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Northeaster Our Opinions
May 1, 2016
Vote, on or before Aug. 12
Written by Margo Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 7/30/2014
If all that you need to know in voting for Minneapolis school board candidates is that there’s a former city council member on the ballot, or a local resident, a woman, the grown child of a union man, on the ballot...or whatever credential you’re looking for, you actually can cast your vote now for the August 12 primary....
What parents want, is universal
Written by Margo Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 6/25/2014
With administrators concerned about test scores and behavior problems, and parents concerned about lack of involvement by the district’s mostly white teaching staff, the first Columbia Heights Public Schools African Heritage Family Meeting brought out a respectable turnout Friday, May 30 in the evening....

Originally published in the June 25, 2014 NorthNews

For library, pick BK site
Written by Margo Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 6/18/2014
Congratulations to the Columbia Heights City Council for taking the first step – the first reading – toward the $7 million bonding provision that will build a new city library....

Originally published in the June 18, 2014 Northeaster

Wherefore art the whirl?
Written by Margo Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 5/21/2014
So, let’s see...what has happened in the arts/development world Northeast since our editorial last year documenting its mid-life lament?....

Originally published in the May 21, 2014 Northeaster

Meet us where we are
Written by Margo Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 10/16/2013
Meet Lynn Olson, self-titled "street walker." She’s gone up and down Central Avenue, trying to pull people in to her language school. Meet Blong Yang, an attorney talking about his service to community before he ran for Hennepin County commissioner. He’s now running for Fifth Ward City Council Member. Busy, serious Isela Perez Pacheco from Maya Cuisine, and Ayan Ahmed, who’s charmed by her Somali mother’s now-decent grasp of English language listening....
Why care about golf?
Written by Margo Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 10/16/2013
Where we grew up, high school kids used to earn college money carrying rich people’s golf bags around the courses. It was called caddying. It built character....
Obamacare makes its way to Minnesota
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 10/2/2013
Minnesotans—beginning Oct. 1—can benefit from a federal mandate of a size and scope that rivals the space program and the interstate highway system. And, unless there’s a major change in the U.S. Congress, it will be the last major federal benefit Minnesotans will enjoy for a long, long time....
Support the Plain Language charter
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 9/18/2013
Doth, shall, and the Library Board will disappear from the Minneapolis City Charter if voters vote, as we recommend you do, for the Charter Plain Language amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot....
Easy to run for office?
Written by Margo Ashmore, co-publisher
Posted 9/4/2013
Did you know that people can get their names on an election ballot without paying a filing fee, if they get enough signatures on a petition?
Labor Day revisited
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 9/4/2013
Every year, in mid-to-late May, numerous sources tweak our consciousness and remind us that Memorial Day means more than a long weekend, store sales, parades and picnics....
More dos and don’ts for volunteers in the Northeast community
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 4/17/2013
Welcome to the Northeaster’s 26th annual Heartbeat Northeast: Volunteers edition. We’ll fill you in on volunteers who were recently honored by their neighborhood organization, volunteers who take hot meals to folks who have mobility limitations, and more....
How should Ranked Choice Voting affect party politics?
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 3/27/2013
It depends. We’ve editorialized over the years about how in the old primary system, particularly in party-designated races, small numbers of people hold big influence. In Ranked Choice Voting there’s only one election, no primary. Voters designate their first choice candidate and also a second and third choice; in a close race, second and third choices are counted until there’s a candidate with a clear majority....
Engage conscience: Vote No
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 10/30/2012
....these amendments will harm the very causes they purport to champion, because they’re legally misplaced. They’ll bring about years of litigation that will put "on hold" any real progress toward resolving the issues. Those on all sides of the issues will be better off if the amendments fail...
Helpful hints for voting
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 10/30/2012
Getting the government we vote for...or don’t vote for
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 9/5/2012
Okay, this won’t be just another "shame on us" editorial tirade about low voter turnout in the Aug. 14 primary. But—just in case it hasn’t been said at all—shame on us for the low voter turnout in the Aug. 14 primary....
What ever happened to media skepticism?
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 8/15/2012
It’s painfully clear that many media people—yes, the so-called liberal media people—are being manipulated into spreading messages of hate, intolerance and, most recently, trumped-up scandal....
The protesters
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 10/31/2011
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, then you win." Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Would that it were that simple....

Steve Jobs brought a sea change to publishing
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 10/19/2011
The death of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs defines an era for community newspapers....
It’s about more than closing some post offices
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 10/5/2011
It seems like a national issue, but it’s as local as your front door. The bad news is: If it’s not handled correctly, it could spell disaster for representative democracy. The good news is: The issue is important enough that it might energize average people and their representatives to stand up to the rich, powerful political bullies who—sadly for millions of their followers—control one major political party and exert a great deal of influence over the other.

The issue is the imminent demise of the U.S. Postal Service....

Political impact: Think locally, act locally
Written by Kerry Ashmore
Posted 9/21/2011
The President has proposed a "jobs bill," which is encouraging, and the rhetoric from the other side of the political aisle has been somewhat muted, which is also encouraging....
Harmon Killebrew
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 5/18/2011
Publishers note: Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew died of cancer Tuesday, May 17, at age 74. He appeared to accept death as he accepted unfair umpires’ calls in his playing days—with the grace and dignity he has shown throughout his life. As he figuratively trots back to the dugout, I figuratively rise, with the rest of his fans, to give him the tremendous ovation he deserves, and offer an item I wrote more than 20 years ago, for the Oct. 4, 1989 Northeaster, with a few edits for clarity. My feelings haven’t changed....
A look at our freedom of speech
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 3/23/2011
We have, a few times recently, criticized the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court for their decisions. It’s only fair that we weigh in on the recent decision in the Snyder vs. Phelps et al case, where we think the justices saw through a highly-emotional set of facts and landed squarely (8-1) on the correct side of history and the U.S. Constitution....
The annual Northeast holiday wish list
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Co-Publisher
Posted 12/1/2010
Here’s the annual almost-musical holiday wish list you’ve all been waiting for. Okay, maybe a few of you have been waiting for it. A bit of holiday cheer, mixed up with our own commentary and our best wishes for the season, whether you agree with us or not....
What lame ducks can do for health care
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 11/17/2010
At least two influential Republicans have suggested that the "lame duck" session of the 111th U.S. Congress repeal the health care reform legislation that it so recently and rancorously passed. With one caveat, we agree....
Detours can cause problems, opportunities
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted 11/3/2010
When the 35W bridge went down, we heard what many consider heresy, and certainly a minority opinion: "don’t replace it, use the money on social causes, we’ll get used to the detours." If only it was that simple. To this one heretic, it was like a greater force was telling us we shouldn’t need to go so many places so fast....
Charter amendment? Sadly, it’s yes and no
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 10/15/2010
The strongest word we can find to describe our reaction to the proposed Minneapolis City Charter amendment is "ambivalent."

The proposal, which would require the City Charter Commission to adjust the city’s wards and precincts after each U.S. Census, would take that role away from a specially-appointed commission that is made up largely of political party representatives....

Eventually, good marks for historic preservation
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 9/22/2010
....over the course of several decades, the government has gone to bat for Northeast, assisting in preservation efforts for the multi-building Grain Belt Brewery complex, the Hollywood Theater, the Ritz Theater and numerous projects on or near the riverfront....
"Back to school" can have many meanings
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 9/15/2010
Back-to-school time has become a time of renewal for many aspects of life, and we think it’s a good time for individuals and communities to review civic life, take stock of real and figurative assets and liabilities, and make adjustments where warranted—adjustments that might or might not directly relate to schools and education. It’s that time when the often looser summer schedule gives way to the often-tighter fall-winter-spring schedule. And maybe we wish that summer schedule could last just a little bit longer.
By most any standard, a dismal voter turnout
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 8/25/2010
Northeaster Their Opinions
May 1, 2016
Library petition: A chance to correct misinformation
Written by Dave Larson and Tricia Conway
Posted 8/6/2014
Recently, residents of Columbia Heights may have been approached to sign a petition to repeal the Columbia Heights City Council’s decision to fund a new library....
Obama opponent is tired of racism allegations
Written by Steve Groebner, Mounds View
Posted 10/16/2013
Your editorial (Northeaster, Oct. 2) was so predictable as to be trite. A new federal program rivaling the space program and the interstate highway system had to be seen as the logical, progressive triumph of government. Freebies for all—what’s not to like? The flaws, economic as well as moral, were ignored as usual when your writer sat down to ridicule the skeptics. Those of us who consider ourselves skeptics, or conservative, or traditional are used to such insults, but nevertheless try to plod ahead with reasoned arguments....
St. Anthony history stories omit an important person
Written by Kelly Prebish, St. Anthony
Posted 10/16/2013
The mayor at the time the ground was broken when Apache was built, and who gave a speech and cut the ribbon when it opened, the man who made speeches at ceremonies for the library opening. His name was Curt O’Connor, and he was my grandfather....
Supporting Mark Andrew for Minneapolis mayor
Written by Dziedzic, Loeffler, Reich, et al
Posted 10/16/2013
The person we elect as mayor on Nov. 5 will inherit a Minneapolis of immense challenge and opportunity, including limited resources and a population with diverging ideas about how best to move forward—requiring the ability to lead with both strength and a spirit of collaboration to forge the best possible solutions....
Thanks to those who helped with dining-out event
Written by Eileen Hafften, Eastside Meals on Wheels
Posted 10/16/2013
A big thank you from Eastside Meals on Wheels Program to the owners and staff at Anchor Fish and Chips, The Red Stag, Moose on Monroe, The Bulldog NE, Kramarczuk’s Deli, Hazel’s Restaurant and Emily’s Deli for their participation in our very first "Mission Nutrition Dining Edition" held Sept. 19. The "dining out" event would not have been successful without the tremendous cooperation and promotional help from all the restaurants....
Finally, a fair and affordable health care system
Written by State Representative Diane Loeffler
Posted 10/2/2013
Affordable, quality health insurance will finally be available for many without it and to small businesses that want to help their employees....
Supporting tax exemption for non-profit groups
Posted 10/2/2013
Two responses to a recent letter to the editor in which the writer states that non-profit organizations such as churches should pay taxes the same as regular commercial properties and organizations....
In praise of recent transit improvements
Written by Kenn Carlson, Northeast Minneapolis
Posted 9/18/2013
Bravo. Hurray. Thank you. It sure is wonderful to have University Avenue repaved, striped, and new curbing....
Moody’s gives Minnesota high marks for finances
Written by State Senator Barb Goodwin
Posted 9/18/2013
Recently Minnesota taxpayers received good news. Moody’s Investors Service, a national rating agency, has revised Minnesota’s financial status, from a "negative" to "stable" outlook....
Why don’t nonprofit groups have to pay taxes?
Written by Marie Alena Castle, North Minneapolis
Posted 9/18/2013
It’s time to end the morally and fiscally disreputable tax-exempt status for nonprofits, secular and religious....
MNsure costs, coverage are better for recent retiree
Written by Jerry Johnson, North Minneapolis
Posted 9/4/2013
I have gone to MNsure and I can get comparable insurance and even better coverage than what I’m currently getting, for under $180 dollars per month, with no deductible and no co-pays....
Saving Dinkytown and other charming business nodes
Written by Mpls. City Council Member Diane Hofstede
Posted 9/4/2013
The defeat of the "Dinkytown" moratorium by the Minneapolis City Council is disappointing for the Dinkytown Businesses Association and the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. It has strong implications for other areas of the ward and our city....
Supporting Mark Andrew for Minneapolis mayor
Written by Sarah Larson, Northeast Minneapolis
Posted 9/4/2013
Minneapolis will elect a new Mayor this fall. Northeast would be best served by the candidate who has put forth a bold vision of positive development—Mark Andrew....
A ’Vote No’ on the marriage amendment from Columbia Heights
Written by Amy Orstad, Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Col
Posted 10/31/2012
Christians have a tendency to use the Bible as a weapon and when they do, no one really wins.....
A ’Vote No’ on the marriage amendment from NE Mpls.
Written by Morgon Mae Schultz and Patrick Schilling, Northeas
Posted 10/31/2012
We’ll get married the moment our home state offers a marriage contract that we can sign with pride.....
A ’Vote Yes’ on the marriage amendment from a Columbia Heights resident
Written by Ted Jonak, Columbia Heights
Posted 10/30/2012
I really don’t understand. The word marriage is so clearly explained in the bible by the word of God that marriage is one man and one women. I wouldn’t dare to try to redefine his word......
A ’Vote Yes’ on the marriage amendment from a Northeast resident
Written by Peter Wiering, Northeast Minneapolis
Posted 10/30/2012
When I put up a lawn sign for the marriage amendment in our Northeast neighborhood, I realized that the sign was in a real minority. But I am thankful that in our country we have the freedom to have different opinions and still can have a good attitude toward all....
Abortion rights don’t create freedom for women
Written by Matt Abel, Columbia Heights resident
Posted 5/18/2011
Letter calling for a tax on meat has many "authors"
Written by Kate Gallagher, Columbia Heights resident
Posted 5/18/2011
Volunteer mentors needed
Written by Nancy Torrison, NAZ Management Team
Posted 5/18/2011
A message from Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools, Bernadeia Johnson
Posted 12/28/2010
"When I became superintendent six months ago, I promised to do whatever it takes to make sure that all students enrolled in the Minneapolis Public Schools receive a high quality education. I remain committed to that promise...
Too much whining over police, revenue issues
Written by Jerry Johnson, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 12/1/2010
....I believe the majority of police officers would rather be arresting felons...drug dealers...and murderers. I don’t believe for one moment they get a lot of satisfaction helping old women across the street or issuing traffic citations....
Traffic study needs more study before proceeding
Written by Erin Belfry, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 12/1/2010
In response to the traffic study for the proposed household hazardous waste site in Northeast....
Are officers paid to enforce laws or generate revenue?
Written by Andy Thomford, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 11/24/2010
It seems Minnesota law enforcement agencies are out of control in their pursuit of revenue. Under the guise of public safety, it seems law enforcement personnel have become revenue agents for the city, county, or state that employs them. These agencies are using our tax dollars to fund their revenue raising activities. These citations, no matter how frivolous, are almost impossible to contest....
Plans for Lowry Avenue upset property owner
Written by Jim Chaudoir, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 11/17/2010
We had to put the new Lowry bridge in. Even in this time of economic downturn we had to spend that money...taxpayer money ....almost everyone understands that....
Why didn’t paper cover the Homecoming Oktoberfest?
Written by SueAnn Westphal , Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 11/17/2010
As a nearly lifetime Northeast resident, graduate of Edison High School, Alumni Band member and reader of the Northeaster, I was dismayed at the lack of coverage in the Northeaster of the Edison High School Homecoming Oktoberfest celebration that was held on Sept. 24....
Do you know someone who could use Meals on Wheels?
Written by Eileen Hafften, NE Dinner Bell Executive Director
Posted 11/3/2010
As the cold and snowy winter season approaches we are concerned about the many homebound neighbors in Northeast Minneapolis who could use our services but may not be aware that our program exists. Northeast Dinner Bell Meals on Wheels Program has been serving meals to homebound people in our community for close to 37 years. Our volunteers deliver hot, nutritious lunches each weekday. Our client surveys give testimony that many of our meal recipients regard our services as a vital link to their community....
Italian dinner had "best turnout in years"
Written by David Severtson, Chair, SANBE Foundation
Posted 11/3/2010
I would like to thank everyone who demonstrated overwhelming support for SANBE by coming to our Italian dinner on Friday, Sept. 24, at Saint Anthony Village High School’s new cafeteria....
Solutions to obesity start at the dinner table
Written by Mark Zea, South Minneapolis resident
Posted 11/3/2010
The recent withdrawal of the diet drug Meridia marks the latest setback in a long and frustrating quest for a pharmaceutical solution to our national obesity epidemic....
All property should be taxed, even for non-profits
Written by Marie Alena Castle, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 10/27/2010
Minneapolis and St. Paul alone are estimated to have about a fourth of their real estate tax exempt. This consists primarily of religious and secular non-profit land and facilities....
Endorsements and more endorsements for Nov. 2 candidates
Posted 10/20/2010
Business in Northeast: How about a positive note?
Written by Joe Biernat, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 10/6/2010
Recent letters to the Northeaster editor regarding the loss of Central Avenue businesses have been very negative. Whether it be Porky’s or Burger King, our community becomes less vibrant and more blighted as a result of such closings. It is abundantly clear, the economic recession has severely impacted small business communities across America; while recessions might come and go, what never changes is the fact that small businesses need to be supported by local residents.....
Newspaper’s political coverage needs more depth
Written by Timothy Frankland, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 10/6/2010
....If the Northeaster sincerely wants to motivate people to go to their precinct polling places on Nov. 2, it must provide those potential voters with useful and meaningful information about the candidates, their backgrounds, and their plans....
Roseville asphalt plant will be a good neighbor
Written by Brian Reid and Paul Weseman, Alpine Asphalt
Posted 10/6/2010
....As owners of an asphalt paving and maintenance company based in Northeast Minneapolis, we are customers of BR with first-hand knowledge of their honest, responsible approach to business....
Hazardous waste facility bullying its way into the neighborhood
Written by Scott Horne, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/22/2010
As noted in the Aug. 25 Northeaster about the proposed solid waste management facility for 27th and University, city officials caution that if they do not put in the 10,000-plus ton per year facility, a private business could buy the property and do something worse. Is this really our city leadership (elected and otherwise) working for us? It makes me feel like they are trying to bully their way into our neighborhood....
Negativity towards Porky’s could have chilling effect on business development on Central
Written by Andrew Volna, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/22/2010
I’m really surprised that so many of your readers and Northeast residents applaud the closing of Porky’s. I think this attitude could have a chilling effect on business development along Central Avenue and Northeast in general. And in this week’s edition of your paper a reader wrote we should "thank God" that the Burger King on 18th and Central is also closed...
Porky’s and Burger King provided inexpensive American cuisine
Written by Carol Zunker, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/22/2010
....There are plenty of delightful ethnic restaurants in the neighborhood, but no inexpensive take out ones, and no current American restaurants with the exception of the Ideal Diner, whose hours are limited, and Subway on Lowry, which some of us older folk find too far to walk....
Regarding hazardous waste facility: convenience is key
Written by Mark Snyder, Northeast Minneapolis
Posted 9/22/2010
....While I understand concerns about hazardous waste coming into our neighborhoods, I think it’s important to recognize this is household hazardous waste....
Sad for area’s grandmas and grandpas
Written by Rae Hart Anderson, Shoreview resident
Posted 9/15/2010
I am surprised by the number of widows and widowers in our senate district.
St. Anthony lighting, walk projects weren’t equitable
Written by Jerry John, St. Anthony resident
Posted 9/15/2010
Gary Good speaks of the need (Northeaster, July 14), for some time, for a sidewalk and lighting in his area of Silver Lane, citing a safety issue, and mentions my obvious bias toward our (St. Anthony) City Council. I agree that the walk was long overdue and will be a boon to walkers and cyclists. Time will tell if they actually use it.
Mayor has tough job, and misplaced priorities
Written by Jeanne Amey, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/8/2010
Paying the bills. What a tough task. Foreclosures, unemployment, rising health and housing costs, increased and add-on taxes everywhere. What is a person to do?
Porky’s, Burger King didn’t cause noise or problems
Written by Sandy Purtle, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/8/2010
A reply to Lessy Owens’ letter to the editor (Northeaster, Aug. 25):

Even though Porky’s and Burger King have closed down, you have not come up with a solution to assist the Northeast side’s development and growth. Neither place caused any more problems or noise than has already been here.

Arizona immigration law, a letter to the Chiefs
Written by Terry O’Brien, Columbia Heights resident
Posted 9/1/2010
I find it difficult to believe that the Police Chiefs of two of Minnesota’s largest cities would have the gall to express such an arrogant attitude against enforcing their sworn duties as officers of the law (NorthNews, Aug. 4).
Arizona immigration law, response regarding "legal immigrants"
Written by James P. Johnson, Columbia Heights resident
Posted 9/1/2010
"It’s not racism, it’s about illegal immigration," seems to be the oft-repeated mantra of the neo-conservatives. As K.M. Gallagher states (NorthNews, Aug. 4), Gallagher’s ancestors were "legal immigrants."
Opposing a waste facility at 27th and University
Written by Carol Weiler, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 8/25/2010
Northeast residents have been assured that there is plenty of time to weigh-in on the proposed garbage and hazardous waste transfer facility that the city is proposing for 27th Avenue and University. Perhaps that is true, if you are interested in selecting the paint colors.
Schools are failing people, not the other way around
Written by Jeanne Amey, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted 8/25/2010
Your opinion on why families are fleeing Minneapolis schools is far from reality. When I purchased my home almost 12 years ago, the draw of diversity was one reason I entered my daughter in 3rd grade. Two schools and three years later, I made the tough decision of moving her out of district. It was due to lack of leadership, discipline problems, bullying, discrimination, not engaging the students and the schools’ lack of vision.
Thankful that Porky’s and Burger King are closed
Written by Lessy Owens, Minneapolis resident
Posted 8/25/2010
I’m glad Porky’s is closed, and never really got off the ground, as its owners may have hoped it would, at Central and 19th. I feel the site is too small to try to imitate the Porky’s on University Avenue in St. Paul, anyway.
The new tattoo law does prohibit parental control
Written by Tim Utz, Columbia Heights
Posted 8/25/2010
I appreciate James P. Johnson’s rebuttal to my letter to the editor on the new tattoo laws. Mr. Johnson indicated I made the claim ".... That government owns the people..." The fact is I never stated that "government owns the people," but that government "assumes" ownership.
Northeaster Opinion