What’s your story? (5×8 – 12/1/10)

Ask Me Six Questions, the Vikings run the Los Angeles play, what would Glee do, the Story of Stuff, and another fine athletic mess at the University of Minnesota.


bob_at_minnesota_west.jpg I haven’t played “Ask Me Six Questions” much since News Cut’s “On Campus” series, but we’re going to do it in St. Paul this Friday. Here’s the premise: Let me ask you six questions, and I’ll find something about you, someone you know, or your neighborhood that others will find interesting (There’s an article about it in this magazine).

On Friday between 9 and noon, I’ll be at the SugaRush coffee shop on University Ave. I’m primarily interested in people who live and/or work in the neighborhood, but stop by anyway because you’ve got a story to tell, too.

keoni_1.jpg SugaRush, is run by Keoni Nguyen. He left Vietnam as a young boy, and says he doesn’t really remember it. When his sisters went back to visit, he didn’t because he doesn’t really relate to Vietnam; he’s from the U.S. He works all night making the pastry.

“Do you enjoy this?” I asked when I met him in October.

He thought for a moment then said, “I can’t really say I love it.”

You just know there’s a story there. I got to it in three questions.

I hope to see you on Friday. Did I mention I’m buying the coffee?


Just before the start of the legislative session in Minnesota during which the team will ask for a new football stadium, a Minnesota Vikings team official let slip that Los Angeles football stadium developers have approached the team about moving there.

“Clearly, the Vikings stadium issue is being followed nationally and it’s no secret that we’re down to the last year on our lease,” Lester Bagley said, quoted in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. “We’ve told those groups that we are focused on resolving the issue in Minnesota. We feel solid momentum and feel we’re well-positioned with the new Legislature and governor.”

What the article doesn’t say (a failure of other local coverage of the issue) , however, is Minnesota may not be the most likely team to move to a new stadium in Los Angeles. San Diego is. A report out of San Diego — since denied but you have to read between the lines of the denial — says Phil Anschutz has agreed to buy 35 percent of the team. Who is Phil Anschutz? The man behind the effort to build a football stadium in — wait for it — Los Angeles.


Nathan Bowser was a sophomore at Moorhead High School last spring when his father, with whom he lived, died. He had to move to Fargo schools because that’s where his mother lives. His dream is to finish his high school years in Moorhead but he’d have to pay tuition; it’s money he doesn’t have. Now, an anonymous donor has stepped forward with the cash and a catch, according to the Fargo Forum. Other people will have to contribute, too.

Bowser’s band, Nathan Bowser and Those Other Guys, have performed benefit concerts to help with his father’s medical bills and his own tuition, and he has saved money from a job, but it hasn’t quite been enough.

Once enrolled, Bowser will still need to present his case before the activities committee to rejoin choir and other activities as a transfer student. It’s a process that may take about a month after school starts.

Although the Fargo South staff has been supportive, Bowser said it simply hasn’t been the same. He says the support he has seen from the F-M area as a whole has been overwhelming.


A new video, The Story of Electronics, has been released as part of The Story of Stuff series. The series began a couple of years ago as a look at our consumer culture. But who’s ready to give up their electronic gadgets?


Nothing comes easy these days in the athletics department of the University of Minnesota. Now, the University of Minnesota Daily says it’s got the story behind the story of the short tenure of the associate coach of the women’s golf team, who was hired by the school’s Director of Golf (the school has a director of golf?) John Harris:

They corroborated a tale of a hiring under false pretenses, of Harris’ goal to promote his son-in-law Ernie Rose to head coach despite violating University of Minnesota hiring policy and of frustration among players and boosters with Harris’ extended absences while continuing a professional career he implied he would taper off.


“Historically, Toys for Tots receives ample gifts for small children – actual tots – but struggles to fulfill the unmet needs of underserved early teens. But not this year, eh?” Ginger Bucklin writes. A drop-off location has been set up at The Nerdery in Bloomington, the firm co-founded by her husband, who was killed in a plane crash along with three of his sons in October.


A White House commission on reducing the federal deficit releases its report today. President Obama has warned that cutting the deficit will mean “broad sacrifice.” What federal program or expenditure that you use would you be willing to cut?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Arizona has decided to cut funding for transplants for low-income residents in an effort to balance their budget while nationwide, patients still struggle with a shortage of organ donors. Midmorning addresses the complex relationship of money to organ transplants.

Second hour:Grammy-winning singer Aaron Neville has seen good times and bad in more than 50 years in the music business. His new album is a celebration of those five decades and the influence of gospel on his music.

Maybe he’ll reprise the Northwest Airlines jingle:

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The federal deficit and what to do about it with Tim Penny, co-chair of the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform.

Second hour: “Hanukkah Lights” special by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: NPR political editor Ken Rudin.

Second hour: All about World Aids Day.

  • Bob Moffitt

    Suga Rush is not far from our office. Perhaps I’ll take a break and say “hi” on Friday.

  • Ben Chorn

    Although the Twin Cities might not be doing well, the UofM-Duluth is having an amazing athletic year. Football playoffs are underway and Duluth remains undefeated… To add to that, mens hockey is still ranked #1 in the nation (and play their last 2 games in their old arena this weekend)!

  • Noelle

    Next time you do “Ask Me Six Questions”, come to Minneapolis! 🙂

  • BJ


    I just want to say thanks. 5 days a week you put up a list of some of the most amazing stories on this site. I hope you continue doing so for a long time.


  • Bob Collins

    Noelle: If you have a spot you can recommend for me, I’ll do one of these there. doesn’t take much to set it up.

  • Disco

    OK, so regarding the Vikings stadium, here’s what we do…get San Diego to sell their team, move them to LA, and then tell Lester Bagley to pound sand.


  • Noelle

    The Wilde Roast Cafe in Northeast Mpls might be an excellent spot – they have a meeting room in the back area that might be a good place to set up.

    A couple others closer to downtown: Segue Cafe (10th & Portland) or Ambrosia Cafe (1st Ave N & 5th St). I haven’t been to either of those as they are a bit of a jaunt from my office for a brief coffee break, but from the photos it looks like you could likely set up in either one. The Segue is also a registered non-profit that does community development work.

  • Kim E

    Another vote for Segue Cafe! I think they work with youth in the community in particular, but I’m not sure.

  • Nanci

    Which neighborhood do we have to be from to go to SugaRush? Yours or theirs?

  • Joanna

    Thanks for linking to that story about the shady golf coach mess. It’s shameful. I wish people made as much fuss about this absolutely vile episode as they do about the stupid football team. Ugh.