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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In Our Community

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Celebrate 4th of July
Celebrate Independence Day at Minneapolis Parks. The Red White & Boom 5K TC Half Marathon, at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, 6:30 a.m. Tangletown 4th of July Celebration for all ages at Fuller Park, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (9:30 a.m. parade assembly). Red, White and Boom! at the Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront, 6-10 p.m. Other upcoming events: Wednesday, July 10, Ice Cream Social and Movie in the Park at Hiawatha School Park, 7:30-9 p.m. (movie begins at dusk). Thursday, July 11, Morris & Keewaydin Summer Festival and Movie in the Park at Keewaydin Park, 6-8:30 p.m. (movie “Bumblebee” begins at dusk).
Roots and Kindship
Attend a community gathering to revitalize relationships with Mother Earth and each other on June 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. outside Nokomis Recreation Center. (In case of rain, event will be held inside.) Wisdom Dances, directed by Emily Jarrett Hughes, share the collective joy of traditional songs and dances as tools for healing. Through dance they connect with their European roots and explore ways to live in right relationship in Minnesota. Respond to Lyla June’s invitation to co-create “a story of how humanity fell in love with itself and our Mother Earth once again.” Bring a blanket or your own chair. ASL Interpreted. Accessible seating available.
Elder Voices meets
Elder Voices will meet Friday, June 28 and Friday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Elder Voices meets at Turtle Bread Company, 4205 34th St. at the corner of 42nd Ave. and 34th St. There will be time for people to tell or update their Elder Stories. There will be a report from the housing work group of the Minneapolis Regional Retirees Council (AFL-CIO).

Longfellow Garden Tour July 10
Longfellow Garden Club invites people to tour four beautiful gardens on Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m. The tour is free and open to everyone. Pick up map between 5:45-6:30 p.m. on the big rock by Epworth United Methodist Church, 3207 37th Ave. S. Each garden on the tour is unique and highlights how to make the most of a small yard. One garden includes fallen logs and rocks sculptures that display unique patterns and textures. “The berms and hollows might just make you think you’ve fallen into wonderland. Find inspiration for your garden and enjoy a beautiful evening!” say planners.

Seward Summer Walks begin
Seward Summer Walks begin on Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m. at Matthews Park. Come ready to share your oral histories. July 17 – meet at 2300-33rd Ave. to learn about the history of Birchwood Cafe. July 24 – Explore the lost commercial strip and heart of Seward’s main business area; meet at 2715/2717 E. 25th St. July 31– Meet outside the main entrance to Flour City Ornamental Iron, 2637 27th Ave. to learn about the theme of “Making changes thru protest, agitation, and conflict.”

Seward Redesign celebrates 50 years
Seward Redesign will commemorate 50 years of community real estate and economic development in Seward and Longfellow with a commumnity wealth building summit and celebration on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. The Summit will feature an afternoon keynote address by Chicago-based Pete Saunders, with a series of panels, workshops and tours earlier in the day. More at

Free games, treats
Minnehaha Senior Living, an assisted living facility along with Providence Place Care Center, will host a community event for National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 4-7 p.m. at 3733 23rd Ave. S. There will be free games, music, free frozen treats, and drawings for Twins prizes.

Epworth kids events
Epworth UMC (3207 37th Ave. S., Minneapolis) will host Weed & Water every Wednesday through Aug. 7, 9:30 – 11 a.m. for kids 0 to 8 and their caring adult. Each free session will include a story, craft, games and a snack. Vacation Bible School is set for Aug. 12-16, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for children ages 5-11. Don’t miss this action-packed week, where kids will explore the entire faith story, from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem. Learn more about God’s creation through stories, crafts, games, science and music. Each day will also include lunch. Information at
ASL, beer and Bible
Epworth UMC hosts Beer & Bible on Wednesday, July 10, 6:30-8 p.m. at Merlin’s Rest for thosenew to the Bible, new to beer, or well-versed in both. Enjoy great discussion and fellowship —beer is optional. Free American Sign Language classes are offered every Sunday through Aug. 18, 12-2 p.m., Epworth UMC (3207 37th Ave S, Minneapolis.) taught by Epworth member Shirley. Email

Transition picnic
Join Transition Longfellow for a potluck picnic get together in Longfellow Park (34th St. and 36th Ave. S.) on Saturday, June 29 from noon-2 p.m. All are welcome to attend, whether or not you live in the neighborhood or have attended other Transition Longfellow events. Play various lawn games such as Frisbee, soccer, ladder golf, Bocce ball and lawn Yahtzee. Plus there’s a wading pool and playground at the park.

Puppet Festival
Puppeteers from near and far will attend the National Puppetry Festival July 16-21 in Minnesota. Most performances and activities take place at the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center, 330 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis. The free Puppets + Community Day takes place on the West Bank Plaza. Tickets ($15 individual or $20 for adult/child pair) are available at The Wednesday, July 17, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. show, Cellula, features Z Puppets Rosenschnoz (4054 Chicago Ave. S.).

Rising artist show
Minneapolis artists Nana Aforo and Angela Divine Knox are exhibiting work at Urban Forage Winery and Cider House at 3016 E. Lake St. through Labor Day. The exhibition is a combination of Knox’s photo montages made from a combination of film and digital images to create what she calls “photographic cubism,” and Aforo’s expressive and colorful paintings which fill the room with energy and emotion. “Minneapolis does a great job of showcasing local music, but I think we could do a better job of showcasing local visual artists,” said Urban Forage co-owner Jeff Zeitler. “There’s a lot of talent here and we hope to do a better job of getting it out in front of the community here in South Minneapolis.”

Hook & Ladder shows
New Orleans’ favorite sons, The Iguanas, bring the diverse sounds of their hometown’s fusion of Blues, Latin, Zydeco, Cajun, Tex-Mex and Roots Rock to the Hook & Ladder on Wednesday, July 10, 8 p.m.
The Hook & Ladder is proud to welcome Metal Threat’s, an Utter Death Metal Caravan: The Chasm with Cruciamentum(UK) – English Death Metal from the United Kingdom, Infernal Conjuration (MX) Death Metal from Tijuana, Mexico, and Coffinrot (MN) Death Metal from Minnesota for a musically deadly evening, not to be missed on Monday, July 8, 8 p.m.
Minnesota-based singer-songwriter, Joe Carey has been making rock and roll noise for over three decades – often splitting his time between bands and his solo work. His impact on the Twin Cities rock and indie-alternative music scenes is immeasurable. Catch his show with special guests, Martin Devaney, Jessica Carey and Scottie Devlin on Thursday, July 18.
Hear Kevin Gordon with special guest, James Loney, on Friday, July 19, 8:30 p.m. Gordon’s songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Irma Thomas, Levon Helm, Hard Working Americans, and others.
Seth Walker with special guest, Scottie Miller, will perform on Friday, Aug. 2, 8:30 p.m. Seth Walker has become widely recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the country. With a respect traditional styles, coupled with an appreciation of contemporary songwriting, Seth incorporates a range of artistry with warmth and grace.
Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound whos is set for Friday, Aug. 9, 8:30 p.m., at The Hook & Ladder in Minneapolis. Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound brings forth a funky, lyrically charged, musically explosive, rhythmic groove. Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana—and his native Midwest—the streets (and 45’s) of New Orleans, and the touring African and Caribbean Soul, Funk & Blues combos of his youth, bandleader Paul Cebar, arranges a masterful synthesist of rhythmic fusion.

Submit your news
If you are an organization located in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger delivery area, you can submit your event, special program, or noteworthy news to us for consideration. Submit your item by email to The deadline for the next issue is Monday, July 15 for the July 25 issue.

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Park planners check community pulse on creek project

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

New plan will provide a 20-30-year vision for Minnehaha Creek

Left to right, Lucia Luepker, age 12, Josie Bures, age 10, and Libby Bures, age 13, ask that the meadow near their houses be left undeveloped so they can continue to play there. “We live in our meadow,” J. Bures said on behalf of the trio, adding that the loss of it would have a big impact on their childhood. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)


Bike trails, pickleball courts, ADA-accessible launching pads, storywalks, and pollinator gardens are part of a 20-30-year vision for the park land along the five miles of Minnehaha Creek that cut across the southern part of Minneapolis.
The area has been broken down into four sections, and preferred concept plans for each segment have been released to the public and the 19 members of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC).
During a meeting at Nokomis Recreation Center on Thursday, June 13, 2019, MPRB Planner Adam Arvidson stated, “This project is not yet complete and this is not the last opportunity to have your voice be heard. Tonight we’re trying to get the pulse of where we stand.”
Planners did community engagement in the parks last summer, and held several community open houses during the winter in order to solicit ideas and feedback. These were then incorporated into these preferred concepts presented at the sixth CAC meeting, and additional ones are expected before a final draft is passed onto the park board for review and a public hearing.
The master plan will cover the creek, trails, trees, roads, recreation amenities, and all else contained within park board land between the Edina border and Minnehaha Falls.
Arvidson pointed out that the MPRB, city of Minneapolis and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District have given feedback on the plans as they develop.
“We’re trying to make sure that these three public agencies that you pay for are moving forward together,” said Arvidson.

Safer crossings for peds, bikers
The majority of comments MPRB is receiving right now about the plan have to do with the park road that runs the length of the creek. (See related story starting on front page.)
Segment three, from east of Interstate 35W to Cedar, includes ways to make things safer for pedestrian and bikers. In fact, there are more crossings here than in any other segment of the plan.
Options to improve crossings include high visibility crosswalks with raised pedestrian pads, and a tunnel underneath Cedar Ave. Although the tunnel would be lower than the creek, planners are confident that they can design it in a way to keep it dry, as has been done elsewhere
The majority of comments received during the planning process so far have revolved around the Portland/50th/Parkway area, and the plan would straighten intersections and place improvements at 50th, Portland and Park.
Planners are also trying to balance the needs to slower bicyclists with faster ones and will add additional trails in some areas.

Water and flooding issues
Planners have also been working to increase flood storage capacity in the creek and slow the water down to prevent damage. The areas identified for stormwater BMPs (best management practices) take into account the city’s stormwater outfalls as well as existing problem areas, according to Arvidson.
In segment four, the creek right now is very straight, and the plan would add more curves to increase flood capacity and storage.
In response to a concern voiced at the meeting about the ducks and geese in the area, Arvidson pointed out that habitat will be better than it is now.
A few stormwater BMPs would also be added in this section, with a large one underground in what is now a large field of 34th that is often damp. The installation of the BMP means that the area would be drier than it is now, Arvidson said.
Another large one is planned for the field in the southwest intersection of Cedar and the Parkway which typically floods.
On behalf of the Nokomis Hiawatha Water Sustainability grassroots group, Joan Soholt talked about water issues in the neighborhood, and the number of people with water in their basements and broken pipes. “We are asking for more comprehensive studies,” said Soholt, done by the University of Minnesota or United States Geological Survey.
“We feel like the park board is moving too fast with this,” stated Soholt.


#1: Edina to Lynnhurst
>> This section of the creek would remain wild without paved trails as it is today.
>> An overlook on the Penn Ave. bridge would be added.
>> The existing Lynnhurst Recreation Center building would be torn down, and a larger structure built on the north side of 50th. It would focus on the local environment and creek.
>> The tributary that pours south from Lake Harriet would be “daylighted,” and the pipe it currently flows would be removed so that it is accessible again.
>> A bridge would be built on 50th for traffic to cross this tributary, and bikers and pedestrians would cross underneath it.

#2: Lynnhurst to 35W
>> As requested by residents, the trails will stay in the gorge. A braided channel restoration approach may be used.
>> Trails under Lyndale Bridge will be widened.
>> The section of roadway under Nicollet Bridge will be closed and picnic area, rest-rooms, art, adventure play, parking lot, creek access and more added.

#3: 35W to Cedar
>> Two areas with single track bike trails of varying skill levels will be added near Bloomington. Two tennis courts will stay.
>> A redundant section of roadway south of the gas station at Cedar will be removed and a stormwater BMP added. South of the parkway where it typically floods, another stormwater BMP will be installed.
>> A tunnel will transport bikers and pedestrians safely under Cedar Ave.
>> Stormwater BMPs will be installed at several locations along with creek restoration and remeandering.
>> The area around Portland and 50th will be realigned, and some sections made one-ways to discourage thorough traffic.
* Note: The section from Cedar to Lake Hiawatha is included within the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park plan.

#4: Lake Hiawatha to Minnehaha Falls
>> A tunnel will provide safe crossing under 28th. (This will be built this summer when the 28th bridge is replaced.)
>> The tennis courts at 30th will become a pollinator garden, and those at 32nd fixed up. The courts at 34th will be converted in a bike skills park.
>> Underground flood storage with pollinator gardens and open space would be added on the east side of 34th.
>> Many parts of the creek between bridges will be remeandered to slow down water and provide more capacity storage. Several BMPs will be installed.
>> An ADA takeout will be positioned before the falls.
>> The green space in the boulevard would have a storywalk with natural plantings and public art along a natural surface trail.

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Blue Moon metamorphoses into Milkweed Cafe

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Longtime staff take over beloved neighborhood coffee shop, renovate and open with new name

Owner Brenda Ingersoll prepares a cold press in the recently reopened coffee shop at 3822 Lake St. As she has celiac disease, Ingersoll makes sure to have gluten-free options available for customers. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Blue Moon Coffee Cafe (3822 E. Lake St.) has been transformed into Milkweed by longtime staffers Brenda Ingersoll and Alex Needham.
The new shop opened on May 22, 2019.
After shutting the doors on the neighborhood’s beloved coffee house for the last time on Dec. 31, 2018, the new owners began an extensive renovation project. Throughout the changes, they’ve sought to maintain what the neighborhood – and they – loved best about the local coffee house.
The couple drew upon their own experience working at the Blue Moon under owner Lisa Berg, who operated the cafe for 24 years before closing due to health issues. They’ve also factored in comments they heard from residents during the transition. During the renovation, passersby regularly peeked in the windows and stepped through the door to check on the progress.
Ingersoll managed at Blue Moon from 2014-2016 and Needham worked there from 2013 to 2016. When their son, Bruce, now four, was born, they worked back-to-back shifts, and handed the baby off at the cafe.
“We really fell in love with the space,” recalled Needham.
“It has been my favorite job,” said Ingersoll.
With their past experience, running the coffee shop won’t be new for them. But they also recognized that Blue Moon won’t be the same without Lisa, and so they’re starting fresh with a new identity: Milkweed.
They plan to make their own nut milks, and offer tea blends from Sacred Blossom and other Fair Trade organic companies. They’re sourcing supplies from local vendors as much as possible.
As Ingersoll has been recently diagnosed with celiac disease, the cafe offers gluten-free options and its own facility is entirely gluten-free. Those who aren’t gluten-free can select from the pre-packaged sandwich they offer, along with grab-and-go options from Seward Co-op and deli. Gluten-free options from Sift Bakery are available. Also on the menu are paninis, quiche, salads and more.
Coffee comes from Tiny Footprint Coffee in Brooklyn Park, a company that combines small-batch artisan coffee with reforestation efforts in Ecuador, making it the world’s first carbon negative coffee. To-go cups are compostable.
“For a place that does grab and go things, we’re trying to make as small an impact as possible,” observed Ingersoll.
A former stewardess, Ingersoll says that running a coffee shop is essentially like running an airplane. “You’ve got to build relationships,” she said.

Alex Needham (left), son Bruce, and Brenda Ingersoll during the renovation. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

She’s excited to be her own boss and to apply her design sensibilities to an entire space. A floral designer, Ingersoll also runs a floral business out of her house. She plans to sell tropicals and other plants at Milkweed — where they’ll also function as decor. “I love plants so I’ll fill the space with them,” she stated.

Coffee shop evolution
During the renovation work, the only coffee in this long-time coffee house was from a Mr. Coffee drip machine as the espresso machines sat unplugged. Much of the renovation work was done by Needham, who works for a construction firm around his job in the film industry.
With the help of volunteers and professionals, they replaced and squared off the old bar, added nine seats, and reconfigured the space for new uses. In all, they’ve put in six sinks and three floor drains in the building that was constructed a century ago and is owned by blues musician John Kolstad. Wood planks from one area were reused as flooring elsewhere.
When Blue Moon originally opened in the 1990s, there wasn’t as much laptop use as there is today, explained Ingersoll. Recognizing how coffee shops have evolved, they replaced benches and table tops with a bar along one wall for single users repurposed from a bench that used to sit alongside the back wall. Another bench near the children’s area by the back door is still being used.
The back nook has been reimagined with a caterpillar and butterfly theme for kids. Along with toys, there will be ready-to-go art projects. “Parents can work and watch their kids,” observed Ingersoll, a busy mom herself.
The nook size is a bit different, as the bathroom door has moved and a prep space carved out of the old supply closet.
The new main bar was milled from a Silver Maple tree that fell in Seward.
Long-time customers asked if the new owners were going to keep the lounge, and the answer is yes. The location of the comfy chairs has shifted a bit, but they’re still there.
They can accommodate in-house musical shows, and have a beer and wine license. Local art hangs on the walls in three-month stints, with Jim Blaha, a former Blue Moon barista, up first.
“It’s simple and small, but cozy,” stated Ingersoll. “I think the neighborhood will appreciate a little bit of music in the neighborhood occasionally.”
Milkweed continues to share a door with Hymie’s Vintage Records, which is undergoing its own transformation and is for sale. “Record hunters enjoy drinking coffee and vice versa,” observed Ingersoll.
As many of the former staff as wanted have stayed on at the neighborhood coffee house.
“I remember when this floor was shiny,” observed neighborhood resident Nikki Baker one Sunday in January when she dropped by with Hamuman Carlson to check on the renovation progress. She recalled bringing her daughter to the cafe when she was four, and dropping in a couple times a week. “It’s definitely a community place which is what people need.”
“It’s such an important part of the neighborhood,” added Carlson. “It’s going to be new, but it is going to be the new same.”
Hours right now are Monday to Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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