Vol. 20, #03 – 4/30/13

//Vol. 20, #03 – 4/30/13

From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores near Sarasota,
here’s news of stuff, Dear Reader, that matters an iota.


MinnRoast Not Yet Completely Cooked

Your editors are both loyal readers and big fans of the work produced by MinnPost, the pioneering electronic newspaper. Unlike our modest effort, MinnPost is published and staffed by some of the region’s most talented and accomplished journalists. MinnRoast, the wildly popular annual fundraiser – “a gentle skewering of journalists and politicians” – is in the rearview mirror but some of the special events which are sold as part of the party are still available. Among the events are “A Midnight Party at the Walker,” a curator-guided tour of the exhibit with the same name, that includes a pre-tour wine and cheese reception. We were surprised to see that “MinnPost Cooks,” a gourmet experience provided by legendary chefs like Joel Kramer and Lee Lynch at a White Bear Lake home, did not completely sell out. We can attest that Lee can tend bar as well as he smiths words; besides, Uncle Al Sicherman is bringing dessert. That has to be worth the price of admission. FFI log onto MinnPost.

Power Up

The Minneapolis City Council has directed City Coordinator Paul Aasen to initiate an Energy Pathways Study in advance of the city’s franchise negotiations with the gas and electric utilities which are scheduled to commence next year. The council action requests that working with “select stakeholders” an Energy Vision will be developed. From there pathways will be identified to reach this vision, including potential municipal acquisition of utilities along with alternative models, for presentation to the Council in February 2014. Some see this study as a political reaction to the call from Minneapolis Energy Options, a coalition of like-minded environmental advocacy groups, to put the issue of municipalization to the voters in Minneapolis on the ballot during the city elections in November. Ballot Initative? Really? When those villains from the right tried to stifle voting and human rights on the statewide ballot didn’t we decry the whole stinking mess? Apparently once those ganders were goosed all bets were off and initiatives are back on.

We digress. The Energy Pathways, under prudent oversight, is certainly a sound step prior to the franchise negotiations. We trust that the “stakeholders” involved will be Jan and Joe Citizen who enjoy heating the water for their chamomile safely on the gas range and access to the microwave now and again as well. FFI on the study Energy Pathways.


  • Over the past three years, our friend Matt Clark has been a tireless advocate for his friend, Mark Thurbush, who was diagnosed with lymphoma, a blood cancer, while they were both studying for their MBAs. Matt’s selfless support of his friend – coupled with the work he has already done to help Mark raise funds to support research and awareness of leukemia and lymphoma – has earned him a coveted spot in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2013 Man & Woman of the Year competition. To win the title of Man of the Year, Matt must earn the most votes – each dollar he raises counts as a vote – by Friday, May 17. If you would like to “vote” for Matt (donate) online, click here. If you are interested in corporate sponsorship, advertising in the Grand Finale Gala’s program book, providing a silent auction item or attending the Gala, please contact Matt at matthewclark.lls@gmail.com.
  • Congratulations are due Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch Spong which was named “Creative Agency of the Year” for North America by the Holmes Report, a leading publication following the public relations industry. The report cites work for Save-a-Lot, Supervalu and Merrick Pet Care as recent examples of a legacy of work that earned CLS its first Creative Agency of the Year Award. Congrats go out to the entire team, including its leader Doug Spong and our great friend and former colleague Julie Batliner who is justly credited with much of the firm’s recent success.
  • Once again our favorite little theater company, nimbus, is delving into history with the staging of “Tesla,” an original work written and directed by company co-founder Josh Cragun. Literally a poet of science (“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”), Nikola Tesla’s vast accomplishments are staples of everyday life in the 21st Century. The remarkable thing, next to his relative anonymity, is that most of his greatest work – like the development of ac (alternating current), the X-ray and vacuum tube all occurred before World War I. Cragun’s talents, we think, are up to the task of re-introducing one of the great geniuses of modern life, whose friends included Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt, to a modern audience. FFI www.nimbustheatre.com.


A number of loyal readers weighed in on our missive on Hennepin County and recent retiree Phil Eckhert. First, from Arvonne Fraser:

Very good “online” issue. Have missed you. Agree on Hennepin County. Today, having moved, we spent time in Hennepin County Government Center, a user-friendly place, a refreshing morning after dealing with customer service via phone that tells me in many languages to press one for this, two for that, but nothing for what I really want which is simply to change my address…. Oh well, that’s progress as some define it…and nobody has told or sold me an app – or is it ap? – for that – whatever that is….

Speaking of Hennepin County – and Arvonne just did – Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat added:

Very nice piece on Eckhert. He is one we will miss around here. He has always been a model for me in terms of being ready to take on new things and new ways of thinking.

Last, from Dick Brustad:

Thank you so much for describing the quality of the staff at Hennepin County. And especially Phil E. I often try to tell people about their A+ work. But I have not been able to word it as well as you two. Thanks.

By |2016-10-21T00:42:41-05:00April 30th, 2013|Categories: Newsletter|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mark J. Oyaas is a principal in Neerland & Oyaas, Inc., a public affairs consulting company. His work includes advising clients on business opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. In addition to coordinating government relations projects, Mr. Oyaas heads up the firm's communications services under the "germ of an idea" banner.

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