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SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 13: Stories in the Storeroom

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

How long Angel and Luz sat in the storerooms of masks and puppets no one knows. No daylight entered their hiding place, just a few small bulbs in the ceiling lit the long hallway. It did not matter to them. They told stories of their youth: growing up amid the mangoes and papayas and alamos of their little villages in Mexico, discovering that they had been in some of the same Holy Week processions and harvest festivals. Angel laughed at some of Luz”'s stories, and realized he hadn”'t laughed in a long, long time.

As the night came on, their talk became deeper and sadder. In that crowded space, they shared””as if bread””the story of the death of Luz”' mother in a desert crossing, the estrangement Angel felt from his father multiplied recently by Angel”'s absence, the wandering spirits both of them held like a stolen treasure deep within.

Angel told Luz all he knew about the owl, the strange words, the healing of his body, the slender knowledge””cut short by the immigration raid still coursing beneath them on the street””of his ancestry. The strange lineage of the Hidalgos, how he was coming to believe that it was the ghost of Mateo Hidalgo talking to him, that he himself””Angel Augusto Cruz Rojas””was descendant of Spanish nobles and Irish mercenaries, and Aztec warriors, all rolled up in his 19 years of walking on the earth

They talked of their dreams and their defeats, their vision of the future, and the pain of today.… Read the rest “SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 13: Stories in the Storeroom”

Endorsements of Minnesota as “Exceedingly Bracing” and “ An Asylum for Invalids,” Inspired Hopes to Cure Tuberculosis

By the middle of the nineteenth century, tuberculosis caused one in five deaths in the United States. Not surprisingly, the first burial in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery (Layman”'s Cemetery) was Carlton Keith Cressey, a ten-month old boy, who died in 1853 from what was then called “consumption.” Six of the 30 people who were buried in Layman”'s in the 1850s died from consumption. The cause of death for 11 others in that group was not recorded so the number may have been even higher. This tombstone marks the gravesite of Andrew Berggren, one of 1300 people buried in the cemetery, who died from tuberculosis. He died on February 4, 1908, age 39 years old.

By Sue Hunter Weir

Now that winter is almost over and it”'s still a little too soon for us to start worrying about mosquitoes and humidity, we can take a short break from complaining about the weather. Complaining about the weather is part and parcel of living in Minnesota, but that wasn”'t always the case. There was a time when Minnesota”'s weather was considered one of the state”'s major attractions. After visiting Fort Snelling in the 1820s, President Zachary Taylor, endorsed our “exceedingly bracing” weather and wrote that the area was “probably the healthiest in the nation.”… Read the rest “Endorsements of Minnesota as “Exceedingly Bracing” and “ An Asylum for Invalids,” Inspired Hopes to Cure Tuberculosis”

Lake Street Council Annual Meeting

Joyce Wisdom LSC Executive Director congratulates John Meegan owner of Top Shelf and organizer of Lyn-Lake Days on his Award for Community Responsibility

by Joyce Wisdom and Chris Oien

We had a great annual meeting on Tuesday March 16th! One of our favorite activities at this event is recognizing some of the many businesses and individuals who help make Lake Street great. This year we gave out six awards. Community Responsibility Awards went too Gandhi Mahal, Top Shelf, and Kathee Foran from In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. Capacity Building Awards went to Highpoint Center for Printmaking and Midtown Global Market”'s Taste Bud Tart. And our Startup & Innovation Award went to Sauce Spirits & Soundbar. Congratulations to all our awardees!
Six people were elected to the Lake Street Council board. Council Member Gary Schiff, Marty Shimko from US Bank, and Debbie Tucker from Hennepin County were all re-elected for three year terms. Nubberd Gonzalez from Goodwill Easter Seals, Joe Gilpin from Wells Fargo, and and Trung Pham from Pham”'s Deli were newly elected to the board.

To close, we featured a panel on Building Our Community”'s Economic Future, with Ron Price from LISC, Morgan Zehner from Zehner Consulting, and Tony Hull from Transit for Liveable Communities.… Read the rest “Lake Street Council Annual Meeting”

Abatement in April 2010

By H. Lynn Adelsman
The Superfund Arsenic Soil Clean-Up by the federal Environmental Pollution Agency continues this Spring of 2010. The EPA expects to start digging the first week of April, hoping to have 340 properties completed by the end of the year.

Last year they removed arsenic contaminated soil from 40 yards in Seward Neighborhood. The construction status map is on the EPA web page, and will track the EPA progress. The EPA is not planning soil removal in Phillips this summer. To note your concern for the residents of Phillips and encourage that yours or your neighbors yard have arsenic contaminated soil removed contact:

Tim Prendiville, Acting Chief
Remedial Response Section 2
Superfund Division
U.S. EPA (SR-6J)
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 886-5122
toll free (800) 621-8431 ext 65122

Anti-Arsenic Arsenal + Absorption + Art = Amelioration

On exhibit at Regis Center for Art March 30th to April 15th”¦The exhibit will be on display at the Regis Center for Art, 4052 1st Av. So., Mpls. from March 30th through April 15th and the opening reception is on Friday April 2nd from 6:00-8:30 and I will be there for the duration of that if people happen to come in and want to talk or ask questions.

By Nicholas Riggers

Signs led to stories”¦
Shortly after moving to Seward I began to notice the Superfund Cleanup signs sporadically placed throughout the neighborhood and started to begin doing some research into what the Superfund was and why the EPA was here and after discovering that the area apparently had dangerously high levels of Arsenic I wanted to create a piece of artwork that would address the cleanup process. Initially I was interested in interviewing residents and then collecting their stories and turning those stories into artwork, and I did a small piece on that, but residents were some what hesitant to talk. Now that its spring and the cleanup process is starting its 2010 work, I”'m going to try going door to door again and attending community meetings in the hope of collecting more stories.… Read the rest “Anti-Arsenic Arsenal + Absorption + Art = Amelioration”


By Jane Thomson

Above is the gist of a message that would have been sent home a couple of years ago in a harebrained plan to combat childhood obesity. Now, Michelle Obama is on the problem, and at least, she will do no harm. I was a fat child; it was not fun; and guess what ”“ my parents had noticed without being informed. When I was ten years old, after years of nagging, my mother gave me, as part of my Christmas present, a pocket-sized calorie reference book with a dial on the front to count my daily calories. The timing must have been right, as instead of hurting my feelings, the book intrigued me. I ate a lot of cantaloupe that summer, and Junket (comparable to today”'s instant sugar-free pudding mix made with skim milk). When I went back to school the following fall, I was no longer fat and clumsy, but thin and clumsy.

What causes childhood obesity? I will add to the condemnation of junk food and soda advertising – cigarette companies are hardly alone in trying to get at their market as early in the kid”'s lives as possible. In my case, living in an inner-city apartment with little access to physical activity was part of the problem.… Read the rest ““DEAR PARENT, YOUR CHILD IS FAT””

Top 10 movies of 2009*

by Howard McQuitter, II

[*Editor”'s Note:  Howard”'s selections were done before the Academy Awards and were only listed in the March issue of The Alley.  This month we include the list with notes.]

Hurt Locker
Rated: R
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) has the most dangerous job in the world, disconnecting road bombs in Baghdad. There”'s not enough money to compensate him for his task. Sometimes Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), James”' superior, thinks James is a little crazy.

Baader Meinhof Komplex
Rated: R
Director: Uli Edel
German with English subtitles
The meanest leftist groups in the west, the Red Army Faction, aka Baader Meinhof Gang, emerges in the late 1960s and into the 1970s in reaction to too much ultraconservatism in the West German government. They seek to take extreme measures, bombing banks, government buildings, etc., against the status quo.

Casablanca: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”


by Howard McQuitter

1942 Warner Brothers
Parkway Theater
Running time: 102 minutes
B/W, English, French, German
Director: Michael Curtiz

“Casablanca” is one of those special films I have seen many times over the last 50 years, but every time I see it, the feeling is like the first time. The first time over many times, the Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman duo, the cynical Claude Rains as Captain Renault, the Czech freedom fighter and escapee from a Nazi concentration camp, the memorable piano player “playing” “As Time Goes By” in Bogart”'s character Rick Blaines”' Rick”'s Café American, and so forth.

However, as many times as I have seen “Casablanca”, there were things I didn”'t know until now. At a showing of “Casablanca” at the Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis last month, poet par excellence John Flynn explained that there were 35 nationalities represented in “Casablanca”, and all but the beginning scenes are set on stages. Another point he brought out, to my surprise, was that the famed “African American” pianist Dooley Wilson, a drummer by trade, had his playing “As Time Goes By” and “It Had To Be You” dubbed. Although Michael Curtiz”' “Casablanca” premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City on November 26, 1942, it received general release on January 23, 1943.… Read the rest “Casablanca: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.””

Against Finger Pointing

by Peter Molenaar

Scientific reminder: The totality of existence (i.e. ”˜matter”') is in motion”¦this is true because all phenomena are a manifestation of a self-contradictory unity of opposing forces (i.e. matter is ”˜dialectical”').

So then, to understand something one must begin by uncovering the main contradiction within it. Secondly, one must ascertain the dominant aspect of this contradiction (i.e. the relationship of forces must be examined). Thirdly, one must examine the relative development of the opposing aspects as might be correlated with environmental influences (i.e. external factors are the conditions of change, internal contradictions are the basis of change). Fourthly, one must determine (or judge) the “tipping-point” (i.e. quantitative change) beyond which the dominated aspect becomes the dominant (i.e. qualitative change).

To continue”¦

No phenomenon can be fully understood apart from its historic development, potential future development, and interconnection with the totality. Those who proceed otherwise are said to be “metaphysical”. Unfortunately for the human condition, the formal logic derived from a narrow and one-sided approach results in an ”˜idealistic”' departure from rationality.

So then, with regard to President Obama”'s “failings”, whose interests are being served by the trendy groundswell of smug indignation which flows now from the ”˜left”'?

Readers might recall my recent column “Irony of Ironies” which asserted: “We elected Obama to save capitalism (to save capitalism from the capitalists!)… Read the rest “Against Finger Pointing”

We Want Your Ideas For Health Improvement! Backyard Initiative Update

The Backyard Initiative is a community partnership to improve the health and health care of the community. The Alley Newspaper will be publishing a special insert on the Backyard Initiative in the May edition. We invite you to join us for a special event to meet your neighbors and distribute the insert throughout the Backyard*. Thursday, May 6 5 to 7 p.m. Midtown Global Market Food and brief program before distribution begins Thank you incentives for all volunteers To RSVP: Please call the Cultural Wellness Center at 612-721-5745 *

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center & Paula Fynboh, Allina Health System

Join a BYI Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT)

The Backyard Initiative has moved to a new phase. Community residents who live in the Backyard area (the Phillips neighborhoods, Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran) are now meeting twice a month to develop projects that improve the health of residents. 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.

CHATs now meeting:

1. Rebirthing Community: Bringing Elders and Youth Together: Focused on bringing elders and youth together for a “rebirthing” of community.… Read the rest “We Want Your Ideas For Health Improvement! Backyard Initiative Update”

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