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Task force prepares for Affordable Care Act provisions


Group offers recommendations to ensure health disparities are addressed

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

One of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major provisions is the creation of insurance exchanges or state-based marketplaces for small businesses and people without employer health coverage. Although these exchanges, designed to offer choices of affordable health plans, are not mandated until 2014, Minnesota officials are now meeting to decide how to set them up. Will these insurance exchanges, which must be in place beginning in 2014, address health disparities? This was the oft-asked topic at the January 17 state health insurance exchange advisory task force meeting at Shiloh International Temple in North Minneapolis. Health disparities “are a high-priority issue,” says Task Force Chair and State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman at the four-hour meeting at Shiloh Temple. Continue Reading →

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NCAA contenders looked like Black colleges

But they were not, nor do Black athletes or 
Black colleges share in the sport wealth

A week ago, tens of millions of Americans (with millions more around the world) tuned into the NCAA BCS national championship football game, played at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. A big game. And a big revenue generator. A great payday for all White colleges eligible to get their cut of the media and game-day millions. A big payday for White coaches dependent on winning records. Continue Reading →

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Only in the NFL: super rematch!



Storylines can sometimes make you scratch your head in disbelief. One such story is that of two brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, both head football coaches of two of the 12 NFL teams that qualified for the 2012 playoffs, getting their teams within one victory of coaching against each other in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5. John, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, lost 23-20 to New England; Jim, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, lost 20-17 in overtime to New York. Then there’s Eli Manning, New York Giants quarterback and little brother of Peyton Manning, the injured superstar of the Indianapolis Colts, proving again he is indeed an elite quarterback, leading the Giants back to the Super Bowl for a chance to win his second Super Bowl before older brother Peyton gets his second in Indianapolis, Indiana — where older brother Peyton plays, of all places, against the same team, Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, and Tom Brady that he beat in Super Bowl 42 (17-14). Just amazing. Continue Reading →

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A good man departs public service — Fire Chief Alex Jackson to step down Feb. 29, 2012



When Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Chief Alex Jackson announced his retirement two weeks ago, it was not necessarily surprising to us in this corner. We saw it coming as far back as April 2010 in the rush to judgment over the April 28, 2010 fire that was used to unfairly yet purposefully undercut Chief Jackson. As I wrote in my April 10, 2010 column, “All the Star Tribune and City Council Member Gary Schiff (DFL, Ninth Ward) have managed to do as shameless, vocal town criers against the department’s Chief Jackson, Assistant Chief Penn, and Fire Marshall Tyner, all African Americans, is get egg on their faces.”

Despite how he has been treated, the good news is that Chief Jackson is leaving for retirement on his own terms, his head unbowed. Due to my long experience as one of the federal court-appointed overseers of the department, I am extremely familiar with the MFD and its demands. It was not always an easy task to convey to the union and the politicians the importance of adhering to the orders of the federal court. Continue Reading →

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Giants dominate Packers 37-20



GREEN BAY — Will history be kind to the Green Bay Packers, considering they were defending Super Bowl Champions, 15-1, the number-one seed in the playoffs for the first time since 1996, second-highest-scoring team (560 points) in NFL history and winners of 19 straight games? The cruel reality of the National Football League is that on any given Sunday it’s for real — you can get your nose bloodied in this league. The New York Giants, the last team to qualify as NFC East Champs for the 12-team playoff field, did the punching Sunday. They shocked the football world on a wonderful 31-degree, sun-splashed January day having come to town confident that they could play with the defending champion Packers, and they proved it. Losing that close 38-35 battle at home to the Packers on December 4 in the regular season in some ways sparked the Giants. Continue Reading →

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We still need help here!

African American children continue to die, and with them our spirits

On Christmas day, December 25, 2011, three-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr. enjoyed Christmas and the love and warmth of his family. By the late evening of December 26, Terrell Mayes, Jr. was dead, the victim of the continuous, senseless violence that is tearing at the soul of our city. By Wednesday, December 28, politicians were trying to put a favorable twist on this tragic story. But there is no twist, no mirage, no Madison Avenue-driven theme, no so-called “closure.” Death is irreversible. And at three years of age, this child’s death will haunt family, friends and community for the rest of our lives. Continue Reading →

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A ‘New COINTELPRO’ will not deter our resistance

2012 will be The Year of the Village

FBI records show that 85 percent of COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed ”subversive, including communist and socialist organizations; organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups; the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled ‘New Left,’ including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement; nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch’s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement; and additional notable Americans, such as Albert Einstein (who was a member of several civil rights groups).”

The remaining 15 percent of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert ”white hate groups,” including the Ku Klux Klan and the National States’ Rights Party. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to ”expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of these movements and their leaders. (quotes from Wikipedia)

Breathe — this is deep. Last week I was threatened by two Black men with “public character assassination.” Truth. Coincidentally, last week the village shouted its dissent and let the politicians know about our dissatisfaction — and here comes COINTELPRO. Continue Reading →

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No contest — Tide rolls over LSU 21-0


NEW ORLEANS — Be careful when you give someone a rematch. The motivation of the agony of defeat can make a huge difference. We saw it when Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in the rematch. We saw it when the New York Giants shocked the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Monday night we saw it again. Continue Reading →

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Vikings done, NFL Second Season begins


PHOENIX — It’s over. The worst season of Vikings football since 1984 has come to an end, 17-13 to the Chicago Bears. Back in 1961 when it all started for the Vikings in Minnesota, they beat George Hallas and the Chicago Bears. Well, Sunday at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome the Chicago Bears ended a five-game losing streak and handed the Vikings a 17-13 loss in what could be the last game the Vikings play in Minnesota. What’s sad is that nobody knows the lease agreement between the Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Commission officially is over. Continue Reading →

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Respect the Black Press



Is the local Black Press getting its due respect? All the local sports teams know about the MSR,but I often wonder if they really understand our presence in the Twin Cities sports scene. Do the local Black athletes know our history? Are they aware of the Black Press’ historical role for Black inclusion in American sports? It’s a shame if they don’t. Continue Reading →

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