Ernest Comer III

Ernest Comer III is a community relations professional with several years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in Communication Studies with an emphasis in African and African American Studies. Ernest is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and has held positions of leadership in organizations such as PRISM at the University of Minnesota, and emerging non-profit in Ramsey County, Re-Armor Homes. He has been an adolescent mentor in the Pediatrics Department at the U and has hosted local television and radio shows showcasing young talent.

Proverbial Monday

Posted by: Ernest Comer III Updated: June 20, 2011 - 11:16 AM

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Happy Belated Father’s Day to the Fathers & Father Figures of our community!

Bad news: its Monday again. The good news; you just stumbled upon another Proverbial Monday article!

I know, I know, I miss you too.

Here's the scenario: We'll start off with our "highs and lows" and get into some important societal survival skills and general goings on of the TwinCities and neighboring communities with news about the rest of the world here and there. Participation is simple. Just give me your highs and lows either in the comments of the article or on twitter by trending #ProverbialMonday or tweeting to me @ProverbTribune.

Highs: Wedding in 40 days!!!!

Lows: thrown off by some of the N. MPLS Tornado updates

***What-the-Huh?***

As you all should know by now on Sunday, May 22nd North Minneapolis was devastated by an EF1 tornado (winds up to 125 mph). Volunteers immediately took to the streets in response cleaning debris, securing shelter for those who’ve lost homes and distributing food.  Soon after according to a StarTribune article by Steve Brandt there was a disaster declaration for Hennepin and Anoka Counties. This article was prefaced with a bit of a disclaimer: “The assistance is for federally guaranteed homes, but a Minneapolis official cautioned that areas of the city hit hard by the May 22 tornado tend to have fewer of them.”

Mary Lynn Smith wrote an article Rybak seeks more storm aid, explaining that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak would be approaching our President in search for answers after he and other state officials learned this;

“[…] the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Minnesota's [$16million] request for individual assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the tornado. In its decision, the agency said "the damage from this event to dwellings was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the combined capabilities of the State, affected local governments and voluntary agencies to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance for Hennepin County.’[…]”

Today frustrations came over the airwaves and through computer screens as 89.9 KMOJ radio hosts question the audacity of Three Rivers Park District, which is in Hennepin County, to urge that legislatures spend $17 million. This was apparently in response to an article by Laurie Blake Park district seeks $17 million for dam:

“The park district, based in suburban Hennepin County, wants to divest itself of the nearly 100-year-old dam and had hoped during the regular session that legislators would improve the dam and transfer its ownership to the Department of Natural Resources.

Straddling the Mississippi River between Anoka and Hennepin counties, the aging structure could be improved to protect northern lakes from the upstream migration of Asian carp and other unwanted fish, the DNR has said.”

 This message was posted on Facebook with a link to the article:

89.9 KMOJ "THE PEOPLES STATION"
So... Let's do some simple math, shall we? FEMA says "NO" to North Minneapolis Tornado Victims because it's "only" $16Million in damages. The State is on the verge of a "shutting down" due to an apparent budget issue..
But please give $17Million to protect FISH?
Let's see here - $16M vs. $17M..
People vs. Fish. Dam is the right word in this case!
Doesn't seem like good math to us? What do you think?

Here’s what I think: while it is not appropriate to suggest that organizations forget about issues that existed prior to a natural disaster occurring in the neighborhood they serve it would be appalling to witness a government bypass the needs of the people affected by a natural disaster to address the issue of keeping unwanted fish out of a particular body of water. With that said it only takes about 10 letters on any particular issue to grab the attention of a legislature, whose writing? Who are you writing to? What will you say? As a community, let’s find a way to effectively voice concerns so that we aren’t caught complaining amidst ourselves while being proverbially kicked to the curb.

Follow this link to find contact information for Minnesota State Legislature:  http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legdir.aspx

Peace,

Proverb

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