Archive | IN THE NEWS

Carp being removed at Nokomis

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

In July, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) contractors began the process of removing carp from Lake Nokomis, using box nets that were tested at the site last fall.
This work is part of MPRB’s Lake Nokomis Carp Management Research project, whose goal is to develop a long-term plan to manage invasive carp at Lake Nokomis.
Netting and removal of the carp occured during late-night and early-morning hours, due to the feeding schedule of carp. Corn bait was used, as it is eaten by very few fish other than carp; any sport fish or radio-tagged carp caught in the nets were returned to the lake.
During the removal, people might have seen an electro-fishing boat on the lake, or lights from flashlights and headlamps used on the boat and along the shore. Floats on the water marked box-net locations and ropes were used to tie off nets to shore. The carp removal continued through Thursday, July 25.
Carp removal is part of a three-year project to improve Lake Nokomis’ water quality by reducing the lake’s population of this invasive species. Research conducted during the project will also guide the development of an Integrated Pest Management plan for the carp.
As a bottom-feeding fish, carp root through lake-bottom sediments for food, decreasing water clarity and releasing excess phosphorus into the water. This increase in nutrients diminishes water quality by stimulating algal blooms. Carp also eat and uproot vegetation, which can destroy a lake’s aquatic plant community. Lakes with an overgrowth of carp typically have high phosphorus concentrations, low water clarity, and little to no aquatic plant growth.
The MPRB was awarded funding for a carp management research project in 2016. At that time, staff observations and preliminary estimates of the carp mass in Lake Nokomis, determined by electrofishing, indicated that the carp population had become excessive.

Comments Off on Carp being removed at Nokomis

Community August 2019

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Longfellow Garden potluck supper
The Longfellow Garden Club invites all to a potluck supper on Wednesday Aug. 14 at 6:30 pm. for a late summer evening outdoors talking – and eating – all things garden. Share pictures and stories of pesky garden invaders, sluggish tomatoes or bumper crops. The event will be held in a member’s garden near 3207 37th Ave. S. Minneapolis. Look for details posted at that location. Bring a folding chair (if convenient) and something to share such as a dish using your own or locally grown produce. Ice water and tea will be provided. Feel free to bring a plate/utensils. The goal is to have a zero waste event.

Elder voices meets fourth Fridays
Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories) now meets the fourth Friday of each month which is July 26 and Aug. 23, 10-11:30 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 is childhood, there is adulthood and now is there elderhood? There will be a chance to weigh in on this topic.

Audition for ‘Ghost Play’
Classics Lost N Found Theater will hold auditions for “Ghosts of The Emerald Isle,” a script of original ghost stories written by Noreen K. Brandt, to be directed by Lisa M.W. Phelps(both Nokomis residents). Auditions will be 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13 and Wednesday, Aug. 14 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd St. in south Minneapolis. The show will be performed in October at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, and needs 12 to 15 men/women various ages. Call (612)724-4539 for further information.

Annual Community Family Fest Aug. 10
On Aug. 10, 2019, noon-5 p.m., attend a free, family-friendly event full of fun, entertainment, food and games for all ages at Thee House Uv Bethel, 4016 East 32nd St. in Minneapolis. This year’s event will feature a Parade complete with drum lines/ bands, a Resource fair, Food Trucks and an Ice Cream truck, and many forms of art an entertainment such as, team dancing, live music, face painting, break dancing, bouncy houses, basketball games and much more. The Parade will begin promptly at noon and participates should be on Lake St. and 41st Ave. at 11 a.m.

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, Aug. 14, 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

NNO at Minnehaha Senior Living
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. Enjoy free games, music, free frozen treats, and drawings for Twins Prizes.

Dispose of household hazardous waste
Hennepin County organizes collection events throughout the year to give residents more convenient local disposal options for their household hazardous wastes. There’s a neighborhood drop-off site at South High School for Household Hazardous Waste on Aug. 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at South High School (enter off 21st Ave. S.), 3131 19th Ave. S. Minneapolis. Visit the website below to learn what can and can’t be dropped off:

Share the River Gorge July 25
Share the River Gorge – a community event with free ice cream, free canoe rides, free rowing, live music by the Arborators (who perform in trees!), walking tours of the oak savanna restoration and more – will be held at 35th and W. River Parkway on Thursday, July 25, 6-8 p.m.Canoe rides provided by Wilde rness Inquiry and the National Park Service, and rowing with the Minneapolis Rowing Club will be staged from the sand flats below the stone steps at 34th and W. River Parkway. The event is sponsored by the Longfellow Community Council (LCC) Environment and River Gorge Committee. Ice cream will be provided by East Lake Dairy Queen. Expect to see lots of friends and neighbors celebrating the river and enjoying the national park in our neighborhood! For further information, contact Justin at LCC at 612-722-4529 or
Entrepreneurship information session
WomenVenture offers a variety of different services to those planning to start or expand a for-profit business. Come learn about the programs WomenVenture offers at a free information session at the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association office (4557 34th Ave S) on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or Monday, Sept. 23, 6-7 p.m. More at

Free class: finance your hustle
If you are a business owner looking for financing or have a side hustle that you want to grow, this conversation is for you. During this 3-hour session hosted by Women Venture, dive into your business goals and the hurdles you’ve run into, learn about aspects of a healthy business, and talk about attitudes toward taking on debt as a strategy for business growth. A session will be held on July 25, 5-8 p.m., Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (2001 Plymouth Avenue North). More at

Rotary Club meets
The South Minneapolis meets each Tuesdays at 7:15 a.m., Urban Ventures Center for Families, 3023 4th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. Learn more by emailing The club was chartered in 1996 as a special project by the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club with the support of the Edina Rotary Club. It’s the first Rotary club in the nation to be established in an inner city neighborhood. Located in the Central neighborhood, the club celebrates the cultural diversity of the area. The unique position as an urban club provides other Rotarians the opportunity to share in their vitality, diversity and growth.

Hook & Ladder shows
Greg Koch & Rick Vito featuring The Koch-Marshall Trio will peform on Saturday, July 27 at The Hook & Ladder in Minneapolis.Mascot/Players Club recording artists, The Koch Marshall Trio — fronted by internationally revered, genre-melding, guitar fiend, Greg Koch — weave their powerful, organ fueled, super-electrifying sound with sharpened, artistic eloquence comparable to the likes of: Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall and Bonnie Raitt.
Also that night, The Belfast Cowboys will lean-in to the quieter, acoustic Van tunes for a beautifully intimate night in the Mission Room. With almost 100 Van Morrison songs in their repertoire and the full nine-piece band rocking to an upbeat, raucous crowd nearly every performance, many of the slower tempo, tender songs go unplayed. The night will feature tunes like, ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Bulbs’, ’In the Garden’, ‘Beside You’, and many more.
The Hook & Ladder is excited to announce the return of Wild Age on Friday, July 26, a Twin City psych-pop band, for the exclusive public showing their brand new music video and three new singles! With them, St. Paul singer-songwriter, A.P. Simpson and local 6-piece indie rock/dream pop/shoe-gaze band, Michael. Minneapolis psych-pop outfit Wild Age specialize in breezy, hook-driven tunes that are as concise as they are catchy. Ever prolific, the band presents three brand-new singles: On Tv, The Mine, and Toe Tag — three vignettes find primary songwriter McCoy Seitz parsing his thoughts on a range of topics from celebrity to gun violence to a soundtrack of familiar-but-fresh nostalgia rock provided by bandmates Blair Ransom, Matt Ahart, August Ogren, and Leng Moua.
Catch Trent Romens Presents: Calico Tango (album release) with special guests Trucker Funk featuring Toby Lee Marshall and Andy Boterman on Saturday, Aug. 10. A young artist on the rise with an electrifying stage presence and a deeply personal guitar‐playing style, Trent Romens leads, Calico Tango. The group is backed by a collection of all-star Minneapolis musicians including, John Wright (Galactic Cowboy Orchestra), Toby Lee Marshall (Koch Marshall Trio), Alec Tackmann (Galactic Cowboy Orchestra), Brian Highhill (Pavielle, Sonny Knight) & Matty Harris (Baker London) – a group destined to move the crowd.
Cosmic folk rock group, Rich Mattson & The Northstars, lead by singer-songwriter and record producer, Rich Mattson (The Glenrustles, Ol’ Yeller, Tisdales, Bitter Spills, Sparta Sound) with Germaine Gemberling’s hauntingly emotive, classic folk-county vocals will perform on Saturday, Aug. 17. Also taking the stage, midwestern emo-pop-rockers from Manhattan, Kansas, the Headlight Rivals.

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, Aug. 19 for the Aug. 29 issue.

Comments Off on Community August 2019

Little Brothers mural celebrates elders

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) dedicating its newly installed exterior mural on Thursday, June 20 at its offices at 1845 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. The three-part mural, which was funded by a Great Streets grant through the Lake Street Council, celebrates elders and the importance of friendship to offset isolation and loneliness as we get older.
The mural was created by local artist Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl and spans the 45-foot length of LBFE’s brick building. At its highest point, the mural extends nearly 18 feet from the ground. It depicts three separate pairs of friends.
“The whole time I was designing this mural I was thinking of my relationship with my grandmother, the things we would do together, and the warmth I felt for her,” said Dahl. “I tried to embody these feelings with the different friendship pairs, showing a closeness and a comfort.”
Dahl painted the images of the pairs of friends, who are representative of LBFE’s Visiting Companions program, on parachute cloth and adhered the cloth to the brick. To create the elements surrounding the elders, Dahl collaborated with LBFE’s elder program participants.
“The elders who helped to create this mural chose objects and symbols that represent the friendships they found through LBFE,” she explained.
“LBFE has a simple mission to connect caring volunteers with lonely older adults,” said James Falvey, LBFE’s Executive Director. “This mural shows the beauty of those friendships while depicting a positive image of aging. We hope it will inspire more people to join us and forge a new friendship with a wonderful older adult in our community.”

Comments Off on Little Brothers mural celebrates elders

Too Much Coffee: Cassandra Holmes asks you to make a phone call

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Tesha M. Christensen, owner & editor

At 14, Trinidad Flores was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which an enlarged heart struggles to pump blood. His mom, Little Earth’s Cassandra Holmes, watched him endure three surgeries and a failed heart transplant before he died in 2013 at age 16.
Now she’s leading a charge to decrease the pollution in South Minneapolis.
She doesn’t want to see any more neighborhood babies born in need of breathing tubes, or young people who’ve succumbed to asthma and diabetes.
During a community meeting about the Roof Depot site off Hiawatha and 28th St. on June 17, 2019, Holmes walked through the crowd holding up maps that show how many kids in the neighborhood have been treated for lead poisoning, how many have visited the emergency room because of asthma attacks, and how many have dealt with arsenic poisoning.
For every 10,000 people, over 200 are hospitalized because of asthma in this area. Of the 7,000 children who live in Phillips, about 40% live in poverty and 80% fall into various ethnic groups.
The Clark/Berglin Environmental Justice Law was enacted by the state legislature in 2008 in an effort to curb the amount of pollution in this South Minneapolis area, particularly in the Arsenic Triangle near Cedar and 28th where the Smith Foundry and Bituminous Roadways asphalt plant still operate, belching out fumes each day over Phillips, the Midtown Greenway, South High School, and the rest of us.
“This is what environmental injustice looks like,” former state legislator Karen Clark told those gathered on June 17 at the East Phillips Recreation and Cultural Center.
“People tell me, “I plug my nose when I drive past your neighborhood,” observed Steve Sandberg.
“We want to live a long life and we don’t want any more trucks in our community,” said Holmes. She pointed out that residents have asked the city to consider the load Phillips already carries and support the EPNI plan community members put together in response to the needs they know they have.
They see the trouble residents have finding apartments and homes they can afford. They see the problem of not having access to fresh, green vegetables. They want their kids to have better. They want to be part of fixing things for their neighborhood and the world, and they have some bright ideas about using aquaponics and solar power in their corner of South Minneapolis. They’re inspired by the Midtown Greenway and want to fashion a neighborhood that places a high priority on biking and walking – two methods of travel that are accessible to the poor and the rich, build better health, and don’t spew pollution into the air.
And so the idea for the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm was born. To make it affordable, planners pinpointed a large building that they could reuse (another green initiative).
But the city has other plans for the former Roof Depot site, and it involves moving its water yard there. They intend to use the land to store manhole covers, sewer pipes, and sand-salt mix, and send out public work’s fleet of diesel trucks into other areas, concentrating the air pollution. Although EPNI once sought to buy the entire site, after the city threatened eminent domain and subsequently purchased it out from under the community, EPNI asked for three acres, then two acres, and then one acre.
“They said ‘No,” pointed out Holmes. And they haven’t once allowed the community group to present to the city council.
So she asked community members to take out their phones, and engage in grassroots organizing by calling their city council members one by one and asking them to support the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm.
Twenty-nine-year-old Margarita Ortega took out her phone. “I know what it’s like to grow up in pollution and grow up with asthma and breathing problems,” Ortega said. “I have two children going through it, as well.” The Little Earth resident also knows what it is like to struggle to find green food, and is excited by the idea of an indoor urban farm within a few blocks of her house. She shook her head when talking about city staff and council members. “They’re just worried about money and power,” she said.
Adam Fairbanks doesn’t live in South Minneapolis anymore, but his family still does. He took out his phone, too, and started calling city council members. He works with Red Lake and helped meet the needs of residents at the Wall of Forgotten Natives last year where he saw the large number of nebulizers and inhalers prescribed to those who were there. He blames the smog and pollution in Phillips for the health problems residents have.
“I’m amazed that the city has not supported this project,” Fairbanks said.
“They don’t listen,” agreed Cindi Sutter, who has dreams of living at a revitalized Roof Depot and having access to garden plots and solar energy.
Abah Mohamad had her phone out, too. She’s also baffled about why the city isn’t supporting the urban farm plan. “It has everything the community needs,” Mohamed pointed out. “I’m a little bit emotional and very upset. It is the only hope and only vision that this neighborhood has. It’s exactly what will serve the neighborhood.”
Is this the same city and the same leaders that are telling the nation that they are encouraging community involvement, racial equity, and affordable housing?
Is this the same city that pledged to do something about homelessness following the largest homeless encampment last summer that this state has ever seen, and is going into another summer without having made much progress towards solving things?
Are they really ignoring a plan that’s already in process, is designed, has funds already designated, and could be up and running quickly in a building currently sitting empty that helps our community solve homelessness in a comprehensive manner?
Talking about issues and supporting grassroots activism is something newspapers are very, very good at. We’re here to shine the light into the dark corners of government, like this one. We’re here to give you the information you need to change your communities for the better.
While the Roof Depot site and the center of the controversy is in Phillips neighborhood, it isn’t confined to that one neighborhood. It affects all of South Minneapolis. If this water yard and its trucks start traveling along Cedar and Hiawatha and 26th and 28th, the pollution center will spread outward. Travel along the Midtown Greenway now in the Longfellow/Seward section and you’ll be accosted by the strong fumes from the existing foundry and asphalt plant, as well as vehicle traffic.
This is an issue that affects the health of our children, our ability to breath in this city that we love, and our ability to live the lives we want to.
And, so, Holmes is asking, “Will you take out your phone?”

Comments Off on Too Much Coffee: Cassandra Holmes asks you to make a phone call


Community Advisory Committee members, residents support simpler plan at Hiawatha Golf Course

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

‘Simplify things’
What can the Hiawatha Golf Course Community Advisory Committee (CAC) agree on?
Towards the end of the sixth CAC meeting on June 11, 2019, members began working on a list of recommendations for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) on what they’d like included in the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan. Three concepts with various amenities such as environmental play areas, fishing pier, BMX/pump track, disc golf, water access, amphitheater, aqua range, larger parking lot, bird blinds, outdoor firepits, and more had been presented in March 2019.
However, CAC members can’t agree on what form golf should take in the future as some members continue to push for an 18-hole golf course.
CAC members began working on their list following over an hour of community comment and about an hour of comment from themselves. Any of the 100 or so people gathered who wanted to speak were given a chance to, and the meeting went late. Over 200 people also submitted comments at open houses held earlier this year, and many others shared input via an online survey.
“The consensus seems to be less is more,” said CAC member Anne Painter after hearing public comments. “Simplify things. Nokomis is right next door.”

CAC members want to balance natural and recreation spaces with appropriate plantings, while keeping costs low for both capital improvements and maintenance.
The majority of CAC members agree that pollution mitigation with the involvement of the city is a top priority.
“Trash and pollution mitigation have to be incorporated into what we’re doing,” stated CAC member Nathan Shepherd.
A revised or improved clubhouse with winter activity is recognized as a nice amenity to have at Hiawatha Golf Course, and some from the audience voiced support for a dog patio. Others were concerned this would gentrify the neighborhood.
All seemed to agree on a more purposeful interpretation of African American and Indigenous history, art, and culture at the site, whether that is through public art or menu items at the clubhouse.

CAC members Roxanne Stuhr (left) and Sean Connaughty share their idea for the future of Hiawatha Golf Course, one that focuses on water being in the low areas. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Most CAC members would also like to see the fence come down strategically in order to increase accessibility to park and water.
There was a lot of discussion around having a safe walking path around Lake Hiawatha, and whether it should be directly adjacent to lake or not. Over the past few years many citizens have stated they’d like to be able to walk around the whole of Lake Hiawatha as they do Lake Nokomis. CAC member Sean Connaughty, who has removed over 6,000 pounds of trash from the lake over the past few years and serves on the Friends of Lake Hiawatha, is concerned that if a trail is installed next to the lake in the areas that are currently undeveloped that the diversity of wildlife around Lake Hiawatha will disappear. “We won’t have otters living around the lake,” he observed.
Neighborhood resident Ryan Seibold agreed and urged CAC members to “keep this area the sanctuary that it is.”

CAC member Kathryn Kelly submitted a petition with the signatures of over 400 people who support keeping an 18-hole golf course. In its 2017 directive to the CAC, park board members directed them to create an option with at least 9 holes of golf.
Craig Nichols, who is a CAC member and golfer, pointed out that many of the items in the three concepts created for the site are available at other parks. “It seems a little bit to me that we’re taking one community and saying we want another community to use it instead,” he stated.
He pointed out that incorporating some pieces of the concepts developed by the design team, such as putting bee hives and wildflowers on the property, could be done if it remained an 18-hole golf course.
Twenty-year South Minneapolis resident Dave Frolick observed that there are options for biking and activities at nearby parks, but there is no other place to golf but Hiawatha. He observed that his 18-year-old son, Jay, has been part of the First Tee program at Hiawatha Golf, and just recently had the opportunity to play at Pebble Beach.
“This area wants to be a wetland,” observed Connaughty. He held up a concept for the property that he and a few others had worked on and showed it to the group gathered. “Can we use the dry spaces and existing topography and layout to create 9-holes?” Connaughty asked. “I think we can design this to be self-sustaining in a way that doesn’t need to be constantly managed and manipulated.”
Landscape designer and CAC member Roxanne Stuhr remarked that the golf course shouldn’t be the only place for water to go. “Our neighborhood is a sponge,” she said. “Each of us has a house where we can absorb water.” If it isn’t absorbed there, it goes into city streets and down into waterways, where it causes flooding.
Community member Bobby Warfield pointed out that 14 billion gallons of water flow into Lake Hiawatha, and the park board is concerned about 292 million gallons that have been deemed excessive pumping at the golf course. He blamed the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and those upstream for not doing their job and causing problems downstream.
“It costs $15,000 to pump. We’re going to spend $60 million to make it into a monument to ourselves? That doesn’t solve anything,” Warfield said to applause from attendees.
“Our neighborhood is home to an expanding number of families who desire more opportunities than just golf,” stated Matt Hilgart.

Some members of the public expressed concern during the meeting about MPRB selling the golf course property to private developers who might build homes on the land. According to Pederson, while MPRB can sell park land it is incredibly difficult.
“To sell property, we’d need to define the property as no longer needed for park purposes, then seek property disposal approval through the district court. During that district court hearing any party can step forward and dispute our disposal intentions as being unnecessary,” Pederson said.

Throughout the meeting at Pearl Park, attendees expressed frustration that they couldn’t hear what the CAC members were saying. They requested that CAC members stand up and face them, which most did after being asked. Some stepped off to the side to make it easier for audience members as well as fellow CAC members to hear.
Following the meeting, Pederson said that he intends to bring a microphone to remaining meetings when CAC members are speaking to the public or the public to the CAC members.
The conversation about what should be included in the master plan will be continued at a later meeting; a date has not yet been set. The CAC may have preferred concept by August 2019. If that happens, a public hearing is likely for October following a 45-day comment period.

Curious about water issues?
Curious about how Lake Hiawatha works within the larger Minnehaha Creek watershed?
Go here for answers:
>> Minnehaha Creek Watershed District studies:
>> 2017 Water Management Alternative Assessment for Hiawatha Golf Course:
>> Hiawatha Golf Course Assessment Area Pumping of Groundwater & Stormwater Project page:
>> Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park Master Plan,

Comments Off on Community Advisory Committee members, residents support simpler plan at Hiawatha Golf Course

Art Show highlights top four companies identified in Lake Hiawatha trash

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

“Anthropocenic Midden Survey – Lake Hiawatha Trash Survey 2019” is a public art installation that focuses on the top four corporations found in the trash at Lake Hiawatha.
The outdoor display will be up for the whole summer and the indoor display ends July 14. View it at MCAD (2501 Stevens Ave.) in the sculpture garden located on 26th St.
On April 20, 2019, 104 volunteers removed 350 pounds of trash from the circumference of Lake Hiawatha in 2.5 hours, including 18,897 items. All of the items were sorted and cataloged. The brand names and parent corporation of each visible brand were recorded. The top four corporations from all the categories have the distinction of being represented in this public sculptural installation. They are 1. Pepsico 2. Coca Cola 3. McDonalds and 4. Mars Corporation. A comprehensive trash survey was also created and accompanies the exhibit.
SENA resident Sean Connaughty is a Minneapolis-based artist and teacher who has been working on addressing severe pollution problems at Lake Hiawatha, his neighborhood lake, for the past five years. Working with his community he has removed 6,000 lbs. of mostly styrofoam and plastic trash since 2015. Lake Hiawatha is home to diverse wildlife and is a key migratory stop for birds and is a tributary to the Mississippi River via Minnehaha Creek. Despite these cleanup efforts the Lake remains littered with trash with more arriving at every rainfall.
“As I see it there are three groups that bear responsibility for the trash in Lake Hiawatha. They are the producer, municipality and consumer. All three will need to change their practices if we are to successfully address the pollution of Lake Hiawatha and the degradation of our water and critical habitat. The municipality in this case is the city of Minneapolis government and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board,” said Connaughty. “They created and manage the public infrastructures that deliver polluted stormwater to our shared water resource.”
The complete trash survey data:

Comments Off on Art Show highlights top four companies identified in Lake Hiawatha trash


Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

For the past 25 years, the Longfellow Business Association has been working to insure a vibrant business climate in the Greater Longfellow neighborhood. “We provide small business advocacy, referrals to grants and technical assistance, and networking and marketing through our monthly meetings. All are welcome – please join us!” encourages LBA staff member Kim Jakus. “We also partner with The Messenger on our Longfellow Business Directory, which is printed and distributed to over 8,000 households in the neighborhood.” Learn more about the LBA or sign up for the weekly e-newsletter at Board members, left to right: Jon Peterson (River Lake Clinic), Kathy Nelson (writer), Dan Kennedy (Kennedy & Cain), James Freid (Big Bell Ice Cream and the Minnehaha Scoop), Denis Woulfe (Longfellow Nokomis Messenger), Kristi Adams (Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors) and Jill Spanitz-Marckel (Applied Energy Innovations). Not Pictured: Ann Mosey (Tapestry Folkdance), Michael Cain (Kennedy & Cain), Cheri Kay Getz (US Bank), Dan Swenson (Alexander’s Import Auto Repair) and Kim Jakus (LBA staff). (Photo submitted)

Are you part of the vibrant business community in Longfellow?

Call Denis today at 651-917-4183.


Tags: ,

Redhawks’ state title hopes slip away but future remains bright

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen


The Redhawks played a nearly perfect Class 2A state baseball championship game on June 20, 2019, but ended up losing 4-2 to Duluth Marshall when they scored three runs in the seventh inning. (Photo submitted by Minnehaha Academy)

Minnehaha Academy had everything clicking in the Class 2A state baseball championship game June 20,2019, before a late rally by Duluth Marshall to thwart the Redhawks’ title hopes.
The Redhawks built a 2-0 lead on top-seeded Duluth Marshall and carried the lead into the sixth inning. Things still looked promising for the Redhawks with a 2-1 lead going into the final inning at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Hilltoppers had only six hits in the game at the point, and their star pitcher Ben Pederson was rapidly approaching a 100-pitch day.
“We played almost a perfect game,” Scott Glenn said about the title game. “We had it set up exactly how we wanted it, and they just beat us. Not much we can say other than tip the hat to them.”
Duluth Marshall scored three runs in the seventh inning en route to a 4-2 win over the Redhawks. It started with a double and a fielding error that placed a runner on third to start the inning. Redhawks starting pitcher Brock Brumley exited the game.
Bennett Theisen entered the game in relief of Brumley, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding against the Hilltoppers soon enough. The Hilltoppers grabbed a 4-2 lead, and the Redhawks couldn’t answer with their bats in a hitless bottom of the seventh.
It ended a promising run for the Redhawks (20-5), which sought its third state title in four years. The Redhawks won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, which had many of this year’s seniors on the roster. That included Brumley and Theisen, who pitched in the 2017 title game, won 6-4 by the Redhawks over Pierz.
Glenn said it was a good bookend to their high school careers. Theisen will pitch at the University of Minnesota next year, and Brumley will pitch at Division I Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.
Senior shortstop Noah Dehne, who started all four years for the Redhawks, will play at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. Dehne went 3-4 in the June 20 championship game.
Junior right fielder Jake McCabe drove in a run for the Redhawks, which scored Dehne in the third inning. Dehne drove in a run earlier in the inning when he got on base with a single.
Minnehaha Academy came into the game red-hot at the plate with a 9-1 win over St. Peter and a 12-5 win over LaCrescent-Hokah in the first two rounds of the tournament at St. Cloud June 13-14. The Redhawks had to face a MLB prospect in Pederson this time around with Duluth Marshall.
“We killed the ball,” Glenn said about the first two rounds. “We hadn’t done that all year. It gave us a good chance to get back to Target Field.”
While Glenn and company didn’t take home the first-place hardware, he hopes his players will keep things in perspective.
“To come so close, to end your career playing at Target Field, that’s a good deal. I think most kids would take that,” Glenn said.
Minnehaha Academy may not be done after this spring despite the graduation of 10 seniors from the team. Glenn believes the Redhawks can reload.
“It’ll be different, but I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat next year when you look at the pitching we have coming back,” Glenn said. “We’re going to have two soon-to-be senior kids who are both very good pitchers. We need to replace some key starters and find some hitters.”
“I think we should have a pretty good chance to get back at least to state,” added Glenn.

Comments Off on Redhawks’ state title hopes slip away but future remains bright

Tags: ,

Look out! Here comes LoLa… to the Highland Fest?

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen


LoLa volunteer Megan Moore coordinates the Winter Fine Arts Exhibition and the LoLa tent at Highland Fest.

The League of Longfellow Artists (LoLa), best known for their annual art crawl in the Longfellow neighborhood, Sept. 21–22 this year, is heading across the river to also participate in the Highland Fest art fair, July 20–21. That is, a dozen LoLa artists will be sharing a tent during the annual summer event. In addition to some of their own art for sale, these Longfellow artists will have “save the date” postcard reminders for visitors, and will answer questions about LoLa for the curious.
Fest organizers had contacted Megan Moore, painter and LoLa volunteer, and she recruited fellow LoLa artists and the art crawl steering committee to share the cost as an opportunity to promote LoLa to a wider audience, and to support neighbors in Highland by renting space in their event. “I am excited to see LoLa artists collaborating together for an event hosted outside our organization,” says Moore.
The shared tent at Highland Fest is one of several recent changes for LoLa, now in its 11th year.
Administration of the artist-led organization passed from co-founders Bob Schmitt and Anita White, through a transitional year in 2014, to 2015, when Dave Holliday, spouse of artist and educator Meg Erke, stepped in to keep the crawl going.
During Holliday’s leadership, LoLa became a nonprofit, eliminating the need for a fiscal agent, a service that had been provided by the Longfellow Community Council. Additional changes during that time include a new format for the crawl’s printed materials, from a large folded map to a half-letter-size brochure, an updated website by David Skarjune, and the Winter Fine Art Exhibition launched by Moore in 2018.

LoLa co-chair Lisa Anderson said, “I get excited for LoLa every year because it’s fun to see what new and returning artists are up to. I am very excited that we are really promoting how easy it is to bike around the crawl.” (Photo submitted)

“I was happy to step into the LoLa leadership team in 2015 when it looked like the Crawl wasn’t going to happen that year,” recalls Holliday, crediting other volunteers who helped make the crawl happen. “Dan Goddard, Megan Moore, Sally Lieberman, Lisa Anderson, Steve Clark, and Shirley Neilsen joined me. We made a few changes that year including tightening the LoLa boundaries (but grandfathering in LoLa artists outside those boundaries), and moving the crawl from August to the third weekend of September. Our team also ramped up fundraising efforts and rewarded our sponsors with a beautiful ad in the newly created LoLa Art Crawl brochure designed by Megan Moore.” The brochure and other materials are now created by graphic designer Ann Wempner.
With a solid team of volunteers in place, Holliday decided it was time to pass the baton. “With some new professional obligations and a very active young family, I have decided to step off of the LoLa leadership team in 2019,” he says.
The new co-chairs are painter Lisa Anderson, who is also treasurer, and neighborhood arts enthusiast Steve Clark, who will coordinate several facets of organizing the crawl with the many artist volunteers.
“I walked parts of the Crawl in 2014 and fell in love with our neighbors’ creative abundance,” says Clark. “In 2015, I began to volunteer behind the scenes and have not stopped. Meeting artists has fostered a deep sense of gratitude for the riches they give to their community,” he says.

Anderson and Clark are also enthusiastic bicyclists; in fact, Anderson’s “day job” is in the bicycle industry. Their ideas for promoting this year’s crawl include touting the bicycle friendliness of the Longfellow Neighborhood, as well as the multimodal ways the crawl can be enjoyed, including the ease of finding free on-street parking near clusters of sites on the crawl, then strolling from site to site.

LoLa co-chair Steve Clark is planning to show visitors ways to experience the crawl this September in bite-size segments according to their particular interests and transportation modes. (Photo submitted)

“I get excited for LoLa every year because it’s fun to see what new and returning artists are up to. I am very excited that we are really promoting how easy it is to bike around the crawl. Our neighborhood is a very bike-friendly neighborhood – we need to shout that from our roof tops,” says Anderson.
Clark is planning to show visitors ways to experience the crawl this September in bite-size segments according to their particular interests and transportation modes.
“The 2019 Crawl promises to reveal many of the paths and routes visiting crawlers take,” he says. “You don’t have to travel more than a few blocks before our signature yellow signs dot lawns and curbs, inviting you in to explore. Key to helping new and returning crawlers reach artists’ doors, yards, studios, and hosting businesses, is showing them how easy it can be to bicycle, skip, skateboard, stroll, walk and drive to new and familiar sites. We look forward to making these options more clear and exciting than ever before.”

The LoLa steering committee also includes photographer Sue Romain, secretary and member liaison; glass mosaic artist Chris Miller, sponsor recruitment and marketing; and this writer, working with Miller on marketing.

Comments Off on Look out! Here comes LoLa… to the Highland Fest?

Minnehaha Academy student honored for explosion story podcast

Posted on 24 July 2018 by calvin

A podcast done in the aftermath of a natural gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy, 3100 W. River Pkwy., telling the stories of those who experienced the tragedy, has been named one of the top winners in a student podcast competition sponsored by the New York Times.

Emma Melling (photo right provided) was a senior at the school at the time of the explosion, which occurred on Aug. 2, 2017, and killed two staff members and injured nine other people.

She was at home when the explosion occurred, but heard about it through a phone call.

“I watched it on the news and later went to the school,” Melling said. “It was overwhelming, with a lot of news crews all over the place.”

Receptionist Ruth Berg and custodian John Carlson were killed in the explosion. Melling had done an interview for the school paper a year earlier with Carlson, focusing on his kindness. “I went back and listened to the interview I had done with John, and felt how powerful it was to hear his voice,” Melling recalled. “The idea for the podcast came from that.” She said she wanted to let people tell their stories, in a simple enough way for anyone to listen.

“I interviewed teachers, students, other people in the school’s administration, one of the school’s chefs, the maintenance manager, the building supervisor and the president of the school,” she said.

The podcast, “August 2 stories,” was completed at the end of May this year. That was also when Melling and her journalism instructor, Reid Westrem, found out about the New York Times contest. She entered a five-minute segment from one of the episodes of the podcast.

One of those she interviewed was Laura DuBois, a chef at the school, whose husband Don is the maintenance manager. He was one who first was aware of the danger and got on the radio, warning everyone. ‘Laura was in the kitchen when she heard him yell over the radio to get out,” Melling said. She said her portion of the podcast when she recalled this was very emotional, very open and very honest. She entered a part of that interview, after checking with DuBois if it would be okay. “I wanted to make sure I did not exploit anyone’s story,” Melling said.

Melling, who graduated this spring and is planning on attending Bethel University, said doing the podcast was very difficult. “It has been a very emotional project, and I have carried around the weight of these stories for a whole school year,” she said. “I was the interviewer, and I had not actually gone through it. I felt much honored to hear these stories, and it just felt so great that these adults would open up to me and share their stories in such a personal way.”

Westrem, her teacher, agreed that this was a difficult project. He said those interviewed were talking about near-death experiences, maybe the most traumatic thing they had ever been through.

“We lost our co-workers, Ruth and John. These were stories people often don’t tell, and we are asking them to tell them to an 18-year-old high school student,” he said.

Westrem said that Emma had been his student for three years at that point, and he knew who she was and that he could trust her. “She is exceptionally mature, intelligent, sensitive and very compassionate,” he explained. “She is a good listener, and people trust her. She was the right person for this project.”

Photo left: Instructor Reid Westrem (left) and Emma Melling at her recent graduation. Melling was a Minnehaha Academy student who was named one of the top winners in a student podcast competition sponsored by the New York Times. (Photo submitted)

Part of his job is trying to find the right project for each student, Westrem noted. “I knew the explosion and its aftermath would dominate our year. I am proud of how Emma handled that responsibility. I know she struggled with the trauma for a whole year. Hearing the stories over and over, I am sure, took its toll on her.”

Westrem said that he and Emma agreed the proper way to dignify this subject without cheapening it or doing any injustice was to let people tell their own stories.

“Everyone had a different experience,” he claimed. “We were worried the stories would be the same and people would lose interest. But although they had a common bond, they were so different. The stories are affected by what you bring to the situation, your circumstances at the moment.”

He said he strongly believes one should not do a project for an award, but do it to contribute something to the community. “We feel journalism contributes something of value to the public,” he said, referring to the beliefs he and his students share.

“I have respect for Emma’s work and have always been proud of her, whether she wins a contest or not,” Westrem said. “She always tries to do her best work and is very respectful of other people’s stories. She does them with care.”

Westrem, who spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Czech Republic and has worked as a newspaper editor before turning to teaching as a career, also was a student at Minnehaha Academy in the 1980s. His cousins attended in the 1970s, and his parents in the 1940s.

He said that the tragic event in August 2017 drew graduates of the school back. “It was interesting to see how important this campus was to our community,” he said. “So many came back to visit the building.”

“From the first day of 9th grade, I teach my students that journalism is unique, telling people’s stories, going out to the whole world,” Westrem stated. He said that although he grew up in the world of print journalism, his students need to learn social media and podcasting. “I teach my students to communicate in as many ways as possible to help them in any career they choose.”

The 2018 Student Podcast Contest was the first that the New York Times sponsored and pitted 675 submissions against each other.

Comments Off on Minnehaha Academy student honored for explosion story podcast