Stephani Booker

Recent Articles

Minnesota legalizes same-sex marriage

 

 
But my same-sex marriage was real before the law passed
 
 

 

By Stephani Maari Booker

Contributing Writer

 

Instead of attending to the novel I was supposed to be working on, I spent the afternoon in front of the TV watching the debate over and vote on the same-sex marriage bill in the State Senate on TPT’s Minnesota Channel. I listened to the passionate and heartfelt speeches given by DFL Senators Scott Dibble, Jeff Hayden, Patricia Torres Ray and others in favor of passing the bill for legalizing same-sex marriage, and — to be honest — I muted the TV sound when senators opposing the bill had the floor. I was all ears and eyes when speeches and attempts by Republican senators to attach amendments were over and the vote commenced. When the results showed the bill passed 37-30, the first thing I did was pick up the phone and call my wife. On Sunday, June 12, 2011, I married my domestic partner of six years, Misha, at Great River Bluffs State Park in Winona, MN. Continue Reading →

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Local art star leads evening of creative, collaborative fun

 

By Stephani Maari Booker

Contributing Writer

 

Ta-coumba Aiken turned an audience into an artistic collective at a Feb. 28 “An Evening with tpt’s MN Original” event held at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul. The St. Paul-based artist instructed the participants to use cardboard cubes and magazines to create individual collages that “talk about your past, your present and your future… Continue Reading →

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Election judges keep polling places operating smoothly

 
Be sure your vote counts by coming to the polls prepared
By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-In-Chief

Serving as an election judge and helping voters navigate through the voting process is an invaluable contribution to our democratic process. Stephani Booker, who has been an election judge for over a decade, explains what it takes to become an election judge and how to show up prepared next week at the polls. She became a judge by first responding to information in her City of Minneapolis water utility bill. Among several pieces of junk mail was an insert with a number to call for more information. According to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, in order to be an election judge:

• You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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New releases by Etta James, Leela James link old and new soul music

A music review

By Stephani Maari Booker

Associate Editor

 

Like many people who weren’t even born during that time, I’m most familiar with the late music legend Etta James through her 1961 classic “At Last.” She had a long string of hits on the R&B/soul chart starting in the mid-1950s (with her biggest hit period in the ’60s) and ending in the late 1970s while hitting the pop chart occasionally as well. I only know a handful of James’ hits as they were sung by James, including “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On” — many of the songs she recorded were covered by other artists, including Janis Joplin (“Tell Mama”) and Joe Cocker (“You Can Leave Your Hat On”). The 2008 film about Etta James’ 1960s record label Chess Records, Cadillac Records, and then her death this year have renewed interest in the great singer’s career and music, which has probably led to the July 24 release of Etta James: Live at Montreux 1975-1993 by Eagle Rock Entertainment. The CD is a collection of songs from four different performances by James at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the famed multi-artist, multi-genre (despite its name) showcase held yearly since 1967 in Switzerland. The track selection is lopsided when it comes to how many songs are from which Etta James performances: More than half the tracks are from her 1993 show, three are from 1975 and one each from 1977 and 1989. Continue Reading →

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