NewsNight Minnesota; 3145; NewsNight Minnesota Episode from 05/14/1996; SD-Base
Be off. You know recording the right thing right.
I think you're right.
Yes. What I might do is I might also put my hands out and say that my much love congressman. Oh yes. OK. Oh I think I just heard Congressman Oberstar. OK.
Hi Congressman Oberstar this counts down in St. Paul can you hear me. Whoops.
Tonight on NEWSNIGHT In the case of American Indian kids to separate Sapir ear.
We'll talk about it. Down by the river front Minneapolis city leaders hope history repeats itself soared. Volunteers pitch in to help rape survivors. And in our commentary Kathy Warry wants feminists to lay off the Promise Keepers. That's all tonight on NEWSNIGHT.
Thanks for tuning in.
I'm Kathy worser here on the NEWSNIGHT set and I'll be back in just a few minutes. But we start with some of today's big stories.
Ken Stone is in the newsroom with a rundown for the leader of an environmental group known as our Earth protector says he wants to shut down the Make A Wish Foundation.
Leslie Davison about half a dozen other animal rights supporters protested outside the Minneapolis branch of Make a Wish today.
They're upset because the organization granted the dying wish of a 17 year old Minnesota boy to hunt a Kodiak bear in Alaska about as many members of a pro hunting group the Safari Club also showed up at Make a Wish headquarters this afternoon to voice their approval for the organization.
The thought is with the kid in the family. But we will not tolerate the willful destruction of the bear for no reason whatsoever except just for the fun of it.
That's what hunters are you know that's why they kill animals just for the fun of it. And we're not going to stand still for that because what we are advocates for the animals. You know we have a young fellow that came and wanted to go on a bear. We had no idea it was going to draw this kind of press.
We just helped him put that together for hunting one to go bear hunting with his dad. That's what he's doing.
The Safari Club helped organize and pay for the boy's hunting trip by the entire issue is drawing nationwide attention especially in California where some entertainers have tried to organize a boycott of make a wish.
People on both sides have weighed in on the issue here in Minnesota and make a wish or official says that the organization will stand by its decision to approve the bear hunt. We're very happy with the supporters we have.
We encourage them to still support us. But this is not to become a financial issue where people say what we do this we're not in support you bet it is not the case here at all the thing is that we will get the necessary donations to make it. What has happened will continue.
The 17 year old who is dying of a brain tumor and his father have been hunting in Alaska since Saturday.
More criticism today of that TV ad Republicans are running about the dispute over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
The ad criticizes DFL U.S. senator Paul Stone.
Today a coalition of environmental groups and a couple of Republicans denounced the ad.
Former Republican state senator Bob Dunn says Republicans shouldn't be so quick to support opening the BW CA to more motorized vehicles. Sensing the fact that this is a threat to the Republicans a move to stir and see what they can do to split the Democrats in the district I think is too important an issue to be pretty political maneuvering. The ad is paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee a spokesperson for that group says it will continue airing the ad on TV stations in northern Minnesota. The eight districts Jim Oberstar has been at the center of that controversy.
But the tight Congressman find himself dealing with another airline safety after a ValuJet plane crashed in the Florida Everglades over the weekend. Questions have been raised about the safety of budget airlines and whether the Federal Aviation Administration is doing an adequate job of ensuring airline safety. Jim Oberstar sits on the House committee that oversees the FAA He joins us from Washington good evening Congressman can you hear me. I sure can good evening. Let me ask you Have you seen anything today have you heard of anything that indicates that the FAA has not been doing a good job of inspecting and overseeing bargain airlines such as the ValuJet.
Well in fact the FAA has done a very good job of maintaining surveillance over new entrance carriers and over regional airlines. I think they need more inspectors to do that job.
But in the case ValuJet all the signals went off at the right time early this year when it was clear they were expanding their fleet. FAA expanded its surveillance of ValuJet when they had a number of incidents.
That that infringed on safety. FAA expanded its surveillance of ValuJet and conducted a 120 day intensive inspection of the carrier which they were planning to expand. So I think they have done the right things you have to remember that maintenance starts in the corporate boardroom. There needs to be a corporate culture of safety. And what we found in the early days after deregulation even in the major airlines that safety had taken a backseat to economics. Have you been I mean you've been a critic of the FAA in the past have you been concerned that they don't have enough safety inspectors I just heard today that the FAA says they're going to rush more safety inspectors on to the job I mean do they have enough people to do the job not just for bargain airlines but everyone. No I don't think they have enough people to do the job of maintaining proper surveillance over principally the regional carriers commuters as we call them. And the new entrant carriers in 1980 to in the early days of downsizing the government in the Reagan administration. There were over 400 maintenance inspectors cut from the FAA. They were down to thirteen hundred. My former colleague Norman that and I offered an amendment to increase the number of inspectors by over a thousand which is where we are just about today twenty five hundred inspectors we still need to be well above 3000 inspectors and they need to be on on the site doing hands on work on engines and on me on fuselage actually in the maintenance facilities of the carriers. Congressman we've almost run out of time about 30 seconds to go I understand the inspector general today stated that she wouldn't fly on ValuJet or some of these other bargain airlines is that a fair statement.
That's an irresponsible statement if she had such information that would cause her not to fly any one of those carriers.
Then that's information she should share with the traveling public the FAA the carrier itself and with the Congress. It's irresponsible to make that kind of a statement should never have done it.
Congressman Jim Oberstar joining us from Washington thank you.
Taking a bite out of crime by toughening sentencing laws and otherwise cracking down on criminals is one thing taking the sting out of crime by assisting victims is something else.
The latter is the intent of a group of volunteers who are trying to help victims of sexual assault.
Today they put together assault survivor kids which they will provide to hospital emergency rooms the kids are designed to help the victim keep her dignity while the police do their jobs. Linda Kilmer is with the National Assistance League which is behind the catch you have a kid here right with me. It doesn't seem like much.
Why is it such a big deal. Well I guess it's not a really big deal if you don't need it.
But if you do need it it's certainly nice to know that this wetsuit and slippers and the toothpaste and tooth brush are ready for you at the hospital.
What kind of reaction have you been getting I understand that in particular hospitals in greater Minnesota really want more of these kids and that's part of what you were doing today getting out more kids to to those hospitals.
Yes the Minnesota hospital association has helped us contact. Hospitals all around the state of Minnesota and there are currently 75 hospitals in outstate Minnesota who are interested in receiving these kits.
Over the last three years we've donated 2000 assault survivor kits to hospitals in Minnesota.
Now the reason that you give in new clothes is what happened in the past I understand with rape victims or somebody who allegedly was raped.
Is that clothing is taken for physical evidence.
Or maybe they don't even come in with the clothes.
What's the reaction that you've been getting from the hospitals the hospital personnel are delighted to be able to offer this to the victims. It was apparently very embarrassing for them to only have a hospital gown to give and now they feel much more comfortable before walking out of the hospital after being raped which is the hospital that is.
Or maybe a nurse would loan a trenchcoat or something for them to get home in.
In our Minnesota weather winters that wouldn't be too much fun.
So these are provided to the hospitals they may use them regardless of sex.
We don't really we don't ask any questions.
It's a matter of the hospital knowing that this person needs some clothes so it doesn't doesn't even have to be a rape victim.
Not necessarily a victim of any kind of assault.
It would certainly qualify.
OK now this is all done by volunteers where do you get the money. I mean if somebody wants to help out things is a great idea I mean is there a place to send a check or do you go to foundations as well.
We we do ask foundations we ask corporations we ask individual citizens who would like to support this project to make a donation to Assistance League of Minneapolis-St. Paul and we use every penny that people give us to buy these kids and to provide our other community service projects. OK Linda Kilmer with the International Assistance League thanks and good luck much thing right. Thank you and that is it Kathy from the NEWSROOM. I'm going to send it on back down to you.
All right thank you Ken.
The State Board of Education's new desegregation rule has been nothing if not controversial. The rule change essentially leaves decisions about racial balance to individual school districts. First civil rights group said policy didn't hold schools accountable. Now American Indian leaders say they want to be exempt from the rule. They argue their tribes have sovereignty but the issue goes beyond that.
Many Indian parents think their kids can get a better education if they're segregated. Carolyn will gives us this background.
We send their teachers at the Four Winds school in Minneapolis their classes in languages like Ojibwe and Dakota give American Indian students an advantage. OK Stephanie you want to do that who also has that expression of what is known over time as we'll see each other again when we're lucky enough to have that opportunity. Principal Donna Grant says the students also benefit from the presence of an elder of the most respected member of their community in our school. The elder is kind of the dream keeper of the school or the vision keeper. She's the person that she goes in and out of classrooms she can sit in on any meeting that she wants to. People go to her for advice for teaching periodically she does pipe ceremony. Principal Grant says the whole picture put together American Indian literature language art and teachers provide a comfortable setting for students to learn. Indian children in Minneapolis have typically had the highest dropout rate the lowest test scores the poorest attendance. As for when school this year our eighth graders scored above the district average and in reading we scored at the national average. We have made incredible academic gains in the school like the teachers here at four wins. Educators at African-American schools say the culturally specific curriculum helps build self-esteem in the students and gives them a sense of who they are. And these students at seat Academy and Harvest Prep School in Minneapolis start the day reciting an African pledge.
Parents like Denise Young chose the school because teachers dress African traditions like discipline and respect.
Simple things like learning how to say yes ma'am and yes sir and showing the respect to elders and really understanding what that means what that whole concept of elder and wisdom. It's a private school with 300 students in preschool through sixth grade.
Administrators plan to add seventh grade next year. Eric mooed says the idea of a culturally specific school is nothing unusual.
Other cultures that are intelligent I doing the same thing. Jewish cultures they have their own school Catholics they have their own school. There's all girl schools.
So specific culturally specific gender specific ideological specific theological specific schools are really something that America is built on and the world is built on at the foundation of the students learning our principles an African philosophy which the students know well. One is what isn't unity. In Minneapolis I'm Carolyn will her NEWSNIGHT Minnesota.
Joining us in the studio right now is you Yvonne Novak she manages Indian education for the State Department of Children Families and learning Yvonne. Welcome to NEWSNIGHT. Well thank you.
The request for a permanent exemption from the state's desegregation rule does this mean that Indian parents Indian leaders are giving up entirely on public education. No this is all about public education. What it is is there's schools across northern Minnesota and in southern Minnesota where Indian children caused the school to. Hit a trigger that causes them to be out of compliance with the desegregation rule. Indian leaders and Indian parents are saying that Indian children are not learners of color. There are American Indians and shouldn't be included in that group in there. They should be counted as American Indians people who belong to tribal nations.
And it's based on treaties and sovereignty issues so therefore keep these particular schools at the racial levels where they are currently and not penalize for that.
Right it's Indian children learn better in a critical mass. You can provide curriculum you can brought provide a learning environment that makes them feel comfortable and makes them succeed.
We just mentioned in this particular piece that Carolyn will did that culturally specific curriculum seems to be very helpful to students of color yet also we hear that culturally diverse environments are also very helpful to students that you get to mix with kids of different races. So how is the state's going to how the house is taken to balance it out. It seems that public schools so kids might lose either end here.
Well I don't think you're going to segregate them out Indian kids and nor their minuscule soda. What you're looking at is the small school districts up there that have a mix of children. And you're saying that they shouldn't be penalized because maybe they have one or two or maybe 50 more Indian kids that would would cause them to hit this trigger that says that they're they they're out of compliance. What tribal leaders are saying is that. Indian children should be counted as Indian children because of a political identity not because of not a racial identity. And those school districts have integrated learning plants. They may have culturally specific programs but they're really truly integrated learning plants even at a school that. Is a tribal school or has majority of Indian kids. The curriculum is integrated but it's integrated also with Indian. Values and thoughts and things that make kids feel welcome in school. They learn better when they feel welcome.
Is this legal though to ask for a permanent. Exemption from the desegregation rule.
I think so. And and I think that's because I see us as members of sovereign nation. I'm a member of the wider nation and rolled member and I see myself not as a person of color I see myself as an American Indian and I see myself as someone who has a political identity not a racial identity.
You know there are be some people who might understand that. They see you and say well you are a person of color. You're not a white person to understand I'm saying that is the greater society might see this and say what's the problem here.
Well I think it's been a lack of information about Indian people a lack of information about the history the language and the culture of people about our governments how. How the treaties were set up to provide for education how we've always been looked at as a political group and political identity. In the 20 70 percent of the Ojibway children in northern Minnesota did not go to school. The other 30 percent that went to school were in mission schools and boarding schools. Maybe less than 2 percent in public schools and then in the 1930s the State Board of Education signed a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and paid the State Board of Education to allow Indian children to go to school public schools in Minnesota. And this wasn't a lot of tribal people were not involved in this decision. But at that time they looked at us not as racial minorities. They looked at us as political people a political group of people.
Question here will this if this permanent this obvious is going to take a lot of discussion is going to reopen the entire desegregation rule does it also open up a can of worms and that maybe other other racial groups might come to the state board and say look we want to have our we want to be exempted from this rule as well.
Quick answer here for you. I think it rests on the tribal leaders who feel that this is a government to government issue. Rather than a government to a racial group issue is going to take many months I'm assuming. Oh I hope not. Well I hope we have some good conversations. All right you fine thank you very much. Thank you.
This place is of such a storable significance you arguably could build a wall around the whole thing and charge admission to get into the historic site that it's it's in the heart of the Living City as well and there's a number of different uses for the riverfront.
Over recent years the historic Minneapolis River Front has been undergoing a transformation. Long ago the center of the upper Midwest agricultural economy the downtown riverfront is sprouting hotels parks and condominiums. Some of those new developments have managed to reuse historic structures. But Tom fudge reports that the choice between development and historic preservation on the downtown riverfront remains at the lemma.
The city began with the tumbling waters of St. Anthony Falls the Falls powered the sawmills and the flour mills which more than 100 years ago turned Minneapolis into a regional urban center in the biggest flour producer in the world.
There's not much left of the mill industry's glory days along the river but a new river front is being born.
This residential development provides proof that the downtown Minneapolis riverfront has become one of the hottest pieces of real estate in town.
The 60 unit development is called the landings units are priced between 300 and 500 $50000 apiece and several of them are already sold. One of the buyers is Cathy Henderson who'll be moving into the landings from Brooklyn Park. Henderson who works downtown says she's looking for convenience and a few other things.
I get kind of jazzed up by being downtown and around people and I think the diversity is really interesting it makes it. It's not just cookie cutter Wonder bread white world it's a little different.
You see a lot more variety of people in a variety of activities and it's it makes an interesting 69 year old Chester's and low says the riverfront has certainly been spruced up from the days of his childhood when the area had a few males and a lot of Tumbledown shacks.
There used to be one old flat that was I mean oh nobody lived in there except one lady and a donkey. That was it. Now you take a look at it. They got apartments in Nergal are selling one hundred thousand dollars apiece.
So this change riverfront industry is not completely gone but the area is being transformed into a place to live sights and recreate. Along with the landings plans are in the works for yet another condominium development with 600 units a block from the River Parkway. Meanwhile the old Milwaukee Road Depot and train shed they're under consideration for skating rinks in a restaurant complex and the Children's Theatre Company is eyeing the old Washburn Crosby mill complex for a new home base of innovation is a really complimentary uses for the river that attracts more people to the river.
Whether they be visitors are residents or office workers.
The Minneapolis Community Development Agency or MC has pumped tens of millions of dollars into acquiring land and cleaning it up for private development. Janish says the public investment is costly but necessary.
This is setting the stage for the private investment in a way that we can instill confidence in the private investors.
Besides the cost factor City officials also walk a fine line between redevelopment and historic preservation.
These two connecting sets of grain elevators which are no longer in use were built between 70 and 80 years ago. One of them sits on the edge of a national historic district and preservationists say they're an important part of the riverfront historic landscape. But the NCAA which owns the structures says they're difficult to maintain and they'd be expensive to convert to a new use. The agency wants to demolish these structures to make way for possible new developments.
Officials say the elevators rank low on the preservation priority list and the city has to reserve its limited resources to save more historically significant buildings like the Milwaukee depot and the Washburn Crosby mill.
This is really not ok.
A coalition of public agencies has opened a riverfront heritage trail to help visitors sort out some of the river fronts remaining historic highlights. Historians like David Wiegand say the Heritage Trail is a step in the right direction for a city that has not always valued historic preservation He says the riverfront is an area where Minneapolis is struggling to find the right mix of the old in the new.
This place is of such historical significance you arguably could build a wall around the whole thing and charge admission to get into the historic site. But it's it's in the heart of a living city as well and there's a number of different uses for the riverfront. It's a difficult mix but I think were successful here.
On the Minneapolis river front this is Tom fudge for Newsnight Minnesota.
Breathing new life into downtown Minneapolis could certainly be accomplished with events like the one of the Metrodome last weekend a meeting of the Promise Keepers brought about 60000 enthusiastic Christian men to town at Promise Keepers gatherings members talk about becoming better husbands and fathers. But not everyone was thrilled about the big event. Members of the National Organization for Women worried out loud about the politics of Promise Keeper language which tells men to lead in their homes. Commentator Kathy Warry however says the personal is political.
Have you heard there's a conspiracy happening and it's even in Minnesota. There are millions of men trying to make people believe they really want to be better husbands fathers and Christians. I'm aghast. How dare they try to make people believe Promise Keepers is a major movement or something that this group has grown from just a few rallies a year to millions of men and rallies all over the country. It has but hey the National Organization of Women told Promise Keepers they better not get political or they'll be in big trouble. With now is membership under 100000 and Promise Keepers at an estimated million. You can see why they're worried. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it. These men joining together all over the country praying and changing the way they live will make a terrific political impact. How. Because what they stand for. Fidelity in marriage providing for their families and being responsible citizens will directly impact who they vote for. And I along with millions of other women applaud them. The fact that now has been touted as a political force to be reckoned with. You would then reason the Promise Keepers would be far and away a political force for their beliefs. Does that mean they'll endorse candidates and campaign. No they don't have to. They're loudly proclaiming their faith in God and their desire to protect the family will be a force candidates will easily recognize and cater to. Maybe we can hope candidates will start behaving like fidelity in marriage is honorable and a necessary prerequisite for holding office. Maybe honor and character will be issues that people vote on. Wouldn't that be refreshing.
The worry is with a group called Concerned Women of America a women's organization with a conservative perspective. Cathy Warry appears from time to time in our other Voices segment. But guess what. So can you. It's easy and doesn't even require you to read a teleprompter. Just call our answering machines 6 1 2 2 2 9 1 4 3 0 is the number. We just might play your comment on the air on Thursday night. And by Thursday we can all be in an extra tiredly improved mood if this weather forecast holds out tomorrow partly to mostly cloudy skies with a big warm up. Highs from the 60s to be 80s hold your applause through until at least Thursday as we leave you a scene from an entirely different if fictional climate.
It's the children's theater through Theater Company's current production of the story of a bar the little elephant. It's the Minneapolis company's third incarnation of the classic kid's tale. The bar runs of the Children's Theater through June 16.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- NewsNight Minnesota
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- Twin Cities Public Television (St. Paul, Minnesota)
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- The first segment covers a protest by animal rights activists over a controversial Make-A-Wish event, a controversial boundary waters Republican television advertisement, a volunteer organization helping victims of sexual assault, arguments over segregating Native American students at Four Winds Indian School, a segment on the historic Minneapolis riverfront that battles with new construction and historic preservation, and a woman from a conservative group who disagrees with the National Organization for Women (NOW) message.
- Minnesota's statewide news program which aired from 1994 to 2001. Hosted by Lou Harvin, Ken Stone, Mary Lahammer and Jim Neumann.
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- Chicago: “NewsNight Minnesota; 3145; NewsNight Minnesota Episode from 05/14/1996; SD-Base,” 1996-05-14, Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 18, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_77-579s5rw4.
- MLA: “NewsNight Minnesota; 3145; NewsNight Minnesota Episode from 05/14/1996; SD-Base.” 1996-05-14. Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 18, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_77-579s5rw4>.
- APA: NewsNight Minnesota; 3145; NewsNight Minnesota Episode from 05/14/1996; SD-Base. Boston, MA: Twin Cities Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_77-579s5rw4