Monthly Archives: May 2013

Former Johnson star, former Henry coach in new ventures



This week’s brief column highlights a former high school boys’ basketball star who had an outstanding first year in college and a former Minneapolis City Conference coach returning home — well, sort of.  

MARCUS MARSHALL was named Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in March. Marshall averaged 10.8 points per game for the Missouri State University Bears. While at St. Paul Johnson, the 6-foot-3 guard led the Governors to three consecutive state tournament appearances, winning the class 3A title in 2010, leading them back in 2011, and finishing third in 2012. Continue Reading →

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Jimmy Lee gets ‘overdue’ induction into High School Hall of Fame



Jim “Jimmy” Lee posthumously “crossed the threshold” Sunday as the only Black member of the 2013 Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Hall of Fame class at the League’s 20th induction ceremony. Lee, who died in 1979, previously was inducted into the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame (1972) and the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame (1982). The St. Paul City Council renamed Oxford Playground after him that same year as well.  He also was featured in the MSR’s month-long Black history series in February. With his daughter and grandson present Sunday afternoon in St. Continue Reading →

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Better Way To Life founder finds fulfillment helping the homeless

News Analysis

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

It is the job of politicians, more than actually solving the public’s problems, to make sweeping statements about how well they supposedly are solving the public’s problems. That’s why a Gallup Poll was trotted out last year extolling that unemployment had fallen to its lowest level since 2008. Never mind that December of that year started out with the National Bureau of Economic Research stating what everyone who works for a living already knew: In 2008, the U.S. economy was a catastrophe, being officially in recession since 2007. And that, officially or not, as far back as 1982, when Gary “U.S.” Bonds recorded “Out of Work,” it might as well have been the new national anthem. Since no one has ever been known to worry about lobbyists for the homeless vote, politicians let the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program die in 2012, leaving the disenfranchised in worse shape than ever. If we aren’t in an actual depression, all that’s missing is Wall Street high-fliers going sky-diving without their parachutes. Continue Reading →

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Create your dream job

Second of a three-part series
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” — Arnold Toynbee


As noted in Toynbee’s quote, finding the juncture where work becomes as enjoyable as play is the ultimate goal of creating your own position. Many would say that when they dream, it is not about work. Rather, they dream of doing what they find enjoyable and worthwhile. This is a new way of reframing how we view “work” or our jobs. In the first installment of this series, I defined components of a well-written job description. Continue Reading →

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Student says ‘best day in school’ was day he was suspended

Students were asked to write about their best day in school for the Minnesota Charter Public School Writing Contest. Vincent Smith wrote that his best day was when he got suspended, because that helped him to change for the better. He said, “It feel

s great to be a leader, not a follower.”

Vincent Smith Jr., a second grader at Urban Academy, won first place in the grades K-2 category. More than 2,200 students from almost 50 charter public schools submitted entries. This was a record number of entries for this annual contest. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis creates local base for environmental justice — EJAM reclaims cultural wisdom in respecting the earth


 Welcome, MSR readers, to a new section you will see appear regularly in these pages, something we call Green2Green. Most of you by now have heard of the green movement to clean up our planet, stop the waste of precious natural resources, and get climate change under control. What is not always clear is just what this movement means to each one of us in our everyday lives. Nor is it always clear how this movement includes environmental justice issues of particular concern to communities of color. And finally, it is not always clear how the green movement can also save us green, as in Benjamin green, and is creating new opportunities for productive careers. Continue Reading →

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People of color seek an environmental message that includes them





By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

It is easy to dismiss the environmental movement. It seems that so many of the messages that come from environmentalists are related to things that are defined as White or ideas that are not of any concern to African Americans. It may also seem like the environmental movement is trying to “unring” a bell, making the behavior attached to protecting the environment from human harm inaccessible and unrealistic. The environmental movement categorizes the natural world’s existence over people. The goal of protecting the planet and not people is troubling for communities of color. Continue Reading →

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Parents can lead by example in getting kids outside — Encourage children to appreciate nature, have fun outside




By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers 

Getting kids away from computer and TV screens and outside into the fresh air is an increasing challenge for parents everywhere. Researchers have found that U.S. children today spend about half as much time outdoors as their counterparts did 20 years ago. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that kids agedseight-18 spend on average more than seven-and-a-half hours a day — or some 53+ hours per week — engaging with so-called entertainment media. Meanwhile, the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), a nonprofit founded by writers and educators concerned about “nature deficit disorder,” finds that in a typical week only six percent of American kids ages nine to 13 plays outside on their own. According to Richard Louv, a founding board member of C&NN and author of the book, Last Child in the Woods, kids who stay inside too much can suffer from “nature deficit disorder,” which can contribute to a range of behavioral problems including attention disorders, depression and declining creativity as well as physical problems like obesity. Continue Reading →

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MSHS donates raised-bed garden kits to schools and community groups




The Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is donating raised-bed garden kits to community groups and schools supporting low-income families and children. MSHS’ Garden-in-a-Box program provides kits that include a 3’ x 4’ fabric raised-bed garden box, soil, and vegetable plants. Groups will also receive educational materials: a booklet on small-space gardening, a class on small-space gardening for group coordinators and teachers, the book Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening, and access to expert gardeners throughout the growing season. Groups and schools may receive up to 10 garden kits, which can either be planted at their location or distributed to the low-income families they serve. Interested groups can contact Vicky Vogels, MSHS Community Outreach Coordinator, by May 17 if they wish to participate in the program. Continue Reading →

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Green Central grows an edible wall

The American Heart Association (AHA) installed its first mobile edible wall in the country at Green Central Community School. Mobile edible walls are freestanding A-frame gardens that can grow a large amount of fresh, organic produce. First-grade students planted tomatoes, tomatillos, green beans, pumpkins and herbs in the indoor vertical garden at a ground breaking on March 7. Candida Gonzalez, coordinator for Green Central Community Education, says the kids’ garden was the product of three first-grade classes — “a veritcal teaching garden.” She says it is the first of its kind in a U.S. elementary school. It is part of the health and science curriculum, and will also be used as an after school project, as well as being a part of a summer program, she says. Continue Reading →

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