November 26th, 2014
In Minneapolis, a guy drives into demonstrators, a couple jump up on the hood to keep from being run over, and one isn’t so lucky, he hits her, pushes her a ways down the street — a miracle that he didn’t run her over. Watch the video. Crowd pictured trying to lift the vehicle off her, get him to back up, somehow she’s pulled from underneath, and then he hammers down, almost running over a couple more people. What the hell is wrong with people?
That KSTP piece has been updated to note that the driver is now “suspect” and not “victim” as was stated in previous police report, and are looking for victims and witnesses:
The man drove away from the intersection. Police eventually caught up with him and questioned him. No charges have been filed and the man was not taken into custody. Police are now calling him a suspect in the case.
On the good news side, the STrib has also updated its article, and notes that the MPD announced it is now referring to the driver as the “suspect” and not the “victim” and has referred the matter to the County Attorney (important because the County Attorney handles the larger, heavier offenses). Not only that, but about the perp, Jeffrey Patrick Rice:
Rice’s driving history in Minnesota includes three drunken-driving convictions, with the most recent coming in 2003. He’s also been convicted of driving with an open liquor bottle, and driving after his license was canceled and also in violation of restrictions placed on his license. The most recent of these convictions came in early 2008.
From the state’s site (click it for a larger version):
And from the Police Department:
In another incident, later yesterday, a van rams through two groups of demonstrators and the second time, right in front of the cops who go after him, and at the end of this, he’s taken out of the van, into the cop car.
What the hell is wrong with people?
November 26th, 2014
IT’S BUY NOTHING DAY!
DON’T GO SHOPPING TOMORROW OR FRIDAY!
One of the things I love about Alan Muller is his arrest record, he walks the walk. That’s Alan and now Rep. John Kowalko objecting when the public was not allowed to speak at a Delaware legislative energy committee meeting on proposed legislation:
And on to trial:
A jury trial for three of the seven people arrested at Christiana Mall on Black Friday, aka Buy Nothing Day, in November 2005 is scheduled in the Court of Common Pleas on Monday, February 12, 2007, in Courtroom 5A.Sisters Anna and Rachel White and Alan Muller decided to challenge the charge of ‘criminal trespassing’ instead of paying a fine. They are represented by Wilmington attorney Michael Modica.At the time of the arrest, Anna and Rachel White were wearing Santa hats and t-shirts that said “NOTHING – What You’ve Been Looking For!” and “Ask me about NOTHING” and carrying bags labeled “FREE SAMPLES – NOTHING.” Alan Muller was dressed like Santa Claus.
And they were convicted:
Anna White and Muller, who is also executive director of Green Delaware, were each fined $75 and banned from the mall for a year by Chief Judge Alex J. Smalls. Rachel White was fined $25 and barred from the mall for six months.
Anna White said she was disappointed by the verdict and is considering her appeal options, saying the case raises questions about freedom of speech and the limits that can be set on people in quasi-public places such as a mall.
The White sisters were arrested Nov. 25, 2005, by Delaware State Police. The women, who were wearing red Santa hats and white T-shirts with the phrase “Nothing — what you are looking for,” had refused to leave when ordered to do so by non-uniformed mall officials. Muller was with them, wearing a Santa suit.
All three testified that mall officials refused to provide identification, give their names or explain why they had to leave. Frank Kaleta, director of mall security, testified that he did not give his name or identification, but said he did clearly identify himself as mall management.
The three never shouted slogans or accosted shoppers, but only walked, answering questions from shoppers when asked, according to testimony. They said they planned to leave if asked by authorities. Kaleta testified that the three were involved in “political action” and that violated the mall’s ban on solicitation or demonstrations.
The lone alternate juror, Dan Weigman, who did not participate in deliberations, agreed. He said mall security did not properly identify themselves and police never asked the group to leave, so he would have voted to acquit.
November 22nd, 2014
Today we said good bye to our Kady. Above, there she is on her “Gotcha Day!”
K-K-K-Kady… January 28th, 2010
And here she is in our “new” house a few years ago:
And this morning:
She’s been our dog for five years, the first dog that Alan and I got together, found on Petfinder not long after Krie, the doggy with the winglet ears, died unexpectedly. That was January 2010. I was in the middle of the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission project hearing in Newark, New Jersey, camped out officing at the R.Treat Hotel and I saw this photo and knew she was THE dog:
That’s Kady, and her “pup” in the background, peering out. She was no spring chicken, a middle-aged grrrrl found as a stray in Georgia, with her young pup, and was spayed down there, and headed up the I-95 dog underground railroad to 6th Angel German Shepherd Rescue, where she was treated for heartworm and then fostered out on Long Island. She was there for a year before we saw her listed for adoption.
Kate was then “Lady,” and we were told that she was extremely dog aggressive and shouldn’t go to a home with another dog. Sure… whatever… we filled out the application, went to meet her after the hearing in Newark, and took “Lady” and our Kenya for a walk. They fussed a bit at first, but when we got back to the house and put Ken in the van, “Lady” jumped right in. No doubt about it, she wanted to be our dog. So a week later, after the house visit, we went back to Long Island to pick her up.
“Lady” is no name for a dog of mine, and no name for a German Shepherd, so given all our grrrrrrrrls were “K” grrrrrrls, she became “Kady.” And getting to Delaware was kind of a rude awakening for our new grrrrl, she arrived just in time for FOUR feet of snow:
And she was clearly dog aggressive:
After Kenya died, we were inexplicably drawn to our Little Sadie, and life with Sadie was quite an adjustment for our shep grrrrl, but they became fast friends (one faster than the other!):
And then there’s the day that we brought them east to Co. R. E near Oconomowoc, WI to pick up a third sister, the irrepressible Summer!
Next thing she knows, Kady and the big galoot are headed down to St. Louis for BaronFest I for some GSD bonding, and that did it for these grrrrls:
And these grrrrrls got along famously, when they weren’t being bitches and drawing blood:
And then a year later, BaronFest II:
And then the next year, she was on her own for BaronFest:
(where are the rest of those BaronFest photos???)
Kady was a quiet grrrrrrl, a good match for her rowdy sister Sadie. She loved the neighborhood kids and was oh-so-gentle, and loved to be loved up. She was my constant companion every day, spending most of her time under my desk or behind in her spot with her toes curled around the wheels of my chair — YEOW!
It was time… she’d checked out and was just existing, no fun for her. We will miss her every day. Sadie seems to be pissed at us, and when we got home and she smelled us over good, she ran into the living room, jumped up in “her chair,” and was cowering and shaking, so I guess we need to convince her that we won’t be taking her to the vet any time soon.
November 6th, 2014
November 2nd, 2014
Risk Management for Nonprofits
David Schultz, Hamline Professor
Tuesday, November 11, beginning at 6 p.m.
2918 North Service Drive, Red Wing, MN
Free and open to the public
Bring your appetites to learn and for Mexican food (cost on you)
I first became aware of David Schultz’s expertise in nonprofit fiduciary responsibility when I read his op ed in the STrib when the misdoings of Community Action of Minneapolis came to light. This was a major issue recently on the Mpls. yak-yak list, and reminded me of several experiences I’ve had on various Boards, and in nonprofits and others, and have unfortunately seen in other community and client boards as well. After reading his commentary, the tip of the iceberg of information that a board member needs to know, I extended an invitation to Schultz to come to Red Wing for area nonprofit board members and anyone interested on learning about what it means to be a member of a Board. A big thanks to David Schultz for his willingness to come to Red Wing and share his expertise.
After sending preliminary info out, a board member from another Red Wing organization contacted me and said, “Is the presenter the same David Schultz who appears on Almanac as a political analyst? If so, he’s one of the best!” Yes, indeed he is! One of her board had brought Schultz’s STrib piece to their last board meeting, and they’re ramped up and ready to go. There’s a need here — let’s get informed!
Here’s Schultz’s view on Board responsibility and the Community Action case:
Being a board member is an active task, not for the faint of heart. There is a duty to show up — to assure the operation has adequate funding, that members be informed, and if there are problems, to stand up and correct the problems. Here’s the pamphlet from the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General on Board Fiduciary Responsibility.
Schultz is a Professor at Hamline and has a C.V. that shows he’s got intense experience in many areas, far beyond the political analysis and issues I’d known about. His work teaching and training for nonprofits is part of a wide ranging career including housing issues (just ordered a copy of his book “Evicted!” on eminent domain) and ethics.
And, yes, David Schultz is coming to Red Wing! Join us at Fiesta Mexicana, for “Risk Management for Nonprofits.” Tuesday, November 11, starting at 6 p.m.
From the STrib:
The troubles of Community Action of Minneapolis are a textbook study in what can go wrong with nonprofits, both from the point of internal governance and external regulation. CAM’s story is a warning to other nonprofits and governmental agencies on what not to do and what reforms are needed.
I have taught nonprofit law for 15 years, have done training sessions for hundreds of nonprofits, and have been an executive director, officer and board member for many others. These experiences have shown me that the root cause of so many problems with nonprofits starts with bad governance and the failure of boards of directors to take their duties seriously.
Many view nonprofit board service as a line on a résumé. Others think it’s a great idea to place rich, powerful or famous people on the board, asking no more from them than simply to give money or add prestige to the organization. If that is what you want from individuals, place them on an advisory board, not on the board of directors. Minnesota law is clear: Being a board member brings with it serious legal responsibilities. Board members have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of a nonprofit. They have a duty of care, obedience and loyalty to it. They are expected to support the nonprofit, be active participants in its governance and take seriously their duties. At the very least, CAM board members should be pressed to say why they let an organization dedicated to the poor spend almost none of its money on serving its constituents.
Minnesota law imposes the business judgment rule on nonprofit board members. This rule says “do your homework”: you are required to attend board meetings, read the minutes and be informed about the operations of the organization. Other state laws demand that you attend meetings and speak up if you think something is wrong. Silence is considered assent to decisions. It is no excuse that you did not attend board meetings or had no idea what was going on. That, or sending surrogates in your place, is negligent behavior, running the risk of personal legal liability for what the nonprofit did wrong. No-show CAM board members should have been removed. The failure to do that raises the question of how complicit all were in enabling bad governance.
If there was a real governing board, there should have been an audit committee and a yearly review of CAM’s books with an outside auditor. These annual audits, along with following other good practices as dictated by the Sarbanes-Oxley law, should have caught CAM’s problems.
Internal governance is only part of the problem. External governance and oversight failed, too. The legislative auditor pointed to $4.7 billion per year of state money — dating to 2007 — that was awarded to 1,900 nonprofits with either no-bid contracts, little oversight, or minimal or no auditing. In 2010, a similar study by the legislative auditor again found little accountability with billions of dollars in state-awarded contracts. There is little oversight for much of the money the state gives to other third parties such as CAM, violating generally accepted accounting principles. Stories in this paper also have reported how the city of Minneapolis for years structured contracts to escape competitive bidding, and it is unclear how much it has audited groups such as CAM.
Finally, as a nonprofit, CAM is supposed to file yearly Form 990 tax reports with the IRS. At best, the IRS has been lax in oversight. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been sharply critical of this, along with the growing trend of nonprofits of all political stripes to abuse their tax status and engage in questionable political activities. Thus, several governmental agencies should have caught what was happening at CAM, and why they did not is a story of overlapping jurisdictions and lack of coordination.
The point is that the Community Action of Minneapolis debacle was a combination of personal failure, internal governance breakdown and external regulatory negligence. Some of this was illegal, perhaps even criminal. What happened here is not typical of most nonprofits, but it still serves as a warning to others about what can go wrong and what needs to be fixed.