Vol. 20, #06 – 8/29/13

//Vol. 20, #06 – 8/29/13

Dear Reader, in the Minneapolis Mayoral race 60 percent of voters are up in the air.
This number is high even though many folks don’t pay attention until after the Fair.
As for this issue we will steer clear of that confusing race.
We offer some news, events and summer reading to set a nice Labor Day pace.


Cameras, Lights, Action

School officials at Minneapolis Southwest High began the journey to light its athletic field, located in the already well-lit Pershing Park, in 1955. Back in those days funding was the issue; in more recent years neighbor opposition kept the home field a day game only proposition. A serious effort began anew three years ago and thanks to the support of Principal Bill Smith, the tenacity of Athletic Director Ryan Lamberty and the generous matching donation from Class of ’61 alum Harvey Feldman, tonight

[Thursday, August 29] the purple and white will play under the lights. A celebration of this accomplishment begins at 6:00. Comedian Liz Winstead, SWHS Class of 1979, will entertain the crowd, expected to be large, sharing some humorous memories including a heretofore unrevealed secret regarding her classmate Chuck Simpkins, he of Hubert W. White fame. Dorothy Benham, former Miss American and SW alumnus, will sing the national anthem. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. FFI http://southwest.mpls.k12.mn.us.

Help Out the Little Rug-er, Will Ya?

Another Southwest graduate made good looks to be headed towards greatness. Nate Augspurger, Class of 2008, is training in southern California with others hopeful of making the U.S. Olympic Rugby Seven squad. Nate recently returned from a successful series of matches in England with the New York City Sevens. The team took home “the plate” and Nate made quite a name for himself on and off the pitch. The little bastard, in addition to world class rugby skills, has a very unique charm and crazy good looks that caught the serious attention of the European press. As our official Online parent of an Olympic hopeful, Chuck Leer (yet another SW grad—yikes!) will tell you, serious training for these endeavors is a costly proposition. Although Nate, who played both at Southwest and with the highly successful Rugby Club at the University of Minnesota, has played professionally since graduating, he still needs support to make ends meet. Visit Nate’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/nateaugspurger, and then come back to this link if you are interested in helping support this special young athlete: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-nate-get-to-rio.

Can $39 Change Your Life?

We have touted the benefits of the GWERX exercise system developed by Phil Martens in past issues and we have had several readers take the road to better living the system offers. One of the system’s most voracious devotees is our own Nick Koch, he of HGA Architects and Firecracker of the Year award winner fame. This week 501 Fit, 501 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis, is featuring an introductory package in www.livingsocial.com. If you are not one inclined to use these sites, call Diane Broshka, 612-767-4415, or email info@501fit.com and ask for the deal. You’ll be glad you did.

Summer Reading…

Our call for suggestions for summer reading was at an all-time bust this season with just one formal submission from planning wizard David Albersman:

  • My wife Deb and I hit an antique store in Cook, Minnesota, on our way to a vacation on Lake Vermillion. I found a first edition of Sinclair Lewis’ “Elmer Gantry” and was able to talk the proprietor down from her $20 asking price to $19.75. It was the best $19.75 I have ever spent. I had no idea how rich Lewis’ prose is and could have read on and on simply for the imagery he paints and the emotions he evokes. It is the story of a handsome college athlete turned charlatan preacher. Across Gantry’s career he contributes to the downfall, even death of key people around him. While set in the Midwest of the early 1930s, Elmer Gantry is a analogous of today. He is Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or any one of the notorious TV evangelists who prey on people desperate for explanations for their own sad stories. Think Bachmann with the T-Party—read “Elmer Gantry.”
  • Finally, let us recommend a book soon to be published. Brian Lucas—journalist and public relations veteran now of public affairs with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health—will be celebrating the publication of “Here Comes the Sun: A Young Family’s Journey Through Cancer” on September 23 at the Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis. The book is the chronicle of a young father’s compassionate and heart-rending experiences as he learns that the love of his life has been diagnosed with a serious form of leukemia. Lucas’ daily journals on his wife Betsy’s CaringBridge site were poignant. They shared the difficulties and courage it takes to battle this disease and offered hope even in some very dark hours. We caught up with Brian and wife Betsy, coincidentally on the 8th anniversary of Betsy’s bone marrow transplant. We finally figured out what this charming and vivacious woman sees in her man; he hits the living crap out of a golf ball. We think it’s fair to say that he writes a pretty darn good book as well and hope to see you on the 23rd. FFI www.brianlucasauthor.com.


From Paul Melbostad:

I’m remiss in not applauding the appointment of Steve Cramer to head the Downtown Council. I can’t think of a better choice. My only fear is that replacing him at Project for Pride in Living is going to be a daunting task. As you know, when I was at the International Downtown Association, I pushed and prodded Minneapo- lis to create the Business Improvement District. Sarah Harris finally got that job done, and the downtown is so much better as a result. Now, with Steve’s leadership, downtown can move beyond “clean and safe” and solve some of the tough problems that still need attention.

I agree with you completely about honoring Allan Spear for his fight for LGBT equality long before it became politically popular. I will always be grateful that thanks to the McGovern campaign I got to know him. Thank God that Michelle Bachmann will be leaving soon. The last time I ordered a plant for my mother I was pleased that Bachman’s nursery disclaims any connection with her. I hope that Minnesota will be known for some decent politician soon instead of her. My first grade friend Jean Abby went to Winona State with Michelle and Marcus and says he used to be a decent person before he met her. I hope your family is all doing well. I’m just working hard trying to make money to make up for all the political contributions I made last fall to try to save our former progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors. Sadly, SF is becoming an expensive suburb for Silicon Valley.

From Aron Kahn:

A large pothole I did enter
About which I’m a venter.
It moved me to weep
It was so deep,
And had its own interpretive center.


By |2016-10-21T00:42:41-05:00August 29th, 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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