Columnists

Regular Columnists

Ed Felien  •  Elaine Klaassen  •  Polly Mann  •  Tony Bouza  •  David Tilsen  •  Debra Keefer Ramage  •  Stephanie Fox  •  Johnny Hazard 

 


The secret language of lovers

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE How did clandestine lovers communicate in the days before email, cell phones and Skype? Well, not surprisingly, it wasn’t easy. And just like today, when even encryption will fail if you don’t use it right, sometimes things didn’t work out so well. Take Romeo and Juliet,…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov. 19, 1919)

Hope for the Earth, our home The New York Times of Jan. 7 carried a full half-page ad signed by Michael Kurtyka of the Polish National Foundation and president of the environmental group COP24, describing the most recent U.N. climate policy conference, the Katowice Rulebook. Negotiators from 196 countries and…

Continue reading

Kong

BY TONY BOUZA The name certainly conjures a shudder of emotion—cum—eroticism. As a cop in New York, I observed the information that the local distillate—illegal and popular—was, of course, called Kong. Potent. That it killed or blinded many of its imbibers did not appear to be a deal breaker. Hooch…

Continue reading

LA teachers and us

BY ED FELIEN What does the Los Angeles teachers’ strike have to do with Minneapolis? Well, actually, quite a bit. Some part of the strike was about wages. They got a little bit of the raise they asked for four years ago. They got smaller class sizes and school nurses.…

Continue reading

Offering (gratefulness)

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN “The Scramble for Africa” is a very long book about Europe’s takeover of the continent of Africa at the end of the 19th century. The story is appalling, mostly because of the confidence of European rulers to just take and control whatever they found there, as though…

Continue reading

Why did the police have to kill Travis Jordan, Part Two

BY ED FELIEN On Thursday, Jan. 3, County Attorney Mike Freeman released this statement: “Two Minneapolis police officers will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Travis Jordan, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.” Officers Ryan Keyes and Neal Walsh fired a total of eight shots at the…

Continue reading

resistance persistence: Resist even more

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE There was a flurry of interesting and useful events in December, but I was not able to squeeze a resistance persistence article into the paper to tell you of them. The one that still sticks with me was put on by an organization called No More…

Continue reading

Alondra: We thought you were on our side

BY ED FELIEN What happened? A little over three years ago, on Sept. 30, 2015, you held a big community meeting with more than a hundred people at Plaza Verde to talk about the dangers of gentrification. You told Ryan Williams-Virden from the Twin City Daily Planet, “Gentrification is a…

Continue reading

The Jews

BY TONY BOUZA The very word conjures a freighted emotional frisson we barely dare acknowledge or express. Watching “Thurgood,” a biopic on the Supreme Court Justice and the NAACP, inspired me to think of the role of Jews in America. They arrived at the Lower East Side of Manhattan and…

Continue reading

Job posting for the Park Board

BY ED FELIEN Brad Bourn has prepared a special welcoming gift for Al Bangoura, the new superintendent of parks due to take office on Jan. 20. Almost the first thing on his desk will be the contract to hire an intergovernmental relations administrator. Last month we noted: “Park Board President…

Continue reading

Do you want slavery with that chocolate?

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I’m going to assume you don’t. For the past two or three years, I have been on a quixotic quest to raise awareness about the incredible prevalence of child slave labor in the production of chocolate, and the enormous “conspiracy of silence” that leaves otherwise conscientious…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov. 19, 1919)

Why should your child die from a gunshot wound? The doctor has found the task a most difficult and onerous one and who wouldn’t? Dr. Marianne Haughey of St. Barnabas Hospital in Jersey City, N.Y., has been assigned victims of homicide for 25 years and one of her tasks has…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov. 19, 1919)

Why should your child die from a gunshot wound? The doctor has found the task a most difficult and onerous one and who wouldn’t? Dr. Marianne Haughey of St. Barnabas Hospital in Jersey City, N.Y., has been assigned victims of homicide for 25 years and one of her tasks has…

Continue reading

Have yourself a very racist Christmas

BY ED FELIEN Nothing can spoil Christmas quicker than hate. And racism is a special kind of hate. It dehumanizes a group, makes them less than human, and allows cops in the Fourth Precinct in North Minneapolis to treat African Americans like trash that has to be swept from the…

Continue reading

My trivial view

BY TONY BOUZA “What a great country!” The beginning of one of the many dumb jokes I love. Yet, for me, in there is contained the kernel of a central truth. Only an immigrant experiences the shock of change. I left a dictatorship (Spain) in Dec. 1937 to experience the…

Continue reading