Stargazing and urban grazing

  • Article by: BARBARA FLANAGAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2005 - 10:00 PM

The Flanagan Memo - RE: What the governor said; what the Minnesota Historical Society said, plus a few other little items.

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Three updates

Remember the three slightly frivolous hopes that I mentioned here last month?

Well, there was Gov. Tim Pawlenty at the Minnesota Breakfast in Naples, Fla., just standing there, so I asked him.

No. 1 was the planetarium atop the new downtown Minneapolis public library.

He said not to worry about it. "It looks good for this session," he said, referring to the Legislature. "I would be very surprised if it wasn't passed."

Good news, right? OK, No.-2 was the Shubert Theater on Hennepin Avenue downtown. "It is a good plan, but it isn't as visible as the planetarium," he said. "It could take a little luck. We will see."

ArtSpace, which is rebuilding the historic theater, has raised a good share of the cost. Let's hope for the best.

And how about a new stadium for the mighty Minnesota Twins? He smiled and said not to give up. I won't, but how much longer do we stew?

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Greatest generation

Rarely do I win something in a raffle, but I did when the Minnesota Historical Society drew my name for one of its new books.

It was a thrill because the book is entitled "Minnesota Goes to War: The Home Front During World War II." It's by Dave Kenney, a former CNN newsman who has written several books for the society.

The book is fascinating and so was Kenney's recent talk in Naples, in which he told some of his stories. One that drew oohs and ahhs concerned balloons that Japan made and set loose to cross the Pacific and endanger California with the ability to set forest fires. He said one balloon made it all the way to northern Minnesota, where it was brought under control and caused no damage.

The society's event was called to announce its new project, "Minnesota's Greatest Generation: Preserving Family History." The project will help families preserve photographs, diaries, letters and other materials, especially about our World War II veterans. Step-by-step instructions will also help families record oral histories, and there will be workshops across the state.

The project will also enhance and expand the society's collections, and the oral histories will be accessible online.

Although more than 300,000 Minnesotans served in World War II, the society's collection lacks examples of some of the basic attire and equipment carried by soldiers in the field.

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