Mayor Jacob Frey touts his first-year-in-office accomplishments

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

It has been a little over a year since Jacob Frey (photo right provided) took over the reins as mayor of Minneapolis. But in that year, Frey has made some incremental changes.

Making affordable housing one of his priorities, he has worked on a new initiative, “Stable Homes, Stable Schools,” built on a collaboration with private and public partners and designed to provide stable housing for Minneapolis public school students and families facing homelessness.

Longfellow schools Sullivan and Anishinaabe Academy are among the 15 schools participating in the program, which is a team effort with partners from the City, Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and Hennepin County.

The program focuses on schools with the highest rates of homelessness.

“I included $3.3 million in my first budget as mayor to support the program,” Frey said. “In its first three years, we hope that the program can house up to 320 families and as many as 648 kids.”

Frey said he hopes that this program will not just provide stable housing to families and kids that need it, but will also help stabilize Minneapolis public schools. “We can’t expect our students to learn and succeed in the classroom if they don’t have a room to rest their head at night,” he said. “And our kids are worth the cost.”

Another major issue the mayor has focused on is sexual assault. “Reporting sexual assault is an act of courage,” he stated. “Survivors experience unspeakable trauma, and honoring their bravery requires we make every effort to ensure investigations are handled with compassion and ultimately guided by the goal of delivering justice.”

Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo have set out to pursue a new policy to improve how sexual assault is handled in the city. “The policy is built on the pillars of compassion for victims, responsiveness to survivors and accountability,” Frey explained.

Some of its specifics include victim-centered training for sexual assault investigations, trauma-informed interview techniques and implementing best practices for investigators to follow during a sexual assault case. Also, an in-house victim advocate who works alongside investigators and assists survivors through investigation and legal process will be a part of the new policy.

“Our sexual assault policy holds our investigators to high standards,” Frey noted, “but elected officials also need to be held accountable for giving Arradondo and our police department the resources they need to meet those high standards. Our police department receives more than 700 reports of rape alone per year. We only have eight investigators to handle all of these cases on top of the other crimes they’re assigned.”

Frey is hoping that adding more police officers to the department will help improve the relationship between residents and police, which has suffered in the past.

“Adding more officers will help make Minneapolis safer, through a likely reduction in crime and a lower rate of incarceration,” he said. He cited increased funding by President Barack Obama in 2009 for the Community Oriented Police Services (COPS). “Data has shown that jurisdictions which used the money to add officers saw a concurrent drop in crime without an increase in arrests.

“We also need to improve the response times for 911 calls in Minneapolis,” Frey said, noting that it can sometimes take as long as 30 minutes for an officer to show up when some residents call 911.

“Hiring more officers will reduce the use of force,” Frey continued. “Research has shown that over-scheduled, overworked and fatigued officers are more likely to use force in tense situations.” He said studies have also shown that the number of complaints against a police department drops when cops are less tired. “The best cure for over-scheduling responsible for those problems is more staff.”

“Chief Arradondo has repeatedly requested more officers,” Frey said. “I trust Arradondo to shift the culture of the MPD and advance our goals around community policing. We should give him the resources he needs to do that.”

In his first year, Frey also has stressed immigration issues. “Our immigrant communities have driven so many of the successes that have made Minneapolis an amazing city,” he stated. “Whether it’s our small businesses, our arts scene or our nonprofits, immigrants have made Minneapolis a place where people want to live, invest and start businesses. As mayor, I have an obligation to do everything I can to make sure their talents and contributions stay in Minneapolis.”

He said one of the accomplishments he is most proud of is outfitting every MPD squad car with ‘Know-Your-ICE-Rights’ placards that outline a person’s rights as they pertain to ICE. “We will not let a lack of compassion at the highest levels of our government go unanswered in Minneapolis.”

Frey added that this is also a key step in continuing to build trust between the police department and the community. “We are focused on keeping everyone in our city safe, not on immigration enforcement.”

Celebrating the city is also on the mayor’s mind. Doors Open Minneapolis is a celebration of the city and the spaces that make it unique. “On the weekend of May 18-19, venues and sites across our city will open their doors to the public for free, behind-the-scenes access,” he said. More information can be found at

Reflecting on his first year in office, Mayor Frey said he found his most challenging and complex issue to be the Hiawatha homeless encampment. “It forced us to confront the scope of both our housing crisis and the opioid epidemic,” he said.

“From the start, our entire coalition—city leadership, tribes, Red Lake Nation, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors—was committed to centering our actions on compassion and a response for human dignity. Our hope is that what we have done will have a lasting impact for the people we serve,” Frey stated.

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Longfellow resident wins prestigious 2019 Bush Fellowship grant

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Longfellow resident Heather Cusick engaged with the soil at a very early age. And today, as she has been named a 2019 Bush Fellow, she reflects on those early beginnings and how they have played a part in her life ever since.

“I grew up on a farm in Kansas,” she said. “I had access to the natural sites and seasons, and all of that brought sustenance as well as a lot of the values I have. It set in motion my love of the natural world, my protection of the natural world and my concern for the natural world.”

Cusick said that food and soil have been a part of her life in its entirety, and for the past ten years she has had an urban farm in South Minneapolis.
Cusick learned in March that she was one of 24 Bush Fellows, selected from a group of 684 individuals from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 native nations located within those states.

Photo right: During her two-year 2019 Bush Fellowship grant Longfellow resident Heather Cusick will focus on agriculture and climate advocacy. (Photo by Jan Willms)

According to the Bush Foundation policy, Fellows receive up to $100,000 to use from 12 to 24 months in pursuit of a learning experience that will help them develop leadership skills in their chosen field.

Cusick will start her grant in June, and it will continue for two years.

Reflecting on her upbringing, Cusick said food and growing food has a remarkable way of being a lovely language between people. “The chance to be engaged with the soil and gardening and farming has been very much what has inspired me to focus on the protection of the environment,” she said.

Cusick worked for 17 years for the Sierra Club, where she served most recently as Beyond Coal Campaign Regional Campaign Director for the Central/Eastern Regions. Cusick said her work for the past ten years on a national climate campaign offered her the opportunity to work with teams in almost all of the states at one time or another.

“I worked with remarkable people all over the country who are focused to make a huge difference.”

Cusick left the Sierra Club in 2018 and now works as a consultant for Climate Bridge Strategies.

Individuals apply to become a Bush Fellow. “You discuss a little bit of your leadership, your accomplishments, your dreams, and your visions,” Cusick explained. “And then you refine the information through multiple steps. At the end of the process, there is a selection committee that selects the Fellows after a half-day of interviews. “For me, the process and the selection was a real honor and unique opportunity.”

Cusick said that for years she has been working on issues, mentoring, training, and managing staff and volunteers. “This offers me a time to really pause and ask the question about what are some of the areas I would like to develop as I move into this next phase of my interests. The fellowship will allow me the opportunity to transition into a climate and agriculture focus. This is really a wonderful opportunity to respectfully and intentionally enter this community.”

During her career, Cusick has had a lifelong commitment to environmental protection and to communities that are most deeply impacted by climate-disrupting pollution.

With the Fellowship, she said she wants to focus on agriculture and climate advocacy. To accomplish this, she plans to study agricultural models around the world, deepen her equity and racial justice competency and seek coaching to build a stronger public voice.

“I can go to other locations and look at places that were early leaders in climate commitments, and places that produced food with low greenhouse gas emissions,” Cusick said. “It will take me out of the country and expand my perspective. I also am rooting myself in the science, and as much technical urban and rural farming information, as possible…”

“The program is very flexible,” Cusick continued. “I am doing a self-designed program.” She said she will learn from local as well as international communities. “I am interested in expanding my exposure. I have so much to learn.”

“The Bush Fellowship program really benefits our region, and we are really fortunate,” Cusick stated. “They do this every year, where they award an opportunity for someone to develop their leadership through these fellowships.”

Individuals in a wide variety of fields have been selected to be a Bush Fellow. Cusick said the other Fellowship winners are an incredible group of people. “We will have a retreat together, which I am looking forward to,” she explained, “and some additional opportunities to meet after that.”

As the two years move forward, Cusick said she will document her progress and will file reflections throughout the project.

According to Cusick, being a Bush Fellow provides one with an opportunity that is unique and positive.

“Climate Science says we have to change a lot about how we transport ourselves, grow our food, and heat our homes, among other things. The great part is that there are a lot of people out there tracking a lot of healthy environmental practices. They are innovating every day.”

“Our job,” she continued, “is to make sure that they can do this work at scale and be supported and have obstacles removed. Our generation knows what our impact is. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to reduce this impact for future generations, and that is very, very important.”


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Paddle Bridge brings kayak tours to the Mississippi River Gorge

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Theo Byrnes is the owner of Paddle Bridge Guide Collective, a new service that brings people out on the Mississippi River Gorge in kayaks. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Kayak enthusiast and Minneapolis native Theo Byrnes didn’t paddle the Mississippi River until he was almost 20 years old. Along with his family, Byrnes had explored the city lakes and the St. Croix River as a kid but, like many people, they had stayed clear of the Mississippi.

Now the owner of a two-year-old business called Paddle Bridge Guide Collective, Byrnes is enthusiastically getting paddlers of all ages and abilities out on the mighty river. The driving force behind Paddle Bridge is to promote urban adventure, paddle safety, and the history and ecology of the Mississippi River Gorge.

As a kid, Byrnes came up through the ranks of the YMCA’s Camp Menogyn. He paddled all the way to the Arctic Circle with their advanced explorer’s program in 2007 and got hooked. He found a job guiding for “Above the Falls” in 2009, an operation that brought kayakers out on the river above St. Anthony Falls. When the owner retired in 2017, Byrnes and his co-workers wanted to keep guiding together, and the Paddle Bridge Guide Collective was born. More than just a local outfitter, they are working to create an active and sustainable river community.

All of the Paddle Bridge guides are extensively trained in First Aid and Water Rescue techniques to guarantee a safe paddle experience. “For new paddlers,” Byrnes said, “we start with basic instruction on the shore, and cover everything a person needs to know to feel comfortable on the water. The stretch of the river between Minneapolis and St. Paul is the only naturally occurring gorge on the entire Mississippi. Water speeds are faster here because it’s a narrow stretch. We hope to have our full schedule online by mid-May, if the weather cooperates. Water levels will still be up, but safe for paddling.”

Lessons for experienced paddlers who want to hone their skills are also available by request; kayak terminology, techniques, hazard awareness, and self-rescue are covered. To inquire about lessons, email

Paddle Bridge has a fleet of 12 red hot kayaks made by Current Designs in Winona, including four tandems which accommodate two paddlers at-a-time. There are life jackets for all ages and sizes, though 12 years old is the minimum recommended age. Younger children can be included on private tours.

Two-hour River Gorge tours are $65/person, four-hour River Gorge tours are $95/person, and 1.5-hour sunset tours of Boom Island are $45/person (30% discount for all tours for kids under 16).

Tours are by reservation only. Check the website for availability at When making a reservation, specify if you have a particular area of interest in the river.

“All of our guides have their own interests including geology and biology,” Byrnes said. “Across the board, I’d say our strongest suit is history. Our goals are to get people out on the water; we guarantee them a memorable experience and a good night’s rest.”



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Longtime news hounds reflect on 44 years of neighborhood press

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Newspapers have helped shape and form community identity within the two neighborhoods they serve

When 22-year-old Calvin deRuyter bought the Monitor in 1975 for $1 from a man who thought it had no future, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

Forty-four years later he’s perfected the art of dealing with challenges in the job he’s loved.

“You face it, yell and scream at yourself and the world, then buck up and try to come up with a solution or solutions that will address the challenge,” stated deRuyter. “Isn’t that how we all face the challenges in life?”

Paper shares community identity
deRuyter had been the editor of his student newspaper, The Oracle, at Hamline University, and started working for the Highland Villager while he took a year off between his undergraduate and graduate work in art. He volunteered to edit the first issue of the “Midway ?”—which was given the name Midway Monitor following a neighborhood naming contest.

Some local business owners and leaders co-signed deRuyter’s first loan to get the paper started, and the Monitor joined the other community newspapers being birthed along with the neighborhood councils. Residents were seeking new ways to develop their community identity in the Cities. The first boundaries were established by the district council boundary, so the Midway Monitor followed the borders of the District 11 Hamline Midway Coalition.

“People were excited about being involved in their neighborhood and finally having, they believed, a way to have a voice in the shaping of city policy that was so prevalent in their lives,” recalled deRuyter. “The whole citizen participation movement was what shaped the paper for years. It was the same in Como when we expanded the paper to be the Midway Como Monitor.”

Nelson joins paper
Calvin deRuyter was one of the first people that Tim Nelson met when he enrolled at Hamline University. deRuyter was a junior and working as arts editor at The Oracle. They lived in the same dorm, and then worked together at the student newspaper. Nelson had been the editor of his high school newspaper, and set his sights on a career in politics and government. He had been accepted as a graduate student in Public Affairs at Willamette University in Oregon when deRuyter asked if Nelson was interested in working for him.

“I was intrigued, but torn as to what to do,” stated Nelson. “I called my advisor at Willamette and asked for his thoughts. His response surprised me. He said, ‘Tim, Willamette has been around since 1842, and I don’t think it is going anywhere. The chance to go into business for yourself may only come around once in a lifetime. Try the business, and if it doesn’t work out, you are welcome here. I look forward to hearing what you learn.’”

“I have never decided whether that was the best advice I ever got or the worst,” Nelson commented. “It varied day to day for the last 44 years.”

Nelson began as 50 percent partner in July 1977, and deRuyter-Nelson Publications was born. The expansion into the Como neighborhood occurred in 1979. The newspaper also expanded into the Frogtown area for a brief period but didn’t have the local ad revenue to support the growth.
The business was growing rapidly, and it was an exciting time.

“We started the typesetting business at that point, and it was an extremely fast-paced and technology-driven industry in those years,” stated Nelson. The newspaper did the typesetting for several college newspapers, including the Hamline Oracle and Bethel Clarion, as well as the Park Bugle, Equal Time, West 7th Community Reporter, Longfellow Messenger, and Grand Gazette.

People excited about paper
“The community was very excited about the paper in those days, and we had a constant flow of involved citizens coming to the office to share things of interest or suggest story ideas,” said Nelson. “Along with those people who believed in the paper, we also had groups we were less than popular with.”

A few bricks were thrown through the office windows at 600 N. Fairview (St. Paul) in response to endorsements of political candidates. During that same time, Nelson remembers when a columnist wrote an opinion piece that was critical of the organized church. “We had a religious group that went to our advertisers and told them that if they ran an ad, they would not support their business. We had many heated meetings with this group and it was not a pleasant time,” he said. “It was a rather contentious year! When the Job Corps moved into Bethel’s old St. Paul campus, we were also threatened by the community group who opposed that happening. They didn’t like how we were covering the events and again, threatened to go to advertisers with a boycott.”

Ironically, it is those same events that were not pleasant, such as vandalism and threats to their income base, that have also been the highlights.

“Any time a community is passionate about a topic, it’s an exciting time,” said Nelson. “Our goal is not to be loved by everyone. I have always considered the greatest compliment to be when we get complaints from both sides of a controversial issue saying that we are biased against them. That means we are providing a balanced story.”

Reach across the river
In 1986, deRuyter Nelson expanded its reach across the river into Minneapolis and purchased the Longfellow Messenger. Soon after the purchase, they expanded into the Nokomis East neighborhood.

The Messenger was formed in March 1983 by community activists Maureen and Bill Milbrath as a project for their retirement years. deRuyter-Nelson Publications had performed the typesetting for years, and they were the logical ones to purchase the paper. Plus, there was a family connection that they were not initially aware of. Bill had been a college fraternity mate of Nelson’s dad and was the soloist at his parents’ wedding.

Today, the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger has a circulation of 21,000 in the Longfellow and Nokomis areas of Minneapolis. It offers comprehensive home delivery to 17,000 homes and an additional circulation of 4,000 at high-traffic business, church, and school drop-off points. The Messenger has an estimated reach of over 50,000 readers.

The Monitor also has an estimated reach of over 50,000 residents in St. Paul’s Midway, Como, and Merriam Park neighborhoods. With a circulation of 21,000, the Monitor offers comprehensive delivery to 16,000 homes and businesses and an additional circulation of 5,000 at high-traffic business, church, and school drop-off points.

Over the years, deRuyter-Nelson also operated a successful graphic design business, providing design and production services to large and small corporations and government agencies. Out of personal tragedy, they created A Place to Remember, a business that published and distributed resources worldwide for families experiencing a difficult pregnancy, premature birth, or death of an infant. A Place to Remember is closing after 25 years as deRuyter and Nelson retire.

The Monitor and Messenger gave up the longtime Iris Park Place office in St. Paul four years ago, and have operated with a virtual office since then. Other shifts at the time involved Nelson handling the newspaper production and deRuyter the editor responsibilities once again, while long-time editor and sales representative Denis Woulfe began focusing only on sales.

Evolving industry
The industry is changing, but deRuyter and Nelson still believe newspapers are part of the fabric of neighborhoods.

“I think community newspapers are vital to the neighborhoods,” observed deRuyter. “We have watched so many community newspapers die so that the community journalism movement in the Cities is just a tiny fraction of what it used to be. I don’t think there is a single community that is better off because their community newspaper could not survive.”

“But I also think that the residents and the businesses don’t truly grasp the importance of the cohesiveness that the neighborhood press provides,” deRuyter added. “If it is used properly, the community newspaper can be the place where things ‘come together’ in one place; where you can get an overview of the things going on; where you can learn about the unique businesses that are housed there; where you can learn about the neighbor who has faced a challenge, or who has overcome one.”

deRuyter asked, “Where is that place if your community newspaper dies? You certainly won’t get it from the city-wide or regional press.”

Nelson has also mulled over the changing face of journalism over the past four decades that he’s been involved in it.

“I think that over the years, the papers lost some of the fire that made them more interesting in the early days. The stories became more routine, and there is no way the timeliness of a monthly publication can compete with the immediacy of news spreading on social media chat groups or blogs. The need for a community newspaper in a neighborhood was diluted.”

But, Nelson quickly added, “That is not to say that I don’t think that there is a need for a community newspaper or that the concept is dead. As a matter of fact, it may be more important now than ever given the fact that the daily papers are struggling to find their niche and are cutting budgets to compete in the electronic age. Social media does not even attempt to be objective, and although the media is constantly being accused of bias, I assure you we always attempt to bring the community both sides of an issue. It’s a matter of finding out what readers want to learn more about from their neighbors, and working to help reshape that delivery.”

What’s next?
Nelson and deRuyter will officially retire on May 1, 2019, when they pass ownership of the Messenger and Monitor to Tesha M. Christensen, who has been a deRuyter-Nelson freelance writer for the past eight years and has worked in journalism for over 20 years.

What’s next for these longtime news hounds?

After balancing his newspaper business with the artwork that he picked back up 18 years ago, deRuyter (photo right) plans to focus on his art business ( In addition to painting, he offers various classes and workshops. He and his husband, Jim, are also renovating an old schoolhouse outside of Evansville, MN. He’s not leaving the Monitor or Messenger completely, either, as he’ll be providing bookkeeping services to the new owner.

Nelson will continue selling a support book he wrote for fathers who have experienced the death of an infant through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. The book, “A Guide For Fathers–When A Baby Dies,” is in its seventh printing.

Also, Nelson (photo left) and his wife, Monica, have four children living around the world. “It’s not always ideal having your children spread out, but at least they have chosen interesting places to visit—London, El Nido (Philippines), Phoenix and Los Angeles,” remarked Nelson. They are also fortunate to have six grandchildren living in Arizona and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of triplet girls in California.

“Let’s just say, I’m not worried about being bored,” said Nelson. “At least while I am still able to get on a plane.”


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Tapestry Folkdance Center names new Executive Director

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Tapestry Folkdance Center welcomes Ann Mosey as the new Executive Director. Stepping into leadership at Tapestry, Ann says, “I am honored to join this amazing dance organization. I look forward to working together to build upon its strong foundation as we (literally) move into the future.”

Ann comes to Tapestry Folkdance Center with extensive credentials in dance and arts administration. In addition to graduate and doctoral studies at Ohio State University, Arizona State University, and other schools, she was awarded dance scholarships with Merce Cunningham’s company, and with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Her professional development credits include the Shannon Leadership Institute and the Art of Leadership MAP. During her time in the Minnesota arts community, she has spent twelve years in non-profit arts administration, and founded two arts organizations. She served as the Executive Director of the Northfield Arts Guild for seven years and organized non-profit training for the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits in eleven counties in southeast Minnesota. Ann is also a certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor.

Tapestry Folkdance Center offers several weekly dance programs and annual dance events, and also rents studio space to several groups. In selecting a new ED, the “primary criteria was to hire an experienced Executive Director with excellent communication and people skills. Ann exhibits these skills and much more. She’s calm under pressure, highly organized, efficient, and knowledgeable about non-profit organizations,” says Carole Wilson, Tapestry’s President of the Board of Directors. “She has a lifetime of experience that will benefit Tapestry enormously, and she’s a delight to work with. We’re fortunate to have her as our new ED.”

Tapestry Folkdance Center was started in 1983 by a group of dedicated folk dancers determined to provide opportunities for everyone to participate in the joy of dancing and music from around the world. A building on Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis was bought and remodeled in 1999 to provide a permanent place for the dances. Tapestry Folkdance Center has two dance studios with spring wood dance floors and holds weekly, biweekly and monthly dances for International Folkdance, Contra Dance, English Country Dance, and Ballroom Social Dances. Several weekend-long events are also offered during the year.

Dances feature live music, as well as DJ-chosen, recorded music. All dances are open to the public and offer instruction during the first portion of the dance. Tapestry Folkdance Center also rental space for several dance groups, including the Minnesota Tradition Morris Dancers, The Minnesota Chapter of the Royal Scottish Dance Society, and the Somali Museum Dancers.

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New memoir presented at the Hook

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Cherríe Moraga will present her new memoir “Native Country of the Heart.” at the Mission Room at the Hook and Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., on Thur., May 2, 7pm. The presentation is free and open to the public. The book is Moraga’s coming-of-age memoir.

“Native Country of the Heart” is, at its core, a mother-daughter story. The mother, Elvira, was hired out as a child by her father to pick cotton in California’s Imperial Valley. The daughter, Cherríe, is a brilliant, pioneering, queer Latina feminist. The story of these two women, and their people, is woven together in an intimate memoir of critical reflection and deep personal revelation.

As Moraga charts her mother’s journey—from an impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to old woman—she traces her self-discovery of her gender-queer body and Lesbian identity, as well as her passion for activism. As her mother’s memory fails, Moraga is driven to unearth forgotten remnants of a U.S. Mexican diaspora, its indigenous origins, and an American story of cultural loss. Poetically wrought and filled with insight into intergenerational trauma, “Native Country of the Heart” is a reckoning with white American history and a piercing love letter from a fearless daughter to the mother she will never lose.

At this special Twin Cities event, Moraga will be in conversation with local author Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Self-described as a “queer black troublemaker,” Gumbs is a writer, scholar, and activist who currently teaches at the University of Minnesota.

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NENA News, May 2019

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Mapping Prejudice: A History of Racial Covenants in the Nokomis area
Although discriminatory racial practices in Minneapolis housing have been illegal for many years, the racial covenant language still exists in many Nokomis area deeds.

Join Nokomis East Neighborhood Association and Hale Page Diamond Lake Association for an evening with Mapping Prejudice, University of Minnesota based project focused on visualizing racial covenants in the Twin Cities. Learn from Mapping Prejudice about their work, racial covenant history in the Nokomis area, and how you can remove any remaining covenant language from your deed.

The event will be hosted on May 21 from 6:30-8pm at Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, 5011 S. 31st Ave.

Rain Garden Grant Lottery
Nokomis East residents, enter to receive a custom rain garden from Metro Blooms for less than half the price through the NENA Rain Garden Grant Lottery! Rain Gardens are not only a beautiful landscaping feature, but they can also reduce standing water in your yard, reduce mosquito breeding, filter out pollutants, and protect local lakes and streams. Fifteen garden grants are available for residents in the Nokomis East neighborhoods, and five are available for residents with homes within the Lake Nokomis watershed. A randomized selection of recipients for each category will be drawn on the day after registrations are due on June 14. Contact Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson at 612-724-5652 for further information or to register.

Nokomis East Garage Sale
Garage-salers in the Nokomis East area are invited to register their sale on the Nokomis East website, starting May 1. Last year over 100 sales took part in at the all-day event, which draws bargain hunters from all over the metro area. The garage sale itself will be June 15 from 8am-4pm.

Curb Appeal Matching Grant Lottery
The deadline to enter The Curb Appeal Matching Grant Lottery is May 15. Nokomis East residents are encouraged to sign up and get their upcoming exterior home project entered to win a matching grant up to $500. Winners will be announced right before Memorial Day Weekend to start your summer off right. Visit for more information and to register.

Loan programs
NENA offers two home improvement loan programs for homes in the Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park and Wenonah neighborhoods. Loan applications are processed on a first come, first served basis.

Home Improvement Loans
Did you know that the NENA Home Improvement Loans also cover large energy efficiency home improvements like solar panels? These loans also cover most permanent home improvements. Call the Center for Energy and Environment at 612-335-5884 for more details on project eligibility. Owners of one to four unit residences can apply for up to $15,000 to make improvements to their properties. Owner-occupants and investors may also apply. The interest rate is either 3.5% or 4.5% depending on income. No income restrictions apply.

Emergency Repair Loans
A limited amount of funds are available for emergency repairs. Only owner-occupied households are eligible. Income restrictions apply. The maximum loan amount is $7,500. The loan is 0% interest, and there are no monthly payments. The loan is due in total upon the sale of the property or transfer of title.

How to apply
For more information or to request an application, call the Center for Energy and Environment at 612-335-5884, or visit

Upcoming meetings and events:
5/1/19, 6:30pm: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 4313 E. 54th St.
5/7/19, 6:30pm: NEBA Annual Meeting, McDonald’s Liquor Event Space, 5010 34th Ave. S.
5/8/19, 6:30pm: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office
5/21/19, 6:30pm: Mapping Prejudice: A History of Racial Covenants in the Nokomis Area, Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, 5011 S. 31st Ave.

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Academy students take part in Final Four

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

The first week in April Minnehaha Academy journalism students Jacob McCabe, Luke Von Arx, Annika Johnson, and Abigail Hobrough were selected to participate in “Full Court Press,” an intensive sports writing and photography seminar that covered the NCAA Final Four before the semifinal games on Apr. 5 at US Bank Stadium.

Photo right: Students Luke Von Arx (left) and Jacob McCabe from Minnehaha Academy were chosen to participate in intensive sports writing workshop during the NCAA Final Four weekend. (Photo provided)

McCabe and Von Arx attended a panel discussion in the football press box with such journalism pros as Rachel Blount, reporter for the Minneapolis StarTribune; Pat Borzi, contributing writer for MinnPost, The New York Times, and ESPN; W. Glen Crevier, former StarTribune sports editor and past president of Associated Press Sports Editors; and Dana O’Neil, senior writer for The Athletic and past USBWA president. “The discussion included topics such as the influence of social media, the state of the job market, navigational skills in a 24/7 digital era, and survival tactics to deal with increasingly challenging deadlines. McCabe and Von Arx then attended team practices, press conferences, and the Reese’s College All-Star Game.

Photo left: Minnehaha Academy students Abigail Hobrough (left) and Annika Johnson two of only 12 to participate in the NCAA Final Four Sports Photography Workshop. (Photo provided)

Johnson and Hobrough were two of twelve total students that were selected to participate in the NCAA Final Four Sports Photography Workshop. They attended discussions on topics such as how to start your career, how to best cover the NCAA Men’s Final Four and more. Then, they received photography critiques from sports journalism photography pros. They were outfitted with camera gear and given access to the Men’s Final Four Practice Day and Reese’s College All-Star game. They received guidance from Director of NCAA Photos Jamie Schwaberow throughout the day as they photographed those events.

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Upcoming events at LS Healthy Seniors

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Join Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors and Minneapolis Community Education for a monthly Senior Social/Health Talk on Tues., May 21, 2019, at 10:30am (doors open at 10am) at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E. 31st St. The presentation is “Where Will You Live as You Age?” Where and how are you going to live as you get older? Bonnie Clark of the Senior Housing Guide will describe the different living options you can consider as you age, including reverse mortgages.

The last spring Alcohol Ink Painting class is planned for Wed., May 1, 1:30-3:30pm at Trinity Apartments, 2800 E. 31st St. We’ll use brightly colored, fast-drying alcohol inks and different effects to create wonderful free-form designs on tiles or synthetic paper. There is a $5 fee per class, which includes all materials. Class size is limited, so register by calling 612-729-5799.

A “Coloring Jam” (open coloring session) will be held Wed., May 22 from 1:30-3:30pm at Trinity Apartments. Come spend time coloring and relaxing! Healthy Seniors will provide a variety of coloring books, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. A class fee of $4 covers all supplies. Registration is required by calling 612-729-5799.

Tai Chi Easy exercise classes are held on Mondays from 10:30-11:30am at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Classes cost $5/each, and discounts may be available for lower-income seniors. Tai Chi is a low-impact, slow-motion exercise that’s adaptable to individual abilities. Movements vary between sitting and standing and help improve breathing, coordination, flexibility, and strength. Registration is not required, just drop in and try it!

A free monthly Diabetes Support Group for adults will be held on Wed., May 8 from 1-2:30pm at Trinity Apartments. Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is invited to attend.

Additionally, we’re looking for “Friendly Visitor” volunteers and volunteer drivers to help seniors live independently. Call Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors at 612-729-5799 or email for more information on activities, services or volunteer opportunities.

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Nokomis Healthy Seniors plan events

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

Nokomis Healthy Seniors will host a Health and Enrichment program on “Health Benefits of Essential Oils” on Thur., May 2, 2019, at 11am. It will be held at Nokomis Healthy Seniors inside Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120-17th Ave. S. Free; all are welcome, and no reservation is required.

A Health and Enrichment program, “The Aging Bladder: An Owner’s Manual,” will be presented by Paula Fedunok, PA-C, Department of Urology, U of M on Wed., May 8 at 1:30pm. It will be held at Nokomis Square Co-op, 5015-35th Ave. S. Free; all are welcome, and no reservation is required.

Join Nokomis Healthy Seniors for “Lunch and a Movie” on Thur., May 9. Share a meal at 11:15am, then watch the movie “A Man Called Ove,” in their own theatre at Bethel Lutheran Church. All are welcome, but reservations are required (612-729-5499); the $5 fee must be prepaid.

Nokomis Healthy Seniors will celebrate its 25th Anniversary at an Open House on May 16 from 11am-1pm inside Bethel Lutheran Church. The celebration is free, but RSVPs are requested by calling 612-729-5499. The event will include volunteer recognition, volunteer and client testimonials, a special anniversary video, a light lunch, ad 25th-anniversary cakes, and entertainment. Participants will be able to reminisce, share memories, and look at old photos and newsletters, as well as meet with current staff, volunteers, board members, as well as friends from years past. Learn something new about the NHS and how they support seniors in staying independent in their own homes.

Join Nokomis Healthy Seniors for “Lunch and Bingo” on Thurs., May 30. Share a meal at 11:15am, followed by a spirited game of Bingo. All are welcome, but reservations required by calling 612-729-5499.

A Health and Enrichment program on “Chiropractic Care” is planned for Thur., June 6 at 11am. It will be held at Nokomis Healthy Seniors inside Bethel Lutheran Church. The program is free, and all are welcome. No reservations are required.

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