CV | Riverfront Fest shows off Sheridan Memorial Park

Sheridan Memorial Park, a new park that recently opened on the upper Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis, hosted the second annual Riverfront Fest on August 1. The event, a project of the Mississippi River Partnership, aims to create awareness of the importance of the river in Minneapolis. For many attendees, it was their first look at the park, which features a veteran’s memorial created by artist Robert Smart. The project was a collaboration between a group of World War II veterans, the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

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

MUSIC REVIEW | Roe Family Singers and their House of Mercy friends celebrate Heaven Send Us Better Times

Friday, November 1 the filled-out Ritz Theater in Northeast clapped and sang and watched their kids dance for the album release of the old-time group Roe Family Singers’ Heaven Send Us Better Times.Though the show was billed for the dynamic, charismatic duo, which for the release expanded to an eight-piece, the night was also a showcase of House of Mercy Recordings, all with their own place at the wide intersection of country, blues, and gospel. Belief wasn’t necessary to enjoy the line-up, which mixed degrees of skill and style, but it can’t have hurt.House of Mercy Recordings is a wing of St. Paul’s House of Mercy church, which “offers a discriminating blend of high church and low, of tradition and innovation, sincere worship and healthy skepticism.” Their house band Blood Washed Band opened the night with reinterpretations and originals familiar enough they all reminded me of listening to the radio with my grandfather, drinking root beer while he tipped an Old Fashioned.Billed as an alt-country supergroup, Blood Washed Band’s set was lighter on the alt and heavier on waltzing country, including “Pour Me a Whiskey” from their latest Driftin’ Along.   They’re a talented bunch, but their song selection limited their vocal and musical range. There’s nothing wrong with openers trying to show everyone up with the kind of dynamism that gets an audience out of their seats—I wish they’d tried. Good band, particularly if you’re into gospel country, but I was left wanting more blood.When they came out to back Molly Maher two acts later, they got dirty. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Sharing a meal: Great turnout for Eastside Meals on Wheels’ Mission Nutrition Dining Edition

Eastside Meals on Wheels’ first restaurant night fundraiser, Mission Nutrition Dining Edition, had a wonderful turnout! Local restaurants Anchor Fish & Chips, The Bulldog N.E., Emily’s Lebanese Deli, Hazel’s Northeast, Moose on Monroe, Kramarczuk’s, and Red Stag Supperclub all donated a portion of the proceeds made on Thursday, September 19th to ensure that homebound folks in the area continue to receive warm nutritious meals.Preliminary calculations estimate that the total intake of the event at over $2,444. “Since it was percentage based, we really had no idea what to expect,” said Executive Director of Eastside Meals on Wheels Eileen Hafften. “It was a bit nerve wracking! But we couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turned out.” The nonprofit, which serves Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading