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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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NENA December 2019

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Night Before New Year’s Eve
Want to celebrate the New Year with your kids but don’t want the late bedtime hassle?
The Night Before New Year’s Eve party, on Monday Dec. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m., is a family-oriented, free event chock full of activities, including a “midnight” countdown at 7:15 p.m. Enjoy a kid friendly dinner, carnival games, music and dancing, marshmallow roasting over a bonfire, face painting, and much more! It is held at the Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy.

State of the Neighborhood Meeting 2020
The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association State of our Neighborhood community gathering will be held Wednesday night, Jan. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m at Lake Nokomis Community Center, 2401 E Minnehaha Parkway.
Come hear from NENA, our business community, elected officials, and other community leaders. This neighborhood conversation will address several topics important to the Nokomis East community. Last year the State of the Neighborhood featured city council members, the county commissioner, state representative and state senator, among others. NENA and our guest speakers will discuss plans to continue fostering a vibrant, active Nokomis East in 2020.

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.
Home Improvement Loans
Owners of one to four unit residences can apply for up to $15,000 to make improvements to their properties.  Owner-occupants and investors may apply. Interest rate is either 3.5% or 4.5% depending on income. No income restriction applies.
Emergency Repair Loans
A limited amount of funds are available for emergency repairs. Only owner-occupied households are eligible. Income restrictions apply. The maximum loan amount is $7,500. The loan is 0% interest and there are no monthly payments.  The loan is due in total on sale of the property or transfer of title.
For more information or to request an application, call the Center for Energy and Environment at (612) 335-5884, or visit the CEE website.

Sign up for NENA News
Your guide to news, Eevents, and resources! Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at www.nokomiseast.org. Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

Meetings and events:
12/4/19: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
12/11/19: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
12/16/19: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7 p.m.
12/30/19: Night Before New Year’s Eve, Lake Nokomis Community Center, 7:30 p.m.

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Five years of trash transformed into art

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Artist Sean Connaughty (at left) worked with Healing Place Collaborative and several dedicated community members and organizations to create a comprehensive exhibit of Lake Hiawatha, a critical habitat for diverse wildlife and deeply impaired by stormwater pollution originating from South Minneapolis, during an exhibit at the White Page Gallery, on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. The exhibit included the artist’s massive trash collection found in Lake Hiawatha – a part of the 6,820 pounds of trash removed from the lake since 2015. The exhibit includes drawings, documents and data collected over the five years of Sean Connaughty’s volunteer stewardship of Lake Hiawatha. The exhibit also explored the history of Indigenous peoples on this land, which is the sacred homeland of the Dakota people.

A Forage Walk + Talk with Timothy Clemens and Ironwood Foraging on Nov. 17 began at Lake Hiawatha Recreation Center and ended at the White Page Gallery to take in the exhibit and talk about the possibility of a community-based food forest at Lake Hiawatha.(Photos submitted by Ryan Seibold)

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What’s happening in the neighborhood?

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

END OF YEAR DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN

3801 Hiawatha Ave.
The southeast corner of Hiawatha and 38th may not be empty much longer.
Base Camp Development and DJR Architecture have proposed a four-story, mixed-use multi-family building for the site. It would have 102 units and 2,300 square feet of retail space in the 36,865 square foot structure set on 0.85 acres.
The Longfellow Station residential building next door is five stories tall.
The commercial space will be located at the Hiawatha/38th St. corner with a 52-spot parking garage taking up the bulk of the remaining first floor.
A highlight of the plan is a spacious second-story plaza overlooking Hiawatha Ave. Units available will be a range of studio, alcove, and one-bedroom ranging from 375 to 695 square feet. The c-shaped building will also offer six walk-out units right off Hiawatha.
There will be just over 50 parking stalls compared to 102 units because it’s in a transit oriented development (TOD) district and the building will be accessed using the drive lane currently used by the Longfellow Station apartments off of 38th, pointed out Longfellow Community Council (LCC) Program Manager Justin Gaarder.
A public hearing hasn’t been set yet, but will be shared by the LCC when it is.

Portico at the Falls
The plan for Portico at the Falls, a 37,000-square-foot, four-story building on the former Greg’s Auto Site at Nawadaha and Minnehaha Parkway (4737 Minnehaha), has been approved by the city.
The building project by The Lander Group, Assembly MN and Martha Dayton Design will offer 26 condos with 10 flexible floor plans. Prices will range from low $300s to mid $900s for the one bedroom plus den, two bedroom, and three-bedroom units.
In response to residents’ concerns, Assembly submitted a revised plan that converted the original two-story townhome-style units along Minnehaha Ave. into one-story flats. The first floor will still have a front entry stoop and landscaped approach from Minnehaha.
The individual at-grade parking garages off of the alley were replaced with two condos with at grade patios. All parking will now be below grade and there will not be a drive lane along that side of the building.
The building will still have 26 units and 27 underground parking spaces plus a car lift system that provides the ability to have owners park a second car over their first car. Assembly anticipates a total of approximately 37 cars in the parking garage using this lift system.
The building remains a four-story building, with the fourth floor set back on Minnehaha as previously shown. General building materials and massing are similar to that shown at prior community meetings with modifications as necessary to accommodate the townhomes.
Low limestone walls, concrete walks, and high-quality landscaping (including pollinator-friendly approaches) will provide a setting for the building that complements its aesthetic and creates a connection to the park. Bike parking will also be provided both outdoors and within the building.

Time for stage 3 at Minnehaha Crossing
The third stage of the Minnehaha Crossing project is underway at the former Rainbow site at Minnehaha Ave. and Lake St. Midtown Corner is the next project in Wellington Management’s multi-phase redevelopment there.
The new, six-story Midtown Corner project will include 189 apartments, of which 38 affordable apartments will be available to households earning 60% or less of area median income. Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units will be available for rent starting early 2020.
The project also includes 8,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space. An additional 3,500-square-foot retail building, located in the southwest corner of the site, will be constructed in 2022.
Building construction began in October. Prior to that, the existing parking lot in front of the Aldi grocery store was improved.

Starbucks at 42nd?
The planning commission said no again to a proposed Starbucks drive-through at 42nd and Hiawatha.
Property owner Nick Boosalis of Wash Me Corporation proposed two buildings at the 0.57-acre site (4159 Hiawatha Ave.) to replace the car wash. One is the Starbucks single-story drive-through at the interior of the lot. The second would house a restaurant and office space that would surround the drive-thru building and would have frontage on E. 42nd St. and Hiawatha Ave. A 17-stall surface parking lot was proposed along the east side of the property. The submitted materials indicated that the buildings would be engineered to accommodate up to nine additional stories in the future for residential expansion.
The applicant received a conditional use permit and site plan review from the city planning commission on June 11, 2018 to construct a new four-story building with a coffee shop drive-thru and 43 dwelling units. The approved building had a very similar footprint as the most recent one. Those approvals expire two years from the date of approval on June 11, 2020. According to the city staff report, the applicant has indicated they prefer to construct the first floor at this time without the upper residential floors which requires a new application to the planning commission.
The city of Minneapolis recently adopted a regulation that prohibits new drive-thru facilities city-wide, but will allow anything that went through prior to Aug. 8, 2019.
Residents have expressed concern about adding traffic at that intersections.
“This intersection is already overloaded during rush hours. If it’s use is even close to the drive through at Cedar and the parkway our neighborhood and it’s habitants will suffer,” said local resident Eric Johannessen in a written statement given to the planning commission.
Fellow neighborhood resident Joanna Olson wrote, “The thought of a drive‐thru on that corner is terrifying to me as a bicyclist and pedestrian using that intersection at least twice daily.”
The proposal was denied by the planning commission on Oct. 21 due to traffic safety concerns. The developer appealed that denial to the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee and it will be back before the committee on Dec. 5.

28th Bridge
The completion of the 28th bridge at Minnehaha Creek has been delayed due to weather and issues with utilities. Public works staff is working out options with the contractor to determine the new timeline.

Look for more updates in the next edition of the Messenger.

Contact the editor at tesha@longfellownokomismessenger.com.

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NENA November 2019

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Home security rebates
NENA has launched a new Home Security Rebates project for homeowners, renters, and residential property owners in the four Nokomis East neighborhoods. Eligible participants can apply for up to $500 in matching grant funds. This is a one-to-one matching grant and a rebate / reimbursement project.
Eligible participants may submit an application after 1) Participating in a free home security consultation for their property conducted by a MPD Crime Prevention Specialist; or 2) Attending a MPD Home Security Workshop.
Examples of eligible improvements may include, but are not limited to:
– Steel exterior doors
– Security storm doors
– Deadbolt locks and security strike plates on exterior doors
– Reinforcement of windows within 3.5 feet of a door lock with grillwork or polycarbonate
– Grillwork or glass block for basement or garage windows
– Exterior dusk-to-dawn or motion lights
– Window pins for double hung windows and slide guards for sliding door/windows
– Alarm system installation
– Exterior security cameras
– Alley lighting
– Installation for labor performed by a non-applicant professional
– City permits required by the City of Minneapolis
– Home Security Rebate Applications.
More information on the program is available on our website.
Questions?
Please contact Lauren Hazenson, Program and Communication Manager, at 612-724-5652 or lauren.hazenson@nokomiseast.

Night Before New Year’s Eve
Have a family New Year’s celebration without the late bedtimes or confetti cleanup afterward! The Night Before New Year’s Eve party, on Monday, Dec. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lake Nokomis Community Center (2401 E Minnehaha Pkwy.) is a family-oriented, free event chock full of activities, including a “midnight” countdown at 7:15 p.m. Enjoy a kid friendly dinner of (pork-free) corndogs, chips, and dessert. Kids Dance DJ and dancers will keep kids active all night. Plus carnival games, marshmallow roasting over a bonfire, face painting, and much more!

NENA commits to public health programming
Within the past two years, NENA has been tackling public health issues in the Nokomis East community. These projects were a result of extensive door knocking and surveying by the community organizing staff, focusing particularly on the Bossen area. Survey results indicated that some residents struggled to find affordable healthy food options, could not find physical activity options near where they lived, among other health concerns.
To respond to these needs and interests, NENA has partnered with several government and nonprofit health organizations to deliver education and resources year-round. Cooking classes offered with University of Extension taught families how to cook a variety of healthy dinners on a budget. Pop-up events throughout the summer offered the opportunity to grab discounted groceries at the Twin Cities Mobile Market while getting tested for lead or stopping by the Kare11 Health Fair. ReThink Your Drink, a partnership with the Minneapolis Health Department, showed the relationship between the regular consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and chronic health problems. In early 2020, NENA plans to expand winter programming for families through a partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
“This work is important because we are responding directly to the community and what they want, not coming up with our own ideas of what is wanted” said NENA Community Organizer Karla Arredondo. “This is their community and they deserve a healthy home with access to programs for their children. “

Upcoming meetings and events:
11/6/19: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
11/12/19: Nokomis East Business Association Meeting, McDonald’s Liquor Event Room, 6:30 p.m.
11/13/19: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30 p.m.
11/25/19: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7:00 p.m.

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Trail detour will last 2 years

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Beginning the week of Sept. 23, 2019, crews will be working in the Minnehaha Park area to prepare the site for construction and construction staging. Work will include:
• Tree protection and tree removal. MCES has worked closely with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) regarding tree removal and tree protection. MPRB has been compensated for tree removals and tree replanting is at their discretion.
• Security fencing
• Erosion control installation
• Preparing for the aboveground temporary wastewater conveyance system pipes and pumps.
Temporary conveyance pipes and pumps were installed starting in October. Residents, businesses and park-users can anticipate the following:
• A section of the Hiawatha Bicycle Trail between the Minnehaha Creek Trail and Minnehaha Parkway will be closed until fall 2021. Bicycle detour signage will be posted along the trail (see trail detour map above). Parking will not be permitted on E. Minnehaha Parkway during this time.
There will be approximately 2-3 day closures on Minnehaha Ave. just north of the traffic circle and on 50th St. near Hiawatha Ave. when crews bury temporary conveyance pipes beneath the roadway. Traffic warning signs will be posted prior to these closures with as much advance notice as possible.
The National Park Service will monitor water flows to Coldwater Spring Monday-Friday during construction even though no dewatering is expected. The National Park Service will regularly post the results of their monitoring on their website. More at https://metrocouncil.org/sewerconstruction/minnehaha.

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