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

COMMUNITY VOICES | Moms of Henry High city bus assault victims testify at Minneapolis school board meeting

On April 9, moms of Henry High students assaulted while using city buses going between school and home testified at the Minneapolis School Board meeting.  They described for the school board members what happened to their children when they were assaulted, and the impact the assaults have had on their families.One mom talked about her son’s being attacked and knocked out while waiting for a city bus to take him home.   The mom described ongoing medical problems from the concussion, with lapses in memory and concentration and balance.  A former honors student, he has been forced to drop all his advanced courses.  He had already done internships at the University of Minnesota to become a dentist, and his mom now worries that he will not be able to reach his potential and goals in life.  For safety reasons the family has transferred him from Henry to Hopkins high, and she announced she would be pulling all ten of her children out of the Minneapolis Public School system.Minneapolis School Board Listens to Henry High Families of Assault VictimsAnother mom described how her son was robbed and was threatened with being killed.  They shoved him to the ground and kicked him in the head.  The said that while the lingering headache has faded her son was traumatized by the attack, and continues to suffer anxiety.  She said she would not be sending her younger daughter to HenryThe Henry parents believe that educating the school board members in person was important because at times school officials have claimed they have no proof the assaults and other crimes have taken place, that when the assaults happen they are community problems not school problems, that some of the complaints are hoaxes, and that the assaults and other crimes would  have happened while using school buses.Henry Students are mailing these postcards to Minneapolis School Board membersMeanwhile,  Henry students  family and supporters have signed and  sent 400 postcards to Minneapolis school board members asking for police on city buses and monitors at bus stops during hours that Henry students are going to and from school.  The postcards told board members of problems Henry students have reported having while using city buses, including  cellphone snatchings, inappropriate touches, stalkings, and an armed holdup.  Half the postcards have gone to Kim Ellison, half to Alberto Monserrate.Henry High Families of assault victims being interviewed by channel 9 Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Another Henry High Student assaulted using city bus from school to home

Earlier this week, another Henry High student was attacked while using the city bus Go To card to travel from school to home.The assault took place on Tuesday.The mom reported that her son was coming home from school on the 19 bus line.   He got   off at a stop that he usually does not get off at because he missed his usual stop. About 2 blocks later he noticed 2 teenagers following him. When he got to the middle of 23rd Ave N and Russell they attacked him in the middle of the street. One went in front of him and asked him for his ipod, one was in back of him with what he said was a gun to the back of his head. They threatened to kill him. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Henry High Hmong Student Assaulted, Knocked Out Using City Bus From School To Home

 On January 28, a Henry high student was assaulted and knocked unconscious at a bus stop while using the Go-To Card city bus pass between school and home.He was hospitalized, and was diagnosed with a concussion.  He is now suffering bouts of memory loss along with problems with balance:  he has fallen twice.He does not know the attackers, and no arrests have yet been made.He and his brothers say that they also know other Henry students who have had problems with the city bus:  One was held up at gun point and had his phone robbed while waiting for a city bus to go to school, and two girls were touched/groped while using city buses between Henry and  home.  One of the girls has since transferred to another school.Another family says that  Two Henry Hmong brothers were waiting at the bus stop for the city bus to take them to school.  A young man walked up to the bus stop.  The brothers thought he was going to wait for the bus with them.  Instead he punched one brother in the nose, and the other in the eye, and ran away before either brother could reactThe family of the assault victim who was knocked out  has said that if the attackers are not caught, they want the Minneapolis Public Schools to pay for his hospital and medical costs, because they say this attack would not have happened if he had been riding a school bus home.Last April, Minneapolis Public Schools announced they were ending school bus rides to 5 high schools including Henry, and replacing the school buses with the Go-To card city bus rides.  Henry Hmong families,  concerned about safety and wanting to give Hmong families a chance to learn about and feel  comfortable with  the Go-To card, asked that the city bus rides be instituted this year as an option with school bus rides available.  School board members agreed to run limited school buses for the first semester.  School buses ended in mid-January.Both the assault victim and his mother testified in front of the Minneapolis school board last summer and urged them to keep school bus rides at Henry high for the 2012-2013 school year.Henry Hmong students collected hundreds of post cards urging school board members to keep school buses for 2012-2013 school year1100 postcards were sent to school board members Ellison and MonserrateThe student who was assaulted and knocked out asked the  Minneapolis school board last summer to keep school buses at Henry for 2012-2013 school yearHenry Hmong Families crowded Minneapolis School Board Chambers last summer and asked that school buses be available for 2012-2013 school year Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Running

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