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North Minneapolis residents fight out-of-state investors, poor maintenance

Thu, 2014-09-18 09:26
S.Shahid TC Daily Planet

If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.

Last month, more than 130 Minneapolis residents signed a petition demanding a moratorium on rental licenses issued by the city of Minneapolis until all Northside residencies have been inspected and brought up to code.

“There is a problem in the city of Minneapolis with proper tracking of the conditions of some of the rental properties,” said north Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers in the petition. “Too many single family homes have been scooped up by investors who rent them out, don't screen their tenants and don't keep up with even minimal upkeep at their properties.”

Data from the Minneapolis Regulatory Services shows the number of rental licenses distributed to owners with more than 10 rental licenses has risen dramatically in the city over the last decade. According to the data, monopolization of properties by single owners in the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods have more than doubled in the last five years.

Beckers said that part of the problem is that there’s too much focus on rental properties. An out-of-state investor recently purchased five homes on her block, she said, bringing the number of rental properties on her block to 15, while only nine are retained by homeowners.

“Most are single family homes which are often poorly cared for and maintained.” Beckers said. “These properties are sometimes inhabited by trouble makers, as well, which brings down the livability factor.”

The homes on Beckers’ block were purchased by Georgia-based HavenBrook Homes, who alarmed neighborhood leaders earlier this year after purchasing dozens of houses in north Minneapolis in just a few months, reported the Star Tribune.

Geroldine McNeill lives in a property owned by HavenBrook and said that the experience hasn’t been pleasant.

“It’s hard to really get ahold of them,” McNeill said. “They are very rude. Once you get ahold of them, you ask them certain things and they’ll hang up on you.”

McNeill, who is a recipient of Section 8, said her property has failed three different inspections in the last five months. On top of that, the company only performs minimum maintenance, she said, and charged her $70 for lawn care services.

Under Minnesota law, property owners cannot require tenants to do maintenance, including lawn care. They can, however, compensate tenants for maintenance through payment or reduced rent.

And when McNeill decided not to renew her lease, she said, her landlord retaliated by charging her $5,000 for water and sewage. “I’m on Section 8,” she said. “How am I supposed to pay that?”

HavenBrook representative Sandra Noonan said there were no records of the $5,000 charge, and that they don’t charge tenants for lawn care. The company refers tenants to a third party, she said, and adjusts the rent to reflect the exchange.

HavenBrook also released this statement:

“We absolutely agree that properly maintained homes are essential to the well-being of every neighborhood. Our Minneapolis team, staffed by Minnesota locals, works continuously to ensure compliance with all codes and standards, and provides our residents with comprehensive written guidance on filing maintenance requests and keeping their homes in good condition.

“By conducting extensive renovations on vacant, physically distressed properties, we make homes more habitable, energy efficient, and code-compliant, thereby supporting property values. We also seek to be a constructive presence in communities – assisting in the training of local landlords, attending neighborhood events, and working to provide resources and education to our residents.”

Minneapolis laws as they are now can only react to problems as they occur, rather than prevent them.

“Currently there is no cap on the number of properties an LLC can own,” said deputy director of Minneapolis Housing Inspection Services JoAnn Velde. “The city has discussed limiting the number of rentals on a block, similar to Winona law which was challenged at the State of Appeals [Court], and the state supported Winona law to limit the rentals.”

That law, which limits rental properties to 30 percent of any block, is now being challenged at the state Supreme Court, Velde said, but Minneapolis is monitoring it to help influence their decision as they move forward.

Minneapolis primarily performs inspections based on tenant complaints, Velde said, but they also systematically inspect all rental buildings in the city over an eight-year period. But there are about 23,000 rental buildings in the city, she said, so the city encourages residents to report violators of housing code.

Housing attorney and HOME Line director Michael Vraa said the solution is complicated, but that tenants should better familiarize themselves with their rights. Tenants should know things like how it’s the owner’s responsibility to shovel and mow, he said, not the tenants.

But ideally, he said, these problems should be addressed by both tenants and the city.

“Obviously, more money with more inspectors and more tenant awareness of their rights would be a start in solving the problem,” he said.

If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.

Last month, more than 130 Minneapolis residents signed a petition demanding a moratorium on rental licenses issued by the city of Minneapolis until all Northside residencies have been inspected and brought up to code.

“There is a problem in the city of Minneapolis with proper tracking of the conditions of some of the rental properties,” said north Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers in the petition. “Too many single family homes have been scooped up by investors who rent them out, don't screen their tenants and don't keep up with even minimal upkeep at their properties.”

Data from the Minneapolis Regulatory Services shows the number of rental licenses distributed to owners with more than 10 rental licenses has risen dramatically in the city over the last decade. According to the data, monopolization of properties by single owners in the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods have more than doubled in the last five years.

Beckers said that part of the problem is that there’s too much focus on rental properties. An out-of-state investor recently purchased five homes on her block, she said, bringing the number of rental properties on her block to 15, while only nine are retained by homeowners.

“Most are single family homes which are often poorly cared for and maintained.” Beckers said. “These properties are sometimes inhabited by trouble makers, as well, which brings down the livability factor.”

The homes on Beckers’ block were purchased by Georgia-based HavenBrook Homes, who alarmed neighborhood leaders earlier this year after purchasing dozens of houses in north Minneapolis in just a few months, reported the Star Tribune.

Geroldine McNeill lives in a property owned by HavenBrook and said that the experience hasn’t been pleasant.

“It’s hard to really get ahold of them,” McNeill said. “They are very rude. Once you get ahold of them, you ask them certain things and they’ll hang up on you.”

McNeill, who is a recipient of Section 8, said her property has failed three different inspections in the last five months. On top of that, the company only performs minimum maintenance, she said, and charged her $70 for lawn care services.

Under Minnesota law, property owners cannot require tenants to do maintenance, including lawn care. They can, however, compensate tenants for maintenance through payment or reduced rent.

And when McNeill decided not to renew her lease, she said, her landlord retaliated by charging her $5,000 for water and sewage. “I’m on Section 8,” she said. “How am I supposed to pay that?”

HavenBrook representative Sandra Noonan said there were no records of the $5,000 charge, and that they don’t charge tenants for lawn care. The company refers tenants to a third party, she said, and adjusts the rent to reflect the exchange.

HavenBrook also released this statement:

“We absolutely agree that properly maintained homes are essential to the well-being of every neighborhood. Our Minneapolis team, staffed by Minnesota locals, works continuously to ensure compliance with all codes and standards, and provides our residents with comprehensive written guidance on filing maintenance requests and keeping their homes in good condition.

“By conducting extensive renovations on vacant, physically distressed properties, we make homes more habitable, energy efficient, and code-compliant, thereby supporting property values. We also seek to be a constructive presence in communities – assisting in the training of local landlords, attending neighborhood events, and working to provide resources and education to our residents.”

Minneapolis laws as they are now can only react to problems as they occur, rather than prevent them.

“Currently there is no cap on the number of properties an LLC can own,” said deputy director of Minneapolis Housing Inspection Services JoAnn Velde. “The city has discussed limiting the number of rentals on a block, similar to Winona law which was challenged at the State of Appeals [Court], and the state supported Winona law to limit the rentals.”

That law, which limits rental properties to 30 percent of any block, is now being challenged at the state Supreme Court, Velde said, but Minneapolis is monitoring it to help influence their decision as they move forward.

Minneapolis primarily performs inspections based on tenant complaints, Velde said, but they also systematically inspect all rental buildings in the city over an eight-year period. But there are about 23,000 rental buildings in the city, she said, so the city encourages residents to report violators of housing code.

Housing attorney and HOME Line director Michael Vraa said the solution is complicated, but that tenants should better familiarize themselves with their rights. Tenants should know things like how it’s the owner’s responsibility to shovel and mow, he said, not the tenants.

But ideally, he said, these problems should be addressed by both tenants and the city.

“Obviously, more money with more inspectors and more tenant awareness of their rights would be a start in solving the problem,” he said.

© 2014 Sagirah Shahid

    North Minneapolis residents fight out-of-state investors, poor maintenance

    Thu, 2014-09-18 09:26
    S.Shahid TC Daily Planet

    If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.

    Last month, more than 130 Minneapolis residents signed a petition demanding a moratorium on rental licenses issued by the city of Minneapolis until all Northside residencies have been inspected and brought up to code.

    “There is a problem in the city of Minneapolis with proper tracking of the conditions of some of the rental properties,” said north Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers in the petition. “Too many single family homes have been scooped up by investors who rent them out, don't screen their tenants and don't keep up with even minimal upkeep at their properties.”

    Data from the Minneapolis Regulatory Services shows the number of rental licenses distributed to owners with more than 10 rental licenses has risen dramatically in the city over the last decade. According to the data, monopolization of properties by single owners in the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods have more than doubled in the last five years.

    Beckers said that part of the problem is that there’s too much focus on rental properties. An out-of-state investor recently purchased five homes on her block, she said, bringing the number of rental properties on her block to 15, while only nine are retained by homeowners.

    “Most are single family homes which are often poorly cared for and maintained.” Beckers said. “These properties are sometimes inhabited by trouble makers, as well, which brings down the livability factor.”

    The homes on Beckers’ block were purchased by Georgia-based HavenBrook Homes, who alarmed neighborhood leaders earlier this year after purchasing dozens of houses in north Minneapolis in just a few months, reported the Star Tribune.

    Geroldine McNeill lives in a property owned by HavenBrook and said that the experience hasn’t been pleasant.

    “It’s hard to really get ahold of them,” McNeill said. “They are very rude. Once you get ahold of them, you ask them certain things and they’ll hang up on you.”

    McNeill, who is a recipient of Section 8, said her property has failed three different inspections in the last five months. On top of that, the company only performs minimum maintenance, she said, and charged her $70 for lawn care services.

    Under Minnesota law, property owners cannot require tenants to do maintenance, including lawn care. They can, however, compensate tenants for maintenance through payment or reduced rent.

    And when McNeill decided not to renew her lease, she said, her landlord retaliated by charging her $5,000 for water and sewage. “I’m on Section 8,” she said. “How am I supposed to pay that?”

    HavenBrook representative Sandra Noonan said there were no records of the $5,000 charge, and that they don’t charge tenants for lawn care. The company refers tenants to a third party, she said, and adjusts the rent to reflect the exchange.

    HavenBrook also released this statement:

    “We absolutely agree that properly maintained homes are essential to the well-being of every neighborhood. Our Minneapolis team, staffed by Minnesota locals, works continuously to ensure compliance with all codes and standards, and provides our residents with comprehensive written guidance on filing maintenance requests and keeping their homes in good condition.

    “By conducting extensive renovations on vacant, physically distressed properties, we make homes more habitable, energy efficient, and code-compliant, thereby supporting property values. We also seek to be a constructive presence in communities – assisting in the training of local landlords, attending neighborhood events, and working to provide resources and education to our residents.”

    Minneapolis laws as they are now can only react to problems as they occur, rather than prevent them.

    “Currently there is no cap on the number of properties an LLC can own,” said deputy director of Minneapolis Housing Inspection Services JoAnn Velde. “The city has discussed limiting the number of rentals on a block, similar to Winona law which was challenged at the State of Appeals [Court], and the state supported Winona law to limit the rentals.”

    That law, which limits rental properties to 30 percent of any block, is now being challenged at the state Supreme Court, Velde said, but Minneapolis is monitoring it to help influence their decision as they move forward.

    Minneapolis primarily performs inspections based on tenant complaints, Velde said, but they also systematically inspect all rental buildings in the city over an eight-year period. But there are about 23,000 rental buildings in the city, she said, so the city encourages residents to report violators of housing code.

    Housing attorney and HOME Line director Michael Vraa said the solution is complicated, but that tenants should better familiarize themselves with their rights. Tenants should know things like how it’s the owner’s responsibility to shovel and mow, he said, not the tenants.

    But ideally, he said, these problems should be addressed by both tenants and the city.

    “Obviously, more money with more inspectors and more tenant awareness of their rights would be a start in solving the problem,” he said.

    If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.

    Last month, more than 130 Minneapolis residents signed a petition demanding a moratorium on rental licenses issued by the city of Minneapolis until all Northside residencies have been inspected and brought up to code.

    “There is a problem in the city of Minneapolis with proper tracking of the conditions of some of the rental properties,” said north Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers in the petition. “Too many single family homes have been scooped up by investors who rent them out, don't screen their tenants and don't keep up with even minimal upkeep at their properties.”

    Data from the Minneapolis Regulatory Services shows the number of rental licenses distributed to owners with more than 10 rental licenses has risen dramatically in the city over the last decade. According to the data, monopolization of properties by single owners in the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods have more than doubled in the last five years.

    Beckers said that part of the problem is that there’s too much focus on rental properties. An out-of-state investor recently purchased five homes on her block, she said, bringing the number of rental properties on her block to 15, while only nine are retained by homeowners.

    “Most are single family homes which are often poorly cared for and maintained.” Beckers said. “These properties are sometimes inhabited by trouble makers, as well, which brings down the livability factor.”

    The homes on Beckers’ block were purchased by Georgia-based HavenBrook Homes, who alarmed neighborhood leaders earlier this year after purchasing dozens of houses in north Minneapolis in just a few months, reported the Star Tribune.

    Geroldine McNeill lives in a property owned by HavenBrook and said that the experience hasn’t been pleasant.

    “It’s hard to really get ahold of them,” McNeill said. “They are very rude. Once you get ahold of them, you ask them certain things and they’ll hang up on you.”

    McNeill, who is a recipient of Section 8, said her property has failed three different inspections in the last five months. On top of that, the company only performs minimum maintenance, she said, and charged her $70 for lawn care services.

    Under Minnesota law, property owners cannot require tenants to do maintenance, including lawn care. They can, however, compensate tenants for maintenance through payment or reduced rent.

    And when McNeill decided not to renew her lease, she said, her landlord retaliated by charging her $5,000 for water and sewage. “I’m on Section 8,” she said. “How am I supposed to pay that?”

    HavenBrook representative Sandra Noonan said there were no records of the $5,000 charge, and that they don’t charge tenants for lawn care. The company refers tenants to a third party, she said, and adjusts the rent to reflect the exchange.

    HavenBrook also released this statement:

    “We absolutely agree that properly maintained homes are essential to the well-being of every neighborhood. Our Minneapolis team, staffed by Minnesota locals, works continuously to ensure compliance with all codes and standards, and provides our residents with comprehensive written guidance on filing maintenance requests and keeping their homes in good condition.

    “By conducting extensive renovations on vacant, physically distressed properties, we make homes more habitable, energy efficient, and code-compliant, thereby supporting property values. We also seek to be a constructive presence in communities – assisting in the training of local landlords, attending neighborhood events, and working to provide resources and education to our residents.”

    Minneapolis laws as they are now can only react to problems as they occur, rather than prevent them.

    “Currently there is no cap on the number of properties an LLC can own,” said deputy director of Minneapolis Housing Inspection Services JoAnn Velde. “The city has discussed limiting the number of rentals on a block, similar to Winona law which was challenged at the State of Appeals [Court], and the state supported Winona law to limit the rentals.”

    That law, which limits rental properties to 30 percent of any block, is now being challenged at the state Supreme Court, Velde said, but Minneapolis is monitoring it to help influence their decision as they move forward.

    Minneapolis primarily performs inspections based on tenant complaints, Velde said, but they also systematically inspect all rental buildings in the city over an eight-year period. But there are about 23,000 rental buildings in the city, she said, so the city encourages residents to report violators of housing code.

    Housing attorney and HOME Line director Michael Vraa said the solution is complicated, but that tenants should better familiarize themselves with their rights. Tenants should know things like how it’s the owner’s responsibility to shovel and mow, he said, not the tenants.

    But ideally, he said, these problems should be addressed by both tenants and the city.

    “Obviously, more money with more inspectors and more tenant awareness of their rights would be a start in solving the problem,” he said.

    © 2014 Sagirah Shahid
    • Does anybody have a cite or case name for that "Winona" case? - by John Hoff on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 8:03pm

    Debate continues on what to do at Upper Harbor Terminal site

    Wed, 2014-09-17 16:26
    Camden News

    At the end of the year, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal will stop operating, ending an era that began when the site opened in 1968. The 48-acre industrial stretch on the west side of the Mississippi River between the Lowry and Camden bridges is destined for transformation in the coming years, but just what shape it will take remains up for discussion.

    Planning for the Upper Harbor Terminal site is taking place within the greater context of the city’s Above the Falls Master Plan, a framework published in 2000 that has been updated over time and is meant to guide development along the North Mississippi riverfront for decades to come. Current plans for the site are to create a business park that integrates commercial development alongside green spaces that may be enjoyed by the community. The city would sell the land to businesses in an effort to create up to 1,000 jobs, many of which the city hopes will be filled by Northside residents.

    Helping to drive ongoing public discussion about the site is the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership (MRP), a nonprofit dedicated to responsible revitalization of the city’s defining natural resource. The organization strives to produce data-driven research and foster communication and collaboration among public and private partners—all toward realizing development along the Upper Riverfront that is environmentally sound, economically beneficial, culturally enriching, historically edifying and accessible to the public. “It’s really important that we think of revitalization in a broad way,” says Kathleen Boe, executive director of the MRP.

    Boe points to the redevelopment of Central Riverfront as an example of what responsible planning can achieve, but emphasizes that it’s important to remember that all environments “have very unique dynamics that go into them.” For instance, she notes that the Upper Mississippi River has a character that is wilder than the riverfront in Downtown Minneapolis. She noted the presence of the heron rookery and numerous other wild habitats present in the affected area.

    In order to help people understand the unique elements to be considered in developing the river in North Minneapolis, the Mississippi Riverfront Partnership has planned a series community meetings addressing revitalization efforts. The first Riverfront Vitality Forum was held at the end of July, and seven panelists spoke specifically about issues involved with the Upper Harbor Terminal site.

    Speakers included Linda Mack of the MRP, District 59A State Representative Joe Mullery, Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Council, John Anfinson of the National Park Service, Kjersti Monson and Kristin Guild of the city’s office of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), Bruce Chamberlain of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Kit Richardson of the firm Schafer Richardson.

    According to Boe, “The intent with this selection of panelists was to represent a cross section of interests and views concerning the Upper Harbor Terminal.” Each person on the panel was given five minutes to speak, and community members in attendance were able to express their thoughts and concerns after. “Everyone had a dream for making this a special place,” said Boe.

    Chief among the concerns voiced by community members was the lack of housing in plans to develop the site. Residential zoning has been a consistent wish among area residents in public meetings addressing Above the Falls Master Plan updates. City representatives have noted that planning took place at a time in which the Great Recession had hurt the residential market. The CPED is currently conducting a study to see whether the course outlined in the most recent update to the Above the Falls Master Plan remains the best approach or if the current economic climate might sustain housing and other uses for the site.

    The Riverfront Vitality Forum was the first event in an ongoing series of public forums that will feature community stakeholders addressing different topics of specific interest connected with riverfront revitalization. People who are interested in attending future meetings can visit the MRP’s website (mississippi riverfrontpartnership.com). The site also features information on additional community outreach initiatives, including a Mississippi Minute Film Festival in which residents can submit a 60-second clip expressing their wishes for the riverfront in Minneapolis (submission deadline September 4).

    The Mississippi Riverfront Partnership also plans events designed to, in Boe’s words, “get people to the river in the north part of the city and celebrate what the river can be for the community.” Last month, the organization held the second annual Riverfront Festival. More than a thousand people assembled at Sheridan Memorial Park to hear music, enjoy good food and take in a show by the Twin Cities River Rats waterskiing team. Future event details may also be found on the organization’s website.

    At the end of the year, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal will stop operating, ending an era that began when the site opened in 1968. The 48-acre industrial stretch on the west side of the Mississippi River between the Lowry and Camden bridges is destined for transformation in the coming years, but just what shape it will take remains up for discussion.

    Planning for the Upper Harbor Terminal site is taking place within the greater context of the city’s Above the Falls Master Plan, a framework published in 2000 that has been updated over time and is meant to guide development along the North Mississippi riverfront for decades to come. Current plans for the site are to create a business park that integrates commercial development alongside green spaces that may be enjoyed by the community. The city would sell the land to businesses in an effort to create up to 1,000 jobs, many of which the city hopes will be filled by Northside residents.

    Helping to drive ongoing public discussion about the site is the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership (MRP), a nonprofit dedicated to responsible revitalization of the city’s defining natural resource. The organization strives to produce data-driven research and foster communication and collaboration among public and private partners—all toward realizing development along the Upper Riverfront that is environmentally sound, economically beneficial, culturally enriching, historically edifying and accessible to the public. “It’s really important that we think of revitalization in a broad way,” says Kathleen Boe, executive director of the MRP.

    Boe points to the redevelopment of Central Riverfront as an example of what responsible planning can achieve, but emphasizes that it’s important to remember that all environments “have very unique dynamics that go into them.” For instance, she notes that the Upper Mississippi River has a character that is wilder than the riverfront in Downtown Minneapolis. She noted the presence of the heron rookery and numerous other wild habitats present in the affected area.

    In order to help people understand the unique elements to be considered in developing the river in North Minneapolis, the Mississippi Riverfront Partnership has planned a series community meetings addressing revitalization efforts. The first Riverfront Vitality Forum was held at the end of July, and seven panelists spoke specifically about issues involved with the Upper Harbor Terminal site.

    Speakers included Linda Mack of the MRP, District 59A State Representative Joe Mullery, Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Council, John Anfinson of the National Park Service, Kjersti Monson and Kristin Guild of the city’s office of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), Bruce Chamberlain of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Kit Richardson of the firm Schafer Richardson.

    According to Boe, “The intent with this selection of panelists was to represent a cross section of interests and views concerning the Upper Harbor Terminal.” Each person on the panel was given five minutes to speak, and community members in attendance were able to express their thoughts and concerns after. “Everyone had a dream for making this a special place,” said Boe.

    Chief among the concerns voiced by community members was the lack of housing in plans to develop the site. Residential zoning has been a consistent wish among area residents in public meetings addressing Above the Falls Master Plan updates. City representatives have noted that planning took place at a time in which the Great Recession had hurt the residential market. The CPED is currently conducting a study to see whether the course outlined in the most recent update to the Above the Falls Master Plan remains the best approach or if the current economic climate might sustain housing and other uses for the site.

    The Riverfront Vitality Forum was the first event in an ongoing series of public forums that will feature community stakeholders addressing different topics of specific interest connected with riverfront revitalization. People who are interested in attending future meetings can visit the MRP’s website (mississippi riverfrontpartnership.com). The site also features information on additional community outreach initiatives, including a Mississippi Minute Film Festival in which residents can submit a 60-second clip expressing their wishes for the riverfront in Minneapolis (submission deadline September 4).

    The Mississippi Riverfront Partnership also plans events designed to, in Boe’s words, “get people to the river in the north part of the city and celebrate what the river can be for the community.” Last month, the organization held the second annual Riverfront Festival. More than a thousand people assembled at Sheridan Memorial Park to hear music, enjoy good food and take in a show by the Twin Cities River Rats waterskiing team. Future event details may also be found on the organization’s website.

    © 2014 Camden News

      Debate continues on what to do at Upper Harbor Terminal site

      Wed, 2014-09-17 16:26
      Camden News

      At the end of the year, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal will stop operating, ending an era that began when the site opened in 1968. The 48-acre industrial stretch on the west side of the Mississippi River between the Lowry and Camden bridges is destined for transformation in the coming years, but just what shape it will take remains up for discussion.

      Planning for the Upper Harbor Terminal site is taking place within the greater context of the city’s Above the Falls Master Plan, a framework published in 2000 that has been updated over time and is meant to guide development along the North Mississippi riverfront for decades to come. Current plans for the site are to create a business park that integrates commercial development alongside green spaces that may be enjoyed by the community. The city would sell the land to businesses in an effort to create up to 1,000 jobs, many of which the city hopes will be filled by Northside residents.

      Helping to drive ongoing public discussion about the site is the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership (MRP), a nonprofit dedicated to responsible revitalization of the city’s defining natural resource. The organization strives to produce data-driven research and foster communication and collaboration among public and private partners—all toward realizing development along the Upper Riverfront that is environmentally sound, economically beneficial, culturally enriching, historically edifying and accessible to the public. “It’s really important that we think of revitalization in a broad way,” says Kathleen Boe, executive director of the MRP.

      Boe points to the redevelopment of Central Riverfront as an example of what responsible planning can achieve, but emphasizes that it’s important to remember that all environments “have very unique dynamics that go into them.” For instance, she notes that the Upper Mississippi River has a character that is wilder than the riverfront in Downtown Minneapolis. She noted the presence of the heron rookery and numerous other wild habitats present in the affected area.

      In order to help people understand the unique elements to be considered in developing the river in North Minneapolis, the Mississippi Riverfront Partnership has planned a series community meetings addressing revitalization efforts. The first Riverfront Vitality Forum was held at the end of July, and seven panelists spoke specifically about issues involved with the Upper Harbor Terminal site.

      Speakers included Linda Mack of the MRP, District 59A State Representative Joe Mullery, Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Council, John Anfinson of the National Park Service, Kjersti Monson and Kristin Guild of the city’s office of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), Bruce Chamberlain of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Kit Richardson of the firm Schafer Richardson.

      According to Boe, “The intent with this selection of panelists was to represent a cross section of interests and views concerning the Upper Harbor Terminal.” Each person on the panel was given five minutes to speak, and community members in attendance were able to express their thoughts and concerns after. “Everyone had a dream for making this a special place,” said Boe.

      Chief among the concerns voiced by community members was the lack of housing in plans to develop the site. Residential zoning has been a consistent wish among area residents in public meetings addressing Above the Falls Master Plan updates. City representatives have noted that planning took place at a time in which the Great Recession had hurt the residential market. The CPED is currently conducting a study to see whether the course outlined in the most recent update to the Above the Falls Master Plan remains the best approach or if the current economic climate might sustain housing and other uses for the site.

      The Riverfront Vitality Forum was the first event in an ongoing series of public forums that will feature community stakeholders addressing different topics of specific interest connected with riverfront revitalization. People who are interested in attending future meetings can visit the MRP’s website (mississippi riverfrontpartnership.com). The site also features information on additional community outreach initiatives, including a Mississippi Minute Film Festival in which residents can submit a 60-second clip expressing their wishes for the riverfront in Minneapolis (submission deadline September 4).

      The Mississippi Riverfront Partnership also plans events designed to, in Boe’s words, “get people to the river in the north part of the city and celebrate what the river can be for the community.” Last month, the organization held the second annual Riverfront Festival. More than a thousand people assembled at Sheridan Memorial Park to hear music, enjoy good food and take in a show by the Twin Cities River Rats waterskiing team. Future event details may also be found on the organization’s website.

      At the end of the year, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal will stop operating, ending an era that began when the site opened in 1968. The 48-acre industrial stretch on the west side of the Mississippi River between the Lowry and Camden bridges is destined for transformation in the coming years, but just what shape it will take remains up for discussion.

      Planning for the Upper Harbor Terminal site is taking place within the greater context of the city’s Above the Falls Master Plan, a framework published in 2000 that has been updated over time and is meant to guide development along the North Mississippi riverfront for decades to come. Current plans for the site are to create a business park that integrates commercial development alongside green spaces that may be enjoyed by the community. The city would sell the land to businesses in an effort to create up to 1,000 jobs, many of which the city hopes will be filled by Northside residents.

      Helping to drive ongoing public discussion about the site is the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership (MRP), a nonprofit dedicated to responsible revitalization of the city’s defining natural resource. The organization strives to produce data-driven research and foster communication and collaboration among public and private partners—all toward realizing development along the Upper Riverfront that is environmentally sound, economically beneficial, culturally enriching, historically edifying and accessible to the public. “It’s really important that we think of revitalization in a broad way,” says Kathleen Boe, executive director of the MRP.

      Boe points to the redevelopment of Central Riverfront as an example of what responsible planning can achieve, but emphasizes that it’s important to remember that all environments “have very unique dynamics that go into them.” For instance, she notes that the Upper Mississippi River has a character that is wilder than the riverfront in Downtown Minneapolis. She noted the presence of the heron rookery and numerous other wild habitats present in the affected area.

      In order to help people understand the unique elements to be considered in developing the river in North Minneapolis, the Mississippi Riverfront Partnership has planned a series community meetings addressing revitalization efforts. The first Riverfront Vitality Forum was held at the end of July, and seven panelists spoke specifically about issues involved with the Upper Harbor Terminal site.

      Speakers included Linda Mack of the MRP, District 59A State Representative Joe Mullery, Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Council, John Anfinson of the National Park Service, Kjersti Monson and Kristin Guild of the city’s office of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), Bruce Chamberlain of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Kit Richardson of the firm Schafer Richardson.

      According to Boe, “The intent with this selection of panelists was to represent a cross section of interests and views concerning the Upper Harbor Terminal.” Each person on the panel was given five minutes to speak, and community members in attendance were able to express their thoughts and concerns after. “Everyone had a dream for making this a special place,” said Boe.

      Chief among the concerns voiced by community members was the lack of housing in plans to develop the site. Residential zoning has been a consistent wish among area residents in public meetings addressing Above the Falls Master Plan updates. City representatives have noted that planning took place at a time in which the Great Recession had hurt the residential market. The CPED is currently conducting a study to see whether the course outlined in the most recent update to the Above the Falls Master Plan remains the best approach or if the current economic climate might sustain housing and other uses for the site.

      The Riverfront Vitality Forum was the first event in an ongoing series of public forums that will feature community stakeholders addressing different topics of specific interest connected with riverfront revitalization. People who are interested in attending future meetings can visit the MRP’s website (mississippi riverfrontpartnership.com). The site also features information on additional community outreach initiatives, including a Mississippi Minute Film Festival in which residents can submit a 60-second clip expressing their wishes for the riverfront in Minneapolis (submission deadline September 4).

      The Mississippi Riverfront Partnership also plans events designed to, in Boe’s words, “get people to the river in the north part of the city and celebrate what the river can be for the community.” Last month, the organization held the second annual Riverfront Festival. More than a thousand people assembled at Sheridan Memorial Park to hear music, enjoy good food and take in a show by the Twin Cities River Rats waterskiing team. Future event details may also be found on the organization’s website.

      © 2014 Camden News

        Hamline University expansion plans threaten neighborhood

        Mon, 2014-09-15 17:04
        tomgoldstein Community Voices

        People walking or driving along Minnehaha Avenue and neighboring streets near Hamline University may have noticed bright red signs beginning to dot several residential lawns. They look like the standard campaign sign one often sees this time of year, except no candidate’s name is to be found. Instead, the words “STOP THE DEMOLITIONS” appear in large block letters, with the added message, “Tell Hamline University to Respect Our Neighborhood, Not Tear It Down!” printed below.

        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.

        What’s going on? Is Hamline University in the midst of a major expansion? That’s what many in the neighborhood would like to know. In July, the University razed the White House, an “11-room, four-bath Greek Revival” structure built in 1903 that housed nine Hamline presidents from 1912 to the 1990s but which the school claimed was too expensive to maintain. (Note: in early 2005, the Board of Trustees purchased a six-bedroom Summit Avenue home to serve as the “new” White House. Its cost? $1.5 million.) Four more homes were torn down along Hewitt Avenue, and demolition began in early July on the historic G.D. Walcott house at 1549 Minnehaha, a Victorian home built in 1888 by Hamline’s former chair of the Psychology and Philosophy Departments. (That demolition was temporarily halted by University officials when concerned neighbors brought the matter before the Hamline Midway Coalition.)

        In response to those demolitions, local residents have come together to form Historic Hamline Village, the group behind the new lawn signs, and created a Facebook page by the same name. The group believes that any future expansion by Hamline should be based on sensible development strategies that incorporate community input and innovative solutions rather than simply tearing down historic homes to create open lots. They have called on Hamline to voluntarily agree to a one-year moratorium on any further demolitions in the neighborhood and to engage in a series of conversations that will address the university’s potential expansion needs while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community.

        Of course, it’s hard to know what Hamline is thinking these days. The university’s latest expansion plan was unveiled more than six years ago at a time when the administration anticipated undergraduate enrollment would grow by 5% per year in five years—or 500 more students by 2013. In reality, overall enrollment has only grown 5% during the past six years, or less than 1% per year. And whether those 100 additional students wish to live on campus or pursue off-campus housing options is unknown.

        Why Hamline has suddenly dusted off its old expansion plan is also unclear, but the recent demolitions appear consistent with the administration’s 2008 strategy that called for new dormitories, additional parking lots, and more green space by expanding the campus boundary southward to Minnehaha Avenue and tearing down as many as twenty-two homes, most of which date back to the early 1900s. However, there have been no public meetings held in the past six years, nor has the university approached the city seeking a formal boundary change.

        What the university has done is engage in “demolition by neglect” with the properties it already owns, including the historic 1549 Minnehaha Ave home that it acquired last year. The previous owner had installed new plumbing, new windows, new electrical, a new roof, and was in the midst of replacing the siding when the project was abandoned because the home was clearly on Hamline’s hit list.

        The last Hamline expansion included the removal of several homes along Englewood Avenue in order to build a new graduate school dormitory. In the last five years, graduate school enrollment has declined nearly 25% and law school enrollment by nearly 40%. Given the ever-increasing cost of higher education and the recent trend in developing online learning platforms, are more dormitories and parking lots what’s really needed to grow enrollment? Or would the university benefit more by embracing the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood and repurposing the many grand old homes as specialty residences, campus offices, or even to incubate student-run business startups?

        To date, Hamline has provided no formal response to neighborhood concerns about the fate of 1549 Minnehaha or the request for a moratorium on future demolitions.

        According to an agenda agreed upon between Historic Hamline Village and the university, those issues—as well as an update on Hamline’s development plan—will be addressed and debated at a public forum this Wednesday, September 17th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave.

        Tom Goldstein is a lawyer, former St. Paul School Board member, and a founding member of Historic Hamline Village.

        People walking or driving along Minnehaha Avenue and neighboring streets near Hamline University may have noticed bright red signs beginning to dot several residential lawns. They look like the standard campaign sign one often sees this time of year, except no candidate’s name is to be found. Instead, the words “STOP THE DEMOLITIONS” appear in large block letters, with the added message, “Tell Hamline University to Respect Our Neighborhood, Not Tear It Down!” printed below.

        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.

        What’s going on? Is Hamline University in the midst of a major expansion? That’s what many in the neighborhood would like to know. In July, the University razed the White House, an “11-room, four-bath Greek Revival” structure built in 1903 that housed nine Hamline presidents from 1912 to the 1990s but which the school claimed was too expensive to maintain. (Note: in early 2005, the Board of Trustees purchased a six-bedroom Summit Avenue home to serve as the “new” White House. Its cost? $1.5 million.) Four more homes were torn down along Hewitt Avenue, and demolition began in early July on the historic G.D. Walcott house at 1549 Minnehaha, a Victorian home built in 1888 by Hamline’s former chair of the Psychology and Philosophy Departments. (That demolition was temporarily halted by University officials when concerned neighbors brought the matter before the Hamline Midway Coalition.)

        In response to those demolitions, local residents have come together to form Historic Hamline Village, the group behind the new lawn signs, and created a Facebook page by the same name. The group believes that any future expansion by Hamline should be based on sensible development strategies that incorporate community input and innovative solutions rather than simply tearing down historic homes to create open lots. They have called on Hamline to voluntarily agree to a one-year moratorium on any further demolitions in the neighborhood and to engage in a series of conversations that will address the university’s potential expansion needs while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community.

        Of course, it’s hard to know what Hamline is thinking these days. The university’s latest expansion plan was unveiled more than six years ago at a time when the administration anticipated undergraduate enrollment would grow by 5% per year in five years—or 500 more students by 2013. In reality, overall enrollment has only grown 5% during the past six years, or less than 1% per year. And whether those 100 additional students wish to live on campus or pursue off-campus housing options is unknown.

        Why Hamline has suddenly dusted off its old expansion plan is also unclear, but the recent demolitions appear consistent with the administration’s 2008 strategy that called for new dormitories, additional parking lots, and more green space by expanding the campus boundary southward to Minnehaha Avenue and tearing down as many as twenty-two homes, most of which date back to the early 1900s. However, there have been no public meetings held in the past six years, nor has the university approached the city seeking a formal boundary change.

        What the university has done is engage in “demolition by neglect” with the properties it already owns, including the historic 1549 Minnehaha Ave home that it acquired last year. The previous owner had installed new plumbing, new windows, new electrical, a new roof, and was in the midst of replacing the siding when the project was abandoned because the home was clearly on Hamline’s hit list.

        The last Hamline expansion included the removal of several homes along Englewood Avenue in order to build a new graduate school dormitory. In the last five years, graduate school enrollment has declined nearly 25% and law school enrollment by nearly 40%. Given the ever-increasing cost of higher education and the recent trend in developing online learning platforms, are more dormitories and parking lots what’s really needed to grow enrollment? Or would the university benefit more by embracing the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood and repurposing the many grand old homes as specialty residences, campus offices, or even to incubate student-run business startups?

        To date, Hamline has provided no formal response to neighborhood concerns about the fate of 1549 Minnehaha or the request for a moratorium on future demolitions.

        According to an agenda agreed upon between Historic Hamline Village and the university, those issues—as well as an update on Hamline’s development plan—will be addressed and debated at a public forum this Wednesday, September 17th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave.

        Tom Goldstein is a lawyer, former St. Paul School Board member, and a founding member of Historic Hamline Village.

        © 2014 Tom Goldstein

          Hamline University expansion plans threaten neighborhood

          Mon, 2014-09-15 17:04
          tomgoldstein Community Voices

          People walking or driving along Minnehaha Avenue and neighboring streets near Hamline University may have noticed bright red signs beginning to dot several residential lawns. They look like the standard campaign sign one often sees this time of year, except no candidate’s name is to be found. Instead, the words “STOP THE DEMOLITIONS” appear in large block letters, with the added message, “Tell Hamline University to Respect Our Neighborhood, Not Tear It Down!” printed below.

          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.

          What’s going on? Is Hamline University in the midst of a major expansion? That’s what many in the neighborhood would like to know. In July, the University razed the White House, an “11-room, four-bath Greek Revival” structure built in 1903 that housed nine Hamline presidents from 1912 to the 1990s but which the school claimed was too expensive to maintain. (Note: in early 2005, the Board of Trustees purchased a six-bedroom Summit Avenue home to serve as the “new” White House. Its cost? $1.5 million.) Four more homes were torn down along Hewitt Avenue, and demolition began in early July on the historic G.D. Walcott house at 1549 Minnehaha, a Victorian home built in 1888 by Hamline’s former chair of the Psychology and Philosophy Departments. (That demolition was temporarily halted by University officials when concerned neighbors brought the matter before the Hamline Midway Coalition.)

          In response to those demolitions, local residents have come together to form Historic Hamline Village, the group behind the new lawn signs, and created a Facebook page by the same name. The group believes that any future expansion by Hamline should be based on sensible development strategies that incorporate community input and innovative solutions rather than simply tearing down historic homes to create open lots. They have called on Hamline to voluntarily agree to a one-year moratorium on any further demolitions in the neighborhood and to engage in a series of conversations that will address the university’s potential expansion needs while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community.

          Of course, it’s hard to know what Hamline is thinking these days. The university’s latest expansion plan was unveiled more than six years ago at a time when the administration anticipated undergraduate enrollment would grow by 5% per year in five years—or 500 more students by 2013. In reality, overall enrollment has only grown 5% during the past six years, or less than 1% per year. And whether those 100 additional students wish to live on campus or pursue off-campus housing options is unknown.

          Why Hamline has suddenly dusted off its old expansion plan is also unclear, but the recent demolitions appear consistent with the administration’s 2008 strategy that called for new dormitories, additional parking lots, and more green space by expanding the campus boundary southward to Minnehaha Avenue and tearing down as many as twenty-two homes, most of which date back to the early 1900s. However, there have been no public meetings held in the past six years, nor has the university approached the city seeking a formal boundary change.

          What the university has done is engage in “demolition by neglect” with the properties it already owns, including the historic 1549 Minnehaha Ave home that it acquired last year. The previous owner had installed new plumbing, new windows, new electrical, a new roof, and was in the midst of replacing the siding when the project was abandoned because the home was clearly on Hamline’s hit list.

          The last Hamline expansion included the removal of several homes along Englewood Avenue in order to build a new graduate school dormitory. In the last five years, graduate school enrollment has declined nearly 25% and law school enrollment by nearly 40%. Given the ever-increasing cost of higher education and the recent trend in developing online learning platforms, are more dormitories and parking lots what’s really needed to grow enrollment? Or would the university benefit more by embracing the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood and repurposing the many grand old homes as specialty residences, campus offices, or even to incubate student-run business startups?

          To date, Hamline has provided no formal response to neighborhood concerns about the fate of 1549 Minnehaha or the request for a moratorium on future demolitions.

          According to an agenda agreed upon between Historic Hamline Village and the university, those issues—as well as an update on Hamline’s development plan—will be addressed and debated at a public forum this Wednesday, September 17th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave.

          Tom Goldstein is a lawyer, former St. Paul School Board member, and a founding member of Historic Hamline Village.

          People walking or driving along Minnehaha Avenue and neighboring streets near Hamline University may have noticed bright red signs beginning to dot several residential lawns. They look like the standard campaign sign one often sees this time of year, except no candidate’s name is to be found. Instead, the words “STOP THE DEMOLITIONS” appear in large block letters, with the added message, “Tell Hamline University to Respect Our Neighborhood, Not Tear It Down!” printed below.

          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.

          What’s going on? Is Hamline University in the midst of a major expansion? That’s what many in the neighborhood would like to know. In July, the University razed the White House, an “11-room, four-bath Greek Revival” structure built in 1903 that housed nine Hamline presidents from 1912 to the 1990s but which the school claimed was too expensive to maintain. (Note: in early 2005, the Board of Trustees purchased a six-bedroom Summit Avenue home to serve as the “new” White House. Its cost? $1.5 million.) Four more homes were torn down along Hewitt Avenue, and demolition began in early July on the historic G.D. Walcott house at 1549 Minnehaha, a Victorian home built in 1888 by Hamline’s former chair of the Psychology and Philosophy Departments. (That demolition was temporarily halted by University officials when concerned neighbors brought the matter before the Hamline Midway Coalition.)

          In response to those demolitions, local residents have come together to form Historic Hamline Village, the group behind the new lawn signs, and created a Facebook page by the same name. The group believes that any future expansion by Hamline should be based on sensible development strategies that incorporate community input and innovative solutions rather than simply tearing down historic homes to create open lots. They have called on Hamline to voluntarily agree to a one-year moratorium on any further demolitions in the neighborhood and to engage in a series of conversations that will address the university’s potential expansion needs while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community.

          Of course, it’s hard to know what Hamline is thinking these days. The university’s latest expansion plan was unveiled more than six years ago at a time when the administration anticipated undergraduate enrollment would grow by 5% per year in five years—or 500 more students by 2013. In reality, overall enrollment has only grown 5% during the past six years, or less than 1% per year. And whether those 100 additional students wish to live on campus or pursue off-campus housing options is unknown.

          Why Hamline has suddenly dusted off its old expansion plan is also unclear, but the recent demolitions appear consistent with the administration’s 2008 strategy that called for new dormitories, additional parking lots, and more green space by expanding the campus boundary southward to Minnehaha Avenue and tearing down as many as twenty-two homes, most of which date back to the early 1900s. However, there have been no public meetings held in the past six years, nor has the university approached the city seeking a formal boundary change.

          What the university has done is engage in “demolition by neglect” with the properties it already owns, including the historic 1549 Minnehaha Ave home that it acquired last year. The previous owner had installed new plumbing, new windows, new electrical, a new roof, and was in the midst of replacing the siding when the project was abandoned because the home was clearly on Hamline’s hit list.

          The last Hamline expansion included the removal of several homes along Englewood Avenue in order to build a new graduate school dormitory. In the last five years, graduate school enrollment has declined nearly 25% and law school enrollment by nearly 40%. Given the ever-increasing cost of higher education and the recent trend in developing online learning platforms, are more dormitories and parking lots what’s really needed to grow enrollment? Or would the university benefit more by embracing the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood and repurposing the many grand old homes as specialty residences, campus offices, or even to incubate student-run business startups?

          To date, Hamline has provided no formal response to neighborhood concerns about the fate of 1549 Minnehaha or the request for a moratorium on future demolitions.

          According to an agenda agreed upon between Historic Hamline Village and the university, those issues—as well as an update on Hamline’s development plan—will be addressed and debated at a public forum this Wednesday, September 17th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave.

          Tom Goldstein is a lawyer, former St. Paul School Board member, and a founding member of Historic Hamline Village.

          © 2014 Tom Goldstein

            TCE lawsuit inches on, Southeast Como organizes outreach

            Mon, 2014-09-15 15:37
            The Minnesota Daily

            While Southeast Como neighborhood residents’ concerns about harmful vapors in their homes continue to linger, a lawsuit against General Mills is moving forward.

            On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota heard the case against General Mills, in which a few neighborhood residents claim the company put locals’ health and the value of their homes at risk by dumping TCE, also known as trichloroethylene, in the area for 15 years.

            At Friday’s hearing, General Mills argued that it was not the only company that previously dumped toxins in the neighborhood, noting that the site was an industrial area when the company occupied it in the mid-1900s.

            The residents’ lawyers said at the hearing they aren’t looking to prove that the company’s dumping was the only source of the TCE pollution, but instead that it was the main source.

            The three residents are seeking a class-action lawsuit, which would unite all residents who live in the affected area with the same claim. If approved, the lawsuit could include nearly 400 homes, and residents would have the option to opt out.

            The case’s judge, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, will make the decision of classifying the case as a class-action lawsuit, along with choosing which homes are included in the case, based on expert testimonies.

            The decision will come in 60 days, he said at Friday’s hearing.

            If the case doesn’t receive class-action certification, residents wishing to sue will need to pursue individual lawsuits. But Michael Hayes, a lawyer representing the residents, said that option would be too expensive for most residents.

            Additionally, General Mills asked that the judge dismiss two expert testimonies on Friday, citing that their methods of research on the area were “unreliable.”

            Though the residents will continue with the case, Frank encouraged both sides to settle outside of court.

            “Let’s find a way to save time and money without the court,” he said at the hearing.

            Neighborhood leaders hear resident concerns

            Nearly a year after the state’s department of health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sent letters to Southeast Como residents informing them of the potentially harmful vapor intrusions in their homes, permanent cleanup efforts haven’t started.

            Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents parts of the University area and Southeast Como neighborhood, said residents have continuously expressed concerns about their health and the value of their homes and are asking when permanent cleanup will begin.

            “[Residents] want to see the big solution, where they actually get rid of [TCE vapors] permanently,” he said.

            Last week, the Southeast Como Improvement Association held its first TCEducate lecture series in hopes of increasing residents’ knowledge about the issues surrounding the TCE contamination.

            SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said the lecture series will cover topics like cleanup tactics and the legal process of class-action lawsuits.

            He said the discussions aim to help educate residents and make them feel more comfortable about the situation.

            “Something like this that is affecting your home, your health [and] the health of your loved ones is a very difficult thing to talk about,” McCurley said.

            SECIA will hold its next lecture late next month.

            The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is currently reviewing General Mills’ plan to clean the area and find the source of TCE. The working plan, which includes opportunities for residents’ input, doesn’t include cleanup strategies until late 2015.

            McCurley said SECIA wants residents to have sufficient information about the work plan so that they can make educated comments on it.

            While Southeast Como neighborhood residents’ concerns about harmful vapors in their homes continue to linger, a lawsuit against General Mills is moving forward.

            On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota heard the case against General Mills, in which a few neighborhood residents claim the company put locals’ health and the value of their homes at risk by dumping TCE, also known as trichloroethylene, in the area for 15 years.

            At Friday’s hearing, General Mills argued that it was not the only company that previously dumped toxins in the neighborhood, noting that the site was an industrial area when the company occupied it in the mid-1900s.

            The residents’ lawyers said at the hearing they aren’t looking to prove that the company’s dumping was the only source of the TCE pollution, but instead that it was the main source.

            The three residents are seeking a class-action lawsuit, which would unite all residents who live in the affected area with the same claim. If approved, the lawsuit could include nearly 400 homes, and residents would have the option to opt out.

            The case’s judge, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, will make the decision of classifying the case as a class-action lawsuit, along with choosing which homes are included in the case, based on expert testimonies.

            The decision will come in 60 days, he said at Friday’s hearing.

            If the case doesn’t receive class-action certification, residents wishing to sue will need to pursue individual lawsuits. But Michael Hayes, a lawyer representing the residents, said that option would be too expensive for most residents.

            Additionally, General Mills asked that the judge dismiss two expert testimonies on Friday, citing that their methods of research on the area were “unreliable.”

            Though the residents will continue with the case, Frank encouraged both sides to settle outside of court.

            “Let’s find a way to save time and money without the court,” he said at the hearing.

            Neighborhood leaders hear resident concerns

            Nearly a year after the state’s department of health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sent letters to Southeast Como residents informing them of the potentially harmful vapor intrusions in their homes, permanent cleanup efforts haven’t started.

            Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents parts of the University area and Southeast Como neighborhood, said residents have continuously expressed concerns about their health and the value of their homes and are asking when permanent cleanup will begin.

            “[Residents] want to see the big solution, where they actually get rid of [TCE vapors] permanently,” he said.

            Last week, the Southeast Como Improvement Association held its first TCEducate lecture series in hopes of increasing residents’ knowledge about the issues surrounding the TCE contamination.

            SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said the lecture series will cover topics like cleanup tactics and the legal process of class-action lawsuits.

            He said the discussions aim to help educate residents and make them feel more comfortable about the situation.

            “Something like this that is affecting your home, your health [and] the health of your loved ones is a very difficult thing to talk about,” McCurley said.

            SECIA will hold its next lecture late next month.

            The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is currently reviewing General Mills’ plan to clean the area and find the source of TCE. The working plan, which includes opportunities for residents’ input, doesn’t include cleanup strategies until late 2015.

            McCurley said SECIA wants residents to have sufficient information about the work plan so that they can make educated comments on it.

            © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

              TCE lawsuit inches on, Southeast Como organizes outreach

              Mon, 2014-09-15 15:37
              The Minnesota Daily

              While Southeast Como neighborhood residents’ concerns about harmful vapors in their homes continue to linger, a lawsuit against General Mills is moving forward.

              On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota heard the case against General Mills, in which a few neighborhood residents claim the company put locals’ health and the value of their homes at risk by dumping TCE, also known as trichloroethylene, in the area for 15 years.

              At Friday’s hearing, General Mills argued that it was not the only company that previously dumped toxins in the neighborhood, noting that the site was an industrial area when the company occupied it in the mid-1900s.

              The residents’ lawyers said at the hearing they aren’t looking to prove that the company’s dumping was the only source of the TCE pollution, but instead that it was the main source.

              The three residents are seeking a class-action lawsuit, which would unite all residents who live in the affected area with the same claim. If approved, the lawsuit could include nearly 400 homes, and residents would have the option to opt out.

              The case’s judge, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, will make the decision of classifying the case as a class-action lawsuit, along with choosing which homes are included in the case, based on expert testimonies.

              The decision will come in 60 days, he said at Friday’s hearing.

              If the case doesn’t receive class-action certification, residents wishing to sue will need to pursue individual lawsuits. But Michael Hayes, a lawyer representing the residents, said that option would be too expensive for most residents.

              Additionally, General Mills asked that the judge dismiss two expert testimonies on Friday, citing that their methods of research on the area were “unreliable.”

              Though the residents will continue with the case, Frank encouraged both sides to settle outside of court.

              “Let’s find a way to save time and money without the court,” he said at the hearing.

              Neighborhood leaders hear resident concerns

              Nearly a year after the state’s department of health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sent letters to Southeast Como residents informing them of the potentially harmful vapor intrusions in their homes, permanent cleanup efforts haven’t started.

              Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents parts of the University area and Southeast Como neighborhood, said residents have continuously expressed concerns about their health and the value of their homes and are asking when permanent cleanup will begin.

              “[Residents] want to see the big solution, where they actually get rid of [TCE vapors] permanently,” he said.

              Last week, the Southeast Como Improvement Association held its first TCEducate lecture series in hopes of increasing residents’ knowledge about the issues surrounding the TCE contamination.

              SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said the lecture series will cover topics like cleanup tactics and the legal process of class-action lawsuits.

              He said the discussions aim to help educate residents and make them feel more comfortable about the situation.

              “Something like this that is affecting your home, your health [and] the health of your loved ones is a very difficult thing to talk about,” McCurley said.

              SECIA will hold its next lecture late next month.

              The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is currently reviewing General Mills’ plan to clean the area and find the source of TCE. The working plan, which includes opportunities for residents’ input, doesn’t include cleanup strategies until late 2015.

              McCurley said SECIA wants residents to have sufficient information about the work plan so that they can make educated comments on it.

              While Southeast Como neighborhood residents’ concerns about harmful vapors in their homes continue to linger, a lawsuit against General Mills is moving forward.

              On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota heard the case against General Mills, in which a few neighborhood residents claim the company put locals’ health and the value of their homes at risk by dumping TCE, also known as trichloroethylene, in the area for 15 years.

              At Friday’s hearing, General Mills argued that it was not the only company that previously dumped toxins in the neighborhood, noting that the site was an industrial area when the company occupied it in the mid-1900s.

              The residents’ lawyers said at the hearing they aren’t looking to prove that the company’s dumping was the only source of the TCE pollution, but instead that it was the main source.

              The three residents are seeking a class-action lawsuit, which would unite all residents who live in the affected area with the same claim. If approved, the lawsuit could include nearly 400 homes, and residents would have the option to opt out.

              The case’s judge, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, will make the decision of classifying the case as a class-action lawsuit, along with choosing which homes are included in the case, based on expert testimonies.

              The decision will come in 60 days, he said at Friday’s hearing.

              If the case doesn’t receive class-action certification, residents wishing to sue will need to pursue individual lawsuits. But Michael Hayes, a lawyer representing the residents, said that option would be too expensive for most residents.

              Additionally, General Mills asked that the judge dismiss two expert testimonies on Friday, citing that their methods of research on the area were “unreliable.”

              Though the residents will continue with the case, Frank encouraged both sides to settle outside of court.

              “Let’s find a way to save time and money without the court,” he said at the hearing.

              Neighborhood leaders hear resident concerns

              Nearly a year after the state’s department of health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sent letters to Southeast Como residents informing them of the potentially harmful vapor intrusions in their homes, permanent cleanup efforts haven’t started.

              Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents parts of the University area and Southeast Como neighborhood, said residents have continuously expressed concerns about their health and the value of their homes and are asking when permanent cleanup will begin.

              “[Residents] want to see the big solution, where they actually get rid of [TCE vapors] permanently,” he said.

              Last week, the Southeast Como Improvement Association held its first TCEducate lecture series in hopes of increasing residents’ knowledge about the issues surrounding the TCE contamination.

              SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said the lecture series will cover topics like cleanup tactics and the legal process of class-action lawsuits.

              He said the discussions aim to help educate residents and make them feel more comfortable about the situation.

              “Something like this that is affecting your home, your health [and] the health of your loved ones is a very difficult thing to talk about,” McCurley said.

              SECIA will hold its next lecture late next month.

              The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is currently reviewing General Mills’ plan to clean the area and find the source of TCE. The working plan, which includes opportunities for residents’ input, doesn’t include cleanup strategies until late 2015.

              McCurley said SECIA wants residents to have sufficient information about the work plan so that they can make educated comments on it.

              © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

                Marshall Street project on hold for 2 months

                Sun, 2014-09-14 16:44
                Margo Ashmore Northeaster

                Outcry from residents and business people temporarily stopped the Minneapolis Park Board from locating an operations center on the Mississippi River at 1720 Marshall St. NE.

                They got through close to 40 comments in about 45 minutes Aug. 20, chiding the board for going contrary to the Above the Falls plan, which calls for continuous riverfront parks, and inconveniencing residents by taking away Psycho Suzi’s valet parking which then would clog up the neighborhood streets more than usual.

                There were concerns about living next to a facility where trucks come and go frequently. Ire that the park staff and consultants didn’t seek other location options.

                Directing staff to work more with the public on the issue, the board plans to revisit the plan at their first meeting in November. North Minneapolis Park Commissioner Jon Olson made the successful motion.

                Board member Annie Young, as chair of the parks’ planning committee, conducted the public hearing.

                As reported in the Northeaster July 2, the park system owns the land and the vacant building on it which because of a bad roof, is full of mold. Rather than tear it down, they want to renovate it for vehicle storage, some offices and bathroom and break space for employees. Working conditions and capacity at present operations facilities for the northern half of the city are sub-par; this would help, but not totally replace the other locations.

                In a total $4 million project, another parcel to the north of 1720 would be developed as an overlook, giving direct visual connection to river and connecting with a trail behind the building.

                During public remarks, park board chair Liz Wielinski broke with protocol to ask Psycho Suzi’s restaurant/bar owner Leslie Bock if she would make a land swap to make up for her deck being built over another potential section of riverfront trail. Young eventually called Wielinski out of order after others in attendance jumped in.

                Another factor in the discussion is a move afoot to make the west side of Marshall Street a bike trail, taking away even more parking.

                Highlights from the board questions prior to the vote:

                Will there be a need for pollution remediation at the end of this building’s life? Yes, “we are not mitigating twice,” staff answered.

                Commissioner Brad Bourne asked, “c’mon, are future boards really going to tear this down?” (The argument has been made, since it could take decades before all other businesses are taken off the river or trails created to go around them, even a 39-year amortization of the $4 million could be considered a “temporary” situation.)

                Commissioner John Erwin rankled the crowd by saying essentially “other neighborhoods would be thrilled, and you should be grateful for all this land we’ve gotten for you.” (Scherer Brothers, the Rosenberg property, this property and others in recent years.) He acknowledged later that sounded heavy handed and he said “you’ve made good suggestions, and we want “to make it as neighborhood friendly as possible.”

                During the meeting it was mentioned that “a gift” had helped push things in the direction of developing an operations center.  The gift from an anonymous donor: $75,000 according to a source tapped after the meeting.

                Outcry from residents and business people temporarily stopped the Minneapolis Park Board from locating an operations center on the Mississippi River at 1720 Marshall St. NE.

                They got through close to 40 comments in about 45 minutes Aug. 20, chiding the board for going contrary to the Above the Falls plan, which calls for continuous riverfront parks, and inconveniencing residents by taking away Psycho Suzi’s valet parking which then would clog up the neighborhood streets more than usual.

                There were concerns about living next to a facility where trucks come and go frequently. Ire that the park staff and consultants didn’t seek other location options.

                Directing staff to work more with the public on the issue, the board plans to revisit the plan at their first meeting in November. North Minneapolis Park Commissioner Jon Olson made the successful motion.

                Board member Annie Young, as chair of the parks’ planning committee, conducted the public hearing.

                As reported in the Northeaster July 2, the park system owns the land and the vacant building on it which because of a bad roof, is full of mold. Rather than tear it down, they want to renovate it for vehicle storage, some offices and bathroom and break space for employees. Working conditions and capacity at present operations facilities for the northern half of the city are sub-par; this would help, but not totally replace the other locations.

                In a total $4 million project, another parcel to the north of 1720 would be developed as an overlook, giving direct visual connection to river and connecting with a trail behind the building.

                During public remarks, park board chair Liz Wielinski broke with protocol to ask Psycho Suzi’s restaurant/bar owner Leslie Bock if she would make a land swap to make up for her deck being built over another potential section of riverfront trail. Young eventually called Wielinski out of order after others in attendance jumped in.

                Another factor in the discussion is a move afoot to make the west side of Marshall Street a bike trail, taking away even more parking.

                Highlights from the board questions prior to the vote:

                Will there be a need for pollution remediation at the end of this building’s life? Yes, “we are not mitigating twice,” staff answered.

                Commissioner Brad Bourne asked, “c’mon, are future boards really going to tear this down?” (The argument has been made, since it could take decades before all other businesses are taken off the river or trails created to go around them, even a 39-year amortization of the $4 million could be considered a “temporary” situation.)

                Commissioner John Erwin rankled the crowd by saying essentially “other neighborhoods would be thrilled, and you should be grateful for all this land we’ve gotten for you.” (Scherer Brothers, the Rosenberg property, this property and others in recent years.) He acknowledged later that sounded heavy handed and he said “you’ve made good suggestions, and we want “to make it as neighborhood friendly as possible.”

                During the meeting it was mentioned that “a gift” had helped push things in the direction of developing an operations center.  The gift from an anonymous donor: $75,000 according to a source tapped after the meeting.

                © 2014 Northeaster

                  Marshall Street project on hold for 2 months

                  Sun, 2014-09-14 16:44
                  Margo Ashmore Northeaster

                  Outcry from residents and business people temporarily stopped the Minneapolis Park Board from locating an operations center on the Mississippi River at 1720 Marshall St. NE.

                  They got through close to 40 comments in about 45 minutes Aug. 20, chiding the board for going contrary to the Above the Falls plan, which calls for continuous riverfront parks, and inconveniencing residents by taking away Psycho Suzi’s valet parking which then would clog up the neighborhood streets more than usual.

                  There were concerns about living next to a facility where trucks come and go frequently. Ire that the park staff and consultants didn’t seek other location options.

                  Directing staff to work more with the public on the issue, the board plans to revisit the plan at their first meeting in November. North Minneapolis Park Commissioner Jon Olson made the successful motion.

                  Board member Annie Young, as chair of the parks’ planning committee, conducted the public hearing.

                  As reported in the Northeaster July 2, the park system owns the land and the vacant building on it which because of a bad roof, is full of mold. Rather than tear it down, they want to renovate it for vehicle storage, some offices and bathroom and break space for employees. Working conditions and capacity at present operations facilities for the northern half of the city are sub-par; this would help, but not totally replace the other locations.

                  In a total $4 million project, another parcel to the north of 1720 would be developed as an overlook, giving direct visual connection to river and connecting with a trail behind the building.

                  During public remarks, park board chair Liz Wielinski broke with protocol to ask Psycho Suzi’s restaurant/bar owner Leslie Bock if she would make a land swap to make up for her deck being built over another potential section of riverfront trail. Young eventually called Wielinski out of order after others in attendance jumped in.

                  Another factor in the discussion is a move afoot to make the west side of Marshall Street a bike trail, taking away even more parking.

                  Highlights from the board questions prior to the vote:

                  Will there be a need for pollution remediation at the end of this building’s life? Yes, “we are not mitigating twice,” staff answered.

                  Commissioner Brad Bourne asked, “c’mon, are future boards really going to tear this down?” (The argument has been made, since it could take decades before all other businesses are taken off the river or trails created to go around them, even a 39-year amortization of the $4 million could be considered a “temporary” situation.)

                  Commissioner John Erwin rankled the crowd by saying essentially “other neighborhoods would be thrilled, and you should be grateful for all this land we’ve gotten for you.” (Scherer Brothers, the Rosenberg property, this property and others in recent years.) He acknowledged later that sounded heavy handed and he said “you’ve made good suggestions, and we want “to make it as neighborhood friendly as possible.”

                  During the meeting it was mentioned that “a gift” had helped push things in the direction of developing an operations center.  The gift from an anonymous donor: $75,000 according to a source tapped after the meeting.

                  Outcry from residents and business people temporarily stopped the Minneapolis Park Board from locating an operations center on the Mississippi River at 1720 Marshall St. NE.

                  They got through close to 40 comments in about 45 minutes Aug. 20, chiding the board for going contrary to the Above the Falls plan, which calls for continuous riverfront parks, and inconveniencing residents by taking away Psycho Suzi’s valet parking which then would clog up the neighborhood streets more than usual.

                  There were concerns about living next to a facility where trucks come and go frequently. Ire that the park staff and consultants didn’t seek other location options.

                  Directing staff to work more with the public on the issue, the board plans to revisit the plan at their first meeting in November. North Minneapolis Park Commissioner Jon Olson made the successful motion.

                  Board member Annie Young, as chair of the parks’ planning committee, conducted the public hearing.

                  As reported in the Northeaster July 2, the park system owns the land and the vacant building on it which because of a bad roof, is full of mold. Rather than tear it down, they want to renovate it for vehicle storage, some offices and bathroom and break space for employees. Working conditions and capacity at present operations facilities for the northern half of the city are sub-par; this would help, but not totally replace the other locations.

                  In a total $4 million project, another parcel to the north of 1720 would be developed as an overlook, giving direct visual connection to river and connecting with a trail behind the building.

                  During public remarks, park board chair Liz Wielinski broke with protocol to ask Psycho Suzi’s restaurant/bar owner Leslie Bock if she would make a land swap to make up for her deck being built over another potential section of riverfront trail. Young eventually called Wielinski out of order after others in attendance jumped in.

                  Another factor in the discussion is a move afoot to make the west side of Marshall Street a bike trail, taking away even more parking.

                  Highlights from the board questions prior to the vote:

                  Will there be a need for pollution remediation at the end of this building’s life? Yes, “we are not mitigating twice,” staff answered.

                  Commissioner Brad Bourne asked, “c’mon, are future boards really going to tear this down?” (The argument has been made, since it could take decades before all other businesses are taken off the river or trails created to go around them, even a 39-year amortization of the $4 million could be considered a “temporary” situation.)

                  Commissioner John Erwin rankled the crowd by saying essentially “other neighborhoods would be thrilled, and you should be grateful for all this land we’ve gotten for you.” (Scherer Brothers, the Rosenberg property, this property and others in recent years.) He acknowledged later that sounded heavy handed and he said “you’ve made good suggestions, and we want “to make it as neighborhood friendly as possible.”

                  During the meeting it was mentioned that “a gift” had helped push things in the direction of developing an operations center.  The gift from an anonymous donor: $75,000 according to a source tapped after the meeting.

                  © 2014 Northeaster

                    TC Weekend | Selby Jazz Fest, Nicollet Open Streets, Community Garden Day and more!

                    Wed, 2014-09-10 13:36
                    Paige Elliott TC Daily Planet

                    The fun continues this weekend with an array of community events to help you get the most out of the last days of summer. From free jazz fests and county fairs, to celebrations of caramel, community and urban gardens — there's a lot to love about this weekend's lineup! Scroll down for details:

                    Let us know how you will spend the weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to our story.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


                    Nativity County Fair, September 12 - 14

                    Join parishioners, parents, local businesses and community members for the 40th anniversary Nativity County Fair! Some of the activities and attractions include an art market, Bingo, children's games, dodgeball, rides, a Twinkie walk, a talent show and more. Go here for detailed activity descriptions, and go here for entertainment schedule.

                    1900 Wellesley Avenue, Saint Paul

                    Sept. 12: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

                    Sept. 13: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Sept. 14:  11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Admission is free


                    Selby Jazz Fest, September 13

                    Come on out and enjoy a late-summer evening of free jazz at the 13th annual Selby Jazz Fest! Created by Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe, the festival offers the smooth sounds of jazz from local, national and international jazz acts, as well as a health and wellness area, local food vendors offering soul food, corn dogs, heatlhy food options and more!

                    Selby at Milton, Saint Paul

                    11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

                    Free

                    SeeSOUNDING OFF ON SOUNDS | Selby Ave JazzFest plays the summer out with style


                    Maker Day On The Plaza, September 13

                    In the spirit of "National Day of Making," the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting Maker Day on the plaza, the last of the Creative City Challenge events. The all-day event features a wide range of activities from “home brew” projects, to knitting and outdoor yoga. And there's also traditional crafts and foods. Let your creative side roam free while interacting with other innovative thinkers and makers in the Twin Cities DIY community.

                    Convention Center Plaza

                    1301 Second Avenue, Minneapolis

                    10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                    All events are free


                    Community Garden Day, September 13

                    Saturday is Community Garden Day, as proclaimed by the Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Across the Twin Cities and beyond, 30 community gardens will celebrate the day with skill-shares, workshops, demonstrations, and speakers. Hosted by Gardening Matters, the event aims to bring awareness to the important role community gardens play in helping to create healthy, thriving and sustainable neighborhoods. Check the map to find a participating garden near you. Visit the Gardening Matters website for more info about the event, or find updates on their Facebook page.


                    Food Traditions and Stories, September 13

                    Are you curious about Somali cuisine and traditions, or the ways in which the sharing of food can open windows into understanding cultures?  If so, you should venture out to Food Tradition and Stories, hosted by the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum in Minneapolis. The event will be facilitated in English and Somali by Asli Ashkir and Pamela Gaard, and guests are encouraged to bring a dish and story of their own to share. Visit the Facebook page for more details and updates about the event.

                    Downtown Pop-Up Gallery

                    319 1st Avenue N., Minneapolis

                    12 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

                     


                    Caramel Fest, September 13

                    Come on out and celebrate the love of caramel and community at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church's Caramel Fest in Northeast Minneapolis. The annual festival serves as a fundraiser for The Sheridan Story, which helps hungry kids, and features local music, food vendors, including Rusty Taco, and delicious caramel treats sure to delight the taste buds!

                    Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church

                    1701 St Anthony Parkway, Minneapolis

                    10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                    Admission is free




                    Open Streets - Nicollet Avenue, September 14

                    Open Streets rolls on into Nicollet Avenue this weekend between Lake Street to 46th Street. The street will be blocked off to traffic, so feel free to bike, skate or blade. Check the Facebook Page for updates, and go here to download a free Metro Transit pass to the event.

                    Nicollet Avenue, between 46th & Lake Street

                    12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Free and open to the public


                    Create: The Community Meal, September 14

                    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest events taking place this weekend, the Create: The Community Meal, from Public Art Saint Paul by artist Seitu Jones. 2,000 people will gather for a community meal stretching a half mile along Saint Paul’s Victoria Street to discuss food access, food justice, and healthy eating. The dinner itself is sold out, but there is a first-come/first-serve rush line for last-minute return tickets. Check in at University and Victoria Street entry tent starting at 1 p.m. for your chance to get a seat at the table! Go here for more details about the event.

                    Victoria Street, Saint Paul

                    1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

                    (Illustration by Peter Kramer)



                    Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

                    Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul (Until September 19)

                    Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis (Until September 30





                    [If you don't see the Storify photos and comments below, please refresh your browser window.]


                    Updated 9/14/2014 4:45 p.m.

                    [View the story "TC Weekend | Create: Community Meal, Selby Jazz Fest, Nativity County Fair, Nicollet Open Streets" on Storify]

                    The fun continues this weekend with an array of community events to help you get the most out of the last days of summer. From free jazz fests and county fairs, to celebrations of caramel, community and urban gardens — there's a lot to love about this weekend's lineup! Scroll down for details:

                    Let us know how you will spend the weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to our story.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


                    Nativity County Fair, September 12 - 14

                    Join parishioners, parents, local businesses and community members for the 40th anniversary Nativity County Fair! Some of the activities and attractions include an art market, Bingo, children's games, dodgeball, rides, a Twinkie walk, a talent show and more. Go here for detailed activity descriptions, and go here for entertainment schedule.

                    1900 Wellesley Avenue, Saint Paul

                    Sept. 12: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

                    Sept. 13: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Sept. 14:  11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Admission is free


                    Selby Jazz Fest, September 13

                    Come on out and enjoy a late-summer evening of free jazz at the 13th annual Selby Jazz Fest! Created by Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe, the festival offers the smooth sounds of jazz from local, national and international jazz acts, as well as a health and wellness area, local food vendors offering soul food, corn dogs, heatlhy food options and more!

                    Selby at Milton, Saint Paul

                    11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

                    Free

                    SeeSOUNDING OFF ON SOUNDS | Selby Ave JazzFest plays the summer out with style


                    Maker Day On The Plaza, September 13

                    In the spirit of "National Day of Making," the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting Maker Day on the plaza, the last of the Creative City Challenge events. The all-day event features a wide range of activities from “home brew” projects, to knitting and outdoor yoga. And there's also traditional crafts and foods. Let your creative side roam free while interacting with other innovative thinkers and makers in the Twin Cities DIY community.

                    Convention Center Plaza

                    1301 Second Avenue, Minneapolis

                    10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                    All events are free


                    Community Garden Day, September 13

                    Saturday is Community Garden Day, as proclaimed by the Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Across the Twin Cities and beyond, 30 community gardens will celebrate the day with skill-shares, workshops, demonstrations, and speakers. Hosted by Gardening Matters, the event aims to bring awareness to the important role community gardens play in helping to create healthy, thriving and sustainable neighborhoods. Check the map to find a participating garden near you. Visit the Gardening Matters website for more info about the event, or find updates on their Facebook page.


                    Food Traditions and Stories, September 13

                    Are you curious about Somali cuisine and traditions, or the ways in which the sharing of food can open windows into understanding cultures?  If so, you should venture out to Food Tradition and Stories, hosted by the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum in Minneapolis. The event will be facilitated in English and Somali by Asli Ashkir and Pamela Gaard, and guests are encouraged to bring a dish and story of their own to share. Visit the Facebook page for more details and updates about the event.

                    Downtown Pop-Up Gallery

                    319 1st Avenue N., Minneapolis

                    12 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

                     


                    Caramel Fest, September 13

                    Come on out and celebrate the love of caramel and community at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church's Caramel Fest in Northeast Minneapolis. The annual festival serves as a fundraiser for The Sheridan Story, which helps hungry kids, and features local music, food vendors, including Rusty Taco, and delicious caramel treats sure to delight the taste buds!

                    Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church

                    1701 St Anthony Parkway, Minneapolis

                    10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                    Admission is free




                    Open Streets - Nicollet Avenue, September 14

                    Open Streets rolls on into Nicollet Avenue this weekend between Lake Street to 46th Street. The street will be blocked off to traffic, so feel free to bike, skate or blade. Check the Facebook Page for updates, and go here to download a free Metro Transit pass to the event.

                    Nicollet Avenue, between 46th & Lake Street

                    12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

                    Free and open to the public


                    Create: The Community Meal, September 14

                    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest events taking place this weekend, the Create: The Community Meal, from Public Art Saint Paul by artist Seitu Jones. 2,000 people will gather for a community meal stretching a half mile along Saint Paul’s Victoria Street to discuss food access, food justice, and healthy eating. The dinner itself is sold out, but there is a first-come/first-serve rush line for last-minute return tickets. Check in at University and Victoria Street entry tent starting at 1 p.m. for your chance to get a seat at the table! Go here for more details about the event.

                    Victoria Street, Saint Paul

                    1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

                    (Illustration by Peter Kramer)



                    Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

                    Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul (Until September 19)

                    Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis (Until September 30





                    [If you don't see the Storify photos and comments below, please refresh your browser window.]


                    Updated 9/14/2014 4:45 p.m.

                    [View the story "TC Weekend | Create: Community Meal, Selby Jazz Fest, Nativity County Fair, Nicollet Open Streets" on Storify] © 2014 Paige Elliott

                      TC Weekend | Selby Jazz Fest, Nicollet Open Streets, Community Garden Day and more!

                      Wed, 2014-09-10 13:36
                      Paige Elliott TC Daily Planet

                      The fun continues this weekend with an array of community events to help you get the most out of the last days of summer. From free jazz fests and county fairs, to celebrations of caramel, community and urban gardens — there's a lot to love about this weekend's lineup! Scroll down for details:

                      Let us know how you will spend the weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to our story.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


                      Nativity County Fair, September 12 - 14

                      Join parishioners, parents, local businesses and community members for the 40th anniversary Nativity County Fair! Some of the activities and attractions include an art market, Bingo, children's games, dodgeball, rides, a Twinkie walk, a talent show and more. Go here for detailed activity descriptions, and go here for entertainment schedule.

                      1900 Wellesley Avenue, Saint Paul

                      Sept. 12: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

                      Sept. 13: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Sept. 14:  11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Admission is free


                      Selby Jazz Fest, September 13

                      Come on out and enjoy a late-summer evening of free jazz at the 13th annual Selby Jazz Fest! Created by Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe, the festival offers the smooth sounds of jazz from local, national and international jazz acts, as well as a health and wellness area, local food vendors offering soul food, corn dogs, heatlhy food options and more!

                      Selby at Milton, Saint Paul

                      11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

                      Free

                      SeeSOUNDING OFF ON SOUNDS | Selby Ave JazzFest plays the summer out with style


                      Maker Day On The Plaza, September 13

                      In the spirit of "National Day of Making," the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting Maker Day on the plaza, the last of the Creative City Challenge events. The all-day event features a wide range of activities from “home brew” projects, to knitting and outdoor yoga. And there's also traditional crafts and foods. Let your creative side roam free while interacting with other innovative thinkers and makers in the Twin Cities DIY community.

                      Convention Center Plaza

                      1301 Second Avenue, Minneapolis

                      10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                      All events are free


                      Community Garden Day, September 13

                      Saturday is Community Garden Day, as proclaimed by the City of Saint Paul. Across the Twin Cities and beyond, 30 community gardens will celebrate the day with skill-shares, workshops, demonstrations, and speakers. Hosted by Gardening Matters, the event aims to bring awareness to the important role community gardens play in helping to create healthy, thriving and sustainable neighborhoods. Check the map to find a participating garden near you. Visit the Gardening Matters website for more info about the event, or find updates on their Facebook page.



                      Caramel Fest, September 13

                      Come on out and celebrate the love of caramel and community at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church's Caramel Fest in Northeast Minneapolis. The annual festival serves as a fundraiser for The Sheridan Story, which helps hungry kids, and features local music, food vendors, including Rusty Taco, and delicious caramel treats sure to delight the taste buds!

                      Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church

                      1701 St Anthony Parkway, Minneapolis

                      10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                      Admission is free




                      Open Streets - Nicollet Avenue, September 14

                      Open Streets rolls on into Nicollet Avenue this weekend between Lake Street to 46th Street. The street will be blocked off to traffic, so feel free to bike, skate or blade. Check the Facebook Page for updates, and go here to download a free Metro Transit pass to the event.

                      Nicollet Avenue, between 46th & Lake Street

                      12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Free and open to the public


                      Create: The Community Meal, September 14

                      We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest events taking place this weekend, the Create: The Community Meal, from Public Art Saint Paul by artist Seitu Jones. 2,000 people will gather for a community meal stretching a half mile along Saint Paul’s Victoria Street to discuss food access, food justice, and healthy eating. The dinner itself is sold out, but there is a first-come/first-serve rush line for last-minute return tickets. Check in at University and Victoria Street entry tent starting at 1 p.m. for your chance to get a seat at the table! Go here for more details about the event.

                      Victoria Street, Saint Paul

                      1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

                      (Illustration by Peter Kramer)



                      Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

                      Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul (Until September 19)

                      Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis (Until September 30


                      The fun continues this weekend with an array of community events to help you get the most out of the last days of summer. From free jazz fests and county fairs, to celebrations of caramel, community and urban gardens — there's a lot to love about this weekend's lineup! Scroll down for details:

                      Let us know how you will spend the weekend by sending your photos and comments to tcweekend [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpic or the name of the event, and we'll add them to our story.  If you know of an event fit for TC Weekend, use our calendar to upload the event or use the email address above.


                      Nativity County Fair, September 12 - 14

                      Join parishioners, parents, local businesses and community members for the 40th anniversary Nativity County Fair! Some of the activities and attractions include an art market, Bingo, children's games, dodgeball, rides, a Twinkie walk, a talent show and more. Go here for detailed activity descriptions, and go here for entertainment schedule.

                      1900 Wellesley Avenue, Saint Paul

                      Sept. 12: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

                      Sept. 13: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Sept. 14:  11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Admission is free


                      Selby Jazz Fest, September 13

                      Come on out and enjoy a late-summer evening of free jazz at the 13th annual Selby Jazz Fest! Created by Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe, the festival offers the smooth sounds of jazz from local, national and international jazz acts, as well as a health and wellness area, local food vendors offering soul food, corn dogs, heatlhy food options and more!

                      Selby at Milton, Saint Paul

                      11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

                      Free

                      SeeSOUNDING OFF ON SOUNDS | Selby Ave JazzFest plays the summer out with style


                      Maker Day On The Plaza, September 13

                      In the spirit of "National Day of Making," the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting Maker Day on the plaza, the last of the Creative City Challenge events. The all-day event features a wide range of activities from “home brew” projects, to knitting and outdoor yoga. And there's also traditional crafts and foods. Let your creative side roam free while interacting with other innovative thinkers and makers in the Twin Cities DIY community.

                      Convention Center Plaza

                      1301 Second Avenue, Minneapolis

                      10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                      All events are free


                      Community Garden Day, September 13

                      Saturday is Community Garden Day, as proclaimed by the City of Saint Paul. Across the Twin Cities and beyond, 30 community gardens will celebrate the day with skill-shares, workshops, demonstrations, and speakers. Hosted by Gardening Matters, the event aims to bring awareness to the important role community gardens play in helping to create healthy, thriving and sustainable neighborhoods. Check the map to find a participating garden near you. Visit the Gardening Matters website for more info about the event, or find updates on their Facebook page.



                      Caramel Fest, September 13

                      Come on out and celebrate the love of caramel and community at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church's Caramel Fest in Northeast Minneapolis. The annual festival serves as a fundraiser for The Sheridan Story, which helps hungry kids, and features local music, food vendors, including Rusty Taco, and delicious caramel treats sure to delight the taste buds!

                      Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church

                      1701 St Anthony Parkway, Minneapolis

                      10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

                      Admission is free




                      Open Streets - Nicollet Avenue, September 14

                      Open Streets rolls on into Nicollet Avenue this weekend between Lake Street to 46th Street. The street will be blocked off to traffic, so feel free to bike, skate or blade. Check the Facebook Page for updates, and go here to download a free Metro Transit pass to the event.

                      Nicollet Avenue, between 46th & Lake Street

                      12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

                      Free and open to the public


                      Create: The Community Meal, September 14

                      We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest events taking place this weekend, the Create: The Community Meal, from Public Art Saint Paul by artist Seitu Jones. 2,000 people will gather for a community meal stretching a half mile along Saint Paul’s Victoria Street to discuss food access, food justice, and healthy eating. The dinner itself is sold out, but there is a first-come/first-serve rush line for last-minute return tickets. Check in at University and Victoria Street entry tent starting at 1 p.m. for your chance to get a seat at the table! Go here for more details about the event.

                      Victoria Street, Saint Paul

                      1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

                      (Illustration by Peter Kramer)



                      Free Outdoor Music & Movies:

                      Music & Movies in the Park - Saint Paul (Until September 19)

                      Rooftop Movie Night at Solera restaurant - Minneapolis (Until September 30


                      © 2014 Paige Elliott

                        Dinkytown hopes for commercial boost with new apartments

                        Fri, 2014-09-05 11:42
                        The Minnesota Daily

                        After summer construction on new luxury apartment complexes in Dinkytown kept foot and car traffic at bay, about a thousand potential customers made the area their home last week.

                        The opening of the Venue and the Marshall, which reported that they have about 1,000 beds filled and can house almost 350 more people combined, has business owners and others in the University of Minnesota neighborhood anticipating changes due to the recent influx of residents.

                        While some area business owners say the added people will make up for lost profits, others are less concerned about Dinkytown’s sudden added population.

                        Tony’s Diner owner Tony Nicklow said he thinks his business will benefit from the increased customer base, adding that his location draws customers mostly from foot traffic.

                        “More people in Dinkytown is good for the business,” he said. “You want to have foot traffic; you want to have people in this area.”

                        But Burrito Loco owner Greg Pillsbury said while he’s happy to see more people milling the area, he doesn’t believe they’ll have a large impact on his business.

                        “If you’re standing in front of my place and your apartment is 30 feet away and you can get a burrito or you can go make Ramen,” he said, “it just depends on your budget.”

                        The Venue’s leases run anywhere from about $525 to $1,100 per month, according to its website. The Marshall has similar pricing.

                        With both complexes located above fledgling businesses — the Venue is above Goodwill’s Gina + Will store, and the Marshall sits on top of TargetExpress — the apartments are some of the closest to Dinkytown’s core.

                        But the new residents could bring changes beyond extra business for Dinkytown stores. Book House owner Kristen Eide-Tollefson said she’s worried about a potential increase in crime with the added population, a problem she said businesses will try to prevent.

                        But despite those concerns, she said she’s looking forward to the boost in business.

                        The Marshall’s close proximity to campus contributes to the apartment’s appeal, said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communications for the apartment’s developer, Education Realty.

                        In turn, residents will likely engage with area businesses, she said.

                        “We have a Target in the bottom floor,” Jennings said. “But then you have that great night life right there in Dinkytown and yet you’re still close to campus.”

                        General Manager at the Library Bar and Grill Joe Berg said the establishment didn’t suffer from area construction because the bar has its own parking lot, a luxury few other Dinkytown businesses share.

                        The Bridges, a large complex located on University Avenue along Interstate 35W, also welcomed its first residents this year, along with the Rail, a Marcy-Holmes apartment. The Rail rents apartments starting between $450 and $675.

                        Like the Marshall, assistant leasing manager for the Venue Samantha Teller said the location was one of the main selling points for filling the apartment.

                        “Location is everything for students right now, especially being right in the heart of Dinkytown,” she said.

                        After summer construction on new luxury apartment complexes in Dinkytown kept foot and car traffic at bay, about a thousand potential customers made the area their home last week.

                        The opening of the Venue and the Marshall, which reported that they have about 1,000 beds filled and can house almost 350 more people combined, has business owners and others in the University of Minnesota neighborhood anticipating changes due to the recent influx of residents.

                        While some area business owners say the added people will make up for lost profits, others are less concerned about Dinkytown’s sudden added population.

                        Tony’s Diner owner Tony Nicklow said he thinks his business will benefit from the increased customer base, adding that his location draws customers mostly from foot traffic.

                        “More people in Dinkytown is good for the business,” he said. “You want to have foot traffic; you want to have people in this area.”

                        But Burrito Loco owner Greg Pillsbury said while he’s happy to see more people milling the area, he doesn’t believe they’ll have a large impact on his business.

                        “If you’re standing in front of my place and your apartment is 30 feet away and you can get a burrito or you can go make Ramen,” he said, “it just depends on your budget.”

                        The Venue’s leases run anywhere from about $525 to $1,100 per month, according to its website. The Marshall has similar pricing.

                        With both complexes located above fledgling businesses — the Venue is above Goodwill’s Gina + Will store, and the Marshall sits on top of TargetExpress — the apartments are some of the closest to Dinkytown’s core.

                        But the new residents could bring changes beyond extra business for Dinkytown stores. Book House owner Kristen Eide-Tollefson said she’s worried about a potential increase in crime with the added population, a problem she said businesses will try to prevent.

                        But despite those concerns, she said she’s looking forward to the boost in business.

                        The Marshall’s close proximity to campus contributes to the apartment’s appeal, said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communications for the apartment’s developer, Education Realty.

                        In turn, residents will likely engage with area businesses, she said.

                        “We have a Target in the bottom floor,” Jennings said. “But then you have that great night life right there in Dinkytown and yet you’re still close to campus.”

                        General Manager at the Library Bar and Grill Joe Berg said the establishment didn’t suffer from area construction because the bar has its own parking lot, a luxury few other Dinkytown businesses share.

                        The Bridges, a large complex located on University Avenue along Interstate 35W, also welcomed its first residents this year, along with the Rail, a Marcy-Holmes apartment. The Rail rents apartments starting between $450 and $675.

                        Like the Marshall, assistant leasing manager for the Venue Samantha Teller said the location was one of the main selling points for filling the apartment.

                        “Location is everything for students right now, especially being right in the heart of Dinkytown,” she said.

                        © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

                          Dinkytown hopes for commercial boost with new apartments

                          Fri, 2014-09-05 11:42
                          The Minnesota Daily

                          After summer construction on new luxury apartment complexes in Dinkytown kept foot and car traffic at bay, about a thousand potential customers made the area their home last week.

                          The opening of the Venue and the Marshall, which reported that they have about 1,000 beds filled and can house almost 350 more people combined, has business owners and others in the University of Minnesota neighborhood anticipating changes due to the recent influx of residents.

                          While some area business owners say the added people will make up for lost profits, others are less concerned about Dinkytown’s sudden added population.

                          Tony’s Diner owner Tony Nicklow said he thinks his business will benefit from the increased customer base, adding that his location draws customers mostly from foot traffic.

                          “More people in Dinkytown is good for the business,” he said. “You want to have foot traffic; you want to have people in this area.”

                          But Burrito Loco owner Greg Pillsbury said while he’s happy to see more people milling the area, he doesn’t believe they’ll have a large impact on his business.

                          “If you’re standing in front of my place and your apartment is 30 feet away and you can get a burrito or you can go make Ramen,” he said, “it just depends on your budget.”

                          The Venue’s leases run anywhere from about $525 to $1,100 per month, according to its website. The Marshall has similar pricing.

                          With both complexes located above fledgling businesses — the Venue is above Goodwill’s Gina + Will store, and the Marshall sits on top of TargetExpress — the apartments are some of the closest to Dinkytown’s core.

                          But the new residents could bring changes beyond extra business for Dinkytown stores. Book House owner Kristen Eide-Tollefson said she’s worried about a potential increase in crime with the added population, a problem she said businesses will try to prevent.

                          But despite those concerns, she said she’s looking forward to the boost in business.

                          The Marshall’s close proximity to campus contributes to the apartment’s appeal, said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communications for the apartment’s developer, Education Realty.

                          In turn, residents will likely engage with area businesses, she said.

                          “We have a Target in the bottom floor,” Jennings said. “But then you have that great night life right there in Dinkytown and yet you’re still close to campus.”

                          General Manager at the Library Bar and Grill Joe Berg said the establishment didn’t suffer from area construction because the bar has its own parking lot, a luxury few other Dinkytown businesses share.

                          The Bridges, a large complex located on University Avenue along Interstate 35W, also welcomed its first residents this year, along with the Rail, a Marcy-Holmes apartment. The Rail rents apartments starting between $450 and $675.

                          Like the Marshall, assistant leasing manager for the Venue Samantha Teller said the location was one of the main selling points for filling the apartment.

                          “Location is everything for students right now, especially being right in the heart of Dinkytown,” she said.

                          After summer construction on new luxury apartment complexes in Dinkytown kept foot and car traffic at bay, about a thousand potential customers made the area their home last week.

                          The opening of the Venue and the Marshall, which reported that they have about 1,000 beds filled and can house almost 350 more people combined, has business owners and others in the University of Minnesota neighborhood anticipating changes due to the recent influx of residents.

                          While some area business owners say the added people will make up for lost profits, others are less concerned about Dinkytown’s sudden added population.

                          Tony’s Diner owner Tony Nicklow said he thinks his business will benefit from the increased customer base, adding that his location draws customers mostly from foot traffic.

                          “More people in Dinkytown is good for the business,” he said. “You want to have foot traffic; you want to have people in this area.”

                          But Burrito Loco owner Greg Pillsbury said while he’s happy to see more people milling the area, he doesn’t believe they’ll have a large impact on his business.

                          “If you’re standing in front of my place and your apartment is 30 feet away and you can get a burrito or you can go make Ramen,” he said, “it just depends on your budget.”

                          The Venue’s leases run anywhere from about $525 to $1,100 per month, according to its website. The Marshall has similar pricing.

                          With both complexes located above fledgling businesses — the Venue is above Goodwill’s Gina + Will store, and the Marshall sits on top of TargetExpress — the apartments are some of the closest to Dinkytown’s core.

                          But the new residents could bring changes beyond extra business for Dinkytown stores. Book House owner Kristen Eide-Tollefson said she’s worried about a potential increase in crime with the added population, a problem she said businesses will try to prevent.

                          But despite those concerns, she said she’s looking forward to the boost in business.

                          The Marshall’s close proximity to campus contributes to the apartment’s appeal, said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communications for the apartment’s developer, Education Realty.

                          In turn, residents will likely engage with area businesses, she said.

                          “We have a Target in the bottom floor,” Jennings said. “But then you have that great night life right there in Dinkytown and yet you’re still close to campus.”

                          General Manager at the Library Bar and Grill Joe Berg said the establishment didn’t suffer from area construction because the bar has its own parking lot, a luxury few other Dinkytown businesses share.

                          The Bridges, a large complex located on University Avenue along Interstate 35W, also welcomed its first residents this year, along with the Rail, a Marcy-Holmes apartment. The Rail rents apartments starting between $450 and $675.

                          Like the Marshall, assistant leasing manager for the Venue Samantha Teller said the location was one of the main selling points for filling the apartment.

                          “Location is everything for students right now, especially being right in the heart of Dinkytown,” she said.

                          © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

                            OPINION | Working on renters' issues in Lyndale

                            Fri, 2014-09-05 11:31
                            Lyndale Neighborhood Association

                            Working on renters’ issues in Lyndale called to me through the lens of an educator. I live for the challenges and little victories I experience every day at our community school not because I have patience and hope but because continuity is on my side. When a family gains understanding of the ins and outs of our school, when teachers are able to collaborate about the skills and needs of a child as they progress to the next grade level, when we are able to construct a shared foundation of knowledge as educators and students, we have the advantage of successful learning relationships.

                            Recently, I've heard an increasing amount of personal accounts from our families about stressful and costly evictions, tenant-landlord miscommunications that could be avoided, and building conditions that need to be improved. These circumstances result in high mobility that undoes progress at school and in our neighborhood as we lose these residents' stories, skills, and companionship. When this is combined with rising rents our community becomes less stable and Lyndale faces the potential loss of our neighborhood’s cultural and economic diversity.

                            A group of us has begun working with people who are referred to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) looking for answers and wondering if other people in those buildings might be confronting the same situations, and if so, how can we possibly serve them? In additions to referrals we have also been making calls and doorknocking to bring people together.

                            On Friday, August 22nd we met for the third time with a group of community members who are teaching one another about the rights and responsibilities of a renter-landlord relationship including how to document their housing situation before, during, and after their stay by maintaining and understanding copies of leases and letters between parties, filling out condition reports upon move-in, and taking photos.

                            We also have had many queries about repairs and have been filling out and sending formal requests in order to have them carried out in a timely matter. We've discussed security deposits, problems with common spaces, and obtaining proof of utilities paid by the landlord as a basis for shared billing. We're learning to consult with Legal Aid, Home Line and their wonderful publication "How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block." Apart from this concrete knowledge we're starting to build visions of great rental properties and great landlords because we want more of them!

                            Hopefully, when these efforts are articulated and carried out they'll become part of LNA’s ongoing work, they'll help us build proactive, positive tenant-landlord relationships and eventually the long-term stability of neighbors-that-rent will mirror that of neighbors-that-own. Especially in a community where there are 2,587 renter occupied units and 791 owner occupied units, let's make continuity an opportunity for everyone, and participation from residents representing various living situations a priority for LNA. After all, diversity is what brought me to Lyndale in the first place, and its preservation is what keeps me here today.

                            Working on renters’ issues in Lyndale called to me through the lens of an educator. I live for the challenges and little victories I experience every day at our community school not because I have patience and hope but because continuity is on my side. When a family gains understanding of the ins and outs of our school, when teachers are able to collaborate about the skills and needs of a child as they progress to the next grade level, when we are able to construct a shared foundation of knowledge as educators and students, we have the advantage of successful learning relationships.

                            Recently, I've heard an increasing amount of personal accounts from our families about stressful and costly evictions, tenant-landlord miscommunications that could be avoided, and building conditions that need to be improved. These circumstances result in high mobility that undoes progress at school and in our neighborhood as we lose these residents' stories, skills, and companionship. When this is combined with rising rents our community becomes less stable and Lyndale faces the potential loss of our neighborhood’s cultural and economic diversity.

                            A group of us has begun working with people who are referred to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) looking for answers and wondering if other people in those buildings might be confronting the same situations, and if so, how can we possibly serve them? In additions to referrals we have also been making calls and doorknocking to bring people together.

                            On Friday, August 22nd we met for the third time with a group of community members who are teaching one another about the rights and responsibilities of a renter-landlord relationship including how to document their housing situation before, during, and after their stay by maintaining and understanding copies of leases and letters between parties, filling out condition reports upon move-in, and taking photos.

                            We also have had many queries about repairs and have been filling out and sending formal requests in order to have them carried out in a timely matter. We've discussed security deposits, problems with common spaces, and obtaining proof of utilities paid by the landlord as a basis for shared billing. We're learning to consult with Legal Aid, Home Line and their wonderful publication "How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block." Apart from this concrete knowledge we're starting to build visions of great rental properties and great landlords because we want more of them!

                            Hopefully, when these efforts are articulated and carried out they'll become part of LNA’s ongoing work, they'll help us build proactive, positive tenant-landlord relationships and eventually the long-term stability of neighbors-that-rent will mirror that of neighbors-that-own. Especially in a community where there are 2,587 renter occupied units and 791 owner occupied units, let's make continuity an opportunity for everyone, and participation from residents representing various living situations a priority for LNA. After all, diversity is what brought me to Lyndale in the first place, and its preservation is what keeps me here today.

                            © 2014 Lyndale Neighborhood Association

                              OPINION | Working on renters' issues in Lyndale

                              Fri, 2014-09-05 11:31
                              Lyndale Neighborhood Association

                              Working on renters’ issues in Lyndale called to me through the lens of an educator. I live for the challenges and little victories I experience every day at our community school not because I have patience and hope but because continuity is on my side. When a family gains understanding of the ins and outs of our school, when teachers are able to collaborate about the skills and needs of a child as they progress to the next grade level, when we are able to construct a shared foundation of knowledge as educators and students, we have the advantage of successful learning relationships.

                              Recently, I've heard an increasing amount of personal accounts from our families about stressful and costly evictions, tenant-landlord miscommunications that could be avoided, and building conditions that need to be improved. These circumstances result in high mobility that undoes progress at school and in our neighborhood as we lose these residents' stories, skills, and companionship. When this is combined with rising rents our community becomes less stable and Lyndale faces the potential loss of our neighborhood’s cultural and economic diversity.

                              A group of us has begun working with people who are referred to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) looking for answers and wondering if other people in those buildings might be confronting the same situations, and if so, how can we possibly serve them? In additions to referrals we have also been making calls and doorknocking to bring people together.

                              On Friday, August 22nd we met for the third time with a group of community members who are teaching one another about the rights and responsibilities of a renter-landlord relationship including how to document their housing situation before, during, and after their stay by maintaining and understanding copies of leases and letters between parties, filling out condition reports upon move-in, and taking photos.

                              We also have had many queries about repairs and have been filling out and sending formal requests in order to have them carried out in a timely matter. We've discussed security deposits, problems with common spaces, and obtaining proof of utilities paid by the landlord as a basis for shared billing. We're learning to consult with Legal Aid, Home Line and their wonderful publication "How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block." Apart from this concrete knowledge we're starting to build visions of great rental properties and great landlords because we want more of them!

                              Hopefully, when these efforts are articulated and carried out they'll become part of LNA’s ongoing work, they'll help us build proactive, positive tenant-landlord relationships and eventually the long-term stability of neighbors-that-rent will mirror that of neighbors-that-own. Especially in a community where there are 2,587 renter occupied units and 791 owner occupied units, let's make continuity an opportunity for everyone, and participation from residents representing various living situations a priority for LNA. After all, diversity is what brought me to Lyndale in the first place, and its preservation is what keeps me here today.

                              Working on renters’ issues in Lyndale called to me through the lens of an educator. I live for the challenges and little victories I experience every day at our community school not because I have patience and hope but because continuity is on my side. When a family gains understanding of the ins and outs of our school, when teachers are able to collaborate about the skills and needs of a child as they progress to the next grade level, when we are able to construct a shared foundation of knowledge as educators and students, we have the advantage of successful learning relationships.

                              Recently, I've heard an increasing amount of personal accounts from our families about stressful and costly evictions, tenant-landlord miscommunications that could be avoided, and building conditions that need to be improved. These circumstances result in high mobility that undoes progress at school and in our neighborhood as we lose these residents' stories, skills, and companionship. When this is combined with rising rents our community becomes less stable and Lyndale faces the potential loss of our neighborhood’s cultural and economic diversity.

                              A group of us has begun working with people who are referred to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) looking for answers and wondering if other people in those buildings might be confronting the same situations, and if so, how can we possibly serve them? In additions to referrals we have also been making calls and doorknocking to bring people together.

                              On Friday, August 22nd we met for the third time with a group of community members who are teaching one another about the rights and responsibilities of a renter-landlord relationship including how to document their housing situation before, during, and after their stay by maintaining and understanding copies of leases and letters between parties, filling out condition reports upon move-in, and taking photos.

                              We also have had many queries about repairs and have been filling out and sending formal requests in order to have them carried out in a timely matter. We've discussed security deposits, problems with common spaces, and obtaining proof of utilities paid by the landlord as a basis for shared billing. We're learning to consult with Legal Aid, Home Line and their wonderful publication "How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block." Apart from this concrete knowledge we're starting to build visions of great rental properties and great landlords because we want more of them!

                              Hopefully, when these efforts are articulated and carried out they'll become part of LNA’s ongoing work, they'll help us build proactive, positive tenant-landlord relationships and eventually the long-term stability of neighbors-that-rent will mirror that of neighbors-that-own. Especially in a community where there are 2,587 renter occupied units and 791 owner occupied units, let's make continuity an opportunity for everyone, and participation from residents representing various living situations a priority for LNA. After all, diversity is what brought me to Lyndale in the first place, and its preservation is what keeps me here today.

                              © 2014 Lyndale Neighborhood Association

                                Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha crosswalk "improvement" project

                                Thu, 2014-09-04 23:13
                                Sam Newberg

                                The City of Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha Crosswalk “Improvement” project. All they have to do is send out a traffic engineer to reprogram the signals so the Walk signals automatically appear. Pedestrians deserve the right to an automatic Walk signal, particularly in a city-designated Pedestrian Overlay Zone near the Blue Line, a nearly $800 million transit investment that is approached on foot by every single rider. Hundreds of pedestrians cross Hiawatha Avenue every day, and not just to access light rail. We deserve automatic Walk signals.

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

                                An early review of the pedestrian “improvement” project appeared on this site in July. As you can see, the results of the project are mixed. The stop bars and freshly-laid crosswalk stripes are underwhelming but effective, provided the paint is maintained. The completion of the crossing along the south side of 46th Street has seemed imminent for three months and counting (finish the job!).

                                That said, the project was mostly finished in June, subject to installation of new pedestrian beg buttons. And here is the rub. For approximately one month, from mid-July to mid-August, prior to the installation and programming of the new beg buttons, the signals at 38th, 42nd and 46th Streets were set for Walk signs to automatically appear. No application or beg button pushing required. And they worked splendidly! And the sky didn’t fall! And traffic wasn’t perpetually backed up as a result! Dignity for the pedestrian.

                                Then one day I headed home after dropping my son off at preschool and there he was. A city traffic engineer (uh, oh!), his Public Works truck parked on the curb, was busy at work on the traffic box, reprogramming the signal to require begging by pedestrians in order to cross the street. He was simply doing his job. But the crazy thing is, of all the items officially asked for as part of this project by the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee, this is one thing that didn’t require a $10 million upgrade; it just required a traffic engineer to come out and reprogram the signal to allow Walk signals to automatically appear. Which they did, for an interim period of one month prior to installation of beg buttons. How absolutely nuts is this scenario!? The interim condition provided the actual solution, whereas the final, expensive fix actually made things worse for pedestrians. I believe this is the exact definition of irony – “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.”

                                As easy as it was for the traffic engineer to come out a few weeks ago and program the signal at 38th Street and Hiawatha Avenue so that the crosswalks signals don’t automatically display a Walk sign, he could drive back out here some day (today!) and change it right back so pedestrians no longer have to suffer the indignity of begging to cross the street. While he’s at it, why not add Leading Pedestrian Intervals? Pedestrians are not second class citizens. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County must stop treating us as such. It is time to prioritize pedestrians rather than merely accommodate us. The solution is so easy, and we already tested it for a month this summer (albeit inadvertently), so let’s just get it done!

                                Streets.MN

                                  Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha crosswalk "improvement" project

                                  Thu, 2014-09-04 23:13
                                  Sam Newberg

                                  The City of Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha Crosswalk “Improvement” project. All they have to do is send out a traffic engineer to reprogram the signals so the Walk signals automatically appear. Pedestrians deserve the right to an automatic Walk signal, particularly in a city-designated Pedestrian Overlay Zone near the Blue Line, a nearly $800 million transit investment that is approached on foot by every single rider. Hundreds of pedestrians cross Hiawatha Avenue every day, and not just to access light rail. We deserve automatic Walk signals.

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

                                  An early review of the pedestrian “improvement” project appeared on this site in July. As you can see, the results of the project are mixed. The stop bars and freshly-laid crosswalk stripes are underwhelming but effective, provided the paint is maintained. The completion of the crossing along the south side of 46th Street has seemed imminent for three months and counting (finish the job!).

                                  That said, the project was mostly finished in June, subject to installation of new pedestrian beg buttons. And here is the rub. For approximately one month, from mid-July to mid-August, prior to the installation and programming of the new beg buttons, the signals at 38th, 42nd and 46th Streets were set for Walk signs to automatically appear. No application or beg button pushing required. And they worked splendidly! And the sky didn’t fall! And traffic wasn’t perpetually backed up as a result! Dignity for the pedestrian.

                                  Then one day I headed home after dropping my son off at preschool and there he was. A city traffic engineer (uh, oh!), his Public Works truck parked on the curb, was busy at work on the traffic box, reprogramming the signal to require begging by pedestrians in order to cross the street. He was simply doing his job. But the crazy thing is, of all the items officially asked for as part of this project by the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee, this is one thing that didn’t require a $10 million upgrade; it just required a traffic engineer to come out and reprogram the signal to allow Walk signals to automatically appear. Which they did, for an interim period of one month prior to installation of beg buttons. How absolutely nuts is this scenario!? The interim condition provided the actual solution, whereas the final, expensive fix actually made things worse for pedestrians. I believe this is the exact definition of irony – “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.”

                                  As easy as it was for the traffic engineer to come out a few weeks ago and program the signal at 38th Street and Hiawatha Avenue so that the crosswalks signals don’t automatically display a Walk sign, he could drive back out here some day (today!) and change it right back so pedestrians no longer have to suffer the indignity of begging to cross the street. While he’s at it, why not add Leading Pedestrian Intervals? Pedestrians are not second class citizens. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County must stop treating us as such. It is time to prioritize pedestrians rather than merely accommodate us. The solution is so easy, and we already tested it for a month this summer (albeit inadvertently), so let’s just get it done!

                                  Streets.MN

                                    Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha crosswalk "improvement" project

                                    Wed, 2014-09-03 16:13
                                    Sam Newberg

                                    The City of Minneapolis can salvage the Hiawatha Crosswalk “Improvement” project. All they have to do is send out a traffic engineer to reprogram the signals so the Walk signals automatically appear. Pedestrians deserve the right to an automatic Walk signal, particularly in a city-designated Pedestrian Overlay Zone near the Blue Line, a nearly $800 million transit investment that is approached on foot by every single rider. Hundreds of pedestrians cross Hiawatha Avenue every day, and not just to access light rail. We deserve automatic Walk signals.

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

                                    An early review of the pedestrian “improvement” project appeared on this site in July. As you can see, the results of the project are mixed. The stop bars and freshly-laid crosswalk stripes are underwhelming but effective, provided the paint is maintained. The completion of the crossing along the south side of 46th Street has seemed imminent for three months and counting (finish the job!).

                                    That said, the project was mostly finished in June, subject to installation of new pedestrian beg buttons. And here is the rub. For approximately one month, from mid-July to mid-August, prior to the installation and programming of the new beg buttons, the signals at 38th, 42nd and 46th Streets were set for Walk signs to automatically appear. No application or beg button pushing required. And they worked splendidly! And the sky didn’t fall! And traffic wasn’t perpetually backed up as a result! Dignity for the pedestrian.

                                    Then one day I headed home after dropping my son off at preschool and there he was. A city traffic engineer (uh, oh!), his Public Works truck parked on the curb, was busy at work on the traffic box, reprogramming the signal to require begging by pedestrians in order to cross the street. He was simply doing his job. But the crazy thing is, of all the items officially asked for as part of this project by the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee, this is one thing that didn’t require a $10 million upgrade; it just required a traffic engineer to come out and reprogram the signal to allow Walk signals to automatically appear. Which they did, for an interim period of one month prior to installation of beg buttons. How absolutely nuts is this scenario!? The interim condition provided the actual solution, whereas the final, expensive fix actually made things worse for pedestrians. I believe this is the exact definition of irony – “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.”

                                    As easy as it was for the traffic engineer to come out a few weeks ago and program the signal at 38th Street and Hiawatha Avenue so that the crosswalks signals don’t automatically display a Walk sign, he could drive back out here some day (today!) and change it right back so pedestrians no longer have to suffer the indignity of begging to cross the street. While he’s at it, why not add Leading Pedestrian Intervals? Pedestrians are not second class citizens. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County must stop treating us as such. It is time to prioritize pedestrians rather than merely accommodate us. The solution is so easy, and we already tested it for a month this summer (albeit inadvertently), so let’s just get it done!

                                    Streets.MN

                                      All sales final: Roberts Shoes going out of business after 77 years

                                      Wed, 2014-09-03 15:15
                                      Southside Pride

                                      Any time you see a Going Out of Business Sale sign, you know some lives are changing, as an institution is coming to its end. But what if that business has been in the same location, in the same family, and with only two owners, since 1937? That’s the story at the corner of Chicago and Lake, where the familiar green signs “Roberts Shoes” and “Hardly A Foot We Can’t Fit” are now eclipsed by huge going-out-of-business sale signs. That’s the main story, but there are scores of other stories, too.

                                      The stories about people: Nathan Roberts was the original owner. In 1937 he was an employee at Kaplans, when it was on Franklin Avenue. A chain store called Minneapolis Shoe Company was going bankrupt, and Roberts had the idea to buy one of their stores, at the corner of Chicago and Lake. The Sears department store and warehouse had just gone in a few years earlier, and two streetcars passed by the corner, so he figured it would be a good location. He was obviously right! Roberts worked in the store until his death in the late 1990s at age 89. There are a few old-timers still working there who sold shoes with Roberts years before Mark Simon, the current owner. At 62, Simon says he is one of the younger members of staff. Several are well past retirement age, but apparently shoe salesmen never want to retire. Or maybe they were just inspired by Roberts’ example.

                                      In 1982, Nate Roberts recruited his son-in-law Mark Simon to work in the store, with the view to taking it over. Simon found he liked retail sales as much as his father-in-law, so he stayed on and then he and his wife bought the business in 2000. Simon is the owner of both of the business he is closing down and the building that will remain. He is also a commercial realtor and will continue in that business, seeking a new tenant for the Roberts Shoes space after the business closes.

                                      The story about the neighborhood: The Sears store was struggling at the end of the ’80s, and closed in 1994, leaving a derelict building on a corner where blight and crime were coming in fast. Simon was and remains a very involved business owner, attending community and Lake Street Council meetings, and steering the neighborhood into more prosperous times. This activism paid off in a major way when the Sears building was converted to the Midtown Global Market and Allina Health complex in 2004. Roberts Shoes had a good rebound in business at first, but this was followed by recession in 2008.

                                      The story about the business models: Roberts Shoes had a really good business model to start with. They are still known for hard-to-fit sizes, and these are the customers most distressed at their closing. Through the years, changes in the retail environment challenged both Roberts and Simon, who reacted to each of them with a plan. Roberts Shoes, at Simon’s urging when Nate Roberts was still the owner, branched into athletic shoes just in time. Simon was an early adopter of the tactic of having a “web presence.” More recently, they added a line of athletic clothing. Roberts has seen many other independent shoe stores fall victim to mall-based chains and internet sales, and each one has meant a small uptick in their own business. But in the end, the tide is turning, and Simon is closing now when, as he said in an interview with the Star-Tribune, he can do it on his own terms, not under pressure from anybody.

                                      I talked to Mark Simon in the store and asked him to tell me the best stories. One, the Tornado Story, happened in 1981, the year before he started working there. The tornado tore through the Twin Cities on a Sunday in June, from west to east. At Roberts Shoes, the windows were all blown out, and the roof was taken off of the building. The inventory was scattered; there were even tales of Roberts’ shoes landing in St. Paul! But the store opened for business the next morning, out on the sidewalk, selling shoes. The other great story may be apocryphal; I can’t confirm it, but it’s a great story. According to Simon, Robert Pirsig penned his best-known work, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” in a studio above Roberts Shoes that he was subletting from a small publisher. I really hope that’s true.

                                      According to Minneapolis licensing rules, the store has 90 days to hold its closing sale. They can apply for an extension, but best be safe and don’t put it off too long. Get yourself some shoes for a bargain, and a piece of history for free.

                                      Any time you see a Going Out of Business Sale sign, you know some lives are changing, as an institution is coming to its end. But what if that business has been in the same location, in the same family, and with only two owners, since 1937? That’s the story at the corner of Chicago and Lake, where the familiar green signs “Roberts Shoes” and “Hardly A Foot We Can’t Fit” are now eclipsed by huge going-out-of-business sale signs. That’s the main story, but there are scores of other stories, too.

                                      The stories about people: Nathan Roberts was the original owner. In 1937 he was an employee at Kaplans, when it was on Franklin Avenue. A chain store called Minneapolis Shoe Company was going bankrupt, and Roberts had the idea to buy one of their stores, at the corner of Chicago and Lake. The Sears department store and warehouse had just gone in a few years earlier, and two streetcars passed by the corner, so he figured it would be a good location. He was obviously right! Roberts worked in the store until his death in the late 1990s at age 89. There are a few old-timers still working there who sold shoes with Roberts years before Mark Simon, the current owner. At 62, Simon says he is one of the younger members of staff. Several are well past retirement age, but apparently shoe salesmen never want to retire. Or maybe they were just inspired by Roberts’ example.

                                      In 1982, Nate Roberts recruited his son-in-law Mark Simon to work in the store, with the view to taking it over. Simon found he liked retail sales as much as his father-in-law, so he stayed on and then he and his wife bought the business in 2000. Simon is the owner of both of the business he is closing down and the building that will remain. He is also a commercial realtor and will continue in that business, seeking a new tenant for the Roberts Shoes space after the business closes.

                                      The story about the neighborhood: The Sears store was struggling at the end of the ’80s, and closed in 1994, leaving a derelict building on a corner where blight and crime were coming in fast. Simon was and remains a very involved business owner, attending community and Lake Street Council meetings, and steering the neighborhood into more prosperous times. This activism paid off in a major way when the Sears building was converted to the Midtown Global Market and Allina Health complex in 2004. Roberts Shoes had a good rebound in business at first, but this was followed by recession in 2008.

                                      The story about the business models: Roberts Shoes had a really good business model to start with. They are still known for hard-to-fit sizes, and these are the customers most distressed at their closing. Through the years, changes in the retail environment challenged both Roberts and Simon, who reacted to each of them with a plan. Roberts Shoes, at Simon’s urging when Nate Roberts was still the owner, branched into athletic shoes just in time. Simon was an early adopter of the tactic of having a “web presence.” More recently, they added a line of athletic clothing. Roberts has seen many other independent shoe stores fall victim to mall-based chains and internet sales, and each one has meant a small uptick in their own business. But in the end, the tide is turning, and Simon is closing now when, as he said in an interview with the Star-Tribune, he can do it on his own terms, not under pressure from anybody.

                                      I talked to Mark Simon in the store and asked him to tell me the best stories. One, the Tornado Story, happened in 1981, the year before he started working there. The tornado tore through the Twin Cities on a Sunday in June, from west to east. At Roberts Shoes, the windows were all blown out, and the roof was taken off of the building. The inventory was scattered; there were even tales of Roberts’ shoes landing in St. Paul! But the store opened for business the next morning, out on the sidewalk, selling shoes. The other great story may be apocryphal; I can’t confirm it, but it’s a great story. According to Simon, Robert Pirsig penned his best-known work, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” in a studio above Roberts Shoes that he was subletting from a small publisher. I really hope that’s true.

                                      According to Minneapolis licensing rules, the store has 90 days to hold its closing sale. They can apply for an extension, but best be safe and don’t put it off too long. Get yourself some shoes for a bargain, and a piece of history for free.

                                      © 2014 Southside Pride

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