November 2012 Archives

Analysis of a news story about a cultural group

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In The Sacramento Bee I read a story about a Hmong man being elected to his local school board.

The article takes the approach of presenting the man, Steve Ly, as a Hmong immigrant who came to America at a young age not knowing anything about the culture or language.

Ly's history is presented, saying that his father fought in the Vietnam War against the communists taking over Laos. Somehow the author was trying to create a connection between Ly's father's fierce fighting in the war and Ly's fighting in the election. I'm not sure if it works because if felt as though the Hmong were being presented in a savage manner.

The author also says that Ly had an "army" of 250 volunteers on his campaign which only reinforced the notion of savagery and brings back more images of the Vietnam War. I understand the segue between talking about the war and then using the word "army", I just think it could be misconstrued.

After this, the author doesn't seems to make anymore missteps and emphasizes the importance of Ly's win for the Hmong community. We also find out that Ly wants there to be more education about the Vietnam War in school which makes the previous references to the war more understandable.

Ly also mentions that his inspiration to run for office came from his father's fighting during the Vietnam war which, once again, makes the reference to his father's army days less random.

The article then goes into Ly's history of his life in Thailand and his first experiences as an immigrant in America. These details really make Ly seem more human and add more human interest to the story overall.

Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin may have had an impact on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Republicans have regained control of the state senate with a 21 seat majority, according to The Capital Times

The Democratic assembly candidates won 193,000 more votes across the state than the GOP, but the districting of voters may have tilted the scale towards Republican.

Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said that redistricting lines were "drawn in a way that squeezes most Democratic voters into a few districts and widely disperses their voting power across the rest of the districts."

The redistricting of Wisconsin, based on the 2010 census, was believed to have been done mostly in secret by Republicans who controlled the legislature at that time, according to Isthmus

In March, three federal judges did not contest the validity of the redistricting when Democrats accused the GOP of gaining an electoral advantage, which is technically not illegal.

This redistricting of Wisconsin may foresee a mostly Republican future for the state. The Democrats targeting certain Republican incumbents will also rely on the outcome of Scott Walker's actions in the next year to determine which direction they will be heading.

Minnetonka high school addresses dress code concerns

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A Minnetonka principal released a message Tuesday about the growing trend of young girls wearing inappropriate yoga pants to school, according to Star Tribune

The message was in the form of a concerned e-mail sent to parents encouraging them to have a conversation with their daughters about wearing spandex pants that may be see through.

The main concern of high school students was that there was a differentiation between wearing yoga pants to be comfortable, or wearing them to be inappropriate.

According to MinnetonkaPatch, some students tweeted about the e-mail claiming it was a ban on yoga pants, although it officially was only a call for modesty.

Changing clothing trends have always been an issue for high schools as they try to adjust to what the kids are wearing with each passing generation. Some trends that have been an issue in the past include saggy jeans and low-cut tops.

Minneapolis American Indian educator honored

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Danielle Grant, Minneapolis schools' director of Indian education, was named one of the state's outstanding Indian educators, according to Star Tribune

The honor was bestowed upon her by Minnesota Indian Education Association last month.

During her time as the director, the district shifted from an intervention model of serving Indian students to a more proactive approach.

Earlier this year, she led a renewal of an agreement with local Indian agencies on Indian education in Minneapolis schools which set specific numeric achievement goals for Indian students.

Grant attributes all her values, including being open to new ideas and collaborations, to her native heritage affiliation with the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe of North Dakota.

Washington prepares for the legalization of marijuana

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Voters in Colorado and Washington approved the legalization of marijuana in small amounts for personal use this past election.

This legalization poses some hurdles for the Seattle police department as they try to set certain regulations and guidelines for the new law.

According to the New York Times , former crime reporter Jonah Spangenthal-Lee runs a blog for an alternative Seattle newspaper where he tried to communicate to the mostly young users of marijuana the new implications of the legalization.

One specific blog post, titled "Marijwhatnow", functions as a question-and-answer form, according to The Washington Post that provides such information as what will happen if you are caught with marijuana before December 6th, all written in a satiric tone.

Currently, possession of marijuana is still a federal crime but the state government will be addressing all issues related to the new legalization such as licenses for growers, processors, and sellers

Washington prepares for the legalization of marijuana

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Israeli Border town hit by Gaza missiles

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The town of Kiryat Malachi was hit by rockets from Gaza on Thursday morning, according to The New York Times

A couple in their 20s with two young children did not flee their apartment in the small town possibly because they had just moved from India. The mother died from the rockets.


Analysis of a data focused story

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In an article about China's economy from the Associated Press , numbers are used to demonstrate the economic upswing the Chinese economy is currently on.

The numbers in this story are mainly used to show the reader how the economy has turned around. For instance, export growth increased to 11.6 percent from the previous month of 9.9 percent. Numbers like these are easy for a reader to understand and grasp the concept of export growth.

A lot of people don't have top notch numeracy skills so it was nice in this story that they used numbers in a clear way for anybody to understand.

The source of much of this data is "Trade data".

Another important set of numbers is used in this piece when talking about China's global trade surplus widening by nearly 90 percent over a year ago to $32 billion. A big number like that makes people look and take notice. Obviously you shouldn't insert a big number in your story just to get people to look if it isn't true, but if you have the opportunity those types of numbers are impressive to people no matter what the story.

Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin's relationship goes back farther than most people would have thought, according to Wisconsin State Journal

Thompson knew Baldwin's father in college whom Baldwin had never met since he died before she was born. Now Thompson delights in telling Baldwin little anecdotes about her father.


An 18-year-old boy is being charged with the death of a middle aged man found in a burning Minneapolis home this week.

Jamil Joshua Eason of Minneapolis has been charged with second degree murder and could face up to 40 years in jail, according to Star Tribune

The body of the man, Jay Arthur Rosio, 45, was found to not be burned but had stab wounds near the heart and cuts and bruises to the head.

Many things inside the home were found to have been intentionally lit on fire.

On Friday, Eason was in Hennepin County jail.

Main Street in Anoka receives makeover

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The Main Street in Anoka finished construction earlier this week.

The business district of Anoka has been under construction since this summer and citizens of the town and those who drive through it are happy to see it finished.

"Of course we're happy" that the Main Street construction in the city's business district is finished, said Mary Gorman to Star Tribune, owner of G's Cafe. "We're appreciative of the new look."

The main changes to the street include wider sidewalks, decorative crosswalks, and a smoother street.

A "Rediscover Anoka" online campaign was launched during the summer to encourage customers to keeps coming into the businesses despite the construction.

"We wanted to take this opportunity to look at downtown and the Main Street corridor and change it to attract people to the downtown area to make it a place to be, a place to visit," said Anoka's Public Services Director Greg Lee to the Coon Rapids Herald.

Anoka Chamber Executive Director Pete Turok said that business is slowly coming back to the main street and that citizens of Anoka are greatly enjoying the new improvements to their town.

At Occidental College, students have the option of participating in a "campaign semester" where they work on political campaigns in lieu of college courses for credit.

32 undergraduate students participated this fall in the program which is the only one of it's kind in the country.

"You can read all the textbooks in the world about campaigns and elections, but until you've worked on one, you don't realize how chaotic and exciting it is," said Peter Dreier to the New York Times, a professor of politics and chairman of the urban and environmental policy department at Occidental.

Students spend the majority of their time doing unpaid volunteer work including cavassing, calling, and coffee runs within their respective campaign headquarters.

Students work on the campaigns until they end then they return to school to discuss their experience. Sometimes students who's campaigns were unsuccessful come back a little bit distraught.

Syria hit hard by rise in violence

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Syria experienced some of it's worst violence in months during the growing conflict.

The Local coordinating committee, a collection of activist organizations across Syria, reported the daily death toll to be at least 159, according to the New York Times

Much of the fighting involved Popular Front units, who were backed by government artillery. The Popular Front stands for the Liberation of Palestine General Command and still supports the government.

Around 450,000 Palestinians and their descendants currently live in Syria, and many side with those leading the uprising. A number of displaced families have started camping in back gardens or schoolyards.

A car bomb exploded in a Damascus neighborhood behind the official palace of President Bashar al-Assad. The Free Syrian army is responsible for the attack and was targeted at military officers and members of armed militias that fight for the government.

Mostly Sunni Muslim are out to fight against Assad, according to the Los Angeles Times

Assad said his administration defends Syria's minority groups. The government is labeling armed rebels as terrorists.

Recently, pro and anti-Assad Palestinian factions clashed which has divided Syria's Palestinian refugee community.

Kafarnabel, a northwestern Syria town, has achieved international notoriety because of it's residents using witty protest banners, some even in English that have been posted on YouTube.

Analysis of a Notable Obituary

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The female architect, Gae Aulenti, died at 84 on Wednesday in her Milan home. Aulenti was most famous for designing Paris's Musée d'Orsay, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times

A number of different sources are used in the obituary who knew Aulenti as a person, and add a personal perspective of who she was.

For instance, Emily Sano, who worked with Aulenti as director of the Asian Art Museum when Aulenti was renovating it, said that Aunlenti "had a very profound understanding of classical architecture ... but also an extremely modern sensibility." She also provided details about Aulenti's ability to create objects and spaces that deeply affected people.

A couple of other sources include Aunlenti's own words from past articles she wrote for magazines, including Architecture and Urbanism magazine. Also, there is a quote from an interview she did with the New York Times in 1987.

This obituary does use the typical lead that many paid obituaries use. Instead it contains more information about her life rather than her death. It contains all the basic information about her death, but also elaborates on notable achievements in her life, such as the Musée d'Orsay, more than would a typical person's obituary.

The main news value to this story is the importance Aulenti had in the world of architecture. The Musée d'Orsay is one of the most famous museums in the world, so she is an architect more famous than others. The fact that she is a female also makes this a bit more news worthy since most famous architects are male.

The difference between this obituary and a resume is the quality of writing is much more human in the obituary. A resume might be more of a clinical list of achievements and notable facts about a person whereas this obituary tells a story and takes the reader on a short journey of her life.

The reader gets a bit of insight inside her struggle as a female architect and the way she grew up believing that architecture was only a male profession. After reading this obituary, the reader may feel like they know Aulenti as a person with feelings and struggles and not just a face with a list of achievements.


Paul Ryan visits Green Bay Packers Lambeau Stadium

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The Wisconsin congressman and his family visited the Green Bay Packers Stadium before the Sunday football game, according to Wisconsin State Journal

Two of Mitt Romney's sons and four of his grandchildren accompanied the family.

Ryan did not make any formal remarks about the election and did not go inside the stadium, only socialized before the game.

The congressman is now headed to Ohio, Minnesota, and Colorado for campaign rallies.

Last month, Ryan visited a practice of the Cleveland Browns.


Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have been locked out of Minneapolis City Council meetings since they voted Oct. 1 to reject a contract that would cut minimum salaries by 32 percent, according to Star Tribune

The City of Minneapolis typically discourages the use of lockouts to settle labor disputes, so they are hoping talks between the Council and orchestra will begin again.

Currently concerts for the Minnesota Orchestra have been canceled through November and there may be a possibility to cancel the December ones as well.

Management of the Minnesota Orchestra refused to talk until the union bring a financial proposal to the table.

So far the union has three proposals: Employ binding arbitration, continue to play during talks, and a financial analysis.

The orchestra is currently trying to raise $110 million for 3 purposes: $50 million for a hall renovation, $30 million in artistic initiatives, and $30 million for endowment.

11 Twin Cities men are federally indicted for their 12 year heroin ring lasting from 2000 to Oct. 15 2012, according to Star Tribune

The men are being charged with an indictment that states the possible distribution of 1 kilogram or more of heroin.

If convicted, the men face a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison, according to KARE 11

Several men were also charged with distribution or possession close to 138 grams of heroin.

This indictment is one of a couple that might be signaling the growling prevalence of heroin in Minnesota.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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