis Market a success.“It seemed like something we needed,” said Douma, a member of Hale Page Diamond Lake Business Alliance, which fostered the market. “Other neighborhood events like Picnic in the Park in July and Frost Fest in January are heavily attended, so we knew the neighborhood would support it.”To open a new farmers market requires licensing with the city’s health department, with vendors and locations in place before applications can be even submitted. Continue Reading

District 5 school board candidate Jay Larson fights political rumors

“I think I found I am a Democrat,” said Minneapolis District 5 school board candidate Jay Larson. Democrat or not, Larson, who announced his candidacy at the beginning of the year has been battling rumors over who he is ever since.At the April 26 Minneapolis DFL City Convention, where school board candidates seek party endorsement, Larson said “things got ugly” when rumors began to spread involving his past experience as an employee of KTMS, a Christian radio station, and The Patriot, a conservative talk radio station.There was “a lot of name-calling,” Larson said, and people telling his supporters that Larson “wasn’t their guy.”“I completely respect the delegate process,” Larson said, “but I won’t participate in it again.”Larson said he felt dismayed that DFL members were quick to attack and dismiss him because of his past work record, while ignoring his more recent deeds as a parent, volunteer and community advocate with Minneapolis Public Schools.“I worked at The Patriot eight or nine years ago,” Larson said, but he left the station because their confrontational talk show format was not a “comfortable” fit for him.He said he began working there partly because of his background in radio and because of a friend who worked for the station that wanted Larson to work with him. But he is proud of the work he did in the promotions department at Christian radio station KTMS, he said, because he is “more Christian, and less conservative.”A public servant “in all aspects”Despite his background, Larson said he still believes in the separation of church and state and that his Christianity would not influence him as a school board member. And he believes his active role at downtown Minneapolis’ First Baptist has prepared him well to serve on the school board, he said.Through First Baptist, Larson said he has been the chair of many committees, and that those are elected positions that have taught him how to represent constituents properly, govern boards well and handle difficult decisions involving things like budgets.Larson said that in all aspects of his life he sees himself as a public servant. When he left The Patriot, he began a career in the funeral industry, he said, where he works today. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Twin Cities Jazz Fest, Twin Cities Pride Fest, Beer Dabbler, MN Food Truck Fair and more!

Updated: 6/27/2014 2:19 pm Can you believe we’re almost at the end of June? Time flies, so spend it wisely — get out and enjoy some of the outdoor happenings around the cities. This weekend offers two big festivals — the Twin Cities Pride Fest in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities Jazz Fest in Saint Paul, along with other fun happenings around town. Just like the last couple of weekends, this weekend might be a bit wet so plan accordingly.See this weekend’s lineup below, and use the comment section or email to let us know about an event in your community.  Music and Movies in the Park, June 27 – 28 Music and Movies in the Park is celebrating over 100 years of free entertainment in Minneapolis parks with 250 free concerts and movies taking place this summer. Bring a chair or blanket, some snacks and some bug spray and enjoy a night in the park. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Memory Lanes Block Party, Walker on the Green Mini Golf, IndiVisible & more!

Yes, it’s true — Memorial Day weekend is upon us already! With AAA predicting an estimated 36.1 million people set to travel for the holiday, it makes sense that this weekend is a bit lighter on the festivals. However, there’s still plenty to see and do around town this weekend. See what’s on tap below:Walker on the Green: Artist Designed Mini Golf, May 22 – September 1The Walker’s popular mini-course – each hole individually designed by a local artist – is back and better than ever. The titling maze game, gopher hole votex and other favorites from last year’s course are back, plus new soon-to-be favorites! Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Get into the swing of spring with the Saint Paul Art Crawl and more!

TC Weekend is back, a sure sign of spring! We’ve selected a few choice events to help you ease into the season. From Earth Day cleanups and One Day in the Twn Cities to literary readings and art showings, there’s plenty on tap to help you get out and about this weekend!Saint Paul Art Crawl, April 25 – 27Lowertown, University Avenue and more in Saint Paul, MN; Go here for location info.4/25 –   6pm – 10pm4/26 – 12pm –   8pm4/27 – 12pm –   5pmEnjoy the work of over a hundred local artists as they open their studios to the public for the weekend. Thousands of visitors from across the Midwest take in this bi-annual art crawl that also features free music, theater performances, art activities and more! Free rides from Metro Transit are available. Continue Reading

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

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

Winter in the Twin Cities: Outdoor fun

The Christmas tree, lights, and tinsel may be put away, but Jack Frost is here to stay…for a while. The early arrival of frigid sub-zero temperatures this season have made parts of December feel a lot like January. But no, we’ve only just begun, folks.Maybe the old saying, if you can’t beat it, join it is the best mindset to adopt when battling winter blues and cabin fever. Why not add a bit of outdoor winter fun to your fitness and social routine? Bundle up and try something new!Below we’ve compiled a few outdoor winter activities in the Twin Cities (and beyond), from cross-country skiing and ice skating, to winter festivals and sled rallies, that provide an incentive to get out in natural light and engage the snowy landscape. Continue Reading

Airport noise squelches Minneapolis growth

Seven candidates for Mayor at a forum in the Hale Page Diamond Lake neighborhood agreed that the City of Minneapolis urgently needs to attract residents and businesses. Only one candidate mentioned airport noise. None of them mentioned any problem with MSP with respect to economic growth. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Monarchs reign over Lake Nokomis celebration

Hundreds of children and dozens of Monarch butterflies fluttered through the late summer haze at the Lake Nokomis Naturescape during the fifth annual Minneapolis Monarch Festival, sponsored by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association.The festival, a celebration of American and Mexican cultures, brought attention to the annual migration of Monarch butterflies from North America to overwintering areas in Mexico. Loss of fragile butterfly habitat on both sides of the border has made the journey more perilous for Monarch butterflies.The University of Minnesota’s Monarch Lab in conjunction with Monarch Waystation Program, located on the edge of Lake Nokomis, tagged and released recently hatched Monarchs with tiny polypropylene stickers (the tags attach to a butterfly’s wings with a special 3M© adhesive).Conservation groups, food vendors, musicians and art organizations entertained and educated over 9,000 participants in support of mutual friendship and awareness of butterfly habitat preservation.Additional information on this critical work can be obtained at the Minneapolis Monarch Festival website or  
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