Wednesday July 6th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Tell your story

by Harvey Winje, Editor

Children worldwide have said, “tell me a story” in all languages for centuries. Don Hewitt used those words explaining his success as the Emmy Award winning creator of 60 Minutes. People”'stories were a main source for A People”'s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Studs Terkel was another preeminent master of recording stories. He said “curiosity didn”'t kill this cat” as he explained his life time of interviewing people.

These men died in the last two years. With their deaths, we lost three giant chroniclers of people”'s stories. Fortunately, their example and legacy has been continued and taken further by others still recording the lives of common people.

The Alley Newspaper is pleased to present the superb portraits entwined with stories by photojournalist John Noltner as a preview of a much larger collection to be displayed at Midtown Global Market beginning from Sept. 21st to Oct. 24th. John Noltner is one of those people moving the mission of Hewitt, Zinn, and Terkel into the future.

Every page of this issue exemplifies storytelling by other people, too. Enjoy, learn, and be inspired by these stories. We invite you to take your place and Tell Your Story.… Read the rest “Tell your story”

Wedding Announcement: Jonathan Miller weds Amy Wehrman

Amy Wehrman & Jonathan Miller

Longtime (gosh, it has been a long time, hasn”'t it) Alley editor and graphic designer Jonathan Miller celebrated his nuptials to Amy Wehrman on August 14. Amy and Jonathan celebrated their wedding with 160 of their friends and family at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. The old-exploded-flour-mill-reborn-as-wonderful-museum was chosen to celebrate the coming together of the self-professed nature girl Amy Wehrman and the urban landscape lover Jonathan Miller. So far, all reports of the evening declared it a complete and total success and that a fine time was had by all.

Losing our Assets: A Plea For Help!

By Robert Albee

I started out trying to tell a story about Ancient Traders, the East Franklin Avenue strip mall across the street from my house, but wise counsel prevailed and pointed out too many holes, inaccuracies and inflammatory language in that draft so it is better to start afresh. So this story is more of an editorial than a narrative, as it awaits a true storyteller with more time and access to facts than I possess.

This piece begins with a plea to our state elected officials””Senator Berglin and Representative Clark and our county and municipal officials, Peter McLaughlin, Robert Lilligren and Gary Schiff”” requesting that we begin a forensics investigation into the practice using one property to leverage another when public monies were originally used and were obtained to serve a given locality. In a shifting economy, this conduct has the makings to destabilize an area that was only recently stabilized, with investments of more than $130 million and crime rates dropping along the East Franklin Avenue corridor.

Great Granddaughter ”˜Uprights” Legacy and Its Marker for Another Century

By Sue Hunter Weir

Setting grave markers is a tough business. Wrestling blocks of stone that weigh several hundreds of pounds into place requires muscle and planning. Ensuring that the stones are level when the ground is uneven is tricky and tree roots don”'t make the job any easier. On Sunday, August 22nd, staff from Grave Groomers, a local restoration company, set about repairing the marker for Lina Quam.

Mrs. Quam”'s marker is in the center island of the cemetery. Someone (it isn”'t clear who) planted a tree between her marker and the marker directly north of hers. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. But over a hundred years later, the cottonwood is still there and still growing. As the tree has grew, its widening trunk caused the top of Mrs.… Read the rest “Great Granddaughter ”˜Uprights” Legacy and Its Marker for Another Century”

SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 18: Truth, in all its profound beauty and terror.

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Coffee, pancakes, the smiles and shouts of people who love you””who cares if you”'re celebrating the Feast Day of the Virgen de Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico and all the Americas””sitting in a sticky booth at Denny”'s at 11:22 pm.

This is the crowd that greeted Angel & his dad, Augusto: the Luz, the light of his life, her grandmother Dolores, Mr. Bussey, his old teacher from Roosevelt, Mother Light the healer, and her helper Ana. They were seated under two signs that had yellowed with age. One read: Between 10pm and 5pm, minimum order $3.00, maximum stay 2 hours. The other: No Card Playing in This Restaurant. Angel was going to ask if card playing was allowed in other Denny”'s, but as he began to form the words, Mr. Bussey and Mother Light each pulled out a deck and began shuffling.

“What shall we play?” Mr. Bussey asked. “Bid Whist? Buck Euchre? Pinochle?”

“Clabber? Skat? Bourré?” Mother Light chimed in.

“¿Conquian? ¿Siete Loco? ¿Burro Castigado?” laughed Dolores.

“Hey, wait a minute!” Angel laughed. “It says “No Card Playing in This Restaurant! You”'re going to get us kicked out before we even eat!”

“Tell Me a Story””¦in Kathleen Anderson”'s Words

Kathleen Anderson, longtime district director for Congressman Martin Sabo, who lived in Longfellow Neighborhood growing up.

Lake Street Council is working hard this year to collect and promote the history of this area. The first stage to this project is collecting oral histories of longtime residents. Here”'s part of the interview with Kathleen Anderson, longtime district director for Congressman Martin Sabo, who lived in Longfellow growing up. Please visit to watch the whole video interview with Kathleen and others! And if you are a longtime resident who remembers well the Lake Street from decades past, and would like your story recorded, please get in touch with us! Call 612-824-7420 or email

By Kathleen Anderson as told to Chris Oien

I lived on 39th St. & 44th Ave., which is about 9 blocks from Lake Street, and several blocks from the river. Mostly we would ride our bikes, or I would take the 42nd Ave. bus to about 36th St. and then transfer to the Lake Street bus. Sometimes we”'d go east toward the river, there was an ice cream shop, I believe it was a Bridgeman”'s, for ice cream. Or, we would take the bus to the west toward the Uptown area and the lakes.… Read the rest ““Tell Me a Story””¦in Kathleen Anderson”'s Words”


by Jane Thomson

Above is the frequent lament heard from my son Randall, some 25 year ago, when he would come home from high school and look into the refrigerator. If he was looking for sugared soda pop or chips with greasy dip, he was right. Or perhaps my daughter”'s six-foot-five-inch boyfriend Doug had beat Randall to the snacks (“Thanks, Mrs. Thomson ”“ the cookies were great!”). Years later when my son was a young husband and father, and I was baby-sitting Ella (now 17), I would open his fridge, see leaves, roots and strange grains, and say to myself “There”'s nothing to eat around here.” And there are people who can look into the fridge (if they have one), any time, assess that there”'s nothing to eat, and be correct. Someone please write more about this!

The point I am leading up to is that if possible there should be some wholesome and interesting food for kids to eat when they come home from school. They may have eaten lunch at 11 a.m.. Some may go right to a job after the snack (if they can get jobs). Some kids may have extra-curricular activities after school and be really hungry when they get home.… Read the rest “Food Obsession: THERE”'S NOTHING TO EAT AROUND HERE!”

Winter”'s Bone & Despicable Me

Winter's Bone

By Howard McQuitter

Winter”'s Bone
Anonymous Content
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rated: R
Director: Debra Granik

If ever there was a heroine from opening to closing scene in a film, it”'s a new actress named Jennifer Lawrence, 18. Her character Ree Dolly lives in the Ozarks of Missouri, a harsh country with tin can houses, junk cars in backyards, an occasional horse or cow, and in this backwater, more than a few dogs.

Miss Dolly has plenty on her plate, taking care of two younger siblings, Sonny (Isaiah Stone) and Ashlee (Ashlee Thompson) and a mentally incompetent mother. Times are so hard Ree gives her horse Ginger, who hasn”'t eaten in four days, to her neighbor Sonya (Shelley Waggener). Ree is saddened by leaving her horse in another”'s care.

When Sheriff Baskin (Garret Dillahurt) shows up at Ree”'s front yard, asking for her dad, Jessup, who may have slipped bail after being arrested for setting up a meth lab, she tells him she doesn”'t know where he is.

An urban first home for roots, commitment, and creativity A Community Investment

Tell-Tales signs of home improvement to this unique house and setting by first-time home buyers Lotus Lofgren and Ian McNamara have many stories of their laborious efforts and also joys. In addition to projects remaining on the house, they continue to do landscaping including adding the brick colimns across the front and some at rear. They need more bricks to continue the columns across the front of recently added sideyard that will also become a community garden. Truly a great addition to our accolades called Kudos Homes and Gardens!

by Lotus Lofgren

In all, we looked at over one hundred properties. Every weekend we would create etch-a-sketch lines across town, peering in broken windows, walking through abandoned yards where the grass grew past my knees, and sheepishly apologizing to current renters as we disrupted their day, tiptoed around their child”'s play things and wondered where they would go once someone bought the place.

The houses held stories, old stories that we would never know, and others more recent and potent; an orange home that had suffered years at the hands of absentee landlords, been foreclosed on and left its tenants homeless. They scrawled their anger on the lime green walls, words written with human feces and punctuated with urine, a two story white house with all of the upper unit windows blown out from a grease fire in the kitchen.… Read the rest “An urban first home for roots, commitment, and creativity A Community Investment”

Seward Co-Op Creates Rating for Excellence and Cooperative Ethics “Principle Six” “preferred products” Debuts Oct. 2

by Lindsey Frey and Tom Vogel

Seward Co-op Grocery & Deli launches a new product rating system October 2nd that highlights products from small, local farmers and producers, as well as cooperative businesses. Going beyond the expected “organic” and “local” labeling, conscientious shoppers can select and purchase items produced in the most responsible ways possible.

Principle Six (P6) is an initiative created by Seward Co-op and five consumer grocery cooperatives nationwide in partnership with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative encourage consumers to use purchasing dollars to support small, local farmers and producers, as well as cooperative businesses.

“Historically, many co-op shoppers have aligned their grocery purchases with companies that best represent their values,” said Sean Doyle, general manager of Seward Co-op. “While organic and fair trade are very important, P6 takes into account other values, including support for local economies and quality small-scale production. We hope the P6 designation boosts sales for these producers and businesses, while also giving our shoppers a quick way to identify products and companies we”'ve vetted as ”˜the best of the best.”'”

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