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June 2010 Food Obsession: No Waste or No Waist

by Jane Thomson

It is criminal to waste food – so thought my late husband, grandmother, and mother-in-law. My mother, on the other hand, said it was good manners to leave a little food on your plate.

Surprisingly, so does Michael Pollan in his new book Food Rules (do not pay $12 for this book). I am in the middle on this issue: I know that gross waste of food is very wrong. I also think that cleaning your plate when you are already full is a double waste, first of the food and then of your figure and your health. The waste needs to be curbed earlier. Don’t buy more than you can use or preserve and smell it later, rotting at the back of your fridge. At meals, don’t overload your plate, as in “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” (eat it all, and soon they won’t be). If you are at an “All You Can Eat” restaurant, load up on vegetables and protein foods. They are the most expensive anyway, so you will get your money’s worth.

Speaking of vegetables, here is a formula for Salad dressing or dip for veggies, hardboiled eggs, etc.
Combine low –fat or fat-free plain yoghurt with cocktail sauce and sweet pickle relish and/or dill pickle relish. Use about three parts yoghurt to one part cocktail sauce and one part relish.
All right, this isn’t exactly a diet recipe, but it isn’t junk food either. It uses up some stale bread, stale or low quality cake, and some bananas. As long as the proportion of milk and eggs to baked goods is just about right, other things, like jam, raisins or nuts can be tucked in (the theory is kind of like meat loaf).

Banana Bread Pudding
(about 12 servings)
• About 5 ½ cups of bread or cake (I used 5 slices of good wheat bread and 4 slices of Cub Foods banana bread)
• 3 c. of milk (I used skim milk and a little fat-free half and half.)
• 4 eggs
• 1 t. vanilla
• 1/3 c. sugar
• ¼ t. salt
• ½ cup or more of powdered skim milk
• 4 bananas
• 1 T. of grated lemon peel (or a little nutmeg)
• A few T. of chocolate syrup
Turn oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” pan or comparable pan, or 2 pans.
Tear bread into small pieces. Put the salt in the mild and pour it on the bread to soak for a few minutes. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks by hand and add the sugar and vanilla. Fold the yolk mixture into the bread mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the rest. Layer in the pans with sliced bananas and squirts of chocolate syrup. Bake about 45 minutes. With the milks and eggs and bananas, this would not be the worst breakfast in the world.

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Are you curious about a bamboo shirt or hemp socks? Bamboo, Cotton, and Hemp Clothing add comfort and sustainability

by Paul Wallick and Raymond Jackson

Many people are becoming more eco-friendly, by recycling and reducing waste. Global changes conditions suggest these are a much needed and appreciated lifestyle changes. There is also increased awareness of how other practices will help the environment and the sustainability of our planet as well.

The fabrics we wear and use can be a huge contribution to our own comfort but also to the more natural and less harmful impact on the earth. Bamboo, hemp and organic cotton use is on the rise to help combat waste.

Bamboo, at first feel, one notices the softness and comfort ability, while learning more about its eco-friendly existence. Because of bamboo’s natural properties, which include moisture wicking, (keeps you dry); anti-microbial,(reduces odor); thermal regulating, (keeps you a few degrees cooler in the summer and a few degrees warmer in the winter); the t-shirts, shorts, pants and socks, are wonderful for yoga, bicycling and just an overall active lifestyle. In addition, bamboo is grown organically with no pesticides and fertilizers, which make it a healthy choice for you and the Earth!
Hemp fabric is four times stronger than cotton, so it lasts longer and gets softer with each use. Hemp is breathable, so it also keeps you be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter! Requiring very little water, hemp leaves topsoil in great shape and it resists bacterial growth.
Organic cotton is grown in chemical free fields and helps drastically to reduce the pesticides and fertilizers used in regular cotton growing. Organic cotton is perfect for people with sensitive skin, allergies or irritations. Organic clothing makes for healthier families.

One customer said, “I purchased a pair of the EarthVitality socks, and have never had a more comfortable pair of socks in my life. They are quickly spoiling me. My feet just feel so at ease. I highly recommend them to others.”

Chemical free and organic baby’s teething rings, storage jars, bio-degradable water bottles and travel mugs, as well as cleaning products and much more are available at EarthVitality, located on the south end of the Global Market, Lake Street and Chicago Avenue, in South Minneapolis. For more information call, 763-213-7265.
Paul Wallick, is owner of Earth Vitality.

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Maria Hoyos and Maria’s Café Honored by the City

Are you curious what “working hard and staying strong can do?”

by Raymond Jackson

Maria Hoyos and her Café’ that she owns and operates received a Business Resolution award from Mayor R.T. Rybak and The Minneapolis City Council on January 29th. Maria’s Café’ located at 1113 East Franklin Avenue, in the Ancient Traders Market, was recognized by the city for having been in business at this location for 10 years.

Having to overcome a variety of challenges leading to her success, the resolution presented to Mrs. Hoyos read: Maria’s Café has helped to improve the city of Minneapolis and the Phillips Neighborhood.’

Arriving in Minneapolis from Columbia, in 1979, Maria Hoyos brought with her a wealth of business experience. Combining that experience with her ability to prepare and present good food and good service, Maria opened Maria’s Breakfast Club in 1993. Her dream of a full scale restaurant was kept alive and she added her private catering and country club experience to receive the opportunity to open Maria’s Café, on East Franklin Avenue, in 1999. This opportunity was presented to her by The American Indian Neighborhood Development Corporation (new name of which is Great Neighborhoods Development Corporation).

Maria’s continues to flourish, offering breakfast and lunch seven days a week and to make a difference, not just in the Phillips Community, but in the entire city of Minneapolis. Maria’s assortment of specialty pancakes and other delightful treats keep people coming from all around.
“I really enjoy helping those in need, because my family and I know what it’s like to not have. I try to encourage others to work hard and stay strong as they follow their dreams. It is good the way the neighborhood makes us feel very accepted and I am very proud that they gave me a chance at success,” says Maria.

I recommend treating yourself and your family to breakfast or lunch soon at Maria’s.

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Police, Adjective & The Ghost Writer

Police, Adjective

by Howard McQuitter

Police, Adjective (2009)
***
Twentieth Century Fox
Lagoon
Running Time: 115 minutes
Language: Romanian
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Bucharest detective Cristi (Dragos Bucur) trails a teenage boy who may be a hashish user, trying to find his supplier. Cristi would rather stop what seems to be overkill in finding small quantities of drugs on a 16 or 17 year old boy. Examining cigarette butts after the boy or his friends leave isn’t what Cristi relishes doing.

Cristi’s boss (Vlad Ivanov, “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”) wants convictions; Cristi wants a far softer approach, clemency if you will, for a conviction can mean 15 years and ruin the boy’s life, which is against his conscience. Perhaps his boss’ draconian approach to the boy (we never know his name) is rooted in the Ceausescu regime (1965-1989), a former iron-fisted Communist rule in Romania.

“Police, Adjective” is certainly not for everyone unless one has extreme patience. Waiting for something is an excruciating experience.

The Ghost Writer

Read the rest of this entry »

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Dave’s Dumpster June 2010

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Thoughts From Smith Foundry

Smith Foundry 1855 East 28th St for over 80 years surviving to be the last manufacturer of metal in the Neighborhood. Smith employs 74 workers doing “green sand casting.” Check their website which includes artistic and industrial awards; www.smithfoundry.com

by Peter Molenaar

Folks driving 28th Street en route to Hiawatha Avenue and perhaps to Lake Street shopping are asked to glance right just east of Cedar Avenue. The rather unattractive dirty brown building seen there is home to Smith Foundry. Molten iron is sand cast within. This writer has survived 31 years of employment with Smith.

Actually, I am part of the aging remnant workforce which is credited with having saved the company. Such was the result of labor heroism coupled to the sad fact of our acquiescence to a one year take-away contract. For this we recently were rewarded with an all-you-can-eat in-plant pizza feed at which the office manager declared in her address: “You are the best.” Yes, I stuffed myself. But now a better contract has come due.

At present, more than half the laid-off guys have been rehired. This appears to bode well for business and employment in general inasmuch as foundries are bedrock to the “real” economy. Or, we might forecast a “blip” within the sea of uncertainty. In any case, foundry workers deserve a raise now.

Looking back, it is not the case that we were meek and cowardly a year ago. Our union business agent had been allowed a peek at the books. The bankruptcy was real. However, not disclosed was the degree to which the owners previously had bled the company to sustain the “high-life”. As always, we workers were made to pay for it when times got bad.

Time will tell…

Thinking about “owners”, a few weeks back I ran into Gary Smith, son of Clark Smith the original. Were it not for the class divide, Gary and I might actually have been friends. For starters, we are the same age. He informed me that he had suffered a stroke.

So, we ponder the after-life. It is said that very few rich people will see God in heaven. Yet every foundry worker, through arduous labor and sacrifice, has earned the right of passage. An infinity beyond all contradictions awaits us.

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Comments by residents who distributed the Alley insert on the BYI Assessment results on May 6th

“I met a lot of great people who work for the Alley newspaper.”
“Community gardens.”
“Burst into song with my neighbor!!!”
“ONE THANK YOU!”
“Met nice neighborhoods; getting together to garden later!”
“Nice neighbors”
“Beautiful gardens.”
“Clear litter-free sidewalks.”
“Encountered Census workers.”
“Very pretty clean yards.”
“Very quiet neighborhood.”
“I had a great time serving the community.”
“Powderhorn is beautiful in the spring!”
“Jude (new chiropractor) at Sabri Bldg (26 & Bloom) is interested if neighborhood is on the upswing – I thought (think) so.”
“I really enjoyed the nice people & viewing my old neighborhood. Also got good exercise.”
“Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender pride flags.”
“We were invited in to visit.”
“Nice to see, actually see the homes & businesses in the area.”
“Fun to get out in the community.”
“One woman came out & got the paper right after I dropped if off and said “thanks”.”
“People who were gardening were friendly.”
“Gave a copy of the Alley to two Latino men getting off work.”
“Was greeted by a friendly young peace person. He agreed to check-out the center-fold and to read my column on p.7.”
“A young kid said he reads the Alley all the time – his dad asked for one too.”

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Are you curious what’s happening in your “Backyard?” Backyard May Activities & Year’s Results

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Have you seen the BYI Health Assessment Report?
Community residents learned about the results of the Backyard Initiative community health assessment in several gatherings in May. The completed report includes the findings and recommendations from 21 Listening Circles and the walk-around survey of 676 community residents, with over 1,000 residents participating. The Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) that are now meeting to plan actions for health improvement are making sure that their ideas address the state of health and health concerns reported by residents in this assessment.

A full copy of the report is available at http://www.allina.com/backyard. Anyone wanting a hard copy of the complete report can call Ifrah Biyou at 612-262-0667.

A special four-page insert presenting the highlights of the report to the community was published in last month’s Alley newspaper (May edition). If anyone did not receive this edition and would like a copy of the insert, please call or drop by the Cultural Wellness Center.

On May 6, community residents, Allina employees and youth volunteers from the Augsburg Fairview Academy gathered at the Midtown Global Market to share food and pick up copies of the Alley to distribute the insert door-to-door within the Backyard. Over 60 people participated. When they returned to the market from distributing the insert, people were invited to write comments about their experience.

Backyard Celebration Event
On Thursday, April 29, Allina and the Cultural Wellness Center hosted a community meeting at the Allina Commons to celebrate the progress the partnership has made over the last year. Almost 100 people came from the neighborhood and community organizations. Community residents presented Allina President and CEO Ken Paulus, Interim President of Allina’s Center for Healthcare Innovation Bobbi Cordano, Director of Community Benefit Ellie Zuehlke, and President of Phillips Eye Institute Bill Kenney with bound copies of all the notes from all the Backyard community meetings since they began in December of 2008 and thanked Allina for investing in the community’s health by placing community residents at the core of the work.

Community Commission on Health
In the May meeting of the Commission on Health, Mike Christenson, Director of CPED (the City of Minneapolis’ Community Planning and Economic Development) presented information on the economic health of the Backyard area. He showed a slide presentation on such indicators as the number and location of crime, the number and location of foreclosures, and graphs showing job growth, levels of poverty, and changes in numbers of people of different cultures. Several people reported that this information shows more positives about the community than they expected.
Some of the questions raised by community residents were: How many people who live in the community are employed in the community? What about youth job opportunities? When there are new developments happening in the Backyard, how can more people who live in the community be hired to work on them? What money is coming into the community and for what? Who is that money benefitting?

Citizen Health Action Teams
The CHATs have been meeting twice a month to develop their ideas for health improvement and several CHATs will be presenting their projects to the Commission on Health this month to request funding for implementation. Each project must meet 15 criteria:

The project:

  1. Has as its ultimate goal to improve the health of residents of the Backyard, as defined by the Backyard definition of health.
  2. Is planned, developed, and carried out primarily by Backyard residents.
  3. Is inclusive; team members recruit new participants from the community with an interest in the project.
  4. Addresses the results of the Backyard assessment process – the Listening Circles and the Walk-around survey.
  5. Builds the capacity and leadership of Backyard residents – by teaching new skills and/or providing useful information. In other words, the process and the product of the project build health.
  6. Builds on what already exists, creates partnerships with or linkages to other projects/organizations.
  7. Does not duplicate what is already being done.
  8. Has the support of the community: research has been done (a survey or other form of information gathering) that shows there is support for the project.
  9. Creates positive ripple effects that go out into the community.
  10. If the project is culturally specific, it shows how its strategies and goals affect the health of the entire community, and includes ways that the learning from the project can be of use to other cultural communities.
  11. Has clear, feasible goals, with timelines for completing them.
  12. Has a well thought-out plan for achieving its goals.
  13. Has a detailed budget.
  14. Has a structure for documenting the results and the learning and reporting this back to the Commission.

Has a method of showing transparency and accountability to the community. It has a process for keeping clear records of the use of funds and produces a financial report.

It is not too late to join a CHAT or form a new one. We want to involve more community residents in this work. If you have an interest in working with your neighbors on a health-improvement project, and/or if you have a great idea to bring to the dialogue, please join us.

Call the Cultural Wellness Center, 612-721-5745, for more information.

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“Power Over” or “Shared Power”: Which Will It Be?

by Susan Gust

Northwestern Hospital began in 1882 in a humble abode with a simple mission —to serve the community by aiding its women and children. This is truly a well-intended and honorable goal. It is not that different now from the many human service nonprofits in our community which begin with the singular, compelling and well-meaning goal of service to specific populations or need in the community. But, even with the best of intentions and most stellar delivery model, there is a power imbalance in the “service” model. There is a community or specific group of people that need to be served and those who are deemed to be the “servers”, usually because of their relationship to privilege, race and/or class.

This seems to have been true as one reflects on the development of the health care industry that is so rooted in the Phillips Community, in particular. The health care-providing institutions changed, evolved and grew bigger, not always any longer addressing the needs of the surrounding geographic community but often addressing the needs of people in a 5-state area. But, the surrounding geographic community changed, evolved and grew bigger, too. The relationship between the institutions and the geographic community waxed and waned, struggled and achieved over the decades. Agreements were made on how many square blocks could be consumed by the buildings for delivery of health care. Agreements were broken. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed by Abbott Northwestern as a place to have debates and dialogue. Now it has been disbanded. People come, people go. Sometimes harsh words were aimed from various sides of the spectrum with the intention to do harm.

The institutions had power through place and size and by virtue of being an institution dealing with the health of people, no less. The very essence of dealing with people’s health elevates an institution to a towering place of authority. But, the surrounding neighborhood also had power through place, size and by being “of the people”. Appearing to be the proponents of practicing democracy presents a justifiable righteousness over the economics of a corporation, nonprofit or for profit.
Regretfully, there was never much talk directly around the issue of power and the dynamics of power and how to serve a community together. The neighborhood tended to use the same “power over” strategies that it saw institutions use on them. The CAC was an attempt by A/N to recognize the power that the community had and to provide it with some voice. But, again, the CAC was established largely by the institution with input from individual community leaders. There was not a direct conversation about the balance of power or shared power or how to work together for the common good or the health of the community.

Maybe that won’t be possible because human beings and the institutions they create are so accustomed to the “power over” model. We learn this model over and over again just growing up. We see it practiced by corporations and capitalism or experience it through oppression, violence and/or abuse. We have plenty of opportunities that help us internalize this approach.

My hope is that the Backyard Initiative will either directly or viscerally teach us all about creating a new, shared power process whereby there is a common understanding that what is best for the community is the best for “us”, whether it is an individual, a family or an institution. The jury is out on whether that can happen. Yes, there has been a lot of dialogue so far. But, there was a lot of dialogue over many years, too. The difference is that this dialogue seems aware of the context of the conversation and the issue of the responsible use of power. We all have power. It is our understanding of how we use it that matters in the end. I am throwing my hat into this ring full of purpose and commitment to think and learn alongside of others, building a model of shared power that will hold the work that is bound to come.

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Thoughts about the Community Advisory Committee

by David Spartz
The Community Advisory Committee was an important element connecting to the immediate neighborhood surrounding ANW` (Allina) and Children’s Medical Center. The mission of this committee was to establish a forum from which a dialogue with its neighbors could address issues affecting their concerns and the impact of these affecting the livability within the community. Such openness brought a rapport and reasonableness that now has been replaced by a disconnect with the absence of CAC. It regretfully is missed!

[David Spartz submitted the Commentary above.  In a conversation with David, he lamented the changes making hospital personnel less available than when Joyce Krook, Community Relations  and Gene Torrey, facilities manager, would inform about upcoming changes and heard concerns of neighbors like David who lives adjacent to the campus.  David says that helicopter is less noisy since heliport was moved further east onto the Heart Hospital addition although arrivals and departures are still heard. Editor]

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