Archive for March, 2010

The Ten Coolest Theaters in America

LikeMe names the ten coolest movie theaters in the U.S. and The Trylon of Mpls is listed.

A 50-seat “microcinema” with a connected art gallery, The Trylon is owned and operated by Take-Up Productions, an organization dedicated to the preservation of classic films. This summer, the Trylon will play host to both Hitchcock and Harryhausen festivals, as well as a Bill Murray comedy retrospective. But The Trylon takes a broad definition of the “classics” – the “Trash Film Debaucher” series highlights movies like Cherry 2000 and Accion Mutante.

The Trylon
3258 Minnehaha Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 424-5468

How Green Was My Garden: Ring the Bell for Sustainability

The Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota is hosting a great panel discussion with Local Growers about sustainability & why it is important.  Here is the release:

Sustainable Foods and Farming Local Growers Panel
Tuesday, March 23, 7-9 pm at the Bell Museum Auditorium, East Bank, U. of Minnesota

Why is sustainability important for land and for people?

What is being done in Minnesota to help reduce environmental degradation? Why should we care? Four local growers will share their stories of gardening and farming using organic and sustainable practices, native plants and alternative market structures.

Speakers: Jim Riddle, organic farmer, sustainable agriculture educator Tony Thompson, grower of corn, soybeans and native plants Courtney Tchida, with the U of M’s Student Organic Farm Norm Erickson, a grower of hazelnuts for food and fuel

Tour the Bell Museum’s Hungry Planet Exhibit before the panel starts! Following the panel, audience members will be able to ask questions and share information about opportunities to get involved in the local foods movement in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Sustainability Studies Minor,

How Green Was My Garden: SciGirls go gardening at Dowling

From a TPT Press release, the SciGirls, a Public Television nationally broadcast program, filmed a recent episode at Dowling Community Gardens, one of the oldest Community Gardens in the Twin Cities.

We’re pleased to announce that Dowling Community Garden, the oldest continuously gardened community garden in the Twin Cities, was featured in an upcoming episode of the nationally-broadcast SciGirls.


Friday April 2, 5:30 PM on tpt 2

Sat. April 3 7:30 AM on tpt 2

Sunday April 4 10:30 AM on tpt Life


108 Science Cooks!
Izzie cooks up a taste test with Claire and her friends, who make comfort foods more nutritious (without sacrificing the delicious).

WHAT IS SCIGIRLS? A new weekly series that premiered on PBS stations and online nationwide February 13, 2010. The bold goal of SciGirls is no less than to change how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math – or S.T.E.M., the hottest topic in U.S. education today. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of enthusiastic, real SciGirls, who collaborate, communicate, engineer and discover. SciGirls is funded by the National Science Foundation with additional support from ExxonMobil. To learn more visit

We’re especially pleased to have Dowling included in this episode that features smart eating among our children, and to support this important series that empowers tween girls to embrace science, technology, engineering and math.

We were thrilled to partner with our own Public Television station, tpt, to make this series possible. The episode will air nationally, but is created and filmed completely in our Twin Cities. We love that a show empowering girls to embrace STEM utilized the Dowling Community Garden – a gem of a historical resource located on school property!

Talking Minnesotan – 03/19/10


Minnesotans have been crazy talking up the recent goings on, much to the dismay of… well … other Minnesotans. We’re a fickle lot, we like to talk a lot, sometimes. Other times we don’t want any talking. Most of the time we don’t want to hear or read about things we aren’t talking about. Of course, maybe I get too much of my information from Twitter.

If FLOODWATCH2010 is your thing Sornie is pulling together an impressive group of flood pics over and yon at Minnpics

MPR brings us a boatload of events this weekend

This weekend is burgeoning with more events than I know what to do with: book signings, dance concerts, theater, birthday celebrations, music, comedy… If you can’t find something in here to tickle your fancy, well all I can say is, you’re missing out.

Your weekend outlook: the (w)rite of spring

2and21 says forget lakes. we got bikes.

While Simplegoodandtasty points out our great Mn craft beers Locavore Beer Lovers Have Much to Like About Minnesota Brew

Bob has some helpful information @justplainbob “@BCollinsMN Perhaps 90% of people don’t know — as I didn’t until recently — that you can recycle CFL at Menards for free. Spread the word!”

Remember that Duluth Google video I posted a while back?
Now Public Knowledge asks “Will Minnesota Senate Kill Duluth’s Chances of Getting Google Gigabit Project?”

Minnpost is talking healthcare Behind-the-scenes on health care maneuvering: how Tim Walz is deciding, how lobbying pressures mount

While is taking on the ever popular immigration debate Minnesota Compass: The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota

•Immigrant-owned businesses generated $331 million dollars in net income to the Minnesota in 2000.
•Hispanic-owned firms in the state have grown 350% since 1990.
•Foreign-born workers account for the majority of growth in the labor force in Minnesota.
•Nationally immigrants represent 25% of physicians and 40% of engineers holding doctoral degrees.
•The U.S. Labor Department reports that the nation has an immediate shortage of 126,000 nurses, yet the average wait for a nurse to get a “green card” is six years.
•Rural Minnesota alone faces a predicted shortage of 8,000 RNs in the next decade.

In sad news longtime Mpls.St.Paul Magazine editor Brian Anderson passed away this week. In my household Brian was viewed as a thoughtful writer and it was his stories my wife would discuss the most.

MSPMAG has the details on his services

On Saturday, March 20, he will be remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and readers at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Lakewood Cemetery. All of those Brian touched, either through his deeds or his written words, are welcome to attend

Let’s wrap this up with Mn’s own Romantica – These Things Are Too Beautiful (Live on The Local Show)


Is journalism influenced by advertising revenue?

Have you heard about The Emily Program? It’s a great company that helps with eating disorders for both adolescents and adults.

From the their website:

1. Who is Emily?

She’s both a real person and a philosophy. When Dirk Miller opened his new clinic for people with eating disorders, he named it for his sister, Emily, who had recovered from an eating disorder.

Through the years, that name has come to signify personalized care for all individuals struggling with eating disorders – the hallmark of The Emily Program. Members of our treatment team develop a personal connection with clients.

This connection is often the start of long-term relationships, because eating disorders tend to be difficult, long-term illnesses by their very nature. Strengthening this connection is The Emily Program staff’s unparalleled commitment. We help clients heal, and we do much more. We work hard to prevent eating disorders by promoting awareness of their causes and their effects on families and every one of our communities.

Our staff has extensive experience in the field. Several also have a personal experience with recovery.

“We think like people with eating disorders think,” says Miller. “We ‘are’ our clients… we know the changes people need to make to live through patterns of thoughts and feelings.

There has been a considerable amount of media related to the program over the last few weeks as they attempted to convert a long vacant school into a ten bedroom health facility in Orono. Seems simple enough, until the nighbors decided they didn’t want to facility in town due to “increased traffic” concerns.

One of the most vocal opponents and certainly one of the most influential was Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel Strib reports

Steinhafel, in comments at a Feb. 22 City Council meeting, said, “We strongly believe that Emily’s Program has no place at the Hill School location.”

And while Target has tried to distance itself from the conflict by releasing a statement saying they are not involved some are claiming it may not be that simple.

The Emily Programs has pulled it’s application and opted to fight no further against the Orono residents, but one commenter in this editorial,

In the face of opposition, the Emily Program opts to move on., has a lot to say about the Star Tribune’s treatment of this story.

posted by gollyg on Mar 19, 10 at 11:26

What gives, Star Trib?
There have been FOUR stories written on this subject in the past few weeks and all of them had lively and informative discussions in the comments section. ALL of the stories have had the comment sections removed without cause or explanation – the latest one being written just a couple of days ago, with over 60 comments posted. (One from a couple of weeks ago had over 200 comments.) At one point, people even asked if a rep from the Star Trib could explain why these comment sections were being removed, but there has been no response. I have read all the comments and except for a select few – and I mean FEW (which were rightfully deleted) – there wasn’t anything in the comments to warrant the removal of the entire section. The Star Trib is certainly giving the impression that it is willing to censor and/or delete comments that might be seen as unfavorable towards the CEO of one of their large advertisers. I was trying so hard not to believe that and to give the paper the benefit of the doubt, but doubt has now been erased from my mind. After having four stories written and four comment sections removed (why offer a comment section if you’re unwilling to allow people to speak their minds, by the way?), it is clear to me that indeed, the Star Trib IS reacting to some sort of pressure from its advertiser. How sad. For the paper – to give in to such strong-arm tactics; for the advertiser – to be so thin-skinned against a few comments on a website; for the reader – who is of the belief that they have a forum whereby they can exchange opinions with one another and in the process learn to consider other viewpoints, maybe even sharing their own personal stories in an attempt to help others take a second look at their OWN way of thinking….only to have those comments removed – over and over and over again. This paper has struggled in this economy and has been asking for customers to support and stand by them. How can we do that when the paper itself won’t even allow us a voice? I guess the only way I have left to be heard is with my dollars…the ones I’ll be taking with me when I cancel my subscription to the paper.

This is not only one person’s opinion, I have heard similar complaints made against the Star Tribune early on with the Denny Hecker situation, at the time he was a heavy advertiser in the paper.

It’s a shame that the people of Orono fought this facility, but the Emily Program will find another home. Still, one has to wonder if this is a situation where the news is teeting awefully close to the line that separates reporting the news to becoming the news.

What do you think, are newspapers and/or media outlets more beholden to their advertisers than their journalistic ethics? Can a comment section be considered part of an article? If no, then why have them? If yes, then why censor things that are within the usage guidlines?



Taking the fun out of fundraising

Forest Lake Press reports

A Century Junior High School parent said her son and another student are being unfairly punished after a school fundraiser took a wrong turn into alleged sexual misconduct last month.

The incident took place during a charity fundraiser where three teachers, a male and two females, volunteered to be taped to a school wall. Students could buy a three-foot piece of duct tape for $1 and secure the teacher to a wall in front of the student body.

Amanda Valencia said a group of classmates dared her son and another student to place tape on a female teacher’s chest. She said her son placed his portion of tape across the teacher’s collar bone, but the second male student applied tape across her chest.

The action resulted in cheers and high fives among the group of students involved in the dare.

Valencia said approximately a dozen students involved in the incident were questioned by school authorities and asked to write an apology to the teacher. She said her son was sent home and suspended for two days.

Valencia said the punishment seemed to fit the circumstances but then her son was questioned by police for alleged sexual harassment and disorderly conduct.

“They took part in an event that was put on by the school, volunteered to by the teachers, and tape provided by the school for the students to place on the teacher,” she said, “and they want to charge my son with sexual harassment or even disorderly conduct? That seems a little extreme.”

Quiring said police will take no action in the case, but Valencia said school authorities threatened to expel her son and plan to classify the incident as sexual harassment in his school file.

The comment section is lighting up and mostly it is in support of the kids.

Russ writes

” I agree that the behavior of the students appears on the surface to be nothing more than plain ordinary immaturity. I think having the reason why it was inappropriate being explained to them, and having to write an apology should have been the end of it. But once again the administration has to take things to a level above silly. To move the children to a new school seems like a knee-jerk reflex rather than a well thout decision. ”

Mary answers

” This is just another reason why I’m glad that I moved my children to another district. I think that the staff and district are seriously lacking in many areas. The top being that most lack the brains that they should have for the positions that they are in. The kids were just being kids and lacked a little good judgement. Tha adults on the other hand???????? ”

mom2 adds

” Agree with Russ & Mom -the school totally over reacted to this situation. The teacher being taped to the wall should have said something such as “dont even think about it” and the whole issue could have been avoided. Ross Bennett states the worhwhile cause was marred by 2 students. Guess what dumn idea to begin with and doesnt the staff member have some fault as well? “

And the mother of one of the boys weighs in.

mamabear wrote

” i want to thank you all for your logical and caring comments given the fact that my son is one of the “accused”. What most of you do not yet know is that the police were called and these boys were questioned without benefit of parental knowledge or involvement. My son; to this date has served 2 ISR punishments, forced to write and then re-write letters of apology, been interviewed (without parents) on at least THREE occasions, referred to a “behavior and consequence” class at youth service bureau and has been given an assigned lunch seat with the severely disabled kids. Anyone a parent of one of these kids?? How do you feel knowing that your child’s disability is being used as punishment for a non-disabled child?? My child is not one of the two the UNINFORMED mr Bennett speaks of– he is one of 12 that are involved and being continuously punished. My child finally could not force himself to return to school last Friday as a result of teacher’s treatment of him and feeling like they were calling him a “rapist.” His documented offense: “inappropriate laughter toward a staff member.” documented staff response : “police action”. Make sense to anyone????????????? The principal and vice principal both told us it makes perfect sense to them and we are also told they dont know yet if they are though punishing our son. I cannot figure out how these people sleep at night!!! Can anyone else?? furthermore– its important to note that the female teacher who was “so damaged” by the inappropriate strip of tape and subsequent laughter~~ continued her role as tapee for two additional lunch periods!! the principal’s response to that? “she chose to continue so as not to draw further negative attention to the event” REALLY??? so calling the FL police department was what ??? positive attention??? The school district considering further punishments for these kids??? The punishment needs to turn on the faculty and Mr Bennett, in my opinion…. shame on these people! “

Here’s a glaring problem with zero tolerance, besides the fact that it throws out judgement calls and common sense, the authority figures are never treated with zero tolerance.


весенняя вылазка

I have no idea what “весенняя вылазка” means (I hope it isn’t bad), but this image taken at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and uploaded on March 15, 2010 by draftpodium has me thinking about spring.

They’ll have to pry our porn from our hot sticky hands

Here’s an update on the ongoing debate about Minnesota workers staying at places that show THE PORNO.

Strib reports

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A bill that would prohibit Minnesota government employees from staying in hotels with pay-per-view pornography has failed in a House committee.

If you’re a state employee don’t break out the lube and tissue yet, your nannycrats still have one more threat to your right to Jackin’ and Jilling

A companion bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tarryl Clark, also from St. Cloud, passed a Senate committee last week and has made it to the Senate floor.

I can only ask, what exactly has it been doing down on the Senate floor for the last week?


Is our judicial system on the verge of collapse?

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson recently announced he will be retiring after serving only two years on the bench and this week he has issued a dire warning that the state’s judicial system is on the verge of collapse.

The Strib reports

We are running a really big engine with almost no oil in the crankcase, and things are going to start to break down if we get a significant cut in this legislative session,” said Magnuson, who made it known last week that he will leave the bench in June.

Facing nearly $15 million in proposed budget cuts, Magnuson envisions more backlogs and delays, more drug court closings, public-counter closings and “delaying justice to Minnesota citizens.” …

Now he says, the judiciary is “struggling” and if another round of cuts proposed by Pawlenty is imposed, the system may have to look at simply delivering fewer services.

“We may have to look at changing what we are doing, not just how we’re doing it,” Magnuson said. “And I’d hate to see that.”

The comments to the story break down into three general categories, it’s time to look at spending, it’s time to increase funding, and politics where most of the political venom is aimed at our Governor, Tim Pawlenty.

One commentor went so far as to write a dissent.

DissentI get Chief Magnuson’s dilemma, but I have to dissent with this statement. “”We may have to look at changing what we are doing, not just how we’re doing it,” Magnuson said. “And I’d hate to see that.”” Actually, it is time to look at changing what the judicial system is doing. As another commenter stated about going to court for “dog at large” there are simply too many ways to go to court in this state. What is the sense in thousands of dollars in court costs for a hundred dollar fine? Is that really justice served? Also, the war on drugs has been a horrible burden on our courts and has only succeeded in driving up the costs to the courts and the cost of the entire judicial and legal system while creating power mad prosecutors that care more about their “win” record and career aspirations than justice. Yes Mr.Magnuson, with all due respect, I disagree with your statement. It is time to change what we are doing.
posted by songczar

What do you think?


Ice Out!

MnStateParks tweeted this photo and said
“River’s up at Jay Cooke State Park. Expect it to continue rising through the week. Check back for updates.”

While going through their tweet stream I saw this post. – The ice is gone and the falls officially opened today at Gooseberry Falls State Park. What looks like snow is fo

The tweet was cut off, but what they are talking about is the foam you sometimes see on water.

It’s called foam tannins

The foam that appears along lakeshores is most often the result of the natural die-off of aquatic plants. Plants are
made up of organic material, including oils (i.e., corn oil and vegetable oil). When the plants die and decompose, the oils
contained in the plant cells are released and float to the surface. Once the oils reach the lake surface, wind and wave
action pushes them to the shore. The concentration of the oil changes the physical nature of the water, making foam
formation easier. The turbulence and wave action at the beach introduces air into the organically enriched water, which forms the bubbles.

We still have ice on most of our lakes, but if the temps stay constant it shouldn’t last long.

What other signs of spring have you noticed?


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