TruthToTell Monday, March 10- 9AM: From Minnesota to the Horn of Africa: Connections to the Past & Future; March 3 AUDIO: COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDENS: New Kid on the Block


Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.



Local Somali and East African communities are fighting poverty, educating kids and promoting peace and development in the Horn of Africa as well as in their “new” US communities.

Ask your neighbor about the Somali Diaspora in Minnesota, and she is likely to tell you about the pirates in the academy awarded nominated film, Captain Phillips, young El Shabab recruits, and growing Somali power in local politics. Less understood is the major contribution Somalis and other East Africans make to their countries of origin. From the individual financial contributions that serve as a life line for relatives back home, to disaster relief and hunger alleviation, to an increasingly sophisticated range of education and development efforts, Minnesota’s East African community is making a difference.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and Guest Host, TOM O’CONNELL will be joined by three guests who are deeply familiar with these efforts.


ABDURASHID ALI – Director of Somali Family Services, a Twin Cities based nonprofit with extensive programs in Puntland, Somalia. Beginning with the construction of Puntland’s first library and resource center, SFS has organized a series of impressive initiatives aimed at building a peaceful, democratic, and just Somalia.


JAYLANI HUSSEIN – Board Secretary, American Relief Agency For the Horn of Africa (ARAHA); Lead Consultant, Zeila Consultants; Planner, MN Department of Agriculture. Mr. Hussein has traveled the Horn of Africa on number of times on behalf of ARAHA – to open a regional field office as well as to oversee large‐scale humanitarian projects in the Somali Famine of 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Community Development/City Planning and is currently pursuing a law degree.

AWO AHMED – Literacy Program Coordinator, Metropolitan State University. Awo plans to do graduate work in global health and use her knowledge to work with her father, who directs a health clinic in Lasbas, Somalia.

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Monday, March 3, 2014


This week we welcome to TTT a new cohost and associate producer: Siobhan Kierans, a solid broadcast producer and co-host of her own show, Malarkey, on KFAI. We're proud and happy to have such a fine talent join the crew.


Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscollor post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.



How long have many advocates in this nation, and, indeed, Minnesota to a large extent, touted the absolute necessity for switching from fossil fuels-powered energy to renewables – a broad term that may be too broadly defined for some, especially if means burning anything (as in garbage and other so-called “biofuels”)?

Not so much in dispute are two renewable resources: the sun and the wind. The only notions in dispute may well be the size of the generating arrays. That debate continues around such items as wind farms and large solar arrays as proposed by such powerhouse suppliers as Xcel Energy.

It’s become clear to many advocates that smaller, community-based arrays – what are being called community solar gardens – that end users may well find that energy can be both less expensive and an investment. Oh, yes, Xcel’s large solar arrays are also considered gardens, but they look like small farms rather than the neighborhood-sized rooftop panels owned by those who subscribe to them – the investment part – then collect reimbursements for the electricity generated at a per-watt rate.

The current conflicts center around the number of solar arrays that Xcel should be allowed to construct and the rates they pay to the smaller, independent community solar garden operations. The state’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has so far signaled a desire to limit Xcel’s ability to build huge solar arrays while also suggesting that the rate Xcel has offered to pay back to solar garden subscribers (what that means we’ll talk about Monday morning) for the power they add to the larger grid is simply too low

This area’s first community solar garden has just announced a sold-out subscription base and the array will operate in South Minneapolis.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with the entrepreneur developer of this garden along with a resource and ethical watchdog for the solar industry to enlighten us all about the meaning of these developments and what it means for energy policy and futures in Minnesota.


KEN BRADLEY – President/CEO, Minnesota Community Solar

LYNN HINKLE - Director of Policy Development, Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association

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