Here is the latest “Bugle Midpoint,” a mid-month Web report on some new local news and information since the publication of our August issue:

Protesters demonstrate for the U.S. Postal Service   

About 20 to 30 people gathered in front of and nearby the St. Anthony Post Office on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 18) to protest service cutbacks that U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy began recently implementing across the nation.

In the last week, national media outlets have reported that the U.S. Postal Service has removed several hundred mailboxes from their locations and has had high-speed mail sorting machines pulled from a number of post offices across the country. In response, citizen protests have been popping up around the country.

“These actions will adversely affect the ability of the USPS to process mail-in ballots,” contended Brenda Touville, a St. Anthony Park resident and a protest organizer. “This could potentially disenfranchise millions of voters.”

Several residents from the nearby Zvago senior housing complex, joined Douville in demonstrating. They held signs with such messages as “USPS A Lifeline For Millions” and “Deliver de Mail, Depose DeJoy.”

“I am hoping to do something, take some action and raise awareness,” Douville said about she and her friends demonstrating for the Postal Service.

Jeff Havig, a younger St. Anthony Park resident and self-described history buff, joined the protest wearing an old letter carrier’s uniform. He held a sign that read “Save Our Post, Stop Fascism.” He contended the nation needs to maintain the strength and vitality of the postal service, especially with the Presidential Election looming and millions of Americans expected to vote by mail so they can avoid having to stand in lines and potentially catch the COVID-19 virus.

 “Voting by mail should be available to everyone,’ said Havig, a college science researcher. “People shouldn’t be putting their lives at risk to vote.”

In response to public pressure and several state lawsuits, DeJoy said he would suspend his service initiatives until after the November election. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to hold hearings on the issue.

Boreal Art Loft returns

The art loft art at boreal, a gift, jewelry and clothing store at 2276 Como Ave. has reopened. It is featuring “Dant Werks,” a mix of oil on linen, photography and jewelry by Esther, Jack, Janet and Michael Dant.  Their exhibition runs through Aug. 28.

Free State Fair history webinar

The nonprofit food hub The Good Acre is holding a free webinar from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 that will feature Minnesota State Fair archivist Keri Huber talking about the history of the fair.  Huber will share historical photos, facts, and ag-focused anecdotes that will shed light on the rich 166-year history of what Minnesotans regard as the best state fair in America. To register for the webinar go to The Good Acre’s website at: https://thegoodacre.org/event/discover-minnesota-state-fair/#tribe-tickets

Minnesota State Fair 2020 At-Home Edition

Although the regular Minnesota State Fair for 2020 has been canceled due to COVID-19, fair officials announced Tuesday (Aug. 18) they will be holding a virtual alternative called “Minnesota State Fair: At-Home Edition.” Also, special State Fair kits and 2020 merchandise are now available.

In a press release, Fair officials said, “The At-Home Edition will appear on the fair’s website and social media channels where there will be daily fun fair facts, memories, demonstrations and entertainment, history tidbits, creative contests, behind-the-scenes peeks, photos, videos and activities.” It will be held from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7, the same period when the real fair would have been held.

“We can’t go to the fair this year, so we’re bringing the fair to you,” State Fair general manager Jerry Hammer said in a statement. “You’ll see familiar favorites and also learn exciting things you never knew about the fair, and hopefully put them on your list to experience next year.” 

Dozens of individuals and organizations who play major roles in production of the Great Minnesota Get-Together are providing a wide variety of content. They include the Minnesota Beef Council, American Dairy Association of the Midwest, Minnesota Pork Producers Association and Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Association. 

Also, OMG Digital Media Solutions is presenting a series of performances by prominent musical artists as part of the “Celebrate Culture & Community” lineup. Several presenters of Dan Patch Park programs will also contribute to the at-home experience, including the National Alliance of Mental Illness, which coordinates Mental Health Awareness at the fair. Every day will include updates and new content to experience. For more information, visit mnstatefair.org during the 12 days.

In addition to the At-Home Edition, fair fans can celebrate with two specially designed kits now on sale – State Fair Party In-A-Box and the Crop Art to Go kit. The State Fair Party In-A-Box ($40, includes shipping) includes all the items you need for a party of six: commemorative tickets, plates, cups, paper hats, party favors, prizes, a vintage State Fair ribbon, pennant garland décor and a party game.

The Crop Art to Go kit ($25, includes shipping) has everything you need to get started with this famous Minnesota State Fair tradition: seven varieties of seeds, eight beginner illustrations to use as design patterns, a 5” x 7” canvas, glue, paintbrush, toothpicks, pencil and directions. Quantities for both kits are limited.

Merchandise including T-shirts, buttons, mugs, magnets, water bottles, face coverings and more is also available for purchase to commemorate 2020, and new designs will be added in the coming weeks. Information about all merchandise can be found at: https://www.mnstatefair.org/general-info/other-shopping-opportunities/ 

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