Video: The Future of Southwest Light Rail

Among our regional elected’s, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin remains one of the strongest voices for an up-to-date public transit system in the Twin Cities metro area. McLaughlin chairs The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the Counties Transportation Improvement Board. The HCRRA has committed to fund 10% and the CTIB, 30% of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project being planned to connect Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, Saint Louis Park and the west lakes district of Minneapolis and the southern fringe of North Minneapolis to the Blue and Green LRT lines at Target Field. The State of Minnesota will shovel-in 10%. The plan has been to qualify for Federal Transportation Agency monies which would account for 50% of the project. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | Sandbox Theatre’s “War With The Newts”: A darkly funny cautionary lizard tale

I had the pleasure of seeing the original War With The Newts back in 2007 when Sandbox Theatre first tackled the Karel Capek science fiction novel, so I knew this reimagined revival was also bound to be a lot of fun. In a way, Capek’s tale is not your standard sci fi cautionary tale. Normally, you’d use the race of newts as a stand-in for human behavior and the audience would have just enough distance from themselves to be able to see the pitfalls of the newts’ way of dealing with one another. Here though, the newts are addressing us in the audience as fellow newts, using human beings themselves as the cautionary tale, putting on masks in order to imitate human beings and just making the whole thing a lot harder to ignore as a straightforward indictment of human folly. “No sensible man has any business going to Devil Bay.”

Sandbox Theatre as a company has also been evolving over the eight years since this story last hit the stage, and it shows in this new improved version of War With The Newts. Continue Reading

Circus Juventas student wows in a new show

Eighteen year-old Freddy McConnell from Bloomington is a high school senior at Cyber Village Academy in St. Paul and a performer at Circus Juventas, a youth performing arts after school program teaching students anywhere from ages 4-22 circus skills. Each year, they hold their annual spring shows before their premiere summer shows in August. McConnell performed in the Blue Show for Circus Juventas’s Spring Show. This week, he will perform in the Purple Show for Circus Juventas as he will be in acts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this weekend (May 7-9). Continue Reading

Fiesta Cinco de Mayo!

The Lowrider car and bicycle show is justifiably, one of the highlights of the Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul Fiesta. The fiesta draws crowds of people along the closed off blocks of Cesar Chavez Street, drinking out of fresh pineapples, browsing the vendor goods, and checking out the lines of Lowriders that showed up for the event. Not being a car person of any sort, I felt immediately out of my depth. Several of the car and bicycle owners kindly answered my surely very ignorant questions, patiently nodding when I asked what was clearly a no-brainer. While the Lowrider show brings out people to ogle over cars and bikes, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is also about celebrating one of the Twin Cities oldest Latino neighborhoods. Continue Reading

Black Folk: Cause for a Different Type of Reporting

Attorney, Jeff Hassan is Executive Director to the African American Leadership Forum. The mission of AALF’s Executive Director is to create full employment, build wealth, close the achievement gap, affect legislative policy and promote healthy living in the Twin Cities African American Community. To accomplish these tasks, Mr. Hassan must first address an age old issue that affect the thought process of every day Minnesotans, especially those who read the Star Tribune. These thought processes could very well inadvertently affect legislation and funding crucial to change necessary in the African American community. As a father is to his child and as a leader is to his tribe —Mr. Hassan is the Alpha Male, and he is very protective of African American leaders and passionately demonstrates this in his open letter to the Star Tribune today. Continue Reading

New maps affirm old disparities, segregation in Twin Cities

Minnesota Compass, funded through the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, released an interactive map this week using the most recent census data for Minneapolis and St. Paul. The data shows distinct boundaries in the sister cities, separating neighborhoods based on age, ethnicity, income, education and poverty levels.Most interestingly, when compared side by side, many of the maps reflect inverse patterns that reinforce well-known disparities for communities of color and immigrant communities, as well as distinct segregated boundaries in the metro area.Editor’s note: If you wish to view the maps more closely, follow the above link to Minnesota Compass’ website to look at the interactive map.“The maps reveal some very interesting residential patterns,” said Dr. Craig Helmstetter, Wilder Research senior research manager and project manager of Minnesota Compass in a press release. “For example, did you know that the median household income of Minneapolis’ neighboring North Loop and Near North neighborhoods differ by about $70,000? Or that 30 percent of those living in Saint Paul’s Thomas-Dale neighborhood were born outside of the U.S., compared with only 7 percent right next door in the Como neighborhood?”Each map profile provides for all 87 Minneapolis neighborhoods, 11 Minneapolis communities, and 17 neighborhoods in St. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Open Streets Franklin, Powderhorn 24, IndiaFest, Japanese Lantern Lighting, Greek Fest and more!

Another fun-filled weekend is upon us, with a diverse and invigorating lineup of cultural, community and humanitarian festivities taking place in the Twin Cities. Let the fun begin — scroll down to see what’s on tap!Let us know how you will spend the weekend by sending your photos or comments to tcweekend@tcdailyplanet.net or tag them with name of the event or the hashtag #tcdpic, and we’ll add them to the Storify over the weekend. You can also send us a tip about an upcoming event at the email above or upload it yourself with our easy-to-use event calendar.Powderhorn 24, August 15 – 16It’s all about bikes this weekend in the Powderhorn neighborhood, as residents and friends bike for 24 hours straight. The event is in celebration of the Powderhorn neighborhood and surrounding south Minneapolis area, and sponsored by neighborhood businesses and community organizations. The event pits local bikers against one another in friendly competition to see who can do the most laps in a 24 hour span, while also highlighting the neighborhood. Continue Reading

Educating future nurses as a ticket out of poverty

Sometimes, an airplane ride can change your life. Rachelle Simmons was college visiting in Baltimore with her son, and mentally noted something unique. “Usually in the inner city, on every corner you see a liquor store or a church – every corner. And there (Baltimore), on every corner there was a clinic! Or there was a hospital! Continue Reading