Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This Is An Open Comment Thread... (Summer Visitation 2009)

Photo By John Hoff

From time to time, individuals who frequent this blog have suggested the idea of an "open comment thread." Sometimes there is an urgent need to communicate certain neighborhood issues to the world at large, over the internet, but the particular JNS blog posts up near the top (where discussion tends to take place, not so much on older posts) may not have a relevant topic for the urgent discussion.

Despite that obstacle, sometimes very important "off topic" discussions have indeed taken place when readers just ignore the topic of the particular blog post and communicate something urgently, even using the blog as an organizing tool.

Two examples: Hawthorne's leadership learned 3007 3rd St. N. had fallen into the hands of a particularly evil slumlord and, another time, we made contact with a guy who was interested in buying a particular boarded house and transforming it. We're still working on helping him acquire that house.

My regular readers are well aware I'll try new things. So I'm posting this photo of my son attending "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" but readers can talk about whatever pressing topics they like.

As for myself...

...I'll talk about this movie I saw with my son.

First of all, it's pretty good for a sequel, just based upon one overwhelmingly important criteria: you don't need to see the first movie to understand the second one. Like, yeah yeah, the evil Decipticons are at war with the good-hearted Autobots, and humanity is caught in the middle. Again.

One of the best things about this movie is Megan Fox. Clearly, there must be large swaths of the script which only say things like, "Cut to Megan Fox's expressive face, pouty lips, sparkling eyes." And yet I find my heartstrings being ruthlessly played, because Fox's character does one thing so well: she loves her boyfriend, and they both have a distinctly American love affair with cars. I can sit there watching with my 12-year-old son and think, "If Alex had a girlfriend like that during his first year of college, I could believe his whole life would continue to go well."

Fox's semi-wholesome character doesn't have skimpy, revealing costumes. And she doesn't act all vampy-trampy except, well, maybe just once in the first scene in which she appears...but then you see the more complicated layers of her character being swiftly peeled away and revealed: this incredibly hot girl cares about her troubled father. She's trying to keep the family business running. She cares about FAMILY. That's what makes her a good girlfriend, not merely the fact she's smoking hot.

The most heartbreaking scene of the movie is when she's waiting for a live video chat...and her boyfriend never shows up. Some evil Decepticon taking on human form has...well, I don't want to spoil the movie, but let's just say there are times when the internal alien probe doesn't look all bad.

One of the WORST things about "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is surely the goofy twin autobots who deliver one liners like, "That's because you a pussy." These characters are (pardon my geek speak) the autobot equivalent of Jar Jar Binks and Wesley Crusher. How do the makers of movies and television shows manage--time and time again--to deliver characters which are supposed to amuse and inspire, and yet merely annoy?

But my kid liked it. And he wants to see it again and again and again...


Anonymous said...

I've read excerpts of the lawsuit and its claims. Is there any chance Jill Clark is just trying to do her own parody of an actual lawsuit?

I heard about how you were quite confrontational towards Hofstede at the last Hawthorne Housing meeting she attended, where residents spoke about the need to have the ability to search public records with the property owner as a search criteria.

I guess I just wonder, if CM Hofstede took the stand in this case, would she call you her "chum"?

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that Lt. Rugel has been reassigned. Hope his replacement is as responsive as he has been.

Anonymous said...

How DOES one go about getting on the waiting list for a Jill Clarke lawsuit defendants' list? It definitely appears to be the "in" thing to do on the northside lately.

And apparently, with the frequency of suits, the waiting list CAN'T be that long. I mean, the old majority HAS to be running out of names at some point in the near future.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Dennis M Plante

Johnny Northside said...

To the second anonymous: God help us. I don't know what we'll do without Rugel. Let the lobbying to STOP THIS REASSIGNMENT begin immediately...

As for the previous comment: can anybody help out Dennis Plante?

Anonymous said...

Definitely has to be a "quality of life" decision that people like Jill Clarke, Jerry Moore and Ben Myers choose to reside in the Twin Cities, instead of someplace like S Florida.

It's a much more litigious society here and they'd make a much better income in their chosen "profession" of frivilous lawsuits.

Jill? Ben? Jerry? Are you reading this? It's a gold mine down here compared to NOMI.

dennis m plante

Anonymous said...

Johnny Northside said...

"The only comments I decline to publish are as follows":

"2.) A personal attack which is ONLY a personal attack, and not tied to any issue, and (on top of that) foul."

Well, besides the fact that you just called a man a 'scumlord' in one of today's posts, we all know you allow folks to get real personal in their attacks, and the 'issue' is quite often secondary to the attacks. Someone actually wrote very eloquently to this point at the end of a long thread recently, and I hope you repost this so that the 'substantive' dialogue about your own journalistic standards can reach new heights:

To Johnny Northside & all persons commenting,

Good morning,

Within the past week I have been visiting the blog and viewing the comments posted with regards to Mr. Moore and Mr. Kestner. I've read alarming statements and seen the frustration. I woke up very early this morning thinking about this situation and wondered how the lives of those involved have been affected. If I am loosing sleep, how are the ones accused and judged in your blog doing? How are you doing? You get to play, but at what cost? I see much negativity and ill-will that serves us all badly.

For instance, statements that include: possibly, allegedly, point of view, remains in question, I feel, could have been, not confirmed, unconfirmed, if, probably, might be, may, and he might do, all depict doubt and the opposite of fact. We can not act on what people might do, but on what they are doing. Yes, keep a watchful eye with the proper channels. Call out the actual misdeeds. And when they are officially dealt with, be proactive and move forward.

To mention Mr. Moore, Mr. Kestner and a pedophile in the same sentence is beyond reprehensible. Do you understand what you are insinuating? This is shameful and I have real concern that you understand how shameful it is. Not to mention the terms asshole, cold, manipulative, sad human being, and stupid. I think it is you as a collective that know not what they do. Is this what you allude to as substantive discussions? These blog writings do not come from a brilliant pen as they did for Bob Dylan. Let's leave him out of these inferior rants.

To suggest that Mr. Moore's employment options are limited and then cite these limitations as being a manager trainee, selling insurance, or enlisting in the military is INSULTING. Many people, with or without a college degree, have these types of occupations. Could some of them live in your neighborhood? It serves me no good, nor is it my business to know that Mr. Moore has been denied unemployment benefits. That is a private matter. Since when did how many kids you have, or with whom become considerations for employment? And why is this an accepted topic to freely blog about?

We are all witnessing this type of "information" flowing feely like water. It may be free but it carries great influence and even greater repercussions. Where is the responsibility and accountability? Is it hiding within your computers?

A question that pertains to one of the issues at hand is how do you elicit change from within if the talent to do so is not present? This is not meant as an insult, but a suggestion that outside perspective and influence, from areas that have proven success, is wise. Even those with the greatest intentions need guidance. This should be welcomed in harmony and partnership with the ones it serves.

I toiled with whether or not to post my comment anonymously. I truly wanted to express my thoughts in the open but this witch-hunt keeps me from doing that. This disappoints me on many levels. What I wonder is if my words can be truly read and understood. Can we take the time to "listen" before responding with additional noise.

In hopes of a better future, I wish you well.

June 27, 2009 8:51 AM

Anonymous said...

As long as we've got an open thread going, the hilltop at Farview Park is a great place to watch fireworks from. Perhaps we could get together there on the 4th?


Megan G. said...

A message for Councilman Don Samuels office:

If you see a street that is in need of cleaning/litter patrol - call his office and he will get a crew out there the next day.

If you are having a block party and want your street cleaned before hand, give him a call.

5th ward office 612-673-2205

Jordan Neighbor said...

Attention All Readers: If you want to help contribute to the revitalization of North Minneapolis - do the following:

Call the corporate media contacts listed below. Tell them that one of their work trucks from PRAXAIR was seen at a known prostitute house waiting at the curb while a known prostitute walked to the truck and climbed in the passenger seat. This occurred on Wed 7/1 at
1:50 pm. The truck was white with the green PRAXAIR logo on the side. The truck had enclosed comparents that rose up above the truck bed. The license plate started with T8----- (could not see the rest)

Tell them that we'd better not see any more trucks in our neighborhood picking up prostitues. This house is under surveillance and it will be nothing to snap pictures and flood the web with PRAXAIR trucks and prostitutes.

Nigel Muir Tel.: 203-837-2240

Susan Szita Gore Tel.: 203-837-2311

Ruthann Kidd Tel.: 203-837-2051

Reply back here and let us know who you talked to and how the conversation went.

Jordan Neighbor said...

Oh yeah, did I mention the house address was 2700 Morgan Ave N???

That's the EWPU house.

Johnny Northside said...

Thank you, Jordan Neighbor. I'll make a call right this minute and let you know how it went.

Johnny Northside said...

So, since I approved the comment I also had access to the comment first, which allowed me to be the first to call the company.

I spoke to Nigel...he seemed far more concerned about the fact this stuff was ON MY BLOG than what I was saying. He asked me, "Why didn't somebody contact me first, if you had my email address?" Or words to that effect.

I said, "Have you ever lived in North Minneapolis?" He snapped, "What does THAT have to do with anything?" I said, well, maybe if you let me explain and articulate, I'll tell you what it has to do with anything. Nigel went into listening mode for a second.

I told him we are sick of the prostitution in our neighborhood. We try different tactics. But we're getting fed up and we've lost patience.

I made it clear I didn't post the information to my blog but the deal is, I let people go ahead and post stuff. So the information is just up there. The deed is done. But what's it matter? Are we supposed to tip toe around the corporate tulips, quietly send emails, keep the embarrassment to the company out of the public eye when WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS ALL THE TIME IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

Words very much like that, I said.

And then Nigel hung up on me.

Well, first he called me a pain in the neck. He has a suble limey accent, like a generic can of Sprite, and he said, "You're a pain in the neck, ahhhren't you?"

I told him, "That's right, I'm a professional pain in the neck."

Anonymous said...

"A question that pertains to one of the issues at hand is how do you elicit change from within if the talent to do so is not present? This is not meant as an insult, but a suggestion that outside perspective and influence, from areas that have proven success, is wise."

In all fairness, I believe that if there was a shread of evidence that any of these "outside influences" had a track record of demonstrated success they'd be welcomed at JACC and in NOMI.

Please share with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Plant a Community Garden!

Date: Friday, July 10, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Northeast corner of 26th Ave. N. and Knox Ave. N.

Please join Tree Trust, the Jordan Area Community Council and your neighbors to revitalize the Jordan Area Community Garden!

From July 7-9, a crew will get the site ready for planting by transplanting a tree, moving some perennials, tilling up weeds and leveling the soil. The crew is part of Tree Trust’s Young Adult Conservation Corps, which is a paid employment training program that helps young adults build transferable job skills while they maintain and improve parks and public spaces in Hennepin County.

On Friday, July 10, you and your neighbors are invited to work with the crew to install 200 plants and make a big impact on your local environment. No experience is necessary – Tree Trust staff will be on site to provide a brief training and answer any questions you have throughout the day. People of all ages are welcome.

Because lunch will be provided, pre-registration by Wednesday, July 8 is required. Please contact Jessica Schneider at or 651-644-5800 x 120 to register for the event or request additional information.

This project is made possible by Tree Trust, the Jordan Area Community Council and the Pohlad Family Foundation.

Anonymous said...

Johnny you seam to have found a way to insert yourself right into the middle of a battle that is not yours. These factions have been duking it out in JACC and all of northside for years now. Why all of a sudden is it your battle? Is it that you care or are you just looking for some publicity for your movie and your blog? What do you really care about? why don't you find your own material to use and leave these battles to the parties that are involved.

Jordan Neighbor said...

RE: Praxair truck & prostitute.

I called and spoke with Nigel. After speaking with Johnny, Nigel had already called their head of security in Buffalo NY and filled him in on the "minneapolis situation" as he referred to it.

I explained in detail what I saw. Nigel listened. He said he would like me to talk to Bill, the head security guy, and he said that he is not sure how they will figure out exactly which truck was seen in the neighborhood but that the company in no way condones this type of behavior and will do everything they can to figure out who it was and take the necessary steps and consequences.

I also told him that the house is under surveillance and he should be expecting a call from EWPU. ewww!! puuuu!

I will get in touch with Bill the security guy and if anything interesting, will keep this blog updated.

Johnny Northside said...

I (heart) Jordan Neighbor.

To the anonymous poster above: I read you but I'm ignoring you.

However, in regard to the Johnny Northside movie project (!!!!!!) check out the link on my blog roll to find out more about THAT.

The Mortgage Geek said...

John may ignore the anonymous poster, but I won't (this time, at least).

To wit: About a week ago, I happened to be driving past a known drug-dealing house in north Minneapolis. I saw a young man leave the house, looking at something in his hand (typical drug behavior, they get their stuff and HAVE to look at it). He got on his bike, and I followed him to an area known by the community as a place where drug deals happen.

I then saw him attempt to flag down several cars. At this point, I called 911 and gave a very detailed description of this young man, his bike, clothing, and the location of both the house he came from and the area he was now in.

Drug dealers and cops have been duking it out in this area for years, and one way we're going to change this is by having active, law-abiding citizens "insert themselves" into this "battle." Was this particular battle mine? Well, I took action that made it so, and I'll keep on doing this until WE WIN.

Anonymous said...

U can't lead the people if you SUE the people....

Hey Jerry! Hey Ben! Does that sound familiar to you???

Anonymous said...

BTW, did the Praxair truck have diamond shaped placards on it? Those placards indicate that the truck is carrying HazMat. A truck carrying HazMat has no business deviating from route into a residential area. If anyone sees a truck with HazMat placards where it shouldn't be, please record the number on the placard or at least the color- those numbers tell what kind of Hazmat the truck is carrying. BTW, if Praxair is uncooperative, a lot of their customers are hospitals who would be inclined to pull their business if they learned that Praxair's trucks were stopping at whore houses and such on the way to their hospital.


Jordan neighbor said...

Dyna - I don't believe the PRAXAIR truck had a hazmat diamond, but it dam sure was carrying hazmat material - THE PROSTITUTE!!!!


Johnny Northside said...

More people are saying the Rugel thing is true. Damn it.

Anonymous said...


Regarding Nigel, I think he's right. Why NOT contact him first before you publish criticisms to a blog? It's not as if the conduct of one fool employee should reflect poorly on the whole company, if they're given a proactive opportunity to address the problem employee. The old saying rings true more often than not: You can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

Also, you said: "I made it clear I didn't post the information to my blog but the deal is, I let people go ahead and post stuff. So the information is just up there." Well, stuff doesn't go to the comments unless you allow it, so this isn't exactly a true statement. Just sayin', if you want to develop credible and respectful methods of addressing issues, it's up to you to practice them consistently.

Anyway, thanks for allowing my two cents.

Anonymous said...

One of the comments said:

"In all fairness, I believe that if there was a shread of evidence that any of these "outside influences" had a track record of demonstrated success they'd be welcomed at JACC and in NOMI.

Please share with all of us."

Are you kidding me? There are so many people who have moved here from successful, prosperous neighborhoods just in the Twin Cities, let alone elsewhere, in the last few years. Just because some haven't engaged them doesn't mean they don't exist and wouldn't like an opportunity to be a part of a cohesive positive movement for change. Key word here is COHESIVE.

It's time to address the fact that there's way too much infighting in North Minneapolis. Too many gatekeepers and spokespersons who busy themselves taking shots at others. Too many people here are involved in various organizations and neighborhood work to feed their own egos and power/money aspirations, and have lost sight of the primary goal of fostering a better community, even if it means very few will ever know of their good work. This creates an anchor around the efforts of those who are guided by selfless intentions, and who consistently produce good results, oftentimes just by spreading simple things.... like happiness. This is not a black/white thing, or a rich/poor thing. It's a teamwork thing. Teamwork is what we desperately need, and those who've come from other areas where they expect no less are certainly welcome, in my book.

And yes, some in JACC and the NoMi 'movement' need to wake up and realize they have created much of the 'noise' that the original commenter referenced. New and old majority alike, JACC has been slinging mud at each other at the expense of many for far too long. There are no saints on either side of the fence. Meanwhile, for a supposed positive grassroots marketing initiative, many who wave the NoMi banner are often heard trashing others with similar interests in promoting the Northside.

So I say bring on the new crowd. Ignore those whose success has to come at someone else's failure. Bring your talents, your enthusiasm, your work ethic, your experience and above all, your patience.... because you're going to need it around here.

Having said all that, I truly believe, as MLK said, that we will get there.

Peace to all, and have a great holiday weekend...

Johnny Northside said...

To the poster commenting about Nigel and the company vehicle at the whorehouse...

If it were me, I'd call the company first. I did that with Junaid the sex offender working for the courier company.

But I'm not going to refuse to publish a comment when I went and created the open forum. And, well, despite busting a truck driver at 3020 6th St. N., it appears the word hasn't gotten out not to bring whoring to North Minneapolis. Maybe it's time to try a less tactful tactic.

Anonymous said...

How do you know the poster is telling the truth about the Praxair truck? I think an open forum is still worthy of some responsibility for determining the truthfulness of the case before pushing an innocent business in front of the bus due to the actions of one employee. Not saying the original poster is lying but how do you KNOW? If I owned a company with countless trucks and drivers i'd feel it extremely irresponsible putting my name out there before notice is given to the company that the deed occurred.

Johnny Northside said...

I happen to know that poster personally even though the post was anonymous.

As for the company under the bus, etc., WHAT ABOUT MY NEIGHBORHOOD? This has been going on FOREVER. How long are we supposed to act like, oh, we need to be oh-so-polite and careful when COMPANY TRUCKS show up in our neighborhood and frequent the WHOREHOUSE that our public officials have failed to shut down? (Though they are trying, god bless them)