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Political Matters
Peltier Denied Parole
Thursday, October 22 2009
 
Written by AP,
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I last saw Leonard Peltier on Jan. 15, 1985, at the federal prison in Springfield, Missouri. I traveled from the Twin Cities to Springfield, with photographer Dick Bancroft, for a one-hour interview with the American Indian Movement (AIM) activist.

 

Peltier  is serving two life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents in a June 26, 1975 shootout near the village of Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. An Indian man also died in the firefight.


Iron Range city council member Nevada Little Wolf someone to watch
Monday, September 21 2009
 
Written by Madeleine Baran,
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On a late afternoon in Virginia, Minnesota two years ago, Nevada Littlewolf sat nervously in her car outside city hall. She had thirty minutes left to decide whether to run for city council. If she won, she would be the first Native American woman on the small Iron Range city’s council. The current group had only one woman, and most members were over fifty years old.

It was Littlewolf’s thirty-first birthday, and her friends and family were waiting for her to show up to a party to celebrate. She didn’t know what to do. She had two young children with her partner Todd and was busy working as a guardian ad litem for children and families. And despite years of progressive community involvement, she had no experience as an elected official. She called her father for advice. “He told me, ‘What do you have to lose?’” Littlewolf said. She quickly thought it over, and went into the building to enter the race.

Newspapers in the downturn
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 
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Continuing with the economic theme this month, I got a large dose of depressing news while attending the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) conference last month in Evanston, Ill. In a nutshell, newspapers are struggling to survive as advertising revenues plummet.


 

Tim Pawlenty slashes funding
Tuesday, August 25 2009
 
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In the current economic downturn, millions of families and individuals are trying to cope with unemployment and home foreclosures. And as many people look to whatever is left of the governmental social safety net, at least 36 states are dealing with budget shortfalls by reducing social services, including those for some of their most vulnerable residents, according to a recent report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

The states have received some relief from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the $787 billion federal stimulus package; but the CBPP notes that the $140 billion in stimulus money for the states only fills about 40 percent of $350 billion to 370 billion shortfall they face over the next two-and-a-half years.

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