Bloomington threatens to arrest Black Lives Matter organizers, not protesters

A Black Lives Matter protest planned for Dec. 20 at the Mall of America hit a snag this week when Mall of America officials threatened to remove any protesters and potentially have them arrested. The protest is part of a national movement aimed at raising awareness about police violence against people of color.Related stories: [PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter momentum continues, protesters march on downtown Minneapolis[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter protesters halt 35W traffic: “We’re ready for change”A letter, signed by Mall of America Management, was sent by courier to the homes of several of the organizers, saying that advocates were allowed to protest on the Alpha Business Center Lot, adjacent to the mall, but that any protesters inside of the mall would be subject to removal, as the Mall of America is private property.Black Lives Matter organizer Michael McDowell said the letter was delivered to his house by courier on Dec. 12, though he didn’t receive it until Dec. 13. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Timid Video Parody: gallery & garret

Timid Video Theater has shaped an improvised walkabout of two superb art galleries with humorist Jon Spayde and Minnetonka’s Pam Scherling into a kind of skewed but whimsical parody of TPT’a arts magazine, mn original. The bit is included in a line-up of segments featured on the current edition of Democratic Visions; a political and cultural issues program handcrafted on location and at BCAT, the cable-TV access studio at the Bloomington Civic Plaza, by lefty volunteers. The sketch was mostly lensed in the Inez Greenberg and Atrium Galleries that are adjacent to the studio.  The three spaces are part of a theater and arts center that also includes black box and proscenium stage theaters, rehearsal halls, a gift shop and municipal meeting rooms and offices.  The art galleries host top drawer exhibits of paintings, assemblages, sculptures and photography infused with wit and variety.  Visual Arts Director Rachel Daly Flentje and her staff have proven that Art (with a capital “A”) can thrive even when tethered to the officious culture of city hall.The two current exhibits are examples.  Through April 4, The Greenberg features “Art in the Home” – residential living spaces assembled by 4 teams of interior decorators.  Through April 27th, The Atrium features the kinetic abstract paintings of John Wells whose kinetic paintings are created using a process that harness a genetic condition that causes Mr. Wells’ hands to shake uncontrollably.   Here’s a link for more information.The Timid Video parody is by no means art but, using Jon and Pam’s improvisations and archival sketch-video of hard-boiled artist Brick Mason nested in a small Lake Street apartment, is a light-hearted take on public television’s reverent packaging of the arts and of the dilettantes who frequent the galleries and adore Antique Roadshow. The current edition of Democratic Visions also includes Minneapolis Author Mary Stanic, the Junk Yard Democrats with an assortment of fans and barflies and an update on the SW Light Rail project.  Democratic Visions is carried by community access channels in Minneapolis and six famous suburbs.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. Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.You can also click to the Democratic Visions Channel on YouTube. Continue Reading

Bloomington to Apple Valley Red Line bus service opens tomorrow

The Twin Cities is welcoming a new transit service on Saturday: The METRO Red Line bus service along Cedar Avenue from the Mall of America in Bloomington to the eponymous Apple Valley Transit Station. The 10-mile route will have five stops: Aside from the endpoints, it also hits Cedar Grove Transit Station at Nicols Road and Cedar Grove Parkway in Eagan, and two additional stations along Cedar Avenue in Apple Valley near 140th Street and 147th Street, respectively. The route will have 15-minute headways between buses from 5 am to 7 pm on weekdays—It almost qualifies as a member of the region’s Hi-Frequency Network, but falls short on Saturdays where frequency is only every half hour (Hi-Frequency routes are supposed to have 15-minute Saturday service from 9 am to 6 pm). Continue Reading

India Cafe in Bloomington: Good food, no frills

I got a friendly but challenging note the other day from Waheda Yasmin, owner of the India Cafe in Bloomington. She had read one of my articles—South Asian Adventures: Gorkha Palace, Bombay Bistro, Bombay Palace—published last June in the Daily Planet. “I like the news,” she wrote. “But to my understanding you have not tried the real authentic taste of Indian food. I want to invite you to our restaurant (to) taste our food, too.”Oh yeah? Continue Reading

Police, community exchange views at forum

Police Chiefs John Harrington (St. Paul), Tim Dolan (Minneapolis) and John Laux (Bloomington) met with around 70 community residents August 19 at St. Paul’s Martin Luther King/Hallie Q. Brown Recreation Center to discuss criminal justice issues and concerns. The event was hosted by the Council on Black Minnesotans (CBM). Both the participating residents and the three Twin Cities police chiefs agreed that hiring more Black police officers would greatly improve community relations. Continue Reading