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Season’s Greetings! Wishing the community the very best for the Holiday Season. From all of us at Insight News.

December 24 - December 30, 2012

Vol. 39 No. 52 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Nation, state need stricter gun laws By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer At least one state organization, a congressman and a mayor are calling for stricter gun laws in wake of the tragic massacre of 26 people – 20 of them children – that occurred in Connecticut. Though those calling for stricter gun laws have been doing so long before the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., they say the

latest incident is just another example of this nation’s need for action. Locally, according to a spokesperson for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, the mayor is demanding tougher legislation. “Children should not have to live in an environment where gun violence common,” said John Stiles, communications director for Mayor Rybak. “People have to understand the power and deadliness of guns.”


Ben Williams

African businesses grow jobs front lines, new Minnesotans also prosper as entrepreneurs, middle- and senior-level business executives, and higher-value manufacturing workers. As specific populations grow, more opportunities also arise for immigrant entrepreneurs to open shops, restaurants, even medical facilities that cater specifically to their communities’ dietary, cultural, and health needs. As has been the case throughout Minnesota’s immigration history, much of this financial success spills over to Minnesota’s wider economy. Concordia University research estimates ethnic purchasing power at $12 billion on

By Lee Egerstrom, Economic Development Fellow, MN2020 With minority communities accounting for more than half of Minnesota’s population growth over the last decade, the state’s economic future rests in Building Crosscultural Commerce. Rapidly expanding populations of newcomers, and their Minnesota-born children, are responsible for nearly 40 percent of business start ups in some areas of the state, according to estimations by economic development officials in several cities. While most newcomers work on the agricultural, service, and retail sectors’

Courtesy of MN2020

Lee Egerstrom


Grandmother’s fight for her grandchildren reaches the state Supreme Court

President Obama accepts Ambassador Rice’s decision Statement by President Barack Obama Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of


Jesse Hill, Jr., former Publisher of Atlanta Inquirer dies By John B. Smith, Sr., Publisher, Atlanta Inquirer

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Dorothy Dunning loves her grandchildren. There is an obvious connection between her and her granddaughters, Princess Knox, 3, and the youngest, 2; the youngest, Dorothy Knox, was named after Dunning. There is no doubt that these are her grandchildren. DNA test verify the biological link, and she is 100 percent their paternal grandmother. This is undisputed. What is at dispute is whether Dunning can have her wish to have sole custody of her grandchildren granted. Thus far, two Minnesota courts have ruled against her. She is hoping the Minnesota Supreme

Harry Colbert, Jr.

Dorothy Dunning



FCC rules may shrink Black media ownership



The passing of Jesse Hill, Jr. leaves a huge void in the body politic and societal fabric of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the nation, and the world. Mr. Hill gave of his seemingly boundless talents and energy to causes great and small that changed the quality of life for communities and individuals alike. When he was not advising a President, Congressman, Mayor or legislator, Jesse was helping a business, civic or political


Jamie unchained

Make your New Year’s celebration sparkle



Jesse Hill Jr. leader plot a course for progress. But, equally important to Jesse was the “unimportant” person



youthrive hosts PeaceJam Slam at Capri Theater


Page 2 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

FCC rules may shrink Black media ownership By Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The Federal Communications Commission, once viewed as an ally in expanding media ownership by AfricanAmericans, is now considering regulations that many say will make Black ownership more difficult to achieve. The proposed changes come in the wake of an FCC report that showed that minorities trailed far behind their White counterparts in the ownership of broadcast stations. According to the FCC report, Blacks owned 231 broadcast stations in 2011, including television and radio outlets, a fraction of the 9,610 broadcast stations owned by Whites. Blacks owned majority shares in just 10 (0.7 percent) full power commercial television stations (FPTV), down from 12 (1 percent) owned in 2009. The number of White owned FPTV stations increased from 754 (63.4 percent) to 935 (69.4 percent) over the same period. “The results weren’t surprising, but were disappointing,” said David Honig, co-founder of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, a nonprofit group that promotes equal access and civil rights in mass media and telecommunications. For some experts it’s clear that the growing disparity in ownership is about one thing: money. “If you don’t have money, you can’t buy radio and TV stations,” said Dwight Ellis broadcast journalism and media studies professor at Bowie State University in Maryland. “You need money to get into the game and you need money to stay in the game.” And large media companies have the money to increase ownership in markets where they were previously prohibited from owning more than two media outlets. According to Honig, access

According to the FCC, Black own less than 1 percent of full power commercial television stations in the U.S. to capital is just one of the hurdles that confront minorities seeking to break into the game. Engineering deficiencies, employment discrimination that decreases the talent pool, and changes to the FCC’s television duopoly rule also makes it harder for minorities to own media outlets. A broadcast duopoly is when one company owns two or more stations in the same city or community. Until 2001, the FCC did not allow companies to have overlapping coverage in the same area on the premise that the company could have too much influence over the public airways. The FCC now permits the ownership of two stations in the same market provided at least eight unique stations are left after the duopoly is formed and two of the four highest-rated stations in a market cannot be owned by the same person or

company. David Honig and an umbrella group supporting diversity and competition in media ownership, called Diversity and Competition Supporters (DCS), argue that the changes in the rule “suppressed minority and female ownership, and its harmful implications far outweigh any consideration of potential benefits the duopoly rule may confer.” Honig’s DCS group also found that duopolies made it harder for minorities to access capital from lending institutions. In a 2012 brief to the FCC, the DCS said, “duopolies have threatened minority ownership because of the fact that lenders and investors are less willing to finance a standalone station when they can finance duopolies because of their more attractive revenue models.” DCS also reported that local television duopolies often cut the local programming options

Courtesy of NNPA

targeted to people of color. Some minority groups did manage to eke out modest gains in ownership. Hispanics increased the number of full power television stations they owned from 30 (2.5 percent) in 2009 to 39 in 2011 (2.9 percent). Hispanics and Blacks also saw gains in lower power television stations (LPTV) that serve local markets with a limited broadcast range. Hispanic LPTV station ownership jumped from 85 stations in 2009 to 120 stations in 2011. Blacks saw the number of LPTV stations they owned more than double from seven to 16 stations. African-Americans increased their ownership in FM radio stations from 63 in 2009 to 93 in 2011. Over that same period, Hispanics increased their FM station ownership from 141 stations to 151. Despite modest gains in some areas, minority media ownership makes up only a fraction of what Whites control. Whites own majority stakes in more than 69 percent of full power TV stations, 76 percent of low power television stations and nearly 80 percent of FM radio stations.

Some advocates fear that without major gains in minority media ownership, people of color will lose the ability to shape images and messages that reach their communities and beyond. “Black media ownership is critical, otherwise we don’t have the ability to articulate our voice without distortion or without being complicated by someone else’s agenda,” said Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University sociology professor who makes frequent appearances on television. Dyson added: “The reality is, that without significant presence in terms of radio terrestrial and satellite as well as television, then African American people are at a loss.” Some civil rights groups believe that these losses could grow if the FCC makes it easier for corporations to further consolidate media ownership in major markets across the nation. Proponents for weakening cross-ownership regulations argue that it will allow companies that already own top 20 TV or radio stations in a market to inject much needed capital into struggling into newspapers, saving local jobs. However, critics of say that the minority owners will be squeezed out of a rapidlychanging and contracting industry. “We’re deeply concerned that it will have a negative effect on racial, ethnic minority and women media ownership,” said Hilary Shelton, Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Diversity in the media is not just geographic diversity its not just diversity in programming it’s also diversity in the very core of business in decisions made at the owner’s level.” After the FCC published their report, the NAACP joined a number of civil rights groups and released a statement outlining their opposition to the FCC’s plan to relax the ban on cross-ownership. The group called the report “late and filled with flaws” and limited in it’s analysis of impact that regulatory changes would have on minority ownership. “It’s baffling that the FCC is ignoring the court’s instructions and rushing to further water down its cross-ownership rule without fully evaluating the impacts of doing so on female

and minority ownership,” said Free Press President Craig Aaron in a recent press release. Free Press is an organization that supports universal Internet access and diverse media ownership. Aaron said that counting who owns what is just the first step, but FCC should not adopt its proposed rule changes without first determining how minority media owners will be affected. “Past research shows these communities are the ones that are harmed most by further consolidation, particularly the proposal the FCC is poised to adopt,” Aaron said. Honig and the Diversity and Competition Supporters’ group presented a brief to the FCC that proposed the creation of minority ownership incubators, providing a telecom public engineer position for small businesses and non-profits, and developing “an online resource directory to enhance recruitment, career advancement, and diversity efforts.” The brief also argued for the reinstatement and expansion of the tax certificate policy that “allowed companies to defer capital gains taxation on the sale of media properties to minorities.” In addition, the brief reported that from 1978 to 1995, through the tax certificate policy, “the FCC granted 356 tax certificates – 287 for radio, 40 for television and 30 for cable franchises.” The FCC said that it plans to delay the vote on changing crossownership regulations, at least until January, to allow for more feedback on the proposition. (Public comment forms can be obtained electronically at userManual/upload/express_ form.jsp or can be mailed to: Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary Federal Communications C o m m i s s i o n Office of the Secretary 445 12th Street, SW Room TW-B204 Washington, D.C. 20554). Professor Dyson said that although no one wants to talk about affirmative action, something has to be done to boost minority media ownership. He said, “We have to talk about the distribution of those resources and the awarding of those licenses has to be dealt with so that the parity that we seek in the ‘so-called Fourth Estate’ gets revved up again.”

Implementation of new USCIS Immigrant Fee WASHINGTON—On Feb. 1, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010. USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS. This includes staff time to

handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The implementation of this new fee is further detailed in a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication tomorrow. In order to simplify and centralize the payment process, applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States. DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with

an individual’s immigrant visa application. USCIS processes approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee. For more information visit our USCIS Immigrant Fee webpage. For general information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/ uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.


security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks

on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.

contributions. Throughout the state, the number of Somali Minnesotans has risen to 50,000 from roughly 18,000 a decade ago, with Ethiopians now numbering 14,000, triple the 2000 census data. While mostly concentrated in Minneapolis and St. Paul, more of these newcomers are calling Dakota County and Greater Minnesota home, especially around Rochester and St. Cloud. One example where old and new merge involves Africanowned Minneapolis grocery and spice shops sourcing specially made grains from a long-time Minnesota farm family for resale in their

communities. At least one shop owner sourcing from other upper Midwest millers has expanded into the mainstream market, and now supplies Cub Foods. That bakery operation employs 15 Twin Cities residents. issues-that-matter/economicdevelopment/made-inminnesota-2012-buildingcross-cultural-commerce

From 1 all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national

Jobs From 1 the low end. These folks buy houses, groceries, cars and other consumer goods from longestablished Minnesota businesses. Today’s Hispanics, Hmong, and East Africans follow a long line of hardworking newcomers dating back to the Scandinavians and Germans. Each group brought its traditions and unique skills to add value to Minnesota’s economy. We’re a stronger state because of their collective

MN2020 is a nonpartisan, progressive think tank focusing on the issues that really matter: education, health care, transportation and economic development.

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 3

People wanted on warrants are urged to surrender authorities today. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a warrant sweep to clear active warrants and make arrests. “If you are wanted on an active warrant, you should do the right thing and to turn yourself in,” said Sheriff Rich Stanek, “A warrant doesn’t go away with time and we will continue to pursue you for arrest.” The enforcement effort is beginning this week and will continue through the end of the

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek is urging anyone with an active warrant to surrender to


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 Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Miki Noland Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Insight Intern Abeni Hill Contributing Writers Cordie Aziz Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Oshana Himot Timothy Houston Alaina L. Lewis Lydia Schwartz 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.

year. The Sheriff’s Office will arrest people who are wanted for a range of offenses – from felonies to misdemeanors. The sweep will focus on active warrants related to violent crime, domestic violence, and DWIs. There are advantages to voluntary surrender -- because by doing so a wanted person will avoid being arrested by deputies in their home or workplace. The wanted person might also avoid incarceration during the

upcoming holiday if they turn themselves in now. This depends on the severity of their offense and the scheduling calendar within the criminal justice system. A wanted person may surrender to the Sheriff’s Office or their local police department. The goal of the warrant sweep is to improve public safety. People who are wanted on active warrants are more likely to reoffend. The sweep is being conducted in partnership

with local police departments throughout Hennepin County. A warrant sweep is one method to pursue people with active warrants. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies pursue and arrest wanted individuals everyday. To determine if you have an active warrant • Visit the Sheriff’s Office Warrant Unit. It is located in Room 22 in Minneapolis City

Hall, 350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, MN. Business hours: 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday. • Bring a photo id. You may NOT call the Warrant Unit to inquire about the status of a warrant because Sheriff’s Office personnel must verify your identity.


Wilmington ten key witness: ‘A good n—–’ By Cash Michaels Special to the NNPA from the Wilmington Journal WILMINGTON, N.C. – His name was Allen Hall. In 1972, he was the star witness for the prosecution in the conspiracy trials against the Wilmington Ten – 10 civil rights activists, led by Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis – falsely accused of firebombing a White-owned grocery store during the height of racial violence in Wilmington in 1971. According to New Hanover County prosecutor Jay Stroud, Hall, a convicted felon, had the goods on Chavis and the others, and could confirm details of the arson conspiracy. There was just one problem: in order to get Hall to falsely testify, Stroud had to keep the young troubled Black man happy. How happy? In a prison letter dated August 16, 1972 – a copy obtained exclusively by the Wilmington Journal newspaper last week from prosecutor Stroud’s infamous Wilmington Ten court files being kept at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library – Allen Hall wanted the prosecutor to keep him happy. “Just a few lines to tell you that I need a woman,” stated the very first sentence of the letter from Onslow County prison inmate Hall (who was known as “Allen Graham” behind bars so that other inmates wouldn’t know he was working with a DA) to prosecutor Stroud. Later in the missive, Hall tells the prosecutor, “You feel like a father to me, and that is why I call on you so much when I need someone.” Saying that he didn’t have a father when he was growing up, Hall writes Stroud, “You make me know the real Allen, and what life is about. But the love that what (sic) I have for you is what a son have for a father. To me you are that father I never had.” Hall writes about not caring what Black people in Wilmington, or apparently one of his girlfriends, “Deborah,” thinks about his testifying against Ben Chavis. And

News and Observer of Raleigh

Thirty years after they were convicted, “The Wilmington Ten” fight to have their names cleared. yet, Hall openly struggles with the idea that he will, and how it could hurt his family, apparently at the direction of prosecutor Stroud. “Will my love (sic) ones have a bad time for me [if] I tell on Chavis [?],” Hall writes. “My mind is going up and down, and around, when will it stop. How many times will I ask my self this over and over [?]” By the end of the three-page letter, Hall is literally begging Stroud to let him see either Deborah or another apparent girlfriend, “Antionette.” Hall closes the letter by writing, “I will be a good nigger.” Hall signs it, “From Allen Graham, or Stroud Jr.” It was clear from the letter that Stroud’s star witness was emotionally attached to the White prosecutor. Newly revealed Stroud file documents show the prosecutor’s efforts to move Hall, and another state’s witness, from different prison camps by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, to

the beach house where they stayed during the trial. Official documents also show police officers and Sheriff’s deputies were used to guard Hall, and detailed efforts, “…to transport a young girl, along with her mother, to the beach [house] because Hall said that the two of them were in love and he needed to see and talk with her,” according to Pardons Project attorney Irving Joyner. But it was also clear from notes in Stroud’s own handwriting –which he has recently claimed as his – that he was having trouble keeping the young Black convicted felon on his proverbial leash. In June 1972, when Stroud was contemplating forcing a mistrial in the first Wilmington Ten trial because the jury ended up not being the “KKK and Uncle Tom-type” that he sought, but rather 10 Blacks and two Whites, the prosecutor drew up a list of “Disadvantages and Advantages of a Mistrial” on the back of a legal

pad. The number two reason on the “disadvantages” side was, “… could effect Hall’s attitude and other witnesses.” The number seven reason on the “advantages” side was “…to keep out Hall’s letter”…from the trial, apparently one of many Hall had written, that would somehow cast doubt on his witness’s testimony, and confirm that Stroud was putting Hall up to it. When the first Wilmington Ten trial was indeed aborted because Hall feigned “sickness,” and the second trial commenced in Sept. 1972, Hall did testify against the defendants. According to the formal Wilmington Ten pardon petition to N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue submitted last May by Pardon Project attorney Joyner and lead defense attorney James Ferguson, “Hall’s testimony, which was given during a week of heated and contentious testimony, was the only alleged eyewitness account of criminal conduct by

any Wilmington Ten member during the events from February 4th through February 7th [1971]…” The petition continued, “Hall’s testimony was peripherally supported by Jerome Mitchell, a convicted felon and 17-year-old high school dropout, and Eric Junius, a 12-year-old junior high school drop-out. As recognized by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Dec. 1980 decision): “When the trial record is examined, it is readily apparent that North Carolina’s case depended entirely on Hall’s credibility.” In that U.S. Fourth Circuit 1980 decision, it was determined that all three state’s witnesses had all been paid in some form by the prosecutor. “During Hall’s trial testimony, he was repeatedly and vigorously cross-examined by defense attorneys who confronted Hall with numerous significant contradictions between his trial


Violence is ‘as American as cherry pie’ Commentary by George E. Curry NNPA Editor-in-Chief WASHINGTON (NNPA) – In the late 1960s, Black revolutionary H. Rap Brown, now known as Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, was often quoted as saying violence is “as American as cherry pie.” More than 40 years after the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) firebrand made that pronouncement, the numbers supports his assertion. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. are shot each year in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents or by law enforcement officials. Of the 31,593 who died in 2008 from gun violence, 2,179 were murdered; 18,223 killed themselves; 592 were killed accidently; 326 were killed during police intervention and 273 died, but the intent was unknown. The report shows that 66,769 survived gun injuries, including 44,466 who were injured in a gun attack; 3,013 were injured during a suicide attempt; 18,610 were shot accidently and 679 were shot during police intervention. On average, according to the Brady Campaign: Every day, 270 people in America, 47 of them children and teens, are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents and police intervention; Every day, 87 people die from gun violence, 33 of them murdered; Every day, eight children and teens die from gun violence;

Every day, 183 people are shot, but survive their gun injuries and Every day, 38 children and teens are shot, but survive their gun injuries. Every time there is mass murder, there are flashbacks to earlier killings: The University

Aurora, Colorado at the midnight premier of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” And in August, seven people were killed at three injured at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb. Other terrorizing acts also come to mind, including Timothy McVeigh’s 1995

Even at its greatly reduced level [compared to past decades], the U.S. is far more violent than other high-income countries.

of Texas tower sniper in 1966, the 1986 post office shootings in Edmond, Oklahoma that inspired the term “going postal,” the Columbine High massacre in 1999, the deadly shooting spree at Virginia Tech in 2007, the Fort Hood Texas mass murder in 2009, the weird-look on the face of Jared Loughner after he fatally shot six people and injured 12 others last year, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson. This year has seen an unusual number of high-profile shootings. In April, three Black people were killed and two more injured in Tulsa as part of a hate crime. In July, 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in

bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and Ted Kaczynski, the Harvardeducated “Unabomber,” who was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences in 1998 for killing three people and injuring 23 others over a 20-year period. And, now a mass slaughter at an elementary school. At a prayer vigil Sunday night in Newtown, Conn. for the 20 children, most of them 6- or 7-years-old, and six adults, President Obama said it is time to explore what can be done to curb gun violence. He said, “Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children – all of

them – safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.” In the wake of the latest shooting spree, even some longtime National Rifle Association supporters are saying we need more stringent gun laws. Senator Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Va.) – who has an “A” rating from the NRA – said: “I just came with my family from deer hunting,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.” Even Rupert Murdock, CEO of News Corp., asked rhetorically on his Twitter account, “When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?” Murdock’s media empire includes Fox News, which strongly advocates progun positions. Although it may not seem like it, America is less violent than it was two decades ago, according the FBI crime statistics. The homicide rate, which peaked at 10 per 100,000

in the early 1990s, is now about half that rate. However, the same can’t be said of mass murders, defined as involving the deaths of at least four people. James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University in Boston, said there is no pattern with mass murders. He said there were 645 massmurder events between 1976 and 2010. Even at its greatly reduced level, the U.S. is far more violent than other high-income countries. Data from the World Health Organization for 2003 from 23 heavily populated highincome countries showed that the U.S. had far higher rates of firearm deaths than the other 22 countries studied. In fact, of the 23 countries examined, 80 percent of all firearm deaths occurred in the U.S., 86 percent of all women killed by firearms were females living in the United States and of all children 14 and under killed by firearms, 87 percent of them were in the U.S. Speaking in Connecticut, Obama said, “Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America – victims whose – much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Page 4 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

BUSINESS Wiggle room: Why employers pay what they pay Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond Is there any wiggle room in the salary? Can they go any higher on the pay? Will they bend at all on the dollar amount? Not surprisingly, people considering accepting a job offer commonly ask for “a little more.” Some people think they have to. They want to tell their friends and

former colleagues about their negotiating prowess and to feel the power that seems to come with starting a new job on one’s own terms. I’m here to tell you, no, there is no wiggle room. But that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate. You just can’t negotiate on the pay. Here’s why. Rewind back to before someone wrote a job offer with your name on it. Go back before your interviews. Before you applied. Before this position was posted on Career Builder or LinkedIn. Your position was just a gleam in some manager’s eye who said, this company needs someone who can (fill in your

job title). Maybe someone left unexpectedly, or perhaps this is a newly created position. Either way, someone thought they needed you enough to spend time talking with others in the organization about bringing someone like you aboard. As the idea to hire someone took hold, the question of pay range came up. If the company uses pay grades, the research was already completed and the pay range was established. If no pay grades exist, research was conducted before the job could be posted. Where does the number come from? As of January 1, 2012, the minimum wage in MN is $6.15

per hour for large companies (making $625,000 or more) and $5.25 for small organizations. So let’s start there. Remember, servers and others can be paid less than minimum wage, because they typically earn part of their income in tips. Be generous this holiday season! Next, employers look at current wage information. Using common search engines, employers can look at what other companies are paying for similar positions. Location is always taken into consideration: you will be offered more money for the same job in New York than in Minneapolis, because the cost of living in New York is higher.

Demand is another factor. If your skills are unique or hard to find, or if your position requires specific training, certifications or licensure, you will be paid accordingly. Finally, employers look at equity within the company. They can’t pay a new cashier more than they pay his or her manager. They have to be fair and equitable across the team. Fast forward to your job offer. When the team decided you were right for the job, a compensation analyst took a look at your story personally. He or she reviewed your education, work history and likely role in the company going forward. Do you bring unique

value because you worked for a competitor or because you are a former Veteran? The number on your offer letter is not random. It is fair. Accept it. And then move on to negotiate where you can: vacation days, work-related expenses, flexible schedules… these are areas where a manager might be able to wiggle. Good luck! Julie Desmond is IT Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Send your career planning and job search questions to Julie at jdesmond@

Purchasing a gift card? Read this first Gift cards make excellent presents, especially during the holidays when you’re unsure of what to buy for a family member or friend. But like everything else, gift cards may have hidden fees and strings attached. The BBB reminds consumers it’s important to read the fine print before making your purchase and presenting gift cards to co-workers, friends or loved ones. In recent years, both the United States and Canada have made changes in federal laws to improve

consumers’ chances of getting full value out of the cards they buy and give. These rules generally apply to gift certificates, store gift cards and general use prepaid cards, which are often branded by payment networks such as Visa or MasterCard. Despite some historical issues with gift cards – such as cards getting lost or people receiving cards which have had their value siphoned off by scammers – sales of gift cards are still expected to increase this year. According to a

survey by Consumer Reports, 62 percent of consumers are planning to buy gift cards this holiday season. Here are some helpful tips from BBB regarding gift card purchases: Buy from sources you know and trust. Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites, because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently. Read the fine print before you buy. Is there a fee to buy the card? If you buy a card by phone or online, are there shipping and

handling fees? If you don’t like the terms and conditions, buy elsewhere. See whether any fees will be deducted from the card after you purchase it. Inspect the card before you buy it. Verify that none of the protective stickers have been removed. Make sure that the codes on the back of the card haven’t been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling the cards. Give the recipient your

original receipt so they can verify the card’s purchase in case it is lost or stolen. Consider the financial condition of the retailer or restaurant. Know the rules: Visit bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/ alt010.pdf for more information on gift cards. For more holiday tips that you can trust, visit Consumer-Tips/. The





Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through selfregulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. Our hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800646-6222. Visit our Centennial website at

DEED awards small-business loans The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded $1.03 million in loans that will help small businesses create 233 jobs statewide and retain another 472 jobs. The loans were awarded under the agency’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, which uses federal funding to stimulate private-sector lending that enables small manufacturers and other businesses to expand. DEED officials estimate the loans will leverage an additional $15.89 million in private capital. In all, 31 Minnesota businesses will receive

loans, including Northshore Manufacturing Inc. in Two Harbors, the French Hen Café in St. Paul and STAFF Manufacturing in Lester Prairie. “One of the biggest challenges faced by promising small businesses is gaining access to capital in the early stages of their development,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “This program provides Minnesota businesses with funding that will enable them to expand and create jobs.” The funding was distributed through three state funds that were created under the

Katie Clark Sieben initiative: Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund - The fund supports micro-enterprises and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, targeting minority- and women-owned businesses and those located in economically distressed areas.

Funds may be used for start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, as well as the purchase, construction renovation, or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment. • Total funding distributed: 16 loans worth $615,000 • Jobs: 64 created and 323.5 retained • Private capital: $10.84 million Small Business Loan Guarantee Program The program guarantees up to 70 percent of a loan made by non-traditional lenders like community development corporations, community development finance institutions and other nonprofit entities. Banks and


Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 5

COMMENTARY Time to end political divide and concur Nobody Asked Me

By Fred Easter A lot of television talking heads seem to think Republicans don’t understand why they lost the election. I think Republicans understand that demographics are changing. They just don’t give a damn about the changing demographics. They’ve been at work trying to neutralize the effect of these emerging demographics for some years now. I don’t believe they are figuring ways to woo you to their side. I think they’re figuring ways to tie your hands when next it’s time to vote. Republicans and their Tea Party co-conspirators spent a ton of money on their failed, top down approach to stealing the country “back.” But, that has only been part of the plan. True, they had Gov. Mitt Romney

poised to repeal “Obamacare,” eviscerate Social Security and Medicare, deregulate Wall Street and protect corporate tax loopholes. But, Plan B has been humming along for years. We thought the long lines we saw at the polls in ‘08 were the signs of a great popular groundswell of support for Obama. Try to remember footage of long lines of upper class white folks in largely Republican counties. I can’t either. Long lines are manipulated in traditionally Democratic areas in an effort to discourage those voters. In 2004 and 2008, the organization, ACORN, had an impact on voter registration in urban areas. It was vilified and attacked by Republicans, using undercover operatives posing as pimps and whores; code for criminals “in the urban life.” By mid-2010 ACORN was gone, lines at the polls were getting longer, voter ID laws were being enacted or attempted in states where Republicans were in control of legislatures and governors’ mansions. That effort has mushroomed. By 2011 Wisconsin Governor Scott

Walker was piloting the effort to break unions in his state. Massive amounts of outside money fueled that effort and his later fight against recall. These type efforts will not

thirds of President Obama’s campaign contributions came from large donors. Some of that had to be unions like United Auto Workers. Make no mistake, if (or when)

We must be about keeping our coalition together and working toward Democratically controlled House, Senate, governors’ mansions and legislatures. stop. They are constantly being refined. Now, Michigan’s lame duck legislature has passed “right to work” laws. So, the political landscape in Michigan has been drastically altered by some legislators who’ve already been voted out of office or “recalled.” I’ve heard that two-

the number of dues paying workers diminishes; the money that unions have to spend on politicians who support their interests diminishes, as well. Unions have allowed the worker to stand toe-to-toe with the employer. Before unions, employers set wages, work hours, conditions and benefits

as they wished. And the “ground game” – door knocking and phone banking, that was so often referred to as being responsible for getting Obama’s support to the polls was made up, in large part, by union rank and file. So, we have the misnamed Citizens United which allows corporate money by the million to insert itself into the political process while shielding its name and brand from view. Not only is it an abomination that a corporation can spend its money in a way that would anger its employees and customers. Customers have no way of retaliating. So, citizens can send their $50 to their candidate of choice and be unaware that every third latte or tank of gas winds up in the campaign fund of their candidate’s opponent. You can’t have the information you’d need to decide between Caribou and Starbucks, for example. Pick any two competitors here. Imagine if you knew that AT&T was supporting the candidate that wanted to limit women’s access to reproductive health screenings and T-Mobile was

supporting the opponent. Who would you decide to be overpaying for cell service? In the coming months, you are likely to hear of Republican plans to continue to undercut the capacity of this coalition of people of color, young women, gays, Latinos and middle class working folks. And, even though the next Democratic presidential candidate is likely to be white, don’t expect Republicans to be wooing the AfricanAmerican vote. They like us best shackled, castrated and emasculated. I expect them to stop talking about “self deportation” and access to contraceptives, but code words like food stamps will continue to be used to frighten the working poor white folks in their pickup trucks. Divide and conquer is a time honored tactic and strategy. We must be about keeping our coalition together and working toward Democratically controlled House, Senate, governors’ mansions and legislatures. Otherwise, they will deport the rest of our jobs and continue to imprison our young folks.

Dear God! When will it stop? By Marian Wright Edelman The horrendous news from Newtown, Connecticut has pierced our hearts. A blackclad man in his 20s armed with two semi-automatic handguns entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School and made an elementary school for kindergartners through fourth graders the scene of the worst mass shooting in a public school in American history. Twenty children were shot and

these were elementary schoolage children. If those children and teens were still alive they would fill 108 classrooms of 25 each. Since 1979 when gun death data were first collected by age, a shocking 119,079 children and teens have been killed by gun violence. That is more child and youth deaths in America than American battle deaths in World War I (53,402) or in Vietnam (47,434) or in the Korean War (33,739) or in the Iraq War (3,517). Where is our anti-war movement to protect children from pervasive gun violence here at home? This slaughter of innocents happens because we protect guns, before children and other human beings. Our hearts and prayers go out to the parents and teachers and children and

Our children deserve better By Benjamin Todd Jealous, NNPA Guest Columnist Every generation believes their children deserve to be better off than they were. This belief inspired the first slave rebellion in 1663, when a new law dictated that children of African slaves would not be able to rise above the status of their parents. This belief led Linda Brown’s parents and the NAACP to defeat segregated schooling. And it is this belief that keeps education at the center of the modern-day movement for social justice. Brown v. Board of Education built a launching pad for education in the 21st century by removing barriers to equality and opening doors to opportunity. African Americans gained the confidence that their children, and generations of children to come, would indeed have access to a better future. But somewhere along the way, America sputtered and lost its way. Nearly 50 years after the end of desegregation, we are still only sending about one out of four students to college. In a knowledge-based economy, excluding three fourths of our students from higher education is no longer acceptable. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States ranked 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called this “an absolute wake-up call for America.” The time for tinkering and small-scale experimentation is over. In order to lead the world’s global economy, we must create the world’s brightest workforce. This starts by fixing our education so that all students can graduate college- and careerready. The NAACP recently released a report titled “Finding

Our Way Back to First: Reclaiming World Leadership by Educating All America’s Children.” Our proactive agenda builds off the foundation laid by Brown v. Board of Education,

the entire Newtown community that has been ripped apart by each bullet shot this morning. We know from past school shootings and the relentless killing of children every day that Newtown families and the community will never be the same. The Newtown families who lost children today will never be the same. The families of the teachers who were killed will never be the same. Every child at the Sandy Hook

Elementary School this morning will never be the same. Each and all of us must do more to stop this intolerable and wanton epidemic of gun violence and demand that our political leaders do more. We can’t just talk about it after every mass shooting and then do nothing until the next mass shooting when we profess shock and talk about it again. The latest terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is no fluke.

It is a result of the senseless, immoral neglect of all of us as a nation to protect children instead of guns and to speak out against the pervasive culture of violence and proliferation of guns in our nation. It is up to us to stop these preventable tragedies. We have so much work to do to build safe communities for our children and need leaders at all levels of government who







Child Watch

killed. Seven adults were shot and killed. We don’t yet know how many were wounded. We do know dozens of parents are experiencing the worst nightmare any parent could imagine. We do know more than 500 young children in the school are traumatized. Once again we are faced with unspeakable horror from gun violence and once again we are reminded that there is no safe harbor for our children. How young do the victims have to be and how many children need to die before we stop the proliferation of guns in our nation and the killing of innocents? The most recent statistics reveal 2,694 children and teens were killed by gunfire in 2010; 1,773 of them were victims of homicide and 67 of





and it is just as focused on quality as it is on access to education. “Finding Our Way Back to First” offers research-informed




















Page 6 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

EDUCATION After Newtown, teachers are the new heroes New America Media, Commentary, Andrew Lam, Posted: Dec 18, 2012 Long ago in my native homeland, Vietnam, I used to bow. As a grade school student, with arms folded, and eyes staring at my sandaled feet, I would mumble, “Thua thay!” – Greetings Teacher! – whenever I’d run into a teacher in the hallway or enter a classroom. Such was the Old World tradition that honored and paid respect to the teaching profession. That habit quickly disappeared, however, when I joined 7th grade in America. My way was entirely out of sync with U.S. culture. American kids were rowdy, wore colorful clothes and sometimes even swore at their teachers. And teaching was not mere instruction in America, I found. It was part babysitting, dealing with the unruliness that was the result of a society that increasingly emphasized selfesteem and individualism over achievement itself. Teaching is still a noble profession but it’s a difficult and underpaid one, often with work overloads and a shrinking budget that results in classroom overcrowding. With the tragedy of Sandy Hook, however, with 20 grade school students massacred by a madman and two teachers who died protecting them in

DEED From 4 credit unions will benefit by a reduction in overall financing risk. Funds may be used for construction; remodeling

New America Media

Newtown, Conn., the image of the teacher in America has gone from an underappreciated chore to that of a hero. Indeed, if TIME Magazine were to pick its Persons of the Year, it is hard to imagine that Victoria Soto and Dawn Hochsprung would not make the cut. Soto, a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook, hid her students and shielded others from the bullets of Adam Lanza, the assailant who committed one of the worse mass killings in the U.S. history. And Hochsprung, the school principal and mother of five, reportedly launched herself at Lanza, trying to overpower him. Both Soto and Hochsprung died protecting their charges. But long before the Sandy Hook tragedy, many Americans already knew that a good teacher could, if not save, then change and inspire lives for the better. Many luminaries from humble beginning continue to cite teachers as the main reason of their successes. Tom Hanks, for instance, thanked his high

school drama teacher when winning his Academy Award for his role in Philadelphia. Oprah Winfrey is famously quoted touting the success of her elementary school teacher, Mary Duncan Wharton. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan,” she has said. “She so believed in me, and for the first time, made me embrace the idea of learning. I learned to love learning because of Mrs. Duncan.” And James Baldwin owes much of his formative years to a white schoolteacher who recognized his talents, took him to plays and brought him books. “She was really a very sweet and generous woman and went to a great deal of trouble to be of help to us, particularly during one awful winter,” he recalled in Notes of a Native Son. My first teacher in America was Mr. Kaeselau, a man whose compassion and kindness comforted my otherwise painful life in exile. Mr. K taught 7th

or renovation; leasehold improvements; purchase of land, buildings, machinery and equipment; maintenance or repair; expenses related to moving into or within Minnesota; and working capital (if secured by fixed assets). • Total loan guarantees: One loan for $224,000

• Jobs: 38 retained • Private capital: $2.23 million Capital Access Program - The program encourages banks, credit unions and community development finance institutions operating in Minnesota to make loans that fall just outside the normal underwriting standards of

grade English and spent his lunchtime tutoring me when the language was still unfamiliar to my Vietnamese ear, difficult on my tongue. He gave me my first book to read. He drove me home when I missed my bus. But while influential teachers continue to instruct and inspire many youngsters in this country, the profession itself has taken a hit. While the media loves salacious narratives of the teachers who fail in their duties – there’s that recent conviction of the Texan teacher who had group sex with four high school students, and the ongoing saga of the Modesto, Calif., teacher who eloped with his student, abandoning his wife and kids – many potentially good teachers leave the profession for better pay. Disaffected teachers cite the lack of parents’ involvement as a primary cause of faltering of education and overcrowding as a major cause of stress. And even if respect is still associated with the profession, the economy is far from showing its appreciation. Many bright young people who would have gone into teaching have told me they were deterred by financial insecurity. “The only way we are going to make gains in education is if the quality of teachers goes up — and in our capitalist society, that quite simply means paying teachers more,” writes Matt Amaral, a high school English teacher. “This might be the single-biggest solution no

one is talking about.” “I would consider teaching seriously but if I ever want to own a house in the Bay Area, I might as well forget that profession,” a graduate from UC Berkeley once told me. In Silicon Valley, in order to keep talented teachers, there are now housing units being built for many who couldn’t afford a home, as the average salary for a beginning elementary school teacher is around $40,000 in a county where the median income is around $85,000. Student-teacher relationships seem to suffer in a world defined by social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, not to mention sites like So many students now blog and tweet about their teachers, and teachers, fearful of defamation, vigilantly troll the Internet. The children’s hour has extended to 24-7 online, and this too adds to the stress of being a teacher. “Teaching is not a lost art,” the historian Jacques Barzun once observed, “but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” But perhaps that regard is no longer lost at this extraordinary juncture in American life, after the tragedy of Sandy Hook. The deaths of the innocents and the heroic sacrifice of the two women have ushered our nation to a turning point. Along with the collective need to reevaluate the country’s lax gun control laws, is a renewed reverence of the role of the teacher.

lenders. Loans are available for industrial, commercial or agricultural businesses with up to 500 employees. Funds may be used for start-up costs, working capital, business acquisitions and expansions, franchise financing, equipment loans, inventory financing, construction, and commercial,

non-passive real estate acquisitions. • Total funding distributed: 14 loan supports valued at $193,500 • Jobs: 169 created and 111 retained • Private capital: $2.82 million More details about the programs are available on

Many, from Peggy Noonan to Fr. Jonathan Morris, a wellknown Catholic priest, now refer to ours as a “culture of death” – from gun obsession to bloodsoaked video games to daily stories of gun violence to our drone wars abroad – two women stood at the door of life. If there was unspeakable carnage at Sandy Hook, there, too, was unimaginable sacrifice. What’s more noble, after all, than to give up one’s life so that others may live? The teachers who died protecting their charges speak volumes to tender human relationships that have always been at the core of the teaching vocation. And so, almost four decades after I gave up that old tradition, to Victoria Soto and Dawn Hochsprung—to all dedicated teachers—I bow. New America Media editor, Andrew Lam is the author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora” (Heyday Books, 2005), which recently won a Pen American “Beyond the Margins” award and “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres,” from which the piece above was excerpted. His next book, “Birds of Paradise Lost” is due out in March 01, 2013. He has lectured and read his workwidely at many universities. Follow Andrew on Twitter

the DEED website at www. ssbci. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development..

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 7


Jamie unchained Interview

By Kam Williams Academy Award-winning actor, talented Grammy Awardwinning musical artist and comedian Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood’s rare, elite multifaceted performers. He was last seen in Horrible Bosses and also recently lent his vocal talents to the popular animated adventure RIO, as a canary named ‘Nico.’ Meanwhile, Jamie recently executive produced a sketch comedy series called “In the Flow with Affion Crockett” as well as “Thunder Soul,” a documentary chronicling the achievements of Houston’s Kashmere High School Stage Band. In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has enjoyed a thriving career in music. In December 2010, he released his fourth album, “Best Night of My Life,” featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain’s record breaking #1 song “Blame It” off of his previous album, “Intuition,” won “Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals” at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. In 2010, Foxx delivered a hilarious cameo appearance in “Due Date,” and appeared in the hit romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.” The year before, he starred opposite Gerard Butler in Overture Films’ dramatic thriller “Law Abiding Citizen.” Jamie demonstrated his affinity and respect for fictional portrayals with “The Soloist”

in which he played Nathaniel Anthony Ayer, a real-life musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia and dropped out of Julliard, becoming a homeless musician who wonders the streets of Los Angeles. Prior to that, he played the leader of a counter-terrorist team in “The Kingdom.” In December 2006, Foxx was seen in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, “Dreamgirls.” That came on the heels of his Best Actor Academy Award-winning performance as the legendary Ray Charles in “Ray.” His big-screen break came back in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him as star quarterback Willie Beamen in “Any Given Sunday.” The versatile thespian’s additional film credits include “Ali”, “Miami Vice”, “Jarhead”, “Stealth”, “Bait”, “Booty Call”, “The Truth about Cats and Dogs”, “The Great White Hype”, and an Oscarnominated supporting role in “Collateral.” Jamie first rose to fame as a comedian, from which he initiated a potent career trajectory of ambitious projects. After spending time on the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series, “In Living Color,” creating some of the show’s funniest and most memorable moments. In 1996, he launched his own series, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” on the WB Network. Here, he talks about playing the title role of slave-turnedbounty hunter Django opposite Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Kam Williams: Hi Jamie, thanks so much for the time.

I’m honored to have another opportunity to interview you. Jamie Foxx: [Playfully clears his throat, before answering in a very refined tone] Why thank you. [Chuckles. Then, speaks in his normal voice] What’s happening with it, Kam? KW: I suppose I should start by asking if you’d like to comment on the recent shootings in Connecticut? JF: I got two daughters, man, and all I want people to do is to mourn the loss of these precious kids and their teachers and to pray that their families heal. KW: What interested you in Django Unchained? JF: Quentin Tarantino… Leonardo DiCaprio… Samuel L. Jackson… Christoph Waltz… Kerry Washington… Oh, man! It was like an all-star team. What’s funny is that I didn’t know anything about Django, and I was hearing all this buzz and then I saw online how the biggest actor in the world, Will Smith, was going to work with Quentin Tarantino. And I was like, “Damn! There’s another project I didn’t know nothing about.” But luckily, I somehow got a chance to meet Quentin and read the script which I thought was brilliant. Next thing you know, I was in a room talking with him about trying to make it happen. KW: Did you have any reservations? JF: I didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction like some people did to the language and the violence. My stepfather was a history teacher at Lincoln High School in Dallas. So, I was already familiar with the N-word and the brutality of slavery. What I was drawn to was the love story between Django and Broomhilda and how he defends and gets the

Columbia Pictures Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained”

Columbia Pictures


Heartbreaking documentary revisits rush to judgment in infamous jogger case confessed to the crime because of his guilty conscience. This gross miscarriage of justice is recounted in “The Central Park Five,” a riveting documentary co-directed by the father-daughter team of Ken and Sarah Burns. The film features reams of archival footage, including videotapes of the framed quintet’s coerced confessions. Mixed in are present-day reflections by them, their lawyers, and relatives, as well as by politicians, prosecutors and other pivotal players. A heartbreaking expose’ about a rush to judgment which ruined five, innocent young lives.

Film review by Kam Williams Around 9 PM on April 19, 1989, a 28 year-old, female jogger was brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead in a wooded area of Central Park located off the beaten path. Because she was an investment banker with an Ivy League pedigree, the NYPD felt the pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime ASAP. Within hours, cops had extracted confessions from Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr., teenagers who had been denied their right to an attorney. Although none of the five had ever been arrested before, they were all convicted of rape and attempted murder on the strength of those incriminating admissions alone. Part of the explanation for the legal lynching was that the victim was a wealthy white woman while the accused were poor black kids from Harlem. The press was all too willing to exploit the hot button issues of color and class, and the media sensationalized the case’s lurid details, coining the term “wilding” to describe the alleged behavior of the defendants. Real estate magnate Donald

Police From 3 To voluntarily surrender: • Individuals may turn themselves to local law enforcement or they may turn themselves in anytime at the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, also known as the Hennepin County Jail. It’s located at 401 South 4th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. • Advise the deputy at the front lobby that you would like to turn yourself in. You will be placed under arrest and detained in the jail. • Continued detention will depend on bail amount, release conditions, your ability to post bail, and the court schedule. • Bring government issued identification with you, any necessary prescription medications, and cash, if you

IFC Films

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged with brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. Trump even took out full-page ads in every New York City daily newspaper, calling for the death penalty and saying that the boys “should be executed for their crimes.” In the face of the vigilante-like demand for vengeance, no one seemed concerned that the suspects’ DNA failed to match the only semen found at the scene. plan on bailing out. How to provide tips Tipsters are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office with information concerning the whereabouts of fugitives by calling 1-888-988-TIPS. For anonymous tips, you may choose from three different ways to submit tip information. • Submit an online form – which can be found at www. • Text us at 847 411 – begin your message with the keyword HCSOTip and then continue entering your tip. • Download an app for iPhones or android phones. The apps can be located by searching for “HCSOTip” or “Hennepin.” Clicking on the app will bring up a tip form that you fill to provide information.

Sadly, they were only exonerated in 2002 after having completely served sentences

ranging from 6 to 13 years when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist whose DNA was a match,

Excellent (4 stars) Unrated Running time: 119 minutes Distributor: Sundance Selects To see a trailer for “The Central Park Five,” visit: http://

Page 8 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE Make your New Year’s celebration sparkle (StatePoint) No matter if you are throwing a New Year’s party or attending one, nobody wants an evening that’s dull or routine. But with a few simple party tips, you can make this year’s celebration special, no matter what your plans include: Gussy Up Your appearance can set the mood for your evening -- and New Year’s Eve is one of the few times of the year that you have a great excuse to go all out. For the wild night on the town or the small gathering at home, don’t be afraid to wear something far bolder than you normally would consider. For women, think sparkly dresses and gloves; for men

Italy by the same process as Champagne, these wines are made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and are rich, creamy and filled with festive bubbles. Franciacorta is sold at fine wine shops around the country. For more information on bubbles from the land of amore, visit

think bow ties and stylish hats. Giving your outfit the flair and pop the holiday deserves can mean the difference between an ordinary evening and an extraordinary one. Cheers! When the ball drops, you’re going to want to have a glass of something sparkly in your hands. If you’re going to a party or hosting one, consider toasting to a great year ahead with something evocative of sophistication and all things fine. A delicious sparkling wine such as Franciacorta, for example, pairs perfectly with Auld Lang Syne sing-alongs and noisemakers. Produced in


Choosing Your Adventure Most restaurants, bars and other venues host New Year’s Eve parties, but unlike most other nights of the year, many of these events require advanced reservations or tickets. You may want to do a bit of planning ahead of time so you aren’t left out in the cold on this big night. Whether you’re looking for a prixfixe three-course dinner or a rocking dance party, do your research. And if you can’t find something that suits you and your friends, throw your own party. Just be sure to give it a bit of extra dazzle with danceable music, rich foods, sparkly drinks and great people. Remember, you can’t control every aspect of your evening and the more pressure you place on yourself to have fun, the harder it will be to achieve. Just relax and enjoy the flow of the night, wherever it takes you. Set the mood for a great 2013 by ringing in the New Year with a smile on your face.

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 9


Dr. Joseph Lowery recipient of Rev. Julius C. Hope Leadership Award

Chairman Brock Bishop Dennis Proctor, Rev. Hope (from back) and Rev. Patricia Maples

Photos: NAACP

HIV/AIDS talks highlight annual NAACP Religious Summit (Atlanta, GA) – The NAACP hosted its 14th annual National Religious Leaders Summit in Atlanta recently to help move the faith community back to its long-held leadership role in matters of social justice. Faith leaders committed to working with the NAACP to address the HIV/AIDS crisis and other important issues. “The NAACP is committed to strengthening our historical connection with the faith community at this crucial moment in our nation’s history,” stated NAACP

Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “We are excited to continue our partnership in the coming year.” During the three-day meeting, held December 10 to 12, faith and lay leaders created a post-election political agenda for communities of faith, focused on protecting voting rights and advancing strategies for job creation in the African American community. NAACP Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn M. Brock helmed a dialogue session with mainline protestant denominations to discuss the NAACP’s Five

Strategic “Game Changer” areas. A significant outcome of the dialogue was a national commitment from faith leaders to address HIV/AIDS in the black community, in response to the NAACP’s report The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative. The leaders agreed to work with the NAACP to expand HIV testing opportunities and offer faithbased training and prevention education in churches, seminaries, historically black colleges and universities

Shakopee Mdewakanton award $217,000 in health, medical grants Five organizations dedicated to improving health received grants totaling $217,000 from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community recently. The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) was awarded a $100,000 matching grant by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to assist American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students pursuing a healthcare career. The tribe’s matching donation was contributed after AAIP raised the initial $100,000. AAIP’s Careers in Health for Native Students program was created to increase the number of tribal members in the health and wellness workforce. AAIP assists students in pursuing education, training, and career development goals. “Encouraging Native students to pursue careers as physicians, health professionals, and biomedical researchers is one of our primary goals, and the gift from the Shakopee Tribe will allow us to continue this critical work,” said AAIP Executive Director Margaret Knight. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Charlie Vig said, “We support this program so that more youth are encouraged to study the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields with the ultimate goal of helping tribal youth become the leaders of tomorrow. Our people feel good when they see American Indian physicians and healthcare workers involved in their communities.” AAIP President Dr. Donna Galbreath echoed Chairman Vig’s sentiments on the importance of seeing tribal members in healthcare roles locally. “Because Native American people suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and influenza at far higher rates than other racial populations, we need to groom our own citizens to be the physicians and prevention specialists,” Galbreath said. “Indian people respond better when their healthcare needs are in the hands of Native physicians and other professionals who understand their culture and

value both traditional and Western healing methods.” Mercy Hospital in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, received a matching grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for $25,000 to support the establishment of a diabetes education center. The 25-bed rural community hospital serves residents of Ramsey County as well as afterhours patients from the neighboring Spirit Lake Sioux Reservation. The facility plays a pivotal role for acute and rehabilitative care as well as treats an average of 1,000 emergency room patients per month. In conjunction with community agencies, hospital staff provide wellness and prevention care, much of it at no cost to consumers. Mercy provides inpatient, surgical, obstetric, outpatient, and laboratory services as well as cardiac rehabilitation and 24-hour emergency care to treat injuries and medical emergencies. Southside Community Health Services, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a matching grant of $42,000 to replace outdated dental x-ray sensors for both adults and children. The clinic provides high quality, affordable, accessible, and comprehensive health care to patients in south Minneapolis, seeing more than 70 patients a day. Medical and dental services are available to people of all ages, income levels, and occupations with services provided by experienced, multi-lingual doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, and Licensed Nurses. Each year the dental staff provide about 18,000 clinic visits for nearly 5,000 patients. With the SMSC and matching funds, Southside can replace a total of 14 x-ray sensors. “Efficiency, patient comfort, more accurate diagnostics, less radiation for the patients and up to date equipment gives us more credibility with the community we are trying to serve,” wrote Chief Development Officer for Southside Community Services, Dan J. Williams. St. Mary’s Health Clinic in Shakopee, Minnesota, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph

of Carondelet of the St. Paul Province, received a donation of $25,000 from the SMSC for free health care for low-income patients without insurance or medical assistance. The Shakopee Clinic serves patients two days a week through patient visits to the clinic, lab tests, x-rays, diagnostic tests, and medications. There are currently eight clinic sites with 13 clinic sessions each week in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and other locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area serving people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. The clinics operate in locations where space has been donated by the host facility and are staffed by licensed physicians and nurses, as well as admissions personnel and interpreters, who volunteer their time to work in the clinics. Specialty referrals are also available without charge. For a nearly two decades St. Mary’s Health Clinics, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, has provided free primary health care to the uninsured in the seven county metropolitan area of St. Paul, Minneapolis, and their surrounding suburbs. In that time more than 92,000 visits have been recorded at the St. Mary’s Health Clinics. Each year the Shakopee clinic provides more than 890 free patient visits. The clinic serves 249 diabetic patients with nearly 1,000 no-cost medications shared in a year. The American Diabetes Association received a grant for $25,000 from the SMSC to target diabetes treatment and prevention in Native Americans in Minnesota and for research. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Together these diseases represent some of the most critical health concerns among American Indians. ADA is the leading organization working to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. They fund research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes; deliver services to hundreds of communities; provide objective and credible information; and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

and organizational national conventions. The Summit featured a national training session on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention that was attended by approximately 100 pastors, faith leaders and members of local NAACP units and state conferences. Representatives attended from cities with some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence. “The commitment to engage in this important work from the highest offices of these denominations solidified the

Black Church’s overall concern and commitment to reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said Brock. Faith leaders also paid tribute to a leader of their own. A Master Preacher Award was bestowed upon Rev. Joseph Lowery for lifetime achievement in civil and human rights advocacy. “Rev. Lowery represents a lifetime of preaching and living the gospel of justice and fairness,” stated Rev. Nelson Rivers III, Vice President of Stakeholder relations with the

NAACP. “It was a powerful moment for all the generations present to see a civil rights icon like Dr. Lowery, as well as Dr. C.T. Vivian, another legend who presented him the award.” The black churches represented at the meeting included AME Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME), Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), National Baptist Convention-USA, National Baptist Convention of America, Progressive National Baptist and Primitive National Baptist.

Page 10 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News


Prepare for the New Year Man Talk

By Timothy Houston It is hard to believe that in about a week, another new year will be upon us. Because the new years seem to be coming faster and faster, we must make time to process the previous year’s activities and prepare for the New Year. Our success and failures will be governed by the actions we take today. In order to make the most of the upcoming year, here are 5 important things that you should do to prepare. 1. Update your resume. As more and more companies face their economic realities, many will be forced to make changes

Edelman From 5 will stand up against the NRA and for every child’s right to live and learn free of gun violence. But that will not happen until mothers and grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, and neighbors and faith leaders and everybody who believes that children have a right to grow up

in their human resources. The better you are prepared for these unknown changes, the quicker you will be able to land back on your feet. Make sure you current resume includes your current job duties, volunteer experiences, and changes in your educational status. 2. Review your credit report. It is estimated that 1 out of every 2 credit reports have some sort of error, misleading or out-dated information. Reviewing your report on an annual basis allows you to keep these errors from negatively impacting your credit score. By monitoring my report and disputing errors, paying my bills on time, and paying down my credit card balance, I was able to increase my score by almost 100 points in less than a year. You can improve your score as well. You can get a truly free copy of your report from www.

3. Start exercising. Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many

chronic diseases. Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first, but the current physical activity

safely stand up together and make a mighty ruckus as long as necessary to break the gun lobby’s veto on common sense gun policy. Our laws and not the NRA must control who can obtain firearms. It is way past time to demand enactment of federal gun safety measures, including: Ending the gun show loophole that allows private dealers to sell guns without a license and avoid required background checks; Reinstating the assault

weapons ban that expired in 2004; And requiring consumer safety standards for all guns. Why in the world do we regulate teddy bears and toy guns and not real guns that have snuffed out tens of thousands of child lives? Why are leaders capitulating to the powerful gun lobby over the rights of children and all people to life and safety? I hope these shocking Connecticut child sacrifices in this holy season will force enough of us at last to stand

different types and amounts of activities each week. Make your physical health your priority. 4. Go to church. The true

purpose of church is to help you find and fulfill your spiritual purpose. Spiritual wellness may not be something that you think much of, yet its impact on your life is unavoidable. Beyond church, there are many wellness behaviors that can also benefit your spiritual health. Such behaviors include feeling connected with others, feeling part of a community, volunteering, having an optimistic attitude, contributing to society, and self -love. 5. Develop / revisit your personal mission statement. A personal mission statement is an individual statement that outlines what you want to be (character), what you want to do (contributions and achievement), and the values or principles upon which being and doing are based. It becomes a personal constitution that can be turned to when making either major life-changing decisions or

small daily decisions. Think of it as a roadmap that you can refer to for guidance as you journey through life. Start preparing today. Everyday you are given an opportunity to be better. As you celebrate the New Year, direct action will be required to steer your life in the direction that is most meaningful to you. Your choices will be the key contributor to your life’s success. Doing just one of these 5 things will make your life better. I hope and pray that you do them all. As we move into 2013, I look forward to continuing to share my hand and heart with you. Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to

up, speak out, and organize with urgency and persistence until the President, Members of Congress, Governors and State Legislators put child safety ahead of political expediency. And we must aspire and act together to become the world leader in protecting children against gun violence rather than leading the world in child victims of guns. Every child’s life is sacred and it is long past time that we protect all our children. Albert Camus, Nobel

Laureate, speaking at a Dominican monastery in 1948 said: “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children.” He described our responsibility as human beings “if not to reduce evil, at least not to add to it” and “to refuse to consent to conditions which torture innocents.” It is time for a critical mass of Americans to refuse to consent to the killing of children by gun violence.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.

guidelines for Americans are more flexible than ever, giving you the freedom to reach your physical activity goals through

Start preparing today. Everyday you are given an opportunity to be better.

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 11

A time capsule marks Unity Temple 25th anniversary Pastor Ezra J. Fagge’Tt and the Unity Temple Church of God in Christ family celebrated the 25th church anniversary with the historic sealing of a time capsule. On Sunday, Dec. 2, the time capsule was sealed, preserved and embedded in the foundation in a special worship service and ceremony. During the service, members shared reflections from the past 25 years, musical selections were rendered and

Pastor Fagge’Tt shared a special prayer. The time capsule will be opened in 25 years — the year of 2037. The historic items will provide a snapshot in time of the Unity Temple COGIC family to those that open it in the future. Items placed in the time capsule include pictures from the past 25 years (1987-2012), church programs/literature, membership directories, specialty items from 25th

anniversary banquet such as custom-designed invitations, programs and napkins and a 61-page 25th anniversary commemorative book autographed by each member of the church. The Unity Temple (Family) Church of God in Christ began its journey in the spring of 1987, under the jurisdictional leadership of Bishop S.N. Frazier. The church was located at 5355 38th Ave. S.,

Minneapolis, in the building of the Resurrection Lutheran Church. Unity Temple relocated to 100 Franklin Ave. S., Minneapolis and worshipped there from April to June in 1992. It later moved to 2900 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis, a church building owned by the Salvation Army. In January, 1995, Unity Temple moved to St Paul and relocated in the basement of

Foxx From 7 girl in the end. I thought it was just an amazing and courageous project. KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls says: In this film you turn the docile stupid black man myth on its head. You also portray the enduring love of a black man for his woman. JF: Most definitely! When you see the slave who’s been chained and whipped with no way out, and he finally catches up to this, some people call that revenge. But I say, “No, it’s righting a wrong at that time.” You’ve been wronged for so long, and here’s your karma personified, standing in this funny blue suit. And on the end of that suit is your maker. You’ve never seen that in a movie before, at least not when it comes to slavery. Ordinarily, when the slave gets a chance to hold the whip or the gun, they start singing a hymn or doing the speech about “If I do this, I’ll be as bad as you.” We come out with a mix-tape, and that’s it. But with Quentin Tarantino, it’s just like a regular Western. The

Christopher Walz and Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained” bad guy has to pay, and the good guy gets his woman. KW: Have you seen the film with a black audience? Were people talking back at the screen? JF: Yeah, they were yelling like crazy. KW: Irene also says: In both your stage name and your career choices you’ve paid homage to great black artists who have come before you. Is this film

another acknowledgement of that legacy? JF: Absolutely! I know this might sound strange, but some of the people I actually studied for this film were a little more contemporary. Of course, I started with the original film Django and Clint Eastwood’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but I also watched Wesley Snipes in New Jack City, and Denzel Washington in Glory

Columbia Pictures

and A Soldier’s Story. Those performances moved me in a way that I cannot explain. So, you’re seeing me tip my hat to those guys in this film. KW: Film student Jamaal Green says: Jamie, you are such a talent in so many areas, it seems like there isn’t anything you can’t do. Is there any chance that directing will be something you may try next? JF: We’re doing a directing

Rock Temple COGIC. In April of 1996, Unity Temple was provided with its own church building located at 3000 20th Ave. S., Minneapolis, but the congregation outgrew the building. In 2006, Unity Temple moved into its current location at 4801 63rd Ave. N. in Brooklyn Center. Over the past 25 years Unity Temple has grown both spiritually and naturally to be

the Church it is today. As Pastor of New Jerusalem COGIC, Elder Fagge’Tt started with 13 members. Twentyfive years later, there are three original members that are still apart of the ministry. The name of New Jerusalem COGIC was changed to Unity Temple Church of God In Christ and was incorporated and registered with the national headquarters in Memphis, TN, in September, 1987.

thing with Canon and Ron Howard, a special where we have people send in pictures. I would also like to direct some comedies with people like Chris Tucker, Kevin Hart and Mike Epps, and go to work with them on some fun stuff. KW: Nick Antoine was wondering whether you’re ever going to get around to doing Skank Robbers, that longrumored film based on the characters Wanda and Sheneneh that you and Martin Lawrence played on In Living Color? JF: No, that’s not going to happen. KW: This question is from your co-star Kerry Washington: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? JF: Wow! If I were an animal, I would be an eagle. KW: The Melissa HarrisPerry question: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person? JF: Guys don’t adapt as well as women do to getting their heart broken for the first time. It’s tragic. I really wanted to be in love, get married, have kids and buy a wood-paneled station wagon for the family. But it didn’t work out, and, boy, it wrecked it!

KW: Would you mind coming up with a Jamie Foxx question I could ask other celebrities when I interview them? JF: Hmm… [Thinks] If you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do? Would you do the bad stuff, you never got a chance to do, or would you do good stuff to make sure you make it into heaven? KW: Great question! Thanks! Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: You have so much fun singing. What would be your dream band, if you could select the members from any group? JF: My dream band? Jesus Christ! I would start with Prince, and then Questlove and Buddy Rich on the drums, Rick James on the bass, and Herbie Hancock on the piano. The horn section would be Miles Davis on lead trumpet, with Wynton and Branford Marsalis. I’d have Santana on lead guitar and Sheila E. doing percussion. My hype man would be Jerome [Benton] from The Time, and my singing group would be New Edition. There it is! KW: Great band! Thanks again for the time, Jamie, and best of luck with the film. JF: Thanks, Kam.

Page 12 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

Photos: youthrive

youththrive PeaceJam participants

youthrive hosts PeaceJam Slam at Capri Theater By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer

Callie J. Aguilar, associate director of youthrive

Edwin Irwin, director of youth justice and community engagement

Mike Hannah, social media coordinator

“Violence is not new, but ingrained in American culture,” said Edwin Irwin, director of youth justice and community engagement of youthrive, while addressing 230 young people and advisors at the 2012 PeaceJam Slam. Minneapolis’ oldest movie theater, The Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway Ave., Minneapolis hosted the event which was organized by youthrive, a non-profit that builds cross-generational relationships. Irwin said youthrive is based on three ideas – education, inspiration and action. “The overall goal is to break the cycle of violence and create the next generation of peace makers,” said Irwin. The question Irwin posed for all at the conference was, “how do we create the next generation of peace makers and intentionally engage young people?” Mike Hannah, who is responsible for the social media efforts at youthrive, is also a young local hip hop artist (Mike Dreams). Hannah led a workshop on creative expression to help young people learn to channel negative energy into positive energy through art, writing, music and poetry. “We just gave them the tools to open up discussion and learn the importance of emotion. It not only helps therapeutically,

youthrive youth leadership team with Mike Hannah but also helps others relate to what we speak about,” said Hannah. Hannah said during the workshop, he noticed some students were engaged and others were more on the quiet side. “Afterwards, a few of the participants who weren’t so quick to speak up told me the workshop helped them tap into feelings that they never had the opportunity to express,” said Hannah. Other workshop topics included dismantling stereotypes, presented by 4H Urban Development; promoting healthy dating relationships and preventing sexual violence, presented by the youthrive Scholars Team; helping youth

create personal peace journeys facilitated by Minneapolis Community and Technical College instructor Vera Snow and Project Happiness, led by the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health. ‘“Project Happiness: The Documentary’ was shown at the conference to guide youth, adults and communities through examining what truly makes people happy,” said Callie J. Aguilar, associate director of youthrive. “We thought that was especially important for young people who get caught up in the pressures of consumer society.” Irwin facilitated a discussion about the role media plays in perpetuating violence.

In the discussion, the group uncovered some truths about negative messages through music videos and the gaming industry. The discussion took place after showing a video clip of the Mary Johnson story. Johnson is the founder of From Death to Life, an organization dedicated to ending violence through healing and reconciliation between families of victims and those who have caused harm. From Death to Life was founded in 2005, shortly before Johnson came to forgive Oshea Israel, the young man who took her only son’s life 12 years earlier. She now claims Israel as her “spiritual son” and together

they share their inspiring story of healing and reconciliation in the community. Irwin recalls one of the students challenging a reporter by asking, “Why do you guys (media) only report on bad news?” The reporter’s reply was, “Bad news is good news. That’s our business.” Irwin reviewed the main points in the keynote speech, “The Roots of Violence,” by Dave Ellis and Filipa Cespedes. “The key is for people to understand that violence is a learned behavior,” said Irwin. “Since violence is a social construct, it can therefore be deconstructed through a process that involves individuals and their communities.” Irwin said that Ellis encouraged the audience to review one’s own history, family and culture in order to begin the process of deconstructing harmful behaviors. “We have to understand individual historical events also in order to understand why we react to certain things. ‘Gangsterism’ did not start in urban America, in truth, it can be traced to Jesse James and the myth of the American cowboy,” said Irwin. “We have to assess our history and surroundings to answer why we do what we do versus assuming it’s OK to do it and following repetitive patterns.” To learn more about youthrive, upcoming events and programs, call (612) 3547571 or visit www.youthrive. net.

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 13


Dunning From 1 Court will not do the same when it hears her case on Jan. 8. Dunning is not fighting her son – the girls’ father, Princeton Knox, or the children’s mother, Javille Sutton for custody. Both agreed to terminate their parental rights as they struggled with chemical dependency. According the Dunning and her other son, Aubrey Knox, the parents intended to have Dunning care for the two young girls. “My brother didn’t understand what he was doing,” said Aubrey Knox. “He would have never terminated his rights if he thought my mother wasn’t going to get the girls.” Who and what Dunning is fighting is the family to whom the two girls have been placed and the ruling of Judge Kathryn Quaintance, who said it was in the best interest of the children that they be placed with nonrelated foster parents. According to Dunning, it is as one social worker in her home state of Mississippi told her, “It’s a case of the haves and the have nots. You (Dunning) are the have nots.” Even though immediately after Princess and Dorothy Knox’s mother and father relinquished their parental rights, Dunning began applying for custody, the children were placed with total strangers – now the children’s foster parents. Those foster parents, Steven

Guns From 1 Stiles said the mayor is a long-standing member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an advocacy group of mayors formed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to prevent criminals from illegally obtaining guns. He said of the simplest of things to do is to ban assault weapons such as the one used in the Connecticut shooting and to close the loophole that allows anyone to legally purchase a firearm at gun shows without a criminal or mental history background check. “Forty percent of all guns are purchased without any background check whatsoever,” said Stiles. “The mayor believes we’ve got to close that loophole. And the mayor wants to have a law enacted to have gun owners report any gun that has been lost or stolen. When a car is stolen, you’ve got report it; it should be the same for guns. Clearly we have a problem.” Just this past September, Minneapolis was the scene of a mass shooting when an armed former employee of Accent Signage Systems killed five and wounded three others before killing himself with a legally purchased handgun. In the wake of the most recent mass shooting, the son of one of the Minneapolis victims, Sammy Rahamim, whose father, Reuven Rahamim, was killed in the attack, appeared together with Bloomberg this past Monday (Dec. 17) to speak out for stricter gun legislation. Also, according to Stiles,


and Liv Grosser, are now trying to permanently adopt the Knox girls. Dunning and her grandchildren are AfricanAmerican, the Grossers are Caucasian. And though rules of foster care prohibit foster parents from calling a child a name other than his or her legal name, according to Dunning, the Grossers have “changed” at least one of the children’s names. “I was with my youngest grandbaby (Dunning has court-ordered visitation) and I called her Dorothy and the social worker told me, ‘Oh, she doesn’t know who that is, they (the Grossers) call her Hannah,’” said Dunning, who said between three and four different Minnesota social workers have been assigned to her grandchildren. “Early on, they (the Grossers) came to me with a deal to let them adopt my granddaughters and they would let me visit them,” said Dunning, who said she had no interest in the deal. “Those are my granddaughters and I’m not going to work anything out. I’m never going to stop fighting for my grandbabies.” Dunning said her attorneys also advised against such a deal as there were no methods to enforce such an agreement once adoption had been granted. It would seem common sense that if a blood relative is willing and able to care for children in the foster system that the kids would be awarded to that relative. Even Hennepin County, in its official policy on foster

care states, “Relatives are first sought to care for the children.” But Judge Quaintance didn’t see it that way. She ruled the Knox girls should be placed with the Grossers as in her opinion; it was in the “best interest of the children.” “If you really want to do what’s in their best interest, why not give them to their family,” said Dunning, who said in Quaintance’s initial court ruling against her, the Hennepin County justice told her because Dunning’s son, Princeton Knox, is illiterate, she must not be fit to raise her two grandchildren. Aubrey Knox said his mother is not to blame for his brother’s educational shortcomings noting that his brother moved from his mother’s home in Mississippi to Minnesota to play high school football and spent several years in the Minneapolis Public School system and was tutored daily. He also said he and another sibling have no issues with literacy. “I can take care of my family, why not let me have them” said Dunning, as tears streamed down her face. “I want my grandchildren because I love them.” Though literacy is not a legal determinant for one’s fitness for guardianship, Dunning and her supporters note she is literate and has the ability to teach her grandchildren. In order to fully understand Dunning’s fight, it’s important to go back to the beginning. One day a couple of years ago Dunning, who still lives in Mississippi, received a call from a concerned individual in

Rybak has called for an end to the prohibition of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms officials to communicate with local law enforcement agencies regarding guns and gun crime. Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota said the latest in a string of national gun tragedies yells for legislative action. “I hope there will now be political will to enact the gun violence prevention measures we’ve been calling for,” said Martens. “I’m sorry it had to come to something like this for people to finally get some resolve.” Joan Peterson of Protect Minnesota agrees. “We always knew the majority of people wanted what we wanted (in terms of stricter gun laws), but we couldn’t get elected leaders to act because of fear of the NRA (National Rifle Association),” said Peterson. “Now you see people like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is A-Rated by the NRA, said that something needs to be done, so there’s hope.” Peterson lost her sister, Barbara Lund, to gun violence 20 years ago. “Why would anyone be against reasonable gun control laws,” Peterson questioned. “We have to ask our elected officials who they are going to be held accountable to, the citizens or the NRA.” Insight News contacted Minnesota NRA field representative Scott Lembke for comment on this story, but Lembke declined an interview and referred Insight to the national NRA. A call was placed to the

national body, but the individual who answered the call would not comment and said she would try and have someone return the call. At the time this story went to press, the call to the NRA was not returned. Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison said there is a reason for the NRA’s silence. “It’s because the position it takes is wrong and morally bankrupt,” said Ellison. “(The NRA) says any restriction on guns will lead to a ban on all guns and that’s absurd. There are many responsible gun owners – hunters; and they know that no one is out there hunting game spraying them with (rounds from) high capacity clips.” Areas schools review safety in wake of shooting Some area school districts are reviewing their safety policies and procedures in wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Jason Matlock, director of emergency management, safety and security for the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) said the district has written procedures in place and staff and students are drilled on what to do in such a crisis. Matlock said currently, visitors either must buzz in or be greeted by school personnel to be allow entrance into any of the district’s schools. “Our policy is a living document, so nothing is written in stone, and we will look at it to see if things can be learned from what happened in Connecticut,” said Matlock. “Nothing is ever 100 percent perfect, but we’ve got


Minnesota alerting her that her son, Princeton Knox and his girlfriend at the time, Sutton, were heavily addicted to drugs and in need of help. Dunning paid to have the two transported to Mississippi to be close to her. At the time, the couple only had one child, Princess Knox. When the couple arrived in Mississippi, Dunning said she was told by Sutton that the child was being cared for by Sutton’s sister. It was later discovered that that was not the case and Princess Knox was in the Hennepin County foster care system. During the couple’s time in Mississippi, it was discovered that Sutton was pregnant with a second child, Dorothy Knox. According to Dunning, though

ACROSS 1. Writer _____ Asimov 6. *Quality of a football lineman 9. Shakespeare, e.g. 13. Stallion’s cry 14. University of Rhode Island 15. Used in printing 16. Gymnast Comaneci 17. Man’s tasseled hat 18. Unlace 19. FEMA help, e.g. 21. *He’s now a Bronco 23. *Defensive ___ 24. Deal with it 25. *It airs Sunday night football 28. Silage holder 30. *Last year’s BCS runner-up 35. Having wings 37. *NCAA’s initial ____-team playoff 39. Academy in Annapolis 40. Welt 41. Yesteryears 43. *1977 football flick, “____ Tough” 44. Type of acid 46. Manufactured 47. “____ and proper” 48. Pollute 50. “The ____ Show” (1976-1980) 52. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” band 53. Film shot 55. Dog command 57. *Tide’s color 61. Not very far 64. Raja’s wife 65. Major time period 67. Water nymph 69. Beginning of illness 70. ENT’s first concern? 71. Ownership document 72. Jolie’s other half 73. *Conference of last 6 college champs 74. *Pittsburgh’s “_____ Curtain”

DOWN 1. Overnight lodging 2. Make very hot and dry 3. ____-de-camp 4. *Quality of a good player 5. *Moves with each first down 6. It makes a car shine 7. Wrath 8. Most famous gremlin 9. Capital of West Germany, 19491989 10. Unfavorable prefix 11. Seabiscuit control 12. Small amount of residue 15. Go to NPR, e.g. 20. Enlighten 22. Suitable 24. Quality of a good soldier 25. Muslim ruler, respectfully 26. What scapegoat is given 27. Shorter than California 29. Used for weaving 31. *Tackler’s breath? 32. Each and all 33. Chinese silk plant 34. Takes off weight 36. *Nevada Wolf Pack’s home 38. Do over 42. Touch is one of these 45. Starting time 49. One from Laos 51. *Brother of #21 Across is a leader of this team 54. Genuflecting joints 56. Loyalty to the loyal, e.g. 57. Farmer’s output 58. Alternate spelling of #64 Across 59. In or of the present month 60. Athletic event 61. Narcotics agent 62. Evander Holyfield’s ear mark 63. *Ivy League’s Bulldogs 66. Charlotte of “Facts of Life” fame 68. Ctrl+Alt+___

eventually her son was able to get and stay clean – he has since married another woman – Sutton has remained hooked on drugs. While pregnant she moved back to Minneapolis where the couple’s second child, Dorothy Knox was born and also placed in foster care. Ever since Dorothy Knox’s birth, Dunning has been fighting for both children. Even though precedence says the children should be placed in her custody over that of any nonrelated foster parents, Dunning was mandated to complete foster care certification. He home was approved for care and it was stated by Hennepin County that the two girls should be placed with their grandmother for

permanent adoption, but Judge Quaintance ruled differently. Attempts to interview the Grosser’s attorney were unsuccessful. An interview was scheduled with the attorney, but was later postponed as the attorney said he was called into court. Dunning said while the state of Minnesota is paying the Grossers thousands of dollars – according to Dunning, the Grossers have built an addition on to their home with state funds – she is not seeking any such assistance. “But your state (Minnesota) is paying for two nannies (to assist the Grossers) while they’re (Dunning’s grandchildren) in foster care,” said Dunning.

Page 14 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

COMMUNITY Celebrate Kwanzaa with Family Day at The Minnesota History Center The Minnesota History Center invites guests to celebrate family, community and culture during Kwanzaa Family Day. This year, the celebration falls on Dec. 29, the fourth day of Kwanzaa and highlights Ujamaa, or “Cooperative Economics,” which focuses on building and maintaining African American stores, shops and other businesses. Meet business owners, artists and emerging entrepreneurs and be inspired by their work and their stories. From Noon to 4 p.m. enjoy family activities and entertainment including: • Opening ceremony with artist Sha’ Cage; • Musical performances featuring Bruce Henry and Walker West Music Academy Jazz Ensemble; • Storytelling and African folktales with Danielle Daniel; • Cooking demonstrations with Living Soul Cuisine head chef, Cynthia Johnson and Rose McGee, owner and chief baker for

Cynthia Johnson

Rose McGee

Sha’ Cage

• Cooperative Economics with: The Cookie Cart, Cookies with a Cause, a North Minneapolis job training program; • Project Sweetie Pie, Planting the Seeds of Change, an urban youth training program in horticulture, entrepreneurship, marking and promotion; • doll maker, Phyllis Chatham; • hair weaver/stylist, Mary Reed of Cheveux Salon; • and a youth art display

featuring Seakh Menheer, Khetasar Menheer, and Retekh Menheer. All events are included with regular museum admission of $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday

celebrated by millions throughout the world African community. Focusing on family, community and culture, Kwanzaa celebrates the special message of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.),

Bruce Henry Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts; • Art Activity with Shirley Jones, artist/educator/founder of Plymouth Avenue Art Studio; • KMOJ Radio Financial Fitness show host Nneka Serwaa Morgan who will deliver a power packed perspective for families and teens on money management; • Theater presentations by History Player Toni Stone, the first female player in the Negro Leagues;

Calendar • Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by email:, by fax: 612.588.2031, by phone: 612.5881313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411. Free or low cost events preferred.

EVENTS The Love Project Dec. 28-29 So, you think you know a thing or two about love . . . . The Love Project is a collaborative

performance project based on a collection of love poems by playwright and poet Maxie Rockymore. Ten visual artists, dancers, singers, spoken word artists and a DJ mine love poems for aspects that touch their own lives offering up a personal re-mix. Artists include: Christopher Harrison (painter), Kenna Cottman (dancer), Peggy and Anthony Brewer (singers), Stephani Booker (poet/writer), Kevin “Kaoz” Moore (spoken

Phone: 612.588.1313

word art-ist), Nothando Zulu (storyteller), Rashin Richardson (singer), DJ Mixwell (DJ), Nicole Smith (spoken word artist), and Maxie Rockymore (poet/playwright). Performances Friday, Dec. 28, 2012-7:00 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012-7:00 p.m. at Obsidian Arts/Pillsbury House, 3501 Chicago Ave. So., Mpls, 55407 Cost: $10.00 adults / $5.00 students. Tickets: 612787-3644 / Watch Night Services Dec. 31 The Minnesota African American Museum (MAAM) in conjunction with local faith communities presents “A Night to Remember – December 31, 2012: Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Freedom’s Eve.” Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church will hold a Watch Night service from 9:00 p.m. to midnight (2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406). Pilgrim Baptist Church will hold a Watch Night Service from 10:00 p.m. to midnight (732 West Central Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104). Also, St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral will hold a Freedom’s Night Watch non-denominational service on December 31, 2012

Fax: 612.588.2031

from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. (530 N. 5th Avenue E., Duluth, MN 55805). Walker Art Center Free First Saturdays Jan. 5 Free First Saturdays are for families. Activities are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 am–3 pm. Gallery admission is free from 10 am–5 pm on Free First Saturday. Families can enjoy live performances, films, gallery adventures, and hands-on artmaking from 10 am–3 pm. Activities recommended for ages 6–12. The Walker Art Center is located at 1750 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. For public information, call 612.375.7600 or visit

Washburn A Mill Tour Jan. 5, 19 Take an in-depth look at the historic Washburn A Mill complex and the award-winning Mill City Museum building 1 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 5 and 19. This is the only opportunity for a guided tour through the entire museum building and the only chance to see some of its nonpublic spaces. The tour includes admission to the museum gallery, Baking Lab, Water Lab and Flour Tower show. Fee: $14 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $10 children Supervising Attorney ages 6-17 and MHS Supervising Attorney – Housing Discrimination Law Project, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. For details members. Tour includes go to museum admission. Reservations required; call 612-341-7555 or Chief Financial Officer register online: http:// TCC Land Bank, a nonprofit financial service org., seeks CFO to perform strategic financial planning and www.millcitymuseum. data analysis, oversee all financial activities including org/tours. Mill City budgeting, audit, and contract and reporting compliMuseum is located at ance. 5 yrs of experience as CFO or equiv. Letter of 704 South Second Street, application and resume received at through January 14, 2013 will be considered. Minneapolis.

Jealous From 5 prescriptions for tapping the potential of our students. The NAACP is asking its more than 1,200 active units to advocate for the following reforms: First, all students should have a strong educational foundation before kindergarten. This means high quality, universal prekindergarten that

Answers From 13

supports strong literacy and language skills. Second, we need effective teachers and leaders. Every school, regardless of location and resources, should have a strongly prepared, wellsupported teacher in every classroom. Third, students need more time for more learning. This means longer school days, longer school years and more years of education. Schools also need to offer broad-based

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800657-3773.about the minnesota historical society The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites. The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.


Resident Artists IX: Rule of Thirds at Altered Esthetics Jan. 3-24 Three is a powerful number in science, religion, music, and the arts. For the ninth annual resident artists exhibition, artists incorporate the number three or triptychs. Ae artists will be displaying their take on the number three and how it influences their artwork. The pieces displayed will be in a variety of mediums ranging from watercolor to acrylic to photographs. There will be an opening reception on Friday, Jan 4 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Artists’ Discussion Panel on Saturday, Jan 12 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. The Show runs January 3 - 24, 2013. Gallery Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays – 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays – 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.; and Every First Friday – 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Altered Esthetics is located at 1224 Quincy St. NE Minneapolis MN 55413, (612) 378-8888. Minneapolis School Fair Showcase Jan. 12 Minneapolis public and charter schools are partnering to host the first Minneapolis School Fair Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301-2nd Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. This event will bring together families of prospective students in one location to meet educators from public and charter schools and to explore an array of educational possibilities for school-age children, pre-kindergarten through high school. MPS’ deadline for submitting school priority request cards is Tue., Feb. 19, 2013. Free childcare for children ages 3-5 will

programs that extend beyond the regular school day, year and curriculum. Finally, we need to target our resources at those schools that need them most. We should direct additional state funds to school districts with high concentrations of low-income students. And we should target funds from all levels to help those schools and students who are struggling hardest to achieve. The NAACP earned its reputation in education by

be provided. Call the Information Line, 612.668.1842 about free parking and free shuttle transport for families. With questions about the fair, call Student Placement Services at 612.668.1840. You may also visit www.mpls.k12. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event Jan. 14 The Human Rights Commission and the Human Services Division of the City of Bloomington will sponsor Dr. Don Bartlette and his presentation, “My Journey Across Black America” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day during lunch on Monday, January 14, 2013 at Creekside Community Center. Prior to presentation, watch his film, “Macaroni At Midnight,” which shares his remarkable story growing up as a Native American child, living in poverty, experiencing issues such as racism, abuse, and struggles with his own disabilities. The film will show at 9:45 a.m. Following an 11:30 a.m. lunch and presentation. A question and answer session will follow presentation. The following are additional dates the film will be shown for free at Creekside Community Center: Wednesday, January 9 at 9:30 a.m. and Friday, January 11 at 1:00 p.m. This event does require a prepaid registration 3 days in advance. Meal cost is $0-3 for guests 60+ (NAPIS form required) and $6 for guests under the age of 60. If you would like more information or would like to make a reservation, visit or call Creekside Community Center 9801 Penn Ave. S., 952-5634944, TTY 952-563-4933.

removing obstacles that blocked children from learning. But now is the time for proactive reform. To make the promise of a better life for our children real, we must support student learning and achievement. We must be determined to help every child reach his or her full potential and thereby ensure that we, as a nation, lead and serve globally. Benjamin Todd Jealous is President and CEO of the national NAACP.

Insight News • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Page 15

Counties Transit Improvement Board commits $30 million to next generation of transit projects are doing the right thing for our region by funding these projects.” The preliminary engineering commitment to Southwest LRT (not to exceed $55.8 million) signals the board’s ongoing support of the project as the region prepares to request matching state funds from the Minnesota Legislature in 2013. Overall, the board will support 30 percent of the total project costs, including providing early funding for construction of the line. A total of $30 million was distributed in capital and operating grants for 2013: • Bottineau Transitway, $2.4 million for early preliminary engineering activities once the locally preferred alternative route and mode are adopted into the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Policy Plan. • Anoka Station, Northstar Commuter Rail, $2 million for construction of a pedestrian overpass and parking facility to improve safety in the area. Construction will begin in 2013 and is scheduled for completion in 2014. • I-35W South BRT, $840,000 for purchase of five coach buses to operate expanded bus service between Lakeville and downtown Minneapolis. Ridership has nearly tripled since 2009 and is

The Counties Transit Improvement Board’s annual grant awards signaled its commitment to advancing transit projects across the region. The board authorized funding 60 percent of the preliminary engineering costs of Southwest Light Rail Transit; awarded its first grant to Bottineau Transitway; and invested in safety improvements on Northstar Commuter Rail. In addition, the board continued its investment in Interstate 35-W Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), transit improvements in Washington County and operating assistance to Metro Transit for expansion of transit in the region. To date, the Counties Transit Improvement Board has invested nearly half a billion dollars throughout the last 4.75 years. “Our eyes are on the next generation of projects – Southwest, Bottineau, Gateway – that will advance the regional network and further the development of our communities” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. “We need only look at the terrific, ongoing performance of Hiawatha LRT, and its success in leveraging private investment to know that we

expected to grow in 2013. • · Washington County, $2.9 million for guaranteed grant funds that are being deferred until the money can be used in advanced planning stages of the Gateway, Red Rock, Rush Line and Highway 36 corridors. • Metropolitan Council, $21.3 million for operating grants for the Hiawatha LRT, Northstar Commuter Rail, I-35W South BRT and Cedar Avenue BRT. Throughout its history, the Counties Transit Improvement Board has been willing to take the necessary steps to ensure funding is available to transit projects throughout the metropolitan area. The attached chart shows how the board has distributed $494 million in grants since 2008, and the attached map shows the board’s vision for the region. The board accomplishes its work through close collaboration with its partners, particularly the Metropolitan Council. Every grant award has been made through unanimous decisions of the Board, reflecting the regional consensus behind making investments in a network of interconnected light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit lines.

Nekima Levy-Pounds receives ‘Profiles in Courage Award’ from Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers University of St. Thomas School of Law Associate Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds has received the Profiles in Courage Award from the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers. MABL bestows the award annually on an individual or entity that has demonstrated the highest level of courage, excellence and integrity in furthering the organization’s mission of representing the interests of Black

Ten From 3 testimony and statements which he made in prior written statements to the prosecutor,” the petition continued. “When repeatedly asked by defense attorneys to reconcile the discrepancies, Hall testified that he had amended the earlier statements with the State’s Prosecutor. Efforts by defense attorneys to obtain copies of the amended statements were resisted by the prosecutor and upheld by the trial judge.” “At one point during Hall’s cross-examination,” the legal petition adds, “… he became so enraged at the insistent and grueling questioning by Defense Attorney James Ferguson that he rushed from the witness stand and attempted to physically attack Ferguson in open Court.” The judge didn’t sanction Hall for the violent outburst, however. Instead, the judge chastised defense attorney Ferguson for asking such tough questions. In October 1972, the Wilmington Ten were all convicted and sentenced to a total

Guns From 13 a lot of well-trained people who do good work in keeping students safe.” Matlock said many of the details of the Sandy Hook shooting are still being sorted out, thus he wants to get a clearer understanding of the incident before making any adjustments to the MSP safety plan. In St. Paul, on the public school district’s website it posted the following message: “SPPS (St. Paul Public Schools) is shocked and saddened by the shooting that took place in Connecticut. Our thoughts go out to all involved. We want to assure our families and the community that student safety is of paramount

Hill From 1 who needed someone to save the day for him or her. Jesse was very often that someone. Quietly and without any public notice, Jesse would extend the helping

Nekima Levy-Pounds

citizens in the legal profession and in the judicial system. The award was presented to Levy-Pounds by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison at the MABL Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Gala Nov. 10 at the Marriot West in Minneapolis. Ellison, who as a state legislator received the award in 2006, remarked that Levy-Pounds’ work in educating the public on the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment

of 282 years in prison, thanks to Allen Hall’s false testimony. But according to the Wilmington Ten pardons legal petition, it didn’t end there. “In 1975, soon after the [U.S.] Supreme Court refusal to grant certiorari to review the convictions, Allen Hall recanted his trial testimony and publicly admitted that he lied as a result of inducements and promises which were made to him by the State Prosecutor,” attorneys Joyner and Ferguson wrote to the governor. “Following Hall’s recantation, Jerome Mitchell and Eric Junius also recanted their testimonies.” In a letter that Hall sent to The Wilmington Journal when he was apparently serving time for another crime years after the trial, he titled it, “A Cry for Help,” indicating that he now feared for his life behind bars. “I have told you the people what they would do to me, to try and stop me from telling you the lies that [District Attorney] Allen Cobb and them made [me] tell in court on Rev. Chavis an (sic) the Wilmington Ten,” Hall wrote to then Journal publisher Thomas Jervay, Sr.

It was revealed in the Fourth Circuit decision that Allen Hall suffered from a mental illness, and prosecutor Stroud knew it. Stroud “failed” to disclose that, and the fact that Hall had gotten medical attention for it, to the Wilmington Ten defense for fear that it would have disqualified his star witness’s testimony. Hall had no case. “These convictions were reversed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in December 4, 1980 as a result of that Court’s studied determinations that prosecutorial misconduct and other constitutional violations occurred during the Wilmington Ten prosecutions and trials,” attorney Joyner wrote. Supporters of the Wilmington Ten – more than 14,000 of whom have signed pardon petitions nationally thus far, say based on these facts, people should be writing N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue, asking that she pardon all of them before she leaves office Dec. 31st. (Allen Hall died several years ago in Pennsylvania. Only his many letters from prison speak for him now.)

importance in our district. We take every precaution, every day. Our own security officers and uniformed Saint Paul Police officers patrol our schools daily. Our Security and Emergency Management Department is in constant communication with local law enforcement and public safety partners. More information on safety in Saint Paul Public Schools is available at safety.spps. org.” At least one congressperson and one Missouri police chief suggest arming teachers to keep students safe. “I think that’s absurd,” said Martens, who was once herself an educator. “What we need to do is make sure people with mental illness don’t have access to high powered weapons. How ridiculous is it for a kindergarten teacher to be carrying a gun around? And what

makes you think ‘Mrs. Jones’ is going to be able to get off a clear shot in a real life situation? It’s ridiculous. It boggles the mind.” Martens wondered what would happen if a child were to get a hold of a teacher’s gun. Peterson wondered the same thing. “Where’s a teacher going to keep the gun – in a holster, in a desk drawer, in a file cabinet,” questioned Peterson, who was also a teacher. “What a teacher should do (in a crisis situation) is get the children to safety, away from the shooter and keep the children safe and calm, not try and face down a shooter.” Matlock said having guns in schools is not a favored approach. “That’s a huge undertaking, having guns around our kids at all times,” said Matlock, who was a police officer for six years. “There’s just no quick fix here.”

hand that made the difference – for the moment or perhaps for a lifetime. He seemed to be everywhere at once, partly because he sometimes stayed just long enough to steer things in the right direction, then move on to the next big challenge. It was during the turbulent decades of Atlanta’s moving

to racial and commercial progressiveness that Jesse’s light shown brightest. It was during the early days of this period that he was Publisher of The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper – the mantle which I now proudly wear. The world has lost one of its best and brightest.

played a key role in its defeat in Minnesota last month. Levy-Pounds is the founding director of the Community Justice Project, an award-winning civil rights legal clinic. Levy-Pounds teaches and supervises law students as they use the law as a tool to advance the cause of social justice in poor communities of color through problem-solving, legal research and writing, community engagement and

legislative advocacy. In addition to her work in the Community Justice Project, Levy-Pounds contributes to the field of civil rights and criminal justice by serving as a consultant to local civil rights organizations and community groups, as a commentator in local media, and as a lecturer and speaker at national and international forums. Her scholarly interests include the impact of the war on drugs on

African-American children and families, the treatment of women in prisons, and intersecting issues of race, class and the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Because of her work in the Community Justice Project, Levy-Pounds was selected by Sen. Al Franken to advise him in his decision to nominate Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Page 16 • December 24 - December 30, 2012 • Insight News

Insight News ::: 12.24.12  

News for the week of December 24, 2012. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St....

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