Tag Archives: Minnesota

A Proud Minnesotan

I’m a fifth generation Minnesotan. My dad’s family immigrated to Minnesota from Northern and Eastern Europe in the 1800s. My great great grandparents established an urban homestead. They grew their own food and lived within walking distance of downtown St. Paul the state’s capital. My grandparents and parents continued the family tradition of growing and preserving our food, despite living in the post-war era nor living in St. Paul anymore. I have been lucky often to continue to be taught this valuable skills from my family.

My sister’s and I with the Easter bunny in St. Paul circa 1996.

I grow up in during my youngest years in St. Paul off Rice Street. Being able to participate in Rice Rec events and the Rice Street Parade were some of my fondest memories.

I was able to see the Mall of America be built. We were lucky enough to spend time at Camp Snoopy. And I grew up watching my favorite movie franchise filmed here as well… The Mighty Ducks.

Duluth, MN

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes so growing up I spent lots of time at our family cabin or at friend’s cabins. We would go fishing a lot. I would go jet skiing and wakeboarding. In the winter would go to neighborhood ponds to ice skate. Or go ice fishing on the lake.

I have developed a great connection to this state I call home for all these reasons. However, as I’ve gotten older I realize all the amazing benefits of living in Minnesota. Like the incredible access to healthcare and choice we have here. The expanded medicaid services that are offered within our state to support those with chronic medical condition. I have experienced the benefits of these programs after having my oldest daughter who is medically complex.

This past year has been another testament to the fondest I have for this state. Though not always favorable our state has shown great leadership throughout this pandemic. And with that it was announced today that the state will be expanding its vaccination qualification to all adults over the age of sixteen on Tuesday March 30, 2021. This is far ahead of schedule because at the beginning of the vaccination campaign it was estimated that having all adults of 16 in Minnesota be able to qualify for vaccination it would take until at least the end of the summer 2021. This is big deal and an important step for our state.

This is all to say I am a Proud Minnesotan born and raised!

A Surprise Witness for Minnesota

To Each His Owned

Are you into surveys…social scientist-done studies…” opinion pieces” where all is presented with third-person, psychic-with-no-psychic-powers-generalities like this: (from “Minnesota Nice and Racism”-Twin Cities daily Planet)

Minnesota Blog pic    Well, this may be for you if you like arguing with the screen or printed page.

In my years living Minnesota I held the same jobs, lived in the same, demographically diverse neighborhoods as I lived in during the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southern region-living portions of my life.

I redefine the truths evident in the sources/URLs below from the perspective that utilizes the blunt truth style of the Northeast and Deep South:

  • In the piece below about Minnesota Nice being a veil for racism, I would counter that having grown up in places where the racism is just as evident in the attitudes of the white majority, Minnesota is the first place that I didn’t hear about it. Many years here…never been called any racial slur by anyone in or out of uniform. Not even walking into a bar filled with about 50-70 bikers…my order was taken, I was brought my meal, I paid then left. Even the bikers by the door who easily could have folded me up and put me in their shirt pocket, just kept looking where I was not until I walked out the door.

Maybe they hated me, maybe they had no words for an outsider/outgroup member, maybe they didn’t care…whatever the thoughts/feelings/opinions behind their silence and aversion-to-eye-contact-freeze-frame, I left completely unobstructed while not not hearing it.

  • As for the picture of a white man in a police officer’s face, I counter that anyone, even the elderly and disabled, would be stupid to walk up on a man or woman in uniform. True, I am of mixed ethnicity, but even relatives I meet for the first time think I am African-American until I speak native (never asked why), but I never had a problem approaching a police officer (within arms-reach)—whether in Hattiesburg or Hastings—because I kept my empty hands visible, (fingers unfolded) with my cell-phone (and anything else that could be reimagined to be a gun in my pocket and unseen.

This is not a statistical, many-times removed analysis asking you to rely on what someone you don’t know says about this State, just an exercise that acknowledges in conclusion that every pose, policy, position or picture of the sources below would never be just as true copy-and-pasting any State other than Minnesota in any or all.

  • In Minnesota, reducing it to a minimalist’s math, my struggle is with the Legislature’s words and actions (only 33% of a State trifecta of People, Police and Policy); while in eight other States I have lived or worked in for at least one year, the struggle is outwardly manifested in the words and actions of all three (100%).








The audience is anyone who is new to podcasting like myself and the goal is to show how great podcasting can be.

I’m new to podcast. Shameful, right? I knew they were around but never really listened until two years ago when I was introduced to Roughing the Podcast via Twitter. The host, Di Murphy and Ted Glover go back and forth about all things related to the Minnesota Vikings. It was great to listen to them and the knowledge they had about the Vikings and football in general.

After I listened to a few shows I feel down a rabbit hole of podcast. Not just about sports though. I was listening to radio podcast, political podcast- I tend to listen few and far between to them, and comedy podcast just to name a few. What is great about them is that they provide great content without reading. I do love to read, but when I’m in the car or at work I can’t whip out a book or a magazine, and I can get the same content while driving or at my desk.

While I have a new found appreciation for podcast, I have found some that just aren’t good. In The New Rules of Marketing & PR on page 312 they talk about “show preparation.” I have heard podcast were the host weren’t prepared and it within the first five minutes the show is ruined because the host have no idea what they are talking about.

But overall, podcast have been a great discovery for me and I feel that if you are new them like I was, I suggest picking your favorite topic and start from there. Happy listening.

Raising Wages to Bridge the Gap?

pexels-photo-259191.jpegIn my last post, I spoke to students, classmates, teachers, and working adults like myself.

I talked to you all about my good friend who has a master’s degree and makes $15/hour working for a major school district and barely gets by with a small studio apartment in St. Paul for a grand a month.

Currently, there are a lot of arguments for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour- the same wage that my friend with a master’s degree is making.  No offense to fast food workers, we all start somewhere, but is it fair that she is paying off a slew of student loans and making the same hourly rate as Joe Blow working at the McD’s drive-thru?


At first, I thought it sounded like a good thing, but I read a lot and heard a lot of what both sides were saying and I formed an opinion of my own.

Sure, social Media tags such as: #raisethewage and #handsoff are catchy, but do people really understand what they stand for and what’s at stake?  I will say, they have done a great job of using these tags to market their cause.  In fact, I had a hard time finding hash tags and linked social media for the opposition.  Like Scott says in our text, many news releases now provide a way to include social media tags to make it easier to locate content, so use them! (ch. 18, p. 326).

There are plenty of news releases offering data and predictions from economists and scholars, but we need to get the word out on social media platforms as well, in order to reach those who aren’t Googling scholarly articles on the subject.  People need to be educated at both ends of this issue, and they need to be informed of the repercussions of the wage hike.

Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour will only push for inflation and cause the cost of living to increase and it will be even more difficult to find affordable housing.  It will also negatively impact small businesses and the job market.

This domino effect will only further the gap between the poverty line and the 1%, and eventually, the working class will be eliminated.

Bridge Safety

With the recent collapse of the pedestrian bridge Miami near Florida International University this brings to the spotlight once again bridge and road safety.

With recent reports stating that an engineer observed, “some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span.” How safe was the bridge to begin with and why were workers allowed to work on the bridge when there was cracking in the bridge. The cracking in the bridge should have been enough to halt any other work beside the repairing of that crack.

This brings to mind the 35W bridge collapse that happened here in 2007. There bridge was deemed “structurally deficient.” That meant that there was work that needed to be done, more importantly it was deemed, “fracture critical,” and that means that “the failure of just one vital component could cause the whole bridge to collapse.” And that vital component did fail. Again, once there were obvious signs of failure for 35W the work that was going on at the time of the collapse should have stopped. They should have closed at least one part of the bridge to start the repairs.

With the Miami collapse this just shows that there is still so much work to do with the infrastructure in this country. Last year, 172 bridges in Minnesota are structurally deficient or fracture critical. With such a high number bridge safety in Minnesota and this country should be a top priority. We use pedestrian and vehicle bridges every day and we trust that they are safe. But with those numbers, just in Minnesota alone, shows we have a long way to go.

Updating facilities U of M

The U of M is trying to ask the state government for money to renovate various facilities across multiple campuses. President of the U of M claims that:  “University of Minnesota contributes more than $8.6 billion a year in economic activity to our 87 counties.” This may be factual but the point I like to make is how this school charges a significant amount of money for tuition but still needs helps with funding from the state. I understand that the U of M is a major contributor to the state tax  revenue, but I don’t think that is a good enough a reason to increase their budget.

I understand that we should prioritize our youth and their education, but I feel that with this school it shouldn’t need much help with renovating facilities with the money they already make off of the students. Also if the school is to use state government  funds, the school should make the facilities open to the public and not just the students enrolled at the school. I think that Erik Kaler, the president of the U needs to review his budget and see where he can scrounge up spare change to improve his school that doesn’t offer the general public time to use the facilities before asking for more money from the state. I think that tuition from all the students would be more than sufficient to cover pay for professors and facilities. Go gophers.



Protect Your Data!

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 1.59.16 AMWe  increasingly hear stories about government agencies falling prey to cyber (or direct) attacks and our data unintentionally getting into the hands of those willing to steal our identity or money for their own benefit.

It is also a prevalent trend in the political sphere that the government wishes to reel in our cyber freedoms. This seems to be mostly based in fear and a sense of being out of control.

I value my cyber freedoms and I believe that I am best suited to ensure them.

However, I would argue that the government shouldn’t even consider expanding the collection of our data or attempt to control our online interactions until they figure out how to protect the data they collect. The role of government ought to be to protect the constituency. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been happening. Rather, politicians have seemed, in recent years, more concerned with holding their seat from election cycle to election cycle.

If you care about this issue you should contact your policy makers to tell them about it.

In Minnesota you can find out who your representatives are by conducting a search on the state’s legislative website.

What do you think?
Tall me in the comment section below.