Monthly Archives: November 2013

High-scoring Timberwolves now 7-4

Will this be the year the Timberwolves make a run for a title? Will they return to the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett-Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell drove the franchise to the Western Conference Finals? This is year 25 for the Timberwolves to celebrate a quarter of a century of no banners. When I started covering sports in this town back in 1978 the NBA did not exist. After 11 games, the 7-4 Timberwolves are one of the league’s most entertaining teams. They get up and down the floor. Continue Reading →

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Safe Harbors bill offers new hope to exploited young women

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

 

In 2011, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) launched MN Girls Are Not For Sale, a five-year four-million dollar effort to end the sexual trafficking of girls and young women. The sad fact is, despite WFM’s staunch commitment to this crucial cause, girls and young women are still for sale. Until concrete measures are resolutely brought to bear, this insidious, illicit market thrives with wretched, far-reaching, life-destroying consequence. The Department of Justice identifies Minneapolis-St. Paul as a major child sex-trafficking center, one of the nation’s 15 largest. Continue Reading →

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Former mayor to mayor-elect: Get public support for a change agenda

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis in a few weeks will see a new mayor and several new faces on the city council. Betsy Hodges was elected the city’s first White female mayor, and the election also achieved three other “firsts” — the first Somali (Abdi Warsame), the first Latina (Alondra Cano) and the first Hmong (Blong Yang) among seven new city council members. “One of the things I think is awfully important is that the city government [now] really reflects the constituents that live in the city,” said Sharon Sayles Belton in an MSR interview. “We always questioned whether or not the wards would ever support us being able to elect more people of color to the city council or other units of government. “It’s clear, given the changing demographics in Minneapolis and with the right political construct, it is absolutely possible. Continue Reading →

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Family-owned Black business sees employee satisfaction as key to success

Local packaging company rebounds, expands following economic crisis
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Eighth in a series
 
Joseph Wallace last week told the MSR that his business, Independent Packing Services, Inc. (IPSI), is “doing six figures” in annual revenues. Wallace is president of IPSI, one of several local Black-owned businesses that employ many workers, in his case “just under 50 employees.”

He believes it is the only Black-owned packaging and crating firm in the nation, but he quickly points out, “I don’t necessarily look at [it] as being a minority business or a trailblazer. I would look at it as the type of product we deliver in this

region; we’re definitely at the top of the food chain of delivering heavy industrial design and packaging to our clients. I’m very proud of my ethnicity, but that’s not how I think in terms of my business.”

IPSI is a transport packaging firm started by his father in 1976, who according to Wallace “has been in business for himself since the age of 26. “We design and manufacture transport packaging — customized crating for anything from fine artwork to heavy electronics to heavy industrial equipment” — for major commercial customers in the medical, government, transportation and industrial industry, explains the three-year president. Continue Reading →

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Top DeLaSalle multi-sport prospect makes his choice

Last year at this time, DeLaSalle forward REID TRAVIS was a two-sport athlete (football-basketball) who had everyone in the state guessing which one he would play in college. Today he is a student athlete who will play basketball next season at one of the top athletic and academic institutions in the country. Entering the 2012-13 hoop season, the then-junior was one of the state’s top football prospects after leading the Islanders to the state playoffs in football at quarterback. As basketball season progressed, however, Travis found himself among the state’s top three Division I prospects along with Apple Valley’s TYUS JONES and Robbinsdale Cooper’s RASHAD VAUGHN. (Vaughn has since transferred to Findlay Prep for his senior season.)

Ooops! Continue Reading →

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Hazing in football: male camaraderie or tough-guy abuse?

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Suspended Miami offensive lineman Richie Incognito during a television interview Sunday says fellow lineman Jonathan Martin used abusive language toward him and once sent him a threatening text. Martin left the NFL team last month and accused Incognito, among others, of locker-room hazing that included verbal and physical threats. He further accused Incognito of racial threats both verbal and through phone texts. “This isn’t an issue about bullying,” claimed Incognito during the interview. “All this stuff coming out, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, our closeness, our brotherhood. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota’s history of racial intolerance exposed

Book Review

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle’s introduction to The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota (History Press, $19.99) begins, “The overt whiteness of Minnesota in the 1920s makes the Ku Klux Klan finding a home in the state incomprehensible to residents today” — whatever that means. It is clear, however, that while the covert racism that yet prevails in this state might not do the Klan proud, it resolutely upholds its supremacist creed. For instance, there is the constant hue and cry from Black businesses that get shut out of sweet, lucrative contracts to construct sports stadiums. Even the mere existence of Black business in Minnesota is a miniscule percentage. And judging from the behavior of some members of the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, it seems they had their training in a Klan camp. Continue Reading →

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The Washington mascot solution is simple: Change the name!

No U.S. professional team since 1963 has established new mascots or nicknames that use racial stereotypes. Yet the Washington pro football team, which played here last week, continues its offensive nickname and logo. Current team owner Dan Snyder, when asked last May, told USA Today that he will “never” change the team nickname. His refusal, as well as virtually ignoring a new resolution by the District of Columbia City Council urging the team to change its name, as well as a U.S. House bill introduced that would amend the 1946 Trademark Act, banning the term and canceling all trademark registrations of the current nickname, is downright disappointing and insulting. We condemn Mr. Snyder’s stubbornness, greediness or both along with his argument against changing a name that originated and maintained for over eight decades, since 1932, “a legacy of racism” by the team’s late founder George Preston Marshall in. Continue Reading →

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Violence grips downtown

One dead, three wounded in night of terror
 
When shots rang out around 11:53 pm, Saturday night, November 2, 2013, at the Epic nightclub in downtown Minneapolis (or 1 am; reports vary as this is written just two days after the shooting) the crowd of over 2,500 partygoers disbursed in panic. The concert featured Yo Gotti, a prominent and legendary rapper. Because of violence associated with his concertgoers, the Minneapolis Police Department prepared for violence outside Epic with pepper spray and riot equipment, but not inside, as there were 40 well-trained security personnel inside along with six off-duty Minneapolis police officers. The assassin was able to approach the VIP section, gun down and kill 27-year-old Tyrone Washington with precision and dispatch, and then leave, unnoticed and unapprehended. Clearly this was not a shooting of random victims (as at schools, theaters and workplaces). Continue Reading →

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