TOO MUCH COFFEE: Let’s start believing women and children

Posted on 08 November 2019 by Tesha Christensen


It’s time to believe women and children.
This month, we launch a new series aimed at putting a face on domestic violence and intimate partner terrorism that we’re calling “Voices of Violence.”
The majority of people in this series will be anonymous for their safety, and to avoid causing trouble with their custody cases. Unfortunately, we can’t get the full story unless they can be assured that it won’t blow-back negatively on their drive to protect their kids – the foremost concern of the women I’ve interviewed.
However, I have carefully vetted their stories, and know that each woman is speaking for many who can tell the same sorts of stories with the same cycles of abuse. They all fell in love with a man who was good to them, and who later switched to angry, manipulative and controlling actions that left them baffled and confused. Things started out with behaviors that didn’t seem so bad, and then got worse with a fair amount of gaslighting thrown in so they would question what was really happening.
And then they got the questions from friends and family: Why did you stay? The answer is complicated, as you’ll see from these stories. And women are often pressured to stay and patch things up for the “sake of the kids” while they’re also told by others that if it were them, they would have left a long time ago. They would never have stood for this. In many way, these women can’t win. And, sometimes, a victimized person may not be able to get away from their abuser because the abuser will not let them do so.
Take a look around you. One in every three women you see and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (including slapping, shoving, pushing), and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.” That’s a pretty high number. This kind of thing is happening all around us and we probably don’t know it.
The sad thing is, being smart and educated, kind and empathetic, a good mom and a good wife – none of that prevents you from being abused. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and there is no safeguard from it, even though we wish there was.
But what is even sadder is the stories women tell about how they and their children haven’t been believed. How someone has questioned if what they said really happened. How a family member sided with the abuser. How Child Protection Services came out and said that the bruises and pain he left weren’t bad enough to launch an investigation that might impinge upon his career. How family courts ignored the signs and put children into unsafe situations because they think that any dad is better than no dad.
It’s true that fathers are important, but what’s even more true is that kids need to be protected. It’s up to us adults to keep them safe.
The children affected by this is staggering, and can be considered the greatest health crisis of our time. More and more research is backing up that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) – such as witnessing abuse, being abused and experiencing your parents divorce – can be traced to a myriad of health and mental health issues that cost the world millions of dollars to treat.
Our series will look more closely at the women affected by intimate partner violence because they comprise the majority of those being abused and they are hurt more severely more often, but we recognize that men also find themselves in abusive relationships, as do those in same-sex relationships.
As I’ve chatted with people involved in domestic violence advocacy and the family court system here in Minnesota and around the country, one thing that is clear is our family court system hasn’t made enough progress in the area of intimate partner violence. It recognizes bruises and may hand out orders for protections for women, but it hasn’t stopped to consider the effect of that continued and ongoing abuse on children. It’s also stuck thinking that “It takes two to tango” when it can just take one disordered and mean individual determined to keep fighting and using the family court system to engage in domestic abuse via proxy. It is sad and hard to believe that some people will use their kids to keep hurting their exes for years – with no regard to the damage inflicted on their children.
Mothers know – and they’re pushing for change even while they are painted as vindictive, crazy and hysterical liars.
It’s past time that we listen when children tell us through their actions that they are in unsafe home environments. Next time you get frustrated by a kid with rebellious or aggressive behavior, consider the message they may be trying to tell you behind that “bad behavior.”
External signs of child abuse include:
• learning difficulties
• problems with relationships and socializing
• rebellious behavior
• aggressive and violent behavior
• anti-social behavior and criminality
• self-isolating behavior (making people dislike you)
• negative impulsive behavior (not caring what happens to yourself).
Signs of a child being emotional abused or in an emotional abusive home include:
• Appear continually withdrawn, anxious or depressed
• Display excessive fear of parents or caretakers
• Avoid doing things with other children
• Behave much younger than his or her age
• Behave older than their age e.g. ‘a little mother’
• Lag in physical, emotional or cognitive development
• Wet the bed
• Blame themselves for problems or believe they are ‘bad’
• Overreact when they make mistakes
• Have inappropriate reaction to pain, e.g. ‘I deserve this’
• Demonstrate neurotic behaviours such as hair twisting or rocking
• Self-harm or attempt suicide

If you are a victim experiencing abuse, contact Day One at 866-223-1111 to connect with services.

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MEET OUR STAFF: Asking questions, talking about interests and events

Posted on 08 November 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Jan Willms

I have been a writer for the Monitor and Messenger since around 2003. From the time I edited my high school newspaper, I have loved to write. My undergraduate degree is in journalism, and I worked as a staffer for the Fargo Forum, where I met my husband.
We later started and operated a weekly in Montana. The newspaper was our life. When our first son was born, after my water broke, I went in and did a few things on the paper and then drove myself to the hospital. It was print day, and we had to get the paper out, so my husband met the deadline and then came in to meet our son. A few days later, we put Liberty in a blanket in a drawer at our office, and he observed firsthand how newspaper production works. When our second son was born six years later, he too nestled in a drawer in the office with a colorful mobile above his head.
Running a weekly, we did it all – wrote the features, news articles and commentary; sold the ads; did the layout; wrote the headlines; took the photos; covered sports and entertainment. We were never caught up on sleep, and our social life consisted of covering stories, but it was the happiest time in our lives. After my husband died prematurely, and I entered the human services profession I have still always tried to keep a link to newspaper writing.
Community newspapers like the Messenger and Monitor are perfect, because I can still work full-time and continue to do interviews after work or on weekends. Although I have written about everything from elections to neighborhood meetings to conversations with authors and filmmakers, I love doing feature articles. Exploring what spurs a person’s creativity, what challenges him or her, or what stirs up the passion within is what I like most to do.
What sets off the creative spark in an author’s quest to complete a novel? What drives someone to start a nonprofit and help others less fortunate? Who are the mentors a musician looks up to? These are all questions that I like to find the answers to and share them with our readership.
I also like to write about the events that have shaped a person’s life. A young man once wanted to talk to us about his brother’s murder, and how it affected the family. We agreed to meet on three different occasions, but he never showed up. But the fourth time he did, and we talked for hours, and his story about his brother got told.
Perhaps most of all, writing for these papers has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people from all walks of life.
It is said that writing can be a lonely profession, but not when you are sharing a part of someone else’s world.
Meeting different persons, talking with them about what interests them, and putting it down on paper is a challenging but fulfilling task. I find that just the physical act of writing is therapeutic, and if you can make a story interesting enough to catch a reader’s eye, it makes journalism a very rewarding profession.

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Documentary on serial killer filmed in Longfellow

Posted on 08 November 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Nora and Ken Krahn leased their home to Committee Films of Eden Prairie last year for the filming of a documentary that recently aired. “Serial Killer: Devil Unchained” tells the story of convicted murder and rapist Todd Kohlhepp. With the help of former FBI profiler John Douglas and Kohlhepp’s own biographer, Gary Garrett, journalist Maria Awes goes down a twisted path, talking to Kohlhepp’s family, as well as his victims and their families, uncovering early warning signs that might have helped stop a killer in his tracks. (Photo right by Tesha M. Christensen)

Ken and Nora Krahn’s home used to film scenes from Arizona

A Longfellow house along 37th Ave. S. served as a filming location for the documentary, “Serial Killer: Devil Unchained” that aired this summer on Investigation Discovery.
Despite the chilling topic, homeowners Ken and Nora Krahn were reassured that no graphic scenes would be filmed in their house.
Filmed by Eden Prairie’s wife-husband duo Maria and Andy Awes of Committee Films, the documentary unravels the mind of rapist and murderer Todd Kohlhepp in three two-hour-long sessions. The first aired on July 22, 2019, and the last three weeks later on Aug. 5. Each episode was followed by a digital companion series “Kohlhepp Uncut: The Devil Speaks” with Kohlhepp himself providing chilling details about crimes spanning 30 years.
The Krahn house was used to film an abduction that happened in Arizona. To make it look more like the southwestern state (and avoid the green hues of a Minnesota September), the filming was done at night, Nora pointed out.
They filmed a scene in the alleyway, one in the upstairs bedroom, one in the downstairs bedroom, one by the front door, and another by the back door.

Interesting to see what goes into a production
The Krahn’s had received a letter last fall from Committee Films that stated the company was looking for a location to shoot a documentary. “We responded,” recalled Nora. “My daughter is in production, and I immediately thought she’d love this.”
Previously, when her daughter had explained her work, Nora couldn’t visualize it. Now she can.
Ken admits he was cautious about signing on, but they researched the film company ahead of time before agreeing to anything. “We were impressed by their resume and the bulk of work they had done,” he noted.
That includes America Unearthed on the Travel Channel now in its fourth season, as well as 20/20: In An Instant, Top of the World, Bigfoot Captured, Who Really Discovered America, Secrets of Einstein’s Brain, Templars’ deadliest Secret, Aloha Life, Myth of Monster, Mystery of Easter Island, and more.
Nora said the company’s location manager was really easy to work with. “I liked the fact that they kept us in the loop,” she said.
“It’s just so interesting to see how much goes into a production. It’s really huge.”
Signs were put up the day before to make sure no one parked on their street, and the neighborhood was leafleted so that everyone knew what was going on when the trucks arrived with gear and crew members. On the day of, the alley was closed. A few people arrived at their house at about 3 p.m.on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 to begin setting up.
By 4 p.m., a whole crew was bustling around, setting up equipment, putting up lights, serving food and putting screens up around the windows, Nora recalled.
“They were extremely well organized and obviously they had the production down very well,” said Ken. “Everybody knew what their job was.”
Staff placed rugs on the floor, plastic on the stairs and cardboard on the walls to protect them. They moved some things around, took down photos, and put up other pictures. The couple had already tucked some items away, based on the recommendation of the film company. In all, there were about 40 people associated with the film, and three trucks.
“They told us we could stay if we wanted to, but it was kind of overwhelming,” said Nora. The couple walked by a few times to check up on what was going on and Ken ducked inside the house for a bit, and then they headed off to their complimentary hotel room.
By 3:30 a.m., the crew was gone.
Nora wasn’t sure what to expect when they returned, and was delighted to see that they’d put everything back the way it was.
“It was cleaner when we came back than when we left it,” said Ken.
Afterwards, when they talked to their neighbors they heard that the production crew was nice and friendly, Ken observed. “They were not at all off-put by little kids coming and asking questions,” he said.
“I would have no hesitation to invite them back. For us, this was a positive and entertaining experience.”
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Minnehaha Parkway project paused, CAC takes medians at Lyndale and Nicollet off table

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

During the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the CAC recommended several next steps for the project based on extensive community feedback on the preferred concepts. Most notably, the project conversation about the parkway road will pause while more traffic data is collected.
Here are the five next steps endorsed by the CAC:
1) Eliminate the proposal to add medians at the parkway intersections with Lyndale Ave. and Nicollet Ave., which will allow for largely continuous vehicular travel along Minnehaha Creek.
2) Continue to evaluate designs for the Parkway + Portland and Lynnhurst Focus Areas in terms of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle safety and comfort.
3) Work to implement immediate improvements at the Parkway + Portland Focus Area to the extent possible.
4) Initiate additional traffic data collection and explore piloting solutions at the Parkway + Portland and Lynnhurst Focus Areas.
5) Pause the master plan process to allow time for additional exploration, then reconvene the CAC in September/October.
This means there will be no additional CAC meetings scheduled in the immediate future. The MPRB will work with its consulting staff and agency partners to prepare further study this summer.
In any case, however, the proposed Nicollet and Lyndale medians are considered off the table. All other project ideas will continue to be discussed.
The CAC also unanimously recommended the Lynnhurst Area concept brought forward by the Lynnhurst Subcommittee. This concept will also be considered by the CAC for the Southwest Parks Plan, which is in the process of creating a cohesive master plan for 40+ neighborhood park properties in Southwest Minneapolis. Follow the link below to view the recommended Lynnhurst Area concept.
Discussion of Segments 1, 2 and 3 of the Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan, including several revised concepts based on community and CAC feedback, was on the agenda for CAC Meeting #8 on July 9. Those discussions did not take place. MPRB staff will consider reconvening the CAC during the summer to discuss those areas. (The CAC previously reached consensus for Segment 4). The revised concepts (including those for the parkway road) will be uploaded to the project website soon.
The online survey will remain open for the public to provide ongoing feedback on the preferred concepts and new revisions. “Please especially let us know what you think of the modifications to Segments 1 and 2 and the Nicollet Hollow Focus Area,” urge park board staff. “If you have already taken the online survey, you may do so again, even from the same computer.”
Once more detail is known, MPRB staff will communicate with the community about the ongoing project studies this summer, immediate improvements and possible pilot projects.

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Over the years in Longfellow & Nokomis neighborhoods

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Iric Nathanson

   During its nearly 40-year history, the Messenger has chronicled the major events in Longfellow and Nokomis. Here are some of the highlights during those years.
January 1983
A newspaper for Longfellow
A newspaper is being developed to serve the people, institutions and business enterprises of the Longfellow neighborhood. This introduces the Longfellow Messenger.

April 1984
Police station plan unveiled
Longfellow community resident and the Third Precinct police force will soon have a new precinct building…to be located on Lake Street between Minnehaha and Snelling Avenues

May 1986
Longfellow Messenger to be sold
The Messenger’s creators, Bill and Maureen Milbrath, are selling the paper to DeRuyter Nelson Publications, publisher of the Midway/Como Monitor in St. Paul.

February 1988
Nokomis residents organize neighborhood organization
On January 7, about 50 people from four Nokomis neighborhoods- Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park and Wenonah met at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church to organize the Nokomis Neighborhood Awareness Council

June 1990
New Lake Street bridge collapses
The uncompleted east arch for the new Lake Street bridge collapsed at 7:30 PM on Thursday, April 24. Robert Moser, the 45-year-old construction foreman, was killed when the arch fell into the Mississippi River.

January 1992
Funds earmarked to speed completion of Hiawatha Avenue
When completed sometime after 1996, the Hiawatha project will provide a rebuilt roadway for Highway 55 between downtown Minneapolis and the Crosstown Highway 62

August 1994
Longfellow House finds new home in Minnehaha Park.
The historic Longfellow House was moved to a new site in Minnehaha Park about one block southwest of its original location. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board owns the vacant building and plans to renovate it.

December 1995
Longfellow residents ratify NRP plan at community meeting
The $9.3 million Neighborhood Revitalization Plan establishes an ambitious five-year improvement program for the Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods.

July 1996
Vocal opposition to Hiawatha Avenue rerouting organizes to stop plans
The Park and River Alliance, is protesting the construction of a new roadway for Hiawatha Avenue south of 52nd Street adjacent to Minnehaha Park.

December 1998
Governor-elect Ventura carries inspirational message to Roosevelt students.
Roosevelt alum Jesse Ventura got a hero’s welcome when he returned to his old high school on November 11 to deliver a rousing pep talk to an enthusiastic group of Roosevelt students.

December 1999
Highway 55’s 700-foot tunnel through Minnehaha Park finally taking shape
When the Highway 55 tunnel is completed in the summer of 2001, southbound motorists will enter the tunnel at a point near the south end of the Minnehaha Mall and exit about 200 feet north of Minnehaha Creek.

July 2003
Fire ravages West River Commons construction
Fire engulfed the new West River Commons project under construction at the corner of Lake and West River Parkway in the early morning hours of June 24. The blaze became a three-alarm fire and continued to smolder through the morning hours.

June 2004
Hiawatha Light Rail ready to roll June 26 despite delay
After a delay of nearly three months, the Hiawatha Light Rail line will finally open for business on June 26. The Hiawatha line will include four stations in the Longfellow-Nokomis neighborhoods.

October 2007
Dramatic New Greenway Bridge Nears Completion
The Greenway bridge, named for former Congressman Martin Sabo, will eliminate the need for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the difficult intersection at 28th and Hiawatha

Mary 2010
Longfellow community seeks answers in the wake of Lake Street fire
About 200 people gathered on April 18 to pay their respects the six victims of the fire at 3000 East Lake Street

March 2012
Development underway along Hiawatha corridor
Station 38 is the latest in a growing list of transit-oriented developments at stations along the 12-mile Hiawatha LRT line

January 2014
Minnehaha Avenue reconstruction get green light
The Minneapolis City Council voted in December to give its consent for Hennepin County’s proposed reconstruction of Minnehaha Avenue

September 2017
An explosion destroyed a section of Minnehaha Academy and killed two
A devastating gas explosion at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School on August 2 killed two staff members and destroyed the oldest section of the school facility built in 1913.

May 2019
Messenger, Monitor papers transition to new ownership
Calvin deRuyter and Tim Nelson of deRuyter Nelson Publications have sold their two neighborhood newspapers to Tesha M. Christensen, who has written for the two papers for almost the last eight years.

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Messenger launches Voluntary Pay program

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Tesha M. Christensen, owner & editor

Why do we matter?
Why does a small neighborhood newspaper still exist in the days of Facebook and instant online news? What sets the Messenger apart from these other news sources?

We’re Relevant.
The simple answer is we’re your local news source. There’s not another publication that covers the Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods like we do.

We’re Informative.
We write about local businesses opening and closing, about what’s being torn down and what’s being developed, about who is agitating for change and who has paved the way for others to follow.
We tell you about the neighbor who has turned into an entrepreneur, the college student who is giving back to the world, and the Boomer who is following a more sustainable lifestyle.
These are the people in your community. And the Messenger is your community news source. We’re about connecting people through the pages in our newspaper. We print “News for You.”

We’re Reliable.
The Messenger has been delivering news to your doorsteps since 1982. And we’re here to tell you: Print Is Not Dead.

We’re Delivered Responsibly.
The folks who work for this newspaper are connected to the area. We’re not dropping in, writing an article that will tear the area apart, and then flying out. We’re committed to this neighborhood, and the people who live and work in it.
This does mean we approach things differently. We have to.
We don’t do #fakenews.

Will you help support your neighborhood newspaper?

Will you help cover the costs
of the monthly Messenger?
In the upcoming months, I plan to introduce you to the various people and companies that play a role in getting this newspaper to your front steps and local bulk drop business sites each month. What questions do you have? Send them my way.
We are inviting you and our other readers to help us by voluntarily paying the cost of printing and delivering your paper.
The Messenger doesn’t charge for subscriptions to our monthly newspapers. Like most others, we rely on advertising revenue to pay for the costs of putting the newspaper out – paying the printer, the delivery staff, one full-time and one part-time sales representatives, bookkeeper, and others. We pay for our web site, Adobe and Quickbooks software, phones, and post office box. Because we run a virtual office, we contract with a provider for cloud services and a remote desktop, along with email and other IT services.
We want to make sure that our content is fresh and engaging, and so we pay writers and photographers to cover meetings and conduct feature interviews.
As owner, I’m a jack-of-all-trades, doing the newspaper layout, writing articles, paying the bills, selling some ads – and making the coffee.
I’m committed to quality journalism at the Messenger and its sister newspaper, the Midway Como Monitor.
To do that, we’re asking for your help. Would you consider donating $12 – or $1 a paper? How about $24 – or $2 a paper? Maybe you love us so much that you want to send more and pay it forward – we’d love that! One lucky donor will get a four-pack of tickets to the Ren Fest; drawing on Aug. 19.
Click here for more.
I’d also like to start running photos of readers on our Social Media channels and within our printed pages. So, snap a photo of you with the latest, hot-off-the-press newspaper. Tag us online or email it my way. Let us know what you appreciate about the paper. Let us know what we’re missing. Share story ideas. Send in your letters to the editor and guest commentaries.
We’re relevant, informative, reliable and responsible – because of you.

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Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Open Streets Minneapolis invites people to be curious about their city as they use active transportation, view live performances, create art, and make new connections with their neighbors. The Watson Family brought son Miles in his red Radio Flyer wagon, complete with bubble blower. Since 2011, Open Streets Minneapolis has turned more than 20 streets into car-free, community-filled fun for a weekend afternoon. More than 90,000 people participated in seven Open Streets Minneapolis events in 2018. The 2019 Open Streets Minneapolis season continued on Sunday, July 21 with Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha. The event was back on this route for the third year.

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Summer reading: new novels by local authors

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen


Girl Gone Missing
Marcie R. Rendon

Cash Blackbear is back in Marcie R. Rendon’s second crime novel, “Girl Gone Missing.”
Still driving trucks and running pool tables for money, Cash is now navigating campus life at Moorhead State University. She’s feeling a little like a fish out of water when reports of missing girls, one of whom she recognizes as a classmate, start cropping up. Seeing them in her dreams, Cash cannot ignore their pleas for help.
Ever sharp and knowing her way around the Red River Valley, Cash pokes around until signs point to Minneapolis – brand new terrain for her. Here, she is hurled into danger where she has to rely on her gut, fast-thinking and ingenuity to reach safety.
As an Anishinabe woman coming of age in the 1970s, the fictional Cash carries the very real shared experience of Native children who were pulled away from their families and moved into boarding schools and foster care (Rendon, herself an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation, includes an Author’s Note in the novel’s end pages that speaks to this legacy and resultant historical trauma).
In Cash, Rendon gives us a multi-dimensional character who is guarded and private but who is intuitive, compassionate and resourceful – all of which draw the reader in and pull us close.
“Girl Gone Missing” is a satisfying read that leaves us wanting to know what Cash will do next – which is great, because Rendon is already working on the third installment in the series.
Rendon lives in the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood. Her first novel, “Murder on the Red River,” won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction.

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)
Lorna Landvik
Nokomis resident Lorna Landvik’s latest novel, “Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)” is a sweet elixir, a healthy antidote to busy lives and angry news cycles. In this story, Haze Evans, beloved longtime columnist with the Granite Creek Gazette, suffers a stroke, and the small-town newspaper’s editor decides to run her columns dating back to the 1960s, sometimes with corresponding Letters to the Editor.
Through Evans’ keen observations and recollections we are given a glimpse of her worldview, from her giddy back-to-school shopping days to her (only slightly) unhinged response to a reader’s unfavorable take on her column about disgraced former President Nixon’s pardon by President Ford.
Evans shares her encounters with everyday people and celebrities, along with stories of babies born and lives lived (and lost), as decade-defining events and crises unfold. As readers take this preamble through the ages, we also jump in and out of the present day as new fictional readers, including the editor’s teenaged son, experience Evans’ columns and related letters and cheer on her recovery in the hospital.
There is love and longing, sorrow and loss, family, community and above all, humanity.
If life is made up of a lot of little moments, this “Radical Hag” captures them very well. In one such moment it’s all hands on deck to care for newborn quadruplets. Who but Landvik – this time through the penned words of Evans – can turn what could easily ring out as a cacophony of a crying quartet into a sweet symphony, its own magical moment when life becomes a small party?
With “Chronicles of a Radical Hag,” Landvik offers a break from the noisier parts of our lives and instead serves up a bit of warmth, love and community. As for the recipes, there are plenty of options that will surely dress up any summer picnic. Enjoy!
In other news: The movie short for an earlier of Landvik’s novels, “Oh My Stars,” was screened at Riverview Theater on June 15. The goal is to show the film at festivals and ultimately get it made into a full-length feature. More about the project can be found at Oh My Stars Movie on Facebook or its GiveMN page.

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NENA August 2019

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

2nd Annual Neighborhood Jam
Saturday, Sept. 28, 4–7:00 p.m., Wold Chamberlain American Legion Post 99, 5600 S 34th Ave.
Good news, the Neighborhood Jam is back for another year! Enjoy bands, beer, and shop for a bargain at our silent auction table. The silent auction features gift cards and other offerings from local businesses and gifts made by local artists. Munch on hors d’oeuvres while you take in My Cousin Dallas and other acts, or dance the night away.

Utility Box Wrap Photo Contest
Get your photo on a Nokomis East utility box! Submit up to 5 photo entries by Friday, July 26 to
NENA is looking for great photos of people, places, and things in the Nokomis East area that will be used to decorate utility boxes throughout our neighborhood. A total of seven photos will be chosen by a panel of your neighbors.
Submit photos with one of the following themes:
– Celebrating the rich culture and diversity of our community.
– Our relationship to nature and the environment.
– Getting together with friends, family, and neighbors.
– Getting outside and playing!
Contest rules:
1. All photos are welcome whether they are from an experienced photographer or taken by a novice.
2. Photos must be of places in the Nokomis East area.
3. Entries must be original work.
4. If individuals or small groups of people are featured prominently in the photo you must have permission from them to submit the photo. If the people in the photo are in large crowds or off in the distance you do not need their permission.
5. Photographs must be in digital format. All digital files must be 25 megabytes or smaller and must be in one of the following formats (.jpg, .tiff, .png, .eps).
6. Photos must be at least 3000 pixels wide (if a horizontal image). Photos in landscape orientation work best.
Questions? Send them to Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson at

Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee
The August HCS Committee will feature an update from Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) on the Minnehaha Park Area Regional Sewer Improvements Project. Hear when this project, which began on July 15, will start in the Nokomis East area. HCS will also host a speaker from The Family Housing Fund to give a brief primer on Accessory Dwelling Units and how residents can get one of their own. The HCS Committee will also discuss project ideas for the coming year. The next meeting is on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 6:30–8 p.m. in the NENA office (4313 E. 54th St.).

Green Initiatives Committee
In August, the Green Initiatives Committee will cover the Organic Recycling Outreach project, Adopt A Drain outreach, the Litter Be Gone community cleanup, and planning for an educational series. Stop by to check us out! The next meeting is on Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 6:30–8 p.m. in the NENA office (4313 E. 54th St.).

ETS Neighborhood Promise Day
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 4303 E. 54th St.
Nokomis East veterans nonprofit ETS is moving to a new home! Help them prepare with a community volunteer day, including a community clean-up and clothing drive. Bring gently used adult clothes to the ETS storefront or volunteer to help out at There will also be a dumpster provided by Republic Services for residents to dispose of unwanted items that cannot be reused or recycled.

Upcoming Meetings and Events:
08/06/19: National Night Out, Neighborhood-wide
08/07/19: NENA Housing, Commercial and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
08/14/19: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
08/22/19: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7 p.m.

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Local students perform in ‘TWISTED’

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Magdalina Eggen Lim

Local students are performing in in Circus Juventas’ dazzling summer show, TWISTED, July 26 through Aug. 11.
This year’s jaw-dropping performance is a celebratory spectacle for Circus Juventas’ 25th anniversary season. The summer show will emphasize the artistic beauty of cirque nouveau in an eye-catching blend of circus, dance and theater.
There are nearly 1,000 students at Circus Juventas, and over 80 skilled performers are showcasing their skills at this year’s summer show. TWISTED will feature talented teens and youth from the Twin Cities area ranging in age from 9 to 22.
Among them are Gage Anderson, a student at Great River School. He is 17 years old and has been studying circus arts at Circus Juventas since 2011.
Magdelena Eggen Lim, a student at Yinghua Academy, is also performing, Eggen Lim is 14 years old.
Two students from Minnehaha Academy will also be in the show, including 16-year-old Juliette Kline, and 16-year-old Kate Hennings.

Kate Hennings

Since 1995, the Circus Juventas summer show has been a Twin Cities favorite. The show features the most advanced, highly-committed young artists, trained by elite coaches from around the world, who themselves have performed with Cirque du Soleil, the Great Moscow Circus, Mongolian State Circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, to name a few.
Ticket prices range from $18.50 for children 10 and under and seniors 65 and older, to $45 for VIP seating. All shows are held at the Circus Juventas big top, 1270 Montreal Ave., Saint Paul.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Circus Juventas’ audiences have compared them to Cirque du Soleil, and they have widely been credited with revolutionizing the circus arts. In summer 2017, the Smithsonian Folklife

Juliette Kline

Festival invited Circus Juventas to be the featured performers for their 50th anniversary celebration. On the heels of performing on the national mall, Circopedia honored the Saint Paul youth circus with the International Circopedia Award, the first American circus to be named to the international list. Their brand of cirque nouveau features full-blown theatrical productions which spotlight the athleticism of aerial, acrobatic and balancing acts, combined with elaborate sets, lavish costumes, music, and story narration.
Circus Juventas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and the largest youth performing arts circus school in North America. Over the past 25 years, co-founders Dan and Betty Butler have seen their dream grow into a year-round program that serves more than 2,500 children and youth through age 22 with a diverse array of

Gage Anderson

circus arts training and performance opportunities in a noncompetitive setting. Circus Juventas’ mission is to inspire artistry and self-confidence through a multicultural circus arts experience that encourages leadership and life skills, teamwork, athleticism, artistry, pursuit of excellence and community service. For more information, visit

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