f o e k a S “For the ” n e r d l i h C the , illiam Pierce W s w ie rv te s in Insight New y w gospel pla e n e th in r to producer, ac e. Stone Theatr at Stepping PAGE 5
Photo by Chris McDuffie
INSIGHT NEWS September 6 - September 12, 2010 • MN Metro Vol. 36 No. 36 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • www.insightnews.com
Photos by McFarlane
Bethune teacher Lisa Brown, Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and Bethune principal Melissa Jackson.
Sacred trust: Educate 34,000 students By Al McFarlane and B.P. Ford, The Editors
Stan Alleyne, Minneapolis Public Schools Director of Communications & Marketing and Superintendent Johnson.
6 am and dark. Television crews, communications staff, and site administrators in her wake, Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson marched from Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School where she figuratively rang the opening bell, declaring the start of the new school year. She stopped in the parking lot for a brief interview with Insight News before heading to meetings at District headquarters, at 807 Broadway, Minneapolis. By 7:30 am, she stood greeting students as they dismounted yellow buses at Bethune School, 919 Emerson, in
the Heritage Park Neighborhood. Then it was off to visit other elementary, middle and senior high schools throughout the district. Johnson brought encouragement to students, teachers and workers. She sought buy-in for a mission of shared opportunity and shared responsibility in the embrace of the sacred trust: From the first morning bus ride until the last activity of the night, countless coordinated efforts that combine to educate 34,000 students every day. “Think about what public education is, what it stands for and who has access,” the Superintendent said. “It has a place that helps support the next generation. If even one person
JOHNSON TURN TO 2
Thousands march for justice in D.C., Detroit, New Orleans By Hazel Trice Edney NNPA Editor-in-Chief WASHINGTON (NNPA) A red, black and green flag flapping in the sweltering Saturday afternoon breeze said it all in the one word embroidered on its front “Justice.” That one word encompassed the sentiments of the throng of thousands who weaved for miles through the streets of Washington, D.C. behind civil rights leaders, chanting, singing and shouting demands from the powers that be. “What do we want? … Justice! … When do we want it? … Now!” This was the clarion call that went out from the Rev.
Al Sharpton’s “Reclaim the Dream” rally and march, adding fuel to an obvious rekindling of a movement to refocus attention back on the plight of the historically oppressed – largely Black people in America – and the disparities that are clear. “You may remember that my father, in 1967 and early ‘68 was focused on economic empowerment, bringing together poor Blacks and poor Whites, and poor Native Americans and poor Americans from all walks of life. He did not live to see that come to fruition,” said Martin Luther King III after the march reached the MLK Memorial construction site. “But, today, 47 years since the march on Washington, we are here talking about economic empowerment
Urban Maven Small Business Showcase At the Selby Jazz Festival
for all. And so, I hope that we understand as we observe in love that this is not about a left side or a right side. This is about God’s side in terms of doing that which is good, just and right for all of America. Not for a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, but for every American. That’s what Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was about.” King III made that point with clarity as the “Reclaim the Dream” march was named as such because of a rally on the same day, led by Fox News host Glenn Beck, leader of the conservative Tea Party movement, which is widely known for its anti-Obama and perceptually anti-Black
MARCH TURN TO 7
What happens in Vegas... can be pretty inexpensive
D.C. marchers braved sweltering heat in the “Reclaim the Dream”
Stokely and Sylvia Williams: African American giants
Concussions, sports, and money: A bad cocktail
Page 2 • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Insight News
Game Change: Neglect, ignore no more By Matt Entenza Commentary When my good friend Keith Ellison ran for Congress in 2006 he assembled a great coalition of supporters. From Cedar Riverside to the Northside he energized communities that were either new to the state or historically marginalized. While this coalition eventually carried him to victory, it also marked an important turning point in Minnesota politics. It was a sign that elected officials and candidates could no longer put the hopes and interests of communities of color on the back burner. The growing diversity of our state demands that our leaders re-focus on the needs of all Minnesotans and do a better job of reaching out to those communities that have been neglected or taken for granted. In my campaign for governor I tried to do just that. We
Johnson From 1 in a family gets educated and gets a high school degree, and/or a college degree, it changes the trajectory for the whole family.” For that reason, she said, “We must do a better job. We can’t give up. We have to be more focused. We have to deliver on our promise. Otherwise, it will be the demise of our democracy.” As it is every year, the opening bell is the moment of truth for the 1,303 MPS teachers who spent a combined 35,000 hours this summer writing curriculum and doing professional development to support the district’s top priority, implementing focused instruction. On its website, the District affirms its clarity regarding the mission at hand. “We exist to ensure that all students learn. We support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their work, personal and family lives into the 21st century.”
Kamori Scott, KeSante Scott 11, KyShian Walton 7, new to Bethune, and MyLeiyah Walton, 3.
JOHNSON TURN TO 4
organized off West Broadway and Frogtown, in East St. Paul Hmong communities and Karmel Mall. Though my campaign ultimately did not prevail, I believe it set a new precedent that our future leaders must follow. They need to go to these communities and see the people and listen to their concerns. They need to realize that communities of color are not monolithic; that each community has unique needs specific to their culture and circumstance, but also that they share many of the same cares of other Minnesotans as well. There is some evidence that this is changing, as Minnesota’s legislative body is beginning to more fully reflect the growing diversity of our state. But there is still much work to be done. Cabinet appointments in the next governor’s administration need to be more diverse and agencies that oversee state contracting and grant programs need to have more people of color staffing them. We
need to make government more open and more accessible. I am proud that as DFL House Leader I diversified the caucus and brought people of color onto staff and into leadership positions. I was only able to do this because of relationships with people in these communities who identified qualified candidates and recommended talented individuals. Which brings us back to my original point: Elected officials and political candidates need to do a better job of reaching out. It all starts there. As our current political season plays itself out, I would urge voters to support the candidates that not only espouse good policy, but that also take the time to come to their neighborhoods and listen. There is no substitute for presence. Indeed it was only after Robert F. Kennedy toured the Bed-Stuy neighborhood in New York that he initiated the first Community Development Corporation (CDC) in the
country, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. Voters have a right to demand that their leaders come to them and ask for their support, and Minnesota’s next leaders need to do a better job of doing just that. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once wrote that our lives are “characterized by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds,” and our political life suffers from the same affliction. Politicians and parties have become accustomed to taking votes for granted, without reciprocity or results. Our communities deserve better. They deserve to be treated with the civic dignity signified by their right to vote. No politician of any party has a preordained claim to anyone’s support. All votes should be earned by being respectful and responsive, by listening to the people and showing the courage to produce policy outcomes beneficial to them and their community.
Insight News • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Page 3
Money still talks Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond email@example.com After releasing their Career Motivation Test and collecting data from over 6,000 testtakers from every walk of life, Psychtests AIM Inc. uncovered just how unique people are when it comes to naming what motivates them at work. Their analysis determined that the top three work motivators were Achievement, Learning, and Inspiration. So employers, you no longer need to pay decent wages to your employees, right? Wrong. Money still talks, even when other incentives are in place. Psychtests defines the Achievement motivator as, “a sense of satisfaction at reaching goals or rising up to meet challenges at work.” My friend in accounting has an opportunity to travel to India for the month of October. “We want you to
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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 Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Technology Reporters Shanice Brown Ivan B. Phifer Christopher Toliver Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Brenda Colston Julie Desmond S. Himie Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Rashida McKenzie 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.
run the project,” he was told. I thought that sounded like an honor. He scoffed and said, “They’re not giving me any extra money.” He will travel around the world, away from family, friends and familiar food, succeed on the project and in exchange? He will be satisfied when he completes the project, but without a financial piece, he feels slighted. Learning is described as a desire to gain new knowledge and insight, as well as learn new skills. A tuition reimbursement program will keep good employees in place for four years or longer. I have seen many employees linger in unsatisfying positions while they finish a training program or wrap up a degree. When the learning is complete, they move on. As a recruiter, I know which employees are ready to dip as soon as class is paid for. As an employer, do you know, too? The companies who benefit most from using learning as a motivator are those that offer a completion bonus following the training. Yes, you’ve already paid for the degree. But your improved employee will leave when they’re done, unless you motivate with money in addition to paying for classes. Inspiration, “a desire to
inspire others, either through creative means or by opening minds to new ideas,” is a flimsy motivator. Everyone wants to be impactful and inspire others, but there is a parallel universe, called Community Service, in which they willingly do it for free. Rock climber-turned-educator Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea fame) builds schools for girls in Afghanistan. Few stories are more inspirational than his, but he still spends considerable time every year fundraising. Building schools requires currency. Few people are fortunate enough to live indefinitely on their influence alone. When it comes down to deal-breakers on the job, all the achievement, learning and inspirational opportunities in the world won’t pay the rent. Surveys like these show that motivators are complicated, but all else being equal, it’s still best to show your best employees the money. Julie Desmond has fifteen years recruiting and career counseling experience. She currently leads job search and career planning workshops in Minneapolis, MN. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 4 • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Insight News
Supt. Johnson with Robert and Ashley Brown family. It’s Raymie’s first day while Bryan, Robert, Jr. and E’Shawn look on.
Johnson From 2 The District says it envisions success as making every child college ready by adhering to and advancing specific values including the notion that every person has a right to a quality education, that family is important, that there should be equity, diversity, transparency, accountability, sustainability, respect for employees and creating partnerships for youth. The Promise: An inspirational education experience in a safe, welcoming environment for all diverse learners to acquire the tools and skills necessary to confidently engage in the global community. “This year the focus is on good teaching not only in the classroom, but also in the support systems that enable good teaching,” said Johnson. Johnson said she met with bus drivers, for instance, to make the connection with staff that are not in classroom. “I told them how important it is to get students to the classroom safely and on time. Why? Reading lessons are the 1st hour of the day. If they are not there on time, it has an adverse impact on students’ ability to read,” she
said. “We need all staff and all parents to do all they can to extend learning for our students,” Johnson said. Asked if parents are responsive to the call for involvement and engagement, Johnson said, “Parents hear that. But there are economic challenges now. There are 5,400 students who are homeless and highly mobile. Many of them are here in North Minneapolis.” “So we have to define involvement and engagement differently. I was a parent and worked as a teacher and principal. Frankly, I couldn’t be at every activity for my children. I could not do it all,” she said. “So I told Brandon and Brianna that I would get them to school on time every day. I made sure they ate nutritious meals and went to bed at night after their homework was done. I said to them ‘Do what Mr. and Mrs. Teacher say do.’” “My job is to earn a living and I stressed that every day. Theirs was to do well in school. They took advanced classes that I couldn’t help them in. But I found the help for them,” she said. Johnson said the thought reminded her of the story told by super-surgeon, Ben Carson, who talked about how his mom made
he and siblings read every night. Carson would ask his mom for help in figuring out the meaning of a word. She would tell him, “Go get that dictionary and sound that
word out and learn it!” Carson said he found out some years later that his mother could not read. But she demanded that her son put in the effort and determination with
whatever task he faced. The lesson, Johnson said, “is that even if your parent does not have an education, it does not mean that you can’t.”
That’s the message guiding Johnson’s embrace of leaders who promote and develop alternative learning systems for students and families. “I acknowledge the great work of my brother, Eric Mahmoud, at Harvest Prep Academy. Where charter schools do innovation that works, we want to see if we can replicate that. So we thank him and we’re trying to figure out how we can support him and how he can support the District.” And, she said, the District has approved and is launching a couple of charter schools that have demonstrated stellar results in other cities. “I love keeping students in the Minneapolis Public Schools system. I feel we can meet the needs of the majority of students. But if a parent decides they want a charter school experience, I would rather they go to a school like Harvest Preparatory where learning continues versus one where learning is adversely impacted,” she said. “We Want You Back!” is the mantra of the District’s initiative inviting un-enrolled young people back to Minneapolis Public School. “We are reaching out to every young person and inviting you to come ‘home’ to Minneapolis. We will do whatever it takes to help you finish school and get your diploma,” Johnson promises.
Underground Railroad Simulation The Underground Railroad simulation is a unique education program in Minnesota. The slavery escape reenactments take an innovative, interpretive approach to teaching American history, focusing on the African American experience and fostering positive dialogue about racial issues in a healthy environment. Bring: Long pants Tennis shoes or boots with laces A long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt A hat Insect repellent Photo Credit: Dr. Raymond Dobard - Hidden In Plain View
When: Where: Time: For:
September, 24, 2010 Base Camp 7:00 – 10:00 pm NSC staff, Fort Snelling staff, community leaders, & volunteers Cost: Free (Limited space - RSVP today!) Sign-Up: email@example.com
Don Not Bring: watches, earrings or other jewelry phones, pagers, I-pods or electronics flashlights/light-sticks The Underground Railroad simulation is a physical activity conducted in the woods at night. Participants may be asked to run through the woods, hide by lying on the forest floor, or (in warm weather) walk through mud/water. Because of this, we ask that persons who are pregnant, who have asthma, or have other medical issues bring them to the attention to Underground Railroad staff prior to the start of the simulation. Participants should wear appropriate clothing for the outdoor simulation. You will need clothing that can get muddy and may need to be thrown away.
Sponsored by Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America & The Kamau Kambui Circle For Cultural Learning (KKCCL)
Insight News • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Page 5
AESTHETICS William Pierce: creating art that transforms By Alaina Lewis Contributing Writer Many of us stand before the mirror, wanting to have complete satisfaction in our coddled reflections. Yet sometimes in the back of our mind we’re still wondering about the potential of that person on the other side of the glass. Playwright, director, and producer William Pierce, buried the stagnant habit of wondering through his desires, by creating an addiction to exacting immortality through art and motivation. Having spent years fighting his own ghosts, Pierce has redefined himself and entered the world of theater. He is now the newest voice to be reckoned with on the entertainment platform, and his company Second Chance Productions, is definitely one to keep an eye on. “My company Second Chance Productions tries to present art form to people that will inspire them, educate them, and encourage them to transform into the people that they desire to be, regardless of their past or the things they are dealing with today, whether it is financial, mental or physical,” he told Insight News, ”Everyone deserves a second chance at life, and we want to allow them the opportunity to realize that and encourage them to take advantage of it.” ‘Using Art form to Transform;’
William Pierce his companies slogan, carries a duty of dressing important messages up in universal clothing, to get the populous to wear his understanding for Christian values and a need for change. Pierce’s productions blend a unique voice, with untapped storylines that depict the many unresolved serious issues affecting modern day African Americans. Whether from the angle of a drug addict, or through the eyes of a parent at odds with themselves; through his work, he challenges the audience to reflect on their own inner struggles and connect with the community to ignite change in our demographic. “We as a community and a nation have gotten away from trying to take care of our own, whether it be our families, our community, or our society,” he begins, “We want to let people know that all is not
lost at this time,” he says, “I was encouraged to write back in 1998, and when I came back to the Twin Cities in 2008, I wanted to bring these ideas to the stage. Whether it be a social issue, a family issue, or any other issue that we deal with in life, I wanted to take it out of the church and bring it to the people, because before you can know who you are, you have to know where you are in God.” The main ingredient to all of his production is the soothing manner in which he is able to impart the dynamics of knowing God, and knowing oneself, to a diverse array of individuals who might not otherwise find themselves at Church or even considering departing from bad habits. After the success of his first stage production last year entitled, My Man and My Child, Pierce is at a pinnacle point in his career where
he is finally seeing his dreams come to fruition. “With My Man and My Child, I wanted to present something to people, first and foremost, to let them know that there is something new in the Twin Cities, something of quality, and something that you can not only be entertained by, but also be inspired and encouraged,” he begins, “If you look in our community, from 13 years old all the way up to 50 years old, there are single women, not just parents, but single women who are not only trying to deal with the economy, but also the structure of the home. If you break up the home, you’re breaking up everything. It’s starts in the home, and that idea was the founding message of my first production.” Selling out both shows of his two performance run of My Man and My Child, and over one thousand DVD copies, Pierce is on a mission to ride this success to the next level, and is once again hitting us this September with a new production entitled For the Sake of the Children. Quite like in his first play, For the Sake of the Children, deals with a mother named Denise, played by Timotha Lanae, who is addicted to drugs, and doesn’t realize that her dark choices are affecting the lives of her three children. This gospel production also stars Pierce, who plays the role of Grandpa; the families back bone and the one person who can keep them from falling apart, while at the same time bringing them together to adhere to life’s lessons. Also involved in the production are Lil G from the R&B smash hit group Silk, and Isaac Keys from
TV One’s series the “Ultimate Merger” starring the infamous Omarosa. These productions serve as a road map to change, and through each one of them you’re guided down a journey, that reminds you that in order to get to where you want to be in life, you have to sour the fear of reinventing your circumstances. Whether you’re a Christian, a non-believer or a person in the middle, Pierce’s plays are designed to inspire any and every individual no matter where you’re at in life, or
where you hope to be tomorrow. Through William Pierces warranted success, we visually realize that if life’s first opportunities don’t pan out, a second chance at conquering your destination can offer you limitless abounds of inner satisfaction. “For the Sake of the Children” runs September 17th – 19th at Stepping Stone Theater in St. Paul. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $45 for limited VIP seating. For more information please visit: www. SecondChanceProductions.biz
Page 6 • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Insight News
HEALTH Obamacare pre-existing condition insurance now enrolling Some call it health reform, some Obamacare, yet many with a pre-existing health condition and no health insurance may call it a life saver. For them the wait for affordable health insurance may be over. The Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), part of the new Affordable Care Act, is now enrolling. “For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions have been locked out” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. “The PreExisting Condition Insurance Plan gives them a new option – the same insurance coverage as a healthy individual.” The PCIP provides an opportunity for African Americans, many of whom have
been denied, or could not afford, health insurance because of HIV, diabetes, cancer, or other once exclusionary conditions. “African Americans,” according to Health and Human Services spokesperson, Jessica Santillo, “face high rates of diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS – 15 percent of African Americans suffer from diabetes and African Americans experience new HIV infections at seven times the rate of whites. African Americans who have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. will now have another option for more affordable coverage. Eligible individuals will now be offered comprehensive coverage for a premium amount
based on that available to individuals in their State of average health.” Federally funded at $5 billion, PCIP is slated to provide a broad range of health coverage including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. Once enrolled coverage begins immediately and will provide limitless health insurance coverage, low deductibles and low co-payments, at least in theory. Early enrollment is being encouraged, however, as PCIP’s popularity may be substantial and there is concern that there may not be enough funding to meet the pent-up demand. By enrolling early you can ensure that you won’t be put on a waiting list.
The federal government, or states, will administer PCIP so enrollment costs and eligibility requirements may vary from state to state. PCIP will run until 2014 when it will be replaced by more affordable insurance exchanges from which even members of congress will have to purchase their insurance. In the meantime, the AIDS Drug Assistance and Ryan White programs will remain in place, that is for as long as they are funded. If you are in need of health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition visit healthcare.gov. As enrollment may require proof of a preexisting condition contact your care provider to collect those records.
No-cost health tests for new coverage Beginning September 23rd, insurers will no longer be able to charge co-payments and deductibles for standard diagnostic tests, screenings and preventative procedures on new health insurance policies. As part of the Obama Administration emphasis on disease prevention and early diagnosis, First Lady Michelle Obama described the tests as important tools in preventing chronic illnesses. Studies have shown
that health insurance costsharing discourages policy holders from getting tests and preventive services. For example, 70 million Americans have insurance that does not adequately cover vaccinations. By eliminating the costs for new policy holders the administration believes millions more will get vaccinated and seek out earlier screenings for hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and cancer.
From 1 perspective. Tea Partiers were accused of hurling racial epithets at members of Congress as they crossed the street to the Capitol to cast their health care votes in March. Little more than a mile from the majority Black “Reclaim the Dream” crowd, the Beck crowd stood on the Washington Mall in a “Restoring Honor” rally that drew a near-solidly White crowd to the same spot –
Insight News • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Page 7 the Lincoln Memorial – Where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Beck had said the date of his rally was a coincidence, but many saw it as disrespectful to the legacy of the civil rights leader. “Well, they may have the mall, but we have the message. They may have the platform, but we have the dream,” said Sharpton at Dunbar high school where thousands gathered to prepare for the trek. “If you understood dreaming, you can dream anywhere. We don’t have to be at the spot. All we need to be is who we are. We
can dream from jail cells. We can dream from hospital beds. We can dream wherever we are!” Saturday’s march to the King Memorial, another in Detroit with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and yet another on Sunday in the lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, underscored Sharpton’s point that people around the nation – wherever they are – are daring to mobilize. Many are preparing to vote in mid-term elections November 2. Others are simply feeling the need to do something as they come to the realization
that racial disparities in just about every category are nearly as outrageous as they were 40 years ago. Yet a “One Nation” march on Washington, led by the NAACP and some 200 other organizations around the nation will be held October 2, illustrating the passion of this moment in history. “We need you back here on 10-2-10,” shouted NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous ato the crowd, citing the aim to “put our country back to work and pull our country back together!”
Other speakers included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition for Black Civil Participation, Marc Morial of the National Urban League and radio talk show hosts Tom Joyner and Joe Madison, who emceed the rally at Dunbar. Despite the focus on key issues of disparity, an overriding focus was the perceived insult by the Beck crowd whose philosophy led the anti-civil rights movement in the 60s. Sharpton concluded, “While
they are down there, they ought to have Abe Lincoln to tell them why he fought against state’s rights and held the union together. They ought to read Dr. King’s speech. And then they need to talk to some of us who came up the rough side of the mountain. That’s why we’re marching. Somebody said there’s no trouble today. Ain’t no trouble. We wouldn’t disgrace today by allowing you to provoke us. No matter what you say, no matter what you do, we’re going to celebrate those who laid down their lives to give us a chance.”
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LIFESTYLE What happens in Vegas... Can be pretty inexpensive Style on a Dime By Marcia Humphrey firstname.lastname@example.org While my husband and I are not into casino gambling --it goes against our laws of penny-pinching-- we do, however, really like to snag a deal wherever it may be found. This time we happened
to find one we could not pass up in Vegas. We just returned from our first official family vacation and had a wonderful time. To be honest, it was not our intention to head west, but it turns out that this was the best online deal out there (and not that much more expensive than heading up to Brainerd and other popular Minnesota vacation destinations). So if you are looking for a familyfriendly getaway that is relatively easy on the wallet, then Viva Las Vegas! This was supposed to be a big summer for us. Our
original plan was to go to Europe, but when our plans fell through we were scrambling to come up with a vacation-plan B, to console our disappointed kids (and their even more disappointed parents). Not wanting to spend oodles of cash-still planning to do Europe next year-we began looking online at cool places in Minnesota that we could reach by car. We were quite surprised at the cost of many of these Minnesota hot spots, and even more surprised to find a lot of them booked solid! That’s when we made the crucial decision to expand our search. Our vacation search was in full swing and it was a big deal, since our family had never had a real one before this. Our version of a vacation usually included a trip, by car,
to someone’s wedding, funeral, or graduation. Also, it most always involved less than ideal sleeping arrangements; a relative’s mattress that has seen better days or hotel accommodations that don’t ideally suit our family of five (a couple needs their privacy, right?). What we were able to uncover on www.expedia.com was a five-night trip package for five, including airfare, a casino-free, two-bedroom condo with fully stocked kitchen, and a vehicle. By purchasing the all-inclusive package, we saved big, paying just over $2000. We took a day trip to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, visited the famous Hoover Dam, and drove over to LA to splash around in the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the
rides and carnival games at Santa Monica Pier. What made this trip so memorable was the time we were able to spend together as a family, taking in all of the beauty that the west has to offer. The added bonus is that we did see relatives. We dined with Aunt D and Uncle Virgil in Vegas and Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Shane in LA.
When we asked our kids about their favorite parts of the trip, at the top of all of their lists was visiting the relatives. Their second favorite thing varied, shopping (my oldest daughter) riding the roller coaster at New York New York (my youngest daughter) and the plane ride (my son). While Vegas is not a first thought as a family-friendly spot, it can be and it is certainly budgetfriendly (as long as the slot machines don’t tempt you too much), with cheap flights, cheap hotels, and cheap eats. Most important, of course, is creating fond memories wherever you go! Enjoy! Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs. A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.
Insight News • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Page 9
Stokely and Sylvia Williams: African American giants the various artists he performed with including Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis. He delighted the WE WIN crowd by singing a song acapella. Students read about, drew pictures, and came prepared with questions for the committed couple. Aaliyah Williams, a WE WIN student and their 8 year old daughter wrote an article about her parents.
By Titilayo Bediako Stokely Williams is known to most as the lead singer of the singing group, Mint Condition, which was started by Williams and his Central High School friends in the late 1980’s. He not only sings, but is the group’s drummer and percussionist. Mint Condition has a diversity of sounds which range from conventional jazz to popular R&B; they play funk as well as Latin sounds. In 2008, the group was presented with the Album and Group of the Year from the SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award. Williams is a man who has a clear understanding of his culture and history. He believes in giving back to his community. He was named after the revolutionary, Stokely Carmichael, who is best known for the statement, “Black Power.” Williams father, the Elder Mahmoud El Kati, is an African American professor emeritus, legendary historian and sage for African Americans in Minnesota and the country. It is no wonder that Williams has a love for his community and for the children. His wife, Sylvia Williams a native of Los Angeles California, is a baker chief extraordinaire. Her sweet treats are not only a taste to die for, but the presentation of her sweets is a work of art. Her desserts are beautiful and the taste is even better. Eating Sylvia’s sweets can easily become an addicting experience. Her business is called Sweet Sylvia’s which is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stokely and Sylvia Williams were part of WE WIN Institute’s summer speaking series. WE WIN is a community based organization whose mission is the academic and social success of all children. When Sylvia came, she brought attractive treats for WE WIN students. She shared a sweet potato cheese cake and banana cup cakes. Not only did she bring her sweet treats, but she shared her story which includes having a culinary degree, being a licensed cosmetologist, and having a degree in public relations from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Stokely & Sylvia Williams By Aaliyah Kellogg Williams
Sylvia, Stokely, & Aaliyah Williams
Courtesy of WEWIN
Courtesy of WEWIN
Sylvia drawn by Nesani Sabal, Stokley drawn by Jesus Quevedo (left), and Stokley drawn by Teyrione Harrell. Stokely shared his story with the WE WIN students, ranging from 6-14 years of age. He
talked about being raised in St. Paul, the wisdom he learned from his father, and the origins of Mint Condition. He elaborated on
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...this is why we shine so bright.
The Hallie Q. Brown Early Learning Center is currently accepting applications for enrollment. We are a licensed daycare and preschool program with a 4 Star Parent Aware rating. We feature licensed and trained staff, Project Early Kindergarten (PEK) curriculum and a sliding fee scale. We gladly accept Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Contact us today for a tour and more information. Hallie Q. Brown Community Center 270 N. Kent Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-224-4601 www.hallieqbrown.org
Sylvia Williams was born in Washington D.C. She grew up in Los Angeles (L.A.). When
Sylvia was in L.A., she started doing hair. She went to Anguilla and that is when she started braiding hair. My mom moved back to Washington D.C. She was working for other people. She decided to start her own business called, “Sweet Sylvia.” Later, she brought Sweet Sylvia’s to Minnesota. My mom also does hair at a salon. She does awesome hair. Stokely Williams was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. When he was 3, he started playing bongos and congas. When he was older, he had a lot of jobs. He was a news paper delivery boy, he delivered pizzas, and different
jobs like that. Then he wanted to be a singer. So he grabbed his friends and he said, “Since you guys can play so well, why can’t we make a band?” They all agreed. So they made music and people liked it. Now they are really famous. They had the opportunity to sing with Prince, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Alicia Keys and many other musicians. Stokely has been to a lot of countries, he has been in about 20. He has a wonderful family; a wife named Sylvia, two kids, an 8 year old girl named Aaliyah, and a 3 year old boy named Arion.
Page 10 •September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Insight News
Photo courtesey of BSA
“Signifyin’ & Testifyin’”: The power of the oral storytelling tradition
“We were telling stories before Twitter”, the theme for the 19th Annual Black Master Storytelling Festival, “Signifyin’ & Testifyin’”. The Black Storytelling Festival will be held September 23 – 25, 2010 in the Minneapolis metropolitan area with a line-up of world renown master storytellers. “Signifyin’ & Testifyin’” is a familyfriendly exposition of the power of the oral storytelling tradition as practiced by African people in the Diaspora. This three-day opportunity is free and
family-friendly edutainment. As part of Black Storytellers Alliance’s mission, maintaining the art of storytelling is a primary source for positive instruction and reinforcement of the rich beauty embodied in the telling of “the story”. The line-up of storytellers include: Mitch “Gran’Daddy JuneBug” Capel, Rose McGee, Tejumola Ologboni, Oba William King, Beverly Cottman, Victoria Burnette, Baba Jamal Koram, Toni Simmons, Valerie Tutson, and Nothando Zulu.
Events Calendar Send Community Calendar information to us by: email, email@example.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.
9/11: BLUEPRINT FOR TRUTH Sept 11 – A multimedia presentation with myth-shattering scientific evidence surrounding the explosive demolition of all three World Trade Center Buildings, leading the viewer to question what really happened on that fateful day. Come and see why 1,266 registered architects and engineers have signed a petition for a new investigation. What do they know that the media has not reported? @ Uptown Theater 1320 Lagoon Ave. Mpls, MN, 10am-12pm, Sat., Sept. 11. Doors open 9:30am Zeta Phi Deta 3rd Annual Health Fair – Sept 11 - This free event will take place at the Harriet Tubman Center located at
3111 First Ave. S, Mpls, From 10am1pm. Vendors Include: UCare, Food Drug Administration, The Minneapolis Fire Department, Doula services and more. PACER Center workshop addresses special education process - Sept 13 –“IDEA: Blueprint for Understanding the Special Education Process,” a free workshop for parents of children with disabilities and professionals. It is on Mon., Sept. 13, 2010, from 6:30-9:30pm, at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, MN. Advance registration is requested. To register, call 952-838-9000. Eclipsed - Sept 17-Oct 10 – Eclipsed centers on the lives of five women who are thrown together by the recent civil war in Liberia. @ the Playwrights’s Center, 2301 E. Franklin Ave. Mpls, MN 55406. Tickets at www.franktheatre.org or 612-724-3760 Grand Puba Performance - Sept
An Added attraction will be Brother Ghana and the WISE Charter School Drummers and Dancers. Opening Ceremonies and Storytelling Concerts - Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:00 - 9 :00 PM at WISE Charter School, 1501 North Aldrich Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. There will be a special tribute to Minnesota’s own Sister Mattie Clark who has now joined the ancestors and after the concert a reception for the guests.
PHONE: 612.588.1313 17 – Grand Puba of Brand Nubian to Perform Live @ Suburban World Theatre (Uptown) 3022 Hennepin Avenue Mpls, MN Fri. Sept. 17th. Also Performing: DJ Mixwell / Blade Brown (The African Prince); DJ Stage 1 / OSP & Callous; Big Wiz / Dot Ten; Mally / Truth Maze; Mujah Messiah. Call for times: 952-2706700.
Liar’s “Tall Tales” Contest - Friday September 24, 2010 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM at Ames Elks Lodge, 1614 Plymouth Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN. Grand Finale Storytelling Concert - Saturday September 25, 2010 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM at Perpich Center for Arts Education, 6125 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN. All events are free of charge and open to the public.
FAX: 612.588.2031 8pm. @ Hennepin Center for the Arts Studio 2A –528 Hennepin Ave –Mpls. Pre Reg Offer: $14/Class, $17/drop in. Pre Reg Offer ends Sept 12th. Visit www. duniyadrumanddance.org for more info and to pre-register. Craft & Bake Sale - Sept 25 – Funds raised will benefit Robbinsdale community organizations and the Senior Program. Sat. Sept. 25 9am-3pm at
“Know Your Numbers” Health Fair - Sept 18 – Promoting healthy PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, lifestyles by empowering people INTERNSHIP PROGRAM through education and screenings, while creating increased The Minnesota Historical Society seeks appliawareness of community cations for a Program Associate to administer resources that are available to the Society’s internship program and to build individuals and families. At relationships with underrepresented communities that will foster the diversification of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 451 Society’s intern programs. This full-time posiCentral Ave. W, St. Paul Sat., Sept. tion is located at the History Center, in St Paul, MN. See www.mnhs.org/about/jobs for com18, 10am-1pm. Traditional Congolese and Afro Fonk Dance Workshop - Sept 18, 19, 20 – Sat, Sept 18, 1-2:30pm; Sun, Sept 19; 1-2:30pm; Mon, Sept 20 6:30pm-
plete information about this opportunity and how to apply or call Job Line at 651-259-3181. Materials must be received by September 16, 2010. EEO.
ABA Minnesota Blizzards Basketball The Minnesota Blizzards ABA Basketball Team is announcing a program for college Internships for the fall and winter. The program will consist of five teams of 5 interns each in the following areas: (1) Sales, (2) Basketball Operations. (3) Marketing (4) Public Relations (5) Business administration. Each team will have a leader and be given challenging assignments. We are looking for college students majoring in Sports Management, Business, Public Relations, Marketing Sales, Broadcasting and Event Planning. We need 20 or 25 interns working with us for a (minimum of 8 hours a week) on a part-time basis. Interns will gain valuable experience, and in most cases college credits. Interested Parties please send resume to: The Minnesota ABA Team Attn: Internship Program 10125 Crosstown Circle #200 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-829-1250 Fax: 952-829-1040 www.minnesotablizzards.com
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center Substitute Teacher DEPT: Early Learning Center SUPERVISED BY: Youth Program Manager TITLES SUPERVISED: N/A FLSA: Non-Exempt SALARY GRADE: $10-13/hour POSITION SUMMARY: This is a substitute position designed to fill in as needed on a short or long term basis for permanent teaching staff. Substitute Teacher participates in long and short range activities for students in accordance with curriculum objectives and engages students in developmentally appropriate activities. Assists with ensuring that the classroom is appropriately staffed and maintained to provide a safe and secure environment for each child.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING Please call individual site for specific building information Professionally Managed by BDC Management Co.
Apartment City Phone Bedroom Sizes Buffalo Court Apartments Buffalo 763-684-1907 2 & 3
POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES: 1. Works with teaching staff to implement program curriculum and coordinate students activities. 2. Plans and supervises the arrangement of the classroom environment in accordance to program goals and philosophy. 3. Maintains a safe and healthy environment, including safely managing developmental activities for the participants. 4. Keeps all appropriate records such as records, attendance, time sheets and accident reports. 5. Maintains open communication with parents/guardians of the program participants regarding the developmental needs of the participants.
Unity Place Brooklyn Center 763-560-7563 2 & 3 waiting list closed
QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Associates degree or equivalent in early childhood development. B.S. in Early childhood Development preferred.
Diamond Hill Townhomes Minneapolis 612-726-9341 2 & 3
Licensing and Certifications: CPR and Meet all applicable licensing regulations. Valid Driver’s License and proof of insurance. Minnesota Teachers’ License (preferred). Work Experience: 5 years of Child Care Center or related experience required. Other Requirements: • Dealing with confidential information. • Tight deadlines. • Dealing with unfavorable weather conditions. • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. • Ability to work effectively with employees, colleagues and manager. • Agree to mandated child abuse reporting guidelines. • Ability to relate to children from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. To apply, send a cover letter, resume, salary requirements and references to: Hallie Q. Brown Community Center ATTN: Human Resources 270 N. Kent Street Saint Paul, MN 55102 651-224-7074-Fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Plaza Apartments Minneapolis 612-377-3650 1, 2 & 3 Olson Townhomes Minneapolis 612-377-9015 2 & 3 waiting list closed
Lincoln Place Apartments Mahtomedi 651-653-0640 2 & 3 Vadnais Highland Townhomes Vadnais Heights 651-653-0640 2 & 3 Woodland Court Apartments Park Rapids 1-888-332-9312 Seniors 62+, 1 & 2 Franklin Lane Apartments Anoka 763- 427-7650 Seniors 62+, 1 & 2 Evergreen Apartments Hutchinson 1-800-661-2501 Seniors 62+, 1 & 2 Hopkins Village Apartments Hopkins 952-938-5787 Seniors 62+, 1 & 2
Photo courtesey of Keiona L. Cook
Fashion Designer Keiona L. Cook (Day), founder of Qe’Bella, a non-profit that teaches youth ages 6 to 16, the fundamentals of sewing, presents a Fashion Show Benefit, September 18, 2010 at The Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway Ave. N. in Minneapolis. Matinee show: 6pm – Evening show: 8:30pm. Part of the proceeds from the fashion show will go into a scholarship fund for youth that want to study fashion under the guidance of Qe’Bella, and part of the proceeds will support the Leadership Club at the Northside YMCA. Fashion models: Salesha Smith (left) and Megan Trebeg. EMAIL: email@example.com Robbinsdale City Hall, 4100 Lakeview Ave. N. Rent a space to sell your “stuff.” For more info call 763-531-1278. NAMIWalks Changing Minds One Step at a Time - Sept. 25 – NAMIWalks is a 5K walk to increase public awareness of mental illness, fight stigma, and
raise funds for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMIWalks Minnesota will be held at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1pm. For info: www.namihelps.org or call 651-645-2948 ext. 115 to register for the walk, captain a team, volunteer, or give a donation.
Postsecondary Planning and Communications Associate The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is seeking an individual to serve as a Postsecondary Planning and Communications Associate to handle a variety of communications functions, coordinate college planning presentations, and develop informational materials and web content for the agency. Complete description and application instructions at: www.ohe.state.mn.us/jobs or call (651) 259-3941. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action Employer
Insight News • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Page 11
SPORTS Concussions, sports, and money: A bad cocktail some athletes even claiming they were told “…(it’s) just in your head.” It seems like that should be all the more reason to pay close attention. And while the Twins are handling the Justin Morneau situation well, you also have the NFL, which has strong considerations on the table to expand the regular season from 16 to 18 games. Fortunately the Vikings are handling the headache issues for star receiver Percy Harvin well, because the history of overall treatment of active and former players in the NFL isn’t good at all. And the demonstration of the desire to expand the season just doesn’t seem to jive with the physical fallout that already exists with retired football players. Obviously, nobody can be a fool
Mr. T’s Sports Report By Ryan T. Scott firstname.lastname@example.org With Minnesota Twins icon Justin Morneau suffering the lingering effects from a concussion since early July, and the head knocking football season at hand, it’s important that young athletes and their families learn about the effects of concussions. Whether football, hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball, and whatever, there are multiple ways to come across a concussion when athletes get to running around with scowls on their face, fighting for the extra inches that lead to victory. We celebrate these dangerous, but exhilarating, efforts with statements like “going the extra mile” and “sacrifice your body for the team”, but there is always another side to valor. There is a growing problem of traumatic brain injuries in sports – or perhaps there is just greater testing and attention focused on these injuries – and the affects are both in the short-term and long-term. Former Minnesota Twin Cory Koskie, who suffered through troubles with concussions in his baseball career, described the experience as “exasperating.” Simple tasks like driving and reading become difficult. Shortterm effects include: confusion, temporary amnesia, headaches, dizziness, ringing of the ears, nausea, slurred speech, and fatigue. One of the major difficulties with concussions is due to the very individual nature of its effects. Although many advances in neuroscience have occurred over the years, it’s still pretty difficult for specialists to pin down the exact physiological triggers. As possibly outlandish as it may or may not sound, neuroscience researcher Mark Underwood, of
Justin Morneau Quincy Bioscience in Madison, WI, has gotten approval for a brain function treatment which involves a calcium protein found in jellyfish (“Gift from the Sea: How a protein from jellyfish fights the Aging Process”). Underwood writes, “As an apparent protective mechanism the brain elevates calcium levels within neurons after a trauma. …It’s the elevated calcium levels that inactivate and then kill the neurons, bringing about cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, and in some cases dementia in the athlete’s.” These
chemical adjustments may take place days, weeks, months, and even years after the impact, writes Underwood. This is the individual nature of the problem. It is the long-term effects of concussions that researchers find to be more problematic in treatment and diagnosis. “We are seeing a link between concussions of the playing field, and the early onset of chronic memory loss and dementia in many athletes,” writes Underwood. A “Qualityof-Life” study of retired players, commissioned by the NFL,
reported that memory related diseases for sampled athletes were nineteen times higher than those who did not play. This is important to note with regards to Justin Morneau, and the Twins organizations’ handling of the injury. Several teams in recent years have suffered bad publicity hits due to mishandling of traumatic brain injuries. The general feel amongst former athletes seems to show plenty of bad feelings towards organizations that downplayed the athletes’ suggestions of symptoms, with
and not think that additional revenue has the largest hand in the desire to expand the season. The thing that seems to loom from the big picture is that this decision seems to be getting pushed through the same way that many faulty pursuits in society do; and all with the lessons of the BP oil spill, the many financial calamities due to mismanagement, the New Orleans levees never being properly fixed, and the “steroids era” of baseball, amongst plenty of other painful examples. Greed doesn’t end up good. Somehow the impact of money must also add to calcium levels in brain cells. Calcium strengthens bones. The term “Bonehead” comes to mind. … Treat the players right.
Page 12 • September 6 - September 12, 2010 • Insight News
W Minneapolis - The Foshay: Elegant, hip, cool By Al McFarlane and B.P. Ford, The Editors Wilbur Foshay, an art student turned entrepreneur who made his fortune buying and selling utility companies, built Foshay Tower, styled on the Washington Monument, to house both his business and residence. His three-bedroom and threebathroom residential suite on the 27th and 28th floor included a fireplace, library, Italian Siena marble walls and glass-paneled ceilings. Once Twin Cities tallest structure, though now eclipsed by bigger properties that mushroomed during the unprecedented downtown development in the 1970’s and beyond, the Foshay remains a jewel that reflects industrialist self-aggrandizement before the fall. Repurposed and rebranded, the Foshay is now the elegant W Hotel. Given the opulent vision that inspired the landmark’s creation, W Hotel offers powerful testimony to the efficacy of vision and capital united to respond to market demands. The result: The Roaring 20s meet modern cool. Downtown Minneapolis boasts a groundbreaking arts scene alive with independent music and thriving theater. Shopping, dining and happy hour social and business networking create a new urban chic that the historical W Minneapolis – The Foshay accents as a soaring icon of art deco splendor. W offers world-class dining at Manny’s Steak House, wholesome home-cooked meals at Key’s Restaurant, and a lively underground house music drinking scene in the sky high Prohibition Bar. On the ground floor cozy happy hour kibitzing in the Living Room gives way to a jam-packed party for the beautiful people, night after night. The venue has always been a scene of progressive hippness. When we first came to Twin Cities, in the 1960’s, what’s now Key’s restaurant was called King Solomon’s Mines, a place
Courtesy of W Hotels
Courtesy of W Hotels
where Black and white people could mingle freely. In the late 60s and 70s it enjoyed world renown as The Establishment, a swank disco dance scene where gangsters and college kids did the bugaloo, the bump, the twine and the four corners. In the 90s it’s last hurrah, as a soulful nitespot, was as Cork’s, the nightclub that actually launched the Minneapolis based
superband, Ipso Facto. The funky elegance has survived the renovation and along with a state of the art fitness center and 24-hour guest services, the eateries and drinking establishments W Minneapolis presents an unparalleled 229 room hotel experience. It is an experience that overwhelms with spectacular views of the skyline and lush
landscapes. The experience is further amplified by guest rooms with fully wired technology and lusciously appointed sleeping. To celebrate its opening back in the day, Wilbur Foshay invited 25,000 guests to the dedication ceremony, providing all-expenses paid trips to cabinet members, senators and congressmen. As each guest received a gold pocket watch,
scintillating dancers entertained, the military gave 19-gun salutes and John Philip Sousa led the orchestra in the “Foshay TowerWashington Memorial March,” a piece he wrote specially for the occasion. Foshay paid Sousa with a $20,000 check that bounced. Six weeks after the tower opened, Foshay’s corporate empire tumbled with the stock market
as the Great Depression began. Sousa prohibited the playing of the march for as long as the debt remained outstanding. Foshay never lived in his new home. In 1999, a group of Minnesota investors settled the debt with Sousa’s estate and the march was permitted to play again. The W Minneapolis conserves many original fixtures, intact in their historical glory. An original directory and mail-drop, as well as the same ornate elevator doors, the restored decorative ceiling in the main arcade, and the preserved terrazzo marble floor highlight the splendor of the art deco era. Room categories and amenities begin with what W— Minneapolis calls the Wonderful Room package. Open and airy, the basic rooms feature oneof-a-kind custom-designed furniture and chic carpet with avant-garde geometric patterns, an accommodation perfect for a couple or business traveler hitting Minneapolis. The expansive work desk has High Speed Internet Access, full laptop A/V video input and a 37” flat screen TV, DVD player, alarm clock/radio with iPod docking station. It only gets better, plushier from there as W—Minneapolis escalates to Spectacular, Fabulous, Fantastic Suite, Wow Suite, and the Extreme Wow Suite, which features and oversized soaking tub as the centerpiece of one of the two marbled bathrooms. The Extreme’s two bedroom suite includes a living room and dining area, and a wet bar. For our weekend at the W— Foshay we enjoyed the Fantastic Suite experience, a corner suite with a huge bathroom, king size bed, a dining room and living room and business/work area. Our suite included a treadmill. For us, luxury doesn’t get better than this. If you like having your head in the clouds W Minneapolis puts you there. You can start off with a high by taking in the entire city from the hotel’s observation deck—the only one in Minneapolis.