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Dramatic overhaul of Mill Ruins Park is planned

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 21:56
Water features, ruins and rerouted paths are featured in the first reworking of the tangled Stone Arch bridgehead area.

Minneapolis recycling rate rises with single-sort service

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 21:17
Minneapolis residents are tossing almost a third more material in blue bins since the 2013 change.

2 plead guilty in separate Minneapolis murder cases

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 18:42
One of the defendants was just 17 years old.

Augie's owner: Killer hid weapon on her body to sneak it into club, shoot rival

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 16:02
The shooter avoided being caught coming in with a gun “by concealing her firearm in her crotch area,” the club owner said.

Como Park bridge project underway

After several delays, work has begun on the footbridge project near the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park.

First, LS Black Constructors of Maplewood will clear vegetation from around the bridge and lay a bituminous bicycle trail that will follow the alignment of the old streetcar tracks.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Park Bugle. Check out the links below for other recent Park Bugle stories:

Then, either this fall or in the spring, bridge restoration work will get underway, with the bridge opened for pedestrian use next summer, according to Don Varney, City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department project manager.

The footbridge, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, once formed a main entrance to Como Park but was neglected and became little more than a ruin over time.

After several delays, work has begun on the footbridge project near the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park.

First, LS Black Constructors of Maplewood will clear vegetation from around the bridge and lay a bituminous bicycle trail that will follow the alignment of the old streetcar tracks.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Park Bugle. Check out the links below for other recent Park Bugle stories:

Then, either this fall or in the spring, bridge restoration work will get underway, with the bridge opened for pedestrian use next summer, according to Don Varney, City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department project manager.

The footbridge, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, once formed a main entrance to Como Park but was neglected and became little more than a ruin over time.

© 2014 Park Bugle

Salvation Army may move rehab center from North Loop to Coon Rapids

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 15:40
The Salvation Army is considering moving its residential rehabilitation center from trendy North Loop neighborhood in downtown Minneapolis to Coon Rapids.

Charge: Driver hit woman in Mpls. lot, dragged her until crashing

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-10-21 15:07
The parking lot incident, which grew out of a dispute between two groups of people about 1 a.m. Saturday, came just minutes after one woman shot and killed another woman in a nearby strip club.

2 drunk drivers plead guilty to killing people in separate Minneapolis incidents

StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-10-20 21:30
One victim was an aspiring musician, the other a professionally trained sous chef.

Kieran's sues Block E developers over construction losses

StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-10-20 20:55
Kieran’s Irish Pub is suing the landlord and the developers of Block E, where it has been since March 2010, for disruptions caused by the $50 million renovation of the building.

Met Council board not big transit riders, survey finds

StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-10-20 20:42
Members get free passes for mass transit, but few use perk, survey indicates. Staff are more frequent bus, train riders.

National developer makes play for Superior Plating site

StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-10-20 17:59
Lennar Multi-family will present plans for the Northeast Minneapolis site on Thursday

Hope at the end of the Rainbow? Brainstorming for soon-to-be-vacant storefront begins

edfelien@souths... Southside Pride

“When elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Swahili proverb

The elephants have struggled. Rainbow and Cub fought for years over market share at Lake and Minnehaha, but they remained competitive, and each had their share of loyal customers. Then Target decided to open a fresh food section in their store, and that became too much. One elephant fell down. Rainbow lost the battle and is leaving the Twin Cities market, and South Minneapolis is left with an empty storefront.

Building the store, clearing the land, paving the parking lot, finishing the interior to meet Health Department codes represent a tremendous capital investment. According to the city’s valuation the property is worth $1,365,000, and that’s probably low because they value the building at only $223,800. It would probably cost well over a million dollars to replace the current building.

So, what’s going to happen to it? Will the building just be torn down and replaced by yet another high rise?

Some of the neighbors have started to weigh in on the Longfellow List.

Leslie MacKenzie said,

“My husband had a great idea. How about a community commercial kitchen (since it’s already there)? And one of those businesses where you can go in and create a week’s worth of frozen meals (like Let’s Dish). It could have a twist that most of the ingredients are locally grown. (It could tie in with Community Table, a local organization that helps minority farmers find a way to sell or use excess produce.)

HildaViktoria Mork said,

“I’m with Leslie and her husband. Drop in/evening daycare is a great need. Nearest full service office supply store is in Nicollet. One closer to home would be appreciated. I would love to see a business in this community that supports crafters and home sewers, knitters, quilters—and offers classes, work-social groups, and maybe an exchange for surplus materials. A retailer that sells and repairs good (foot-healthy) shoes and has knowledgeable staff would be much appreciated. I think a drop-in commercial kitchen where one can obtain and prep nutritious meals would benefit many people—both working families prepping ahead as well as those who live without kitchen facilities. If there can be a tie-in with the Farmers’ Market, great—although I’m still hoping that the school site will work out for that.”

I put my two cents in:

“My idea for the Sears tower, when Mayor Belton and Council Member Brian Herron were trying to tear it down and do a strip mall, was a very under-capitalized common market. Rent out stalls to local businesses—like an indoor farmers’ market. The city should purchase the building and create an indoor municipal marketplace for small growers and local businesses.”

Jennifer Schultz wants

“An indoor public market similar to the Westside Market in Cleveland.”

Sheldon Mains thought that was a

“nice creative idea—could be relatively cheap to buy and refurbish into an indoor market—pull out the shelving and display coolers, tear down some interior partitions and the rents could be pretty low! (rent out the walk-in refrigerator and freezer spaces, if it still has the meat prep area and the bakery, rent those as daily use commercial kitchens (those may have been torn out sometime in the last 15 years).”

These pipedreams suddenly became more possible when the city discovered that it was going to have a new pot of money dropping into its lap because the tax increment districts that had been funding neighborhood revitalization are now paying off better and faster than anyone thought they would. There could be at least $15 million more for the city over the next six years. That money was originally earmarked for neighborhood organizations, but Mayor Rybak and then-chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Betsy Hodges, decided to let the money go straight into the city treasury. That process of bankrupting the neighborhood organizations ended with the total elimination of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

I have written about this for years. In October of 2012, writing about the Rybak-Hodges’ plan, I said, “Target Center is another drain on the taxpayer. The section of the mayor’s recommended budget that deals with the funding for the Target Center is the most convoluted and confusing description of how one fund dips into another fund that merges into a new fund, etc. But there are two statements about the Center that leap off the page: ‘Under the special legislation, tax increment from the new district could only be used to pay principal and interest on Target Center bonds or for “neighborhood revitalization purposes.” The Consolidated TIF District will generate approximately $5 million in annual net tax increment revenue in 2012 and 2013, all of which will be used for Target Center debt service.’

“The total of $10 million could have been used for “neighborhood revitalization purposes” but instead is being used to renovate the home of Glen Taylor’s Timberwolves. According to the latest Forbes ranking, Glen Taylor is Number 242 on the list of the richest persons in America, with a net worth of $1.8 billion, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program has been starved out of existence. Is that the best deal we could get with Glen Taylor? Is this the best investment in Minneapolis’ future?”

Council Member Cam Gordon, whose ward includes the vacant Rainbow, has said he will discuss the appropriate use of the new funds in his Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee.

“When elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Swahili proverb

The elephants have struggled. Rainbow and Cub fought for years over market share at Lake and Minnehaha, but they remained competitive, and each had their share of loyal customers. Then Target decided to open a fresh food section in their store, and that became too much. One elephant fell down. Rainbow lost the battle and is leaving the Twin Cities market, and South Minneapolis is left with an empty storefront.

Building the store, clearing the land, paving the parking lot, finishing the interior to meet Health Department codes represent a tremendous capital investment. According to the city’s valuation the property is worth $1,365,000, and that’s probably low because they value the building at only $223,800. It would probably cost well over a million dollars to replace the current building.

So, what’s going to happen to it? Will the building just be torn down and replaced by yet another high rise?

Some of the neighbors have started to weigh in on the Longfellow List.

Leslie MacKenzie said,

“My husband had a great idea. How about a community commercial kitchen (since it’s already there)? And one of those businesses where you can go in and create a week’s worth of frozen meals (like Let’s Dish). It could have a twist that most of the ingredients are locally grown. (It could tie in with Community Table, a local organization that helps minority farmers find a way to sell or use excess produce.)

HildaViktoria Mork said,

“I’m with Leslie and her husband. Drop in/evening daycare is a great need. Nearest full service office supply store is in Nicollet. One closer to home would be appreciated. I would love to see a business in this community that supports crafters and home sewers, knitters, quilters—and offers classes, work-social groups, and maybe an exchange for surplus materials. A retailer that sells and repairs good (foot-healthy) shoes and has knowledgeable staff would be much appreciated. I think a drop-in commercial kitchen where one can obtain and prep nutritious meals would benefit many people—both working families prepping ahead as well as those who live without kitchen facilities. If there can be a tie-in with the Farmers’ Market, great—although I’m still hoping that the school site will work out for that.”

I put my two cents in:

“My idea for the Sears tower, when Mayor Belton and Council Member Brian Herron were trying to tear it down and do a strip mall, was a very under-capitalized common market. Rent out stalls to local businesses—like an indoor farmers’ market. The city should purchase the building and create an indoor municipal marketplace for small growers and local businesses.”

Jennifer Schultz wants

“An indoor public market similar to the Westside Market in Cleveland.”

Sheldon Mains thought that was a

“nice creative idea—could be relatively cheap to buy and refurbish into an indoor market—pull out the shelving and display coolers, tear down some interior partitions and the rents could be pretty low! (rent out the walk-in refrigerator and freezer spaces, if it still has the meat prep area and the bakery, rent those as daily use commercial kitchens (those may have been torn out sometime in the last 15 years).”

These pipedreams suddenly became more possible when the city discovered that it was going to have a new pot of money dropping into its lap because the tax increment districts that had been funding neighborhood revitalization are now paying off better and faster than anyone thought they would. There could be at least $15 million more for the city over the next six years. That money was originally earmarked for neighborhood organizations, but Mayor Rybak and then-chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Betsy Hodges, decided to let the money go straight into the city treasury. That process of bankrupting the neighborhood organizations ended with the total elimination of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

I have written about this for years. In October of 2012, writing about the Rybak-Hodges’ plan, I said, “Target Center is another drain on the taxpayer. The section of the mayor’s recommended budget that deals with the funding for the Target Center is the most convoluted and confusing description of how one fund dips into another fund that merges into a new fund, etc. But there are two statements about the Center that leap off the page: ‘Under the special legislation, tax increment from the new district could only be used to pay principal and interest on Target Center bonds or for “neighborhood revitalization purposes.” The Consolidated TIF District will generate approximately $5 million in annual net tax increment revenue in 2012 and 2013, all of which will be used for Target Center debt service.’

“The total of $10 million could have been used for “neighborhood revitalization purposes” but instead is being used to renovate the home of Glen Taylor’s Timberwolves. According to the latest Forbes ranking, Glen Taylor is Number 242 on the list of the richest persons in America, with a net worth of $1.8 billion, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program has been starved out of existence. Is that the best deal we could get with Glen Taylor? Is this the best investment in Minneapolis’ future?”

Council Member Cam Gordon, whose ward includes the vacant Rainbow, has said he will discuss the appropriate use of the new funds in his Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee.

© 2014 Southside Pride

    Police: Driver purposely hits woman on Hennepin, leaving victim in coma

    StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-10-20 08:55
    Witnesses told police that the driver “veered toward” the victim even as she tried to get out of harm’s way.

    Marketing CiviCRM

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-10-20 05:45
    It's been a year since we started the Partner Marketing Committee, during this year we tried to move forward some initiatives with great effort from all the members of the Committee.  We used $ 6,ooo USD from the Marketing budget for helping partners represent CiviCRM in the following events:
    • 3 additional registrations for NTEN 2014
    • Movements social justice fundraising conference
    • Open Expo Day - Open Source Trade Show in Madrid (Spain).
    • Social Media promotion for Civi User Summit
    • CiviCRM Booth Allied Media Conference June 20-22nd in Detroit.
    • Funds for CiviCRM booth at Stronger Together
    • 10x10 booth at Science Fair + 1 conference registration. Science Fair NTEN 2015
    This $ 20,000 USD budget came from the Partner Program that started last year. There is still some money left in the budget so please get in touch so you have interesting projects!   Nicolas did some great work with statistics and we reviewed some interesting PR proposals from different agencies. We are working on a 6 months PR plan, defining goals and talking with people that are interested in it.   Break down into small projects   During CiviCon London 2014 and the Edale Sprint we had some discussions about what worked this year, what didn’t work and how can we keep moving forward marketing, PR and promotion efforts with the collaboration of the community and engaging with Core Team.    Although all the Members of the committee spent a lot of time in the meetings and brought very good ideas, we had a hard time passing from the discussions to the action. In my personal opinion, the lack of a lead that could coordinate, follow up, help and facilitate resources for achieving our goals was something to be improved.  After doing this analysis, a new approach came up. A new approach that could help to achieve concrete goals with the volunteer effort from the community, engaging with the Core Team and also making use of the marketing budget but with some objectives defined. This new approach consist in:  
    • Split different initiatives into projects that can be done in less than 4-6 months with a Lead per project and concrete and measurable goals
    • Have monthly meetings with Core Team so we can update the status of different projects and make sure that we are all rowing in the same direction
    • Have a meeting with all the project leads each 3 / 4 months to review work done so far and identify needs, gaps, etc. that can be worked on in future projects.
    There has been a lot of effort in marketing during the last years. I tried to gather all of those great assets and put them together in the Wiki. Anyone with a good idea, project or want to jump in into some of the ongoing initiatives, welcome!  

    Stack Exchange veterans needed!

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-10-20 03:55

    As you may know from a recent blog post by artfulrobot, CiviCRM is applying for a dedicated platform on Stack Exchange. I don't know about you, but I would love to see this happen. (If you wonder what this is all about, please refer to the beforementioned blog post which explains it very well.)

    This initiative needs backing from Stack Exchange veterans now! Here is why:

    In the current phase of the proposal, Stack Exchange wants to see how many and what kind of people would actually be contributing to the platform. People are asked to commit to using it. Three values are being measured, out of which the minimum counts. In our case, this is "committers with 200+ reputation on any other [SE] site" with only 8 out of the required 100 committers so far. So while we are doing fairly well in overall committers, this won't help us if we don't get the 100 committers with an already considerable reputation on other Stack Exchange sites.

    Please, let's not fail because of this. If you are an active SE user with the required reputation score, please commit yourself. If you know such a person with a little interest in CiviCRM, ask them to commit. Thanks!

    Fire strikes downtown Mpls. apartment building; 2 taken to HCMC

    StarTribune Mpls News - Sun, 2014-10-19 14:18
    A modest amount of flames was coming from the building at the corner of Portland Avenue and E. 8th Street, with smoke evident in the third, fourth and fifth floors.

    Phillips community sweeps up the neighborhood

    jakre Community Voices

    The four Phillips Neighborhoods of Minneapolis, Phillips East, West, Midtown and Ventura Village, collaborated once again onr the annual Phillips Clean Sweep on October 11. Neighbors grabbed garbage bags and picker-uppers to pick up trash on the streets and others joined city garbage crews to pick up large items in the alleys.

    This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.

    Community volunteers gathered at two sites in the morning for breakfast and then after the cleanup, met again at Stewart Park for lunch and a celebration. Hundreds of residents and dozens of organizations partnered to make the event a success. Here's a look:


    The four Phillips Neighborhoods of Minneapolis, Phillips East, West, Midtown and Ventura Village, collaborated once again onr the annual Phillips Clean Sweep on October 11. Neighbors grabbed garbage bags and picker-uppers to pick up trash on the streets and others joined city garbage crews to pick up large items in the alleys.

    This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.

    Community volunteers gathered at two sites in the morning for breakfast and then after the cleanup, met again at Stewart Park for lunch and a celebration. Hundreds of residents and dozens of organizations partnered to make the event a success. Here's a look:


    © 2014 John Akre

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