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Thursday March 5th 2015

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February 2015 Alley Newspaper

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The First Flames of the Phoenix

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Burned brightly at MGM as literary creativity was unveiled

BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the Midtown Global Market saw the first literary magazine launch of the year in Minneapolis—The Phoenix of Phillips. What makes it most noteworthy was that it featured the writing of youth and adults from our neighborhood. Children as young as eight, seniors who’ve lived a long time, amateurs and professional writers shared their vision and their talent.

The debut of The Phoenix was also the opening of the annual youth photography show of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. “We Are Midtown Phillips” is the work of talented youth ages seven to eighteen, who photographed their neighborhood during the summer and fall of 2014. At festivals, at block parties and on the street, in school and the market, and in a dark room lit by a candle, the young people saw the beauty of the community, and captured its diversity.

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Telling your story is resistance and hope ‘Rising Up’

phoenix_of_phillips_vol1-p1Overlooked creativity prompts collection of ‘Keepers’

BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.

Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

The greatest mistakes often lead to the greatest accomplishments. For too long, those outside the Phillips community have overlooked the incredible creativity of our vibrant and diverse community. The schools, the businesses, the arts organizations, and above all, the people. This is compounded by much of the media’s attention on what is wrong with Phillips: the ashes, rather than what arises from them. The literary magazine in this issue, “The Phoenix of Phillips” makes the case for the rising.

Though the depiction of the Phoenix varies from place to place, there are some commonalities across time and language. The Phoenix is a brightly colored bird that lives for a long time—often a thousand years—then, in a high tree makes a nest lined with incense where she does not lay eggs, but lays herself down. To be immolated, only to rise again from the ashes. As the 19th century Irish poet George Darley put it:

Half buried to her flaming breast
In this bright tree, she makes her nest,
Hundred sunn’d Phoenix! When she must
Crumble at length to hoary dust!

The Phoenix is found in many ancient cultures, from Persian to Egyptian to Greek. In Persia, it was considered the Bird of Paradise. In early Christian writing, for example that of Saint Ambrose and Saint Clement, the Phoenix is often lifted up as a symbol of the resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stone wears slowly. Adapting regulations shouldn’t be as slow!

This photo of John Carpenter was likely taken some time in the 1860s so he has that characteristic stare that comes of having to keep your eyes open forever for long exposures.

This photo of John Carpenter was likely taken some time in the 1860s so he has that characteristic stare that comes of having to keep your eyes open forever for long exposures.

“The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone.”
– Lucretius c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC)*

By Sue Hunter Weir

120th in a Series

Finally. Veterans Affairs has proposed amending their regulations governing who may order markers for military veterans. Since 2011 Friends of the Cemetery has managed to replace or get new markers for eight veterans. Two of them were for veterans of the War of 1812, five were for Civil War veterans and one was for a veteran of the Spanish-American War. That doesn’t sound like many but given how restrictive the rules are it’s nothing short of miraculous.

Military veterans are entitled to have their graves marked by a government-issue marker. The markers are provided at no cost although the government is not responsible for setting the markers on graves. The markers are available in a variety of styles but we have chosen upright, marble markers, the style that was introduced during the Civil War.

Current regulations require that the request for a new or replacement marker come from the veteran’s next of kin or a representative of a next of kin. Since some of our veterans died 150 or so years ago, that’s not always an easy thing to do. In some cases, families made the request and we helped with the paperwork. In others, Tim McCall, one of our volunteers, has tracked down veterans’ descendants and gotten their permission. As it turns out that, as time-consuming as that is, it is relatively easy compared to some of the other regulations.

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February 2015 Ventura Village Neighborhood News

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February 2015 Spirit of Phillips

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Against Hate Speech

By Peter Molenaar

My father’s recent “cardiac event” made time for the two of us to revisit family history. Ancestors had been burned at the stake or otherwise repeatedly dunked under water until dead…and the bullies of childhood left marks as well. Nonetheless, in his medical practice, father treated religious people with devotion.

Why then did that man on TV say: “No woman should even consider dating an atheist, given that such a man must lack a moral compass.” Forgive me, please. None of us is at war with God.

Father believes consciousness is a product of the evolution of matter. Sentient life forms are recognized, while human consciousness is acknowledged as most precious. Secular humanism is then the basis of his morality.

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Frank Reflections: When is satire racist?

BY FRANK ERICKSON

If neo-Nazis in Paris were publishing racist caricatures of Muslims and then were murdered for doing it, would millions of French citizens hit the streets to show solidarity with the dead skinheads? I doubt it.

This is all about who is doing the racism. We know this because if neo-Nazis were doing exactly the same thing, they would not have the majority of the West supporting them.

It’s easy for the West to defend this type of racism when it is coming from white intellectuals who are not being racist at all; they are being “satirical”, with nothing but their innocent little pens and paper. How easy and safe for the West to cloak this with intellectual babble about “satire” and freedom of speech, instead of calling it what it is. Do neo-Nazis belong to a “satirical” organization?

The violence starts with the drawing of a racist caricature. If I go out on the street and start calling Black people the n-word and get myself killed, am I a freedom of speech hero…I would be if I directed my attack upon the West’s enemy.

Local editorial cartoonist Steve Sack, of the Star Tribune, draws brutal racist caricatures of people of Arab descent. How does he think local Muslims and Arabs feel when they see his portrayal of them? His latest attack is in the Sunday January 11th Star Tribune.

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Growing the Backyard adjacent to the Cultural Wellness Center

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Get involved!

Do you have a garden related skill you would like to share with your neighbors? Want to host a SkillShare in your yard? Want to learn something new?

Topics may include (depending on interest):

  • basics of urban farming
  • aquaponics
  • garden planning
  • seed starting
  • starting a garden
  • garden maintenance
  • growing food for personal use
  • using sustainable growing methods
  • harvesting
  • markets and marketing
  • food preparation
  • food preservation
  • seed saving
  • food justice
  • composting
  • soil building
  • season extension
  • hoop houses
  • developing value added products from the produce that is grown.

Have another topic in mind? Let us know. Contact Tim Page tpage4@gmail.com for more information and to get involved.

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Growing the Backyard CHAT Returns to its Roots

Container Garden at 2020 Oakland Avenue

Container Garden at 2020 Oakland Avenue

By Cherry Flowers and Tim Page

With renewed enthusiasm, and building on the successes of previous years, Growing the Backyard CHAT (Community Health Action Team) members are focusing energy on truly GROWING the backyards of residents in the “Backyard” neighborhoods! Growing the Backyard CHAT is part of the Backyard Initiative facilitated by the Cultural Wellness Center, and sponsored by Allina Health. This year, Growing the Backyard CHAT existing members-Collie Graddick, Candis McKelvy, and Tim Page-the Project Manager, welcome new active members: Cherry Flowers, Bunmi Odumuye, Abdullah Mohamud, and Dallas Johnson. The team is also looking for more neighbors who have knowledge to share.

Do YOU have a urban farming related skill to share with your neighbors? Volunteer to be a resident facilitator! Young adults involved in the TEENs CHAT will also facilitate SkillShare opportunities for interested residents including members of other CHATs. Participants will share knowledge and skills related to urban farming in order to empower neighbors to pursue related interests. We also plan to tap into the knowledge of Hennepin County Master Gardeners at events as much as possible.

Over the past 5 years, Growing the Backyard CHAT members have helped provide locally grown produce to area food pantries, provided free cooking classes to community members, sold produce at market stands at Midtown Global Market and the Wellness Center market, and worked on the Minneapolis HomeGrown Corner store Initiative to improve healthy food offerings at these stores. The CHAT plans to build on this activity by forging connections that will make each of these projects self-reliant. Read the rest of this entry »

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