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Community response to a global situation

Posted on 24 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Coronavirus Pandemic

Neighbors got outside and built community near Brackett Park on Sunday, March 22, 2020 for the Corona-Cautious Classic biking extravaganza. Above, Hans, Ann, and Eve Thorkelson cheer on the participants. Below Ellen Sharratt participates. One child at a time, at 10 minute intervals, vied for Fastest Lap or Most Laps in 10 Minutes and competed for costume/spirit awards. Drinks, snacks, signs, bells, bullhorns were encouraged.

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
“We are continuing to bake bread because we believe in the power of such a basic food,” said Christopher MacLeod of Laune Bread, a microbakery and bread delivery service in South Minneapolis. “To our subscribers it carries a lot of meaning – it is a weekly ritual for many of them, but it is also nutrient dense and life sustaining.”
As restaurants closed to sit-down customers and with it their pick-up sites, MacLeod and his partner, Tiff Singh, asked themselves what they should do. Should they continue baking and delivering bread? Is it safe and smart?
“We are healthy, but that isn’t a guarantee, and it is scary. It gives us a lot of anxiety,” they admitted. “We have both been sitting in front of our computers hours on end every day corresponding with our subscribers and others who ask for bread, watching the news rapidly change, and trying to develop new logistical systems and also health and food safety procedures.”
They decided to discontinue pick-up locations and do delivery only. They dropped the $1 bike delivery fee, moved to car delivery, and narrowed their delivery area. They made some changes to reduce risk, including heavily cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and their hands during the bake, and wearing food safe gloves and face masks at all times after the bread comes out of the oven and during the delivery.
Their business is flexible because it is relatively small and operates without a storefront.
This week they added a second bake to keep up with demand and to offer people a chance to purchase bread at whatever price they could afford. “In 24 hours, 51 loaves of bread have been donated through our subscribers and the community at large,” observed MacLeod.
“We want to keep offering sustenance, but beyond our regular members – last week we donated 20 loaves (we donated 10 and our members paid for 10) through our members to people who needed them: school teachers, elderly neighbors, hair stylists, and families. It’s a language of humanity – the meaning of our bread spreads beyond the bakery to those who buy it, to those who are gifted it.”
Of those donated loaves, five went to a subscriber who shared them with others.
“Your bread fed: me, my partner teacher who is caring for her mother as she recovers from having her gallbladder removed, a friend of our gym teacher who was in need, the teacher I did student teaching with who just had to adopt the younger (half) sibling of one of her kids, and a teacher who is in treatment for breast cancer,” wrote the woman. “Thank you, from all of us.”
MacLeod and Singh recognize the situation is precarious and at some point they may discontinue baking bread, but right now they’re focusing on supporting their community and are being supported in return.
“We are a small business, but the ingredients we bake with make a big difference to many people,” they said.

Annual fish fry attendance drops, church works to
encourage parish family
Each year, hundreds of people line up at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Longfellow for the Friday night Fish Fry during Lent.
But not this year.
As Governor Walz declared a peacetime emergency on Friday, March 13, church volunteers debated whether to continue with that night’s fish fry. “We did go ahead and do the dinner on March 13 because it’s a little like stopping a locomotive on a dime to try to cancel at the last minute,” observed Erin Sim, the church office and communications manager.
“Gallons of coleslaw were ready, and many pounds of fish thawed. We served about 425 people that night, as opposed to the 1,100-1,350 we might have done on a regular third night. But even Archbishop Hebda came, as he hates to miss our Fish Dinners (which one of the local radio stations called ‘The Vegas of Fish Fries!’).”
The loss of revenue will have a huge impact on the church’s budget, as it is one of two major fundraisers held each year, according to Sim. “We miss the ‘fun raising’ as well, because we have such a good time showing our guests a warm welcome and feeding them well.”
The church is considering doing some variation of the dinners when it is safe to do so, perhaps tying fish ‘n’ chips in with its annual Bingo-Rama nights in July.
“Meanwhile, as with all the faith communities, we have cancelled our masses (daily and weekend) and all other gatherings until it’s safe to offer them again. We are live-streaming our Sunday morning 9:30 a.m. mass using Facebook Live on our St. Albert the Great Facebook page and then archiving the result on our website: www.saintalbertthegreat.org, under the Worship with Us tab.
“Our small staff will take turns spending a day in the office, Tuesday through Friday, but otherwise will work from home to keep publishing the Bulletin and trying to keep our parish family informed, encouraged and together in these days when we can’t interact in person.”

Kennedy Transmission offers home pick-up and drop-off
Kennedy Transmission CVT & Auto at 3423 E. Lake St. typically has appointments scheduled one to two weeks out as they are one of only a handful of shops in the U.S. that specialize in repair of CVT (Constant Variable Transmission) and Hybrid Drive systems. Their appointment calendar has dropped off dramatically the week beginning on Monday, March 23.
“I know a number of repair shops that have closed or are expecting to close very soon and this makes me very nervous. I have a small staff of very talented people who very much want to keep working as normal,” said owner Matt Johnson. “At this point we are classified an ‘essential’ sector of the economy to facilitate transportation and as such plan on staying healthy and working through the duration if at all possible.”
He has walled off the customer area from the front desk area with plexiglass, and employees are using the shop service door instead of the customer entrance. They are disinfecting door handles, countertops and hard surfaces throughout the day and doing a thorough bleaching at night. They are wiping down customer’s steering wheels and gear shifters after completing work.
“Although some of these measures slow our workflow a bit, I think we need to do everything practical to mitigate the risk of virus spread,” remarked Johnson.
“I have always said that we have the best customers and this has really been evident the past week,” said Johnson. ”I have received a lot of calls and visits just to check in on us and make sure things are going well. Our hope is that people are able to work and stay safe at the same time; and we can continue to maintain their vehicles. I think it is generally imperative that anyone showing possible symptoms of COVID-19 quarantine themselves to limit potential spread.”
To help those with underlying health issues as well as those who simply want to limit their time in public spaces, Kennedy Transmission has begun picking up customer vehicles and dropping them back off.
“We have also decided we would do whatever we can to provide basic help to our customers at no charge,” said Johnson. “In particular, if someone in the neighborhood needs a tire aired up or a jump-start, I will try and be there in a timely manner and get them back on the road. Although it may be a little thing, I think if everyone helps a little here or there, we will weather this better together.”
He is also making a few supply runs for neighborhood residents who need something from Target or Walgreens, fitting them in between his work responsibilities.
“If Italy, Spain, etc. have any parallel to the U.S. then things will get a lot worse before they get better,” observed Johnson. “Minneapolis is a wonderful community and I think basic best hygiene, social distancing and common sense practices as well as supporting our neighbors will be the key to weathering this crisis.”

Business organizations,
neighbors support each other
Businesses in the neighborhood are facing the challenge of adjusting to the new information and restrictions that are coming out daily, observed Kim Jakus of the Longfellow Business Association. Those without direct contact with the public are taking precautions for their employees and workplaces. Restaurants and retail locations are being hit harder, reducing hours, laying off workers, transitioning to online orders, implementing pick-up or delivery options, and offering gift cards for later redemption. They’re trying to figure out how to manage expenses, pinpoint which can be delayed and which still need to be paid.
“I see a lot of generosity from the community on Next Door encouraging neighbors to still support local businesses,” Jakus said.
Ward 12 Council Member Andrew Johnson has taken the lead on creating a Google spreadsheet listing all local businesses and whether they are still open or not. Find the link on his Facebook page.
The LBA, Lake Street Council and Redesign are partnering together to provide small businesses with information on resources available to them. They list items on their web sites and share them through regular email updates. Highlights include Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for small businesses and monthly sales taxes have been deferred a month.
“We’re connecting on how we can work together to support businesses in our geographic scope. Probably a lot of that will come on the tail end of this crisis and figuring out what recovery looks like,” observed Jakus.

Trying to manage life
in a pandemic
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Longfellow resident Don Hammen became selective about when he left his house. On March 15, he took a tape measure to church to ensure there was over six feet between him and others.
He decided to skip the Neighborhoods 2020 meeting the next day, although it pained him. But he was still planning to pull together Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories) at Turtle Bread as usual the fourth Friday of the month.
He stocked up on frozen foods and canned goods, and continued to use Meals on Wheels. As the week went on, he discovered that buying groceries through Cub Home Delivery was becoming harder. He could no longer place a delivery in the morning and get it later that day; instead, a Thursday order wouldn’t come until Sunday.
Being dependent on mass transit, Hammen was confident he could continue to use it to get around. Things changed later in the week when Mass Transit announced new guidelines on how many people could be on a bus and restricting non-essential travel. “I can live with this but if they ever did a complete shut down I would have a real problem,” said Hammen.
Complicating things is that his refrigerator appears to be dying.
He’s wondering how “we are in this together” is actually playing out at the neighborhood level. Will social distancing mean social isolation?
“The fact of the matter is I’m still trying to figure out how to manage my life in this COVID-19 situation,” Hammen said.

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Minnehaha Parkway to stay open through city

Posted on 08 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Master plan revised after public outcry about closing some sections to vehicles

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Drivers will be able to travel the length of Minnehaha Parkway in Minneapolis after all.
Following public outcry last fall to its proposal to close off some sections to vehicular traffic, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has released an updated master plan for Minnehaha Parkway and the creek. It includes continuous motorized vehicle traffic on the parkway road in both directions.
While it still includes an adventure play area and bathrooms under the Nicollet Ave. bridge, the roadway will continue to travel both directions in the area as it does now.
Near Portland, the intersections at 50th and 4th will be better aligned. The northern sections of the parkway will have a set of opposing one ways that are about a block long so traffic can’t drive all the way through, but drivers can instead take the main, southern route all the way through.
Other intersections, such as the one at Bloomington, will get a make-over with curbs and realignment of the traffic lane and trails.
The community advisory committee studying this area made its final recommendations on Feb. 10. Next, the draft Master Plan will be released for a 45-day public comment period. Based on responses during the comment period, the Master Plan may be modified. A public hearing will then be held at a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners before it is approved.
After the plan is adopted, the MPRB will spend approximately $1 million in the corridor. Specific projects have not yet been determined.
Contact editor at tesha@longfellownokomismessenger.com.

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Nokomis East Neighborhood Association March 2020

Posted on 08 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

By LAUREN
HAZENSON,
Project & Communications Manager
lauren.hazenson@nokomiseast.org

Staying-in-Place grants
NENA is pleased to announce the launch of its Staying-in-Place grant program through its new nonprofit partner, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.
The Staying-in-Place grants are designed to help vulnerable adults (low-income, senior, disabled, and veteran) address outstanding housing maintenance issues. Rebuilding Together Twin Cities will provide access to needed funds to help these property owners living on fixed incomes make repairs so they can live safely in place with economic stability. The grant program covers two service categories:
1. Safe at Home: Provide home safety and fall prevention modifications and ramps for older adults and individuals living with a disability.
2. Home Repair: Provide volunteer-delivered repairs including weatherizing, cleaning, installing flooring, patching and painting, siding, and landscaping, and timely contractor-delivered repair or replacement of essential systems, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, outer envelope and roofs..
For more information or to request an application, call Rebuilding Together Twin Cities at (651) 776-4273 or email homeowners@rebuildingtogether-twincities.org. Be sure to mention you live in a Nokomis East neighborhood.

Online secondhand tool sale
NENA is doing some spring cleaning, and selling some previously owned tools for your spring greening! Get a deal on rakes of all sizes, clippers, sprinklers, seedling pots and more!
The sale begins March 1 at nokomiseast.org/store and closes on March 20.
All supplies must be picked up at the NENA office. Tool selection is first come, first serve, so shop early for the best selection. All proceeds from the sale go to NENA programming.

Green Fair is back!
Climate Change, pollinators in trouble, and a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas – and growing every day. Our environmental problems can seem too big to handle, but they’re not too big to be solved by people like you. Commit to reducing your impact on the planet one change at a time, right in your own home.
The South Minneapolis Green Fair is there for you with resources for any sustainability question you have, from improving water quality in your backyard to diverting waste from the landfill. Join us on Saturday, April 18 from 12–4 p.m. in the Roosevelt High School Gym for free workshops, speakers, and over 20 exhibitors. Check out more details and plan your visit at bit.ly/SMGreenFair.

Meetings and events:
3/11/20: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 pm
3/21/20: Crock-Pot Cook-Off and Meat Raffle, Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church, 6:30 pm
3/23/20: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7 pm

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In Our Community March 2020

Posted on 08 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Classes and groups for seniors offered
Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors holds several classes for seniors including Tai Chi exercise, art classes, technology assistance and diabetes support groups. Tai Chi classes are held on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran, 2730 E. 31st Street. Our next art class on painting with alcohol inks will be held on March 18 from 1-3 p.m., also at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. A technology “clinic” will be held on March 10 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Trinity Apartments. A diabetes support group meets on March 11 from 1-2:30 p.m. Contact Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors at 612 729-5799 for more information.

Gypsy moth in area
Join the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) at an open house on Thursday, Feb. 27, 6-8:30 p.m. at Keewaydin Recreation Center (3030 E 53rd St.) to find out more about gypsy moth and a proposed treatment for the area, which includes parts of the Wenonah and Keewaydin neighborhoods. Gypsy moth is an invasive insect that can attack many trees and shrubs. It has been found in neighborhoods south and east of Lake Nokomis.

Join Elder Voices
Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories) will meet the fourth Friday of February (2/28) and March (3/27) at Turtle Bread Company, 4205-34th St. 10-11:30 a.m. There will be time for people to tell or update their elder stories, the challenges and joys of elderhood. Conversation topics will include, Do neighborhood organizations and neighborhoods still matter to elders and to the city of Minneapolis?

Free Black Dirt-y talk
Join Free Black Dirt, conveners of the MayDay Council, in a Dirt-y Talk Discussion Series around the barriers, challenges, and opportunities of creating a new MayDay proces on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (1500 E. Lake St.). Explore tokenization, accessibility, appropriation, gender, non-extractive relationships, community celebration and more as we shape a new MayDay Celebration that is truly equitable, accessible, and community-owned.

Study on implicit bias
Lenten Study on Implicit Bias starts March 1, noon with food and conversation at Epworth United Methodist Church. Are you committed to the work of having conversations that matter, honoring cultural differences, and dismantling policies and practices that hinder us all? Learn about implicit bias using print and video resources from the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) as well as other resources. This Lenten Study is one step toward bridging the gap between what people proclaim and the realities of implicit bias that stand in the way. Epworth United Methodist Church is located at 3207 37 Ave S. For more info, email epworthumcmplsmn@gmail.com or call 612-721-0232.

Sick Lit workshop
Attend Sick Lit: A Writing Workshop on Saturday, March 21, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Nokomis Library. This is a free, open writing workshop for artists and writers interested in writing and reading around chronic illness. No previous experience needed. The workshops will be lead by writer, editor, and teaching artist Lara Mimosa Montes in the library meeting room. For more information and to RSVP, write: MplsWritingWorkshops@gmail.com. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Theatre premieres dystopian drama
Uprising Theatre Company is proud to present the regionalpremiere of ‘Doctor Voynich and Her Children,” a new play by Leanna Keyes that strives to illuminate what happens in a country where there is no sex education and abortion has been outlawed. This powerful new drama will be on stage March 6-21 2020 at the Off-Leash Art Box, located at 4200 E. 54th St. Uprising Theatre Company’s 2020 Season features all transgender and nonbinary playwrights, all women and/or transgender directors and all new work.

Suicide prevention class
QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide – Question, Persuade and Refer. A QPR classes will be offered on Sunday, March 8, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S. For information, contact NAMI Minnesota at 651-645-2948.

Focus on ‘Clobber Texts’
Discuss the clobber texts in the Old Testament – Clobber passages are those verses in the Bible that are commonly used as a weapon. Any of several passages in the Bible that are routinely used by some people to condemn homosexuality and homosexuals. On Wednesday March 11, Epworth’s Beer & Bible will discuss Genesis 1 & 2, 18:16-19:29, Judges 19:14-29, Leviticus 18 & 20, and Deuteronomy 23 in the context of verses surrounding those passages. Beer and Bible meets at Merlin’s Rest (3601 E Lake St,). Beer is optional. The same passages will be discussed at Epworth’s Bagel and Bible on March 15 at 9:30 am at Epworth 3207 37 Ave. S.

Intergenerational story time at Vet’s Home
Baby/Toddler Intergenerational Story Hour & Play Time at the Minnesota Veterans Home is Tuesday, March 17 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Veterans read books and sing songs (with a ukulele player) for 1/2 an hour followed by 1/2 hour play/ craft time, all led by a recreation therapist. This is free and open to the public, and held monthly. Children of all ages are welcome, just know the songs and books are geared to little ones. The Minnesota Veterans Home is at 5101 Minnehaha Ave S. and the program is in the Building 19 Community Room. The facility is a nursing home within Minnehaha Falls Park. Contact Erin, erin.betlock@state.mn.us / 612 548 5751, to RSVP or with any questions.

Discuss ‘Milk’
Epworth Youth Present Dinner, Movie, and Conversation at 5 p.m. Come March 21 to watch and discuss the movie “Milk,” the story of Harvey Milk’s struggles as a gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official. Epworth aims to spark conversations about topics that impact the community. Epworth UMC is located at 3207 37th Ave. S.

Veggies classes set
The Veggie Basics class offered by Transition Longfellow runs for 4 Saturdays in April: April 4, April 11, April 18 and April 25 from 10 11:30 a.m., in the community room at Gandhi Mahal (3009 27th Ave So.). It is taught by various Hennepin County master gardeners. Cost for the entire series is $10. Beverages will be served. For questions about class content, email reierson.deb@gmailcom. For questions about registration or payment, email boyleaj3@gmail.com.
Praying in Color
Take time to reflect on and deepen your relationship with God in the season of Lent on Sunday, April 5 at 11:30 a.m. after coffee hour; Monday, April 6 at 10 a.m.; and/or Tuesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. at Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church. The hour-long sessions will include a short Bible study on the importance of prayer before exploring different ways to pray, featuring a practice called Praying in Color. Praying in Color is an easy and relaxing way to pray using your hands and creativity to reflect and color a connection with God. All ages are welcome to come to one or more classes; no artistic ability needed.
Learning garden tour
One of Minnesota’s most anticipated summer gardening events – the 2020 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour being held on Saturday, July 11, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This self-guided tour includes nine gardens from Prospect Park to Edina and into Linden Hills. The variety of gardens on this year’s annual tour offer many learning opportunities. They include eight home gardens designed and tended by Master Gardener volunteers, as well as one Community Garden. At each garden you’ll meet Master Gardeners who garden not only for their enjoyment, but to contribute to the health of our local ecosystem. Buy tickets and learn more at www.hennepinmastergardeners.org.

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Longfellow Library opens
Minnehaha Senior Living, an assisted living community, located in South Minneapolis, has recently added a new library for its tenants and dedicated it to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He was a beloved American Poet, famous for “The Song Of Hiawatha” written about Native American Indians in lyric poetry in 1855. The book is about an Ojibwe warrior named Hiawatha and a Dakota woman named Minnehaha.
Doug Ernst, who is a local historian and reenactment presenter, came to Minnehaha Senior Living to give a presentation and to visit the newly opened Henry Wadsworth Longfellow library in January. Ernst said it is fitting that Minnehaha Senior Living chose to call their library “The Longfellow” library with the rich history of the writer and the name Minnehaha.
Ernst will be reading from the book “The Song Of Hiawatha” during a talk about Longfellow’s life – that is open to the public on March 13 at 2:30 p.m. in the Activity Room. Ernst is the Executive Director at the Richfield Historical Society and is a regular speaker at Minnehaha Senior Living (3733-23rd Ave. S.).

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Chard Your Yard Garden registration opens March 15
Have you seen those signs near your neighbors gardens and wondered what Chard Your Yard is all about? Since 2013, Transition Longfellow has partnered with the Longfellow Community Council to offer a fun and exciting event to increase vegetable gardening in the neighborhood, Chard Your Yard. Transition Longfellow is a community led group of neighbors focused on building sustainable communities in order to address climate change.
Chard Your Yard volunteers have built and installed about 160 raised bed vegetable gardens in the greater Longfellow neighborhoods. “We plan to build, deliver, and fill dirt in 24 raised bed vegetable gardens for neighbors in zip code 55406,” say organizers. The garden beds are $70 which includes: a 3’x5’x12” wooden frame installed and delivered to your house, a site visit by a master gardener to find the perfect spot for your bed, a fill of nutrient rich dirt, and a Chard Your Yard sign.
“Through the generous support of Longfellow Community Council, we can offer a limited number of beds for low-income and senior citizen gardeners ($35) and double-high beds for gardeners with disabilities ($70),” say organizers. These beds are only available for people in Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods.
This event is completely volunteer based. Volunteers needed. Build and install the beds Wednesday, April 29 between 5-9 p.m and fill them Saturday, May 2nd from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (attendance for entire shifts not required). Registration to receive a bed opens March 15 and will close in April or when all beds are purchased. Visit www.transitionlongfellow.org/chard-your-yard for further information.

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NENA update February 2020

Posted on 03 February 2020 by Tesha Christensen

NENA Crock-Pot Cook-Off
Bring your family and friends to the 3rd Annual Great Nokomis East Crock-Pot Cook-Off, now with a meat raffle, on Saturday, Saturday, Feb. 29, 6- 7:30 p.m., at the Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church (5011 S 31st Ave.)! Revel in these two Minnesota traditions in one night. All proceeds raised from this event will go towards NENA’s programs and initiatives in Nokomis East. It’s a truly stew-pendous event!
Minnesotans know how to whip up a dish in a pot. Have a soup-erb recipe you would like to show off? Is your specialty a traditional cream of mushroom delight or do you have something a little bit more exotic? Let the community be the judge of who will be the 20120 Cook-Off Champ. Did we mention there will be a trophy?
This is a family-friendly event. Ingredients will be listed for each entry to avoid allergies or food sensitivities. More information, including the registration form, is available on the NENA website: http://nokomiseast.org/nenas-crock-pot-cook-off-is-back/ .

Meatless movie night
There has been plenty of discussion recently about the positive impacts of a plant-rich diet or a locally sourced diet on climate change. But what does that look like exactly? Join NENA’s Green Initiatives Committee for a “Meatless Movie Night” on Friday, Feb. 21, 5:30 -7:30 p.m. at the Morris Park Recreation Center (5531 39th Ave. S.). Sample meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger and watch a documentary about food sustainability. This event is casual, so bring a blanket to stretch out on or even wear your PJ’s. We won’t judge.

NENA Home Loan Program
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.
For more information or to request an application, call the Center for Energy and Environment at (612) 335-5884, or visit the CEE website.

Meetings and events:
2/5/20: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
2/12/20: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
2/24/18: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7:00 p.m.

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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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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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Celebrate Minnesota as the Peacebuilding power state for all

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Peacebuilding Leadership Institute opens first office in Nokomis

Community members and leaders had two reasons to celebrate with Donna Minter, her staff, board, and volunteers last month. The organization Minter started 10 years ago recently won a U.S. Peacebuilding Award for Excellence from the Alliance for Peacebuilding, a Washington D.C.-based international organization. And, after many years of operating out of a storage closet, Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute finally has a brick and mortar office space. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
The Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute (Peacebuilding) received the 2019 Melanie Greenberg U.S. Peacebuilding Award for Excellence from the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Donna Minter, PhD, founder and executive director of Peacebuilding, travelled to Washington DC to receive the award last month.
A local award celebration was held on Nov. 1, 2019, at the new Peacebuilding office (their first), located at 5200 47th Ave.S. In her comments, Minter said, “Isn’t it only appropriate that an organization whose name is ‘Peacebuilding’ should finally have a building?
“We are known for being an institute without walls, one that delivers most of its trainings out in the community – but it’s great to finally have some walls!”
Tonja Honsey, Peacebuilding board member, incarceration survivor, and member of the Anishinaabe people, opened the celebration with a ceremonial sage smudging. Minter explained that the office space had been a storehouse for ammunition before Peacebuilding moved in, and she welcomed it being cleansed and blessed.
Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley included some sobering statistics among her personal comments. “Hennepin County,” she said, “has between 25,000-30,000 people involved in the criminal justice system, the seventh highest number in the country. The work that you’re doing at Peacebuilding should be embedded in the Hennepin County workplace.”
Since 2010, Peacebuilding has trained 3,000+ Minnesotans to be more resilient, trauma-informed, and focused on restorative justice. The goal of the signature Peacebuilding training, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – the STAR Training, is to learn how to transform psychological trauma into non-violent power.
Minneapolis community organizer Tommy McBrayer completed the one-day version (called the STAR-Lite Training) earlier this year. He said, “The training helped me learn to identify different types of trauma. Now I’m passing some of what I learned on to the people I serve in my job in the Central neighborhood. It helps them to develop resiliency, and gives them some options other than revenge.”
St. Paul City Council member Mitra Jalali Nelson talked about moving to the Twin Cities after working for years as a middle school teacher in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. She said, “I started asking right away, who was doing healing circles in this community? Who was doing work with peacebuilding? I found Donna and her organization quite quickly. We need to be investing in programs like this one.”

Donna Minter, founder and executive director of the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute, addressed guests at the Grand Open House. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

The STAR Training was created at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Virginia. A New York City non-profit requested the training in the aftermath of 911, and provided a $2,000,000 grant to support its development. Minter, who is a neuropsychologist and forensic psychologist, took the STAR Training to add to her skill set. She was so impressed that she decided to bring the five-day training back to Minnesota to share with her community here, and it’s still going strong.
In addition to STAR and STAR-Lite Trainings, Peacebuilding offers a free, monthly film series, two free, monthly healing circles called “Coming to the Table,” Restorative Justice Training, and Resilience and Self-Care Training. Visit www.mnpeace.org to check the schedule for upcoming trainings and events.
Peacebuilding has also sponsored Luna Fest for the past six years, a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women. Luna Fest raises money to support Peacebuilding’s racial and economic equity trainee scholarships: to ensure that all who want to attend Peacebuilding’s trainings are able to do so regardless of financial limitations. Luna Fest 2020 is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29 at the Riverview Theatre.

“The STAR Training helps
people develop resiliency,
and gives them options
other than revenge.”
~ Tommy McBreyer, STAR-Lite graduate

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Roosevelt High School Urban Farm: Growing Kids and Community

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

By CANDACE MILLER LOPEZ
Standard Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA) and Roosevelt High School (RHS) have come together to design, build and install a 5,000-square-foot urban farm on the school’s campus.
Phase one, 2,500 square feet, was completed in September 2019 with the help of students in the Urban Farming, Culinary Arts and Service Learning classes, alongside neighborhood volunteers, generous donors and the expert guidance of professional landscapers and teachers.
This beautiful and soon-to-be bountiful outdoor learning space is unique in the Minneapolis District.
It is not just about growing tomatoes and making tomato sauce. Students engage in exploration of sustainable/regenerative farming practices; Indigenous and historical foods and planting traditions; food justice and food systems from farm to table. It is viewed as not just a creative elective option, but a viable technical training program providing students with diverse experiences and pathways to secondary education and career development.
Phase two of the garden, which will be designed by students over the winter and installed next spring, will include a large passive solar greenhouse to expand the growing season and provide a means for water collection and storage onsite.
The phase one garden is a foraging space, filled with berry and nut bushes, perennial fruits and vegetables, and a Three Sisters Garden for growing corn, squash and beans, that invites visitors to wander around and try different things. The phase two garden will focus more on growing crops that can be used by the Culinary Arts students and shared with the community.
The garden team are currently running a fundraising campaign for phase two. You can make a donation at: https://donate.seedmoney.org/3773/roosevelt-urban-farm.
Volunteers interested in joining the Friends of the RHS Urban Farm to help maintain the garden over the summer months can contact Candace Miller Lopez at SENA: candace@standish-ericsson.org.

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Briefs December 2019

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Majors honored
Longfellow Community Council’s Executive Director Melanie Majors has been honored with an award from the Executive Committee of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Policy Board. The Exemplary Award was given to recognize 13 years of exemplary service to the Longfellow Community Council and for maintaining the “Gold Standard” for all 81 officially recognized neighborhood organizations.

Lake Street Council
Oer $18,000 was raised at the Lake Street Bash on Nov. 7, 2019 to support the Lake Street business community. “The event was a great success,” stated organizers.

Bread delivery is back
Laune Bread has returned to South Minneapolis. “We missed you so we came back with a few new tricks from Switzerland and Holland!” said founder Chris MacLeod.
Formerly a one-man bread business, MacLeod has doubled up with the addition of Tiff Singh, a local baker who has been in the local baking scene (Alma, Rustica, Sun Street Breads).
“Maybe you remember us from a few years ago, or if you’re new, here’s what we serve up: Laune Bread is subscription-based microbakery that delivers by bike in South Minneapolis and has pick-up locations throughout the city. Our breads are naturally leavened and whole grain focused, sourced primarily from Minnesota. A bit European, a bit West Coast American,” explained the bread makers. “You can find us on your doorstep or one of your favorite local businesses. Check us out and subscribe at launebread.com.” (Past article ran in the October 2016 Messenger.)

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