Citizen input is a big contributor to Mississippi Gorge Master Plan

Posted on 17 December 2018 by calvin

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area protects a 72-mile corridor along the river from the cities of Dayton and Ramsey to just downstream of Hastings. This includes the stretch which flows through Minneapolis and St. Paul. Approximately 132 acres of land within that corridor, from just south of the I-35 bridge to the north end of Minnehaha Park, has been the subject of discussion and debate this year as the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan has taken form.

Project manager Ellen Kennedy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) explained, “The final public meeting was held Dec. 10, and the online survey also closed that day. The first version of the survey, which we launched last spring, received more than 1,000 public comments. We’ve been really pleased with the dynamic input we’ve received from throughout the community—including neighbors, people from all over the Twin Cities, and visitors from other places.”

Photo right: In the last six months, project manager Ellen Kennedy (and colleagues) oversaw eight Community Advisory Committee meetings, eight project listening sessions, and six open houses. They also were part of 12 special events throughout the city related to the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan. “It’s the motto of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to engage early, engage often, and engage throughout the process,” she said. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

It’s expected that a draft of the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park Master Plan will be released for a 45 day public comment period in early 2019 when an accessible copy of the document will be posted on the MPRB website. After all the comments are compiled and addressed, and the master plan is finalized, staff will request full MPRB approval and adoption. Following adoption, the master plan will be submitted to the Met Council.

Emily Green is a Longfellow resident and editor for the Center for Changing Landscapes at the U of M’s Forest Resources Department. She served on the Community Advisory Committee. “Each of the neighborhoods adjacent to the gorge nominated one representative,” she said. “As a member of the

Longfellow Community Council’s (LCC) River Gorge Committee, joining the Community Advisory Committee gave me a chance to volunteer in a whole new way. I attended all eight of the council meetings, and several side meetings; it was then my responsibility to report back to my neighbors what I’d learned via Next Door and the LCC newsletter. It’s been inspiring to see how many people care deeply about the river gorge, both in and out of the meetings I attended.”
She continued, “One of the most challenging things for members of the Community Advisory Committee was finding and maintaining a sense of balance.

Photo left: According to the Met Council, the Mississippi River Gorge is the third most used park in the metro area, including its walking and biking trails on street level. There are several places where hikers can drop down to explore natural surface trails that meander through the forest and to access the river. The semi-wild character of the bluffs and bottomlands are loved and appreciated by many in the neighborhood. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

‘How do we promote access to the gorge, while preserving its sense of wildness?’ ‘If we don’t preserve what’s wild, what is there to access?’ Different visions emerged over the six months of meetings. The vision I’m most excited about is the prospect of a continuous hiking trail from the Franklin Bridge south to 44th St. I don’t know if this will be part of the final plan, but I’m hopeful.”

Because this project was awarded $250,000 for master planning through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, the planning process must conclude by June 30, 2019.

“The 45 day public comment period is a great time to engage, whether or not you have before,” Kennedy said. “What we’re crafting as a community is a 20-year vision for the Mississippi River Gorge.” Ellen Kennedy can be reached at



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College choice looming; Suggs is a champ on gridiron and hardwood

Posted on 17 December 2018 by calvin

Sporting a Georgetown hat, Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker and St. Paul native Terrell Suggs likened his second cousin Jalen’s prowess at football and basketball as a great problem to have when college recruiters come calling.

“So is Allen Iverson,” Terrell said in a 2017 interview after a game against the Minnesota Vikings. “It’s good to be a 2-sport player.”

Iverson, who played college hoops at Georgetown and went on to a hall-of-fame career in the NBA, also excelled at football in high school. Jalen has been recruited for both sports with schools such as North Carolina for basketball and Ohio State for football showing interest.

“I try to recruit him to go to Arizona State,” said Terrell, who played football there before his NFL career.

Jalen has been the top basketball and football recruit for Minnesota in 2020 for a while. The Minnehaha Academy junior already has led the Redhawks boys basketball team to back-to-back state titles. He recently added a state football title with the St. Paul Academy-Minnehaha Academy-Blake co-op as the quarterback. Trophies have been a big goal for Jalen all along.

“Definitely state championships,” Jalen said in a March interview. “Losing is one of my biggest pet peeves.”

He didn’t say at the time whether he leans toward basketball or football for college, though his hoops prowess has only grown outside of the high school season. He has competed with the USA Basketball U16 and U17 teams the past two summers, winning gold. Division I offers for hoops also have outnumbered football ones according to recruiting websites.

“I think he plays football just to get his body in shape for basketball,” said Terrell, who grew up playing youth football in St. Paul before his family moved to Arizona when he was 15.

Terrell played center in youth football with a quarterback named Joe Mauer, who went on to have a long career baseball with the Minnesota Twins. Terrell, who still has family in the area, said he didn’t get to see Jalen when the Ravens came to play the Vikings.

“Probably somewhere hooping,” said Terrell, who indicated he’s well aware of how high Jalen ranks among high school hoops recruits.

Jalen ranks 10th nationally for all players in the class of 2020 and second among point guards according to In football, he ranks eighth nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks.

“I look at it here and there when a new one comes out,” Jalen said about the rankings. “But I don’t really pay attention to it too much because, at the end of the day, rankings don’t say anything. Once you get on that court, they can’t save you.”

Jalen didn’t need to save SMB’s football season when he returned from a knee injury this fall. He nonetheless took the Wolfpack to new heights with a Class 4A Prep Bowl victory, accounting for five touchdowns in the championship game.

In basketball, he looks to help the Redhawks win a third-straight Class 2A title this season. He has been averaging 27 points per game in the young season.

Jalen, who said he didn’t get to see Terrell last year, said that his older second cousin has been a big example for him among his athletically-gifted family.

“It’s a big motivation because we’ve had a lot of great players in our family, including my dad, cousins [and] uncles,” Jalen said. “So seeing one that just actually made it, it’s a big motivation. It makes me want to be the next one. Everyone’s pushing me and helping me get there.”

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NENA News, January 2019

Posted on 17 December 2018 by calvin

State of Our Neighborhood
NENA State of Our Neighborhood 2019 will be held on Tues., Jan. 15, 6-8pm, at Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy.

Hear from NENA, our business community, neighborhood leaders and elected officials. NENA spent 2018 working to improve, empower and energize our neighborhood. In the past year, NENA hosted over a dozen meetings bringing together hundreds of neighbors to address high priority issues such as the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, 34th Ave. reconstruction as well as safety and crime concerns. This will also be the first chance to view NENA’s 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.

Now in its fourth year, the State of the Neighborhood also presents an opportunity to ask questions of people serving the Nokomis East community from elected offices, the police force, the schools, and local businesses. Community members are invited to send in questions ahead of the event for our elected officials, community, school and business leaders, and NENA by Jan. 14. Submit your question via the form available at

On the agenda:
• State Senator Patricia Torres Ray
• State Representative Jean Wagenius
• Hennepin County Commissioner-Elect Angela Conley (tentative)
• Council Member Andrew Johnson
• Council Member Jeremy Schroeder
• Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Stephanie Musich
• Inspector Michael Sullivan, MPD 3rd Precinct
• Jennifer Neale, MPD Crime Prevention Specialist
• Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission Member Isaac Russell
• Principal LaShawn Ray, Lake Nokomis Community Schools
• Jack Dickinson, Nokomis East Business Association Board Chair

Help repair the mural
On Dec. 6, 2018, a car jumped the curb on E. 58th St. and barreled into the nearby garage and the Bossen Community Mural. NENA, Nokomis East artists Victor Yepez and Daniella Bianchini created the mural in 2017, and we want to repair it when the weather warms. The mural depicts the history of the Nokomis East area, the diverse Bossen community, and the natural features of the neighborhood.
Please help NENA raise $1,500 to repair the Bossen Community Mural. Our fundraising page at GiveMN is at We are raising funds to support our local artists doing the mural repair work, and to purchase painting supplies.

Neighborhood Jam
The NENA Neighborhood Jam Fundraiser is planned for Sat., Feb. 9, 2-6pm at Off-Leash Art Box, 4200 E. 54th St.

Celebrate our Nokomis East community with lively music from local bands, custom mocktails, hot cocoa, and coffee bar, a Nokomis East trivia competition, silent auction, appetizers and more! All proceeds go to Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, serving your neighborhood since 1997.

The silent auction will feature plenty of holiday gift bargains from neighborhood businesses, like:
• $100 Oxendale’s Market gift card
• $50 Berry Sweet Kitchen gift certificate
• $20 Sassy Spoon gift card
• $25 Nokomis Shoe Shop gift card
• Two oil changes at Nelson’s Auto Repair
• Venn Brewing gift card
• Nokomis Life keychain and coasters from Homespun
• a Nokomis East gift basket, including local artist designed items
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 7-18, free for kids under 7. Get your tickets now at

Love Nokomis East?
Want to meet more neighbors? Volunteer!

Meet your neighbors and shape the future of the neighborhood in just a few hours. NENA needs a variety of volunteer positions, including community photographers, newsletter volunteers, and community outreach volunteers. Some volunteer positions can be modified to fit your availability or schedule.
Interested? Want to learn more? Contact Lauren Hazenson at or 612-724-5652.

Sign up for NENA News
Your Guide to News, Events, and Resources! Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

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Metro Work Center finding new ways to connect with the community

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

The Metro Work Center (MWC) is a community-based day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Located on the third floor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 2730 E. 31st St., the program is in its 50th year of providing services—and is looking for more ways to connect with the surrounding neighborhood.

Executive director Julie Washington explained, “We’re a non-profit agency licensed for up to 57 adult participants; most participants who come to us are involved in our employment options. We have a regular crew that goes to Alexander’s Import Auto Repair down the street and provides cleaning services. There are several teams that are paid to help neighborhood residents with seasonal raking, mowing, and snow removal. We’re looking to partner with more neighborhood businesses and homeowners, who believe in our mission of community inclusion for people of all abilities.”

Photo right: Executive director Julie Washington of the Metro Work Center. MWC provides job opportunities, life skill development, and community integration for adults with developmental disabilities. On the left is a metal project made by MWC participants and artists through the Community Connects Program (see the article on page 8). (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Like many community programs, MWC began as a congregational effort. In 1965, Holy Trinity started an arts and crafts program for teenagers who, at the time, were labeled “mentally retarded” and not allowed to attend public school. Three years later, the congregation recognized the needs of the broader community and formalized the program as a day activity center with paid staff. By the 1970’s, public schools had changed their language—and their model for accepting students with special needs. MWC began serving adults instead of teens, and their emphasis shifted to in-house vocational training.

Washington started as a direct support professional at MWC 15 years ago while she was still a college student. “At the state and federal level, there’s a big push for community inclusion right now, which we’re already providing,” Washington said. “In the last 50 years, we’ve seen a shift from institutionalizing people with developmental disabilities to having full access to the benefits of community life. MWC works on a combined model of work, social involvement, leisure, and recreation.”

Photo left: MWC participant Rickeem (right) said, “I like hanging out with my friends here.” He works two days per week at a South Minneapolis nursing home, helping to set the tables at mealtime. The person-centered programming at MWC is designed to meet the individual needs of participants. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Washington elaborated, “As part of our leisure and recreational programming, we take a person-centered approach and make weekly trips into the community. We enjoy walking to the many businesses in the neighborhood and, when weather permits, traveling to places such as Como Zoo, museums, parks, and baseball games.”
Like all direct service organizations in Minnesota, MWC is facing a critical funding and staffing shortage. Washington, as already noted, is the executive director, but most days, she wears several other “hats.” She also serves as CEO, CFO, HR director, and direct support professional when needed.

She explained, “We currently have ten direct support professionals and two program coordinators. We have a direct support professional position available, but it’s been hard to fill. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) implemented a 7% cut to funding to critical services this summer. An estimated 32,000 people with developmental disabilities rely on that funding, as well as 300 provider organizations like ours that provide those services state-wide. We operate on a very tight budget.”

She continued, “The position we have would be ideal for someone interested in a career working with people with developmental disabilities. A college student studying psychology or special education would gain relevant experience. We could also use committed community volunteers, willing to go on vocational or recreational trips into the community with us. For instance, we used to help shelf books at the East Lake Library, but we just don’t have enough staff or volunteers to take a group there right now.”

To learn more about supporting MWC by hiring a crew, becoming a volunteer, or to make a donation, contact Julie Washington at or call 612-729-7381.






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Transgender visibility event stretches across Lake St. into St. Paul

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Protesters gathered along Lake St. from Chicago Ave. and into St. Paul, in a demonstration of solidarity with the local transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive community. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

On Oct. 28, local transgender community members and allies came together for a visibility event. People of all ages lined the south side curb of Lake St., starting at Chicago Ave. heading east well into St. Paul. They stood or sat, shoulder to shoulder, and did not obstruct traffic or sidewalk use.

Minneapolis City Council members Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, who are both transgender, addressed the crowd in front of the Third Precinct Police Station at Minnehaha Ave and E. Lake St. Trained marshals from the Minnesota Women’s March provided critical support along the protest route.

The event was in response to the Oct. 25 Department of Justice statement that workplace discrimination against transgender people does not violate federal law. On Oct. 21, the New York Times published a memo in which the Department of Health and Human Services discussed plans to revoke Title IX civil rights protections on the basis of gender identity. Many of the protest signs declared, “We won’t be erased.”

Photo right: The event, which was pulled together in two days, received praise for its accessibility. There was no march to coordinate; people just showed up along the route to sit or stand for one hour. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

1.4 million Americans identifying as transgender, or a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. An unknown number of Americans are intersex, or were born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals outside of what is typically seen as male and female.

One participant said, “The event was hugely significant, I feel, for its visibility. Often, transgender people are forced to hide who they are or are scared of what will happen if they’re out or outed. For them to be that visible, and to be so well loved and supported, was tremendous.”





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Who doesn’t want a Brighter Baby?

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Longfellow resident, educator and businesswoman, publishes a book on using music to help in a baby’s development

Longfellow resident Emily Ireland (photo left by Margie O’Loughlin) has just published “Brighter Baby: Build Your Baby’s Brain Power and Strengthen Your Bond.” The book introduces readers to 60+ musical activities that a parent or caregiver to do with the baby in their life. “Brighter Baby” is designed to help adults remember and relive the music of their childhood, while providing tips on how to turn those songs and rhymes into activities they can use throughout the day.

Ireland has an MA in music education, sixteen years experience teaching early childhood music, and is the founder and director of Brighter Minds Music studio, 3701 E. 50th St. She explained, “The activities in this book are ones that we use in our early childhood music classes. With each activity, I explain the benefits to baby’s development as seen through five different lenses: music development, cognitive development, social-emotional development, physical development, language and literacy development. My goal is to give parents and caregivers a great resource for bonding with their babies, while also giving them the tools to make music together.”

Having a baby is one of the biggest game changers in a person’s life. Ireland and her husband, PR consultant Michael Walsh, are the parents of two elementary school-aged children. When their first child was born six years ago, Ireland fell into serious post-partum depression. “It took me completely by surprise,” she said. “My husband and I were delighted with our new daughter, and I generally have a very sunny disposition. It was a difficult time for our family. I had my music school up and running, but I couldn’t manage the workload. In the zone of post-partum depression and sleep deprivation, I thought I’d better start practicing what I preached.”

Ireland and her daughter developed a daily routine of having infant massage time in the morning. In the afternoon, they played games together with a scarf or a ball, accompanied by singing. Ireland began coming out of her depression and realized that if she had benefited from having the many early childhood music resources she had at hand—other parents and caregivers would too.

The book “Brighter Baby” will be available on, and at local, independent bookstores soon. Copies of the book can also be ordered through With its November publication date, it’s right on time for the holidays. For parents or caregivers who don’t think they have what it takes to introduce music to their little one, Ireland said, “The most important voice to your baby is your own.”

As infants develop and grow, there are classes of all kinds for them to enjoy at Ireland’s Brighter Minds Music studio. Registration is open for winter session, and group classes are offered at Minnehaha United Methodist Church (3701 E. 50th St.). The Babies Class, for six weeks-18 months, teaches activities that help develop listening skills and provide a foundation for fun and interaction through music.

Activities in the Toddler Class (16 months – 3 ½ years) include bouncing and rocking songs, wiggle and peek-a-boo games, singing, nursery rhymes, and moving to music. Teachers may also include infant massage and sign language. “So many daily activities can be enhanced with music, and with better eye contact,” Ireland said. “The activities we teach will improve the quality of the time you spend with your young child throughout the day.”

For a complete schedule of group music lessons for children 0-5 years, and individual piano, guitar, voice, and ukulele lessons for ages 6-100, visit

An experienced educator and presenter, Ireland is available to speak at schools, and for ECFE and other parenting groups about “Brighter Baby,” and the value of early childhood music education. She can be reached at 612-743-0942, or by emailing


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Keeping the Mississippi River Gorge healthy takes many hands

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

River Gorge Stewards wrap up another successful season of 24 volunteer and educational events in 2018

In our local river bluff woods, trails and prairies, it’s easy to lose yourself listening to birds or enjoying blooming wildflowers. It’s also easy to forget that this natural area would not be what it is today without hands-on help from hundreds of River Gorge Stewards volunteers and strong community partnerships.

Tim Turner lives just a short walk to the Mississippi River Gorge. On a hike last fall, he ventured into the beautiful oak savanna just off the trail at E. 36th St. and W. River Pkwy. where he ran into a small group pulling up seedlings.

Photo right: Undaunted by the rain, Gorge Stewards circle up as Alex Roth, FMR ecologist, lays out the plan for planting natives at the oak savanna this fall. (Photo submitted)

Naturalist and volunteer-lead Kate Clayton of Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) explained that they were removing volunteer trees to make way for bur oaks as part of the long-term restoration of this special place. She also noted that before volunteers and community groups decided to form the River Gorge Stewards to take care of it, this rare savanna—home to over a hundred bird species and a favorite respite for many locals—was an impenetrable thicket of spiky buckthorn bushes.

Turner decided to join the effort. “As a frequent hiker,” he says, “I thought it would be a perfect way to ‘pay for’ the privilege.”

Since then, he’s had plenty of company. In 2018, FMR held 24 volunteer and educational events in the Minneapolis River Gorge with over 400 attendees.

Photo left: At the River Gorge Stewards Earth Day cleanup, a local Girl Scouts troop taught volunteers and passersby on W. River Pkwy. about invasive species in our local River Gorge park. (Photo submitted)

The annual oak savanna Earth Day cleanup was the biggest, with 58 volunteers of all ages picking up litter and trash, despite the event being postponed due to the late snow and late spring.

Next came a series of public volunteer outings focused on the continued restoration of the oak savanna as well as the riverfront sand flats near Lake St. Together, individuals, families and small groups pulled invasive species like garlic mustard and buckthorn and then returned to plant native shrubs and wildflowers in their place.

Local groups like Anderson United’s 5th graders and girl scout troops help maintain our local riverfront as well. Combining education and action, eight groups learned about the river gorge and how invasive plants affect the river before heading out for a day of stewardship service.

Photo right: A volunteer pulls garlic mustard before it can take over the woodland near the sand flats. Invasive plants like garlic mustard can overrun or push out native plants that birds, butterflies and other pollinators rely on for habitat in our local Mississippi River flyway. (Photo submitted)

As for Turner, after participating at several public events, he became the newest member of the River Gorge Leadership Team, a group of 15 dedicated volunteers, mostly from surrounding communities.

Team members are trained in species identification, tool use and more to support and continue the river gorge restoration work beyond the scheduled volunteer events. They put in extra hours pulling invasives and prepping a planting site or checking on newly planted shrubs and natives, making sure they have enough water between rains.

Turner says highlights of his first year with the team include “finally learning the names of plants that I have passed many times and working on projects with folks who care about the environment.”

Adam Flett, Stewardship and Education Program Director at FMR, says they can’t thank their volunteers, partners, and funders enough. “This is a favorite spot for many people, and we’re lucky we’ve got so many dedicated supporters,” says Flett.

He also pointed out that the Longfellow Community Council was one of the founders of the program, and remains a particularly important partner and funder in 2018.

Photo left: FMR SuperVolunteer Fred Tyler is ready to plant natives in the understory of the oak savanna. (Photo submitted)

Additional funders and partners for FMR’s youth programs, volunteer events and habitat restoration activities in the Minneapolis River Gorge during 2018 included: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Longfellow Community Council, Xcel Energy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the US Forest Service, Minnesota Natural Resources and Environmental Trust Fund, Andeavor Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, Seagate, HB Fuller Company, 3M Foundation, Hardenburgh Foundation, Langwater Foundation and Great Lakes Brewing Company.

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They/Them Project shows and tells transgender life stories

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Xochi de la Luna (left) and Brent Dundore (right) co-hosted a gender discussion at Peace Coffee (3262 Minnehaha Ave.), in support of the They/Them Project on exhibit there through Dec. 5. On the wall behind them are portraits from the project. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Photographer and activist Brent Dundore has been working on the They/Them Project for the past two years, and he doesn’t see the project ending any time soon. So far, he has interviewed and photographed 33 gender non-conforming individuals, giving them a platform to be seen and heard.

“This project has meant a lot to me,” Dundore said, “because it’s given me the chance to educate myself and others about gender diversity. When it comes down to it, this project is often seen through the photographs—but if people aren’t listening to the interviews, they aren’t getting what they can from the project. If you look at the images and they mean anything to you, they will mean much more when you hear the participants tell their own stories.”

Some of those stories are not what you would expect. There is Emma, age eleven at the time of her interview. Emma prefers she/her and they/them pronouns, though she presents herself as a boy. When Dundore asked her, “Do you feel more like a boy when you wear a suit or other boy’s clothes?” She answered, “No, I feel more like me.”

The They/Them Project is currently on exhibit at Peace Coffee (3262 Minnehaha Ave.). The images will be on view there until Dec. 5.

On Nov. 1, Dundore and project participant Xochi de la Luna co-hosted a community discussion about gender attended by a couple of dozen people. Emma’s sentiments were repeated by others from the project in attendance, as well as those in the audience not part of the project.

Xochi identifies as a-gender and uses the pronouns they/them. Xochi said, “I felt like I was living in a box when I was growing up as a boy. I just never was attached to the idea of what it meant to be a man. Those of us who are trans, we want to live in a world where there aren’t so many assumptions made about who we are because of our gender.”

Photo right: Diverse community members came together to talk about what gender identity and gender expression mean to them. Upcoming gender discussions will take place at the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center and Lutheran Social Services’ Center for Changing Lives. Check for details. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Dundore, who identifies as cisgender, gay and bisexual, and a husband, uses the pronouns he/him. “This project got started because I wanted to challenge my own ignorance on gender, and to better understand people who are gender non-conforming,” he said. Sporting a t-shirt that read, “Pronouns matter,” he explained,

“We’re all people with our own individual outlooks on life. I asked each project participant, ‘Could you imagine a situation in which you’d be upset if someone asked which pronouns you use? Every person answered, ‘Please, ask!’” Using the pronouns a person prefers is a sign of respect.

Dundore is an accomplished photographer with a celebrity and commercial portfolio, and an impressive corporate client and publications list. He currently runs BD Portraits Studio ( in the Powderhorn neighborhood. His activist photography credentials include starting the “Marry Us Campaign,” “Broadway Legacy,” celebrating black Broadway artists, the “Why I Ride Project” in support of the AIDS fundraising bike rides, “My Voice Seen,” and the “They/Them Project.”

Who is Dundore trying to reach with his current project? “Anyone willing to listen,” he said. “Go to the website,” he reiterated, “everything is there.”

The ongoing podcast can be seen and heard at

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NENA News December 2018

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Night Before New Year’s Eve 2018 set for Dec. 30
Want to celebrate the New Year with your kids but don’t want the late bedtime hassle?

The Night Before New Year’s Eve party is planned on Sun., Dec. 30, 5:30-7:30pm, at Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy. It is a family-oriented event chock full of activities, including a “midnight” countdown at 7:15pm. The only cost of the event is a suggested $10 donation per family. Enjoy a kid-friendly dinner, carnival games, music, and dancing, marshmallow roasting over a bonfire, face painting, and much more! New to this year, NENA will be holding a food drive for the Minnehaha Food Shelf. Please bring non-perishable foods, toiletries, household, or baby items to donate.

Nokomis East needs volunteers for the Night Before New Year’s Eve. This event is fun for everyone who attends, including the volunteers, and it cannot happen without volunteer support. Volunteers working the event, in addition to being part of the fun, will get a free pizza dinner. Opportunities for families, groups, and young adult volunteers are available. Sign up to volunteer at or call 612-724-5652.

Annual State of the Neighborhood meeting 2019
The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association State of our Neighborhood community gathering is planned for Tuesday night, Jan. 15, 6-8pm, at Morris Park Recreation Center, 5531 39th Ave. S.

Come to hear from NENA, our business community, elected officials, and other community leaders. This neighborhood conversation will address several topics relevant to the Nokomis East community. NENA and our guest speakers will discuss plans to continue fostering a vibrant, active Nokomis East in 2019.

Save the date
The South Minneapolis Green Fair is being planned for Sat., Apr. 13, 12-4pm, at Roosevelt High School, 4029 28th Ave. S.

Commit to environmental sustainability as a part of your New Year’s Resolution! Cut your carbon footprint, reduce your impact on landfills, keep local plants and animals thriving, care for our lakes and streams by making some simple adjustments to your habits.

NENA, Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association, and Longfellow Community Council have teamed up to present the South Minneapolis Green Fair, an expansion of the popular Nokomis Green Fair introduced earlier this year. It will be an opportunity to discover sustainable lifestyle options in a relaxed, judgment-free, and interactive environment. Meet a variety of exhibitors, attend informative presentations, or try educational activities. Environmentally focused nonprofits or local businesses interested in exhibitor opportunities can contact Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson at 612-724-5652 or

Love Nokomis East? Want to meet more neighbors? Volunteer!

Meet your neighbors and shape the future of the neighborhood in just a few hours. NENA needs a variety of volunteer positions, including community photographers, newsletter volunteers, and community outreach volunteers. Some volunteer positions can be modified to fit your availability or schedule.
Interested? Want to learn more? Contact Lauren Hazenson at or 612-724-5652.

Sign up for NENA News
Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

Upcoming meetings and events:
12/5/18, 6:30pm: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 4313 E. 54th St.
12/1218, 6:30pm: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office
12/20/18, 7pm: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office
12/30/18, 7:30pm: Night Before New Year’s Eve, Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy.


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Swing out Old Year 2018 at Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge is filling the month of December with exciting shows. Here is a selection of entertainment venues that have not yet sold out at press time. (These are in addition to the free concerts in Dec. that you can read about under “Music Wednesdays scheduled in Dec.” in the Briefs on page 11.) Unless noted otherwise, all performances are 21+.

On Fri., Nov. 30, the Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling plus Cedric Burnside will perform. Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets are $18 in advance and $22 the day of the show.

Summit Brewing & Nobool present The Belfast Cowboys on Sat., Dec. 1, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 the day of the show.

On Sun., Dec. 2, 6pm, The Funk & Lardum Aeternum will present Bobby & Bacon’s Holiday Jamboree. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show (or $12 at the door with food shelf donation).

Hamell On Trial (photo right) will take the stage at 7:30pm on Tues., Dec. 4. This is a free show.

On Thur., Dec. 6 both Lynn O’Brien (“Rising” Album Release) plus Annie Mack will take the stage at 7:30pm. This performance is reserved seating for $20, and presented by Sociable Cider Werks.

The Church of Cash Holiday Show will happen on Fri., Dec. 7 (early show), at 7pm. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show. The late show at 9:30 will feature Hoodphellas plus

Bigfoot Country for $9 in advance and $12 the day of the show.

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound plus Jon Rodine & Friends will perform Sat., Dec. 8, at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show.

The All I Want For Christmas Is Whiskey Tour featuring Dan Rodriguez will take the day Sun., Dec. 7 with a matinee at 3:30pm (the evening performance is sold out). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show if any tickets remain.

Indeed Brewing & Jazz 88 will present Jazz Indeed: Dave Karr & Friends on Tues., Dec. 11. Doors and beer samples open at 6pm with music starting at 7. This is a free show.

On Thur., Dec. 13, 7:30pm, settle in for the Radio Heartland 10th Anniversary Party with Erik Koskinen, Dustin Arbuckle & The Haymakers, Molly Maher, and Dusty Heart. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.

The Garagey Lil‘ Holiday Festival 2, The Castaways plus • The Sex Rays • Black Widows • Trash Street • Dose & Dinks • Fret Rattles • Burlesque Dancers • Dr. Bob’s Puppet Show will capture the evening Fri., Dec. 14, 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.

A Holiday Blues Show featuring Cornbread Harris & Friends will perform Thur., Dec. 20, 7:30pm. Tickets are reserved seating at $12 each.

Then settle in for Frogleg (photo left) New Years Eve plus The People Brothers Band on Mon., Dec. 31 for a New Years Eve blowout. Doors open at 8pm and music begins at 8:30pm. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 the day of the show and ticket includes champagne toast plus snacks at midnight.

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