Insight News

Feb 11th


Minnesota Muslims to Begin Ramadan August 11

Minnesota Muslims to Begin Ramadan August 11Month offers opportunity to learn about Islam, Muslims

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Muslim community in Minnesota and around the world began the month-long fast of Ramadan (rom-a-don), the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset.

Because the beginning and end of Islamic lunar months depend on the sighting of the new moon and different communities use varying methods to determine the moon-sighting, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary.

The fast is performed to exercise discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.

Local mosques host iftars (fast-breaking meal) on a daily basis, as well as other social activities. Mosques also have special prayers, called taraweeh, after the daily nighttime prayer. In the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan, Muslims mark Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny").

Foreclosure does not mean you cannot vote

Residents who are involved in mortgage foreclosure proceedings can still vote, says Hennepin County Taxpayer Services Director Jill Alverson.

“You cannot be denied the right to vote simply because you are in foreclosure,” says Alverson, whose department oversees county elections and efforts by the county to assist and inform residents going through foreclosure.

“The fact that a home may be in foreclosure is not sufficient evidence that the owner no longer lives there,” says Alverson. “The foreclosure process is often a long, drawn-out process, sometimes lasting more than eight months and even longer if the owner pursues legal action. The owner may continue to live in the home and still has rights to the property for some time during foreclosure – including the right to live in the home for at least six months after a sheriff’s sale. So as long as you’re living in your house, you can claim it as your residence, even if a foreclosure is in process.”

Gardens, opera and food – A great summertime combination!

J.D. Rivers’ Children’s Garden at Theodore Wirth Park sets the perfect stage for Tales of Hoffmann: A Picnic Operetta at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. The garden is located at Glenwood Ave. and Washburn in Theodore Wirth Park.

Hoffmann is a globetrotting poet following his romantic whims across Europe encountering fantastical adventures with robots, evil magicians and ghosts. The performance by Mixed Precipitation performance initiative is perfect for opera lovers, gardeners, kids and “foodies,” as locally-sourced food samplings from the garden are prepared fresh and served to translate the events of the story.

Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating. Please call 612-619-2112. The operetta is free, but donations are appreciated. ASL services are provided. The presentation at J. D. Rivers’ is one of 12 selected community gardens in the Twin Cities. This performance is supported by grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the St. Louis Park Arts and Culture Grant and the Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation, in partnership with MPRB Environmental Education Division.

For more information visit

Sabathanites return to Aquatennial

Sabathanites return to AquatennialSabathanites return to Aquatennial

The Hines family arrived from New York a generation ago carrying a legacy of drumming in their genes. “My two brothers, my two sisters  and I had always been in drum and bugle corps as drummers and majorettes. It was the family tradition,” music maestro Gary Hines told Insight News last week.

“We hadn’t been here a good week when Spike Moss tracked us down. He had heard about us being drummers. He asked to come around to the Elks. We drummed with the Elks, Cato Lodge and others from that point on,” he said.

Lyndale Peace Garden is site of 65th anniversary commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Lyndale Park Peace Garden in Minneapolis is one of the sites of the 2010 Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemoration events in the Twin Cities Aug. 5-8. The events mark the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of the two cities in Japan, the legacy of 20th century peacemakers, and the victims of the bombings.

The events at the Peace Garden include:

Thursday, Aug. 5, 6 p.m. – Formal tea ceremony by the Yukimakai Tea Study group. The ceremony occurs at the same time as commemoration events in Hiroshima. Music will be provided the Arden Consort.

Friday, Aug. 6, 7:30 a.m. – Ceremony of the Cranes. Former Minneapolis mayor Donald Fraser speaks at the ceremony. He was mayor when the original relic stone arrived from Hiroshima in 1985, which now marks the entrance to the Peace Garden Bridge. The program includes the story of Sadako Saski, a girl who developed cancer as a result of radiation released by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Told of a Japanese legend that people who fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish, Sadako folded over 1,000 cranes before her death at age 12. Wristbands with the names of bombing survivors, and on which people can write names of peacemakers, will be available at all the events to personalize the legacy of war and peace.

Friday, Aug. 6, 11 a.m., Ceremony of 11 Bells at the Spirit of Peace sculpture – Twenty women from Junshin High School and University in Nagasaki will join Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27, and Women in Black of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

All events are free and open to the public. The Peace Garden is located at 4124 Roseway Road. For further information on other events, directions to the sites, and background information, visit or or call 952-922-0308.

Wirth Lake Area improvements focus on water quality, natural resources and picnic areas

Park Board approves Phase III plan following public input

It won’t be long before visitors to Theodore Wirth Regional Park will be able to take a sunset stroll on a boardwalk along Wirth Lake, listen to an outdoor concert overlooking the lake and get a glimpse of urban wildlife. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners (MPRB) at its July 21 meeting approved the Wirth Beach Phase III site improvements. Approval follows recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), and feedback from public hearings held on June 16 and on July 7.

The project, officially called Wirth Beach Phase 3, includes the area surrounding the lake and the picnic area south of Glenwood Ave. The approved plan includes a trail loop around the lake and family picnic areas with shelters for 250, 50 and 25 people. A promenade along the east side of the lake will feature a performance area, restrooms and concessions, art and play features and lake shore overlooks. Eco-friendly parking lots will accommodate visitors to the park. The western lakeshore focuses on supporting wildlife habitat and preserving natural areas.

UnitedHealthcare and KaBOOM! hosted Design Day for new playground at Oak Park Center

UnitedHealthcare and KaBOOM! hosted Design Day for new playground at Oak Park CenterUnitedHealthcare and organizers from KaBOOM! hosted a Design Day for children at Pillsbury United Communities' Oak Park Center last week. Children from the Center had the opportunity to put crayon to paper and draw their dream playgrounds, which will later become a reality. Elements from the children's drawings will be incorporated into the final design for the new community playground which will be built at the Center in September. Design Day was also the first meeting of the planning committee what will work for the next eight weeks to prepare for the playground's construction.
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