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Jon Tevlin

Columnist | Metro
phone: 612-673-1702
Jon Tevlin is a metro section columnist.
Recent content from Jon Tevlin

Tevlin: After two years of homelessness, a veteran finds a home

For more than two years, Austin Poons bounced between hospitals and homeless shelters as he tried to stabilize his life after getting laid off from…

Tevlin: Mpls. man's $1 billion suit over pot pipe is no laughing matter

The case in U.S. District Court between Dennis Larson Loop and the federal government and city of Minneapolis has a catchy title — “Rasta Sues…

Tevlin: RIP to MPCA Citizens' Board, open democracy

On Aug. 13, 1973, Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson was featured in a now iconic photo on the cover of Time magazine. He was young and…

Daughter's Tay-Sachs disease didn't stop two dads from reaching for a normal life

In her nine years of life, Krystie Anna Karl-Steiger never spoke a single word, but she expressed her love and emotions through her eyes and…

Tevlin: Nienstedt not the only one culpable in church sex scandal

Archbishops Harry Flynn and John Nienstedt couldn’t be further apart in beliefs and style, but now they are inexorably linked in the sex scandals and criminal charges that have rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Tevlin: Sometimes a phone call is just too good to be true

According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans — mostly seniors — have lost more than $1 billion in lottery scams.

Minnesota's generally scandal-free government just lost a weapon in the state auditor

In a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton Monday over the impasse that threatened to shut down state government and suspend thousands of jobs, House Speaker…

Tevlin: Former students want bow for Minneapolis theater teacher

Chris Fisher practically grew up on stage, getting his first laugh lines from Harry Blackstone, the famous magician, when he was 7 years old. As…
No martinis here: An alligator lunch with Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey

No martinis here: An alligator lunch with Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey

On a warm, sunny afternoon, Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey nibbled on alligator sausage at New Bohemia Wurst & BierHaus as he talked about…
Tevlin: Wisconsin man has one wild ride in pursuit of stolen pickup

Tevlin: Wisconsin man has one wild ride in pursuit of stolen pickup

If you’ve ever visited the rolling hills and deep valleys of Wisconsin’s “driftless area” south of La Crosse, you know it’s a lovely place to…

Tevlin: Twin Cities scholarship program helps students dream big

Fatima Ahmad is not your stereotypical 17-year-old. Sure, she uses teenage phrases like “that was insane” to describe interesting experiences and she loves words such…

Minnesota Legislature's cone of silence makes for a bad environmental bill

They came with fishing poles and seed caps and dragged along some giant puppets and a couple little kids dressed as bumblebees for fun. Unlike…

With a shirt, Minneapolis city worker shows act of kindness

The Public Works employee prefers to remain anonymous, saying his act "felt like the right thing to do at the time.”
Tevlin: Airport doing right on pay, but it's too late for fired Delta worker

Tevlin: Airport doing right on pay, but it's too late for fired Delta worker

It looks like the big shots are about to follow the advice of Kip Hedges, who was fired in December for giving it. Four months…

Tevlin: Anatomy of the bird-flu joke that flopped in the House

You have to know your joke didn’t go over well when the response from your colleagues comes in a letter beginning, “We, the undersigned.”That’s what…

Tevlin: North Minneapolis culinary nonprofit has appetite for social change

Most restaurants start out as for-profits and end up as nonprofits by happenstance. Breaking Bread Cafe opened last week as a nonprofit with for-profit dreams,…

Tevlin: Penumbra play of Detroit's 1967 riots is painfully familiar

In the tattered basement of an inner-city home, a young black family and their friends talked about love, death, race and their dreams of a…

Tevlin: Minnesota House says: 'What climate change?'

On the front page of Tuesday’s newspaper, a headline read: “As summers get hotter, humans get more blame.” This idea is being accepted as fact…

Tevlin: Is a leader unbound a good thing or a bad thing?

Gov. Mark Dayton appeared at the old Star Tribune building on Friday to officiate the transfer of the newspaper’s time capsule to the new digs,…

Tevlin: Roosevelt parents mobilize, demand budget equity

When Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower got an early copy of the proposed budget for Roosevelt High School for the 2015-2016 school year, the document was “like…

Tevlin: Did booze bring out the best in our legislators?

A couple of weeks ago I finally wandered into one of those giant suburban liquor stores, the ones that are either a sign of the…

Tevlin: Living wages should start with employers, not taxpayers

On a beautiful spring morning, Ricardo Chavez spent a little of his free time to speak out for some fellow janitors that he has never met.

Tevlin: Why do we treat superintendents like royalty?

St. Paul school board member John Brodrick has had a range of emotions over the past week as he learned of the city’s school superintendent’s…

Tevlin: Even with remarkable changes in Minneapolis, I've heard this speech before

By now I should know not to expect too much from ceremonial speeches such as the State of the City. They all sound vaguely the same, save for a pet word or phrase.

Tevlin: KFAI Radio works to stay scrappy, remain relevant

Shortly before 9 a.m. one day last week, moderators for the nationally syndicated radio program “Democracy Now” were talking to a writer for Rolling Stone…

Tevlin: Bill on bodily fluids merits much more than snickers

The debate on the floor of the Minnesota House surfaced near midnight, when most of the curious and the connected had gone home. It followed…

Tevlin: Why the focus on the state's servers just to save $1 a hour?

Perhaps I’m just conditioned to siding with waiters and waitresses. I’m decades removed from my abandoned degree in psychology, so I’m going on emotion rather…

Tevlin: Snubbed builder gives Wayzata a hot pink poke in the eye

After the city of Wayzata turned down Brad Hoyt’s proposal to build a five-story mixed-use building near the far end of its main drag, Hoyt…

Tevlin: Life, death, joy, sorrow punctuate pastor's sermon

When the Rev. Jason Niemi got up to give the sermon for his old college friend Brad Einck last month at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing, Minn., he was as conflicted as he had ever been.
Tevlin: The Star Tribune is beating the odds, by moving on up

Tevlin: The Star Tribune is beating the odds, by moving on up

So it’s my last couple of weeks at the old dump. The Star Tribune building that has stood at 425 Portland for decades will soon…

Tevlin: Man's lawsuit blames debt collectors for his filthy talk, wants $1M

To hear Harvey Duranseau tell it, a debt collection agency that was looking for his brother to repay a $300 debt hounded him so relentlessly…
Tevlin: Magazine's recipe for cover was missing something

Tevlin: Magazine's recipe for cover was missing something

When the March Mpls.St.Paul magazine came out without a woman on the cover among the top chefs, some foodies reacted as if Old Country Buffet had made the list.
Minneapolis preservation fight looks more like reality television

Minneapolis preservation fight looks more like reality television

Who could have imagined the surreal conflagration pitting the mayor of Minneapolis and a new City Council member against a cable television star, and cause rabid preservationists to defy stereotype by threatening people and using vulgar language?
Tevlin: Ex-MIA curator Elizabeth Armstrong knows modern cool

Tevlin: Ex-MIA curator Elizabeth Armstrong knows modern cool

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Before she made her mark as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ first-ever contemporary art curator, “remixing” historical and modern art…

Tevlin: 25 years later foster mom still hopes a killer is found

The memories come back to Mary McKenna in odd ways. She’ll bump into a special-education teacher or a social worker who once helped her foster…

Tevlin: A road trip of beauty, hospitality and inequity

MIDDLE AMERICA – We were on the road 10 minutes early, moving down I-35W before dawn, before the first commuters even reach Black Dog…
Tevlin: Bullying incident goes viral, backfires big time

Tevlin: Bullying incident goes viral, backfires big time

The father of a Prior Lake teen turned to YouTube after his daughter received insults and racial epithets via Snapchat. Three million views later, most everyone involved is feeling the sting.
Tevlin: A lesson in how to hold hands while still letting go

Tevlin: A lesson in how to hold hands while still letting go

Lou Gydesen can recall the day, more than 70 years ago, that he met Darlene. They were working together at Patsy Motors, and Darlene came…

Tevlin: Finding meaning and lessons in dying

on Tuesday, Kevin Schieffe spent more than an hour of what’s left of his life talking about what it’s like to die.

Tevlin: Northfield pub puts free speech limits to the test

Norman Butler, owner of a small Northfield pub that holds regular community forums on compelling issues, said there is no truth to the rumor he’s…
Tevlin: Senators' entanglements do not pass the smell test

Tevlin: Senators' entanglements do not pass the smell test

State Sen. Sean Nienow used to give out something he called the “dirty diaper award” for things that just didn’t smell right. I know we…

Tevlin: Colorado man still in a legal quagmire after visit to see dying dad

A few months ago Ben Hallgren was living in Colorado and working as a technician at a ski resort. Today he’s living with his mom near Duluth, jobless, in legal limbo and not sure whether he can go back home.

Tevlin: Being for law enforcement and protesters not mutually exclusive

Earlier this week I wrote about the protests at the Mall of America. A significant number of readers missed the nuance and made conclusions that…
May 2014: After a wrongful conviction, an education

May 2014: After a wrongful conviction, an education

As the band members tuned their instruments in the gymnasium at Inver Hills Community College, Koua Fong Lee put the finishing touches on his wardrobe,…

Tevlin: Does Bloomington attorney work for the city or the Mall of America?

When hundreds of protesters descended on the Mall of America on Dec. 20 to protest the police killing of young black men, there is little…

Tevlin: Former banker's career path goes to the dogs

If the start of a new year makes you consider the possibility of making dramatic changes, you might be interested in the story of Ralph…
Tevlin: Beloved Schneider Drug owner to say goodbye to his store

Tevlin: Beloved Schneider Drug owner to say goodbye to his store

Tom Sengupta has been dispensing wisdom, medical advice and cold remedies from the same Prospect Park corner for 42 years, sometimes sending customers off with…

Tevlin: Getting home for Christmas was no small feat

Jake Anderson grimaced with determination, and frustration, as he struggled to pull his right arm from behind him to his lap.His physical therapist, Cheryl Greely,…

Tevlin: When civics, the holidays and fashion collide

At the start of last week, while writing about the resignation of Minneapolis public schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, I thought about how fortunate I was…

Tevlin: Bernadeia Johnson set her own goals — and broke them

HELP WANTED: Superintendent of Minneapolis public schools. Responsible for educating 35,000 children who come from families ranging from exceptional to nonexistent. Students speak a multitude…

Tevlin: I'm making a gift list and don't need to check it twice

With only 11 shopping days left until Christmas, I figure it’s time to end my procrastinating and start a gift list for my favorite headliners…
Tevlin: Delta worker's 26-year job is gone in 30 seconds for critical remarks

Tevlin: Delta worker's 26-year job is gone in 30 seconds for critical remarks

For 26 years, Kip Hedges worked to build a reputation and a job history, loading and unloading planes for Northwest Airlines, then Delta. It was…
Tevlin: Has Minneapolis' Holidazzle become a Holifizzle?

Tevlin: Has Minneapolis' Holidazzle become a Holifizzle?

Jon Tevlin: Forget the war on Christmas, how about the apparent war on creative holiday celebrations in downtown Minneapolis? The response to the new Holidazzle village was so hostile, event organizers even apologized on Facebook.

Tevlin: When government transparency and individual privacy collide

I had planned to attend Tuesday’s legislative hearing on public access and privacy surrounding police body cameras, but it was canceled, so I called one…

Tevlin: Racism on the Range, followed by suicide, now vindication

On his first day of school on Sept. 4, 2012, the bullies called him a racial epithet and blocked him from the drinking fountain, saying,…

Tevlin: Our muddled views on medical marijuana cost this patient

Ben Hallgren was driving from his home in Colorado to the Duluth area, where his father was dying of cancer.A county sheriff’s deputy in southern…
Tevlin: Neighbors band together to save North Side homes

Tevlin: Neighbors band together to save North Side homes

They think their experiment could be a pattern for future rehabilitation of the North Side, if only the bureaucrats would get out of the way.
Tevlin: After 27 years of helping abused and abusers, advocate steps down

Tevlin: After 27 years of helping abused and abusers, advocate steps down

Carol Arthur’s inspiration is an odd bit of cracked clay that sits in her office on the top floor of a crowded, rickety house where…
Tevlin: Promises, promises; yet another 'equity' fix for north Minneapolis

Tevlin: Promises, promises; yet another 'equity' fix for north Minneapolis

The federal government has a load of money to give away for “Promise Zones,” where cities are to use the money to help erase crime and poverty. Minneapolis was racing to get a piece of the action, but a couple of council members suggested the allure of money could turn the area into a zone of broken promises instead.

Tevlin: A work party, a hypnotist, and an 'orgasm event'

A nonprofit agency that helps clients deal with “mental health, substance abuse and sexual health” issues threw a Halloween party for employees last year and hired a hypnotist as entertainment. What could go wrong?
Tevlin: Little nonprofit is feeling the love in wake of 'Pointergate'

Tevlin: Little nonprofit is feeling the love in wake of 'Pointergate'

Last week, few people had heard of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). Then a silly television story dubbed “Pointergate,” in which police officers accused Minneapolis…
Tevlin: Ethics subcommittee shows it has will to do nothing

Tevlin: Ethics subcommittee shows it has will to do nothing

The ethics panel is supposed to be bipartisan. It clearly is not. The two Republicans repeatedly tried to push for opening an official inquiry. The two Democrats repeatedly argued they didn’t have enough information to decide if they should seek more information.

Tevlin: Controversial priest's visit exposes rift in Catholic Church

A south Minneapolis church plans to bring in controversial Irish Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery to speak on Wednesday, despite warnings from Archbishop John Nienstedt. And…

Tevlin: Are we seeing the start of the corporate nanny state?

First corporations wanted to be treated like people, so they could give more money to influence elections.Now they want your blood.Honeywell International, founded in Minnesota,…

Tevlin: Staples-Motley football team finds lessons in losing streak

My wife always marvels at how many details I can remember of my “glory days,” such as they were, playing football for Staples High School…

Tevlin: North Side energized to take on schools' status quo

They came dressed in business suits and bluejeans, for the most part, though one dressed in a prison jumpsuit and wore a Kermit the Frog…

Tevlin: Minnesota doctor stands up for Guantánamo hunger strikers

During a recent hearing on the treatment of Guantánamo detainees in Washington, D.C., the debate turned to various medical treatments of several prisoners who are…

Tevlin: Minneapolis needs to drop food-booze requirement

Restaurant sales, by law, currently need to be 70 percent food and 30 percent wine and beer. Only a popular vote can change city charter. About 70 city restaurants are now struggling to meet the requirements.

Tevlin: Play that tackles gritty truths resonates with Minneapolis teens

Several gun shots echoed through the auditorium at South High School in Minneapolis last week, and three young people crouched by a locker in fear.…
Tevlin: Philosopher pharmacist dreams of a memorial to the common man

Tevlin: Philosopher pharmacist dreams of a memorial to the common man

The tiny Schneider Drug store on University Avenue SE. in Minneapolis probably doesn’t look much different from when Tom Sengupta bought it in 1972. It…

Tevlin: The battle for hearts and mines of northern Minnesota

DULUTH – One apparently belongs to the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Another likes to fuss with his hair a lot and grill lobster,…

Tevlin: Death count of birds could rise exponentially with new stadium

We found the first dead body at the building’s “drop line” just before dawn on a foggy city morning. The yellow-rumped warbler had smacked the…
Tevlin: Physician laments a system that has gone from magic to metrics

Tevlin: Physician laments a system that has gone from magic to metrics

On the morning after his last day as a physician, Dr. Stephen Zuckerman, 73, sat in a cafe and lamented a health care system that…

Blind rider was kicked off bus; Metro Transit sees no evil

On a cold November day, Robert Burks was waiting for the Metro Transit bus at Fourth Street and Hennepin Avenue to take him to an…
Tevlin: If only Community Action had taken its own advice

Tevlin: If only Community Action had taken its own advice

Community Action of Minneapolis has a precious tagline in what appears to be a mission statement on its website. “The philosophy of eliminating ‘the paradox…
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