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Shared mobility changing how people get around

Posted on 17 September 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Nice Ride/Lyft now offers two types of bicycles, scooters and Ebikes in rapidly shifting market

Luci Daum Design Dresses, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 22, 2018.

Nice Ride planned to offer 3,000 Ebikes this summer in Minneapolis, but in such a rapidly changing market they weren’t able to deliver.
It’s both frustrating and exciting for Nice Ride’s Bill Dossett, who has been along for the ride since former Mayor R.T. Rybak first suggested Minneapolis needed a shared bicycle system and he should get involved.
Nice Ride partnered with Motivate (now owned by Lyft) in July 2018 with the understanding that it would provide 3,000 new dockless bikes for 2019. They provided 1,500 regular pedal bikes and then proposed an alternative for the rest: pedal-assist Ebikes. The agreement was then modified for 1,800 Ebikes instead.
However, Lyft has had trouble fulfilling that order. There have been three versions of its Ebike this year, pointed out Dossett. Lyft recalled most of its second version fleet in April due to faulty front brakes. The third, The Watson, is in development and receiving major upgrades.
Minneapolis is one of the only cities in the country to have the Watson – and there are only 50 here.
They will be part of demonstrations at various events, including Open Streets, but won’t be available for rent until next spring when the full shipment of Ebikes is expected.
“My frustration is we don’t have the Ebikes,” acknowledged Dossett.
But he’s excited by the possibilities for how Ebikes will shift the shared mobility marketplace, and offer users more options.

Twists and turns
Dossett has been part of the shared mobility journey in Minneapolis since 2008 when you couldn’t ride a bike down Nicollet Mall.
He was among a group of local active-living advocates led by the Loppet Foundation and supported by the city of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department that launched Nice Ride in 2010. While bike share has been around for about 40 years, they were inspired by the subscription program Paris implemented in 2007.
They operated 65 stations with 700 bikes in that first season. Nice Ride grew to 200 stations with 1,850 bikes in 2017. (More at
“There have been a million twists and turns,” said Dossett.
The first bikes were funded by $2 million in federal funds and $1 million from Blue Cross. They knew from the start that they wouldn’t earn enough in subscription fees to cover all the costs, so they solicitied about $200,000 a year in station sponsorships from companies such as Target, Seward Co-op and Peace Coffee.
They were driven by experimentation. They tried out pilot projects in Greater Minnesota including Bemidji and Rochester. And in the middle of it, apps happened.
The biggest challenge arose two years ago: dockless systems and much cheaper bicycles came on the scene. Bikes been selling for $1,100 and were now only $40 because they didn’t need as much technology. They had shifted from a smart bike to a smart dock, pointed out Dossett. China led the way, and saw bike share numbers jump from zero to 25 million in less than two years.
Nice Ride made the decision to get away from operation (although it still holds the official license agreement with the city through August 2021), and hire another firm to do that piece. They selected Motivate International, the largest operator of bike sharing in North America, to operate the green bikes and deliver a dockless (blue) bike pilot. Nice Ride’s board and only staff member Bill Dossett then entered a new role as mobility manager, serving as the bridge between public sector goals and private investment. Their goals are order in the right of way, quality and reliability, and equity, said Dossett.
“We knew that the technology was going to continue to evolve,” observed Dossett, so they sought to structure their contract with Motivate in a way that allowed for that. “We didn’t think it would change this much.”

How do you grow bike share use?
The question Nice Ride posed was: “How can we get a lot more people to use bike share for transportation?”
A typical user will only bike to work for a certain distance and after that they think it is too far or they worry about arriving sweaty. The Ebikes solve that problem by helping a rider get farther. Dossett hopes that Ebikes will be used by people in the suburbs to transport themselves the 20 miles into the city, or by those in smaller cities to travel within those areas.
He clarified that the Nice Ride offers pedal-assist Ebikes. They work effortlessly, engaging based on how hard the rider is pedaling, and can mean the rider doesn’t necessarily know when its working. Instead, they feel like “Wow! I have Superman legs,” observed Dossett.
The assist stops after a rider has reached 18 miles per hour. they can go faster on the bike – but only with their own power. The Ebikes do not have a throttle like scooters.

Dockless pedal bikes
One of the next steps is to work out the kinks in storage and return of the dockless bikes and scooters.
As Nice Ride was planning how to implement its dockless system, they were driven by an idea. “Our goal was to be the one city in the world that came up with a rational way to manage right-of-way,” stated Dossett.
“It hasn’t worked perfectly.”
Contributing to the issue is that the expectations for scooters and bikes are different. With a scooter, you can leave it at your destination. The bike is expected to be left at the virtual station that the rider finds on the app.
When blue bikes are left at other locations, they can usually be found – but not always. If the batteries run all the way down the GPS no longer works. Other times, the 2G network fails.
So, if you see a bike or scooter where you don’t think it belongs, check for the number on the device and call it or 311. (Please note that there are several companies in the Twin Cities that offer scooters, not just Nice Ride/Lyft).
Rainy weather delayed the the installation of hubs this summer, and the system didn’t reach 250 hubs until July.
Nice Ride has been happy with the quality of the bikes and Lyft’s team of in-shop and on-street mechanics who are maintaining each fleet at a level higher than the nonprofit was able to achieve in prior years.
Moving forward, Nice Ride is working to make things simpler for riders.
“If we want increased participation in bike sharing, we have to make it simple to find a bike and end a trip,” observed Dossett in an Aug. 19 memo. “If we want to enforce parking requirements with penalties, compliance must be easy and intuitive.”

The Scooter Experience
Scooters have come on the scene fast, and Dossett thinks they are here to stay.
“This is a way to get people out of cars and using more sustainable transportation.”
He added, “This is what consumers want, and we need to figure out how to get there.”
That leaves policy makers and businesses to figure out what the rules will be for this new type of shared mobility, particularly as it relates to scooters left lying on sidewalks and blocking right-of-way. Our Streets, the city’s Bicycle Advisory Commitee and others will really start to ask those questions this fall and gather input from residents, according to Dossett.
Right now, JUMP, Lyft, Spin, and Lime are operating about 2,000 scooters in Minneapolis, governed by contracts with the city.
Companies are required to collect scooters starting at 10 p.m. The scooters may be re-deployed beginning at 5 a.m. the following day.
From August to November of 2018, the city of Minneapolis permitted a scooter pilot with up to 400 scooters available for shared use throughout Minneapolis. Almost 75,000 people took over 225,000 trips during the 4-month pilot period.
Minnesota Statute 169.225 (passed in 2018) outlines where motorized foot scooters can operate:
• Must follow the same traffic laws as bicyclists
• Cannot be ridden on the sidewalk
• Can be ridden in bike lanes, paths, and trails unless signs prohibit
• Ride as close as is practicable to the right-hand side of the road
“Scooters help make the case for why we need more and better bike lanes,” observed Dossett.

Shared mobility to keep
Last year, there were 70 different companies with new capital working on shared mobility options, including Ford.
Dossett predicts that over the next few years, cities will increasingly design streets, sidewalks, and boulevards to createspace for shared micromobility parking, and will likely require that shared vehicles be parked in those spaces, particularly in downtowns.
Micro mobility and shared mobility options are only going to continue to grow and develop, believes Dossett. He foresees more electric cars and smaller cars coming onto the scene.
“You’re going to see a lot of experimentation,” he said.
~ Contact editor at

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MPRB shuts down Nokomis Beach for summer after confirmed cases of E. coli

Posted on 17 September 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Disease investigators at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have identified a total of 49 people so far who became ill with diarrhea after swimming at Lake Nokomis. The total includes the three initial lab-confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) announced Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019.
The cases include both children and adults, with about 20% of cases younger than 10 years old. In all cases, people became ill after swimming at the lake between July 16 and Aug. 11. No one has been hospitalized.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) officials said the Nokomis beaches will remain closed for the rest of the swimming season out of an abundance of caution. Health officials said they would need to see no illnesses reported for at least 16 days (two incubation periods of 8 days) before they could say there was no longer a risk of STEC spreading through water at the beaches.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of STEC infection – diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps, no or low-grade fever – should see a health care provider.
Health officials remind all Minnesotans that anyone who has diarrhea should not go swimming in any body of water.

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Go your own way on LoLa Art Crawl, Sept. 21 & 22

Posted on 17 September 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Here comes LoLa! Sept. 21–22, 10 a.m.–5p.m. both days. The LoLa Art Crawl is a friendly neighborhood art tour among the bungalows, gardens, and small indie businesses of the Longfellow neighborhood.
A total of 116 artists and makers will be showing and selling their work at homes and businesses throughout Greater Longfellow, with most of the 56 sites hosting two or more artists together. Participating artists live and/or work in Longfellow, or are guests of these neighborhood artists.
Longfellow is an easy neighborhood to navigate, with lots of transit options, bike lanes and quiet side streets, and plenty of free curbside parking. It’s tucked into Minneapolis’s southeast corner, bordered by the Midtown Greenway on the north, Minnehaha Falls to the south, Hiawatha Ave. on the west, and Mississippi River to the east.
While the ambitious art lover could visit all 56 sites over the two days, touring by bike or by car, those who prefer a more leisurely experience or who need to plan around transit will find helpful information and a map in the directory, to design their personal mini crawl. Directories are available after Labor Day at neighborhood businesses and on the website,, and at participating sites during the event. Don’t worry if you don’t have a map at the start of the day, just look for the bright yellow LoLa signs to find a site, start your tour, and get a directory.
You could also start your crawl by first visiting one of Longfellow’s many cafés (some of which will be hosting artists), pick up a directory there, and enjoy some food and drink while you make your plans.
The League of Longfellow Artists (LoLa), formed in 2009 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2017, is a volunteer-run organization of artists who live or work in Longfellow. Its mission is to partner with neighborhood arts organizations, nonprofits, small businesses, and residents to design and host a variety of events and activities that support Longfellow artists at any stage in their creative lives, and invite and encourage community participation in the arts. Find out more at

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Carp being removed at Nokomis

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

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Community August 2019

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

Elder voices meets fourth Fridays
Elder Voices (Telling Our Stories) now meets the fourth Friday of each month which is July 26 and Aug. 23, 10-11:30 a.m. Elder Voices meets at Turtle Bread Company, 4205 34th St. at the corner of 42nd Ave. and 34th St. There will be time for people to tell or update their Elder Stories. There is childhood, there is adulthood and now is there elderhood? There will be a chance to weigh in on this topic.

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

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

Epworth kids events
Epworth UMC (3207 37th Ave. S., Minneapolis) will host Weed & Water every Wednesday through Aug. 7, 9:30 – 11 a.m. for kids 0 to 8 and their caring adult. Each free session will include a story, craft, games and a snack. Vacation Bible School is set for Aug. 12-16, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for children ages 5-11. Don’t miss this action-packed week, where kids will explore the entire faith story, from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem. Learn more about God’s creation through stories, crafts, games, science and music. Each day will also include lunch. Information at
ASL, beer and Bible
Epworth UMC hosts Beer & Bible on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6:30-8 p.m. at Merlin’s Rest for thosenew to the Bible, new to beer, or well-versed in both. Enjoy great discussion and fellowship —beer is optional. Free American Sign Language classes are offered every Sunday through Aug. 18, 12-2 p.m., Epworth UMC (3207 37th Ave S, Minneapolis.) taught by Epworth member Shirley. Email

NNO at Minnehaha Senior Living
Minnehaha Senior Living, an assisted living facility, along with Providence Place Care Center will host a community event for National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 4-7 p.m. at 3733 23rd Ave. S. Enjoy free games, music, free frozen treats, and drawings for Twins Prizes.

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

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

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

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

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

Submit your news
If you are an organization located in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger delivery area, you can submit your event, special program, or noteworthy news to us for consideration. Submit your item by email to The deadline for the next issue is Monday, Aug. 19 for the Aug. 29 issue.

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Little Brothers mural celebrates elders

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

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

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Art Show highlights top four companies identified in Lake Hiawatha trash

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

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Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

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

Are you part of the vibrant business community in Longfellow?

Call Denis today at 651-917-4183.


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Redhawks’ state title hopes slip away but future remains bright

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen


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

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

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