Monday, March 14, 2011

NoMi Loses Dottie Titus, Longtime Neighborhood Force For Good...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Dottie Titus, a longtime Jordan resident who constantly helped and advocated for positive change in her North Minneapolis (NoMi) community, has lost her longtime battle with cancer. Postings to social media by credible, reliable people state she died Thursday.

Titus was a NoMi blogger way before there was a NoMi, and way before recent high-profile heated blog battles. Titus was there ahead of all of us, leading the way with a Wordpress platform and a blog called Jordan Livability. Her last blog post...

...was September 15, 2010, a simple little "bread and butter" blog posting about concerns over new bylaws in the Jordan Area Community Council. (JACC) Yet Titus often cried out on her blog about financial mismanagement by what has come to be known as the "Old Majority" crowd of no-account, worthless crap-bag malcontent screw-ups who nearly bankrupted JACC, including disgraced former executive Jerry Moore and Ben Myers, Chair and Criminal Attorney. (Not a very good one, based on my observations)

Dottie was a professional counselor, a gardener, a friend. She was often involved with making 911 calls about prostitution on Penn Ave. N. and videotaping what was happening out on the street. In fact, Dottie once showed me piles and piles of videos she said documented prostitution activity on Penn Ave. N., few of which have actually seen the light of day. She would just set up her camera and leave it run. Here's an example of her work, click here.

On Thursday--the day she died--Dottie was still listed as a defense witness in the Jerry Moore v. John Hoff a/k/a Johnny Northside matter. She was listed on Friday, too, with neither side knowing she had passed. Dottie was truly with us in spirit. In fact, some of her blog postings were put forward, offered as evidence that Jerry Moore is a "public figure" for purposes of defamation analysis. Even when she was too sick to get up and help us, the things she wrote and documented were valuable and being used.

It was Thursday when--while showing pictures to my attorney, Paul Godfread, of some meetings at JACC--that I came across this photo of Dottie. I was unaware she'd died, but thought how I'd taken this picture and not used it. I thought it would make a great "stock photo" if I ever had to write something about Dottie. Odd how I would see a picture of Dottie on the very day she died, a picture I hadn't seen in several months.

In this photo, Dottie is at a JACC meeting. She is documenting what is happening, using her video camera. It was, in fact, Dottie who managed to record Al Flowers shoving council member Don Samuels at a different meeting. But at this meeting, it is just a regular meeting, the first board meeting "after Al Flowers went crazy at the JACC press conference" and folks were expecting trouble, but no trouble actually arrived--no trouble except that Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer was haunting the meeting, having the audacity to sit right next to Lt. Jeff Rugel, a high-ranking police officer. It was at that very meeting "Spanky" stood up and talked about how poor little North Minneapolis children are likely to get PTSD and the matter needed to be studied. Now Spanky is in jail, and will have a hearing March 23 on whether he committed contempt of court. More on that in a moment. The point is: Spanky haunting Jordan Neighborhood council meetings is no longer the norm, not like it was the day this picture was taken.

Did Dottie get some choice pictures, some audio of Pete that day? Knowing her, I'm sure she did.

You might be thinking this is a strange way to write of somebody's passing. But Dottie was right in the thick of neighborhood issues. Constantly. Even when she was ill, during times she was feeling well Dottie would show up and give of herself. She was a selfless, humble warrior for NoMi, and blazed a trail others (including myself) are following. Before many Northside residents dared to dream such a dream, Dottie saw it was possible for our neighborhood to be not merely be SAFE, but actually NICE.

Dottie's life was epic, beautiful and heroic. No obituary can do her justice. She will be missed but (like Michael Spivak) she is now with us in spirit, and we will raise a glass to her from time to time. To Dottie.


Johnny Northside! said...

Megan had me correct a typo just now. I had to change "blazed a trial for others to follow" to "blazed a TRAIL for others to follow."

It's these little moments when reality "winks" at you, and it makes more sense to be a person of faith--difficult though faith may be--rather than an agnostic.

wheels4me said...

Saw this on slashdot /. Am now following your blog. Congrats on standing up against the fraudsters and exposing them for who they are.

Anonymous said...

The prostitute was a mess. She is geeking out so bad I didn't even see her hit the pipe. Geez yuck.
MCullen NE

detersbb said...

What the HELL is going on here?

Man you got screwed by a jury that is clearly over its head and had no business being seated here.

How did you interfere with the contract? Which contract-his employment contract or his fraudulent mortgage that led to his termination?

You got this one easy that jury really screwed the pooch. Did you counter claim for a frivolous complaint? You have to get a judgment to cover the costs of taking this higher and it will no doubt go to the MN State Supreme Court.

We are going to have some serious talking to do Mr. Johnny Northside-I love the name.

Best of Wishes.
Send me an e-Mail about it.


detersbb said...

"Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval."

I am sorry I did not see that I am not meaning to spam you blog.

Anonymous said...

Omg I thought Bob Zeman was shut down years ago? He owned a duplex behind by old house on 37th and First Ave So. I moved 15 years ago. I had words with him many times. He had tenants that left garbage all over, beat dogs and women. I called him a slum lord to his face and he walked away. So I asked him why he was painting the wall when the house was crumbling down? In the end a lady was killed there by her children's friend someone she had helped. He deserves to go to jail himself.
MCullen NE

Anonymous said...

Zeman of 1010 Morgan ave. north fame? The original slumlord Zeman?The "I'll slam this shotgun against the side of the doorframe and shoot myself in the stomach Zeman? I thought he was history. John, he wrote the book on slumlordin'! It's on now.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this on MPR's website?

Johnny Northside! said...

Posted today in North Vent.

Many of you may remember Dottie Titus, who used to live on the 27xx block of Penn before her death from cancer a couple years ago. Earlier this week, I drove by her house, which has always seemed uninhabited, and a man and his young son were out there shoveling together and had just finished making a snowman. Dottie would have LOVED seeing that, knowing that there was a family with little kids in her house! It was one of those "feel-good" moments!