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GAF corporation offers $500K to alleviate asphalt odors in Northeast Minneapolis

Thu, 2014-10-16 16:34
Margo Ashmore Northeaster

Engineers from GAF Corporation will put about half a million dollars into addressing their asphalt stink problem, company representatives told a group gathered by Bottineau Neighborhood Association Oct. 2.

Hearing that there were still odor complaints during a hiatus at the 50 Lowry Ave. N. plant, city officials redoubled their request that people continue to call in promptly, with as much specificity as possible, and report the duration of any smells.

There may be other polluters to be pinned down, or temperature inversions over the river during the night that make an odor linger, get concentrated, or travel far from its source.

What GAF will do

Tommy Richardson, executive director of the plant, said, answering an audience question, that to characterize the emission as “carcinogenic” would “be a loaded word.” He said “we are so far below the allowable limit” of everything the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency monitors for.

He explained the proposed solution. The stink comes from a process of burning the vapors coming off of hot asphalt tanks. The engineers concluded that they could improve that combustion by adding more air and mixing it better with the vapors, using automatic damper controls and an oxygen sensor to modulate the fan, “so it is not monitored or managed by people.” They would also put a “drop leg” on the pipe to capture liquid oil that condenses out, before it could burn.

“It will require some time,” Richardson said, to install. The parts have been ordered, to start installing before Christmas, expecting to be running by March 31, 2015, and hoping to be done even sooner.

How to report odors, and why

There was a question, “until this goes into place, is there a way to have this done at a more regular interval instead of large blast burns?”

Richardson said “when we got complaints we started looking at manpower, materials and measurements.” He said they watched the operators and provided training for two to three months. Complaints seemed to come at night, perhaps once a week, yet “we operated the same way all day. Perhaps the temperature inversion that happens at night may keep it closer to the ground.”

Yet the business is “seasonal and market driven,” for example in the next three months, 10 of the weeks will be down time, Richardson said.

Parents present talked about having to have their kids play inside during times when odors make their eyes sting and their noses run. One reported that the sieges can last 17 to 19 hours.

Also attending were Jim Doten, supervisor of the city’s air quality inspectors, and Margaret Taylor, whose nose is among the most sensitive, Doten said. “Our best tool is the Mark One Nose,” he quipped, referring to the human sense of smell.

He later stressed that reporting the timing and description of odors is important for correlating it with weather data as well as what was happening at local industries.

The number to call: 311.

Someone asked about Consolidated Container as a possible odor source. Taylor “speaks to them frequently. We’re spread thin. We’re getting another inspector next year. Our reports have to be objective,” Doten and Taylor said, otherwise they would get thrown out. The department does about 6,000 inspections a year and addresses other issues as well.

There was much discussion about the elusive nature of odors, as Matt Grimley reported in the Northeaster Aug. 6, 2014. Representatives of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency attended Oct. 2 to explain that there are only six inspectors for the entire state, relying mostly on self-testing of emissions by companies, otherwise testing in a rotation or sooner if there are a lot of concerns.

Ann Calvert of the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development explained that the city is renting some land to GAF to store their finished shingles. It’s possible that something in a new lease could leverage the plant to be a good neighbor (my paraphrase). Calvert is assigned to the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal after the city shuts it down.

Oct. 2 was rainy and the night of a Vikings-Packers game; factors that may account for low resident attendance. The Concerned Citizens of Marshall Terrace, who met privately with GAF earlier, will have a public meeting on the subject Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at River Village East, 2919 Randolph St. NE.

Engineers from GAF Corporation will put about half a million dollars into addressing their asphalt stink problem, company representatives told a group gathered by Bottineau Neighborhood Association Oct. 2.

Hearing that there were still odor complaints during a hiatus at the 50 Lowry Ave. N. plant, city officials redoubled their request that people continue to call in promptly, with as much specificity as possible, and report the duration of any smells.

There may be other polluters to be pinned down, or temperature inversions over the river during the night that make an odor linger, get concentrated, or travel far from its source.

What GAF will do

Tommy Richardson, executive director of the plant, said, answering an audience question, that to characterize the emission as “carcinogenic” would “be a loaded word.” He said “we are so far below the allowable limit” of everything the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency monitors for.

He explained the proposed solution. The stink comes from a process of burning the vapors coming off of hot asphalt tanks. The engineers concluded that they could improve that combustion by adding more air and mixing it better with the vapors, using automatic damper controls and an oxygen sensor to modulate the fan, “so it is not monitored or managed by people.” They would also put a “drop leg” on the pipe to capture liquid oil that condenses out, before it could burn.

“It will require some time,” Richardson said, to install. The parts have been ordered, to start installing before Christmas, expecting to be running by March 31, 2015, and hoping to be done even sooner.

How to report odors, and why

There was a question, “until this goes into place, is there a way to have this done at a more regular interval instead of large blast burns?”

Richardson said “when we got complaints we started looking at manpower, materials and measurements.” He said they watched the operators and provided training for two to three months. Complaints seemed to come at night, perhaps once a week, yet “we operated the same way all day. Perhaps the temperature inversion that happens at night may keep it closer to the ground.”

Yet the business is “seasonal and market driven,” for example in the next three months, 10 of the weeks will be down time, Richardson said.

Parents present talked about having to have their kids play inside during times when odors make their eyes sting and their noses run. One reported that the sieges can last 17 to 19 hours.

Also attending were Jim Doten, supervisor of the city’s air quality inspectors, and Margaret Taylor, whose nose is among the most sensitive, Doten said. “Our best tool is the Mark One Nose,” he quipped, referring to the human sense of smell.

He later stressed that reporting the timing and description of odors is important for correlating it with weather data as well as what was happening at local industries.

The number to call: 311.

Someone asked about Consolidated Container as a possible odor source. Taylor “speaks to them frequently. We’re spread thin. We’re getting another inspector next year. Our reports have to be objective,” Doten and Taylor said, otherwise they would get thrown out. The department does about 6,000 inspections a year and addresses other issues as well.

There was much discussion about the elusive nature of odors, as Matt Grimley reported in the Northeaster Aug. 6, 2014. Representatives of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency attended Oct. 2 to explain that there are only six inspectors for the entire state, relying mostly on self-testing of emissions by companies, otherwise testing in a rotation or sooner if there are a lot of concerns.

Ann Calvert of the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development explained that the city is renting some land to GAF to store their finished shingles. It’s possible that something in a new lease could leverage the plant to be a good neighbor (my paraphrase). Calvert is assigned to the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal after the city shuts it down.

Oct. 2 was rainy and the night of a Vikings-Packers game; factors that may account for low resident attendance. The Concerned Citizens of Marshall Terrace, who met privately with GAF earlier, will have a public meeting on the subject Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at River Village East, 2919 Randolph St. NE.

© 2014 Northeaster

    Should Southeast keep its library without a building?

    Thu, 2014-10-16 16:04
    Bill Huntzicker TC Daily Planet

    Should Southeast Minneapolis keep its library and, if so, should it remain near Dinkytown?

    Southeast Minneapolis residents have been invited to suggest where and whether a new library should replace the current facility adjacent to Dinkytown at the corner of Fourth Street and 13th Avenue Southeast.

    But some have complained that the public meetings, scheduled to begin this weekend, will not allow residents to support renovation of the current building, a classic of modern architecture designed by the late prominent Minneapolis architect Ralph Rapson.

    “Participation is not only important in terms of providing your feedback and learning about the process, but your presence will help demonstrate community support for the Southeast library – our library,” said Hung Russell, co-president of the Friends of the Southeast Library.

    The public meetings are in neighborhoods a consultant has determined represent the major stakeholders of the library. The meetings are:

    • 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, October 18, at the Van Cleve Recreation Center, 901 S.E. 15th Ave.;
    • 6-8 p.m. Monday, October 20, at Marcy Open School, 415 Fourth Ave. S.E.;
    • 9-11 a.m. Saturday, October 25, at Brian Coyle Community Center Community Room, 420 15th Ave. S.; and
    • 7-9 p.m. Thursday, October 30, at Luxton Recreation Center, 112 St. Mary's Ave. S.E.

    Hennepin County, which administers the library, hired an architect to assess the viability of the current building, and it has hired Steve Kelley of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute to solicit community reaction and to make suggestions for the future of the library.

    Kelley and his graduate students have presented the library’s advisory committee with range of alternatives to a library building, including kiosks and modern bookmobiles, for services currently provided by the library.

    The consultant’s presentation and the process are posted on the library’s website at https://apps.hclib.org/buildingprojects/library.cfm?library=Southeast

    Unlike the current library, new facilities may serve all the University communities, including the West Bank, with its a large Somali population, currently served by the Franklin Library.

    While the Southeast Library has limited hours, the Franklin Library, renovated in 2005, has been open daily. The Franklin Library, a Carnegie Library building at 1314 E. Franklin Ave., is celebrating its centennial year. It’s open daily at 9 a.m., except Sunday when it opens at noon. The library closes at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 5 p.m. every other day.

    The Southeast Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

    The Southeast Library has been overdue for renovation or replacement under a schedule set by the county after the merger of city and county libraries in 2008. In a series by the Daily Planet in January 2013, library officials, including County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, said work should begin on the library a year ago.

    Last February, Cordelia Pierson, then president of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, wrote to McLaughlin to encourage more attention to the Southeast Library, saying the draft Marcy-Holmes plan called for a library to continue in Dinkytown. She also said she was concerned that he said the county was “not prepared to talk about a library location," and "it is not clear whether the county would create an actual library." She also said McLaughlin said any capital improvements are “a ways out.”

    Last year, a conflict seemed to be building between Prospect Park and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods for a proposed new Southeast Library building. Prospect Park residents said they could better serve the West Bank residents because both are on the Green Line light rail.

    The study commissioned by the county to study the building seems to have been ignored. Architect Paul Gates and other consultants issued a report last year on October 14, 2013, stating that the Rapson building, constructed in 1967 as a credit union, could be repaired, made wheelchair accessible and upgraded for a feasible amount while preserving an example of classic modern architecture.

    In May, the Minnesota Daily reported that Kelley and library officials will look at ways to improve services and possibly expand the Southeast Library.

    In past struggles over the library, neighborhood residents complained that library planners assumed that most neighborhood residents were students and, therefore, had access to campus libraries. At that time, University students and staff often used the well-lighted reading area of the Southeast Library. The assumption that neighbors routinely access University facilities may have returned to the planning.

    In stressing the importance of attending the public meetings, some participants said, most of the stakeholders consulted so far work for the University other institutions and do not live in the Southeast neighborhoods.

    Those who cannot attend the meetings are invited to “connect” through www.hclib.org/southeast, selibraryproject [at] gmail [dot] com, or 612-643-1934. A Poster announcement is at https://apps.hclib.org/buildingprojects/documents/Se_CommunityMeetings_Poster.pdf

    Read more in the TC Daily Planet's 2013 series, 'The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library':

    Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

    Should Southeast Minneapolis keep its library and, if so, should it remain near Dinkytown?

    Southeast Minneapolis residents have been invited to suggest where and whether a new library should replace the current facility adjacent to Dinkytown at the corner of Fourth Street and 13th Avenue Southeast.

    But some have complained that the public meetings, scheduled to begin this weekend, will not allow residents to support renovation of the current building, a classic of modern architecture designed by the late prominent Minneapolis architect Ralph Rapson.

    “Participation is not only important in terms of providing your feedback and learning about the process, but your presence will help demonstrate community support for the Southeast library – our library,” said Hung Russell, co-president of the Friends of the Southeast Library.

    The public meetings are in neighborhoods a consultant has determined represent the major stakeholders of the library. The meetings are:

    • 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, October 18, at the Van Cleve Recreation Center, 901 S.E. 15th Ave.;
    • 6-8 p.m. Monday, October 20, at Marcy Open School, 415 Fourth Ave. S.E.;
    • 9-11 a.m. Saturday, October 25, at Brian Coyle Community Center Community Room, 420 15th Ave. S.; and
    • 7-9 p.m. Thursday, October 30, at Luxton Recreation Center, 112 St. Mary's Ave. S.E.

    Hennepin County, which administers the library, hired an architect to assess the viability of the current building, and it has hired Steve Kelley of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute to solicit community reaction and to make suggestions for the future of the library.

    Kelley and his graduate students have presented the library’s advisory committee with range of alternatives to a library building, including kiosks and modern bookmobiles, for services currently provided by the library.

    The consultant’s presentation and the process are posted on the library’s website at https://apps.hclib.org/buildingprojects/library.cfm?library=Southeast

    Unlike the current library, new facilities may serve all the University communities, including the West Bank, with its a large Somali population, currently served by the Franklin Library.

    While the Southeast Library has limited hours, the Franklin Library, renovated in 2005, has been open daily. The Franklin Library, a Carnegie Library building at 1314 E. Franklin Ave., is celebrating its centennial year. It’s open daily at 9 a.m., except Sunday when it opens at noon. The library closes at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 5 p.m. every other day.

    The Southeast Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

    The Southeast Library has been overdue for renovation or replacement under a schedule set by the county after the merger of city and county libraries in 2008. In a series by the Daily Planet in January 2013, library officials, including County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, said work should begin on the library a year ago.

    Last February, Cordelia Pierson, then president of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, wrote to McLaughlin to encourage more attention to the Southeast Library, saying the draft Marcy-Holmes plan called for a library to continue in Dinkytown. She also said she was concerned that he said the county was “not prepared to talk about a library location," and "it is not clear whether the county would create an actual library." She also said McLaughlin said any capital improvements are “a ways out.”

    Last year, a conflict seemed to be building between Prospect Park and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods for a proposed new Southeast Library building. Prospect Park residents said they could better serve the West Bank residents because both are on the Green Line light rail.

    The study commissioned by the county to study the building seems to have been ignored. Architect Paul Gates and other consultants issued a report last year on October 14, 2013, stating that the Rapson building, constructed in 1967 as a credit union, could be repaired, made wheelchair accessible and upgraded for a feasible amount while preserving an example of classic modern architecture.

    In May, the Minnesota Daily reported that Kelley and library officials will look at ways to improve services and possibly expand the Southeast Library.

    In past struggles over the library, neighborhood residents complained that library planners assumed that most neighborhood residents were students and, therefore, had access to campus libraries. At that time, University students and staff often used the well-lighted reading area of the Southeast Library. The assumption that neighbors routinely access University facilities may have returned to the planning.

    In stressing the importance of attending the public meetings, some participants said, most of the stakeholders consulted so far work for the University other institutions and do not live in the Southeast neighborhoods.

    Those who cannot attend the meetings are invited to “connect” through www.hclib.org/southeast, selibraryproject [at] gmail [dot] com, or 612-643-1934. A Poster announcement is at https://apps.hclib.org/buildingprojects/documents/Se_CommunityMeetings_Poster.pdf

    Read more in the TC Daily Planet's 2013 series, 'The future of the Southeast Minneapolis Library':

    Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

    © 2014 Bill Huntzicker Southeast Library Community Meeting

      What's up with clear-cutting on Mississippi River Road?

      Wed, 2014-10-15 14:18
      Alan Hooper Community Voices

      Just this month, the Town and Country Golf Club cut shrubbery and trees on Mississippi River Road below the golf clubhouse. They clear-cut a nicely wooded hillside which had shielded view of country club from River Road or Lake street. Go to the middle of the bridge for the new view of the pool building and umbrellas. It had been a lovely block; walkers, joggers and commuters are now horrified. How did this happen?

      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.

      Since then, I have talked to someone active in the Desnoyer Park Improvement Association, a manager at Town and Country, and a city forester. They said the goal was to eliminate shrubbery-concealing tents in which homeless had been persistently staying. Rapes blocks away along the river were also mentioned as motive for clearing.

      The land belongs to the city of St. Paul under Parks and Rec. The latter has budget limitations that made it difficult to clear brush resulting in their acceptance of the Town & Country's offer to clear and maintain it. A meeting of 20 involved parties was held on the site in September. There, a plan for clearing brush and some trees was agreed upon by the St. Paul Parks and Rec department, the city forester, and Town & Country. DPIA approval was not requested.

      Without informing city officials, Town & Country then suddenly called in contractors who quickly cut far more than was agreed upon or necessary to meet the goal. The city officials had expected to be present at the time.

      What will replace the cut vegetation? Town & Country has not been willing to reveal their planting goals to me, to Drew or, apparently, to neighborhood or city officials.

      I feel strongly that a woods should be re-created and some plants should, in a reasonable time, be high enough to conceal the portions of the Town & Country as had been before the clear-cutting.

      An update from Adam Robbins at St. Paul Parks and Rec received October 15:
      "We are working with Town and Country Club to formalize a re-planting plan to be approved by the Department of Parks and Recreation. ...... we do not currently have a re-planting plan on paper. Once we do, I will be happy to share it with you."

      Just this month, the Town and Country Golf Club cut shrubbery and trees on Mississippi River Road below the golf clubhouse. They clear-cut a nicely wooded hillside which had shielded view of country club from River Road or Lake street. Go to the middle of the bridge for the new view of the pool building and umbrellas. It had been a lovely block; walkers, joggers and commuters are now horrified. How did this happen?

      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.

      Since then, I have talked to someone active in the Desnoyer Park Improvement Association, a manager at Town and Country, and a city forester. They said the goal was to eliminate shrubbery-concealing tents in which homeless had been persistently staying. Rapes blocks away along the river were also mentioned as motive for clearing.

      The land belongs to the city of St. Paul under Parks and Rec. The latter has budget limitations that made it difficult to clear brush resulting in their acceptance of the Town & Country's offer to clear and maintain it. A meeting of 20 involved parties was held on the site in September. There, a plan for clearing brush and some trees was agreed upon by the St. Paul Parks and Rec department, the city forester, and Town & Country. DPIA approval was not requested.

      Without informing city officials, Town & Country then suddenly called in contractors who quickly cut far more than was agreed upon or necessary to meet the goal. The city officials had expected to be present at the time.

      What will replace the cut vegetation? Town & Country has not been willing to reveal their planting goals to me, to Drew or, apparently, to neighborhood or city officials.

      I feel strongly that a woods should be re-created and some plants should, in a reasonable time, be high enough to conceal the portions of the Town & Country as had been before the clear-cutting.

      An update from Adam Robbins at St. Paul Parks and Rec received October 15:
      "We are working with Town and Country Club to formalize a re-planting plan to be approved by the Department of Parks and Recreation. ...... we do not currently have a re-planting plan on paper. Once we do, I will be happy to share it with you."

      © 2014 Alan Hooper
      • I live up in the Minneapolis part of East River Parkway and I saw this for the first time today and I am outraged! Any replanting plan MUST include tree caliper widths at least 75% of removed stock for 2/3rd of the plantings. Town and Country Club grossly mishandled this situation and bears responsibility to adequately correct this transgression. This time Saint Paul Parks must approve final plantings and monitor the plantings in progress. - by Bob Roscoe on Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:52pm
      • Thank you, Alan. - by Ed Felien on Thu, 10/16/2014 - 8:23pm

      Conservation districts are (still) a bad idea

      Fri, 2014-10-10 22:36
      Alex Cecchini

      Minneapolis Conservation Districts are back in the news, and they look to have some broader support as the ordinance goes to a full city council next week. We’ve covered the topic at streets.mn before, with a dissenting take, some reasons to support them, and a fun podcast for those who hate reading. Even burgeoning news source The Wedge Times-Picayune picked up my annoying Twitter rant yesterday (side note: I’m still awaiting my signing bonus as an official correspondent).

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

      I remain unconvinced that Conservation Districts are a good idea, both in theory and implementation. I share Bill’s qualms, so won’t re-hash them in detail here. But I urge city councilmembers to consider who the benefits of Conservation Districts will accrue to, who we’re leaving out of the discussion, and what unforeseen negative impacts could come about.

      Not a Tool For Growth

      Robin Garwood, aide to CM Cam Gordon, was kind enough to write a great piece here, provide thoughtful responses in the comment section, and record a podcast. As always, I respect our public officials and don’t envy the position they’re oftentimes put in. But that doesn’t mean I can’t respectfully disagree.

      Robin’s post was titled “Conservation Districts can be a Tool for Smart Growth,” and he used the Prospect Park area plan as an example of using Conservation Districts to encourage growth. I can’t see a way we could frame limiting neighborhood change, whether bulk, architectural style, or intensity, to be a method for allowing growth. The type of plans (and developmentgoing on) like Prospect Park 2020 (while great) could exist without the words “conservation district” ever being muttered in a meeting. The massive intensification along the Midtown Greenway in Uptown, Dinkytown’s recent growth, and Northeast’s continued growth all exist without conservation districts nearby.

      Yes, these neighbors are supportive of development… across University Avenue in an old industrial area and directly adjacent to a light rail station. Great! That’s where the market will probably go for housing, commercial, and other uses first. And we should support that all day long. But it isn’t the same as being supportive of allowing your actual street to see change. In 20 years, there may be enough residents to support more commercial space in the area – will it be allowed to creep south into Prospect Park? Do we not foresee (and encourage!) increased residential demand, particularly families who may be willing to trade their second car for a smaller condo in a 4 story walk-up near the University and LRT?

      I applaud the details of the area plan, but let’s not act like most development will be in the existing residential areas.

      Robin linked to a study that lists preventing “commercial encroachment” as a positive aspect of these programs. Why is that a positive? Shouldn’t we be encouraging more jobs, retail, and other destinations within walking distance? As a side note, can we seriously claim “mansionization” is a bad thing when some of the most likely areas in our city to implement CDs are chock full of 4,000+ square foot, uh, mansions?

      Suburban-style mansions: we love them when they’re built in 1915 by flour magnates. But shame on that lifestyle if built today. (source: Google Streetview)

      Who Benefits From Conservation Districts

      Bill did a great job highlighting how this leaves renters – 50% of our city’s population – out of the discussion. If we believe the benefits of conservation districts apply to everyone, then everyone should have a voice. But we should ask who will be taking advantage of the program as designed, and we know the answer: fairly well-to-do single family home owners. If we had more 6-story walk-up condos or brownstones, I’d include them as well, but we don’t.

      Apartment owners are likely at least somewhat interested in viewing their property differently than single family house owners. To them, the prospect of a neighborhood becoming desirable enough that they could build taller or sell to another developer is a positive. Single family homeowners who see the encroachment of taller and bulkier buildings as a threat to privacy and sunlight? They’re the ones who’ll be looking to proactively stop their street’s form from changing. Especially if they’re among the 75% of Minneapolitans who mostly drive and don’t see more people and commercial space within walking distance as a positive.

      I don’t mean to pick on you, Linden Hills. Really, I love you

      We can also guess that wealthier people will be prime beneficiaries of Conservation Districts. The ordinance requires a $350 filing fee – no chump change for a small group of residents. But perhaps more important is the amount of time and effort required to make the case. Documenting all buildings with photos, gaining 1/3 (owner) neighbor consent to file, gaining 2/3 consent for final acceptance, and many other steps. A low enough barrier for families with predictable job hours (maybe even a parent at home) and lots of free time, not so much for low-income residents.

      We also ignore the hidden constituent: those who would live in Minneapolis if regulations like these didn’t prevent development. Areas a little further from commercial corridors and major transit nodes tend to be a little cheaper. These are the places we might expect new construction of smaller apartments to be financially viable. Detractors may not agree, but the proposal at 2320 Colfax will be affordable (sub-$1,000/mo rent for brand new construction!) thanks to being slightly off the beaten path, a bulkier form than the neighborhood sports, and small units. Even smaller concepts are proving their affordability value in other cities, despite heavy neighborhood opposition. We need housing solutions like these, and they’re only likely to occur in precisely the type of places Conservation Districts will be sought after.

      What are we Really Trying to Accomplish?

      The preservation regulations that contains the proposed Conservation District language lists several goals: “promote the economic growth and general welfare of the city; to further educational and cultural enrichment; to implement the policies of the comprehensive plan, …”

      Again, someone should help explain how a Conservation District will promote growth for a neighborhood. At best, a CD will dictate the architectural form or construction methods new structures should follow, still adding costs. At worst, they enshrine a level of intensity (ex. single family homes, one story commercial buildings, etc), even superceding zoning (and potentially informing future city-wide comprehensive plans on what area zoning should be). Does anyone think that the million dollar mega-homes near Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles are the result of the free-market, or that making those highly walkable places inaccessible to 97% of the population is good for Minneapolis’ economy?

      As far as education and cultural enrichment, maybe we should take a step back and look across the globe. Japan has an average housing stock half-life of 38 years – less than half of the United States’ 100. Tokyo is building new housing at rates faster than almost any region in the developed world. Someone should ask them if they’re culturally enriched. Or if their architects (3.8 times as many per capita compared to the US) appreciate the ability to be creative and leave their mark on the world through design. Maybe they also appreciate having some of the lowest (and falling!) housing prices relative to peer-sized global megacities.

      Source: NextCity

      If we’re looking for good urban design, let’s use the past as a guide-book but not limit the intensity. We can have good urban form that promotes walking, bicycling, and transit use within a given neighborhood and still allow the next structure in to be three times the size of the ones around it. Contrary to Robin’s statement, “Zoning, especially form-based zoning, should be a set of rules that are applicable citywide,” we should be using FBCs in targeted areas that will have high return. They should be used to dictate how development interacts with the public realm at multiple levels of intensity, not pick an existing one (even if it’s great!) and say “that’s it, this is how we want to look forever.”

      I realize the ordinance makes it a lengthy process where multiple city bodies must approve a CD application. I’ll contend that the Heritage Preservation Commission has yet to vote against preservation, so they’re a pretty low hurdle. And yes, only 5 districts may be evaluated simultaneously, so practically we won’t see more than 5 implemented a year. But that simply delays the time scale of implementation for a given district, not make it any less feasible.

      Ok, I’m reaching the point where maybe 4.3 people are still reading. I hope there’s room for some more thoughtful consideration to what this type of tool could actually mean for housing affordability, economic growth, diversity, equity, and a host of other factors. If you’re reading this and agree, try to contact your councilmember before the Friday, October 17th council meeting.

      Streets.MN

      A Raymond-University shopping tour

      Tue, 2014-10-07 16:24
      Kyle Mianulli

      The business area surrounding the intersection at Raymond and University avenues whispers of old-time small-town Main Street and modern urban community in the same breathe. Creative and industrial commerce thrive side- by-side, setting the backdrop to a vibrant and energized residential community.

      The ebb and flow of the Raymond-University district over the past half-century reflects the fluctuations of populations and eras come and gone. Today, it’s hard to miss the glint of a new horizon. The storefronts are filled with new creative and locally owned businesses that are joining familiar institutions to create an eclectic vibe that is starting to turn heads and draw crowds from across the Twin Cities.

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

      Patty George of Salongeorge. (Park Bugle photo by Kristal Leebrick)

      The steadily increasing stream of new faces—young and old—dotting the streetscape appears to be ushering in a new age for south St. Anthony Park. The arrival of the Green Line, combined with a cluster of new residential and commercial developments—not to mention a growing number of microbreweries—could be signaling the start of a new golden era.

      Newfound harmony

      The last “golden era” for St. Anthony Park roughly took place between 1950 and 1970, as David Lanegran explains in his book St. Anthony Park: Portrait of a Community. With World War II over, household incomes were on the rise and business and industry were booming.

      The population of north St. Anthony Park was on a steady incline, but expanding industrial operations taking advantage of the central location and ample shipping routes radiating from the area began to take over residential land in the south. While the population of north St. Anthony Park grew by 26 percent in the two decades following the war, the population to the south declined by 30 percent.

      Dianne Revoir and Jerry Meusberger of Bargain Upholstery. (Park Bugle photo by Kristal Leebrick)

      The city-sponsored expansion of land zoned for industrial use compacted concerns over the loss of residential land that had already resulted from freeway construction.

      Worried their cozy residential community was in jeopardy, neighbors banded together to fight the expansion. They went as far as creating a document called “Battle Plan for Survival: Let’s Beat the Industrial Bulldozer (The Neighborhood Strangler).” In it, the South St. Anthony Project Area Committee outlined 16 points, including calling for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to convert industrial land into housing.

      The group was largely unsuccessful in their demands, and the tension eventually began to subside. Today, industry, residential and commercial sectors of south St. Anthony Park seem to have found a peaceful harmony.

      Malia Schroeder of Junk Love (Park Bugle photo by Kyle Mianulli)

      Instead of viewing industry as a threat, many now see it as a welcomed reminder of the area’s heritage that brings both charm and valuable jobs to the area.

      “[South St. Anthony Park] is unique in that we are able to co- exist with industrial uses right next to residential,” said Ellen Waters, who lives in south St. Anthony Park and served on the District 12 Community Council for nearly 10 years. She also ran the now-defunct St. Anthony Park Business Council from 1994 to 1996.

      “We didn’t want to get rid of industry, but to balance it and residential, and I think we have succeeded,” she said. “I don’t want our community to be solely a place people live—it should be a place for people to make a living as well.”

      Shannon Forney, who is preparing to open a new café, WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR, in the old Edge coffee shop space, says she appreciates the industrial character of the neighborhood and the fact that it has historically been a place characterized by work and industry. She sees a renewed appreciation of industry and manufacturing broadly.

      “I think there is a real renaissance of the worker, where there’s a celebration of that industry and manufacturing,” she says.

      No longer solely identified by its industrial past, a growing number of vibrant small businesses are joining hundreds of new housing units at residential developments like the Carleton Artist Lofts, the Lyric and C&E Apartments to create a bustling and unique urban community.

      New businesses add to area’s growing identity

      Just within the last two years more than a half dozen new businesses opened doors at Raymond and University. Every one of them is independent, locally owned and has some sort of creative flavor. Many are also lending to the emergence of a vintage and retro shopping destination as well.

      The two most recent arrivals on the block are Junk Love at 777 Raymond Ave. and Skon Chiropractic at 856 Raymond Ave. Both opened within the last two months.

      Junk Love is adding to the retro vibe of the area with an eclectic offering of salvage and restoration Americana. Combined with other retro shopping outfits like longstanding Succotash, which celebrated its 19th anniversary in the storefront at 781 Raymond Ave. this month, Shag Studio at 799 Raymond Ave. and MidModMen + Friends at 2401 University Ave., the area has already been recognized as a destination for retro treasure hunters.

      Throwing in Spinario Design and Classic Retro at Pete’s—each less than one LRT stop away from the hub at Raymond and University—the Star Tribune called the area the “Best hotspot for retro style” in its 2014 Best of MN feature.

      “Everyone kind of has their own style,” Malia Schroeder, who owns Junk Love, said of the cluster of vintage shops. “As a hunter of this stuff, when I go somewhere and I see there’s five other places I can stop at, I’m stoked.”

      The retro identity includes more than salvage and restoration housewares and furniture. Two new used record shops—Barely Brothers and Agartha—offer a vinyl music shopping experience. And the block’s longest-standing institution, Key’s Café, an area fixture for 40 years, offers an old- timey menu and diner décor.

      Owner Barbara Hunn says today, she sees more young people at the diner counter taking the place of industrial workers who would often post up for breakfast and lunch daily in years past.

      Today the faces populating the streetscape are a bit younger on the whole, a bit more artsy, and “maybe a little bit of a hipster thing creeping in,” as Spencer Brooks of Barely Brothers Records, notes.

      Creativity abounds

      Retro shopping is only part of the area’s emerging identity.

      “This place is filled with creative businesses,” said Neal Kielar, who owns MidModMen with his partner, John Mehus. Apart from the immense creative energy it takes to curate a successful midcentury retro furniture store, they also host the work of two local artists in their store.

      Creativity might not be the first thought to come to mind when thinking of a chiropractor, but the newly opened Skon Chiropractic proves otherwise. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team William and Suzanne Skon, the office doubles as a gallery for Suzanne’s artwork. The space is filled with drawings, paintings and sculptures she created over the last 15 years.

      WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR will be the newest business to open in the area later this fall. The women-owned business is moving into 2399 University Ave. with plans to offer performances by local musicians and a place for local artists to display their work. Owners Shannon Forney and Ty Barnett were chosen as one of 69 finalists from more than 800 entries in the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge. Their proposal is to curate St. Paul’s tiniest museum in a recessed fire hose cabinet in front of their shop.

      Raymond Avenue Gallery, 761 Raymond Ave., is perhaps the most obvious manifestation of creativity in the area with a rotating gallery featuring work from local and regional artists. Creative work continues up Raymond Avenue at Salongeorge, 856 Raymond Ave., where Patty George and her team “find inspiration every day in the hair industry, fashion, the arts.” The salon offers hair and beauty services but also hosts a rotating display of art. Two music schools—Chanson Voice and Music Academy and Swift Music, both on the 700 block of Raymond Ave—attract plenty of musicians to the area, as well.

      Roundtable Coffee, the Twin Cities’ first coffee-roasting incubator space, probes the artisanal side of the coffee world like few others. And the artistic eye and craftsmanship of Jerry Meusburger and Dianne Revoir at Bargain Upholstery, 797 Raymond Ave., bring a craft-oriented creative slant to the block. Of course, one would be remiss not to mention the culinary creativity drawing crowds of customers at Foxy Falafel.

      Creative entrepreneurship radiates far into the neighborhood, and interest in the area from other creative enterprises seems to be growing. “We’ve noticed we are fielding more and more inquiries from professional but creative entrepreneurs and arts organizations,” said Brad Johnson, who owns three of the storefronts on the 700 block of Raymond.

      “The branding work that neighborhood groups like [the Creative Enterprise Zone, a District 12 task force working to bring more creative businesses to the neighborhood] have been doing lately seems definitely to have had an effect.”

      Small-town charm, collaborative spirit

      Much of the charm business owners and residents enjoy in the Raymond-University area stems from a feeling that things wouldn’t look or feel much different a half decade earlier. The fact that there is hardly a chain store or national retailer in sight certainly lends to that sentiment.

      “There’s something about the neighborhood—it’s got an authentic feel. We’re in a big city that has a reasonable amount of uniformity to it, and there is something about [this place] that still has that authentic feel to it, . . . there’s no pretense here,” Kielar said.

      MidModMen started as a pop-up shop through the Starling Project put on by the St. Anthony Park Community Council in 2012. Surprised by both their success and the quaint, tightness of the community, Kielar and Mehus decided to stick around.

      They didn’t expect the robust neighborhood market they found here, Kielar said. Many St. Anthony Park neighbors are regulars in their store, both buying their products and offering up vintage finds of their own for restoration and resale.

      “There are people who live here that also start to create the threads of the area—bridging the residents and the businesses. I like that,” Kielar said.

      The way businesses operate on the block seems to reflect the “main street” ethos, as well. Shop owners can often be found out on the sidewalk exchanging pleasantries, greeting passersby and keeping the pulse of the block.

      “It’s small town, it’s Mayberry, it’s gossip, it’s house business,” said Paul Allbright, who owns Succotash with his wife,Noreen.

      There is a tight-knit community developing amongst the shop owners based on a mutual understanding that success for one can be easily translated into success for all.

      Rather than seeing each other as competitors, many of the business owners recognize value in pooling their efforts. It’s not uncommon to see promotional material for a shop around the corner laid out on the counter.

      “When people communicate and talk and share ideas it just makes collectively everything happier and more desirable to travel to,” Schroeder said.

      And travel they will. Evidence of the promised increase in pedestrian traffic accompanying the new Green Line is mostly anecdotal at this point, but many shop owners in the area say they are already seeing an effect.

      Kielar said he recently had a customer in his shop who took public transit all the way from St. Cloud to ride the Green Line from start to finish.

      “We’ve had more people coming and shopping. I’ve got to up my packaging to get people to be able to carry it on the train,” he said.

      Whether the Green Line tourism factor will persist remains to be seen, but for the time being, the future looks promising for the shops at Raymond and University Avenues.

      “There’s definitely an upward trend in this area, no doubt there,” Albright says.

      Kyle Mianulli is a freelance writer who lives and shops in the Raymond-University area.

      The business area surrounding the intersection at Raymond and University avenues whispers of old-time small-town Main Street and modern urban community in the same breathe. Creative and industrial commerce thrive side- by-side, setting the backdrop to a vibrant and energized residential community.

      The ebb and flow of the Raymond-University district over the past half-century reflects the fluctuations of populations and eras come and gone. Today, it’s hard to miss the glint of a new horizon. The storefronts are filled with new creative and locally owned businesses that are joining familiar institutions to create an eclectic vibe that is starting to turn heads and draw crowds from across the Twin Cities.

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

      Patty George of Salongeorge. (Park Bugle photo by Kristal Leebrick)

      The steadily increasing stream of new faces—young and old—dotting the streetscape appears to be ushering in a new age for south St. Anthony Park. The arrival of the Green Line, combined with a cluster of new residential and commercial developments—not to mention a growing number of microbreweries—could be signaling the start of a new golden era.

      Newfound harmony

      The last “golden era” for St. Anthony Park roughly took place between 1950 and 1970, as David Lanegran explains in his book St. Anthony Park: Portrait of a Community. With World War II over, household incomes were on the rise and business and industry were booming.

      The population of north St. Anthony Park was on a steady incline, but expanding industrial operations taking advantage of the central location and ample shipping routes radiating from the area began to take over residential land in the south. While the population of north St. Anthony Park grew by 26 percent in the two decades following the war, the population to the south declined by 30 percent.

      Dianne Revoir and Jerry Meusberger of Bargain Upholstery. (Park Bugle photo by Kristal Leebrick)

      The city-sponsored expansion of land zoned for industrial use compacted concerns over the loss of residential land that had already resulted from freeway construction.

      Worried their cozy residential community was in jeopardy, neighbors banded together to fight the expansion. They went as far as creating a document called “Battle Plan for Survival: Let’s Beat the Industrial Bulldozer (The Neighborhood Strangler).” In it, the South St. Anthony Project Area Committee outlined 16 points, including calling for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to convert industrial land into housing.

      The group was largely unsuccessful in their demands, and the tension eventually began to subside. Today, industry, residential and commercial sectors of south St. Anthony Park seem to have found a peaceful harmony.

      Malia Schroeder of Junk Love (Park Bugle photo by Kyle Mianulli)

      Instead of viewing industry as a threat, many now see it as a welcomed reminder of the area’s heritage that brings both charm and valuable jobs to the area.

      “[South St. Anthony Park] is unique in that we are able to co- exist with industrial uses right next to residential,” said Ellen Waters, who lives in south St. Anthony Park and served on the District 12 Community Council for nearly 10 years. She also ran the now-defunct St. Anthony Park Business Council from 1994 to 1996.

      “We didn’t want to get rid of industry, but to balance it and residential, and I think we have succeeded,” she said. “I don’t want our community to be solely a place people live—it should be a place for people to make a living as well.”

      Shannon Forney, who is preparing to open a new café, WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR, in the old Edge coffee shop space, says she appreciates the industrial character of the neighborhood and the fact that it has historically been a place characterized by work and industry. She sees a renewed appreciation of industry and manufacturing broadly.

      “I think there is a real renaissance of the worker, where there’s a celebration of that industry and manufacturing,” she says.

      No longer solely identified by its industrial past, a growing number of vibrant small businesses are joining hundreds of new housing units at residential developments like the Carleton Artist Lofts, the Lyric and C&E Apartments to create a bustling and unique urban community.

      New businesses add to area’s growing identity

      Just within the last two years more than a half dozen new businesses opened doors at Raymond and University. Every one of them is independent, locally owned and has some sort of creative flavor. Many are also lending to the emergence of a vintage and retro shopping destination as well.

      The two most recent arrivals on the block are Junk Love at 777 Raymond Ave. and Skon Chiropractic at 856 Raymond Ave. Both opened within the last two months.

      Junk Love is adding to the retro vibe of the area with an eclectic offering of salvage and restoration Americana. Combined with other retro shopping outfits like longstanding Succotash, which celebrated its 19th anniversary in the storefront at 781 Raymond Ave. this month, Shag Studio at 799 Raymond Ave. and MidModMen + Friends at 2401 University Ave., the area has already been recognized as a destination for retro treasure hunters.

      Throwing in Spinario Design and Classic Retro at Pete’s—each less than one LRT stop away from the hub at Raymond and University—the Star Tribune called the area the “Best hotspot for retro style” in its 2014 Best of MN feature.

      “Everyone kind of has their own style,” Malia Schroeder, who owns Junk Love, said of the cluster of vintage shops. “As a hunter of this stuff, when I go somewhere and I see there’s five other places I can stop at, I’m stoked.”

      The retro identity includes more than salvage and restoration housewares and furniture. Two new used record shops—Barely Brothers and Agartha—offer a vinyl music shopping experience. And the block’s longest-standing institution, Key’s Café, an area fixture for 40 years, offers an old- timey menu and diner décor.

      Owner Barbara Hunn says today, she sees more young people at the diner counter taking the place of industrial workers who would often post up for breakfast and lunch daily in years past.

      Today the faces populating the streetscape are a bit younger on the whole, a bit more artsy, and “maybe a little bit of a hipster thing creeping in,” as Spencer Brooks of Barely Brothers Records, notes.

      Creativity abounds

      Retro shopping is only part of the area’s emerging identity.

      “This place is filled with creative businesses,” said Neal Kielar, who owns MidModMen with his partner, John Mehus. Apart from the immense creative energy it takes to curate a successful midcentury retro furniture store, they also host the work of two local artists in their store.

      Creativity might not be the first thought to come to mind when thinking of a chiropractor, but the newly opened Skon Chiropractic proves otherwise. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team William and Suzanne Skon, the office doubles as a gallery for Suzanne’s artwork. The space is filled with drawings, paintings and sculptures she created over the last 15 years.

      WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR will be the newest business to open in the area later this fall. The women-owned business is moving into 2399 University Ave. with plans to offer performances by local musicians and a place for local artists to display their work. Owners Shannon Forney and Ty Barnett were chosen as one of 69 finalists from more than 800 entries in the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge. Their proposal is to curate St. Paul’s tiniest museum in a recessed fire hose cabinet in front of their shop.

      Raymond Avenue Gallery, 761 Raymond Ave., is perhaps the most obvious manifestation of creativity in the area with a rotating gallery featuring work from local and regional artists. Creative work continues up Raymond Avenue at Salongeorge, 856 Raymond Ave., where Patty George and her team “find inspiration every day in the hair industry, fashion, the arts.” The salon offers hair and beauty services but also hosts a rotating display of art. Two music schools—Chanson Voice and Music Academy and Swift Music, both on the 700 block of Raymond Ave—attract plenty of musicians to the area, as well.

      Roundtable Coffee, the Twin Cities’ first coffee-roasting incubator space, probes the artisanal side of the coffee world like few others. And the artistic eye and craftsmanship of Jerry Meusburger and Dianne Revoir at Bargain Upholstery, 797 Raymond Ave., bring a craft-oriented creative slant to the block. Of course, one would be remiss not to mention the culinary creativity drawing crowds of customers at Foxy Falafel.

      Creative entrepreneurship radiates far into the neighborhood, and interest in the area from other creative enterprises seems to be growing. “We’ve noticed we are fielding more and more inquiries from professional but creative entrepreneurs and arts organizations,” said Brad Johnson, who owns three of the storefronts on the 700 block of Raymond.

      “The branding work that neighborhood groups like [the Creative Enterprise Zone, a District 12 task force working to bring more creative businesses to the neighborhood] have been doing lately seems definitely to have had an effect.”

      Small-town charm, collaborative spirit

      Much of the charm business owners and residents enjoy in the Raymond-University area stems from a feeling that things wouldn’t look or feel much different a half decade earlier. The fact that there is hardly a chain store or national retailer in sight certainly lends to that sentiment.

      “There’s something about the neighborhood—it’s got an authentic feel. We’re in a big city that has a reasonable amount of uniformity to it, and there is something about [this place] that still has that authentic feel to it, . . . there’s no pretense here,” Kielar said.

      MidModMen started as a pop-up shop through the Starling Project put on by the St. Anthony Park Community Council in 2012. Surprised by both their success and the quaint, tightness of the community, Kielar and Mehus decided to stick around.

      They didn’t expect the robust neighborhood market they found here, Kielar said. Many St. Anthony Park neighbors are regulars in their store, both buying their products and offering up vintage finds of their own for restoration and resale.

      “There are people who live here that also start to create the threads of the area—bridging the residents and the businesses. I like that,” Kielar said.

      The way businesses operate on the block seems to reflect the “main street” ethos, as well. Shop owners can often be found out on the sidewalk exchanging pleasantries, greeting passersby and keeping the pulse of the block.

      “It’s small town, it’s Mayberry, it’s gossip, it’s house business,” said Paul Allbright, who owns Succotash with his wife,Noreen.

      There is a tight-knit community developing amongst the shop owners based on a mutual understanding that success for one can be easily translated into success for all.

      Rather than seeing each other as competitors, many of the business owners recognize value in pooling their efforts. It’s not uncommon to see promotional material for a shop around the corner laid out on the counter.

      “When people communicate and talk and share ideas it just makes collectively everything happier and more desirable to travel to,” Schroeder said.

      And travel they will. Evidence of the promised increase in pedestrian traffic accompanying the new Green Line is mostly anecdotal at this point, but many shop owners in the area say they are already seeing an effect.

      Kielar said he recently had a customer in his shop who took public transit all the way from St. Cloud to ride the Green Line from start to finish.

      “We’ve had more people coming and shopping. I’ve got to up my packaging to get people to be able to carry it on the train,” he said.

      Whether the Green Line tourism factor will persist remains to be seen, but for the time being, the future looks promising for the shops at Raymond and University Avenues.

      “There’s definitely an upward trend in this area, no doubt there,” Albright says.

      Kyle Mianulli is a freelance writer who lives and shops in the Raymond-University area.

      © 2014 Park Bugle

        NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | October 2014 West Seventh calendar of events

        Tue, 2014-10-07 15:04
        josfl Neighborhood Notes

        This calendar of events is created for nearly 800 neighbors of the West End. Please see this new location for calendar additions, corrections and updates at http://www.josfland.com

        Join your neighbors at any of these entertaining and informative events! Explore and support local businesses and resource centers. Participate in a unique survey of ”We are West 7th”at http://www.jotform.us/west7th/resource : Our goal is to create a website that will highlight everything that your (West 7th) resource has to offer...”

        Thursday, Oct 2: West 7th Enhancement Coalition monthly meeting
        11 a..m.: at Terrace Horticultural Books, 503 St Clair Ave. Discussion items will be neighborhood beautification/issues of the day. The Enhancement Coalition is committee of the West 7th Business Association . FYI: email terrace [at] winternet [dot] com or 651-222-5536

        Thursday, Oct 2: Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association Meeting
        437 Banfil: Agenda: housing renovations, Planning and Economic Development Department and the properties that will be going up for Request for Proposal (RFP), update on LBNA Bike Path

        Saturday, Oct 4, Bronze Casting, Pattern, and Mold Making Pattern Making Workshop.
        1:00 pm - Evening. The Pour. Instructors: Marty Hicks and Crew Cost: $120 Class size: 12 Location: Marty's (HIXWERX) Workshop FYI: marty [at] hixwerx [dot] com 651-492-0899

        Saturday, Oct 4: St. Stanislaus Craft Fair
        9 a.m -4 p.m. Over 25 different crafters. Many beautiful Crafted items, Silent Auction,
        Café and Bakery. Free Admission, Free Parking. Located 398 Superior Street, just 2 blocks north of St. Clair, off West 7th Street.

        Sunday, October 5: Church of St. Francis de Sales Booya and Fall Fiesta
        11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Highland Park Pavilion. Booya(!), hot beef sandwiches, soft tacos, gyros with rice or salad, pozole soup and more. Pull tabs, raffle and games for children and adults. The St. Paul Police Band performs from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Bilingual Mass at 10:30 a.m. Call 651-228-1169 or email sfsjadmin [at] sf-sj [dot] org. for questions.

        Thursday, Oct 9: St. Mark Lutheran Rummage Sale
        8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 550 West 7th. $4 bag sale follow on October 10. 651 224 0228

        Friday, Oct 10: Ramsey After Dark: Victorian Gothic Novels
        7 p.m. This program explores the origins of the gothic novel, from the motivations behind the stories to why certain language was used. Discover why the genre captured the Victorian imagination. This program contains adult content. Register online

        Tuesday, Oct 14: Conversational Salon: World's Nuclear Reactors
        6:30 p.m. St. Paul Gallery, 943 7th Street. Roger Cuthbertson speaker.

        Thursday, Oct 16: Ramsey House program: Spiritualism in Minnesota
        7 p.m. Spiritualism, a religion based on spirit communication and healing, captivated Victorian society. Join educators Nathan Lewis and Lacey Prpic Hedtke on Spiritualism in mid-19th century Minnesota. Discover how and why Spiritualism became popular with all levels of society. Learn about those who practiced it and the impact it had on Minnesota and the rest of the nation. Register online

        Sunday, October 19: Domažlice Bagpipe Band from the Czech Republic
        1:30 p.m. This unique entertainment in the West End at the C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall. Along with the bagpipe, clarinet, string violin and bass, nearly forgotten ancient Czech folk rhythmic musical instruments such as the fanfrnoch (clay or metal container with horsehair, vozembouch (staff topped with bow hung with rattles), and hrábě (rake) will be played. These instruments bring a comic element to the performance that require some audience participation! http://www.sokolmn.org/events/dudacka.htm

        Tuesday, Oct 21: West 7th Business Association Networking
        4 p.m. Patrick McGovern's Pub, 225 Seventh Street West. Join us for McGovern's treats compliments of W7BA, as well as happy hour drink specials. A W7BA board meeting will precede the meeting at 3 p.m. FYI www.w7ba.org email: president [at] w7ba [dot] org or 651 297 9000

        Friday, October 24: Explore Czech and German-Bohemian heritage in St. Paul
        $40. Tour aboard a coach bus visiting historic sites associated with Czech and German-Bohemian immigrants, and their contributions to our shared history with guides Jim Sazevich, "The House Detective" and Linda Therkelsen. Lunch (not included) at Victoria’s Crossing. Sponsored by the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. FYI: Paul Makousky at PaulMCzech [at] comcast [dot] net.

        Friday, October 24: Dinner and Dance!
        Dinner 6:30 p.m.; Dance music by the Jerry Kadlec Trio Band 7:30 - 10:00 p.m. Co-sponsored by Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota and the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. Dinner includes: goulash with bread dumplings, salad, coffee and water A la carte: hot dogs and desserts Cash bar: beer and pop. http://www.sokolmn.org/events/cgsisokoldinner.htm

        This month! Sophie Joe's Daylight Savings Sale
        453 Seventh Street West. See Website for details! www.sophiejoesemporium.com

        Mississippi Market Co-op!
        View their full listing of classes and events, covering topics from nutrition to cooking to wellness and much more. See Website for details! www.msmarket.coop

        Event and Tickets at the Xcel Energy Center: http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/events-tickets/calendar

        West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street at St. Clair (651) 298-5493

        Thursday, October 9: West 7th Book Club: 6:00-8:00
        Interested in belonging to a Book Club? We meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month and read great books! Contact Pam for more information at 651-224-2056 or the West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street at St. Clair (651) 298-5493 www.west7th.org

        Thursday-Friday, October 9-10: Drive Smart AARP Driving Class: 8:45-12:45
        This classroom training program is designed to help persons 50 and older improve their driving skills. Course completion is required to initiate auto insurance discounts. Auto insurance companies in most states provide a multi-year discount to AARRP graduates! No written or behind the wheel tests will be given. Classes are intended to be non-threatening, interactive and informative. Instructors are trained volunteers. Please feel free to bring snacks, coffee and lunch.

        Tuesday, October 21, Aging Well Expo
        10:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Free: Join us for our most popular event for Adults 55+. The Aging Well Expo is THE place to find resources and information on health and wellness. We will have a variety of health and wellness exhibitors, breakout sessions, chair massages, as well as various health screenings. Flu vaccines will also be available (bring your insurance card!). Make a day of it and stay for lunch. You do not want to miss this fun and informative event!

        Monday-Friday: Community Kids After-School Program
        2:15-6:00 pm. Serving students grade K-10 with homework help, tutoring in reading and math, social skills, enrichment activities such as art and science, sports and fitness, field trips, healthy snacks and more! No fee if income eligible. Transportation is available within our neighborhood. Call Julie Murphy at 651-298-5493, ext. 214 or jmurphy [at] west7th [dot] org.

        Monday, October 6: Girl Scout Cadets
        6:30-8:00 pm. 6th-12th grade girls participate in leadership, teamwork building, cultural activities, crafts, community service and field trips.

        Monday, October 27: Teen Halloween Party!
        6:00-7:30 pm. Community party for teens ages 13 and up. Pizza, pop, games and treats. Invite a friend!

        Tuesdays, October 7, 14 and 28: Family Open Gym (no Open Gym on October 21)
        10:30 am- 3:00 pm. No registration necessary. Open gym play for infants through preschoolers together with parent or caregiver. Families responsible for setup and tear-down of equipment. (May not be held some weeks if the gym is in use.)

        Wednesday, October 8: Family Lawyer
        8:30-10:00 am. David Burns Law Office, LLC offers free one-time legal advice regarding family law issues. Must call to pre-register 651-298-5493.

        Wednesday, October 15: Immigration Lawyer
        3:00-5:00 pm at the West 7th Community Center at 265 Oneida Street. Free service provided by Leslie Guyton of Guyton Law Firm regarding immigration issues. Must pre-register to see the attorney; call the center at 651-298-5493.

        Thursdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30: Circle of Parents
        6:00-7:30 pm. Parent support group meeting at West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street. Participation is free with free child care. To register call Tes Belachew at 651-298-5493, ext. 215.

        Friday, October 3: Fare for All Discounted Groceries
        10:00 am-12:00 pm. Complete food packages from $10-$30. Call Cathalina Young at 651-298-5493 x218 for information.
        Free “Blood Pressure Checks” provided by volunteer registered nurses from 11:00-12:00 at monthly Fare for All.

        Friday, October 17: West 7th Cinema Presents…. The Nut Job
        6:00-8:15 pm. Movie is free with low-cost concessions (pizza, popcorn, etc.). Children must be with someone age 13+.

        Friday, October 31: Children’s Halloween Party!
        4:00-5:45 pm. Community party for children, infants through age 12. Wear your costume and bring the family for games, snacks, treats and a spooky haunted house. $5 suggested donation per family.

        Friday, October 31: Fare for All Discounted Groceries (This is the “November” distribution.)
        10:00 am-12:00 pm. Complete food packages from $10-$30. Call Cathalina Young at 651-298-5493 x218 for information.
        Free “Blood Pressure Checks” provided by volunteer registered nurses from 11:00-12:00 at monthly Fare for All.

        Ongoing - Support, Referral, Care Management Services
        For individuals/families to access community resources for crisis/emergency situations, family issues, housing, employment, education and training programs, food shelves, healthcare and medical insurance, and immigration consultation. Contact Tes Belachew ext. 215.

        Ongoing – Bridge to Benefits Call for a 10-20 minute meeting to determine eligibility for public programs. Contact Tes Belachew, ext. 215.

        This calendar of events is created for nearly 800 neighbors of the West End. Please see this new location for calendar additions, corrections and updates at http://www.josfland.com

        Join your neighbors at any of these entertaining and informative events! Explore and support local businesses and resource centers. Participate in a unique survey of ”We are West 7th”at http://www.jotform.us/west7th/resource : Our goal is to create a website that will highlight everything that your (West 7th) resource has to offer...”

        Thursday, Oct 2: West 7th Enhancement Coalition monthly meeting
        11 a..m.: at Terrace Horticultural Books, 503 St Clair Ave. Discussion items will be neighborhood beautification/issues of the day. The Enhancement Coalition is committee of the West 7th Business Association . FYI: email terrace [at] winternet [dot] com or 651-222-5536

        Thursday, Oct 2: Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association Meeting
        437 Banfil: Agenda: housing renovations, Planning and Economic Development Department and the properties that will be going up for Request for Proposal (RFP), update on LBNA Bike Path

        Saturday, Oct 4, Bronze Casting, Pattern, and Mold Making Pattern Making Workshop.
        1:00 pm - Evening. The Pour. Instructors: Marty Hicks and Crew Cost: $120 Class size: 12 Location: Marty's (HIXWERX) Workshop FYI: marty [at] hixwerx [dot] com 651-492-0899

        Saturday, Oct 4: St. Stanislaus Craft Fair
        9 a.m -4 p.m. Over 25 different crafters. Many beautiful Crafted items, Silent Auction,
        Café and Bakery. Free Admission, Free Parking. Located 398 Superior Street, just 2 blocks north of St. Clair, off West 7th Street.

        Sunday, October 5: Church of St. Francis de Sales Booya and Fall Fiesta
        11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Highland Park Pavilion. Booya(!), hot beef sandwiches, soft tacos, gyros with rice or salad, pozole soup and more. Pull tabs, raffle and games for children and adults. The St. Paul Police Band performs from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Bilingual Mass at 10:30 a.m. Call 651-228-1169 or email sfsjadmin [at] sf-sj [dot] org. for questions.

        Thursday, Oct 9: St. Mark Lutheran Rummage Sale
        8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 550 West 7th. $4 bag sale follow on October 10. 651 224 0228

        Friday, Oct 10: Ramsey After Dark: Victorian Gothic Novels
        7 p.m. This program explores the origins of the gothic novel, from the motivations behind the stories to why certain language was used. Discover why the genre captured the Victorian imagination. This program contains adult content. Register online

        Tuesday, Oct 14: Conversational Salon: World's Nuclear Reactors
        6:30 p.m. St. Paul Gallery, 943 7th Street. Roger Cuthbertson speaker.

        Thursday, Oct 16: Ramsey House program: Spiritualism in Minnesota
        7 p.m. Spiritualism, a religion based on spirit communication and healing, captivated Victorian society. Join educators Nathan Lewis and Lacey Prpic Hedtke on Spiritualism in mid-19th century Minnesota. Discover how and why Spiritualism became popular with all levels of society. Learn about those who practiced it and the impact it had on Minnesota and the rest of the nation. Register online

        Sunday, October 19: Domažlice Bagpipe Band from the Czech Republic
        1:30 p.m. This unique entertainment in the West End at the C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall. Along with the bagpipe, clarinet, string violin and bass, nearly forgotten ancient Czech folk rhythmic musical instruments such as the fanfrnoch (clay or metal container with horsehair, vozembouch (staff topped with bow hung with rattles), and hrábě (rake) will be played. These instruments bring a comic element to the performance that require some audience participation! http://www.sokolmn.org/events/dudacka.htm

        Tuesday, Oct 21: West 7th Business Association Networking
        4 p.m. Patrick McGovern's Pub, 225 Seventh Street West. Join us for McGovern's treats compliments of W7BA, as well as happy hour drink specials. A W7BA board meeting will precede the meeting at 3 p.m. FYI www.w7ba.org email: president [at] w7ba [dot] org or 651 297 9000

        Friday, October 24: Explore Czech and German-Bohemian heritage in St. Paul
        $40. Tour aboard a coach bus visiting historic sites associated with Czech and German-Bohemian immigrants, and their contributions to our shared history with guides Jim Sazevich, "The House Detective" and Linda Therkelsen. Lunch (not included) at Victoria’s Crossing. Sponsored by the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. FYI: Paul Makousky at PaulMCzech [at] comcast [dot] net.

        Friday, October 24: Dinner and Dance!
        Dinner 6:30 p.m.; Dance music by the Jerry Kadlec Trio Band 7:30 - 10:00 p.m. Co-sponsored by Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota and the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. Dinner includes: goulash with bread dumplings, salad, coffee and water A la carte: hot dogs and desserts Cash bar: beer and pop. http://www.sokolmn.org/events/cgsisokoldinner.htm

        This month! Sophie Joe's Daylight Savings Sale
        453 Seventh Street West. See Website for details! www.sophiejoesemporium.com

        Mississippi Market Co-op!
        View their full listing of classes and events, covering topics from nutrition to cooking to wellness and much more. See Website for details! www.msmarket.coop

        Event and Tickets at the Xcel Energy Center: http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/events-tickets/calendar

        West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street at St. Clair (651) 298-5493

        Thursday, October 9: West 7th Book Club: 6:00-8:00
        Interested in belonging to a Book Club? We meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month and read great books! Contact Pam for more information at 651-224-2056 or the West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street at St. Clair (651) 298-5493 www.west7th.org

        Thursday-Friday, October 9-10: Drive Smart AARP Driving Class: 8:45-12:45
        This classroom training program is designed to help persons 50 and older improve their driving skills. Course completion is required to initiate auto insurance discounts. Auto insurance companies in most states provide a multi-year discount to AARRP graduates! No written or behind the wheel tests will be given. Classes are intended to be non-threatening, interactive and informative. Instructors are trained volunteers. Please feel free to bring snacks, coffee and lunch.

        Tuesday, October 21, Aging Well Expo
        10:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Free: Join us for our most popular event for Adults 55+. The Aging Well Expo is THE place to find resources and information on health and wellness. We will have a variety of health and wellness exhibitors, breakout sessions, chair massages, as well as various health screenings. Flu vaccines will also be available (bring your insurance card!). Make a day of it and stay for lunch. You do not want to miss this fun and informative event!

        Monday-Friday: Community Kids After-School Program
        2:15-6:00 pm. Serving students grade K-10 with homework help, tutoring in reading and math, social skills, enrichment activities such as art and science, sports and fitness, field trips, healthy snacks and more! No fee if income eligible. Transportation is available within our neighborhood. Call Julie Murphy at 651-298-5493, ext. 214 or jmurphy [at] west7th [dot] org.

        Monday, October 6: Girl Scout Cadets
        6:30-8:00 pm. 6th-12th grade girls participate in leadership, teamwork building, cultural activities, crafts, community service and field trips.

        Monday, October 27: Teen Halloween Party!
        6:00-7:30 pm. Community party for teens ages 13 and up. Pizza, pop, games and treats. Invite a friend!

        Tuesdays, October 7, 14 and 28: Family Open Gym (no Open Gym on October 21)
        10:30 am- 3:00 pm. No registration necessary. Open gym play for infants through preschoolers together with parent or caregiver. Families responsible for setup and tear-down of equipment. (May not be held some weeks if the gym is in use.)

        Wednesday, October 8: Family Lawyer
        8:30-10:00 am. David Burns Law Office, LLC offers free one-time legal advice regarding family law issues. Must call to pre-register 651-298-5493.

        Wednesday, October 15: Immigration Lawyer
        3:00-5:00 pm at the West 7th Community Center at 265 Oneida Street. Free service provided by Leslie Guyton of Guyton Law Firm regarding immigration issues. Must pre-register to see the attorney; call the center at 651-298-5493.

        Thursdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30: Circle of Parents
        6:00-7:30 pm. Parent support group meeting at West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida Street. Participation is free with free child care. To register call Tes Belachew at 651-298-5493, ext. 215.

        Friday, October 3: Fare for All Discounted Groceries
        10:00 am-12:00 pm. Complete food packages from $10-$30. Call Cathalina Young at 651-298-5493 x218 for information.
        Free “Blood Pressure Checks” provided by volunteer registered nurses from 11:00-12:00 at monthly Fare for All.

        Friday, October 17: West 7th Cinema Presents…. The Nut Job
        6:00-8:15 pm. Movie is free with low-cost concessions (pizza, popcorn, etc.). Children must be with someone age 13+.

        Friday, October 31: Children’s Halloween Party!
        4:00-5:45 pm. Community party for children, infants through age 12. Wear your costume and bring the family for games, snacks, treats and a spooky haunted house. $5 suggested donation per family.

        Friday, October 31: Fare for All Discounted Groceries (This is the “November” distribution.)
        10:00 am-12:00 pm. Complete food packages from $10-$30. Call Cathalina Young at 651-298-5493 x218 for information.
        Free “Blood Pressure Checks” provided by volunteer registered nurses from 11:00-12:00 at monthly Fare for All.

        Ongoing - Support, Referral, Care Management Services
        For individuals/families to access community resources for crisis/emergency situations, family issues, housing, employment, education and training programs, food shelves, healthcare and medical insurance, and immigration consultation. Contact Tes Belachew ext. 215.

        Ongoing – Bridge to Benefits Call for a 10-20 minute meeting to determine eligibility for public programs. Contact Tes Belachew, ext. 215.

          Residents weigh in on 2225 East Lake development

          Sun, 2014-10-05 16:23
          Eric Gustafson Corcoran News

          Almost 150 people turned out April 3 to hear about proposed plans by Hennepin County to purchase and redevelop 2225 East Lake, the 6.5 acre property between the Lake Street light rail station and the YWCA. Since that time, the County has convened 2 working groups of government staff, development practitioners, and local residents to work through issues related to Sustainable development and Bike/Walk/Traffic connections within the development. Each of these groups has met once, and CNO gathered feedback from residents who participated, including Corcoran residents Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh, and Peggy Knapp.

          Attention paid to bike/walk/traffic and transit users, connections and facilities.

          “(Fixing) the Lake and Hiawatha intersection is CRUCIAL to the success of any development on this site and unacceptable in its current car-centric design.”

          “I am disappointed that the office building will be only 5 stories even though CNO is OK with 6 to 10. It seems wasteful to use ground zero for Transit Oriented Development for only a 5 story building.”

          “I would definitely like to see more progressive efforts to make this a pedestrian first, bike second and car last development.”

          “Lots of buildings in a small space, but the Farmers Market is welcome relief.”

          “I am concerned about the dwindling retail on the first floor fronting Lake Street; this is a major fault of the current program.”

          Attention paid to Sustainability issues.

          “The County is clearly going to low-ball this development. I have seen no evidence of leadership in bringing innovation to this site. the building is not being built to demonstrate a commitment to the values and principles the neighborhood has embraced, promoted, fought for and clearly communicate.”

          “(The County) needs to do more and choose a signature issue or two to champion on the project.“

          “County and developer dismissed concerns over grey water, urban gardening and farming, and pushing the envelope on sustainable design.”

          “I feel most decisions are already made.”

          Rating of the proposed development as a place to live.

          “Need more information about pricing, and more clarity on what the public plaza will look like as this would be the outdoor space to enjoy .”

          “Incredibly dense housing next to a service center that will create high levels of transient traffic each day. What a crap place to live.”

          Rating of the proposed development as adding value to my neighborhood.

          “The market makes this a great place.”

          “I am concerned about the mix of uses leaning toward social services without service for all residents in the area to create a true mixed income neighborhood.”

          “This depends on what is valued. Raising property values is not the most important consideration. The addition of a permanent community center with a home for the farmer's market is important. Making sure we design this place for the future, with the consideration of pedestrian and bike access and reducing cars, is critical.”

          “More housing options are needed, and more density at the transit hub that is Hi-Lake would help give our neighborhood a stronger, more urban-like node.”

          Related stories:

          Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
          Click here for current edition.

          Almost 150 people turned out April 3 to hear about proposed plans by Hennepin County to purchase and redevelop 2225 East Lake, the 6.5 acre property between the Lake Street light rail station and the YWCA. Since that time, the County has convened 2 working groups of government staff, development practitioners, and local residents to work through issues related to Sustainable development and Bike/Walk/Traffic connections within the development. Each of these groups has met once, and CNO gathered feedback from residents who participated, including Corcoran residents Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh, and Peggy Knapp.

          Attention paid to bike/walk/traffic and transit users, connections and facilities.

          “(Fixing) the Lake and Hiawatha intersection is CRUCIAL to the success of any development on this site and unacceptable in its current car-centric design.”

          “I am disappointed that the office building will be only 5 stories even though CNO is OK with 6 to 10. It seems wasteful to use ground zero for Transit Oriented Development for only a 5 story building.”

          “I would definitely like to see more progressive efforts to make this a pedestrian first, bike second and car last development.”

          “Lots of buildings in a small space, but the Farmers Market is welcome relief.”

          “I am concerned about the dwindling retail on the first floor fronting Lake Street; this is a major fault of the current program.”

          Attention paid to Sustainability issues.

          “The County is clearly going to low-ball this development. I have seen no evidence of leadership in bringing innovation to this site. the building is not being built to demonstrate a commitment to the values and principles the neighborhood has embraced, promoted, fought for and clearly communicate.”

          “(The County) needs to do more and choose a signature issue or two to champion on the project.“

          “County and developer dismissed concerns over grey water, urban gardening and farming, and pushing the envelope on sustainable design.”

          “I feel most decisions are already made.”

          Rating of the proposed development as a place to live.

          “Need more information about pricing, and more clarity on what the public plaza will look like as this would be the outdoor space to enjoy .”

          “Incredibly dense housing next to a service center that will create high levels of transient traffic each day. What a crap place to live.”

          Rating of the proposed development as adding value to my neighborhood.

          “The market makes this a great place.”

          “I am concerned about the mix of uses leaning toward social services without service for all residents in the area to create a true mixed income neighborhood.”

          “This depends on what is valued. Raising property values is not the most important consideration. The addition of a permanent community center with a home for the farmer's market is important. Making sure we design this place for the future, with the consideration of pedestrian and bike access and reducing cars, is critical.”

          “More housing options are needed, and more density at the transit hub that is Hi-Lake would help give our neighborhood a stronger, more urban-like node.”

          Related stories:

          Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
          Click here for current edition.

          © 2014 Corcoran News

          Residents weigh in on 2225 East Lake development

          Sun, 2014-10-05 16:23
          Eric Gustafson Corcoran News

          Almost 150 people turned out April 3 to hear about proposed plans by Hennepin County to purchase and redevelop 2225 East Lake, the 6.5 acre property between the Lake Street light rail station and the YWCA. Since that time, the County has convened 2 working groups of government staff, development practitioners, and local residents to work through issues related to Sustainable development and Bike/Walk/Traffic connections within the development. Each of these groups has met once, and CNO gathered feedback from residents who participated, including Corcoran residents Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh, and Peggy Knapp.

          Attention paid to bike/walk/traffic and transit users, connections and facilities.

          “(Fixing) the Lake and Hiawatha intersection is CRUCIAL to the success of any development on this site and unacceptable in its current car-centric design.”

          “I am disappointed that the office building will be only 5 stories even though CNO is OK with 6 to 10. It seems wasteful to use ground zero for Transit Oriented Development for only a 5 story building.”

          “I would definitely like to see more progressive efforts to make this a pedestrian first, bike second and car last development.”

          “Lots of buildings in a small space, but the Farmers Market is welcome relief.”

          “I am concerned about the dwindling retail on the first floor fronting Lake Street; this is a major fault of the current program.”

          Attention paid to Sustainability issues.

          “The County is clearly going to low-ball this development. I have seen no evidence of leadership in bringing innovation to this site. the building is not being built to demonstrate a commitment to the values and principles the neighborhood has embraced, promoted, fought for and clearly communicate.”

          “(The County) needs to do more and choose a signature issue or two to champion on the project.“

          “County and developer dismissed concerns over grey water, urban gardening and farming, and pushing the envelope on sustainable design.”

          “I feel most decisions are already made.”

          Rating of the proposed development as a place to live.

          “Need more information about pricing, and more clarity on what the public plaza will look like as this would be the outdoor space to enjoy .”

          “Incredibly dense housing next to a service center that will create high levels of transient traffic each day. What a crap place to live.”

          Rating of the proposed development as adding value to my neighborhood.

          “The market makes this a great place.”

          “I am concerned about the mix of uses leaning toward social services without service for all residents in the area to create a true mixed income neighborhood.”

          “This depends on what is valued. Raising property values is not the most important consideration. The addition of a permanent community center with a home for the farmer's market is important. Making sure we design this place for the future, with the consideration of pedestrian and bike access and reducing cars, is critical.”

          “More housing options are needed, and more density at the transit hub that is Hi-Lake would help give our neighborhood a stronger, more urban-like node.”

          Related stories:

          Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
          Click here for current edition.

          Almost 150 people turned out April 3 to hear about proposed plans by Hennepin County to purchase and redevelop 2225 East Lake, the 6.5 acre property between the Lake Street light rail station and the YWCA. Since that time, the County has convened 2 working groups of government staff, development practitioners, and local residents to work through issues related to Sustainable development and Bike/Walk/Traffic connections within the development. Each of these groups has met once, and CNO gathered feedback from residents who participated, including Corcoran residents Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh, and Peggy Knapp.

          Attention paid to bike/walk/traffic and transit users, connections and facilities.

          “(Fixing) the Lake and Hiawatha intersection is CRUCIAL to the success of any development on this site and unacceptable in its current car-centric design.”

          “I am disappointed that the office building will be only 5 stories even though CNO is OK with 6 to 10. It seems wasteful to use ground zero for Transit Oriented Development for only a 5 story building.”

          “I would definitely like to see more progressive efforts to make this a pedestrian first, bike second and car last development.”

          “Lots of buildings in a small space, but the Farmers Market is welcome relief.”

          “I am concerned about the dwindling retail on the first floor fronting Lake Street; this is a major fault of the current program.”

          Attention paid to Sustainability issues.

          “The County is clearly going to low-ball this development. I have seen no evidence of leadership in bringing innovation to this site. the building is not being built to demonstrate a commitment to the values and principles the neighborhood has embraced, promoted, fought for and clearly communicate.”

          “(The County) needs to do more and choose a signature issue or two to champion on the project.“

          “County and developer dismissed concerns over grey water, urban gardening and farming, and pushing the envelope on sustainable design.”

          “I feel most decisions are already made.”

          Rating of the proposed development as a place to live.

          “Need more information about pricing, and more clarity on what the public plaza will look like as this would be the outdoor space to enjoy .”

          “Incredibly dense housing next to a service center that will create high levels of transient traffic each day. What a crap place to live.”

          Rating of the proposed development as adding value to my neighborhood.

          “The market makes this a great place.”

          “I am concerned about the mix of uses leaning toward social services without service for all residents in the area to create a true mixed income neighborhood.”

          “This depends on what is valued. Raising property values is not the most important consideration. The addition of a permanent community center with a home for the farmer's market is important. Making sure we design this place for the future, with the consideration of pedestrian and bike access and reducing cars, is critical.”

          “More housing options are needed, and more density at the transit hub that is Hi-Lake would help give our neighborhood a stronger, more urban-like node.”

          Related stories:

          Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
          Click here for current edition.

          © 2014 Corcoran News

            Green art for the Green Line

            Sun, 2014-10-05 14:51
            Anne White

            As I walked along University Avenue from Western Avenue to Lexington Parkway during the Open Streets event a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that all the people and activities were centered around the Green Line station areas at Western, Dale, Victoria and Lexington, where there were local ethnic shops and restaurants, arts and crafts for sale, activities for children, and neighbors greeting one another. In contrast, the blocks between stations seemed incredibly long. Even though it was a beautiful day, there was very little to see along the way. There were no displays in store windows, no sidewalk cafes, no attractions to encourage people to walk from one station to the next. The Green Line trains passed by from time to time, the sidewalk was newly paved and lined with smallish trees that will someday provide shade and greenery, and there were a few colorful murals on the sides of buildings, but mostly it was pretty bleak and dull.

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

            Having worked on the Stops4Us campaign to add stations at Western, Victoria and Hamline, I knew it was only a half mile between stops, but the walk seemed interminable, even though it was a beautiful day. I wondered how we might enliven the avenue, so that it would draw people to walk, linger, and discover new delights along the way. It seemed as if it would take a long time and a lot of work to transform the spaces between stations.

            Then, today, in my e-mail, the answer arrived. A friend from the Frogtown neighborhood forwarded this set of images to Carol Swenson, at the District Councils Collaborative, and she forwarded them on to me and others. In the e-mail, they were referred to as “graffiti”, but I would prefer to call them Green Art.

            When I finally tracked down the original source of the collection, I found it was Sara Udvig, Executive Director of the Summit-University Planning Council, who is also an artist. I’m hoping to get more information from her about the images next week and will pass it on streets.mn readers. Stay tuned.

            Wouldn’t it be wonderful to commission local artists to fill the blank walls and sidewalks between stations along the Green Line with a parade of Green Art that would change with the seasons?

            Streets.MN

            Green art for the Green Line

            Sun, 2014-10-05 14:51
            Anne White

            As I walked along University Avenue from Western Avenue to Lexington Parkway during the Open Streets event a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that all the people and activities were centered around the Green Line station areas at Western, Dale, Victoria and Lexington, where there were local ethnic shops and restaurants, arts and crafts for sale, activities for children, and neighbors greeting one another. In contrast, the blocks between stations seemed incredibly long. Even though it was a beautiful day, there was very little to see along the way. There were no displays in store windows, no sidewalk cafes, no attractions to encourage people to walk from one station to the next. The Green Line trains passed by from time to time, the sidewalk was newly paved and lined with smallish trees that will someday provide shade and greenery, and there were a few colorful murals on the sides of buildings, but mostly it was pretty bleak and dull.

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

            Having worked on the Stops4Us campaign to add stations at Western, Victoria and Hamline, I knew it was only a half mile between stops, but the walk seemed interminable, even though it was a beautiful day. I wondered how we might enliven the avenue, so that it would draw people to walk, linger, and discover new delights along the way. It seemed as if it would take a long time and a lot of work to transform the spaces between stations.

            Then, today, in my e-mail, the answer arrived. A friend from the Frogtown neighborhood forwarded this set of images to Carol Swenson, at the District Councils Collaborative, and she forwarded them on to me and others. In the e-mail, they were referred to as “graffiti”, but I would prefer to call them Green Art.

            When I finally tracked down the original source of the collection, I found it was Sara Udvig, Executive Director of the Summit-University Planning Council, who is also an artist. I’m hoping to get more information from her about the images next week and will pass it on streets.mn readers. Stay tuned.

            Wouldn’t it be wonderful to commission local artists to fill the blank walls and sidewalks between stations along the Green Line with a parade of Green Art that would change with the seasons?

            Streets.MN

              Varied aesthetic options, ‘green’ infrastructure considered for Lowry Avenue development

              Thu, 2014-10-02 15:31
              Margo Ashmore Northeaster

              The graphic [above] is what-if for handling the railroad bridge over Lowry near Washington. Flood Plain Collective, Anna Bierbrauer and Miss Emily Lowery, who created the graphic were on hand at the last public meeting in the neighborhood prior to the Hennepin County Board’s upcoming vote on plans for Lowry Avenue Northeast.

              Having these plans can enter the project into funding cycles for both the county and city, the start of changes forecasted at least five years out. “We can’t jump ahead of others that are already in line,” said Carol Anderson, the county staff person on the project.

              When planning started, residents and officials made clear they weren’t interested in acquiring land for amenities like trees and bike lanes. So the plans show narrowing the street to one lane each way with a turn lane in the middle, in order to widen sidewalks, add trees and a bike lane in each direction.

              There’s an option for “green infrastructure” where not only are there trees, but visible containers that help capture rain water and hold it until it the tree roots and other landscaping can absorb it.

              Those who attended could vote on four different themes for “aesthetics:” Industrial aesthetic, urban eclectic aesthetic, traditional/historic, or contemporary.

              At three major intersections, planners looked long-range to redevelopments. At Lowry and Marshall, River Liquor’s corner would give way to a mixed use development with retail on main level and housing above. But the shape of the intersection would not depend on this happening.

              At Lowry and University, they accommodate the truck traffic coming from Shoreham Yard by widening the turning radius to avoid running up on the curb or plowing into Stanley’s, which remains. Lowry would dip to the south at that intersection, reminiscent of the wavy Lowry in North Minneapolis, and require acquiring land.

              At Central Avenue, the former Kroger’s Korner building site before it burned, would be redeveloped with multi-story housing (where Cultivate Northeast is now). The northwest corner (Mecca Linen) is also shown as a redevelopment area, along with the houses along Lowry for the first block to the west.

              Extensive graphics will be on the project website eventually, at www.hennepin.us/lowry. A rendering of the green infrastructure option is [in the slideshow above].

              The graphic [above] is what-if for handling the railroad bridge over Lowry near Washington. Flood Plain Collective, Anna Bierbrauer and Miss Emily Lowery, who created the graphic were on hand at the last public meeting in the neighborhood prior to the Hennepin County Board’s upcoming vote on plans for Lowry Avenue Northeast.

              Having these plans can enter the project into funding cycles for both the county and city, the start of changes forecasted at least five years out. “We can’t jump ahead of others that are already in line,” said Carol Anderson, the county staff person on the project.

              When planning started, residents and officials made clear they weren’t interested in acquiring land for amenities like trees and bike lanes. So the plans show narrowing the street to one lane each way with a turn lane in the middle, in order to widen sidewalks, add trees and a bike lane in each direction.

              There’s an option for “green infrastructure” where not only are there trees, but visible containers that help capture rain water and hold it until it the tree roots and other landscaping can absorb it.

              Those who attended could vote on four different themes for “aesthetics:” Industrial aesthetic, urban eclectic aesthetic, traditional/historic, or contemporary.

              At three major intersections, planners looked long-range to redevelopments. At Lowry and Marshall, River Liquor’s corner would give way to a mixed use development with retail on main level and housing above. But the shape of the intersection would not depend on this happening.

              At Lowry and University, they accommodate the truck traffic coming from Shoreham Yard by widening the turning radius to avoid running up on the curb or plowing into Stanley’s, which remains. Lowry would dip to the south at that intersection, reminiscent of the wavy Lowry in North Minneapolis, and require acquiring land.

              At Central Avenue, the former Kroger’s Korner building site before it burned, would be redeveloped with multi-story housing (where Cultivate Northeast is now). The northwest corner (Mecca Linen) is also shown as a redevelopment area, along with the houses along Lowry for the first block to the west.

              Extensive graphics will be on the project website eventually, at www.hennepin.us/lowry. A rendering of the green infrastructure option is [in the slideshow above].

              © 2014 Northeaster

              You don't need to be Irish to visit Irish on Grand!

              Wed, 2014-10-01 15:13
              Summit Hill Association

              Maeve O'Mara and Liam O'Neill were just stopping in Minnesota from Ireland on their way to Australia when they came to St. Paul and decided to stay and settle down.

              Their decision to stay culminated in the purchase of Irish on Grand in 1990 then located at 790 Grand Avenue. They loved the neighborhood and the fact that gifts, crafted in their homeland of Ireland were being imported and sold in this historically Irish town.

              After assuming ownership, they quickly outgrew their location due to an ever expanding inventory of gifts and foods from Ireland. Additionally, finding a parking spot in close proximity to the 790 Grand location was difficult - if not impossible.

              Maeve and Liam knew they needed to move to a location that would provide the additional space and parking they required to grow the business. Thus, in 1997, they moved to the current 1124 Grand location where they have been retailing their Irish imports ever since.

              In order to keep their inventory of woolens, jewelry, pottery, glassware, foods and other Irish products up to date, Maeve and Liam regularly venture back to Ireland to see how the products they stock are made.

              On a given day, you can find Maeve or Liam and their 2 employees stocking shelves, brewing tea or having good "crack" (Irish for conversation) with their many patrons.

              To get a feel for the number of products that Irish on Grand has, you can view the store inventory online at: http://www.irishongrand.com/. Or better yet stop in their hours are Mon.-Wed. Fri.-Sat. 10am – 6pm, Thu. 10am – 8PM and Sun. 11am – 4pm!

              As Maeve said, "You don't need to be Irish to come into Irish on Grand" so stop in and lose yourself in Ireland right here on Grand Avenue!

              Maeve O'Mara and Liam O'Neill were just stopping in Minnesota from Ireland on their way to Australia when they came to St. Paul and decided to stay and settle down.

              Their decision to stay culminated in the purchase of Irish on Grand in 1990 then located at 790 Grand Avenue. They loved the neighborhood and the fact that gifts, crafted in their homeland of Ireland were being imported and sold in this historically Irish town.

              After assuming ownership, they quickly outgrew their location due to an ever expanding inventory of gifts and foods from Ireland. Additionally, finding a parking spot in close proximity to the 790 Grand location was difficult - if not impossible.

              Maeve and Liam knew they needed to move to a location that would provide the additional space and parking they required to grow the business. Thus, in 1997, they moved to the current 1124 Grand location where they have been retailing their Irish imports ever since.

              In order to keep their inventory of woolens, jewelry, pottery, glassware, foods and other Irish products up to date, Maeve and Liam regularly venture back to Ireland to see how the products they stock are made.

              On a given day, you can find Maeve or Liam and their 2 employees stocking shelves, brewing tea or having good "crack" (Irish for conversation) with their many patrons.

              To get a feel for the number of products that Irish on Grand has, you can view the store inventory online at: http://www.irishongrand.com/. Or better yet stop in their hours are Mon.-Wed. Fri.-Sat. 10am – 6pm, Thu. 10am – 8PM and Sun. 11am – 4pm!

              As Maeve said, "You don't need to be Irish to come into Irish on Grand" so stop in and lose yourself in Ireland right here on Grand Avenue!

              © 2014 Summit Hill Association

                You don't need to be Irish to visit Irish on Grand!

                Wed, 2014-10-01 15:13
                Summit Hill Association

                Maeve O'Mara and Liam O'Neill were just stopping in Minnesota from Ireland on their way to Australia when they came to St. Paul and decided to stay and settle down.

                Their decision to stay culminated in the purchase of Irish on Grand in 1990 then located at 790 Grand Avenue. They loved the neighborhood and the fact that gifts, crafted in their homeland of Ireland were being imported and sold in this historically Irish town.

                After assuming ownership, they quickly outgrew their location due to an ever expanding inventory of gifts and foods from Ireland. Additionally, finding a parking spot in close proximity to the 790 Grand location was difficult - if not impossible.

                Maeve and Liam knew they needed to move to a location that would provide the additional space and parking they required to grow the business. Thus, in 1997, they moved to the current 1124 Grand location where they have been retailing their Irish imports ever since.

                In order to keep their inventory of woolens, jewelry, pottery, glassware, foods and other Irish products up to date, Maeve and Liam regularly venture back to Ireland to see how the products they stock are made.

                On a given day, you can find Maeve or Liam and their 2 employees stocking shelves, brewing tea or having good "crack" (Irish for conversation) with their many patrons.

                To get a feel for the number of products that Irish on Grand has, you can view the store inventory online at: http://www.irishongrand.com/. Or better yet stop in their hours are Mon.-Wed. Fri.-Sat. 10am – 6pm, Thu. 10am – 8PM and Sun. 11am – 4pm!

                As Maeve said, "You don't need to be Irish to come into Irish on Grand" so stop in and lose yourself in Ireland right here on Grand Avenue!

                Maeve O'Mara and Liam O'Neill were just stopping in Minnesota from Ireland on their way to Australia when they came to St. Paul and decided to stay and settle down.

                Their decision to stay culminated in the purchase of Irish on Grand in 1990 then located at 790 Grand Avenue. They loved the neighborhood and the fact that gifts, crafted in their homeland of Ireland were being imported and sold in this historically Irish town.

                After assuming ownership, they quickly outgrew their location due to an ever expanding inventory of gifts and foods from Ireland. Additionally, finding a parking spot in close proximity to the 790 Grand location was difficult - if not impossible.

                Maeve and Liam knew they needed to move to a location that would provide the additional space and parking they required to grow the business. Thus, in 1997, they moved to the current 1124 Grand location where they have been retailing their Irish imports ever since.

                In order to keep their inventory of woolens, jewelry, pottery, glassware, foods and other Irish products up to date, Maeve and Liam regularly venture back to Ireland to see how the products they stock are made.

                On a given day, you can find Maeve or Liam and their 2 employees stocking shelves, brewing tea or having good "crack" (Irish for conversation) with their many patrons.

                To get a feel for the number of products that Irish on Grand has, you can view the store inventory online at: http://www.irishongrand.com/. Or better yet stop in their hours are Mon.-Wed. Fri.-Sat. 10am – 6pm, Thu. 10am – 8PM and Sun. 11am – 4pm!

                As Maeve said, "You don't need to be Irish to come into Irish on Grand" so stop in and lose yourself in Ireland right here on Grand Avenue!

                © 2014 Summit Hill Association

                What can the Jordan neighborhood get from 26th Avenue upgrades?

                Wed, 2014-10-01 14:03
                Jeff Skrenes

                The contents of this post are not the position of the Jordan Area Community Council, and are my personal musing on the topic.

                We are nearing the end of the beginning for the 26th Avenue Greenway/Bikeway. As plans will soon be finalized, neighborhoods and interest groups are making their final pushes for amenities or tweaks to the project that benefit their goals. Overall, this lobbying has produced good results The "opportunity points" at the river, Farview Park, Nellie Stone Johnson School, and Theo Wirth Parkway are all great additions to the corridor. And yet they all fall outside the boundaries of my neighborhood.

                So I'm going to be unabashedly selfish here. If the bikeway is getting potential improvements over the previous plan, is there a way for the Jordan neighborhood to benefit from that? (Aside from the indirect benefit of having a better bike corridor overall, that is.)

                Well, yes and no.

                First off, 26th Avenue North in Jordan is entirely a residential sector. There's no businesses (unless you count the shack Steve Meldahl uses as his slumlord headquarters), there are no parks, or schools. It's all houses, apartments, and vacant lots. There isn't a large assembly of contiguous vacant land to use as an expansion of a bike path. And there is neither the money nor the communal nor political will to acquire properties for demolition (or partial taking of lots) to expand the bikeway.

                So it seems there isn't an easy, direct request that folks in Jordan can make. There is, however, an improvment or two that we could ask for in conjunction with this project, and those lie along the 25th and 27th Avenues.

                Twenty-Fifth Avenue North is, quite simply, a hodgepodge of conflicting one-way segments. If St. Paul was designed, as our former governor once said, by drunken Irishmen, then 25th Avenue was put together by Scandinavians at their passive-aggressive worst while on a bad acid trip. None of it makes any sense unless viewed through the lens of someone trying to keep people out of the neighborhood while not wanting to seem like they're keeping people out of the neighborhood, oh and they may have been hallucinating.

                There is a block of one-way eastbound traffic, followed by a block of one-way westbound, followed by a block (or two, depending on how you count it; no, really) of two-way traffic, followed by several blocks of a one-way westbound street, which intersects at Penn Avenue with another one-way westbound street.

                I can tell you right now that if 26th Avenue is closed to construction for an extended period of time, people will begin to use 25th as their substitute for getting in and out of Jordan. It won't matter what the signs say, that street will function as a two-way street for much of its length. If the MPD wants to give me and other drivers a bunch of tickets, they could just park someone at 25th and James all day long.

                The problem is that when there inevitably won't be police presence, there will be some idiot driver who is actually following the posted rules of 25th Avenue North, Lord only knows why, and he or she will wind up in an accident with the common-sense motorist who was just driving along the way people should. In all seriousness though, forcing motorists off of 26th during construction will make 25th Avenue significantly less safe if the route isn't changed to a consistent one- or two-way street.

                And it better be a two-way street, even if parking has to be limited, because the other need we have in Jordan is going to cost a lot more money to fix. And that's traffic diverters.

                Traffic diverters are barriers that force vehicles to turn either right or left instead of passing directly through an intersection. Jordan has such barriers at 27th and Irving, 29th and James, and 30th and Knox. At the very least, I think the 27th and Irving barrier should be removed. Similarly to 25th Avenue North, construction on 26th will divert traffic to 27th as well. Even after completion, more drivers may choose streets besides the bikeway.

                On college campuses, pathways across green common areas often develop naturally based on how students choose to walk from one place to another. These are called desirability paths, and I believe good neighborhood design recognizes how people choose to move through a community and create thoroughfares that mach such movements. Good design on and around 26th Avenue North should recognize this dynamic and use it to improve our community.

                North by Northside North by Northside

                  What can the Jordan neighborhood get from 26th Avenue upgrades?

                  Wed, 2014-10-01 14:03
                  Jeff Skrenes

                  The contents of this post are not the position of the Jordan Area Community Council, and are my personal musing on the topic.

                  We are nearing the end of the beginning for the 26th Avenue Greenway/Bikeway. As plans will soon be finalized, neighborhoods and interest groups are making their final pushes for amenities or tweaks to the project that benefit their goals. Overall, this lobbying has produced good results The "opportunity points" at the river, Farview Park, Nellie Stone Johnson School, and Theo Wirth Parkway are all great additions to the corridor. And yet they all fall outside the boundaries of my neighborhood.

                  So I'm going to be unabashedly selfish here. If the bikeway is getting potential improvements over the previous plan, is there a way for the Jordan neighborhood to benefit from that? (Aside from the indirect benefit of having a better bike corridor overall, that is.)

                  Well, yes and no.

                  First off, 26th Avenue North in Jordan is entirely a residential sector. There's no businesses (unless you count the shack Steve Meldahl uses as his slumlord headquarters), there are no parks, or schools. It's all houses, apartments, and vacant lots. There isn't a large assembly of contiguous vacant land to use as an expansion of a bike path. And there is neither the money nor the communal nor political will to acquire properties for demolition (or partial taking of lots) to expand the bikeway.

                  So it seems there isn't an easy, direct request that folks in Jordan can make. There is, however, an improvment or two that we could ask for in conjunction with this project, and those lie along the 25th and 27th Avenues.

                  Twenty-Fifth Avenue North is, quite simply, a hodgepodge of conflicting one-way segments. If St. Paul was designed, as our former governor once said, by drunken Irishmen, then 25th Avenue was put together by Scandinavians at their passive-aggressive worst while on a bad acid trip. None of it makes any sense unless viewed through the lens of someone trying to keep people out of the neighborhood while not wanting to seem like they're keeping people out of the neighborhood, oh and they may have been hallucinating.

                  There is a block of one-way eastbound traffic, followed by a block of one-way westbound, followed by a block (or two, depending on how you count it; no, really) of two-way traffic, followed by several blocks of a one-way westbound street, which intersects at Penn Avenue with another one-way westbound street.

                  I can tell you right now that if 26th Avenue is closed to construction for an extended period of time, people will begin to use 25th as their substitute for getting in and out of Jordan. It won't matter what the signs say, that street will function as a two-way street for much of its length. If the MPD wants to give me and other drivers a bunch of tickets, they could just park someone at 25th and James all day long.

                  The problem is that when there inevitably won't be police presence, there will be some idiot driver who is actually following the posted rules of 25th Avenue North, Lord only knows why, and he or she will wind up in an accident with the common-sense motorist who was just driving along the way people should. In all seriousness though, forcing motorists off of 26th during construction will make 25th Avenue significantly less safe if the route isn't changed to a consistent one- or two-way street.

                  And it better be a two-way street, even if parking has to be limited, because the other need we have in Jordan is going to cost a lot more money to fix. And that's traffic diverters.

                  Traffic diverters are barriers that force vehicles to turn either right or left instead of passing directly through an intersection. Jordan has such barriers at 27th and Irving, 29th and James, and 30th and Knox. At the very least, I think the 27th and Irving barrier should be removed. Similarly to 25th Avenue North, construction on 26th will divert traffic to 27th as well. Even after completion, more drivers may choose streets besides the bikeway.

                  On college campuses, pathways across green common areas often develop naturally based on how students choose to walk from one place to another. These are called desirability paths, and I believe good neighborhood design recognizes how people choose to move through a community and create thoroughfares that mach such movements. Good design on and around 26th Avenue North should recognize this dynamic and use it to improve our community.

                  North by Northside North by Northside

                  NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | October-November 2014 Standish-Ericsson community calendar

                  Tue, 2014-09-30 14:13
                  Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

                  October

                  7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                  8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                  9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                  13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
                  SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
                  17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
                  18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
                  21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                  23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
                  Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
                  25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
                  30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

                  November

                  4 General election. Get out and vote!
                  5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                  10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                  SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
                  13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
                  Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                  19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                  25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
                  31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

                  October

                  7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                  8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                  9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                  13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
                  SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
                  17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
                  18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
                  21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                  23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
                  Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
                  25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
                  30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

                  November

                  4 General election. Get out and vote!
                  5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                  10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                  SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
                  13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
                  Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                  18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                  19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                  25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
                  31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

                  © 2014 Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

                    NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | October-November 2014 Standish-Ericsson community calendar

                    Tue, 2014-09-30 14:13
                    Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

                    October

                    7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                    8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                    9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                    13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
                    SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
                    17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
                    18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
                    21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                    23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
                    Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
                    25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
                    30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

                    November

                    4 General election. Get out and vote!
                    5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                    10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                    SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
                    13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
                    Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                    19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                    25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
                    31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

                    October

                    7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                    8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                    9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                    13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
                    SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
                    17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
                    18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
                    21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                    23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
                    Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
                    25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
                    30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

                    November

                    4 General election. Get out and vote!
                    5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
                    10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
                    SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
                    13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
                    Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
                    18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
                    19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
                    25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
                    31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

                    © 2014 Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

                      Hmong youth engaged in the North Minneapolis Greenway

                      Mon, 2014-09-29 16:46
                      David Kang Community Voices

                      "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

                      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.

                      From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

                      The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

                      Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

                      A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

                      All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

                      Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

                      The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

                      First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

                      Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

                      Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

                      In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

                      Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

                      Links to the PSAs:

                      "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

                      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.

                      From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

                      The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

                      Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

                      A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

                      All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

                      Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

                      The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

                      First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

                      Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

                      Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

                      In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

                      Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

                      Links to the PSAs:

                      © 2014 David Kang

                        Hmong Youth Engaged in the North Minneapolis Greenway

                        Mon, 2014-09-29 16:46
                        David Kang Community Voices

                        "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

                        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.

                        From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

                        The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

                        Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

                        A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

                        All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

                        Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

                        The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

                        First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

                        Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

                        Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

                        In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

                        Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

                        Links to the PSAs:

                        • Hmong Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3VEi7N2Rk

                        • English Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3geCGvvYPI

                        • City’s Greenway Info:

                        http://www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway

                         

                        "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

                        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.

                        From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

                        The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

                        Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

                        A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

                        All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

                        Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

                        The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

                        First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

                        Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

                        Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

                        In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

                        Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

                        Links to the PSAs:

                        • Hmong Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3VEi7N2Rk

                        • English Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3geCGvvYPI

                        • City’s Greenway Info:

                        http://www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway

                         

                        © 2014 David Kang

                        Herb talk at Milly's Peace Garden

                        Sun, 2014-09-28 15:21
                        Corcoran News

                        Local herbalist Cynthia Thomas (right) giving a most interesting talk on July 26 at Milly's Peace Garden, one of Corcoran's community gardens, on the herbal medicines growing in her garden plot. Pictured with her are Pamela Morgan, Corcoran resident, and Alice Paczkowsk (left). Cynthia demonstrated how to identify and use the plants growing in her plot as well as some uses for common weeds.

                        Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
                        Click here for current edition.

                        Local herbalist Cynthia Thomas (right) giving a most interesting talk on July 26 at Milly's Peace Garden, one of Corcoran's community gardens, on the herbal medicines growing in her garden plot. Pictured with her are Pamela Morgan, Corcoran resident, and Alice Paczkowsk (left). Cynthia demonstrated how to identify and use the plants growing in her plot as well as some uses for common weeds.

                        Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
                        Click here for current edition.

                        © 2014 Corcoran News

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