CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Written, Produced and Directed by Andy Driscoll (CivicMedia/Minnesota)

It's been a privilege to produce this upcoming documentary special featuring the story of St. Paul's own nationally recognized Black theatre company - Penumbra Theatre - now celebrating its 34th Anniversary as the only Twin Cities theatre producing plays by, of and for the African-American community, but beloved by all theatre-goers everywhere. Among its laurels is its record of 27 world premieres of important plays by Black playwrights and the starting place for all of plays penned by the late August Wilson, most of them produced in larger, regional venues and presented on Broadway and in film. Here at Penumbra is where it started not just for August Wilson, who wrote many of his scathing insights into the Black culture in every decade of the 20th Century in restaurants and coffee shops along Selby Avenue in St. Paul, but of many other contributors to the Black experience and translated on-stage. We meet many members of the highly revered company of actors and performers, each of them, "stars in their own right," says founding Artistic Director Lou Bellamy.

Funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Complete credit list inside.

Monday, July 19, 2010


PODCAST IS READY: scroll down and click on "Play" button or download the file to your hard drive for listening  at your leisure.


While not the most invisible of the less visible offices, Ramsey County Attorney campaigns are rarely, if ever, covered by the so-called mainstream media, despite the important nature of this office toward ensuring justice for Ramsey County residents (and that includes the City of St. Paul as well as its near-ring suburbs). The Ramsey County Attorney is chief prosecutor of felonies committed around the county (misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors are prosecuted by the cities) - as well as representing the county in civil litigation. Most important, the County Attorney is the watchdog agency for enforcing orders for and collecting delinquent child support and for ensuring child protection throughout the county.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL hosts a conversation among the three county attorney candidates hoping to help voters in Ramsey County decide whom to support.

{Stream this show on our broadcast day by clicking on the KFAI link on this page, or linking to - or - hear it and download it after it airs by coming back here, clicking on the show title and scrolling down to find the player and/or "download audio" link.]

Monday, July 12, 2010

This week, we zero in on Senate District 67, heavy with contenders because of Senator Mee Moua's rather sudden retirement on the last day of Session 2010. Nine DFLers are vying for the nomination August 10, a date which is itself discouraging for voters given Minnesota's penchant for enjoying their short summers, free of politics, except for the incessant commercials keeping attention on the governor's primary for the moment.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jessica Yee is the guest this week.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Still recovering from three weeks in a Kigali, Rwanda, prison, attorney Peter Erlinder has been on a whirlwind series of public appearances speaking out less about his prison misery than on the politics behind his arrest and chares of denying genocide, a crime under current Rwandan law within the regime of Tutsi President Paul Kagami. Erlinder is out on bail for medical and humanitarian reasons and will undergo checks for excessive blood pressure and other ailments in Rochester's Mayo Clinic sometime in the coming week.

Assisting Erlinder's release were his two Kenyan lawyers, Kennedy Ogetto and Gershom Otachi.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CivicMedia-Minnesota and TruthToTell are locked in a competition for dollars from Chase Community Giving on Facebook. We need your votes to have a chance of winning up to $250,000, but, more likely a second place prize of $100,000, to carry on our mission of using broadcast journalism as a tool for civic engagement, civic and media literacy. 

REMINDER: Starting July 5th, TruthToTell will air live at 9:00 Monday mornings following Amy Goodman moving to 8:00AM M-F.

From the Preface to the Amicus Girls Study:

Any parent of a teenage girl can relate. At some point in even the best relationships, the question comes up in a mother’s or father’s mind: “What am I doing wrong?” Those involved with girls in Minnesota’s juvenile justice system sometimes find themselves going through a similar self-inventory. Some professionals tend to believe it’s just easier to work with boys.

But what about the other side of the relationship? Many girls in the system feel they don’t have a voice: that people are viewing them more as the embodiment of their destructive behavior rather than as individuals with insights and opinions that should be heard.

Despite the efforts of thousands of dedicated service providers, girls in Minnesota’s juvenile justice system have endured many hardships.

When compared to boys, research shows that girls have:

• experienced more significant sexual abuse and trauma history;

• engaged in more risky sexual behavior;

• experienced more significant physical and mental health problems;

• engaged in more self-defeating behaviors, including running away and skipping school.

• worst of all, many victimized girls who run away from home are revictimized through their recruitment into prostitution and trafficked for the financial benefit of traffickers and pimps.

Any wonder that too many find themselves in the criminal justice system?

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN bring together the Amicus study's authors and advocates with professionals and policymakers to talk about these issues and what comes next for the thousands of girls caught up in the system.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

REMINDER: Starting July 5th, TruthToTell will air live at 9:00 Monday mornings following Amy Goodman moving to 8:00AM M-F.

This is a consolidated one hour from our two-part series on White Privilege which aired earlier this Spring. It is truly an evergreen issue, one worth revisiting, in any event. The individual originals can be found in the Archives section.

Do you think of yourself as white? Or have you never thought of it before? If you think of yourself as white, how do you feel about it? In fact, African-American children learn as early as age four or five that they are, indeed, Black, and they continue to learn as they go along what it means to be a person of color in this culture. Same with Asians. And Latinos. And American Indians. Confronting our privilege as whites is being seen as an essential step in understanding what it means to be NON-white, something that's always been true. In fact, few of us ever give our whiteness a thought - or a second thought - and the benefits whiteness accrue to us as a result of not being a person of color in Minnesota or the United States.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

REMINDER: Starting July 5th, TruthToTell will air live at 9:00 Monday mornings following Amy Goodman moving to 8:00AM M-F.
The struggle continues between the forces of control and consolidation
– the cable companies and telecoms – and those of consumers and common folk – the rest of us who watch our television shows, seek out information necessary to keep our democracy intact and work online – reading, researching, communicating. The control forces never stop trying to both deregulate the cable, telephone and broadcasts industries altogether  and/or find ways to benefit one tier of customer at the expense of another all while keeping us  clamoring for higher connection speeds and more equitable forms of billing for their services. Comcast Cable, already conspicuously dominant in the cable business, wants to merge with NBC or parts of that network. Newspapers have been plumping to own broadcasting facilities in the same markets/cities, currently forbidden to maintain some modicum of competition.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, "...80 percent of broadband users in the United States do not know the speed of their broadband connection." As FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski recently pointed out, "Speed matters..." Other countries, for example, enjoy cable internet connections speeds upwards of three and four times those available to us in the United States. Why? Could it be these companies await the day when they’ll be allowed to charge three and four times the fees charged to all users in those countries and stratify the nation’s technologies once again?

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

NOTICE: Beginning JULY 5th, TruthToTell will move from Wednesdays to Mondays at 9:00AM. Listen for details.
Labor Day week - September, 2008
- marked a shameful chapter in Minnesota and Twin Cities history. Before the first gavel fell on the Republican National Convention at St. Paul's Xcel Center, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher sought and received warrants from Ramsey District judges to launch raids on suspected disrupters of the RNC, arresting eight young self-described anti-authoritarian anarchists, members of the RNC Welcoming Committee, now known as the RNC8, charged with "conspiracy to commit riot in furtherance of terrorism." The terrorism charges were dropped, but they remain in pretrial hearings right now to determine whether trials are justified.

A few days into the mayhem that marked the week, and after cops maced and pepper-sprayed marchers and eventually arrested 802 almost entirely innocent civilians, credentialed Democracy NOW! journalists and producers Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were arrested with cameras in tow by Minneapolis cops assigned to the eastern sector of downtown St. Paul as they tried to cover events in the streets. Goodman and her cohorts have sued the cities and the cops, including Fletcher.

TTT will update listeners on all these events and speak to both Amy Goodman and RNC8 member, Garret Fitzgerald and one of their lawyers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Record-breaking foreclosures continue apace across the country - and in Minnesota, but, despite laws designed to help tenants avoid premature eviction, renters are getting taken for a ride by banks and realtors who want them out of their homes and units so the properties can be turned over for a profit much sooner than the law allows. Stay tuned for stories and what could be the fallout from continuing the underwater real estate mess. It's one thing to foreclose on unemployed or even irresponsible homeowners who have failed to keep their mortgages intact, but renters cannot and should not be held accountable for their landlords' failure to maintain properties and the payments on them. It's a mess and one which victimizes the renter over and again for others's failures and exploitation following foreclosure. What recovery?

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! A list of links to laws and rules protecting renters from predatory foreclosure practices is HERE.
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