Tag Archives: St. Paul

Global students in St. Paul: LEAP High School


Rose Santos, LEAP principal, with self-portraits created by LEAP students. 

“A cow will drink calf’s milk.” What does this proverb mean? On a sunny winter afternoon, eleven students from six different countries share proverbs from their own countries. They say the proverb first in the original language, then translate, and finally explain the meaning. The cow drinking calf’s milk? “When they get older, parents must depend on their children.”

The students discussing proverbs are among 272 students from 20 different countries enrolled at LEAP High School, a St. Paul public school that welcomes new immigrants who are 15-20 years old. They study a regular high school curriculum, in all-English-language classes, trying hard to cram 12 years of education into four or five or six.  Continue reading

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Filed under education, immigration, St. Paul Notes

Sanctuary: What it is, what it isn’t, why it’s important

Refugees welcome

Minnesotans demonstrate in support of refugees – 2015 (Photo by Mary Turck)

UPDATED 1/25/2017  When Donald Trump targeted “sanctuary cities,” threatening to cut off all federal funding, what was he talking about? Turns out – as usual – that the answer is more complex than the sound bite. Here’s a quick primer on sanctuary, both in misnamed “sanctuary cities” and in the real and resurgent sanctuary church movement – and a note on what Trump’s January 25 Executive Order fails to do.  Continue reading


Filed under human rights, immigration

Down-ballot: My picks in St. Paul and Minneapolis

ballot box graphic

A couple of people have asked me who I recommend voting for in down-ballot races. Down-ballot races make a huge difference in post-election life, which is to say, in all of our lives, every day of every year. So I’ve looked at my own sample ballot in St. Paul, and also at some Minneapolis races. For more on down-ballot races in general, see Voting down-ballot in Minnesota. For more on voting in general, see Vote – to answer the attack on democracy. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for St. Paul and Minneapolis voting:

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Filed under elections

St. Paul picks Eureka: Now let’s talk organics recycling


picking up recycling

Photo courtesy of Eureka Recycling

Eureka Recycling will continue as St. Paul’s recycling provider, the city announced June 24. That’s a big win for all of us in the city, as well as for the non-profit Eureka Recycling. After a lengthy contract process, the city rejected bids by the nation’s two biggest trash-and-recycling companies. So what comes next? Continue reading

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Filed under environment, St. Paul Notes

In sickness and in health: St. Paul stories


Fatuma Ali told about her old job, running a ride at the Mall of America. “I know what it’s like not to be able to leave the job,” she said. One day she was sick. “I had to stay at my ride for five hours, while being sick in the garbage can every 30 minutes,” she recalled. She had no sick time. If she had left her job, she said, she would have been fired. Continue reading

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Filed under health care, St. Paul Notes, work

Money, grit and Galtier: School news round-up

school busI devour school news — probably far more of it than is good for my mental health. Several recent stories seem especially worth noting:

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Filed under education, race, St. Paul Notes

You, Stephen Colbert, and St. Paul Public Schools


Today is #BestSchoolDay on donorschoose.org, and Stephen Colbert is leading dozens of celebrities in funding teacher requests for books and materials their classrooms need. Students in Mrs. Hall’s classroom at Como Park Elementary School need A-D leveled guided reading books for small-group instruction. Her students come from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds, and many speak English as a second language. You can click here to help buy books for Mrs. Hall’s students.   Continue reading

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Filed under education, St. Paul Notes

Organizing St. Paul: Trash and alley plowing on the agenda

Recycling ddustbins

Image via Fotolia: #80127845 | Author: vostal

Walking around my neighborhood, I counted the different names on garbage cans in a couple of alleys. One block had garbage cans belonging to seven different trash haulers. Another block had eleven. That’s eleven different trucks coming down the alley on different days of the week, every week, and that’s a feature of the current “open” system for trash pick-up. Rational? Efficient? Environmentally friendly? Not in my book. Continue reading

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Filed under St. Paul Notes

Recycling ride-along in St. Paul

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 6.45.12 PMLike Twins players, Eureka drivers star on trading cards. The back of Kirk Frauenhelm’s card reveals that he’s an avid gardener, has been driving for Eureka since 2010 and has picked up almost 10 million pounds of recycling. That’s an old card, so he’s well over the 10-million-pound mark now. Luckner Clerveus started just last year, and boasts only a little more than a million pounds picked up. Continue reading

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Filed under environment, St. Paul Notes, work

Getting the lead out — in Flint, in St. Paul and across the country

Freeway west from Pelham bridge.jpg

Twenty-some years ago, my kids tested with high lead levels. Ron and I were shocked and horrified. Before our oldest was born, we had tested the paint in the house – no lead. Tested the water – no lead. Tested for radon – no radon. Tested for every single thing we could think of, and everything came back safe. And now our children had high lead levels. Continue reading

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Filed under children, environment