Though the National Night Out Party on the Theo Wirth Parkway was bigger, it was hard to find a better organized party with more varied activities than the one sponsored by Sondra Samuels on Hillside Avenue North. Sondra is the president of the Peace Foundation, which she co-founded with her husband, Don Samuels, and some other good folks. The Peace Foundation was recently credited with contributing to the dramatic drop in crime in Minneapolis, particularly North Minneapolis, where it has dropped 40 percent.
Here's a little tidbit that is well-known by word-of-mouth but perhaps not written on the internet, until now. Four years ago, Sondra became the president of the Peace Foundation because her husband, Don, had to resign because his political opponent--Natalie Johnson-Lee--made a big stink about his membership in the organization Don helped to create. Natalie would call and write and make demands that her name be removed as a supporter of the Peace Foundation. Yes, the same Peace Foundation credited recently with the drop in crime...god forbid, we wouldn't want to save any young teenage lives. (Sarcasm font)
Where was I? Oh, I could go for hours. But let's turn our attention to another one of the "political midgets" facing off against Don Samuels in this November's election, Roger Smithrud. Smithrud was seen wandering around all by his little bearded lonesome--like a lost garden gnome--in the middle of Sondra's party, while guests were treated to not only the usual barbeque and assorted foods but also...
...beanbag games, miniature golf, and a talented "jug band" playing old-timey music. All of this is pictured above, including Smithrud posing grandly in front of Don and Sondra's house instead of throwing his own National Night Out Party. Also, there is a picture of what might be the youngest person to attend this year's National Night Out, a baby only three days old...or at least his little footy-feet.
By the way, I listened as JACC Chair Kip Browne quizzed Smithrud about Smithrud's stance on the Park Board. Smithrud said the board should be "kept and independent." He then added, "I haven't totally looked into it but I don't want to see it part of the county." Well, maybe we'll hear more when Smithrud actually "looks into it."