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C.J.

Columnist | The Dish
phone: 612-332-TIPS
C.J. is a columnist in the Star Tribune's Twin Cities section. Her column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Recent content from C.J.
C.J.: Minneapolis-born singer Ava Raiin aims to reign on charts plus, maybe, art galleries

C.J.: Minneapolis-born singer Ava Raiin aims to reign on charts plus, maybe, art galleries

Imagine being at an art show where the artist leaves the invited guests to take the stage and sing. Entertainer Ava Raiin could do…
C.J.: TV writer Matt Goldman writes crime novel set in – wait for it – Edina

C.J.: TV writer Matt Goldman writes crime novel set in – wait for it – Edina

Goldman will be at Once Upon a Crime at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 to read and sign copies of his first crime novel "Gone to Dust."
C.J.: Gorgeous actor Chris Massoglia is hoping his third kiss will be his first real one

C.J.: Gorgeous actor Chris Massoglia is hoping his third kiss will be his first real one

The Minnesota native is co-starring with former "American Idol" contestant Moriah Peters in "Because of Grácia."
C.J.: Sheletta Brundidge's trip to Houston for grandmother's funeral turned out to be a whirlwind

C.J.: Sheletta Brundidge's trip to Houston for grandmother's funeral turned out to be a whirlwind

The devastation in Houston caused by Harvey hit very close to home for Cottage Grove’s Sheletta Brundidge. A native of Houston, Brundidge was there…
C.J.: Docu filmmaker Joe Brandmeier finds humor a key to healthy marriage

C.J.: Docu filmmaker Joe Brandmeier finds humor a key to healthy marriage

He jumped out of his comfort zone behind the camera to produce the "I Do?" inspired by a rough patch in his 28-year union with Joan Steffend.
C.J.: Former KSTP anchor Mark Suppelsa leaving Chicago's WGN 'at top of his game'

C.J.: Former KSTP anchor Mark Suppelsa leaving Chicago's WGN 'at top of his game'

It’s time to share, instead of privately cherish, the interview I did four months ago with former Twin Cities anchor Mark Suppelsa. Last week…
C.J.: Brenda Langton has a milliner for a daughter

C.J.: Brenda Langton has a milliner for a daughter

Celina Kane’s career choice had to be creative. The daughter of restaurateur Brenda Langton and artist Timothy Kane is a milliner…
C.J.: 'Fool Me Once' singer Lindsey Webster is set to play the Dakota

C.J.: 'Fool Me Once' singer Lindsey Webster is set to play the Dakota

Billboard's 2016 smooth jazz artist of the year is performing with Minnesotans Stokely and Shaun LaBelle.
C.J.: Jesse Garcia IV is living the advice his late police officer dad gave

C.J.: Jesse Garcia IV is living the advice his late police officer dad gave

Bethel College student Jesse Garcia IV is headed off to the LA Film Studies Center, a collegiate adventure that probably would have delighted his…
C.J.: Minnesota's Samantha Harris is hosting summer run of 'Culinary Genius'

C.J.: Minnesota's Samantha Harris is hosting summer run of 'Culinary Genius'

The Hopkins High alum and former host of "Entertainment Tonight" and "Dancing With The Stars" has a show featuring home cooks that debuted Monday.
Owner of dogs shot, wounded by Minneapolis officer has a thing or two to say

Owner of dogs shot, wounded by Minneapolis officer has a thing or two to say

Jennifer LeMay says life "has been complete hell for three weeks."
C.J.: CBS correspondent/author/dad Jeff Pegues explores race and policing

C.J.: CBS correspondent/author/dad Jeff Pegues explores race and policing

The former KMSPer has finished a book, "Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America," and is already busy on his second.
C.J.: Pepitos owner/comic Joe Minjares has seen some antics in 45-plus years at restaurant

C.J.: Pepitos owner/comic Joe Minjares has seen some antics in 45-plus years at restaurant

Joe Minjares can prepare anything on the Pepitos menu, but he could’ve never cooked up many of the scenes that occurred at the Mexican…
C.J.: Director Tom Simes has faith in 'Because of Grácia,' starring Minnesota's Chris Massoglia

C.J.: Director Tom Simes has faith in 'Because of Grácia,' starring Minnesota's Chris Massoglia

Massoglia plays an insecure high school senior dedicated to not calling attention to himself who gets drawn out by a new student played by Moriah Peters of "American Idol."
C.J.: Actor, Pepitos owner Joe Minjares reflects on life and love as lung disease advances

C.J.: Actor, Pepitos owner Joe Minjares reflects on life and love as lung disease advances

Joe Minjares seems mostly happy despite pulmonary fibrosis, which has advanced from the diagnosis six years ago to the point that he needs a portable oxygen tank.
Alan Gorrie says stamina, great tunes help Average White Band beat averages

Alan Gorrie says stamina, great tunes help Average White Band beat averages

The Average White Band is the headliner at the Lowertown Blues & Funk Festival in St. Paul’s Mears Park on Friday and Saturday. After a…
C.J.: Lou Nanne suppressed many an urge to slap a sports reporter

C.J.: Lou Nanne suppressed many an urge to slap a sports reporter

The hockey great was looking great after recent hip surgery.
CBS' Jeff Pegues writes about the gulf between blacks and police

CBS' Jeff Pegues writes about the gulf between blacks and police

The KMSP-TV alum clearly enjoys tackling books as heavy as his average 14-hour workday.
C.J.: Back in Minnesota, Louie Anderson should be safe from Galifianakis pranks

C.J.: Back in Minnesota, Louie Anderson should be safe from Galifianakis pranks

Comedian's new show mines his Fitbit, family and more.
C.J.: Floor director Tim Niccum leaves Fox 9 for better hours

C.J.: Floor director Tim Niccum leaves Fox 9 for better hours

He is leaving Fox 9 to work for BlueEarth Innovation, a Web development firm in St. Paul.
C.J.: 'The Q,' a humble talk show host who wants to earn an appearance on "Wendy"

C.J.: 'The Q,' a humble talk show host who wants to earn an appearance on "Wendy"

“The Q’s” mom lived to see her son achieve the career goal he has harbored since age 12. “I wanted a talk show,” said
C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds enjoys campaigning with baby on board

C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds enjoys campaigning with baby on board

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds has felt energized as she hits the campaign trail — while expecting. She and her entrepreneur husband,
C.J.: 'Chocolate Rain' and its many memes bring sweet success to Tay Zonday

C.J.: 'Chocolate Rain' and its many memes bring sweet success to Tay Zonday

“Chocolate Rain” singer Tay Zonday was in the metro recently working on a Best Buy project. “A small project with Best Buy’s internal production…
C.J.: Broadcaster Marcia Fluer talks love, marriage, depression

C.J.: Broadcaster Marcia Fluer talks love, marriage, depression

Pavek Museum Hall of Fame broadcaster Marcia Fluer, who also had a career teaching U personnel how to handle the media, should be in…
C.J.: Fox 9's "The Jason Show" is getting its second national test

C.J.: Fox 9's "The Jason Show" is getting its second national test

This month it will air in the test markets of Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, L.A. and Fox affiliates in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
C.J.: Twin Cities' Chef Marshall serves up Smart Nutrition Solutions

C.J.: Twin Cities' Chef Marshall serves up Smart Nutrition Solutions

Chef Marshall O’Brien was full of insights into a consumer trend that perplexes me: businesses that package ingredients for meals to be cooked at…
C.J.: St. Bonifacius native gets a diploma and a little Oprah time at college graduation

C.J.: St. Bonifacius native gets a diploma and a little Oprah time at college graduation

Sarah Eiler cannot attest to whether Oprah is a good hugger, despite accidental research during the Agnes Scott College commencement in Decatur,…
C.J.: Stokley is reaching for a new 'Level' of fame apart from Mint Condition

C.J.: Stokley is reaching for a new 'Level' of fame apart from Mint Condition

Stokley is getting more recognition from people who are on his “Level.” The drummer and vocalist for Mint Condition has gone solo with…
C.J.: Remember Peter Thiele from AM 1500? He misses Minnesota and hates Dallas Cowboys

C.J.: Remember Peter Thiele from AM 1500? He misses Minnesota and hates Dallas Cowboys

The guy who worked at KSTP (1500 AM) for nearly nine years and left Minnesota in 1996 has popped up videoconferencing comments for TMZ's TV show.
C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno definitely won't be a potty mouth at the gala

C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno definitely won't be a potty mouth at the gala

Here is Part Two of my interview with Jay Leno, the headliner at Saturday’s PACER Center gala. You have plenty of time to read…
C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno is happy he doesn't have to do political humor on TV these days

C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno is happy he doesn't have to do political humor on TV these days

"I never questioned anyone's patriotism; I just questioned their judgment," he says in the first of a two-part interview.
C.J.: Strange has been liberating for Barry Bostwick's long, less than "Rocky" career

C.J.: Strange has been liberating for Barry Bostwick's long, less than "Rocky" career

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” royalty Barry Bostwick will introduce a midnight screening Saturday at the Riverview Theater. The movie’s Brad Majors is scheduled to…
C.J.: YA author Jenny Han wants to nudge door open for more diverse books

C.J.: YA author Jenny Han wants to nudge door open for more diverse books

Young adult lit darling and outspoken advocate for diversity in children's literature Jenny Han is making an appearance at Har Mar Mall's Barnes…
C.J.: Monster cookie maker Tina Rexing offers a 'special' T-Rex batch for Snoop Dogg

C.J.: Monster cookie maker Tina Rexing offers a 'special' T-Rex batch for Snoop Dogg

NBC's "Today Show" has showcased her cookies fit for a dinosaur, and more exposure might be coming.
C.J.: Proud papa Orenstein says writer Peggy learned early to stand her ground

C.J.: Proud papa Orenstein says writer Peggy learned early to stand her ground

New York Times bestselling author Peggy Orenstein had to withstand parental pressure to pursue a law career. As she was about to graduate…
C.J.: The Little Gym aims to put the play back in kids' sports

C.J.: The Little Gym aims to put the play back in kids' sports

The franchise aims to create quality kids, not athletes.
C.J.: Shaun LaBelle hopes to ride 'Wave' to another platinum seller

C.J.: Shaun LaBelle hopes to ride 'Wave' to another platinum seller

Multiplatinum smooth jazz record producer Shaun LaBelle says that releasing singles only, instead of albums and EPs, looks like the new normal in…
C.J.: Rented RV was just the ticket for the Brundidges' vacation with three special-needs children

C.J.: Rented RV was just the ticket for the Brundidges' vacation with three special-needs children

Sheletta Brundidge didn’t know how prescient her decision to travel via RV on a family vacation was until that video of a TSA…
C.J.: Ben Tracy doesn't think he'll need the fire gear in Asia, his new CBS assignment

C.J.: Ben Tracy doesn't think he'll need the fire gear in Asia, his new CBS assignment

CBS’ new Asia correspondent Ben Tracy is scheduled to be in North Korea getting familiar with one of the hot spots on his overseas…
C.J.: Carleton-educated Andrij Parekh is eye behind gloriously shot 'Zookeeper's Wife'

C.J.: Carleton-educated Andrij Parekh is eye behind gloriously shot 'Zookeeper's Wife'

The cinematographer for "The Zookeeper's Wife," starring Jessica Chastain, grew up in Wayzata and graduated from The Blake School and Carleton College (1995) before…
C.J.: Author Peggy Orenstein talks about how bad Kardashians are for girls' self-esteem

C.J.: Author Peggy Orenstein talks about how bad Kardashians are for girls' self-esteem

Sound Minnesota values and research for books such as "Girls & Sex" don't make bestselling author Peggy Orenstein a fan of the impact…
C.J.: Philanthropic Delta flight attendant knows how to make connections

C.J.: Philanthropic Delta flight attendant knows how to make connections

When Richard Moody isn’t working as a Delta cabin manager on international flights, he’s busy connecting. He is a passionate connector of people for…
C.J.: WCCO-TV's original 'Good Question' anchor Ben Tracy is headed to China for CBS News

C.J.: WCCO-TV's original 'Good Question' anchor Ben Tracy is headed to China for CBS News

Minnesotans had the privilege of watching Ben Tracy work during the run-up to his current stature as a CBS News correspondent. The St. Paul…
C.J.: Former newsie Roxane Battle's 'Pockets of Joy' may get deeper

C.J.: Former newsie Roxane Battle's 'Pockets of Joy' may get deeper

Woman’s Club of Minneapolis guests who hear Roxane Battle’s speech Wednesday will meet the former TV newswoman for the first time, so to speak.…
Guitarist/fireman Sam Breckenridge is used to getting his hands dirty

Guitarist/fireman Sam Breckenridge is used to getting his hands dirty

Every time I open a package of hand warmers, fingerstyle guitarist Sam Breckenridge comes to mind. He’s the nephew of satirist Lizz Winstead, co-creator of…
C.J.: Frank Kramer of 'Dish Nation' claims Porsha Williams isn't high-maintenance. Riiiigght

C.J.: Frank Kramer of 'Dish Nation' claims Porsha Williams isn't high-maintenance. Riiiigght

“Dish Nation” cast member Frank Kramer took the Minneapolis Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota last weekend. Kramer is one of seven DJs taped…
C.J.: Fine to call her 'Prez,' says Hamline University's new leader

C.J.: Fine to call her 'Prez,' says Hamline University's new leader

Others might balk, but Hamline University President Fayneese Miller is fine with being referred to as “The Prez.” “It does not bother me. What…
C.J.: Jeff Passolt's broken hip may not allow a speedy return to Fox 9 anchor desk

C.J.: Jeff Passolt's broken hip may not allow a speedy return to Fox 9 anchor desk

Fox 9 anchor Jeff Passolt and his broken hip were motoring around his home pretty well behind a walker the day I interviewed him.…
C.J.: Filmmaker Keith Black shows romantic side in the short "Celebrity Sex Tape"

C.J.: Filmmaker Keith Black shows romantic side in the short "Celebrity Sex Tape"

Keith Black is persistent. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based math teacher and moviemaker e-mailed me with “an intriguing and humorous pitch regarding my short comedic film,…
Rodeo 'pickup man' Jeff Rector riding high in Minnesota

Rodeo 'pickup man' Jeff Rector riding high in Minnesota

Jeff Rector is working the dream job of many kids. He’s a cowboy. He has the dangerous job of rodeo pick-up man. If you…
C.J.: A professor's documentary gets to the bottom of the N-word

C.J.: A professor's documentary gets to the bottom of the N-word

What is your first or most memorable experience with the N-word? Southern Connecticut State University journalism professor Frank Harris III went around America asking…
C.J.: Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard faces cancer with grit, blog

C.J.: Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard faces cancer with grit, blog

Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard is starting to look camera ready now that he’s completed chemotherapy on his face. He’s due back at the…
C.J.: Pro bull jumper pumps up Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo

C.J.: Pro bull jumper pumps up Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo

There was man jumping over a bull last week when Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo stopped by St. Paul’s X. Imagine a matador without a cape…
C.J.: Author says American Indians suffer because of dependency

C.J.: Author says American Indians suffer because of dependency

Colorful, argumentative retired Star Tribune investigative reporter Joe Rigert sounds like a conservative in his fourth book, “The Dependency Curse.” The book examines the…
C.J.: Ernie Hudson will bust out the undergear if that's what Shonda Rhimes demands

C.J.: Ernie Hudson will bust out the undergear if that's what Shonda Rhimes demands

Ernie Hudson’s career is going well, even though home base is Minnesota. He’s got three shows: “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix, “Graves” on Epix…
C.J.: You want to lose weight? Omaur Bliss says cook at home

C.J.: You want to lose weight? Omaur Bliss says cook at home

Local fitness expert Omaur Bliss, a regular on the Fox 9 “Buzz,” learned a lot during this interview. The founder of Bliss Full Fit,…
C.J.: Camille Williams, Cory Hepola thrilled about sharing a KARE 11 anchor desk

C.J.: Camille Williams, Cory Hepola thrilled about sharing a KARE 11 anchor desk

Married KARE 11 staffers Camille Williams and Cory Hepola get their wish: Starting Feb. 3 they will co-anchor KARE 11’s weekend news shows…
C.J.: Smooth jazz's Jeff Lorber is cool about borrowing by Ashanti and Ja Rule

C.J.: Smooth jazz's Jeff Lorber is cool about borrowing by Ashanti and Ja Rule

Jeff Lorber, the father of fusion and a pioneer of smooth jazz, was having a surprising amount of fun over a typo in his…
C.J.: Author Bruce Benidt joins "The Geezer Squad" in latest book

C.J.: Author Bruce Benidt joins "The Geezer Squad" in latest book

“The Geezer Squad” author and communications coach Bruce Benidt is such an elegant guy it may be difficult to imagine him as my writing…
C.J.: A month after breaking hip, Sid Hartman is back in action

C.J.: A month after breaking hip, Sid Hartman is back in action

Sports columnist Sid Hartman was not hip to any humor Wednesday when he returned to the office less than a month after breaking…
C.J.: Fabric mogul Sid Harris didn't like state of Minnesota sizing him up

C.J.: Fabric mogul Sid Harris didn't like state of Minnesota sizing him up

If a bona fide state employee went to measure yardsticks at the SR Harris Fabric warehouse in Brooklyn Park, he would be lucky if
C.J.: Lizz Winstead promises scathing political satire in annual year-end review

C.J.: Lizz Winstead promises scathing political satire in annual year-end review

"Deep. Breath," reads a promo for Lizz Winstead's annual shows at the Cedar Cultural Center. "Our Black president is leaving and our KKK endorsed…
C.J.: Home Depot is Matt Ferguson's opera house

C.J.: Home Depot is Matt Ferguson's opera house

Matt Ferguson is classing up the appliance business at St. Louis Park’s Home Depot. The 2016 bachelor of arts degree holder in vocal performance…
C.J.: Too early to know if Soledad O'Brien's kids will follow in broadcasting

C.J.: Too early to know if Soledad O'Brien's kids will follow in broadcasting

When Soledad O’Brien brought one of her “PowHERful” summits for young women to St. Paul’s St. Catherine University, I did an interview with the…
C.J.: Miss Richfield, stubble and all, before her annual Illusion Theater holiday show

C.J.: Miss Richfield, stubble and all, before her annual Illusion Theater holiday show

Miss Richfield 1981 is “running for president of Minnesota” in her 18th holiday stand at Illusion Theater. From the “Trailer House to the State…
C.J.: Social media star Connor Franta comes home to promote his Urban Outfitters clothing line

C.J.: Social media star Connor Franta comes home to promote his Urban Outfitters clothing line

YouTube’s 5 Million Man and “Work in Progress” memoirist Connor Franta is scheduled to flex his entrepreneurial muscle Friday for Urban Outfitters at the…
C.J.: Former KDWB DJ Steve Cochran's flying high in Chicago

C.J.: Former KDWB DJ Steve Cochran's flying high in Chicago

Remember Steve Cochran, the KDWB-FM morning show DJ back when that station was fun? He’s doing extremely well with a talk show in Chicago…
C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds talks about protests, policing, parking tickets

C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds talks about protests, policing, parking tickets

There was only one subject on which I was able to school former Minneapolis NAACP president, civil rights attorney and uber-protest leader Nekima…
C.J.: Kim Schultz found a play and a book among ruins of romance with Iraqi refugee

C.J.: Kim Schultz found a play and a book among ruins of romance with Iraqi refugee

Minnesota-born, now Chicago-based, actor and writer Kim Schultz was in Syria in 2009 to interview refugees when she fell into her own unlikely love…
C.J.: Toure has sympathy for Prince and insight into Kanye West

C.J.: Toure has sympathy for Prince and insight into Kanye West

It was a singular pleasure to interview Touré, the journalist, TV host and cogent cultural/political critic and music writer. Touré is a blunt, deep…
C.J.: Creative force behind Pleasure is coming to the Dakota with Jeff Lorber

C.J.: Creative force behind Pleasure is coming to the Dakota with Jeff Lorber

Funk R&B fans may not remember Marlon McClain’s name until they hear Pleasure. Pleasure is the legendary funk R & B group that put…
C.J.: 'Team Ninja Warrior' Jennifer Tavernier takes her gun show to Women RISE to Lakeville

C.J.: 'Team Ninja Warrior' Jennifer Tavernier takes her gun show to Women RISE to Lakeville

Not many of Soledad O’Brien’s PowHERful Summit speakers personified the word powerful quite like Jennifer Tavernier. Wearing a sleeveless top, Instagram’s @minneninja…
C.J.: Paisley Park was like summer camp at uncle Prince's for Brianna Nelson

C.J.: Paisley Park was like summer camp at uncle Prince's for Brianna Nelson

We haven’t heard the last of Brianna Nelson, who was knocked off the list of Prince heirs. Nelson, who contacted me to set…
C.J.: After 38 seasons, Dehn's Garden's earthy Bonnie and Bob ready to retire

C.J.: After 38 seasons, Dehn's Garden's earthy Bonnie and Bob ready to retire

Bonnie and Bob Dehn of Dehn’s Garden didn’t work Minneapolis’ downtown Thursday Farmers Market this year. Bob’s hip just wouldn’t tolerate the rigors…
C.J.: Prince's 'wall of security' didn't keep Tommy Smith from getting great photos

C.J.: Prince's 'wall of security' didn't keep Tommy Smith from getting great photos

“This is what they call an ego boost, big time. Wow,” said photographer Tommy Smith III as I set up video cameras for…
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