Nokomis Healthy Seniors plan April events

Posted on 27 March 2017 by calvin

Nokomis Healthy Seniors Book Club will meet on Thur., Apr. 6, 11am-12:30pm, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120 17th Ave. S., to discuss the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Then join them the following Thursday (Apr. 13) for lunch and a movie at 11:15am-1:30pm, to share a meal and conversation, then enjoy the classic movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the comfortable theater at Bethel Lutheran. A freewill offering will be taken for lunch and a movie.

A Diabetes Support Group meets on Fri., Apr. 7, 1-3pm, at Nokomis Public Library, 5100 34th Ave. S. Learn tips from a nurse and others who are living with diabetes how to live with the disease.

On Thur., Apr. 27, from 11:15am-12:30pm, gather back at Bethel Lutheran for Bingo!
Talk with others who are also caring for a loved one and receive support from the Caregiver Support Group, which meets at Bethel Lutheran on Thur., Apr. 27, 1-2:30pm.

Mark your calendars for Thur., May 4, when Hunger Solutions Minnesota will present a program on how many older adults are eligible for food benefits. Learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This meeting is also at Bethel Lutheran Church.

For more information on Nokomis Healthy Seniors go to the web site, nokomis­heal­, or email info@

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Hook and Ladder continues outstanding lineup of performances

Posted on 27 March 2017 by calvin

There are a lot of fabulous concerts planned at the Hook and Ladder Theater Lounge in downtown Longfellow, 3010 Minnehaha Ave. All of these performances are for adults (21+). Tickets for all shows are available via Ticketfly. Some of the upcoming shows to watch for:

Teague Alexy Band
The Circuit Sessions
CD Release Party
with special guests including:
• Trevor James Americana Rebel
• Thirsty River String Band
Fri., Apr. 7, 2017
Doors 6:30pm / Show 7:30pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10

Award-winning Duluth musician, author and storyteller Teague Alexy is probably best known for his Americana songwriting in the national touring brothers duo Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Teague’s songwriting is clearly influenced by his home in Minnesota as well as his childhood in New Jersey and life as a traveling musical hobo. Teague’s storytelling side has deeper roots to his Irish ancestry. His new album Circuit Sessions combines multiple musical genres into a powerful new collection of Teague’s poetic songs with the lion-strong production and rhythm section of Eric Pollard (Actual Wolf) and Steve Garrington (Low) joined by Minneapolis guitarist Jake Hanson (Haley Bonar).

Singer/songwriter Trevor James (of Tin Can Gin) holds no shame for what he says in his songs. He tells it the way it is. Raised in Minnesota but born in Florida he holds southern charm and Midwest nice with open arms. In spring 2016 Trevor recorded his first album called Broken Heart Express. The album is a presentation of Trevor’s next chapter in music, showing a different side of music interest. The album is a mix of bluegrass, modern americana, old country, delta blues and Irish traditional.

The Thirsty River String Band is a group of guys that like to play music about the vices of our being—the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. Only a couple years into their musical journey, Thirsty River have already created a very enjoyable, bright and bouncing EP that showcases their soothing vocal harmonies and highly-competent musicianship.

]The Magnolias plus
• Johnny Rey & The Reaction
• The Boot R&B
Sat., Apr. 8
Doors 7:30pm / Show 8:30pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a quarter century since The Magnolias rock ‘n’ roll mission began. This period has seen music critics call them “Minneapolis’ scruffy also-rans” and “little brothers” of more well-known Twin Cities groups The Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum. Although The Magnolias were a few years younger than these bands, passage of time has revealed what fans always knew—at their best, The Magnolias were, and still are, second to none.

With a twin buzz-saw guitar attack, sturdy yet flexible rhythm section, John Freeman’s inimitable caterwauling and top-notch songwriting, the band created a sound that was instantly identifiable, as well as enduring. Johnny Rey has been a fixture of the vibrant Twin Cities music scene for four decades. As guitar player, and original member, of the Rock/New Wave band Flamingo, Johnny played extensive dates in the 5-state region as well as playing the legendary Longhorn Bar in downtown Minneapolis opening for everyone from The Talking Heads to Elvis Costello, The Only Ones and Patti Smith.

Saturday Night Dance Party
• Sexy Delicious • Apollo Cobra
Sat., Apr. 15
Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10

Gangster Jazz. Quasi-Bohemian retro-pop. No matter how you describe them, Sexy Delicious has quickly become one of the most memorable bands to leave their mark on the Twin Cities music scene in the last half-decade. They start with a generous helping of sly rhythms, add a dash of dry wit, and serve with a cool mint julep and a pile of freshly printed money.

Apollo Cobra is a different kind of Twin City power 3-piece band, employing analog synthesizers, drum machines, bass guitars, samples, vocals and HUGE beats to create what you hear on a stage…without the use of laptops. And what you hear is simply infectious, dance inducing music!

Other performances:

9th Annual Celebration of John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday
Thur., Apr. 6
Doors 6:30pm / Show 7:30pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10

Bernie King &
The Guilty Pleasures
CD Release plus
• The Jake Manders Band
• Brady Perl
Fri., Apr. 14
Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10
• $15 (CD & Ticket Combo)

The Night Before 20 with
• Ginstrings • The Wooks
Wed., Apr. 19
Doors 5pm / Show 7pm
Advance $7 / Day of Show $10

The 4/20 (Rock ‘n) Roll Show featuring
• Dead Man Boys Choir
• 20 Watt Tombstone
• Jesse D. Revel
Thur., Apr. 20
Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
Advance $6 / Day of Show $9

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Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors plan events for April

Posted on 27 March 2017 by calvin

“Enhancing Eye Health & Vision” will be the topic of the Apr. 18 Senior Social/Health Talk which starts at 10:30am and meets at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E. 31st St. Dr. Josh Hanen will discuss common eye diseases, early detection, and proper treatment.

A new “Tai Chi Easy” exercise/movement class will be held on Monday mornings from 10:30-11:30am, beginning Apr. 24 and going through June 26. The classes will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran and will cost $5/class (discounts available for lower income seniors).

The Spring Art Class Series, “Coloring: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore,” will meet the third Thursday of the month from 1:30-3pm at St. Peder’s Lutheran Church, 4600 E. 42nd St.

The Apr. 20 class will be Stained Glass, Coloring Paper; May 18 is Mandala Design Coloring; and June 15 is Your Choice, Mosaics, Geometrics, Animals, Florals or “Old Masters.” Each class costs $4 and includes supplies. Pre-registration is required by phone or email, and due one week before each class.

A monthly Diabetes Support Group for adults of all ages will be held Wed., Apr. 12, 6:30-8pm, at Hiawatha School Park Recreation Center, 4305 E. 42nd St.

A Low Vision Support Group will be held Apr. 11 at 1:30pm at Trinity Apartments, located at 2800 E. 31st St.

For more information on any of our classes or services, call Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors at 612-729-5799.

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Building a more connected and resilient community since 2011

Posted on 27 March 2017 by calvin

Transition Longfellow is organized by an all-volunteer group of neighbors from Greater Longfellow (and Powderhorn) who care about climate change and climate impacts on people and the environment. They have been meeting since January 2011 to learn and engage the community in activities that reduce energy use, increase urban food growing, lower carbon footprints, and build a more connected and resilient community.

Anyone can participate in Transition Longfellow activities (unless a restriction is specified). The more neighbors who sign on to help, the more activities the group can host in our community. For more information visit

Speaker Series
The kickoff of the Speaker Series, “When Climate Change Comes Home,” will occur on Sat., Apr. 22, 9:30am at Hiawatha School Park (4305 E. 42nd St.).

Did you know that in July 2011, Moorhead, Minn. was the hottest place on the planet—with a heat index of 134F and a dew point of 88 percent? (MPR Updraft). Or, that the tornado of March 6, 2017, was the earliest on record? Climate change is ALREADY affecting Minnesota, but do you know how these changes are going to impact us in everyday terms, and what we need to do to prepare?

The Apr. 22 presentation is the first of a six-part series looking at how climate change will impact our community. April’s speaker is climate adaptation specialist Paul Moss from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The TPT program “Climate and Health” will also be shown and community members can begin to answer the question: “What can we do to prepare our households and our community for the changes ahead?” Beverages and child care will be provided (for children over age 1; younger children can attend with parents). Register at the website.

Future presentations will look at flooding, extreme storms and tornadoes, power outages, heat waves, climate-related illnesses (insect and waterborne) and emergency preparedness.
The series will conclude with the creation of a community preparedness plan. See Preparing for a Changing Climate on the group’s website for more details.

Chard Your Yard
Transition Longfellow helps neighbors get started growing food with its Chard Your Yard program. A “garden mob” of neighborhood volunteers will install 24 3’x5’x12” raised bed gardens in people’s yards at cost on Sat., May 13. The beds are composed of a treated pine lumber frame and a soil/compost mix.

With support from the Longfellow Community Council’s Environment Committee, six raised beds are available at half price for low-income persons and senior citizens, and two double-high raised beds are available for people with disabilities. These special beds are only available for residents of Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha, but the remaining 16 beds are available for anyone in the 55406 ZIP code area.

Sign-up begins Sat., Apr. 1 at and ends when all beds have been assigned.

VOLUNTEER! This is an all-volunteer project. Neighbors are invited to join in to make it happen. Volunteers are needed for the pre-build of the frames and on installation day to work on teams to put dirt in the beds. People can also donate food for the volunteer breakfast and lunch. Sign up at the website.

Other activities
The Transition Book/Discussion Group meets Wed., Apr. 5, 6:30pm at Moon Palace Books (3260 Minnehaha Ave.) and on Wed., Apr. 19, 6:30pm at Lake Coffee House (3223 E. Lake St.).

The book group is reading “Making Home: Adapting Our Homes and Lives to Settle in Place” by Sharon Astyk. The group reads the chapter out loud then digs deeper in a discussion. April’s reading is Chapter 4 “Triaging Your Situation.” There is no perfect place, only better places and worse places for your needs. We’ll talk about the benefit of putting down roots. Theresa Rooney facilitates the group.

Movie Night, “The Butterfly Effect,” is planned for Fri., Apr. 21, 6:30pm potluck, and 7:15pm movie at Bethany Lutheran, 3901 36th Ave. S. This locally produced documentary shows the many small but significant efforts folks in Minnesota—artists, farmers, rural landowners, forestry workers, and others—are making to help restore prairie ecosystems for butterflies (and bees). We will also have some materials on hand to help you learn about native plants you can add to your yard to benefit butterflies. Movie night is a great way to learn about Transition Towns and to meet your neighbors.

Family Game Night is planned for Fri., Apr. 28, 6:30pm at Bethany Lutheran. Game night features games for kids and adults of all ages. Everyone is welcome; feel free to bring a favorite game and snacks to share. Free.

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Letters to the Editor

Posted on 27 March 2017 by calvin

Article missed what it means to be real neighbor

To the Editor:
I am writing to you about your article in the March edition of the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger by Stephanie Fox titled “Got lots of stuff in your garage? You can now rent it out.”

I am appalled and disgusted with the attitude of this Jason Wood. I have lived in the Minneapolis area for my entire life. My parents always loaned our equipment and tools to neighbors. It was considered “neighborly” to do that. It was “friendly and sociable” to do that. Your article uses these terms for people who make money off of their “neighborliness” while calling the owners of the most equipment and tools “power owners.” Jason thinks this is what a close knit community is? He says, “South Minneapolis is a very friendly place.

A lot of us already share our stuff with our neighbors.” So his idea is to make it “friendly and sociable” and rent to them instead of loaning them stuff. Oh yes, and by the way, you can buy insurance too and use your credit card. I hope he fails dismally. How disgusting to monetize neighborlyness. ICK!

Judy Kjenstad,
a real neighbor, not a fake one

Support Lake St. bike lanes

Dear Editor,

I have lived in Longfellow for 20 years and made the conscious choice to ‘settle in’ here to raise our family, largely because it’s a wonderful neighborhood. We are blessed by our proximity to the Mississippi River, the Greenway, Mother Earth Gardens, and Riverview Theater, to name a few favorites. We love having so many destinations easily accessible by walking or biking, but our neighborhood lacks the much-needed safe east-west artery for commuters, families who bike, and those visiting Longfellow businesses that would connect between the river and LRT.

I value our neighborhood businesses and am grateful for the services they provide to us. I am dismayed, however, by the anti-neighborhood fight against the proposed bike lanes on 38th St. E., without compromise, which some businesses are engaging in. As part of our neighborhood, I would like them to put their customers, and the neighborhood at large, first.

Craig Rymer
Longfellow Resident

Dismayed by some in the business community

Dear Editor,

Two years ago, we bought a house in Longfellow. Living in a walkable, bikeable community is very important to my family. We choose to do errands by bike because of the health benefits, environmental impact and reduction of traffic congestion. It makes us feel connected to our community. Imagine my dismay when I heard of the fight against bike lanes on 38th St.—led by some members of the business community. It sure doesn’t feel very neighborly.

Encouraging biking—especially for short trips—benefits everyone in the community. Certain demographics (women and parents with small children in tow, for example) aren’t going to bike when safety is compromised. Minneapolis loves to tout it’s bike-friendly reputation, but we have to follow through. Adding bike lanes on 38th St. provides an essential east-west route, connecting the river and LRT, connecting the community.

We need to look at a bigger picture than some lost parking spaces.

Brigid Berger
Longfellow Resident

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US Pond Hockey Tournament

Posted on 20 February 2017 by calvin


Pond Hockey 01Photo right: A record 275 teams entered the 12th annual LaBott Blue US Pond Hockey Tournament this year. The event was held on Lake Nokomis Jan. 26-29. Considered the greatest pond hockey tournament in the country, the event has been covered variously by the Today Show, Good Morning America, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR. In other words, it’s become something of a phenomenon.

Pond Hockey 07Photo left: Todd Studer played the national anthem to signal the start of playtime on tournament Friday at 8:30am sharp. The morning temperature hovered around 17 degrees. Studer finished playing, put his trumpet away, and went off to ref the first game. A former Edison High School hockey player, he proudly wore his jersey to the tournament.





Pond Hockey 23Photo right: The goal of the event is to break even, after making donations to DinoMights (a Minneapolis hockey youth development program), the Metropolis Foundation, and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

Photo below: Most pond hockey enthusiasts grew up in cold places, playing hockey on their frozen backyard ponds or those of their neighbors. No paying for rink time, no early morning practices, no fancy equipment. To hear the tournament organizers describe it: pond hockey is just about a pair of skates, a puck, a stick, and for some extra protection, maybe a wad of newspaper duck-taped across shins.

Pond Hockey 31

Pond Hockey 33Photo right: Natalee Wiebe of Claremont, CA, travels around the country sometimes playing on women’s teams and sometimes playing on men’s teams—as she did on Friday. She said, ”I just slide in wherever I can to get ice-time.”




Pond Hockey 53Photo left: Left: Pond hockey is played on a short sheet of ice with no goalie. To score a goal, a player smacks the puck into one of two holes in a wooden goal frame that measures 24” x 72”. Playtime is two 15 minute periods. The action is fast.


Pond Hockey 66Photo right: Charlye McMillan was one of about 200 volunteers that helped out over the weekend. She said, “I don’t skate, but a lot of my friends do. It’s just a fun atmosphere that I love being part of.” Volunteer jobs include set up and take down, score runner, player check-in, ice operator, and indoor or outdoor floater.




Pond Hockey 73Photo right: Brian Herbert (third from left) of Boston, MA, said, “Hands down, this is our favorite weekend of the year. It top birthdays, Christmas, every major and minor holiday. I’ve been skating with these guys since I was three years old. This is a place where we can all be kids again.”



Pond Hockey 86Photo right: In the coldest month of the year, more than 20,000 hardy souls came out to play, watch, cheer, laugh, and shiver together in support of pond hockey.





Pond Hockey 298Photo left: Right: Twenty-five rinks were laid out for competition, as well as two rinks for family skating. Many of the teams traveled from across the country to compete on frozen Lake Nokomis. The teams were divided into five different classes, each of which crowned a champion.



Photo below: There aren’t any Zambonis to clear the ice at the US Pond Hockey Tournament—just shovels.
Pond Hockey 78




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Bridge project closes Godfrey Pkwy.

Posted on 20 February 2017 by calvin

Godfrey Pkwy. is now closed to all motorized through traffic for a Hennepin County project that will replace the 46th Street bridge (sometimes referred to as the Godfrey Bridge) over the parkway. The closure will continue through fall 2017. There may be temporary re-openings, including for special events. The parking lots located on Godfrey Parkway will remain open. The Wabun Picnic Area can be accessed from 46th Ave. S. Bike and pedestrian trail traffic will be accommodated under the bridge during most of the construction. The detour for motorized traffic on Godfrey Pkwy. uses Minnehaha Ave., 44th St., and W. River Pkwy. (Illustration provided)


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State of the River talk set Mar. 28

Posted on 20 February 2017 by calvin

state-of-the-river-01So, how is the Mississippi River? Can you swim in it? Is water pollution improving? Can you eat the fish you catch?

A public presentation on the “State of the River” will answer such questions. The talk by Longfellow resident Trevor Russell will be held at Minnehaha Academy North Campus Chapel, Tues., Mar. 28, 7-8pm. The talk is hosted by the Longfellow Community Council’s River Gorge Committee and will highlight the new State of the River Report.

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) and the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) collaborated to produce the second edition of the award-winning State of the River Report. The new report highlights 14 key indicators of water quality and river health in the metro Mississippi River. The report examines the status and trends of each indicator and highlights strategies for improvement. The report also comes with a Stewardship Guide and Policy Guide to help readers take personal action to protect and restore our great river. (See

Speaker Trevor Russell co-authored the report. Trevor is the Water Program Director for Friends of the Mississippi River. His work focuses on issues related to agricultural water quality, urban storm water, legislative policy and more. He coordinates a coalition of statewide conservation organizations working collaboratively to improve Minnesota’s water quality. Trevor has a degree in economics from the Colorado College and 16 years of experience in environmental advocacy. Trevor is a former board member of the Longfellow Community Council and co-founder of The Longfellow Homebrew Club.

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Dowling principal asks for help with dog problem

Posted on 20 February 2017 by calvin

Dear Neighbors:
As the new principal of Dowling Urban Environmental Elementary School, I am honored to be here. Since my arrival in mid-October, I continue to learn many things about our students, their parents, and this vibrant community. Unfortunately, I’ve also learned about issues that need to be resolved.

Dog on LeashWe have a problem with unleashed dogs running free on our property. This problem is accompanied by several people not removing their dog’s feces after their visit. Despite the signs we have posted to remind people to “leash and scoop” there are some who do not adhere to this request. I write this letter to ask for your support and cooperation to address this problem.

Just like a neighborhood watch, we can all do our part in ensuring that this community space is safe, clean, and remains open to all residents. When we see an unleashed dog running around, please call Animal Control by dialing 311. If you feel emboldened to speak your mind, remind the dog owner that the land they’re on is not a dog park; that it is shared with other dog owners and gardeners in the community; and that it is their legal responsibility to keep the dog leashed and remove its droppings. I think with a reasonable appeal and working together we can solve this problem.

I thank you for your support.

Lloyd E. Winfield, EdD
Michael Dowling School
Urban Environmental Magnet
Image source:

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Friends of Lake Hiawatha formed to protect clean water

Posted on 20 February 2017 by calvin

Trash-Lake-HiawathaThe Friends of Lake Hiawatha was formed in 2016 and became one of the 30 citizen-led lake associations formed in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and part of the Watershed Association Initiative (WAI).

Friends of Lake Hiawatha formed, in part, to respond to concerns about trash flowing into the lake from local streets during rain events. Preventing stormwater runoff is a key factor in improving water quality and this group has already made great strides in raising awareness about this issue. Since its formation, a device has been installed to capture trash at the storm drain outlet to the lake and a new storm drain cleanup program is being developed in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“We are excited to see the enthusiasm our residents have for protecting water quality in their neighborhoods,” said Darren Lochner, MCWD Education Manager. “This stewardship at the grass roots level augments the District’s efforts to provide and protect clean water and makes a huge difference helping us achieve our mission.”

WAI provides a range of services to new and existing groups including education, training, networking and engagement opportunities. In addition, the WAI helps groups develop action and lake management plans that guide their work toward reaching achievable goals. “The District’s commitment to assisting residents in becoming active participants in the health of their local water body is a model for others to follow,” said Jen Kader, WAI Program Manager for the Freshwater Society.

For more information, visit

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