Demolition to begin soon at Upper Campus

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

Demolition of the historic portion of the Upper School at Minnehaha Academy will begin soon. Following the explosion, a disaster recovery team was at the 3100 W. River Pkwy. site, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also conducted an investigation. During that time the NTSB prevented access to the site, even by the school’s agents. After access was restored, a preliminary engineering study was performed.

The report shows that the entire core of the campus—the 1912 and 1922 buildings, the link between them, and the STEM lab—was so intensely shaken by the blast that it must be razed, according to the school’s website. The demolition will take at least a few months to complete.

The gymnasium and fine arts wings survived with minimal damage and are free of environmental contamination. However, there is no utility service to them. The school began investigating the options of placing them back in service or “mothballing” them to avoid further damage. The amount of destruction that needs to be addressed is much larger than a layperson’s look at the structure would indicate.

According to a letter from President Dr. Harris and Board Chair David Anderson on Oct. 12, while school’s insurance company had determined that the 1912 and 1922 buildings and the STEM lab needed to be taken down in September, it took longer for the company to decide that the foundations of the historic buildings were also damaged beyond repair.

“That determination was made earlier this week, which is good news,” stated the letter.

“We now anticipate the demolition permit to be issued in about two weeks. The process includes a 10-day waiting period and a neighborhood meeting before the demolition can begin.”

Part of the procedure involves the proper separation of the healthy gym and fine arts wings. This needs to be done in a way that preserves their structural integrity and prevents environmental contamination. The demolition, including the mothballing of the healthy wings, should be completed by Thanksgiving.

Under continuing study are ideas to recover use of the soccer field next spring by re-sodding, and putting the gym and fine arts wings back in service.

“We thank you for your continued confidence in Min­ne­haha Academy, but also need your prayerful support as we move forward. We will keep you updated as things progress,” wrote Harris and Anderson.

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Letter to the Editor

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

Look at larger picture when you vote for Park Commissioners

To the Editor,
Every four years there is an election for the entire nine-member Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It is significant and humbling to be stewards of this great park system. We are pleased to see the interest in residents running for Park Board. It shows the commitment and passion Minneapolis has for parks, recreation, and our environment.

The last eight years have brought significant change to the parks. Things we are especially proud of are the 20-year neighborhood park capital plan, RiverFirst, bringing an equity-based system to making capital park improvements, dealing with Emerald Ash Borer, nearly tripling lifeguarding hours, and renovations of our regional parks. Together, these and other changes, have resulted in your Park System being named the best park system in the country for the last five years.

However, we have concerns that some candidates would irrevocably hurt our park system and the progress we have made. Six Commissioners are retiring (including us).

Most concerning to us is that a number of candidates want to use the Park System to advance their personal social agendas. We fundamentally disagree with this and encourage you to support candidates that will protect our parks and will make park system changes that reflect the collective wisdom of all Minneapolis residents. We also have had a history of strong women leaders as superintendents, commissioners, and lead staff, and need people of color on our next board and staff who reflect the diversity of our city.

We leave the Park Board in good shape. There are still significant challenges ahead that the new board will face, but we need people who will improve our great park system rather than dismantle it.

As elected Park Board incumbents that collectively have represented Minneapolis residents for 40 years, we ask that you vote for the following Park Board candidates: Abdi Gurhan Mohamad as your District 3 Park Board Commissioner, Steffanie Musich as your District 5 Commissioner and LaTrisha Vetaw, Meg Forney, and Mike Derus as your 3 At-Large Park Board Commissioners (select in order of preference).

These candidates will protect our parks, are uniquely qualified, will respect your opinions, and represent the rich diversity of our city. Please consider supporting them.

Scott Vreeland
John Erwin
Anita Tabb
Liz Wielinski
(Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioners)

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The importance of the Midtown Greenway

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

The Midtown Community Works collaborative is celebrating 20 years worth of development and success on the Midtown Greenway. This continued investment in the corridor has helped catalyze:
• $1 billion increase in property value within ¼ mile of the greenway
• 1.5 million square feet of new commercial space
• 4,390 new multifamily housing units
• More than $750 million in public and private investment
• Creation of thousands of new jobs in the corridor
• An increase in cycling in Minneapolis
• Over 5,000 plantings of trees and shrubs along the greenway

Also, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners has approved up to $765,000 for the final implementation of the Midtown Community Works program, which includes:
• Improving wayfinding
• Completing key bicycle and pedestrian connections
• Enhancing public space infrastructure

As a part of the collaborative, the Lake Street Council is looking forward to strengthening the connection between Lake Street and Midtown Greenway for businesses, residents, and tourists.


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NENA home loan program returns

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

NENA is pleased to announce the relaunch of its very popular home loan programs through its new partner, the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE). NENA is now offering two home improvement loan programs. Homes in the Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park and Wenonah neighborhoods are eligible. Loan applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Home improvement loans
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 apply. The interest rate is either 3.5% or 4.5% depending on income. No income restriction applies.

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 on the sale of the property or transfer of title.

More info and how to apply
For more information, or to request an application, call the Center for Energy and Environment at 612-335-5884, or visit the CEE website.

Business grants
Starting in November, NENA will be offering two new grants for Nokomis area businesses: the Marketing Matching Grant and the Business Partnerships Grant. The goals of these grant projects are to provide support for Nokomis East business districts, encourage business partnerships, and increase local customer traffic to our businesses.

Marketing matching grant
Businesses seeking to update their branding, website, marketing, or looking to attract more customers can apply for up to $2,000 for their project. This grant matches $1 for every $2 spent by the participant.

Business partnership grant
Two or more Nokomis East businesses that seek to engage in a short or long-term marketing or public engagement partnership can apply for up to $5,000 in matching funds.

Contact Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson at for more information.

Community snapshot
Beginning this fall, NENA will be reaching out to residents and gathering their ideas to create a Community Snapshot. NENA will capture needs, interests, and assets in our neighborhoods through this process.

Our staff and volunteers will reach out to all Nokomis East residents through door knocking, events, and online surveys. We hope to finish surveying the neighborhoods by the spring and finish the community snapshot by May. The community input we gathered will shape how we layout our work and projects for the next three years and the future of NENA.

If you have any ideas that you would like to share with NENA of what you would like to see, or if you have any questions about the community snapshot process, reach out to Tyra Payer at

Summer project recap
Summer was a busy season in Nokomis East, with several new NENA events, programs, and projects taking shape.

The Curb Appeal Matching Grant was launched in late spring, which awarded up to $500 to residents looking to make home improvements visible from the street. Sixteen residents had their homes painted, put in erosion prevention hardscaping, repaired walkways, and otherwise beautified their properties with the funds they received.

The Monarch Mile project installed 17 pollinator-friendly boulevard gardens in late July to form a pathway between the Nokomis Naturescape and the Gateway Garden on E. 50th St. boulevards.

The Bossen area in Wenonah neighborhood was also a flurry of activity, with over 200 residents attending the Bossen Renter’s Party in July. Thanks to funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Center of Prevention, NENA, and Minneapolis Parks, we were also able to host Bossen Summer Fun, a series of summer activities and workshops for kids at Bossen Field.

One of our most visible projects was the Bossen Mural on 58th St. Nokomis East artist Victor Yepez worked with neighborhood volunteers and mosaic artist Dani Bianchini to complete an artwork representing the entire area with a progression of day to night.
We look forward to continuing these successful events and programs next summer.

NENA At-Large Board seat
NENA is seeking applicants for a vacant At-Large Board seat. Applications are due by Nov. 8.

NENA is a growing community-based nonprofit organization serving four unique, welcoming neighborhoods with over 14,600 residents and dozens of businesses in the southeast corner of Minneapolis. NENA is dedicated to bettering the quality of life and building a sense of community pride by sponsoring actions which help our environment, businesses, and homes. We look for Board of Director members who are energetic, strategically-minded leaders to help NENA and our neighborhoods thrive.

If you live (homeowner or tenant), own property or a business, or work in Nokomis East, and are over the age of 18, you are eligible to apply. Completed Nomination Forms are due by Nov. 8.

The NENA Board of Directors will review all applications and appoint a new Board member at its Nov. 16 meeting. This is a replacement appointment serving from November 2017 to April 2019. The appointed Board member can run to be elected to the seat at the April Annual Meeting and serve a full two-year term.

Sign up for NENA News
NENA News is 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.

Upcoming meetings and events:
11/1/17: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 4313 E. 54th St., 6:30pm
11/8/17: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
11/16/17: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7pm
11/30/17: City of Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan Input Session, Morris Park Recreation Center, 5531 39th Ave. S., 6:30pm

• Web:
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• Email:
• Phone: 612-724-5652

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Transition Longfellow schedules November activities

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

Transition Longfellow is an all-volunteer group of Longfellow/South Minneapolis neighbors who create opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another while also learning how they can reduce their energy use and waste, grow more of their own food, and prepare for extreme weather ahead. Visit to learn more.

Preparedness Book Group meets Wed., Nov. 1, 6:30pm at Moon Palace Books (3260 Minnehaha Ave.) and Wed., Nov. 15, 6:30pm at Lake Coffee House on 33rd Ave. and Lake St.

The group is reading “Making Home: Adapting Our Homes and Lives to Settle in Place” by Sharon Astyk, chapters 12 and 13 on preparing for greater resilience in the face of a changing climate. This month’s topic is skill building, both practical and personal. No need to read the chapter in advance; the group reads out loud.

Movie Night is scheduled for Fri., Nov. 17, movie at 7:15pm. Watch the website for a NEW LOCATION and to see if there will be a potluck at 6:30. Meet new friends and neighbors and share a meal together.

This month’s movie is “Take Back Your Power,” a documentary looking at the rise of smart meters, used by utilities to remotely monitor home and business electrical use. (According to its website, Xcel has begun using these meters in Boulder, Colorado, but is not yet using them in Minneapolis.) The film provides evidence of in-home surveillance and privacy invasion, increased utility bills, health and environmental harm, home fires, and susceptibility for hacking. It also offers strategies citizens can use to prevent this technology from being installed. (For more information about the InPower movement, visit

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Election will change face of Minneapolis Park Board

Posted on 27 September 2017 by calvin

A wave of first-time candidates and new faces are looking to fill several empty seats left by incumbents on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. President Anita Tabb (District 4), Vice President John Erwin (at-large), At-Large Commissioner Annie Young, District 1 Commissioner Liz Wielinski, District 2 Commissioner Jon Olson, and District 3 Commissioner Scott Vreeland are not running for re-election.

The park board manages 160 neighborhood parks and 19 regional parks and has an annual budget of over $111 million.


Park_District3_AK_HassanAK Hassan
Since coming to Minneapolis in 2008, Hassan has served as a youth coordinator at Franklin Library, Outreach Officer for the Senate District 62 DFL, DFL Somali Caucus Chair, and Ventura Village Neighborhood Association Chair.

Hassan said his campaign is “about equal access to our beautiful parks for everyone—especially for our children—regardless of where they live. … I want to bring more growing space and community gardens into or near our parks, with District 3 serving as a pilot program, and add 100 native tree species plantings in the district. I want to see more educational opportunities and strong community and school board involvement in our parks, all of which is possible through equitable funding, coalition building, and by listening to residents’ needs and concerns.”

Parks_District3_GurhanAbdi Gurhan Mohamed
Born in a densely populated town in Somalia, Gurhan moved to the West Bank neighborhood in Minneapolis 12 years ago. He earned his degree in business administration from Metro State University. Gurhan has worked with the Somali Community of Minnesota and as Somali Public Radio host. He is the owner of two private businesses in Minnesota and employs over 40 workers. He also works as a strategy consultant.

“I am running as a candidate for Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board District 3 because I’m passionate about equity, sustainability, recreation and helping families thrive in our amazing city,” said Gurhan.

Park_District3_CharlesExnerCharles Exner
Exner would bring a renter’s voice to the park board. He earned a bachelor of arts in environmental studies from Augsburg College in 2016. Exner served on the Environmental Stewardship Committee there, which installed a permanent bike fix-it station on campus—something he’d like to see at all Minneapolis parks.

While working as an environmental consultant, he learned the ways the private sector attempts to fit sustainability into their profit margins. His tenure as a board member with the environmental nonprofit MPIRG taught him the importance of coalition building and showed him some of the obstacles that community groups face when dealing with the government. He is endorsed by the Green Party of Minnesota.


Parks_District5_AndreaFahrenkrugAndrea Fahrenkrug
Fahrenkrug has lived in South Minneapolis for over 20 years. She is a long-time member of the Junior League of Minneapolis, the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and Crew 52.

She is a past president of the Minneapolis Jaycees and Women’s Metro Links golf league.
She lists her top issues as “managing the wonderfully diverse park system while bringing back good fiscal management; celebrating the diverse nature of our park’s offerings, and ensuring basic park maintenance for all parks, not just a few.”

Parks_District5_steffaniemusichSteffanie Musich – incumbent
Musich is a resident of the Wenonah neighborhood and former president of the Friends of Lake Nokomis, which she helped form in 2010. She has been a Master Gardener with the University of Minnesota Extension service in Hennepin County since 2010.

“I am running for re-election to the park board because I am fully committed to ensuring that the parks implement policies that enable the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board to continue to adapt to park users’ needs as those needs change and evolve,” Musich said. “These policies need to also allow for sustainable growth and thoughtful maintenance of existing properties and amenities.”

Parks_District5_williamshroyerBill Shroyer
Shroyer has been an employee of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board for 17 years and is a certified arborist, park keeper, and aquatic facility operator. He is Union Steward and Recording Secretary of City Employees Local #363, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), and speaks English and Spanish.

If elected, he would: plan improvements and expansion that communities want and approve of; utilize full-time staff rather than outside contractors whenever possible; examine park board administrative costs; insist on real diversity not just sensitivity training; and put biomass and wood utilization as a guiding principle to “stop wasting thousands of trees removed each year.”


There are nine people are running for the three at-large seats that are available on the park board.
Charlie Casserly:
Mike Derus:
Meg Forney – incumbent:
Londel French:
Russ Henry:
Devin Hogan:
Jonathan Honerbrink:
Bob Sullentrop:
LaTrisha Vetaw:


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Rick’s Place welcomes vets and their families

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Rick’s Place is not your ordinary coffee shop. Walking through the doors of the storefront at 4307 E. 54th St., it feels informal and welcoming—but there’s not much that’s trendy about it.

Rick’s Place opened in late July as a gathering spot for veterans and their families, as well as members of the community. The owners proudly state that, by choice, there’s no WiFi. It’s a place where people can come to enjoy a cup of coffee and baked goods from Berry Sweet Kitchens just down the street, and it won’t cost much. It’s place where people, and especially war veterans, can come to connect with each other—and to feel safe.

Rick’s Place is currently open Monday through Friday from 8am-2pm, but that will likely change in the fall to an earlier start time. There is no charge for coffee or treats, though donations are welcome.

Tom Mckenna and his wife Jessi are the driving force behind Rick’s Place. Mckenna, whose job title is, ”Head Veteran Supporter,” was a member of the United States Marine Corps. He served on active duty from the time he was 18 until he turned 22. “When we were thinking about opening this place,” he said, “what we really wanted was to bring awareness to the veteran suicide epidemic. It’s estimated that as many as 20 vets kill themselves every day in this country.”

Master Sergeant Rick Gustafson, for whom Rick’s Place is named, was one of those vets. Gustafson was a member of the US Navy and the Air Force Special Operations Unit for 19 years, serving nine full combat deployments and several smaller missions during that time.

“Only about 10% of the military actually expects to see combat,” Mckenna said, “but Gustafson did in every one of his deployments. As a tactical air controller, his job was to parachute behind enemy lines to identify targets. For that to occur, he had to get really close. In the end, he was volunteering for deployments so that younger soldiers wouldn’t have to.”

Rick Gustafson committed suicide in May of 2015 while suffering from serious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a diagnosis that’s been around for as long as there have been wars.

Rick's Place 12Photo right: Tom Mckenna, Head Veteran Supporter at Rick’s Place with Mack, his service dog. Like more than half a million vets, Mckenna suffers from PTSD symptoms, which a service dog can help alleviate. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Opening Rick’s Place was something tangible that Tom and Jessi Mckenna could do for vets in this community. It sprang out of work their family had been doing for more than a decade.

Along with their three kids Brendan (19), Shannon (17), and Kayla (16), the couple had spent the last ten years collecting clothing, blankets, and personal care items, and delivering them all over Minneapolis to vets experiencing homelessness.

“The first time I met a homeless vet on the street, I asked him what he needed,” Mckenna said. “I expected him to say money, and I had a $20 bill ready. Instead, he said, ‘I need socks and underwear,’ so we walked to the nearest store we could find and bought him those things.”

He continued, “I’ve been through many programs and therapies at the VA (Veteran’s Administration). They do a great job, but they focus only on the veteran, and everyone else is secondary. Here at Rick’s Place, and at the nonprofit we operate next door called Every Third Saturday, we welcome spouses and extended families as well as vets. There’s healing power in being with a small group of people that have been through the same thing, and we’re cultivating that here.”

True to its name, Every Third Saturday opens its doors wide on the third Saturday of each month from 11am-1pm. Staff and volunteers distribute all manner of seasonal clothing, personal care items, sleeping bags, quilts, and more to vets who need them. The Every Third Saturday office is open from 8am-2pm, Monday through Friday. Mckenna said, “We encourage vets to come in during those hours whenever they need supplies or resources. Our biggest distribution day is every third Saturday, but we want vets to know that the office is open more than one day a month.”

Call 952-356-5116 with any questions about Rick’s Place, or to donate money or clothing to Every Third Saturday.

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Nokomis woman plays on local Australian football team

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin



Photo above: There are about 50 local players on the Minnesota Freeze men’s and women’s Australian Football teams. They play each Saturday at the Lake Nokomis fields along Cedar from April to mid-October. Practice begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by a scrimmage at 10:30 a.m. (Photo submitted)

Men’s and women’s Minnesota Freeze teams play games at the Lake Nokomis fields every Saturday during football season

The day Bri Ostoff moved into the Nokomis neighborhood three years ago, she joined the women’s Minnesota Freeze Australian Football team.

“I found the Minnesota Freeze on Meetup, a website for different activities, and they practiced in my new neighborhood at Lake Nokomis, so I decided to try it as a way to met people,” recalled Ostoff. “I have been hooked and playing for over three years.”

The Minnesota Freeze has over 50 members from the Twin Cities area playing on the men’s and women’s teams. Their season runs from the end of April to mid-October.

The teams are at Lake Nokomis fields just off Cedar on Saturdays with practices at 9am and inter-league scrimmage starting around 10:30 a.m. Men practice Wednesdays at Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington at 6pm, and women practice Mondays at Bryn Mawr Park in Minneapolis at 6pm.

The Freeze started in 2005 with a few Australians who had moved to Minnesota. But, you don’t need to be Australian to play with the Freeze. Today, the Minnesota team has the fewest Australians playing on it compared to any other in the U.S., while being one of the largest teams in the country. Ages of players range from as young as 16 all the way to 50. The Minnesota Freeze is part of the non-profit United States Australian Football League (USAFL), an organization dedicated to the development of and participation in Australian football in the United States.

The USAFL’s first ever game was played in 1996 between Louisville and Cincinnati at Louisville, Ky. The league was founded the following year in 1997 at the first USAFL Nationals in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The men’s Freeze team has won three National Championships: 2005 (Division 3), 2007 and 2012 (Division 2).

The women’s team travels twice a year, once to play its nearest team in Chicago and once to attend the USAFL National Championship Tournament. The men’s team travels more often because there are men’s teams to play in Des Moines, Chicago, and Madison.

But traveling is not a requirement, according to Ostoff. Many members just play locally until the Nationals in October.

“This is a welcoming team full of people who wanted to train and play like a team,” said Ostoff. “Some of us came from other sports. For some, this is their first team sport. It’s social, and the people are amazing. I do also really enjoy tackling people.”

The sport requires skill, strength, and strategic thinking. At whatever level one plays at, the game improves fitness, strength, and coordination.

Learning as she went
Like many others on the team, Ostoff had no idea what she was doing and learned the rules as she went. During her first game, she got a 50-meter penalty—that’s one rule she’ll never forget.
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players on an oval-shaped field that could easily fit an entire football field. There are no pads, but it is a full tackle sport. Games are played in two 20-minute halves with a 7-minute half-time break.

There are jump balls similar to basketball at the start of quarters, after goals, and when there is a struggle for possession without any prior opportunity, according to Ostoff. If a player tackles a person who has possession, the ball is turned over, and he/she gets a free kick. You have to kick the ball through the middle posts for 6 points; if you get this through the posts on either side on a kick, it is called a behind and worth only one point. A behind turns the ball over to your opponents’ defenders, and they get a free kick.

BriKaitKate_MNFreezePhoto right: The Australian Football team representing the United States in Australia in August 2017 included Minnesota Freeze players (left to right) Bri Ostoff, Kait Peterson, and Kate Mullins. (Photo submitted)

“It’s a continuously moving sport, so changes are made on the fly,” said Ostoff. “There are no offsides. And you can only score by kicking.”

Women and men’s teams play by the same rules.

“I find it to have similar structures to hockey,” noted Ostoff, who played hockey in high school and college. “It combines so many aspects of different sports that it fun to learn and we love to teach it.”

Ostoff’s biggest challenge has been learning how to kick, as this is the first sport she’s played where she needed that skill.

“The kick is most similar to a football punt, but it has its own technique because you should be able to kick without really breaking your running stride,” explained Ostoff. “This is something every American on the team has had to learn. Your kicks have to be accurate enough for your teammates to catch on the fly while fending off a defender.”

She typically plays the position of Half Back Flank, a defensive position on the D line closest to the midfield and flank. “Tall people are generally in the middle of the field,” stated Ostoff. “I’m short, so I play on the outside.”

Ostoff had competed in over 13 different sports growing up, so changing sports wasn’t a new idea for her.

“I love team sports,” Ostoff said. “Working and training to achieve a common goal is an amazing, empowering place for people to bond and grow.”

Representing the U.S. in Australia
This past August Ostoff went to Australia as a member of the USA Women’s Liberty team—a development team made up of women who play footy from across the U.S. Team members played local women’s clubs in Australia, winning three out of the five games. This opportunity exists every three years, and Ostoff learned about it during her rookie year and worked three years to make the team.

“It was amazing to play footy in Australia,” remarked Ostoff. “The feel is similar to small-town hockey. The whole town comes out to support their clubs and cheer each other on. It was a great honor to represent the USA and our women.”

The Minnesota Freeze is always looking for new men and women to join and play. More at

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Thousands celebrate monarchs at 2017 Monarch Festival

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Article and photos by JILL BOOGREN

Thousands gathered under sunny skies near the Naturescape of Lake Nokomis on Sept. 9 for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca. The annual event celebrates the 2,300-mile journey of monarchs from Minnesota to Mexico, through art, music, dancing, and food. The festival also teaches visitors about the butterfly’s life cycle and the importance of growing monarch habitat—milkweed and native flowering plants—for their survival. The festival is hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab and the U.S. Forest Service.

2017 Monarch Fest 03Photo left: Mina Leierwood, from Powderhorn, decorated her bike for her first visit to the Monarch Festival. She will be part of a monarch butterfly migration shanty on Lake Harriet this winter, inside of which will be a re-creation of the forest in Mexico (those interested in participating can reach Leierwood at Emerson School).


2017 Monarch Fest 06Photo right: Alice Thueringer from Northrup decorates a bright orange pennant at the Minneapolis Institute of Art tent.





2017 Monarch Fest 05Photo left: A goal of the festival is to raise awareness about the importance of growing monarch habitat. Vendors, like Minnesota Native Landscape (staffed here by Ridge Campbell), had plenty of monarch-friendy native plants for sale so people could grow monarch habitat in their yards.


2017 Monarch Fest 04Photo right: Dancers of Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue dance “for the butterflies and our families.” “Comme les mariposas—like the butterflies—we come for safety and a better life,” the group leader told the huge crowd assembled.



2017 Monarch Fest 02Photo left: Tara Fahey, upper right, and Dylan McDonald, next, lead the costume parade through the festival. Fahey, from Powderhorn, is with Chicks on Sticks. McDonald, from Cooper, learned stilts in a class with Art Start.




2017 Monarch Fest 01Photo right: The always-popular Monarch Education tent, under the guidance of the U of M Monarch Lab, teaches visitors about the monarch life cycle. Butterflies with tracking tags, like the one shown here, are then released outdoors, where they’ll feast on nectar to fuel up for their long flight south. Over 150 butterflies were released throughout the day.

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Food, friends, and fun mark Nokomis Block Party

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Article and photos by JILL BOOGREN

It was a taster’s delight on Sept. 10, as people sampled a variety of food at the 8th Annual Nokomis Block Party at 51st St. and 34th Ave. On the menu were some of the foods featured at Oxendale’s Market as well as corn on the cob and root beer floats. People also got to listen to music by the Stone Arch Jazz Band, play games, make art, check out booths of local businesses, and visit the Classic Car Show. The Block Party is hosted by Oxendale’s, Nokomis East Business Association (NEBA), Faith Lutheran Church and McDonald’s Liquors.

2017 NEBA Block 02Photo left: Jack Dickinson, of Sand Creek Post and Beam, Kerstin Erickson, with Nokomis Shoe Shop, and Scott Wende, of St. Paul based-Lunning Wende Associates, pose together at the NEBA booth. “Bridging community and coming together in unity is this event in a nutshell,” said Erickson.



2017 NEBA Block 05Photo right: Jean Kemling and Monica Hirsch taste chicken on a stick.






2017 NEBA Block 03Photo left: Ora Jones, left, and Aris Vogt guide young Elliott Nevergall as he tries his hand at a “Plinko” game.









Photo right: 2017 NEBA Block 04Local “Spicy Girl” Dhea Tait sells her sauces at local farmers markets.






2017 NEBA Block 01Photo left: Left to right: Roosevelt High School Wrestlers Neil Grube, Andres Freberg, Ethan Mack, Benji Huff and Ben Oman, take to the mat. Their matches will begin in November.

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St. Paul Ballet

All Energy

Chanhassen Dinner Theatre