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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ellen Kaluza’

Introducing Emmett!

Introducing Emmett!

Emmett Bostic. Photo: Indigo Davitt-Liu By MARY ELLEN KALUZA and EMMETT BOSTIC Emmett was recommended for a young artist interview by Steve Dreyer, alley board member and Ventura Village page contributor. Emmett’s name might be familiar to readers - his byline has appeared on the Ventura Village page multiple times as an intern journalist with KRSM Radio, which broadcasts from Waite House Community Center. How old are you? Where did you grow up?Almost 19. I grew up between Otsego and Minneapolis. I’ve lived in every part of Minneapolis but spent most of my years in North and Northeast. What high school did you go to?FAIR High School for Arts Why did you choose that school?It was advertised as very inclusive - and it was. I like the arts. Some of my friends also went there. What was your academic focus?I was really into math. I like algebra. I took PSEO in high school. I didn’t like English, but I like writing essays. I’m more of an informational writer. I didn’t like writing stories. Example of the alley article and the KRSM Zine. Photo: Emmett Bostic Your creative focus?I was into drawing, fell out of it, but I’ve started to get back into it. I like to cross-stitch. I made a diorama during my senior year. I just like to do different crafty things in general. And I have a notebook I maintain with life stuff and video game reviews. It used to be a website/blog thing. I might make it digital again so my hand doesn’t cramp up so much! I’ve also been helping a group of friends on a mod for a video game we all enjoy. How did you end up at Waite House and for how long?Mr. Antar at FAIR invited me to work with him at KRSM on and off (because of the nature of the internships) for over two years. In what roles?I wrote articles - including for the alley, helped curate the Zine, operated the sound board, and mentored new interns. What did you like about it?I didn’t expect I’d like writing but I found a groove with it pretty [...]

Edee the Sweetie

Edee the Sweetie

By MARY ELLEN KALUZA Remember Jude the Dude from last month’s alley? This month meet Edee the Sweetie! Eden is Jude’s sister, also a very talented and smart youth artist. Apparently there are no bounds to the creativity in the Anikpo family! Eden Anikpo is almost 11 years old and in the 5th grade. She focuses on the performing arts: acting, dance, singing and piano, to name a few. She has performed in ballet, tap and modern dance, and just began a hip hop class. When asked which performing art moves her the most, Eden didn’t hesitate a second to say “Acting!” She loves portraying characters, and hopes that no matter what she decides to do in life, acting will be a part of it at least “two days a week.” Eden was inspired to take up acting by her mother, who “brings me to plays and musicals at the University of Northwestern,” adding that she gets inspiration from “Everything!” She also credits her teachers at Lundstrum Performing Arts in North Minneapolis: Ms. Amy and Ms. Julianne for acting; Ms. Lachell, her piano teacher; and the late Mr. Patrick for dance. I asked Eden if she’d like to try other performing arts. She told me, “I’m very flexible so I would like to try contortion. I watch a lot of videos.” She demonstrated a few impossible positions, like lying on her stomach and bending her legs backwards to touch her head, and twisting herself into a pretzel! She has been lobbying her parents to go to circus arts school. But, Eden’s talents don’t end with performing arts: From a young age she has enjoyed transforming old clothes into new creations - from clever outfits to stuffed animals. She recently got her first sewing machine.Her mother reports that Eden has received much praise from teachers for her writing skills well beyond her years. And, she manages to stick a bit of humor into every piece.Eden also loves baking and cooking. The morning we met up she had made pumpkin waffles for the family. She enlists [...]

Jude the Dude

Jude the Dude

Self-portrait with his spirit animal Jude participated in the kids' competition at the 2022 Hamel Rodeo Channeling his Norse roots Inspired by the movie Godzilla vs. Kong photo by Sarah Anikpo By MARY ELLEN KALUZA This alley issue features Jude Daniel Anikpo. He was recommended by Sha’Vontie’s (see June alley) mom. Jude and his mother graciously agreed to meet with me. Our conversation didn't follow the usual Q & A format. Jude came with his portfolio of drawings and writings, and our meeting became more a presentation of his art. I got to see the breadth of Jude's talents. He explained the symbolism of objects in his drawings, using remarkably sophisticated vocabulary. His mother told me that a favorite excursion is going to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where he impresses her with his perspective of different pieces. Jude is nine years old and going into the 4th grade. He was dubbed “Jude the Dude” by his maternal grandfather who sadly died last year. He liked the idea of using that for the title to honor his grandfather. Jude also wanted to be sure to include his middle name after his paternal grandfather in Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. And, he told me about his paternal grandmother who may have passed on the creative gene to him. She is an art enthusiast - once owned an art gallery in Côte d’Ivoire - and encourages Jude’s creativity. Jude has been able to visit his Côte d’Ivoire grandparents multiple times and they talk weekly over video. Since a very young age (confirmed by his mom), Jude has had a fascination with reptiles and amphibians which shows up in his art. In kindergarten he was drawing life cycle diagrams of lizards, adding labels to body parts. Lizards naturally led to drawing dragons, of course. At age 5 he was given a Lego Bionicle set which expanded his imagination to fantasy. Building on that, Jude folds paper to make fantastical swords and knives, adding origami to his list of talents. I [...]

IDENTITY THEFT: WHERE TO START

IDENTITY THEFT: WHERE TO START

By MARY ELLEN KALUZA Identity theft is one of the most frequent complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission. If you haven’t been a victim, you likely know someone who has. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was created in 1914 to protect the public against unfair commerce practices, and was later charged with much broader consumer protection duties. Side note: It is important for the public to file consumer complaints with the FTC. Not only do they publish an annual report of consumer issues, the more complaint data the FTC has, the more resources Congress allocates for them to address problems. Here’s how you can protect yourself from identity theft. IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION Preventing identity theft is, of course, Step #1. Some tips: Don’t carry every credit card or medical card with you. (Medical ID theft is a real thing.)Leave your social security card at home in a secure location.Do you use the same password for everything? Well, stop.Long passwords that include capital letters, special characters, and numbers are best.Set up alerts for transactions with your financial institution and credit cards.If available, use two-step verification with your online accounts. (You get a text, phone call, or email with a code you must enter after your password to get into the account.)Be hyper leary of unsolicited emails with attachments - scrutinize email addresses for misspellings or other oddities (.com when it should be a .org, for example).Shop online only at known businesses.File your taxes early, especially if you expect a refund.Know that the government or your bank will never call you asking for personal information or threaten you.Switch to online banking - mailboxes are easy targets for thieves.Review financial statements regularly for unknown activity. You have limited time to report unauthorized transactions to minimize your losses.Review medical bills and insurance Explanation of Benefits. (See April 2022 issue of the alley [...]

A Bit of Good News About Your Medical Bills

By MARY ELLEN KALZUA No, President Biden is not forgiving them. Sorry. The good news is that beginning July 1st, paid medical bills will no longer appear on your credit reports. The three major credit bureaus also announced that starting July 1, medical bills now have to be a year old (previously 6 months) before they can be reported. Plus, starting January 2023, only medical bills $500 or more will be reported. The announcement came after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released findings that medical bills comprise the majority of reported collection accounts, to the tune of $88 billion, keeping credit scores down like a cement block in water. I’ve seen credit scores drop nearly 100 points from a medical collection of less than $25! A 100 point drop is devastating. It means a person may suddenly no longer qualify for a mortgage or be able to rent. They have to pay more for car insurance and their phone. They are charged higher interest rates, which can mean paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than before that medical bill hit their credit reports. And, even if someone paid that collection immediately, it could still be on their report for 7 years. Talk about kicking us when we’re down. So, yes, this is good news. The cruel “But” is, reported or not, the bill still exists. Ignoring medical bills never makes them go away. Bills over $500 will eventually be reported. Collections can end up as judgments, which last 10 years and can be renewed! Judgments open a person up to bank account and wage garnishments. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see where that leaves a person. Tax refunds can be captured. Patients can be denied care from a provider due to unpaid bills. Sadly, we still have a battle to fight before we have an affordable healthcare system. Until then, here are some steps you can take to (maybe) avoid the nightmare: If you don’t understand the bill or don’t agree with it - contact the provider. Take [...]

Interview With Musician Andrew Naranjo

Interview With Musician Andrew Naranjo

Backyard concert for friends and family with the yet-to-be-named band / all photos by Francisco Naranjo Andrew during a live performance at a local church Andrew with a djembe drum in Peavey Park By MARY ELLEN KALUZA I first heard drumming emanating from Andrew’s house last year. I’ve been able to track his progress through the walls and am greatly impressed. It is clear he loves drumming! Over the four years his family has lived across the street, I’ve come to know Andrew as a very cool and interesting person. I really appreciate the breadth of his interests. How old are you? What grade are you in? I’m 11 and going into 6th grade. Describe your art or interests. Drumming and soccer. What inspired you to take up drumming? When did you start? I saw people doing it on music videos and at church. It looked cool, so I’m trying it out. I started a year ago. I love it. When I play drums it makes me feel happy, and you can do whatever you want. And soccer? There’s a soccer team at my school. I wanted to try it out starting in kindergarten. I like playing it because I have a lot of friends in it who encourage me when I'm playing. It's fun but it's very hard work. Soccer is over now, but we will start again when school starts. We play in Peavey Park and at my house. Do you have a favorite place you like to practice drums? My drum set is in the basement, so that’s where I play. We have a band with my cousin, my mom and my sister. We practice in the basement. We try to do it 2 times a week when it isn't so busy, like with school. Is there a type of music you like to play? I like to play any kind of music. Rock and Pop. I like to listen to music with drums. Do you have favorite musicians? TobyMac and For King & Country. And soccer? I look up to Javier Hernández with LA Galaxy, Lionel Messi with Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and Cristiano Ronaldo with Portugal National Football Team. I watch a lot of [...]

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