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What’s Up at the Franklin Library-March 2010

By Erin Thomasson
Children’s Programs
Sheeko Caruur Af-Soomaali ah/World Language Storytime: Somali. Tues. March 2–May 25, 6–7 p.m. La wadaag bugagga, sheekoyinka, jaan-gooyada maansada iyo muusikada Soomaalida. Ages 2 and up. Experience the world in other languages.
Cuentos y Canciones/World Language Storytime: Spanish
Thur., March 4–May 27, 6 p.m.
Para niños de 2 años en adelante. Comparta y disfrute con sus niños libros, cuentos, rimas y música en español. Ages 2 and up. Share books, stories, rhymes and music in Spanish.
Waxbarasho iyo Ciyaar Caruureed Af-Soomaali ah/Somali Play and Learn
Fri., March 5 & 19, 10:30 a.m.
Dhammaan caruurta ka yar da’ dugsi. Ka soo qaybgal sheekooyin caruur, heeso iyo hawlo waxbarasho. Join us for stories, songs and activities!
Hip Hop Hippety Hop
Fri., March 12, 4 p.m. K and up. Hop on over to learn about rabbits through fun activities.
Kids Book Club
Fri., March 26, 4 p.m. G 4-6. Join other kids to talk about a great book! No pre-reading required! We will share a story and discuss.
Preschool Storytime
Wed., 10:30-11 a.m. 4 to 6. Help your preschooler get ready to read. Enjoy stories together and build language skills.

Teen Programs
O.P.E.N. Time
Tue., March 2–May 25, 4–5 p.m. G 6 and up. Options for Play and Enrichment Now Time provides just that: options. Come downstairs to the Teen Center and choose from computers, magazines, board games, video games, brain teasers, conversation with friends and more!
Group Games
Tue., March 2–May 25, 5–6 p.m. G 6 and up. No consoles needed! Learn social games designed for large groups of all ages: Charades, Wink, Mafia, Whiz Bam, Thumper, Taboo and others. Sure to make you laugh!
Teens Talk Tue., March 2–May 25, 6–8 p.m. G 6 and up. Take time to enjoy old friends and make new ones at the Teen Center with something simple: talking. Discuss any topic or current event, play word games or simply answer “Would you rather…?” questions.
Design Club. Wed., March 3–May 26, 5–6 p.m. G 6 and up. Get creative! Design and take home T-shirts, posters, jewelry, magnets and other creations. Check out the posters at Franklin Library to see what project is coming up!
Art With a Cause
Thur., March 4–May 27, 4–6 p.m. G 6 and up. A youth arts and activism program focused on social awareness and vehicles for expression such as visual art, writing, media and social action.
Game On! Gaming Thursdays
Thur., Mar. 4 & 18, 6-8 p.m.
G 6 and up. Play PS2 or Wii games at the library! Grab a friend, bring your favorite board or card game, or play ours!
Theater Arts Workshop
Thur., March 11, March 25, April 8, April 22 & May 6, 6 –8 p.m. G 6 and up. Get out of your comfort zone and have some fun as you play theater games, practice prose and express yourself through performance. In these workshops, everyone is the star of the show!

Adult Programs
Healthy Eating on a Budget
Tue, March 2, 2–3 p.m.
Held at Franklin Learning Center, in the lower level of Franklin Library. Learn to make healthy food choices, even when your budget is tight! Presented in partnership with the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic.
Seniors Play Reading Group
Fri., Mar. 12, 10:30a.m.–12:30 p.m. Join us for a stimulating morning of reading and discussing some of the great plays of our heritage. For additional information, call the library, 952-847-2925.
Nonfiction Book Discussions for Elder Learners. Fri., Mar. 12, 1–3 p.m. Join us for a stimulating discussion of nonfiction books. For additional information, call the library, 952-847-2925.
Memoir Writing Group
Thur., Mar. 18, 1–2:30 p.m.
Would you like to create a record of your personal history? Bring what you have written and are willing to read to the group – for helpful comments and suggestions. Contact Franklin Library staff at 952-847-2925 if interested.
Círculo de Lectores en Español para Adultos/Spanish-Language Book Club for Adults. Sat., Mar. 20, 11 a.m.–noon. Participa en el Círculo de Lectores para leer con nosotros las mejores novelas Latinoamericanas por escritores Latinos. Para más información llama 952-847-5648. Participants will read and discuss the greatest Latin American novels written by Latinos. Call 952-847-5648.

Phillips Technology Center:
Register online for these classes and more or call 952-847-2925
Computer Basics Workshop
Thur., March 4 & 25, noon–2 p.m. and Friday, March 26, 1–3 p.m. Learn and bring questions about basic mouse and keyboarding skills, creating an e-mail account, using the Internet and scanning (where available).
Microsoft PowerPoint: Multimedia Tips
Thur., March 4, 6–8 p.m.
Use multimedia tips and tricks such as auto transitions, audio and video to dress up your presentations. Prerequisite: Microsoft PowerPoint: Basics or familiarity with presentation software is highly recommended.
Searching and Applying for Jobs Online. Sat., March 6, noon–1 p.m. Conduct a more effective job search by learning about valuable job hunting tools you can use at the library or online from anywhere.
Fasal Kumbuyuutar Af-Soomaali ah/Computer Class in Somali. Sat., March 6–May 29, 1–2 p.m.
Ka baro fasalkan sida loo isticmaalo kumbuyuutarka. Ka baro adeegsiga Microsoft Word, Intaraneedka, iimeylka, xog-kaydiyaha iyo kaataloogga Maktabadda Degmada Hennepin. Fasalkaaan waa lacag la’aan wuxuuna ku bixi doonaa Af-Soomaali. Wac Warsame, 952.847.5662, wixii faahfaahin ah. Learn the basics about computers; how to use Microsoft Word, the Internet, e-mail, the library catalog and databases. Classes, taught in Somali, are for beginners and intermediate-level users and are free. Call Warsame, 952.847.5662, for more information.
Senior Surf Day Wed., Mar. 17, 10:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m. Learn computer basics, how to navigate and search the Internet and how to access websites of interest to seniors. Get hands-on computer experience from representatives of the Senior LinkAge Line®
E-mail: Intermediate
Thur., March 25, 6–8 p.m.
Learn how to use folders, view and attach files to an e-mail and set up an e-mail address book using a Yahoo! account.
OpenOffice: Basics
Fri., March 26, 10a.m. – noon p.m. Registration required, begins Feb 26. Register online or call 952.847.2925. OpenOffice is a free, multiplatform office suite that can be used to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Learn how to use Open Office in the library and how to download and install the program at home or work.

Franklin Learning Center:
952-847-2934
The Franklin Learning Center offers free, one-to-one tutoring for adults who are learning English and math, preparing for the GED and citizenship exams, and gaining life skills. We are always looking for community volunteers! No experience necessary; we provide training and materials. Contact us at 952-847-2934.

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SEARCHING – a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 12: The Raid

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

People running in all directions. Shouting. Horns. Babies screaming. Right in front of him, an old man tripped on the ice and fell face down, splitting open his upper lip and breaking his nose. Blood poured out upon his worn Vikings sweater and onto the fresh snow. What is going on? Angel thought. Did someone get shot?

He began to walk towards the uproar that was centered at Bloomington and Lake. Three or four SUV’s with dark tinted windows were blocking the intersection. Cops were putting up barricades. A mother holding a baby and pulling a toddler along by the sleeve of his jumpsuit yelled at him: “!La Migra! ¡Corre! ¡Corre!”. And so he ran, away from the immigration raid, from the chaos and noise. He ran smack into the back of a girl in a sky blue coat, knocking both of them to the ground. As he struggled to pick himself up, he said “I’m so sorry” and held his hand out to help her. He noticed there was a large rip in his pants, and the skin was red and stinging, as if someone had slapped him.

She turned around and said, “That’s OK, I was…” and stopped. It was Luz, her face red, bits of snow clinging to the fake fur of her hood. “Angel…what are doing here?”
“Luz, oh my God, it’s good to see you. I’ve missed you so much”.
“I missed you too.”
For a moment—you know that moment if you’ve loved and been loved—the street disappeared, the people running, the loudspeakers of the police ordering people to be calm. It was as if all power was concentrated in their eyes, as if they were breathing, thinking, believing just with their eyes: young, hungry, free.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” Luz said, and began to cry. “I think they got Uncle Jaime”.
Angel touched her shoulder gently, and said, “Let’s go.”
They ran down an alley, slipping on the ice under the snow, grabbing each other’s arms. As if by magic, a door appeared. Their eyes, shrunken to pinpoints by the sun and snow, could barely see inside the dark space but somehow they found the stairway and began to climb: one floor after another, until they arrived at the last door. It opened into a dark space full of strange and beautiful shapes. Giant turtles, heads of mice, a dragon that went on forever, a sun made of mirrors and painted stones.
“Look, Angel”, Luz whispered. “It’s Maria and José—Mary and Joseph. And look over there—a donkey!”
“What are they doing here?” Angel whispered back. “Where are we? What is this place?”
“And why are we whispering when no one else is here?” Luz answered, in a perfect stage whisper that made both of them laugh.
Angel leaned against the cardboard frame of what appeared to be a boat. He breathed in the smell: dust, paint, Luz.
Luz looked at him intently, her large brown eyes now fully dilated.
“How have you been, Angel?” she asked. “I’ve been praying for you.”
“I know, Mother Light told me”, he said. And then said something he wasn’t sure he believed, until the words came out of his mouth: “And I could feel it—I could feel you—when I was hurt, when it felt like I was swimming in a dark hole. Darker than this place. Darker and not so kind.”
“I think that was death you were swimming in.”
“Death? Whose death? Mine?”
“I don’t think it’s your death, exactly. I think—I don’t know, maybe it’s the death of our people, or the death of the whole world.”
“You’re scaring me now, Luz”, Angel said, moving a little closer to her. But I’m actually feeling less scared than I have in a long time, he thought.
“I think you know that’s not true”, and she lifted her hand to touch Angel’s cheek, letting her fingers linger.
“So what do we do now?” Angel asked.
“We need to stay here until it’s over”, Luz said, “Maybe we should sit down. We could tell each other stories.”
“Ghost stories?”, Angel laughed.
“No, our stories. Where we’ve come from and what we’re searching for”.
“I don’t know much about that”, Angel said, sighing.
“Yeah, right! You hear the owl, you find me, you get beat up and left for dead, you’re healed by Mother Light, you run into me—literally—right in the middle of a raid by the Migra. No stories at all!”
Angel shook like he had indeed just heard a ghost story.
“How do you know about the owl?”, he asked.
“Mi amor, I’ve been hearing that owl since I was a little girl…”

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100 Year Old Church is a Treasure within 129 Year Old Legacy and 1500 Years of Welsh Culture

Moses led Welsh Congregation from Franklin Avenue to Lake Street 100 Years Ago. Minneapolis’ Welsh Congregation formed in Phillips in 1881 and worshipped at Franklin and 17th Avenues in a church they outgrew by 1911. They built a new church on 15th Avenue near Lake Street and were led by Reverend John Moses, their first permanent pastor having served them 28 years before they moved to the new $30,000.building drawn by drafstman William J. Williams who lived at 2433 11th Avenue. See also, The Alley Vol. 33 #2 april 2008 Page 4 “Moses Led Welsh Church from Franklin Avenue to Near Lake Street.

By Sue Hunter Weir

Since at least the 1880s, what we now call the Phillips Neighborhood, has been home to thousands of immigrants and their families, many of whom are buried or have relatives buried, in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. Their contributions to the city’s early development are among the reasons why the cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Sites (the only cemetery in Minnesota honored with that designation). Many of those buried in the cemetery, quite literally, built the city of Minneapolis. Their presence is still visible throughout the Phillips Neighborhood most notably in many of the old churches which functioned not only as places of worship but as places where the language and culture of the “old country” was celebrated and preserved.

Among those buried in the cemetery are several named Evans, Hughes, Jones, Morris and Williams—most of them the children of Welsh immigrants. (If your house is 100 years old and located between 15th and 17th Avenues from Franklin Avenue to Lake Street, there’s a good chance that someone with one of those names lived in, or built, your house). This year marks the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Welsh Church located at 2917 15th Avenue South, on the edge of the parking lot behind In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. It was the last Welsh church built in Minneapolis.
From 1883 until their new Welsh Church opened its doors in 1911, the church’s congregation met in a church located at the intersection of Franklin and 17th Ave. In a history of the church that was published in 1931, in honor of the congregation’s 50th anniversary, William Jones noted that most of the church’s early members “lived within walking distance of their church.” As members of the congregation moved farther south in the city, they felt the need to build a new church in “a more convenient location,” and moved all the way from Franklin Avenue to Lake Street.

On April 15, 1910, the congregation applied for a permit to build a new church, the last one that would be so closely identified with Welsh language and culture. The church was designed by one of its members, Mr. William J. Williams, an architectural draftsman, who lived at 2711 16th Avenue South. Much of the construction work was done and many of the materials were provided by companies located in the neighborhood, including Hughes Heating and Electric, a company which is still in business. The church cost $30,000, a large sum of money in 1910, and the members of the congregation, who took great pride in their thrift and frugality, paid off all but $1,300 of the mortgage by the time that the congregation held its first service in their new church on September 8, 1911.

Music is the heart and soul of Welsh culture, so it was only a few years after the church opened that the congregation purchased a new pipe organ for $4,000. The fundraising effort was led by Hennepin County Commissioner John W. Williams, a druggist whose business was located at 12th and Franklin;
Church membership was approximately 200 people until the late 1930s. By then, fewer people spoke the language, and marriage outside of the Welsh community was common. The congregation disbanded in 1948, but since then the church has been home a number of different congregations, many of them with ethnic and cultural ties. Today it is home to the very active congregation of Iglesia de Dios Monte Sinai.

“1500 Years of Welsh Poetry in an Hour”
An Evening Celebrating Welsh Culture
Potluck at 6:00 PM
Program at 7:00 PM
Featuring John Good of Musical Group “Tramor” Presenting the Poetry. Free and Open to the Public At the Cultural Wellness Center
1527 East Lake Street

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Food obsession: Gingerbread

By Jane Thomson

Note: “Food Obsession” will be a column written by Jane Thomson often, if not regularly, in The Alley.

I am not a “foodie”, but I like to eat and am also a constant dieter – thus the obsession. I welcome anyone else’s sending in his own food article, perhaps focusing on informed healthy eating or on world hunger (as related to neighborhood action), subjects which I am not exceptionally well informed about.
Focus on gingerbread: Such a recipe calls for ingredients that are often already on hand, so you can make it on impulse. “Gingerbread” is also the word used to describe the wooden trim often seen on Victorian houses in the Phillips neighborhood.

The first recipe is for a classic gingerbread. Clipped awhile ago from The Star Tribune, it is called “Gingerbread from 1930”. When you make it, you should be wearing a cotton housedress, an apron, thick cotton stockings, and tie shoes with Cuban heels – all well worn and mended. I do not necessarily recommend this costume for male cooks.

1/3 cup of butter, softened – (it helps to have all ingredients at room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
½ cup of molasses
2 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon; ginger; nutmeg; cloves; baking powder; baking soda

Grease and flour a 9” x 13” pan and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Mix together eggs, milk and molasses. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with liquids. Bake in pan for about 35 minutes, testing to see if the cake is firm and done in the middle. Gingerbread is good with lemon sauce. Would you like cream cheese with that? Thin the cheese with cream or milk. Or you could have a wholesome dessert by topping the cake with lemon or vanilla fat-free yoghurt.

Blueberry Gingerbread is somewhat like a pudding.
1 box of gingerbread mix
water
1 pint of fresh blueberries (I suggest substituting mulberries. More about that another time.)

Thoroughly grease two coffee cans. Make gingerbread mix as instructed on the box, omitting eggs. Fold in blueberries. Spoon the batter into the cans. Put the cans on top of small racks or cookie cutters in a very large pan. Put water in the pan high enough to submerge the bottom of the cans. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat; cover the pan and simmer for two hours. Be sure the water does not boil away. When the gingerbreads are done and cool enough to handle, either turn them out onto plates, or just serve from the cans. This is good enough for a holiday dessert. For topping see above; or have ice cream or whipped cream.

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Thinking Ahead Connecting a Midtown Greenway Streetcar to Lake Street

by Joyce Wisdom

Thinking ahead to what the results would be of a new Streetcar system in the Midtown Greenway and envisioning strategies to meet those results before it becomes reality was the topic of a study by four CURA students from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Blending Midtown Greenway Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Streetcar Traffic with existing Lake Street businesses, traffic and culture

Jeremy Jones, Simon Blenski, Nicole Doran, and Kyle Weimann presented the results of their study recently to a combined meeting of the Boards of the Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Lake Street Council. Here are their recommendations on connecting a new Midtown Greenway streetcar line with the existing Lake Street and vicinity business community and activity:

  • Small businesses must be actively engaged
  • to ensure the business ecosystem is not disrupted
  • so that businesses are not priced out of the market.
  • Encourage and support more commerce in the Greenway trench, such as the Freewheel Bike Center.
  • Consider implementing a larger Greenway-Lake Street Improvement District
  • to assist with maintenance and
  • consistent branding.

Development at Streetcar Stations
At the various stations, they recommended:

  • branding with icons to reinforce identity and memory
  • preserving the Greenway character,
  • a business node presence,
  • and connections to various transit, biking, and pedestrian options clearly marked.

Uptown Station; land use that is mixed use, mixed density, and transit oriented. Buildings should be aligned to engage the Greenway.

Chicago Ave. Station; be placed for close connection to the Midtown Greenway stairs up to Lake Street. Chicago & Lake already has several positive attributes for a streetcar connection, including a mix of local & regional destinations and the Chicago-Lake Transit Station.

Bloomington Ave. Station; a transformation into an interactive neighborhood space. The connection to and from Lake Street could be enhanced with lighting and public art. They also suggested creating a neighborhood destination near this Greenway streetcar stop, such as an amphitheater.
The students briefly touched on recommendations for other streetcar stations as well, including wayfinding, pedestrian, and aesthetic considerations, and redevelopment of Nicollet Ave.

The students ended with recommendations for the future:

  • ensure plans are compatible with the Greenway Corridor rezoning,
  • develop strategies for small businesses,
  • engage stakeholders,
  • and work toward a vision of a cohesive Midtown corridor that includes both the Greenway and Lake Street.
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East Phillips Improvement Coalition Policy Statement Summary in Opposition to Xcel Hiawatha Powerline Proposal

At the request of the EPIC Board, Carol Pass, Board President, submitted a 35 Page Position Statement to the State Of Minnesota Office Of Administrative Hearings For The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) expressing the community’s strong opposition to these Overhead High Voltage Electrical Transmission Lines.
The brief focused on three issues:
Health:

  • The U.S. National Academy of Science, National Research Council report (1997) stated that the link between power line wire-code rating and childhood leukemia “is statistically significant (unlikely to have arisen from chance) and is robust”.
  • While the risk to human health at the current state of research appears to be small, the statistical significance of health study findings is that there IS a risk.
  • The Children of Phillips are already at risk from multiple sources and issues, of which we are well aware, especially since the education we all received in facing down the Midtown Burner.

Economic Issues:

  • Dean Dovolis of DJR Architects,  architect and developer stated: “I am convinced through work with these and other developers …. that overhead high voltage power lines will severely damage future prospects for development investments anywhere nearby. In addition, such power lines could undo much of the valuable work that has already gone on. The increased risk of loss of market value and probable insurability problems would be enough to cause developers to put their future investment elsewhere.”
  • “It should also be considered that those who own homes, businesses and rental property would undoubtedly suffer a serious economic loss in potential resale value. The area as a whole would suffer long term damage resulting from the loss of future transit-oriented and other development,” Dean Dovolis reported.

Ethical Issues:

  • The ethical issues involve the subjection of this ethnically diverse and economically challenged community to the probability of more health and economic threats for the purpose of allowing Xcel Energy the cheapest way of providing power to its largest electrical customers.
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March 2010 Dave’s Dumpster

March 2010 Dave's Dumpster

March 2010 Dave's Dumpster

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Guacamole Dip

by Peter Molenaar

With considerable frequency, the convenient Lake Street Latin food offerings prevail as the most satisfying answer as to what to eat next. A fat burrito with a side of guacamole does the trick. Invariably, it is observed, a corn chip with a lush dollop of the guacamole enters the mouth first. Savored with eyes closed, it is said to be a short cut to heaven.

The naïve person will google guacamole for the recipe only to find hundreds of variations. The ripe avocado shall be extended with some ratio of mayonnaise, and or sour cream, cream cheese, or even yoghurt. For flavor bits, one might add diced tomatoes, chile peppers, onions, garlic, pimentos, black olives, grated cheese, or even a hard boiled egg. Lemon or lime juice? Cilantro, coriander, cumin, salt, sugar, red or black pepper? Okay.

But what? During Superbowl 44, most of us were racing to the bottom of our guacamole dip while transcending “the grudge” to become Who-Dat-Nation fans. This we did even as another race to the bottom went unnoticed. I am referring to the ongoing worldwide race to the bottom on wages and working conditions.

Two days before the Super Bowl, a global workers’ rights advocate and watchdog group issued a report about the sweatshop in El Salvador where the $80 Peyton Manning jerseys were sewn. The workforce there, about 80 percent women, are paid the equivalent of 10 cents an hour. They are in essence forced to work over 60 hours a week with no overtime pay.

A workers’ spokesperson stated: “When we were making these jerseys we didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom, nor to drink water. Sometimes we didn’t even leave for our breaks so as not to fall behind in the work. The factory is very hot. By afternoon we are dead tired.”

Such is the logic of capitalism, especially the de-regulated “free trade” variety favored by the dominant wing of “our” capitalists. Meanwhile, the U.S. based garment industry has been closing plants for decades. It is said that working people everywhere will be sucked into this “endless spiral to the bottom”. Or, will we?

For centuries the capitalist ruling class has extolled the raptures of their own super bowl of guacamole dip. The chosen few have had their moment in heaven. I suggest that an “explosion from below” will inevitably blow the top off. This too is the logic.

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SPORTS TALK: March 2010

By Ray Jay and Young Dex
Sunday January 22, 2010, 9:28 P.M.,
The strings on my heart are being pulled with such force, that I felt compelled to immediately begin writing the March edition of Sports Talk. What I and Dex had just witnessed in the NFC Championship game, our Minnesota Vikings vs. The New Orleans Saints, was nothing short of a triple dosage of DISGUST. Mind you, I go back to the days of the Purple People Eaters, if you know what I mean?

Disgust 1: Our Vikings had, in the past three hours, turned the ball over 5 times; two of those took place in that area of almost guaranteed scoring, deemed the red zone, which resulted in a forfeiture of at least six points, as the Vikings went on to lose this game. A game the Vikings seemed to not want to win and a game the Saints seemed to not be able to win!

Disgust 2: Million dollar quarterback, Brett Favre’s, decision to throw the ball, instead of running through a hole so large, that even I could have limped through it for 6 or 7 yards, which would have put the Vikings well within kicker Ryan Longwell’s range to attempt to win the game in regulation time. The throw resulting in an interception, instead of a forty something yard field goal attempt.

Disgust 3: The Vikings having 12 men in the huddle, which resulted in a five yard penalty on the play before the interception.

Disgust 4: Well, I guess there were more than three disgusting moments, in that the referees made three very questionable calls, all against the Vikings, on the Saints overtime, opening winning drive. That resulted in a forty yard field goal made by the Saints rookie kicker.
Excuse me for a moment, I feel like I’m gonna throw-up. I will finish this episode of Sports Talk in a couple of weeks.

February 7, 2010.
I feel much better. The Super Bowl has just been completed, matching the New Orleans Saints against The Indianapolis Colts. We decided early on to support our President Obama in this year’s Super Bowl prognostication. Both Young Dex and I totally agree with the Prez, in that we would love to see the Saints win it all, but The Indianapolis, Peyton Manning led, Colts, appear to be too powerful. A pick that covers all bases, no matter who wins. The 2009-2010 Super Bowl final score, New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17; what a game!!! So that’s it for this NFL season, we don’t know about you, but we just don’t know if our Vikings will get another chance. Guess it all depends on who shows up to training camp; Brett Childress, or Brad Favre!

Other sports news includes, or actually we conclude, that the MN Wild are not very good. They remain in the lower tier of the NHL and just somehow always manage to lose the close ones. As for our MN Timberwolves, they are playing their best basketball of the year. Having won four straight, including victories over play-off bound Dallas and Memphis during that streak, they look promising. Now it’s up to management to keep this group together and realize that championship[p teams do not appear overnight. Champions come out of the same group playing together for several years. So Timberwolves management’ do not look at free agents, stick to a 2-3 player draft in June. Evaluate the most immediate needs, then go for them! In closing, we still believe the the MN Lynx have the best chance to represent MN as champions. That thought was greatly enhanced through obtaining former Gophers star, Lindsey Whalen, during the off season.

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1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

Update on the Backyard Initiative

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center
1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative
Community residents celebrated the first year of the BYI at the Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) on January 30th. Atum Azzahir, CWC Executive Director and facilitator of BYI community meetings, reviewed the progress that has been made:

  1. A community-authored definition of health
  2. A set of guiding principles for BYI work in the community
  3. An understanding of community dynamics before and after engagement
  4. Attention paid to the history and culture of the people in the Backyard
  5. The formation and development of Citizen Health Action Teams that have been working on designing projects to improve health
  6. The work of the Assessment and Analysis Teams that has transformed conventional assessment into a community-owned process, and
  7. The concept of a Community Commission on Health was developed and the formation of the Commission was approved by community members.

Participants left with a written report on results of the Listening Circles, a process in which community residents developed questions, were trained in facilitation and note-taking, recruited people for the Listening Circles, facilitated the discussion and took the notes, analyzed the notes using qualitative methods, and approved the report.

Since the BYI began, close to 300 residents have been involved in ongoing BYI meetings hosted by the Center. In addition, approximately 250 residents, participated in the Listening Circles that were held in the community. In the BYI Walk Around, more than 650 residents were interviewed, either in person or via telephone.

Quotes from people who have participated in the BYI throughout 2009:
“There is more than meets the eye in the people on the street, in the stores, and in the cars passing by.”
“The big institution is just people who have to be encouraged to come outside.”
“People want to work together but don’t know how.”
“We have more than we know, we know more than we say, we say more than you hear. Talking must be accompanied by listening.”
“The food was great! I love listening to different cultures speak of their experience.”
“Money is needed because it tells us we have done something worthwhile.”
“We don’t really need more money; we need more linkages to each other.”
“Help us to transform historical relationships between groups into working relationships which create and produce health. Please!”

The BYI Community Commission on Health is Launched
On February 16 the first official meeting of the BYI Community Commission on Health was convened at the Cultural Wellness Center with 25 people in attendance. They are members of the Backyard Initiative who have participated, struggled, and built a vision in the first year of the BYI and are committed to improving the health and healthcare of residents in the area. The Community Commission of Health will consist of about 35 members, drawn from the following:

1. The Allina BYI Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs)

  • Rebirthing Community: Bringing Elders & Youth Together
  • Establishing Anchor Families for children, youth and families
  • Mapping/Community History & Profiles
  • Alternative/Traditional Cultural Health Practices
  • Dakota/Lakota Language Revival
  • Assessment/Analysis Work Group
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ)
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Organizational Coalition Building
  • Environmental Health

2. Members of the Backyard Cultural Communities
3. Elders & Youth
4. Allina Staff: 3-5 seats, including SEIU
5. Media: The Alley and others as invited
6. Gretchen Musicant, Commissioner of Health
7. Minneapolis Department of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)

The Backyard Community Commission of Health will have the following purpose:
1. To protect and build the partnership and to assure the work of community is valued.
2. To monitor the health of the community.
3. To listen to the people in the community about their health concerns; to keep in touch with the pulse of the community.
4. To establish a “report card” to inform the community about the quality of services and outcomes of organization serving Backyard residents.
5. To educate people in the community about issues and available resources.
6. To build community capacity for taking responsibility for its own health.
7. To research, study and produce knowledge about conditions in the community and design solutions to change them.

All residents of the Backyard area (East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, Ventura Village, Phillips West, Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran) are welcome to attend BYI meetings. It is never too late to join a CHAT team. Contact the Cultural Wellness Center (612-721-5745) for more information.

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