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University of Minnesota student representatives now sit on Southeast Como, Marcy-Holmes boards

Thu, 2014-11-13 14:22
The Minnesota Daily

The Southeast Como Improvement Association officially approved student voting positions Wednesday evening, a policy change neighborhood leaders say represents the growing role University of Minnesota students are playing in the area.

Many neighborhood boards comprise property owners and long-time residents. And even though student government leaders have had voting power with the Southeast Como association for a while, the neighborhood group’s official approval of the student voting positions gives students a more established voice within the community.

Minnesota Student Association and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly members hold seats on both SECIA and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which represent two prominent neighborhoods in the area.

Because students make up such a large population in the area, SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said it’s important to consider them on issues like safety.

“We want the student voice to be heard in everything that we do — especially when it comes to the board,” he said.

In the past, some residents have considered students a nuisance, McCurley said. But that stigma is starting to dissolve.

“They’re an integral part of our neighborhood,” he said. “And we want to find ways to connect them.”

To ensure more students can get involved, McCurley said the association has loosened some of its eligibility guidelines to become a board member, like reducing the amount of time a resident has to live in the neighborhood.

Michael Tormoen, an MSA representative for SECIA, said as a student he can offer perspectives to the board that are unique to student renters.

Specifically, he said, his priority in the coming months will be encouraging students to consider their safety in the area.

Nikki Mardell, MSA’s representative for the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, said students can point out issues in the area that other board members may not have on their radar.

“If students want affordable housing, they’re going to have to fight for it,” she said. “The rest of the board isn’t going to do it.”

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association’s GAPSA representative, Diane Hahn, said it’s important for students to be aware of what’s going on within the neighborhoods because it makes their experiences as residents better.

She said she hopes to strengthen communication between students and the neighborhood so that students are more informed about policy changes or area updates.

“As a student, it’s often difficult to know what’s going on in the community and how I’m supposed to be following certain regulations,” Hahn said.

Mardell said that even though students may not be in the area for a long time, it’s still important for them to get involved and make changes.

“Even though we are still kind of a transient group, [students are] still going to be here,” she said. “The ‘U’ is always going to be here.”

The Southeast Como Improvement Association officially approved student voting positions Wednesday evening, a policy change neighborhood leaders say represents the growing role University of Minnesota students are playing in the area.

Many neighborhood boards comprise property owners and long-time residents. And even though student government leaders have had voting power with the Southeast Como association for a while, the neighborhood group’s official approval of the student voting positions gives students a more established voice within the community.

Minnesota Student Association and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly members hold seats on both SECIA and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which represent two prominent neighborhoods in the area.

Because students make up such a large population in the area, SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said it’s important to consider them on issues like safety.

“We want the student voice to be heard in everything that we do — especially when it comes to the board,” he said.

In the past, some residents have considered students a nuisance, McCurley said. But that stigma is starting to dissolve.

“They’re an integral part of our neighborhood,” he said. “And we want to find ways to connect them.”

To ensure more students can get involved, McCurley said the association has loosened some of its eligibility guidelines to become a board member, like reducing the amount of time a resident has to live in the neighborhood.

Michael Tormoen, an MSA representative for SECIA, said as a student he can offer perspectives to the board that are unique to student renters.

Specifically, he said, his priority in the coming months will be encouraging students to consider their safety in the area.

Nikki Mardell, MSA’s representative for the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, said students can point out issues in the area that other board members may not have on their radar.

“If students want affordable housing, they’re going to have to fight for it,” she said. “The rest of the board isn’t going to do it.”

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association’s GAPSA representative, Diane Hahn, said it’s important for students to be aware of what’s going on within the neighborhoods because it makes their experiences as residents better.

She said she hopes to strengthen communication between students and the neighborhood so that students are more informed about policy changes or area updates.

“As a student, it’s often difficult to know what’s going on in the community and how I’m supposed to be following certain regulations,” Hahn said.

Mardell said that even though students may not be in the area for a long time, it’s still important for them to get involved and make changes.

“Even though we are still kind of a transient group, [students are] still going to be here,” she said. “The ‘U’ is always going to be here.”

© 2014 The Minnesota Daily

Prospect Park neighborhood seeks national historic designation

Tue, 2014-11-11 14:44
The Minnesota Daily

After nearly 20 years of work, Prospect Park may finally see historic designation.

The neighborhood’s residents opposed a local historic designation in 2010, but some residents and city officials hope the 130-year-old neighborhood will gain national historic designation this spring.

Citizens opposed the city’s requirements for local designation because of their time-consuming and strict nature.

Along with some other incentives and requirements, national recognition would add the area to the National Register of Historic Places.

Joe Ring, chairman of the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association’s historic district committee, said he has been working on getting the neighborhood recognized since 1995.

Areas on the national register have to have historic significance and integrity, Ring said. Usually the majority of buildings in historic districts have to be over 50 years old.

The Witch’s Hat Tower and Tower Hill Park were placed on the National Register in 1997.

Placement on the national register would offer recognition and potentially mitigate federal or state construction work near the area, and some are excited and hopeful that residents will want this.

Designation would also give tax credits to income-producing properties like businesses when they substantially renovate their properties.

“There are so many neighborhoods that would kill to be on a national registry,” said Charlene Roise, a historical consultant who has worked with the neighborhood since the water tower was placed on the register.

Roise examined every building in the area to determine where the boundaries lie and what characteristics define the neighborhood.

The two defining architectural styles in the neighborhood are Queen Anne and Colonial Revival houses, which both came to prominence in the 19th century when Prospect Park began to grow, she said.

The end of the work toward designation comes a few weeks after Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon’s conservation district ordinance, which would allow residents to preserve their area’s characteristics, was approved by the City Council.

Residents could use the ordinance to place stricter guidelines on the kinds of alterations that can be done to buildings in the district. Gordon said he’s hopeful people in Prospect Park and across Minneapolis will use the new tool.

National recognition could deter housing developers from purchasing old properties in the area.

Denis Gardner, who works for the State Historic Preservation Office, said developers have tried to purchase the Pratt Community School several times but backed out to avoid bureaucracy.

In January, the state will put notices out and accept votes from area residents. If a simple majority of residents vote yes, the application will be reviewed by the Keeper of the National Register and most likely will be accepted, Gardner said.

But Gardner and Gordon said some people might not agree to be placed on the register.

“There are people who might not like it because they don’t think the government should even recognize it,” Gordon said.

He’s also concerned about the way the votes will be counted, because people who don’t vote will be counted as affirmatives.

Other residents say they hope national designation will slow down encroachment on Prospect Park.

“Already we’ve got the light rail, the U, and we’re right next to St. Paul,” said Susan Larson-Fleming, a neighborhood resident. “We’ve had to fight for patience.”

After nearly 20 years of work, Prospect Park may finally see historic designation.

The neighborhood’s residents opposed a local historic designation in 2010, but some residents and city officials hope the 130-year-old neighborhood will gain national historic designation this spring.

Citizens opposed the city’s requirements for local designation because of their time-consuming and strict nature.

Along with some other incentives and requirements, national recognition would add the area to the National Register of Historic Places.

Joe Ring, chairman of the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association’s historic district committee, said he has been working on getting the neighborhood recognized since 1995.

Areas on the national register have to have historic significance and integrity, Ring said. Usually the majority of buildings in historic districts have to be over 50 years old.

The Witch’s Hat Tower and Tower Hill Park were placed on the National Register in 1997.

Placement on the national register would offer recognition and potentially mitigate federal or state construction work near the area, and some are excited and hopeful that residents will want this.

Designation would also give tax credits to income-producing properties like businesses when they substantially renovate their properties.

“There are so many neighborhoods that would kill to be on a national registry,” said Charlene Roise, a historical consultant who has worked with the neighborhood since the water tower was placed on the register.

Roise examined every building in the area to determine where the boundaries lie and what characteristics define the neighborhood.

The two defining architectural styles in the neighborhood are Queen Anne and Colonial Revival houses, which both came to prominence in the 19th century when Prospect Park began to grow, she said.

The end of the work toward designation comes a few weeks after Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon’s conservation district ordinance, which would allow residents to preserve their area’s characteristics, was approved by the City Council.

Residents could use the ordinance to place stricter guidelines on the kinds of alterations that can be done to buildings in the district. Gordon said he’s hopeful people in Prospect Park and across Minneapolis will use the new tool.

National recognition could deter housing developers from purchasing old properties in the area.

Denis Gardner, who works for the State Historic Preservation Office, said developers have tried to purchase the Pratt Community School several times but backed out to avoid bureaucracy.

In January, the state will put notices out and accept votes from area residents. If a simple majority of residents vote yes, the application will be reviewed by the Keeper of the National Register and most likely will be accepted, Gardner said.

But Gardner and Gordon said some people might not agree to be placed on the register.

“There are people who might not like it because they don’t think the government should even recognize it,” Gordon said.

He’s also concerned about the way the votes will be counted, because people who don’t vote will be counted as affirmatives.

Other residents say they hope national designation will slow down encroachment on Prospect Park.

“Already we’ve got the light rail, the U, and we’re right next to St. Paul,” said Susan Larson-Fleming, a neighborhood resident. “We’ve had to fight for patience.”

© 2014 The Minnesota Daily

OPINION | Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, no more?

Mon, 2014-11-10 15:56
edfelien@souths... Southside Pride

“My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” –Grover Norquist

Is that what happened to the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association? Did some right-wing ideologues drown NENA in the bathtub?

At its Thursday, Oct.23, board meeting, six board members decided to fire the staff. There was no prior notice sent to all members. The item was not on the agenda, but a motion was raised at the end of the meeting on a point of personal privilege.

The NENA website announced:

“As of 10 p.m. Oct. 23 there will no longer be any NENA staff. This website will no longer be updated (a staff function) and calls and email to staff will not be answered.

“We apologize for any inconvenience the board’s decision may cause you. If you need to get hold of NENA, please email the board chair, Kent Knopp-Schwyn: chair [at] nokomiseast [dot] org

“It has been our honor and pleasure to serve the Nokomis East Neighborhoods for the past 15 years.

“Thank you and Farewell! –Doug Walter and Rita Ulrich”

Attempts to reach Kent Knopp-Schwyn have been unsuccessful. There has been no public explanation of why such a drastic action was taken so abruptly.

NENA has a citywide reputation as a successful and well-run neighborhood organization. The Minneapolis Monarch Festival and the Night Before New Year’s Eve are widely appreciated community celebrations.

In commenting on the coup in the Nokomis Issues List, Cheryl Luger (in her very personal style of punctuation and capitalization) said,

“do you know why the +10 year old annual meeting skipped the gratis fat Lorenzo’s buffet, replacing it with a few cookies? cuz it drew neighbors together for the ‘WRONG’ reasons…food and camaderie. lord save us from the puritans. neighborhood participation in community building at these FAMILY- oriented dinners (which also showed appreciation with donated items/prizes by businesses and community recognition awards) dropped from +150-200 to under 30 or so (I was told) this year.”

At a board meeting a week after the firing of staff, Lisa Dunn reported,

“When the meeting started, the board chair, Kent Knopp-Shwynn, announced that the meeting agenda included only those items to move the organization forward. There would be no other discussion. A few moments later City Council Member Andrew Johnson leaned into the table and handed Chairperson Knopp-Shwynn paper to distribute, and Chair Knopp-Shwynn said, ‘No, I made an announcement, we are not talking about that.’ This was very disappointing because ‘that’ was exactly why my husband and I went to the meeting.”

Council Member Andrew Johnson made the following statement to Southside Pride:

“NENA is primarily funded by the city, so we will certainly be reviewing this to make sure such a huge decision was handled properly. But they are also an independent non-profit organization, so at the end of the day, as long as they’re following the law, staff decisions rest with the board. The organization will clearly be facing a big transition in the coming months, and we have already reached out to offer support. I would encourage residents to be involved in helping shape the future of the Nokomis-East Neighborhood Association as it is being rebuilt.”

Most comments on the Nokomis List have been very supportive of the staff and very critical of the firing and deliberate collapse of the organization.

Doug Walter expressed his frustration:

“Yes it is demoralizing to be treated like petty criminals or faceless, laid off employees at some Fortune 500 corporation.

“I keep getting asked why, after almost two weeks, the board’s remaining executives have yet to explain their action to the residents and businesses they are supposed to represent. I can’t answer that beyond speculation at this point. There were no reasons, logic or proof of our ‘inability to successfully serve the neighborhood,’ discussed that night. None, even when some board members asked. One would assume that those reasons were already in place before the motion was presented.”

The older we get the more we appreciate just how fragile the connections are between us and the people we love. And we never think about the connections between us and our communities. A death in the family teaches us quickly how vulnerable we are.

NENA will most certainly survive this traumatic shock. It will most certainly be rebuilt. There are just too many good people who want that to happen, and, hopefully, next time we won’t take it for granted and let it get drowned in a bathtub.

Adopted by the NENA Board on Nov. 6, 2014

The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) is making a change in administrative leadership because, despite significant effort over several months, the board has been unable to rebuild and maintain a positive working relationship with existing staff. The board has regretfully concluded that a change in NENA’s day-to-day management was necessary.

Board members and current staff will be responding to email, phone messages and walk-in traffic, until NENA can hire an interim director to reorganize and manage day-to-day operations. We regret any delays and inconveniences this may cause.

The board will meet next on Nov. 13 and 20, both Thursdays, in the Keewaydin School lunchroom, from 7 to 9 p.m. As usual, the public is invited to attend.

“My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” –Grover Norquist

Is that what happened to the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association? Did some right-wing ideologues drown NENA in the bathtub?

At its Thursday, Oct.23, board meeting, six board members decided to fire the staff. There was no prior notice sent to all members. The item was not on the agenda, but a motion was raised at the end of the meeting on a point of personal privilege.

The NENA website announced:

“As of 10 p.m. Oct. 23 there will no longer be any NENA staff. This website will no longer be updated (a staff function) and calls and email to staff will not be answered.

“We apologize for any inconvenience the board’s decision may cause you. If you need to get hold of NENA, please email the board chair, Kent Knopp-Schwyn: chair [at] nokomiseast [dot] org

“It has been our honor and pleasure to serve the Nokomis East Neighborhoods for the past 15 years.

“Thank you and Farewell! –Doug Walter and Rita Ulrich”

Attempts to reach Kent Knopp-Schwyn have been unsuccessful. There has been no public explanation of why such a drastic action was taken so abruptly.

NENA has a citywide reputation as a successful and well-run neighborhood organization. The Minneapolis Monarch Festival and the Night Before New Year’s Eve are widely appreciated community celebrations.

In commenting on the coup in the Nokomis Issues List, Cheryl Luger (in her very personal style of punctuation and capitalization) said,

“do you know why the +10 year old annual meeting skipped the gratis fat Lorenzo’s buffet, replacing it with a few cookies? cuz it drew neighbors together for the ‘WRONG’ reasons…food and camaderie. lord save us from the puritans. neighborhood participation in community building at these FAMILY- oriented dinners (which also showed appreciation with donated items/prizes by businesses and community recognition awards) dropped from +150-200 to under 30 or so (I was told) this year.”

At a board meeting a week after the firing of staff, Lisa Dunn reported,

“When the meeting started, the board chair, Kent Knopp-Shwynn, announced that the meeting agenda included only those items to move the organization forward. There would be no other discussion. A few moments later City Council Member Andrew Johnson leaned into the table and handed Chairperson Knopp-Shwynn paper to distribute, and Chair Knopp-Shwynn said, ‘No, I made an announcement, we are not talking about that.’ This was very disappointing because ‘that’ was exactly why my husband and I went to the meeting.”

Council Member Andrew Johnson made the following statement to Southside Pride:

“NENA is primarily funded by the city, so we will certainly be reviewing this to make sure such a huge decision was handled properly. But they are also an independent non-profit organization, so at the end of the day, as long as they’re following the law, staff decisions rest with the board. The organization will clearly be facing a big transition in the coming months, and we have already reached out to offer support. I would encourage residents to be involved in helping shape the future of the Nokomis-East Neighborhood Association as it is being rebuilt.”

Most comments on the Nokomis List have been very supportive of the staff and very critical of the firing and deliberate collapse of the organization.

Doug Walter expressed his frustration:

“Yes it is demoralizing to be treated like petty criminals or faceless, laid off employees at some Fortune 500 corporation.

“I keep getting asked why, after almost two weeks, the board’s remaining executives have yet to explain their action to the residents and businesses they are supposed to represent. I can’t answer that beyond speculation at this point. There were no reasons, logic or proof of our ‘inability to successfully serve the neighborhood,’ discussed that night. None, even when some board members asked. One would assume that those reasons were already in place before the motion was presented.”

The older we get the more we appreciate just how fragile the connections are between us and the people we love. And we never think about the connections between us and our communities. A death in the family teaches us quickly how vulnerable we are.

NENA will most certainly survive this traumatic shock. It will most certainly be rebuilt. There are just too many good people who want that to happen, and, hopefully, next time we won’t take it for granted and let it get drowned in a bathtub.

Adopted by the NENA Board on Nov. 6, 2014

The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) is making a change in administrative leadership because, despite significant effort over several months, the board has been unable to rebuild and maintain a positive working relationship with existing staff. The board has regretfully concluded that a change in NENA’s day-to-day management was necessary.

Board members and current staff will be responding to email, phone messages and walk-in traffic, until NENA can hire an interim director to reorganize and manage day-to-day operations. We regret any delays and inconveniences this may cause.

The board will meet next on Nov. 13 and 20, both Thursdays, in the Keewaydin School lunchroom, from 7 to 9 p.m. As usual, the public is invited to attend.

© 2014 Southside Pride

Visitation Sisters celebrate 25 years of 'prayer, presence and hospitality' in North Minneapolis

Sun, 2014-11-09 15:23
Charles Hallman

Six Catholic nuns relocated from the suburbs to North Minneapolis 25 years ago. Recently the community and the sisters both celebrated that move at the Capri Theater.

“We didn’t come here as a bunch of White do-gooders, or think we could fix North Minneapolis,” said Sr. Mary Frances Reis. “We came here simply to build relationships and to be neighbors. That’s it.”

The Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis first purchased a home on Fremont Avenue in August 1989, and the six nuns later that year were commissioned as the Founding Sisters to the Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis. They purchased a second house in the same area in 1998 where they still live today.

The sisters’ ministry statement includes recognizing the community’s true worth, which “enabled us to champion and affirm those who are impoverished and lonely — those living on the fringes of society,” said Reis.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Check out the links below for other recent Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder stories:

“Our neighborhood should be very ecstatic about the nuns in the hood,” said Mary Johnson, founder of From Death to Life, a support group for the parents of victims and those convicted of violent crimes. “They helped me and my family,” said Ben, now a teenager who has known the nuns since he was very young.

According to Reis, Ben has grown quite a bit. When he was younger, “He always was kind of sad,” she recalled. “While the other kids were busy doing arts and crafts and playing games, Ben would take [religious] books and sit there on the couch and read them. I said to him one day, ‘Ben, why are you so sad?’ And he said, ‘I am sad because I talk to Jesus every day and Jesus never talks to me.’”

When Ben was a third grader returning from summer camp, “He was so happy,” continued Reis. “I said, ‘Ben, what happened?’ He said, ‘Jesus talked to me in my cabin… And guess what, Sister? He introduced me to the Father.’

“He’s a beautiful guy,” she said of Ben.

“My family’s relationship with the sisters has been a blessing,” said See Her, age 22. “I’ve known the sisters for 15 years. We are very close and I can tell them just about anything… They’ll be there for us all the way, from the good and the bad.

“As a child, I didn’t understand what they were here for,” Her noted. “Many people don’t really understand the Hmong culture and our religion. When we told them we’re not Christians, they still were very accepting and they still love us the same.”

When asked to estimate the number of individuals and families the sisters met, worked with, or encountered in some other way, “I wouldn’t have any idea,” admitted Reis. “I would say in the thousands, and thousands have touched us and taught us how to be unconditionally loving.”

“We are not social workers. We are not an agency. We are supposed to be a ministry of prayer, presence and hospitality,” Reis continued.

Johnson said she first met the sisters about three years ago. “They are a great bunch of women. The Visitation Sisters do exactly what they say — these women have the love of Christ. I am so grateful to call them my friend.”

“You hear so much bad news about North Minneapolis,” said Mary Francis. “But we have found a very loving community. We do believe that we’ve had a small part in building relationships [in the community]. You can pour millions of dollars into a community, but if you don’t connect it’s not going to be of any [help].”

Based on the October 4 packed “party” held for them at the Capri, many residents believe the Northside has benefited from the sisters’ presence for at least a quarter century and wanted to tell them so in person. “They are sticking and staying, and do what it is that they know that God has called them to do,” said Johnson. “They are setting a great example.”

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman [at] spokesman-recorder [dot] com.

Six Catholic nuns relocated from the suburbs to North Minneapolis 25 years ago. Recently the community and the sisters both celebrated that move at the Capri Theater.

“We didn’t come here as a bunch of White do-gooders, or think we could fix North Minneapolis,” said Sr. Mary Frances Reis. “We came here simply to build relationships and to be neighbors. That’s it.”

The Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis first purchased a home on Fremont Avenue in August 1989, and the six nuns later that year were commissioned as the Founding Sisters to the Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis. They purchased a second house in the same area in 1998 where they still live today.

The sisters’ ministry statement includes recognizing the community’s true worth, which “enabled us to champion and affirm those who are impoverished and lonely — those living on the fringes of society,” said Reis.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Check out the links below for other recent Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder stories:

“Our neighborhood should be very ecstatic about the nuns in the hood,” said Mary Johnson, founder of From Death to Life, a support group for the parents of victims and those convicted of violent crimes. “They helped me and my family,” said Ben, now a teenager who has known the nuns since he was very young.

According to Reis, Ben has grown quite a bit. When he was younger, “He always was kind of sad,” she recalled. “While the other kids were busy doing arts and crafts and playing games, Ben would take [religious] books and sit there on the couch and read them. I said to him one day, ‘Ben, why are you so sad?’ And he said, ‘I am sad because I talk to Jesus every day and Jesus never talks to me.’”

When Ben was a third grader returning from summer camp, “He was so happy,” continued Reis. “I said, ‘Ben, what happened?’ He said, ‘Jesus talked to me in my cabin… And guess what, Sister? He introduced me to the Father.’

“He’s a beautiful guy,” she said of Ben.

“My family’s relationship with the sisters has been a blessing,” said See Her, age 22. “I’ve known the sisters for 15 years. We are very close and I can tell them just about anything… They’ll be there for us all the way, from the good and the bad.

“As a child, I didn’t understand what they were here for,” Her noted. “Many people don’t really understand the Hmong culture and our religion. When we told them we’re not Christians, they still were very accepting and they still love us the same.”

When asked to estimate the number of individuals and families the sisters met, worked with, or encountered in some other way, “I wouldn’t have any idea,” admitted Reis. “I would say in the thousands, and thousands have touched us and taught us how to be unconditionally loving.”

“We are not social workers. We are not an agency. We are supposed to be a ministry of prayer, presence and hospitality,” Reis continued.

Johnson said she first met the sisters about three years ago. “They are a great bunch of women. The Visitation Sisters do exactly what they say — these women have the love of Christ. I am so grateful to call them my friend.”

“You hear so much bad news about North Minneapolis,” said Mary Francis. “But we have found a very loving community. We do believe that we’ve had a small part in building relationships [in the community]. You can pour millions of dollars into a community, but if you don’t connect it’s not going to be of any [help].”

Based on the October 4 packed “party” held for them at the Capri, many residents believe the Northside has benefited from the sisters’ presence for at least a quarter century and wanted to tell them so in person. “They are sticking and staying, and do what it is that they know that God has called them to do,” said Johnson. “They are setting a great example.”

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman [at] spokesman-recorder [dot] com.

© 2014 Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Van Cleve Park may get $300K for fix-ups

Thu, 2014-11-06 14:10
The Minnesota Daily

A breezy fall day had Megan Swenson strolling through the Southeast Como neighborhood’s Van Cleve Park with her dog, enjoying the green space and playground.

She was surprised to learn that the recreation space may not be the same in a few years.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is preparing to make improvements to its parks — including Van Cleve — beginning early next year, a process that will extend through 2020. The multimillion-dollar plan aims to revamp deteriorating parks across Minneapolis, although some park users say the University of Minnesota-area Van Cleve doesn’t need the updates.

Community members had a chance to voice their opinions Wednesday during a public comment period regarding Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller’s proposed budget.

The budget allocates $72.5 million over six years for rehabilitation funds and improving park amenities like playgrounds, wading pools and athletic fields.

Many turf athletic fields are falling apart, Miller said, which is just one example of Minneapolis parks’ dilapidated features.

The superintendent’s budget allocates $306,495 to Van Cleve in 2020 to make improvements to its playgrounds and site. An ongoing project to reconstruct the park’s wading pool will use half a million dollars.

But some students who frequent parks like Van Cleve say they don’t support the spending in the budget proposal, which relies on a 4 percent property tax hike.

Anthropology junior Lisa Murray said she doesn’t feel Van Cleve needs renovations.

“Overall, I think it’s a waste of money,” she said. “It’s kind of silly.”

Swenson agreed that the park isn’t in need of repair and said she’s skeptical of the superintendent’s plan to increase the budget.

“I would question where the money is coming from,” she said.

Miller said the board intends to use money from last year’s budget to consult with local community members and determine their opinions on the changes that she said need to be made.

Each park amenity has a specific life span, she said, and many of those have timed out, so it’s time for park improvements regardless of community sentiment.

“It’s a balancing act,” Miller said, noting that she has a duty to take into account both the public tax burden and the maintenance requirement for Minneapolis parks when making
decisions.

She said she expects to receive some pushback from the public over the tax increase.

Community members will be able to attend two more public comment sessions this month before the proposal is up for approval in December.

The suggested spending on park amenities is addressing a backlog of underfunded capital projects that is growing, according to a park board presentation. From 2000 to 2014, there were about $110 million in projects that weren’t funded.

Park renovations will not cease come 2020, Miller said.

“Every year we add another year,” she said, “because we will always have capital improvements we need to make in the parks system.”

A breezy fall day had Megan Swenson strolling through the Southeast Como neighborhood’s Van Cleve Park with her dog, enjoying the green space and playground.

She was surprised to learn that the recreation space may not be the same in a few years.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is preparing to make improvements to its parks — including Van Cleve — beginning early next year, a process that will extend through 2020. The multimillion-dollar plan aims to revamp deteriorating parks across Minneapolis, although some park users say the University of Minnesota-area Van Cleve doesn’t need the updates.

Community members had a chance to voice their opinions Wednesday during a public comment period regarding Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller’s proposed budget.

The budget allocates $72.5 million over six years for rehabilitation funds and improving park amenities like playgrounds, wading pools and athletic fields.

Many turf athletic fields are falling apart, Miller said, which is just one example of Minneapolis parks’ dilapidated features.

The superintendent’s budget allocates $306,495 to Van Cleve in 2020 to make improvements to its playgrounds and site. An ongoing project to reconstruct the park’s wading pool will use half a million dollars.

But some students who frequent parks like Van Cleve say they don’t support the spending in the budget proposal, which relies on a 4 percent property tax hike.

Anthropology junior Lisa Murray said she doesn’t feel Van Cleve needs renovations.

“Overall, I think it’s a waste of money,” she said. “It’s kind of silly.”

Swenson agreed that the park isn’t in need of repair and said she’s skeptical of the superintendent’s plan to increase the budget.

“I would question where the money is coming from,” she said.

Miller said the board intends to use money from last year’s budget to consult with local community members and determine their opinions on the changes that she said need to be made.

Each park amenity has a specific life span, she said, and many of those have timed out, so it’s time for park improvements regardless of community sentiment.

“It’s a balancing act,” Miller said, noting that she has a duty to take into account both the public tax burden and the maintenance requirement for Minneapolis parks when making
decisions.

She said she expects to receive some pushback from the public over the tax increase.

Community members will be able to attend two more public comment sessions this month before the proposal is up for approval in December.

The suggested spending on park amenities is addressing a backlog of underfunded capital projects that is growing, according to a park board presentation. From 2000 to 2014, there were about $110 million in projects that weren’t funded.

Park renovations will not cease come 2020, Miller said.

“Every year we add another year,” she said, “because we will always have capital improvements we need to make in the parks system.”

© 2014 The Minnesota Daily

    OPINION | Swede Hollow Park – commuter rail?

    Thu, 2014-11-06 13:38
    Karin DuPaul Dayton's Bluff District Forum

    Friends of Swede Hollow is working on a campaign to keep commuter rail out of Swede Hollow Park. One of the proposed light rail routes for the Rush Line corridor (a transit line from Forest Lake to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul) would pass through Swede Hollow Park. Friends of Swede Hollow does not oppose the Rush Line or light rail, but strongly oppose the proposed route through Swede Hollow. There are other ways for the Rush Line to get to Union Depot.

    Over the years since the Burlington Northern trains stopped rolling through Swede Hollow Park, it has become a beautiful, rich nature area full of wildlife right in the heart of the city of St. Paul. Visitors marvel at how when they are in Swede Hollow you do not know you are in the middle of a city. We believe the Rush Line would destroy the beautiful nature of Swede Hollow Park.

    The Dayton’s Bluff Take-a-Hike started on December 5, 1990 as a way to show the world that the abandoned Burlington Northern Rail Line would make a wonderful recreational trail. The line was purchased by the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority and the St. Paul section was leased to St. Paul Parks and Recreation, who developed the recreational trail. The trail was named Bruce Vento Regional Trail after a US Congressman who did much for the parks and trails and environment. The Take-a-Hike continues on the first Saturday of each month. The hike includes history of the community and now information on the light rail possibility.

    The St. Paul Garden Club was the driving force in turning Swede Hollow into a city park, along with East Side residents and the St. Paul Parks Department.

    Swede Hollow Park has been called “St. Paul's hidden gem” by a local writer. Walkers and bikers enjoy the wooded Bruce Vento Regional Trail that passes through the park, where you may see wild turkeys, deer, foxes, turtles, and many other kinds of wildlife. The Park has provided educational opportunities for many schools including the adjacent Hope Community Academy and Metro State University. It is surrounded by historic structures such as the old Hamm's Brewery, First Lutheran Church (celebrating 150 years), and the iconic 7th Street Improvement Arches.

    Swede Hollow draws people from all over the Metro area and beyond to events. Swede Hollow Park has inspired music by Peter Ostroushko, and an original opera by composer Ann Millikan which debuted at Art in the Hollow. It is a favorite venue for Mixed Precipitation's picnic operettas. The annual Art in the Hollow festival attracts talented local and regional artists and performers, and visitors from all over. The park also features a permanent sculpture known as the Swede Hollow “henge,” designed by local artist Christine Baeumler. There are many history tours of Swede Hollow attended by people from all over. Every autumn, Friends of Swede Hollow hosts a gathering called “Watch the Setting Sun on the Red Brick Brewery” at the henge, where some people who were born in the Hollow share their memories of this unique and beloved park.

    Combining train tracks with animals, children, and adults in a ravine would likely be dangerous, irresponsible, and destroy a valued City Park and gathering place. If you would like to help us keep the Rush Line out of Swede Hollow Park, please sign our petition at www.change.org (click on Environment, then search for “Swede Hollow.”) For more information about Friends of Swede Hollow, email karin [at] swedehollow [dot] org. For more information on Take-a-Hike, see the article on page 2 [of the November 2014 issue of the Dayton's Bluff District Forum].

    Friends of Swede Hollow is working on a campaign to keep commuter rail out of Swede Hollow Park. One of the proposed light rail routes for the Rush Line corridor (a transit line from Forest Lake to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul) would pass through Swede Hollow Park. Friends of Swede Hollow does not oppose the Rush Line or light rail, but strongly oppose the proposed route through Swede Hollow. There are other ways for the Rush Line to get to Union Depot.

    Over the years since the Burlington Northern trains stopped rolling through Swede Hollow Park, it has become a beautiful, rich nature area full of wildlife right in the heart of the city of St. Paul. Visitors marvel at how when they are in Swede Hollow you do not know you are in the middle of a city. We believe the Rush Line would destroy the beautiful nature of Swede Hollow Park.

    The Dayton’s Bluff Take-a-Hike started on December 5, 1990 as a way to show the world that the abandoned Burlington Northern Rail Line would make a wonderful recreational trail. The line was purchased by the Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority and the St. Paul section was leased to St. Paul Parks and Recreation, who developed the recreational trail. The trail was named Bruce Vento Regional Trail after a US Congressman who did much for the parks and trails and environment. The Take-a-Hike continues on the first Saturday of each month. The hike includes history of the community and now information on the light rail possibility.

    The St. Paul Garden Club was the driving force in turning Swede Hollow into a city park, along with East Side residents and the St. Paul Parks Department.

    Swede Hollow Park has been called “St. Paul's hidden gem” by a local writer. Walkers and bikers enjoy the wooded Bruce Vento Regional Trail that passes through the park, where you may see wild turkeys, deer, foxes, turtles, and many other kinds of wildlife. The Park has provided educational opportunities for many schools including the adjacent Hope Community Academy and Metro State University. It is surrounded by historic structures such as the old Hamm's Brewery, First Lutheran Church (celebrating 150 years), and the iconic 7th Street Improvement Arches.

    Swede Hollow draws people from all over the Metro area and beyond to events. Swede Hollow Park has inspired music by Peter Ostroushko, and an original opera by composer Ann Millikan which debuted at Art in the Hollow. It is a favorite venue for Mixed Precipitation's picnic operettas. The annual Art in the Hollow festival attracts talented local and regional artists and performers, and visitors from all over. The park also features a permanent sculpture known as the Swede Hollow “henge,” designed by local artist Christine Baeumler. There are many history tours of Swede Hollow attended by people from all over. Every autumn, Friends of Swede Hollow hosts a gathering called “Watch the Setting Sun on the Red Brick Brewery” at the henge, where some people who were born in the Hollow share their memories of this unique and beloved park.

    Combining train tracks with animals, children, and adults in a ravine would likely be dangerous, irresponsible, and destroy a valued City Park and gathering place. If you would like to help us keep the Rush Line out of Swede Hollow Park, please sign our petition at www.change.org (click on Environment, then search for “Swede Hollow.”) For more information about Friends of Swede Hollow, email karin [at] swedehollow [dot] org. For more information on Take-a-Hike, see the article on page 2 [of the November 2014 issue of the Dayton's Bluff District Forum].

    © 2014 Dayton's Bluff District Forum

      OPINION | Mississippi Market breaks ground in Dayton's Bluff with new goals

      Thu, 2014-11-06 13:31
      Dayton's Bluff District Forum

      On Monday, October 13, Mississippi Market broke ground on their new store at the old Hospital Linen site at Maple and East 7th Street. This momentous occasion follows months of community meetings with topics spanning from the design of the building and new jobs, all the way to equity and diversity of their staff. Not only has Mississippi Market been actively engaged in building community partnerships prior to formally purchasing the property, they have also hired Diversity and Equity Consultant Lisa Tabor, owner of CultureBrokers® LLC, to help move their staff, training programs, and company policies to reflect their commitment to being a store that resembles the communities they are in.

      I recently participated in their Diamond Inclusiveness Assessment conducted by CultureBrokers® LLC and DIAworks, and attended the staff briefing announcing the results and company plans to address some areas to improve. This assessment was taken by 57 people including staff, board members, partners, vendors, customers, and members. Mississippi Market plans to do an additional assessment in one year to benchmark progress made in the areas the assessment pointed out. Mississippi Market general manager Gail Graham said, “The DIA is not something we will put on a list and scratch it off when it’s done. It is how we will be doing business from now on, continuing the work with the consultant to implement new policies and training programs around diversity and equity. This is just the beginning.”

      Mississippi Market plans to be open for business by fall of 2015 in Dayton’s Bluff and I believe they will be a store that is inclusive to all in our community based on the relationships I see them developing cross-culturally throughout our community. ESABA for one will be one of those partners helping connect them to our vibrant community.

      Tim Herman is the Executive Director of the East Side Area Business Association.

      On Monday, October 13, Mississippi Market broke ground on their new store at the old Hospital Linen site at Maple and East 7th Street. This momentous occasion follows months of community meetings with topics spanning from the design of the building and new jobs, all the way to equity and diversity of their staff. Not only has Mississippi Market been actively engaged in building community partnerships prior to formally purchasing the property, they have also hired Diversity and Equity Consultant Lisa Tabor, owner of CultureBrokers® LLC, to help move their staff, training programs, and company policies to reflect their commitment to being a store that resembles the communities they are in.

      I recently participated in their Diamond Inclusiveness Assessment conducted by CultureBrokers® LLC and DIAworks, and attended the staff briefing announcing the results and company plans to address some areas to improve. This assessment was taken by 57 people including staff, board members, partners, vendors, customers, and members. Mississippi Market plans to do an additional assessment in one year to benchmark progress made in the areas the assessment pointed out. Mississippi Market general manager Gail Graham said, “The DIA is not something we will put on a list and scratch it off when it’s done. It is how we will be doing business from now on, continuing the work with the consultant to implement new policies and training programs around diversity and equity. This is just the beginning.”

      Mississippi Market plans to be open for business by fall of 2015 in Dayton’s Bluff and I believe they will be a store that is inclusive to all in our community based on the relationships I see them developing cross-culturally throughout our community. ESABA for one will be one of those partners helping connect them to our vibrant community.

      Tim Herman is the Executive Director of the East Side Area Business Association.

      © 2014 Dayton's Bluff District Forum

        Reclaiming Grand Avenue

        Wed, 2014-11-05 12:38
        Walker Angell

        In considering how to make Cathedral/Summit/Crocus Hill a safe place for everyone to walk and ride bicycles we need to rebuild Grand Ave.

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

        Grand Ave has an 80’ right-of-way (building face to building face) and in most sections a 12’ sidewalk on each side resulting in 56’ curb-to-curb.

        There are a few critical elements that drove these designs. First is having physically segregated cycletracks and intersections designed to a Dutch standard.

        Second is a one-way cycletrack on each side. A two-way track on a single side creates two very critical problems; they are much more dangerous at junctions (and elsewhere) since most cars and people walking will not look for bicycle riders coming from the right, and this would serve only half of the businesses along Grand Ave both for customer bicycle access and the cycletrack acting as a comfort buffer between people on the sidewalk and motor traffic.

        Slower motor vehicle speeds (25-30 mph perhaps) and safer crossing distances for pedestrians is also critical. While these designs will help with slower speeds they will not be a panacea. If speeds continue to be a problem then limiting overall travel distance so that Grand is not a through street might be necessary.

        Some might ask about the option of bike lanes which in this case would be door zone bike lanes. These have proven dangerous for bicycle riders and people exiting parked cars and they are also not popular, with vehicular cyclists viewing them as dangerous and preferring to ride in the traffic lane and most average people (95% of the population) knowing that they are dangerous and preferring not to ride at all.

        Lane Widths

        The proposed lane widths are much narrower than typical in the U.S. These or even narrower are fairly normal in Europe and have proven to work and be quite safe (drivers are forced to pay attention).

        For a bit of local comparison, I think Selby is about 34’ (curb to curb) in front of The Happy Gnome. This includes about two 8’ parking lanes and two 9’ driving lanes.

        One issue is that some semi trucks that deliver during the middle of the day and who park in the center lane might be a problem. US Foods and Sysco the primary offenders. Fedex, UPS, and similar trucks should not be a problem. It may be necessary to limit truck widths during parts of the day on some layouts below.

        The existing layout of Grand Avenue wastes considerable space, encourages speeding, and is dangerous and somewhat uninviting for people walking and riding bicycles. Crossing requires a minimum of 40’ (mid block) or 48’ to 56’ at crossings. All without any pedestrian refuges. Are 15’ driving lanes really necessary?

        Grand Avenue can be much more inviting for everyone.

         

        This is the simplest and should only require repainting (though a new bitumious layer on the cycletrack would be nice). Narrow the lanes down and stick cycletracks on either side. This will be much better for bicycling and make the sidewalks more comfortable for people walking. It will narrow mid block crossing to 24’ and make crossing at intersections somewhat better.

        Bicycle riders will still need to be cautious of opening doors but since this is passenger side it is less likely and they will only be in the door zone when passing other bicycle riders. (Note: we should also teach people to always open doors with their opposite hand which somewhat forces people to turn their head and look before opening).

         

        This is a fun one though I’m not sure how practical it is. The cycletrack on the left is now fully clear of the door zone. The shared lane on the right is intentionally limited to 10’ to reduce the problem of drivers thinking that they can squeeze by bicycle riders. Crossing distances are 18’ mid block and 26’ at intersections (shifting the median over to the sharrow lane to allow for a right turn lane).

        This is not as good as ‘One’ for bicycle riders, particularly at intersections or during winter, but isn’t terrible. We’ve also lost parking on one side which I believe would be an overall 3% reduction in parking.

        This should provide considerable benefits during winter with more options for snow storage. There are a few options for deliveries such as trucks being allowed to block a travel lane from 2am to 5am, or parking bays designated as 15 minutes from 3am to 9am.

         

        This is something you might see in The Netherlands.

        Note: In all of these the cycletrack should go behind bus stops.

         

        This is my ideal. It is more visually appealing than other options, provides the greatest safety for all users, and is the more comfortable and inviting. On the down side we’ve lost parking on both sides for an estimated 7% overall reduction in total parking along the retail area. (If at least 15% of customers along here are from within 2 or 3 miles and we make it safe enough to for them to ride then hopefully half, or about 7%, will switch to bicycles. Ideally though a higher number of Grand Avenue patrons will begin riding.)

        We’ve gained 4’ on each sidewalk which will be especially welcomed for eating outside but will be appreciated by all. Bicycle riders have a clear path with no dangerous obstructions. This is a place that parents will be comfortable with their 10-year-old riding to Cafe Latte to meet friends.

        There is considerable room for snow removal and storage. This should make snow clearing faster and easier and lessen how much must be hauled off site in heavy snow years.

        Deliveries will require some changes from delivery companies and businesses such as limited to overnight only or during the day limited to vehicles that can safely use the cycletrack such as trikes or carts. For more see Matty’s post on ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

        So there you have it. I am not a traffic engineer nor more than a back alley urban planner so there may be huge problems with these designs. If not one of these, I am sure there is a design for Grand Avenue that will make it safer and more comfortable for people walking and riding bicycles.

        Streets.MN

        North Minneapolis Hmong Halloween

        Wed, 2014-11-05 10:17
        Jay Clark Community Voices

        University of Minnesota tutors and volunteers took a group of 25 North Minneapolis Hmong refugee youth out trick-or-treating last Friday.

        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.

        The tradition of taking Hmong refugee kids out trick-or-treating started in 2005. A group of Hmong refugees had just arrived in the United States from a Thai refugee camp. One day they reported hearing the strangest story: That one day out of the year, they could walk up to someone’s house, mumble some noises, and the person would throw candy at them.

        These Hmong refugee students said that of course they were way too sophisticated to believe such a ridiculous story. We told them it was true, and took them out for their first Halloween trick-or-treat in their lives.

        Every year since then volunteers have taken Hmong refugee students out for Trick-Or-Treat.

        This year, 25 refugee youth put on face paint in the basement of St. Olaf church, then visited St. Olaf Trunk-Or-Treat.

        Saint Olaf Trunk-Or-Treat

        Then they went out trick-or-treating. A highlight was the warm greetings and candy they got from former councilmember and now school board member-elect Don Samuels. After their visit, the Hmong trick-or-treaters unanimously announced they planned to vote for Don Samuels – in ten years.

        Finally they then headed out to the Plymouth home of the University of Minnesota’s Jeff Corn, and visited his neighbors.

        By the end of the night the bags of candy were bigger than some of the trick-or-treaters.

        Most of the Hmong refugee trick-or-treaters play soccer for Farview Park.

        The refugee trick-or-treaters got two chances to celebrate Halloween this year: the week before, the Sanneh foundation came to Farview Park and held a combination Halloween party and soccer clinic. 25 soccer players participated.

        There was a contest for the best costume/face paint, and the Sanneh foundation gave out goodies to all the participants.

        Thanks to all who helped.

        University of Minnesota tutors and volunteers took a group of 25 North Minneapolis Hmong refugee youth out trick-or-treating last Friday.

        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.

        The tradition of taking Hmong refugee kids out trick-or-treating started in 2005. A group of Hmong refugees had just arrived in the United States from a Thai refugee camp. One day they reported hearing the strangest story: That one day out of the year, they could walk up to someone’s house, mumble some noises, and the person would throw candy at them.

        These Hmong refugee students said that of course they were way too sophisticated to believe such a ridiculous story. We told them it was true, and took them out for their first Halloween trick-or-treat in their lives.

        Every year since then volunteers have taken Hmong refugee students out for Trick-Or-Treat.

        This year, 25 refugee youth put on face paint in the basement of St. Olaf church, then visited St. Olaf Trunk-Or-Treat.

        Saint Olaf Trunk-Or-Treat

        Then they went out trick-or-treating. A highlight was the warm greetings and candy they got from former councilmember and now school board member-elect Don Samuels. After their visit, the Hmong trick-or-treaters unanimously announced they planned to vote for Don Samuels – in ten years.

        Finally they then headed out to the Plymouth home of the University of Minnesota’s Jeff Corn, and visited his neighbors.

        By the end of the night the bags of candy were bigger than some of the trick-or-treaters.

        Most of the Hmong refugee trick-or-treaters play soccer for Farview Park.

        The refugee trick-or-treaters got two chances to celebrate Halloween this year: the week before, the Sanneh foundation came to Farview Park and held a combination Halloween party and soccer clinic. 25 soccer players participated.

        There was a contest for the best costume/face paint, and the Sanneh foundation gave out goodies to all the participants.

        Thanks to all who helped.

        © 2014 Jay Clark

        At the end of the Green Line, a building that would say "Welcome to Lowertown"

        Fri, 2014-10-31 19:29
        Ken Avidor

        Roberta and I live in a loft in the Union Depot and we are always encountering lost, bewildered and confused travelers. Very often, they step off the Green Line and ask us where the Amtrak station is or the bus terminal. This should come as no surprise as the train and bus platform is not visible from the Green Line platform and there is no sign on the colonnaded building identifying what it is or what is inside. People have told me they mistook the Union Depot for a bank or office building.

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

        Finding a store or other business to get directions is not easy. On the eight corners adjoining the Green Line’s last stop in Saint Paul in front of the Union Depot, there is a tot lot, two parking ramps, two surface parking lots and a vacant heavy metal bar – none of these corners has a store or other establishment to ask information the Saint Paul Farmers Market, Mears Park, The Black Dog Cafe, Golden’s, Christos, the Minnesota Museum of American Art or the all the art and music events (the Bedlam Theater, mid-block is hidden behind the wall of the station). Today, an Amtrak passenger standing in front of the Union Depot asked me where he could get something to eat and drink.

        When the new ballpark opens and East Fourth becomes a bike route, the numbers of confused and bewildered visitors will likely increase.

        Roberta and I had an idea – a building that would serve as a welcome mat for visitors to Lowertown and a community center for people who live and work in the area.

        This is a photograph of one of the surface parking lots on the northeast corner of East Fourth Street and Wacouta Street:

        Here is a drawing of a building that would serve as an information center, coffee and sandwich shop and bike center (much like the bike station in Washington D.C.). The upper floors could have rooms for community functions and public events. The top floor could house a brightly lit artwork (I think Ta-coumba Aiken’s Lite Brite mural would be nice up there). What do you think?:

        Streets.MN Union Depot

          Neighborhood groups decry Hodges' plan

          Thu, 2014-10-30 13:42
          The Minnesota Daily

          Neighborhood groups in the University of Minnesota community are up in arms over Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ proposal to put a traditional source of their funding to different uses.

          View the interactive here

          For years, revenue from special taxing districts in downtown Minneapolis has been split between the Target Center debt and the city’s 70 neighborhoods. But Hodges’ proposed budget sets aside some of the funds for new endeavors, like redeveloping a barge terminal in north Minneapolis and hiring a neighborhood specialist and two communications specialists.

          City leaders say the new projects would draw on funding from an increase in taxing district revenue — finance officials expect an additional $1 million in each of the next few years because of increasing property values downtown. Neighborhood groups already have about $16 million that hasn’t been allocated to projects, and city officials expect this pool to grow as more money from neighborhood investments pours in.

          The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which has received about $284,000 in special district revenue since 2011, sent a letter of protest on Tuesday stating the organization’s opposition to the mayor’s plan. The group sent the note to a member of the city’s Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission, a group of elected and appointed neighborhood representatives that advise Hodges and the City Council.

          “We hope they change their mind,” said Melissa Bean, executive director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.

          The tax districts’ revenue that has traditionally gone to neighborhood groups is designed to cover “neighborhood revitalization” — the definition of which is vague to some, said Sandy Christensen, Minneapolis’ deputy chief financial officer.

          But some elected officials said the change wouldn’t take money from neighborhood groups.

          “Neighborhood associations are not — with a capital ‘N’ — being defunded,” said Ward 3 City Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents neighborhoods near the University.

          Funding that the budget proposal doesn’t allocate to neighborhood groups could be used for essential city services, Frey said, like road repair and affordable
          housing.

          The proposed budget would increase neighborhood funding to cover inflation but do little more, said Phill Kelly, interim executive director of the West Bank Community Coalition, the local organization for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

          Kelly said his neighborhood’s association, which has received about $320,000 since 2011, is well-funded, but only from an administrative point of view.

          The group can pay for staff members and office supplies but doesn’t have enough to support youth programs and activities, he said.

          Southeast Como’s neighborhood organization, which has received about $189,000 in the last three years, is watching the city’s funding discussion with bated breath, said Stephanie Hankerson, a community organizer for the Southeast Como Improvement Association.

          “We’re operating with near shortfalls, whether it’s programs or our office,” she said. “We’re concerned.”

          The University of Minnesota area has received about $139,000 since 2011, but the area doesn’t have a neighborhood association. The City Council’s Ways and Means Committee approved a plan earlier this month that would reallocate unused money for the area to another neighborhood.

          Although there are no official plans for millions of neighborhood group dollars, it doesn’t mean those funds will go unused, Neighborhood and Community Relations Director David Rubedor said at a city commission meeting Tuesday.

          Several neighborhood organizations are planning to use their unallocated funds, Rubedor said, pointing to Southeast Como’s proposal to apply about $20,000 to homebuyer assistance.

          A City Council committee will discuss Hodges’ plan for neighborhood funding at a meeting Nov. 3.

          Neighborhood groups in the University of Minnesota community are up in arms over Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ proposal to put a traditional source of their funding to different uses.

          View the interactive here

          For years, revenue from special taxing districts in downtown Minneapolis has been split between the Target Center debt and the city’s 70 neighborhoods. But Hodges’ proposed budget sets aside some of the funds for new endeavors, like redeveloping a barge terminal in north Minneapolis and hiring a neighborhood specialist and two communications specialists.

          City leaders say the new projects would draw on funding from an increase in taxing district revenue — finance officials expect an additional $1 million in each of the next few years because of increasing property values downtown. Neighborhood groups already have about $16 million that hasn’t been allocated to projects, and city officials expect this pool to grow as more money from neighborhood investments pours in.

          The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which has received about $284,000 in special district revenue since 2011, sent a letter of protest on Tuesday stating the organization’s opposition to the mayor’s plan. The group sent the note to a member of the city’s Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission, a group of elected and appointed neighborhood representatives that advise Hodges and the City Council.

          “We hope they change their mind,” said Melissa Bean, executive director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.

          The tax districts’ revenue that has traditionally gone to neighborhood groups is designed to cover “neighborhood revitalization” — the definition of which is vague to some, said Sandy Christensen, Minneapolis’ deputy chief financial officer.

          But some elected officials said the change wouldn’t take money from neighborhood groups.

          “Neighborhood associations are not — with a capital ‘N’ — being defunded,” said Ward 3 City Councilman Jacob Frey, who represents neighborhoods near the University.

          Funding that the budget proposal doesn’t allocate to neighborhood groups could be used for essential city services, Frey said, like road repair and affordable
          housing.

          The proposed budget would increase neighborhood funding to cover inflation but do little more, said Phill Kelly, interim executive director of the West Bank Community Coalition, the local organization for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

          Kelly said his neighborhood’s association, which has received about $320,000 since 2011, is well-funded, but only from an administrative point of view.

          The group can pay for staff members and office supplies but doesn’t have enough to support youth programs and activities, he said.

          Southeast Como’s neighborhood organization, which has received about $189,000 in the last three years, is watching the city’s funding discussion with bated breath, said Stephanie Hankerson, a community organizer for the Southeast Como Improvement Association.

          “We’re operating with near shortfalls, whether it’s programs or our office,” she said. “We’re concerned.”

          The University of Minnesota area has received about $139,000 since 2011, but the area doesn’t have a neighborhood association. The City Council’s Ways and Means Committee approved a plan earlier this month that would reallocate unused money for the area to another neighborhood.

          Although there are no official plans for millions of neighborhood group dollars, it doesn’t mean those funds will go unused, Neighborhood and Community Relations Director David Rubedor said at a city commission meeting Tuesday.

          Several neighborhood organizations are planning to use their unallocated funds, Rubedor said, pointing to Southeast Como’s proposal to apply about $20,000 to homebuyer assistance.

          A City Council committee will discuss Hodges’ plan for neighborhood funding at a meeting Nov. 3.

          © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

            Residents seek 'community benefits agreement' with Seward Co-op for new Central/Bryant store

            Tue, 2014-10-28 17:10
            Tina Burnside Community Voices

            The ground has been broken. The church that previously sat on the lot at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 38th Street has been torn down to make way for the construction of Seward CO-OP’s second store, which is scheduled to open in late summer of 2015. While some have cheered the decision to build a grocery store in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods, many residents still have questions regarding the affordability of products, and jobs in both the construction and operation of the store.

            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.

            To address these concerns, a group of residents have organized to draft a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which they plan to negotiate with Seward CO-OP. A community meeting will be held to discuss the proposed CBA on November 1 at Green Central Elementary School, 3416 S. 4th Ave., Minneapolis, from 10 am to 12 pm. A coalition of residents along with the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) is leading the push for a CBA.

            A Community Benefits Agreement is a project specific contract between developers and community organizations to ensure that local residents share in the benefits of major developments. A CBA allows residents to have a voice in commercial developments that may alter their community. Due to the “back to the city” movement, CBAs are critical where sports stadiums, hotels, office parks, hospitals and retail stores are occurring more often in existing and established neighborhoods. Normally, a CBA is negotiated before a project is approved. In this case, the CBA will be negotiated after the deal to build the grocery store has already been agreed upon.

            The proposed CBA contains provisions to address issues that have been raised by residents at several community meetings hosted by Seward CO-OP. These issues include:

            • affordability of items to low-income customers;
            • affordability of membership to Central and Bryant neighborhood residents;
            • employment of Central and Bryant neighborhood residents for the construction and operation of the store, and employment of African Americans and Latinos;
            • accessibility of the store’s meeting space for neighborhood events;
            • language accessibility for non-English speaking customers; and
            • support of existing small and minority-owned neighborhood businesses.

            Eduardo Cardenas, a CANDO board member who organized the group drafting the CBA, said “one of the main reasons to push for a CBA is that it provides a platform for our community to build upon for future developments. It establishes the interests of our community that need to be addressed in order to create an alternative to gentrification.”

            Advocates of the grocery store contend that it will address the “food desert” problem in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods. A food desert is an area lacking in fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods largely due to the absence of grocery stores, farmer’s markets and healthy food providers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, many are concerned that the grocery store may spur gentrification by raising property values, and making the neighborhoods no longer affordable.

            The Central neighborhood is bordered by Lake Street on the north, 38th Street on the south, Interstate 35W on the west, and Chicago Avenue on the east. In 2010, the neighborhood demographics were 44% Latino, 25% African American, 21% white, 2% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, according to 2010 Census data. In 2012, household incomes in the Central neighborhood were less compared to incomes for all of Minneapolis with 42% of households earning less than $35,000 compared to 38% for Minneapolis, according to Minnesota Compass. In 2012, the average single family housing price in the Central neighborhood was $178,442 compared to $243,654 in Minneapolis, according to City-Data.com.

            The Bryant neighborhood is bordered by 38th Street on the north, 42nd Street on the south, Interstate 35W on the west and Chicago Avenue on the east. In 2010, the neighborhood demographics were 33% African American, 30% white, 28% Latino, 3% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, according to 2010 Census data. In 2012, household incomes in the Bryant neighborhood were slightly less compared to incomes for all of Minneapolis with 37% of households earning less than $35,000 compared to 38% for Minneapolis, according to Minnesota Compass. In 2010, the average single family housing price in the Bryant neighborhood was $154,640 compared to $243,654 in Minneapolis, according to City-Data.com.

            Some have argued that grocery stores are agents of gentrification under the guise of solving low-income communities’ food desert problems. (See Irrigating the (food) desert: A tale of gentrification in D.C.,By Vann R. Newkirk II, Gawker. com, August 11, 2014.)

            In a written response to questions raised at the July 9, 2013 community meeting, Seward CO-OP stated “We are not interested in creating a situation wherein property values and rents make the community unaffordable. This issue is bigger than the co-op deciding to build in Bryant. At the root of this issue is the price of real estate and whether it goes up or down.” Seward CO-OP further stated “We believe that cooperatives are a solution, not a contributor, to this problem. Co-ops build community-owned wealth that is a positive anchor in the community in which they exist.” Finally, Seward CO-OP stated “Our intentions are not gentrification, but rather the improvement of access to healthy foods for current co-op members and the broader community residing in neighborhoods near the Friendship site.”

            While gentrification may not be the intent of Seward CO-OP, residents are concerned that it may be an unintended consequence. To combat possible gentrification, the proposed CBA seeks an agreement from Seward CO-OP to assist in the development or re-development of affordable housing initiatives by helping with market research, analysis, consulting and financial planning.

            Cardenas urges residents and community groups to attend the Nov. 1 meeting. “Without an active community it [the CBA] is only a nice idea, but it won’t keep anyone from losing their home or give anyone healthy food or a good job. We need engaged neighbors to carry this effort forward.”

            Tina Burnside is an attorney and writer who lives in the Central neighborhood. She is also part of the neighborhood group working on the proposed Community Benefits Agreement.

            The ground has been broken. The church that previously sat on the lot at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 38th Street has been torn down to make way for the construction of Seward CO-OP’s second store, which is scheduled to open in late summer of 2015. While some have cheered the decision to build a grocery store in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods, many residents still have questions regarding the affordability of products, and jobs in both the construction and operation of the store.

            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.

            To address these concerns, a group of residents have organized to draft a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which they plan to negotiate with Seward CO-OP. A community meeting will be held to discuss the proposed CBA on November 1 at Green Central Elementary School, 3416 S. 4th Ave., Minneapolis, from 10 am to 12 pm. A coalition of residents along with the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) is leading the push for a CBA.

            A Community Benefits Agreement is a project specific contract between developers and community organizations to ensure that local residents share in the benefits of major developments. A CBA allows residents to have a voice in commercial developments that may alter their community. Due to the “back to the city” movement, CBAs are critical where sports stadiums, hotels, office parks, hospitals and retail stores are occurring more often in existing and established neighborhoods. Normally, a CBA is negotiated before a project is approved. In this case, the CBA will be negotiated after the deal to build the grocery store has already been agreed upon.

            The proposed CBA contains provisions to address issues that have been raised by residents at several community meetings hosted by Seward CO-OP. These issues include:

            • affordability of items to low-income customers;
            • affordability of membership to Central and Bryant neighborhood residents;
            • employment of Central and Bryant neighborhood residents for the construction and operation of the store, and employment of African Americans and Latinos;
            • accessibility of the store’s meeting space for neighborhood events;
            • language accessibility for non-English speaking customers; and
            • support of existing small and minority-owned neighborhood businesses.

            Eduardo Cardenas, a CANDO board member who organized the group drafting the CBA, said “one of the main reasons to push for a CBA is that it provides a platform for our community to build upon for future developments. It establishes the interests of our community that need to be addressed in order to create an alternative to gentrification.”

            Advocates of the grocery store contend that it will address the “food desert” problem in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods. A food desert is an area lacking in fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods largely due to the absence of grocery stores, farmer’s markets and healthy food providers, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, many are concerned that the grocery store may spur gentrification by raising property values, and making the neighborhoods no longer affordable.

            The Central neighborhood is bordered by Lake Street on the north, 38th Street on the south, Interstate 35W on the west, and Chicago Avenue on the east. In 2010, the neighborhood demographics were 44% Latino, 25% African American, 21% white, 2% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, according to 2010 Census data. In 2012, household incomes in the Central neighborhood were less compared to incomes for all of Minneapolis with 42% of households earning less than $35,000 compared to 38% for Minneapolis, according to Minnesota Compass. In 2012, the average single family housing price in the Central neighborhood was $178,442 compared to $243,654 in Minneapolis, according to City-Data.com.

            The Bryant neighborhood is bordered by 38th Street on the north, 42nd Street on the south, Interstate 35W on the west and Chicago Avenue on the east. In 2010, the neighborhood demographics were 33% African American, 30% white, 28% Latino, 3% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, according to 2010 Census data. In 2012, household incomes in the Bryant neighborhood were slightly less compared to incomes for all of Minneapolis with 37% of households earning less than $35,000 compared to 38% for Minneapolis, according to Minnesota Compass. In 2010, the average single family housing price in the Bryant neighborhood was $154,640 compared to $243,654 in Minneapolis, according to City-Data.com.

            Some have argued that grocery stores are agents of gentrification under the guise of solving low-income communities’ food desert problems. (See Irrigating the (food) desert: A tale of gentrification in D.C.,By Vann R. Newkirk II, Gawker. com, August 11, 2014.)

            In a written response to questions raised at the July 9, 2013 community meeting, Seward CO-OP stated “We are not interested in creating a situation wherein property values and rents make the community unaffordable. This issue is bigger than the co-op deciding to build in Bryant. At the root of this issue is the price of real estate and whether it goes up or down.” Seward CO-OP further stated “We believe that cooperatives are a solution, not a contributor, to this problem. Co-ops build community-owned wealth that is a positive anchor in the community in which they exist.” Finally, Seward CO-OP stated “Our intentions are not gentrification, but rather the improvement of access to healthy foods for current co-op members and the broader community residing in neighborhoods near the Friendship site.”

            While gentrification may not be the intent of Seward CO-OP, residents are concerned that it may be an unintended consequence. To combat possible gentrification, the proposed CBA seeks an agreement from Seward CO-OP to assist in the development or re-development of affordable housing initiatives by helping with market research, analysis, consulting and financial planning.

            Cardenas urges residents and community groups to attend the Nov. 1 meeting. “Without an active community it [the CBA] is only a nice idea, but it won’t keep anyone from losing their home or give anyone healthy food or a good job. We need engaged neighbors to carry this effort forward.”

            Tina Burnside is an attorney and writer who lives in the Central neighborhood. She is also part of the neighborhood group working on the proposed Community Benefits Agreement.

            (c) 2014 Tina Burnside

              Northeast will have a tool library

              Tue, 2014-10-28 15:07
              Margo Ashmore Northeaster

              If you’ve ever found that a home fix-it job was twice or three times as expensive as predicted because you decided to buy tools you may never use again, you’ll appreciate the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library.

              Lawn mowers, snowblowers, sheetrock lifts, plumbing and tiling tools, car ramps and maybe even a commercial sewing machine are just a few of potentially thousands of tools that could be available. The six board members behind this effort are so serious about making it happen, they’ve agreed to lease a 700-square foot space in the Thorp Building and plan to open in spring.

              A $35,000 grant from Windom Park Citizens in Action seeds the non-profit venture, and to sustain it, those who use it will pay an annual membership (about $60) to defray maintenance, rent, and other costs. Members will be able to check out tools for use for perhaps a few days or a week at a time. Grants will be sought to buy more tools and offer education. There will be paid staff.

              At the second public meeting on the subject, reasons for getting involved illuminated the benefits of tool lending. It’s consistent with shared economy, same as bike sharing or car sharing or airbnb, the online tool for finding unique local places to stay. As Tom Durfee, one of the board members, said, “I’m an economist, and we say that which is not being used, is a waste.”

              Others see it as a way to keep property values up by encouraging new homeowners to learn maintenance methods and make it easy for people who don’t have the money to hire things done, to learn to do it themselves.

              Some of the about two dozen people who attended had experience with, for example, the Grease Rag women’s bicycle maintenance cooperative, or shared “maker” spaces where people use expensive machinery on-site. That is a possibility at the new tool library.

              It should be pointed out, while the group happened to meet at the Northeast Library, the word “library” simply refers to the idea of checking out tools for a period of time, there’s no actual connection to the book-lending system.

              Some people attended the meeting to offer expertise. Pat Kartes said he and his wife renovated their entire home, a former tavern, and he’s been a tool and die machinist. “I still have all my fingers.”

              Katheryn Schneider posed the question whether members might be able to join by donating their own excess tools.

              Tool lending libraries are not new. They’ve been found for decades in communities where many homes need fixing and resources are stretched. A group in West Seattle has developed software to allow participants to check availability, with instant bar-code checkout and soon possibly a phone app. The Northeast group has many models to follow.

              As the discussion broke into small groups, one of the most popular was Tool Acquisition, thinking of categories and specific tools to carry. Some were nixed, for example anything gasoline-powered, and others were starred that would need special training to avoid injury. Users will sign liability waivers, of course.

              They wanted ideas on service area, limited for now to Northeast but perhaps charging more for memberships from people in nearby areas eventually. They asked whether people would care about grant sources; would there be any entities that there would be a philosophical reason not to approach. At one table they were listing potential partners, individuals or groups to reach out to for publicity, events to attend.

              Participants were encouraged to compile lists of resources such as maker spaces, art co-ops, bike co-ops and other places to find highly-specialized categories of tools, classes, etc. to which people can be referred if the tool library doesn’t carry or doesn’t have enough of those tools.

              The tool library will likely have free or low cost bins full of gloves and other expendables. One suggestion was to collect and offer leftover caulk, tile spacers, pipe wrapping tape and similar supplies for people to take, use a bit, and then return.

              To contact the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library, call 971-222-9118, Thomas Ebert, Tool Librarian, or email: northeast [dot] mpls [dot] tool [dot] library [at] gmail [dot] com. Website is not set up yet but will be www.nemtl.org, Facebook page is NortheastMinneapolisToolLibrary.

              If you’ve ever found that a home fix-it job was twice or three times as expensive as predicted because you decided to buy tools you may never use again, you’ll appreciate the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library.

              Lawn mowers, snowblowers, sheetrock lifts, plumbing and tiling tools, car ramps and maybe even a commercial sewing machine are just a few of potentially thousands of tools that could be available. The six board members behind this effort are so serious about making it happen, they’ve agreed to lease a 700-square foot space in the Thorp Building and plan to open in spring.

              A $35,000 grant from Windom Park Citizens in Action seeds the non-profit venture, and to sustain it, those who use it will pay an annual membership (about $60) to defray maintenance, rent, and other costs. Members will be able to check out tools for use for perhaps a few days or a week at a time. Grants will be sought to buy more tools and offer education. There will be paid staff.

              At the second public meeting on the subject, reasons for getting involved illuminated the benefits of tool lending. It’s consistent with shared economy, same as bike sharing or car sharing or airbnb, the online tool for finding unique local places to stay. As Tom Durfee, one of the board members, said, “I’m an economist, and we say that which is not being used, is a waste.”

              Others see it as a way to keep property values up by encouraging new homeowners to learn maintenance methods and make it easy for people who don’t have the money to hire things done, to learn to do it themselves.

              Some of the about two dozen people who attended had experience with, for example, the Grease Rag women’s bicycle maintenance cooperative, or shared “maker” spaces where people use expensive machinery on-site. That is a possibility at the new tool library.

              It should be pointed out, while the group happened to meet at the Northeast Library, the word “library” simply refers to the idea of checking out tools for a period of time, there’s no actual connection to the book-lending system.

              Some people attended the meeting to offer expertise. Pat Kartes said he and his wife renovated their entire home, a former tavern, and he’s been a tool and die machinist. “I still have all my fingers.”

              Katheryn Schneider posed the question whether members might be able to join by donating their own excess tools.

              Tool lending libraries are not new. They’ve been found for decades in communities where many homes need fixing and resources are stretched. A group in West Seattle has developed software to allow participants to check availability, with instant bar-code checkout and soon possibly a phone app. The Northeast group has many models to follow.

              As the discussion broke into small groups, one of the most popular was Tool Acquisition, thinking of categories and specific tools to carry. Some were nixed, for example anything gasoline-powered, and others were starred that would need special training to avoid injury. Users will sign liability waivers, of course.

              They wanted ideas on service area, limited for now to Northeast but perhaps charging more for memberships from people in nearby areas eventually. They asked whether people would care about grant sources; would there be any entities that there would be a philosophical reason not to approach. At one table they were listing potential partners, individuals or groups to reach out to for publicity, events to attend.

              Participants were encouraged to compile lists of resources such as maker spaces, art co-ops, bike co-ops and other places to find highly-specialized categories of tools, classes, etc. to which people can be referred if the tool library doesn’t carry or doesn’t have enough of those tools.

              The tool library will likely have free or low cost bins full of gloves and other expendables. One suggestion was to collect and offer leftover caulk, tile spacers, pipe wrapping tape and similar supplies for people to take, use a bit, and then return.

              To contact the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library, call 971-222-9118, Thomas Ebert, Tool Librarian, or email: northeast [dot] mpls [dot] tool [dot] library [at] gmail [dot] com. Website is not set up yet but will be www.nemtl.org, Facebook page is NortheastMinneapolisToolLibrary.

              © 2014 Northeaster

              Cedar-Riverside residents voice concern with area homelessness

              Tue, 2014-10-28 14:52
              The Minnesota Daily

              At a Cedar-Riverside neighborhood meeting earlier this month, a Somali elder stood and addressed attendees, painting an image of a recent frightening encounter with what he believed was a gang of drunken, homeless individuals.

              “[The man] got out his hat that he had been wearing that day. It looked like egg or something splattered on it,” said Debbie Wolking, the housing development program manager for West Bank Community Development Corporation, which provides affordable housing in the neighborhood.

              At the meeting, the man, who was speaking in Somali while a community leader translated to English, described the confrontation in which he said a group of people accosted him on the stretch of 20th Avenue South that overhangs Interstate 94.

              Community leaders say homelessness has been an issue in the neighborhood for years, and they — along with the Minneapolis Police Department and St. Stephen’s Street Outreach team — are searching for remedies. But some say they’re struggling to find solutions.

              At the Oct. 7 neighborhood meeting, which was designated to address safety, another man recounted an incident in which he felt pressure when a group of individuals approached him asking for cigarettes.

              The impromptu stories shared by the two men highlight a neighborhood issue — albeit not a new one, said Phillip Kelly, the interim executive director for the West Bank Community Coalition.

              “It’s a constant [issue],” he said. “There are always homeless folk hanging out by the [I-94] bridge.”

              For Cedar-Riverside, it’s a larger problem than many people may think, said Monica Nilsson, community engagement director for St. Stephen’s Human Services, a group that opens homeless shelters and provides other housing services in Minneapolis.

              She said the concentration of poverty in the neighborhood is comparable to that of downtown.

              Many residents harbor concern about the local homeless population, citing incidents of panhandling or drunken behavior, particularly regarding activity near the I-94 overpass, said Russom Solomon, the chair of the West Bank Community Coalition’s Safety Committee.

              “The area surrounding [and] behind it has been a problem for us,” Solomon said. “… And we’ve always been trying to deal with it.”

              Wolking said it appears the same group of homeless people gathers in a handful of hotspots in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

              “They’re doing things that make [residents] worried about having kids nearby,” she said. “All the things people would do in the privacy of their home, they’re done out on the street.”

              Wolking said some of her renters have brought their concerns to her.

              “There is one woman who has had an issue with people who are defecating in her yard,” she said, adding that another resident told her she witnessed two men assault a woman, all of whom appeared homeless, right outside her home.

              Despite community members’ apprehensions, leaders say they’re unsure how to handle the situation.

              Nilsson said St. Stephen’s Street Outreach Program is leading an effort to work with members of the community who are homeless and unsheltered.

              “Our team goes out to, first of all, figure out what their immediate needs are,” she said, “and then [we] work towards what their long-term needs might be.”

              Nilsson said the problem is delicate and sometimes difficult to handle. She said her group doesn’t encourage people to give food or change to people who are standing on the corner, but ignoring presumably homeless people isn’t the answer either.

              Nilsson said the neighborhood’s homeless situation is the product of larger societal issues in which high rent and a lack of social services make affordable housing difficult to find. She said that in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the issue is as problematic for the homeless as it is for community members.

              “It’s difficult to put [it in] numbers,” Solomon said. “But one elder accosted is one too many.”

              At a Cedar-Riverside neighborhood meeting earlier this month, a Somali elder stood and addressed attendees, painting an image of a recent frightening encounter with what he believed was a gang of drunken, homeless individuals.

              “[The man] got out his hat that he had been wearing that day. It looked like egg or something splattered on it,” said Debbie Wolking, the housing development program manager for West Bank Community Development Corporation, which provides affordable housing in the neighborhood.

              At the meeting, the man, who was speaking in Somali while a community leader translated to English, described the confrontation in which he said a group of people accosted him on the stretch of 20th Avenue South that overhangs Interstate 94.

              Community leaders say homelessness has been an issue in the neighborhood for years, and they — along with the Minneapolis Police Department and St. Stephen’s Street Outreach team — are searching for remedies. But some say they’re struggling to find solutions.

              At the Oct. 7 neighborhood meeting, which was designated to address safety, another man recounted an incident in which he felt pressure when a group of individuals approached him asking for cigarettes.

              The impromptu stories shared by the two men highlight a neighborhood issue — albeit not a new one, said Phillip Kelly, the interim executive director for the West Bank Community Coalition.

              “It’s a constant [issue],” he said. “There are always homeless folk hanging out by the [I-94] bridge.”

              For Cedar-Riverside, it’s a larger problem than many people may think, said Monica Nilsson, community engagement director for St. Stephen’s Human Services, a group that opens homeless shelters and provides other housing services in Minneapolis.

              She said the concentration of poverty in the neighborhood is comparable to that of downtown.

              Many residents harbor concern about the local homeless population, citing incidents of panhandling or drunken behavior, particularly regarding activity near the I-94 overpass, said Russom Solomon, the chair of the West Bank Community Coalition’s Safety Committee.

              “The area surrounding [and] behind it has been a problem for us,” Solomon said. “… And we’ve always been trying to deal with it.”

              Wolking said it appears the same group of homeless people gathers in a handful of hotspots in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

              “They’re doing things that make [residents] worried about having kids nearby,” she said. “All the things people would do in the privacy of their home, they’re done out on the street.”

              Wolking said some of her renters have brought their concerns to her.

              “There is one woman who has had an issue with people who are defecating in her yard,” she said, adding that another resident told her she witnessed two men assault a woman, all of whom appeared homeless, right outside her home.

              Despite community members’ apprehensions, leaders say they’re unsure how to handle the situation.

              Nilsson said St. Stephen’s Street Outreach Program is leading an effort to work with members of the community who are homeless and unsheltered.

              “Our team goes out to, first of all, figure out what their immediate needs are,” she said, “and then [we] work towards what their long-term needs might be.”

              Nilsson said the problem is delicate and sometimes difficult to handle. She said her group doesn’t encourage people to give food or change to people who are standing on the corner, but ignoring presumably homeless people isn’t the answer either.

              Nilsson said the neighborhood’s homeless situation is the product of larger societal issues in which high rent and a lack of social services make affordable housing difficult to find. She said that in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the issue is as problematic for the homeless as it is for community members.

              “It’s difficult to put [it in] numbers,” Solomon said. “But one elder accosted is one too many.”

              © 2014 The Minnesota Daily

              Taller comunitario: Fundamentos de eficiencia energética

              Fri, 2014-10-24 12:04
              RossJoy Corcoran News

              Listo para un invierno cómodo con ahorro de energía: miércoles 15 de octubre de 6 a 8pm en el gimnasio de Corcoran Park

              ¿Estás buscando maneras de ahorrar energía y reducir las tarifas mensuales de utilidades? Ambos, dueños de casa e inquilinos te invitan a que atiendas a un taller de los fundamentos de eficiencia energética, el miércoles 15 de octubre.

              CNO se enorgullece de la alianza con Our Power, una coalición del sur de Minneapolis enfocada en soluciones comunitarias y uso de energía sostenible, para auspiciar este evento de vecinos. Habrá una discusión sobre cómo ocurre comúnmente la pérdida de energía y de calefacción, maneras costeables de agrandar la insolación y más hábitos que debes saber para reducir costos de energía.

              Los vecinos de Corcoran Marlena Needham y Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, líderes con la coalición Our Power, estarán moderando el taller con el experto en eficiencia del hogar, Jim Walsh.

              Después de aprender los fundamentos de eficiencia energética del hogar, los presentes serán invitados a aportar su conocimiento en sus vecindarios, registrándose para celebrar una fiesta en sus casas o una fiesta de la cuadra. La coalición Our Power está ofreciendo proveer entrenadores, materiales, herramientas y ayudar a realizar varias fiestas como talleres de eficiencia en el corredor de la calle Lake.

              Fecha: Miércoles 15 de octubre

              Hora: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

              Ubicación: Gimnasio de Parque Corcoran, 3334 20th Ave S

              Esto evento de la Organización Vecindario de Corcoran (CNO) es parte de los eventos o talleres mensuales de nuestro comunidad.Todos los residentes del vecindario de Corcoran se invita a todos a asistir y son considerados miembros del CNO, después de compartir su información de contacto en una hoja de registración.

              Para más información sobre el evento del 15 de octubre, favor de contactar a Ross Joy al 612-724-7457 o <ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org>. Para organizar su propio taller de eficiencia energética, contacta a Marlena Needham al 612-548-1333 o <mnourpower [at] gmail [dot] com>.

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

              Listo para un invierno cómodo con ahorro de energía: miércoles 15 de octubre de 6 a 8pm en el gimnasio de Corcoran Park

              ¿Estás buscando maneras de ahorrar energía y reducir las tarifas mensuales de utilidades? Ambos, dueños de casa e inquilinos te invitan a que atiendas a un taller de los fundamentos de eficiencia energética, el miércoles 15 de octubre.

              CNO se enorgullece de la alianza con Our Power, una coalición del sur de Minneapolis enfocada en soluciones comunitarias y uso de energía sostenible, para auspiciar este evento de vecinos. Habrá una discusión sobre cómo ocurre comúnmente la pérdida de energía y de calefacción, maneras costeables de agrandar la insolación y más hábitos que debes saber para reducir costos de energía.

              Los vecinos de Corcoran Marlena Needham y Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, líderes con la coalición Our Power, estarán moderando el taller con el experto en eficiencia del hogar, Jim Walsh.

              Después de aprender los fundamentos de eficiencia energética del hogar, los presentes serán invitados a aportar su conocimiento en sus vecindarios, registrándose para celebrar una fiesta en sus casas o una fiesta de la cuadra. La coalición Our Power está ofreciendo proveer entrenadores, materiales, herramientas y ayudar a realizar varias fiestas como talleres de eficiencia en el corredor de la calle Lake.

              Fecha: Miércoles 15 de octubre

              Hora: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

              Ubicación: Gimnasio de Parque Corcoran, 3334 20th Ave S

              Esto evento de la Organización Vecindario de Corcoran (CNO) es parte de los eventos o talleres mensuales de nuestro comunidad.Todos los residentes del vecindario de Corcoran se invita a todos a asistir y son considerados miembros del CNO, después de compartir su información de contacto en una hoja de registración.

              Para más información sobre el evento del 15 de octubre, favor de contactar a Ross Joy al 612-724-7457 o <ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org>. Para organizar su propio taller de eficiencia energética, contacta a Marlena Needham al 612-548-1333 o <mnourpower [at] gmail [dot] com>.

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

              Junta de inquilinos establecida para el avance de mejoras a viviendas, próxima reunión, miércoles 22 de octubre

              Fri, 2014-10-24 12:01
              RossJoy Corcoran News

              El 11 de septiembre, líderes residentes de departamentos en Corcoran votaron para formalizar nuestros esfuerzos de inquilino del vecindario en una Junta de Inquilinos.

              Todos los inquilinos en el vecindario de Corcoran son animados a atender. El grupo discutirá asuntos compartidos y organizará un frente unido de familias, tomando acciones de liderazgo para asegurar que nuestro vecindario sea saludable y de calidad, accesible, costeable y estable. Los líderes reportarán acciones a y recibirán apoyo de la Mesa Directiva del CNO.

              Qué: Junta de Inquilinos

              Fecha: Miércoles 22 de octubre

              Hora: de 6:00 p.m. a 7:30 p.m.

              Locación: Salón 114 en el MPS edificio de Educación para Adultos, calle Lake 2225

              La Junta de Inquilinos ha votado para que su primera meta prioritaria sea desafiar y/o reducir el radio en facturas de utilidades para gas y agua. Estas facturas, además de ser renta, han sido destructoras de presupuestos familiares y no han mejorado la eficiencia en energía de los edificios.

              La segunda meta de la Junta de Inquilinos de Corcoran será el continuar obteniendo reparos necesarios para los apartamentos. Conversaciones y cartas a la administración de propiedades y la Ciudad de Minneapolis ha cedido mejoras substanciales a edificios departamentales. Múltiples familias han recibido reparaciones a aires acondicionados; rondas de fumigación; repintados pasillos y exteriores de los edificios; y remplazada alfombra vieja en algunas unidades.

              La última meta votada y aprobada por la Junta de Inquilinos será tomar acciones que va a mejorar el sistema de renta de viviendas en Minneapolis. En la junta del 11 de septiembre, las líderes Reyna, Edain y Socorro todas declararon que no es suficiente para asegurar que sus familias tengan mejores viviendas. Cada líder comprometido a expandir la base de la Junta de familias involucrados para tener mayor poder comunitario, para reformar políticas y modelos de negocio que afectan a los residentes que rentan. Uno de los propietarios más grandes en Minneapolis está respondiendo. The Apartment Shop de Steven Frenz ha contratado a un hispanohablante miembro del equipo de la oficina, después de una petición de un inquilino.

              Para más información sobre la Junta de Inquilinos contacta a Ross Joy al 612-724-7457 o <ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org>. Todos los miembros comunitarios también pueden involucrarse y liderar asuntos locales al atender a las juntas mensuales de nuestro Comité de Tierra y Vivienda, el cual se reúne en el primer jueves de cada mes (la próxima reunión el 2 de octubre a las 6pm en 3451 Cedar Ave S).

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

              El 11 de septiembre, líderes residentes de departamentos en Corcoran votaron para formalizar nuestros esfuerzos de inquilino del vecindario en una Junta de Inquilinos.

              Todos los inquilinos en el vecindario de Corcoran son animados a atender. El grupo discutirá asuntos compartidos y organizará un frente unido de familias, tomando acciones de liderazgo para asegurar que nuestro vecindario sea saludable y de calidad, accesible, costeable y estable. Los líderes reportarán acciones a y recibirán apoyo de la Mesa Directiva del CNO.

              Qué: Junta de Inquilinos

              Fecha: Miércoles 22 de octubre

              Hora: de 6:00 p.m. a 7:30 p.m.

              Locación: Salón 114 en el MPS edificio de Educación para Adultos, calle Lake 2225

              La Junta de Inquilinos ha votado para que su primera meta prioritaria sea desafiar y/o reducir el radio en facturas de utilidades para gas y agua. Estas facturas, además de ser renta, han sido destructoras de presupuestos familiares y no han mejorado la eficiencia en energía de los edificios.

              La segunda meta de la Junta de Inquilinos de Corcoran será el continuar obteniendo reparos necesarios para los apartamentos. Conversaciones y cartas a la administración de propiedades y la Ciudad de Minneapolis ha cedido mejoras substanciales a edificios departamentales. Múltiples familias han recibido reparaciones a aires acondicionados; rondas de fumigación; repintados pasillos y exteriores de los edificios; y remplazada alfombra vieja en algunas unidades.

              La última meta votada y aprobada por la Junta de Inquilinos será tomar acciones que va a mejorar el sistema de renta de viviendas en Minneapolis. En la junta del 11 de septiembre, las líderes Reyna, Edain y Socorro todas declararon que no es suficiente para asegurar que sus familias tengan mejores viviendas. Cada líder comprometido a expandir la base de la Junta de familias involucrados para tener mayor poder comunitario, para reformar políticas y modelos de negocio que afectan a los residentes que rentan. Uno de los propietarios más grandes en Minneapolis está respondiendo. The Apartment Shop de Steven Frenz ha contratado a un hispanohablante miembro del equipo de la oficina, después de una petición de un inquilino.

              Para más información sobre la Junta de Inquilinos contacta a Ross Joy al 612-724-7457 o <ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org>. Todos los miembros comunitarios también pueden involucrarse y liderar asuntos locales al atender a las juntas mensuales de nuestro Comité de Tierra y Vivienda, el cual se reúne en el primer jueves de cada mes (la próxima reunión el 2 de octubre a las 6pm en 3451 Cedar Ave S).

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

              Se aproxima el cierre de la temporada con la llegada del otoño

              Fri, 2014-10-24 11:59
              Corcoran News

              Creámoslo o no, el otoño ha llegado y la temporada del Mercado de Granjeros de Midtown se está acercando a su fin con el comienzo de la caída de las hojas y la caída de las temperaturas. Al adentrarnos en octubre, nos quedan sólo cuatro mercados sabatinos y cuatro mercados de los martes en esta temporada 2014. Aunque la temporada del mercado está apagándose, habrá todavía fantásticos artículos disponibles en el mercado y suficientes actividades para que vengan y disfruten. Asegúrense de almacenar verduras frescas y locales para enlatar en vinagre, y no se pierdan nuestras últimas oportunidades para disfrutar el mercado y visitar con amigos, vecinos y a nuestros comerciantes fabulosos antes del cierre de la temporada.

              Algunas actividades que estarán realizándose durante el mes incluyen: una demostración de cocina de Midtown Flavors y nuestra campaña de recaudación de fondos #FeedtheCarrot, en el mercado el 4 de octubre; nuestra Actividad en Familia del segundo sábado y una Encuesta de Actividad Económica el 11 de octubre, en donde tendrán la oportunidad de ganar mercancía del mercado y fichas al tomar una encuesta breve con uno de nuestros voluntarios del mercado; y, Día de Apreciación al Comerciante el 18 de octubre, cuando nuestro Comité Concejal dará muestras de nuestra apreciación a nuestros comerciantes al preparar y servirles desayuno en el mercado. Siéntete libre de mostrar a tus comerciantes favoritos lo mucho que los aprecias. Si estás interesado en ser voluntario para cualquiera de estas grandiosas actividades, por favor contacta a nuestra Asistente de Gerente, Elena Haynes por correo electrónico info [at] midtownfarmersmarket [dot] org o llama al 612-724-74557.

              Algunos artículos que encontrarás en el Mercado este mes incluyen: calabazas, manzanas, melones, elotes, brócoli, coliflor, chicharos, lentejas, colirrábano, repollo, zanahoria, rábano, nabos, chirivías, betabel, lechuga, espinaca, col rizada, acelga suiza, arugulo, bok choy, cebolla, poros, papas, calabaza de verano y calabacín, pepino, carne saludable, puerco y pollo de pastura, liebre, huevos, queso, yogurt, mantequilla, jaleas y mermeladas, mantequilla de maní, verduras enlatadas, miel, jarabe de maple, arroz salvaje, panes, granola, café, brochetas, hamburguesas, carne y sliders vegetarianos, tomate frito BLTs, tacos, burritos, tamales, pizzas al carbón, maíz hervido, cacahuate hervido y paletas de hielo. También encontrarás una amplia variedad de muebles hechos a mano y artes y artesanías locales.

              El Mercado de Grajeros de Midtown está ubicado en la esquina de Calle East Lake y 22nd Avenue South y ofrece comidas frescas y locales cada sábado de 8:00 a.m. a 1:00 p.m., de mayo a junio; y martes de 3:00 p.m. a 7:00 p.m., de junio a octubre.

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

              Creámoslo o no, el otoño ha llegado y la temporada del Mercado de Granjeros de Midtown se está acercando a su fin con el comienzo de la caída de las hojas y la caída de las temperaturas. Al adentrarnos en octubre, nos quedan sólo cuatro mercados sabatinos y cuatro mercados de los martes en esta temporada 2014. Aunque la temporada del mercado está apagándose, habrá todavía fantásticos artículos disponibles en el mercado y suficientes actividades para que vengan y disfruten. Asegúrense de almacenar verduras frescas y locales para enlatar en vinagre, y no se pierdan nuestras últimas oportunidades para disfrutar el mercado y visitar con amigos, vecinos y a nuestros comerciantes fabulosos antes del cierre de la temporada.

              Algunas actividades que estarán realizándose durante el mes incluyen: una demostración de cocina de Midtown Flavors y nuestra campaña de recaudación de fondos #FeedtheCarrot, en el mercado el 4 de octubre; nuestra Actividad en Familia del segundo sábado y una Encuesta de Actividad Económica el 11 de octubre, en donde tendrán la oportunidad de ganar mercancía del mercado y fichas al tomar una encuesta breve con uno de nuestros voluntarios del mercado; y, Día de Apreciación al Comerciante el 18 de octubre, cuando nuestro Comité Concejal dará muestras de nuestra apreciación a nuestros comerciantes al preparar y servirles desayuno en el mercado. Siéntete libre de mostrar a tus comerciantes favoritos lo mucho que los aprecias. Si estás interesado en ser voluntario para cualquiera de estas grandiosas actividades, por favor contacta a nuestra Asistente de Gerente, Elena Haynes por correo electrónico info [at] midtownfarmersmarket [dot] org o llama al 612-724-74557.

              Algunos artículos que encontrarás en el Mercado este mes incluyen: calabazas, manzanas, melones, elotes, brócoli, coliflor, chicharos, lentejas, colirrábano, repollo, zanahoria, rábano, nabos, chirivías, betabel, lechuga, espinaca, col rizada, acelga suiza, arugulo, bok choy, cebolla, poros, papas, calabaza de verano y calabacín, pepino, carne saludable, puerco y pollo de pastura, liebre, huevos, queso, yogurt, mantequilla, jaleas y mermeladas, mantequilla de maní, verduras enlatadas, miel, jarabe de maple, arroz salvaje, panes, granola, café, brochetas, hamburguesas, carne y sliders vegetarianos, tomate frito BLTs, tacos, burritos, tamales, pizzas al carbón, maíz hervido, cacahuate hervido y paletas de hielo. También encontrarás una amplia variedad de muebles hechos a mano y artes y artesanías locales.

              El Mercado de Grajeros de Midtown está ubicado en la esquina de Calle East Lake y 22nd Avenue South y ofrece comidas frescas y locales cada sábado de 8:00 a.m. a 1:00 p.m., de mayo a junio; y martes de 3:00 p.m. a 7:00 p.m., de junio a octubre.

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

              Residentes se suman al desarrollo de 2225 East Lake

              Fri, 2014-10-24 11:57
              Eric Gustafson Corcoran News

              Cerca de 150 personas llegaron el 3 de abril a escuchar sobre los planes propuestos por Hennepin County para la compra y rediseño de 2225 East Lake, propiedad de 6.5 acres, entre la estación del tren ligero de Lake Street y el YWCA. Desde aquel tiempo, el Condado ha juntado a 2 grupos de trabajo de del gobierno, profesionales de diseño y residentes locales, para trabajar en el asunto relacionado al diseño sustentable y conexiones de trafico bici/peatones dentro del diseño. Cada uno de estos grupos se ha reunido una vez, y el CNO reunió información de residentes quienes participaron, incluyendo residentes de Corcoran como Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh y Peggy Knapp.

              Atención prestada bici/peatón/ tráfico y quienes usan transporte, conexiones y facilidades.

              “(Arreglos) la intersección de Lake y Hiawatha es CRUCIAL para el éxito de cualquier diseño en su sitio e inaceptable en su actual diseño céntrico para automóviles”

              “Estoy en desacuerdo que la oficina del edificio será de 5 pisos, aunque el CNO esté bien con 6 a 10. Parece desperdicio usar zona cero para Desarrollo Orientado de Transito para un edificio de únicamente 5 pisos”

              “Me gustaría definitivamente ver más esfuerzos progresistas para la construcción de este diseño, poner al peatón primero, bicis segundo y automóviles al último”.

              “Muchos edificios en espacios pequeños, pero el Mercado de Granjeros es alivio bienvenido”.

              “Me preocupa la decreciente venta al menudeo del primer piso de frente a la calle Lake; esta es una falta mayor del programa actual”

              Atención prestada a asuntos de sustentabilidad.

              “El condado claramente va a dar poca importancia a este desarrollo. No he visto evidencia de liderazgo para traer innovación a este sitio. El edificio no está siendo construido para demostrar un compromiso a los valores y principios que el vecindario ha acogido, promovido, y por los que ha luchado y, claramente, comunicado”

              “(El condado) necesita hacer más y elegir un asunto importante o dos para abogar por el proyecto”

              “El condado y el diseñador ignoraron quejas sobre aguas residuales, jardinería y agricultura urbana, y presionar con fuerza sobre un diseño sustentable”

              “Siento que la mayoría de decisiones ya fueron hechas”

              Calificación del desarrollo propuesto como un lugar para vivir.

              “Necesitamos más información sobre precio, y más claridad sobre como lucirá la plaza pública ya que esto será el espacio al aire libre para disfrutar.”

              “Una localidad increíblemente densa en población, próxima a un centro de servicio que creará altos niveles de trafico de transeúntes todos los días. ¡Un lugar tan desagradable para vivir!”

              Calificando el desarrollo propuesto como una adición de valor para mi vecindario.

              “El Mercado lo convierte en un maravilloso lugar”

              “Me preocupa la mezcla de usos inclinados a servicios sociales sin servicio para todos los residentes en el área para crear un vecindario de ingresos mixtos”

              “Esto depende en qué es valorado. Incrementar valores de propiedad no es la consideración más importante. La adición de un centro comunitario permanente con una sede para el mercado de grajeros es importante. Es critico asegurarse que diseñamos este lugar para el futuro, con la consideración de acceso para peatones y bicicletas y reducción de carros”

              “Más opciones de vivienda son necesarias. Y más densidad en el centro del transporte que es Hi-Lake ayudaría a dar a nuestro vecindario un punto más urbano y más fuerte”

              Eric Gustafson es el director ejecutivo de CNO.

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

              Cerca de 150 personas llegaron el 3 de abril a escuchar sobre los planes propuestos por Hennepin County para la compra y rediseño de 2225 East Lake, propiedad de 6.5 acres, entre la estación del tren ligero de Lake Street y el YWCA. Desde aquel tiempo, el Condado ha juntado a 2 grupos de trabajo de del gobierno, profesionales de diseño y residentes locales, para trabajar en el asunto relacionado al diseño sustentable y conexiones de trafico bici/peatones dentro del diseño. Cada uno de estos grupos se ha reunido una vez, y el CNO reunió información de residentes quienes participaron, incluyendo residentes de Corcoran como Jane St. Clair, Tami Traeger, John Paul, Benjamin Tsai, Billy Weber, Gerry Tyrrell, Heidi Traore, Jim Walsh y Peggy Knapp.

              Atención prestada bici/peatón/ tráfico y quienes usan transporte, conexiones y facilidades.

              “(Arreglos) la intersección de Lake y Hiawatha es CRUCIAL para el éxito de cualquier diseño en su sitio e inaceptable en su actual diseño céntrico para automóviles”

              “Estoy en desacuerdo que la oficina del edificio será de 5 pisos, aunque el CNO esté bien con 6 a 10. Parece desperdicio usar zona cero para Desarrollo Orientado de Transito para un edificio de únicamente 5 pisos”

              “Me gustaría definitivamente ver más esfuerzos progresistas para la construcción de este diseño, poner al peatón primero, bicis segundo y automóviles al último”.

              “Muchos edificios en espacios pequeños, pero el Mercado de Granjeros es alivio bienvenido”.

              “Me preocupa la decreciente venta al menudeo del primer piso de frente a la calle Lake; esta es una falta mayor del programa actual”

              Atención prestada a asuntos de sustentabilidad.

              “El condado claramente va a dar poca importancia a este desarrollo. No he visto evidencia de liderazgo para traer innovación a este sitio. El edificio no está siendo construido para demostrar un compromiso a los valores y principios que el vecindario ha acogido, promovido, y por los que ha luchado y, claramente, comunicado”

              “(El condado) necesita hacer más y elegir un asunto importante o dos para abogar por el proyecto”

              “El condado y el diseñador ignoraron quejas sobre aguas residuales, jardinería y agricultura urbana, y presionar con fuerza sobre un diseño sustentable”

              “Siento que la mayoría de decisiones ya fueron hechas”

              Calificación del desarrollo propuesto como un lugar para vivir.

              “Necesitamos más información sobre precio, y más claridad sobre como lucirá la plaza pública ya que esto será el espacio al aire libre para disfrutar.”

              “Una localidad increíblemente densa en población, próxima a un centro de servicio que creará altos niveles de trafico de transeúntes todos los días. ¡Un lugar tan desagradable para vivir!”

              Calificando el desarrollo propuesto como una adición de valor para mi vecindario.

              “El Mercado lo convierte en un maravilloso lugar”

              “Me preocupa la mezcla de usos inclinados a servicios sociales sin servicio para todos los residentes en el área para crear un vecindario de ingresos mixtos”

              “Esto depende en qué es valorado. Incrementar valores de propiedad no es la consideración más importante. La adición de un centro comunitario permanente con una sede para el mercado de grajeros es importante. Es critico asegurarse que diseñamos este lugar para el futuro, con la consideración de acceso para peatones y bicicletas y reducción de carros”

              “Más opciones de vivienda son necesarias. Y más densidad en el centro del transporte que es Hi-Lake ayudaría a dar a nuestro vecindario un punto más urbano y más fuerte”

              Eric Gustafson es el director ejecutivo de CNO.

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

              Affordable solar will allow residents to save money

              Fri, 2014-10-24 11:49
              Corcoran News

              The cost of solar panels has dropped 99% since 1977. In Minnesota, the long-term electricity cost from solar has decreased below the rising cost of utility bills. Now, local residents are making solar accessible for everyone through a member-owned cooperative, Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF).

              Homeowners can join the co-op and apply for the Made in Minnesota solar incentive to lease solar panels with no money down through the Gopher Solar program. After 15 years, residents have full ownership of their array, which is warrantied for another 10 years of free power. As Holly & Dan, Minneapolis participants in the 2014 leasing program, said, “CEF and its partners have made it possible for us to produce renewable energy! We are so grateful for this opportunity and can attest to how understandable and easy the process was.” There are also loan options if residents prefer to own the system upfront. Because applications for the Minnesota solar incentive are due February 28, 2015, interested residents should contact bruce [at] cooperativeenergyfutures [dot] com or (612) 568-2334 before January 15th 2015.

              But what about renters or families without good solar access? CEF is also helping Twin Cities communities organize solar gardens, large solar arrays that give renters and residents whose homes won’t work for solar the opportunity to subscribe. Just like buying a farm share, subscribing to community solar secures utility bill credits for 25 years of power. While most Minnesota homes spend $900/year on electricity bills, community solar can provide 25 years of power for only around 12 years worth of cost. As a cooperative, CEF gives community solar subscribers ownership and control over a community energy business. Learn more at http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com/communitysolar/.

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

              The cost of solar panels has dropped 99% since 1977. In Minnesota, the long-term electricity cost from solar has decreased below the rising cost of utility bills. Now, local residents are making solar accessible for everyone through a member-owned cooperative, Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF).

              Homeowners can join the co-op and apply for the Made in Minnesota solar incentive to lease solar panels with no money down through the Gopher Solar program. After 15 years, residents have full ownership of their array, which is warrantied for another 10 years of free power. As Holly & Dan, Minneapolis participants in the 2014 leasing program, said, “CEF and its partners have made it possible for us to produce renewable energy! We are so grateful for this opportunity and can attest to how understandable and easy the process was.” There are also loan options if residents prefer to own the system upfront. Because applications for the Minnesota solar incentive are due February 28, 2015, interested residents should contact bruce [at] cooperativeenergyfutures [dot] com or (612) 568-2334 before January 15th 2015.

              But what about renters or families without good solar access? CEF is also helping Twin Cities communities organize solar gardens, large solar arrays that give renters and residents whose homes won’t work for solar the opportunity to subscribe. Just like buying a farm share, subscribing to community solar secures utility bill credits for 25 years of power. While most Minnesota homes spend $900/year on electricity bills, community solar can provide 25 years of power for only around 12 years worth of cost. As a cooperative, CEF gives community solar subscribers ownership and control over a community energy business. Learn more at http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com/communitysolar/.

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

              Tenants' council established to advance housing improvements, next meeting Wednesday, October 22

              Fri, 2014-10-24 11:45
              RossJoy Corcoran News

              On September 11, apartment resident leaders in Corcoran voted to formalize our neighborhood’s tenant organizing efforts into an open Tenants’ Council, or La junta de inquilinos.

              All renters in Corcoran are encouraged to attend. The group will discuss shared concerns and organize a united front of families taking leadership actions to ensure our neighborhood’s housing is healthy and of quality, accessible, affordable and stable. Leaders will report actions to and receive support from CNO’s Board of Directors.

              What: Tenants’ Council meeting

              Date: Wednesday, October 22

              Time: 6:00-7:30pm

              Location: Room 114 at MPS Adult Education building, 2225 E Lake Street

              The Tenants’ Council has voted that its first priority goal is to challenge and/or lower the emerging practice of ratio utility bills for gas and water. These bills, on top of rent, have wrecked family budgets, resulted in evictions, and have not improved building energy efficiency.

              The Council’s second goal is be to continue obtaining needed home repairs. Tenants’ conversations with and letters to property management and the City of Minneapolis have yielded substantial improvements to apartment buildings. These include replacement of long-broken air conditioners; fumigation for pests; building exteriors and hallways have been repainted; and torn carpet has been replaced for some select units.

              The last voted goal of the Tenants’ Council will be to take actions that improve systems related to rental housing in Minneapolis. At the Sept 11 meeting, leaders Reyna, Edain and Socorro all voiced that it is not enough to ensure that just their families have better housing. Each leader committed to further expand the Council’s base of engaged households in order to have greater community power to reform policies and business models that affect residents who rent. One of the largest landlords in Minneapolis is already responding. The Apartment Shop has hired a Spanish speaking office staff member after a tenant driven petition.

              For more info about the Tenants’ Council contact Ross Joy at 612-724-7457 or ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org. All community members can also get involved and lead on local issues by attending our neighborhood’s monthly Land Use & Housing Committee, which meets on the first Thursday of every month (next on October 2 at 6:00pm at 3451 Cedar Ave S).

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

              On September 11, apartment resident leaders in Corcoran voted to formalize our neighborhood’s tenant organizing efforts into an open Tenants’ Council, or La junta de inquilinos.

              All renters in Corcoran are encouraged to attend. The group will discuss shared concerns and organize a united front of families taking leadership actions to ensure our neighborhood’s housing is healthy and of quality, accessible, affordable and stable. Leaders will report actions to and receive support from CNO’s Board of Directors.

              What: Tenants’ Council meeting

              Date: Wednesday, October 22

              Time: 6:00-7:30pm

              Location: Room 114 at MPS Adult Education building, 2225 E Lake Street

              The Tenants’ Council has voted that its first priority goal is to challenge and/or lower the emerging practice of ratio utility bills for gas and water. These bills, on top of rent, have wrecked family budgets, resulted in evictions, and have not improved building energy efficiency.

              The Council’s second goal is be to continue obtaining needed home repairs. Tenants’ conversations with and letters to property management and the City of Minneapolis have yielded substantial improvements to apartment buildings. These include replacement of long-broken air conditioners; fumigation for pests; building exteriors and hallways have been repainted; and torn carpet has been replaced for some select units.

              The last voted goal of the Tenants’ Council will be to take actions that improve systems related to rental housing in Minneapolis. At the Sept 11 meeting, leaders Reyna, Edain and Socorro all voiced that it is not enough to ensure that just their families have better housing. Each leader committed to further expand the Council’s base of engaged households in order to have greater community power to reform policies and business models that affect residents who rent. One of the largest landlords in Minneapolis is already responding. The Apartment Shop has hired a Spanish speaking office staff member after a tenant driven petition.

              For more info about the Tenants’ Council contact Ross Joy at 612-724-7457 or ross [at] corcoranneighborhood [dot] org. All community members can also get involved and lead on local issues by attending our neighborhood’s monthly Land Use & Housing Committee, which meets on the first Thursday of every month (next on October 2 at 6:00pm at 3451 Cedar Ave S).

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

              © 2014 Corcoran News

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