FAKOLY DRUM & DANCE PROJECT Master drummer Fode Bangoura will host his 4th Annual Fakoly Drum & Dance Project May 4th - May 8th at the Hennepin Center For The Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis.
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INSIGHT NEWS April 4 - April 10, 2011 • MN Metro Vol. 37 No. 14 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • www.insightnews.com
Photos by Lisa Miller
US Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-MN)
HEALTH CARE REFORM
The road ahead
By Lydia Schwartz Contributing Writer
On March 23, US Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) gathered his supporters at the Sabathani Community Center to celebrate last year’s passage of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), and to discuss what still needs to be done to reform our health care system. The ACA has put us on the path to universal health care for all Americans. Denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions is now a thing of the past, and children can stay on a parent’s insurance plan for longer. However, DFLers want our state to go even further than the federal
plan—and make sure that everyone is provided with the health care they need. Public health programs can offer a way to create healthier communities. Our current system is inadequate and offers unequal access. It insufficiently addresses the extra barriers to good health created by unstable housing, language barriers, and lack of transportation. MN State Sen. John Marty (DFLRoseville) believes that the state should work directly with hospitals and clinics to negotiate prices. “We need a system based on health care, not health insurance. People deserve to go to the doctor when they need it,” he says. We need a new model of health care, one designed by knowledgeable community experts, not CEOs. A
Panel (l - r): Elizabeth Frost, MD, Family Practitioner, HCMC; Phillip Cryan, Organizing Director, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota; Minnesota Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville) and US Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-MN). model that focuses on coordinating care instead of denying it, which promotes
is quality care and not HMO profit. The State Innovation Waiver (SIW) provision of the Act allows individual states to pursue innovative strategies that ensure their residents have access to high quality, affordable health insurance. Under the current law, SIWs will be available starting in 2017. US President Barack Obama is supporting the bipartisan “Empowering States to Innovate Act” that could make these waivers available as soon as 2014. States that receive a waiver must ensure appropriate public notice, transparency, and maintain current federally-mandated consumer protections against insurance
health instead of simply managing the cost of disease, and where the priority
HEALTH TURN TO 3
1,000 Liberian refugees under deferred enforced departure status Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (DMN), Al Franken (D-MN), and Jack Reed (D-RI), along with five other senators, have introduced legislation that would allow Liberians who have been residing in the United States legally under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status to apply for permanent residency. More than 30,000 Liberians reside in
Minnesota, and an estimated 1,000 are currently living under DED status as refugees from a devastating civil war in Liberia. “Liberians are our neighbors, our co-workers, and an important part of our communities,” Klobuchar said. “Many Liberians have made a home in our country, and we should help ensure that those who are here legally can
continue to call Minnesota home.” “Minnesota has been home to one of the country’s biggest Liberian communities for more than two decades,” said Sen. Franken. “It’s simply unfair to send more than 1,000 Liberians who for years have legally lived in Minnesota back to a country still facing many challenges.” In 1989, a civil war in
Liberia displaced over half the country’s population, and many Liberians sought refuge in the United States. Since 1991, these refugees have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or DED status by both Democratic and Republican administrations. In 2006, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the termination of TPS for
Liberians. President Obama has extended DED for Liberians, but it is set to expire on September 30, 2011. Last year, Klobuchar and Franken sent a letter to the President and helped lead the successful effort to extend DED for Liberians. Eliminating DED status and not allowing Liberians to apply for permanent residence status would force
thousands of Liberian refugees to return to Liberia and could easily overwhelm and reverse the advances that Liberia has made in recent years. Senators John Kerry (DMA), Barbara Mikulski (DMD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also cosponsored the bill.
Beyond the surface: Focus fully on jobs Gateway to excellence By Scott Gray MUL President/CEO Like the shifting sands of tide, the world of work has shifted dramatically over the last 50 years. American College Testing (ACT) recently released data detailing how in 1955 60% of jobs were classified
as “unskilled” and today “unskilled” jobs account for less than 8% of jobs available. The Minneapolis Post reported just two weeks ago that the state’s unemployment rate in February 2011 was 6.7%, while the United States (US) unemployment rate for the same period was 8.9%, the lowest it has been in two years. Media tells us that the economic downturn is over and that an array of statistics indicates we are on the rebound; an upswing is in the making. Finally, Forbes Magazine recently listed the Twin Cities as one of
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best places to find work. Yet, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for Whites in the Twin Cities metro area is 6.6 percent, but for Blacks it is 20.4 percent, a jobless gap of 13.8 percent. Whether the focus is on changing demographics, current economic conditions, or even national politics, the simple fact is that the issue of jobs must be brought to the forefront of America’s agenda. This week, the National Urban League is doing exactly that with the release of its State
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of Black America report. The report measures disparities between blacks and whites in areas of economics, education, health, civic engagement and social justice, but it places particular emphasis on numbers reflecting unemployment among African Americans, which it points out are double that of whites. We must, however, understand the terms used to describe these conditions in order to effectively work on solutions. Unemployment Rates
vs. Joblessness Terms like unemployment and joblessness are often used interchangeably and are often misunderstood. Most reports do not delve below the surface; they don’t identify systemic root causes, or present the range of interrelated issues that could create a jobs gap. The pictures portrayed are rarely an accurate reflection of the whole story. The unemployment rate measures a subset of employable people—those in a country’s workforce who are over the age of 16, who do not
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currently have a job, and have been actively seeking work during the past month. It does not account for discouraged workers; workers who want a job but are not currently looking due to adverse job market conditions, or parttimers who would like fulltime work if it were available. An alternative measure of employment conditions is the jobless rate, defined as the percentage of the population without a job.
JOBS TURN TO 9
Centro hosts new refurbished public computer center
Page 2 • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Insight News
COMMENTARY We movin’ to the outskirts of the town By William Reed Black Americans are losing political clout. The loss of voting power is not from white peoples’ skullduggery, but due to our own movement choices. 2010 Census data show that 20 of the 25 cities that have at least 250,000 people and a 20% Black population lost political clout. These declines happened in traditional Black strongholds such as: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland and Washington, DC. Black American political and population losses were fueled by middle-and-upper-class Blacks leaving cities for the suburbs and large percentages of Blacks leaving Northern cities for thriving centers in the South. The Census Bureau says
the nation’s population is 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million. The 9.7% growth rate was the lowest since the Great Depression. Michigan was the only state to lose population; and Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing. Whether upwardly mobile Blacks know it, or not, the new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas and Florida leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats, mostly at the Rust Belt’s expense. There are over 37 million Black Americans. Down from 14.8% of the population in 2000, we are 12.3% in 2010. Fiftytwo percent of Black Americans are female and 48 % are male. African Americans are the nation’s second-largest minority group. Political clout has left
the five counties that had the largest Black populations in 2000 - Cook in Illinois, Los Angeles, Wayne in Michigan, Kings in New York and Philadelphia - all lost Black population. Among the 25 counties with the biggest increase in Black population, three-quarters are in the South More than half of Black Americans live in the South. New York had the largest Black population of any state as of July 1, 2008 (3.5 million); Georgia had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (67,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of Blacks (56 percent), followed by Mississippi (38 percent). Cook County, Ill. (Chicago’s county) had the largest Black population of any county (1.4 million), and Orleans Parish, La. (New Orleans’ county) had
the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (16,000). Claiborne County, Miss. had the highest percentage of Blacks in the nation (84 percent). Places where Blacks had gained “political stronghold” status are losing Black people. Detroit lost almost 200,000 Blacks. Detroit’s 25 percent population drop represents the fastest collapse in American history of any major city not decimated by a natural disaster. Blacks’ percentage of Atlanta’s population shrank from 61% to 53%. But in Atlanta’s vast metropolitan area, the Black population soared to the secondlargest Black population after New York. Chicago lost more than 180,000 African American residents. The Black population fell 3.5% to 1.6 million.
Washington DC’s lost its Black majority. In their quest to “keep us with the Joneses” Blacks are hurting their ballot power. The number of Black Suburbanites climbed to 58 percent in the South, compared to 41 percent for the rest of the U.S. That’s up from 52 percent in 2000 and represents the highest share of suburban Blacks in the South since the Civil Rights Act passed in the 1960s. Suburbs anywhere are a huge draw. Typically, today’s middle-class AfricanAmerican families are making the same kind of choices as white families: As soon as their kids are school-age, they move to the suburbs. Suburbs are also luring lower-income Blacks who are leaving neighborhoods that don’t have supermarkets and other retail.
The South is the second most racially and ethnically diverse U.S. region after the West. Roughly 61 percent of its population is white, 19 percent black and 15 percent Hispanic. That’s compared with a national breakdown of 65 percent white, roughly 12 percent Black and 16 percent Hispanic. Blacks are leaving Blue State America for Red State America. Ironically, because in their “I can go anywhere I want” mindsets, are showing a preference for living in the kind of states dominated by Republicans. Because of Blacks’ movements, Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats. William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org
U.S. switches back and forth on Gaddafi Opinion
By George E. Curry The United States’ relationship with Moammar Gaddafi has vacillated over the years, at one time viewing him as a mad dog leader, then accepting him into the international community as a member in good standing and more recently, depicting him as an outcast while participating in coordinated multi-national air strikes on Libya. In a recent speech to the nation on Monday night, President Obama defended his decision to join France, the United Nations and now NATO in launching air strikes on the African country to protect civilians. The mass protests that led to the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after 35 years in power and the 23year tenure of Tunisia President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali have inspired protests throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East – including in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen – and have underscored the United States’ inconsistent foreign policy. While professing support for democracy around the world, the U.S. has openly supported dictators who routinely exploited and killed their own people, as was the case in Egypt under Mubarak and is the case in Bahrain under King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. In those and other instances, the
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released
U.S. turned a deft ear to human rights violations because the leaders of those countries were allied with America in the fight against international terrorism. In the case of Gaddafi, he has been considered both friend and foe.
Libya, a mostly desert country about four times the size of California, was divided into three different provinces, each with deep tribal tension, until a Gaddafi-led revolution ousted its former king in 1969. Even Gaddafi’s severest critics concede that he has used Libya’s newly-discovered oil wealth to uplift the poor, improving hospitals, and schools. Detractors say he runs an oppressive regime where political opponents are victims of public hangings. Gaddafi became an international pariah 25 years
ago. In 1986, the Reagan administration accused Libyan agents of bombing a disco in Berlin, Germany in which two American soldiers were killed. Reagan retaliated by bombing Libya. In the process, dozens of innocent civilians were killed, including Gaddafi’s adopted infant daughter. Two years later, Libya experienced the wrath of the international community after it was suspected of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that resulted in the deaths of 270 people. In 1992, the United Nations applied sanctions against Libya for
failing to turn over two suspects in the bombing. Beginning in 1998, when it became the first nation to issue an international arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden, Libya took a series of high-profile actions to repair its tarnished international reputation. In 1999, Gaddafi turned over two suspects in the Pan Am bombing, prompting the U.N. to lift economic sanctions against Libya. Two years later, when the two suspects were found guilty of murder, Gaddafi condemned the Sept. 11 attacks and urged his fellow citizens to donate blood to the victims. The U.N. made additional concessions in 2003 by lifting travel and weapons bans against Libya after it formally accepted responsibility for the Pan Am bombing. Libya paid more than $2 billion to settle claims by the victims’ families. In another step toward regaining international respectability, Libya disbanded its nuclear program and provided the CIA with information that helped uncover a nuclear underground market in Europe. President George W. Bush, eyeing Libya as a potential partner in the war against terrorism, lifted most U.S. trade sanctions in 2004. Describing the newlythawed relationship, the Los Angeles Times, which spells the Libyan leader’s last name differently from most news outlets, observed: “As it struggles to combat Islamic terrorist networks, the Bush administration has quietly built an intelligence alliance with Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, a onetime bitter enemy the U.S. had tried for years to isolate, topple or kill. “Kadafi has helped the U.S. pursue Al Qaeda’s network in North Africa by turning radicals over to neighboring pro-Western governments. He has also provided information to the CIA on Libyan nationals with alleged ties to international
terrorists.” The newspaper continued, “In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some antiKadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Kadafi’s agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there.” The international media’s obsession with highlighting only war, disease, poverty, and national disasters in Africa, means that many Americans don’t know about the progress being made in expanding democracy on the continent. The leaders of Egypt and Libya have been in power more than three decades. However, two-thirds of the 54 countries in Africa have leaders that have been in power 15 years or less. According to a 2008 poll of 19 African countries by www. afrobarometer.org, 29 percent of those polled rated their country as a full democracy, 30 percent of the respondents described their country as a democracy with minor problems, 25 percent labeled their country as a democracy with major problems and only 11 percent said they either didn’t live in a democracy or didn’t know the status of their nation. The major fear among some African leaders is that having joined in the air strikes against Libya, the Obama administration may now use that as an excuse to support military intervention in other African counties, providing a further setback to sovereignty and self-governance on the continent. George E. Curry, former editorin-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him at www.twitter. com/currygeorge.
Barry Bond’s trainer refuses to testify By Anthony Papa Greg Anderson, the government’s key witness against baseball great Barry Bonds, refused to testify in court last week landing him in jail for the fifth time. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston found Bond’s personal trainer in contempt of court. His lawyer says Anderson will not testify leaving the governments case against Bonds very weak. In my view Anderson is a hero and a true stand up guy who is willing to sacrifice his own freedom to stop the imprisonment of Bonds for putting a substance in his body. Bonds returned to the same courthouse where he told a grand jury in December 2003, that he had never knowingly taken performance-enhancing substances. His lawyer confirmed this by suggesting in court that Bonds never lied to a grand jury and even admitted that he may have unwittingly used steroids. Let’s face it, Bond’s indictment for lying to a grand jury may be the legal basis of the government wanting to put the baseball legend in prison,
but the real underlying reason for this federal indictment 8 years after the BALCO investigation is their failure to get Bonds to admit he had used steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs. In that case, Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) was alleged to have distributed illegal performance -enhancing drugs, triggering investigations by several governmental agencies. This resulted in a huge scandal which involved many major league baseball players and led to Major League Baseball initiating penalties for players caught using steroids in 2004. Bonds is facing prison time if convicted. Anti-doping advocates are hoping this will happen and use Bonds as an example to those calling for jail time for baseball players who use steroids. Many say that it may be the only effective deterrent for curbing illegal use. The government is willing to take down Bonds and in doing so blemish baseball so they can push their personal zero-tolerance agenda for drug use. They are set to call on Barry Bonds’ former teammates to testify along with
other retired Major League Baseball players in order to nail Bonds to a cross. What’s next ? Maybe exhuming the buried bones of all-star Ken Caminiti who died of a heart attack at age 41 after admitting taking steroids to boost his career. Jailing Bonds will not solve baseball’s problem or curb drug use in America. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. It has 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, with more than 2.4 million citizens sitting behind bars. Many of them have been rotting away in prison for years. One prisoner in particular I have come to know is former race car driver Randy Lanier who is in prison serving a life sentence for marijuana. He is in his 23rd year of incarceration and is currently seeking clemency from President Obama. Despite all of the incarceration, drug use and drug availability are as prevalent as ever. For the sake of argument, what if Bonds did use steroids? Does he belong in prison? He is not the first athlete to use them and he will not be the last. The pursuit for athletic
superiority through the use of chemicals has been around a long time. Before steroids were officially banned in the early 1970s, almost 70 percent of all Olympic athletes had used them. Is it ethical and morally right to sentence someone to a lengthy prison term for putting substances in their own body? The premise for prosecuting the other war with no exit strategy - the drug war -- has slowly but surely infiltrated the public’s eye through different vehicles. Now the feds attempt to bring their message through the sport of baseball. Because of the governments stance against the use of drugs Barry Bonds has joined the ranks of those demonized. This includes medical marijuana users, pain sufferers and their doctors who prescribe opioid analgesics, and students who are forced to urinate in cups. All of this in the name of a drug-free America without concern for individuals’ rights. The war on drugs is a war on people. Let Barry Bonds be! Anthony Papa is the author of 15 to Life and Manager of Media Relations for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Insight News • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Page 3
BUSINESS Supervisor makes you want to shout? Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond firstname.lastname@example.org A reader writes: My boss yells about everything. I’m good at my job, but after he rages at me, it takes a while to get over it. I
feel like Cinderella. Just when things start going well, he steps on the edge of my dress and it rips. Then it takes me a while to sew up my self-esteem and get back to the dance. I try not to personalize it, but it’s tough. People yell at people. Parents scream at kids, coaches throw chairs at players. A manager yelling at his subordinates is disturbing because it is conflicting. In a professional setting, people do not expect to be screamed at so, the first few
times, anyway, it catches you off guard. Secondly, when your best friend lets you have it, you are free to reply in kind. However, when a manager does it, the balance of power is decidedly off. He can yell at you. But yell back, and who knows… How to deal? First, take that deep breath you’re always hearing about. The deep breath your manager should have taken before he went off on a tirade. Clear your mind and recognize this is only
partly about you and what you did wrong; it is also about a person letting off steam. Negotiation research shows that he who speaks first loses the argument. Own the moment by silently listening. An adult who is so out of control that he is shouting at people is not clearheaded enough to hear your side objectively anyway; unless he asks a direct and specific question, stay put and stay silent. There will be time later on to state your case.
When the situation has been diffused, possibly later that day or later that week, or when given an opportunity to provide your perspective, do so without accusing anyone else of anything. Own this moment, too, by keeping the conversation focused forward: what happened? And how can we avoid it happening again? Do not point fingers, name names or seek revenge. Many workplace conflicts begin with a simple
Viva la (shopping) difference! By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil NNPA Columnist Who wears the (shopping) pants in your house? Ok, I know that was a really old school kind of question, but it got your
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Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Andrew Notsch Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Brenda Colston Julie Desmond S. Himie Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Ryan T. Scott Lydia Schwartz Stacey Taylor Photography Suluki Fardan Tobechi Tobechukwu Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.
misunderstanding. Avoid miscommunications by asking questions about the boss’ expectations. Seek clarification whenever needed, and follow up verbal conversations with email. If the situation doesn’t improve, seek something else entirely: a new job with a different organization. Julie Desmond is a recruiter with Express and Specialized Recruiting Group in Edina, MN. Write to email@example.com.
attention, right? Unless you’ve lived under a rock, we all know that the definition of families and households is ever-evolving (Note the success of ABC’s everpopular, multiple award-winning “Modern Family,” which features the gamut of non-traditional.). My employer, The Nielsen Company, which measures consumer trends and behaviors in almost every area of consumption around the globe, recently honed in on some major differences in the shopping “habits” of men and women. Fact is, in the United States, men are actually doing the food and household shopping more than ever before. (Now, this is really good news for someone like me who has done the grocery shopping as the head of my household for more than 20 years now. I keep hoping I’ll meet a nice, eligible man in the produce section of my local grocery store. Hope springs eternal.) According to Nielsen research, women still do the majority of shopping; but men are pulling up the rear. However, shopping behavior for men and women is a bit different. Women continue
to dominate shopping trips in all retail channels (grocery, super centers, warehouse clubs, dollar and drug) except convenience stores; but men have increased trip shares between 2004 and 2010 in all retail outlets but drug stores. Nielsen research also shows that women tend to be the biggest spenders per trip, which indicates that they handle the weekly planned shopping trips for their families. At grocery stores, women’s basket totals average $44.43 per trip; a man spends an average of $34.81 per trip. However, although women rule shopping at dollar stores and warehouse clubs (72% versus 28%), we only spend $3 - $5 more per trip than men. And, there are more interesting shopping stats. Did you know that Sunday is the most important shopping day of the week for both sexes, although Saturday is almost as important at warehouse club stores? That piece of information makes me wonder if I’m the only single person on the planet who thinks it’s a good idea to do the grocery shopping on a Saturday night. (I think I am going to have
to switch up my routine and maybe get a life.) Well, at least I’m in line with my demographic (women under 55), who shop mostly on the weekends. Women (and men) aged 55 and over spread their trips out more evenly over the course of the week. While Nielsen research does not predict that men will be the predominant shopper at the grocery store anytime soon, it is important for marketers to note the increase in male shopping activity. We can blame the increase in shopping on the economy. According to a February 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, men face a higher unemployment rate than women (8.8% compared to 7.9%). That means more men are staying at home than in the past, and in many cases are becoming more engaged in managing the day-today household duties. Because of our new economic reality, manufacturers and marketers are going to have to re-evaluate traditional ads, circulars and other promotional materials. One major consumer-packagedgoods manufacturer has already
developed a site targeting male homemakers. Others will surely follow suit because, as always, it’s all about how and where your valuable consumer dollars are spent. One area where the sexes are pretty much running neck and neck is in online shopping. More Nielsen research shows that almost three-fourths of women (72%) and more than two-thirds of men (68%) shopped online in the past 30 days. Consumers of both sexes between age 35 and 54 had the highest level of online shopping activity (74%), which makes sense because younger consumers have traditionally been the ones most on the cutting edge of technology. However, those numbers for online and mobile activity among seniors will increase as Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), who are comfortable with technology, age. The oldest Boomers this year started turning 65 and a number of retailers are already using their websites to target senior citizens with special online promotions, clubs that offer discounts and an array of other
attractive features. As for me, I have a fabulous marketing idea. How about turning the “Meat Market or Department” into the “Meet Market?” Especially on Saturday nights, say between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.? I know of at least one single Black female who is usually there.
for Minnesotans. He supports simply cutting out middle-man insurance companies in favor of patients creating plans directly
with their medical providers. In 2007, Elizabeth Frost MD, founded the MN Chapter of Physicians for a National Health
Program, which advocates “for both national and state reform to make single-payer a reality.” Dr. Frost, currently a Family
Practitioner at Hennepin County Medical Center, faces health care
From 1 companies from limiting health care. Rep. Ellison says that he remains a staunch advocate for single-payer and public health care options. During the 2011 MN Legislative Session, legislators will be voting on the MN Health Plan—authored by Sen. Marty—a proposed singlepayer plan that guarantees affordable health care for every Minnesotan. All licensed health care providers will be included in one state-wide network, giving residents freedom to choose their own providers. The Plan (Senate File 8/ House File 51) guarantees coverage of preventive and primary care, hospitalization, mental health, dental, home health care, prescriptions, and medical equipment for all state residents. Providing universal access to primary care will reduce unnecessary visits to an Emergency Room. Premiums will be simply based on ability to pay. The plan will be accountable to the public and administered by an independent MN Health Plan Board composed of regional doctors, nurses, patients and their families. By having only one plan and one set of rules will result in major administrative savings and higher quality care by putting doctors and patients at the center. The Plan removes the insurance company middle-man from our health care. In addition, employers will be relieved from negotiating and administering insurance benefits because the secure coverage will be de-linked from employment. The Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Organizing Director, Phillip Cryan, discussed the dynamic between health care and the economy. SEIU is an organization united by the belief in the dignity of workers and the services they provide. Cryan says that our current system “creates an intense fear of financial ruin and bankruptcy resulting from a medical diagnosis”. Due to corporate lobbying over recent decades, private health management organizations (HMOs) have increasingly replaced public health care plans, which are less transparent. HMOs are allowed cash reserves that are not required to actually be spent on health care. If we are to maintain a system that favors insurance companies and their exorbitant CEO salaries, Cryan argues, HMOs must be forced to reinvest our public tax dollars back into health care
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is the senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for The Nielsen Company. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com About The Nielsen Company The Nielsen Company (NYSE: NLSN) is a leading global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related assets. The company has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information on The Nielsen Company, visit www.nielsen.com.
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Page 4 • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Insight News
Superintendents weigh in By Keith Dixon, Superintendent, Duluth Public Schools; Bernadeia Johnson, Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools; Valeria Silva, Superintendent, Saint Paul Public Schools Late in the month of March, both the House and Senate education committees approved legislation that will deal devastating blows to city schools by divesting state support for low-income learners while simultaneously raising property taxes in our three cities. Why would the legislature turn its back on its population centers? We have the potential to produce exceptional talent that
will make Minnesota a global leader. This education policy will not successfully bring us to 2050 with a diverse work force ready to innovate and lead. Moreover, these calculated cuts are a slap in the face to the 78,500 students in our school districts. Funding to promote integration and decrease racial segregation -eliminated. Compensatory funding to educate students who live in extreme poverty -- frozen. Special education funding -- frozen. The Senate bill reduces education funding overall by $30 million over the next two years – achieved through a combined $30 million in cuts to Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth. The House bill reduces funding overall by $14 million over the next biennium, with cuts to our three districts totaling $57 million, while the rest of the state receives an increase of $43 million.
There is no effort to mitigate the loss of such a significant amount by phasing it out over time. As the House funds are redistributed to other districts, this is not a cut intended to help resolve Minnesota’s budget deficit. At best, this is a hurried and short-sighted approach to address an increasingly complex education landscape. At worst, this is a punitive move that will disproportionately impact city schools and undermine the achievement of the very students who have the farthest to go. Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth have a more diverse, more mobile, more complex body of students than most school districts in Minnesota. Students of color comprise 76 percent of Saint Paul’s enrollment, 68 percent in Minneapolis and 18 percent in Duluth -- almost entirely concentrated in Duluth’s central hillside area. Students whose
families live below the poverty line comprise 71 percent of Saint Paul’s enrollment, 66 percent in Minneapolis and 42 percent in Duluth. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul more than 7,000 students are homeless or highly mobile. Their learning needs are profound. Governor Dayton has stated often “that a budget bill is about our values and priorities as much as it is about dollars and cents.” Strong integration policy is a critical component of a larger agenda focused on eliminating disparities and creating equity and opportunity for all students. Integration is a core value that our diverse families and communities strongly support. We question the message being sent by a measure that so pointedly steps back from promoting integration as a core value, particularly in school districts with significant populations of students of color.
In our districts, integration funding is used for more than just busing students around the city. None of us believe that simply moving students from one area to another will result in improved achievement. While funds do support parent choice and transportation to magnet programs, integration aid also is used for targeted interventions, such as specialists who work one-on-one with families to support learning, data coaches who help teachers examine data daily and adjust their instruction to better suit individual learning needs, and the successful AVID program that helps middle and high school students prepare for college. If these programs are gutted, we will be looking at a growing achievement gap, not a closing one. We will not be able to offer students even limited choice options. Passage of this bill would
come as a detriment to our students, our cities and our state as a whole. This is precisely the wrong time to divest resources from the important task of closing the achievement gap. This is precisely the right time to make even better use of these resources. Our districts’ intentional efforts are beginning to show positive results in the most critical need areas. We are moving in the right direction. Greater accountability for results is a must. We know that current integration legislation would benefit from clearer targets and specific outcomes. We fully embrace the urgency with which we must move mountains for our students. However, we fail to see how this legislation will produce what we all want for our students – better teaching, better learning, better involvement, better outcomes.
Open forums assess higher education needs in southwest Minnesota Two public forums are set for next week at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College as part of a study to assess higher education needs in southwest Minnesota. The public forums will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 249 of the Student Center on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus and from 5 to 6 p.m. April 5 in the Commons of the Worthington campus at
Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Members of the public who are unable to attend an open forum and who would like to submit written comments on the higher education needs of the area can send them to Todd Harmening, system director for planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 30 7th St. E, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN, 55101. The study has been prompted by the announcement of Southwest Minnesota State University
President David Danahar to retire June 30; the changing demographics, economics and other market conditions in the region; and the need for improved alignment between institutions in the region. The study will identify the key higher education programs and services needed by the region now and in the future. It will explore administrative and organizational structures, including the current institutional configuration, and other approaches that
could include consolidation, administrative alignment or other programmatic and financial opportunities to enhance or sustain programs and services in the region. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has engaged MGT of America to conduct the study and make recommendations to the system chancellor. The consultants also plan to hold separate meetings during the next few weeks with industry
and community representatives in the region and faculty, staff and administration at the two institutions. The consultants will visit all five campuses of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Results of the study are expected to be announced in the spring or summer of 2011. And the chancellor is expected to present a recommendation for an interim president at Southwest Minnesota State University to the Board of Trustees in May.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College has campuses in Jackson, Worthington, Pipestone, Canby and Granite Falls. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 277,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 157,000 students in noncredit courses.
Minneapolis Public Schools recruits volunteers to support literacy goals The volunteer program at the Minneapolis Public Schools, Volunteer MPS, is recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to read to kindergarten, first-, secondand third-grade students. MPS will hold a training session for volunteers interested in becoming literacy tutors,
Tuesday, April 5, from 1:30 -3:30 p.m. at MPS Community Education Services, 2225 East Lake Street in Minneapolis. The effort was developed to enhance the literacy curriculum and support the work already being done in each kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade
classroom. Literacy Tutors will be trained to assist teachers in building crucial skills during classroom literacy instruction in MPS elementary schools. “The work of narrowing performance gaps between students starts with setting high expectations and increasing
literacy and reading levels early in schooling,” said Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. “I commend our students, teachers, volunteers and other instructional staff, principals, parents, and community organizations for their belief, support and
determination of this goal.” Volunteers must be able to commit to participating in one-to-two classroom tutoring sessions per week, lasting 1.5 – 2 hours each, from April through June. MPS also requires that all volunteers pass a background check and complete an
evaluation before and after the tutoring experience. For more information or to enroll in a literacy tutor training session, please contact Abe Wofse via phone at 612.668.3989 or email at Abe. Wofse@mpls.k12.mn.us .
Insight News • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Page 5
AESTHETICS Disgraced attorney seeks redemption in crime thriller Film Review By Kam Williams email@example.com If you enjoy trying to solve a cerebral, multi-layered mystery, then get yourself to a theater to see this cleverly-conceived whodunit before anybody has a chance to spoil it for you. Based on Michael Connelly’s best-seller of the same name, this intricate thriller is directed by Brad Furman (The Take) and stars Matthew McConaughey in the title role. He plays the sort of down on his luck attorney audiences just love to root for, an empathetic underdog in need of redemption, reminiscent of the recovering alcoholic Paul Newman portrays in The Verdict in an Oscar-winning performance. McConaughey’s character, Mick Haller, is a likable lush whose driver’s license was suspended for operating under the influence. But because his Ford Lincoln functions both as a means of transportation and as an office,
Courtesy of Lionsgate Pictures
he now has a delinquent client (Laurence Mason) chauffeuring him around L.A. as a way of paying off a debt. Besides booze, Mick is battling his ex-wife, Margaret (Marisa Tomei), not only because they have a child (Mackenzie Aladjem) together, but because, as a criminal prosecutor, she works on the other side of the law. As a defense attorney who makes ‘house calls’ right on the street with the miscreants he’s stuck with representing, mobility is critical to Mick. Given this low grade of clientele, he thanks his lucky stars the day he’s told by a bail bondsman (John Leguizamo) that Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe), the son of a Beverly Hills real estate tycoon (Frances Fisher), wants to hire him. Mick learns that the 32 yearold heir has just been arrested for the attempted murder of a badly-bruised woman (Margarita Levieva) he picked up at a nightclub. In a meeting behind bars, Louis claims that he’s being framed by the money-hungry liar who staged the attack with a couple of confederates. According to his version of what transpired, someone standing behind the alleged victim’s apartment door knocked him unconscious as soon
as he entered, and then planted a knife and her blood on him. Seeing Louis’ as his ticket to a higher tax bracket, Mick arranges for his release on a million-dollar bond, insisting on a six-figure retainer for what he reasonably expects to be an open and shut case. His client’s clean-cut alibi is subsequently corroborated by a key piece of evidence, the bar’s surveillance videotape showing the accuser slipping Louis her phone number on a napkin on the night in question. But when the assistant D.A. (Josh Lucas) sticks with his plans to put the defendant on trial, Mick asks his trusty private investigator, Frank (William H. Macy), to dig a little deeper. Soon the plot thickens deliciously in myriad ways, and which it would be unfair to divulge. Suffice to say that what ensues is a deceptivelycomplex game of cat and mouse that’s a pure delight to observe as it unravels. Easily, the best blockbuster of the year thus far! Excellent (4 stars) Rated R for violence, sexuality and profanity Running time: 119 Minutes Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Clarence Thomas’ ex expounds on steamy memoir By Kam Williams Retired Justice Lillian McEwen was born, raised and educated in Washington, D.C. Her stellar legal career there spanned several decades, including stints as a prosecutor, Capitol Hill staff counsel, criminal defense attorney, law professor and federal judge. Judge McEwen recently published her memoir, D.C. Unmasked & Undressed, a steamy tell-all chronicling her sexually-adventurous private life, paying particular attention to her longtime relationship with a prominent colleague, U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In the process, McEwen belatedly resurrects the reputation of Anita Hill by offering proof that the disgraced law professor was telling the truth 20 years ago when she testified against Thomas during his controversial confirmation hearings. Kam Williams: Hello, Your Honor, thanks for the interview. How are you? Lillian McEwen: Hi Kam. I’m good. KW: How’d you like my review
of the book? LE: [Chuckles] My PR guy loved it, and we both thank you. KW: That sounds like you had some issues with it, but I have so many questions from readers, I better get right to them rather than pursue that line of questioning. Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: ‘What’s it all about Lillie?’ Why now? Why not then, when Dr. Hill needed your support in her testimony against Clarence Thomas? LE: I was counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee under Joe Biden, so I knew pretty much what the process was. What
happens when people make offers to testify, the committee’s role is to advise and consent as part of its Constitutional mandate. Typically, these letters are anonymous, and they’re taken to the nominee who then has a choice of withdrawing their name from nomination or otherwise risk having that person testify against you at the hearing. Quite frankly, the reason that I didn’t come forward at the time that Clarence’s name was before the committee, was because I knew from my experience on Capitol Hill that it really wouldn’t make any difference. What happens
is that, the party in power will nominate whomever they want. In Clarence’s case, he was nominated, of course, as a result of our having a Republican president. And neither Joe Biden nor any of the other Democratic senators wanted to risk being labeled as racist or thought of as being against a black nominee after Clarence played the race card. KW: That leads me to a question from Kola Boof: Why didn’t you go to the media back then when the case was such a media circus? We all know that the Democrat males were just as sexist and
fearful as the Republicans of sexual harassment being taken seriously. So, they all, as men, took Clarence’s side. Lillian, your story would have gotten Clarence dismissed because having a person of your stature speak up at that time in the heat of it would have been too damaging. LE: Because it wouldn’t have made any difference whether I went to the media or not. But most importantly, Clarence and I had a conversation before he was nominated in which he informed me that it was his desire that I
MCEWEN TURN TO 11
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HEALTH Water fluoridation: Safe or not? By EarthTalk®, E - The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: So, what’s the story: Is it good that we have fluoride in our tap water or not? I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions over the years. -- Benjamin P., Mission, KS The debate over whether we should add fluoride to public drinking water has raged since the 1940s when American cities first initiated the practice as a way to fight the scourge of tooth decay. The benefits of more research and hindsight in recent years have led many policymakers to reconsider the merits of so-called artificial fluoridation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that today over 60 percent of Americans get fluoridated drinking water from their taps whether they want it or not. Critics of the practice worry that we are exposing ourselves to much more fluoride—which can be problematic in the extreme—than is necessary to fight tooth decay. After
all, some fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral, finds its way into food and drinking water, typically in low concentrations, without human intervention. And most of us, kids included, use fluoride toothpaste twice a day. So what’s the risk, anyway? According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), over-exposure to fluoride can be toxic, causing dental fluorosis (mottling and loss of tooth enamel) and skeletal fluorosis (joint pain, stiffness and bone fractures). “Some studies point to a possible link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), neurotoxicity and disruption of thyroid function,” says EWG. Proponents of fluoridation argue that the benefits of adding it to drinking water far outweigh any potential risks. Various studies have shown that fluoridating drinking water can indeed lead to as much as a 40 percent reduction in cavities in populations of both kids and adults. But studies in other areas that do not artificially fluoridate—such as throughout most of Europe—have shown
Banana Stock, Courtesy Thinkstock
According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, overexposure to fluoride can be toxic and many American children are at risk from excess fluoride in drinking water and other sources.
similar improvements in recent decades, perhaps thanks to increased attention to teeth by family and school health care practitioners. Regardless, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a lowering of the maximum recommended fluoride level for municipal water from 1.2 milligrams per liter to 0.7. “We’ve had to wait too long, but the government’s announcement marks a belated recognition that many American children are at risk from excess fluoride in drinking water and other sources,” says EWG’s Jane Houlihan. “HHS has taken an important first step. Now it’s up to water utilities to respond and for the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] to lower its too-high legal limit on fluoride in drinking water, which is more than five times the new maximum being recommended by the [HHS].” You can check if your water is fluoridated, and if so, how much, via the CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride website. If it is, you can also invest in a filter that removes it. However,
they are not cheap: Countertop water distillers go for $200 and up, and an activated alumina defluoridation filter—most come in cartridge form and can be placed in-line under counters—are costly, too, and need to be changed out frequently. FilterWater.com, among other sources, has a wide range of choices available for sale. Unfortunately, the most popular and less expensive home water filters, like those from Pur and Brita, do not remove fluoride.
CONTACTS: EWG, www. ewg.org; CDC My Water’s Fluoride, http://apps.nccd. cdc.gov/MWF; FilterWater. com’s Fluoride Water F i l t e r s , w w w. f i l t e r w a t e r. com/s-4-fluoride-filters.aspx. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@ emagazine.com. Subscribe: w w w. e m a g a z i n e . c o m / subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Hennepin County smoking rate lower Minnesota’s Hennepin County smoking rate of 12 percent is lower than the state and national averages of 16 percent and 20 percent respectively. That’s the good news. The bad news is Hennepin residents are growing more obese. Both statistics are from Hennepin County’s Survey of the Health of All the Population and the Environment (SHAPE 2010). Conducted every four years since 1998, SHAPE provides the most comprehensive overview of the county’s adult and child population on health issues such as tobacco use, obesity,
physical activity and nutrition. With data spanning 12 years, lead researcher Sheldon Swaney said, trends are emerging, including: About two-thirds of Hennepin residents report their health is very good or excellent, which is an important statistic because it is a reliable indicator of overall health-related quality of life. The smoking rate among adults continues to decline from 21 percent in 1998 to 12 percent in 2010 – a 43 percent reduction. Although in 2010 there are about 79,000 more adults living in Hennepin than in
1998, the number of people who smoke dropped by 64,000. For the first time, more than 60 percent of the adults report “never smoking.” Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 show an even more marked decrease in smoking rates, from 37 percent in 1998 to 18 percent in 2010. Smoking rates vary across the county; North Minneapolis’ rate is 24 percent while the Northwest Hennepin outer-ring suburbs’ rate is 7 percent. While tobacco use is significantly down, more than half of the county’s adults are classified as obese (20 percent) or overweight (33 percent).
This is notably higher than the 1998 survey when the obesity rate was 14 percent. Obesity rates have steadily risen in each of the SHAPE surveys. SHAPE results show some populations are disproportionately affected by obesity, including: Older adults aged 55 to 64 have a 27 percent rate of obesity compared to young adults who report 13 percent. Adults living in poverty have a 26 percent rate of obesity compared to 19 percent for households with incomes at or above twice the federal poverty level. Adults in North
Minneapolis have a 30 percent obesity rate while adults in East Minneapolis have a 16 percent obesity rate. “SHAPE data will help policymakers and agencies develop strategies aimed at helping residents live longer, healthier lives,” Swaney said. “Many chronic diseases and conditions are preventable with nutrition, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and choosing not to use tobacco products. We know that certain risk factors and socio-environmental conditions affect healthy living, and the SHAPE data provides quantifiable data that will help us target appropriate
interventions.” The SHAPE survey was mailed to thousands of randomly selected Hennepin households in the summer of 2010, asking over 100 questions about health. Results were gathered and analyzed by Public Health staff. To learn more about SHAPE and the results of previous surveys, go to www. hennepin.us/SHAPE. The SHAPE 2010 survey is made possible through funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) of the Minnesota Department of Health.
Free eye exams for infants at Open Cities Health Center Free eye exams will be offered at Open Cities Health Center (OCHC) for infants from six to 12 months on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The InfantSEE Family Health Event will be held at the clinic’s Midway location in St. Paul at 409 N. Dunlap Street. The event is open to the public and will include: FREE InfantSEE eye exams for babies (6-12 months of age, please pre-register)! FREE lunch and entertainment for all attendees. FREE $20 gift card for each family that schedules and
completes an InfantSEE eye exam. FREE dental screenings; diabetic education; prenatal education; and, smoking cessation information for the entire family. FREE raffle for a flat screen TV for participating families. This is the first time that the InfantSEE® program is being offered as a one-day community event in Minnesota. That means space is limited and so you must pre-register by calling OCHC at 651-2909258. InfantSEE® provides a
one-time, comprehensive eye assessment to infants in their first year of life, typically between the ages of six and 12 months. These assessments are provided at no cost to all families. OCHC is partnering with the Minnesota Optometric Association to offer the free infant eye exams. InfantSEE® is a national program offered through the American Optometric Association. “Because healthy eyes and vision are critical to normal development in infants and children, the AOA established the nationwide InfantSEE®
program in 2005 to provide comprehensive eye and vision assessments to babies,” said Dr. Matt Bauer, OCHC’s optometrist and organizer of the InfantSEE® clinic. “We are excited to be the first health clinic in the state to host the program.” Dr. Bauer stressed the importance of the InfantSEE® assessment. He said that statistics show that 1 in every 10 children are at risk for having an undiagnosed vision condition yet only 13 percent of mothers take their children to see an eye doctor. Many
of these problems can be easily corrected by having a comprehensive vision exam. Additionally, many parents think that the screenings done in school are actually vision exams but they are not. They are only screenings. As a result, many children never have an eye exam and many problems go undetected and untreated. “Risk factors for many eye conditions, including amblyopia (often referred to as lazy eye), muscle imbalances, and some ocular diseases, have no signs or symptoms and may
not be detected in a well-baby check-up, that’s why the free InfantSEE® is such a benefit to families and the community,” said Dr. Bauer. OCHC is a full service medical, dental and behavioral health clinic that has been serving residents in the Twin Cities metropolitan area for over 44 years. The clinic served over 16,000 patients with over 58,000 patient visits at its two clinic sites in 2010. One-fourth of OCHC’s patients are uninsured and over 80 percent live below federal poverty levels.
USDA expands access to fresh fruits and vegetables WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that, as authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), USDA will expand
assistance to state agencies for schools operating USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in the 2011/2012 school year. The investment is part of the Obama administration’s
efforts to improve the health of our children by providing access to nutritious meals in schools and also serves as a valuable resource to schools that continue working to
improve the health and nutrition of the foods they serve. The assistance will provide free fresh fruit and vegetables to children throughout the school day. “Improving the health and nutrition of our kids is a national imperative and by providing schools with fresh fruits and vegetables that expand their healthy options, we are helping our kids to have a brighter, healthier future,” said Vilsack. “Every time our kids eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable, they are learning healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.” The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, authorized and funded under Section 19 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and expanded in recent years as a result of the 2008 Farm Bill, operates in selected lowincome elementary schools in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. This year, USDA plans to provide $158 million in assistance to state agencies. States then select schools to participate based on criteria in the law, including the requirement that each student receives between $50 and $75 worth of fresh produce over the school year. “The program is highly successful in introducing schoolchildren to a variety of produce they otherwise might
not have the opportunity to try,” said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “I am pleasantly surprised when children tell me it was their first time trying a particular fruit or vegetable. Fortunately children are learning fruits and vegetables are healthy choices and tasty alternatives to snacks high in fat, sugar, or salt.” In January, USDA published a proposed rule to update the nutrition standards for meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law by President Barack Obama. The proposed rule, based on the latest science, will make the first major improvement to the nutritional quality of school meals in 15 years, and is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. The standards will significantly increase fruit and vegetables provided at lunch and for the first time, both fruits and vegetables will be served daily. Depending on enrollment and the allotment spent on each child, USDA estimates the expanded assistance could help schools serve additional 600,000 to 950,000 students in
school year 2011-2012. Improving child nutrition is the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed by President Obama in December 2010. The legislation authorizes USDA’s child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The Act allows USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children, and help a new generation win the future by having healthier lives. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit www.fns. usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.
Insight News • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Page 7
Barajas named UROC Executive Director Robert J. Jones, senior vice president for the Office of System Academic Administration at the University of Minnesota, has announced the appointment of Heidi Lasley Barajas as executive director of the University of Minnesota Urban Research and OutreachEngagement Center (UROC). Barajas is the associate dean for engagement and faculty development in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and an associate professor (and founding chair) of postsecondary teaching and learning. She has been coleader of the interim executive team guiding UROC since its May 2010 grand opening in North Minneapolis as a hub for university-community research partnerships aimed at strengthening urban communities. “Heidi brings to UROC a unique breadth of experience as a collaborative leader, creative thinker and community-engaged scholar in diverse settings,” said Jones, who oversees UROC and other central University public
University of Minnesota News Service
Heidi Barajas, Executive Directory of UROC
engagement initiatives. “Her proven strengths as a consensus builder and communicator, her history at forging strong relationships within and outside the university and her administrative and academic credentials all made her the top choice to lead the center.” As UROC executive director, Barajas will provide both administrative and strategic leadership for UROC,
which links the resources of the University with those of government, business and community organizations to address complex urban challenges of education, health and community and economic development. The center is home to a dozen resident programs and many campus-community projects in a University-owned and renovated building at Plymouth and Penn avenues. “I am thrilled that we have this extraordinary Universitycommunity enterprise called UROC. I’m deeply honored that I can be part of it,” said Barajas. Barajas will work with Jones and many University and community partners to advance UROC research priorities; to nurture partnerships that improve quality of life in North Minneapolis and strengthen the entire region and state; and to build new models of university public engagement and urban development. Broadening the engagement of faculty, developing evaluation tools and guiding the center toward longterm impact and sustainability will be among the high-priority
challenges, according to Jones, who calls Barajas “an ideal choice to lead UROC to the next level.” As CEHD associate dean since 2007, Barajas has worked to link research and teaching with pressing community needs and to build long-term campuscommunity partnerships. A sociologist by training, Barajas joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor in General College. She is a team leader for the Office of Public Engagement and an affiliate with the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development. Her research, teaching and public service focus on institutional issues related to access and equity, especially how to build public schools that support students across differences of race, gender and class. Another interest is how innovative pedagogy such as service-learning and universal instructional design may support multicultural learning environments and improve learning outcomes.
Barajas has served as a core member of the University Northside Partnership and helped shape UROC strategic planning. She cochairs the advisory committee for the Hennepin University Partnership, serves on the oversight body for the county’s AGRAD initiative to boost graduation rates and reduce achievement disparities, and is a board member of Hope Community, a neighborhood revitalization initiative in South Central Minneapolis. Barajas, a native of Riverside, Calif., received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Minnesota as a National Science Foundation Fellow; she also holds a B.A. in Spanish and education and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Utah. Barajas, who lives in Minneapolis, has four grown children and four grandchildren. The search for the executive director post was coordinated by a University-community committee cochaired by Andrew Furco of the University’s Office of Public Engagement
and Sondra Samuels of the PEACE Foundation/Northside Achievement Zone. Jones expressed his appreciation for the contributions of Geoffrey Maruyama and Rose Brewer, who served with Barajas on the interim leadership team and who also were finalists for the executive director post. Both will continue to be involved with UROC. UROC Mission: The Urban Research and Outreach/ Engagement Center in North Minneapolis links the University of Minnesota in vital public partnership with urban communities to advance learning, improve quality of life and discover breakthrough solutions to critical problems. UROC Vision: UROC builds thriving, innovative, and respectful collaborations for a healthy and vibrant North Minneapolis, creates new models of urban and community development and strengthens the University of Minnesota as a vitally engaged 21st-century university serving the public good.
Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works receives EPA grant Hennepin County’s MinnehahaHiawatha Community Works project recently received a Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) award of $100,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. Hennepin County and community partners will use the CARE grant to launch the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Corridor Environmental Collaboration, which will identify, prioritize
and address environmental health risks. Hennepin County will work closely with the Longfellow Community Council, Longfellow Business Association, the Women’s Environmental Institute and
the East Phillips Improvement Coalition on the grant-funded activities. The information gathered as a result of the grant funding will allow the county to help area residents and businesses gain
an understanding of the major sources of exposure to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns in the corridor, collect all existing cumulative environmental health data and collaborate with the community
to prioritize risks for reduction. For more information about Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works, please visit the project website at http:// minnehaha-hiawatha.com/.
Dishing up energy, water savings on Lake Street You wouldn’t know it as you dine at Lucia’s, chat it up at the Fuji-Ya’s sushi bar, break your fast at Denny’s, or feast on local Mexican at Las Mojarras, but all of these popular restaurants are saving water and energy with every dish, bowl, and glass they wash. Several restaurants along Lake Street, including those listed above, are installing a free highefficiency pre-rinse spray valve. Each spray valve will save the restaurants $200–$700 a year in water and energy costs, while making a statement about how restaurants can play a role in energy efficiency in a real way. Any restaurant along Lake Street that uses a spray valve to rinse dishes is eligible for the “Lake Street Pre-Rinse Spray Valve Upgrade Program”, which is offered by the Lake Street Council, Energy Smart, the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), and the Food Service Energy Leadership Program. Restaurants along Lake Street who sign up for the program will schedule a short visit with an Energy Smart staff person who will measure the current flow of the pre-rinse spray valve to determine if it is an efficient model. If it is not already efficient, restaurants have the option to install a new high-efficiency prerinse spray valve provided by the program at no cost. “At first we had concerns about the water pressure and were a little skeptical, but we have had absolutely no problems,” explains Lori Valenziano, chef of Lucia’s on 31st Street and Hennepin Avenue. “We are very happy that we were approached by Lake Street Council with this initiative. We were extremely happy with how efficient and timely the onsite visit was with Energy Smart.” Lucia’s now awaits replacement of their other two valves with high-efficiency models. The latest models of spray valves are designed differently from traditional spray valves, which take some getting used to, but their functionality is the same, and the design allows for easy cleaning. Their greatest feature, of course, is the fact that they’ll save restaurant owners hundreds of dollars a year on their water and energy bills.
Health From 3 crises every day. “Every person walking down the street deserves to see a doctor without making important decisions based on cost,” she says. Dr. Frost believes that the ACA is a good start for health care reform, but stands against an employer-based insurance system. She spoke of the importance of patients using one provider and coordinating at-home care. “People often are unable to afford to stay home and take care of ill family members,” Dr. Frost said, “it’s a tough decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility”.
Oscar Reyes, owner of Las Mojarras, was happily surprised by the new spray valve. “I saw a big difference in the water amount that was used with my old spray valve and realized that I don’t need a lot of water. I need good water pressure. The new spray valve has great pressure and gets the job done!” Denny’s Restaurant owner, Bob Quigley, was also impressed with the new model. “The new sprayer that was installed works great and probably even works better than the previous one. The water pressure is also a lot better on the new one.” So far, over 15 restaurants have participated in the program, collectively saving themselves $8,500 a year on water and energy costs. Tom Hanson of Fuji-Ya exclaimed, “I love it!” As energy prices fluctuate, businesses can become proactive in managing their operating and energy costs. Improving equipment means working with the most up-to-date technology and locking in lower energy prices for years to come. “There are many resources out
The model of spray valve the program is offering for free
Photos courtesy of Lake Street Council
Luz Maria Rumipulla, Dishwasher at Lucia’s Restaurant, participant in the Lake Street Spray Value Upgrade Program there to help restaurants free up money—money that can be used for other business needs,” says Michelle Vigen, CERTs Campaign and Metrics Coordinator. “We want to make it as easy as possible to help folks take this first step.” So far, a strong handful of restaurants have stepped up to show their leadership in water conservation and energy Fiscal conservatives are doing everything possible to defund, repeal, spread misinformation about health care reform, and continuously chip away our rights to see a doctor at an affordable price. Sen. Marty denounces this ideological opposition to what Republicans have named ‘ObamaCare.’ This conservative hostility toward the poor and family planning services “is causing Republicans to take measures that sometimes don’t even make sense to them,” he says. It is time to de-privatize our health care programs and give them back to the people. In order to build a healthier Minnesota, we must take our state dollars out of the pockets of corporate HMOs and use them instead to provide high quality health care
efficiency—and still more have scheduled their appointments to learn more and get a free highefficiency pre-rinse spray valve installed. To learn more about highefficiency pre-rinse spray valves, visit: http://sprayvalve.mncerts. org If you have a pre-rinse spray valve and want to participate, contact Chelsey Johnson at for the people of our state. Rep. Ellison also spoke to generational debate over citizen partnership and the moral right to make sure that everybody can go to the doctor. “You may not like paying taxes,” he said, “but we
Juan Xinastoe, Manager of Los Hornos Del Ray, participant in the Lake Street Spray Valve Upgrade Program Energy Smart by calling 651-2924652. Por espanol, por favor llama ZoeAna Martinez de Lake Street Council a 612-822-1912. The Clean Energy Resource Teams connect Minnesotans with resources to identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. CERTs is made up of community members across Minnesota who share a bold vision for Minnesota’s have to make sure that somebody is minding the store… If we’re stout of heart, the conversation of the nation will shift.” For more information on public health care options, visit www.HealthCare.gov.
energy future: to foster strong communities, to create local jobs, and to develop clean and reliable energy from clean sources. CERTs is a partnership of the University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the
Eureka Recycling, Southwest Regional Development Commission, The Minnesota Project, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security.
Page 8 • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Insight News
LIFESTYLE LongShot: A true role model for youth
By Josh Georgiades Hip Hop is the most popular music for young people today. Chad “LongShot“ Heslup is a highly respected hip hop emcee. An emcee is a lyricist who speaks or raps over musical beats. LongShot was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Most of his lyrics reflect family, role models, and the struggles of society. He grasps the pain and suffering of the masses of people in America. He has the amazing ability to connect to people’s difficulty with love and respect. LongShot grew up as a ward of the State of Illinois. He moved from place to place; he lived with his grandmother and more foster homes then he can remember. He finally ended up in a program called, ‘Boys Hope’, which was a great experience for him. He graduated from high school and entered Drake University in Iowa on a football scholarship. An injury put an end to his football dreams. Life is so fantastic that when one door closes, another one opens. For LongShot, his next dream was poetry and music. In 1999 he created a book of poetry called Scream of the Butterfly. It was followed by a single, dubbed Happiness is Hard to Find, which paved the way for his first solo CD in
2003, called, Open Mouths Fed. To date, he has produced 5 full length CDs: Civil War Pt. 1 & 2, Sacrifice, Issues, and Addicted. In March 2011 LongShot was a finalist for a Vita.Mn contest, of which he was on the cover of their weekly paper. He was also on the cover of the Star Tribune variety section. He has made Minneapolis his home for the last two years. LongShot worked with students at WE WIN Institute. WE WIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to the academic and social success of all children. With programs in north and south Minneapolis, WE WIN serves children from pre-kindergarten through 10th grade. He created a song for the children called WE W.I.N. He played the song which created great excitement amongst the children. He taught them how to create their own original spoken word compositions. The students performed their masterpieces for the emcee. The children were totally engaged. LongShot was a magnificent role model and an example of African American excellence. LongShot recently completed a mixtape late in 2010, entitled, LongShot is the Future of the Chi which is available for free download on his MC LongShot Facebook page. He is releasing a new mixtape on April 1.
Courtesy of WE WIN Institute
Front Row: Ania Larkin, Ananda White, Athena Conway; Second Row: (Staff) Mila Hamilton, Makalia Miller, Arieana WilliamsBass, Davont Moore, Tavoris Thompson, Trayveon Larkin, Geormontae Jefferson, Deja Woods; Third Row: LongShot, Jordan Miller, Durond Bell, (Staff) Linda Benford; Back Row: Anika Logan, (Staff) Josh Georgiades, Akaiya Conway, Mark Miller Josh Georgiades: Your song, WE W.I.N. was a teaching tool for youth at WE WIN Institute. How did you come up with song? LongShot: I came up with the idea for the WE W.I.N. song just by playing with the letters in my head. I didn’t know if WE W.I.N. stood for something as words or if they were just the title of the program. I came up with WE W.ork I.n the N.eighborhood, and then I wrote the song. JG: You have now come multiple times to visit WE
WIN children, giving lessons on rhyme scheme, telling your story, and opening up for personal questions, how has that affected your life? LS: Having the opportunity to talk with our youth has affected my life in a very positive way. Like many of the kids in the WE WIN programs, I come from a challenging family life. So for me to be able to talk to them and give them encouraging and positive words has meant the world to me. Kids need care! They need to see that people: parents, teachers, mentors and others in their life take an
interest in them and what they are doing. I was blessed to have people in my life like that as a young man, and so any time I can give back in that capacity I try to take advantage of it.
LS: I think guidance is the most pressing need for any child of any generation. We need our parents, first and foremost, to be the leaders and role models of our youth. It all starts at home.
JG: The students rap along to every word of your WE W.I.N. song, how does that make you feel? LS: First of all, WE W.I.N. is OUR song! It’s actually more of their song than it is mine. For the kids to embrace it the way they have is incredible! I wanted to create something that they would be proud to sing... I wanted to make an anthem for the program and for what I feel the program stands for: Unity in the Community!
JG: What would be your words of wisdom for today’s youth? LS: My message to the youth is always the same: work hard for what you want. Hard work is no guarantee for success, but without it you don’t have a chance. No matter where you come from, no matter the odds against you, you can be what you wanna be.
JG: WE WIN students have come to the studio with you and put their voices on the chorus of two of your songs. What can you tell us about the songs? LS: Having the children in the studio was an awesome experience. It gave them a chance to see how a song is put together and it gave them a chance to add their own imprint on the art. The two songs we did were called, Grow Up and I Told U. They are about growing up and beating the odds placed against you. JG: What is the most pressing need for this generation’s youth?
JG: You have a new mixtape coming out. For those that don’t know, a mixtape is normally a free CD with songs that aren’t on the album, which are generally downloadable on the internet. What are the details of your next mixtape? LS: The new mixtape is called Live from Gravebomb. The title is named after the studio I record from. The songs on the mixtape will not be on my next album. I don’t like to ‘sit on’ songs I write, so if I decide that the songs are not album material, I like to ‘leak’ the songs, or put them out for free for all to love and hear. I’m really excited about the new material. 18 new songs will be on it, including the WE W.I.N. song. April 1st is the release date.
Get your deck ready for spring and summer (StatePoint) As the days get longer, there’s nothing like barbequing and entertaining friends on your deck. But before you pass out those invitations, make sure your deck has weathered the winter and is ready for its seasonal duty. The abuse a deck surface takes from the weather, foot traffic, barbeques, and food and drink spills can create both surface and structural problems. “To make your deck last, clean it thoroughly every one to two years and re-stain every two to four years,” says Mark Clement, host of the radio program “MyFixitUpLife.” “It also helps if your deck is made from a natural, durable wood, such as Western Red Cedar, which holds oil based finishes for an extended period of time.” Here’s how to get your deck ready for use: * Clear Out: Clear all
Make sure your deck is clean and safe before entertaining.
Courtesy of StatePoint
furniture and potted plants off the deck. Then inspect the deck for dirt and pollen buildup. Sweep it clean of debris that may have fallen during winter. For safety’s sake, make sure there are no nails sticking up from the deck or from any posts. * Floss Between Planks: Clean between the planks and boards of any horizontal surfaces so rain can drain and air can flow between them. Reducing standing water and increasing airflow will limit the amount of moisture that can collect and stay on the surface of the plank, thereby making your deck last longer. * Keep the Finish Sharp: Application of a quality wood stain or finish and periodic retreatment over time will prevent discoloration and degradation of your deck and extend the wood’s lifespan. Keep in mind that natural woods that are sustainable and durable, such as real cedar, can take and retain a variety of stains and finishes for more extended periods. Such woods are natural looking, as opposed to the faux finishes used on man-made composite products.
* Elevate Planters: Direct contact between planter boxes and wooden surfaces can trap moisture and leave stains. Elevating them or placing them on rollers will release the moisture and make them easier to rearrange. * Beware of Welcome Mats: Mats can collect moisture and dry out too slowly, which can lead to water damage and/or wood rot. After precipitation, be sure to dry out the mat and allow the deck to dry. * Watch Out for Your Grill: Grease from your grill is hazardous to your deck, so place it in an inconspicuous spot with a hard rubber door mat underneath it to keep your deck free of stains. If grease drips onto your deck, use a household cleaner to wipe it clean. For more advice on caring for decks, visit www.wrcla.org. “It’s easy to forget that decks need maintenance and care just like your lawn or roof,” says Clement “By performing routine checks and taking care of the warning signs, homeowners can extend the life of their decks so they can be enjoyed for years to come.”
Insight News • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Page 9
TECHNOLOGY Centro hosts new refurbished public computer center By Ivan B. Phifer MMMC Technology Reporter Centro, a south Minneapolis community agency that primarily serves the Twin Cities’ Latino community, is making full use of a fullyupdated public computer center that features high-speed Internet, free computer classes, and staff to help individuals who want to learn more about computers. The addition of highspeed Internet along with new computer equipment and support services through the University of Minnesota Broadband Access Project (BAP) (http://www.bap.umn. edu/) has increased Centro’s abilities to meet its mission. Centro was founded in 1974, with the mission to build the strength of the Latino and Chicano families by providing holistic services to individuals, families and organizations, as partners, so they can achieve their full potential. (http:// www.centromn.org/index.php)
Jobs From 1 Unlike the unemployment rate, its denominator is the entire working-age population, not just the labor force. Critics believe that current methods of measuring unemployment are inaccurate as these methods do not take into account: Those who have lost their jobs and have become discouraged over time from actively looking for work or registering as unemployed Those who are selfemployed or wish to become self-employed, such as tradesmen, building contractors or IT consultants Those who have retired
Centro is one of 11 community based public computer centers under the BAP, a $3.6 million program of the University of Minnesota to impart highspeed Internet and broadband access and awareness, in partnership with the Office for Business and Community Economic Development and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (http:// multiculturallife.org/). The BAP, envisioned as a service to bridge the digital divide for under-resourced sections of the Twin Cities, has created computer centers in four federally-designated poverty zones: north Minneapolis, south Minneapolis, southeast Minneapolis, and west St.
before the official retirement age but would still like to work Those on disability pensions who, while not possessing full health, still wish to work in occupations suitable for their medical conditions Those who work for payment for as little as one hour per week but would like to work full-time Those who are underemployed, i.e. a computer programmer who is working retail until he can find a permanent job With this understood, it quickly becomes evident that unemployment statistics do not fully convey the jobs picture or offer comprehensive insights which can lead to solving the jobs problem. When it comes to the employment situation for
Paul. The community groups in these areas are typically African American, Latino, Native American, Somali, and Hmong. “Many of the students do not have computers at home, or their Internet access is limited,” says Rosana Linares, executive director of Centro. “Having the computer lab at Centro allows the students to do their homework, and research. The computer lab also provides education access for parents of students in the Minneapolis Public School system. Parents are able to access their child’s attendance and grade reports.” Centro’s new lab also trains adults in computer literacy and English language skills. Each of the programs serves approximately 50 people, from ages 20 to 50, annually. The adult computer literacy students meet Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons. English language learners meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Both programs help adults receive high school diplomas. Seniors visit the computer
labs once a month. They are able to open and access email accounts to keep in touch with their families anywhere in the world. Centro also operates a dualobjective teen program. The first objective addresses the issue of teenage pregnancy and the second supports students through college or post secondary education. The program provides assistance for college and scholarships online applications, and an after school preparation for SAT/ACT. Teens must sign a contract, and come in with parents for a weekly visit every Friday and attend a retreat to improve family communication. During the summer, the teen program is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Linares observes that generational factors play a part in how the Latino community is served. “Because many of them are just arriving, the Latino community does not have access to resources that are available to other communities. Ninety percent of the Latinos who come to
the center are first generation immigrants.” Centro sees an additional challenge for secondgeneration Latinos. “They do not fit in either way,” Linares says. “They are still not American. And they are not Latino Americans. They cannot ‘go back home’, because their country of origin is not their actual home.” To address this situation, Centro has partnered with Project for Pride in Living, which also hosts a BAP computer center. “Our strength is providing service to Spanish speakers. Their strength is providing training on how to find a job and build a resume. The two centers being not far from one another means better access for the people in the neighborhood. The two centers complement one another,” Linares said. Centro provides services aimed at women, too, through workshops and educational sessions. A pre-natal care class is given over six sessions. One popular workshop trains both parents in baby massage tips
Blacks in the Twin Cities, three groups are clearly emerging: 1) the entry-level job seeker with limited skills; 2) the workingclass faced with changing trends in occupational sectors;
sound bites disseminating information described as the latest facts, understanding the truth about what is occurring in the job market can be confusing at best, especially
attainment data sets, even when education is equal, African American men working fulltime and year-round have 72 percent of the average earnings of comparable white men. For African American and white women, the ratio is 85 percent. Further, whether in good times or bad, the black unemployment rate is typically stuck at double that of whites. These lags in jobs and wages are thought to result from a variety of factors, both social and structural; issues that will never be uncovered and resolved if we continue to only look at symptoms and not isolate and fully address causes. Education is always quickly recommended as the solution, but labor and economic
“We need more strategic action and more leaders from varying industries to help organizations like the MUL decrease this jobless rate.” and 3) the professional who is experiencing difficulty gaining access to jobs and opportunities in spite of their higher levels of education and training. With so many media
for those unemployed underemployed.
The Jobs and Wage Gap According to the US Census Bureau’s educational
and techniques. The Siembra Pre-School education program serves preschool students in the ages of between three and five years, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its mission is to build academic skills and knowledge as well as social skills and capabilities to help the children function within public school settings. Centro also provides gang intervention at Minneapolis Public Schools, and has a mental health department with three licensed therapists to foster emotional well being. Linares feels that parent involvement is of utmost importance. “We tell all the parents when they come, if they don’t help us, we won’t succeed,” she said. Centro is located at 1915 Chicago Ave in the south Minneapolis Ventura Village neighborhood, Phillips area. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To find out more about Centro and its programs, you can visit http://www.centromn.org/ index.php.
development researchers suggest that increased job opportunities for all entry and middle skilled workers of all races, but particularly people of color, will require intentional intervention in the 21st century. They note that sluggish job creation, swings from manufacturing to more service jobs, technological change, and shifting roles of unions, have all led to tremendous job and wage loss. As a leader of one of several organizations seeking viable solutions to this jobs problem for a local constituency, I think about these challenges daily, and I know that we need all hands on deck if we’re going
JOBS TURN TO 11
Page 10 â€˘ March 28 - April 3, 2011 â€˘ Insight News
Classifieds / Calendar
Screening and Panel Discussion - Apr 14 This powerful and moving film tells the story of a sonâ€™s quest to understand his motherâ€™s frightening and heroic childhood. Thur. Apr. 14 6:30-9pm @ The Center for Changing Lives 2400 Park Ave. S. Mpls, MN.
Send Community Calendar information to us by: email, andrew@insightnews. com, by fax: 612-588-2031, by phone: (612) 588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411, Attn: Andrew Notsch. Free or low cost events preferred.
Events YO MAMA: The Art of Mothering Now thru-May 21 Saturdays, 1-3 Juxtaposition Arts at 2007 Emerson Avenue North. Love Leadership - Apr 4 John Hope Bryant, author of the book Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World and founder of the international anti-poverty organization, Operation Hope, will speak at 5:30pm Mon., Apr. 4, in the auditorium of the Oâ€™Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St .Thomas. Camden Music School Spring Term Begins - Apr 4 Do you have an ear for music, a hungry mind and a playful heart? CMS offers music education for all ages and abilities, and we still have openings for our spring term (Apr. 4-June 11). Camden location: Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 3751 Sheridan Ave. N., 55412 or Northeast location: Grace Center for Community Life, 1500 6th St. NE, 55413. To register or for more information: 612-618-0219 or www. camdenmusicschool.com. Seeing Through it All and Making a Change - Apr 4-May 18 An exhibit that aims to bring attention to the disparity of food availability between lower-income North Minneapolis and the suburbs will be on display Apr. 4â€“May 18 in the Hennepin Gallery. Mon.-Fri., 7:30am-6pm, at the Hennepin County Government Center, A Level, 300 S. Sixth St., Mpls. Homeless is My Address, Not My Name - Apr 4-30 A new exhibit coming to the skyway level of the Government Center â€” hopes to put a face to the word â€œhomelessâ€? using families of all shapes and sizes. On display on the Public Service (skyway) Level of the Hennepin County Government Center Apr. 4-30. 300 S. Sixth St., Mpls. Volunteer MPS - Apr 5 The volunteer program at the Minneapolis Public Schools, Volunteer MPS, is recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to read to kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade students. A training session will be held on Tue., Apr.5, 1:30-3:30pm in which interested volunteers will be trained as skilled literacy tutors. 2225 E. Lake St. Mpls. Learn to Lead: Leadership Communication 2011 - Apr 5 Ready to influence and motivate others, create a great rĂŠsumĂŠ, learn the keys to public speaking, and stand out because of the new talents youâ€™re going to gain with this workshop? Starting Apr. 5, the University of Minnesota wants to help you become a strong communicator and an outstanding leader on Tue. and Thu. nights, to boost your appeal to employers, colleges, and more. For a description, see www.bced.umn.edu/l2l and to register at www.bced.umn.edu/ L2L-Registration WomanVenture - Apr 5-7 For further information and to register, visit womenventure.org or call 651646-3808. 2324 University Ave. W., Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114. â€˘ The Best Place to Start Tue. Apr. 5 11:30amâ€“12:15pm at WomenVenture, Free. Overview of WomenVenture services to help you determine your next step toward more fulfilling work.
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Greta Oglesby solos at the Capri Theater In last yearâ€™s â€˜Legendsâ€™ series at the Capri Theater, Greta Oglesby brought the audience to its feet halfway through the concert with her performance of Lotâ€™s Wife. Oglesby returns this year with a solo concert that will be half gospel, half Broadway. The first half of the concert will focus on gospel songs, including On Holy Ground, with an arrangement recorded by Barbra Streisand, and Deep River, a classic gospel number that was included in the 1929 film version of â€˜Showboatâ€™. In the second half of the program, featuring Broadway show tunes, Oglesby will reprise Lotâ€™s Wife, from â€˜Caroline, or Changeâ€™. Oglesby played the title role at the Guthrie Theater in 2009, and City Pages called her performance a â€œbrilliant confluence of thought, feeling and performance.â€? Oglesby says the piece is challenging â€œmusically, physically and emotionally. I say a little prayer every time I perform it.â€? The concerts are at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, 2011. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at TheCapriTheater.org Performing in the â€˜Legendsâ€™ series is just one facet of Oglesbyâ€™s commitment to the Capri Theater, which also serves as a performing arts classroom for students from PYC Arts and Technology High School. This summer, Oglesby will be more directly involved in working with emerging artists. She will direct the PYCâ€™s summer theater program as Artistic Director Kevin West spends the summer performing out of town. â€œKevin has been laying the foundation. Iâ€™ll be making sure that his vision comes to fruition,â€? Oglesby says. Capri, she adds, â€œ...is a great training ground for emerging artists. They not only can do concerts and theater productions, they can also get behind the scenes, learning sound and lighting design.â€? The Annual Meeting of the Whittier Alliance Neighborhood Association - Apr 7 Whittier residents, homeowners, businesses, rental and commercial property owners and those interested in the outreach and activities of the Whittier Alliance and neighborhood to attend the Whittier Annual Meeting. Thur., Apr. 7 5:30-8:30pm @ Whittier International Elementary School 315 W 26th St. Mpls. Neighborhood HealthSource 6th Annual Gala - Apr 7 Celebrate affordable community health at a historic Minneapolis venue! Join us for an evening of excellent food and cocktails, live music and comedy, silent and live auctions and much, much more! Thur., Apr. 7 at the historic Nicollet Island Pavilion. 40 Power St. Mpls, MN 55401. Guardianship, Limited Guardianship and Conservatorship - Apr 7&26 When children who are disabled become adults, their parents or legal representatives may want to consider filing a petition for guardianship or limited guardianship. Thur. Apr. 7, 4-6pm, Hennepin County Library â€“ Ridgedale, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka. Tue., Apr. 26, 10am12pm, Eastside Neighborhood Services, conference room B7, 1700 Second St. N.E., Minneapolis. To register, call 612-596-6631 or go to www.hennepin. us/adsinfo. New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church 32nd Anniversary - Apr 8-10 Theme: â€œBecoming a Church Relevant to Godâ€? II Chronicles 7:15 & 16. Fri., Apr. 8, 7pm Evening Service. Sat., Apr. 9, 7pm Concert featuring Menâ€™s Choirs from across Twin Cities. Sun., Apr. 10 4pm Afternoon service. 1115 30th Ave. N. Mpls. (612) 521-2670. Annual Twin Cities Sustainable Communities Conference - Apr 9 500 community volunteers will gather to share fun project ideas and hands on resources. Central Lutheran Church, 333 12th St. S. Mpls. FREE Please RESVP online: www.afs.nonprofitoffice. com/2011ConferenceRegistration or call 612-331-1099 or email Sean www. afors.org Mankatoâ€“Area College and University Tour - Apr 9 The tour includes stops at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and Minnesota State University Mankato and Bethany Lutheran College in
Grant and Appeals Coordinator
Summit Academy OIC, a non-profit adult education and vocational training center, is seeking a highly skilled and experienced grants writer to coordinator and develop longterm, expanded constituency for grants for support of our vocational education programs. The ideal candidate must have a four-year college degree and at least four years proven grant writing experience and development work in the non-profit sector. Salary DOE. Valid DL required. EEO/ AA Employer. Position open until filled. Please send resumes with cover letter attention Candra Bennett, Human Resources Manager at cbennett@saoic. org or by fax at 612-278-5242. No phone inquiries please.
Summit Academy OIC is seeking a highly skilled and experienced Carpenter to teach in our Pre-Apprentice Carpentry program. This position is responsible for providing quality instruction to diverse adult learners, development of curriculum, lesson plans and course outlines. Ideal candidate will have 8,000 hours occupational experience as a carpenter journeyman or two years related post-secondary training and 4,500 hours of occupational experience as a journeyman carpenter. Must be able to lift 50 pounds, work indoors and outdoors must have a valid driverâ€™s license and clean driving record. AA/EEO Employer. Women highly encouraged to apply. E-mail your resume and cover letter to hresources@ saoic.org or by fax at 612-278-5242. No phone inquiries please.
Mankato. Transportation, food, child care and language interpreters will be provided at no cost to families and students. Apr. 9 7:30am-8pm. Two pick-up & drop off locations have been designated: â€˘North Minneapolis pickup at 7:30am Shiloh Temple, 1201 W. Broadway Ave. â€˘South Minneapolis pick-up at 8am Centro Cultural Chicano, 1915 Chicago Ave. S. MN Made - Apr. 9 Try your hand at seed art or get the basic knitting lesson youâ€™ve always wanted at this free all-day showcase of Minnesotan creativity at the Walker Art Center on Saturday, April 9, 11 am-5 pm. Inspired by the exhibition The Spectacular of Vernacular, MN Made celebrates artists and makers of all kinds who feed off the particularities of local culture and unique places. Co-presented by the Walker and mnartists.org. @ Walker Art Center 1750 Hennepin Ave. Mpls.
Beast on the Moon - Apr 14 By Richard Kalinoski, will be performed Apr. 14,15,16&22 at 7pm, plus matinees Apr. 16&23 at 1pm. Performances are at the Stagedoor Theater, located in the Whitney Fine Arts Center on the Mpls Campus of Metropolitan State University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), off Loring Park at 1424 Yale Place. The parking ramp is at 15th Street and Hennepin Avenue. Minnesota native shares stories of her Zambian children - Apr 14 Hear an inspirational story firsthand about one woman and the difference she is making in hundreds of childrenâ€™s lives. On Thur., Apr. 14, 6:30 the public is invited to a reception at a home in the Minneapolisâ€™ historic Johnson Rowhouses in the Whittier neighborhood to view a film, bid on African art and hear the personal story of Minnesota native, Carol McBrady. For more information about directions to the event or McBradyâ€™s organization, call (612) 242-7995. Palabras al viento (Words in the Wind) - Apr 15-17 Deborah Elias takes the lush and thrilling beauty of flamenco into a place where time, memory, dreams, and ecstatic events unfold. 8pm Fri., Apr. 15 & Sat., Apr. 16; 7pm Sun., Apr. 17 at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S. Mpls, MN. TICKETS: $10 advance/ students/seniors $12 door. Call us to inquire about group sales! For tickets and info: 612.871.4444 or Info@
Step-Parenting/Issues Within the Blended Family - Apr. 18 FREE African American Parenting Workshops & Support Group. Mon. Apr 18, 7:30-8:45PM @ Sunray Library 2105 Wilson Ave. St. Paul, MN 55119. For more information please contact Shatona Groves @ 612-568-6326 or visit www.theblackparentgroup.com. Pre Adoption Free Information Session for Minnesotaâ€™s Waiting Children - Apr 19 Downey Side, families for youth, invites community members to attend a FREE information session regarding adoption and Minnesotaâ€™s Waiting Children. Downey Sideâ€™s next information session will be Tue., Apr. 19, 6:30-8pm at Downey Side Minnesota, 450 North Syndicate Street, Suite 90, St. Paul, MN 55104. Pre-registration required. To register, email stpaulmn@downeyside. org or call 651-228-0117. Jamaican Activists to discuss human rights issues in Jamaica - Apr 19 Dr. Carolyn Gomes, UN Prize in Human Rights recipient, along with Susan Goffe, prominent activist, will talk about issues facing the island and their experience defending human rights in Jamaica at 5:30pm Tue., Apr. 19 in John B. Davis Auditorium at Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave. The Courtâ€™s Role with Children and their Families - Apr 19 Our second Perspectives Breakfast will focus on the Courts. Learn about the philosophy of our Courts in making decisions affecting children and relative caregivers. How do the Courts decide what is the best interest of the child? There will be time for you to ask questions. Tue. Apr. 19 7:30-9am @ St. Paul College Faculty Dining Room 235 Marshall Ave. St. Paul. RSP by Fri. Apr. 8 to MKCA.org or call 877-917-4640.
Friends of the Walker Library Spring Book Sale - Apr 9 The sale will feature hundreds of adult and childrenâ€™s literature in hardcover and paperback. Most books are priced at $1 or less. Sat., Apr. 9 10amâ€“4pm Walker Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. Prayer Conference 2011 - Apr 9 In every season of our lives we have Jesus our High Priest and King reigning over us. So Know God , Be Strong, Do Exploits. Sat. Apr. 9 at 9am - Day Session and 6pm Evening Service. Located at Grace Lutheran Church 1730 Old Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55106. For more information call 651335-3154. Ways of Peace II: Nonviolence in the Islamic Traditions - Apr 9 A daylong conference designed to address misperceptions and increase understanding about Islam and Muslims, will be held from 9:30am6:30pm, Sat., Apr. 9, in the auditorium of Oâ€™Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas. Open to the public. $15 ($10 for students) and lunch is available for an additional $10 in advance. Details and registration: http://www.fnvw.org or (651) 917-0383. UROC Summer Fair - Apr. 9 Have you planned summer activities for your children? UROC is hosting a summer fair with the North Minneapolis summer school planning group and residents of North Minneapolis. The goal is to share summer opportunitiesâ€” programs and scholarshipsâ€”with parents and students. 12â€“3pm, Sat., Apr. 9 @ UROC 2001 Plymouth Ave. N. Mpls, MN. Global Food, Fashion and Awards Celebration Townhomes Apr. 10 This event is an Available opportunity to Fieldcrest in recognize and Moorhead, MN celebrate diversity initiatives across Rent based on 30% the Metropolitan of income State University 2 & 3 bdroms open community. Sun., Apr. 10, 12â€“3pm MetroPlains at the Midtown Management Global Market, 701-232-1887 920 E. Lake St. Mpls. www.metroplainsmanagement.com
Prisoner of Her Past: Documentary
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Courtesy of Fode Bangoura
Uniting Hmong America: Invoking 4th Annual Fakoly Drum & Dance the Power Within - AprProject 22-24
Master drummer Fode Bangoura will host his 4th Annual Fakoly Drum & Dance Project May 4th - May 8th at the Hennepin Center For The Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. Daily drum and dance classes taught by Master drummers and dancers from West Africa. The workshop will culminate in a guest artist performance Saturday evening May 7th at The Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave S in Minneapolis. Bangoura will be accompanied by Master Dancers Moustapha Bangoura, Mamady Sano, Marietou Camara, Djeneba Sako and Vado Diamonde as well as Master Drummers Fara Tolono, Karim Koumbassa and Mandjou Mara. This is a unique opportunity to study with some of the most famous names in African drum and dance. Visit www.duniyadrumanddance.org for full details & registration.
Eritream Fashion and Cultural Dance Event - Apr 16 Join us for a fun day of Eritrean Fashion show, dance presentation, music, food, traditional coffee, and fabulous art, crafts and clothing up for a silent auction. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Eritrean Community Center of Minnesota. Sat. Apr 16 4:308pm. Tickets includes shows, food and drinks: $20 each. Limited number of tickets, reserve your spot early! 1935 University Ave. W. St. Paul, MN. Justice 4 All Fair Hiring Campaign Launch - Apr 16 Fair hiring practices for people with criminal records support healthy people, healthy neighborhoods, and a healthy state. Join us to learn about the criminal justice system, discuss how we can work together to change it, and take action to tackle employment barriers as we move forward. Apr 16, 12-2:30pm @ Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave N, Mpls. Contact Terin Mayer to RSVP or for more information at 651-379-0762 or Terin@TakeActionMinnesota.org
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It is a crucial time for the Hmong community to participate in a national dialogue to discuss the future of our community. You can be a part of the conversation by attending the Hmong National Conference, which will be held on Apr. 22-24, at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information and to register, please visit: www.hndinc.org Get Started Vegetable Gardening Apr 23 Join us on Sat., Apr. 23, from 9am12pm, at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista. Does the idea of growing your own vegetables interest you? This is the class for you! . Cost is $6 and reservations are required. Call 763559-6700 to make a reservation and reference activity #237409-00. This program is for ages 11 and older.
Iâ€™m Not Black, Iâ€™m Coloured - Apr 27 Local filmmaker Kiersten Dunbar Chace of MondĂŠ World Films presents her award winning historical documentary film Iâ€™m Not Black, Iâ€™m Coloured â€“ Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film festival on Apr. 27 at 7:00pm - St. Anthony Main Theater. Special guest appearance - Actress Lesley Ann Brandt (Spartacus / CSI-NY) Bedroom size (s)
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McEwen From 5 always say “No comment!” and not give any interviews at all. I regarded that wish as something I pretty much owed him as a friend and as someone who cared about him. My hope was that he would have a conscience and be compassionate while on the bench of the Supreme Court. KW: With legal minds who might have approached Thurgood Marshall’s greatness, why did you stand by and let someone be appointed who will be remembered for less, rather than more, of what Justice Marshall represented in this court’s history. LE: First of all, I had no power to prevent him from being appointed. I didn’t have a vote. And secondly, I hoped that he would transform himself back into a person who did the right thing. Besides, there were many other witnesses available to the Senate Judiciary Committee. But I did write a note to Senator Biden around the time of the hearing, reminding him that I had had a close relationship with Clarence Thomas. I would have appeared, had I been subpoenaed to testify. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: Why didn’t you approach Anita Hill to support her allegations in her time of need? Were you afraid of possible repercussions respecting your career? LE: There were other individuals who had worked with Clarence who were willing to testify at the confirmation hearings. So, I wasn’t the only one who could have corroborated Anita Hill’s testimony. Furthermore, long before the nomination, I was utterly convinced that she and Clarence had had a sexual relationship. KW: Why so? LE: There came a time during his tenure as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that he began to complain vociferously about the behavior of Anita Hill at the office. He would whine about it every day. He even asked me on several occasions to come to the office to wait for him, because “Anita Hill has to see that I have another woman in my life now. It has to be made plain to her that we don’t have the same type of relationship we once had.” KW: So, do you think Anita testified out of bitterness as a woman scorned? LE: I think it’s more complicated than that. I think Anita Hill never
Jobs From 9 to prepare today’s job seekers to meet the demands of today’s workforce. I recommend that local and state leaders, foundations, media outlets and others truly interested in the economic future of the Twin Cities come together and develop a comprehensive report that looks below the surface and researches and identifies both the
Insight News • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Page 11 a possible way of going through the world that is not harmful and which is consistent and compatible with being sane, normal and successful. You may not like this life or think there’s something wrong with it, but you cannot deny the fact that I have lived this life. If the book explodes some myths, then it is valuable as a narrative and as a way of looking at the world that you might never have thought possible.
imagined that she would be the only person testifying against the man who had given her her job, who had been at her beck and call, and who had made sure that she was a successful attorney. KW: Have you had any contact with her? LE: No, other than being introduced to her when Clarence became Chairman of the EEOC, and the times when I went sat around the office to send her a message for him. [Chuckles] KW: Have you considered leaving a message on her answering machine like Clarence’s wife, Ginny, did last fall? LE: That’s never occurred to me. KW: Bernadette asks: do you respect his intellect? LE: When I left him, Clarence said he was envious and resentful of my ability to read for pleasure. It had been obvious to me that he had no real intellectual curiosity whatsoever and that the material he had to handle at the EEOC was fairly difficult for him to handle. At that time, he was making speeches all over the country in support of the Republican agenda, and he always employed a speechwriter to help him. It was very difficult for him to process, focus on or to grasp complex ideas. This was a man who prided himself on his perceiving the world in very stark terms. KW: In your opinion, is he arrogant or racist? LE: As you quoted rather courageously in your review, one of his favorite sayings (“[N-words] and flies, I do despise. The more I see [N-words], the more I like flies.”) is a chant that racist white people used to say while sitting on their porches to frighten and intimidate black people passing by on the sidewalk. I regard that as self-hating, and a legacy of slavery. KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Did you ever consider Clarence Thomas as a future husband and father of your children? LE: No, he had already had a vasectomy, and I had no interest in getting remarried or having more children. KW: Irene also asks: Do you think that Clarence Thomas’ choice of a white wife reflects his politics or his looking upon Black women as lesser than? LE: Something I learned while socializing with Clarence was that black Republican men generally had white wives, almost as if it was a litmus test, a way of assuring white men that
challenges and opportunities impacting employment in this community. A report of this nature would serve us all well as we recognize that vibrancy of our sustainable economic development is linked to decreasing joblessness amongst all residents. Creating Gateways to Jobs: A Community Effort While the ACT data tells us that job seekers will have to recognize the need to acquire more skills to qualify for positions, as unskilled jobs
Lilian McEwen they could be counted on to be consistent politically. KW: Irene’s final question is: Do you have any regrets over being silent for so long? LE: I always felt like I was on a precipice, as if I would be punished if I said anything negative about him. I was also in great fear of how people would view me in respect to hurting him or how they might judge my behavior as immoral. I was in fear because I felt that if I tarnished his image, I would be hurt in return. KW: Lee Bailey asks: Just how freaky-deaky did you and Clarence get? What was the freakiest thing he wanted to do to you? LE: Regarding the first question—I never thought of anything we did as freaky. D.C. Unmasked and Undressed does, however, describe in great detail sexual encounters with four different women who shared our bed. Clarence contributed two and I contributed two. The book also describes in detail the ‘see and be-seen’ atmosphere at Plato’s Retreat. This was my lifestyle and this was my world before I met him. I enthusiastically introduced him to these adventures. One of the reasons I eventually left him was my assumption that Clarence’s new false religiosity and courtship of the new Evangelical Christian wing of the Republican Party would eliminate sexual activity or adventures in the future. I was not insatiable, but I knew what I wanted from the relationship. As far as the freakiest thing he ever wanted to do to me—I never regarded any request Clarence made or any activity we engaged
are vanishing, access remains an issue. Understanding this, one example of what the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) is doing is creating programs like its Big Step Highway Construction Jobs Initiative. Forming a collaborative partnership between employers and the unions, MUL offers a customized training program that fulfills employer just-intime hiring needs. Another solution for diminishing joblessness in the Twin Cities being pursued by MUL is its
Courtesy of Kam Williams
in as freaky, but I do not recall saying no to any suggestion he made, either. Sex was just good, clean fun and an important part of my life before and after Clarence, as I attempt to make clear throughout my memoir. KW: Yale Grad Tommy Russell: Ms. McEwen. First, I want to say thank you! Kudos to you for being such a brave woman as to share so much of your sexual history. We still live in a very puritanical society when it comes to being open and honest about our sexual lives. We have great difficulty sharing our experiences, desires, and what we consider ‘normative’ with others, even with family/friends let alone strangers. My first question: What do you think the reason was for Sen. Biden, now Vice President, to disallow your voice in the Senate confirmation hearings? Did he feel pressure from Republicans in the administration and Congress not to keep up the pressure? Or was it deeper and darker? LE: I wasn’t prevented from testifying at all. I simply reminded Joe Biden of the fact that Clarence and I had been close for several years, and that members of his staff knew him. KW: Tommy’s second question is: Where do we go from here? Do you think this will open up a larger dialogue about sexual mores in our society or do you think your book and its message of openness and honesty will be panned as liberal, wackadononsense as I imagine it may? LE: [LOL] It is my hope that my memoir might help some people imagine that their lives could be different. Perhaps, by honestly relating a truthful narrative, my book will illustrate
Construction CEO Roundtable, which serves as a vehicle for dialogue with industry leaders. This forum gives us an opportunity to fully understand their hiring needs and skill gap concerns so that we can work to prepare a more diverse pool of job seekers to fill these labor sector jobs. We need more strategic action and more leaders from varying industries to help organizations like the MUL decrease this jobless rate. We understand that these challenges will not be
KW: Larry Greenberg asks: When you talk about sharing porno and multiple sex partners with Clarence Thomas, are these things inherently wrong or is it just the hypocrisy that makes them an issue? LE: The fact that I wasn’t parented and went to a Catholic school resulted in my realizing that there is huge difference between right and wrong. Also, for some reason, I don’t share the same inhibitions of people who have been parented. I’ve gone through life just doing what seems natural to me. I’ve tried really, really hard to take pleasure in something that’s fairly simple whenever I can. I’ve never attached moralistic terms to sexual acts or preferences, unless they harmed someone. [Laughs] It never occurred to me when I wrote the book that my sex life was unusual at all. To the degree that you can eliminate stifling masks, you’ll lead a more honest life, you’ll be more content in life, and it’ll be easier for you to go through life. And conversely, the more you firmly affix that mask to your face and convolute your own values to conform, the more confused and crazier you’ll get. [LOL] KW: Peter Keough: Ask her what’s really going on under that robe. And why she thinks Justice Thomas has hardly said one word since being on the court. LE: Five years ago, Clarence stopped asking questions during oral arguments, and has taken to criticizing his fellow justices for wasting time grandstanding. I believe that another reason he’s quiet is because he’s had to overcome his Geechee roots. He often lapses back into Geechee way of pronouncing words and an ungrammatical sentence structure, which is embarrassing to him. He is fundamentally a very shy person, and is very sensitive about any criticism about his manner of speaking. And it would be a great source of embarrassment if leveled in the context of a Supreme Court argument.
that it’s really important for us to go through life guiding our behavior and standards based not only on knowledge and reason but on the pleasures and serendipity of life. I don’t know whether I’ve achieved that, but I gave it my best shot. KW: Will Cooper asks: What’s the real reason you wait so long to come out with these accusations? Are you having financial problems and so you’re suddenly making these accusations because you need the money? LE: I didn’t write the book to make money, but because I needed to evaluate what was going with my own self with respect to the world. When I finished writing it, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. This was before I got a PR person, an agent or a publisher. It was important to me to get my own life down on paper in my own words. I never thought about how much money I could make from it, because I retired in 2007 and have an income for the rest of my life, thanks to your tax dollars. [Chuckles] KW: Will continues: Why didn’t any of these revelations come out over the past 20+ years, given the amount of digging and scrutiny that Clarence Thomas has received? Why didn’t any other people who saw you at these places ever said anything during Thomas’ hearings or over the past 20 years? LE: There are dozens of people who are aware of the events that are described in my book. And I actually expected some of them to come forward at any minute and to reveal these matters, and it might happen next week. KW: Will persists with: How could you be the only one holding this secret if much of it was done in somewhat public places? Does this mean there are hundreds of other people out there who know the same information but are just remaining silent? LE: It’s certainly something that the participants knew about. I’m not talking about one on one experiences. [Laughs] KW: Was Clarence discreet when you two went to a public sex palace like Plato’s Retreat? LE: He would put his real name on the list. KW: Was he the head of the EEOC at the time? LE: For much of it, yes. [LOL]
KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: What message do you want the readers to take away from your book? LE: An appreciation for truthtelling. I tried to communicate
KW: Thanks again for the time, Your Honor, and best of luck with the book. LE: Thank you, Kam, my pleasure.
overcome by one organization or one industry – it will take the collective efforts of an entire community. We must fully understand employer and industry demands and promote the notion of 21st century upskilling, encouraging youth and adults to acquire the foundational, technical and soft skills required for today’s world of work. I will end by returning to the National Urban League’s State of Black America report, which suggests that the solution to this joblessness crisis is
getting jobs to people in urban communities. The report calls for a major investment over two years in direct job creation, job training, greater access to credit for small business and relief for those caught in the backlog of the foreclosure process. Says NUL President Marc Morial, “There can be no true economic recovery in this country without addressing the dire jobs situation in urban America.” I concur wholeheartedly.
Page 12 • April 4 - April 10, 2011 • Insight News
SPORTS Duke, Fab 5 contest expose racial undercurrent Mr. T’s Sports Report By Ryan T. Scott email@example.com Much discussion has been born from the recent documentary about the famous Fab 5 of the 1992 University of Michigan basketball team. There were quite a few strong racial suggestions made by the young players of that, potentially, once in a lifetime team. Among those racial suggestions was the term ‘Uncle Tom’ when referring to black Duke University players that defeated the Fab 5 in the 1992 NCAA National Championship game. I’ll take a step back, to draw relation to that year’s Duke vs. Michigan battle. Just one year before, Duke University beat the historic UNLV Runnin’ Rebels team. The image of Duke University, then and now, extends from their expensive private school heritage. That is to say that Duke emits an image of affluence, and affluence in America has been fairly racially monochromatic (I believe many would call that a gross understatement).
University of Michigan’s “Fab 5” during a 1993 game. Pictured (l-r) Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Ray Jackson, Juwan Howard. The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels had Larry Johnson in 1991. Larry Johnson had a stylish center part in his fade haircut, and a flashy gold center tooth filling to boot—I’m guessing Johnson had a gap in between his two front teeth like my father and I, but I’ll leave the gold filling of that gap to my father and Larry Johnson, and just keep the David Letterman look for myself. If you want to find a person with a gold center filling in America, Duke University is not a good starting point. Places like the Southside of Chicago, Brooklyn, NY, New Orleans, and Dade County Florida are good starting points on the search for gold fillings, or even full gold dental fronts a.k.a. ‘gold grillz’. If you pit a team led by a golden
tooth warrior like Larry Johnson— I’ll mention for additional perspective that Johnson was an older junior college transfer— against a Duke team led by former Minnesota Timberwolf Christian Laettner, the less privileged type of minority regions mentioned in the previous paragraph are going to identify with, and root wildly for the golden grillz. This sensation is obviously not monochromatic, but people have been known to identify with people who reflect similarities to their own community. It’s human nature. UNLV won the NCAA Championship in 1990 with a season of some of the most ridiculously lopsided thrashings of the last few decades. It seemed like they would double the points of each
opposing team, and their defense was the absolute metaphorical definition of ‘suffocating’. Because of those powerful victories, and the golden grilled leadership, UNLV led off the 90s decade as ‘ghetto superstars’. I myself was beyond fond of that UNLV team. I can remember the 1991 rematch of those two teams in the Final Four semi-final game as if it were yesterday. As a retirement gift, my father had received one of the first models of a handheld television. I watched that 1991 UNLV game in the chilly stands of a big-time high school track meet in San Diego. As the final race began, the 4x400relay, I stood on the side of the track watching the ending of the game. As the 3rd leg of our team came
around the final turn, I still had the television in my hand catching the final moments of Duke defeating UNLV 79-77 in a nail-biter; though I should have been standing on the track awaiting the baton for the final leg. As I realized that UNLV was indeed going to shockingly lose that night, I stepped on the track, grabbed the baton, and took off in the most furious run of my entire life. The phrase “eating up the track” would have clearly applied to the angry digs my spikes took into that rubber track. I feel like the track must have looked like the pothole filled streets of Minnesota in April when I got done. I’m sure that Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, and the rest of the Michigan Fab 5 have a crushing
1990 UNLV vs. Duke memory as well. That UNLV team meant something to black communities, in a similar, yet less potent way, as did victories of Jack Johnson, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Owens, Arthur Ashe and others. Rooting for Duke was mildly akin to a black person of the past rooting for Max Schmeling in a bout against Joe Louis. Now I don’t use the adjective ‘mildly’ mildly. Oppression still exists, and for that matter, the late 80s in the Los Angeles region felt terribly oppressive. But 1980’s oppression was a definitive upgrade from 1930s oppression. 1930s oppression would perhaps have made a black man cheering for Max Schmeling to be called an ‘Uncle Tom’. 1990s oppression made my homies and I laugh at the one black kid in school with the Duke jacket and the lumpy flattop haircut. At the end of the day, it was just great basketball, coupled with the undertones of race and class in America. You gotta love sports for tugging at those undertones, and allowing us to “get it out”. Grant Hill of the Duke team is no “Uncle Tom”, and I really feel the phrase has no place for use at all. Grant Hill was just a “punk a** rich kid”, and now most of the Fab 5’s kids could be called that too…and we have to love them all the same.
Jones takes UFC light heavyweight title Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Jon “Bones” Jones made history Saturday night at UFC 128, becoming the youngest UFC Champion ever. Bringing home the title of Light Heavyweight Champion, 23-year-old Jones was up against Maurico “Shogun” Rua. Despite Rua’s reputation as a well-rounded champion with many awards, including Fighters Only World MMA Awards 2010 Knockout of the Year, Jones entered the cage in full form,
controlling the fight from the opening bell. Jones clearly dominated Rua through the first two rounds with unorthodox striking, speedy footwork, length, and cardio. Halfway into the third round after many cleanly landed blows, Jones landed a knee that put Rua down and the match was officially declared a TKO victory for Jones. Ever prepared and ever the gentlemen, Jones had an unexpected and untelevised
Jon “Bones” Jones
warm up when he subdued an accused thief with a figure four leglock at a park in Paterson, NJ, just hours before the fight. FORM Athletics and KSwiss congratulated Jones on his amazing performance. “Jones is more than a star, he is an icon. We believed in Jones from the inception of FORM Athletics, and watching him achieve this amazing feat in the UFC and becoming the youngest champion in history was truly breathtaking. We
are proud to work with such a dedicated athlete and upstanding individual, Jones embodies the ideals for which FORM Athletics stands,” said Mark Miller, president of FORM Athletics and KSwiss Orange County. FORM Athletics fighters dominated the fight card 4-0 at UFC 128. Jones captured the championship against Rua, Joseph Benavidez defeated Ian Loveland, Erik Koch took down Raphael Assuncao, and “The California Kid” Urijah
Faber triumphed over former WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland in the co-main event. Landing several good combinations in the final round, Faber put away Wineland and is now set to face Dominick Cruz for a title shot for the UFC Bantamweight Champion title. For more information about K-Swiss, visit www.kswiss.com, and about FORM Athletics, visit www.formathletics.com
The New Face of Construction
Women in Construction Expo You are the new face. Be a part of the change. Train for a new career in just 20 weeks in the in-demand ﬁeld of construction, where you can earn an average consistent wage of more than $15/hr.
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935 Olson Memorial Highway • Minneapolis, MN • 55405 612-377-0150 • www.saoic.org
Published on Apr 4, 2011
Insight News for the week of April 4, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis /...