4-1-2019 Melodie Bahan, Executive Director MNFilmTV

MELODIE BAHAN, the Executive Director of the MNFilmTV Commission is a first-time interview on Access to Democracy – Welcome, Melodie. In the interview, she discusses the benefits accrued for Minnesota and Minnesotans when major movie productions and television shows are shot here, economic, dollars spent in the State, increased tourism and the jobs created in many different occupations. Formerly known as “Snowbates,” MN legislation provides incentives to induce producers to work in MN. In addition, the International Independent Television Festival will take place in Duluth in October 2019, with hundreds of professionals from all over the world participating and attending.


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4-1-2019 Dr. John Steubs

DR. JOHN STEUBS, a return guest, has been the Medical Director of the MN Twins for over a quarter century. Dr. Steubs is also a founder of Tria Orthopedics, which is also the medical facility for the MN Wild hockey team, as well as many college and high school teams. He explained some of the duties of a medical director for a sports team, as well as some of the challenges faced in treating young athletes.


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12-14-2018 Bill Raker

Bill Raker, longtime CEO and President of Firefly Credit Union (the first benefactor of Access to Democracy program more a dozen years ago) is stepping down and retiring at year’s end. Alan and Bill discuss his career, the growth of the the credit union to ten locations and over $1.5 billion in deposits, the many innovations Firefly instituted during his tenure, as well as many recognitions Bill Raker received from the banking and civic communities, including being named Business Person of 2018 by the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce.


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12-14-2018 Mordecai Specktor

Mordecai Specktor is the editor and publisher of American Jewish World, a bi-weekly newspaper covering events in the Midwest and throughout Jewish communities worldwide. He recently took a trip in Europe, and particularly sought to visit memorable sites and landmarks in Prague and Budapest. Mordecai shared photos and recollections of his trip and some historical perspectives with Alan, as well as discussed current issues facing the Jewish community and the nation.


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12-7-2018 Paul Werni, 45th Parallel Sprits

Paul Werni, owner of 45th Parallel Spirits in New Richmond, WI, has been a guest on Access to Democracy over the last decade, as his distillery grew from its initial 45th Parallel Vodka to its upcoming latest expansion, as he adds scotch to the myriad liquors which are now distilled by 45th, including vodka, bourbon,and a host of others, while garnering a multitude of awards for the quality of their liquors. With over 1300 barrels aging on the premises, the future looks bright;


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12-7-2018 Rev. Dr. Gary Reierson

Rev. Dr. Gary Reierson, who served for two decades as President of the Minneapolis Council of Churches, and then more recently, as Director of the Collegeville Institute where he tutored new pastors, was a first time guest on Access to Democracy program, and shared with Alan a discussion on dwindling membership in American religious organizations, as well as his life experience as a leading theologian, and the ability of different faiths to work together for the greater good.


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