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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.
Camille Williams and Cory Hepola Podcast creators
“We’ll share stories and get personal in our own lives.”

C.J.: Married former TV co-anchors are starting a parenting podcast for WCCO-AM

Camille Williams and Cory Hepola shouldn’t have any problems coming up with material for their new podcast, “Hey, They Grow Up…
John Feinstein sportswriter
“Football’s never safe. It’s not a safe game.”

C.J.: Veteran sports writer John Feinstein says football is never safe

In the final installment of my interview with Washington Post sports columnist John Feinstein, the author of 35 books, we talk about an…
Ray "Fancy Ray" McCloney

C.J.: Fancy Ray McCloney promotes marriage, though not his own

If you’ve spent any time with Fancy Ray McCloney, the self-proclaimed “Best Looking Man in Comedy,” you can empathize with the suffering of his…
“I’m going to have a good time, that’s for sure,” said actor Jerry O’Connell about his new talk show.

C.J.: Jerry O'Connell gets support from Wendy Williams for talk show

"Jerry O' " show began a three-week test run Monday on Fox.
Gittelson Jewelers staff: Molly Braun, general manager; Gene Gittelson, owner; Michael Gittelson, vice president.

C.J.: 34 years of Gittelson Jewelers customer service, including a 3 a.m. Prince appointment

For the past eight years, Gene and his son Michael Gittelson have been sharing the 297-square-foot space with Molly Braun, the general manager, who sometimes witnesses familial squabbling.
“I was very frustrated and tired and I said to myself: ‘Every day we’re on the brink of another disaster. Win or loss, we are on the brink of so

C.J.: Sid was there when 'Season on the Brink' popped into writer's head

Now, more from my interview with Washington Post sports columnist John Feinstein, the author of 35 books. “Quarterback” was the prolific author’s current book…
Turi Ryder

C.J.: There'd be fewer graduation ceremonies if Turi Ryder ran the world

Controversial former KSTP-AM show host Turi Ryder knows where to have a party. She read from, sold and autographed copies of her memoir “She…
Alix Kendall

C.J.: Fox 9 anchor Alix Kendall couldn't get Warren Beatty to do a satellite interview dance

For such a petite specimen of the species, Fox 9 “The Buzz” anchor Alix Kendall sure can wreak some havoc in a room. As…
“CTC was a huge part of my life,” Fox 9 host Alix Kendall said.

C.J.: Fox 9 anchor Alix Kendall is about to celebrate her 20th anniversary

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s dancing to celebrate Alix Kendall’s 20th anniversary on Fox 9’s “Buzz” the end of this month. She was…
Lizz Winstead Comedian
“We have men setting the standards for what women are.”

C.J.: Sexist songs are getting the Lizz Winstead treatment

Minnesota-born satirist and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead will take a few whacks at the songs of sexism next weekend at the Cedar…
Alan Light rock critic and writer
If Prince says, ‘Come hang out’ ... if we don’t end up doing a story, I’ll still take that trip.”

C.J.: Music stars can learn more about themselves by acquiescing to media interviews

My interview with estimable rock 'n' roll critic, editor and author Alan Light predated by several weeks the temper tantrum Taylor Swift…
Actor John Travolta in 1977.

C.J.: Imagine, if you will, a picture with John Travolta as the 'Purple Rain' kid

Rock critic, magazine editor and author Alan Light’s résumé reads like a music lover’s dream. He interned at Rolling Stone, where he later became…
Tom Ryther in 1993.

C.J.: Former KARE 11 sports anchor Tom Ryther's memoir bloodies a few well-known faces

“There are things in this book you are not going to read anywhere else,” Tom Ryther, the sports anchor KARE 11 fired in…
Tom Ryther in 1993.

C.J.: Former KARE 11 sports anchor Tom Ryther takes a few shots in his memoir

You’ve kind of waited too long for this. Write the book, get it all off your chest and make sure your family and friends…
Turi Ryder

C.J.: Former radio show talker Turi Ryder is scheduled to return for "She Said What?" book event

Former, as in 30 years ago, KSTP-AM talk show host Turi Ryder is returning to the Twin Cities this week for a private book…
hala Bahmet costume designer
“You can’t have enough crisp white shirts.”

C.J.: St. Kate's commencentment speaker sought speech advice from 'This Is Us' Emmy winner

At St. Catherine University’s commencement last month, the speaker finally had the opportunity to walk across the stage and pretend to receive her diploma.…
“I love all of the things that make life exciting," says RuPaul.

C.J.: For RuPaul, love and kindness top everything else

This is Week 2 of the test run for the “RuPaul” talk show airing on Fox 9+ (WFTC, Ch. 9.2), at 8 p.m. Tuesday.…
KSTP-TV anchor Lindsey Brown says she could have waited to find out the sex of their baby, but her husband couldn't. (It's a boy.)

C.J.: KSTP's Lindsey Brown wants viewers' tips on baby care

“The thing is,” said KSTP-TV anchor Lindsey Brown, “I’m interested in the fact that I’m having a baby, but no one else is.” How…
“I love all of the things that make life exciting," says RuPaul.

C.J.: RuPaul's new talk show launches a trial run

The guest lineup for the first week of “RuPaul,” the talk show, should just about guarantee a big splash. The cultural icon and Emmy-winning…
Author Kevin Kling

C.J.: Kevin Kling finds belly laughs and a home at Interact Center

A tinge of trepidation is coloring the overall excitement actor, writer, storyteller and local treasure Kevin Kling feels about his big night with Interact…
Jeff Arundel singer-songwriter
“No matter how angry I look on the cover, that song [‘Now We Go’] is positive and upbeat and feel-good.”

C.J.: Despite his appearance, Minnesotan Jeff Arundel is happy with his new album

Singer-songwriter Jeff Arundel looks like an angry man on the cover of his eighth record.I'm not the only person who thinks that. "Five people…

C.J.: Award-winning journalist Ray Suarez on the relationship between faith and politics

Award-winning journalist Ray Suarez was paying respects to a Founding Father when I called him Memorial Day. “I’m out for the holiday in Philadelphia.…
Laverne McCartney Knighton, Khary Campbell, Tola Oyewole and Mona Wright attended the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast on Jan. 15, 2018, in

C.J.: College scholarship fundraiser determined to widen her search

UNCF area director Laverne McCartney Knighton is about to celebrate her second anniversary making sure no minds are wasted among college-bound kids deserving scholarships…
Dancin’ dads: Geoff Henderson, Bruce Jensen and Jake Skare.

C.J.: At least these Triple S Dance Competition daughters didn't dress their dads in drag

The daughters didn’t appear to weigh 100 pounds each — soaking wet — and yet their dads looked intimidated. Could it have been because the…
John Feinstein

C.J. : Sportswriter John Feinstein must go see the athletes to the dismay of his youngest child

Sports columnist John Feinstein spent some time on the road after Virginia won the Final Four. The author of 35 books, including the New…
Museum director Lonnie Bunch III: “When I think about the collections, there is so much in there that moves me to tears.”

C.J.: Founding director of Smithsonian's NMAAHC strikes out on Willie Mays' glove

Lonnie Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, apparently doesn’t experience museum fatigue often. Doing research for…
lonnie bunch iii museum director
“There is not a single black America.”

C.J. : Founder of D.C.'s most popular Smithsonian museum is set to visit Minneapolis

Lonnie Bunch III, founding director of Washington, D.C.’s new National Mall jewel that is the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, is coming…
Turi Ryder

C.J.: Former KSTP-AM talker Turi Ryder wishes she had become more kindhearted but naaah

She ruffled feathers while she was here, but she had her share of fans, including her boss.
Renee Bontjes of Sewing and Fitting Mentor in Forest Lake: “I think there’s a loss of elegance about dressing.”

C.J.: Create your own look at Sewing and Fitting Mentor

Grasston, Minn., resident Renee Bontjes is doing nicer things for sewing than Octavia Spencer’s character in the upcoming horror movie “Ma.” “Note to…
Kendall and Roxanne Bennett, CEOs of Utah-based Bennett Events: “Things change every year.”

C.J.: The Pinners are returning for a second expo at the Minneapolis Convention Center

It’s the time of year when Pinterest fans may abandon computer screens for the tactile experience that is Pinners MN. The second annual Pinners Minnesota…
Marty Mathis, owner of Marty Mathis Direct, a haberdashery in the skyway of Northstar Center.

C.J. : Millennials very much suit men's clothing store owner Marty Mathis

Downtown skyway store owner has seen trends come and go.
Singer Ashley Támar Davis: “To have longevity in this business you have to understand it is dog-eat-dog.”

C.J.: Prince protégée Ashley Támar Davis performed with pre-Destiny Beyoncé

Playing the Fine Line in Minneapolis will be bittersweet Saturday for singer Ashley Támar Davis. She’s scheduled to go on stage at 9 p.m.…
Winona physical therapists Brad Heineck and Bob Schrupp.

C.J.: Meet the Minnesota physical therapists who have become YouTube superstars

Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck currently have more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and "are adding about 1,300 a day.
Steve and Jean Danko, owners of Jean Stephen Galleries: “We have areas we both excel in — we both sell art.”

C.J.: After 32 years, owners of Jean Stephen Galleries are picturing retirement

After 32 years, at four locations, Jean Stephen Galleries is closing. The fine art gallery moved from the Nicollet Mall to St. Louis Park…
Dave Gangler, actor and chief technology officer: “Performing feeds my artistic soul. Software development feeds my stomach.”

C.J.: Platform shoes and gaudy gold are de rigueur for Boogie Dairyland

Dust off those platform shoes for Sunday’s Boogie Dairyland Cattle Call, a benefit for Youth Performance Company. In celebration of its 30th season, YPC “strongly…
Costume designer Allyson Brown Fanger.

C.J.: Pot smoking on 'Grace and Frankie' may be smoke and mirrors but the wardrobe isn't

Minnetonka’s Allyson Brown Fanger has done pretty well in the costume design world despite not taking her mom’s advice to attend the Fashion Institute…
“I’m no stranger to working here, and I certainly love it here,” Emilio Estevez said.

C.J.: Emilio Estevez admits his pitch for a homelessness movie didn't push Hollywood's blockbuster button

He was at Minneapolis' Central Library for a screening Sunday of "The Public," a movie he wrote and directed about the homeless taking over a Cincinnati library.
Percussionist Daryl Boudreaux: “I was a full-time musician. Then I got poor. No. Poorer.”

C.J.: Don't even try to stay still during Aretha Franklin tribute concert

There’s one song that percussionist Daryl Boudreaux made certain was on the play­list for the seventh annual “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. — A Tribute to the Queen…
Jim Rosenbaum on being a judge: "One of the glories is once in a while you get fascinating cases you may perceive are important, or may really matter

C.J.: Smart-alecks take note – don't ever try to one-up a judge

While former U.S. District Judge Jim Rosenbaum exuded affability from the bench, only growing testy when a lawyer went too far, his late federal…
MALLORY WEGGEMANN pARALYMPIC swim CHAMPION “Circumstances are just moments in our lives.”

C.J.: Paralympic swimming gold medalist dives into challenges

Paralympic swimming gold medalist Mallory Weggemann is speaking Thursday at a closing reception for the “Underwater” exhibit at St. Paul’s Interact Center for the…
James Rosenbaum at Heritage Park in Minneapolis.

C.J.: Former Judge Rosenbaum is still having 'lawyer fun' although he's no RBG in the gym

Former U.S. District Judge Jim Rosenbaum claimed his hands were clammy as we got situated. I don’t know why I’d make him nervous. I’ve…
David Campt: Racial equality “is not going to happen by everybody going to a workshop.”

C.J.: Can we talk? 'The Dialogue Guy' is coming to Minnesota

In June Donna Minter, founder and executive director of the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute, was at a racial healing conference in Virginia where she…
Chris Birt, CEO of ABdBUZZ.

C.J.: Successful advertising campaigns are about the buzz, not the budget, says local author

Chris Birt has written a book about generating brand awareness without much advertising.
Floyd Coley UPS worker
“I’ll never not wear shorts. … I wear shorts everywhere, even to church.”

C.J.: Wearing shorts in winter, even this one, is the only way for UPS veteran

Recent subzero temps did give Floyd Coley pause.
Evan Kail: “Once I started writing my first ‘Ubered’ book, I realized I liked writing books more than screenplays.”

C.J.: Jewish soldiers take revenge on Nazis in Minnesota author's new novel

A former ride-share driver and author of “Ubered” and its sequel, Evan Kail was planning to write a historical fiction screenplay about Jewish American…
Minneapolis is one of the sexiest cities in the U.S., according to a “sex map” by Lovehoney.

C.J.: Sex survey puts Minneapolis on the map

Warning: This column addresses a subject that is for adults only. That said, I don’t feel old enough to write about it. So I’m…
Sheriff Dave Hutchinson: “I’m here for the people of Hennepin County. That’s it.”

C.J.: Newly elected Hennepin County Sheriff Hutch might be too beautiful for a goatee

If experience is any guide, new Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson’s honeymoon period can’t last forever, but right now, everyone appears to be getting…
Russell Johnson producer of MCN6’s “Minnesota-Made Short Film Showcase”
“If you are a filmmaker here, you have a home at Channel 6.”

C.J.: MCN6 has Valentine's Day plans for viewers; by the way, do you have any game show ideas?

Cable’s newly rebranded MCN6 has planned four hours of special Valentine’s Day movie-watching. What formerly was known at Metro Cable Network is becoming Minnesota’s Community…
"Raise Up," a sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas, on the grounds of the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., April 20, 2018.

C.J.: People of all races are moved to tears at two sacred new Alabama memorials

A powerful reckoning has been taking place at two new sites in Montgomery, Ala. Since April 2018, the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for…
Bryan Stevenson

C.J.: Founder of Alabama's lynching memorial remains hopeful U.S. will do better

A barbaric form of American racial terrorism from another era — lynching — was in the news twice this week. Presidential crony Roger Stone…
Toni McCloney, Fancy Ray’s mom: “He always did things to get your attention because he’s smart.”

C.J.: Fancy Ray McCloney was not first 'Fancy' in family according to mom

Fancy Ray McCloney was such a self-sufficient toddler that he potty-trained himself. That’s the most unfathomable morsel I gleaned from his mom,…
Comedian and doting grandpa Jeff Gerbino.

C.J.: Comedian Jeff Gerbino not amused by Louis C.K.'s behavior

"I don't know how he can walk out to an audience with women in it."
WCCO Radio host Cory Hepola, with wife Camille Williams: “Being able to work with Camille, absolute highlight of my life.”

C.J.: Former TV anchor Cory Hepola already feels at home on the radio

"It was a great first day," said the Minnesota native, who succeeded John Hines in the 9 a.m. slot.
Jill Mikelson as Janis Joplin.

C.J.: Jill Mikelson is showcasing Janis Joplin's raw, gritty emotionalism at First Avenue

"I think this show, for me, is probably the thing I wanted the most; to share Janis and to share myself."
Adrienne Foreman Jones, George Foreman’s first wife: “George and I have had our wars, but we truly are friends.”

C.J.: George Foreman's first wife was very happy with her heavyweight despite Ali's jabs

Believe it or not, former heavyweight champ George Foreman didn’t always want offspring named after him. According to his first wife, Adrienne Foreman…
Musician/teacher Mark Arneson: “I actually think Fancy is from the future.”

C.J.: Why is musician Mark Arneson encouraging Fancy Ray to rap outside his shower?

Musician and teacher Mark Arneson plays every instrument and sings all the vocals on his upcoming and as yet untitled CD. “Hopefully [I’ll] get…
Leslie Lissaint actor/dancer/poet: “People will see this and they will feel that they need to reveal something.”

C.J.: 'This Is How We Heal' grew out of a Minnesota-born actor/dancer doing the 'heart work'

NYC-based actor/dancer/poet Leslie Lissaint is bringing her one-woman show about her difficult Minneapolis childhood home.
Lizz Winstead: “Taking down the powerful is when comedy is at its best.”

C.J.: 'Daily Show' co-creator Lizz Winstead is finally doing comedy her way

Minnesota native isn't joking about her political passions.
Sheletta Brundidge, left, and Lindy Vincent are the hosts of the podcast.

C.J.: WCCO radio spices up its podcast lineup with

The chemistry between Sheletta Brundidge and Lindy Vincent is as undeniable as their banter.
“I’m not Bible-thumping or anything like that, but I tell you I am looking at humans differently,” Joe Minjares said.

C.J.: There's nothing off limits for comedian Joe Minjares since his lung transplant

Minjares is starting to feel normal more than a year after his lung transplant.

C.J.: Comedian Kristin Andersen-Anderson is ready to laugh about her major health scare

What’s so funny about a near-death experience? Comedians Joe Minjares and Kristin Andersen-Anderson will tell you Saturday at the New Hope Cinema Grill,…
“I see the magic in everything,” poet James Marshall Goff said. “I’m Irish Catholic with Native American beliefs.”

C.J.: Chronicling his times on Earth through poetry and hikes

There is poetry everywhere James Marshall Goff treks. His first book is a collection of selected poems, “Hiking in the Universe,” which Goff…
“Carpet has come a long way. ... It’s easier to clean,” flooring expert Patrick Schneider said.

C.J.: After 10 years of tinkering: Voila! It's Spot Bomb

A special potion leads to a look into the sometimes mysterious world of carpet manufacturing and stain removal.
Peter Dorsen

C.J.: Author Peter Dorsen has cleaned up his life and is focused helping men 60 and older

"Men Over 60: Don't Quit Now!" is in the final editing stage. It follows his "Dr. D's Handbook for Men Over 40," published in 1999.
Producer and creative consultant Rachel Weintraub was in Edina recently working with Twin Cities lifestyle guru and “Seize Your Life” author Jasmi

C.J.: The president of Gayle King's fan club has been located, and her name is not Oprah

Producer and creative consultant Rachel Weintraub says she works only with people she loves. And she loves Gayle King, “CBS This Morning” anchor,…
Costume designer Lou Eyrich

C.J.: FX's 'Versace' costume designer has won the right to be 'Big Lou'

For Lou Eyrich, the transition from Ragstock manager to the costume world was the result of "being in the right place at the right time."
“I’ve got a second bite at the apple,” attorney Clinton Collins said.

C.J.: Attorney Clinton Collins wants to thank family of his young organ donor

Double organ recipient Clinton Collins is not surprised he’s still here, but there were days before his recent kidney-pancreas transplant when the waiting…
Jasper Felder

C.J.: Never heard of bandy? There's even a U.S. Hall of Fame

On Monday, the governing body that oversees bandy, a team sport played on ice, inducted two players into its Hall of Fame — Minneapolis native Chris Preiss and Swedish-American Jasper Felder.
“You should do everything you can to feel better,” KSTP-TV meteorologist Ken Barlow said.

C.J.: KSTPer Ken Barlow knows that on the other side of his bad days stands his wife, Theresa

What a thoughtful host KSTP-TV meteorologist Ken Barlow is, even when he is having a bad day. As one of my Twitter followers, he…
“The United States has meant so much to my family,” costume designer Hala Bahmet said.

C.J.: 'This Is Us' costume designer is one of us

Hala Bahmet grew up in St. Paul and attended college at St. Catherine University.
Dessa Doomtree: “Yes. I mean [Lin-Manuel Miranda] called me and ... that’s an amazing call to receive.”

C.J.: Dessa felt better after getting scientific assistance to mend her broken heart

The hip-hop star talks about getting over an old flame, hair color assumptions and that "Hamilton" mix tape.
“I’m trying to work my way up in the film and TV industry. I want to produce movies,” said Chelsea Babcock.

C.J.: Diana Pierce's daughter starts her L.A. climb in the film and TV biz

Chelsea Babcock has been working steadily on the sets of a few shows and movies.
Dessa's debut memoir is called "My Own Devices."

C.J.: Mindful rapper Dessa doesn't wander through chats about her memoir

Her brightness illuminates the new book, "My Own Devices: True Stories From the Road on Music, Science and Senseless Love."
Nick Prueher, right, VHS comedian
“We not only have a ‘Ventriloquism’ section, we have a ‘Religious Ventriloquism’ section.” (with Joe Pic

C.J.: VHS is not yet dead for the Found Footage Festival Tour dudes

Put on by comics originally from Wisconsin and who spent time in the Twin Cities, the festival will be at the Heights Theater at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1.
“The things I’m doing now are the things I am interested in,” said Diana Pierce, reinventing herself after her time at KARE 11.

Former KARE 11 anchor Diana Pierce relishes being in charge of 'What's Next?'

Former KARE 11 anchor Diana Pierce likes all her former producers, but she prefers assigning herself. Two years ago, Pierce left the station after…