There’s power in a teachers union

Minneapolis teachers strike, 1970

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Way too many people don’t take teachers seriously. Teachers have massive educational requirements, several hundred years of history as one of the major recognized professions, and they provide a service so valuable to the health of society and the needs of the economy that even in…

Continue reading

Am I a racist?

BY TONY BOUZA That is, according to Hamlet, the question. As a naturalized citizen I feel it is something we must all ask ourselves. At the very least it becomes a sovereign exercise in introspection. The life unexamined … In a very complicated equation, it finally became clear to me…

Continue reading


BY JANICE F. BROOKS My name is Janice F. Brooks. That’s the name I was given at birth but my new name is: PARANOID SCHIZO INCAPABLE ERASED AND DEAD. Today’s topic is toxic shame. I was born normal. I had my first psychotic episode in 2006. I was incapable of…

Continue reading


BY ED FELIEN It happened in less than a minute. I got on the elevator at City Hall on the third floor to go down to the parking garage. Jack Baker got on with me. Jack had been president of the university student association, a very out gay. He’d just…

Continue reading

Putin’s revenge

BY ED FELIEN He’s their useful idiot. They’ve been playing him for 30 years. In March of 1986, Dubinin, the Russian Ambassador to the U.N., with his daughter, went up to the Trump Tower to meet Trump. According to his daughter, in an article for Komsomolskaya Pravdanewspaper, he told Trump,…

Continue reading

Attention Council Members Andrea Jenkins, Jeremy Schroeder and Andrew Johnson:

You will be asked to vote on the confirmation of Susan Segal for city attorney at the City Council meeting March 30. Even Segal’s most severe critics would agree with you that she is intelligent, well versed in the law and has been a good and faithful servant to the…

Continue reading

Temple Israel on Hennepin gives its best for 140 years

The original entrance of Temple Israel

BY STEPHANIE FOX Everyone in Minneapolis recognizes the large, elegant neoclassical building facing Hennepin Avenue near 23rd Street. Temple Israel, housing Minnesota’s oldest Jewish community and the state’s largest Jewish congregation, is more than an architectural landmark. It is a cultural and religious one as well. Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman leads…

Continue reading

THE DISH: Lunch Around the World (British and Irish Fare)

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Merlins Rest 3601 E Lake St 612-216-2419 Merlins Rest is a Longfellow mainstay and one of four area “pubs” that offer an interpretation of British and/or Irish food along with the beers and booze. Merlins Rest’s main claim to fame is its impossibly huge…

Continue reading

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

BY POLLY MANN What can be done with guns? In 2012 after the rampage shooting of 20 school children and six educators, in Newtown, Conn., Connecticut lawmakers passed some of the toughest gun measures in the country: 1) expanding an existing ban on assault weapons; 2) prohibiting the sale of…

Continue reading

CONFESSIONS OF AN UNREPENTANT MAOIST: Municipalization of the electric company

BY ED FELIEN One of my more ambitious projects was to try to take over the electric company. It had all the romantic allure of Castro and Che sweeping down from the hills to take over a radio station and declare the Revolution. In Minnesota more than 146 municipalities owned…

Continue reading


BY TONY BOUZA I first heard the word a couple of years back. Its utterer seemed to be in possession of some unique verity. Profound. I was on my annual, solo pilgrimage to Cape Cod, where I’d spend January in splendid isolation. A friend—Jeff—called and said he had a video…

Continue reading

THE DISH: Swedish lunch

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Fika Cafe American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Ave. 612-871-4907 Fika (the name means coffee break in Sweden) is the hypermodern, innovative and esthetic cafe, bakery and cocktail bar of the American Swedish Institute, which has won accolades under all three of its chefs since its…

Continue reading

The sinking of South Minneapolis

Eroding shoreline at Lake Nokomis

ED FELIEN Tomorrow night, Feb. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Pearl Park Recreation Center, the Park Board will be hosting a meeting to discuss its Lake Nokomis Shoreline Enhancements Project. According to the Park Board, “This project is focused on stabilizing erosion along portions of the shoreline, improving…

Continue reading

A brief history of the heart

Aphrodite, Goddess of Love

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us. This day can be a boon to restaurants offering date night specials, confectioners and bakers due to the association with sweet things, florists, obviously, and greeting card makers and sellers. The last category will find new ways to depict…

Continue reading

KRSM 98.9 FM

LaDonna Redmond

BY DWIGHT HOBBES Got media? “There’s a dire need,” says Brendan Kelly, station manager at fledgling KRSM-Radio For All (, “to better represent the diverse communities [comprising] South Minneapolis, Minneapolis in general.” For that matter, he points out, “this country.” An idea began as the recurring brainstorm of Main Street…

Continue reading