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Playlist: 2 below zero's Portfolio

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No Brother of Mine

From Todd Melby | 59:30

“No Brother of Mine” offers an unflinching look at U.S. sex offender policy that reaches beyond the headlines and into the lives of real people. Reported over four years by award-winning independent producers Todd Melby and Diane Richard, this hour-long documentary combines audio-rich storytelling that puts the listener in the scene with expert interviews that lend perspective and propel the narrative forward. It provides a nuanced examination of issues surrounding federal online registration laws, residency restrictions, Romeo and Juliet laws and the growing use of civil commitment.

No_brother_of_mine_image_small In an attempt to protect the public from sexual violence, the U.S. has enacted get-tough laws targeting released sex offenders. Many were inspired by high-profile cases in which children were raped and killed by strangers, a heinous albeit rare crime. Federal law now requires states to register all sex offenders online, including those committed of consensual teen sex and of public urination and indecent exposure. Dozens of states and municipalities have created buffer zones that prevent offenders from living near schools, playgrounds and parks. And about 20 states—including California, New York, Minnesota and Washington—indefinitely confine the worst offenders to mental hospitals.

Proponents contend that these laws make society safer. Opponents say they’re often ineffective and violate civil liberties.

Since 2006, award-winning producers Diane Richard and Todd Melby interviewed leading experts and victims’ advocates about the impact of these laws. They've also spent time getting to know four Minnesotans convicted of sex crimes, in prison and since their release. In many ways, these men represent the complexity of the issue. Their crimes span a spectrum of sexual violence. All are felons. Each completed a sex offender treatment program.

These men’s stories put a candid human face on the highly politicized issue of sex crimes, the damage they cause and some of their common roots. Together, the documentary provides a nuanced examination of issues surrounding online registration laws, residency restrictions, Romeo and Juliet laws and the growing use of civil commitment.

Produced with dual narrators, “No Brother of Mine” combines audio-rich storytelling that puts the listener in the scene with expert interviews to propel the narrative forward. The result is a probing look from many different perspectives at a nation grappling with how to handle the sensational yet banal reality of sexual violence and at the struggles released offenders face in a society that no longer wants them.

Nice Girls, Mean Bags

From KFAI | Part of the 10,000 Fresh Voices series | 04:31

"This is what happens when Minnesota nice goes wrong." That's how Meghan McDonald-Heisserer describes the company she started with Christina Nguyen. Called "Maybe You Should Die," the Minneapolis firm sells handmade "Mean Bags" with nasty insults, cards written from the point-of-view of stalkers, kinky cards for lovers and cards that celebrate failure. Says Christine, "We take it to the extreme."

Img_1359_small "This is what happens when Minnesota nice goes wrong." That's how Meghan McDonald-Heisserer describes the company she started with Christina Nguyen. Called "Maybe You Should Die," the Minneapolis firm sells handmade "Mean Bags" with nasty insults, cards written from the point-of-view of stalkers, kinky cards for lovers and cards that celebrate failure. Says Christine, "We take it to the extreme."

Yesterday's Revolution: Minneapolis 78 RPM Record Scene

From KFAI | Part of the MinneCulture In-Depth series | 27:56

Lots of folks are into vinyl these days. Some people are even making mix tapes again. But if you really want to embrace obscure, seemingly dead media, there's no better way to do it than to buy 78 rpm records.

This documentary takes listeners inside the rarefied world of 78 record enthusiasts, including Greg Carr, former KFAI "Dig Out the Roots" DJ, and Scott Holthus, owner of Vintage Music Company in Minneapolis. Holthus owns hundreds of thousands of 78 records and he refurbishes the machines that plays them.

Img_1349_1_small Lots of folks are into vinyl these days. Some people are even making mix tapes again. But if you really want to embrace obscure, seemingly dead media, there's no better way to do it than to buy 78 rpm records. This documentary takes listeners inside the rarefied world of 78 record enthusiasts, including Greg Carr, former KFAI "Dig Out the Roots" DJ, and Scott Holthus, owner of Vintage Music Company in Minneapolis. Holthus owns hundreds of thousands of 78 records and he refurbishes the machines that plays them.

A Night with the Projectionist

From KFAI | Part of the 10,000 Fresh Voices series | 03:54

Inside the projection room at one of the last movie theaters in Minnesota that screens 35mm film.

Nikki_trylon_1_small

Fewer Americans are watching movies in theaters—ticket sales fell by 11 percent between 2004 and 2013. For those attending the cinema, just about every movie available is projected digitally. 35-millimeter film, once the industry standard, is now a rarity. But there are still a few places you can watch a film flicker on a dark screen. KFAI's Todd Melby goes inside the projection room at the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis.

Grandma's Got a Nice Truck

From Todd Melby | 03:15

Oil tankers rumble on lots of roads near Mandaree and New Town, North Dakota. Both towns are on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara. But another tribal town — Twin Buttes — is just east of the Bakken oil field, making it a quiet place.

Twin Buttes resident Cory Spotted Bear and friends constructed a traditional earth lodge there. Spotted Bear talked to reporter Todd Melby about the project and his thoughts about the nearby boom.

Default-piece-image-2 Oil tankers rumble on lots of roads near Mandaree and New Town, North Dakota. Both towns are on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara. But another tribal town — Twin Buttes — is just east of the Bakken oil field, making it a quiet place. Twin Buttes resident Cory Spotted Bear and friends constructed a traditional earth lodge there. Spotted Bear talked to reporter Todd Melby about the project and his thoughts about the nearby boom.