Monday, May 18, 2009

Strategic Retreat At 3020 6th St. N., Crackhouse/Whorehouse/Portal To Hell...

Photo By John Hoff

The no-account druggie crowd at 3020 6th St. N. was seen evacuating tonight, leaving of their own free will rather than waiting for police to show up. They loaded mattresses aboard a multi-colored truck, and drove away, but didn't get far...they ended up at 3007 3rd St. N.

3020 6th St. N. has been the one remaining piece of the Eco Village "cluster development" puzzle. Once this house is evacuated--not due to police action so much as foreclosure--all the other development plans were expected to fall into place. The presence of an actual CRACK HOUSE in the middle of the plan has been a constant fly in our ointment...but I'm told "Lord Of The Flies" is one name for the devil, and it has long been our opinion that The Devil owns this house.

One fear in the neighborhood--an entirely reasonable fear--is the crackheads associated with 3020 3rd St. N. will set up a new "headquarters" at 3007 3rd St. N.

Luckily, witnesses saw the whole thing and even took pictures for police and housing inspectors. We can truthfully tell public officials about seeing furniture pulled out of "3020" and trucked right over to "3007," even though "3007" is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE OCCUPIED RIGHT NOW.

This looks like a job for "The Hawthorne Hawkman."

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"True JACC" Lawsuit In The Jordan Neighborhood: Game Show Champ David Haddy Plays A Round Of "To Tell The Truth"

Photo By John Hoff 

It seems like Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark doesn't want the proceeding to ever end in the increasingly pointless "True JACC" lawsuit for control of the Jordan Neighborhood Association.

See, once the hearing finally ends, and Judge Porter rules, it seems quite likely the golden era of delusion by the "Old Majority" Kool Aid Cult will come to an end, and harsh reality will descend like delirium tremens. So--like a condemned man who can linger for a moment over a savory last meal, who can pause and not speak his last words, but rather feel his heart beating with life while everybody waits for him to speak, then be forever silent--the attorney for the "Old Majority" plaintiffs appears content to let everybody live in the court room, day after day, hashing over events on the "nominations committee," dissecting every nuance of the election with one underlying desire constantly present, constantly apparent...

DO OVER! Oh, god, NO FAIR! We weren't ready! DO OVER!!!!!!

But even if you can't get a "do over," you can be heard. You can make the record. You can shriek out your frustrated desires and the cosmic injustice of it all, and air wild accusations of plots to "gentrify" North Minneapolis, this gentrification somehow intricately linked to the concept of having houses with PEOPLE INSIDE OF THEM rather than sitting empty, and boarded up. Since when did gentrification become synonymous with OCCUPIED?

"New Majority" Board Member David Haddy was the first on the stand. A stout, bearded man with an ultra-smart, super-geek personality (he once won $50,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) Haddy was respectful and cooperative with Jill Clark, but Clark's questions led openings for answers like, "If you consider a majority of people voting a certain way to be a coup d'etat."

Haddy discussed the telephonic meeting of January 15, called because equipment, records, Blackberries, financial records and, oh gee, the CHECKBOOK had gone missing. Secretary Anne McCandless had called people for a meeting, and considered the situation an emergency.

Physical appearances had changed, slightly, with the attorneys. Jill Clark looked like a big, not-so-delicious chunk of key lime pie with an oddly-colored jacket, accentuated with a "Star of David" necklace which drew a conciliatory compliment from Kelly Browne. For one bright, shining moment, the plaintiff attorney and the wife of the "New Majority" chairman were just a couple of chicks talking about jewelry. Therefore, should this blogger make a goodwill gesture and say Jill's key lime jacket could have--quite possibly--been delicious if only one might TRY a little piece?

Nahhhhhhhh.

Word was that David Schooler's wife forced him to run right out and get a haircut after reading my blog coverage. I had a sneaking suspicion she was equally responsible for her husband's tasteful baby blue tie.

But back to Haddy's testimony. Reflecting a theme which emerged with earlier witnesses, Haddy spoke of being forced to prove his property ownership, despite living right across the street from Kip Browne, the Chair of the Nominations Committee. There would be none of this "Oh, I know him, he's cool." If you wanted to be on the ballot, you had to complete the necessary steps.

Haddy talked about the "melee" with Jerry Moore on January 12. Near the moment when the "Jacc fracas" started, Haddy was talking to blogger journalist Anna Pratt, saying it was too bad the elections went so smoothly and there weren't any fireworks to report upon.

That was when they both heard the yelling. Haddy ran over in time to see Jerry Moore strike Board Member P.J. Hubbard full in the face, knocking off his glasses. Immediately, numerous cell phones were whipped out.

Clark asked if Haddy witnessed anything done to "provoke" Jerry Moore.

No, Mr. Moore threw the punch, Haddy said. Half a dozen people "broke it up." There was profanity from Mr. Moore. Haddy's attention was turned to Ally Wagner, the daughter of Denny Wagner, who was in tears.

Soon after, a vote was held in closed session to terminate Jerry Moore. Haddy distinctly recalls Anne McCandless saying the board should terminate Moore and live with the consequences, rather than be "blackmailed."

Right about then I was seated near Jerry Moore, and one of the plaintiffs--Dokor Dejvongsa--asked Jerry Moore who I was. Jerry Moore introduced me as "The black people hater, Gentrification Johnny."

"That's a terrible thing to say," I said to Moore, in a reproachful tone, and wrote something on my notepad to point out this conversation was on the record. It was only a few hours later Moore would take the stand and deny he ever told Kip Browne that "You like to kiss the white man's ass."

But back to Haddy. David Haddy testified that he was a witness to the fact E.B. Brown made a "concession speech," and also pointed out that Kip Browne's first official act, as chair, was to nominate E.B. Brown for Vice Chair. Haddy wouldn't characterize what happened as a coup d'etat. No, rather, it was majority rule.

Haddy testified the "New Majority" didn't know where the missing checkbook went. At that moment, Jill Clark turned to Jerry Moore and grinned. What a shame court room spectator sections aren't equipped with vomit bags.

Copping a phrase directly from blog coverage, Haddy said the new board members were doing everything they could to "keep the lights on." Haddy talked about getting the "Clean Sweep" neighborhood spring cleaning going again, after a hiatus which, according to one source, lasted "two or three years."

But, you know, some folks consider picking up litter in the street to be "gentrification."

Haddy characterized "Old Majority" fears about housing incentives as concerns that "white people would get the money." In response to a question by Jill Clark about whether there was a plan to have new elections for board officers, David Haddy answered, simply, "Yes."

A break came right about then. Somebody introduced Melony Michaels--the wife of identity theft victim John Foster--to City Councilman Don Samuels.

"SOMEBODY stole her husband's identity," said Kelly Browne, LOUDLY, not to Don Samuels but to the rapidly-retreating backside of Jerry Moore, "And SOMEBODY made $5,000 off that deal!"

Sigh. World peace wasn't exactly busting out in Room 1853, Hennepin County Government Center.

Though the testimony of David Haddy was calm, cooperative, non-confrontational...still raw, throbbing emotion hung in the air, like the sound of random gunfire in North Minneapolis. 

But YOU KNOW what it would mean to rid North Minneapolis of random gunfire. Gee, that would be...

GENTRIFICATION!!!!!!! 

Strong, Brave "Atlas Pillar" Gets Much-Needed Reinforcements At The $7,900 NoMi House...

Photo By John Hoff 

Realtor and historical preservationist Connie Nompelis--she of the $7,900 house bargain in the Farview Park Historical District, which she calls the "Hawthorne Princess"--recently obtained some old porch pillars. Currently, Connie's entire porch at "The Princess" is miraculously supported by one lone, strong pillar, which this blog nicknamed the "Atlas Pillar."

The "Atlas Pillar" moniker seems to have caught on, as evidenced by the fact CONNIE uses it and, hey, it's her house. She can call it whatever she wants.

The old, used pillars Connie obtained don't quite match the one remaining pillar, however....

Connie has a quirky, creative idea about leaving the "Atlas" pillar in place, and actually painting the "reinforcement" pillars in such a way as to emphasize the fact they are different than the original remaining pillar.

Hey, it's HER HOUSE. She can do whatever she wants, within the law.

And, really, isn't that the wonder of home ownership? NoMi is the place where you can fix, flip, renovate, restore, and express all that "This Old House" creativity just dammed up in your soul, all at an incredible bargain.

"True JACC" Lawsuit Quickie Update

Stock Photo By John Hoff

Jerry Moore took the stand today in the dispute over which group is the "True JACC" leadership of the Jordan Neighborhood. Moore was questioned by Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark, and then cross examination began by Defense Attorney David Schooler, who quickly caught Jerry Moore in some rather blatant contradictions.

The hearing ended at 4:30, so Moore is expected to be on the stand first thing Tuesday morning, starting at 9:30, Room 1853 of the Hennepin County Government Building, court room of The Honorable Judge Porter.

In addition, "New Majority" Board Member David Haddy testified, as well as "Old Majority" stalwart Dokor Dejvongsa, who is the, um....law partner of Ben Myers. Yeah, that part for sure.

Present in the courtroom was Al Flowers--who didn't stay long, however, nor create any kind of loud and embarrassing incident--and Melony Michaels, wife of identity theft victim John Foster, whose identity was stolen to pull off a mortgage fraud deal at 1564 Hillside Ave. N., a deal in which $5k came from the seller's side (Keith Reitman) and ended up with Jerry Moore. Yeah, it was quite something to watch the looks being exchanged between Jerry and Melony.

Much was said by Moore about the alleged anti-black people, pro-gentrification agenda of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. 

Full details are, as they say, in the hopper. Have faith, and remember...bloggers gotta eat, too. Did I mention this blog having a PayPal button? Yeah, I think it's come up before.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Polishing Up A "Diamond In The Rough" At The $7,900 House Of Connie Nompelis...






Photos By John Hoff

Getting an incredible bargain on an antique house in NoMi and having a wine-n-cheese party is the fun part. After that comes a lot of work and a lot of expenses.

If part of the point of buying the house was to support neighborhood revitalization, then it's important to start changing things for the better within the first few days, even if these are just minor cosmetic changes. So it was I found myself helping out at the $7,900 house of Connie Nompelis (No-buhl-iss, it's Greek) in the days after the housewarming party, click here for some details, oh, and also click here.

It's amazing how what looks like a...

...relatively minor amount of leaves in a yard of modest size filled up the truck bed of a Ford F-150 three times. I pulled a good amount of firewood into a pile, too, some of which we burned last night at the birthday party of Jeff Skrenes, (parody alert) just starting to get his life back through physical therapy after a dramatic and bizarre mishap involving unwanted phone books "power dumped" by Dex.

There were certain things I found in the yard I figured Connie might want to glance at, since these fragments are sort of like history of the house. An old, rusted metal "dream catcher" turned up at the end of my rake. What dreams did it once catch? What new dreams is it catching now? I also found a bizarre device--clearly a corkscrew, but ten times the size of a regular corkscrew, apparently made to uncork something of vat-like size. What on earth?

Well, since NoMi revitalization forces tend to drink a lot more wine than beer, I figured the gigantic corkscrew was some kind of good omen. I left it on the porch for Connie to examine, since it was the history of HER house, and I was just working there like a peon performing manual labor on her hacienda. (Si, Senorita Nompelis)

Other pieces of "ersatz archeology" were minor, but told a story that flashed as quickly as an internet pop up: a child's black and red cloth glove, beneath a bag of leaves that hadn't moved for a year. A busted piece of a lug wrench, in the alley near the garage, right where you would change a tire. Personally, I find it helpful to put some WD-40 on a lug nut before loosening, but some people have to learn automotive repair lessons the hard way.

In a narrow, neglected space between the house and the ugly chain link fence (but ugly only in the sense ALL chain link is ugly) was an incredible accumulation of pet food cans. Clearly, somebody would feed the a cat or dog on the porch, and then just toss the empty pet food can between the house and the fence.

Here are some other things I found:

# Plenty of plastic baggies. (Sarcasm font) No doubt evidence of lovingly-packed bag lunches for "Straight A" students.

# A brown hair extension left in the yard. In that moment, one pictures a scene...people in the back yard, drinking and smoking dope. Words are exchanged. "Bitch," comes the declaration. "I will RIP YOUR HAIR OUT!!!!"

But the declaration was incorrect. It wasn't REALLY her hair.

# What I thought at first was some kind of tree root, but it was an old string of Christmas lights. Here's valuable advice: You can't compost Christmas lights. They are NOT bio-degradable.

# Numerous fossilized chicken bones, from millions of years ago when primordial fowl were the undisputed masters of what is now Farview Park, their only formidable foe being Pitbullasaurus.

# A phone book, exposed so long to rain and sunshine that it was becoming compost and could, arguably, turn into a tree again, given a few more years and a lot of hard work by the worms.

Thanks, Dex, for MESSING UP OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WITH YOUR UNWANTED PHONE BOOKS. YOU SUCK.

Did I mention the nearly-fatal injuries to our Housing Director? Oh, yeah, I think I did. Much more on THAT later.

The picture at the bottom shows Connie's apple tree. It is almost but not quite dead. A few branches are putting out buds. My theory is the tree, if cut down, will spring up new shoots and the tree will replace itself, but Connie says cutting up the dead tree is not really a priority, right now.

It's her house. She can do what she wants with it. And, really, isn't that the point of home ownership? A man is a king, a woman is a queen, though their kingdom be small. These kind of incredible bargains are to be had all over NoMi.

Jennifer The House Flipper Works Her Magic At 3114 Knox Ave. N.





Contributed Photos By Either Jennifer Olstad Or Jeanie Hoholik


Somebody loan this woman a million dollars on easy terms!

I say Jennifer The Flipper needs to stop transforming one HOUSE at a time, and buy up ENTIRE CITY BLOCKS to renovate and revitalize. If only North Minneapolis (NoMi) could somehow multiply Jennifer's work exponentially, this one-woman force of revitalization could usher in a golden era of urban utopia VIRTUALLY ALL BY HERSELF...

Jennifer's latest creation is 3114 Knox Ave. N., pictured above in a "before and after" fashion. Here's some of the things Jennifer wrote about the challenges of transforming this property:

# On the front of the house, what you can't see is the porch was pulled away about three inches from the rest of the house. Now, it's gone.

# On the back of the house, the "balcony" is actually at the top of the stair landing. Nice place for a balcony. Now it's a window, not a door.

# In the living room, there was a closet strangely placed in the middle of the room. I got rid of the closet and added a 1/2 bath at the main level.

# I had to completely gut the kitchen. There was wallpaper on top of paneling on top of wallpaper. It was bad.

# In the upstairs bedroom, apparently somebody thought it was a good idea to let their kid finger paint on top of wallpaper.

# In the upstairs bathroom, there was so much rotted wood we had to replace EVERYTHING.

# We found some newspapers from 1929 at this property. There were some advertisements like dresses for 10 cents.

Johnny Northside says: Oh, the more things change, the more they stay the same, my dear. I bet it's still possible to buy a dress made in 1929 for a mere ten cents.

If anybody is interested in this house, best to contact Jennifer Olstad's Realtor, Jeanie Hoholik, click here for a link to Jeanie's blog.

Annshalike Hamilton Murder REMAINS UNSOLVED, Bus Stop Used To Raise Awareness...

Contributed Photo

I'd heard a persistent rumor of a bus stop advertisement being used to raise awareness about the unsolved murder of Annshalike Hamilton, but only recently did I receive an image from one of my readers.

The point of the bus stop advertisement being to keep the case alive, to raise awareness, to urge those with information to contact the police...well, clearly that's something I want to amplify on this blog.


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"True JACC" Lawsuit In The Jordan Neighborhood: Never A Moment's Rest For The "New Majority" Fiduciaries...

Flickr.com Photo

I witnessed an interesting scene in the hallway outside Judge Porter's court the other day, which I only avoided blogging about because, well, the mere mention of "IRS 990 Form" is likely to make some readers lose consciousness, and I'm trying SO HARD to entertain readers now that I have the new site meter and PayPal button.

It turns out another thing the "Old Majority" leadership failed to do in the Jordan Neighborhood (like there wasn't enough stuff, already) was to take care of IRS Form 990 which is, like, really important...

Word now comes that the form has been filed at the last minute. In fact, I had knowledge of a "New Majority" member making phone calls out in the hallway during a few days court, making sure the 990 got filed. I witnessed an interesting scene as Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark walked by...and the phone conversation went silent because, obviously, the defendants are NOT going to spill any important, substantive info in front of Jill Clark...whose self-important, sweeping walk is oddly reminiscent of Darth Vader.

However, now I see from the Jordan Livability blog (click here for a link) the all-important 990 form did indded get filed. In fact, a recent blog post shows a "laundry list" of stuff happening under a functioning, mostly-cohesive JACC board.

It should be noted this is NOT a rubber stamp board, even if they might all be characterized as the "New Majority" JACC faction. They have some very wide-ranging discussions, and the votes are not always unanimous.

When not busy fighting the retrograde hold-out "Kool Aid Cult" Old Majority faction in court, the "New Majority" is getting a lot of stuff done. But, yeah, tomorrow (Monday) it will be back to court. There are rumors of new, highly-interested parties being in the court room (1853, Judge Porter) to watch the anticipated testimony of former JACC Executive Director Jerry Moore.

Enough said for now.

Al Flowers Promises More "Lie-berries" But Comes In Third In Two-Way Race With Mayor Rybak...

Contributed Photo, And Thank God For That

The Star Tribune kept an oh-so-straight face today when reporting on the results of the recent citywide DFL convention, which handily endorsed Mayor Rybak up against only Al "I-Am-The-Community" Flowers, charitably described in the STrib as a "community activist" but widely regarded as an unstable nutcase heckler-at-large.

A little birdie sent me some of the more entertaining details of the convention, stuff that didn't make it into the STrib like, oh gee, the actual freaking vote numbers.

Here they are...

Mayor R.T. Rybak, 75 Percent (591 votes)
No Endorsement, 16.2 Percent (128 votes)
Al FLowers, 8.8 Percent (69 votes)

My source put it this way: Al Flowers must have been running as some kind of anti-anti-establishment candidate, because he lost to the anti-establishment "No Endorsement" vote.

Reportedly, during his speech, Al Flowers talked about building "lie-berries." One participant in the convention, texting at that moment, wondered if the "lie-berries" would be for the "medium income" (sic) people Al Flowers often talks about. This bout of texting during the speech of Al Flowers caused fears among a handful of delegates that they might pee their pants laughing.

I was told (but have not confirmed it) this is the first time in the history of Minneapolis that a "question and answer session" has been skipped at this kind of convention. To which I say: those who say "first time in history" are usually talking about their own historical memory, and assuming or inferring much from that. When an actual historian tells me, then I might believe it. They say those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it, but so often "repeat it" just means "repeat what somebody else said about it."

Johnny Northside approaches all "first time in history" claims with deep cynicism.

In any case...

Hopefully, Al Flowers will stay in the race for comic relief, which is sorely needed during this recession.

ADDENDUM: Total ballots, 788. Spoiled ballots, 14.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"True JACC" Lawsuit In The Jordan Neighborhood: Desperate Delay Tactics, Robert Hodson's Sharp Mouth Versus Jill Clark's Twitchy FACE...

Flickr.com Photo

Testimony last week in the "True JACC" lawsuit (Old versus New Majority) ended with the testimony of treasurer Robert Hodson, who wouldn't give Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark an inch. Clark's feeble attempts to (apparently) prove some kind of financial impropriety only managed to do the opposite...

Hodson painted a picture of a JACC organization desperately trying to pay debts left unpaid, accumulated and piled up under Jerry Moore and the "Old Majority." The "New Majority" has been trying to keep the lights on and do the right thing, financially, despite not being in possession of financial records which were whisked away in the dark and dead of night, after two different elections under the rule of law drastically changed neighborhood leadership.

Hodson's appearance on the stand started with drama: Jill Clark, lacking any plaintiff witnesses except Steve Jackson (who had already been used up on the stand, and was now sitting in the "bride side" spectator section) was apparently grasping at straws to pull off some kind of delay, and she appeared to look at the "New Majority" crowd on the "groom side" and calculate who, exactly, wasn't there.

And, at that moment, Treasurer Robert Hodson wasn't there.

Therefore...

"I need Robert Hodson!" Clark announced. WHERE was Hodson? She needed him. SHE HAD TOLD DEFENSE ATTORNEY SCHOOLER THAT SHE NEEDED HODSON, SO WHERE WAS HE?

Schooler replied there were a whole bunch of folks on Jill's witness list who were present, and all prepared to testify. He gestured toward the New Majority. Who, he asked, was ready to take the stand.

Hands shot up, volunteering for the mission.

Ooooh! Oooh! PICK MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

No, I'm not kidding. Those New Majority folks, they're like the minutemen in the American Revolution. Lives, fortunes, sacred honor...they are ready to lay it down in a moment at the Battle of Lexington and Cord.

"Put me on the stand, Jill Clark," their facial expressions said. "Do your worst."

No, Clark said, she needed ROBERT HODSON. Oh, gee, no Hodson was present so might have to wrap up for the day, la dee da--!

Schooler responded to this, calling Jill out on her "delay tactic" being pulled because her own witness was not present, acting like, oh gee, she needs HODSON but where is--?

At that very moment (like deux ex machina in a badly-written play) Robert Hodson appeared, actually producing muted cheers.

"There is a God," I muttered, "And he looks like Robert Hodson."

My line was immediately grabbed and passed around like a pack of cigarettes in a muddy platoon, though (for the record) it was MY LINE, and least when it started out.

Hodson walked to the other side of the railing and waited for the lawyers to quit arguing so he could stride up, sit down and testify. He seemed to be almost PAWING THE GROUND like a championship horse, so eager was he to get on the stand.

I thought it was a good time for some freelance "witness prepping," so I leaned over the railing and whispered:

"You're a pawn. You're a meat puppet."

"Oh, yes," Hodson replied. If being a pawn of the "Pro-City" and "New Majority" JACC faction means cleaning up the neighborhood and making it livable, then put him on that chessboard and send him up against Queen Clark. His flinty eyes flashed with delight. This was HIS SPECIAL MOMENT ALL ALONE WITH JILL CLARK.

Hodson took the stand with his arm thrown back grandly, like Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. His voice dripped a variety of emotions, all in the salty spectrum: Contempt. Loathing. Disdain. His answers were logical and precise. Jill couldn't box him in anywhere. She appeared to be trying to prove impropriety but only managed to prove propriety:

With missing, purloined financial records, JACC couldn't segregate accounts. They were forced to pay things like back rent arrears and just hope for the best, because if the lights went out or they got evicted from their headquarters, well...wasn't keeping the organization ALIVE the primary consideration? Particularly at this at the moment when the Jordan Neighborhood is (arguably) in a state of crisis due to vacant, boarded houses?

Under the circumstances, they acted like fiduciaries. They kept the lights on, while Jerry Moore was literally trying to turn the lights off, plus the gas; a situation which could have caused frozen pipes to explode right through walls.

AND SPEAKING OF THE DEVIL, Jerry Moore walked into court at 3:40 PM, while Hodson was on the stand, salt-sicles forming on Hodson's mouth in pissy back-and-forths with Jill Clark. How does Jerry manage to do that? He doesn't testify, and yet he manages to make an appearance in court. I give much of the credit for Jerry's nimble nature to his Blackberry communication device.

On the stand, Hodson went through documents offered by Jill, discussed how monies had been spent. Jill tried to create a contradiction: hadn't Hodson, et al, been critical of Jerry Moore for buying so many Cub gift cards to give away? And yet they (the "New Majority") had, themselves, spent a bunch of money on food at a cancer screening event.

Well, Hodson answered, that's what that particular grant had been for: to have the cancer screening event, and the food was part of the event. So there was no contradiction, as far as he could see. I noticed Jill Clark didn't ask Hodson any questions about meals at "the Monte Carlo."

At some point, Hodson's icy answers hit a temperature point somewhere near absolute zero, and the judge halted proceedings, went back into chambers to talk to both attorneys. Apparently, the judge was not pleased with Hodson's tone, and assumed Hodson had enough self-control to dial it back a few notches, and Judge Porter wanted the tone dialed back. Hodson, to his credit, made his tongue a little less sharp, after that, but at times you could still hear the whiplash meeting flesh:

* Sssssssssssnap! *

Is it any wonder Jill Clark's face does that twitchy thing, if she spends her life in court going up against sharp mouths like Robert Hodson's? Out in the spectator section, a discussion was taking place about the precise word you'd use to describe Hodson's manner.

"Argumentative?" was suggested.

No, that's not right, because Jill would be objecting to an argumentative response.

"Sarcastic," then?

No, not that either. If Hodson was sarcastic, he'd be saying the opposite of what he means, and he's clearly not doing that.

We finally had to compromise on "pissy" and "snotty," but neither of those words were exactly right, either, for the subtle way Hodson took everything Jill dished out, and threw it right back in her face. You know the way Hannibal "Silence Of The Lambs" Lecter can look right into your soul and lecture you about your father issues and your cheap shoes? It was like that. It was like Hodson was the one questioning JILL CLARK.

In fact, often enough Jill Clark would ask Hodson a question, and Hodson would fire back, "Define (whatever)?"

Jill appeared glad enough to finish with Hodson, though interestingly there wasn't enough time left in the afternoon to get Jerry Moore on the stand, after the time she spent questioning Hodson. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Under redirect by Defense Attorney David Schooler, Hodson talked about the vetting of candidates for the board, and spoke of his own experiences: despite being the domestic partner of a board member, Hodson was still required to provide documentation of his eligibility. Under Kip Browne's leadership on the Nominations Committee--when Jerry Moore wasn't actively undermining it--there was no such thing as "Oh, yeah, we all know that guy." EVERYBODY HAD TO GO THROUGH THE STEPS OF PROVING THEIR ELIGIBILITY.

Yes, even a board member's life partner, living under the same roof, presumably sleeping in the same bed. Under Kip Browne's leadership, the Rule of Law was in effect in the Jordan Neighborhood when it came to candidates for the Executive Board, not the nebulous and murky understandings associated with who-knows-who, who is part of the ruling clique, who is "cool" with the leadership.

And Hodson's testimony--though it mostly centered around financial documents--helped back up the larger contention by the New Majority: JACC was in good, competent hands.

Thank God. FINALLY.

Out in the hallway, Defense Attorney David Schooler could be overheard talking to some of the JACC members, saying Anne McCandless had "pounded a stake" into the heart of Jill Clark's case, and Hodson had done a fine job outlining the "financials."

Yes, Hodson's tongue had been "sharp," but everybody knew about that issue coming in. Hodson wasn't putting on an act on the stand. He is who he is, and if Hodson loathes you, you will hear it in his voice.

It appeared at that moment only one thing remainded for the "New Majority" in "New JACC City" to win in a legal slam-dunk: Get JACC Chairman Kip Browne on the stand. Let the judge and the public see the highly-competent young attorney and home owner now leading the neighborhood association, trying to dig out from under the pile of organizational rubble created by Jerry Moore and Ben Myers, trying to make North Minneapolis into an urban utopia or, at a bare minimum, SAFE AND LIVABLE.

The hearing over "Who Is The True JACC?" continues on Monday. Whether I am there or not, I have my informational tentacles extended, and coverage will continue of this pivotal moment in the history of North Minneapolis, a "sea change" in neighborhood leadership.

"True JACC" Lawsuit In The Jordan Neighborhood: Talk Of "Gentrication" Plots, "Pro-Community" Versus "Pro-City" Factions...

Flickr.com Photo


Testifying in court a few days ago, "Old Majority" Sergeant-At-Arms Steve Jackson revealed that he originally joined JACC because he literally showed up at the wrong meeting...

Once again dredging up and dissecting an election that even "Old Majority" Chair E.B. Brown apparently said was valid, Jackson provided one of the most enlightening moments of the hearing as he explained his political analysis of factions within JACC, which I have characterized as "Old Majority" (Myers/Moore/Jackson faction) and "New Majority" (Kip Browne, Anne McCandless faction) for purposes of handy labels.

In the view of Jackson, there are two groups: a "pro-city" group and a "pro-community" group. Jackson believes with all his heart there is a plot afoot to gentrify North Minneapolis, grab up the affordable, roomy, antique homes with spacious shaded yards right near planned transportation and economic development--and turn North Minneapolis into a "white, middle class" community.

Jackson, who said he was an employee of the Boys and Girls Club...

...said being "pro-community" in North Minneapolis means caring for poor, primarily black individuals who may not have internet access, people he calls "the voiceless." But being "pro-city" means being in favor of the wicked plot to gentrify North Minneapolis.

This testimony caused a great deal of brow-furrowing and head-tilting among members of the "New Majority" seated in the spectator section. Indeed, as they were walking away from that court room, animated and full of words, nothing was so intently hashed over as the "pro-city" versus "pro-community" testimony, the idea put forth that only by being "anti-city" could one be "pro-community."

Why, Jackson wondered aloud, did the City of Minneapolis have to take over the JACC organization to push their plots? Couldn't they just create their own organization, if that's what they wanted? Jackson said he'd like to see new elections, to see JACC as it currently exists dissolved.

When, asked Clark, did the attacks on Jerry Moore begin?

Almost immediately after he was hired, said Jackson. There was a group--Anne McCandless, Dennis Wagner, Megan Goodmundson, Dan Rother--all attacking Jerry Moore.

And why was that? asked Clark.

Because, answered Jackson, Jerry was not a "yes man." Jerry was speaking for residents who don't have email, "the 'voiceless' people, I call 'em." Dan Rother made something like 30 to 35 grievances against Jerry Moore. Dealing with those grievances took a lot of Jerry Moore's time.

Some of the complaints, Jackson said, were the same exact complaint just worded in a different way. The complaints took "the Queen's English" and twisted it.

As Jackson said "Queen's English," it was like...like the Queen of England was visible in the room for a second, openly pulling the political strings. Pompous English music filled my thoughts for a moment. Oh, the Queeeeeeeeeeeeen. Pip pip. Tally ho. Spot o' tea fo' you, mum?

"When did you learn the Anne McCandless board paid Rother's legal fees?" asked Jill Clark.

"Yesterday," answered Jackson, in a tone of frustrated resignation.

On the bright side, though....he still has a really nice Blackberry device.

What, asked Jill Clark, is best for the (JACC) corporation, in your view?

It is best, answered Jackson, for "the vestiges to be dissolved," for there to be "new elections, new people at the table" and an organization that is not "pro-city." Jackson talked of his attempts to bring about a "restorative healing circle with "facilitators."

Yeah, "facilitators." I can't help but picture talkative individuals from within tight "Old Majority" social circles, fantastically-dressed blabbermouths who speak of their "wisdom" and "history" in the community, and then pocket a fat check for filling the air with words, the end result being that we should all feel good about the way things have been for a long time; with aimless groups of young men standing on corners, drinking out of bottles, with social disorder spilling noisily out of yards and into the streets. Pity them. Give them tolerance, for they are "oppressed" and "voiceless."

What the "Old Majority" calls "gentrification" others call basic standards of civilized behavior in an urban environment, something that has been severely lacking in parts of North Minneapolis since, geez, about the 1960's...

But it's making a comeback. Oh, god, is it ever.

Steve Jackson called attorney Kip Browne's faction a "bunch of thugs" who took over the organization.

He didn't say it very loudly. I wasn't sure what he'd said, so I walked over to Kip Browne, attorney-at-law, who has gone to all kinds of, like, international law seminars in freaking GERMANY and done civil rights litigation and...and...so, like, I asked Kip, "Did Jackson actually say 'a bunch of thugs?'"

And Kip confirmed that was indeed the utterance. Consternating, it was.

Jackson testified he believes the City of Minneapolis is "trying to make North Minneapolis a white community." He thinks the Jordan Advantage program is part of a plot to make that happen. Jackson views the Jordan Advantage program as "pro-city."

"What else is Pro-City?" Jill Clark asked.

The city wanting to tear down boarded housing with no waiting period, no permission from the neighborhoods, Jackson answered.

Defense Attorney David Schooler cross-examined Jackson, asking about votes, and whether Jackson had voted on January 14. Jackson answered he had not voted, he had abstained from the proceedings, which he viewed as illegal. Schooler put the vote tally sheet in front of Jackson, showing he had not abstained. He had voted "No." He had been outvoted, right?

Jackson gave Schooler a look that could peel paint off the walls, caught in this blatant contradiction.

Schooler asked whether Megan Goodmundson, Kip Browne, Anne McCandless lived in the Jordan Neigborhood? Weren't they members of the community and entitled to their own political view of what should happen in the neighborhood?

Jackson appeared unwilling to concede so much as the fact Kip Browne lives in Jordan, where Kip's fridge is stocked with delicious Canada Dry green tea ginger ale, you really should try it! (Pointless plug but what can I say? I got the Google ads, site meter and PayPal button going in the last few days, and now I'm just looking for opportunities wherever I can to sell pizza-slice shaped portions of my soul)

Schooler confronted Jackson, asking why only FOUR defendants were named when, gee, how was the vote breaking down? More than FOUR. Jackson's group can't even get a QUORUM together. Schooler asked if the Jordan Advantage program violates the JACC bylaws, somehow.

"It doesn't violate the bylaws," Jackson said. "But it doesn't sit well with me."

Well there you go. Instead of the rule of law, we substitute your precious subjective feelings about being picked upon and oppressed and the heartbreak of being outvoted. And then Jackson has the nerve to call Kip Browne a thug.

Jackson--who a few moments ago had criticized those who twist "the Queen's English," described himself as being like "a deer in the headlights" over the ouster of JACC officers happening right in front of him. Schooler said that, in his mind, a deer in the headlights is a confused animal that isn't sure what to do. Was Jackson CONFUSED that night?

No, Jackson said, he wasn't CONFUSED. He was SHOCKED.

Right about then, E.B. Brown and her husband stood up to leave, and there was Jackson still up on the stand...getting carved up into neatly-bundled packets of witness venison by David Schooler.

"Were other complaints made about Jerry Moore besides 'the fracas?'" Schooler wanted to know, alluding to the not-quite-a-fistfight that happened the night of JACC board elections, when anti-Jerry forces swept in by a landslide.

Yes, Jackson admitted, but the Moore incident struck him as a "set up." The "Pro City" forces were out to get Jerry Moore, looking to create an incident. But the neighborhood, the community which should be contrasted with the gentrification-plotting city, THE COMMUNITY needed Jerry Moore.

One of the New Majority scribbled a note and passed it to me.

"We needed Jerry like we needed another boarded home on our block," said the note.

Later that day, Jackson reportedly tried to walk up to Kip Browne and speak to Browne. Brown reminded Jackson he was represented by council. All communications needed to take place through the attorneys, unless Jackson wanted to WAIVE his right to counsel. Did Jackson wish to do that?

"It ain't like that," Jackson said. He waved his hand. "Never mind. It's not that important." (Or words to that effect)

Oh, yes, here we go again. That substitution of murky subjective feelings for the rule of law. Sure, Jackson is suing Kip Browne, but can't Kip be "cool" for a moment? Can't Kip set aside his legal license plus the fact attorney Jill Clark has a reputation for going after EVERY LITTLE FREAKING THING and just, you know, KEEP IT REAL?

Not being a represented party in this matter, I had a brief opportunity to speak to Jackson. He spoke of feeling excluded. I ended up talking to Jackson about "Pete the Pedophile," and asking why I had seen Jackson chatting with Peter in the court room.

"When you talk to Peter the Pedophile," I said. "It's like, for a moment, you're part of his little social circle. People see you talking to him, accepting him."

Jackson said he knew what Peter was. He didn't need to be told Peter is a child molester. He knew that.

I said the only thing somebody like Peter needed to hear was, "You're a Level 3 Sex Offender. Why the hell are you even speaking to me?"

On my own initiative, I made a point of offering Jackson one of the bread pudding "muffinoid" objects made by Realtor Connie Nompelis (she refuses to characterize the pastries as muffins, though they are in muffin papers, and our whole relationship has pretty much broken down over this point) and Jackson seemed ready to take one of the Pastries Of Peace.

Then Kelly Browne made a point of saying something about how one of the muffins was left over from Clean Sweep, raising the fact none of the "Old Majority" were seen picking up garbage in the streets, something expected of the "true believers" who keep the neighborhood going, a gritty ritual as serious as the Mayans offering up human hearts. So much for world peace through muffins. Muffinoids. Whatever.

All the same, one gets the feeling...Jackson isn't as twisted as my half-brother Ben Myers, quasi-famous public figure and attorney-at-law, so clever an attorney that he's blazing a pioneering legal trail around RULE 21, and that ain't easy, baby.

(Yes, Ben and I are twins, but we are also half-brothers. It's quite understandable as long as you didn't skip 8th Grade health class. To make matters more confusing, I was a PLANNED child, and Ben Myers was NOT)

(Do I really need to say "parody alert?" It gets tedious, Ben)

After court--after Kip Brown had been forced to spend TWO DAYS waiting around to testify, and then never took the stand, because Jill Clark does stuff like that--there was endless discussion about the "Pro-City" versus "Pro-Community" analysis.

The "New Majority" didn't seem to mind the "Pro-City" label at all. In fact, there was even talk of making buttons saying "Pro-City." But after a full day in court, there was no rest for the weary. Back in the Jordan Neighborhood, there was exactly enough time to slam down some freshly-warmed frozen pepperoni pizza, gulp a few cans of green tea ginger ale, and then the members of the New Majority attended a board meeting that went until 9 p.m.

Near the top of the prioritites: hiring somebody to do a Jerry-more-like job. The board members were adamant about one criteria:

This person needed to have, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree.

"True JACC" Lawsuit In The Jordan Neighborhood Turns Into A Drinking Game As Anne McCandless Takes The Stand, Accusations Of "Gentrification" Aired...

Flickr.com Photo

"Every time (Plaintiff Attorney) Jill Clark or a witness on the stand says 'Johnny Northside,' I'm going to buy you a drink," Kip Browne told me, as "Old Majority" Chair E.B. Brown left the stand and Anne McCandless strode up to testify, her body language saying, "Here we go again. Testifying in court. Whatever."

Anne McCandless, a former police officer, has been on the stand innumerable times. And it shows. But in regard to the really important stuff: A FREE DRINK EVERY TIME SOMEBODY SAYS MY NICKNAME IN COURT? How could I refuse a deal like that?

It shouldn't have been Anne on the stand at all, however. According to an eyewitness in the court, Jill Clark turned around and had an "oh, (expletive)" look on her face as she saw no plaintiff witnesses available to take the stand. No Jerry Moore. No Ben Myers. No Steve Jackson. So Clark ended up putting Anne McCandless on the stand, though Steve Jackson entered the room--fashionably late--at about 9:45 a.m.

One eyewitness claimed to have heard Clark's assistant (described as a "beta male") talking loudly on a cell phone in the hall, saying words to the effect, "We have no witnesses. We are in deep (expletive). Get your (mild expletive) down to the courthouse NOW" or words to that effect.

You'd think if you were suing somebody, it would be important to be in court for it. But this is how the "Old Majority" does stuff. So it was "New Majority" Secretary Anne McCandless who took the stand. She didn't have a trace of nervousness and, indeed, was even polite and respectful to Jill Clark. Hey, it wasn't like Jill Clark was defending an ACCUSED MURDERER. Unlike, well...

Sorry. My long-lost twin brother Ben Myers, attorney and notable public figure, is a source of pain and shame within the family. I have to say "parody alert" at this moment, because Ben's sense of humor was surgically removed along with his overactive pituitary gland.

Within the first few minutes of testimony by JACC "New Majority" Secretary Anne McCandless, Kip owed me a drink. Trying to support her client Ben Myers' invocation of Fifth Amendment rights, Jill Clark was interested in the unsuccessful attempts by Anne McCandless to get a criminal investigation going over the theft/removal/wormhole in space/time issues associated with the missing JACC records and office equipment. She asked about the police report of the theft hitting the internet, asked if McCandless had forwarded a copy of the report to "Johnny Northside."

"He LEARNED of it," McCandless answered, and I couldn't stop myself from grinning.

Clark inquired about efforts by McCandless to contact the FBI. Not quite able to keep a sense of resignation and disappointment out of her voice, McCandless said she'd talked to Jim Moore at the FBI (no relation to Jerry Moore) and found out the FBI considers the removal of JACC equipment and records to be a "civil matter." McCandless also stated "part of the reason" for a forensic audit was to determine if there could be criminal charges against Jerry Moore.

When Anne gave this answer, the nervous twitchy thing Clark frequently does with her lips had a triumphant aspect, like a squirrel dragging off a big hunk of stale pizza.

Clark asked about what "board training" McCandless had received, and McCandless answered it was on-the-job training.

Yeah. Kind of like Pearl Harbor was on-the-job training. McCandless went into detail about those frantic moments when she had to change the JACC locks AND try to get funds frozen that were in the checking accounts, all during a period of time when Jerry Moore had cut off the phones at the office. It had taken a while to get the funds frozen. Wasn't the freezing of the funds an "emergency" that particular day? Clark asked.

"So was changing the locks," McCandless answered. While who-knows-who ran around with the JACC checkbook, McCandless was trying to physically secure the JACC headquarters. She couldn't be everywhere or do everything, she said. There wasn't time.

McCandless spoke of getting advice from Bob Miller about how to proceed with the "telephonic meeting" held right after January 14, because Miller was "a good source of advice." In one of her few really effective moments, Clark presented McCandless with an email which was sent around to a number of "New Majority" members, but not "Old Majority" members.

Of course, the "Old Majority" has used the same tricks, as evidenced by...

...the "usual suspects" email. They're just not AS GOOD at the same tricks. Who the heck sends an email plotting against political enemies but then forgets at least one of them is on the "cc" line? Yeah, uh, that would be the OLD MAJORITY.

Testimony turned to the fact hard-working super-volunteer Megan Goodmundson was running some kind of JACC listserv. Jill made it sound all-so-nefarious. Yeah, here's Megan--a young woman in her 30s, pretty good with computers--and she ends up running a listserv, paid with nothing but a "thank you." Clearly an evil plot to support...

And here was the word. The forbidden word came from Jill's nervous, twitchy lips:

GENTRIFICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jill Clark asked if the "Advantage" program supports (the g-word) by giving people incentives to buy houses. McCandless didn't think that was the case. She didn't think getting people to buy vacant, boarded up houses was a case of supporting "gentrification" at all.

Clark turned to a new line of coke...QUESTIONING. I totally meant to write the word "questioning." Jill Clark doesn't have any addiction problems with anything other than alcohol, from which she has recovered. And good for her! But she really should work harder on that whole "serenity to accept the things I cannot change" stuff.

Where was I? Oh, yes, waiting to hear my name said aloud so I could WIN ANOTHER DRINK. Later that night, Kip Brown arranged for me to try a big shot of BLACK VODKA, and it was really good, but it was somebody else's booze and I was left to think...did Kip just pay off the bet or not? Leave it to a lawyer to make a simple drinking game complicated.

Not as complicated as Jill Clark could probably make it, though. God, no.

Anyway...Clark asked about December of 2008, and wasn't JACC trying to find a way to reduce the back rent or find another office? Yes, McCandless said, there had been talk of that.

There was discussion about the back taxes owed on a JACC's property, the "probation house." There were $2500 worth of back taxes, and the county was demanding payment. Clark asked about whether Jerry Moore was "negotiating" the issue of the taxes. McCandless testified she wasn't aware of Moore participating in any kind of "negotiations" over the back taxes. From the point-of-view of McCandless, Jerry was just letting stuff slide.

On cross-examination, Defense Attorney David Schooler asked about JACC finances being in "disarray" under Moore's leadership, and how Ben Myers wouldn't allow access to the financial records. Dennis Wagner, Dottie Titus had filed lawsuits, trying to see financial records. McCandless talked about how Ben Myers had "ignored the attorney general."

There was a long list of things not paid. Months of rent. Even when rent was paid, it was "sporadic." As of January 14, 2009, rent was roughly $5k in arrears. Utilities were not paid; the gas was $600 in arrears. Incredibly, Jerry Moore actually PAID utililities for the purpose of TRYING TO TURN THEM OFF.

"Why did Jerry Moore try to turn off the electricity to the house in January?" asked Schooler.

"I don't know why Jerry does what he does," McCandless answered.

There was some "Blackberry talk," but (regrettably) it had nothing to do with buying blackberry-flavored booze for Johnny Northside. Suffice to say the Blackberry purchased by Jerry had not yet been returned. A little while later, Steve Jackson walked past and Kelly Browne couldn't stop herself from saying, "Nice Blackberry."

At 10 minutes to 10, City Councilman Don Samuels entered the room, shook hands roundly. McCandless, on the stand, gave Samuels a tight little smile of gratitude and appreciation. She wasn't up there alone. She had back up from supporters in high places.

McCandless testified about unauthorized checks; one Jerry Moore wrote to himself for $1200, another to a "Toi Miller" for $648 bearing what McCandless identified as the signature of Ben Myers.

Schooler brought forth Defense Exhibit 152H, bank records from Franklin Bank.

McCandless spoke of "obstacles" erected by the Myers faction: a "cease and desist" letter. Letters circulated saying the JACC office had moved. "New Majority" members were forced to make it clear that, yes, JACC mail was to be delivered to 2009 James Ave. N. Somebody contacted the Secretary of State to change the address on a document related to the JACC non-profit, the gas bill address got changed, there were NO FINANCIAL RECORDS, no current records of any kind, COMPUTERS were missing.

The situation the "New Majority" found itself facing had the kind of desperate, make-do quality of air crash survivors, of individuals in a lifeboat. And yet the "New Majority" officers had soldiered on. One of the first things they did was not for themselves, but for the community: they authorized the Jordan Advantage Program, which encouraged people to buy vacant, foreclosed homes.

Schooler said he hated to belabor the obvious (but he's an attorney, after all) and so he asked whether boarded up, empty houses were a problem in the Jordan Neighborhood. Yes, they were. Right about then (it was 11:45 a.m.) a guy dressed in an outrageous lavender "pimp" costume came and took a seat on the plaintiff's side of the room, fedora in hand.

As if the plaintiffs weren't in deep enough doo-doo already, this was just what they needed: a guy in a ridiculous costume showing up to "represent" and make a public gesture of support. Kelly Browne had to suppress a laugh. The eyes of Anne McCandless, up on the stand, took note of the pimp and his position in the room, but then returned to facing David Schooler.

Schooler asked about the Jordan Advantage Program, and why Jerry Moore opposed it. McCandless said Moore wanted the money to go to individuals who had subprime mortgages, not to create incentives for new buyers.

McCandless closed with testimony about Jerry Moore's use of JACC finances, including money NOT spent for food at block club functions, despite guidelines (all of this is, you know, ALLEGED) and misuse of a grant from General Mills. Allegedly.

Particularly irritating expenses: Debit charges to "The Monte Carlo Club" and a place called Rick's Cafe in the Camden neighborhood. Several charges to gas stations. Charges to Paradise Pizza.

Yeah. All that stuff.

Schooler brought up the emails, and members of the Old Majority not being cc'ed.

"Do things just seem to run better when Ben Myers' and his people aren't around?" he asked, or words to that effect.

Objection. Argumentative. Sustained.

As Anne McCandless left the stand and rejoined the "New Majority" gathered in the spectator section, she was met with support and congratulations for an excellent job on the stand. Jill Clark had been trying to prove plotting and impropriety by the "New Majority." But Clark had only proved decent people were plotting to make their troubled neighborhood better, to get control over a grassroots organization (or, arguably, neighborhood government) being run by dirty birds eager to feather their own nests.

In the desperate days after getting control of JACC, the New Majority had been like sailors bailing water in a vessel shot full of holes, dangerously near sinking. Leadership on this vessel, however, wasn't handed down from on high. It came through a democratic election. The Old Majority had nearly sunk the ship. The New Majority had forced their removal. The Old Majority were not "locked in the brig," however.

They are just wandering around, their sanity in doubt, shouting how they're really the ones in charge by divine right, by authority, by "the Queen's English." (No, seriously, Steve Jackson testified about the "Queen's English.")

This "sea change" in Jordan Neighborhood leadership and direction happened at the very moment Anne McCandless led the "stand up voice vote" on January 14 and announced (though E.B. Brown mysterious couldn't remember that dramatic moment) "This is the new agenda."

Notably, when the New Majority took the stand months later to testify in defense of those actions, once again it was Anne McCandless leading the charge.

Yes, sometimes people prickle under the forceful ex-cop personality of Anne McCandless.

But in the great scheme of things, JACC needs McCandless, and under pressure, McCandless comes through and delivers.

In this case, her testimony delivered me a drink. Let's hope this case drags on for WEEKS!

A Walk Down Memory Lane In The Hawthorne Eco Village...

Photo By John Hoff

Pam Patrek, who has previously been known as "Patty Cake" on this blog to protect her identity, sent me an email talking about how far the Hawthorne Eco Village area has come in just over a year and saying she no longer feels the need to use a fake name, apparently because of her increased sense of safety and well-being.

Pam Patrek says as follows...

April 23, 2008 was the anniversary of the robbery at my house, and exactly two weeks later on May 7, 2008 they broke in again. Since then, I have installed an alarm system and decided to stay.

I have also met some of the nicest, most helpful and hopeful people anyone will ever meet, i.e. Jeff Skerenes, (Hawthorne's Housing Director) HNC Chair Peter Teachout and his family. Inspector Mike Martin. Mike Christensen from CPED, and of course you, Blogger Extraordinaire.

I have watched the neighborhood go from nightly 911 calls for any number of
reasons ( I'll let you name them) to just two calls for shots fired, in 3 plus months.


Crack/dealing/ prostitution apartments are now (literally) green pastures, and I think the sun is shinning brighter over here. I've even seen an eagle flying above my
house.( I think thats a "cease fire" symbol, Isn't it? )

(JNS answers: I think it's more a symbol of the government's power, authority, and ability to protect us)

It's been a very sad AND productive year. One of the things I stopped doing this spring is putting my convertible top up on my car before I drove in or out of the neighborhood. When I come home I've stopped looking at the porch window to see if it's broken before I walk in my house. I know we've come a long way but, I also believe the best is yet to come.

Thats my walk down memory lane Thanks Johnny.

Pam Patrek

Oh yea, one other thing. I don't feel the need to be Patty Cake anymore.

JNS says: for those who want to buy in to this amazing area called the Eco Village, where crime has dropped so dramatically, and so much development is planned, it is the area bordered by Lyndale Ave. N. to 4th St. N., and Lowry Ave. N. to 30th Ave. N.

Just find the Bangkok Market on Lyndale and you'll be right there. And, please remember, the "pig organ stew" includes testes. I'm not saying it ISN'T delicious, I just thought, well, you know...

Might want to know a thing like that.

See Glass Blowing In NoMi Today, Tomorrow...

Flickr.com image

FK Art Glass, located in a residence at 2210 Bryant Ave. N., is part of an event called "Art-A-Whirl" and they will be having tours and barbecue TODAY, Saturday, May 16, from 6 to 9 PM.

(There are also some "open hours" tomorrow, Sunday, May 17, from noon to 5 PM)

The house where FK Art glass is located is very striking, because it is an old house in mid-renovation. Part of the exterior has been redone in a colorful way, but part remains the old exterior. You kinda gotta see it to believe it. Very cool, very artsy, very NoMi.

Of course, anybody who wants to purchase a house and blow glass, make art out of tree trunks, do WHATEVER can get houses in NoMi for, like, geez I saw a great one listed at $13,900 the other day and it wasn't even CONDEMNED.

Anyway, if you're in NoMi (North Minneapolis) and you'd like to take in the glass blowing thing, get to 2210 Bryant Ave. N. The flier I was handed with this info says, "Obviously we have HOT glass, but there will also be HOT dogs and HOT bratwurst and HOT chicken. You get the idea."

For more information, call FK Art Glass at 612-521-9773

(Do not click "Read More")

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eviction Proceedings In Motion On The 4500 Block Of Upton Ave. N.



Contributed Photos

"Greetings from the Victory Neighborhood," says the subject line of an email conveying information about a troublesome situation on the 4500 Block of Upton Ave. N., and forwarding these three images, above.

According to my source--who didn't ask to be anonymous, but I'm using my discretion, here--there has been a lot of "action" at a housing complex in that area. Unseemly activity at all hours of the day reportedly "energized surrounding neighbors who kept calling city officials, housing people and police whenever suspicious activity warranted it."

"We didn't have to wait too long," says my source. "The city tells us they are being evicted June 5."

Looks like they're called the "Victory Neighborhood" for a reason!

The bottom photo shows a box fan in an upstairs bedroom...in JANUARY. You gotta wonder, what's up with THAT?

(Do not click "Read More")

UNACCEPTABLE, OUTRAGEOUS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR at 2955 Colfax: While Minors Fight, Adults Film On A Cell Phone...

Flickr.com photo

This happened a week or two back, but I am now in possession of a firsthand account of a disturbing incident which happened in the Hawthorne Neighborhood...

Here is the account, which is anonymous:

There was a fight between 4 kids on Saturday, the 2nd at about 7:00 p.m. (A female minor, let's call her Rose) and her friend were walking another friend home. The friend lives halfway down the same block.

Two girls from the house at 2955 Colfax came out onto the sidewalk and told Rose that she's "a ratchet" and that she thinks she thinks she's all that because her hair is long. Then she pushed her onto the ground and started punching and kicking her and scratched her face.

All 4 girls were fighting in a matter of seconds. I heard the noise and run outside to see what was going on. There were 2 men in their mid-twenties encouraging the fight and filming it on the cell phone cameras. I broke the girls up and yelled at the men asking them why they didn't stop the kids and what was wrong with them that they would be filming it all.

They told me I should be proud because (Rose) had "handled" their nieces and this round goes to her and her friend. I told them they were sick and I was going to call the police. They said that they were sorry and that I didn't need to do that - they would make sure the kids didn't get into it again. I asked if the kids' mom was home and they told me that she wasn't.

Well, the very next day at about 12:45 p.m. I was on my way home from church and when I pulled up to my house there was a group of kids (about 5 of them) on the east corner of Colfax and about 15 kids in the front yard of 2955 Colfax. The mother of some of the children in that house was out there and talking to the kids across the street from her front porch steps. Again, the 2 men in their mid-twenties were standing on the sidewalk in front of 2955. The Mom was
saying to the kids across the street "Come over here and shake hands with my kids. We don't want any enemies in this neighborhood. We want to be friends with you." Etc.

Well, as soon as the kids walked into her front yard, she yells "1,2,3, JUMP!" and all the kids that were there in her yard already jumped on the kids from the corner and started pounding on them. The mom was holding a pink belt ready to jump in I guess if her kids started getting the worst of any of the beating and the 2 men (which I am told are uncles of some of the kids who live at house) were on the sidewalk yelling to the kids to encourage the fighting and filming the whole scene with their cell phone cameras.

I ran into the house and grabbed my phone and called 911. I was told by the dispatcher that 3 calls had already come in and officers were on the way. It took them about 5 minutes to get there. When they finally arrived the uncles had jumped in their Explorer and left and the Mom was just sitting on the steps acting like nothing had happened. The squads ( 2 of them) stopped in front of the house and sat there for a moment or two and drove off...

I was at the 4th Precinct meeting each week since and there wasn't anything specific on the address. The house at 2955 was calm but now the kids are back hanging out in the yard like before and the uncles are back as well. This is NOT going to be something we are going to be putting up with this summer. What kind of adult would not only encourage the fighting but film it as well? It makes me sick. I spoke to 2 officers at meetings since then and they said to call CPS if
anything like that happens again.

JNS blog says: This is disgusting, unacceptable behavior and when I get firsthand accounts like this, I'll be slapping that stuff on my blog. I don't see the system working like it should, here. There needs to be further police involvement, and this needs to be on the radar of Child Protective Services. I have every reason to believe the firsthand account is accurate in every detail, right down to the color of the pink belt.

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: "Mr. Kingrussell has had more legal charges against him than he is old..." says wife of identity theft victim.

Classic image, Sword of Democles

Melony Michaels, the spitfire force-of-personality whose amateur investigation ripped the lid off one of the biggest mortgage fraud cases in the history of Minnesota (if not THE biggest) was in court yesterday to make sure the little fish as well as the big fish got their due, preferably being gutted, filleted, and fried up in the legal equivalent of beer batter...

I am in possession of two letters submitted to the court, describing the impact of Jerome Kingrussell's crimes, and outlining his criminal history which numbers more charges than years of age. And it's not like Kingrussell is so very young, but who knows? This scumbag has more than one reported birthday.

Here is a link which will take you to the two documents, which can be downloaded, perused at your leisure, perhaps autographed by Melony Michaels if you should happen to run into her in court, click here.

Though I'm reading between the lines until I get some kind of firsthand confirmation, I think it's accurate for me to say Melony Michaels is not happy with Jerome Kingrussell getting a suspended sentence. However, I get the feeling all the punishment is just building up like water behind a dike of sandbags, and where is that "water" going to end up?

All around and six feet over Larry "Maximum" Maxwell, that's where.

It must be hard for a victim of identity theft to endure the sight of Jerome "Imposter Foster" Kingrussell walking around a free man, possibly filling up a canteen in some public park, and defacating in an outdoor lavatory which smells like the monkey house at the zoo. But a free man, none the less, with a 108-month suspended sentence hanging over his head like the Sword of Democles.

These are the times when, if you believe in stuff like fate/destiny/angels/cosmic justice, you must let go and have faith. One need not strive so high in the sky as to have faith in GOD. This is the time to have faith in the prosecutor, Brad Johnson, and the lawful authority of the state of Minnesota, which must make hard choices about trading smelly chum for trophy fish.

All the same, it is best to for certain information to be published and available: the specifics of what a bad actor Kingrussell is, and how often he has wormed out of punishment, and how deeply Kingrussell's crimes impacted Melony Michaels and her husband.

Sue him, I say. Sue him for his car, canteen, and backpack. Prison is destined to be this man's home--absent some kind of dramatic religious conversion--so let the inevitable process be sped along. NO MERCY FOR MORTGAGE FRAUDSTERS!!!!

Then again, Kingrussell's suspended sentence shows one thing: now is the time for mortgage fraudsters to confess, to desperately work out deals, in hopes there will be slack.

Tynessia Snoddy? Rahmeen Underwood? Do you hear that "knock knock" sound on your CRANIUM? That is the prophetic voice you need to hear right now, before it is too late to cut a deal with the prosecutor.

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Criminal History Of The "Imposter Foster" Associated With Larry "Maximum" Maxwell

Red Wing, Minnesota, Flickr.com photo

I can't take credit for this info, as it was simply given to me. But people give me things because they know I'll publish that stuff, and let the chips fall where they may.

Jerome Kingrussell has a police record literally longer than your arm, if you lay all the pages end- to-end. Kingrussell was the no-account crackhead scumbag who ripped off the identity of John Foster, a...

...mild-mannered, somewhat introverted UPS driver who took pride in his sterling credit rating.

(That is not John's UPS truck in the photo above, however...well, it looks JUST LIKE his truck)

In a fraudulent deal which involved Larry "Maximum" Maxwell, Jerry Moore, and Keith Reitman, Jerome Kingrussell used the stolen identity of John Foster to obtain a mortgage on 1564 Hillside Ave. N., a run down dump of a house that might fall down on its own, but possibly the weird dark fungus infesting portions of the house possesses an adhesive quality, so it's probably going to need some help from a backhoe to finally go to that big real estate paradise in the sky.

One anonymous commenter to this blog claims Kingrussell is living in a campground in Red Wing, Minnesota, but this information is unconfirmed. (Though strongly suspected to be true)

In any case, for those who are curious or someway, somehow have a dog in this fight...enjoy this Jerome Kingrussell criminal history on the Johnny Northside PDF support site, click here.

John Hoff a.k.a. "Johnny Northside" Appointed To Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Executive Board...

Photo By John Hoff 

Word comes by phone from Board Member Jim Wenzel that yours truly was appointed to a vacancy on the Hawthorne Executive Board last night, and that "elder statesman" Jim Wentzel himself made the nomination, which went through without opposition.

Of course, I knew this last night...but best to wait for the official call.

I am happy and proud. Beyond that, there is precious little time to dwell upon oneself with so much important material "back blogged" and needing to hit the internet ASAP.

Pictured above is my 11-year-old son, Alex, who can go up against a computer in a chess game and wipe the floor with its electronic guts. Playng chess, Alex also killed everybody in two classes of 6th graders in an elimination tournament. Board Chair Peter Teachout has felt the wrath of Alex in games of Halo, where Alex favors "plasma grenades" as his weapon of choice. Why do I bring this up?

The whole reason I am in North Minneapolis is to be near my son, and to be a meaningful part of his life, and make this neighborhood a fit place for Alex to visit or even to live. Everything that happens on this blog happens because this 11-year-old child exists, a child who dreams of attending MIT and learning how to make robots that will "help people."

Or take over the world. One of those two things.

(Do not click "Read More")

E.B. Brown Takes The Stand, Angels Weep And Fear For Her Immortal Soul...


Oh, I wasn't done with E.B. Brown, yet, but between yesterday's post and today's there was time that had to be spent lavishly, to be invested, to be taken: time to eat the perfect salad, time to feed a dog half a bratwurst, time to talk about feelings, and the bright utopian future of NoMi, time to talk about why you don't put cabernet sauvignon in the fridge.

Do we not live at a pivotal point in neighborhood history? Soon enough--with all the progress happening, with all our hard work being invested--soon enough will come the tipping point in public perception, and all over Minneapolis the public at large will say, "You know, North Minneapolis used to be rough--I was scared to even go there--but that place is completely turning around! NoMi is like the new Soho!"

So where were we with E.B. Brown? UNDER OATH, as I recall.

"What was the purpose of the closed session, from your view?" Defense Attorney David Schooler asked.

Brown said her purpose was...

...to caution the board around wrongful termination discussions, vis-a-vis Jerry Moore. (Obviously, Brown didn't use the phrase "vis-a-vis.") E.B. Brown said she had concerns about any action being taken in closed sesssion, and felt she had "the authority to keep that from happening."

Schooler asked where was it written--in state law, in bylaws, in the words of some advising authority--that action couldn't be taken in closed session? Once again relying upon what law students would term a "natural law" argument--that you just know, instinctively, how it is, what the rules are, how God wants to give order to the universe when novel new questions arise in the conduct of human affairs, The Answer comes down to you from on high--E.B. Brown answered it was "standard" to do it that way, which--fleshed out and translated--appears to mean, "This is the way my crowd has always done it, and we forbid the new crowd to do otherwise, especially because it will mean we lose and they win."

The soft brush of angelic wings filled the room at that moment--things were under oath, and truth was what God Himself wanted in response to the questions by David Schooler. Let God be The Judge of E.B. Brown, but here are some of the questions and some of her answers, the reader can be her judge as well:

Question: Why was Jerry Moore terminated?

Answer: Brown has no idea why he was terminated.

Question: In regard to the missing records and equipment...

E.B. Brown appeared to visibly stiffen on the stand. Schooler said he wasn't going to ask her where the missing records and equipment were, he just wanted to ask her ABOUT the records and equipment...

Answer: Brown claims to not even know JACC records and equipment are missing.

This produced consternation among the spectators. What on earth? Does E.B. Brown really know nothing about that? And yet her answer, once analyzed a little more deeply, is actually consistent with the truth. No records or equipment are "missing." That stuff (in her point of view) is in the hands of the "true" JACC organization, which includes her, Ben Myers, Steve Jackson, and a very large vat of church Kool Aid.

Question: In regard to the JACC checkbook being missing.

Answer: E.B. Brown has no idea the checkbook is "missing."

Question(s): Her view of the events of January 14, 2009, wherein the "New Majority" voted out old officers, and voted in new ones.

Answer: "There proceeded an illegal election on that day...characterized as illegal, the process went forth. I did not approve."

Question: But was there a PUBLIC VOTE?

Answer: An illegal vote, and "I believe I am still the chair." (Very little confidence in her tone, however. Like asking an 8-year-old about Santa Claus)

Question: As the chair, is she obligated to conduct regular meetings?

At some point right around here, there is an objection. E.B. Brown is not required to answer some question, in light of the fact there has been lawyer-client discussion on this point, and that discussion appears to be the basis of whatever answer she'd need to give to the question.

David Schooler--who may be too lanky to be a graceful dancer, who knows?--is perfectly capable of dancing gracefully around questions he can't get answered. So he asked about meeting minutes, and whether such minutes exist. The answer is there have been no formal board meetings (of the"Old Majority") as of February, 2009. Are there any minutes from February, 2009? No, because no meeting happened.

Later that very night after spending all (expletive) day in court, the "New Majority" had a meeting at the JACC office. I can tell you what was discussed: shuffling around NRP money. Assigning details about a staff hiring decision to the proper committee. Pete the Pedophile's attempt to file a "grievance" with JACC, over being accused of trying to pass himself off as--good lord--having a position of authority from the Public Safety Committee, knocking on the door of Kip Browne's house and scaring the living daylights out of Kip's wife, Kelly--and the overwhelming success of Jordan's Clean Sweep, partially funded by money from the Hawthorne Neighborhood.

Kip Browne vowed Hawthorne would get repaid.

And the number of old tires picked up during Clean Sweep was 148. One. Forty. Eight. More than twice as many as the Hawthorne Neighborhood, but who is counting?

These are the things the "New Majority" had a meeting about, with proper minutes and representatives there from the police (Lt. Rugel) and NRP (Stacy Sorenson, who is being SUED by the "Old Majority") and the Hawthorne Neighborhood (Jeff Skrenes, Housing Director) and the media. (Johnny Northside blog) The New Majority had a meeting and the necessary stuff got done.
What gets done with the Old Majority since January 14, 2009?

Kool Aid is getting kind of cold. Might want to put more ice cubes in it.

I didn't see the end of E.B. Brown's testimony, because Pete the Pedophile's removal from court was far more interesting, see previous blog post. I did see E.B. Brown leave the court, waving to Steve Jackson on the stand. There was something about that wave...its wistful finality, like a ship full of old, unused Disney cartoon characters sailing off over the painted horizon, and the ship's horn blows....

Ba-rooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmm.

Goodbye. Goodbye to a golden era. We tried our best, we failed in a blaze of glory, but didn't we go down like Texan soldiers at the Alamo? God only knows what the future will be, but didn't we have some happy hoody times? The wicked plot (don't deny it exists!) to transform the happy Northside hood into a "white, middle class" neighborhood is so far along, they are crushing us, they are winning, and Kip Brown is their highly-effective tool.

One last argument, though it came from Steve Jackson, not E.B. Brown.

Dissolve the JACC board, Your Honor. Start all over again with new elections. If the city wants an organization to do its dirty work in North Minneapolis, let them make their own, not take over JACC with a bunch of pawns. (Existential scream of agony. It's all coming apart. Everything is changing, and members of the "New Majority" are driving the so-called "revitalization" changes at breakneck speed)

For the record, one of the "pawns" in this purported plot--a science fiction fan whose Geekotopia collection is the wonder and glory of the Jordan Neighborhood, and I'm not talking about Kip Browne, here-- prefers to be called a "thrall," not a "pawn." Another of the "pawns" appears to revel in the term "meat puppet."

In the hallway, in animated discussions among the New Majority members, these accusations of being pawns of the City of Minneapolis invoke breathless laughter. If they're being used so well, where is the reward? Where is the cut? How is it they have to LOBBY SO HARD to get the things they need from the City of Minneapolis to change the neighborhood for the better, if there really is such a plot, and they are all part of it? Is it a nefarious gentrification plot to want to be safe on your own street from roving gangs of youth? From random gunfire? From vacant houses where crackheads break inside and take up residence?

"Oh, yes," said one of the New Majority. "The landed gentry are so eager to leave their palatial estates in the suburbs, and buy a 100-year-old fixer-upper former crack house in North Minneapolis. Right."

Hmmm, I thought. Such articulation. Get that man a blog.

What the Old Majority calls "gentrification" (and it was Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark who first tossed out the "g word") is what the New Majority calls mere safety, mere livability, mere COMMON DECENCY.

So many of these issues were mere subtext to E.B. Brown's testimony. The outlines of the wicked City-led gentrification plot--and how taking over JACC plays right into that--would come from the mouth of Steve Jackson.

More to follow on Johnny Northside...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Memory Lapses, Email Malfunctions, Long Painful Pauses...The Testimony Of E.B. Brown

Photo By John Hoff, Jan. 14, 2009 

Judge Porter was correct when he predicted a hearing would take longer than two days in the dispute over "Who Is The True JACC" organization, but it's dismaying to realize exactly how correct he is. Proceedings will start again Monday, and show no sign of wrapping up soon.

In court yesterday, the alleged "coup" was dissected in excruciating detail, producing a kind of "fool's gold" of insight. You sit, you listen, you think "ah ha!" as the alleged takeover plot is revealed...and then you realize, "So what?"

So Ben Myers and his crowd thought the "Jordan Advantage" buyer incentive program was a plot to turn North Minneapolis into a "white, middle class neighborhood." AH HA!!!!

Oh, wait. Well, a lot of people kind of figured the Ben Myers crowd thought that way, anyway, judging by the way homeowner incentive programs could get no traction during the reign of "Benjalina." (Ben Myers, Jerry Moore) So when you hear somebody like Steve Jackson open his mouth and say it, it's like--AH HA!

Yeah. Well, so what? We knew that. Here it is, confirmed under oath, but those who were in the know already knew.......

It might be best to backtrack to the testimony of E.B. Brown. I left a lot of that off in an earlier post, in favor of getting breaking testimony material out on the internet. But let's return to the.....................

..........testimony of E.B. Brown.

See, I was just giving you a long, painful pause to help you warm up.

E. B. Brown said she'd been involved with JACC since 2007. At this point--doing that nervous grinding thing with her jaw, pulsing, pulsing--Jill Clark went through a bunch of questions about the nominations committee, and how the particular candidates got on the final ballot. Notably, the theory behind the lawsuit is that the board elections themselves were LEGITIMATE. In fact, word is E.B. Brown may have circulated some kind of written communication right after board elections, saying how pleased she was, how everything went.............fine.

Despite this shared theory about the board elections being legitimate, plaintiff attorney Jill Clark went into endless dissection of how the ballot came to be what it was...what was up with would-be candidates who couldn't make it to the ballot, because, oh gee, they never came up with the proper paperwork to prove their qualifications and the nominations committee--under the leadership of Kip Browne--wasn't letting slop get through this time.

A document which contained "the formal slate" was offered as Plaintiff Exhibit 2. Defense had many more exhibits in evidence, it seemed. At one point I heard talk of a defense exhibit numbered 152. It wasn't exactly the Larry Maxwell trial, but there was a lot of paperwork. Oh, plus Jerry Moore's name came up. Plus Pete the Pedophile was sitting in the room, at least until he was removed by his probation officer.

Yeah, forget what I said. It was A LOT like the Maxwell trial, right down to desperately sincere people taking the stand and talking about "the community."

E.B. Brown talked about "the scroll." Supposedly, Kip Brown came to a meeting with "a large scroll" and said, verily, this was the list of nominated people. E.B. Brown thought "this did not comport with the bylaws." Of course, under careful cross-examination by David Schooler, one stops hearing about bylaws and starts to hear words like "proper" or talk about the way things had been done in the past.

Ultimately, the inch-deep "bylaw talk" seems to melt away and the reality rises very near the surface: the result must be improper, because I didn't like the result, and it wasn't the way I wanted it to go. Anybody who holds a different view must be WRONG, because something like incentives to bring in home buyers...well, that's just wrong. That will ruin "the community." Can't the other side see how WRONG they are? How dare they get a MAJORITY together? They must have cheated somehow. It can't be there are more people who think THEIR WAY than MY WAY. My whole social circle--including, apparently, the guy in the lavender pimp suit--thinks MY WAY.

What names, asked Jill Clark, did Kip Browne get on the slate?

Vladamir Monroe. Robert Hodson. Tyrone Jaramillo.

Poor Tyrone. People stumbled over his name throughout the whole proceeding. The "ll" is pronounced like a "y," is that so hard?

Jill Clark kept coming back to that ballot, and the folks who didn't make the ballot. Was it not "well known" whether somebody was a resident? A business owner?

The unspoken subtext is, however, "well known" to whom? Is one "social circle" more legitimate than the other? If the person is "well known" to Steve Jackson, does that mean Kip Browne should accept it without question?

Megan Goodmundson--who wasn't even present in court--must have felt her ears burning, somewhere, as her name came up again and again, always behind the scenes at key moments. Goodmundson's job, said E.B. Brown, was to find out if people were interested in serving on the board, then get documents to oversee their eligibility. Goodmundson--the inveterate volunteer for everything, judging from the testimony--was described as overseeing this procedure.

Was there ever a vote, asked Jill Clark, to give Goodmundson "sole authority" to decide who would be on the slate? In the peanut gallery, members of the New Majority--and there were many of them, there on the "groom side," while the "bride side" was looking really thin--shook their heads in disgust. Megan wasn't the one with the authority. Megan was running around doing the necessary busywork that needed to be done. Ultimately, the nominations chair Kip Browne was in charge.

Yet time and time again, Goodmundson's name came up (except when plaintiff Steve Jackson kept calling her "Goodman" by mistake) and all her hours, days, weeks, months, years of volunteer work were made to look like a nefarious plot to seize power...while Goodmundson doesn't even have a board position.

Jill Clark asked about additions and removals on the ballot. E.B. Brown's answers were slow, halting...sometimes the answers didn't seem completely responsive. And this was when her own attorney was asking the questions. Commentary out in the hall went along these lines: did Jill Clark prep the witness? Or did E.B. Brown get thrown up on the stand, cold, unprepared? Her halting answers were painful to watch, like seeing an engine run without oil.

Brown began to tell the story of the chaotic board meeting of January 14, when the "New Majority" voted in their own agenda and, ultimately, their own officers. An agenda was introduced as evidence: Plaintiff Exhibit 4. I sat there and thought how history was not only being written before my eyes, it was being carefully archived.

Brown said there had been little regard for the agenda which had been approved by the executive board. There was, E.B. Brown said, a guest who had been invited to filibuster and run the time down--

Oh, wait....SPEAK. She actually said there had been a guest invited to SPEAK about his program for young people in the community, but he hadn't been allowed to speak. E.B. Brown said she had asked a board member to be a sergeant-at-arms, because of the chaos and disorder. (That would be Steve Jackson) Brown had to call for a closed, executive session, she said.

There was, she said, continual insistence to use the agenda which had "not been approved." By "approved" she clearly meant approved by her crowd, the Ben Myers/Jerry Moore/Steve Jackson crowd. Time and time again, E.B. Brown was trying to invoke something that wasn't in the bylaws, wasn't in Robert's Rules: there are the people running things, and it's US, and nobody should interfere with that. Robert's Rules makes it clear agenda items--or even a whole agenda--can be altered. E.B. Brown rules say that when her crowd shows up with the agenda, that's the way it is.

In the executive session, said Brown, there were comments about how there needed to be some action taken in regard to Jerry Moore. Brown said the "Moore thing" was just part of the "chaos." Kip Browne was the one pushing to get rid of Jerry Moore.

(Jerry Moore, sitting next to me in court, touched my arm and said something like, "Get this part!" So I took notes. Why not? But you have to wonder what would happen if I touched Jerry Moore's arm like he touched mine. Would he lash out violently as though I had just grabbed his ass?)

"What did you envision as far as process?" asked Jill Clark. Brown said there was a need to talk about how to properly proceed as far as employee terminations. There would be a personnel committee. But, said Brown, "we did not get to that juncture." The board meeting was--and this is Brown's term--"commandeered" by board members who "supported Kip Browne's agenda."

(Yes, the fact leaders on both sides of the JACC factions are named "Brown/Browne" is a point of constant confusion, leading Porter to use the term "Myers Board" for the Old Majority, and "McCandless Board" for the New Majority)

Kip Browne's "New Majority" faction wanted to remove Jerry Moore RIGHT THEN AND THERE, said E.B. Brown. Brown said she'd not had a chance to read Moore's contract. At this point, defense attorney Schooler objected, saying it's never been demonstrated such a contract even EXISTS. Brown said she had a document by email from Moore's attorney, which would be, presumably, public figure Ben Myers. There was worry, Brown said, about terminating Jerry Moore in the wrong way and there being consequences for that.

According to E.B. Brown, during the closed session Anne McCandless said, "We're not going to be blackmailed by Jerry Moore." There was a vote in the closed session, Brown said, and the result was "let's get rid of Jerry Moore."

At some point, there was a welcome break in the proceedings, but there was no break for the attorneys. Schooler and Clark were talking out in the hallway, and suddenly it became an argument. Schooler said "the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow me to cross examine your witnesses." Clark kept wanting Schooler to "stipulate" to something. Schooler told Clark to "take it up with the court."

After lunch--and there are so many delightful places to get lunch in the extensive Minneapolis skybridge system, which hooks conveniently to the Government Center--Anne McCandless sat in court, working on some sewing project. She later told me it was a wall hanging for the St. Joe's Children's Home at 46th and Chicago. The wall hanging looked like a quilt, and featured a "fresh produce" motif.

A question from Jill Clark about whether E.B. Brown had handed over any paperwork to Kip Brown. Clearly, this was an important point because--to those of us who were at the meeting--Brown's act of handing over voting tally sheets to Kip Browne appeared like a concession that she'd been voted out as chair. In fact, I recall Brown making a little speech, very much like a concession speech. But, E.B. Brown said (in response to a question from Clark) she didn't hand over every piece of paperwork she had to Kip Brown.

Clark didn't seem aware of what an odd image this conjures up: the new chair takes over, under controversy, and the old chair calls upon men moving file cabinets to immediately hand over all paperwork, right at that moment. Of course, the fact years of paperwork was being--quite probably--moved and removed at that very moment or hours afterward does add an interesting and complex layer of irony. In any case, let the record be clear: E.B. Brown only admits to handing over some paperwork like voting tally sheets. She didn't give ALL the paperwork to Kip Brown. I didn't hear any questions about her short, eloquent concession speech.

It happened, though. I was there. I heard it.

So then came the cross-examination by Schooler. Brown--who was clearly overdoing her role as a witness, but not very skilled at it--said it wasn't a fair statement she was critical of Kip Browne. At moments like this you sit there and think, "She's suing him but she's not CRITICAL of him? Okaaaaaaaaay."

Brown was critical of the fact "neighbors" couldn't write their own names on the official ballot. Persons she was concerned about weren't on the ballot. Who would that be? Linda Baker. Tamara Hardy. And Germel I-don't-recall-at-the-moment. These were names lacking from the ballot which should have been there, in the view of E.B. Brown.

Now came the best part of the testimony--not enough to sit and wait all day in court to hear, but still pretty good, and like I say, "Johnny Northside endures the court room tedium so you won't have to."

Apparently, there had been fireworks between Kip Browne and Jerry Moore. Jerry Moore had reportedly told Browne, "You like to kiss white people's asses" and also "F*** Anne McCandless."

Schooler put emails right in front of E.B. Brown, emails directed to her, and she talked about how her email didn't always work. Or internet. I heard both terms. Email. Internet. Didn't always work. Sure, here were the emails but had she SEEN them? No, she had not. Brown's internet access faded in and out the way MEMORY has a tendency to fade in and out by the mysterious power of being put under oath and required to testify in court.

Judge Porter lounged in his chair. If, in the future, cars drive themselves...this is how drivers will sit in their cars, early in the morning, becoming one with their seat.

Schooler tried to ask Brown about the restraining order that Jerry Moore tried to bring--unsuccessfully--against Dan Rother, a board member.

"I don't remember when I had that information," E.B. Brown said. There was something very prideful about her, as though she was quite aware of her limitations--a tendency to freeze up when confronted with words and phrases like "vetted" and "sustained" and "email string"--and yet we should all sit there, amazed and admiring, at how well she is working within her rather obvious intellectual limitations.

At one point, when told to read an email string, E.B. Brown said, "You want me to read the string or the content?"

"Now you see why we couldn't stand dealing with her," somebody hissed to me.

There was talk of what is a "timely" document request. It was established that Dan Rother didn't get records he was asking about until after the grievance filed by Rother was sustained.

"Is it possible," asked Schooler, "that Moore was trying to get Rother off the board because he was a pain-in-the-you-know-what?" Schooler's question suggested Moore was pushing to make Rother's term a one-year term, not a two year term. At times, E.B. Brown seemed to freeze up. At one point, she actually lowered her head and did not speak. One OH SO ANONYMOUS MEMBER of the New Majority grabbed my notebook and wrote, "It is sad to get the 'other side' of the story when you are in the middle of a hearing.'"

Yes, my anonymous source. Protected by Minnesota's shield law. My "twin brother" Ben Myers can go holler to mommy, but there's a reason he was dumped off in that Texas orphanage. (Parody alert, like it isn't obvious)

Schooler casually boxed in E.B. Brown with his questions, got Brown to admit "it would be improper to break the bylaws for personal gain."

In the questions and answers, the intrigue over the JACC ballot was revealed: there had been a series of emails with Kip Browne saying names should be added to the ballot: Robert Hodson. Vladimir Monroe. Tyrone Jaramillo. There was concern by Kip Browne of things not coming before the Nominations Committee which SHOULD come before the Nominations Committee. Jerry Moore was--so it seemed from Schooler's question--trying to submit a list of candidates for the ballot before the Nominations Committee had seen the final slate of candidates.

Oh, wait. I guess that's not really enough to call it "intrigue." No, it was just Jerry being Jerry, and Kip Browne calling Jerry on it in mid-manipulation.

Schooler lounged back in his seat. He is a lanky man, with faint eyebrows and a ruddy face. He looks like he should be participating in the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. He looks like the real father of Prince Harry. We all knew it wasn't Prince Charles, but...an American attorney named David Schooler? Who knew?

Schooler--whose hair is as perfect as that of Senator Edwards--asked E.B. Brown if there was a reason Bob Cooper was present at the board election. Hadn't questions been raised about the election? Brown said Cooper was there merely out of "personal interest."

Schooler began to confront E.B. Brown with the frustrating math of democracy: sometimes you get outvoted, even if you think your side is more legitimate.

"You voted against postponing the election but the vote went the other way?" Schooler asked. Brown couldn't point to anything in the bylaws to prevent postponing an election. E.B. Browne testified the votes were counted by Jay Clark, (no relation to Jill, apparently) and by Linda Higgins, the state senator. Had E.B Brown ever made formal objection to the counting of the votes? She had not. Schooler put the vote tally sheet in front of her. Any reason to believe it is inaccurate? He had to ask a couple different ways, but finally there it was.

This is the final vote. Your side loses.

There was talk of the "New Majority" (which Steve Jackson labels "Pro-City") bringing forth an "unauthorized agenda." But, at this point, Pete the Pedophile appeared again. It was 4:10 PM. A member of the New Majority immediately went in the hall to call Pete's probation officer. As established in a previous blog post, this didn't produce a payoff until the following day, when Will McDonald appeared--like Ahab looking for his white whale--and directed Peter's sorry child-molesting ass to make itself scarce.

Distraction. Where was I?

E.B. Brown was forced to admit that if a vote took place to follow the new agenda, that it would be consistent with Robert's Rules. But she (claimed she) didn't remember any vote being taken. It was painful to sit there and watch this woman--who reportedly is religious, who hates to lie--bearing false witness or, in the alternative, having some kind of profound mental malfunction--saying she didn't remember the moment when the Kip Browne faction stood up to vote, and Anne McCandless announced, "This is the new agenda."

TO BE CONTINUED--time to eat brats and drink wine with my NoMi friends.