Date: 
March 5, 2014
Venue Name: 
Whole Music Club, Coffman Union
Price Range: 
FREE
Date: 
July 2, 2013
Venue Name: 
Fine Line Music Café
Price Range: 
$10 in advance; $12 at the door
Date: 
April 20, 2013
Venue Name: 
Wellstone Center

Each week about fifty oil trains, each carrying more than 1 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil, pass through Minnesota. Almost all of them go through the Twin Cities. This revelation comes from previously confidential reports on the state’s crude-by-rail traffic that were recently obtained by the Star Tribune.

The documents reveal that oil trains can be more than 100 tank cars long as they pass through 39 of the state’s 87 counties. The greatest concentration is on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway main line between Moorhead and the Twin Cities.

The Huffington Post reports that most oil is shipped in what’s been called “the Ford Pinto of rail cars“—a tank car whose safety flaws have been known for more than two decades.

The DOT- One Eleven tank car was designed in the 1960s. Its safety flaws were pointed out in the early ’90s, but more than 200,000 are still in service.

While the rail industry has voluntarily rolled out about 14,000 stronger tank cars, about 78,000 of the older DOT- one elevens remain in service. Retrofitting them would cost an estimated $1 billion.

In late July the environmental non-profit MN350 gathered with state legislators and neighborhood residents near the rail yards in northeast Minneapolis to call attention to the safety risks posed by oil trains in populated areas.

KFAI’s Rico Morales has this report.

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Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and police chief Janee Harteau say there will be an independent investigation of an incident where police injured community activist Al Flowers. He was in a violent encounter with police when they came to his home to arrest Flowers’ teenage daughter. Flowers says he asked to see a warrant for her arrest, and a scuffle broke out.

“Once they attacked, I felt every blow,” Flowers said. “I got stomped.”

The case is being held up by critics of the Minneapolis police department as evidence of their claim that the force routinely brutalizes residents.
A group of about fifty people rallied outside the third precinct police station at Lake Street and Minnehaha. KFAI’s Rico Morales was there.

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In late July the Metropolitan Council in the Twin Cities issued a Housing Policy Plan – the first to be presented by the regional agency in almost 30 years. The council will vote on whether or not to adopt the plan this coming November. With publication of the document, a public comment process begins that will include a public hearing on September 15th.

Libby Starling is the Manager of Regional Policy and Research for the Metropolitan Council. She talked with KFAI’s Ron Thums.

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July is National Minority Mental Health Month 
 

Melody Moezzi was born to Persian parents at the height of the Islamic Revolution and raised amid a vibrant, loving, and gossipy Iranian diaspora in the American heartland. When at eighteen, she began battling a severe physical illness, her community stepped up, filling her hospital rooms with roses, lilies, and hyacinths.

But when she attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers. Despite several stays in psychiatric hospitals, bombarded with tranquilizers, mood-stabilizers, and antipsychotics, she was encouraged to keep her illness a secret—by both her family and an increasingly callous and indifferent medical establishment. Refusing to be ashamed, Moezzi became an outspoken advocate, determined to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and reclaim her life along the way.

Both an irreverent memoir and a rousing call to action, Haldol and Hyacinths is the moving story of a woman who refused to become torn across cultural and social lines. Moezzi reports from the front lines of the no-man’s land between sickness and sanity, and the Midwest and the Middle East. A powerful, funny, and poignant narrative told through a unique and fascinating cultural lens, Haldol and Hyacinthsis a tribute to the healing power of hope, humor, and acceptance.

Health Notes Airs Mondays 6:30-7:30PM

This summer the City of Minneapolis and partners from across the state have collectively hosted events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A closing ceremony is scheduled for the Minneapolis Convention Center on Thursday, July 31st at 5pm. Toni Newborn is assistant director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and chair of the closing ceremony. She talked with KFAI’s Xan Holston, who asked why it’s important to remember the anniversary of the passage of a piece of legislation.

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