September Update: Dale Connelly, Dinner, Conversations, Online Auction and More

We have a lot going on this month at the Twin Cities Media Alliance and Twin Cities Daily Planet, including a Citizen Journalism 101 class at the Rondo Public Library tomorrow (Wednesday), a benefit dinner this Sunday, community conversations on the New Normal and the environment starting next week, an online auction, and a Brown Bag with Minnesota radio legend Dale Connolly. Scroll down for details, and our editors’ reports on what we did in August.

But first – here’s early notice that the Twin Cities Media Alliance will have an online auction starting Monday, September 26 to raise money for the Daily Planet and our other programs. We have already gotten lots of nifty donations, including gift certificates fot dinners at Heidi’s Restaurant, Sen Yai Sen Lek, and Cafe Levain, a Rod Carew autographed baseball from the Minnesota Twins, chocolates from Chocolat Celeste, a luscious dessert from Caffe Latte, a gift certificate for the Smitten Kitten, and much more! If you have a gift certificate or a service that you would like to donate (a one-hour wardrobe consultation? face painting for kids birthday party?)  please respond to this email. It’s a great way to promote your business, and support a worthy non-profit. More details coming soon.

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, September 14:  Citizen Journalism workshop – the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of journalism. If you are curious about citizen journalism, this class taught by Daily Planet editor Mary Turck will be a great introduction. Contact to register. (This is Part I; the other parts have been postponed.)

Sunday, September 18: We still have a few tickets left for our Pick of the Market Dinner with chef Shelagh Connolly at the Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown Saint Paul. It’ll be a great dinner and a great time. Chef Shelagh Connolly has 30 years of experience at local fine dining restaurants including W.A Frost, Bravo!, the New French Cafe, Dakota Bar & Grill, Tria, and The Mildred Pierce Café, where she served as both chef and owner. On the day of the dinner, Connolly will stroll across the street from the Black DogCafé to the Saint Paul Farmers Market. There, she’ll select the freshest ingredients to create her “Pick of the Market” menu.
The cost? Only $45 per person for Daily Planet members and their guests, including wine and dessert; $50 for non-members.*
Where: The Black Dog Café, 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul
When: 6:30 p.m., Sunday, September 18. Special members-only aperitif hour, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., next door at the AZ Gallery.
Where to park: On- and off-street parking is available near the Black Dog Café. Best bet: The surface lot located on Prince Street directly behind the café. Parking there costs only $1 for the entire evening.
To purchase tickets, click here:

*To become a member, simply click here; any donation of $10 or more qualifies.

September Community Conversations on The New Normal and the Environment

The New Normal: Deciding Community Priorities in a Downsized Economyis the Daily Planet’s year-long project of news stories and community conversations, funded by the Bush Foundation, devoted to finding solutions to new economic challenges in our communities.

“During our August focus on transportation,” reports New Normal project manager Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva, “Bruce Johansen got our gears shifting with his bike and transportation coverage, and we had fascinating conversations. Thanks to Transit for Livable Communities and the Bike Depot for their participation in the New Normal conversations on transportation.”
This month, we’ll be taking a close look at environmental issues in the Twin Cities.  As we witness more environmental destruction, and watch our natural resources diminish, what is the best way to protect the environment? Should we:
1) Implement stronger regulations?
2) Educate for individual actions?
3) Rely on market approaches?
4) Try another alternative?

You can join the conversation at any of these community meetings:

Tuesday, September 20 • 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Wilder Foundation
451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul

Thursday, September 22, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Land Stewardship Project • Focus on urban agriculture
821 East 35th Street, Suite 200, Minneapolis
Another conversation is tentatively scheduled with the Audubon Society in October with a focus on Birds and the Big Picture. Check here for updates.

And, of course, we welcome you to host a conversation yourself, write a blog post, or suggest an article idea. Email

Wednesday, September 28: Brown Bag with KFAI News Director Dale Connolly

Please join us for a Brown Bag program Wednesday, September 28 at noon at the East Lake Public Library, 2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis featuring KFAI news director Dale Connolly. Before joining KFAI, Dale spent 34 years at MPR as a journalist, producer and disc jockey, and was for many years the co-host Jim Ed Poole (Tom Keith) of MPR’s Morning Show. Dale also hosts the Trail Baboon blog, takes on freelance writing, voice work and consulting projects and does volunteer work for organizations that inspire him.

Editors Reports:
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:

We continue to offer strong, daily news coverage, from the demise of GangNet and the rise of police security surveillance to Minnesota returning veterans, local connections with the Somali famine, and what’s happening in North Minneapolis, post-tornado. Our most recent columnist additions are Lu Lippold (Bite It!) and Nicky Stein-Grohs (#MSP). Ifrah Jimale’s Ask a Somali continues to generate a lot of interest.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

In August we saw wide readership for our Minnesota Fringe Festival coverage and for our columnists—including our newest columnist Nicky Stein-Grohs, who writes about diverse local people and places in her column #MSP. We also started running Local Lists, an occasional series of fun, satirical lists written collaboratively by our arts contributors. (For example, what should you yell as you go down the giant slide at the State Fair?) As the fall season swings into gear, look for our excellent theater and dance coverage to pick up—including a report from the grand opening of the new Cowles Center for the Performing Arts!

Save this date: The New Normal: Deciding Community Priorities in a Downsized Economy is the Daily Planet’s year-longroject of news stories and community conversations, funded by the Bush Foundation, devoted to finding solutions to new economic challenges in our communities. We’re tackling a different topic every month. The New Normal is also the topic of  TCMA’s 7th Annual Fall Media Forum, to be held Saturday, November 12 at the downtown Minneapolis branch of the Hennepin County Library:

Inform, Connect, Organize: Media Tools for the New Normal
Budget cuts and a tough economy threaten many of the things that Minnesotans value most – the quality of our schools, the vitality of our neighborhoods, even our jobs and livelihoods. Our forum will focus  on the media tools and information resources that can help citizens, communities and businesses inform themselves, communicate and work together. More details coming soon.
You can support our work by donating to the Twin Cities Media Alliance through the donation website, (  If you prefer, you can send a check to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin, suite #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.

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