TruthToTell Monday, March 7-9AM: SO YOU WANT ENERGY, EH?: Our Future is Grim - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/; First Person Radio March 2: RAY TRICOMO & JEAN STRAIT Audio Below


JOHN FARRELL – Senior Research Associate, Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Author of Energy Self-Reliant States

KAREN STUDDERS - Attorney, Scientist, Transition Towns Advocate, former Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Ventura)

JON FREISE – Acting Chair, South Minneapolis Neighborhood Transition Initiative (Corcoran GROWS)

KEN BRADLEY – Director, Environment Minnesota

INVITED: STATE SEN. ELLEN ANDERSON – Ranking minority Member, Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee

How can any of us make sense of what is happening in our energy world? We consume half the world’s energy in the United States. Most of us think nothing of jumping into an SUV for a trip to the store or up north. Or to relieve ourselves of cold and heat when we feel like it. We are warned time and again that energy independence is essential to a secure future and yet we go on burning fossil fuels as though the wells will never run dry – or we rely on others to find it when we’ll need it – be it below deep water in the Gulf or under the Arctic Refuge or lodged in Canadian tar sands.

Just get it so we can burn it. Never mind the cost or damage done in the process.

We create ethanol as an renewable alternative transportation fuel and don’t realize that it takes at least as much fossil fuel to refine the ethanol as it might be to burn it directly in our vehicles.

We want electric vehicles, but we must create the electricity to transfer it to our car batteries. How will we generate that electricity. And what about those cars? Shouldn’t we stop using them so rapaciously and instead rely on much more efficient mass transit systems?

What are we willing to know? What are we willing to do to seriously look at our energy future and do something to secure it with as little short term or long-term damage done to our environment – and, yes, our economy – a very big deal when the transition away from oil to other sources really happens.

The options seem unrelenting: massive wind farms? Large solar panel infrastructure? Backyard and rooftop wind power and solar installations? To burn or not to burn – anything – oil, wood, garbage? Some neighborhoods are deploying principles of Transition Towns, developed in the United Kingdom, now being applied in US cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul

People are thinking about these things. Really they are. But many might be considered pretty nerdy about it all.

Problem is: the need to figure this out is upon us. Oh, yeah, the world won’t cave tonight or tomorrow over this issue – but it’s actually the massive scale of the problem catching up with us that has us often feeling powerless and confused – especially when oil companies, utilities, car companies, ethanol makers and all the other vested interests would just as soon you weren’t aware of  the problem, let alone pressuring them to resolve it, pressuring our policymakers to resolve it.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL talks with a few of the many advocates immersed in these issues and we’ll try to make some sense of the reality and not to confuse you. But – it’s complicated.


First Person Radio March 2: RAY TRICOMO & JEAN STRAIT - Audio HERE

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune (with Andy Driscoll) talk with Ray Tricomo, a non-Indian who has been teaching an Indian curriculum for many year and Professor Jean Strait, Apache. They discuss American Indian curriculum and methods.

Ray Tricomo is an Italian American born in Detroit. He attended Wayne State University from 1963-67, and majored in English with minors in Sociology and History. In 1970, he earned a masters in African Studies. From 1970-74, he worked on a PHD in African history with minor in medical geography and US history. Ray Tricomo was the Green Party Minnesota's 2002 nominee for the US Senate. Today, he mentors Kalpulli Turtle Island Multiversitya community dedicated to education and land restoration to the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America).

Dr. Jean Strait (Apache) is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Hamline University. In her current Literacy and Educational Psychology position, she is a critical component to the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching and the School of Education’s service-learning development director. The University’s 20-year partnership with Hancock-Hamline elementary school, where over 60% of faculty, staff and students participate in service-learning, has led to two top five finalist positions in the Minnesota Jimmy Carter Partnership awards.



That most invisible segment of our culture is that segment we often ignore. We don’t always see our homeless brothers and sisters, because we don’t want to. Perhaps we don’t want to believe so many of our neighbors are without places to live. Perhaps we feel powerless to do anything about this plague on the richest society in the world.

Young people are among the most harmed by homelessness. Of the 13,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness every day, 2,000 are young people, 34% of the total in Hennepin County alone*. Many of the adults are veterans, some are the parents of these youth for whom the instability of homelessness is something none of us would want for our own – or ourselves. (* Wilder Research, 2009 Statewide Homelessness Survey)

But, some of these young people have come forward into the limelight of artistic expression – in words and pictures – through the Arts & Civic Engagement Initiative. Their work and the work of their mentors in agencies working to end homelessness is on exhibit through May 14 at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis. Among the exhibitors are the great community photographer, Wing Young Huie, Hennepin County Coordinator to End Homelessness Cathy Ten Broeke doubling as artist, work created by youth experiencing homelessness in collaboration with Peter Haakon Thompson, and work from the exhibition Home Is Where You Make It - six temporary sculptures produced by youth experiencing homelessness with Lauri Lyons, Tish Jones, and Megan Madland.

All of this to reach these goals:

• Highlight the plight of youth struggling with homelessness and other loss of shelter in the Twin Cities through the work of Minnesota artists

• Spark dialogue and increase awareness about ongoing programs and legislative work to end youth and child homelessness

• Celebrate the strengths, capacity and contributions of youth

• Deepen the capacity and commitment of the community to address the issues related to youth homelessness

• Build awareness of the power of the arts to create meaning and beauty from hardship and struggle

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with artists and leaders in this project to end youth homelessness. We’ll be streaming the program online and showing some of the art on exhibit even as we explore the issues leading to such a serious level of youth homelessness and what we can all do about ending it.

On-air guests: 

• CATHY ten BROEKE – Photographer, and Coordinator, Heading Home Hennepin program to end homelessness 

• SUSAN PHILLIPS – Director, LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Youth Homeless Services

• REGGIE PRIM – Organizer, Growing Home ExhibitArts & Civic Engagement Initiative and Center for Changing Lives