Archive | LONGFELLOW

Longfellow Businesses: LBA wants to hear from you

Posted on 11 February 2020 by Tesha Christensen

This March, the Longfellow Business Association (LBA) is hosting focus group to learn how to better support the business community in the Greater Longfellow Area. “We’re interested in hearing from business owners about the tools, resources, connections we can offer to help your business thrive,” explained Kim Jakus.” If your business falls into one of the following categories, consider joining us: Industrial Business, Minority or Immigrant owned Business, Next Generation / Millennial owned Business, or Arts & Entertainment
Lunch will be provided and all participants will receive a $20 gift card to a local Longfellow business. For more information, as well as dates and times, please contact Kim at kim@longfellowbusinessassociation.org or 612-298-4699.

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Isuroon: A portal to better health

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN

Executive Director Fartun Weli said, “There are things I’m not good at, but I am good at is busting down doors. There is power in keeping people dependent on the system. What I’m trying to do with Isuroon is make sure Somali women and girls are not becoming dependent.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Isuroon is a robust word in the Somali language.
According to Isuroon Executive Director Fartun Weli, it can be used as a verb, a noun, or an adjective. It is also the name of the organization she leads.
She said, “Somali words are conceptual. While the short translation of Isuroon is ‘a woman who cares for herself,’ the long translation is ‘a woman who has gotten everything she needs to be strong, healthy, independent, empowered, beautiful, vivacious, and confident.’ The mission of our organization is to be a space where every Somali woman can be all of those things.”
Isuroon was founded in 2010 to address the unmet health care needs of Somali women and girls in this community. Through group meetings, one-on-one counseling, and carefully designed teaching sessions, staff offer education on issues including self-care and social connectedness, healthy eating, pre-natal health, the impact of female genital cutting/mutilation, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, domestic and sexual violence, pregnancy prevention, child abuse, understanding HIV/AIDS, and navigating a complex health care system.
Weli and her 11 employees have a lot on their plates. Their resources are available to any Somali woman who wants to improve her health and wellness, and that of her family – to give her the tools so that she can thrive in Minnesota and beyond. Through education and coaching, women and girls learn to manage their health care preventatively, strengthen their economic self-sufficiency, and develop their innate leadership skills.
Isuroon serves a population that likely came to Minnesota from refugee camps. To be a stable presence rooted in the Somali community, they purchased a building at 1600 East Lake Street last year. Weli explained, “One of the ways we are different as an organization is that we don’t just operate within our 55407 zip code. Our women come from everywhere. Now we are easy to find.”
The barriers to health and wellness for immigrants and refugees are significant. Food insecurity can be a problem for Somali families, especially new arrivals. Weli explained why a disproportionate number of Somali families have female heads-of-household (54% nation-wide.) She said, “After 911, it got much harder for Muslim men to enter the US. While the typical Somali family consists of mom, dad, and children, it’s common for males 18+ to arrive 3-5 years after the rest of their family.”
These separations cause alot of stress. Weli believes the burden is made worse for Muslim women because of cultural stereotypes. She said, “Many Americans (especially white women) think that because we’re covered, we are insecure, oppressed, and in need of rescue. This is not true! We need to diffuse these stereotypes, which are also perpetuated by the media. Who are Muslim women in general, and Somali women in particular? We are intuitive, alert, and sociable; we didn’t grow up feeling inferior to anyone. We are unique.”
To address food insecurity, Isuroon opened a food shelf six years ago. Weli explained, “I didn’t think it was part of our mission, but our elders started asking for one. We went to Governor Dayton’s Office, and they tried to be helpful. They connected us with the big, established food distribution networks in the Twin Cities but, ultimately, it didn’t work. Understand that when you’ve lived in a refugee camp, you are given food handouts all the time. Then, when you finally come to this country and find out how hard it is to be self-sufficient, you are still given strange, unfamiliar food. It can be very demoralizing. We needed a new model for an ethnic food shelf, and we created one. ”
The Seward Co-op is an annual donor to the Isuroon Food Shelf through their SEED Project, where shoppers can round up to the nearest dollar in support of a different local non-profit organization each month. Isuroon typically receives $20,000 + from one month’s donations. Weli said, “The Seward Co-op is great. They don’t pressure us to buy foods that aren’t culturally appropriate. We were able to serve 1,100 families with their donations last year, and the size of an average Somali family is seven.”
Isuroon staff members are trained to interact with clients in a way that reflect the agency’s core values of trust, transparency, and empathy. Weli said, “We work relationally, which means that listening is at the heart of everything. What we are trying to do here is replicate what our moms did back home. In the Somali culture, we have our own definition of what makes someone strong. When I meet a Somali woman who can’t read or write, I worship her. Do you know how hard life is when you can’t read or write? We value women for the strengths that they have, rather than judge them for what they lack.”
As an organization, consider requesting an Isuroon speaker to help your group connect with the experiences of Somali women, or to obtain culturally competent consulting and training for health care providers, policymakers and other leaders. As an individual, consider attending a workshop to learn about the Somali community here in the Twin Cities. Weli said, “Our organization has so much to offer. What can we do for you? We’re here to engage communities. Connect with us!”
For more information, go to www.isuroon.org.

“We’re grateful and excited to announce that Isuroon has received a Community Innovation Grant of more than $200,000 from The Bush Foundation. The grant will empower our work to reduce disparities in reproductive health care for African immigrant women in Minnesota with female genital cutting. The voices and needs of women who have experienced female genital cutting will drive this grassroots effort,” said Fartun Weli, Executive Director. “We express gratitude on their behalf.”

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Use Enneagram as tool for self-discovery this year

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Workshop host Holly Johnson shares why she values it and how it is helpful

Holly Johnson teaches workshops locally on the Enneagram.

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Holly Johnson is committed to helping people better understand themselves and others through the Enneagram. She offers regular workshops on this tool. The next is slated for Feb. 11, 2020 from 6-9 p.m. at Squirrel Haus Arts. Go to spiritgarage.org to find out more info and register.
Johnson is also pastor at Spirit Garage, which meets at the Hook and Ladder Theater and Lounge. She paused while writing two holiday sermons in December to share a bit more about the Enneagram with the Messenger.
Just what is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a tool to help us understand how we live, move, see and respond in the world. It lays out nine basic styles of people, though there are an infinite number of expressions of each of the nine numbers.
What drew you to the Enneagram and how have you found it valuable in your own life?
When I was in seminary out in Berkeley, Calif., everyone was talking about it. I was drawn to it because I like tools for self discovery, and also tools for understanding other people.
Some people think its funny to have a pastor do this kind of work; certain kinds of Christianity think that anything that doesn’t come out of the Bible comes from the Devil. I’m not that kind of a pastor. I believe in studying all kinds of things, and self-awareness helps us understand our styles of spirituality better, as well.
What is your Enneagram number?
I understand myself to be a “social two with a three wing, and a super well-traveled 8 line.” And if that doesn’t make sense to you but you’re intrigued, come to a workshop!

Courtesy of the Enneagram Institute

How can people use the Enneagram as a tool for self-discovery?
The Enneagram helps us understand that we see and experience the world in a particular way, like a lens. Understanding that we have a lens, and that it is different from other people’s, helps us see what motivates us, and how that shapes our lives. Sometimes this lens sees things accurately, and sometimes it is distorting things. Bringing an awareness to this helps us see where our way of being is helpful, and where it might be hurting us or others. Once we have that awareness, maybe we can think about a different way to see things or respond.
In what ways can the Enneagram help people live in harmony with others?
Similarly, when we figure out that other people see the world in different ways, and have different motivations, hopefully we can bring some grace into our relationships and quit trying to make everyone believe, act, behave and respond the way we do. For example, one of the types (sixes) is going to plan for all possible problems that might arise before you go on vacation. That’s okay – just let them do that. They’ll be prepared for things you never thought of. Another type (eights) has a tendency to have a pretty large presence in a room, and can be quite intimidating to people. Another type (nines) doesn’t like making decisions, particularly if it means siding with one person and not another. So, if they never have an opinion about where you should go to dinner, that’s probably why.
How can the Enneagram help people achieve better health and wellness?
The Enneagram is a tool for emotional intelligence, so as a tool, it helps us bring awareness (and hopefully grace) to our own way of being, and also helps in relation to one another. Emotional intelligence is an important indicator in job success, and helpful in relationships of all kinds.
What resources do you recommend people use to learn more about the Enneagram?
I’m enjoying “The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. That’s a book and a podcast.

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Inside schooling decisions

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Get a glimpse into the lives of local families who are navigating through the many educational choices available today, and forging a path that fits their families.

The Hide family

HOMESCHOOL

Meet Longfellow resident Julianne Hide, parent of Landon (age 10), Holden (7), and Isla (3). She’s married to Phil.
Why did you select this school?
We began homeschooling when my eldest started to suffer with anxiety at school. We did our best to address the issue, but he was not happy at school. After looking into options for other schools we decided to give homeschool a try. We’re into our third year now. It’s so much fun to learn together.
What do you appreciate most?
We greet each day with the idea of doing what feels right. Sometimes we stick with the plan, sometimes we grab an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the weather. We go to nature center programs, theaters and museums. The kids are able to pursue their area of interest in long sessions uninterrupted. Play is part of everyday. We attend a homeschool group each week and have made many friends.
What are the challenges?
The challenges have come in the form of being willing to accept that each homeschool day looks different depending on the mood of the kids. Sometimes we have to change the plan. Our daily rhythm also has to adapt to the needs of the kids as they change. As long as I’m willing to keep going with the flow I know everything will be fine!
What skills do you think are most important for schools to teach kids in 2020?
I think the skills needed for 2020 revolve around getting people to work together to solve problems. Creative thinking. Good communication skills. The strength to believe in yourself.
Share your school hacks or tips.
I think the best ‘hack’ I’ve come across is actually just really talking with him my kids and letting them help guide our learning. Anytime I let them lead they blow me away with their willingness to work.

 

COMMUNITY SCHOOL:
Northrop Elementary

Meet Gina Brusseau, PTA President at Northrop Elementary School, a K-5 school at 4315 S. 31st Ave. She is mom to Finnegan (grade 2) and Stella, who will be a kindergartner in fall 2020. Rounding out the family is her step-daughter Becca and husband Karl.
Why did you select this school?
We chose Northrop because it was our neighborhood school, had an environmental STEM focus, and had a great reputation in the neighborhood. Big factor: late start.
What do you appreciate most?
We love the community, the entire staff is awesome, and the teachers are dedicated.
What are the challenges?
Diversity – as it is declining based on the demographics of the neighborhood. We wish we had more diversity representing an urban school.
What skills do you think are most important for schools to teach kids in 2020?
Social emotional learning, environmental, STEM, working hard, teamwork, individuality, respect, and caring for others.
Share your school hacks or tips.
Be involved with your kids education, be involved with your PTA, volunteer when you can, and connect with other families.

CHARTER SCHOOL:
Career Pathways

Meet Kelina Morgan, whose daughter Nasi is in ninth grade at Career Pathways, one of the Minnesota Transitions Charter School options.
Why did you select this school?
I chose Career Pathways for her because it was close to my employer, and it offered a non-traditional way of learning, with small class sizes.
What do you appreciate most?
Career Pathways also is a welcoming place with diversity of race, culture, religion, and sexual orientation. It’s a place where my daughter feels a sense of belonging. We’ve lived in various cities, including Vadnais Heights and Somerset, Wis. It was important to me that she attended a school where the staff and students welcome diversity.
What skills do you think are most important for schools to teach kids in 2020?
I believe that acceptance and appreciation for differences is a valuable skill to learn, as well as life skills needed to find and maintain a career if college is not the choice.
Share your school hacks or tips.
Because education is important to us and can open many doors, our family hacks on how to help kids learn are 1) read to kids early and daily, 2) require they read at least 20 minutes five days a week, and 3) purchase workbooks for their next grade level that they complete over the summer breaks to continue learning.

 

IMMERSION SCHOOL:
Yinghua Academy

Meet South Minneapolis resident Starr Eggen Lim, who is married to Albert. Her daughter Lily is now in 11th grade at Highland Park High School, and daughter Magdalena is currently a ninth grader at Highland Park High School. They are at Highland because Yinghua Academy has an agreement that kids can continue their Chinese education at an appropriate level at Highland Park in St. Paul.
Why did you select this school?
I chose Yinghua Academy because it is a total immersion school meaning that the entire school is focused on Chinese and not just one area or several classrooms. Being that our children are Asian and adopted, it was a good fit as they would learn much about their birth culture as well as having Asian role models and influence. Many kids at that time who were attending the school were also adopted from China, so I felt it would help normalize their experience as kids and adolescents. I had read many books about some of the difficulties Korean adoptees had in the 1970s who grew up in rural areas with little acknowledgement about their birth countries or even issues being racially different than most of their peers. I really wanted to find a school that would allow my kids the opportunity to be around many other Asian kids and many who also had similar birth stories.
What do you appreciate most?
Having my kids learn to read, write and speak Mandarin has so many advantages. If they ever chose to search for their birth parents, or even wanted to live or experience their birth country, having the language and cultural understanding would help to cross over so many barriers that could inhibit that from happening. I also wanted to give them the opportunity to feel at ease around other kids in college who may be international students from their birth country, whereby they could understand and feel a part of that community. I had read that some kids who were never given these opportunities would sometimes go to college and didn’t feel like they fit in with the Caucasian population (even though these kids had grown up in “white” culture), so were initially not accepted into those circles… And even though they looked like the Asian international students, they did not fit in there because they did not understand the culture, so were not initally accepted there either.
Yinghua Academy not only provided this backdrop for my kids, but also having a second language like Mandarin allows so many doors to be opened for them. When learning a second language at the tender age of five, kids absorb things so much easier. Having the ability to read, write and speak can open potential careers opportunities, as well. The school’s academic expectations are quite rigorous and kids have adapted well into all kinds of high school experiences. I liked that the school uses Singapore math, allows for different levels of learning in math and Chinese, and provides many extra curricular activities after school. They also put on a dynamic Chinese New Year program every year which is held at Bethel University, and is almost always sold out. As adoption from China has slowed, Yinghua Academy continues to grow as many kids from all sorts of backgrounds attend the school.
What are the challenges?
Chinese Immersion is not for everyone. Yinghua does have some expectations for kids to do quite a bit of learning in a more traditional style and hasn’t, at least in my experience, allowed for a lot of diversity in teaching styles or methods. Parents need to be in tune to what their specific child’s needs are and how best to meet those, but Yinghua has worked well for our family.
What skills do you think are most important for schools to teach kids in 2020?
As far as the most important skills for kids to learn, I would think preparing them to be global citizens is a priority. Language immersion does help to accomplish this. Critical thinking is probably one of the most important skills for kids to learn as our current administration (in my opinion) has become so harsh on scientific research, facts, and the media in general. Learning how to decipher facts from fiction and how to ask questions is critical to our society’s survival as a democracy.

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In Our Community Events January 2019

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Art inspired by music
Vine Arts Center, a nonprofit, volunteer-run art gallery located at 2637 27th Ave. S. is inviting all artists to submit their work for the Creation by Sound – Art Inspired by Music exhibit. The show will run Feb. 8-28. Submission are due Jan. 15 and can be in a variety of mediums, paintings, sculpture, collage, assemblage, photography, etc., which are inspired by music, sound, noise, a musician or group, album or body of work. More at www.vineartscenter.org.

Elder Voices meets
Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories) will meet the fourth Friday of December (12/27) and January (1/24) at Turtle Bread Company, 4205-34th St. from 10-11:30 a.m. There will time for people to tell or update their elder stories, the challenges and joys of elderhood. There will be a year in review look back at 2019 and a forecasting look ahead to 2020.

Bid farewell to SENA program manager
Attend the Goodbye Happy Hour for Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association Project Manager Bob Kambeitz on Thursday, Jan. 2, 5:30 p.m. “Just a note to the community to thank you for letting me serve you as staff at SENA for the past 18 years, as I move on to a new adventure,” said Kambeitz. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you, making these neighborhoods a great place to live!”

Pasta dinner Fundraiser Jan. 8
Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church (5011 So. 31st Ave.) will host the annual pasta dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. to benefit the Minnehaha Food Shelf. Treat yourself to a great meal and help your community at the same time. There will be a band and opportunities to win prizes. For more information: www.minnehaha.org/foodshelf.html. Tickets are $15 per person and children (ages 10 and under) are free.

Garden club Jan. 8
Longfellow Garden Club presents: Exotic Plant Collections at U of M on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. (social half hour and set up chairs at 6:30 p.m.) at Epworth United Methodist Church, 3207 37th Ave. S. Learn about the newest U of M conservatory with four biomes of tropical and Mediterranean plants. See photos from the 1,500 species of plants growing there from climates in ten countries in the southern hemisphere.

Small business help
The Minneapolis Small Business Team staff holds regular open hours at the East Lake Library on the third Tuesday of each month from 3-5 p.m. to consult about resources and support for small businesses. Everybody is welcome; no cost, no appointments.

Community Connections Feb. 1
On Feb. 1, 2020, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the city of Minneapolis will hold its annual Community Connections Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The 2020 conference theme is “We count.” Read more about the conference at Minneapolismn.gov/connectionsconf.

Free Nature Connections for 55+
This January, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) launches Nature Connections, a new program designed for adults 55 & up. Join MPRB naturalists at Loring Park or Matthews Park for varied indoor and outdoor activities focused on nature, including bird-watching, winter tree identification and flower arranging. All sessions are free. More at bit.ly/MPRBnatureconnections.

Bo Ramsey show
Grammy Award-winning artist, two-time Grammy-nominated producer, Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Iowa Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Bo Ramsey, will make a rare Twin Cities appearance on Saturday, Feb. 22 at The Hook & Ladder. He will perform with Tom Feldmann. More at thehookmpls.com.

Uprising Theater Company announces 2020 season at Off-Leash Area Art Box

Uprising Theatre Company announces its 2020 season with four enterprising plays – all new to the Twin Cities area – written by transgender and nonbinary playwrights. All shows will be performed at Off-Leash Area Art Box, located at 4200 E. 54th St.
Season tickets are on sale now at boxoffice.uprisingtheatreco.com. Single general admission tickets for individual shows go on sale soon. General admission tickets are $20 with every performance offering pay-what-you-can options starting at $5.
The 2020 Season line-up:
March 6-23, “Doctor Voynich and Her Children: A Prediction,” by Leanna Keyes. Directed by Ashley Hovell. Dr. Rue Voynich and her apprentice Fade travel the American Heartland dispensing herbal medications. Covertly, they perform abortions, which have been illegal since “the Pence days.”
June 12-27, “Skimmed,” by Anthony Sisler-Neuman. Directed by Caroline Kittredge Faustine. In this absurd romp around the business of making babies, Zeke and Sydney are ready to start a family, but since there are no little swimmers “in house,” they need to get some an alternative way. Can their marriage survive the scheme?
Sept. 11-26,”Oddity,” by Ashley Lauren Rogers. Directed by Emily England. In this Steampunk Body Horror piece, a trans man “Gender Specialist” is brought into a secret Victorian–Era medical facility, deep within the earth to solve the mystery of a series of murders and body mutilations. As the specialist meets the sole survivor and begins to unravel the secret, his claustrophobic paranoia sets in and he finds it hard to believe anything he’s told.
Nov. 6-21, “The Place That Made You,” by Darcy Parker Bruce. Directed by Anthony Sisler-Neuman. In the aftermath of a tragedy, Jonah attempts to reunite with his best friend, Ben returns to her childhood home, and a giant white whale haunts the coastline of a sleepy Connecticut town. A modern day queer re-imagining of Jonah and the Whale, this dark comedy becomes a ghostly tale of love, loss and glory in small town America.

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New CEO of VOA from Longfellow

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin (VOA MN/WI) is pleased to announce that Longfellow resident Julie Manworren has been named its new President and CEO. Manworren will start work with VOA MN/WI on Feb. 28. VOA MN/WI serves more than 25,000 people in over 110 neighborhoods and communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin with 800 employees and 1,400 volunteers. It has an annual budget of over $46 million.

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B Line route may extend to St. Paul

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

B Line as initially proposed.

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
After hearing from community members, planners now recommend extending the B Line to downtown St. Paul.
The B Line will run along Lake St., Marshall Ave. and Selby Ave. Initial plans called for the B Line to only go as far east as Snelling Ave.
Planners recommend that the existing Route 21 along that corridor remain on a limited basis, running on Lake St. between Hennepin Ave. and Minnehaha Ave. every 30 minutes.
From April to October of 2019, B Line staff attended or hosted 26 community events, participated in bus ride-alongs and stop pop-ups, and connected with over 1,500 individual people to help inform the planning process and preliminary recommendations for the B Line.
Community input on preliminary recommendations is still being gathered to shape a draft corridor plan for the B Line.
This draft plan will be released for public comment in 2020, and will include more detailed information on planned station locations. To co-host an event or schedule a presentation, contact Cody Olson, Community Outreach Coordinator, at BLine@metrotransit.org or 612-349-7390. The Metropolitan Council will consider approval of a final B Line corridor plan in 2020.

B Line as currently proposed.

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Bark Ranger Program starting soon

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

NPS staff creating new way for people and dogs to enjoy Coldwater Spring

The Bark Ranger trainings on Jan. 4 and 9 will be a great opportunity to engage with staff and volunteers, and to learn more about both the histories and the lay-out of Coldwater Spring. (Photo courtesy of NPS)

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
The Bark Ranger Program is a joint venture of the National Park Service (NPS) and their non-profit partner, the Mississippi Park Connection. In early January, a cadre of four-legged volunteers and their owners will be sworn in at Coldwater Spring. New recruits to this awareness campaign will pledge to leash their dogs while walking at Coldwater Spring, pick up dog waste, and respect wildlife and habitat restoration.
NPS land manager Neil Smarjesse, leads the habitat restoration crews at Coldwater Spring. He said, “We would like to create a different way for people and their dogs to experience this place. We’re adjacent to the Minnehaha Dog Park, but we are not an off-leash area. When dogs are kept leashed, grassland-nesting birds (like the newly returned clay colored sparrow) aren’t disturbed. We are welcoming back indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles, fox, coyote, deer, and many other species.”
The 29-acre site was added to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in 2010, with the goal of restoring the landscape to a prairie oak savannah. A major renovation, which included seeding 13 acres of prairie and wetlands, was completed in 2012. More than 1,000 trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers have been planted on the property.

 

Coldwater Spring carries historical and cultural significance for some Dakota tribes, as well as being considered a sacred site by other Dakota tribes. Coldwater Spring is a part of the Fort Snelling Historic District, protected as both a National Historic Landmark and National Register listed property under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act.

 

Paula Swingley is the NPS volunteer coordinator. She said, “People love this place for many different reasons. The paths here aren’t straight-to-a-place paths; they meander. It’s a place to enjoy the prairie in all seasons. As part of the Bark Ranger training, there’s the added bonus of learning some of the non-visible history of this site. You can still see the Spring House and the ore bins, but there is so much more to learn.”
Bark Ranger trainings will be held on Jan. 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Jan. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. The drop-in events will include a 30-minute walking tour of the site led by rangers. The address for Coldwater Spring is 5601 Minnehaha Park Drive South. GPS coordinates are: 44.901602, -93.198256. Registration isn’t required, but by going to  https://parkconnection.org/events  and signing up on Event Brite, you’ll be notified of weather-related changes or cancellations.
There is no cost to participate. There are four handicapped accessible parking spots on-site, and plenty of metered parking spots on the street. Canines participating in the BARK Ranger Program will receive a shiny collar tag. Sign up to be a Bark Ranger Ambassador (a volunteer who helps lead future trainings) and receive a stylish bandana. In either capacity, Swingley clarified, “Participants will absolutely not do any law enforcement. They are just there to demonstrate good practices.”
Americorps intern Claire Jaeger Mountain was instrumental in bringing the Bark Ranger Program to Coldwater Spring. She said, “The trainings will be a great opportunity to engage with staff and volunteers, and to hear stories unique to this historic and beautiful place.”

 

B – bag your dog waste,
A – always keep your dog on a leash,
R – respect wildlife and habitat restoration,
K – know where you can go.

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WHAT’S DEVELOPING ?

Posted on 29 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN

Bergan’s update
Bergan’s Supervalu at Cedar and Minnehaha Parkway has been family owned and operated for 30 years, but it will be torn down and replaced with a new multi-use building that houses a Lunds and Byerlys. The longtime grocery store closed its doors for the last time the week before Christmas 2019.
The new Lunds & Byerlys at 4715 Cedar Ave. will be about 23,500 square feet. Above it will be four stories with 125 apartments. Units will include studio, alcove, one and two-bedrooms.
Under one section of the building will be 30 covered parking stalls, with access to a 35-stall lot in the northeast corner that accesses Longfellow Ave. Another lot off Cedar will have 44 stalls.
A second-level parking garage with 125 stalls will serve the residential units.
In addition to the unit terraces the exterior facades will feature projecting and recessed balconies on upper floors that will allow residents to take advantage of private outdoor space. On the fifth floor and top floor, the building includes an indoor gathering room and outdoor deck for residents to enjoy amenities and views of the parks and lakes adjacent to the site.

Friendship Academy expands
Friendship Academy of the Arts plans to create an upper campus in the existing building at 3320 41st St. E., about three blocks southwest of the 38th St. lightrail station.
The 1.53-acre lot currently has a 28,000-square-foot building that will be rehabilitated to accommodate office and classroom spaces, gymnasium, and cafeteria spaces, and a 2,400-square-foot vestibule will be added. The current one-story millwork building was constructed in 1945.
The existing loading docks adjacent to Dight Ave. will be demolished. A new 24-stall paved parking area and playground will be built north of the building, and a wraparound driveway added along the property’s north and west sides. The project will also include a new sidewalk along Dight Ave. in an area without a current sidewalk on either side of the street.
Once complete, the new campus will serve 350 students in grades second to eighth grade, beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
The proposed redevelopment will include predominantly interior renovations with a small addition to accommodate classroom space. The redevelopment will also include 24-vehicle parking stalls, 46-bicycle parking, increased green space, internal circulation for drop off areas to accommodate traffic flow, and landscaping to screen the proposed parking lot and beautify the parcel.
Friendship Academy of the Arts is a National Blue Ribbon, tuition-free, public charter school located (2600 E. 38th St.) just a few blocks away from the proposed development. The proposed second school location will serve the upper grades of Friendship Academy of the Arts. Founded in 2001 and authorized by Pillsbury United Communities, Friendship Academy of the Arts has a strong track record of addressing the dire opportunity gap for African-American students in Minnesota through its high-quality education and arts program, according to Executive Director Dr. B. Charvez Russell.
Due to family and community demand, FAA is planning to expand from a K-7 program with one section per grade to a PK-8 program with two sections per grade, and is need of additional school facility space. It currently has about 170 students in grades K-7. Students wear uniforms to fosters an equitable and respectful school climate.
Transportation is provided within Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and certain communities on the borderline of these communities. The school expects about 85% of students to come via bus and 10% via car.

Tierra Encantada under
construction on Minnehaha
A new building with the popular incandescent panels found on the University of Minnesota Children’s hospital is under construction along Minnehaha Ave.
The new Tierra Encantada Spanish Immersion Daycare and Preschool (4012 and 4016 Minnehaha Ave.) will open in spring 2020, and is the first site built specifically for the company.
One single-family home was demolished to make room for this new 12,000-square-foot, three-story building. The Hiawatha location will be licensed for approximately 260 children with four infant classrooms, four toddler classrooms, three young preschool classrooms, three inter preschool classrooms, and three pre-k classrooms
A 3,300-square-foot, fenced playground will be constructed in the backyard on a poured rubber surfacing material, and there will be two large indoor gyms.
There will be just four parking spots off the rear of the building. Drop-off for children will occur along Minnehaha Ave.
When full, the center will employ approximately 50 full-time staff, who will all receive medical and dental insurance, paid time off, paid holidays, paid training, and discounted child care.

 

28th bridge, street won’t
reopen until June
Bogged down by record rainfall, an unexpected watermain break, extra coordination with utilities and the early onset of freezing weather, the 28th bridge project over Minnehaha Creek is behind schedule.
It was supposed to be done in 2019, but residents can expect 28th St. to remain closed through June 2020.
The bridge foundations and outside framework have been completed. However, the site has been shut down now through spring when temperatures are warm enough to ensure the concrete decking sets at the appropriate strength to safely support vehicle traffic.
Over winter, crews will install a temporary sidewalk over the creek and will ensure that pedestrian and bike access are maintained across 28th Ave. Additionally, temporary lights, winter maintenance activities and traffic control will be in place during the winter season.
“This delay means a significant impact to nearby residents and continued inconvenience for the whole community,” observed Ward 12 Council Member Andrew Johnson. “I also believe that if Public Works could do anything more to speed up the timeline or restore greater access through the winter, they would. They are doing what they can to make the best of a bad situation. Thank you for understanding and for your continued patience.”

 

 

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Longfellow climate activist walks the walk every day

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Standing in front of her electric Chevy Bolt, Jean Buckley said, “I use my buying power to make an environmental statement. I believe in making educated, responsible choices.”(Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
Longtime Longfellow resident Jean Buckley believes each of us can make a difference in the current climate crisis.
She said, “I’ve always been a strong environmentalist. I believe every human being has a responsibility to protect earth’s finite natural resources. Some people choose to be what are called ‘first adopters,’ which means taking on higher costs when technologies or products are new. First adopters are willing to bear those initial costs, with relative certainty that the costs will come down when the technologies or products become more main stream.”
Buckley was a first adopter of residential solar energy, among many other things. Ten years ago, she had solar panels installed on her garage roof. That first set of solar panels produced enough energy to power her house until she bought an electric car last year. She is now adding more solar panels to the roof of her home to produce the extra energy she needs.
Over the next 10 years she will receive rebates from Xcel Energy as part of their Solar Rewards Program, and she won’t ever have to pay for electricity or gasoline again. Visit www.xcelenergy.com to learn more about their Solar Rewards Program.
When the Volkswagen Jetta TDI came on the market, it was the greenest car available. Buckley bought one early on, and was able to sell it back to VW after their emissions scandal broke. With the money from the resale, she purchased an electric Chevy Bolt. This car qualified for a $7,500 federal tax credit. She frequently travels to Duluth to visit her grandchildren. Money from the VW settlement is helping build infrastructure for electric vehicles; this includes more charging stations along highly traveled corridors like 35W.
Buckley has made most of her home improvement decisions from the standpoint of what’s best for the environment. She said, “Many of these choices have higher costs up-front, but I believe they are cost-effective over time. The metal roof I chose for my house cost about 20% more than asphalt shingles. It will last at least 100 years though; I’ll never need to replace it. I’ve lived in my house for 25 years and as someone who hopes to age in place, the metal roof made sense both environmentally and economically.”
On Earth Day 2019, Buckley retired from her job with Ramsey County as an Environmental Health Educator. Prior to that job, she worked for the city of Bloomington. Her areas of expertise included renewable energy, building efficiency, water quality, and recycling. She said, “I had a long career as an educator. I’m still finding ways to encourage people to make positive changes for the environment.”
Buckley is involved in her neighborhood as a Block Club Coordinator. Block Clubs are a function of the city of Minneapolis (visit www.minneapolimn.gov to learn more.) The focus of Block Clubs is often on crime prevention, but can include other things depending on neighborhood interests. On Buckley’s block, she has organized a list of neighbors willing to share tools and skills, or barter for professional services.
She said, “We think our network is even better than Next Door, because it’s neighbor to neighbor on our own block.”
Since retiring last spring, Buckley has literally put on a new hat. She proudly wears a cap that identifies her as a River Educator with the Mississippi Park Connections Program: the nonprofit partner of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (the 72-mile section of the Mississippi River that flows through the Twin Cities). The program gives kids the opportunity to get out on the river, and have a national park experience right here in the Twin Cities.
In addition, she volunteers with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org on various climate issues such as pension divestment from fossil fuels, and investment in clean energy.
When asked what drives her seemingly endless supply of energy for environmental causes, the matter-of-fact Jean Buckley gave a surprisingly sentimental answer. She said, “It’s the Starfish Story.” So here, in closing, is the Starfish Story (author unknown.)
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy throwing something into the ocean. He asked, “What are you doing?” and the boy answered, “I’m throwing starfish into the sea. The tide is going out and if I don’t put them back, they’ll die.” The man said, “Don’t you see that there are miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” The boy picked up another starfish and gently put it back in the water. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “Well, I made a difference for that one.”

From Jean Buckley
Did you know that every 4th grader in the U.S. can obtain a free pass for themselves and their families to visit more than 2,000 federal lands and waterways for a whole year? The hope is that this “Every
Kid in a Park” will help to
build the next generation of passionate and informed
environmental stewards.
Visit www.everykidinapark.gov to learn more.

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