CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

Here you can find a listing of all shows ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tretter collection a treasure trove for GLBT studies

After decades of gathering materials, Jean-Nickolaus Tretter has donated his considerable collection to the University's Special Collections and Rare Books library. One of the largest private collections of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) materials in the world, Tretter's collection is being installed at Andersen Library.

Jean-Nickolaus Tretter (left) with Timothy Johnson, U libraries curator. Photo by Amy Marie Amundson

Jean-Nickolaus Tretter (left) with Timothy Johnson, U libraries curator. Photo by Amy Marie Amundson

The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies contains over 10,000 items such as personal papers and first-edition books. It includes items as ancient as Egyptian fertility objects, as campy as gay and lesbian pulp novels from the 1950s, as regional as Minnesota starolite orthorhombic prisms (known as “fairy stones"), and as historically important as a book pulled from the burning of the Hirschfeld library in Berlin in 1933.

“It is very gratifying to realize that now anyone interested in GLBT Studies or research will have to seriously consider the University of Minnesota as the place to go,” said Tretter. “No longer will those interested in researching our communities and cultures be restricted to the coastal universities to do work in this field.”

Linnea Stenson, program director of the Schochet Center for GLBT Studies, concurs. “The Tretter Collection, in all its depth and breadth, provides the very best kind of resource to accomplish valuable interdisciplinary work: a treasure trove of primary sources,” says Stenson. “It is foundational to the work the Schochet Center for GLBT Studies has set about doing.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Please help CivicMedia earn MATCHING DOLLARS to keep TruthToTell and First Person Radio at the forefront of public affairs programming in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. DONATE TODAY



After years of "professionalization" and “medicalization” of the entire parenting process from conception through delivery, many families, say, women, are opting for a simpler method, in the home with a successor to the old days of midwifery, the modern, professional midwife, or licensed midwife, or doula.

The medical profession appears pretty unhappy over this turn of events and is arguing against home birthing for all the reasons medical intervention was introduced to begin with decades ago: it’s essentially the only really safe way to deliver and, in that setting, all the options for emergency deliveries are close at hand.

TruthToTell’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN explore with advocates from all sides of this controversy, much of which has landed in the halls of state capitols and in the medical journals, especially those of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the AMA. But midwives and home birthing advocates have successfully pushed for laws allowing the home birthing of children and still have access to and coverage for emergency medical procedures and pediatric follow-up care for infants. LISTEN BELOW for this fascinating discussion.


KATHERINE PROWN, PhD – The Big Push for Midwives

KIM GARRETT – Dearborn Midwifery; Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife

SUNDEE KUECHLE - Home Birth Mother

JENNIFER PEOPLES, MD, OB/GYN (Called in voluntarily)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University. He has a B.A. from Princeton University, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-bay-wis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. His published books include Ojibwe in Minnesota (2010), The Assassination of Hole in the Day (2010), Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo’amaageng (2010), Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories (2001), Aaniin Ekidong: Ojibwe Vocabulary Project (2009), and Omaa Akiing (2002). Dr. Treuer has sat on many organizational boards, ranging from the White Earth Land Recovery Project to MeritCare Health System.

Dr. Treuer has received prestigious awards and fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Humanities Commission, the Experienced Faculty Development Program, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the Grotto Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Second Annual Give to the Max Day is Nov 16.

Please click on the logo above or HERE to help CivicMedia/Minnesota continue to bring you TruthToTell and First Person Radio. Details on the website. AND THANK YOU!


The junkiest of us political junkies can't help but dissect the stunning outcomes of the 2010 election, especially Minnesota's swing to a Republican majority in both houses of the state legislature. This junkie actually thought that reports of Democratic deaths were greatly exaggerated - that people would come to their senses and not vote - yet again - against their own best interests. But they did, whether they believe it now or not.

After a day or two of catching breaths and turning off the media clatter that consumed us before and immediately after the voting ended Tuesday night, we try to examine the ramifications, especially the depth of this touted revolution. Does it really run as deep as its celebrants believe? Or will history come back to bite them in the ass as it has after so many of these so-called political overhauls have. 1910, 1938, 1946, 1974, 1994, 2006. History is rife with midterm backlashes against sitting majorities and/or Presidents of the time only to see the public mood invariably swing back two years later to re-elect those presidents to a second term.

A week will have gone by when, the governor's race recount scheduled and some perspective having actually set in, we bat around the fallout and prospects for the coming Legislature – as well as the future – especially in light of the coming redrawing of our eight Congressional district boundaries and those defining our legislative districts.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with former and present officeholders and the one observer of recounts to publish his own book about it. Join us Monday morning.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elected in 1980, Karen Clark represents an inner city district (61A) in South Minneapolis, the lowest income Legislative District in Minnesota, and consistently receives 75-85% of the vote from her constituents. In 2008 she received 89%, the highest vote margin in the state. In 2010, a year of Republican upheaval and takeover of the Minnesota House, she garnered over 78% (the Independence Party candidate captured 11+%, more than the Republican).

Karen is a frequent speaker on her innovative and "cutting edge" legislation to local, national, and international audiences. She is known among her colleagues for her coalition-building skills and her persistent community-based advocacy on behalf of her inner-city constituents and of low-income and minority-status Minnesotans throughout the state.

As chair of the House's Public Health Finance and Housing Policy and Finance Committee, Rep. Clark has championed environmental health and affordable housing legislation that challenges the status quo and promotes economic and social justice options. (Under the new majority, she will lose her chairship, but likely remain as ranking DFLer on the same committee.) Rep. Clark is the longest-serving openly Lesbian State Legislator in the U.S. Karen is also the unpaid Executive Director of the Women's Environmental Institute.

LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK and RICHARD LaFORTUNE analyze Tuesday's elections with Karen Clark.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How in heaven’s name can Minnesota possibly achieve a 75% rate of  high-schoolers attending college by 2020 when the very survival of the state’s pre-school through senior high school system is in dire straits – facing a questionable future given recent budgets and a disastrous combination of  higher education tuition increases and  K-12 budget cuts and shifts over the last few years?

Moreover, the drop-out rates among large percentages of our kids of color, especially, would seem to work severely against any notion of successful educational attainment by anywhere near the 75% advanced as a goal by Growth and Justice Policy Research group and its partner in this enterprise, the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP).

But 75% remains the goal – or rather a challenge – issued by the coalition to this season‘s major party candidates for governor. How did they respond? Tune in Monday morning and find out – just in time for Tuesday’s elections.

What is it about Minnesota that results in such a disgraceful set of statistics? What have we done to our public education system that our state’s best and brightest are too often sent to schools that segregate them from kids of color, leaving the public schools deprived of the needed resources to graduate everyone who walks into a public classroom and receives a solid education? Money, yes. But irresponsible public policies and decisions have slowly but surely undermined what was once regarded as the country’s finest.

What to do about generating both the public will and the public pressure to act in the enlightened self-interest to adequately fund and invoke policies that favor the state’s economic future through education? TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with a few of the leaders in this effort.

REP. CARLOS MARIANI-ROSA – State Representative and Executive Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP)

JENNIFER GODINEZ – Associate Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP)

DANE SMITH - President, Growth and Justice Policy Research

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune interview the producer, John Whitehead, and others key to the making of this original documentary from Twin Cities Public Television about the restoration of the ancient language of the indigenous Ojibwaypeople. The film is narrated by Native novelist and poet Louise Erdrich and features Ojibway elders, educators and students from Ojibway tribes at Bemidji, Leech Lake, Red Lake, St. Croix and Lac Courte Oreilles.

From the website:

Ojibwe is an endangered language. Experts estimate that fewer than one thousand fluent Ojibwe speakers remain in all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota combined. 

But now a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators are racing against time to save the language. First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language tells their inspirational story. Working with the remaining fluent-speaking elders, they hope to pass the language on to the next generation. As told by Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, this tpt original production reveals some of the current strategies and challenges that are involved in trying to save a language.


JOHN WHITEHEADIndependent ProducerFIRST SPEAKERS: Restoring the Ojibway Language and LESLIE HARPER, Director, Niigaane Ojibway Language Immersion School, Leech Lake Ojibway Reservation were among the collaborators in this production highlighting the teaching of this ancient – and highly complex - indigenous language.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And now it begins - at least at the local level. The battle over who is represented by whom for the next ten years is under way with discussions about the upshot of population growth or shrinkage in some districts as well as shifts from one district to the next - or several miles away. As the 2010 Census figures are compiled for presentation early next year, coalitions are forming to ensure that statewide redistricting is seriously reformed after decades of Legislative redistricting wound up in the courts - and still safe districts for incumbents were the outcome. When once we thought it possible Minnesota's eight Congressional districts might be whittled to seven by the Census outcome, it now appears we'll hold the eight by a very slim margin - as little as 1,500 souls.

Minneapolis has a question on the November 2nd ballot asking whether the city's Charter Commission should be the body to redraw City Ward and Park District lines, unlike the political-party-appointed Redistricting Commission, which ten years ago found itself under a cloud for its DFL-heavy redistricting out of Green Party incumbents and other anomalies which landed the entire process in court. This time out, the struggle is over whether the Charter Commission, itself questionably representative of the city as a whole, is likely to properly redraw the city's lines of representation. (Under state statute, all Charter Commissions are appointed from pools of self-selected applicants by the chief judge of the appropriate district court of jurisdiction, in this case the Chief Judgeof the Hennepin County District Court.)

Saint Paul's Charter Commission is itself the city's redistricting commission (Disclosure: your servant was a member of that body for eight years back in 1990 and was part of the redrawing of St. Paul's Ward boundaries). Many think that's enough. But, again, with chief judges appointing (Ramsey County, in this case), can it be as representative of the city's diversity or not?

And yet, how to ensure diversity, anyway?

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN query those zeroing in on this issue - some for the coming referendum in Minneapolis, the others for Saint Paul or the statewide planning process quickly coming into place for 2011 and 2012.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Minneapolis City Council Member Robert Lilligren has represented the 6th Ward of the City of Minneapolis since January, 2006. He was first elected to represent the 8th Ward in November 2001. With no political background or experience, he entered public life because of a strong desire to help his fellow Minneapolitans and to bring a strong voice to core-city concerns.

He has a strong background in community activism, housing development, and on transportation issues.  He is a self-employed small-scale housing developer/property manager. When first elected to office, Lilligren was serving as a volunteer on eight different community boards and commissions including as a founder and vice-chair of Phillips West Neighborhood organization, the Midtown Greenway Coalition (a bike/walk advocacy group), the Hennepin County-appointed I-35W Project Advisory Committee and as an advisor and board member to non-profit housing groups throughout South Minneapolis. 

He has led efforts to invest a $25 million federal grant to Minneapolis to shift people from motorized to non-motorized transportation. He was appointed to the Bike Walk Advisory Committee to advise the board of Transit for Livable Communities on these non-motorized investments. Also, he holds the City of Minneapolis appointment on the recently formed Grant Evaluation and Ranking System committee created by the State Legislature to bring more meaningful local voices to regional transit investments made by the Counties Transit Improvement Board with the counties quarter-cent sales tax for transit.

Monday, October 18, 2010

For years, we have known of the environment's assault on our breathing and other health issues, but not every neighborhood is afflicted with tar companies, toxic run-offs from factories old and new whose owners have ignored health concerns of employees and neighboring communities - more often than not, low wealth communities and people of color, depending on the state and locale - in the pursuit of cheaply earned profits. Minneapolis-St. Paul is ranked 5th for the greatest number of contaminated sites across the country (65,969 - one for every 48 people – plus 4,444 leaking storage tanks) with a mere 54 corrective action reports. We could go on about how the MPCA ignores the reality of polluting facilities, especially in this Metro Area. It's enough to know that our air and groundwater, foods, drugs, etc., are likely killing us before our time

But this is an even larger system issue our policymakers and regulators and health care providers, especially pharmaceutical corporations, fail to address adequately to protect our children as well as our adults and stop the record number of cancer cases growing out of these toxic cities.

Although breast cancer runs rampant through the ranks of women for any number of reasons, environmental catalysts are certainly a clear cause of the majority of them. What else could yield such an epidemic as women have experience over the last 40-50 years? Other cancers in both men and women, not to mention children’s leukemia cases, are decimating our ranks. These are preventable cancers.

Several women who have lived with cancer are the root of this movement and organization and are prepared to pour resources and energy into getting into the fight to install policies and processes to prevent cancer, especially in women, but anything done for women will surely ripple into all segments of the society.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with the founders, supporters and professionals involved in Women’s Cancer Action and how and why they came into being in the midst of a plethora of other groups claiming to do the same.



BARBRA WIENER - Chair of the Board, Women's Cancer Action; Founder, Women's Cancer Resource Center (has lived with cancer)

DEANNA WHITE –Executive Director, Clean Water Action-MNHealthy Legacy co-director

KAREN EINESMAN – Program Director, Women's Cancer Action

REP. KAREN CLARK, RN – (has lived with cancer) State Representative and Volunteer Executive Director, Women's Environmental Institute - REP. CLARK HAS BEEN CALLED INTO SPECIAL SESSION MONDAY MORNING