Monthly Archives: November 2011

Northeast Update – What’s happening in and around my neighborhood

Meanwhile, life does go on Windom Park in beautiful Northeast Minneapolis — here are some highlights:

Candidates’ meeting - Candidate signs and door knocks trump holiday shopping this season in Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis.  The short campaign season is has drawn several candidates for the State Senate District 59 seat vacated by long-term Senator Larry Pogemiller who has resigned his seat for an administrative position as the state’s Director of Higher Education.

Voters will gather for a Neighborhood Candidate Forum on Monday, December 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Van Cleve Park Community Center, 901 15th Avenue Southeast.  All candidates have been invited to attend the Forum which is free and open to the public.

The primary election is the next day, Tuesday, December 6.  The Forum is organized by the Southeast Como Improvement Association.

Holiday Train – Check the timetable – On Sunday, December 11, 8 P.M. the 2011 Holiday Train will pull into Shoreham Yards, 2800 Central Avenue NE .  The train’s arrival is the highlight of the Holiday Train event sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway and Northeast Chamber of Commerce to support the food shelves at East Side Neighborhood Services.

The 2011 Holiday Train event, 7-9 PM gives community members the opportunity to donate cash or food to benefit neighbors in Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and environs.  All are invited to an evening of free live musical entertainment, children’s activities,  horse drawn carriage rides, and refreshments – all to support the three ESNS food shelves that serve over 2000 individuals a year.

ESNS can be reached at 612 781 6011 or www.esns.org.

Windom Park beat

Northeast Calendar – Windom Park residents are among calendar viewers of and from Northeast who will be viewing 2012 from a whole new perspective – the first annual 2012 Northeast calendar now hitting the friendly streets of the community.

Northeast resident and comic artist Kevin Cannon designed the calendar which features art selected from a host of calendar proposals submitted by local artists and selected by local residents.

The 28-page calendar features monthly depictions of each of the thirteen neighborhoods of Northeast, each contributed by a local artist.  The calendar will also feature information about the neighborhoods and some of 2012’s major community events.

The cover of the calendar is designed by Lauri Svedberg.  All of the selected graphics are posted on the Northeast Community Development Corporation website.

Calendars will be available for purchase at local events in days to come.  Individual calendars are being sold for $10, with generous options for bulk purchase, ranging to a price of just $55 for a bundle of 25 calendars.

A release party for the calendar will be held at Eastside Food Coop, 2521 Central Avenue NE,  on Sunday, December 4, Noon-3:00 p.m.  Free and open.  Coffee provided by the Chowgirls, a Northeast catering service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Reflect the Tumultuous 60’s from Diverse Perspectives

In an earlier post Ruthann Ovenshire shared her list of novels about the 1960’s, the basis of the exhibits she has mounted at Minneapolis Central Library.  Intrepid researcher that she is, Ruthann continued her search of the shelves to select a parallel list of books about the 60’s.

Again, this is a list made for browsing, with categories based on the shelving patterns at the Minneapolis Central Library where “Mystery” is shelved separately.

 

From fond memories to grim facts to radical social and political upheaval everyone seems to have a recollection or a story of those turbulent years.  Many on the holiday giving list would appreciate – perhaps be informed by – one of these books written after and about the decade – or readers might want to dust off their own memories and interpretations of this pivotal era in the nation’s – and the world’s –history.

 

Ruthann has found these on the shelves at Minneapolis Central Library:

A taste of honey : stories / Jabari Asim.

Bow’s boy : a novel / Richard Babcock.

Altamont Augie : [a novel] / by Richard Barager.

Voyage / Stephen Baxter.

We are all welcome here: a novel / Elizabeth Berg.

The lightning rule / Brett Ellen Block.

Drop City / T. Coraghessan Boyle.

The Red Squad / E.M. Broner.

The people v. Lee Harvey Oswald / Walt Brown

Getting it right : a novel / William F. Buckley, Jr.

Tucker’s last stand: a Blackford Oakes novel / William F. Buckley, Jr.

Stark / Edward Bunker

Great Neck : a novel / Jay Cantor.

Prince of peace / James Carroll.

The peacemakers / by Jack Cavanaugh.

Love among the ruins : a novel / Robert Clark.

The Wednesday sisters : a novel / Meg Waite Clayton.

A walk through fire : a novel / William Cobb.

Leigh : a novel / Lyn Cote.

The last hotel for women : a novel / Vicki Covington.

The orphan game : a novel / Ann Darby.

Dugan under ground : a novel / Tom De Haven.

Libra / Don DeLillo.

Eye of the archangel : a Mallory and Morse novel of espionage / Forrest DeVoe, Jr.

The summer we got saved / Pat Cunningham Devoto.

The silent men / by Richard H. Dickinson.

This body : a novel / Laurel Doud.

Look at Flower : a novel / by Robert Dunn.   NEW

The invisible circus / Jennifer Egan.

Blood’s a rover : a novel / James Ellroy.

Lizzie’s war : a novel / Tim Farrington.

The shadow year / Jeffrey Ford.

Sugar cage / Connie May Fowler.

The love children / Marilyn French.

The autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman / Ernest J. Gaines.

Of rice and men : a novel of Vietnam / Richard Galli.

The King of Babylon shall not come against you / George Garrett.

And do remember me / Marita Golden.

September song / Andrew M. Greeley.

The quiet American / Graham Greene

Please step back / by Ben Greenman.

Bombingham : a novel / Anthony Grooms.

Summer of the redeemers / Carolyn Haines.

Rookery blues / Jon Hassler.

The children Bob Moses led / William Heath.

Set the night on fire / Libby Fischer Hellmann   NEW

Vivienne / Richard Hoyt.

Where I must go : a novel / Angela Jackson.

Nam-a-rama / Phillip Jennings.

Dreamer : a novel / Charles Johnson.

Special intentions / Mary Pat Kelly.

The shot : a thriller / Philip Kerr.

The iron will of Shoeshine Cats : a novel / by Hesh Kestin.

Hearts in Atlantis / Stephen King.

Exiles / Elliot Krieger.

All new people : a novel / by Anne Lamott.

Sway : a novel / Zachary Lazar.

The man from Saigon : a novel / Marti Leimbach.

And all our wounds forgiven / Julius Lester.

Sixty-six : a novel / Barry Levinson.

Juniper tree burning : a novel / Goldberry Long.

Matterhorn : a novel of the Vietnam War / Karl Marlantes.

Naked cruelty : a Carmine Delmonico novel / Colleen McCullough.   NEW

Child of my heart / Alice McDermott.

Where there’s smoke / Mel McKinney.

Mama / Terry McMillan.

While I was gone / Sue Miller.

Little Scarlet / Walter Mosley.

Four spirits : a novel / Sena Jeter Naslund.

War at home / Kris Nelscott

Beyond the limbo silence / Elizabeth Nunez.

Black girl/white girl : a novel / Joyce Carol Oates.

Them / Joyce Carol Oates

Boomer : a novel / by Jim Olson.

Don’t mean nothing : short stories of Vietnam / Susan O’Neill.

The karma charmer / Bruce Palmer.

California girl / T. Jefferson Parker.

The fearless man : a novel of Vietnam / Donald Pfarrer.

Harvest / by Belva Plain.

Noble Norfleet / Reynolds Price.

Inherent vice / Thomas Pynchon.

Object lessons / Anna Quindlen.

Floating in a most peculiar way / by David Racine.

Southland / Nina Revoyr.

Little Miss Strange : a novel / by Joanna Rose.

Goodness / Martha Roth.

American pastoral / Philip Roth.

Motorcycle ride on the sea of tranquility / Patricia Santana.

Names on a map : a novel / Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Downtown : a novel / by Anne Rivers Siddons.

Rolling thunder / by William Simmons.

The lotus eaters / Tatjana Soli.

Now is the hour / Tom Spanbauer.

The help / Kathryn Stockett.

A dark matter : a novel / Peter Straub.

An American sin : a novel / by Frederick Su.

Flower children / Maxine Swann.

Paper wings / Marly Swick.

An actual life / Abigail Thomas.

Flying in to love / D.M. Thomas.

What night brings : a novel / by Carla Trujillo.

The witches of Eastwick / John Updike.

Grace : a fictional memoir / Robert Ward.

The man who cried I am / John A. Williams

Cotton / Christopher Wilson.

Nog : a novel / by Rudolph Wurlitzer

I Hotel : [a novel] / Karen Tei Yamashita.

America the beautiful : a novel / Moon Unit Zappa.

 

MYSTERY (shelved separately in the Mpls Central Library collection

Crimson moon : a Brown Angel mystery / by Lucha Corpi.

Breaking up is hard to do / Ed Gorman.

Fools rush in : a Sam McCain mystery / Ed Gorman.

Croaked! / Dick Lochte.

Epitaph for a tramp & Epitaph for a dead beat / David Markson.

Too many murders / Colleen McCullough

Bad Boy Brawly Brown / Walter Mosley.

Little Scarlet / Walter Mosley

A dangerous road / Kris Nelscott.

Smoke-filled rooms / Kris Nelscott.

Thin walls / Kris Nelscott.

Hard revolution : a novel / George Pelecanos.

The big bang / Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins.

 

 

Library Exhibits Novels that Recall Tumultuous 60’s -

Library exhibits, created with care and experience by anonymous staff and volunteers eager to share the shelves of treasures with a passing public, are the tip of the literary iceberg – and a trigger to the reader of a title long forgotten or the hottest off the presses.  They often guide the visitor to untapped resources such as public programs – or that dusty novel languishing in the closed stacks.  Most of all, exhibits are well worth taking a few minutes to pause and peruse as regular library visitors are more than likely to do.

For ages I’ve intended to write about the excellent exhibits at the Minneapolis Central Library, a place I visit on a regular basis.  When I take the time to spend some time with those great exhibits, I’m always rewarded.

The 1968 exhibit at the Minnesota History Center has inclined many of us to think more about just what was happening during the decade of the 60’s.   Regular exhibit creator, Ruthann Ovenshire, a lifelong librarian and volunteer, has seized the opportunity to dig deep into her own voracious reading past.   Ruthann is responsible for the fiction exhibits on the first floor of the Central Library.  ( Exhibits on floors two through four are non-fiction oriented selections that reflect the collections located on those floors.)

As she always does, Ruthann has carefully recorded her selections from the library’s collection.  Now, with some prodding, she has complemented the collection of books on display with a digital reading list that reflects her selections.  I found the list such a grand reminder of a literary era, that I begged a copy for posting on my blog.  In her usual generous way, Ruthann has shared her list for others who may have read these books in their youth and, more perhaps, for younger bibliophiles who missed these treasures the first time around.

Ruthann’s list, designed for browsing, suggests some 1960’s fiction well suited to combing the dusty shelves – at home or at the library – to find just the right read for a snowy evening.  Note that the categories noted here reflect the Minnesota Central Library system where books are organized by genre – different libraries and bookstores will use different systems.

FICTION

The last unicorn / Peter S. Beagle.

Herzog / Saul Bellow

The clown / Heinrich Boll

The little girls / Elizabeth Bowen,

Something wicked this way comes / Ray Bradbury.

Richard Brautigan’s  trout fishing in America / Richard Brautigan

The master and Margarita / Mikhail Bulgakov

2001, a space odyssey /  Arthur C. Clarke

Ubik / Philip K. Dick.

The reivers : a reminiscence / William Faulkner.

The magus : a revised version / John Fowles

One hundred years of solitude / Gabriel García Márquez

In the heart of the heart of the country, and other stories / William H. Gass

Catch-22 / Joseph Heller.

Dune / Frank Herbert

We have always lived in the castle / Shirley Jackson

Up the down staircase / , Bel Kaufman

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest / Ken Kesey

Sometimes a great notion / Ken Kesey

Flowers for Algernon, / by Daniel Keyes.

The spy who came in from the cold / John Le Carré

To kill a mockingbird / Harper Lee

The golden notebook / Doris Lessing

Rosemary’s baby / Ira Levin

The fortunes of war : the Balkan trilogy / Olivia Manning

The last picture show / Larry McMurtry

Ada; or, Ardor: a family chronicle / Vladimir Nabokov

Pale fire / Vladimir Nabokov

A house for Mr. Biswas / V.S. Naipaul.

The third policeman : a novel / Flann O’Brien

Everything that rises must converge /Flannery O’Connor

The bell jar / Sylvia Plath

Ship of fools / Katherine Anne Porter,

The chosen / Chaim Potok.

The godfather / Mario Puzo

The bull from the sea / Mary Renault.

Wide Sargasso Sea / Jean Rhys

Portnoy’s complaint / Philip Roth

Franny and Zooey / J.D. Salinger

Raise high the roof beam, carpenters : and Seymour / J. D. Salinger.

The jewel in the crown; a novel / Paul Scott

Last exit to Brooklyn / Hubert Selby, Jr.

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich / Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The girls of slender means / Muriel Spark

The only problem / Muriel Spark

The prime of Miss Jean Brodie / Muriel Spark

The winter of our discontent / John Steinbeck

The confessions of Nat Turner / William Styron

Valley of the dolls : a novel /  Jacqueline Susann

Rabbit, run / John Updike.

Cat’s cradle / Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Slaughterhouse-five, or, The children’s crusade / Kurt Vonnegut.

The graduate / Charles Webb.

Riders in the chariot / Patrick White

SCIENCE FICTION

The drowned world / J.G. Ballard

The Andromeda strain / Michael Crichton

Stranger in a strange land / Robert A. Heinlein.

The left hand of darkness / Ursula K. Le Guin

A canticle for Leibowitz / Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Lord of light / Roger Zelazny 1979.

MYSTERY

Call for the dead / John le Carré

STACKS

The moon is a harsh mistress / Robert A. Heinlein.

Good times/bad times; a novel / James Kirkwood

A jest of God /  , Margaret Laurence

The nice and the good / Iris Murdoch

The lonely girl / Edna O’Brien

The group / Mary McCarthy

Joy in the morning / Betty  Smith

The interpreters / Wole Soyinka

The driver’s seat / Muriel Spark

If this is not enough to whet your literary appetite Ruthann also suggests some of the resources she has found that helped her scan the 60’s fiction that may be gone from the Hennepin County Library stacks but that live on through other sources.

Best Books of the Decade, 1960’s

Goodreads

The Modern Library, the 200 best novels in English Since 1950

 

Northeast Minnesota Book Awards Nominations Open

Hard to believe but nominations are now open for the 24th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA)!  First, congratulations to the committed folks at the UMD Library and the Duluth Public Library who have kept this significant initiative strong and growing for nearly a quarter century.

 

The award is open to books that are substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage or lifestyle.  For this competition the area is defined as Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis counties.

 

Deadline for nominations is February 1, 2012.  Authors will be honored on May 17, 2012 at a reception on the UMD campus.

 

All of the details are spelled out on the NEMBA website or available from UMD Library, Library Administration Office, 416 Library Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, libnemba@d.umn.edu or 218 726 6843.

 

 

Right to Know, an implicit – but insidious – victim of the Penn State tragedy

Somewhere in the murky background of the Penn State scandal is a proven fact that must not be lost in the lurid coverage of the allegations. That is the absolute travesty of the University’s total exemption from Pennsylvania’s data practices laws, weak as they may be at the core.

Access to government information definitely lacks the potential to capture headlines or public outcry that is evident in the American public’s absorption with a sex scandal. Still, this blatant threat must not be dismissed as incidental. Instead, the arrogance of the University and its commitment to avoiding public disclosure put a public face on an issue that is as implicit as it is insidious.

Though the concepts of transparency and open government are vague ideals that fall trippingly from the tongues of public officials and voters alike – the fact is the people’s right to know is fragile at best, constantly vulnerable to outrageous threats from those forces, individual and institutional, that consider themselves – and are too often considered by the public – above the law.

In some ways, the threats are of greatest concern closer to home. At the federal level it’s about agencies and effective advocacy coalitions that keep the bright light shining on the workings of the massive federal government. At the state level, more so at the local level, it’s officials, schools, sports teams, nonprofits and religious institutions that are part of the fabric of everyday life that feel free to conceal public information, to make decisions behind closed doors, to declare some vague right of exclusion from the law.

And who is there to monitor, much less challenge, what is ingrained arrogance in the institutions and the individuals? Does the public really care – until an atrocity such as Penn State reminds us all that open government is a value that demands vigilance and a broad constituency for whom the right is as basic as other rights which, though they may be easier to articulate, are no less at the absolute core of this democracy.

Resource Center of the Americas Hosts Festive Fundraiser November 5

Today the memory seems totally out of line and out of place, but my clearest visual recollection of my visit to the Resource Center of the Americas, then located at the U of M Newman Center, is that it marked my first experience with a functioning library application of the Internet.  Though demos and dreams were flooding the market, here was this small group of volunteers, many of them librarians who took “social responsibility” serious, who had created an accessible catalog for the RCA library collection.  The collection itself was bold, strident, angry, a cacophony of voices far beyond the Center’s walls – now reaching an audience that could learn and act on the information and ideas gathered by RCA staff and friends who had their collective ear to the disparity between reality and the myth.

I know that this visit recollection has lived in my mind for 28 years because this Saturday, November 5, RCA is celebrating its 28th Anniversary of service “to our community and our hemisphere.”  The gala fundraiser is 7-11:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main Street Northeast, Minneapolis.

Guests are encouraged to “dress festive!”  And festive is the theme of the celebration.  Featured performer for the evening is Malamanya, along with traditional South American tunes by Vladimir Garrido and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca and the Teen Folkloric Dancers of Centro, Inc.

Friends of RCA may buy  tickets online for $35 for adults. Predictably, the event is family friendly with youth 6-17 $10 and children under 6 admitted without charge.  No tickets will be mailed –  reservations will be added to a list with an e-mailed receipt for tax purposes.  Sixty percent of each ticket is viewed as tax-deductible.

Roots of Today’s Resource Center for the Americas

A reminder of RCA’s history is timely for those who have not followed recent developments of this essential community organization.  In 1983, when RCA was established, wars in Central America were raging and many Americans were wondering aloud about the cognitive dissonance between what was happening in real life and what the Government was telling Americans.  RCA, then known as the Central American Resource Center (CARC) began educating and organizing concerned citizens about what the people and situation of Central America.

During the 1990’s CARC changed its name and broadened its mission, specifically in light of the challenges of globalization. With a increasing focus on the impact of corporate globalization RCA saw its role as a bridge-builder between all people of the Americas “committed to understanding and living a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.”  The organization moved to its inviting site on Lake Street and Minnehaha where they opened a fabulous bookstore and an equally unique library – topped off with a fine little restaurant at which some of us spent far too much time and hard-earned lunch money.  The site at 3019 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis remains the remains the primary home of Resource Center of the Americas today.

In the early 1980’s a new organization with a similar mission was coming together as City South Cluster Ministries, a collaboration of five South Minneapolis Lutheran churches.  Ultimately known as La Conexion , the organization responded to the dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis.  Early focus of La Conexion was on social outreach with a vision of creating a public space where newly arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking resources and supportive community connections.

For five years La Conexion operated out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood.

Evolution of La Conexion de las Americas.

Like magnets, La Conexion and RCA worked in partnership, struggling together with the influx of immigrants in need of resources, residents in need of information, and a drastic cut in available funds.  In early 2011 the two organizations agreed that a merger of the separate entities, built on their common mission and related strengths, would better meet the needs of the community.

Thus was born La Conexion de las Americas.  Today you will find the new organization alive and well at age 28, working in the former CARC building at 3019 Minnehaha in Minneapolis or at RCA’s satellite site at the Wilder Center, 451 North Lexington in St. Paul.  You will also find an abundance of energy, commitment, experience and knowledge of U.S. and Central American relations, politics, history and media manipulation.

The Fundraising Gala on November 5 offers an festive opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers, to hear the stories, to learn about the countless services and programs and to support the organization’s bold efforts to meet the challenges of today and the inevitable waves of change that will assuredly persist.  Learn much more about the history, sponsors, volunteer opportunities, and programs of today’s Resource Center of the Americas online or by participating in some of their unique and diverse  opportunities to learn.

Register for the Gala online – If you have questions contact Jason (612 276 0788×3) or jason.stone@americas.org

Today the memory seems totally out of line and out of place, but my clearest visual of my visit to the Resource Center of the Americas, then located at the U of M Newman Center, is that it marked my first experience with a functioning library application of the Internet.  Though demos and dreams were flooding the market, here was this small group of volunteers, many of them librarians who took “social responsibility” serious, who had created an accessible catalog for the RCA library collection.  The collection itself was bold, strident, angry, a cacophony of voices far beyond the Center’s walls – now reaching an audience that could learn and act on the information and ideas gathered by RCA staff and friends who had their collective ear to the disparity between reality and the myth.

I know that this visit recollection has lived in my mind for 28 years because this Saturday, November 5, RCA is celebrating its 28th Anniversary of service “to our community and our hemisphere.”  The gala fundraiser is 7-11:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main Street Northeast, Minneapolis.

Guests are encouraged to “dress festive!”  And festive is the theme of the celebration.  Featured performer for the evening is Malamanya, along with traditional South American tunes by Vladimir Garrido and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca and the Teen Folkloric Dancers of Centro, Inc.

Friends of RCA may buy  tickets online for $35 for adults. Predictably, the event is family friendly with youth 6-17 $10 and children under 6 admitted without charge.  No tickets will be mailed –  reservations will be added to a list with an e-mailed receipt for tax purposes.  Sixty percent of each ticket is viewed as tax-deductible.

Roots of Today’s Resource Center for the Americas

A reminder of RCA’s history is timely for those who have not followed recent developments of this essential community organization.  In 1983, when RCA was established, wars in Central America were raging and many Americans were wondering aloud about the cognitive dissonance between what was happening in real life and what the Government was telling Americans.  RCA, then known as the Central American Resource Center (CARC) began educating and organizing concerned citizens about what the people and situation of Central America.

During the 1990’s CARC changed its name and broadened its mission, specifically in light of the challenges of globalization. With a increasing focus on the impact of corporate globalization RCA saw its role as a bridge-builder between all people of the Americas “committed to understanding and living a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.”  The organization moved to its inviting site on Lake Street and Minnehaha where they opened a fabulous bookstore and an equally unique library – topped off with a fine little restaurant at which some of us spent far too much time and hard-earned lunch money.  The site at 3019 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis remains the remains the primary home of Resource Center of the Americas today.

In the early 1980’s a new organization with a similar mission was coming together as City South Cluster Ministries, a collaboration of five South Minneapolis Lutheran churches.  Ultimately known as La Conexion , the organization responded to the dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis.  Early focus of La Conexion was on social outreach with a vision of creating a public space where newly arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking resources and supportive community connections.

For five years La Conexion operated out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood.

Evolution of La Conexion de las Americas.

Like magnets, La Conexion and RCA worked in partnership, struggling together with the influx of immigrants in need of resources, residents in need of information, and a drastic cut in available funds.  In early 2011 the two organizations agreed that a merger of the separate entities, built on their common mission and related strengths, would better meet the needs of the community.

Thus was born La Conexion de las Americas.  Today you will find the new organization alive and well at age 28, working in the former CARC building at 3019 Minnehaha in Minneapolis or at RCA’s satellite site at the Wilder Center, 451 North Lexington in St. Paul.  You will also find an abundance of energy, commitment, experience and knowledge of U.S. and Central American relations, politics, history and media manipulation.

The Fundraising Gala on November 5 offers an festive opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers, to hear the stories, to learn about the countless services and programs and to support the organization’s bold efforts to meet the challenges of today and the inevitable waves of change that will assuredly persist.  Learn much more about the history, sponsors, volunteer opportunities, and programs of today’s Resource Center of the Americas online or by participating in some of their unique and diverse  opportunities to learn.

Register for the Gala online – If you have questions contact Jason (612 276 0788×3) or jason.stone@americas.org

Today the memory seems totally out of line and out of place, but my clearest visual of my visit to the Resource Center of the Americas, then located at the U of M Newman Center, is that it marked my first experience with a functioning library application of the Internet.  Though demos and dreams were flooding the market, here was this small group of volunteers, many of them librarians who took “social responsibility” serious, who had created an accessible catalog for the RCA library collection.  The collection itself was bold, strident, angry, a cacophony of voices far beyond the Center’s walls – now reaching an audience that could learn and act on the information and ideas gathered by RCA staff and friends who had their collective ear to the disparity between reality and the myth.

I know that this visit recollection has lived in my mind for 28 years because this Saturday, November 5, RCA is celebrating its 28th Anniversary of service “to our community and our hemisphere.”  The gala fundraiser is 7-11:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main Street Northeast, Minneapolis.

Guests are encouraged to “dress festive!”  And festive is the theme of the celebration.  Featured performer for the evening is Malamanya, along with traditional South American tunes by Vladimir Garrido and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca and the Teen Folkloric Dancers of Centro, Inc.

Friends of RCA may buy  tickets online for $35 for adults. Predictably, the event is family friendly with youth 6-17 $10 and children under 6 admitted without charge.  No tickets will be mailed –  reservations will be added to a list with an e-mailed receipt for tax purposes.  Sixty percent of each ticket is viewed as tax-deductible.

Roots of Today’s Resource Center for the Americas

A reminder of RCA’s history is timely for those who have not followed recent developments of this essential community organization.  In 1983, when RCA was established, wars in Central America were raging and many Americans were wondering aloud about the cognitive dissonance between what was happening in real life and what the Government was telling Americans.  RCA, then known as the Central American Resource Center (CARC) began educating and organizing concerned citizens about what the people and situation of Central America.

During the 1990’s CARC changed its name and broadened its mission, specifically in light of the challenges of globalization. With a increasing focus on the impact of corporate globalization RCA saw its role as a bridge-builder between all people of the Americas “committed to understanding and living a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.”  The organization moved to its inviting site on Lake Street and Minnehaha where they opened a fabulous bookstore and an equally unique library – topped off with a fine little restaurant at which some of us spent far too much time and hard-earned lunch money.  The site at 3019 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis remains the remains the primary home of Resource Center of the Americas today.

In the early 1980’s a new organization with a similar mission was coming together as City South Cluster Ministries, a collaboration of five South Minneapolis Lutheran churches.  Ultimately known as La Conexion , the organization responded to the dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis.  Early focus of La Conexion was on social outreach with a vision of creating a public space where newly arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking resources and supportive community connections.

For five years La Conexion operated out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood.

Evolution of La Conexion de las Americas.

Like magnets, La Conexion and RCA worked in partnership, struggling together with the influx of immigrants in need of resources, residents in need of information, and a drastic cut in available funds.  In early 2011 the two organizations agreed that a merger of the separate entities, built on their common mission and related strengths, would better meet the needs of the community.

Thus was born La Conexion de las Americas.  Today you will find the new organization alive and well at age 28, working in the former CARC building at 3019 Minnehaha in Minneapolis or at RCA’s satellite site at the Wilder Center, 451 North Lexington in St. Paul.  You will also find an abundance of energy, commitment, experience and knowledge of U.S. and Central American relations, politics, history and media manipulation.

The Fundraising Gala on November 5 offers an festive opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers, to hear the stories, to learn about the countless services and programs and to support the organization’s bold efforts to meet the challenges of today and the inevitable waves of change that will assuredly persist.  Learn much more about the history, sponsors, volunteer opportunities, and programs of today’s Resource Center of the Americas online or by participating in some of their unique and diverse  opportunities to learn.

Register for the Gala online – If you have questions contact Jason (612 276 0788×3) or jason.stone@americas.org

Today the memory seems totally out of line and out of place, but my clearest visual of my visit to the Resource Center of the Americas, then located at the U of M Newman Center, is that it marked my first experience with a functioning library application of the Internet.  Though demos and dreams were flooding the market, here was this small group of volunteers, many of them librarians who took “social responsibility” serious, who had created an accessible catalog for the RCA library collection.  The collection itself was bold, strident, angry, a cacophony of voices far beyond the Center’s walls – now reaching an audience that could learn and act on the information and ideas gathered by RCA staff and friends who had their collective ear to the disparity between reality and the myth.

I know that this visit recollection has lived in my mind for 28 years because this Saturday, November 5, RCA is celebrating its 28th Anniversary of service “to our community and our hemisphere.”  The gala fundraiser is 7-11:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main Street Northeast, Minneapolis.

Guests are encouraged to “dress festive!”  And festive is the theme of the celebration.  Featured performer for the evening is Malamanya, along with traditional South American tunes by Vladimir Garrido and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca and the Teen Folkloric Dancers of Centro, Inc.

Friends of RCA may buy  tickets online for $35 for adults. Predictably, the event is family friendly with youth 6-17 $10 and children under 6 admitted without charge.  No tickets will be mailed –  reservations will be added to a list with an e-mailed receipt for tax purposes.  Sixty percent of each ticket is viewed as tax-deductible.

Roots of Today’s Resource Center for the Americas

A reminder of RCA’s history is timely for those who have not followed recent developments of this essential community organization.  In 1983, when RCA was established, wars in Central America were raging and many Americans were wondering aloud about the cognitive dissonance between what was happening in real life and what the Government was telling Americans.  RCA, then known as the Central American Resource Center (CARC) began educating and organizing concerned citizens about what the people and situation of Central America.

During the 1990’s CARC changed its name and broadened its mission, specifically in light of the challenges of globalization. With a increasing focus on the impact of corporate globalization RCA saw its role as a bridge-builder between all people of the Americas “committed to understanding and living a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.”  The organization moved to its inviting site on Lake Street and Minnehaha where they opened a fabulous bookstore and an equally unique library – topped off with a fine little restaurant at which some of us spent far too much time and hard-earned lunch money.  The site at 3019 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis remains the remains the primary home of Resource Center of the Americas today.

In the early 1980’s a new organization with a similar mission was coming together as City South Cluster Ministries, a collaboration of five South Minneapolis Lutheran churches.  Ultimately known as La Conexion , the organization responded to the dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis.  Early focus of La Conexion was on social outreach with a vision of creating a public space where newly arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking resources and supportive community connections.

For five years La Conexion operated out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood.

Evolution of La Conexion de las Americas.

Like magnets, La Conexion and RCA worked in partnership, struggling together with the influx of immigrants in need of resources, residents in need of information, and a drastic cut in available funds.  In early 2011 the two organizations agreed that a merger of the separate entities, built on their common mission and related strengths, would better meet the needs of the community.

Thus was born La Conexion de las Americas.  Today you will find the new organization alive and well at age 28, working in the former CARC building at 3019 Minnehaha in Minneapolis or at RCA’s satellite site at the Wilder Center, 451 North Lexington in St. Paul.  You will also find an abundance of energy, commitment, experience and knowledge of U.S. and Central American relations, politics, history and media manipulation.

The Fundraising Gala on November 5 offers an festive opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers, to hear the stories, to learn about the countless services and programs and to support the organization’s bold efforts to meet the challenges of today and the inevitable waves of change that will assuredly persist.  Learn much more about the history, sponsors, volunteer opportunities, and programs of today’s Resource Center of the Americas online or by participating in some of their unique and diverse  opportunities to learn.

Register for the Gala online – If you have questions contact Jason (612 276 0788×3) or jason.stone@americas.org

Today the memory seems totally out of line and out of place, but my clearest visual of my visit to the Resource Center of the Americas, then located at the U of M Newman Center, is that it marked my first experience with a functioning library application of the Internet.  Though demos and dreams were flooding the market, here was this small group of volunteers, many of them librarians who took “social responsibility” serious, who had created an accessible catalog for the RCA library collection.  The collection itself was bold, strident, angry, a cacophony of voices far beyond the Center’s walls – now reaching an audience that could learn and act on the information and ideas gathered by RCA staff and friends who had their collective ear to the disparity between reality and the myth.

I know that this visit recollection has lived in my mind for 28 years because this Saturday, November 5, RCA is celebrating its 28th Anniversary of service “to our community and our hemisphere.”  The gala fundraiser is 7-11:30 p.m. at the Ukrainian Event Center, 301 Main Street Northeast, Minneapolis.

Guests are encouraged to “dress festive!”  And festive is the theme of the celebration.  Featured performer for the evening is Malamanya, along with traditional South American tunes by Vladimir Garrido and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca and the Teen Folkloric Dancers of Centro, Inc.

Friends of RCA may buy  tickets online for $35 for adults. Predictably, the event is family friendly with youth 6-17 $10 and children under 6 admitted without charge.  No tickets will be mailed –  reservations will be added to a list with an e-mailed receipt for tax purposes.  Sixty percent of each ticket is viewed as tax-deductible.

Roots of Today’s Resource Center for the Americas

A reminder of RCA’s history is timely for those who have not followed recent developments of this essential community organization.  In 1983, when RCA was established, wars in Central America were raging and many Americans were wondering aloud about the cognitive dissonance between what was happening in real life and what the Government was telling Americans.  RCA, then known as the Central American Resource Center (CARC) began educating and organizing concerned citizens about what the people and situation of Central America.

During the 1990’s CARC changed its name and broadened its mission, specifically in light of the challenges of globalization. With a increasing focus on the impact of corporate globalization RCA saw its role as a bridge-builder between all people of the Americas “committed to understanding and living a way of life that protects and respects the human rights of all people.”  The organization moved to its inviting site on Lake Street and Minnehaha where they opened a fabulous bookstore and an equally unique library – topped off with a fine little restaurant at which some of us spent far too much time and hard-earned lunch money.  The site at 3019 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis remains the remains the primary home of Resource Center of the Americas today.

In the early 1980’s a new organization with a similar mission was coming together as City South Cluster Ministries, a collaboration of five South Minneapolis Lutheran churches.  Ultimately known as La Conexion , the organization responded to the dramatic demographic shift as the Latino population began rapidly growing in Minneapolis.  Early focus of La Conexion was on social outreach with a vision of creating a public space where newly arrived Latino immigrants could receive assistance seeking resources and supportive community connections.

For five years La Conexion operated out of El Milagro Church and the Hans Christian Andersen School in the Phillips neighborhood.

Evolution of La Conexion de las Americas.

Like magnets, La Conexion and RCA worked in partnership, struggling together with the influx of immigrants in need of resources, residents in need of information, and a drastic cut in available funds.  In early 2011 the two organizations agreed that a merger of the separate entities, built on their common mission and related strengths, would better meet the needs of the community.

Thus was born La Conexion de las Americas.  Today you will find the new organization alive and well at age 28, working in the former CARC building at 3019 Minnehaha in Minneapolis or at RCA’s satellite site at the Wilder Center, 451 North Lexington in St. Paul.  You will also find an abundance of energy, commitment, experience and knowledge of U.S. and Central American relations, politics, history and media manipulation.

The Fundraising Gala on November 5 offers an festive opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers, to hear the stories, to learn about the countless services and programs and to support the organization’s bold efforts to meet the challenges of today and the inevitable waves of change that will assuredly persist.  Learn much more about the history, sponsors, volunteer opportunities, and programs of today’s Resource Center of the Americas online or by participating in some of their unique and diverse  opportunities to learn.

Register for the Gala online – If you have questions contact Jason (612 276 0788×3) or jason.stone@americas.org

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Northeast Dinner Bell Deserves Generous – If Belated – Support

For years I have read and heard about “Northeast Dinner Bell”.  Until after this fine group’s extremely important – and successful – fundraiser on October 8 I honestly did not realize that Northeast Dinner Bell is Meals on Wheels in my neighborhood.  With the thought that I am not the only uninformed resident of Windom Park, I would like to share what I have learned of late.

 

First, about the nonprofit delivery service known as Northeast Dinner Bells:  The organization was started in the parking lot at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2511 Taylor NE, Minneapolis,  in July of 1973, incorporated soon thereafter in March 1974.  Chroniclers of that era report that “volunteers removed the heated meals from a delivery vehicle to their cars and delivered them to homebound neighbors.”  As the program grew the organization rented office space from Trinity where they remain housed nearly forty years later.

 

Northeast Dinner Bell provides meals to people who are not able to shop or prepare meals for themselves.  For some the service is temporary; for others it is probably their source for nutrition as long as they remain in their homes.  For many recipients Northeast Dinner Bell is the program that enables them to stay in their homes, not only because of the nutritious meals but because of the regular visit by the driver and friend who delivers the meal.

 

At one time Northeast Dinner Bell expanded to serve more than 200 meals a day; today that number hovers between 120 and 160, with 250 volunteer drivers per month.  Originally the program was a faith-based operation, with volunteer drivers recruited by church coordinators.  Today nearly 2/3 of the volunteer hours are filled by volunteers recruited from area businesses, community-based civic groups and individual volunteers.

 

One little known fact is that more than half of Dinner Bell’s recipients donate money for their meals.  Some are subsidized by local and federal government.  Still, the income from these programs falls far short of covering expenses.  Northeast Dinner Bell relies on contributions from area businesses, churches, social service groups, memorials, fundraising activities and general individuals.

 

Which leads me to “Mission Nutrition,” the theme of the fundraising event I totally missed.  I had seen “Mission Nutrition” posters and even perused the sparkling array of performers set to share their talents at the public event on October 8 at the Ritz Theater.  I simply did not understand the purpose of the event or of the fundraising organization – my loss, I now know.  This is one mistake I will not make next year.  Meanwhile, I’m quite sure Dinner Bell would appreciate a contribution, however belated, especially as the economy, chill of winter and the festivities of the season place even greater demands on their recipients, staff, volunteers and grocery budge/

 

Dinnerbell Meals on Wheels is open Monday-Friday 8-1 – other times by appointment.

Email:  nemailsonwheels@msn.com or 612 789 6548.