Monthly Archives: October 2013

There is no safe level of lead in human bodies

Child lead poisoning remains a threat
While significant progress has been made in recent decades in decreasing children’s exposure to lead, several thousand Minnesota children last year still had elevated levels of lead in their blood. What’s more, recent research has led health experts to conclude there is no safe level of lead in the body. During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct. 20-26), State health officials are reminding Minnesotans that lead hazards still exist in many homes. The Minnesota Department of Health Lead Program has begun taking a healthy homes approach to more efficiently address lead and other housing-related health hazards across the state. Continue Reading →

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Hair on display — oh my!

Many women have been asked the dreaded question from a stranger, “Can I touch your hair?” Or they may have taken a risk and reached out and touched your hair before asking or not asking at all. Would you say this is a sanitation issue, a violation of personal space, an insult, okay, or just wrong? I was recently asked to share my views on an exhibit that took place this summer on June 7 and 8 in New York’s Time Square. Before I share my response, here’s the skinny! Antonia Opiah, founder of a natural hair blog called Un’, followed up on an article she wrote for the Huffington Post on “Exploring the comment ‘No one should say, Can I touch your hair.’” Antonio decided to drill down deeper on this topic by having a very interactive, public health exhibit for two days called “You Can Touch My Hair.”

She solicited several models who were fashionably dressed rocking locks, straight weave and natural loose hairstyles. Continue Reading →

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Shapeshift hip hop dance group to perform

Shapeshift, a Minneapolis-based hip hop dance group, performs Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, at the New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Avenue, in Minneapolis. This exciting show is choreographed and passionately produced by Ashley Selmer and Herbert Johnson, well-established dance artists who have worked with the likes of Iluminate and Prince’s new band 3rd Eye Girl. The group recently performed in front of 18,000 fans at the Xcel Center on October 8. Tickets can be purchased at (search Shapeshift). For further information contact James Selmer at 612-220-8545. Continue Reading →

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New food choices at Timberwolves games not for everyone


Fans looking for basic fare and affordable options might just be out of luck

The Minnesota Timberwolves has new concessions items this season. A first-ever sampling party was held October 23 for “a mix of media and season-ticket members,” including the MSR at the downtown Minneapolis arena. This reporter however did not taste any of the new food: a male worker seemingly didn’t understand me when I asked if a simple hamburger was available — he instead pointed me to the new 1/3-pound Bar-B-Que Burger topped with pork, barbecue sauce and onion crisp. A Black female worker also couldn’t convince me to try the new “Ball Hog,” a 1/2-pound kielbasa. “The kielbasa is good,” she insisted, but to no avail. Continue Reading →

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Sensitivity to persons with disabilities

I am a volunteer member of the speakers’ bureau for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. I and one other speaker were asked to present our stories at the University of Minnesota—Mankato campus to a classroom of students taking a class titled as above. On one aspect of this class, I asked them: “Why does a college need to teach a class on sensitivity to persons with disabilities? On the other aspect, I applaud the instructor for recognizing the need to have such a class, and I applaud the students who selected the class for an education experience. The students were absolutely wonderful. Continue Reading →

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Keith mulls over Samantha Smith, object of Lesli’s jealousy

One thing at a time, Keith reasoned, sipping his coffee, chewing the bagel, debating whether to change clothes or keep on what he’d passed out in. He’d deal with the prospect of Lesli getting jealous over his working with Samantha Smith if and when he ever got her back. Right now, he had work to do that certainly involved working with Samantha. He decided to get out of yesterday’s clothes and grab a shower. Finishing off his morning-after, roiling-stomach queller, he put the cup in the sink and headed into the bathroom, sifting further through his memory. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Spotlights




Fri., Nov. 1, 7:30 pm • Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Highway 55, Medina

• Call 763-478-6661 or visit for more information



Living Colour

Fri., Nov. 1, 8 pm •

Mill City Nights, 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis

• visit, or call 612-333-3422





Shemekia Copeland

Fri., Nov. 1, 8 pm •

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis  • Visit,

or call 612-332-1010




Toro y Moi with Classixx

Sat., Nov. 2, 8 pm •

First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. Continue Reading →

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The WNBA: where it’s been, where it’s going

WNBA media coverage still far short of equitable 








Second of a four-part series

Although it’s America’s longest running women’s pro league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is still seen by too many as below major league status. The MSR talked about this and related issues with coaches, players, analysts, fans and league officials throughout the league’s 17th season; their insights are included in this multi-part series on the WNBA. According to Scoreboard for Equality, a new on-line blog that began this summer monitoring women’s sports coverage, America’s longest running women’s pro league championship didn’t make the New York Times’ top sports stories, with just a brief mention in both USA TODAY and the Washington Post. Sports Illustrated had four writers covering baseball playoffs, but only one for the WNBA playoffs. ESPN’s almighty SportsCenter aired the Minnesota Lynx’s three-game sweep of Atlanta only after five other sports stories were aired. Continue Reading →

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Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Tour stops at the Dakota



By Charles Hallman

Staff writer


The energy he displayed during a recent show in town truly belies Billy Cobham’s age. The 69-year-old jazz fusion drummer has been on the road with his Spectrum 40 tour.  “We have been accelerating as we went along. We started in St. Petersburg [Florida] then went to Atlanta; up to Seattle, down to Portland then on to to Albuquerque . . Continue Reading →

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Mayoral candidate Don Samuels: two-term Minneapolis City Council member

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Councilmember Don Samuels says he is the only mayoral candidate that has “clarity of vision” to work on eliminating the city’s racial disparities. “Nobody has the clarity of vision and the loftiness of vision that I have for this community,” he claims.

“I made sure that I penned with my own hand to include the language of participation goals [32 percent Blacks and other people of color] of any project funded by City dollars,” says Samuels on workforce diversity on the Vikings stadium project. “I thought it was going to be a sweet deal for us moving from 11 percent to 32 percent on a $1 billion project. From here on out, it’s a matter of oversight…to make sure that this thing is happening from beginning to end and through the completed Vikings stadium operation.”

Samuels supports the recent city council-endorsed streetcar plan, a 3.4-mile line that would run from Lake Street to 5th Street Northeast along Nicollet, then cross the river at the Hennepin Avenue Bridge — at a cost between $180 and $220 million. “I’ve been championing streetcars on West Broadway — I’m the first one to do that,” he points out. Continue Reading →

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