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Sunday December 11th 2016

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December 2016 Alley Newspaper

Let America Be America Again

BY LANGSTON HUGHES, 1902-1967

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

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Phillips West Neighborhood Upcoming Events www.phillipswest.info – December 2016

December 1st (Thursday) 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.Phillips West Monthly Community Meeting!

Join your neighbors and other Community Partners for updates from Local City Government & Minneapolis Police.  The meeting will take place at the Center for Changing Lives Building in the Centrum Room (2400 Park Avenue).  Free parking is available in the rear of building off of Oakland Avenue.  Free Jakeeno’s Pizza Dinner will be provided!  If you would like more information or would like to get involved in the neighborhood please contact Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email her at pwno2005@yahoo.com

January 26th (Thursday) 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Phillips West 20th Annual Winter Social!

Join the Phillips West Neighborhood Organization, Community Partners and hundreds of your Neighbors for a FREE dinner buffet of cultural foods at the Lutheran Social Service Center for Changing Lives Building (2400 Park Avenue)! Several Resource tables will be present to share information about their services! Free parking is available!  All who live, work, or support the mission of the Phillips West Neighborhood are welcome to attend!  If you have questions, would like to have an information booth at event or volunteer please call Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email her at pwno2005@yahoo.com

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Analysis: The 2016 United States of America Presidential Election

BY LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK

Reporting coming after the 2016 presidential election shows some interesting similarities to the 2012 election. First age: 37% of those 18 to 29 voted for Donald Trump, the same percentage that voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. At the other end of the age spectrum, 53% of those 65 and older voted for Trump, and in 2012 56% voted for Mitt Romney. The largest age group voting for Trump were those ages 45 to 64 (53%). Back in 2012 it was 51%.

The white vote for Trump was 58%; the Black vote 8%; the Hispanic vote 29%; the Asian vote 29%; and other (that’s where American Indians are included) 37%.  When identified, the American Indian vote for Trump is likely to be ten percent or less. Hillary Clinton was on the losing side of votes only among white voters.

Despite the fact that potential Republican majority changes in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and potentially the Affordable Care Act will all affect those between 45 to over 65 years of age negatively, they voted for billionaire Donald Trump—a 70-year old with no governing experience. There were also thousands who did not vote. In 2012, there were 50,000 Michigan voters who voted for state and local offices but they left the presidential boxes unmarked. In 2016, that number was 110,000. Clinton lost Michigan by 13,107 votes. Despite Trump’s threats to overturn Roe v. Wade and the dozens of media reports about how Trump was accused of either raping or forced himself upon dozens of women, 42% of women voters supported him at the ballot box.

Clinton at current count is over 1.5 million popular votes ahead of Trump. Yet Trump wins with 290 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. On December 19th, the Electoral College members will convene in their respective states to elect the president and vice president, after which the college not only adjourns, but ceases until the next presidential year—2020. The lesson learned in the 2000 election when Al Gore received more popular votes than Electoral College winner George W. Bush, was that swing states mean a lot in terms of electoral votes. As of 2012, there are 4.90 electoral votes per million votes cast in red states and 4.09 in blue states. Electoral votes are 3.55 per million votes cast in swing states, but the Electoral College can distort popular vote results because swing states have notably higher turnout. Relative to the number of electoral votes, turnout is about 25 percent higher in swing states than in Democratic or Republican base states. Read the rest of this entry »

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Troubled in life and at death, Russell Sawyer chose City’s tallest, grandest place to die

Russel Sawyer said “I have no money and no place to sleep tonight and nothing in sight, so will take a rest.”  “There is not use wasting money with a funeral—cremation is rest.  No preacher is wanted or needed.  They are a curse.” And his “rest” was to end his life at the tallest building in Mpls., the Guaranty Loan Company building (subsequently renamed The Metropolitan Building until it was demolished in 1961.

by Sue Hunter Weir

Russell Sawyer committed suicide on December 26, 1902.  Sawyer was 55 years old and divorced.  He was estranged from his ex-wife and daughters and there was no mention in the papers of anyone else who might have been a blood relative.   In his suicide note, he named four people who the coroner might notify of his death but none of them were family.

Sawyer had only been in town a short time when he shot himself.  He was born in Massachusetts in 1847 but had lived in Indiana most of his life.  His ex-wife’s name was Eliza and they had two daughters. Eliza was seven years younger than her husband and they must have married when she was very young since Annie, their oldest daughter, was eight years old by the time that her mother turned 25.  Lucy, their younger daughter, was six at the time.  His daughters wrote to him for some time but not long before he died, they stopped, and that weighed heavily on him.

It is not clear how he was connected to the four people mentioned in his suicide note but they were probably people that he had met while working as a traveling salesman.  He seems to have enjoyed some success in his work since he had reportedly accumulated several thousand dollars which he invested and lost.

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Green Tomato Cook-Off Results:

Exquisite cranberry GT relish, delicious GT Love cake, savory puff pastry GT Gruyere and Mushroom appetizer, smooth & creamy dill, potato GT soup, healthy & colorful GT Southwestern salad, Best of Show raspberry GT cobbler

BY CLAUDIA SLOVACEK

Every year the cooks, gardeners and neighborhood residents gather at the end of the growing season to celebrate our fall harvest and to squeeze every last ounce out of our gardens. Since the first killing frost of the season has not yet occurred the cooks had an abundance of green tomatoes to experiment with.

On Thursday, October 20th, the 12th and 13th Avenue Community Garden sponsored the 16th annual Green Tomato Cook-off at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Midtown Phillips. We had seven entries this year and as the judges weighed in, they said it was one of the hardest years to decide who made the best sauce, sweet and savory entries.

The judges this year included our long time guest, Ruth Holmquist, who has judged the contest for many years. We included a few new faces this year, inviting some of the staff/interns from St. Paul Lutheran’s Clinic to join us. Elizabeth Mishler, Meghan Deering, Rachel Wirthlin, and Howie Hsieh also participated in tasting and assessing the seven entries.

We started off the evening with fried green tomato appetizers, which were prepared by Sue Hunter Weir, Paul Weir and Wizard Marks. Many of the attendees raved about the appetizers and perhaps a few will try them on their own. This year’s featured a crust made with Panko breadcrumbs. A little hot sauce and salt and pepper and the tongues were dancing with this delectable appetizer. Read the rest of this entry »

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EPIC Report-December 2016

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association News December 2016

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December 2016 Ventura Village

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SAVE THE SHAVE IS (SO) APPEALING!

BY STEVE SANDBERG

Thanks everyone! The recognition by the City on October 25th that the Burma Save building DOES meet the City’s criteria for historic designation has put wind in our sails as we appeal to the City Zoning and Planning on Dec. 1st.

Thanks for all the great suggestions for ways to incorporate this building into the educational regimen of Adult Education and the South High School campus:

• a student run museum of immigration,

• a student run coffee shop,

• an all nations themed gathering place in a new building,

• a post and beam supported super structure for an outdoor plaza.

The trend in preservation of historical sites is to focus on the value of the stories they have to tell and the ways in which they involve the community. This is a fantastic opportunity for just that!
Remember to vote “Save the Shave!” at City Zoning and Planning Committee at 9:30am on Thursday December 1st, City Hall!

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2019 East Lake Street – Post and Beam Increases Repurposing

BY HARVEY WINJE

It may be that the Burma-Shave building is built with posts and beam construction, a type of construction that is now very unusual in this day and age. Indications of this type of construction has not been verified because access to the building has been prevented by its current owner, Mpls. School District #1.

If it is post and beam, also called timber frame construction; it has these advantages:

  1. Post and beam construction utilizes large, vertical, wood columns  placed about 8 feet apart with a series of large horizontal wood beams placed across them to support either a second floor or a roof. In contrast with lighter wood framing which became popular in the mid-19th century in the United States, post and beam buildings feature a relatively small number of larger, heavier structural components that form the infrastructural support. The exterior surfaces that can seem so lack-luster from the street view are attached, yet dispensable to support the building.
  2. Because the weight of the structure is supported by posts that are spaced relatively far apart, post and beam construction allows for large expanses of glass or other exterior sidings. Consequently, post and beam buildings often feature large windows.
  3. Post and beam buildings usually feature high vaulted ceilings, creating a large, roomy occupant space. The fact this building was built originally as Vine Church adds to the likelihood it is post and beam that  created a large meeting room.  This technique was used in for Stave Churches, built in northern Europe during the Middle Ages between 800 and 1200, using a foundation of boulders to support a horizontal wooden frame on which rested four corner posts or staves. The staves were connected above by a rectangle of beams that complete a boxlike frame.
  4. Post and beam buildings have added structural integrity that is advantageous to moving an entire building.  The fact this building has already moved from its original location is an indication of its stability and movability.
  5. Because the timber used in constructing a post and beam structure must be denser and stronger than in lighter frame buildings, it is more fire resistant. Lighter frame buildings are often built from softwood that is less dense and more porous, making them more susceptible to fire.
  6. A post and beam building requires large pieces of high quality timber cut from large trees.  The wood used in this building may be of a species and quality less available now.  This increases the tragedy of sending it to a landfill.
  7. The fastening technique of the timbers is an art in itself and critical to its lifetime potential.  If this building is post and beam/timber framing of high quality timber, fastened in a manner of integrity, it is a gem worth keeping for further use, education, and history.

It is imperative that we begin to examine not only the historical use of the building but its construction technique.  This can help to preserve the technology of the construction industry and simultaneously help us to conserve resources. This  building should be examined for type of construction, analysis of durability for repurposing, moving or reuse and its value for educational and historical purposes.

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