Letters to the Editor: Mad About Us

Readers respond to Best of issue

Victory is about as "undiscovered" as the Americas before Columbus. Is the writer a recent transplant to the Cities? Thousands of us have known about north Minneapolis for a long time. It seems it is only the media that "rediscover" the neighborhoods of North every few years, that is, when they aren't freaking out and saying how scary and dangerous it is. Sadly, the political leadership of Minneapolis seems to take its cues from ridiculous coverage like this and treats North like some distant frontier—somewhere nice to visit and keep as a resource, but not really worth investing in.

Justin Time

She's never seen Mad Men

Why do you have a picture of a man smoking on your current issue? Haven't you heard of smoking as a serious health issue?


Phil Mackey scores

Glad to hear not only that Phil's doing so well—his hard work, persistence, and knowledge are certainly paying off—but that he's receiving due recognition for his talent.

Richard Palzer

Mallman Marathon

Damn right this was the best local show of the past 12 months, and by far one of the most surreal things I've ever witnessed, concert or otherwise. Never have I seen the local music community so united behind an event both on and off stage, let alone seen the Turf Club so packed when it came down to the very end. Every hour there was a unique experience, and it practically pained me to tear myself away from the event when I had to work, sleep, and hit up another show Friday night. Still managed to spend about 36 hours at the event, but that's nothing compared to guys like Chris Strouth or Erik Hess. They practically lived at the Turf Club with Mallman (who I'm pretty sure is some kind of superhuman or demigod) for most of Marathon 3 too.

Just a dude

The gentle tattooist

I've had most of my work done by Kurt. He's an amazing artist with a very gentle touch. I gave him an idea of what I was looking for and he free-hand drew the most perfect scene of cherry blossoms, water, koi, and cranes. It turned out beautiful! I highly recommend this shop.

Patty Brodsky

Nine reasons to love Heidi's

A great choice for Best New Restaurant! A truly amazing experience on all levels, but if you really want to change your life, try their nine-course tasting menu! Wow!

Jim Smart

Hail to the chef

Higher volume floats (sustains) more boats. Kudos to Lenny for leading from the top with a diverse business, and also to Alex Roberts with multiple outlets for principled meat. Back to what's on the plate, the burger on the bar menu at Heartland (the only meal I've had there) was the best I've eaten in Twin Cities, in part due to the fact that it was not commodified meat, but on flavor it was great. Affordable too.


One mean beer

I have some Abrasive in the fridge right now. It's a pretty amazing beer. Like the article said, this isn't a tame beer by any means, but if you even slightly enjoy IPAs and other beers that aren't afraid to let you know they contain hops, I would recommend trying an Abrasive. It has a strong malt backbone to prevent that major mouth-puckering bitterness you'd expect in a hop bomb. I've had red ales with far less IBUs that I thought were more bitter tasting. Congrats, Surly, keep up the good work and good luck on the new brewery!


My Voice Nation Help
Confused in Wisconsin
Confused in Wisconsin

Just passing along a probable news Tip. Are you familiar with the Mitt Romney, Stuart Utgaard connection?

Just the facts;

Stuart Utgaard lives in St. Croix County. Former creator and CEO of Sportsman's Warehouse, Stuart was also Wisconsin Chairman of Mitt Romney 2008 campaign. He was one of Romney's big contributors. Since then Mr. Utgaard has fallen on hard tiems. His company went bankrupt, owing nealy 500 million dollars to vendors, investors, and others. Then Mr. Utgaard was arrested for threatening hisw family with a shotgun.

Most of Mr. Utgaards business connections were out of Utah were mutual admirers of Romney.

Now for the rumors;Mitt Romney was involved with the Sportsman's Warehouse at some level. Mr. Utgaard was basicly running a faith based Ponsey scheme, albiet Berie Madolff.

The thing that surprises many of the St. Croix locals is why this partnership has never been investigated by the news media.

I nominate City Pages to take on the challenge.

Craig Ty Thompson
Craig Ty Thompson

This narrative documents my ordeal with the most immoral humans of my life. It is unfortunate I am able to say I know what living having my Civil Rights exploited is like. I noticed new people moving into the vacant unit next door and hoped they turned out less rowdy than the previous tenants. Soon after I began hearing them speaking about intimate details of my life. They stalked me by listening at the 6 common walls in my home. I had captured their attention as I worked at finding a new job after being laid off. I assisted Kasa, an E Commerce company; amass enough corporate and financial stability to move to acquire corporate and warehousing facilities in California. I would not have expected my Human and Civil Rights to be violated in my own home. The abuse began after I resided in peace for 2 years at 434 Lafond Ave, St Paul, MN 55103. I met the 2 primary perpetrators when I was outside with my dog. This was one of my last days of peace. They certainly pretended to be nice at first. Erica Sims rented unit 11 and her associate Keisha Lockridge moved into unit 9. I remember noticing how nice it must be to move into a new rental community with a close friend. It seemed amazing to have such help especially since moving alone is such a burden. I even assisted Ms. Sims in unit 11 with the moving of an article of furniture! I am not certain what possessed these adult women and their companions to devote each day to ravaging my confidence, mind, and human rights. These women thriving in such dominant predatory abuser roles are completely revolting and redouble my horror and the severity of the civil abuses which followed.After only a few days I began hearing loud observations by my neighbors commenting on several details of my life. I quickly ascertained after almost 1.5 years of residency that I suddenly could not exist in my own home with privacy or dignity. I can remember finding it odd Erica would care to repeat phone conversations and ridicule the fact that I speak to my canine as if she were a member of my family. I simply regarded her as someone who could not live in a community without disturbing someone and hoped the novelty of it all would evaporate. It was extremely difficult to maintain any semblance of composure when more voices joined hers to begin to engage in the same repellant neighborly behavior. The first and at that time most scandalizing incident occurred about 2 weeks after they arrived at Lafond Apartments. I awoke and began my morning ambulation as normal despite previous annoyances. I was shocked and mortified to hear one of her male associates’ pointed critique on my hygiene. He repeatedly stage whispered his hearty amusement in the way I undertook using the toilet and even the manifestations of my health issues. This was humiliating primarily because I was alone in my lavatory exposed already suffering the effects of their injudiciousness. The frequency of their gang abuse escalated in frequency and severity alarmingly rapidly. I eventually realized these proliferating organized harassment and stalking demonstrations were manifestations of their need to weaken and isolate me enough to be exploited for their illegitimate amusement. Nearly each occasion I was in my kitchen my new tormentors consistently increased my disquiet via vociferous intimidation and mob rituals with no regard or discretion concerning fictional and painfully honest private details and habits in my life. Rude and vile comments that increased in frequency and intensity happened during the preparation; cooking and even eating of nearly every meal I had the displeasure of undertaking in the discomfort of my own home. This was the first time I realized these atrocious people were using many forms of what is known as Gang Domestic Terrorism.Unfortunately I can say I am now completely comfortable with the organized loud group chants of nasty faggot, child abuser and child molester. These are the most hurtful but in no way the only resounding echoing cycles of emotional abuse I have been forced to endure. It is nearly impossible to describe the dishevelment one feels when they are obliged to sustain constant ritualized hate and intimidation campaigns. This led to me consulting my general practitioner, law enforcement, property management and family for guidance. All avenues of assistance insist my Civil Rights are being contravened.Ѫ Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement. -Civil Rights- Wikipedia EncyclopediaTheir intentional invasions of my privacy, Civil and Human Rights have been my life’s inevitability. My privacy has been taken from me with no regard to my detriment, legal repercussions or my human rights which were granted in 1860. This progressed to loud chants of physical bodily harm to me if I did what was needed to stop their harassment and threats thus their infringement of my Human Rights in my own home. The complete horror of my experience can’t be denied. I worked with building management to record audio of the harassment which is required to document the seriousness of the harassment issue to no avail. This is also needed to successfully terminate their lease due to their inability to live near others without causing them harm emotionally and or physically.I now have ascertained there is at least one unknown device being used to reconnoiter my activities at any time of the day or night. Most recently I have discovered this polemic and illicit technology is also seemingly able to remote view my thoughts. A possibly mundane observation is the device sends a signal that is easily picked up by certain electronics I own. I have no prior knowledge of any technology that enables a person to be able to spy on another in this way. I have professional confirmation no unauthorized experiments can be legally conducted on me; certainly not while I am consigned to the safety of my own home. Their criminal technology sanctions the circumvention of my home security and violates our law against the wanton abuse of others human rights. This criminal behavior also follows me regardless of my location due to the complexity of their remote neural monitoring, gang stalking and group harassment methodology. The device is cruel and unusual because it provides no escape from their persecution. I have tried repeatedly to use the recorder provided the former manager of Lafond Apartments with no success mainly because the harassment and threats are veiled or masked by the targeted equipment’s output.Erica Sims and her unauthorized adult co tenants have lived in unit 11 for near 6 months violation my human rights. They also have another unit from which they can use an illegal surveillance device. Keisha Lockridge renting unit 9 is on the second level adjunct to my mother’s previous unit in the same housing complex. They are able to use my personal history, identity info like my social security number and Google and financial account info spoken in the discomfort of my own home as potent ammunition to drive me to the breaking point and beyond. New usernames and passwords are rendered I have no idea what amendment entitles them to exercise their Civil Rights by encroaching upon mine. This is one of the many times I felt afraid enough to contact the police department. My mind has been infiltrated by my neighbors who can’t keep from constantly dwelling in my head. I have wanted to fall asleep and never wake. I feel they read every thought out loud as I think it. I hear them discussing my most intimate memories even when I do not actively think them. One example is I looked at a photo of a bird and heard them discussing the death of a pet bird years ago. They monitor nearly every conversation and activity that I perform. This is one of many violations of my privacy. Every day of my life I listen to them use me as their reality show. I am 99.9% positive they are not psychic and have received licensed confirmation I am completely sane. They repeat everything I say which has at time lead to me not speaking at all on the phone or to my pets in order to minimize their hate ammunition. Why should I defend myself when I have not offended them? This is a hate crime also. I am been hounded persistently! I have no idea what to do now that I have moved and am still required to endure further harassment via key electronic home entertainment equipment. Please help me or kindly provide any alternate organization contact info I can use to seek help elsewhere. Respectfully,Craig ThompsonTyThompson.C@Gmail.com

- Best Regards,

Craig Ty Thompson


After reading the story about Victoria Jackson, I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. I got the impression she's overcome a lot of obstacles, including a very demanding (abusive?) father. Watching the YouTube of her Angry Woman routine, performed on Johnny Carson's show, I felt she was expressing, knowingly and unknowingly, a deep longing for acceptance, as well as wry humor in that unusual bit. With regard to the City Pages piece, I felt kinda sad and sorry for Jackson, because the writer seemed so intent on putting her down, even to the point of missing the opposite-is-true, self-deprecating humor and appreciation found her quip that her husband ruined her life. Jackson has said and done much that is quite deplorable or laughable, but I would have appreciated being informed more than entertained. Good, nuanced journalism always makes me happy.

Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes

Hey Mayor Rybek, you sure looked great on the cover of the City Pages - how about a little leadership now? North Minneapolis needs your help!

The biggest problem I'm seeing in the Jordan neighborhood this season is not the random gunshot deaths of innocent 3 year old kids (although that was a terrible thing to happen), but the intentional stripping of copper plumbing from unoccupied buildings. For instance: the Butter Roll Bakery on B'way and Irving operated for 50+ years, and closed its doors in the fall; a few weeks ago a "for sale" sign went up, and by the weekend all its plumbing was gone. Copper thieves steal whatever they can drag out of a building and drive right down the the scrap yards by the river to sell it before anybody's the wiser. They do $50,000 of damage to a property to gain $500 in cash, and another historic building is turned into a worthless shell, suitable for nothing but the wrecking ball. What business in their right mind would move into a neighborhood with that kind of activity going on?

But hey, those copper thieves are entrepreneurs, and their fencing enablers at the scrap yards can't be to blame, are they? Heaven forbid we ask for some sort of city governmental regulation on copper transactions (like we do at pawn shops), like taking the names & license plates of scrap sellers. Welcome to the libertarian paradise that is your future. You can't buy a can of Red Devil drain cleaner without a federal permit - but you can steal the drain, and nobody say boo.

The city police dep't says it doesn't have enough manpower to cover the North side to watch for copper thieves. Right - after all we've gotta pay to get that new Vikings Stadium up, and vital city services are the first on the chopping block. I suppose if somebody started stripping copper from the old mansions in Kenwood, or along Lake of the Isles, they wouldn't have manpower either, would they? Au contraire - they'd have the whole police force sitting down there watching the Pillsbury or Weyerhauser estates. That's how justice in city politics works, unfortunately... give the billionaires whatever they want, and you can eat grass.


Being a writer myself, I have always respected the great work of City Pages. So why cheapen the hard work of your staff by allowing young women to advertise their prostitution in back pages such as in the link below. I know this person and that is exactly what shes doing. Craigslist can't even get away with things like this anymore. You should monitor your free ads more often.


State of MN Budget & Health Insurance for Ex-Spouses of State of MN Employees.Did you know that the State of MN pays full health and dental insurance to ex-spouses of State of MN employees?!? It doesn't matter if the ex-spouse has their own insurance through their own employer. It doesn't matter if they re-marry. The only requirement is they had a child(ren) with their ex-spouse State employee. The State is broke yet they allow this practice?!? While legislators waste time defining what constitutes a marriage they turn a blind eye to this kind of waste by providing for excellent taxpayer funded health and dental insurance to ex-spouses of State employees. Isn't anyone else outraged by this nonsense? Please City Pages, investigate this issue.


I've been a part of Occupy MN since Day One (actually, since before that) so naturally I was surprised to find out yesterday that I have been "banned" from their facebook page; resumably for having the audacity to criticize some of their actions on that page in the past. Apparently the "free and open exchange of ideas" is not really their thing. Anyway, I thought this would be a good story for you - "The Protest Movement That Doesn't Allow Protest." If interested, I'm on facebook or gmail. - Jeff Pert


I lived in Minneapolis for 10 years and now travel back every once and a while for business. When I'm in town I check out the local art scene. I saw some of Scott Seekins work at Familia skate board shop and it seems like he can draw circles around the other cartoonists that you publish. Why don't I see more of his work in your paper?


Wha is the best possible way to promote my self published book in city pages?

Anne Marie Kostrzewski
Anne Marie Kostrzewski

is there a local publication that can provide entertainment, restaurant and event information without an liberal agenda and conservative party bashing? A search for information should be bi-partisan. ugh....


Durga Prasad Muni
Durga Prasad Muni

I have given mail to US Consulate, Immigration, Police, Labor and Human Rights officials regarding false declaration related H1B visa, inhumane treatment, unsafe working condition, un-lawful termination etc. being practiced by DC Group Inc., Minneapolis. But, the concerned officials are not responding to my request for investigation and corrective actions to avoid victimization of immigrants in future. In spite of rigorous procedure for H1B visa, DC Group Inc. is able to mislead the USCIS officials in recruiting under-qualified engineers (Non BS).Hence, I request to publish/flash these facts in your esteemed News Paper and news channel for wide circulation among US citizens and immigrants from other countries to avoid victimization by companies like, DC Groups Inc. The details of H1B false declaration, inhumane treatment, unsafe working condition, un-lawful termination etc. and list of recipients are attached with this mail.LAST AND FINAL REMINDER 03I have given two reminders E-mail requesting for justice. But, there is no reply so far from anybody. Is there anybody in immigration, labor dept, police dept and other US organization to help me? Why all of you are keeping quiet? I know immigration dept has made mistake, but why immigration dept is not admitting their mistake. DC Group has violated the immigration law. Why immigration dept is not taking any serious legal action against DC Group Inc?I have brought these issues and other illegal activities being carried out by DC Groups in my below mails. I have given lots of mail to Immigration, police dept, labor departments and other US organization. But, no reply from anybody. Is there any law and order authority in US? But I have observed in US, law and order is not there. All concerned departments are aware of the cheating and illegal activities of DC Group, but not exposing the incident either to hide your inefficiency in tackling the issue or supporting DC Group to perpetuate illegal activities.You take so much care in immigration process. Still companies like, DC Groups are able to find loop holes and carry out illegal activities under your noses. I need justice. Your wrong processing has spoiled my career. If, I do not get any justice and reply from you ASAP, I will highlight the issues to higher officials, printing media, visual Medias, MN Governor and US President Mr. Obama.

On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 3:46 PM, DURGA PRASAD MUNI <dpmuni1974@gmail.com> wrote:


I am giving the following facts for your perusal and necessary action to avoid recurrence of such malpractice being perpetuated by DC Group. a) I was recruited from India by telephonic interview for the post of Field Service Engineer in DC Group Inc, 1977 West River Road, North, Minneapolis 55411. I had been selected for Field Service Engineer. DC Group has also mentioned about Field Service Engineer post in their H1B petition document. But, after arrival in USA,I was posted as Technician. b) As per DC Group’s petitions to USCIS, they are recruiting only BS engineer from India as per H1B petition document. But, after joining I found that, DC Group is declaring diploma engineers as equivalent to BS engineers and recruiting mostly Diploma Engineers from India. DC Group is cheating immigration authorities blatantly by wrong declaration. Diploma engineers have also been selected from US consulates in Mumbai, Delhi & Chennai from India. c) In the petition document to USCIS for H1B Visa, DC Group has been declared as the manufacturer of UPS in Minneapolis, by its management. But, DC Group is the third party service provider of UPS system. This shows that DC Group makes wrong declaration to USCIS authority for obtaining H1B visa. Further, it isguides the job applicants also. d) Before joining, they had not mentioned about service any bond. But, after joining they forced me to sign a bond to serve DC Group for 3 years or to pay $12000, in case I resign. They threatened to stop salary, if I do not sign the bond. They have not given the copy of the signed bond so far. e) It is observed that DC Group is not paying salary regularly. They had promised to give salary every two weeks. But, they are giving salary fifteen days after due date. f) In offer letter, they had promised to give medical and dental insurance. They were deducting $300 for medical insurance from salary for a couple.g) I am a BS engineer. They fixed my salary at $46000. After joining, I found that they are paying same amount to diploma engineers. h) Mental harassment and torture by DC Group’s Mr. Samuel, Technical Director is a routine matter. It was a nightmare for me, after joining the organization. i) DC Group is employing engineers, who are not proficient in English. Recruited engineers cannot even communicate in English. j) DC Group is jeopardizing customer’s costly equipment and power security by employing diploma engineers without experience in high power UPS maintenance. k) DC Group is forcing engineers to lift heavy batteries weighing 60 to 70 kegs. I was forced to lift heavy weights at BOSTON SCIENTIFIC AT ST. PAUL & one more site at St. Paul also.l) DC Group had told me, they would post me in Minneapolis or Seattle. They had asked me to purchase car. I went to Affinity Plus bank for loan. I was sanctioned loan of $20000. But, the same day evening Mr. Samuel, Technical Director asked me to go back to India, as I am not needed any more. m) There was no details of bond in the offer letter. Even the bond is one sided bond. They are asking the employee to play $12000, in case the employee resigns before 3 years. But, there is no provision of $1200 payment to the employee, if the employer terminates the employee before three years. This is really a cheating to the employees. n) They have forcibly kept my driving license. When I requested Mr. Samuel to send the license, he told me that, what is the use to take the license was. Now they are telling that, they have mailed m e. The above facts indicate that DC Group is hiring Diploma Engineers from India with wrong declarations. Immigration authorities are overlooking the facts or helping DC Group to operate their business in fraudulent ways. Immigration department checks the immigration petitions at several levels. But, it is not fool proof, as observed during my stay in USA. DC group is taking shelter on loop holes of immigration laws. I was duped by DC Groups. I resigned from my previous job in Govt. sector with the job offer from DC Groups. When I pointed out wrong doings of the Directors and CEO, they terminated me. I was forced to come back to India. DC Group terminated me within three months of joining. I require justice from Immigration authorities and DC Groups. If, I do not get justice, I will highlight these issues in print, internet and visual media as well as to US president. The mental torture, I am undergoing due to DC Group and improper functioning of Immigration authorities is unimaginable. If, I am not re-employed by next few days, I will highlight the issue in different media and write to your president for justice.JON FRANK, CEO , DC GROUP: 612-804-6371. CHARLIE, HR, DC GROUP:612-287-0703SAMUEL, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR DC GROUP:612-804-2831As per petition document submitted to USCIS, the minimum qualification required for the post of Field Service Engineer is BS engineers. But, it has been noticed that DC Group is recruiting Diploma Engineers from India by obtaining false equivalence certificate from Trustforte corporation, 271 madison avenue, 3rd floor, Newyork-10016 . Trustforte is declaring Diploma Engineers with ten years experience is equivalent to BS Engineer of USA. Thus, DC group is hiring under qualified engineers for the post of Field Service Engineers. Hence, I request you the verify the facts and take necessary corrective actions and give right & Justice.

At what way diploma engineers are approved from the below concern US Consulate, India.

The details of Diploma Engineers with DC Group with such wrong certificate are given below.Sl. No.NameUSA Consulate1NarayanChennai2Chelian raju kananChennai3JohnChennai4Ranvir SinghDelhi5Arif ChauhanMumbai6Ashraf PathanMumbai

I would like to know whether Diploma Engineer with ten years experience is equivalent to BS Engineer of USA? With Best Warm Regards,Durga Prasad Muni+919985418217104, Jayalakshmi Apt.Jayanagar, NewBoweenpallySecunderbad-500011Andhrapradesh, India</dpmuni1974@gmail.com>


1961 was a good time to be alive? In the early 60s the city of Edina had an informal motto: "Not one Negro and not one Jew."Guess it was a good time to be alive if you were, like your two cover models, Caucasian and heterosexual.You have to remember, Mad Men is a television show and is fictitious.

Minnesota Concert Tickets