Feed aggregator

Torture at St. Paul drug house leads to guilty plea

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 23:33
A Mexican cartel sent enforcers to Minnesota to recover stolen drugs.

Minnesota election officials go after voters listing mail centers as addresses

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 23:31
Told of 95 registrations that don’t list actual residence as address, counties crack down.

Suburbs skeptical of speedy Zip Rail between Twin Cities, Rochester

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 23:23
Dakota County’s leaders have questions about Twin Cities-Rochester rail plans.

Unsolved crimes, Flowers' arrest get spotlight in Minneapolis

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 21:39
Mayor, chief call for an outside review of activist’s arrest; march honors slain child.

NAACP, Urban League call for outside probe of Flowers' arrest

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 16:41
At a public meeting attended by about 100 people, local organizations call for third-party investigation of the arrest of Al Flowers.

TC Spotlight | Outdoor tours: Segways, trolleys, riverboats and more!

Paige Elliott TC Daily Planet

Summers in Minnesota are beautiful but short. A great way to savor the summer days is to take a tour of all the gorgeous rivers, lakes, and historical sights the Twin Cities has to offer. So, for TC Spotlight this week  we’ve highlighted just a few of the many outdoor tours around town to help you get out and soak up the rest of the summer. Share your favorite summer tours and activities in the comment section below. 

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line tour

Make a trip on the trolley part of your next visit to the Lake Harriet and enjoy bit of 1900s, electric mass-transit era history on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, the “museum on wheels.” The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and operated through cooperation of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, used to run around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Today the trolley makes regular trips between the west shore of Lake Harriet (at Queen Ave. S and West 42nd St.) to Lake Calhoun (Richfield Rd. just south of West 36th St.).  The ride is approximately 15 minutes long and no reservation is needed. Please note, the streetcar is not handicap accessible.

Board at 4200 Queen Avenue, S., Minneapolis

Summer hours:

Monday – Friday: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday Afternoon: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: 12:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

$2 per person; children under 3 ride free

More details on the website

 

Padelford Riverboat sightseeing cruise

Enjoy a narrated sightseeing excursion on the Mississippi River. The tour narrator provides historical information about sights, including the High Bridge, Minnesota River mouth, Pike Island, and Fort Snelling. The ride is 1 ½ hours and includes a full bar and light refreshments of hot dogs and popcorn.  

$16 (+port fee) for Adults

$14 for Seniors (65+)

$8 for Children 3-12 (2 & under free)
Mondays: $8 (+port fee) for everyone.

Visit the website for more information




 

Summit Avenue walking tour

There's nothing like a summer stroll! The 90-minute Summit Avenue walking tour highlights the historic Summit Hill neighborhood’s architecture, social history and current preservation issues. Led by a guide from the James J. Hill House, the tour covers 1.5 miles of public sidewalks and parks, starting at the Hill House and concluding at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  All areas are handicap accessible but some side streets are cobblestone and stone curbs. Go here for scheduling information and more details. 

James J. Hill House 

240 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul

Saturday 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Sunday 2 p.m.

$12 - $8; $2 discount for MNSH members

651-297-2555

 

Segway tours

If trolleys, boatrides or long walks aren’t your cup of tea, how about a trip down memory lane on a Segway? Segway tour locations include the Mississippi riverfront area in St. Anthony Main, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and a Saint Paul tour, allowing for an opportunity to glide on through the historic Summit Hill neighborhood while giving your feet a rest.

The Magical History Tour lasts around 3 hours and includes training on Segway operation and safety, a 5-7 mile historic route, and helmet use. The Minneapolis Magical Historical Tour riverfront tour includes free Mill City Museum entrance ticket and refreshments, and 25% discount on some area eateries. Pick the tour and location that works for you! Visit the website for more details.

125 SE. Main St., Minneapolis

952-888-9200

Summer hours:

Open 7 days a week: 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

$80 + tax

 

 

Honorable mentions:

Horse drawn carriage rides

A horse drawn carriage ride is another charming way to see the sights of the city. The Hitching Company offers a nostalgic tour to popular landmarks around downtown Minneapolis with sights that vary per tour selection.  Tours run May through August, by appointment only.  Call 612-338-7777 to set up a time. Visit the website for more informaton.

925 N 5th St, Minneapolis

Taste of the City $55 (30 minutes)

Grand City Tour $105 (60 minutes)

612-338-7777

(photo from Facebook)

 

Bike with a Ranger tour 

Another great way to see the sights along the Mississippi is the Bike with a Ranger tour, a three-hour, nine mile ride that provides outdoor fun for the entire family. The tour runs from June through September. Helmets are provided if you need one, and registration is required.  Go here to pick the tour and city that works best for you.

$8 / $5 for Mississippi River Fund Members

Free for kids under 10.

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

651-293-0200

(photo from Facebook)

Summers in Minnesota are beautiful but short. A great way to savor the summer days is to take a tour of all the gorgeous rivers, lakes, and historical sights the Twin Cities has to offer. So, for TC Spotlight this week  we’ve highlighted just a few of the many outdoor tours around town to help you get out and soak up the rest of the summer. Share your favorite summer tours and activities in the comment section below. 

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line tour

Make a trip on the trolley part of your next visit to the Lake Harriet and enjoy bit of 1900s, electric mass-transit era history on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, the “museum on wheels.” The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and operated through cooperation of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, used to run around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Today the trolley makes regular trips between the west shore of Lake Harriet (at Queen Ave. S and West 42nd St.) to Lake Calhoun (Richfield Rd. just south of West 36th St.).  The ride is approximately 15 minutes long and no reservation is needed. Please note, the streetcar is not handicap accessible.

Board at 4200 Queen Avenue, S., Minneapolis

Summer hours:

Monday – Friday: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday Afternoon: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: 12:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

$2 per person; children under 3 ride free

More details on the website

 

Padelford Riverboat sightseeing cruise

Enjoy a narrated sightseeing excursion on the Mississippi River. The tour narrator provides historical information about sights, including the High Bridge, Minnesota River mouth, Pike Island, and Fort Snelling. The ride is 1 ½ hours and includes a full bar and light refreshments of hot dogs and popcorn.  

$16 (+port fee) for Adults

$14 for Seniors (65+)

$8 for Children 3-12 (2 & under free)
Mondays: $8 (+port fee) for everyone.

Visit the website for more information




 

Summit Avenue walking tour

There's nothing like a summer stroll! The 90-minute Summit Avenue walking tour highlights the historic Summit Hill neighborhood’s architecture, social history and current preservation issues. Led by a guide from the James J. Hill House, the tour covers 1.5 miles of public sidewalks and parks, starting at the Hill House and concluding at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  All areas are handicap accessible but some side streets are cobblestone and stone curbs. Go here for scheduling information and more details. 

James J. Hill House 

240 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul

Saturday 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Sunday 2 p.m.

$12 - $8; $2 discount for MNSH members

651-297-2555

 

Segway tours

If trolleys, boatrides or long walks aren’t your cup of tea, how about a trip down memory lane on a Segway? Segway tour locations include the Mississippi riverfront area in St. Anthony Main, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and a Saint Paul tour, allowing for an opportunity to glide on through the historic Summit Hill neighborhood while giving your feet a rest.

The Magical History Tour lasts around 3 hours and includes training on Segway operation and safety, a 5-7 mile historic route, and helmet use. The Minneapolis Magical Historical Tour riverfront tour includes free Mill City Museum entrance ticket and refreshments, and 25% discount on some area eateries. Pick the tour and location that works for you! Visit the website for more details.

125 SE. Main St., Minneapolis

952-888-9200

Summer hours:

Open 7 days a week: 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

$80 + tax

 

 

Honorable mentions:

Horse drawn carriage rides

A horse drawn carriage ride is another charming way to see the sights of the city. The Hitching Company offers a nostalgic tour to popular landmarks around downtown Minneapolis with sights that vary per tour selection.  Tours run May through August, by appointment only.  Call 612-338-7777 to set up a time. Visit the website for more informaton.

925 N 5th St, Minneapolis

Taste of the City $55 (30 minutes)

Grand City Tour $105 (60 minutes)

612-338-7777

(photo from Facebook)

 

Bike with a Ranger tour 

Another great way to see the sights along the Mississippi is the Bike with a Ranger tour, a three-hour, nine mile ride that provides outdoor fun for the entire family. The tour runs from June through September. Helmets are provided if you need one, and registration is required.  Go here to pick the tour and city that works best for you.

$8 / $5 for Mississippi River Fund Members

Free for kids under 10.

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

651-293-0200

(photo from Facebook)

© Paige Elliott

    Grant to Neighborhood Health Source prompts business shuffle on Central Ave.

    Gail Olson Northeaster

    In about a year, at least two Central Avenue blocks will look completely different, when a three-business change—involving a medical clinic, a mortuary, and a Walgreens drug store—gets fully underway.

    The planning started two years ago, when Neighborhood Health Source won a $3 million federal grant to replace its Central Avenue Clinic at 2610 Central Ave. NE.

    “Ours was one of four projects in Minnesota awarded the grant,” said Steve Knutson, Neighborhood HealthSource Executive Director, who added that there were more than 1,500 grant applicants. “We acquired an adjacent piece of property, an 8-unit apartment building to the north, in anticipation of our need to renovate and expand.”

    Knutson said that the clinic, the oldest of their four buildings, has occupied its site since the mid-1980s. “It is a small space and it needs upgrading. In the time between our grant application and the award, we started having conversations with potential partners.”

    One potential partner was Walgreens, who was seeking space for a large building in Northeast. Semper Development, a downtown Minneapolis company working on Walgreens’ behalf, offered to buy the Central Avenue Clinic building, and Neighborhood HealthSource agreed to sell. “Then the question was, where would we go?” Knutson said. “We had no interest in leaving the area. When the Methven Taylor funeral home was identified as a possibility, that culminated in our decision to buy that piece of property.”

    Methven-Taylor, a local funeral home business owned by Tim Taylor and Peter Methven, has owned the three-story, 10,000 square foot Larson-Osborne Mortuary, 2301 Central Ave. NE, since 2003. When they sold the northeast-based mortuary to Neighborhood HealthSource, they relocated the Larson-Osborne business to another of their sites, Miller Heights Chapel in Columbia Heights. The relocation was effective May 30.

    Knutson said that they had con-sidered remodeling the mortuary—which was built in the 1920s —but found that renovating it would cost more than demolishing it and building a new clinic. The mortuary’s former owners had added onto it twice, in the 1940s and 1950s, and each floor had various levels. “I held onto the hope that maybe we could renovate, but the issue—besides the additions—is that there were two steps up, four steps down, in different parts of the building,” he said. “To fix all that would be very expensive.”

    Walgreens already owns the Central Avenue Clinic; Neighborhood Health Source will pay rent until it can move into its new building three blocks south. Knutson estimates the date of completion as February 1, 2015. Demolition of the mortuary might begin in August; construction will probably take five to six months, he said. “The new building will be double our present size, from 7,000 to 13,000 square feet. We’ll have twice as many exam rooms. We probably will eventually hire more staff; that was the intention of the government in awarding the money.”

    John Rode, of RSP Architects, will design the new building. “RSP is part of the community and has experience in medical facility design,” Knutson said. “They have worked for Abbott Northwest Hospital, and have designed other clinics in other states.” RSP Architects is based at the Grain Belt Brewery campus at Marshall Street and 13th Avenue NE.

    Joe Bove, chair of the Windom Park Citizens in Action (WPCIA) neighborhood group, said that Knutson had explained the plan to neighbors. “There are always going to be varying opinions in a group, but I felt that Steve’s point of view was fair and responsible. It looks like at this point it [the mortuary] will be a teardown.

    “You want to do what you can to preserve what you can,” Bove added. “When you look at Central Avenue there are probably things you’d rather seen torn down. The mortuary looks nice on the outside, but it’s not a stand-out building. We’re Minnesotans, we like being sensible, and it is important to be realistic from a business perspective. Steve explained about the multiple levels. Clinics typically have certain physical requirements for the workflow. It would be very difficult to convert this building. I’m sure some people won’t like the tear down of the building, but eventually they’ll accept it and understand. I’m looking forward to improvements to the face of Central Avenue.”

    The Walgreens component

    Semper Development spokesperson Howard Bergerud said, “When the clinic moves out in nine months to a year, that’s when our construction starts. Hard construction will start next July.” He said that Semper has been involved with Walgreen projects for more than 20 years. “The new building will be larger and will have a drive through. Walgreens will acquire the corner grocery store [at 26th and Central] and a little office building next door. We’re working on finalizing that.

    “The new Walgreens won’t look like the one on 49th and Central [in Columbia Heights],” Bergerud added. “In connection with the neighborhood groups and the City of Minneapolis, we agreed that it will be specially designed for this community. It will have a very specific design with a neighborhood feel. There will be more parking than the old store has and the entrance will be on the north end of the building. It will be a 15,000 square foot building.”

    Phil Caruso, Walgreens spokesman, said that when the new store opens sometime in 2015, Walgreens will close the old store at 2647 Central Ave. NE. “All the employees will be going across the street. Prescription files will be automatically transferred to the new store. The new store will have a drive-through, so we will be able to offer our customers more services.” He said he could not give an exact date for the store opening, but would have more information once the project gets moving.

    Clinic history

    Neighborhood HealthSource, which owns four clinics in Northeast and North Minneapolis, traces its roots in Northeast back to the 1940s, to the Beltrami Health Center at Broadway and Spring Street. The clinic served uninsured patients, and the staff was comprised of volunteers. Beltrami Health Center merged with Fremont Clinic on the North Side in the 1970s.

    In the 1990s, the clinics were renamed Fremont Community Health Service and had three sites, two in Northeast—Central Avenue Clinic and the Sheridan Clinic, 342 13th Ave. NE—and one in North Minneapolis at 3300 Fremont Ave. N. In 2010, administrators changed the name to Neighborhood Health Source. Two years ago, they opened a new clinic in the Heritage Park senior center in North Minneapolis, 1015 4th Ave. N., which serves seniors 50 and older.

    Since the mid-1990s, the clinic has been a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), which means it receives federal operating grants for serving an underserved population. They received the recent federal grant, Knutson said, because “our organization has a good track record of serving this community. We are the only sliding fee schedule, primary care clinic, in the area. We see all patients with no restrictions. We take Medicare and commercial insurance. Predominantly, we see Medicaid patients and uninsured patients. We have on site staff in every clinic to help people with insurance enrollment in MnSure and MnCare. We serve about 10,000 patients and have 20,000 patient visits [at all four clinics combined] a year.”

    He said they employ 65 full and part time staff members and nine providers, including four doctors and five nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. Neighborhood HealthSource doctors are not affiliated with local hospitals.

    “We don’t have imaging or X-Ray equipment here; that’s one of the things we’re considering right now. Mammograms are important for our population.” They also plan to expand the clinics’ mental health services, he added. “A psychologist works here now and rotates through all four sites. We might hire another.”

    Knutson said that the Central Avenue plan was part of a very complicated real estate transaction, and has caused him a few sleepless nights. “This is the largest project we’ve undertaken in 48 years,” he said.

    Neighborhood HealthSource’s phone number is 612-588-9411, website www.neighborhoodhealthsource.org.

    In about a year, at least two Central Avenue blocks will look completely different, when a three-business change—involving a medical clinic, a mortuary, and a Walgreens drug store—gets fully underway.

    The planning started two years ago, when Neighborhood Health Source won a $3 million federal grant to replace its Central Avenue Clinic at 2610 Central Ave. NE.

    “Ours was one of four projects in Minnesota awarded the grant,” said Steve Knutson, Neighborhood HealthSource Executive Director, who added that there were more than 1,500 grant applicants. “We acquired an adjacent piece of property, an 8-unit apartment building to the north, in anticipation of our need to renovate and expand.”

    Knutson said that the clinic, the oldest of their four buildings, has occupied its site since the mid-1980s. “It is a small space and it needs upgrading. In the time between our grant application and the award, we started having conversations with potential partners.”

    One potential partner was Walgreens, who was seeking space for a large building in Northeast. Semper Development, a downtown Minneapolis company working on Walgreens’ behalf, offered to buy the Central Avenue Clinic building, and Neighborhood HealthSource agreed to sell. “Then the question was, where would we go?” Knutson said. “We had no interest in leaving the area. When the Methven Taylor funeral home was identified as a possibility, that culminated in our decision to buy that piece of property.”

    Methven-Taylor, a local funeral home business owned by Tim Taylor and Peter Methven, has owned the three-story, 10,000 square foot Larson-Osborne Mortuary, 2301 Central Ave. NE, since 2003. When they sold the northeast-based mortuary to Neighborhood HealthSource, they relocated the Larson-Osborne business to another of their sites, Miller Heights Chapel in Columbia Heights. The relocation was effective May 30.

    Knutson said that they had con-sidered remodeling the mortuary—which was built in the 1920s —but found that renovating it would cost more than demolishing it and building a new clinic. The mortuary’s former owners had added onto it twice, in the 1940s and 1950s, and each floor had various levels. “I held onto the hope that maybe we could renovate, but the issue—besides the additions—is that there were two steps up, four steps down, in different parts of the building,” he said. “To fix all that would be very expensive.”

    Walgreens already owns the Central Avenue Clinic; Neighborhood Health Source will pay rent until it can move into its new building three blocks south. Knutson estimates the date of completion as February 1, 2015. Demolition of the mortuary might begin in August; construction will probably take five to six months, he said. “The new building will be double our present size, from 7,000 to 13,000 square feet. We’ll have twice as many exam rooms. We probably will eventually hire more staff; that was the intention of the government in awarding the money.”

    John Rode, of RSP Architects, will design the new building. “RSP is part of the community and has experience in medical facility design,” Knutson said. “They have worked for Abbott Northwest Hospital, and have designed other clinics in other states.” RSP Architects is based at the Grain Belt Brewery campus at Marshall Street and 13th Avenue NE.

    Joe Bove, chair of the Windom Park Citizens in Action (WPCIA) neighborhood group, said that Knutson had explained the plan to neighbors. “There are always going to be varying opinions in a group, but I felt that Steve’s point of view was fair and responsible. It looks like at this point it [the mortuary] will be a teardown.

    “You want to do what you can to preserve what you can,” Bove added. “When you look at Central Avenue there are probably things you’d rather seen torn down. The mortuary looks nice on the outside, but it’s not a stand-out building. We’re Minnesotans, we like being sensible, and it is important to be realistic from a business perspective. Steve explained about the multiple levels. Clinics typically have certain physical requirements for the workflow. It would be very difficult to convert this building. I’m sure some people won’t like the tear down of the building, but eventually they’ll accept it and understand. I’m looking forward to improvements to the face of Central Avenue.”

    The Walgreens component

    Semper Development spokesperson Howard Bergerud said, “When the clinic moves out in nine months to a year, that’s when our construction starts. Hard construction will start next July.” He said that Semper has been involved with Walgreen projects for more than 20 years. “The new building will be larger and will have a drive through. Walgreens will acquire the corner grocery store [at 26th and Central] and a little office building next door. We’re working on finalizing that.

    “The new Walgreens won’t look like the one on 49th and Central [in Columbia Heights],” Bergerud added. “In connection with the neighborhood groups and the City of Minneapolis, we agreed that it will be specially designed for this community. It will have a very specific design with a neighborhood feel. There will be more parking than the old store has and the entrance will be on the north end of the building. It will be a 15,000 square foot building.”

    Phil Caruso, Walgreens spokesman, said that when the new store opens sometime in 2015, Walgreens will close the old store at 2647 Central Ave. NE. “All the employees will be going across the street. Prescription files will be automatically transferred to the new store. The new store will have a drive-through, so we will be able to offer our customers more services.” He said he could not give an exact date for the store opening, but would have more information once the project gets moving.

    Clinic history

    Neighborhood HealthSource, which owns four clinics in Northeast and North Minneapolis, traces its roots in Northeast back to the 1940s, to the Beltrami Health Center at Broadway and Spring Street. The clinic served uninsured patients, and the staff was comprised of volunteers. Beltrami Health Center merged with Fremont Clinic on the North Side in the 1970s.

    In the 1990s, the clinics were renamed Fremont Community Health Service and had three sites, two in Northeast—Central Avenue Clinic and the Sheridan Clinic, 342 13th Ave. NE—and one in North Minneapolis at 3300 Fremont Ave. N. In 2010, administrators changed the name to Neighborhood Health Source. Two years ago, they opened a new clinic in the Heritage Park senior center in North Minneapolis, 1015 4th Ave. N., which serves seniors 50 and older.

    Since the mid-1990s, the clinic has been a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), which means it receives federal operating grants for serving an underserved population. They received the recent federal grant, Knutson said, because “our organization has a good track record of serving this community. We are the only sliding fee schedule, primary care clinic, in the area. We see all patients with no restrictions. We take Medicare and commercial insurance. Predominantly, we see Medicaid patients and uninsured patients. We have on site staff in every clinic to help people with insurance enrollment in MnSure and MnCare. We serve about 10,000 patients and have 20,000 patient visits [at all four clinics combined] a year.”

    He said they employ 65 full and part time staff members and nine providers, including four doctors and five nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. Neighborhood HealthSource doctors are not affiliated with local hospitals.

    “We don’t have imaging or X-Ray equipment here; that’s one of the things we’re considering right now. Mammograms are important for our population.” They also plan to expand the clinics’ mental health services, he added. “A psychologist works here now and rotates through all four sites. We might hire another.”

    Knutson said that the Central Avenue plan was part of a very complicated real estate transaction, and has caused him a few sleepless nights. “This is the largest project we’ve undertaken in 48 years,” he said.

    Neighborhood HealthSource’s phone number is 612-588-9411, website www.neighborhoodhealthsource.org.

    © 2014 Northeaster

      Charge: After clash on bus, teen fatally shot Mpls. father sticking up for his son

      StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 14:27
      Witnesses told police the victim first ran in front of the bus, then toward a gas station. The teen kept shooting until his victim collapsed in a gas station parking lot.

      TCF Bank Stadium first: Grass surface being installed for soccer match

      StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-07-29 13:00
      The temporary shift to grass is for Saturday afternoon’s battle between two participants in the second annual Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.

      Register for CiviCON London 2014

      Civi Blog - Tue, 2014-07-29 10:16
      No matter who you are and what you do for your organisation, CiviCON 2014 will have something for everyone.    There will be plenty for people coming to find out whether Civi is right for their organisation, with client case studies from both small and large organisations using Civi and in-depth demonstrations of what is possible with Civi and Website integrations such as Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.    There will be technical advice and sessions for admins and implementers. From discussions on new features in the latest versions to sessions on how to get the most out of each of the CiviCRM modules.    For new and experienced developers alike there will be wealth of technical sessions, including those for first timers looking to get started with the Civi API and creating your first extensions extensions to in depth discussions on planned architecture changes for the latest versions.

      Activist says he did not resist police before altercation

      StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-07-28 23:54
      Police union president offers different version of events, says Flowers bit an officer.

      Open data policy heads to Mpls. City Council

      StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-07-28 19:58
      Council panel will hear proposal to allow easier access to info from various departments.

      Commission upholds firing of 2 Minneapolis police officers for misconduct in Green Bay

      StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-07-28 18:54
      The off-duty officers had been accused of using racial slurs and berating local police while in Green Bay, Wis.

      Central Avenue train switchover hits delays

      Margo Ashmore Northeaster

      The rumors are true, the “shoo-fly” project to take trains around the railroad viaduct between 14th and 18th avenues on Central is three to four weeks behind schedule. And it’s due to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) having issues with getting materials in to build their part of the solution.

      Jeff Lohaus, a metal artist in the Northrup King Building with a “ringside seat” at the end of the dock next to the tracks, said, “They finished building the bed for the rail bypass about mid-June and since then there are only a few guys working just a few hours on just some days. Other days no one comes at all.”

      The latest word from the railroad is that the track is all laid. They say they are now trying to schedule a window of time to have the track not in use so that they can disconnect the old tracks, put in the switchover pieces (that are now sitting on the triangular lot at 14th and Central) and be ready for the next train to use the new track.

      Meanwhile, some Central Avenue businesses report that their loyal local customers are still finding them despite the closed road, but their drive-by traffic is down as predicted. And neighbors are seeing, also predicted, that traffic on the “informal detour” streets such as Monroe and Fillmore (where the buses run) is up and sometimes impatient.

      Bobbie Dahlke, public relations representative for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, responsible for replacing the bridge, said “we don’t want to throw our partners under the bus.” MNDOT’s contractor completed building the earth mound onto which the railroad would need to construct their new temporary rails. “In the legal hierarchy, we are at their mercy,” Dahlke said of the railroad. “Since then, we have been working with them and they’ve been trying to expedite” the base rock and tracks which they’d been trucking in to save time.

      Amy McBeth of BNSF said “We did experience some delays getting the materials on site, but we are looking at ways to reduce the time needed during subsequent stages of the project.”

      She added, “A bridge project requires significant work windows, which means taking this main route out of service while crews are working. The work windows are planned so that reroutes can occur or traffic can be held at other locations, which impacts our rail network.”

      “Similar to road construction on the highways, we do maintenance and expansion projects during this time of year. We need to complete the work before it freezes and before our peak season, which is later in the year during the period that leads into the holidays.”

      McBeth said this next step will require two six to ten-hour windows (one for each direction) in which trains would be held up elsewhere or re-routed.

      “We’re fairly confident that we’ll get the street open by winter,” Dahlke said, but will have to finish the work in spring with single-lane closures, rather than being able to work with all lanes open. Workers have expressed hope, she said, that they can catch up, but it all depends on what they find once they start demolishing the old bridge.

      Kim Robinson at the Ideal Diner on the Broadway side said her business has been affected. On the other side of the barrier, at The Mill NE, 19th and Central, co-owner Mandy Zechmeister said it would appear that their weekday evening business is down. They opened in late fall last year so they don’t have year-to-year data to compare to. Across the street, Isela Perez Pachecho of Maya Cuisine, said she can tell that her traffic that usually would come from downtown Minneapolis “has disappeared. They don’t know how to find me.”

      The Central Avenue Closure Committee announced on its Facebook page a potential block party slated for September 6. The group meets at Diamonds Coffee Shop every other Wednesday at 7 p.m.

      Dahlke said that there are weekly construction meetings which anyone can attend, 9:00 a.m. in the 1620 Central Avenue building, “walk in the front door and off to the right, it says ‘MNDOT’ but we would like to know if someone’s coming. Sometimes the meetings only last 10-15 minutes.” She said people can call her at 651-234-7503 if they want to sit in, or if they need someone to come out to a meeting.

      The Northeast Network may feature Central Avenue as the topic of their Aug. 14 meeting at a place to be announced, 7:30 a.m.

      The rumors are true, the “shoo-fly” project to take trains around the railroad viaduct between 14th and 18th avenues on Central is three to four weeks behind schedule. And it’s due to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) having issues with getting materials in to build their part of the solution.

      Jeff Lohaus, a metal artist in the Northrup King Building with a “ringside seat” at the end of the dock next to the tracks, said, “They finished building the bed for the rail bypass about mid-June and since then there are only a few guys working just a few hours on just some days. Other days no one comes at all.”

      The latest word from the railroad is that the track is all laid. They say they are now trying to schedule a window of time to have the track not in use so that they can disconnect the old tracks, put in the switchover pieces (that are now sitting on the triangular lot at 14th and Central) and be ready for the next train to use the new track.

      Meanwhile, some Central Avenue businesses report that their loyal local customers are still finding them despite the closed road, but their drive-by traffic is down as predicted. And neighbors are seeing, also predicted, that traffic on the “informal detour” streets such as Monroe and Fillmore (where the buses run) is up and sometimes impatient.

      Bobbie Dahlke, public relations representative for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, responsible for replacing the bridge, said “we don’t want to throw our partners under the bus.” MNDOT’s contractor completed building the earth mound onto which the railroad would need to construct their new temporary rails. “In the legal hierarchy, we are at their mercy,” Dahlke said of the railroad. “Since then, we have been working with them and they’ve been trying to expedite” the base rock and tracks which they’d been trucking in to save time.

      Amy McBeth of BNSF said “We did experience some delays getting the materials on site, but we are looking at ways to reduce the time needed during subsequent stages of the project.”

      She added, “A bridge project requires significant work windows, which means taking this main route out of service while crews are working. The work windows are planned so that reroutes can occur or traffic can be held at other locations, which impacts our rail network.”

      “Similar to road construction on the highways, we do maintenance and expansion projects during this time of year. We need to complete the work before it freezes and before our peak season, which is later in the year during the period that leads into the holidays.”

      McBeth said this next step will require two six to ten-hour windows (one for each direction) in which trains would be held up elsewhere or re-routed.

      “We’re fairly confident that we’ll get the street open by winter,” Dahlke said, but will have to finish the work in spring with single-lane closures, rather than being able to work with all lanes open. Workers have expressed hope, she said, that they can catch up, but it all depends on what they find once they start demolishing the old bridge.

      Kim Robinson at the Ideal Diner on the Broadway side said her business has been affected. On the other side of the barrier, at The Mill NE, 19th and Central, co-owner Mandy Zechmeister said it would appear that their weekday evening business is down. They opened in late fall last year so they don’t have year-to-year data to compare to. Across the street, Isela Perez Pachecho of Maya Cuisine, said she can tell that her traffic that usually would come from downtown Minneapolis “has disappeared. They don’t know how to find me.”

      The Central Avenue Closure Committee announced on its Facebook page a potential block party slated for September 6. The group meets at Diamonds Coffee Shop every other Wednesday at 7 p.m.

      Dahlke said that there are weekly construction meetings which anyone can attend, 9:00 a.m. in the 1620 Central Avenue building, “walk in the front door and off to the right, it says ‘MNDOT’ but we would like to know if someone’s coming. Sometimes the meetings only last 10-15 minutes.” She said people can call her at 651-234-7503 if they want to sit in, or if they need someone to come out to a meeting.

      The Northeast Network may feature Central Avenue as the topic of their Aug. 14 meeting at a place to be announced, 7:30 a.m.

      © 2014 Northeaster

        3 partners in Ciresi law firm among 7 hurt in Brainerd area car crash

        StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-07-28 13:03
        The attorneys were attending the annual partners meeting at Madden’s on Gull Lake for the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi, when the crash occurred.

        CiviCRM User Summit Sessions Announced

        Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-07-28 09:55

        The DC 2014 CiviCRM User Summit is quickly approaching. The finalized schedule and list of sessions and times can be found on the DC 2014 CiviCRM User Summit website, https://dc2014.civicrm.org/sessions.

        There are many different sessions being offered to support a number of different levels of CiviCRM users. For CiviCRM beginners, sessions “Case Study: Taking the Plunge:Moving to Civi from Convio,” “BEE! Bulk Email easy,” and “Is CiviCRM the right choice for your Organization?” may be interesting and helpful.

        The sessions “Hiring and Training for Success w/CiviCRM,” “We have CiviCRM. Now what?: Navigating CiviCRM resources,” and “Hosting Options and Performance Improvements” would peak the interest of those who have been using CiviCRM for a few years and now want to seek help and advice for how to keep their database working well for their organization.

        These are just a few of the twelve sessions that are being offered. Be sure to check out the rest of the schedule to figure out what might be of interest to you and your colleagues.

        Our Stansbury Theater Sponsor, WebAccess, will be hosting the session, “Got Data? Now What?” This session will explore how Non-Profits and Political organizations can utilize CiviCRM, Business Intelligence principles and a little creativity to produce meaningful data to increase the overall effectiveness of fundraising, outreach and GOTV efforts.

        Activist is released from jail, alleges assault by Minneapolis police

        StarTribune Mpls News - Sun, 2014-07-27 23:01
        Minneapolis police, mayor asked public to “withhold judgment” as Al Flowers recovers from head wounds.

        Fatal shooting stems from out of control bus route

        Jeff Skrenes

        Yesterday evening when my phone rang off the hook, with several people calling repeatedly but not leaving messages, I knew something was wrong. I called back, to find out that a man had been fatally shot after getting off of the 19 bus in front of my home. Thank the Lord for small favors, but no one in my house was harmed, my dog was okay, and my home appears to be unscathed--although shell casings or evidence of some kind was left by the trash can on my corner.

        As the evening unfolded, I had much to ponder, both from a personal and policy perspective.

        First, a good friend had stopped by just after the shooting but before I got back home. He heard that the victim was "confronting some kids" on the corner and since that sounded like something I would do, he thought I was dead. As much as the bear hug and the "I'm so glad you're alive" comment meant, the moment was sobering. Across the street from that somber moment of joy was a stark reminder that another person's friends and loved ones would never get to say that to this person again.

        So we sat down on my porch to watch the evening unfold, because really, what else can one do at that point? I took one photo, and just one photo for the evening. I could see the gruesome details of the shooting, but felt that this picture above captured everything needed without crossing a line; the bus that was the start of the shooting, the police tape, and the frame of my window to show that this happened so close to home. There was more to see, to be sure, but nothing that would have been necessary for me to remember what transpired.

        Onlookers repeatedly called for the body to be covered up, and I grew frustrated with how long it seemed to take for that to happen. This seemed like a lack of respect for the dead. I found out later that it's fairly standard to not move the body or even cover it with anything until the scene is completely investigated, a process that can take hours. And doing everything possible to make sure the killer is brought to justice is actually a profound display of respect. Still, there was no attempt to even set up any kind of visual barrier, and that just felt like more could have been done.

        And speaking of doing more, our Mayor says that even "put[ting] a cop on every corner" isn't going to solve the uptick in violent crimes over north. I get that, but putting a cop (or a Mad Dads volunteer, or a Guardian Angel, literal or figurative) on every #19 bus would be a good place to start. Since I've lived in my house, there are three shootings involving the 19 in my area that I know of.

        One was about a year ago, when some kids leaned out of the back of the bus without even getting off and proceeded to engage in gunplay with a group of other teens at Penn and Golden Valley Road. They eventually did leave, but the scene was so surreal, almost as if they expected to fire off a few shots and just get back on the bus for their next stop. Just another day on the city's only mobile shooting range.

        Then a few months later, someone was shot in the leg as they got off of the nineteen in front of my home. The first incident did not result in anyone getting hit. The second caused an injury, but not one that proved fatal. After this shooting, what's the next one going to be like?

        I often tell people that my corner isn't really the epicenter of crime and violence that it once was, and to the degree that there are bad things going down, it's often related to the nineteen bus line. Which goes by every fifteen minutes, so that doesn't really make things any better, does it? I've made my living and my home in parts of north Minneapolis that even other northsiders tend to avoid. I often go to places that are considered unsafe precisely to bring a positive element to the location, and rarely do I feel unsafe. And yet I will avoid riding the nineteen if I can avoid it. That should speak volumes.

        It's time to lay down the gauntlet. The nineteen, or at least the north Minneapolis segment of that route, absolutely has to improve. If Betsy Hodges won't lead the way on this (or the Met Council, who technically oversees Metro Transit) by providing more MPD or transit police, then I suggest a challenge. Every morning for the next month, come and park your car at 44th and Penn/Osseo Road. Have a morning cup of coffee at one Victory 44 or Emily's F+M Cafe, and ride that line down to City Hall. After a hard day's work, hop back on "The Beast" back to your car. Spare us northsiders the press conferences; it's time to do something real. Ride the 19 for a while yourself, Madam Mayor, and then let's see how important it is to make it safe for everyone else.

        Later on, after the police had been dispersed and the crime scene tape removed, dozens of mourners flocked to the gas station across the street. Something like this was bound to get out of control very quickly, and I called 911 pre-emptively. "Send everything you've got," was the plea. The crowd swelled to at least fifty, some openly drinking from what appeared to be bottles of Grey Goose vodka, and others carrying babies on their hips.

        "It's only a matter of time before things go south," was the refrain from a friend of mine. "No," I responded, "It's a matter of whether the wrong person shows up." A few squad cars made the perfunctory lap around the block, and with the drive-by policing done, left the crowd and the neighbors to their own devices. Not long after that, people were heard saying something to the effect of "He better not be here."

        That's when I saw someone in a red shirt run across the street through the vacant lots north of me. At least two, perhaps three shots rang out, and almost the entire crowd chased after him. Either the shots were a warning, or the guy was just plain lucky. No one was hurt or killed, so this part never made the papers.

        I don't hold our police officers to task necessarily for the quick pass by. They are understaffed and we need more officers not just over north but citywide. There were almost certainly other priority calls happening that meant the scant resources we had at nearly midnight on a Thursday were spread too thin. However, I categorically reject the notion that police could do nothing except drive around for a bit and leave.

        Take the All-Star game as an example. Plenty of officers were stationed at key, fixed points during times that were necessary for public safety. It would be foolish to expect a patrol to say, "Well, we had to keep on driving around because nothing was happening." Or after Gopher games, it sure seems like the University has a cop on every corner. We know from recent experience that these impromptu vigils don't stay peaceful. So the next time this occurs (because let's face it, there will be a next time) there should be officers who do not leave the vigil until the crowd is peacefully dispersed.

        Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the block was quiet enough to grab a few hours of sleep. I found out later the next day that a suspect was arrested--no great surprise. And that suspect was a juvenile. That brought a fresh round of outrage as I thought back to our former mayor's outburst that demanded to know, who is ARMING our KIDS?

        There were at least two other shootings that night on the northside as well, one at 26th and Lyndale, where a person was hit but survived, and one near the Lao Assistance Organization in Harrison. The second one happened on school property and involved minors. My reaction to that felt so muted that it caused me to worry about something that scares me almost as much as the thought of catching a bullet--that the violence is getting worse, and instead of stopping it, we are getting used to it.

        North by Northside North by Northside
        • and yes some kind of barrier would have been very respectful to this deceased man and his family, seen pics and videos that just made me sick to my stomach, and if it were my friends or family, I would have been hurt way worse, thanks for posting a more respectful picture - by Sharon Kyro Garcia on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 2:52pm
        • Thank you for this well reasoned and well written article- - by Susan Long on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 1:54pm

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