Monthly Archives: October 2012

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie discusses the voter ID amendment



By Elizabeth Ellis

Contributing Writer


On October 19, from 7:30-9 am at Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave. South, Minneapolis, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, by invitation of City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, discussed the challenges to Minnesotans this election season regarding the proposed constitutional voter ID amendment on the ballot. “Changing Minnesota’s constitution,” Ritchie argued, “should not be taken lightly. Our state constitution is sacred to daily life.”

In his remarks, Ritchie emphasized that amending the constitution could cause changes to local taxpayers. Voting is community based, but with many different faces, such as small rural, out-state townships with 500 voters who vote by mail verses large urban counties. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Businesswoman specializes in customized strategies


By Robin James

Contributing Writer


For organizations that want to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace, equip a workforce with new skills, and get better at offering ideas that transcend genres and categories, it isn’t easy. Millennium Consulting Group’s president Yvonne Cheek is up for initiating a dialogue on the subject. At a glance, she is a strategic change consultant. Along with her colleagues at Millennium Consulting Group in Minneapolis, Cheek helps her clientele broaden and shape their ways of thinking about designing, launching and reaping the benefits of new initiatives. The North Carolina native taught at both elementary and junior high schools in Greensboro, N.C., and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Puget Sound, where she served as the chair of music education, in Tacoma, Washington. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Make Halloween a healthy, teachable moment


There is no shortage of sweet treats on Halloween, which can often be a nightmare for parents of constant bargaining with their kids about how much candy they can consume.  Instead of dreading the season, use it as an opportunity to teach your children about leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to encourage families to talk about healthy eating and candy’s role in their diets.  

Set guidelines

Before the day of trick-or-treating, discuss with your kids the quantity and frequency they can consume their sweets and where they will be stored, so there are no surprises on Halloween.  Having your kids help set the candy parameters will teach them about portion control and how to incorporate treats into their everyday lives. Perhaps they can have a few extra sweets on Halloween but are limited to three pieces of candy each following day — and only after they’ve finished a nutritious meal. You can even divide the candy into portioned bags so it’s clear what your kids are allowed to eat. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer


By Vickie Evans-Nash



The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

City reports renovation of Riverside Plaza complete


According to a recent City of Minneapolis press release, the $65 million renovation of 1,303 affordable housing units at the iconic Riverside Plaza is now complete. The renovation is one of the largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-supported projects in the country. 

An event was held at Riverside Plaza October 10 to celebrate the revitalization of the property. The housing unit improvements include upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems that will extend the lifespan of the property for another 40 years. The exterior and site work focused on returning much of Riverside Plaza to its original 1970s appearance. The two-year construction period provided 200 construction jobs, 90 of which were reserved for Minneapolis residents with an emphasis on hiring Riverside Plaza residents and residents of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Entertainer shares his family’s love with Northside youth


  Dennis Spears, successful local entertainer and beloved mentor to youth on the North Side, attributes much of his life success to a man who loved him unconditionally, taught him patiently, and provided steady examples of good citizenship and integrity in the way he lived his everyday life. This man was Spears’ grandfather, known to most in his Mangham, Louisiana community as Mr. George. Spears was born in Toledo, Ohio to a single mother he adores and describes as his “biggest fan.” Early on in his life, Spears’ grandparents stepped in to help their daughter and grandson, raising Spears on their farm and teaching him the values of hard work, community service and loving God.  


To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:


Or become an MSR subscriber: Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

This week’s entertainment spotlights!

Sat., Oct. 27, 7 pm
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or
Tickets are $35. Love & Marriage

Oct. 10-27:
Illusion Theater
528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-4944 or
This multi-media musical revue celebrates love, life partners, and the true meaning of “for better or for worse.”
Tickets are $15-28. Alex Cross

Various metro-area theaters
A homicide detective/psychologist faces off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with a serial killer. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

New music from late legends Wes Montgomery, Charles Mingus


There are two essential and noteworthy albums to look out for by two artists at their musical peak, which include the late-greats guitarist Wes Montgomery and bassist Charles Mingus. Both men are still very much revered for their signature sound and undeniable ability to connect with diverse audiences all over the world. Resonance Records’ critically acclaimed Wes Montgomery album, Echoes of Indiana Avenue, is significant because it’s the first full album of unheard Montgomery music in over 25 years. The collection of previous unreleased music by the influential 1960s jazz guitarist features nine newly discovered pre-1960 tracks that showcase Montgomery’s evolving solo talents. Montgomery died in 1968. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Sgt. Pat King moves across the street — Law enforcement officer moves to Henn. Co. sheriff’s department


Last week there was a lot of surprise and concern in law enforcement circles regarding how this new chapter in Cowboy King’s history could take place: being transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), especially in light of his having taken personal credit for destroying the Black Police Officers Association and destroying the career of fellow officers (see my August 29, 2007 column and December 14, 2007 blog essay). In the transfer, public officials again put fellow officials’ career survival/pensions ahead of their sworn oaths to do their duties in terms of public safety. Sgt. Pat King should minimally be censured, not celebrated. In the court transcript of a couple of months ago (I attended every day of that trial), he slandered a significant number of well-respected officers as “scum of the earth.”

Besides the transcript, see my columns of February 22 and May 30, 2012. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,