Citizens Speak Out About Police Brutality in St. Paul

I would like to offer a standing ovation and thunderous THANK YOU to the gentleman who filmed this video. The quality is good, he calmly narrated what he was seeing, and he remained focused on the victim – Eric Hightower – despite what looks like one of the crowd control cops trying to block the cameraman’s view with his body around the 3:50 mark.

THANK YOU to Angela Hulbert, who according to the Star Tribune article, posted the video to YouTube, called the mayor’s office, sent the video to Internal Affairs and spoke with IA Wednesday morning.

The on-lookers complied with police orders, but they didn’t do so quietly. When the crowd protests Zilge’s treatment of Hightower, we can hear the cop yell “He beat up a woman last night. Calm down.” Which even if true, dear readers, in no way justifies the kicking, hair-pulling and slamming of Eric’s head into the police car.

Look at how many patrols were called to the area. Look at how many white police officers are present. Note how few black officers are present.

This video shows police brutality and contains strong language.

The text on the video posted on YouTube reads:

A police officer’s conduct while taking a suspect into custody has sparked allegations of police brutality. The incident occurred Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn., when Officer Jesse Zilge spotted 30-year-old Eric Hightower, who police were searching for after he allegedly threatened to kill an acquaintance. Hightower is seen lying on the ground after Zilge sprayed him with a chemical irritant. At one point, Zilge kicks him in the chest. Later, Zilge and another officer slam a handcuffed Hightower onto a squad car and also appear to pull his hair. Zilge was placed on administrative leave after an investigation was launched.

I don’t want a cop who behaves this way to be trusted to work with the public or interpreting how to enforce laws. I hope they fire Officer Zilge and charge him with assault. I hope the city of St. Paul pays damages to Eric Hightower for this city-enabled abuse of one of its citizens.

Citizens Speak Out About Police Brutality in St. Paul
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Minnesota: This is who we’re voting against in November.

Image is from MPR News Minnesota in Photos and was taken by Alex Kolyer Follow the link to see more of his photos from the march.

MPR has a series of photos from Sunday’s Rosary Walk in St. Paul to support the “marriage amendment” – the constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman, and which would prohibit same-sex couples from getting married. Thousands of Catholics showed up to march. These are religious people who believe that the government should make a decision that violates church-state separation, who believe that our gay family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers shouldn’t be allowed to enter a civil contract because they think their god and their little book says it’s wrong. I cried when I saw this photo. All of these people are marching for inequality, bigotry and are willing to place a vote in November that would deny basic rights that they (likely) all enjoy and take for granted.

We must go to the polls in November and vote against this hateful would-be amendment. We need to bury it.

Minnesota: This is who we’re voting against in November.

Minnesota: This is who we're voting against in November.

Image is from MPR News Minnesota in Photos and was taken by Alex Kolyer Follow the link to see more of his photos from the march.

MPR has a series of photos from Sunday’s Rosary Walk in St. Paul to support the “marriage amendment” – the constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman, and which would prohibit same-sex couples from getting married. Thousands of Catholics showed up to march. These are religious people who believe that the government should make a decision that violates church-state separation, who believe that our gay family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers shouldn’t be allowed to enter a civil contract because they think their god and their little book says it’s wrong. I cried when I saw this photo. All of these people are marching for inequality, bigotry and are willing to place a vote in November that would deny basic rights that they (likely) all enjoy and take for granted.

We must go to the polls in November and vote against this hateful would-be amendment. We need to bury it.

Minnesota: This is who we're voting against in November.

2010 Twin Cities Pride Intro

This past weekend was the Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival.  I had a blast and wore myself out!  I hung out with friends at the 19 Bar in Minneapolis on Thursday night, and then at Rumours/Innuendo in St. Paul on Friday night (I love the name of this bar!). 

On Saturday morning I picked up Ashley (the 13 yo I mentor) and one of her friends and we went to Pride in the Park.  Yesterday I went to the Pride Parade and then spent more time at Pride in the Park with the Hubby.  And finally last night I joined my friend Courtney and her roommates at their place for Rocky Road sundaes and a British movie called The History Boys, which was reminiscent of The Dead Poet’s Society except with fabulously dry British humor.

I can’t wait to get home and process my pictures from the weekend!  I’ll post those tomorrow, but for now enjoy this collection of photos from last year’s Twin Cities Pride that was put together into a video by admanbobw and uploaded to youtube.

2010 Twin Cities Pride Intro

Local Books and Food

I don’t always read the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Metro section because it has a tendency to be depressing.  It seems like a lot of the stories are about local people involved in drunk driving crashes, child abuse cases, murders, robberies, scandals,  etc.  Yeah – go neighbors!

However, yesterday’s Metro had two inspiring stories – one on the James J. Hill Library in St. Paul, and the other about EBT being used at the Midtown Farmer’s Market in Minneapolis.

In the James J. Hill Library story, author Jean Hopfensperger introduces us to the James J. Hill library.  For some of her readers I’m sure it was a re-introduction, but I had never heard of the JJH Library in St. Paul.  And I love libraries!  Especially old libraries with leather chairs and lots of wood and marble accents like JJH Library has.  Look at how gorgeous this library is (source):

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The library’s board of directors is renting out the space for conferences, music and art exhibits and weddings.  I found these pics in a google image search – gorgeous!


I can’t wait to get over to St. Paul and check this place out!

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The other article was by Gail Rosenblum and it was all about the Midtown Farmer’s Market, located by the intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha in south Minneapolis, and “Market Bucks” available for users of EBT.  EBT is what they used to call “food stamps”.  The USDA defines EBT as “an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received.”

So low income families can go to Minneapolis Farmers’ Markets and use their EBT to buy groceries, just like they can at most retail grocers.  The Minneapolis and Northeast Farmers’ Markets also accept EBT, but Midtown is offering an additional benefit: For the first $5 spent in EBT, a user will be given $5 additional “Market Bucks” that they can use to purchase additional food!  The program isn’t funded by taxpayer money, but by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.  From the article:

Blue Cross is funding the Market Bucks pilot, using proceeds from its 1998 Big Tobacco settlement. The effort is one of many created by Blue Cross (think “Do” campaign) to get all Minnesotans to eat better and fight rising obesity rates.

I think this is an excellent use of Big Tobacco money!

I mentor a teenager whose mother uses EBT.  One time several months ago I offered to take her to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market on Lyndale and she told me that she didn’t have the money to shop there.  I can’t wait to tell her – I hope it will give her an opportunity to enjoy the Market and have a unique shopping option.

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The vegetable photo above is not from the Midtown Market, but I thought it was a very pretty composition and it does resemble the open air atmosphere of Midtown.

Local Books and Food

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi's

I saw Kick Ass this weekend with a bunch of coworkers from the bookstore, and I LOVED it.  Seriously, I heart Hit Girl – she’s one of the baddest ass action heroes that I’ve ever seen.  Check her out, but not at work because much like Hit Girl herself, this video is violent and crude.

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On Saturday night me, the Hubby, and our good friend Courtney went to Psycho Suzi’s, a fantastic hipster tiki-themed bar in Nordeast Minneapolis.  They’ve got famous tiki drinks like The Native’s Curse, the Crummy Scoundrel and their over-sized version of a group punch bowl, the Flaming Pele. 

I ordered a drink special that had a really geeky chemistry theme –  the Tikium Euphorium, chemical symbol “Te”.  I was hoping to be able to read the description on the sign in this picture, but sadly it’s a leeetle to small to see.  I don’t know any cool computer tricks to blow it up and maintain the resolution, but hey – it’s still a cut pic of moi!

Another great thing about Psycho Suzi’s is the trailer-trash appetizers – we ordered tater tots and pickle roll ups – dill pickles rolled in ham and cream cheese…mmmm….

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On Sunday I took Ashley to the Como Zoo in St. Paul.  We were going to take an Adventure Drive down to Manketo…oops, so an Adventure Drive is when you decide how much time you want to spend going in any one direction, then you draw a radius around your starting point, pick a direction or a highway and go explore.  But sadly, at our fueling stop (that’s the Carribou Coffee, not the gas station), I discovered that I had left my wallet at home.  By the time we got back to Minneapolis, we didn’t have nearly enough time to make it to Manketo, so we decided to shelf the Adventure Drive and go to the Conservatory and Zoo.

Ashley at the Sunken Garden

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi's

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi’s

I saw Kick Ass this weekend with a bunch of coworkers from the bookstore, and I LOVED it.  Seriously, I heart Hit Girl – she’s one of the baddest ass action heroes that I’ve ever seen.  Check her out, but not at work because much like Hit Girl herself, this video is violent and crude.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Saturday night me, the Hubby, and our good friend Courtney went to Psycho Suzi’s, a fantastic hipster tiki-themed bar in Nordeast Minneapolis.  They’ve got famous tiki drinks like The Native’s Curse, the Crummy Scoundrel and their over-sized version of a group punch bowl, the Flaming Pele. 

I ordered a drink special that had a really geeky chemistry theme –  the Tikium Euphorium, chemical symbol “Te”.  I was hoping to be able to read the description on the sign in this picture, but sadly it’s a leeetle to small to see.  I don’t know any cool computer tricks to blow it up and maintain the resolution, but hey – it’s still a cut pic of moi!

Another great thing about Psycho Suzi’s is the trailer-trash appetizers – we ordered tater tots and pickle roll ups – dill pickles rolled in ham and cream cheese…mmmm….

~~~~~~~~~~

On Sunday I took Ashley to the Como Zoo in St. Paul.  We were going to take an Adventure Drive down to Manketo…oops, so an Adventure Drive is when you decide how much time you want to spend going in any one direction, then you draw a radius around your starting point, pick a direction or a highway and go explore.  But sadly, at our fueling stop (that’s the Carribou Coffee, not the gas station), I discovered that I had left my wallet at home.  By the time we got back to Minneapolis, we didn’t have nearly enough time to make it to Manketo, so we decided to shelf the Adventure Drive and go to the Conservatory and Zoo.

Ashley at the Sunken Garden

Weekend Report: Kick Ass and Psycho Suzi’s

Props to the St. Paul Pioneer Press

I’ve finally gotten around to reading the weekend papers (well, Saturday’s papers – I’ll catch the Sunday Mpls Tribune later today).  I’m usually a Stribe (that’s Star Tribune, for you non-locals) gal, but I had to pick up a copy of this Saturday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press because it had a front page article that caught my eye:

Vaccine surveys alarming officials

I’m a supporter of childhood vaccination, and a budding anti-anti-vaxer, so this article looked very promising.  Jeremy Olson authored this piece, and he walked a nice line between presenting easily-understood, useful science and presenting a human interest piece.  

He also mentioned Every Child By Two, the pro-vaccination advocacy organization run by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, who were instrumental in the development of mandated school-age vaccinations.  Rock on!

A lot of the online comments are rather supportive of the pro-vaccination mindset, and the anti-vax questions are – for the most part – being answered calmly and rationally, which is nice to see. 

All in all, nice article.  Bravo to Jeremy Olson, and to the Pioneer Press for printing the story on the front-page – even above the fold!).

Props to the St. Paul Pioneer Press