Check it out :: This Is Not Florida

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October 8, 2010
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

‘This Is Not Florida’

Veteran journalist Jay Weiner is out with a new book, “This Is Not Florida,” that dives deeply into the seemingly never-ending saga of the historic Franken-Coleman Senate Recount.

The recount was the longest and most expensive in the country’s history. Sen. Al Franken was sworn in as the state’s junior senator eight months after Election Day in November 2008. Initially, Franken trailed Norm Coleman by 215 votes — a margin that triggered a recount of nearly 3 million ballots.

Weiner covered the recount for and earned the state’s coveted Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism award for his efforts. The book tracks the story from Election Night 2008, through the State Canvassing Board and eight-week trial, appeal to the state’s Supreme Court and Al Franken’s swearing in.

The book focuses on many of the key players in the political drama.

When asked what politicians and political operatives can take away from the book in promotional materials, Weiner said: “If you’re ahead, don’t assume you will stay ahead. Vote counts change. If you are behind, look under rock, read every legal loophole, chase after every rejected ballot. Victory could be at hand.”

Ultimately, Franken’s team made sure no votes were “left on the table,” he said. They learned from the Florida recount and made sure the same thing didn’t happen in Minnesota.

For more information about the book, visit or You can follow Weiner on Twitter @ThisIsNotFla.


2010 Twin Cities Book Festival

Book lovers should take note of the Twin Cities Book Festival on Oct. 16 at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).

It’s the 10th anniversary of the event put together by Rain Taxi, A Minneapolis-based nonprofit quarterly book review.

The festival will feature a used book sale, literary magazine fair and several guest author appearances. Some of the writers lined up for the event include Alexander McCall Smith, M. T. Anderson, Mary Catherine Bateson, Richard Paul Evans, James Howard Kunstler, Frederic Tuten, Jean Valentine and Jeffrey Zaslow.

There will be a Morning Mixer at 10 a.m. to celebrate local authors who have published new books within the past year, a new Children’s Pavilion with free books and five panel discussions. The festival runs 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Ave. S. For more details, visit


Mondale at the Westminster Town  Hall Forum

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, one of the state’s most celebrated public servants, is the featured speaker at the Westminster Town Hall Forum on Oct. 14.

Mondale will reflect on his life in politics. He writes about his career in public service in his new memoir out this month, “The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics.”

Mondale’s posts included serving as the state’s Attorney General, U.S Senator, Vice President of the United States and Ambassador to Japan.

The forum will be held at noon at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nicollet Mall and 12th Street. It will be preceded by a half-hour concert and a public reception will follow Mondale’s talk.

For more information, visit


‘be OUT’

The Gorilla Yogis are organizing a yoga gathering in the North Loop on Oct. 15 called “be OUT” to celebrate National Coming Out Month and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

The vinyasa yoga class will start at 6 p.m. at SPACE in the Gardner Hardware Building, 515 N. Washington Ave. “Newbies, kings and queens are welcome,” according to a flier promoting the event.

Doors open at 5:30 for the event. There’s a $10 suggested donation.

Local yoga teachers Jessica Rosenberg and Nan Gane Arundel launched Gorilla Yogis earlier this year to encourage people to celebrate yoga in unexpected and offbeat places and support charitable causes.