Still here (5×8 – 5/7/13)

Today marks my 21st anniversary with Minnesota Public Radio. They said it would never last. They still are.


I am not a book reviewer of any note, mostly because I’m not a book reader of great note, but I was delighted yesterday when this showed up in the mailbox from the Minnesota Historical Society.


We Are Still Here, a collection of commentary and photographs by Dick Bancroft of Sunfish Lake, chronicles the American Indian Movement, which was founded in Minneapolis in 1968.

Mr. Bancroft was working on assembling the book when I talked to him at his home a year ago February.

“Indians have an oral tradition. And writing and photographing was not part of their culture. The oral tradition was when you sat down with an elder and you get the elder to tell you what happened. They were your teachers, but there was nothing written down. So taking pictures of all of this was sort of a modern concept. I was the only one who could afford a camera who was hanging around with these people. I started doing it and I never went back to a desk. The camera took me all over the place.”

“The world is not a happy place for so many people, but it’s happier for Indian1 people because they took direct action on their own,” he writes in the book, which is being published this month.

Related: Sadness about Wisconsin Point. (Perfect Duluth Day)


For people who are sick to death of children and women being abducted — and there are nowhere near enough — the story out of Ohio is warming and disturbing at the same time.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, have been found alive, apparently kidnapped and kept for years at a house in Cleveland.

Somehow, Amanda Berry got free and called 9-1-1-. “I’m here. I’m free now,” she said.

“We’ll send a car as soon as one opens up,” the dispatcher said.

“Send one now,” Ms. Berry replied.

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There’s a hero to the story. Meet Charles Ramsey

Berry and DeJesus were well-known missing people. Knight was not. The cops stopped searching for her after concluding she’d probably left on her own after her son was taken from her custody.

But her mother didn’t give up and kept looking for her alone. As a final indignity, police still had not contacted her by last night to tell her that her daughter was alive, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Authorities will hold a news conference this morning.


The body of the suspected Boston Marathon bomber has been at a funeral home in Worcester, Mass., since Friday. No cemetery will take it and people are protesting outside the funeral home.

Seattle funeral director Cameron Smock tells NPR that puts them in the company of the Westboro Baptist Church…

Most Americans find the Westboro protests outrageous because they believe deeply in the right of a family to bury their dead and not be challenged about it, Sloane says.

That’s what makes the protests in Worcester unusual. Tradition dictates that bodies of even the most heinous criminals be given over to the families to deal with in their private grief.

“Even in situations like this, the family deserves that right, whether the community agrees with it or not,” says Smock, the Seattle funeral director.

Last evening on NPR’s All Things Considered asked, “what obligations do we have to the dead?”4) A GENERATION OF UNPROFESSIONALS

“Remember when we called those two Northwest Airlines pilots who missed Minneapolis a few years back unprofessional because they were playing on their laptops instead of flying?” Robert Mark of JetWhine writes. “We poked fun at them of course and well, no one was hurt … except for the pride of these two supposed professional aviators. But maybe we should have been tougher on them.”

He says there are more and more pilots joining the airlines who don’t fully comprehend their responsibilities as pilots, and offers up one recent case as proof: Two pilots who left the cockpit at the same time, leaving the airliner in the hands of flight attendants.

It’s not a surprise to me any longer that young workers require more precise instructions than we did growing up. I’ve seen it in my graduate students at Northwestern too. But why? Where did we fail them?

Is this need to hold their hands and to be told what to do and what not to do simply fallout from too much technology or is it decades of lousy, indulgent parenting skills coming back to roost?

By the way, whatever happened to those Northwest pilots. The FAA yanked their pilot certificates. One — the captain — has returned to flying. One stopped flying last year.


Unleash National Geographic photographer Ira Block on the grounds of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and what happens? Images that make early May in Minnesota look way richer than we might otherwise think.

MN Landscape Arboretum with Ira Block from Dave Dueck on Vimeo.

Bonus: The story of the ad aimed at abused kids is getting passed around the Internet rapidly this week. It uses a lenticular image to show different messages to adults and kids.

“I’m gonna score this one ‘glass half full'”, reader Kevin Marshall of Saint Paul said when passing it to us. “Sadly kids have been abused pretty much forever. Adults are still trying to help and are deploying modern technology in the effort.”


Legislation to make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota has cleared its last committee in the state House, and a long-anticipated floor vote could be coming by the end of the week. Today’s Question: Is now the time for lawmakers to take action that would redefine marriage in Minnesota?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: America has spent $791 billion on homeland security since 9-11. What’s working? What isn’t? What can we expect in the coming years?

Related: This video, released over the weekend, provides a good timeline of the Boston Marathon attack:

Boston Marathon Timeline from Emily Tolan on Vimeo.

Second hour: How skeptics and believers connect.

Third hour: Primates and social behavior.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen, speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California about how we communicate.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – TBA

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Most U.S. students say they don’t learn much in class about a major issue that affects their future — climate change. And now, for the first time, there are science teaching standards that recommend including that topic. But until climate change makes its way into more classrooms, students are learning about it from a non-profit groups presentations in school auditoriums. NPR reports on an effort to fill the education gap on climate change.

Jasmyn Taylor is a senior at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School who’s refusing to carry on what seems to be a family tradition — becoming a teen-age mom. For generations, women in her family have been teen moms, including her mother and grandmother. She talks to both of them about their experiences and what their dreams are for her.

Photos of ‘the invisible,’ alive in Cleveland, burying a bomber, the unprofessionals in the cockpit, and the Arboretum in May.

  • I’d been waiting for more stuff to bloom before visiting the Arboretum. Hunh.

    Oh, and Happy Anniversary, Bob

  • Robert Moffitt

    2) I think you meant “police still had NOT contacted her by last night to tell her that her daughter was alive.”

    That’s a heck of a story unfolding in Cleveland.

    TQ: I didn’t think so at first. MLK reminded us of the “fierce urgency of now” in his I Have A Dream Speech, and I think that applies to this vote. Justice delayed is justice denied. It’s time for Minnesota to get on the right side of history and vote “yes” on same-sex marriage this session.

  • Pat Fair

    Happy Anniversary, Bob.