All posts by Dale Connelly

I am a writer and retired broadcaster living in the Twin Cities.

Bike Path Etiquette

From a discussion of Bike Path Etiquette on the website Streets MN: 

I live a block from Lake Calhoun, so I’m on the lake’s bike and walking paths almost every day. When the weather is nice, these have to be the most congested recreational bike and ped facilities in the state, and probably several states in any direction. People clearly love Calhoun, but small discourtesies and thoughtless behavior mar the experience when it’s busy–or even when it’s not busy. Time for an etiquette lesson.

On the walking path
The Calhoun walking path is 4 people wide. Since the path is 2-way, it’s not difficult math to determine that a pair walking side by side in one direction can comfortably meet and pass a pair walking or running in the opposite direction without anyone having to move to avoid a collision.

This simple truth eludes those who walk 3 or 4 abreast. It devolves into a game of chicken. I try to hold my ground in the hope that the 3rd and 4th person will do the right thing and yield. Perhaps half the time they do, and just as often they don’t. Not wanting to body check my way around the lake like a hockey enforcer, I yield.

Assignment:  Minneapolis has been lauded as a national (and even global) bike haven, but how clear are the expectations for use of bike-only and pedestrian-only paths?   Interview the author of this piece – Transit planner / engineer / historian Aaron Isaacs, and possibly others.

Advertisements

Taking Heart Dinners Build Bridges

The Minnesota Council of Churches and the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota sponsor an annual interfaith exchange intended to increase understanding between communities.

It’s called Taking Heart.

Non-Muslims are invited to join their Muslim neighbors for an iftar dinner during the holy month of Ramadan.

Assignment:  Do a Morning Blend interview – or –  attend one of the early Taking Heart events and produce a report for the Morning Blend and KFAI.org.

Here are the dates and locations for this year’s dinners:

Saturday, June 20 at 7:15pm
Masjid Al-Iman
1429 2nd St. NE; Minneapolis, MN 55413

Tuesday, June 23 at 8:30-10:30pm
Masjid Taqwa
1608 Como Ave.; Saint Paul, MN 55108

Saturday, June 27 at 6:30pm
Islamic Center of Twin Ports
145 West Winona St.; Duluth, MN 55803

Saturday, June 27 at 7:00pm
Islamic Center of Minnesota
1401 Gardenia Ave. NE; Fridley, MN 55432

Sunday, June 28 at 8:30pm
Jafari Islamic Center
10301 Jefferson Highway; Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Tuesday, June 30 at 8:30-10:30pm
MAS Inver Grove Center
4100 66th St. E; Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Wednesday, July 1 at 7:30pm
Al Farooq Youth and Family Center
8201 Park Ave. S; Bloomington, MN 55425

Tuesday, July 7 at 7:45pm
Dar Al-Hijra Mosque
504 Cedar Ave. S; Minneapolis, MN 55454

Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30pm
TASMN Center Niagara Foundation
999 50th Ave. NE; Minneapolis, MN 55421

Tuesday, July 7 at 8:30-10:30pm
MAS Blaine Center
12175 Aberdeen St.; Blaine, MN 55449

Thursday, July 9 at 7:45pm
Islamic Society of Woodbury/East Metro
680 Commerce Drive, Ste. 130; Woodbury, MN 55125

Thursday, July 9 at 8:15pm
Masjid Al Rahman Islamic Center
8910 Old Cedar Ave.; Bloomington, MN 55425

Friday, July 10 at 6:45pm
Masjid Al-Ihsan
955 W. Minnehaha Ave.; Saint Paul, MN 55104

Saturday, July 11 at 8:00pm
Abu Huraira Islamic Center
3055 Old Highway 8; St. Anthony, MN 55418

Sandpiper Showdown

The activist group Honor the Earth is planning a rally at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd at 9:30 am.

Oral Arguments are scheduled for June 3rd, with a decision possible on Friday, June 5th.

Assignment:  attend the June 3rd meeting  and prepare a report for the Morning Blend on June 4th & 5th on the Morning Blend.

Here’s a link to Honor the Earth’s website. 

Here’s some background on the Sandpiper Pipeline issue.

Waiting for Take-Off

Assignment:  Do an interview on this research regarding immigrant communities and their  work at the MSP airport.

Waiting for Take-Off is a report from Center for Popular Democracy about Poverty Wages facing the East African Communities in Minnesota, and how the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, the largest employer of these communities, could make a positive impact on these numbers by raising wages for workers.

Transit Times Tell A Tale

Assigment:  Attend this press conference on Tuesday, May 12 and file a report for the Morning Blend.  OR schedule one or more interviews with stakeholders to give KFAI’s listeners an understanding of the meaning of this report.

Report Release to Show Wide Racial Disparities in Twin Cities Transit Times

St. Paul – A new report released by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, TakeAction Minnesota, ISAIAH, and the Center for Popular Democracy shows the impact of enormous racial disparities in commute times between transit riders of color and white drivers in the Twin Cities.

This report will show that transit riders of color in the Twin Cities lose the equivalent of about four work weeks in commute times annually compared to white drivers. The transit time penalty falls hardest on communities of color because of geographic segregation and the disparate rates of public transit use. Funding solutions and transit investments currently proposed by the State Senate would help to close this gap.

The New York Times reported last week that commuting time is the single strongest factor that changes the odds of escaping poverty and noted that sufficient access to public transportation has a stronger effect on the employment and income chances of a community than many other factors, including elementary school test scores and crime. As Minnesota wrestles with ongoing racial disparities, which are among the worst in the nation, this new report will demonstrate drastic racial disparities in Twin Cities commuter transit times.

What: Press conference and release of report “It’s About Time: The Transit Time Penalty and Its Racial Implications.” Transit riders will share their stories of how the transit time penalty has impacted them.

Who: Anthony Newby, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Harry Maddox, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Jacqueline Moren, ISAIAH

Rep. Rena Moran

Rep. Frank Hornstein

30 community members

When: Tuesday, May 12, 1:30 pm.

Where: State Office Building, Room 181, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Visuals: Large charts and maps from the report. Color copies of the report will be distributed.

Advance copies of the report available upon request.

CONTACT: Becky Dernbach, 717-329-5092becky@mnnoc.org

Greta Bergstrom, 651-336-6722greta@takeactionminnesota.org

Africa as a Trade Partner

Unfortunately, most of what we hear in the news about Africa has to do with war, famine and strife.  But on the afternoon of Thursday, May 7th, a panel of experts will talk about Minnesota’s trade relationship with African nations.  

Assignment:  Attend this event, record the speakers, do interviews,  and produce a report about Minnesota’s trade with Africa.

As Ambassador to Ghana, Donald Teitelbaum led a major effort to build a special partnership in counter-terrorism. Now, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, he has the responsibility of overseeing such efforts across Africa.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Teitelbaum is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Foreign Affairs. He had early postings in Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon. African postings have included Somalia, Sudan, Uganda as Deputy Chief of Mission, South Africa as Deputy Chief of Mission, and Ghana as Ambassador.

He has worked in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and has served as Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council with portfolios for Central Africa, East Africa, South Africa and HIV/AIDS. His tenure as Ambassador to Ghana immediately preceded his current position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Participants: 

Donald Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, U.S. State Department

Her Excellency Oliver Wonekha, Ugandan Ambassador to the United States
Eric Schwartz, Dean of Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Sri Zaheer, Dean, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Minnesota, U.S. and African companies invited as panelists will address Africa’s fastest growing markets, technology as market drivers, agribusiness, and more:

Tom Gitaa, Kenyan expat, MShale Publisher and President
Asratie Teferra, Ethiopian expat, Zebra Consulting LLC
Mike Essien, Nigerian expat, Essien Law Office
Dr. Mary Curtin, former U.S. State Department and current Humphrey School Diplomat in Residence
Steven Clarke, International Development Consultant

Conclusion: Paul Hansen, International Trade Representative, Minnesota Trade Office

Doug Stone
Doug Stone Communications, LLC
651-698-9390 (office);  651-336-9907 (mobile)
stone7586@gmail.com
www.doug-stone.com
www.linkedin.com/in/dougstonecommunications

Human Trafficking Explained

Assignment: Attend this press conference on April 28 to learn more about human trafficking crimes against immigrants.
File a report for the Morning Blend.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Federal immigration officials will hold a media availability Tuesday to get out the message about assistance for immigrants who are victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes. The speakers, including representatives of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), will also hold training and outreach for law enforcement and community groups to give them tools to help victims become survivors.

Officials will explain how traffickers lure vulnerable men, women and minors with false promises of a better life, only to enslave and abuse them. They will also explain how victims of crime can find help, including assistance with immigration matters. The news conference will include a question and answer session and one-on-one opportunities. More information about immigration benefits for victims is available at http://www.uscis.gov/humantrafficking.

In the last 18 months alone, USCIS has held 21 national webinars for more than 4,000 law enforcement officers, community groups, and practitioners. In addition, USCIS officials have traveled to more than 30 cities in a multi-year drive to educate the public, emergency responders, law enforcement officers, health care professionals and community advocacy groups about programs to protect victims.

WHO: Amany Ezeldin, Adjudications Officer (Policy), USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy,
Washington, D.C.
Mike Netherland, Special Agent-in-Charge, HSI St. Paul
WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 11:00 a.m. (Please allow 15 minutes to clear security)

WHERE: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
2901 Metro Dr.
Bloomington, MN 55425

CONTACTS: Tim Counts, USCIS Public Affairs Officer
Office: 952-853-2827; cell: 952-232-7971; email Tim.Counts@dhs.gov
Shawn Neudauer, ICE Public Affairs Officer
Office: 612-843-8985; cell: 952-250-7133; email Shawn.A.Neudauer@ice.dhs.gov