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Thursday March 21st 2019

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Movie corner ‘Stan and Ollie’ delightful

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com

howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

2019, Sony Pictures

4.5 out of 5

A delightful, modest biopic about Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), the best comedy duo in Hollywood at its golden age.

Director Jon S. Baird (“Filth” 2014, “Cass” 2008) and writer Jeff Pope  put together a very fine biopic about Stan and Ollie in phases of their careers. The first is when both comedians worked for Hal Roach Studios in 1937, at the height of their careers; the second phase, fast-forward to 1953, their popularity and money has greatly waned. The lion’s share of the film is spent in the latter period.

Stan and Ollie (nicknamed “Babe”) go on tour in Great Britain attempting to rekindle their fame even after the two men split for many years. They start in Newcastle before bouncing around in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, England; then to Glasgow, Scotland; then to Dublin, Ireland. Their famous acts, including their classic dance duet, in theatre after theatre witnessed half-filled seats. Some people thought Stan and Ollie had died. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the good performances by each man’s wife (Ida Kitaeva Laurel  played by Nina Arianda and Lucille Hardy played by Shirley Henderson), both women with forebearance joining their spouses on the tour.

Altogether Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made over 100 movies, but that was in the 1920s-1930s when the two had great success in money and fame. By 1953, they were trying to make a comeback, but now Ollie is obese and suffering from heart trouble. Although they say some unkind things to each other, and resentments surface going back in the Hal Studio days, the two men love each other.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s when Stan (d. 1965) and Ollie (d.1957) were still alive yet well beyond their primes. I watched them on television and on big screens at the local theaters. (The houses in those days was one big screen.) Those are the days when kids went to the movies for 25 cents (it went up to 50 but that’s still a deal), seeing a full featured film (in color or black-and-white), adding to it “Laurel and Hardy” “The Three Stooges,” a Bugs Bunny cartoon, etc.). As such, “Stan and Ollie” is a must for me. 

Cast: John C. Reilly (Oliver Hardy), Steve Coogan (Stan Laurel), Danny Huston (Hal Roach), Shirley Henderson (Lucille Hardy), Nina Arianda (Ida Kitaeva Laurel). Director: Jon Baird. Writer: Jeff Pope.

Running time: 97 minutes. Rated PG

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W H A T Y O U S E E


Karissa Kleven, 8, took this photo after the freshly fallen snow on Feb. 20, 2019 “because I think these trees are beautiful with the snow on them.” 

 To be part of our new WHAT YOU SEE feature, post a photo to your Instagram account and tag #alleynews, or email it to copydesk@alleynews.org.  All ages encouraged to 

participate. 

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Controversy reaches crisis

Editor’s note: The following was submitted as an open letter by Carol Pass, Cassandra Holmes, Chad Hebert, Clarence Bischoff, Dean Dovolis, Abah Mohamed, Steve Sandberg, and Jose Luis Villasenor. 

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
The city threatened eminent domain to purchase the Roof Depot site in order to expand its public works facility at 26th and Hiawatha Ave, as viewed from the Sabo bridge. Neighborhood citizens want part of the property for use as an urban farm to create jobs for local residents.

On Dec. 7, 2018 the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution which we naively thought held out hope for serious community-driven green, sustainable activities in a portion of the Roof Depot site. We waited for over two months for a meeting with Council Member Alondra Cano to explain the “back doors” that appeared to have been opened in her “Staff Direction.” 

We then had a long-awaited meeting with City Chief Financial Officer Mark Ruff who acknowledged that he helped C.M. Cano write the “Staff Direction” though he stated much was C. M. Cano’s work. Although, by statute, members of the City Council hold decision-making power on this property, it is clear that CFO Ruff assumed he was speaking for the City Council when he stated at our Feb. 4, 2019 meeting that “…there will be no non-municipal use…” of anything in the Roof Depot site with the possible exception of off-hour use of the training facility. 

To further his point, he stated that he has control over the nearly $4 million architectural budget, and he will bring his architects his interpretation of the staff direction and that is what they will design.

Childhood
Elevated Blood Lead, Arsenic, and Per Capita Income

The staff direction has many possible interpretations. CFO Ruff’s is one. However, in our discussions with every council member, except Council Member Goodman who refused to meet with us, there is no possibility the Council vote would have come out unanimously in favor of NOTHING FOR THE COMMUNITY at the Roof Depot site if they had known that was to be the interpretation of the outcome. If that were the case, the staff direction would have included only 3 words “Approve Option A.” The remaining two pages would have been irrelevant. 

So, either CFO Ruff and staff are usurping city council decision making, or the council members we talked with were not being truthful. 

In other words, if CFO Ruff’s interpretation prevails, and the city council members were being truthful, then decision-making in Minneapolis is upside down and staff driven with meaningful community engagement totally absent and the power of council decision-making totally neutered!

The facts: 

1) After being cheated out of the 7.5-acre Roof Depot site in 2015 by the unethical city threat of eminent domain, and

2) After our repeated attempts to negotiate in good faith for a shared use agreement with the city at this site by reducing our request to 3, then 2, and eventually only 1-acre of the site’s 16 + acres to be set aside for the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm Project, and

3) After the hope of no more pollution at this site and any hope of environmental and economic justice for this multi-cultural economically and health challenged neighborhood has been ripped away by a controlling city staff, and/or an ineffective city council and 

4) Since this community has no intention of losing this opportunity to create community driven green and second chance job opportunities, desperately needed affordable family housing, organic food production a coffee shop amnd small café and a bicycle repair facility on the Greenway,

Therefore:

1) We strongly suggest that the City Council and Staff seek an alternate site for the Water Yard, or

2) Immediately start meaningful negotiations with EPNI and the Community to go back to our 3-acre option at the Roof Depot site, and

3) Immediately start working to move the other neighborhood polluters out of East Phillips – our people have suffered under the devastating effects of their negligence long enough.

A note to our supporters:

Please contact the mayor, the city council members, the state and federal senators and representatives and the governor and help us make the case for what is right. In your calls insist on real community engagement and development instead of city sponsored increases in pollution and congestion which is in violation of the state’s Clark/Berglund Cumulative Pollution legislation: Thank you!

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Social history set in stone

Tales fromPioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

164th in a Series

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

In June 2002, Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For 10 years or so it was the only cemetery in Minnesota designated as an individual landmark. The cemetery’s built environment – the fence, caretaker’s cottage and flagpole – made it eligible but so did the lives of the people who are buried there.   

Their stories are a significant part of the city’s social history. It is by no means the complete history of the city during its early years but tells the story of many thousands of the city’s early residents including thousands of immigrants and their children.

In 1904, Sarah and Knut Nordeman, mother and son, entered into a suicide pact and overdosed on morphine. Knut survived but Sarah did not, and was buried in Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery.  Instead of a suicide note, the Nordemans left a signed a six-point explanation of their thinking that included some of their grievances.   One point in particular led to some soul-searching on the part of one of the city’s major newspapers. The Nordemans, Swedish immigrants, believed that they had been discriminated against because of their “foreignness,” and that was what had prevented Knut from finding work that would enable him to support his mother.

This prompted the Minneapolis Tribune to run a story titled “Sought New Names:  Foreign Names Confusing; Jawbreakers Have Been Simplified and Names of Embarrassing Associations Changed.” According to the story, the greatest number of people going to court to change their names were Scandinavians “…who got into trouble through the confusion of names which so frequently arises among that people.” The reasons that people gave for changing their names varied.  Some changed their names in order to blend in by using a name that sounded more “American.”  Others changed their names in order to stand out, to not be confused with others with the same or similar names.  

Some confusion undoubtedly arose because so many people shared the same or similar last names. There are almost 1,000 Johnsons buried in the cemetery and that’s not counting all of the variations (Johanson, Jonasson, Johnston, etc.).  One of the city’s early coroners, obviously unused to Norwegian accents, recorded a Norwegian woman’s name as Wilmaney Sealotte Yonson, most likely his interpretation of Wilhemina Charlotte Johnson. And, there are slightly more than 800 Andersons, even more when you add in variable spellings.  Those two names and their variations account for slightly less than 10% of the cemetery’s burials. 

First names may not yield as much information about immigration as last names but they provide an interesting social history of names as they have gone in and out of fashion.  Some names – Anna, Christine, John and William – are names that were popular in 1900 and remain popular today. Other names have fallen out of fashion:  we have a Zebedee, a Melethia, a Philander and a Sylbush. We have two Weatlhys, three Ulysses, 42 Myrtles and 49 Augustas.  We don’t have any Brittanys, Megans, Jasons or Troys. 

The most common first name really wasn’t really a name at all.  There are 4,123 infants with no recorded first names of their own – Babe Anderson, Babe Johnson, and so forth – who account for almost 19% of the cemetery’s 22,000 burials. Imagine.

Immigrants from Eastern European countries often changed their names to accommodate others who found their names unpronounceable. Jurag Hmelovsky from Slovakia became George Melowsky in America, a name that he used until he died. The correct spelling of his name is etched in granite on his headstone.  

When it came to having a name with embarrassing associations Harry H. Hayward probably had a harder time of it that most.  He shared first and last names with one of the state’s most notorious criminals – Harry T. Hayward.  The fact that Harry H. had a different middle initial than Harry T. probably didn’t prevent him from being mistaken for the mastermind of Minnesota’s crime of the 19th century (who is buried in the cemetery).  Harry H. remained in Minneapolis for four years after Harry T.’s trial but ultimately changed his last name to Smith and moved to Chicago. 

The city’s social history is a fascinating one and is one that can be found, at least in part, in the cemetery’s records.  When the cemetery reopens in the spring stop in, and explore a part of the city’s story.  

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

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WANTED: INFORMATION ON 628 East Franklin Ave.

How many years has this building been empty? How many profit or non-profit developers have tried to renovate and occupy? Why hasn’t any one of them successful when housing is needed and so many new buildings are being built? Please let us know at copydesk@alleynews.org, P.O. Box 7006 Mpls., MN 55407 or 612-990-4022.

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Briefs March 2019

Youth leaders in D.C.
MIGIZI  sent 12 youth leaders from  Edison, South High, Fridley, Farmington, White Bear Lake, and Augsburg Fairview Academy schools to Washington D.C. to join the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) American Indian Youth Legislative Summit on Feb. 10, 2019. This experience for youth is part of the recent Administration for American Indians I-LEAD grant awarded in October of 2018. In DC, they networked with current Tribal and United  States elected leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss pressing issues and further their understanding of Tribal sovereignty and government relations. They had a blast exploring the National Mall and the local DC scene.

‘Vessel’ reception at Norway House

Norway House invites the community to kick off the 2019 gallery season with “Vessel” on Friday, March 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. (913 East Franklin Ave.)

“Vessel” features two contemporary Danish ceramic artists, Michael Geertsen and Morten Løbner Espersen in tandem with Minnesota woodcarver, Mike Loeffler, as they explore traditional craft with a contemporary twist. Enjoy food and drink at the Kaffebar. Doors open at 5 p.m. and there will be a short program featuring artist Mike Loeffler at 6:30 p.m. “Vessel” is on display from Jan. 25 to March 10.

Cuban Film Festival planned

It’s now been four years since the beginning of relaxation of relations between the United States and Cuba. However, some policies have been significantly reversed under President Trump, and the U.S. economic blockade continues unabated. Until it ends, the annual Cuban Film Festival in Minneapolis will have two goals: to offer Minnesotans a chance to learn about and appreciate Cuban film and culture and to remind our supporters of the onerous burden that the blockade inflicts on the Cuban people. 

The festival is scheduled for six consecutive Thursdays, Feb. 21 to March 28, in partnership with MSP Film Society and with ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos), the Cuban Film Institute. In addition, the festival will celebrate two important anniversaries, 60 years of the Cuban Revolution and 60 years of ICAIC.

The lineup of films includes: “The Forbidden Shore” by Ron Chapman, “Los Buenos Demonios (The Good Demons)” by Gerardo Chijona, “Cuban Women in Revolution” by Maria Torrellas, “Sergio and Sergei” by Ernesto Daranas, “El Regreso (The Return)” by Blanca Rosa Blanco, and “Ghost Town to Havana” by Eugene Corr and Roberto Chile. Screenings will take place at 7 p.m. each Thursday at MSP Film Society at St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main St.   

 On Thursday, March 21, Blanca Rosa Blanco, a long-time star of Cuban film and television, will be present at the screening of El Regreso, her directorial debut.

 A discussion will follow the first five films and planning for a closing night party is in the works.

Tickets are $8 general admission and $6 for students, seniors and MSP Film Society members and can be bought at the box office or online at mspfilm.org. Trailers and further information are available at  mspfilm.org/10th-annual-cuban-film-festival and at www.minnesotacubacommittee.org.

Mail delivery delayed

Mail delivery has run into some hiccups across South Minneapolis, due to a shortage of postal carriers and snow- and ice-related injuries that have temporarily sidelined more than two dozen carriers. Because the Postal Service is a federal agency, the city has been in touch with the offices of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well is working the city’s postmaster. This situation also underscores the importance of clearing sidewalks and walkways of snow and ice. 

MIGIZI welcomes new staff 

Jane Zamora is the new Academic Support Specialist at MIGIZI Communications. Her given name is Zoongizi Ikwe (Strong Women). She is an enrolled member of Red Lake Nation, and was born and raised in Minneapolis. Her mother was born and raised in Red Lake; and her father was Mexican and grew up in Montana. 

“I started my career in 1988 working with Native youth in Minneapolis which lead me to work for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Indian Education, St. Joseph Home for Children, PACER Center, Supervisor of the Crow Head Start Program, and Anoka-Hennepin School District Indian Education,” she said. “Some of my other accomplishments include serving as the President of JOM for MPS, the Richard Green Advisory Council for MPS, Parent Participatory Evaluation team for MPS, and a board member of MIEA (Minnesota Indian Education Association). 

“My passion is to show our Indigenous youth that success is possible and to continue to strive, no matter how sharp those curves can get for them.”

Neighborhoods 2020

Submit your feedback on the Neighborhoods 2020 framework recommendations for the future of neighborhood organizations. The recommendations cover programming, funding, and governance for these groups starting in 2020 and beyond. The city is gathering comments from community members through March 31. 

Recommendations are designed to support key goals, including ensuring organizations reflect the communities they serve, simplified participation for all, and fiscal responsibility. The proposed measures include developing an outreach plan, accessing competitive funding based alignment with city-identified priorities, and promoting smart spending, among many others. Submit feedback via email to neighborhoods2020@minneapolismn.gov.

Recycling changes

No. 6 plastics and any black plastic are no longer accepted for recycling in Minneapolis. No. 6 plastics are already prohibited for food service uses by Minneapolis’ Green to Go ordinance, and black plastic containers are difficult to sort and can cause contamination in the recycling process. 

Changes in the international, national and local recycling markets have made it more important than ever to place only the accepted items in recycling carts. Some of items commonly found in recycling carts that are not accepted include:

• Paper coffee cups, plates and takeout containers – note that these may be able to be put in your organics recycling cart if labeled properly

• Plastic bags, bubble wrap and plastic film

• Large plastic items

• Metal pots, pans and scrap

• Paper egg cartons, napkins and paper towels – note that these may be put in the organics recycling cart.

A quarter of Minneapolis’ garbage could be composted. Call Solid Waste & Recycling at 612-673-2917 for more information.

Ecological plan

The first ever draft Minneapolis Parks Ecological System Plan has opened for 45-day comment period and will close on April 1. The plan sets a vision for making more environmentally friendly parks and public land in Minneapolis so that the city can be cleaner, greener, cooler and more efficient. 

First E. African specialist

Numan Shaikh is the Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations department’s full time East African Community Specialist. Numan initially joined NCR in a temporary capacity, and will now replace Abdirashid Ahmed, who moved on from his role in November of 2018.

Solar Egg opens

Reflect: Bigert & Bergström is a new, limited-time American Swedish Institute experiential exhibition showcasing Solar Egg, a social sculpture and a working sauna. See it in the ASI outdoor Courtyard March 6 to April 28, (2600 Park Ave.  To schedule sauna sessions visit ASImn.org.

Puppet Works opens at HOBT March 15

Tara Fahey, Akiko, Kallie Melvin, and Andrew Young will premiere four original puppet works at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) this March, as part of HOBT’s artist incubator program, Puppet Lab. This year’s performances explore themes of identity, ancestry, and legacy, through the lens of the artist’s personal journeys. 

“These remarkable artists have been working hard since August and now they are ready for you the audience. I have been honored to support these four visionary artists,” says HOBT Director of Performance Programs, Alison Heimstead. 

This will be Puppet Lab’s eight year of supporting radical, genre-expanding performances. The Puppet Lab program is directed by Alison Heimstead and is made possible by generous support from the Jerome Foundation. More at www.hobt.org.

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Ventura Village Neighborhood News March 2019

Ventura

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association March 2019

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EPIC report March 2019

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Cartoon March 2019

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