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Ex-Minneapolis parks employee found guilty of pocketing soccer field fees

StarTribune Mpls News - 2 hours 27 min ago
Jury finds Hashim Yonis pocketed less than $1,000 in soccer field rental fees.

Thousands of Minnesotans join the outcry over Ferguson decision

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-11-25 23:47
A car plunged into a group of protesters on Lake Street in Minneapolis and struck a woman, but the day was mostly peaceful, if not sometimes bitter.

Car plows through protesters during Ferguson rally in south Minneapolis

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-11-25 18:37
Star Tribune videographer Mark Vancleave shot video of the altercation during a solidarity rally Tuesday near the Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct building at Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue S.

Dinkytown fans rally for historic preservation

The Minnesota Daily

Don Olson saw Dinkytown through some of its most memorable social and political movements during the 1960s.

As Vietnam War protests flared up at colleges across the country, the former student activist, who dropped out in 1967 to focus on activism full time, was at the front lines of the University of Minnesota’s movement. Around the same time, a fast food restaurant called Red Barn was proposed in place of five businesses in the area. Olson supported a protest of the establishment that would become one of the most famous in Dinkytown’s history.

Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of Dinkytown.

Olson was among more than 100 people with ties to the area who gathered Sunday in the Varsity Theater to share personal stories and to watch presentations about the district’s history. The gathering was put on partially in hopes of assisting the city of Minneapolis with its historical designation study of the area.

If city leaders decide the district qualifies as historic, it could preserve about 30 buildings.

Preserve Historic Dinkytown, an organization that resulted from the historical study’s announcement early last spring, held the “Dinkytown Reunion.” Though it wasn’t sponsored by the city, the event was held in part to help city planner Haila Maze gather physical and oral histories related to the area that she may not have had access to otherwise.

“It doesn’t simplify things to bring an oral history,” Maze said, “but it does sort of [add] a richer, deeper definition to the discussion.”

As short films and presentations played out on the theater’s stage, supporters of the area’s preservation reminisced at tables and couches.

Yearbooks from 1950 and 1960 were laid out among a timeline, historical photos and maps from the University dating back to the 1930s.

Nancy Smith was a student at the University from 1961 to 1966. Formerly a regular in Dinkytown’s various shops and its art scene, Smith attended Sunday’s event to support the area’s preservation.

“I guess I have a soft spot for Dinkytown, and I want to see that its integrity is maintained,” she said.

Later in life, Smith became friends with Laurie Savran, who also graduated from the University in 1966 and married Bill Savran — owner of Savran Bookstore, which had a location across the river in Cedar-Riverside.

Laurie Savran remembers frequenting various coffee shops in Dinkytown, like the Ten O’Clock Scholar. While she helped her then-husband run his business, she said, she also made lifelong friends.

The city’s study evaluates the four blocks some call “the heart of Dinkytown” from 1899 to 1971.

The first time period — the early 1900s — was selected because Dinkytown was part of the city’s early streetcar system and saw much development during that time, Maze said.

The second era — the 1950s through the 1970s — was a time of social change that Dinkytown exemplified at the time, she said.

Qdoba Mexican Grill owner and Dinkytown Business Alliance Vice President Randal Gast said he sees value in preserving some aspects of Dinkytown. But because he’s a newcomer compared to others in attendance Sunday, he doesn’t have the same personal connection to the district.

“This is important to a lot of people. They grew up here, and this is their history,” Gast said. “[But] everybody’s got a different opinion, you know. I didn’t get my first kiss here. Sometimes you have to let things go.”

Ward 3 Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents the district, spoke at the event about his goal to merge the city’s plans to increase Minneapolis’ population density while still maintaining its character.

“There are ways to hold onto the history and the beautiful architecture that we already have created while continuing to move forward,” Frey said. “You can have both.”

Maze said the event provided a few leads that could help with her study. She said there was a healthy balance between stories and artifacts that were useful and those that were simply interesting.

As she continues her study, Maze said she will be mindful of her objectivity and says she welcomes anyone who wants to share their thoughts on Dinkytown’s status.

Don Olson saw Dinkytown through some of its most memorable social and political movements during the 1960s.

As Vietnam War protests flared up at colleges across the country, the former student activist, who dropped out in 1967 to focus on activism full time, was at the front lines of the University of Minnesota’s movement. Around the same time, a fast food restaurant called Red Barn was proposed in place of five businesses in the area. Olson supported a protest of the establishment that would become one of the most famous in Dinkytown’s history.

Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of Dinkytown.

Olson was among more than 100 people with ties to the area who gathered Sunday in the Varsity Theater to share personal stories and to watch presentations about the district’s history. The gathering was put on partially in hopes of assisting the city of Minneapolis with its historical designation study of the area.

If city leaders decide the district qualifies as historic, it could preserve about 30 buildings.

Preserve Historic Dinkytown, an organization that resulted from the historical study’s announcement early last spring, held the “Dinkytown Reunion.” Though it wasn’t sponsored by the city, the event was held in part to help city planner Haila Maze gather physical and oral histories related to the area that she may not have had access to otherwise.

“It doesn’t simplify things to bring an oral history,” Maze said, “but it does sort of [add] a richer, deeper definition to the discussion.”

As short films and presentations played out on the theater’s stage, supporters of the area’s preservation reminisced at tables and couches.

Yearbooks from 1950 and 1960 were laid out among a timeline, historical photos and maps from the University dating back to the 1930s.

Nancy Smith was a student at the University from 1961 to 1966. Formerly a regular in Dinkytown’s various shops and its art scene, Smith attended Sunday’s event to support the area’s preservation.

“I guess I have a soft spot for Dinkytown, and I want to see that its integrity is maintained,” she said.

Later in life, Smith became friends with Laurie Savran, who also graduated from the University in 1966 and married Bill Savran — owner of Savran Bookstore, which had a location across the river in Cedar-Riverside.

Laurie Savran remembers frequenting various coffee shops in Dinkytown, like the Ten O’Clock Scholar. While she helped her then-husband run his business, she said, she also made lifelong friends.

The city’s study evaluates the four blocks some call “the heart of Dinkytown” from 1899 to 1971.

The first time period — the early 1900s — was selected because Dinkytown was part of the city’s early streetcar system and saw much development during that time, Maze said.

The second era — the 1950s through the 1970s — was a time of social change that Dinkytown exemplified at the time, she said.

Qdoba Mexican Grill owner and Dinkytown Business Alliance Vice President Randal Gast said he sees value in preserving some aspects of Dinkytown. But because he’s a newcomer compared to others in attendance Sunday, he doesn’t have the same personal connection to the district.

“This is important to a lot of people. They grew up here, and this is their history,” Gast said. “[But] everybody’s got a different opinion, you know. I didn’t get my first kiss here. Sometimes you have to let things go.”

Ward 3 Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents the district, spoke at the event about his goal to merge the city’s plans to increase Minneapolis’ population density while still maintaining its character.

“There are ways to hold onto the history and the beautiful architecture that we already have created while continuing to move forward,” Frey said. “You can have both.”

Maze said the event provided a few leads that could help with her study. She said there was a healthy balance between stories and artifacts that were useful and those that were simply interesting.

As she continues her study, Maze said she will be mindful of her objectivity and says she welcomes anyone who wants to share their thoughts on Dinkytown’s status.

© 2014 The Minnesota Daily

OPINION | What to do with Penn Avenue?

Margo Ashmore North News

Seems like soon as I arrive at one of these open houses for community transit planning, there’s a particular biking enthusiast who pounces and bends my ear for a few minutes. The Nov. 13 open house for Penn Avenue planning held at the Harrison community center was no exception.

Among the issues on the table: Bike lanes on Penn Avenue North. Detailed charts on big boards showed the pros and cons of moving bikes off of Penn to either Queen or Oliver, and City of Minneapolis officials have apparently concluded that neither one is feasible because of the parks and schools that are in the path, so bikes have to be accommodated on Penn.

The planning process was driven by Hennepin County’s intent to put enhanced bus service on Penn Avenue, and the desire to see it drive economic and housing development in the neighborhood – solve all sorts of problems, create opportunities while they’re at it. The city is partnering in the process with Hennepin County; it’s my impression Hennepin County is neutral on bike accommodations but city officials are pushing.

There are three options being floated to put bike lanes on Penn and to make that thoroughfare more pedestrian-friendly. Some parking is lost in any of the scenarios, and traffic is down to one lane each way.

It’s common wisdom in traffic planning that if traffic can move smoothly, rather than in stops and starts and weaving in and out, drivers will use a route even if it appears to move slowly, and that is ultimately safer. I agree, “four lanes on a freeway are only as good as the jerks at the front of the pack,” I’ve often said.

Those who attended the open houses could see examples of increased-density commercial development at the nodes: 44th, Lowry, Broadway, Plymouth, Glenwood. And there were scenarios for adding high-density housing at the new light rail station area at Olson Highway.

In the middle photo at right, a group of Hmong students who got experience riding the Blue Line Hiawatha light rail as a way of helping decide what they think about the Southwest Light Rail, talked about their experience with Kelsey Dawson Walton, representing Hennepin County.

A prominent disclaimer posted: “Concepts do not represent actual development proposals and are for discussion purposes only. They do not imply that development is or will be supported by property owners, the community, or government leaders.”

I’m betting most property owners will privately say “sure, just buy me out for a decent price,” or “help me finance my expansion/new building.”

The open house format lets people pop in and out, talking to planners about the areas closest to their home or business. They are, after all, the on-the-ground experts in how things work or don’t work now. One can only hope they are really listened to, along with the “experts” on big picture things.

Some come toward the end to see what comments others have written, and add their own. At this particular session, people were given stickers to place on aerial views, that indicated ideas of what should go on vacant land, or in place of current buildings.

For example, in the picture above there were three stickers for “retail” along Broadway on the Capri block, and one for dining, one office, and one for townhome along 23rd. One sticky-note writer asked for a plaza on the southwest corner of Plymouth and Penn, with dimmable lights for showing movies.

Others asked for transit bus shelters on Glenwood, and “fix the Route 9 reliability.” Someone else said, “Near North needs a gas station.”

There is a survey app posted online, along with all sorts of information on the planning process, at: www.hennepin.us/residents/transportation/penn-avenue-community-works. Contact Kelly Hoffman at pacw [at] hennepin [dot] us, phone 612-348-8276.

Seems like soon as I arrive at one of these open houses for community transit planning, there’s a particular biking enthusiast who pounces and bends my ear for a few minutes. The Nov. 13 open house for Penn Avenue planning held at the Harrison community center was no exception.

Among the issues on the table: Bike lanes on Penn Avenue North. Detailed charts on big boards showed the pros and cons of moving bikes off of Penn to either Queen or Oliver, and City of Minneapolis officials have apparently concluded that neither one is feasible because of the parks and schools that are in the path, so bikes have to be accommodated on Penn.

The planning process was driven by Hennepin County’s intent to put enhanced bus service on Penn Avenue, and the desire to see it drive economic and housing development in the neighborhood – solve all sorts of problems, create opportunities while they’re at it. The city is partnering in the process with Hennepin County; it’s my impression Hennepin County is neutral on bike accommodations but city officials are pushing.

There are three options being floated to put bike lanes on Penn and to make that thoroughfare more pedestrian-friendly. Some parking is lost in any of the scenarios, and traffic is down to one lane each way.

It’s common wisdom in traffic planning that if traffic can move smoothly, rather than in stops and starts and weaving in and out, drivers will use a route even if it appears to move slowly, and that is ultimately safer. I agree, “four lanes on a freeway are only as good as the jerks at the front of the pack,” I’ve often said.

Those who attended the open houses could see examples of increased-density commercial development at the nodes: 44th, Lowry, Broadway, Plymouth, Glenwood. And there were scenarios for adding high-density housing at the new light rail station area at Olson Highway.

In the middle photo at right, a group of Hmong students who got experience riding the Blue Line Hiawatha light rail as a way of helping decide what they think about the Southwest Light Rail, talked about their experience with Kelsey Dawson Walton, representing Hennepin County.

A prominent disclaimer posted: “Concepts do not represent actual development proposals and are for discussion purposes only. They do not imply that development is or will be supported by property owners, the community, or government leaders.”

I’m betting most property owners will privately say “sure, just buy me out for a decent price,” or “help me finance my expansion/new building.”

The open house format lets people pop in and out, talking to planners about the areas closest to their home or business. They are, after all, the on-the-ground experts in how things work or don’t work now. One can only hope they are really listened to, along with the “experts” on big picture things.

Some come toward the end to see what comments others have written, and add their own. At this particular session, people were given stickers to place on aerial views, that indicated ideas of what should go on vacant land, or in place of current buildings.

For example, in the picture above there were three stickers for “retail” along Broadway on the Capri block, and one for dining, one office, and one for townhome along 23rd. One sticky-note writer asked for a plaza on the southwest corner of Plymouth and Penn, with dimmable lights for showing movies.

Others asked for transit bus shelters on Glenwood, and “fix the Route 9 reliability.” Someone else said, “Near North needs a gas station.”

There is a survey app posted online, along with all sorts of information on the planning process, at: www.hennepin.us/residents/transportation/penn-avenue-community-works. Contact Kelly Hoffman at pacw [at] hennepin [dot] us, phone 612-348-8276.

© 2014 North News

    2 Twin Cities men charged with attempting to aid terrorists in Syria

    StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:54
    Since spring, a federal grand jury has been investigating a Minnesota-Middle East pipeline used to recruit young men and women to fight in the Middle East for ISIS.

    Ferguson reaction: Hundreds stage sit-in at South High; many walk out

    StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:17
    School District spokesman Stan Alleyne said there were peaceful protests at several high schools and that participants would not be disciplined “as long as the protest remains peaceful.”

    Federal civil rights official questions Minneapolis suspension policy

    StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-11-24 22:58
    U.S. rights commissioner questions new Mpls. rules on suspensions and race.

    To fend off terror recruiting, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger unveils Somali community effort

    StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-11-24 21:47
    U.S. attorney to seek funds for programs that lure young Somalis away from radicalism.

    Easier creation of email newsletters - Content Tokens!

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-11-24 18:15

    When preparing an email newsletter, one part of it that is time consuming is gathering together all the content that is needed. In my experience, virtually all the content already exists elsewhere, such as in the local CMS, in CiviCRM, or on a blog, or some other online source.    So I was thinking how can I make this process easier.  What I did: I created mail merge tokens for CiviCRM that autofill a list of recent blog posts, stories, or any other type of CMS content.  So the end-user sees a list of tokens, one for each content type and for each date range.

    Kenilworth light-rail bridge designs released

    StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-11-24 16:03
    December public hearing will test reaction to channel crossing in contested area of Minneapolis.

    Mapping the Future: Volunteer Management with CiviCRM

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-11-24 10:35

    Whether your nonprofit or social good organization is small, like the local animal shelter, or large, like the Creative South conference, chances are volunteers mean a lot to your mission.

    Donations made simply (and beautifully) with CiviCRM

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-11-24 08:33

    At Web Access we’re constantly exploring new technologies and challenging our engineers to come up with new, and useful software solutions. This exercise allows us to hone our skills, motivate our teams, and keeps us thinking outside of the box. At times, such as this, it gives us a little something to boast about.

    Minneapolis gives Edina and St. Louis Park more time for bid on informal dog park

    StarTribune Mpls News - Sun, 2014-11-23 20:12
    15-acre parcel owned by Mpls. will be marketed to other parties if no offer is made.

    Making CiviCRM and Content Management Systems Better "Together as a Whole"

    Civi Blog - Sun, 2014-11-23 13:12

    When I started using CiviCRM almost 5 years ago, I was amazed at how many things it could bring to a website right out of the box. The more I used it, the more I wanted to, and saw potential beyond simply keeping contact information, collecting donations, or managing events. CiviCRM is a game-changer. It was shortly after getting into a couple of large projects that the shine started to wear off just a little. Things started getting complicated and working with a CMS whose name is a Swahili word meaning, "all together" or "as a whole.", this was anything but.

    Donate NOW to #CiviCRM #GivingTuesday Campaign

    Civi Blog - Sun, 2014-11-23 09:59

    Donate Now!  In the 10 years that CiviCRM has been around, it has helped a wide spectrum of nonprofits, from the internationally recognized nonprofits (such as Amnesty International, and Doctors without Borders) to lesser known nonprofits (such as Ambassadors Football, Youth Orchestra Bucks County) raise funds and organize volunteer efforts that truly make a difference in our world. 

    National Adoption Day marks new beginnings for Mpls. family

    StarTribune Mpls News - Sat, 2014-11-22 19:05
    At a teary court hearing, one Mpls. couple welcomed four new family members on National Adoption Day.

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