Monthly Archives: November 2013

Is special education used for kids who simply misbehave?

In this column I will be discussing the results of a one-year investigation that we conducted surrounding special education in Minnesota. The opinion of HIT investigators and myself is not included in this column. We began looking at Special Education over a year ago when a parent who was concerned that their child was being mistreated and not receiving their appropriate level of special education service contacted us. Once we started the investigation we realized that we had walked into a minefield and that special education was, as one person put it, “Americas worst kept secret.” In this column we will attempt to present all viewpoints and give you the reader an idea of the complexity surrounding this issue. So, let’s see what people had to say. Continue Reading →

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City counsel ignores Peavey Park crack problem

A week before the elections, I’m trying to get a bus at about 5 pm and go to work. It’s drizzling, chilly. Be nice to step in out of the weather at the bus shelter on the corner of Chicago and Franklin on Minneapolis’ south side. But, there’s a guy standing there, holding a crack pipe up to the mouth of a fellow in a wheel chair. The fellow in the chair has an affliction that has twisted his wrist and deformed his hand to the extent he can’t hold and light his own crack pipe. Continue Reading →

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

League president Richie defends ESPN coverage

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.   Shortly after a visit here in August, WNBA President Laurel Richie promised the MSR a one-on-one sit-down interview later in the season. The third-year league president made good on her promise during the playoffs, and we respectfully discussed several topics. Despite a six-year extension, this columnist remains unimpressed that ESPN will ever see the WNBA as other than a stepsister in its overall coverage. Continue Reading →

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Samantha blows the gig

Everybody was fed up, waiting around for the session to get underway. Few folk are more irritably restless than a bunch of bored musicians. Especially when they are some of highest paid hired guns in town. Keith was, for the last 40 minutes, having a problem with the artist. Loyal as his buddies were, they were ready to bail. Luis, sick and tired of retuning his congas, said out loud what everyone thought but, out of respect for Keith, hadn’t voiced: “I got better things to do.”

In the control booth, Carl, a highly paid engineer who indeed Keith was paying for the session, sat relaxed reading Rolling Stone. Didn’t matter how many recording hours were wasted, he was presenting an invoice. His assistant, Katie, sauntered in and plopped down on the couch, asking, without a great deal of interest, “How’s it going?”

Beatty tossed the magazine aside. “They are not happy campers. Do me a favor? Go tell Keith his protégé needs to sit or get off the pot.”

Katie went to do just that. Then she stopped halfway down the hall, this side of a set of swinging glass doors, watching Samantha Smith wave her arms. Though Katie couldn’t hear well enough to make out the words, she got it that Smith was raising three different kinds of hell with Keith. Continue Reading →

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Women take charge at Twin Cities Black Film Festival

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Women ruled at this year’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) as several female produced and directed films and shorts were screened in September. “Anyone who takes the time and the courage to do this, I’m all for that,” notes TCBFF Founder-Director Natalie Morrow. “I’m not a filmmaker, but I know that it’s a lot of work that goes into filmmaking — just trying to find your funding, your actors, your editing and all that.”

“I write a lot [but] I went to school to learn how to edit so I can do my own projects,” said writer-director Schonte Hamilton. “We’re looking at short after short… that’s just wonderful to see,” observed Deedra Miller, who wrote and also starred in her own film. Continue Reading →

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Seward coop plans for second store run into questions of race, class and food justice

“Will the store cause a rise in rents?” one community resident asked during the July public meeting about Seward Community Co-op’s plan to open a store across from Sabathani Community Center. At the heart of the discussion were questions about race, class and food justice. Continue Reading →

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Concussions require immediate medical attention

What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury.  

Why should I care about concussions? Concussions are becoming more and more common in contact physical athletics involving all ages, children to adult professionals. A recent government report estimates that over four million sports-related concussions occur in the United States annually. Concussions are also the most common type of traumatic brain injury seen in persons over the age of 65 secondary to falls. Continue Reading →

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There’s no shortcut to discovering self-worth from within

A year has passed since I began my weight-loss journey. I’ve made tremendous progress, but at times it didn’t feel that way.  In fact, halfway through the year I became complacent with my workouts. I was discouraged. My energy levels seemed to be dropping and I wasn’t losing weight, but I had no idea why. I knew I had to change more than my workouts but had little idea where to start. Continue Reading →

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