NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday January 24th 2020

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December 2019/January 2020 edition of The Alley

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Phillips Community is focus of syringe disposal pilot program

By LINDSEY FENNER

The City of Minneapolis is piloting a project for syringe litter clean up and disposal, centered around the Phillips Community. The project is in response to the concerning amount of syringe litter Phillips residents encounter on a daily basis. The City began doing syringe litter sweeps in July and August along Bloomington Avenue, the Greenway, and adjacent alleys. Most recently, in November, the City installed ten Syringe Drop Boxes in and near Phillips to continue to address the issue. The boxes will be emptied weekly and can be easily reinstalled if the location needs to be adjusted. According to a city spokesperson, 800 syringes have been collected from the Drop Boxes between November 6 and November 27, with the majority collected at 25th and Bloomington. In addition, there will be a pilot of 30 syringe disposal buckets for use by businesses and non-profits. The project is currently funded by a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, with a recommendation by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to include funding in the 2020 Minneapolis budget.

LINDSEY FENNER

The syringe disposal pilot was presented at a community meeting on November 2 at the Sabathani Community Center. Mayor Jacob Frey, District 4 Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley, and a variety of city and county staff spoke about the opioid epidemic and related public health concerns over improper syringe disposal in our community. Ward 9 Council member Alondra Cano, who represents East Phillips and Midtown Phillips, other staff did not appear to be present. Ward 6 Council member Abdi Warsame, who represents Phillips West and Ventura Village; and Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene both sent staff representatives. 

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Two lives well lived together

By LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK

It is often said of two people who have been together for many years that they give great gifts to one another beyond the gifts of love and caring. That and much more was true of David and Linda Back McKay, married for thirty-five years before her untimely death. Linda was a young and published poet when she went to KFAI in the Phillips Neighborhood, drawn to its volunteer strength and driven by her own desire to learn prose writing in the hot atmosphere of news deadlines rather than in a cool, dry academic classroom. There she met David McKay in about 1983. David taught her how to meet deadlines by selecting and re-writing the latest news items that would be of interest to KFAI listeners. 

COURTESY OF THE McKAY FAMILY David McKay and Linda Back KcKay (April 21, 1947 – September 17, 2019)

In the early 80s the radio station was a primary news source, tuned into by thousands of listeners in the pre-internet and pre-cellphone days. News was available that could not be heard over what was considered mainstream and it was a joy for David and Linda to provide it for KFAI listeners. News was expected to include a progressive perspective and cover issues not heard over commercial radio. There was little indication that something really big was on the horizon that would threaten radio, and what was then known as television and print, picking them up like fragile toys and breaking them in the fall. The internet and media have grown way beyond early expectations, but community radio and print are still standing and David is still volunteering there. 

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What’s Up at Your Community Libraries

FRANKLIN LIBRARY EVENTS
Franklin Library building is closed for renovation, but there are still library events going on in and around Phillips! 

LitKnit (for all ages)
Mondays beginning January 6, 3:30-4:30pm
Waite House, 2323 11th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
LitKnit circles are inter-generational spaces where neighbors spend time together learning a craft and sharing stories. Improve your craft skills, get to know your neighbors and find connection within your community. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Coffee & Conversations (for adults)
Tuesday, January 7, 10am-12pm
Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Join Franklin staff for free coffee and doughnuts. Learn about upcoming library events and enjoy visits by special guests and hands-on activities. Jan. 7th join Deanna Beaulieu who will be leading an interactive Beading Class.

EAST LAKE LIBRARY
2727 E. Lake Street
W, F, Sa: 9am-5pm
M, T, Th: 9am-8pm

Su: 12-5pm

Youth and Families

Homework Help
M, T, Th: 4-7pm
Free in-person tutoring for K-12 students. No advance sign-up needed. Tutors available September 16 to May 21, except on holidays and school breaks.

Stories Together: Noon Year’s Eve
Tuesday, December 31,
11:30am-12:30pm

For kids of all ages and their caregivers. Count down to noon and celebrate the new year with stories, music, movement and activities!

Family Storytime
Fridays, starting January 3, 10:15-10:45am
For children of all ages and their caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music, and movement.

Baby Storytime
Fridays starting January 3, 11:15-11:45am
For children from birth to 24 months and their caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write and play together in a format especially designed for babies. Share books, stories, rhymes, music and movement.

Adults

Mobile Law Library
Monday, December 16, 2-5pm
Monday, January 6, 2-5pm
Connect with librarians from Hennepin County Law Library about legal resources and support.

City of Minneapolis Small Business Support
Tuesday, December 17, 3-5pm
Tuesday, January 21, 3-5pm
City of Minneapolis Small Business Team will be available to support individuals hoping to start or who are currently running a small business in Minneapolis. No appointment necessary. Collaborator: City of Minneapolis Small Business Team.

Sealing Your Criminal Record
Thurs, Dec 19, 12:30-2:30pm
Thurs, Jan 16, 9:30-11:30am
Learn the process of how to seal your criminal record, also called “expungement.” Find out which criminal records can be sealed, the information needed to file, where expungement clinics are held, and how to be prepared to get the most out of your time with either a private attorney or at an expungement clinic. Please arrive on time and plan to stay for the entire session. Collaborators: Volunteer Lawyers Network, Hennepin County Law Library.

HOSMER LIBRARY
347 E. 36th Street
M, T, W: 9am-8pm
Th, F, S: 9am-5pm Su: 12-5pm

Youth and Families

Family Storytime
Thursdays, Jan 9 – Feb 27, 10am
For children of all ages and their caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write, and play together. Share books, stories, rhymes, music, and movement.

¡La Música y la Familia!/Music and Family!
Sat, January 25, 10-10:45am
For children ages 1-5. Hands-on musical play activities led by early childhood music specialists will let your family experience music’s impact on learning and reading readiness. Together you will sing, rhyme, read, move and create! Program will be conducted half in Spanish, half in English. Collaborator: MacPhail Center for Music. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Note: Please register each child attending. A maximum of two caregivers per registered child may also attend.

Ve el impacto de la música en la preparación de lectura. Actividades y juegos enseñadas por especialistas de música para niños. ¡Juntos vamos a cantar, rimar, leer, mover y crear! El programa será mitad en español y mitad en inglés.

Nota: Por favor registre a cada niño que va a asistir. Un máximo de dos cuidadores por niño registrado podrá asistir.

Teen Tech Workshops
Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm
Get creative and make music, crafts, animation and other projects using high- and low-tech tools, everything from iPads and 3D printers to perler beads and sewing machines. Led by the library’s Teen Tech Squad. Sponsor: Friends of the Hennepin County Library. Suitable for preteens and teens.

Homework Help
M, T: 3:30-7:30pm Sa: 1-4pm
Free in-person tutoring for K-12 students. No advance sign-up needed. Tutors available September 16 to May 21, except on holidays and school breaks.

Adults

Conversation Circles
Saturdays, 10:30am-12:30pm
Non-native English speakers: practice your English and make new friends in an informal, volunteer-led setting, and learn about the library, too.

Seed Sorting Party
Sunday, December 22, 3-4:30pm
Help sort and label donated seeds for the Community Seed Library! A seed library is a collection of community-donated seeds that can be borrowed from the library and planted at home. Volunteer while learning more about seed saving and gardening. Collaborator: Plant-Grow-Share, a project of CANDO (Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization)

Researching the History of Your Home
Saturday, January 4, 10-11:30am
Learn about the historical resources at the library and across the county that will help you piece together a history of your Hennepin County house, neighborhood or property. Staff from Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections will explain print and online resources – including permit records, maps, photos and more – and will set you on the path to jump-start your research. Register online.

Coffee and Conversations
Monday, January 13, 10-11am
Join library staff for coffee and conversation. Share stories about the library and thoughts about the renovated space.

Senior Surf Day
Thursday, January 30, 1-3pm
Learn computer basics, how to navigate and search the internet and how to access websites of interest to seniors. Get hands-on computer experience with help from representatives of the Senior LinkAge Line®. Collaborator: Minnesota Board on Aging and Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging. Register online.

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Phillips West – December 2019/January 2020

Phillips West Neighborhood Events: www.phillipswest.info

By CRYSTAL WINDSCHITL

No December Board Meeting
No January or February Community Meetings

Phillips West Neighborhood Organization will have no December Board Meeting and no January or February Community Meetings.

Thursday, February 13th, 5-8 pm
Annual Winter Social
PWNO Will have the Annual Winter Social on Thursday, February 13th, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Center for Changing Lives Centrum Room 2400 Park Avenue.

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Milton Worth – Ramsey Author with eyes on the sky found beauty on earth and, on Fort Road renamed Hiawatha Avenue

Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
By SUE HUNTER WEIR
172nd in a Series

If you could choose just one word to have inscribed on your grave marker, what word would you choose? Milton Worth Ramsey didn’t get to choose his own word; he didn’t even have a marker until almost 80 years after he died. He died in 1906 and his descendants placed a new marker on his grave some time in the 1980s. The word that they chose to sum up his life was “author.”

And he most certainly was. According to his obituary, he was “for many years…identified with the literary life of the city…” He self-published four novels, and he is still recognized as having been an early science-fiction/speculative fiction writer. His first work, “Six Thousand Years Hence,” was published in 1891; followed by “The Austral Globe” (1892); “Future Dark Ages: a Story of a Trip Through a Dark Continent” (1900); and “Two Billions of Miles: or, The Story of a Trip Through the Solar System” (also 1900). Although one relative claimed that Jules Verne had plagiarized Ramsey’s work, that’s unlikely since Verne’s most famous works were published in the 1860s.

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American Swedish Institute FREE Neighborhood Open House

Wednesday, January 8, 5:00pm to 8:00pm
2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-871-4907 | ASImn.org

Be our guest at ASI’s annual Neighborhood Open House. From 5-8 pm, we’re offering free museum admission to thank our supporters, celebrate the holidays and introduce the Mansion to new friends. Whether you live nearby and wonder what happens here, in the suburbs and have been intending to visit, or are a long-time ASI member, please join us for this evening of hands-on holiday crafts, performances, bonfires and more. No registration needed!


Time Tested. Tradition Approved.
Currently through January 12

Step back in time over 90 years and explore the stories and decorations of holiday traditions from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and our Celtic Junction community guests. With an ambiance drawing on holiday décor, music, sound and lighting as well as furniture, art, design, toys and food commonly associated with each era and country, each room offers informative and immersive experiences. Marking ASI’s 90th anniversary, visitors can discover bits of the past and visions of the future in the richly decorated rooms. 

The journey begins with Sweden showcasing objects from the ASI collection appropriate to 1920s/30s, including the Turnblads’ dining set. In 1929, founder Swan Turnblad donated the Mansion and many of the family’s personal belongings to what was then the American Institute for Swedish Art, Literature and Science. 

Norway’s room offers a view of traditions from the 1940s/50s, based on their unique post-WWII perspective. 

Denmark, with its local and international impact on art and design, steps into the 1960s/70s with mid-century Danish furniture, lighting and art. 

Celtic Junction explores the 1980s/90s, with its shift of place, people and cultural expression. 

Iceland revisits the unfolding economic events in the 2000s/10s that transformed the country into the popular destination it is today. 

Finland, with its strengths in contemporary visual art and design, takes on the future, unfolding a view of holidays to come.

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Transit – Schedule changes and a new idea for park and ride lots

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

New schedule changes effective 7 December 2019 are in effect at Metro Transit, including some routes which serve the Phillips Community. Most of the changes are pretty minor, but you may want to pick up a new schedule, especially if you ride during rush hour.

Changes include:

• Minor schedule adjustments will be made to the Blue Line and Routes 5, 21, 22, and 53. The changes to Routes 21, 22, and 53 include reinstating trips which had been abolished during the bus driver shortage last year.

• Buses which normally run on 8th Street in downtown Minneapolis which were temporarily detoured to 6th Street are now back on 8th. Heading toward Phillips, these include Routes 5, 9, 19, 22, and 39.

With the winter season upon us, including the specter of fines and towing charges for parking in the wrong place during snow emergencies, I’d like to make an open suggestion to Metro Transit. You see, their current rules don’t allow overnight parking at most Park and Ride lots. I am thinking the Metropolitan Council could earn some public goodwill by relaxing that policy during snow emergencies. The idea would be for people who only have street parking at their homes to be able to park at a Park and Ride the night they have to be off their home street. They could take the bus home and then back to the Park and Ride to get their car the next day. This would alleviate the parking shortage that occurs on those streets where parking is allowed during the snow emergency. The car owner gets a safe, legal parking spot for the night. Metro Transit gets two fares, and maybe some appreciation, and the Park and Ride facility gets a little extra utilization, making the expense of building it incrementally more worthwhile.

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Peace House Community Journal – Where is your living room?

By MARTI MALTBY

When Sister Rose founded Peace House Community, it quickly became known as “the living room on Franklin Avenue”. Sister Rose wanted anyone who walked through the door to feel like they were going to a friend’s house where there was acceptance without invasive questions. People could share what they wanted or not share as they wanted.

While PHC has maintained Rose’ focus on hospitality and making everyone feel welcome, a recent comment by one of our community members reminded me that what counts as “welcoming” varies greatly. The comment came during a discussion about the three things you would want with you if you were stranded alone on an island (assuming the island had enough food and water to sustain you). The community member put up his hand, and with a big smile on his face, he said, “Nothing. I wouldn’t need nothing. You just described Heaven for me. Having what I need and not having to listen to people complain about their problems, not having to worry about how they’re going to try to get over on me… that’s all I need.”

From past conversations with the community member I know that he’s a loner who doesn’t trust anyone and only speaks when he needs to. In many ways his view of life is the complete opposite of Sister Rose’s. To her, welcoming others meant creating community that intertwined the lives of its members. It meant bringing a new person into an existing network, changing them from an outsider to a member. To him, by contrast, welcoming someone meant being willing to ignore them. It meant allowing them to enter your space without conditions or expectations, allowing them to set the agenda whether or not that agenda matched yours, and to leave them alone when they needed it.

His comment reminded me of how diverse people’s needs are. While there’s a limited number of basic needs, there’s a rich diversity of ways to meet those needs. Sometimes hospitality means making a fuss over your guests, but sometimes it means letting them in and then leaving them alone to work through whatever they brought with them. Sometimes it means staying up late talking and laughing, and sometimes it means letting them sleep.

All of this raises the question of how many people are truly aware of where their “living room” is. Many of us manage to ignore or suppress stress, fooling ourselves into thinking life is fine while our blood pressure skyrockets and our muscles tire themselves out through constant tension. Even when we recognize our situation, we often can’t or won’t take the time to slow down and find the space (physical or otherwise) to relax. Each of us is different, so there’s no simple equation beyond:

Awareness + Relaxation = My Living Room

On behalf of Peace House Community, I wish each of you success in finding your own living room.

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Marie Sandvik Center – December 2019/January 2020

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