Check it out // ‘Making the Quantum Leap’

Jane Barrash of Uptown has been called a “sage on blades.”

She’s versed in quantum physics and has spent nearly three decades exploring ideas about human consciousness.

Besides matters of the mind, she’s also an avid ice skater. She will compete in the 2010 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships April 14–17 at the Bloomington Ice Garden. Barrash got serious about skating again in 2007 when she decided she wanted to perform a choreographed routine for her friends on her 50th birthday. She was a competitive skater in her youth, but then took a break from training for about 36 years.

Barrash is also out with a new documentary that spotlights her decision to get back on the ice. The film, “Quantum Leap,” will screen for the public April 16 at Normandale Community College — the week of her big skating competition.

In a news release, she described the film as a “docudramacomedy about how to make impossible things come true in our magical, interconnected university.”

Barrash is executive director of the Continuum Center in the Lowry Hill neighborhood. She has worked with noted physicists, brain scientists, physicians, creativity experts and business and community leaders to tap in to what she termed the “other 90 percent” of brain/mind capacity.

She co-founded the Quest Academy with the Continuum Center, a public charter school in the Twin Cities that is the first to offer classes in consciousness and interconnectivity.

As for her expectations for her film, Barrash said: “I hope people challenge their operating assumptions.”

She said too many people get stuck in a paradigm that the universe is a logical and predictable place. In her movie, she aims to demonstrate that we have the capacity to make seemingly “impossible” dreams a reality. She sees the universe as a “magical” and “unpredictable” place.

When: “Quantum Leap” screening, April 16, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Normandale Community College Auditorium, 
9700 France Ave. S.


Baseball books

In anticipation of the opening of Target Field on April 12, Magers & Quinn is hosting two local authors out with new books celebrating the game of baseball — Doug Grow and Peter Schilling Jr. — for a special event April 11.

Doug Grow, a former columnist for the Star Tribune, reflects on 50 years of Twins baseball in “We’re Gonna Win, Twins!”

The book explores the ever-changing nature of baseball economics and highlights memorable Twins characters, such as radio color man Halsey Hall and Zoilo Versalles, the first Latin MVP.

Don Shelby of WCCO-TV said this of the book: “There will always be people who say that baseball is just a game — until they read this book.”

Grow, who writes for MinnPost, covered the Twins as a sports columnist from 1979 to 1987. He also wrote about the team and stadium funding debates as a metro columnist.

In addition to the appearance at Magers & Quinn, Grow will talk about his book April 24, 2–4 p.m.,  at the Town Ball Tavern in Target Field, 1 Twins Way.

Schilling’s novel, “The End of Baseball,” centers around the story of Bill Veeck, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics. He fires the team’s white players and recruits the stars of the Negro Leagues, building a team considered among the greatest to have played the game.

Schilling Jr. has covered baseball for many years and edited the online baseball journal   

April 11, 5 p.m.
Where: Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S.


Cooking with 
Brenda Langton

Brenda Langton, the acclaimed chef behind Spoonriver and founder of the Mill City Farmers Market, is gearing up for another round of her “Healthy Eating, Healthy Living” classes.

During the three-evening course participants will get a chance to learn about Langton’s philosophy and practices for a healthful diet.

“There’s no better time than right now to take charge of your health by cooking delicious foods that build up our immune systems, helping us feel happy and full of life,” Langton, a Southwest resident, said in a statement about the class. “It’s my hope that this class will provide inspiration for people to practice simple cooking techniques in a fun, relaxing environment in a way that’s healing to our minds and bodies.”

Langton, a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, is partnering with the center and The Wedge Co-op on the course.

The three-night course will cover a range of menu items, including breakfast options, savory snacks, soups, vegetable and legume dishes and desserts without refined sugar.

The course costs $285, which includes a copy of the “The Café Brenda Cookbook.” Register at or call 624-9459.

When: March 30, April 6 & April 13, 6–9 p.m.
Where: Roth Distributing, 1300 W. 47th St.


WedgeShare grant winners

A dozen community groups received a combined $50,000 in grants from the Wedge Co-op on March 23.

The recipients of the 12 WedgeShare grants work on a variety of causes, including fighting hunger, promoting sustainable communities, improving food safety and advocating for renewable energy, among other things.

The Wedge Co-op has been awarding the community grants since 1997. Awards range from $2,000 to about $10,000.

“The Twin Cities are blessed with a multitude of nonprofit organizations that have created grassroots programs to meet the needs of our community,” said Sarah Wovcha, a board member for The Wedge and WedgeShare Committee Chair. “These organizations are the real stimulus, fostering sustainability, cooperation and community growth in the metro and the nation. We know each WedgeShare recipient organization will be successful in its projects and further improve our vibrant, sustainable community.”

The winners include:
— The Cornucopia Institute, an organization that promotes organic farmers and food;
— The Emergency Foodshelf Network, a local nonprofit food bank that collects and distributes food throughout the state;
— Eureka Recycling, oversees a grassroots effort to promote recycling;
— Farmers’ Legal Action Group Inc., a nonprofit law center in St. Paul that helps family farmers;
— Gardening Matters, a clearinghouse for information on community gardens in the Twin Cities;
— HOURCAR, a Twin Cities car-sharing program;
— In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, a key partner in the annual MayDay Parade;
— Minnesota Food Association, an organization devoted to building a more sustainable food system;
— Open Arms of Minnesota, a nonprofit that prepares and delivers meals to people living with serious and life-threatening diseases;
— Sisters’ Camelot, a local organization that salvages food from farmers markets and warehouses and distributes it to low-income neighborhoods around the Twin Cities;
— Windustry, a nonprofit that promotes harnessing wind for energy; and
— Youth Farm & Market Project, an organization that trains youth in urban agriculture, gardening and greenhouses.

Host families needed 
for pro cyclists

Organizers of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival are looking for host families for professional cyclists in town mid-June for the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

Families are needed to take in two or more teams members from June 15–20.

“If you have an extra bedroom or two, that’s great, but floor space for a couple of air mattresses will do just fine,” said David LaPorte, festival director, in a statement.

The race, in its 12th year, will have competitions in St. Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Menomonie, Wis., and Stillwater. Those interested in hosting should go to or call Kathy Dowd at 952-926-1800.

Race day volunteers are also needed to help out during the festival. To get involved, visit the race website or contact Jean Freidl at 651-493-3029/[email protected] or Chuck Grothaus at 770-0026 or [email protected]