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 | 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

COMMUNITY VOICES | Free driver education event

CarFit: Ensuring Your Car’s Safest Fit–for drivers 55+ The RSVP Volunteer Program, sponsored by Volunteers of America Minnesota, is bringing a free driver safety event to the St. Paul Municipal Athletics Lot, 1500 Rice Street, St. Paul.   At this educational event, drivers 55 and over will receive a quick but comprehensive check of how well they and their vehicles work together. CarFit will be held from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesday, June 4th.    Trained volunteers will ask simple questions to complete a 12-point  checklist, of things like mirror adjustments, seatbelts, lights, flashers, and more.  The entire process takes about 20 minutes per vehicle, and participants leave with recommended safety adjustments and adaptations, a list of local resources–and greater peace of mind.    CarFit is not a driver assessment program.  It was developed as a public service by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AARP, American Occupational Therapy Association and AAA in order to increase driver safety.The RSVP volunteer program is part of a national organization that matches people 55 and over with opportunities to serve the community. One of RSVP’s main focus areas is helping older adults and people with disabilities to remain safe and independent  at home for as long as possible.  Interested drivers can reserve a CarFit spot by calling 952-945-4162. Continue Reading

SOUL FOOD MN | Soul Food Heaven: Comfort food in St. Paul’s North End

Soul Food Heaven is a classic soul food establishment, nestled next to a small supermarket in St. Paul’s North End. Having only been open since October of 2012 hasn’t stopped the restaurant from becoming known as the place to get soul food in the Twin Cities.The small restaurant, which you may miss under it’s unassuming signage if you aren’t careful, has become a destination for the Twin Cities eater who needs a fix of soul food classics like Memphis-style chuck roast and fried catfish with all the sides, or the occasional “gangster burger” (three half-pound burger patties covered in gyro meat, Italian beef, steak, and cheese!). Chefs Michelle B and Eddie Addams will be adding lighter menu choices in the summer, with more salad options.I started my tasting with the Tuesday Taco special. A soul food taco? Continue Reading

South Como boundary change heading to St. Paul City Council

What does it take to change a neighborhood?Community council members in St. Paul’s Planning Districts 6 and 10 will find out in the coming months if the City Council approves a Jan. 24 recommendation from the city’s Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED) to allow the South Como neighborhood to secede from District 6 and move into District 10.If the boundary change is given a green light, the two planning councils will hold public meetings in regard to the changes and begin the tasks of rewriting bylaws and district 10-year plans, adjusting board sizes and budgets, and more.The PED’s recommendation came just two weeks after hosting a meeting on Jan. 9 at the Como Lakeside Pavilion, where nearly 170 people filled the second floor to discuss moving the 3,537 South Como residents who live on the southern and western borders of Como Regional Park into District 10.Most of the participants— 123—were South Como residents, many of whom were there to champion the boundary change so they could have a voice closer to home about parking, traffic and other issues that come with living next to Como Regional Park. The meeting included a map-dot exercise where participants were asked to indicate where they lived and their position on the boundary change. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Iced Earth win over fans at Myth

Iced Earth’s amps went up to 11. Their sound galloped like some apocalyptic horseman born from an unholy union of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Their songs and albums are epic, kindred to the universes of Tolkien, Martin, and Herbert. Iced Earth doesn’t move tickets in America like Hellyeah and Volbeat, the bands they opened for last Tuesday, June 26, but Iced Earth does carry the fire.

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MUSIC INTERVIEW | Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth: The politics behind the music

Before Iced Earth took stage Tuesday night on June 26, when the curl of fans had just lined up at the Myth’s doors, I sat down with Jon Schaffer in the back of Iced Earth’s bus and talked music and the politics he used as motivation for Dystopia and his overt solo effort, Sons of Liberty. Jon and I see some of the same crooked symptoms of corporatism, but from there diverge in our analysis of causes, Keynes, and the role of government due to—I think—a disagreement about realities of positive and negative liberty. Regardless, I think the interview shows a man who gives a shit about people and his craft. So, the tour. How’s it going?It’s definitely and honor for me [to be opening for Volbeat] because I love Michael [Volbeat] as a person, friend, and a brother, and I love his band. I haven’t been excited about a band since I was a kid. Continue Reading

Como Regional Park updates and adds to its amenities

The opening of the new Como Regional Park Pool isn’t the only news at Como Regional Park. From the two new electric vehicle solar charging stations to a new play area to the $2.6 million Japanese Garden Experience, here is a list of projects and improvements initiated in the park in the last year.Two electric vehicle solar charging stations began operating in April. One station is located at the lakeside pavilion and the other is on Jessamine Avenue near McMurray Field. The City of St. Paul received federal stimulus funds to purchase electric vehicles and install charging stations throughout the city. Continue Reading

Warm clothes for kids: You can help!

UPDATED 12/11/09 Minnesota is legendary for its brutal winters. Perhaps you’ve heard the running joke about Minnesota’s four seasons: not winter, almost winter, winter and still winter. What is not a joke is that thousands of people are in need of basic winter supplies, most urgent of these are warm hats, socks, coats and other winter clothing.   St. Paul teacher Bob Cudahy wrote in St. Paul’s E-Democracy Forum that a number of his students come to school without adequate winter clothing: “I had students show up today wearing tennis shoes and no socks. Continue Reading