|Progressive Calendar 04.19.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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] aol.com Subject: Housing/poetry 4.20 4pm Minneapolis Public Schools and the Family Housing Fund invite you to experience "Home Sweet Home Again: An Exhibition of Art and Poetry" OPENING EVENT 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. _http://fhfund.org/homesweethomeagain/_ (http://fhfund.org/homesweethomeagain/) 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 www.fhfund.org/homesweethomeagain. Please RSVP for the opening to Pat Teske, 612-668-5346 or to pat.teske [at] mpls.k12.mn.us. --------2 of 20-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> 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] Macalester.edu> 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. http://www.gpsp.org/goodbusiness --------4 of 20-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com 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 Blaine. 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] aol.com. --------5 of 20-------- From: Linda Shoemaker <lshoemaker [at] technologypower.org> 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 www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/wirelessminneapolis. --------6 of 20-------- From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at] attg.net> 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] house.mn . 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] colorstudy.com> 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 Legislature. 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: www.hennepin.us 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 me! Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 [Bare-faced theft. A specialty of the rich. Never turn your back on them. -ed] --------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] umn.edu <mailto:igs [at] umn.edu> 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. AND--- 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 9-4pm 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 http://igs.cla.umn.edu/outreach/outreach.htm <http://igs.cla.umn.edu/outreach/outreach.htm> 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) www.rethinkingschools.org <http://www.rethinkingschools.org> repmilw [at] aol.com <mailto:repmilw [at] aol.com> --------8 of 20-------- From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Media democracy 4.20 7pm THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM The third Thursday of each month, 7-9pm. Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 GrovelandAvenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin). Free parking in church parking lot. April 20: INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: MEDIA DEMOCRACY: WHAT IS IT? HOW DO WE SECURE IT? WHO IN THE WORLD HAS IT? 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] visi.com> 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 www.mspfilmfest.org <http://www.mspfilmfest.org/> . 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] hotmail.com> 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] gmail.com --------11 of 20-------- From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] usfamily.net> 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 Avenues). --------12 of 20-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Warming/Steger 4.20 7pm Thursday, April 20, 7 pm Patagonia 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] bitstream.net> 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] NatureWorksLLC.com. --------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 www.theatre.umn.edu GROUP SALES: 612.625.8878 JEUNE LUNE'S BARBA BERLOVITZ NAVIGAES NAZI GERMANY IN "CABARET" As part of 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] mtn.org> Subject: Report from Iran 4.20 7:30pm Report from Iran Thursday, April 20, 7:30pm StMartin's Table, 2001 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis. 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 <www.mnfor.org> --------16 of 20-------- From: alteravista [at] earthlink.net 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] colorstudy.com> 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 details. 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] house.mn 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 democracy. 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: http://www.startribune.com/509/story/378729.html Nick Coleman has an excellent column in today's paper. It is online at: http://www.startribune.com/357/story/379004.html 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 broadcast Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones/Prison Planet.com | 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 Gazette. 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 defects. 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 public. To the Point! is published by the Apple Pie Alliance. For further information about the Alliance and the Conservative Progressive Voice, click here <http://www.apple-pie.org/aboutapa.htm> . If you know others who would enjoy To the Point!, forward this issue to them. Free Subscription <http://www.apple-pie.org/ttp/subscribe.htm> Address Change <http://www.apple-pie.org/ttp/addrchange.htm> Unsubscribe <http://www.apple-pie.org/ttp/unsubscribe.htm> Feedback <mailto:feedback [at] apple-pie.org> Permission to quote or reprint from To the Point! is granted if author is credited. Copyright İ 1999-2006 Apple Pie Alliance www.apple-pie.org <http://www.apple-pie.org> --------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] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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