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BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA Orchestra Hall, Wednesday, December 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $22 to $45, (612) 371-5656 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org

December 7 - December 13, 2009 • MN Metro Vol. 35 No. 49 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • www.insightnews.com

Foreclosure solutions By Stacey Taylor Contributing Writer In an effort to quell the rate of home foreclosures in the Twin Cities, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman hosted a press conference with Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson (Ward 4) and Wells Fargo Minnesota CEO Jon Campbell to present the Homeownership Preservation and Neighborhood Stabilization Project. The project, which will begin in 2010, will offer Twin Cities homeowners and potential homeowners new resources along with efforts of three existing programs including Invest Saint Paul, the Minneapolis Foreclosure Recovery Plan and Wells Fargo’s national Leading the Way Home. Wells Fargo has agreed to co-

host a series of personal foreclosure prevention sessions including loan modification meetings, financial literacy and homebuyers workshops and affordable home tours for the twin cities. Coleman said St. Paul has done everything in its power to use all tools to combat the effects of the mortgage crisis. This will now include partnering with industry mortgage lenders Wells Fargo to keep families in their homes he said. “By working with the city to help residents avoid foreclosure and host homeowner workshops for employees of Saint Paul companies, Wells Fargo is making a commitment to help us bring stability to our neighborhoods,” Coleman added. Some neighborhoods that fall under the Invest Saint Paul heading include portions of

Preparing for an interview is tricky

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St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

Barbara Johnson (Ward 4)

Jon Campbell, CEO, Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota

Dayton’s Bluff, Payne-Phalen, the North End and Thomas Dale (Frogtown). In 2009 Minneapolis’ 4th and 5th wards were the hardest hit by

foreclosures. “Minneapolis continues to provide foreclosure prevention assistance and to pursue aggressive property purchase and rehabilitation

strategies to strengthen homeownership and restore healthy housing markets in our

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Advocates challenge White House response to Black unemployment

Mississippi governor’s plan to merge three HBCUs come under fire

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By Hazel Trice Edney NNPA Editor-in-Chief

President Barack Obama

Mortgage modifications expand relief, stabilize housing markets WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week kicked off a nationwide campaign to help borrowers who are currently in the trial phase of their modified mortgages under the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Modification

Program (HAMP) convert to permanent modifications. The modification program, which has helped over 650,000 borrowers, is part of the Administration’s broader commitment to stabilize housing markets and to provide relief to struggling homeowners

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WASHINGTON (NNPA) – African American joblessness – nearly twice the national rate - is quickly becoming the first showdown between Black leaders and the nation’s first Black president as national Black and civil rights leaders raise their voices telling the Obama Administration it’s time to end the jobs crisis in the Black community. “We’re sending a strong message to the president and Congress that we need to step up. We need immediate jobs – not some time six, eight and 10 months down the road,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said in an interview with the NNPA News Service. “African American leaders are not just saying do something. We’re offering solutions.” Morial has sent a letter to the Obama Administration and Congressional Leaders outlining specific recommendations for job creation in the wake of national unemployment numbers that grew into double digits – 10. 2 percent -

Marc Morial, NUL

Ben Jealous, NAACP

in October. In his letter, dated November 24, Morial reminds the Administration that the Black community has suffered double digit jobless rates for well more than a year. “While I applaud the Administration for publicly acknowledging the gravity of our nation’s employment situation, I would add that double-digit unemployment has been a reality for communities of color since last

summer – for African Americans since August, 2008, and for Latinos since February, 2009,” he writes. “As President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream, I have firsthand knowledge of the

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“Brother West” Interview

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The gift of

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giving this season

A President’s HOPE

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My child shall not be left behind By Brenda Colston Contributing Writer Dedicated to President Obama First lady Michelle Obama Sasha & Malia Obama

gas? Will you free all the prisoners? Can you do it with class? Save GM & Chrysler? Endangered species at the zoo? Lower unemployment rates? Save social security too?

My child shall not be left behind As I embark on this great task, There are many questions that will be asked. When will you stop the war? How will you feed the poor? Can you help me save my home? Why is it so hard to get a loan? Will you bail out all the banks? Can you bring down the price of

Find and fund a cure for AIDS, Help our children keep up their grades, Lower the cost of quality healthcare, And please Mr. President – Make all the laws fair! This is only the beginning Of all the battles you will be

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Tiger woods The First Lady and daughters Malia (left) and Sasha are presented with the Official White House Christmas Tree, which this year comes from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The 18 ½ ft Douglas-fir arrives on the traditional horse drawn carriage to the North Portico. The tree will be on display in the Blue Room throughout the holiday season.

We should wish the best

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Page 2 • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Insight News

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BUSINESS Candid, direct answers to interview questions best route to success us?

Plan your career

By Julie Desmond julie@insightnews.com Preparing for an interview is tricky. It’s hard to know which questions to expect, and then how best to answer them. Generally, interview questions fall into three categories: Who are you? What have you done? And What can you do for

Who are you? questions are the toughest. Say your buddy asks, “If your wife were here and I asked her what your worst quality is, what would she say?” You might respond with a laugh and perhaps a quip or anecdote. In an interview, should you respond in the same way? Yes, say Human Resources professionals. While full disclosure is not required, sincerity is. Hiring managers can see right through a rehearsed response. Know how you will discuss your weaknesses and strengths, and be honest when you describe them. Another typical Who-are-you question is, “Tell me a little about yourself.” Notice, they said, “a

little.” Keep it brief. This is an ice breaker, and sometimes a deal breaker. Plan comments along a very general timeline: tell where you got your training, mention the companies where you’ve worked, and then finish with a line about why you are currently looking for work. If the interviewer wants to know whether you have kids, he or she will ask. And by the way, they’re not allowed to ask. This leads to the What have you done? interview questions. Avoid the temptation to ramble. Explain past positions and responsibilities, and let the interviewers ask more pointed questions if they need to. If you have had a chance to study the job

description, emphasize past positions which lead logically to this one. Finally, “What can you do for us?” This question may be disguised as, “What interests you about this position?” or, “Why would you like to work here?” Generally, if you’re ever stumped for an answer to an interview question, fall back on your answer to this underlying question. What value do you bring to this position? If the position on the table is new or with a start-up company, have you had entrepreneurial experiences? If the position requires creativity, attention to detail or management experience, can you deliver? Study the

careerbuilder.typepad.com

company’s website in advance, so you will know what needs they are hoping to address. Answering every question candidly and directly will be your best route to a successful next career move.

Julie Desmond is Director of Career Planning Resources for Help Wanted! Workshop. Send your career planning questions to julie@insightnews.com.

Annual Medicare Part D open enrollment period ends December 31 By Jason Alderman Prescription drug costs can take a double toll on retirees, who

often live on fixed incomes and are also likely to need more – and more costly – medications as they get older. That’s why the government created Medicare

Part D, a voluntary program that subsidizes prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. If you’re eligible for Medicare, be aware that the sixweek annual Part D open enrollment period for 2010 takes place from November 15 through December 31, 2009. Except in a few circumstances, if you miss that window you’ll need to remain in your current plan until 2011. Here are a few details on Medicare Part D: Eligibility. If you’re 65 or older or have certain qualifying disabilities, you are eligible to participate in Medicare. (Go to www.medicare.gov for eligibility information.) To sign up for Medicare Part D you must also be enrolled in Part A (hospitalization), and/or Part B (doctor visits and outpatient services). Under Part C, people enroll in a private Medicare plan that usually provides limited prescription drug coverage – be sure to check before joining Part D. Signing up. Even if you think you don’t currently need

prescription drug coverage, remember you may face a late penalty that grows monthly if you don’t sign up within your initial enrollment period – typically the three months before and after the month you turn 65. Alternate coverage. If you already have prescription drug coverage through an employer or union plan and it is

Part D plans exist with widely varying costs, coverage and convenience. When comparing plans: First go to www.medicare.gov and click on “Prescription Drug Plan,” where you’ll find helpful information on how the plan works and factors to consider when choosing a plan. Use the interactive Drug

In addition to the Medicare site, another good resource is AARP (www.aarp.org/medicare). Also, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to help you choose the most cost-effective plan for your situation. considered “creditable” (equal or better coverage than Part D), you can stay in that plan without incurring a late penalty for later joining Part D. Ask your current provider if their plan is considered creditable; if so, weigh its costs and features carefully before switching to Part D – it may be a better bargain. Choosing a plan. Dozens of

Plan Finder to compare features of plans available in your area. (You can also do this by phone at 1-800-633-4227.) Each plan has a “formulary,” which is a list of drugs covered at varying copayment amounts. Formularies vary widely and can change from year to year, so it’s important to compare plans annually.

Enter all your medications and dosages into the Finder for comparison. You may not find a plan that covers all your medications, but aim for one that at least covers the most expensive drugs. Also, note that they may cover generic versions, when available. Make sure the plans include your preferred pharmacies. Once you’ve entered your information into the Drug Plan Finder, you can compare plans side-by-side in terms of overall cost, deductible and copayment amounts, user ratings, and other factors. In addition to the Medicare site, another good resource is AARP (www.aarp.org/medicare). Also, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to help you choose the most cost-effective plan for your situation. Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. Sign up for his free monthly eNewsletter at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ newsletter.


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Mortgage From 1 and is a primary focus of financial stability efforts moving forward. Roughly 375,000 of the borrowers who have begun trial modifications since the start of the program are scheduled to convert to permanent modifications by the end of the year. Through the efforts being announced today, Treasury and HUD will implement new outreach tools and borrower resources to help convert as many trial modifications as possible to permanent ones. “We are encouraged by the pace at which trial modifications are now being made to provide immediate savings to struggling homeowners,” said the new Chief of Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation Office (HPO), Phyllis Caldwell. “We now must refocus our efforts on the conversion phase to ensure that borrowers and servicers know what their responsibilities are in converting trial modifications to permanent ones.” In her new role, Caldwell will lead HPO’s conversion drive efforts. “Encouraging borrowers to move through the process of converting trial modifications to permanent modifications remains a top priority for HUD,” said HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner David Stevens. “As a part of our continuing efforts to improve the execution of the HAMP program, HUD is committed to working with servicers, borrowers, housing counselors and others dedicated to homeownership preservation to improve the transition of distressed homeowners into affordable and sustainable mortgages.” With tens of thousands of trial modifications being made each week, the Administration is now working to ensure that eligible borrowers have the

INSIGHT NEWS www.insightnews.com 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 Elliot Stewart-Franzen Web Design & Content Associate Ben Williams Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Brenda Colston Julie Desmond Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Rashida McKenzie Ryan T. Scott 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.

Insight News • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Page 3 information and the assistance needed to move from the trial to the permanent modification phase. (All mortgage modifications begin with a trial phase to allow borrowers to submit the necessary documentation and determine whether the modified monthly payment is sustainable for them.) As the first round of modifications convert from the trial to permanent phase, the Administration has identified several strategies for addressing the challenges that borrowers confront in receiving permanent modifications.

In addition to the conversion drive that kicked off last week, the Obama Administration had already taken several steps to make the transition from trial to permanent modification easier and more transparent by: Extending the period for trial modifications started on or before September 1st to give homeowners more time to submit required information; Streamlining the application process to minimize paperwork and simplify the submission process; meeting regularly with servicers to identify necessary improvement to borrower

outreach and responsiveness; Developing operational metrics to hold servicers accountable for their performance, which will soon be reported publicly; Enhancing borrower resources on the MakingHomeAffordable.gov website and the Homeowner’s HOPETM Hotline (888-995HOPE) to provide direct access to tools and housing counselors. The Mortgage Modification Conversion Drive will include the following: •

Servicer Accountability. As

part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to hold servicers accountable for their commitment to the program and responsibility to borrowers, additional measures will be added. • Web tools for borrowers. Because the document submission process can be a challenge for many borrowers, the Administration has created new resources on www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov

to simplify and streamline this step.

• Engagement of state, local and community stakeholders. Through the conversion drive, the Administration is engaging all levels of government - state, local and county – to both increase awareness of the program and expand the resources available to borrowers as they navigate the modification process. More information about the Obama Administration’s mortgage modification program can be found at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov.


Page 4 • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Insight News

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EDUCATION Mississippi governor’s plan to merge three HBCUs comes under fire By Dominique M. Grant Special to the NNPA from the Mississippi Link JACKSON, MS (NNPA) - Dozens of students, members of the NAACP, alumni and concerned constituents gathered for a rally at the Mississippi State Capitol last Friday to protest Gov. Haley Barbour’s proposal to merge Mississippi’s three historically Black universities.

Barbour has proposed merging Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State into Jackson State University. Outraged, students from each of the respective universities gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to let their voices be heard. “Education is an economic equalizer,” said Othor Cain, Jackson State University NAACP adviser. “If the governor is serious about fiscal responsibility, he

should understand that students need a quality education in order to rise out of poverty.” A crowd of students attended the state College Board meeting last Thursday expecting a discussion about the proposal, but there was none. Barbour also has said he wants to consolidate Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State. Under his plan, no campuses would close. The governor said the restructuring could save the state $35 million off a nearly $5.5 billion budget. The proposed change would leave Mississippi with five public universities rather than the current eight. Barbour’s consolidation

proposal would have to be approved by lawmakers. It is part of his suggested budget for the fiscal year that begins next July 1. Some Alcorn State University alumni called the governor’s recommendation to merge the college with Jackson State University devastating. Lawmakers would have to approve the governor’s plan to merge the schools before it happens. The governor said the plan may not be popular, but it’s necessary to help balance the 2011 budget as revenues continue to fall. “It would be like stripping us of part of our culture and our heritage and our camaraderie,” said Alcorn graduate John Smith.

The governor’s office said it’s too early to say if the school’s names will change, but they will all be run by Jackson State’s president. Also the sports teams at Alcorn and Mississippi Valley would be disbanded with JSU’s athletic program remaining. Games such as this weekend’s much anticipated Capital City Classic football game between Jackson State and Alcorn could end if the schools were to merge. Opponents of the merger have created a website that has updates and an online petition. For more information www.savemshbcus.org

visit

www.mspress.org

Gov. Haley Barbour

Eight charged with recruiting fighters for Somalia Special to the NNPA from GIN (GIN) – Charges were unsealed last week against eight defendants accused of recruiting SomaliAmerican youth to fight in their homeland for an Islamist militant group. The defendants – peers and elders - reportedly recruited the youth in Minneapolis mosques to

Foreclosure From 1 neighborhoods most impacted by foreclosure,” Johnson said. Campbell said Wells Fargo decided to co-host and co-brand because they realized that reaching out to families and individuals struggling with mortgages can be a “very emotional” process. “Unfortunately, many times because of fear, anger or frustration we do not get a chance to speak as directly to those homeowners as we’d like. Many borrowers are not

fight for al-Shabaab, an insurgent group that controls much of southern and central Somalia. Somali youths in the U.S., often extremely poor and more isolated from society as a whole, have been an easy target for radicalization. Minnesota is the home to an estimated 60,000 Somalis. Even among the less militant

in this country, there is broad opposition to the regime that was put in place after Ethiopia, backed by the United States, invaded in 2006 and overthrew an Islamic coalition. The so-called transitional government is lead by President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who rarely leaves Villa Somalia, a compound protected by Ugandan troops

largely responsible for propping up his government. Meanwhile, local activist Omar Jamal, who led the Somali Justice Advocacy Center since 2001, has moved to New York to become first secretary at the Permanent Mission of the Somali Republic to the United Nations.

comfortable talking with lenders directly,” Campbell said. “We hope that the cities and organizations’ involvement will

project include prevention of foreclosures; quick sale of foreclosed homes and increased opportunities for first-time

is to work out modifications to help those in trouble remain in their homes. Wells Fargo’s program would further the federal mortgage program called Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP) that the government set into motion last March. In March 2009, the Obama Administration published detailed program guidelines for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program. Mortgage servicers were authorized to begin modifications under the plan immediately. With the assistance of several government agencies, GSEs, and servicers this effort involved the development and refinement of servicer guidelines, modification documents, and data collection and modeling tools. “We are putting massive efforts to find modification solutions to keep people in their homes,” Campbell said. “We can use the government HAMP as well as Wells Fargo proprietary modification programs. If someone does not qualify for the HAMP, Wells Fargo has its own program which keeps even more than the HAMP program.” According to Campbell there is a misconception that the banking industry and Wells Fargo have been slow to work on solutions in this mortgage crisis. One of the struggles of the industry was determining how to deal modifications since the HAMP program was not ready until last spring. “We have been under way with modifications for some time,” Campbell added. “We had to have some clarity and agreement with the federal program.” Campbell pointed out the modification process requires a lot of information including documents, verifications of hardship and ability to repay. Sixteen hundred mortgages are modified daily across the country and Wells Fargo has increased and trained 14,000 thousand team members working full time on modifications for this year. “In the Twin Cities for every one customer that has gone into foreclosure Wells has helped three others keep their home through alternative solutions,” Campbell said. “Even one is too many, but it starts to give a sense that the work being done around foreclosure prevention is starting to work. If Wells Fargo has to foreclose on a home we can help get the home into the hands of another owner quickly for the purpose of rehabilitation and sustainable ownership.” Campbell acknowledges that the current economic situation may seem risky for first-time homebuyers, but the current foreclosure conditions have produced a “windfall” for firsttime homebuyers. “This is a wonderful time for first-time homebuyers. Interest rates are at a historic low; house prices are low and first-time homebuyers [can take advantage of] tax credits. It is our hope that the economy will stabilize and unemployment will begin to decline,” Campbell added. “We don’t want to bet against them or the economy.”

Sixteen hundred mortgages are modified daily across the country and Wells Fargo has increased and trained 14,000 thousand team members working full time on modifications for this year. encourage participation for those in trouble —to personally sit down and work with homeowners struggling is a critical step.” According to Campbell the three key components of the

homebuyers to get mortgages. Wells Fargo created a grant of $125,000 dollars available for Minneapolis and St. Paul to help with down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. Campbell said the first goal


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Insight News • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Page 5

AESTHETICS

Cornel West book explores faith,family, philosophy and service foster healthcare reform? CW: Hmm… A lot of churches need to bear witness for the least of our brethren… for the weak, for the poor, for the orphaned, for the widowed, for the children. And the only way you get set on fire is you gotta be Born Again. You have to undergo fundamental awakening and conversion and metamorphosis.\

Interview

By Kam Williams One of America’s most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel Ronald West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the Black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. Though currently the Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University, West first burst onto the national scene in 1993 upon the publication of his best seller, Race Matters, a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. In his long-awaited autobiography, BROTHER WEST: Living and Loving Out Loud, he now offers a compelling exploration of his heart behind the human mind. Here, he answers questions from readers and talks about the book which explores such themes as Faith, Family, Philosophy, Love and Service. Kam Williams: Hi, Dr. West, nice speaking with you again. I loved your autobiography. But do you know how hard it was for me to track you down for another interview? Cornell West: I appreciate your deep loyalty and commitment. KW: Why did you decide to write your memoirs? CW: Tavis Smiley, my dear brother, raised the question of my writing one when the prostate cancer hit eight years ago. I thought and thought about it and decided maybe I could tell my story to help somebody, so they could see how the power of love and education in my life had transformed me from a gangster with raw rage. KW: Where did that thug you refer to in the book as “Little Ronnie” come from, and how did you get past that phase? CW: I was just mad, a born rebel. I had loving parents, a loving

Dr. Cornel Ronald West church and loving friends, yet I was mad, and I needed constructive venues to express that rage. I was able to find them owing to the power of love and education. So, it became a righteous indignation against injustice. It became a holy anger against unfairness. And I’ve had it ever since. KW: The Rev. Florine Thompson asks, where should we look to reclaim the prophetic voice regarding the war in Afghanistan? Should the Obama administration send thousands of more troops there? CW: No, no! Obama can’t get the Nobel Peace Prize and be a war President. He’s got to be able to promote peace in an international, multilateral way. We don’t need an American occupation; we don’t need more American troops there. If he does send more, then we’ve got to take to the streets. KW: Thompson also asks, with the rise in Black-on-Black teen crime, what should the religious community be doing differently to address this issue? Is “The Church” merely irrelevant in the lives of our youth? Many have said that our youth have little or no regard for God, church or religion since prayer was taken out of public schools. CW: No, I don’t think taking prayer out of schools was the cause of young people being suspicious of religion. That goes back a long way. It has more to do with the fact that older folk did not exemplify

Poem

Acknowledging God as your source.

From 1

As you lead this great country, Remember why God gave us you – He could trust you “not to leave us

winning. But at the end of every day, Before you close your eyes to pray Hear their voices So sweet and dear “Daddy, can you come in here?” Let’s go to the park! Let’s play with the dog! Are you all done With your daily log? We want to go shopping! Let’s ride our bikes! Tell mommy to come, We’ll ride as long as she likes. So at the end of the day What’s on the Presidents mind? Taking care of Sasha and Malia, His children will not be left behind. “My child will not be left behind” Is what God said of you! As you sailed through the primaries Thinking what more can I do? You ran a great race! You finished the course! You made it through inauguration,

www.peralta.cc.ca.us

the kind of love and justice that the young people would like to see. Therefore, they saw old people as hypocrites more tied to Churchianity than Christianity. So, a lot of it has to do with the failings of the older generation which led to the younger generation’s going off to look for alternatives. Unfortunately, a lot of times they turned to ugly things like guns and drugs, given the easy access to guns because of lax gun control laws, and to drugs because the government can’t keep them out of the country. In addition, the youth don’t have too many alternatives to the decrepit housing and disgraceful school systems which provide very little opportunities for those in the urban ‘hoods. So, I think the whole issue of young people and churches has much more to do with social forces than it does with just not having prayer in schools. KW: How do we save our young men, then? Where are the Black male role models? CW: There’s only one way to save young Black people, and that’s to love ‘em, love ‘em, love ‘em, care for ‘em, attend to them, embrace them, target them, concentrate on them, and make them feel as if they’re somebody, because that’s the only way they get self-respect and self-confidence, which are the two prerequisites for flowering and flourishing in life. KW: The good Reverend has a question about healthcare: What should the church be doing to behind “– To that great honor, We know you will be true! Prayerfully Submitted Feb. 18, 2009.

KW: Rev. Thompson asks about the outcry of “You lie!” to President Obama by a Republican Congressman Joe Wilson. Was it a slip of the lip or confirmation that race matters? CW: Well, it certainly was an act of disrespect. The very act of disrespecting the President of the United States in that manner on national television is a very serious matter. KW: How would you say President Obama is doing on a scale of 1 to 10? CW: It depends on which issue you’re talking about. On ecology and the environment, I would give him a 7. On war, I’d give him a 3.

On the economy, a 2. In terms of his trying to sustain a new atmosphere and new ethos in the country and around the world, I’d give him an 8. So, it goes up and down, relative to each issue. KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls says, you recently launched a spoken word or rap career. How does that jibe with your academic pursuits? CW: Oh, it’s quite consistent, because I’m an educator. When I write books, that’s textual education. When I do spoken word, that’s singing education. When I dance, it’s dancing education. All of it has to do with trying to awaken people to become more courageous to bear witness to love and justice in the world. KW: Our mutual friend, Ila Forster, who was at Princeton when you were there as a grad student, asks if you like how jazz pianist Robert Glasper recast one of your musical pieces in an inaugural tribute. It included parts of speeches not only by you but also by Obama and Dr. King.

CW: This is the first that I’m hearing about it. Tell Sister Ila thanks so much for letting me know about it. KW: Although Ila didn’t make it back to campus, she says she heard that your speech at the recent Black alumni reunion conference at Princeton was excellent and unusually personal. CW: Oh, we had a wonderful time. KW: Jimmy Bajan says he agrees with you that we haven’t turned a corner just because we have a Black president. He asks, what will it take to see a level playing field? With so many Blacks and whites still living in poverty in this country and so many children without healthcare, how far are we from seeing an equitable society realized where there’s coverage for everyone comparable to Europe? CW: I agree with Brother Jimmy. We certainly haven’t turned a corner. Not at all. And we’re a long way from there being a level playing field, just like we’re a long

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Page 6 • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Insight News

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HEALTH

Photo: Suluki Fardan

Dean Dovolis, DJR Architecture Inc., LEED AP, Principal - CEO and Kevin Winge, Open Arms, Executive Director

Photo: Suluki Fardan

Tour of the new facility was held last week on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2009.

Open Arms of MN raised $8.1 million for new Phillips neighborhood facility Open Arms of Minnesota has successfully completed an $8.1 million capital campaign for the construction of its new building

located at 2600 Bloomington Avenue South in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The ambitious project

commenced in May 2007 in order to expand Open Arms ability to serve nutritious meals to more people who are suffering from illness at no cost

to the client. Currently, Open Arms is on track to serve 310,000 meals for 2009. With the new facility, the non-profit will be able to double the annual meals it serves. Tours of the new facility were held last week on World AIDS Day. “We are so very grateful to have a wonderful new facility to serve the community. I want to thank every donor, volunteer, public official,

scheduled for Spring of 2010. Brief history of Open Arms Bill Rowe founded Open Arms in 1986 to provide meals to people with HIV/AIDS. At the time, five people were served. Currently, Open Arms delivers meals in the Greater Twin Cities Area which includes Hennepin,

The ambitious project commenced in May 2007 in order to expand Open Arms ability to serve nutritious meals to more people who are suffering from illness at no cost to the client. member of our staff and the building team for helping Open Arms expand our mission to serve nutritious meals to people suffering from illness who have nowhere to turn,” said Kevin Winge, Executive Director, Open Arms of Minnesota. “During these harsh economic times, now more than ever, it is vital to help as many people live independently as they fight chronic and life threatening diseases.” The grand opening ceremony is

Ramsey, Anoka, Washington and Dakota counties. In 2005, the agency expanded its mission to serve people with chronic diseases including Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and ALS. In 2008, over 259,000 meals to 1100 clients and their dependents were served in the Greater Twin Cities Area by Open Arms – a 29% increase in service from 2007. Open Arms has prepared and

delivered more than 1.5 million meals. More than 1,400 volunteers provide nearly 31,000 hours of volunteer support annually – that’s the equivalent of 16 full-time employees. 89% of Open Arms’ annual budget comes from private donations and 11% comes from public funding. The public support is a mix of state and federal money. The federal portion for Open Arms is funded through the Ryan White Care Act. The meals are nutritious, incorporate organic vegetables and free-range meats, are planned to match the specific nutrition needs of each client, and are available fresh or frozen. Open Arms is run by a small staff and supported by 1,400 volunteers who cook seven days a week and deliver meals Monday – Friday. For more information about Open Arms of Minnesota and its new building, www.openarmsmn.org or (612) 872-1152.


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Insight News • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Page 7

On World AIDS Day: AIDS epidemic is far from being over By Phill Wilson NNPA Columnist (NNPA) – Last week was a very busy week. Thanksgiving and Black Friday are just behind us. And, now the official beginning of the Christmas season, and— for the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world or the 25 million families who have lost a loved one to HIV/AIDS— World AIDS day was commemorated on December 1. Some people wonder what does Thanksgiving and Christmas have to do with AIDS. For me the three are inextricably connected. Thanksgiving is about being grateful and Christmas is about giving. And HIV/AIDS is about both. Each year, when I sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with my family, as a person having lived with HIV for 29 years

now, I’m thankful for a lot of things. I’m thankful that I have had the love and support of family and friends and access to proper medical care that have kept me alive all these years. I’m thankful that HIV today is diagnosable, preventable, and treatable. Today, knowing your HIV status has never been easier. Free HIV tests are readily available everywhere. They are painless and no more needles. The most common HIV test today uses an oral swab. They’re easy, no more blood. They’re quick. New technology allows you to get the results from an HIV test back in less than an hour. So an HIV test today is free, painless, easy, quick, and you get information that might save your life, I’m thankful about that. HIV is completely preventable. The primary mode of HIV transmission in the United States is unprotected sexual contact. If we all

commit to protecting ourselves all the time we would break the back of the epidemic. So, what does that mean? It means delaying sexual contact until you are ready, you really know

once was. There are treatments available that can control the virus and help people living with HIV live healthy lives. And the treatments are getting easier to take and less toxic all

Black. So, on my Christmas list this year, in addition to a cure for AIDS, I’m adding that Black America take ownership of the AIDS epidemic. When we are

Nearly 227,000 Black Americans have died from the disease and over 500,000 thousand of us are living with the disease today. your partner, and you’ve had a conversation about your hopes and dreams, and about HIV/AIDS. It means, once you know you are both negative projecting the sanctity of your relationship by being faithful. And it means being responsible for your own health by using a condom when you engage in sexual contact. While there is no cure for HIV, it is no longer the automatic death sentence it

the time. I’m thankful for that. But, let’s not get it twisted, the AIDS epidemic is far from being over, especially in Black communities. Nearly 227,000 Black Americans have died from the disease and over 500,000 thousand of us are living with the disease today. AIDS is the leading cause of death for Black women aged 24-34. And 70 percent of the new AIDS cases among African Americans in this country are

around 50 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in America, 50 percent of the new HIV cases, and 50 percent of the annual AIDS related deaths, AIDS is about our people. It is our problem and we have to be in the leadership in the development of any solution to the issue. I don’t know how you wrap a National Black AIDS Mobilization movement and fit it under the Christmas tree.

On Thanksgiving day, I was grateful that ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America is now possible. On World AIDS Day and beyond, I and other AIDS advocates, like we do everyday, worked toward that end. For my Christmas present you can join us in that effort by finding out your HIV status, talking about HIV with your family and loved ones, protecting yourself from the virus and standing up against HIV/AIDS stigma. Black people have been greater than any challenge we’ve confronted in the past. We were greater than the middle passage. We were greater than slavery. We were greater than Reconstruction and Jim Crow. We were greater than racism and we are greater than AIDS as well. Phill Wilson is president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.


Page 8 • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Insight News

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Serving others provides nourishment for the soul Style on a dime

By Marcia Humphrey A couple of days after spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, we officially kicked off our newest family tradition-bell ringing for Salvation Army, a Christian nonprofit organization, that provides physical and spiritual help to the needy. God blessed us with a mild, sunny day and for two hours my husband, our three children, and I hung out together-greeting passersby outside of the mall,

West From 5 way from poor people enjoying the same opportunities as the well-todo. It depends on the quality of our struggle, the quality of our commitment and the quality of our conviction. KW: Lester Chisholm asks, what can people do to avoid spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical compliancy? CW: They’ve got to hang around folks who are on fire with a love for justice. KW: Lester also asks, what movie do you recommend for people to begin empower themselves? CW: Tell him to watch The Matrix. KW: How about that film you appeared in this year called

singing Christmas songs and thanking children and adults who placed spare change in the red kettle. We considered it time well spent. By now I’m sure you have seen bell ringers throughout town, and I’d guess that many readers have even placed some change in the red kettle. While sharing your extra coins is always helpful and appreciated, I want to challenge you toward giving in a more substantial way this holiday season. I am not suggesting that you give more money. Instead I want you to consider the gift of volunteerism to an organization, like Salvation Army, that helps those in need during giving challenging times. This method of gift giving costs no money, but rewards the giver and receiver in countless ways. Giving gifts like these are as easy as 1-2-3!

Find a place in need of help. That should not be hard at all! Most nonprofit organizations rely on most of their help at this time of year. Go online and explore volunteer options based on your interests and skills. Here are a couple of family friendly options that we have helped with; Salvation Army www.thesalarmy.org and Feed My Starving Children, an organization that sends food around the world to the needy www.fmsc.org Find time to commit to helping (and follow though). Get your kids, friends, and extended family involved. I remember when my friend celebrated her 50th birthday by inviting friends to come and help pack food for the needy. We had a great time! Find a happy medium. If you are reading this article and thinking that I must be crazy to

suggest that you help others instead of buying your children gifts, then figure out what works for you. You don’t have to stop buying for your children altogether, but this may be a good time to evaluate your giving habits and your motives. In addition, as early as possible, teach your children to be generous and the value of serving others. I am always amazed at how quickly kids can become bored with new toys, and how quickly the toys can break. During this gift-giving season, reconsider the types of gifts that you will present to others. Instead of focusing on Door-buster Specials and Midnight Madness Sales, consider the words of wisdom from scripture which states in part: “Why spend your money on food (or stuff) that does not give you strength? Why pay for food (or

Examined Life? That was a very powerful documentary. CW: I appreciate that. I had a great time working with Astra Taylor on that. She’s a wonderful sister.

might be baldheaded in a couple of years if the crisis hits me. You never know.

On the other hand, the liberal press has been so deferential, that they haven’t engaged in the criticisms that they should. So, it cuts both ways. Barack Obama needs to be protected, and he needs to be respected, but he also needs to be corrected. Criticisms are important when they’re based on principle, man, because in the end, it’s not about Obama, it’s about poor people and working people.

KW: Why do you refer to everyone by either brother or sister, even if they’re not Black? CW: All human beings are vanishing creatures and disappearing organisms trying to find a little meaning and love before they die. In that sense, we’re all trying to work it out. And when I say “brother” or “sister” to every person without regard to color, or culture or civilization, I’m just paying tribute to their struggle. KW: well, Sister Laz Lyles says, I just want to know how he keeps his afro so tight. CW: [LOL] well, I haven’t had a haircut since 1984. So, it tends to just fall in place every morning. I don’t know how long it’ll last. I

KW: On a more serious note, Laz wants to know if you consider W.E.B. Du Bois’s idea of double consciousness still relevant with the Obama presidency. CW: Oh, absolutely. It’s deeply relevant, because there’s still a veil between the Black and white world when it comes to cultural, religious and other divides. KW: Laz’s also asks, after healthcare, what is the next area of major reform you’d like to see Obama address? CW: We need reform in the military, both in terms of military policy, and in terms of its internal dynamics. KW: Tale grad Tommy Russell asks, do you think Barack Obama is being treated less fairly or with less dignity than previous presidents? CW: Yes, by Brother Rush [Limbaugh], Brother Sean [Hannity] and Brother Bill O’Reilly. I think they hardly respect him at all. In fact, I think they are very demeaning and disrespectful.

KW: Do you think inheriting the nation in the state it was left behind by Bush is dragging on Obama’s efficiency? CW: Absolutely! He came in under catastrophic conditions. George Bush had handed him a multilayered mess. He’s been trying to get out from under that mess. However, the War in Afghanistan will be Obama’s war. And the increasing unemployment will be Obama’s unemployment, owing to his economic team that puts very little emphasis on the plight of working people and poor people. So, yes, Bush handed him a mess, but after a year he’s going to have to begin to take some real responsibility for what he’s headed towards.

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stuff) that does you no good? Listen and I will tell you where to get food that’s good for the soul!” Isaiah 55:2 NLT When you willingly sacrifice your time to serve others it provides a type of nourishment and satisfaction to the soul that lasts longer than the lastminute holiday shopping trip. And let’s not forget that this gift

giving requires Enjoy!

KW: Sue Doran asks, if you’ve read anything by Chris Hedges? CW: Yes, the author of American Fascism. He’s a very important, prophetic voice in the culture.

both survivors of prostate cancer.” He asks, how do you feel that we can best spread the word to our brothers in the human race about this disease? CW: Well, first let me say a prayer for my dear brother… Secondly, we need to lift our voices. That’s why when I travel to conferences I encourage Black brothers to get a PSA exam to catch it early, so they can live longer.

KW: Postal clerk Ron Clark says, you’re one of his regular customers at the Princeton Post Office, and that you always take one of the Tootsie Pops he gives out. CW: Brother Ron! He has such a wonderful spirit about him. Just to see him uplifts you, and helps make your day a better day. KW: Ron asks, where did you develop your oratory skills? CW: Probably in the church and on the block. KW: Ron follows up with, have you had any interaction with Angela Davis? CW: Oh Lord, yes! I was just with Angela not long ago. She introduced me at a lecture at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she’s a distinguished professor. She’s my dear sister. KW: Tony Noel, a Muslim brother, says that he and you share a common challenge in life besides being of African descent. “We are

no

wallet…

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.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What music are you listening to nowadays? CW: I start off in the morning with gospel, with James Cleveland, and often end with George Clinton’s “One Nation under a Groove.” KW: Thanks again, Dr. West, and best of luck with the book and all your endeavors. CW: I appreciate you’re taking this time, and I deeply apologize about how hard it was for you to find me, but I’ve been on the run lately. You just stay strong, my brother. To order a copy of Dr. West’s book, Living and Loving Out Loud, visit: www.amazon.com


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Insight News • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Page 9

Discussions focus on heritage preservation in Northside industrial areas Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department says it will hold a meeting about heritage preservation in the industrial areas along the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis. The meeting is open to the public and will be held 11:30am - 1pm, Friday, December 11, 2009 at North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis. A historic resource study is

underway in the eastern most portions of the Lind-Bohanan, Camden Industrial Area, McKinley, Hawthorne, and Near North neighborhoods to assess the potential for historic properties. This historic resources survey covers the narrow swath of land east of Interstate 94, west of the Mississippi River, and north of Plymouth Avenue to the northern city limits. The upcoming meeting will be an opportunity to learn about the

historic survey project in this area and preservation activities citywide. The City was first surveyed for historic resources in the 1970s and many of today’s designated landmarks and historic districts are a result of this original survey. Since 2001, CPED has conducted more detailed re-surveys of historic resources in specific areas across Minneapolis . The re-survey was directed by the City Council and was

undertaken to consider the aging of properties, changing attitudes about which types of historic resources need to be

identified, and what level of preservation may be appropriate.

a ten-year period. Reports for other survey areas from past studies are available by calling

Joblessness

The joint statement credits the Obama Administration for prioritizing the economy as its first major action, pushing through a $787 billion stimulus package approved by Congress and already creating more than a million jobs. But the groups are pushing for greater action. Despite the issue of health care, still very much on the front-burner as it is slated for Senate debate this week, the jobless crisis is demanding equal attention as it boils to the top. House leaders hope

Council of La Raza, the Center for Community Change, and the Economic Policy Institute, indicates that the crisis-level concern is escalating as the numbers grow out of control – and with racial disparity. “Nearly 16 million Americans who are able and willing to work cannot find a job. More than one out of every three unemployed workers has been out of a job for six months or more. The situation facing African American and Latino workers is even bleaker,

economic remedies will not be enough to rescue unemployed people who have nearly sunk to the bottom in their struggle to find work. “A rising tide lifts all boats for those that are in the boats,” Morial said. He says reported unemployment percentages only reflect those that are still looking for work; not those who have all but given up after repeated rejections. “The real overall unemployment rate is something

counties, states, universities, community colleges and non-profit community based organizations to hire the personnel necessary to provide critical services in communities across the nation.

From 1 tremendous obstacles these families have been facing, not just since national unemployment reached 10.2 % in October, but for over a year now.” Morial’s strongly-worded letter came on the heels of a November 17 statement issued by leading African American civil rights groups, the NAACP, headed by Ben Jealous, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, headed by Wade Henderson, and other major civil rights organizations. “Despite an effective and bold recovery package we are still facing a prolonged period of high unemployment. Two years from now, absent further action, we are likely to have unemployment at 8% or more, a higher rate than that attained even at the worst point of the last two downturns,” said the joint statement, which was issued in conjunction with a forum sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute. “Joblessness on this scale creates enormous social and economic problems—and denies millions of families the ability to meet even their most basic needs. It also threatens our nation’s future prosperity by casting millions more children into poverty, foreclosing educational opportunities for many, limiting the investment and innovation that will fuel future growth, and dimming long-term labor market prospects, especially for younger workers.”

The meeting is open to the public and will be held 11:30am - 1pm, Friday, December 11, 2009 at North Memorial Library, 1315 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis.

“Unless we resolve our national job crisis, all of our other priorities – from reforming health care and fixing our broken immigration system, to stemming home foreclosures and expanding economic opportunity for all Americans – are in real jeopardy.” Wade Henderson, LCCR to vote on a jobs bill by mid December while Senate leaders have indicated they would take up a jobs bill after the health care debate. “Make no mistake – this is the civil rights issue of the moment,” said LCCR President and CEO Wade Henderson, in a statement posted on the organization’s website, Civilrights.org. “Unless we resolve our national job crisis, all of our other priorities – from reforming health care and fixing our broken immigration system, to stemming home foreclosures and expanding economic opportunity for all Americans – are in real jeopardy.” The joint statement, also signed by the AFL-CIO, the National

with unemployment at 15.7% and 13.1%, respectively,” said the statement, titled, “An Urgent Call to Action to Stem the U. S. Job Crisis” At a White House press conference last spring, President Obama fielded a question about rising Black unemployment by saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” meaning as he addresses unemployment overall, Black unemployment will also be addressed. But, economists and civil rights leaders say general

This year’s survey will help achieve the City’s goal of documenting historic resources throughout the entire City over

like 17 percent. And it’s higher than that in the Black community,” he said. Morial’s letter is addressed to Lawrence Summers, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Barbara Lee. The following is a synopsis of his recommendations: • Fund direct job creation by offering financial support to cities,

(612) 673- 2615. Information on preservation in Minneapolis is available at the Heritage Preservation website for landmarks and historic districts: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn. us/hpc/landmarks/. For additional information contact Jack Byers at 612 6732634, or by email, jack.byers@ci.minneapolis.mn. us.

• Expand and expedite the Small Business Administration’s Community Express Loan Program through a reduction of the interest rate to 1 percent targeted for those businesses located in areas where the local unemployment rate exceeds the state average. Photos NNPA

• Create Green Empowerment Zones in areas where at least 50 percent of the population has an unemployment rate that is higher than the state average. • Expand the hiring of housing counselors nationwide by investing $500 million to fund housing counseling agencies nationwide to help delinquent borrowers work with their loan servicers to secure more affordable mortgages. • Expand the Youth Summer Jobs Program for 2010 by investing $57 billion to employ 5 million teens. The unemployment rate for African American youth is over 40 percent. • Create 100 Urban Jobs Academies to Implement an Expansion of the Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP) to

Wade Henderson, LCCR

employ and train the chronically unemployed. “At a time of the year when we traditionally give thanks and prepare to share generously with those around us, the American people are both frustrated and disappointed,” Morial concludes. “Despite the ambivalence of most Americans with regards to spending billions of dollars to bail out the very businesses they felt had previously taken advantage of them, they understood the need to take swift and deliberate action to avoid a major national, or even global, financial crisis. We ask that the same urgency be given to the people experiencing a personal financial crisis in cities throughout this country.”


Page 10 • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Insight News

Grants and Appeals Coordinator Summit Academy OIC is seeking a highly skilled and experienced grant and appeals writer to coordinate and develop long-term, expanded constituency for grants, and gifts for support of vocational education programs of the Summit Academy OIC. The ideal candidates must have a four-year college degree and at least four years proven grant writing experience and development work in the non-profit sector. Candidates must also possess expert level skills in word processing, spreadsheets and database management programs. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. Valid Driver's license required. EEO/AA Employer. Position open until filled. Women and minorities encouraged to apply. Submit all resumes to cbennett@saoic.org. No phone inquiries, please.

POLITICAL WRITER FREELANCE Insight News is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced political writer for a beat that includes covering high profile elected officials and the community events they sponsor — or a not so-well attended neighborhood or block club meeting. This is a freelance position. The perfect candidate is someone who is a selfstarter who can work in a fast-paced environment as well as produce news features, and jump on breaking stories when needed. Strong writing skills are a must, as well as a proven track record connecting local/neighborhood issues to national/federal policy. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three to five writing samples to: Patricia Weaver, Director of Content, Insight News, PO BOX 581367, Minneapolis, MN 55411 or email patricia@insightnews. Please note "POLITICAL WRITER" in the subject line. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

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

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR Send Community Calendar information to us by: email, ben@insightnews.com, by fax: 612-588-2031, by phone: (612) 588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411, Attn: Ben Williams. Free or low cost events preferred.

Events Holiday Art Sale - Ongoing Dec. 5, 6, 12 & 13. Saturdays: 10am – 4pm. Sundays: 1pm – 4pm. All Nations Church, 1515 East 23rd St. Mpls. Original beadwork, jewelry, leatherwork, fabric, soaps, perfumes & much more. Free to the public. For more info, call (715) 386-3100. Mn/DOT – 20 Class A Commercial Driving License Scholarships Important dates: Application Deadline: December 11, 2009 Selected candidates notified: December 30, 2009 Class dates: January 6, 2010 – Feb 3, 2010. Location/Time for CDL Classes: Century College Transportation Training Center, 14386 Hudson Rd S, Afton, MN 55001. Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, contact, for Minneapolis: Roosevelt Gaines, Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411. Tel: 612-302-3117; Fax: 612-521-1444; EMAIL: rgaines@mul.org. And for St Paul: Abe Hassan, Merrick Community Services, 715 Edgerton Street, Saint Paul, MN 55130. Tel: 651-771-

9339, Ext. 1004; Fax: 651771-8465; EMAIL: ahassan@merrickcs.org. Scrooge in Tha Hood “A Classic Folk Tale with an Urban Twist - Ongoing 12/07, 12/08, 12/09, 12/10, 12/11, 12/12, 12/13 (all 7:00pm; December 12th 2:00pm & 7:00pm) at Christ Church International 3015 13th Avenue S. Mpls. For more information, visit www.scroogeinthehood.com

Christmas Lunch for Seniors – Dec. 10 11:00 am - 2:30 pm at Salem Covenant Church, 2655 - 5th Street NW (just south of 694 on Silver Lake Road), New Brighton. Free, but must RSVP by December 3 to attend. After you eat, you will enjoy a concert by DeCantus, an a capella choral group who will be dressed in Victorian costumes while they sing. RSVP to Becky Cole, 612781-3630 or email OutreachNE@yahoo.com

Free information session on child support for noncustodial parents – Dec. 8 Dec. 8, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hennepin County Library – Washburn, 5244 Lyndale Ave., Mpls. Space is limited, so call to reserve a seat. For additional information and reservations, call 612-348-2478. www.hennepin.us.

Camden Music School Holiday Concert, Sing-Along and Bake Sale - Dec. 12 Sat., Dec. 12, 4pm at CMS in Camden, 3751 Sheridan Ave. North Mpls. Musical and Edible Treats for the Holidays. All proceeds from the bake sale go to the CMS Scholarship Fund.

Hamline Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo Winter Concert – Dec. 8 Tues., Dec. 8, 7 p.m. at Anne Simley Theatre on the Hamline University Campus, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul. For more information, contact Marilyn at 651-523-2296.

Hamline Orchestra Concert: Yali You, director, Songs from Italy – Dec. 12 Sat., December 12, 2 p.m. at Sundin Music Hall on the Hamline University Campus, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul. For more information, contact Marilyn at 651-523-2296.

Home for the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas Concert series - Dec. 10 Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre: 710 Hennepin Ave, Mpls. All proceeds from the concert with be donated to IBEW Holiday Lights charities. For more information visit: www.lightsinthepark.org

Holiday train event supports Eastside food shelves – Dec. 12 Sat., Dec. 12, 8 p.m. at Shoreham Yards, 2800 Central Ave. NE, Mpls. For more information about the 2009 Holiday Train Event supporting food shelves at East Side Neighborhood Services call 612.787.4019 or visit www.esns.org.

2009 Holiday Train event supports Eastside Neighborhood Services – Dec. 12 Sat., Dec. 12, 8 p.m. at Shoreham Yard, 2800 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the 2009 Holiday Train, call 612.787.4019 or visit www.esns.org.

Stages Theatre Company Hosts Toys for Tots Annual Toy Drive The drive coincides with the holiday production, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and begins Thursday, Nov. 19 (preview night) and ends Sunday, Dec. 13. Located at 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. For more information, call (952) 979-1123.

5th Annual Camden Music School Holiday Concert, Sing-Along and Bake Sale – Dec. 12 Saturday, December 12, 34pm, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 3751 Sheridan Ave. N., Minneapolis. Free. More information: 612-618-0219 or www.camdenmusicschool.com.

St. Joan of Arc Mental Illness Ministry – Dec. 14 Mon, Dec. 14; 5:45 - 8:15pm. 5:45: Light meal provided; 7pm: Topic: Depression and Holidays; Speaker: Earnie Larson; No RSVP needed; free; open to all; Certificate of Attendance available; St. Joan, Roseann, 612.823.8205; Mary claudemaryparadis@comcast. net; St. Joan Hospitality Hall, Door 1, 4537 3rd Av S, Mpls; www.stjoan.com/mimfr.htm

Where’s Claudia? / ?Donde Esta Claudia? - Dec. 12 Show times: 10 AM & Noon. Make-n-Take workshops: 11 AM. Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake Street, Mpls, 612-7212535, www.hobt.org. University Women’s Chorale – Dec. 13 Sunday, December 13, 2009 3 p.m. at Sundin Music Hall on the Hamline University Campus, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul. For more information, contact Marilyn at 651-5232296. Lex-Ham Community Band free concert of holiday music – Dec. 13 Sunday, Dec 13, 7:00 p.m. at the Beutow Auditorium in the Music/Fine Arts Building at Concordia University-St. Paul, 310 N Hamline Avenue, St. Paul. For further information, see www.LexHamArts.org/band.

Snow Flake Bentley - Dec. 19 Show times: 10 AM & Noon. Make-n-Take workshops: 11 AM. Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake Street, Mpls, 612-7212535, www.hobt.org. Free job search workshop Dec. 22 Tues., 1 - 3:30pm at New Horizons Learning Center, 4510 W 77th St in Edina. Help Wanted Workshop will offer a free job search workshop to test the curriculum for future seminars. We’re looking to include 8-12 people to participate and provide feedback. To register, call Julie at 763-656-3808, email: julie@helpwantedworkshop.com or website: www.helpwantedworkshop.com.


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Insight News • December 7 - December 13, 2009 • Page 11

SPORTS We should wish the best for Tiger and his wife Mr T’s Sports Report

By Ryan T. Scott ryan@insightnews.com Child, Please! This is how Tiger Woods should have responded to the question as to whether he owes the public a greater explanation for…whatever he did. It’s pretty sickening (and historical) the way certain

people froth over the potential downfall of another. When I see those situations develop, it always reminds me of the people who beat down the central figure in the best selling book of all-time (booksellerworld.com if you need the title). But the simple wisdom of it all comes down to: misery loves company, and nobody is perfect. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Tiger Woods may have had a protective angel over his shoulder for quite some time in his life, as he has remained untouched by the growing “ugly media” —also known as tabloid journalism. As of right now it’s

Tiger Woods

not clear exactly what Tiger Woods has done wrong – other than crash his truck into a tree – but should the “transgressions” Woods mentions include infidelity…well, let’s just say that whatever he did his protective angel must have taken a donut break, or better yet, slipped out of the office for a round of golf. And so just like any other situation in life, without protection, it’s much more likely that somebody is going to get burned. Now while many ladies may want to toss their log onto the Tiger roast, we all know that “a woman scorned” doesn’t need any help from the

old.armymwr.com

neighbors, so to speak; and for that matter Woods’ wife Elin has a twin sister, so I can see Tiger getting migraine headaches every time he sees a pack of Doublemint gum. As for my personal opinion regarding Woods’ family problems, I prefer the words of his fellow professional golfer Steve Stricker, “Do we really need to know?” Better yet, didn’t President Obama just make a speech leading us deeper into war in Afghanistan? And where is the rest of that bailout money? It’s Christmas time for Christmas sakes. Folks need to be worried about their own drunk uncle, whom will be stopping by soon to provide some real holiday entertainment. Yet instead we have to listen to a bunch of people sitting atop their blameless soapboxes passing judgment on the imperfections of others, and worse yet prescribing what it is that the accused should do. What the accused should do is avoid the company of the misery others try to impute upon them, and it seems to me that is what Tiger Woods is doing, because he has enough misery of his own. When I hear things like: “It’s not that he’s perfect, it’s that he had IMG sell him as such”(Wetzel, Yahoo Sports), I respond, “You’re a fool for buying it.” Some others have said that Woods needs to make a public display of remorse. Let me translate that: Tiger, we want you to come on television and give us a cathartic interview so we can scrutinize your posture, your eyes, your voice inflection, the color of your shirt, and not to mention every syllable of every word that you say, and almost say. Some public figures are willing to compromise their privacy in hopes that the publicity they garner in the process helps to bolster the

number of times their name appears in the news. The problem then becomes that the media personnel seeking to elevate their professional name for covering an intimate part of the story, then begin to feel entitled to all stories of the sort. Also confusing the issue is the fact that public servants actually do have to come out, make statements, and seek the publics’ forgiveness in that they are elected officials. In the case of Tiger Woods, if you don’t like watching adulterers play golf, then you can elect to cut the TV off, and probably should have a long time ago. I am not going to deny that there is obviously a story here,

but along with any story should come sound perspective. I do my best to only take out of these types of stories the broader lessons that are applicable to everyone over seven-years-old with a pulse. I hope that kids read (most of) my articles, because I’m often thinking of how to pass something purposeful along to them, while still entertaining or informing the adult audience. So here’s the entertainment: I ain’t perfect, and neither is the White House dinner guest list. Now for the purposeful part: Neither are you, so hush up your giggling at me.


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Insight News ::: 12.7.09