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Tuesday December 12th 2017

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SEARCHING CHAPTER 7: A New Start

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

We can’t say that Angel didn’t know where to start this leg of his journey. He’d been starting his whole life. Fits and starts. False starts. Start and stop, start and stop. Angel’s problem was finishing. He’d managed to graduate from Roosevelt—barely—and he vaguely remembered the platitudes the locally famous person of color had shared at the graduation ceremony: Believe in your dreams. Reach for the stars. Stay in touch. Good words, he thought, but he’d spent the six months since then pretty much wandering through life, without a plan, That morning, in Mother Light’s house, as he tenderly pulled on his jacket and bent over to tie his shoes, he spotted the webbed ornament in the window.
“That’s a dream catcher, right?” he said to Ana, who was waiting at the door.

She smiled, nodded yes, then pointed to her eyes, to her heart, to her lips and then to Angel. He shook his head and wondered what manner of answer that was: was this beautiful young woman deaf? Or merely insane? “I wonder if it caught any of my dreams”, he muttered to himself.

Ana handed him his backpack, which felt heavier to his bruised shoulders. She led him out the door and down the block to the little park. There was fresh snow on the ground, tender to their feet. It began to snow again, soft, huge flakes, the kind dogs and children love to catch on their tongues. She led him under a red pine, whose branches were heavily laden with snow. Angel thought that he saw her bow slightly. She smiled and then repeated the same motions with her hands as she had in the house: pointing to her eyes, to her heart, to her lips and then to him. Then she pointed to the tree trunk, where hundreds of woodpecker holes were bored into the rust red bark. By the time he thought of something to say, she had gone.

Where now? He did not feel fear, even though his enemies were at large. He wanted to find Luz, but something Mother had told him led him to think he had to find himself—or at least a part of himself—first. The ground was white, the sky was a brilliant white, it seemed like the whole world was new and strange. So he started walking. He walked past the old convent at Holy Rosary—the church where his grandmother had been among the first to push for a mass in Spanish years ago. He tromped through vacant lots promising new townhomes. He stopped at Welna’s for the free popcorn and to use the bathroom.

At 26th street, he saw someone he knew from high school, a young man named Ezekiel, whom many called “The Wheel”, because it seemed his head was always spinning with crazy ideas. He was dressed in a warm coat, with new stocking cap and gloves, waiting for the bus. He was smoking, and offered Angel one. Angel took the cigarette, and tucked it behind his ear.

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“Bring a shawl and get a baby” from a 1908-09 Baby Farm 3341 Nicollet Avenue

“The babies [from the Baby Farm on Nicollet Avenue] are buried in unmarked graves at various locations throughout the cemetery.” This heart shaped grave marker is for Emma Bertta who died June 30th 1886, marker of a heart shaped cross and whose family did provide this marker.

The babies from the Baby Farm on Nicollet Avenue are buried in unmarked graves

By Sue Hunter Weir

Between June 24, 1908 and September 6, 1909, 27 infants died at the same address–3341 Nicollet Avenue South. These babies (13 girls, 13 boys, and one whose gender was not recorded) were under the care of “Doctor” Hans Oftedal. As the quote marks suggest, Hans Oftedal was not a licensed physician; he was the proprietor of one of several “baby farms” operating in Minneapolis at the time.

Baby farms were essentially unlicensed boarding houses for infants whose parents were too poor to care for them. The parents surrendered their children to baby farm operators and paid a fee for the care that they believed their children would receive. In some cases, the parents intended to come back and reclaim their children, but in other cases they expected their children to be adopted by families who could provide for them. Adoption was unregulated at that time, and Minneapolis had the dubious distinction of being the baby-trafficking capitol of the Upper Midwest. The Minneapolis Tribune described the adoption trade in Minneapolis as one in which people could “Bring a shawl and get a baby.”

In October 1909, “Doctor” Oftedal shut down his baby farm. He ordered the utilities turned off and abandoned five infants in the care of two teen-aged girls. The girls had no food or supplies with which to take care of the babies. Eventually staff from the city’s Poor Department, as it was called at the time, got wind of what was happening and tried to take charge of the babies. At first the girls declined to give up their charges but eventually turned the babies over to city authorities. The good news was that all of those babies survived although three of them were in poor health. One of them was a five-month old child who had been one of the incubator babies successfully treated at Wonderland Park but who had lost considerable ground after being fed only skim milk while under Oftedal’s care.

After he closed down his operation, “Doctor” Oftedal, his wife, and a woman identified in the press as Nurse Siegel, fled to Seattle, Washington. City officials did not track them down and prosecute them. Indeed, it is doubtful that anyone had any idea about the 27 babies who had died—at least none of the newspapers mentioned them. The babies died from a variety of causes, many of them from gastrointestinal problems or pneumonia. Two of them died from malnutrition. They ranged in age from two days to 18 months old.

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Frequent + Biker = Freiker Rhymes with Hiker

Freiker + Dero = More Hiking and Biking at Seward Montessor

Dero Bike Racks

Dero Bike Racks

By Kathy Kurdelmeier
Dero Bike Racks in the Seward neighborhood has paired up with Seward Montessori, a Minneapolis Public School, to make the school the most walked and biked to school in the city… maybe the state.

Dero Bike Racks has donated a Freiker/Dero ZAP system to the school, a system designed to encourage kids to bike and walk to school. Freiker (frequent + biker, rhymes with hiker) a non profit company out of Boulder, Colorado, pioneered the concept using RFID technology. Dero Bike Racks manufactures the ZAP unit. The system is the first to be used in a Minnesota school, one of a only dozen throughout the country.

Each registered student is given a RFID (radio frequency identification) tag. Each time the student walks or bikes to school they pass under the ZAP unit, which emits a beep and records their trip and mileage into the Freiker database.

That information will be used to provide incentives to individuals and classes that walk and bike the most. The school also hopes to incorporate the information into the classroom, teaching the students about their carbon footprint and the benefit of walking and biking to themselves as well as to the environment.

Close to 100 students have registered within the first three weeks of school and new concrete has been poured to accommodate new bike racks and all the bikes. On, Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Freiker/ZAP unit system was unveiled at media event at the school with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak present to welcome the kids as they walked and biked to school.

The unit is mounted on the east side of Seward Montessori, located at 2309 28 Ave. South in Minneapolis. Further information can be found about the Freiker system and about the ZAP unit.

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THE Murder and Mayhem TOUR

Do you ever think that you would have liked to live back in the “good old days?” Think again. Murders, suicides, rail yard accidents, mill explosions, car wrecks and drownings were pretty much the order of the day. On our (occasionally irreverent) tour, you’ll hear about some of the highlights of Minneapolis’ history and be introduced to some of the city’s more outrageous low-lifes. We’ll visit the graves of Harry Hayward, mastermind of Minneapolis’ crime of the 19th century, and the victims of the Macedonian Murders, the city’s worst mass murder. And that’s just for starters. This tour is co-sponsored by Friends of the Cemetery and the Hennepin History Museum. Suggested donation is $5.

What Would Your “Last Meal” on Earth Be?
Last Meal: What would be your last meal on earth and who would be your dining companions? Have a fun conversation with these questions as your starting point. The Last Meal celebration will feature gourmet sandwiches and desserts from The Salty Tart, a bakery owned and operated by nationally-acclaimed pastry chef, Michelle Gayer. The Salty Tart’s sandwiches and pastries have received rave revues – come see why she was nominated for a James Beard award and why she received four out of four stars from the Star Tribune. In addition to these tasty morsels, the meal will include locally-based salads and Ms. Kelly’s teas. The cost of the lunch is $10.

Murder and Mayhem and Last Meal Additional Details:
Where: Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery (2925 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN) When: Tours 10 am or 2 pm; lunch served at noon Parking: Free within Cemetery RSVP: The 10:00 am and 2:00 pm tours are limited to 50 people. Lunch reservations are required by noon, on Thursday, October 1.
Note: In case of rain or bad weather, lunch will be served at the
Midtown Global Market at 920 East Lake Street Please email or call Sue Hunter-Weir to reserve your space for the tour and lunch or (612)-874-9233.)

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Former Sears Employees Gathered at Midtown Global Market

005.04 SearsLadies

by Megan Swenson
Former employees of the Lake Street Sears department store, located in the Midtown Exchange building from 1928 to 1994, returned to the site of their old workplace, now home to Midtown Global Market, for a reunion on Thursday, September 17.

This was the first trip back to the historic building for many since Sears closed its doors on December 31, 1994.
Joyce Wisdom, executive director of Lake Street Council, was excited that so many came back to the area. “Lake Street has changed immensely since 1994. It was fascinating to talk with these employees about their memories of Lake Street and how it has changed since they worked here.”

The group met for a reunion, a continental breakfast prepared by the chefs at Midtown Global Market, a tour of the Market and The Chicago condos, and had a chance to share stories about their former place of employment.

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Inglourious Basterds & Cold Souls

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

*****
Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures
Lagoon
Drama/War/Dark Comedy/Adventure
Running Time: 152 minutes
Director: Quentin Tarantino

It’s Vichy 1941 and Hitler is occupying much of France. The unoccupied France (Vichy), is nervous, cautious and yet determined with the other Allies (U.S. hasn’t entered quite yet, not until after Pearl Harbor), to overthrow the Nazi regime. Quentin Tarantino’s Brad Pitt, playing an American Jewish avenger, Lt. Aldo Raine from the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, is a nod to Aldo Ray in Anthony Mann’s 1957 war movie, “Men in War”.

If one has seen a Tarantino film, “Inglourious Basterds” isTarantino all the way with periodic moments of humor interwoven with the grisly scenes. Deliberately spelled wrong from an Italian action pac (1978) by the same title, Tarantino’s version is only a quasi-remake. He divides “Inglourious Basterds” into five chapters starting with a teenage girl Shosanna Dreyfus (Melaine Laurent) escaping from Nazi Jew hunter Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and his Nazi band. Double spy Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), Shonsanna, Raine, Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), General Ed. French (Mike Myers) have a clandestine operation to appear at the premier of the German propaganda film, “Nation’s Pride” where the Nazi brass, Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and Hitler, will be present.

Raine, Sgt. Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth who was also in Tarantino’s “Grindhouse” and “Death Proof” as “Dov)” and other American Jewish soldiers reverse what’s happening in Germany. These men hunt and kill Nazis. Their claim to fame is scalping Nazis, living or dead.
Tarantino sets a strong tone starting from the opening scene. A dairy farmer, Perrier La Paditel (Denis Menochet), with his three daughters, receives an unwelcome visit from German Col. Hans Landa. Landa has come to investigate rumors about some unaccounted Jews, and with the agenda that La Paditel is hiding Jews. Landa comes across as a man with a sense of humor, in spite of his purpose to kill the Jews he finds. The scenes here are very tense and nail biting, building gradually every step of the way.

Christoph Waltz’s performance is terrific throughout “Inglourious Basterds”. His character is clever, cruel, manipulating, intuitive, and sometimes downright silly.

Cold Souls
***1/2
Journeyman Pictures
Running Time: 101 minutes
Director: Sophie Barthes

Mr. Giamatti plays himself rehearsing for Chekov’s play, Vanya, and finds he is unduly frustrated with the play. At home, Paul fares no better, losing sleep, appetite disrupted, his wife Claire (Emily Watson) at a loss about her husband’s behavior. Paul sees an ad where a person can have his or her soul removed temporarily and repossessed. He meets Dr. Flintstein (David Strathairn) to have his soul removed through a machine much like the MRI machine.

Paul’s journey now moves into more murky territory after he befriends Russians trading souls on the black market in an underground line to and from the U.S. Moreover Paul’s ability to perform the Russian play Vanya, after his soul is lifted from his body, is worse than before his soul was removed. One of the Russian smugglers, Sveta (Katheryn Winnick), is connected to the Russian mob.

Existentialism is at the artery of the film as Paul begins to realize he wants his soul back. The undercurrent of Barthes’ characters – although God isn’t mentioned – is that God gave people (and perhaps animals) souls to be cherished, not to be defiled or sold.
Contact Howard or visit his website.

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Sports Talk

By Ray Jay & Young Dex

We must start this edition with a warm heart felt congratulations to The Minnesota Lynx WNBA basketball team, that just missed the playoffs, by two games. A season in which star player, Siemone Augustas, suffered a season ending injury in game four. Congrats to Lynx head coach, Jennifer Gillom, for her ability to rally the team, and keep them very competitive, losing six games by three points or less. We predict that they will be one of the best teams in the WNBA come next season. From players to fans, the good spirits flowed all season long!
At press time, in the WNBA payoffs, defending WNBA Champion, the Detroit Shock, are up 1-0, in their best of five series against the Indiana Fever, in The Eastern Conference finals, and the Phoenix Mercury, are up 1-0, against the Los Angeles Sparks, in the Western Conference finals. Young Dex picks Los Angeles to win it all. I chose defending champion Detroit. The Lynx played well against all four of the finalist, during the regular season, while missing Ms. Augustus.

Will The Timberwolves be as successful? One would hope for a little more success, but only time will tell. The team is already suffering from a bad draft decision, in that, first round draft choice, Ricky Rubio, ( picked instead of Stephen Curry, considered by many to be the best player available in this years draft), has declined to play for the Timberwolves and decided to stay in Spain. The Timberwolves will surely build this team around Al Jefferson, and fans can’t wait to the skills of 1st round draft picks, Jonny Flynn, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, who will all have to excel as rookies, (for a team that finished 21st, last year, out of 30 teams in points per game), for the T-Wolves to be competitive. It is hard for us fans to say the words, REBUILDING YEAR, but with a very high level of optimism, you can at least call it that! Let’s call a X a X, and an O an O.

On to football and The Minnesota Vikings, who are 3-0 at press time, having “pulled out” a win against the San Francisco 49ers at game’s end. They are looking pretty good and we thought they could handle the 49ers, and go to 3-0 early in this 2009-2010 season although we must admit we didn’t expect them to wait until the last 2 seconds. Getting rid of wide receiver, Bobby Wade, may come back to haunt them, however.

As for our baseball team, The Minnesota Twins, at press time, were two games in back of the Detroit Tigers, for the Central Division title, as neither seems to be equipped to catch the Boston Red Sox, for the wild card spot. One day, Minnesota, we will have a professional sports team, that others in the league will be trying to catch, and that time may come with this years Viking team, or next years Lynx team. Go Minnesota Gophers, Oops that’s not professional; OH WELL!

For Comment and feedback, please contact Young Dex and Ray Jay.

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THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS EXPANDED; Or Has It Really?

PART II, Where do we go from here?

By Raymond Jackson

This sequel to last month’s, ‘War On Drugs’ article will help to answer readers questions, such as Gina P. of South Minneapolis, who asked, “What do the officiados/doctors say  about this growing dilemma?

“What can we actually do about it?”

“What are some warning signs?”

This follow up article does contain excerpts from the initial article.

Remember that it’s all about educating and saving lives!

Crack-cocaine continues to rage the inner-city, most particularly, inner-city communities with large populations of people of color. Methamphetamine has still not had a huge negative impact in these communities, even though it is cheaper than crack-cocaine. Do marketing strategies, by those making the most profits; have something to do with this dilemma? Absolutely, yes it does!

So who are the big profiteers of crack-cocaine sales?  Certainly not the low level street corner distributors. Nor is it the ‘Scarfaces’, as main stream media would like to make us believe. The Tony ‘Scarface’ Montanas, have a tendency to go out just like he did, and guess who steps right in to profit from his removal.  Perhaps they are different entities that take hold, seize, sale and profit.  There are many so-called, legal profiteers, people making large amounts of cash, off of illegal activities, who are backed by our system. In these larger scale elimination efforts, the seized property brings in millions and the drugs seem to find their way back to the streets.

Although many consider Meth to be cheaper and more powerful than crack-cocaine, because of its make-up,(household products, etc.), the profiteers of Meth, seem to be more low level, somewhat ordinary people.

So what is ‘The War on Drugs’, really about? It appears to be about profiteering off of the ones, who for whatever reason, have become addicted to drugs .Even though that concept has only recently and slowly started to apply to two of the most addictive, and deadly drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, of whom humongous profits are made, the LEGAL drugs remain somewhat exempt from ‘The War on Drugs’, which is leading to a new found drug epidemic, which is actually very old.

This epidemic consists of highly addictive legal drugs that go under the moniker of painkillers. Because they are legal, and the big profiteers from them, is the pharmaceutical industry, it will be quite awhile before they are made a relevant part of ‘The War on Drugs’. Long considered a Suburban high, painkilling drugs, such as Percecet, Oxycodiene and Vicodine, have found their way into the inner-city. Many addicts trying to get off of crack-cocaine have resorted to these highly addictive pain medications as a way out, only to become addicted to these alternative drugs.  A lot cheaper, but just as destructive and deadly!

One could even include the various types of sleeping medications into this epidemic. These pills sell for 2-5 dollars each on the street, so therefore the big profit is being made by the manufacturers, who charge millions to the Health Insurance companies that cover these medications. These pills were once the choice of unemployed suburban housewives and their associates. Just as we, the inner-city communities, had to wean each other away from the Prozac fountain, we will have to do the same with these prescription medications.

AMERICA WAKE UP! According to a Pain Specialist, who spoke under the condition of anonymity; “The state of Minnesota is very strict when it comes to pain killing medication. Their one strike and you’re out concept drives many a recovering addict back into the streets, looking for pain relief. This state does not take into account that we are all human, and humans do make mistakes. In most games there lies a multiple strike or fouls clause. You know, like in baseball, three strikes and you’re out. If a client tests positive for non-legal medications, we have no choice but to either, ignore the positive test or simply take them off of our care. They usually wind up in jail or dead as a result of this strict enforcement. It’s like we just give up on them,” he said. “These laws and regulations must be changed or modified, for the sake of humanity.”

As long as high society profits, there will be no pending regulatory efforts. Aren’t you tired of being bamboozled!

So what one can do is question the need of the prescription. Be very careful when it comes to signing pain contracts that are very open ended and vague. Have someone close to you monitor your doses. Do not tell others that you are on pain medication. And if you feel a growing desire to take more than what the dosage is prescribed; do not hesitate to get professional help in getting off the medication.

Raymond Jackson is a staff writer and can be reached for comments and opinions.

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“…There are those that use pain meds appropriately…”

As I sit in my pain clinic reading Mr. Jackson tear apart pain meds without acknowledging legitimate use, I find myself getting angrier every line I read. I did not ask to be on pain meds just like I did not ask to be hit while on a motorcycle by a truck by an ass text messaging while driving. The obvious omission of a small insert of “there are those that use pain meds appropriately as well as those who don’t” pisses me off. I pointed this out to those that bring this rag to this office and was promised I would not see it here again. Write about all the people we see texting while driving. They are killing more people than pain meds!!!!!!! Write about something you actually LIVE instead of what you assume. I took your rag so that I can express my disgust to all the people who purchase ad space so they think twice before choosing to spend their money on your space. Lots of papers out there besides yours. I live & work in the area and am ashamed to be represented in such a non-objective way.

Lisa Widman

Editor’s Note: Lisa Widman’s objections are taken seriously and certainly illustrate how personal and significant all of the specific, underlying issues of health care generally become because they are so loaded with in-depth moral issues. Raymond’s article was talking about drugs that have a legitimate medical use finding their way to the streets for illegitimate, illegal use. The Alley welcomes her critic and the opportunity to learn again that such delicate topics need to underscore the main points being made even more clearly.

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Horsefly Swish

by Peter Molenaar

Unlike the pensive almost melancholy feeling induced, for example, by a visit to my childhood fishing haunts, the annual tour of the “Great Minnesota Get Together” is for me always an invigorating adventure. Jersey cows, fine arts, tractor prices, eco-technology, countryside crafts and preserves…

Then, after lightly caressing the giant pumpkins in the horticulture display, the “Pioneer Heritage House” was spotted. So enter, please. In their combined effect the representative household objects of my not-so-distant ancestors evoked the suspension of time. And then, oddly juxtaposed to everything else, there it was—the horsefly swish.

The creator of this “swish” lived in the glory days of the horse and buffalo culture. Crafted from half a horse’s tail and an eight-inch shaft of polished pipestone, its original possessor was a distinguished and dignified hunter (Lakota warrior?). No doubt this object had served the ceremonial regalia even as the rider’s mount appreciated its use in fending off biting flies.

Flash to Vietnam via Thanhnien News.com…

Elders will recall the name: Lieutenant Calley of My Lai massacre fame. Calley just recently apologized for his role in the slaughter of hundreds of peaceful villagers some 40 years ago. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families…There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse…I am very sorry.” Now free, Calley intends to revisit the site.

Why then does Leonard Peltier remain in prison—parole denied once again? He is at least ten times more innocent than he is guilty. So now, the fact is the better part of my generation is compelled to contemplate the increments of his passing even as we contemplate our own.
Other soldiers have returned to My Lai, succumbing to tears as they do, in the midst of big hugs from survivors emerging from the blue.
Horsefly swish…free Leonard.

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