St. Paul’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is one of four theaters co-producing a revival of “Miss Saigon” — which begins an eight-performance run tonight in downtown St. Paul — despite outcries from Twin Cities activists who say the performance is racist, colonial, romanticizes sex trafficking and re-enforces harmful Asian stereotypes.
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Over the past few months, community leaders have disparaged the Ordway’s pending presentations of Miss Saigon — a play that details the strife of a Vietnamese “bar girl” who falls in love with an American G.I, eventually bearing his child and committing suicide so the child can be raised in the United States. The community leaders have taken their cause to social media and the press to deter patrons from purchasing theater tickets, which range from $26 to $103. Continue Reading →
Story for The UpTake By Andy Birkey/Video by Bill Sorem
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority met Thursday evening to finalize agreements with the Minnesota Vikings for a new stadium scheduled to open in 2016. Instead of a celebration, however, the meeting devolved into an angry shouting match at times, as residents criticized the lack of public input in the process. To add to the strained atmosphere, Gov. Mark Dayton held a press conference before the meeting at which he begrudgingly accepted that private seat license fees — a revenue-raising gimmick he has said he strongly opposes — are part of the deal. It was all part of an increasingly pressurized effort to keep the $1-billion stadium deal rolling despite a number of problems that have cropped up in recent months — from the fraud conviction of the Vikings’ owners in a New Jersey court to Dayton’s claims that he didn’t know that the legislation he signed last year allowed the Vikings to collect millions in seat licenses. Unless ground is broken for the new stadium this fall — no date yet has been set — the timetable for the project may be thrown off schedule. Continue Reading →
As the national debate over the direction of education rages, Milwaukee appears to be ground zero for the school choice movement, cuts in public education and expansion of charter schools that many public education advocates believe are detrimental to students and schools in the city. Continue Reading →
“Not Sure” may have been the big winner in a recent Minneapolis mayor’s poll, especially in a Ranked Choice Voting election where second- and third-preference votes almost certainly will come into play before a victor is proclaimed. Continue Reading →
Some old school Democrats fear that the party is abandoning the affirmative action term as a sop to the right wing in an era of conservative court rulings and assaults on the very concept of “affirmative action.” For some high party officials, however, “affirmative action” is a phrase that has out-lived its usefulness and is too polarizing to be productive. But African-American DFLers want the phrase restored to prominence as a signal of the party’s determination to promote racial and economic equality. If “Affirmative Action” isn’t important to the DFL, they say in a not-so subtle threat, maybe the votes of African-Americans aren’t, either. Continue Reading →
It’s been a rough first year for Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who took over as chief in January. With numerous protests spurred by the death of Terrance Franklin, who was shot by police in May, to recent incidents involving racial slurs by Minneapolis Police Officers in Green Bay and Apple Valley — including homophobic remarks about Harteau, a lesbian — the 48-year-old chief has her hands full.
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Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, The UpTake live-streamed a Minneapolis Mayoral debate on education. The candidates seemed remarkably similar in their stances, considering the intensity of the debate surrounding public schools. So we asked Rob Levine, a critic of the school reform movement, to give us his take on this important issue. Guest commentary for The UpTake from Rob Levine
“That sounded like a sermon -– wow!” So enthused Nekima Levy-Pounds, moderator of Monday’s Minneapolis Mayoral Education Forum at the Mill City Museum at the conclusion of candidate Don Samuels’ rousing remarks. Continue Reading →
Starbucks finally woke up and smelled the coffee!
The giant coffee chain announced late Tuesday that it will no longer allow the open carrying of guns in its properties, banning the display of guns — even legally licenses weapons — both inside its restaurants and in outdoor seating areas. Stroller-jammin’ moms in St Paul helped win the fight. Continue Reading →
This is the first in a weekly series of memos from The UpTake about the 2013 Minneapolis Mayoral Election Continue Reading →
The clock is ticking like a metronome set on “presto” as time runs out on the labor dispute between the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians, who were locked out by the orchestra’s management almost a year ago. Continue Reading →
About 2,000 union members and their families marched in Milwaukee’s annual Labor Day parade — a smaller turnout than in recent years. Continue Reading →
Minnesota learned from Wisconsin’s failure on marriage equality. Can Wisconsin now learn from Minnesota’s success? Continue Reading →
Story by Nick Coleman, Executive Editor
Yesterday, The UpTake brought you the story of a baby boy named Emil , born Aug. 22nd to a lesbian couple, and asked whether Emil might be the first child born to a married same-sex couple after Minnesota’s new marriage equality law took effect Aug. 1. Well, it turns out that Emil and his moms were close, but no cigar. We still love Emil and his moms, but Emil arrived a couple of weeks late. Continue Reading →
Editor’s note: Is a baby from Minneapolis named Emil — who has a big brother named Arlo — the first Minnesota child born to a same-sex couple whose marriage is recognized by the state? Well, he just might be — unless we hear of a baby born before Aug. 22 to another married same-sex couple. It’s not an important distinction — all children of same-sex families are precious, of course, like all children. Still, it’s fun to think how Minnesota families are evolving. Continue Reading →
The power of storytelling is the focus of a movie The UpTake is making about Minnesota’s marriage equality battle. Continue Reading →
Hundreds of residents of St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood confronted city officials last Thursday — including Mayor Chris Coleman and top police commanders — about concerns over gang activity, a recent street killing and the brutal beating of a pedestrian, along with a general sense of insecurity in the area. Click here to read The Pioneer Press story on the meeting
The video of the meeting at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church is used courtesy of the St Paul Neighborhood Network. Continue Reading →
A hundred or more community members marched Monday on Minneapolis City Hall and Chase Bank to demand fair negotiations for Sergio Ceballos and Jaymie Kelly, two south Minneapolis neighbors fighting foreclosure with the help of Occupy Homes MN. Continue Reading →
A rally to promote solidarity and a demand for police accountability at the Hennepin County Government Center plaza Saturday instead split into factions that divided and diluted a protest. Continue Reading →
Tensions around the Minneapolis police shooting of Terrance Franklin, a 22-year-old black man and father, continue to rise as community activists demand a full accounting and the Hennepin County attorney gets set to call a grand jury inquiry into the case. Continue Reading →
Story for The UpTake by Kathryn Nelson and Nick Coleman
The Minnesota State Patrol does not always verify that gun owners have valid permits to carry handguns before they are added to a list of gun owners allowed to carry weapons inside the Minnesota Capitol and its complex. That surprising admission was made Wednesday at a tense meeting of the advisory committee on Minnesota Capitol Security that exposed a number of areas of confusion in the state’s gun permitting laws and how they are interpreted at the Capitol and its 14-acre complex of associated buildings. Testimony by State Patrol Maj. Bob Meyerson caused a number of startled looks on the six-member task force, which is headed by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Meyerson told the panel that gun owners are required to have a Minnesota Permit to Carry as well as permission from the Commissioner of Public Safety in order to bring their handguns into the State Capitol. Continue Reading →
Mercenary-style guards carrying assault weapons will return to the north woods of WIsconsin after an Arizona-based security firm received proper permits to operate in Wisconsin. Last month, the heavily-armed guards, wearing camouflage and some with face coverings, startled hikers and other forest visitors when they showed up — without permits or the legally required name tags and credentials.
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Some conservatives have gone starkers about a Minnesota Fringe Festival play that featured nudity, objecting to a Minnesota State Arts Board grant of $61,242 to the Festival — a whopping $347.97 per production.
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Dr. Miles’ most recent anti-torture effort is the Doctors Who Torture Accountability Project, a web site intended to bring attention to physicians around the globe who are culpable in acts of torture. Continue Reading →