Recent Articles

Gary Cunningham gives back, as his uncle Moe taught him

The ‘one story’ of European colonialism informs his work
By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer


Minneapolis-native Gary Cunningham’s career has been long and varied, and his résumé reads like a “Who’s Who” of local government agencies and organizations. He has been involved with, at various times:

• NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center in North Minneapolis, where he was CEO and director of primary care;

• Hennepin County as director of planning and development;

• Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, as associate collegiate program leader and research fellow;

• Minneapolis Public Schools as executive director of human resource services/acting operations administrator;

• Scott County as administrator and chief executive officer; and

• The African American Men Project as its director. Before all of that, Cunningham was raised by his uncle Moe, a community activist who Cunningham credits with giving him the guidance that blossomed into a career of service. “There was an expectation that you would use

your skills, talents and abilities to give back and contribute to the well-being of the community, particularly African Americans and other people of color,” Cunningham explained about his uncle. After graduating from Minneapolis’ Central High School, Cunningham became involved with the Community Gardens in South Minneapolis and then went on to run the Grand-Central Co-Op, a grocery store across the street from his old high school. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Does bitter cold and heavy snowfall mean no global warming?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers



It’s tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don’t rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: “Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”

Isolated weather events and even seasonal trends are not an indication of global warming’s existence one way or another, and most climatologists agree that the car born pollution we have been spewing into the atmosphere for the past century is leading to more frequent and intense storms of every kind and causing greater temperature swings all around the planet. In short, the harsh winter we are having shouldn’t be viewed as a refutation of global warming, but rather as further evidence of a growing problem. “There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

What are electronic cigarettes and why should I care about them?


Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, but the creators of a breakthrough device are hoping to change that by encouraging smokers to use an alternative method. Commonly referred to as “e-cigarettes,” these battery-powered devices come in a variety of shapes and models, including those that resemble standard tobacco cigarettes and those that mimic cigars and tobacco pipes. E-cigarettes work by giving smokers a nicotine hit without actually exposing them to tobacco smoke. This is made possible due to a special chamber (atomizer) with a heating element and a liquid. The actual nicotine is in the liquid, along with propylene glycol and flavorings. The atomizer chamber aerosolizes this liquid, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled, while also creating a vapor cloud that realistically resembles cigarette smoke.  These vapors are essentially odorless unless the liquid is heavily flavored. Manufacturers claim that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to the conventional use of tobacco in cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Do you know how to respond to a mental-health crisis?

Mental Health First Aid provides the needed skills
By Vickie Evans-Nash

MSR Editor-in-Chief

First aid and CPR classes have been taught across the nation for years now, giving people with no medical training lifesaving skills in the event of a medical crisis. People suffering from mental health problems can pose a life-threatening crisis as well. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota offers lay people a class called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) that will give them the skills needed to respond in cases of a mental-health crisis. “In a similar way to how regular first aid teaches people BAC (breathing, airway and circulation), in mental health first aid there’s an acronym ALGEE. It stands for assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen non-judgmentally, get appropriate information and support, encourage appropriate professional help, and encourage appropriate self-help,” explains Anna McLafferty, the course instructor. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,