Belt-tightening at City Hall squeezes the life out of neighborhood organizations
After midnight, early Tuesday morning, Dec. 14, the Minneapolis City Council
approved Mayor Rybak’s budget on a 10 to 3 vote with Cam Gordon, Meg Tuthill and Robert Lilligren opposing it. It will increase property taxes by an average of 4.7 percent, but many homeowners in South Minneapolis have already registered more than a 17 percent increase. The budget will cut 80 jobs, including 32 firefighters and 24 cops. It will also eliminate funding for the
Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP).
Women in Powderhorn assaulted
On Nov. 24, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, a 45-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by four boys in Powderhorn Park while she was cross-country skiing with her two children. One of the alleged perpetrators is 16, one is 15 and two are 14. One was wearing a Jason-style hockey goalie mask and another held a gun. They demanded money and cell phones from the woman.
Longfellow House is born again
The Longfellow House, a replica of the home of William Wadsworth Longfellow, whose wildly popular 19th century poem “Hiawatha” was the inspiration for the naming of Lake Hiawatha, Lake Nokomis (Hiawatha’s mother) and Minnehaha Falls, Parkway and Avenue (Hiawatha’s ill-fated wife), is being leased to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in the hopes that volunteers will re-open it as a visitor’s center and historic site.
Are we being chumped?
Either he’s a fool or a crook. Either Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing or he’s lying to us about his real intentions.
The “Tax breaks for millionaires” melodrama that was just played out in Washington was the last straw. That “ hopey, changey thing” that Sarah Palin talked about a year ago isn’ t working out for me any more. If Obama wanted to pass tax cuts for the middle class, why did he wait until the last moment to try to do that? Why didn’ t he propose that earlier this year? Or, was he planning this grand opera all year long? Has he been planning to give tax breaks to millionaires all along, and he just needed a lame duck, a hard deadline and reactionary Republicans to give him cover?
FBI issues new subpoenas
|Sarah Martin was one of about a dozen supporters who stood in a driving rainstorm to tell people attending the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s Annual Awards Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at International Market Square about the FBI raids on peace activists in the anti-war movement. (Photo by Ed Felien)
Three local antiwar activists who were subpoenaed by the FBI to appear before a grand jury in Chicago investigating “material support to terrorist
organizations”have been told by their lawyers that their subpoenas have been reactivated. They will be faced with the choice between talking about who they meet with and what their political views are and going to jail for the life of the grand jury, which is up to 18 months.
The Supreme Court has recently broadened the definition of “material support” to mean that participating in an international solidarity delegation can now serve as probable cause for an investigation by the federal government.
Meredith Aby has written: “You would think it’s not a crime to be against war. But in a harrowing development, the FBI and a federal grand jury are harassing and threatening antiwar activists here in Minnesota and around the country. On Sept. 24, the FBI raided seven homes and the Anti-War Committee office.
Postscript to the election and a prelude to the disaster just around the corner
There was a meeting Sunday afternoon, Nov. 14, at Mayday Books to discuss options for progressive movements in the age of Obama.
One of the dozen or so people to attend was Ken Pentel, recent candidate for governor for the Ecology Democracy Party, which he started in 2008 as part
of his Ecology Democracy Network. The Network seems to be a bare bones website without an e-mail address. The issues at the website seem quite similar to the program of the Green Party, which shouldn’t be surprising since Pentel was an organizer for the Green Party and its candidate for
governor in 1998, 2002 and 2006. There don’t seem to be significant
ideological differences between Pentel’s party and the Green Party, so one must assume the differences were personal.
A young life shattered: the shooting of Guadalupe
Guadalupe Galeno-Hernanez, a 12-year-old South Minneapolis girl, was struck in the neck by a drive-by shooter’s stray bullet on Friday night, Nov 12. She was walking with friends. It seems likely that she was the victim of an unlucky accident in gang rivalry and retaliation that has come to dominate that block in South Minneapolis.
The most notorious incident on the block happened with the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards as she sat at her dining room table doing her homework. Myon Burrell, 16, and a Rolling 30s Bloods member at the time, was convicted of the crime. Unfortunately, that incident was not unique. Sara Bergen, who lives on the 3400 block of Elliot, one block east of Chicago, in an e-mail to the Powderhorn neighborhood forum recalled a string of incidents in and around that block: In 2005 there was a murder at 3500 Columbus. In 2006 a man who lived on the 3500 block of Elliot was shot to death in front of Tony’s market on 35th and Chicago. In 2007 there was a robbery that led to a murder in the 3500 alley between Chicago and Columbus. In 2008 a man died from gunshot wounds in the 3400 alley behind the Atlantic Press (between Chicago and Elliot), and in January 2010 Walter Dolley was shot to death while walking on the 3400 block of Chicago.
I proposed writing an essay on the best writer in the state but was put off by the thunderous indifference of the publisher. And there the matter rested, except it wouldn’t. Gradually there evolved the notion of doing a brief piece on Minnesotans who’ve inspired me, after all I’d been watching them for over 30 years.
Connecting with our families
|Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools,
Bernadeia H. Johnson
We value the dedication that our families have to our schools and students and we are always looking for ways to strengthen that connection. Three times a year, we hold conferences with our families and their children to check in on each student's academic progress. The most recent parent-teacher conferences were Nov. 4 and 5. Conferences serve as a great opportunity for us to come together to recognize each student's strengths and needs. By connecting, our teachers and our schools can work with families to assess how we can build on student strengths and best support student needs in the classroom and at home.
With the rigorous academic goals we have in place, it is more important than ever that we work together. Student success depends on connecting the lessons learned in school at home. Each year, a student gets a new teacher at school—but the adults at home are the child's teachers for life.
The Redistribution of America's wealth to the few
America's unemployed and downsized workers are furious that corporate profits, stock prices and CEO pay are up—while hiring and wages are held down. But wait—U.S. corporations actually are increasing their payrolls.
Just not in America.
In a two-year period, these corporate giants hiked hiring in foreign countries by 729,000 jobs, even as they cut 500,000 jobs here. Hilton hotels, for example, moved a U.S. call center to the Philippines, calling it a move for "maximizing efficiencies"—which is cold corporate jargon for "chasing cheap labor."