Progressive Calendar 04.19.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 18:47:03 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.19.06

1. Housing/poetry     4.20 4pm
2. Eagan peace vigil  4.20 4:30pm
3. Small is beautiful 4.20 5pm
4. Northtown vigil    4.20 5pm
5. Mpls wireless      4.20 6pm
6. No stadium!        4.20 6pm
7. Cuba/Venezuela     4.20 6:30pm
8. Schools/justice    4.20 7pm/4.21 9am
9. Media democracy    4.20 7pm
10. Intl film fest    4.20-30 7pm
11. Sami/Iraq         4.20 7pm Northfield MN
12. Warming/Steger    4.20 7pm
13. AI Wayzata        4.20 7:15pm
14. Cabaret/Nazi      4.20-29 time?
15. Report from Iran  4.20 7:30pm
16. 9-11/empire/CTV   4.20 8:30pm

17. Dave Bicking - Stadium hearings update
18. Watson/Jones - Venezuela to launch international 9/11 investigation
19. John Marty   - Conflict of interest at MN environ agency not unique
20. ed           - Back on the rich (poem)

--------1 of 20--------

From: PrairiePoet58 [at]
Subject: Housing/poetry 4.20 4pm

Minneapolis Public Schools and the Family Housing Fund invite you to
"Home Sweet Home Again: An Exhibition of Art and Poetry"

Thursday, April 20
4-6pm  (Program at 5pm)

Minneapolis Public Schools 807 Broadway NE Minneapolis, MN 55413
"Home Sweet Home Again" will be on display  through June 2006.


In Minneapolis, more than 600 children are picked up from shelters or
transitional housing facilities each day for school. More than 3,500
students stay at shelters in Minneapolis throughout a year. Minneapolis
Public Schools recognizes the need for stable, affordable housing in the
lives of students they serve.

The Family Housing Fund is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to
preserve and expand quality affordable housing for families with low and
moderate incomes in the Twin Cities. The Fund sponsored "Home Sweet Home
Again"  to bring greater awareness to the growing need for decent,
affordable housing in our community. Nearly 75 local artists and poets
have created artwork or poetry on the issues of affordable housing,
homelessness, or the meaning of home for this powerful exhibition. Learn
more at

Please RSVP for the opening to Pat Teske, 612-668-5346 or to
pat.teske [at]

--------2 of 20--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 4.20 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------3 of 20--------

From: Jesse Mortenson <jmortenson [at]>
Subject: Small is beautiful 4.20 5pm

First and third Tuesdays of the month
4.20 5pm
Cahoots coffeehouse
Selby 1/2 block east of Snelling in StPaul

Limit bigboxes, chain stores, TIF, corporate welfare, billboards; promote
small business and co-ops, local production & self-sufficiency.

--------4 of 20--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.20 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil. Every Thursday, to 5 to 6 pm, at the intersection
of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley,
and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------5 of 20--------

From: Linda Shoemaker <lshoemaker [at]>
Subject: Mpls wireless 4.20 6pm

Minneapolis Goes Wireless
Find out what a Wireless city may mean for you.
Public Meeting Notice

Learn more about Wireless Minneapolis, what it may mean for you and how it
may help bridge the digital divide.

Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave. S.
6-8pm, Thursday, April 20, 2006

Those who attend will have the opportunity to share their ideas and
feedback about what "community benefits" should be negotiated to help
bridge the digital divide. Additional meetings are being planned. For more
information or to sign-up to receive e-mail updates on the project, visit

--------6 of 20--------

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at]>
Subject: No stadium! 4.20 6pm

Come early to the hearing in Bloomington.
The Twins Stadium Will be voted on Thursday April 20.

I have been told by several sources that the Pro Twins stadium people plan
to crash in on the Thursday night meeting where opponents are supposed to
be heard

"The auditorium only holds 500 people, so you will want to spread the word
so that people are there early."

House Tax Committee
Chair: Representative Philip Krinkie (Lino Lakes)
AGENDA:	Proposed Hennepin County Sales Tax for aTwins Stadium
Thursday, April  20, 2006 at 6:00 PM
Oak Grove Middle School 1300 W. 106th St. * Bloomington

If you wish to testify, or have any questions, contact Craig Stone at
(651)296-5367 or e-mail craig.stone [at] . He can add you to the list
of people who will testify.

Ron Holch Organizer Taxpayers for an Anoka County Stadium Referendum

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>

We are at a critical point in the effort to stop the plan by Hennepin
County to impose a sales tax to finance a new Twins Stadium.  This
outrageous example of corporate welfare is once again moving through the
State Legislature.

Thursday, April 20, at 6pm at the Oak Grove Middle School at 1300 W. 106th
St., Bloomington (a couple blocks west of the 106th St. exit from I-35W):
A public hearing, sponsored by the Tax Committee of the State House of
Representatives.  It will be conducted by Rep. Krinkie, the chairman of
that committee - and a strong opponent of public financing for private
stadiums.  At this hearing they will be taking testimony only from
opponents of the stadium bill.

Please, if you can, prepare to testify about some aspect of this proposal.
All that is needed is a brief, heart-felt statement of your opposition,
preferably accompanied by information and/or opinion about one of the many
reasons to oppose this measure.  You may wish to talk about public
priorities, or corporate welfare for billionaires, or fiscal
responsibility, or the 30 year commitment, or the undemocratic process, or
the importance of a referendum.  Anybody can do this, and your voice
should be heard!  The corporate media (unanimous in support) and the
politicians (beholden to special interests) have been heard loud and
clear.  This is our turn - and your turn!

Even if you don't want to testify (and I know that nothing I say will
encourage most of you to speak in public), it is important to be there and
show your opposition.  This hearing will be watched closely by the media
and by the members of the State Legislature.

That is why the president of the Twins is urging baseball fans to show up
en masse wearing Twins colors, despite the fact that this is billed as the
chance for the Tax Committee to hear from stadium bill opponents.  Please
tell your friends and spread the word.

[Typical $2.7 billion Pohlad tactics. He doesn't have enough money yet, so
he wants ours, and he doesn't care how he gets it. Typical tactics of the
rich: Give it to us, or else. Why should anyone respect them? What shred
of honor have they left? We could all get along without any of them, and
much better, too. -ed]

Some background:

Where is the process now?

This current plan, for a Twins stadium in downtown Mpls, financed
primarily by a new Hennepin County sales tax, first surfaced in late April
of 2005.  The deal was worked out behind closed doors, and was passed by
the Hennepin County Board last May 3rd, just 8 days after the public first
heard about it!  It was then sent to the State Legislature for approval.

All new local sales taxes must be approved by the State Legislature (all
local sales taxes are administered by the State).  In 1997, due to public
pressure - largely disgust at the unending efforts to get the public to
pay for private stadiums - the state passed a state statute, 297A.99,
which sets out requirements for any new local sales tax.  Among its many
guidelines is a requirement that any new local sales tax be approved in a
local referendum.

The biggest problem for the County and the Twins in trying to win approval
for the county sales tax is that they are insisting that it be imposed
without that required referendum.  They want a specific, first-time-ever,
exemption from that requirement of the state law.  If the State
Legislature were to follow its own guidelines and require the referendum,
the Twins have made it clear that they would withdraw the proposal, rather
than to submit it to a referendum.  They say a referendum would be too
expensive and delay the project.  In reality, they know that it would be
defeated, even if they outspent their opponents 100 to 1.  Every opinion
poll shows 70% opposition, or more, to taxes to pay for private stadiums.

Last year, the proposal submitted to the State Legislature never reached
the floor, because the Legislature was deadlocked over the budget.  It
failed, more due to the dysfunction of our legislature than to actual
opposition.  When the session reconvened this spring, the bill was
re-submitted to the various committees that must consider it.  The Senate
bill, SF2297, has already passed the State and Local Government Operations
Committee.  The House bill, HF2480, is currently in the Tax Committee (the
reason for the public hearings this week).

Meanwhile, the County needs to act again.  The old deal, negotiated behind
closed doors between the County and the Twins, expired at the end of 2005.
It needed to be renegotiated, particularly due to increases in the cost
estimate.  (I understand that reconstruction after hurricane Katrina has
led to a large increase in the cost of building materials.)  That is the
reason for the agenda item at today's County Board meeting - the newly
renegotiated agreement needs to be approved and sent on to the State

From my reading of the figures, the total cost of the stadium,
infrastructure, and related costs is now $522 million, up $44 million from
the old estimate of $478 million.  The county, tough negotiators that they
are, have managed to get Pohlad, the billionaire, to come up with an
additional $5 million dollar contribution!  So a terrible deal gets even
worse.  The public will now be kicking in $392 million, up from $353
million before.  That is roughly $350 for every man, woman, and child in
Hennepin County.

With creative accounting (including even an arithmetic error on the new
spreadsheet), this will still be paid for by the same .15% sales tax.
With interest, that tax will be collecting approximately $1.1 Billion
dollars from the public over the next 30 years!

Detailed information on the new County / Twins agreement can be found on
the Hennepin County website: Click on the stadium story
on the front page, then click in the right-hand column for 3 documents:
the New Ballpark Resolution (#06-238), the new County / Twins Principles
of Agreement, and the Ballpark Financing Plan, including comparisons of
this agreement with the '05 agreement.

If the current Twins proposal passes the State Legislature, it will come
back to the Hennepin County Board for final implementation.  Passage there
is almost assured - all it needs is the votes of its current 4 strong
supporters (the four men on the board, opposed by the 3 women - a
coincidence?).  Opponents have managed to extract a promise of 3 public
hearings before the County Board gives its final approval.  But public
input will probably be ignored, as completely, and as rudely, as it was
last May.  The problem is, public hearings are only advisory, a referendum
would be binding!

Yes, I think we CAN still stop this stadium, public opinion is strongly on
our side, but now is the critical time.  It will be hard to kill it in the
legislature - we have to rely on the fairness and good will of outstate
legislators.  The problem is, most of the legislators will be voting on a
tax that THEIR constituents won't have to pay!  It will be very tempting
for them to say, let Hennepin County do what it wants - we get a new
stadium for the Minnesota Twins at no cost to the state or our
constituents, and we get to be done with this endless battle.  [Actually,
the Twins have made it very clear that within a year or two, they will be
back at the legislature asking for money for a retractable roof for the
stadium.  There is no end to their whining, no matter what we do.]

In addition to coming to the events this week, please contact your state
legislators.  I'll keep you posted on new developments.  If you have the
time and interest to become more involved in this fight, PLEASE contact

Dave Bicking 612-276-1213

[Bare-faced theft. A specialty of the rich. Never turn your back on them.

--------7 of 20--------

From: J
Subject: Schools/justice 4.20 7pm/4.21 9am

April 20
Bob Peterson from Rethinking Schools: "Rethinking Our Teaching in a Time
of Global Crisis"

University of Minnesota, Mondale Hall (Law School) room 55, 229 19th
Avenue South, Mpls 7-9pm

Cost: Free and open to the public. RSVPs requested at 612-624-9007 or
igs [at] <mailto:igs [at]>

The Institute for Global Studies and the European Studies Consortium at
the University of Minnesota cordially invite you to a special evening
presentation with Bob Peterson from Rethinking Schools. Bob Peterson, a
veteran public school teacher who has spoken about global issues to
teachers in Australia, England and Mexico, will talk about how teachers
can engage their students around global issues. Reflecting on his own
experience living and traveling internationally and his 25 years of
teaching in inner city schools in Milwaukee, Bob will speak about the
importance of teaching about global justice issues in the United States,
strategies for teachers to engage their students, and how global trends,
such as privatization, cutbacks in social services, and corporate
controlled media, directly impact the lives of teachers and students in
Minnesota. Book and materials from Rethinking Schools will be available
for purchase before and after the talk.

Bob Peterson is a founder of and a fifth grade teacher at La Escuela
Fratney, an innovative, anti-racist, two-way bilingual public school in
Milwaukee. He is a founding editor of Rethinking Schools, a national
magazine which advocates equality and school reform. He has written many
articles that have appeared in periodicals and newspapers across the
country and has co-edited several books including: Rethinking Mathematics:
Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers; Rethinking Globalization: Teaching
for Justice in an Unjust World; and Rethinking Columbus: The Next Five
Hundred Years. He has been a workshop leader and keynote speaker at dozens
of educational conferences, school districts, and universities across the
country and in England and Australia.


April 21
Bob Peterson Educator Seminar: "Rethinking Globalization: Teaching
Justice in an Unjust World"

University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference
Center, St Paul, MN

Cost: $40, includes a continental breakfast, lunch buffet, snacks, CEU's,
and Rethinking Globalization curriculum

The Institute for Global Studies and the European Studies Consortium at
the University of Minnesota cordially invite you to attend an educator
seminar with Bob Peterson from Rethinking Schools. The United States has
only 5% of the world's population but consumes over a third of the world's
resources and creates over 50% of the world's inorganic waste. This
seminar will examine ways teachers can help students develop a sense of
global justice.

Bob Peterson, co-editor of the book, Rethinking Globalization: Teaching
for Justice in an Unjust World, will lead participants through an activity
that will clarify what "globalization" means to different people around
the world. He will share specific teaching ideas - ranging from poetry, to
role-plays, to simulations - on topics such as child labor, sweatshops,
global warming, colonialism, and debt. Math, language arts, reading,
social studies, and science subject areas will be addressed. The workshop
will be participatory and many resources will be shared. Most appropriate
for teachers of 3rd through 12th grade; all subject areas and other levels
of teacher are welcome. Registration available online at
<> or call Sarah Herzog at
612-624-7346 for more information.

These events have been organized by the Institute for Global Studies and
European Studies Consortium at the University of Minnesota through a Title
VI grant from US Department of Education. Cosponsors include the
University of Minnesota's Human Rights Resource Center, Resource Center of
the Americas, and the Minnesota International Center.

Bob Peterson Editor Rethinking Schools 1001 E. Keefe Ave. Milwaukee, WI
53212 414-964-9646 (office) 414-964-7220 (fax) 414-265-6217 (home) <>
repmilw [at] <mailto:repmilw [at]>

--------8 of 20--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at]>
Subject: Media democracy 4.20 7pm

THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM The third Thursday of each month,

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 GrovelandAvenue, Minneapolis
(at Lyndale & Hennepin). Free parking in church parking lot.


On the premise that a democratic society cannot exist without a democratic
media, we will profile what "the media" is in an era of rampant
technological expansion and commercial concentration, define what "media
democracy" is in such a context and what's required to secure it, and
examine the state of "media democracy" in nations and regions of the world
- with a special focus on the expanding "digital divide" between the
technological "haves" and "have-nots" of our world's societies. 
Discussion attendees will also receive a comprehensive set of resources on
these and other media issues.   

Presenter: RICHARD L. (LEE) DECHERT.  Lee is a longtime staffer at tpt,
Twin Cities Public Television, with a broad background in broadcast
technology and the funding, producing, promoting and providing of program
and outreach services.  For many years he has been active with
organizations like the Resource Center of the Americas, WAMM (Women
Against Military Madness), and Friends for a Non-Violent World.  He has
been a researcher, writer, organizer and consultant for local and national
media organizations.  And he's currently an advisory board member of the
Twin Cities Media Alliance and a Board member of the Minnesota Chapter of
Citizens for Global Solutions.

--------9 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Intl film fest 4.20-30 7pm

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival Set to Open
24th Annual Festival will run from April 20-30

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival will feature 130
films from 40 countries around the world in this yearıs festival which
runs from April 20-30, 2006, at five theaters around the Twin Cities area.

The festival will start April 20 at 7pm with a gala opening at the
Riverview Theater of the film Al Franken: God Spoke by co-directors Nick
Doob and Chris Hegedus. Al Franken is scheduled to appear and introduce
the film.

The theaters that will play host to the festival include the Oak Street
Cinema, the Bell Auditorium, the Riverview Theater, the Crown Theater
Block E in downtown Minneapolis, and the Landmark Theater Edina.

For information on dates, times and theater locales, consult the film
festivalıs Web site ­ <> .
Or check out the insert in City Pages magazine this Weds., April 19. The
insert will list dates, times, venues and synopses of the films.

Ticket plans are available ranging from a Ten Pack, good for 10 Festival
Films (not including opening and closing nights), to a Gold Pass, which
allows access to all of the screenings and parties. Single show tickets
are $9.00. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

--------10 of 20--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.20 7pm Northfield MN

Thursday, 4/20, 7pm, returning briefly from 6 months in Iraq, former Twin
Cities resident and now Muslim Peacemaker Sami Rasouli speaks at People for
Peace and Good Will in Northfield.  Details: contact candacelautt [at]

--------11 of 20--------

From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at]>
Subject: Cuba/Venezuela 4.20 6:30pm

Find out more about the May 20 march on Washington demanding "Hands off
Venezuela and Cuba!" Help the Minnesota Cuba Committee and the Minnesota
Venezuela Committee get out the word.

Meeting is 6:30, Thursday, April 20, Holy Trinity Church, Mary Martha
Room, 2nd floor, 2730 31st St. East, Minneapolis (between 27th and 28th

--------12 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Warming/Steger 4.20 7pm

Thursday, April 20, 7 pm
1648 Grand Ave., St. Paul

Twin Cities-based adventurer/educator, Will Steger, has witnessed
firsthand the catastrophic consequences of global warming. He's seen its
effects during a kayaking trip along Antarctica's Larson Ice Shelf, as
well as on an expedition to Baffin Island, where he met the native Inuit
people, experienced their rich culture and learned how the gradual rise in
the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere was affecting their home.

Join Will at Patagonia for a slideshow/talk about his experiences at both
points of the globe. Learn more about the issue of global warming, its
dire effects in the polar regions and what you can do about it.

This event is free. Light refreshments will be served. For more
information, phone 651-698-1703.

--------13 of 20--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: AI Wayzata 4.20 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) will meet on Thursday, April 20th, 7:15
p.m. at St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata
(near the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further
information, contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at]

--------14 of 20--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Cabaret/Nazi 4.20-29 time?

Cabaret, by Kander and Ebb, directed by Barbra Berlovitz
The Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, University of Minnesota
April 20-29
Rarig Center, West Bank Arts Quarter, University of Minnesota: 330 21st
Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

TICKETS:  U of M Arts Ticket Office, 612.624.2345 or
GROUP SALES: 612.625.8878

our 75th Anniversary Mainstage Season, for just $12 a ticket you and a
group of students or colleagues are invited to attend our spring
production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret, directed by Barbra Berlovitz.
Berlovitz is an Artistic Director of the Theatre de la Jeune Lune and a
University of Minnesota alumnus.

Set in 1930s Berlin during the rise of the Nazi Regime, Cabaret thrusts
the audience into a world full of poverty, love and denial. Cliff, an
aspiring American writer, travels to Berlin to try and further his writing
career. While he struggles to write, he finds himself captivatedby the
atmosphere of Berlin and is fascinated by the Kit Kat Klub and its star
performer, Sally Bowles. Their relationship quickly develops and is soon
faced with the many cultural and economic consequences of the time.

Director Barbra Berlovitz is one of the five Artistic Directors that have
been leading Theatre de la Jeune Lune for the past twenty-seven years.
Recently awarded with the 2005 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional
Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune has created a unique blend of
traditional and contemporary theatrical forms that has gained national and
international acclaim.  Berlovitz has had the opportunity to act, direct,>
write and design for the Jeune Lune as well as numerous theatres across
the country.

Cabaret represents a world full of poverty, harshness and denial that no
one can escape. The goal is to not be pretty and cute and sweet. "It's
down and dirty and raw."Barbra Berlovitz

Set in one the most influential and tragic periods in western history,
Berlovitz's Cabaret follows a couple trying their best to find happiness
in the misery and denial of Nazi Germany.  Grasping with characters that
exist in constant denial over the changing world around them,Berlovitz
draws unmistakable parallels to contemporary life, and presents Cabaret as
a metaphor for a society that is gradually waking up and realizing what
has been happening under their very noses.

Bring your class or entire department to a show that compliments their
area of study.  Groups of 15 or more are invited to take advantage of our
special group discount of just $12 per ticket.  Cabaret runs April 20th -
29th, at the Rarig Center on the University of Minnesota's West Bank
campus.  For ticket information, call the University Arts Ticket Office at
612.624.2345.  For group sales information, call 612.625.8878.

--------15 of 20--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Report from Iran 4.20 7:30pm

Report from Iran
Thursday, April 20, 7:30pm StMartin's Table, 2001 Riverside Avenue,

The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) sent its first People to People
delegation to Iran from December 1-12, 2005. Nancy Parlin of New Richland,
Wisconsin, was among 18 participants from across the U.S., plus Puerto
Rico and Germany. The group traveled to Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan, Qom,
and Tehran. They met with students and leaders of religious communities,
as well as women's and environmental groups. Sponsored by: FOR. FFI: Visit

--------16 of 20--------

From: alteravista [at]
Subject: 9-11/empire/CTV 4.20 8:30pm

Thurs April 20, 8:30 pm, StPaul cable channel 15:  Altera vista presents
"9/11 and the American Empire," a talk by Prof. David Griffin, professor
emeritus of Claremont School of Theology, San Francisco.  Prof. Griffin
presents a clear case for government coverup of what really happened on
September 11, 2001.

--------17 of 20--------

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 04:42:17 -0500
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: Stadium hearings update

I just want to report briefly on yesterday's County Board meeting which
approved the revised, 2006 version of the agreement between the County and
the Twins; and provide a little more info on upcoming hearings.

First, a reminder that the most important hearing for us to show up at is
this Thursday, April 20th, at 6:00pm at the Oak Grove Middle School at
1300 W. 106th St., Bloomington (a couple blocks west of the 106th St. exit
from I-35W):  This is a public hearing, sponsored by the Tax Committee of
the State House of Representatives.  See yesterday's email for more

One new piece of info:  if you wish to speak (and I hope you do!), it is
best to let them know ahead of time, so you can be sure to be on the
schedule.  Call Craig Stone (651) 296-5367 or email Craig.Stone [at]

You can also sign up at the meeting itself.  However, depending on the
amount of interest, there may not be enough time for everyone, so
contacting them ahead of time is recommended.  I imagine that each speaker
will have a maximum of three minutes, so prepare for that.  You don't have
to be a good speaker - just say what you think, and stick to one main
point during the 3 minutes you have.

This Thursday's hearing is specifically for testimony by opponents.
Supporters of the stadium bill will have a chance to testify this
afternoon, Wednesday, April 19, 3:00pm in Room 5 of the State Office
Building (located just to the SW of the State Capitol Building).  We are
welcome to go to that also if we want to observe.  I plan to be there.
It can be enlightening to see who testifies in favor (hint: most of them
will be those who benefit financially from a new stadium).  Again, more
details in yesterday's email.

Yesterday's County Board meeting:

I attended the meeting, along with seven other opponents of the Twins
stadium tax plan.  This was not a public hearing, so we were not there to
speak.  We indicated our opposition with small signs, so that board
members knew that opponents were still paying attention.  Also, by showing
up, we were able to talk to several media representatives.

Watching the process of the board meeting was both educational and
appalling.  The arrogance of the stadium supporters was on full display.
I encourage people to go to one of these types of meetings sometime.  You
have to see it in person to fully appreciate the sorry state of our

As expected, the new agreement between the Twins and the Hennepin County
negotiators passed by a 4 to 3 vote.  As has been the case for the last
year, the votes in favor were from the men: Peter McLaughlin, Mike Opat,
Randy Johnson, and Mark Stenglein.  Opposed were all three women: Linda
Koblick, Penny Steele, and Gail Dorfman.

Linda Koblick was eloquent and determined.  As in the first meeting to
consider the stadium last May, I was very impressed.  She is a Republican,
so I imagine we would disagree on many issues, but on this issue, she has
been excellent and highly principled.  Given her abilities, I would hate
to be on the opposite side of an issue from her.

Penny Steele was also determined and passionate.  In her final statement,
she was close to tears as she spoke about how bad a deal this is for the
citizens, and how it is simply wrong for the county to be giving away this
money when so many important priorities are neglected.

Gail Dorfman remains in opposition to the stadium tax.  But she was much
quieter, and voted with the majority on many of the proposed amendments.
On perhaps the most important amendment, one to require a referendum
before implementation of a sales tax, she did not vote at all - she was
inexplicably out of the room.  My guess is that she is under great
pressure from the DFL establishment as she seeks DFL endorsement in her
run for US Congress.

The debate on the stadium lasted roughly three hours, with the final vote
at about 6:00pm.  Most of the time was taken by amendments from Steele and
Koblick, amendments that were attempts to improve an agreement that they
knew was destined for passage.  As they pointed out, many sections of the
agreement are quite vague.  Protections of the team's interests are
spelled out in quite some detail; protections for the county and the
taxpayers are vague or missing.  For instance, "provision for affordable
tickets" is left undefined.  An amendment to make this public benefit more
specific and meaningful was defeated.  Most amendments were defeated 5 to
2 with Dorfman siding with the majority, or in some cases 4 to 3.

You had to be there to fully appreciate the specious arguments advanced in
support of this badly flawed agreement.  The amendment effort was not
fully in vain: one amendment did pass, unanimously, calling for Hennepin
County residents to be exempt from any state wide tax that might be
imposed in the future to pay for a retractable roof.

The StarTribune article about the meeting is at:

Nick Coleman has an excellent column in today's paper.  It is online at:

Coleman's article is so good, I must quote part of it here:

"Don't bore me with propaganda about the tax amounting to only three cents
on each $20. A billion dollars is not trivial.

It is an enormous commitment that speaks volumes about our priorities,
will cost each man, woman and child hundreds of dollars, transfer
substantial wealth from the poorest to the wealthiest, and produce --
study after study has documented this truth -- no discernible public
economic benefit.

We are on a bender of historic proportions, partying while our house rots,
the kids go hungry and our savings are squandered.  Billions for stadiums
after years of slashing spending on everything that matters."  Amen!

He ends by echoing my appeal:

"The county has green-lighted a public boondoggle and the Legislature is
on the brink of sealing the deal by cutting voters out of the action.

This is outrageous.

Today, there is a hearing at the Capitol and guys in suits who charge
hundreds per hour will be well represented. Your chance is Thursday night,
when the House Taxes Committee holds a public hearing at 6 p.m. at Oak
Grove Middle School, 1300 W. 106th St., in Bloomington.

It's the bottom of the ninth. If you are going to go down, it is best to
go down swinging."

I would only add - it is even better to swing and hit a home run!  We have
public opinion on our side.  Let's keep our sights on winning.

Dave Bicking 612-276-1213

--------18 of 20--------

Venezuelan Government To Launch International 9/11 Investigation
Truth crusaders Walter and Rodriguez to appear on Hugo Chavez's weekly TV

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones/Prison |
March 31 2006

Billionaire philanthropist Jimmy Walter and WTC survivor William Rodriguez
this week embarked on a groundbreaking trip to Caracas Venezuela in which
they met with with the President of the Assembly and will soon meet with
Venezuelan President himself Hugo Chavez in anticipation of an official
Venezuelan government investigation into 9/11.

Rodriguez was the last survivor pulled from the rubble of the north tower
of the WTC, and was responsible for all stairwells within the tower.
Rodriguez represented family members of 9/11 victims and testified to the
9/11 Commission that bombs were in the north tower but his statements were
completely omitted from the official record.

Jimmy Walter has been at the forefront of a world tour to raise awareness
about 9/11 and has still yet to receive any response to his million dollar
challenge in which he offers a $1 million reward for proof that the trade
towers' steel structure was broken apart without explosives.

Rodriguez said that he was told an FBI agent had asked the hotel him and
Walter were staying in turn over a list of names of residents. Upon
hearing this, the National Assembly provided armed military protection for
the entirety of the trip. In addition, Walters said that CIA agents were
seen surveilling the beach on which he and Rodriguez had handed out free
DVD's a day earlier.

The US government attempted to sabotage the trip by putting Rodriguez, who
has been decorated at the White House itself, and Walter on a no fly list.

Rodriguez and Walter are educating top Venezuelan officials on the
evidence that 9/11 was a self-inflicted wound carried out by the
military-industrial complex. They have also appeared on every Venezuelan
television and radio station both private and state owned and have given
huge presentations to major universities.

Upon visiting, Rodriguez said that the President of the Assembly, Nicolas
Maduro's home was brimming with books, videos and documents about the 9/11
cover-up. Maduro, Venezuela's top legislator, intoned that he was ready to
create an international investigative committee, looking into the
"international crime scene" that is 9/11 and that this would be structured
via Hugo Chavez's government.

Rodriguez and Walter are also set to appear on Hugo Chavez's weekly
broadcast 'Alo Presidente' - which is often subsequently the source of
major international headlines. If there is no coverage of this event then
we know for sure that a blackout order is in place.

Rodriguez and Walter offered their full support for Charlie Sheen's recent
public stance on 9/11 and were heartened by his efforts. The potential of
a government level inquiry endorsed by Hugo Chavez dovetails with Sheen's
call for an independent investigation to be carried out by political
foreign nationals.

Though the establishment media will no doubt seek to demonize Chavez as a
militant with an axe to grind, this is an exciting development and the
next step on the road to a genuine investigation that will seek to uncover
the truth rather than hide skeletons and whitewash as was witnessed with
the staged Kean committee.

--------19 of 20--------

Conflict of Interest at Environmental Agency is Not Unique to Minnesota
by Senator John Marty
April 19, 2006

Conflicts of interest between state environmental agencies and the
polluters they regulate are a serious problem. These conflicts occur
because special interest money corrupts the political process. Lobbyists
and people affiliated with chemical manufacturers make generous campaign
contributions to governors, who appoint heads of the agencies responsible
for environmental protection.

So it was no surprise when Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed Sheryl
Corrigan, a former manager at 3M - a manufacturer of perfluorinated
chemicals (PFCs) used in making "Scotchgard" - as head of the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) three years ago. The MPCA has regulatory
authority over PFCs that 3M produces. Who better to make sure pollution
regulations are favorable to 3M than a former 3M manager?

Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Minnesota. In West Virginia,
the Governor appointed Stephanie Timmermeyer, a lawyer who previously
represented DuPont, as head of the West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection (WV DEP). DuPont is also a manufacturer of PFCs.
The WV DEP has regulatory authority over the chemicals DuPont produces.
Who better to make sure pollution regulations are favorable to DuPont than
a former DuPont attorney?

There seems to be a pattern here. And it is a serious problem.

Scientists have compared PFCs to dioxin. An EPA advisory panel called
certain PFCs "likely carcinogens". While scientists have more to learn
about PFCs we know they are toxic, extremely persistent, and they
accumulate up the food chain. Unlike dioxin, which is not found in most
people, almost all of us would test positive for PFC contamination.

MPCA officials claim Commissioner Corrigan recused herself from issues
related to 3M and PFCs, avoiding any involvement in those issues. But that
recusal was not put in writing until a year and a half into her tenure.
Even then, some of the staff did not know about the recusal until months
later. And there is evidence that she may be involved with PFCs anyway.

West Virginia agency officials offer a similar line, except the agency
never produced a written recusal from Ms. Timmermeyer.

Have DuPont and 3M taken advantage of these "fox guarding the chicken
coop" arrangements, where their people run state environmental agencies?

A West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection employee told
federal investigators "DuPont reviewed and edited DEP news releases"
related to PFCs. When one press release went out without DuPont approval,
a company lawyer informed the environmental agency that this was
"unacceptable". The manufacturer's control was so complete that a DuPont
official wrote that if DuPont received any media inquiries about the
unacceptable news release she would state, "We understand that the WVDEP
has disavowed that statement..." and refer them to a DuPont ally in the
department, according to an investigative report in the Charleston

In Minnesota, the Senate Environment Committee held hearings at which a
highly respected MPCA scientist, Dr Fardin Oliaei, testified that agency
managers sat by while 3M representatives pressured her to limit testing
for PFC contamination. The pressure was so strong that Dr. Oliaei
questioned whether her boss was the MPCA or 3M! Another MPCA employee
reported that a 3M lobbyist told agency employees that he'd recently met
with their boss, Commissioner Corrigan, to discuss the future of the
agency and the need to get rid of certain staffers, citing an employee who
had been aggressively investigating PFCs. The lobbyist later dismissed it
as a joke. Joke or no joke, it is just one more way to silence workers
trying to protect the environment.

For more than twenty years, DuPont and 3M have had research showing that
PFCs are toxic to laboratory animals. In 1982, 3M and DuPont met with the
EPA to discuss a 3M study that showed facial birth defects in rats exposed
to large doses of a PFC. They failed to disclose a 1981 DuPont study that
showed 2 of 8 pregnant PFC workers also gave birth to babies with facial

Thousand dollar contributions made to West Virginia's governor by DuPont
lobbyists who are former law partners of Secretary Timmermeyer might
explain her appointment, as well as the failure of state regulators to
deal with PFCs appropriately.

Large contributions to Governor Pawlenty by 3M executives and lobbyists,
former colleagues of Commissioner Corrigan, might likewise explain her
appointment. It could explain why the MPCA removed several key people
working on the PFC investigation. Now, the MPCA has actually forced Dr.
Oliaei to leave the agency, destroying the career of a dedicated
scientist. This leaves the MPCA without her expertise at a time when it
she is most needed - we learned at a February Senate hearing that her
last research project at the MPCA found that Mississippi River fish have a
higher concentration of PFCs than wildlife tested anywhere in the world.

Once upon a time, the public could trust that state environmental agencies
were diligently protecting the environment and public health. The
disturbing parallel between Minnesota and West Virginia is no coincidence.
It is an all too common illustration of polluters buying influence with
politicians and their appointees who are supposed to be serving the

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--------20 of 20--------

 Never turn your back
 on the rich. How do you think
 they got to be rich?

 That's why it's camel
 through eye of needle before
 rich through heaven's door.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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