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NorthNews Our Opinions
October 30, 2014
Letter from the Editor, on "doing your part"
Written by Margo Ashmore
Posted 8/29/2012
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

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....
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
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....
Same old, same old? Try this:
Written by Margo Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted 11/24/2010
One of our fellow info and opinion purveyors said he heard it called a chicken wing and watermelon show. I can’t vouch for that, as the late lunch I walked away with was a ham and cheese sandwich in a hard plastic to-go box. Dignitaries were ushered into a separate room for their lunch. I know what he meant, though, and eagerly await evidence that would lead me to disagree....
The tide has turned in media bashing, says NorthNews editor
Written by Margo Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted 11/24/2010
Until very recently, most Northsiders we’ve talked with have agreed, the metropolitan media have found North Minneapolis an easy news target, reporting on various murder and mayhem in the "another shooting in" story construction. And then, the "we usually hear bad news coming from this area; well, lookie here, we found some good news" construction. I know, here I am doing it, too....
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....

When is it time for a second chance?
Written by Margo Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted 10/6/2010
It may be hard to listen when officials explain how sex offenders find housing, when you’ve just received a flyer notifying you that one is moving in. Jordan resident Dennis Wagner did some math, and recently figured out that North Minneapolis zip codes had astronomically bigger concentrations of sex offenders than any other zip code in the state....
"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.
Editor reflects on NorthNews’ 20th year
Written by Margo Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted 9/15/2010
"You have no idea how valuable you are," said a woman I met recently. "You (NorthNews) are the alternative to the Star Tribune.
By most any standard, a dismal voter turnout
Written by Kerry Ashmore, Publisher
Posted 8/25/2010
NorthNews Their Opinions
October 30, 2014
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....
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....
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....
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....
Area kids damaged North Side grandmother’s property
Written by Margaret De Sota, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 11/24/2010
This is an open letter to the parents of North Minneapolis. Your sons and daughters may be your precious darlings at home but when you allow them to roam the neighborhood without purpose or supervision they become delinquent, destructive little monsters....
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....
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....
Public education is in danger in North Minneapolis
Written by Juan Jackson, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 10/27/2010
Soon there will be no public schools in North Minneapolis. What is a public school? If you are reading this, it’s mostly likely the school you attended: diverse, big, brick, sport teams, and public, meaning any youth could attend. West of the river, south of Lowry and north of Bryn Mawr, NorthStar, Willard, Jordan, Harrison, Lincoln, Franklin and W. Harry Davis have closed as traditional public schools....
Make plans for a neighborly Halloween night
Written by Jenn Barclay, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 10/6/2010
....Why not treat October 31st as our children do—as a chance to dress up, eat candy, and enjoy the company of your friends and neighbors? Maybe if we knocked on a few more of our neighbors’ doors and got to know the people living on either side of us, we’d help facilitate the safety of our communities....
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?
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."
What’s with the sidewalk and street near Webber Library?
Written by Timothy McCarron, North Minneapolis resident
Posted 9/1/2010
The city, the county, the park board, the mayor’s office, the city council, and the park board have all chosen to ignore my requests for some information on what is going to be done about the sinkhole forming in the street and sidewalk in front of the current Webber Library, which are in an appalling state of decay.
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.
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.
NorthNews Opinion