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City Council Committee Votes to Halt Hiawatha Public Works Expansion, Future of Urban Farm Uncertain

City Council Committee Votes to Halt Hiawatha Public Works Expansion, Future of Urban Farm Uncertain

By LINDSEY FENNER In a confusing and close vote, on August 18 the Policy and Government Oversight (POGO) Committee partially approved a staff directive authored by CMs Cano, Jenkins, Gordon, and Johnson, that halts the planned expansion of the Hiawatha Public Works Maintenance Facility at the Roof Depot Site at 1860 E 28th Street in East Phillips. However, an abstention by CM Ellison on the part of the directive which would have given the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) exclusive development rights to the property tied the vote 6-6, so that provision did not pass. This means the future of the East Phillips Urban Farm project proposed by EPNI is uncertain. The partially approved staff directive passed by a 7-6 vote, with Council Members Reich, Fletcher, Cunningham, Osman, Goodman, and Bender voting no. The POGO Committee is expected to receive a financial report on the city costs of maintaining the Roof Depot site until development, as well as a “racial equity impact analysis” at their meeting on September 9. In a separate vote, the City Council voted to approve the Environmental Assessment Worksheet of the now halted Hiawatha Public Works Expansion Project. EPNI filed a lawsuit in summer 2020 to stop the City from demolishing the Roof Depot building before an environmental review was completed.

Help for Voters Living with Disabilities

Help for Voters Living with Disabilities

The fifth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. journalistresources.com The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against individuals living with disabilities, has put the force of law behind mandates for equal access in all areas of civic life, including access for voting. Voting accessibility is essential to ensure that all people have the right and ability to vote, regardless of their mobility or their physical, communication or other limitations. Minnesota has made strides in improving access to voting for all. In addition to the requirement that polling places be physically accessible, here are a few accommodations that may provide individuals living with disabilities better access to the ballot box: ASSISTANCE: You can bring anyone to assist you while you vote, except your employer or union rep, or you can get assistance from election judges. Your assistant can participate in all parts of the voting process, including marking your ballot if you can communicate to them who you want to vote for.ACCESSIBLE VOTING MACHINES: All polling places have a machine that can mark a ballot for you, giving you privacy if you cannot or choose not to vote using a pen. Voting machines display the ballot in large print or with a high-contrast background and can also read the ballot to you through headphones. You can fill out your ballot using a Braille keypad, touchscreen or sip-and-puff device. After you make your choices, the machine prints your completed ballot.CURBSIDE VOTING: If you cannot leave your vehicle, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to you. Two election judges from different major political parties will bring the ballot to your vehicle, wait for you to vote, then take the ballot back inside and place it in the ballot box.AGENT: In some situations, an agent may pick up and return an absentee ballot from your home. To [...]

COVID-19 Back to School

COVID-19 Back to School

By LINDSEY FENNER It’s September, which means kids are back in school! But with the Delta variant spreading in MN, and kids under 12 unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, sending your kids to school this year might feel really scary. Although the new variant is much more contagious, the good news is that all of the COVID-19 precautions we’re already using are still effective against the Delta variant. We have so many tools to use! But it is important to remember that there isn’t just one thing to do; we need to layer up these interventions to keep our kids healthy. Read your school’s COVID-19 plan. Ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand.Surround your kids under 12 with vaccinated adults. Every vaccinated person helps to weaken the chain of transmission, and protect unvaccinated folks.Get your kids over 12 vaccinated. Although they are less likely to get severely ill, they can still get sick, and they can certainly spread COVID-19 to vulnerable loved ones, and unvaccinated younger siblings.Reduce community risk outside of school. Preventing spread outside of school prevents spread inside of school. This might look like: wearing a mask in all indoor settings outside of the home, seeing a smaller group of friends, doing fewer extracurricular activities.Good ventilation is essential. If your school isn’t communicating with families about how they are improving ventilation in the classroom, ask about it!Get tested regularly: The CDC recommends students get tested at least weekly, even if they don’t have symptoms. Talk to your school nurse about what testing is available through the school. The State of MN offers FREE, at-home testing: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/Masks are recommended in schools, regardless of vaccination status. Try to get the best-fitting, highest filtration mask your child can comfortably wear for long periods of time.Keep your child home from school [...]

Images from Line 3, Summer 2021

Images from Line 3, Summer 2021

By K. Flo Razowsky @FloWalksFree Photo story as it appears in the September issue of the alley 7/19/2021On the way to Line 3, to assert treaty rights and oppose the destruction caused by Canadian-owned private corporation Enbridge, as it clear-cuts the forests and drills under the rivers, to build the pipeline that will carry oil for overseas sales. Already many of the drilling sites along the rivers have caused frac-outs - polluting the water with chemicals 7/19/2021The six women chained during this action were arrested along with myself, on site as media. #ShellRiverSeven Women Horse Nation Riders going to support the Water Walkers. Coming from Pine River Crossing to Itasca, headwaters of the Mississippi, and drilling site of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. #RedRoadToDC at the sacred Shell River. Nations gathering from all directions for the water with #HorseNations to #StopLine3 It’s not about taking away access to livelihood, it’s about figuring out how to meet our needs without devastating the planet, and finally respecting the rights and sacred spaces of the original caretakers of these places. Firelight, a resistance camp at the headwaters of the Mississippi, where Enbridge drilling has caused multiple frac-outs: “...when drilling fluid penetrates fractured bedrock, or seeps or flows into the rock and sand that surrounds the bedrock and travels toward the Earth's surface. A frac-out frequently occurs as the result of excessive down-hole pressure caused by a poor choice of drilling fluids or poor drilling practices.” https://www.trenchlesspedia.com/definition/2186/frac-out

Red Lake and NACC Set to Open New Health Care Center

Red Lake and NACC Set to Open New Health Care Center

Mino Bimaadiziwin Wellness Clinic offers a much-needed entry-point to healthcare By TINA MONJE Mino Bimaadiziwin, the new RedLake Nation apartment building. In September of 2020, Red Lake Nation and their affordable housing nonprofit partner, CommonBond Communities, began taking applications for their new Native-centered apartment building, Mino Bimaadiziwin. Today, most of the units are occupied, and they hope to have the building full by late August.  In partnership with Native American Community Clinic (NACC), Red Lake Nation is also gearing up to open the Mino Bimaadiziwin Wellness Center, an onsite health clinic.  Dr. Laurelle Myhra, PhD, LMFT, is an enrolled member of Red Lake Nation, and the new clinic’s director. According to Myhra, this project, arguably the first of its kind in the nation, has been made possible by the innovative Indigenous leaders who are seated at the planning table. The culmination of “a lot of indigenous people carrying indigenous knowledge and ancestry,” she says, has resulted in this new, one-of-a-kind avenue, through which residents may access housing and healthcare.  This project comes after years of increasing houselessness within the community, and years of community organizing and development among Minnesota tribal leaders, Indigenous outreach workers, and community members at large. Construction began in the fall of 2019, and moved rapidly through the winter, on a site familiar to the population for whom this development is built to serve. At this site, in December of 2018, Simpson Housing opened the Navigation Center. By the guidance of local Native leadership groups, including Red Lake Nation, American Indian Community Development Center (AICDC) and Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID), this temporary shelter was built in response to the Franklin/Hiawatha encampment, known as the Wall of Forgotten Natives, which quickly grew through the spring and summer of [...]

Red Lake and NACC Set to Open New Healthcare Center

Red Lake and NACC Set to Open New Healthcare Center

By TINA MONJE In September of 2020, Red Lake Nation and their affordable housing nonprofit partner, CommonBond Communities, began taking applications for their new Native-centered apartment building, Mino Bimaadiziwin. Today, most of the units are occupied, and they hope to have the building full by late August. In partnership with Native American Community Clinic (NACC), Red Lake Nation is also gearing up to open the Mino Bimaadiziwin Wellness Center, an onsite health clinic. Dr. Laurelle Myhra, PhD, LMFT, is an enrolled member of Red Lake Nation, and the new clinic’s director. According to Myhra, this project, arguably the first of its kind in the nation, has been made possible by the innovative Indigenous leaders who are seated at the planning table. The culmination of “a lot of indigenous people carrying indigenous knowledge and ancestry,” she says, has resulted in this new, one-of-a-kind avenue, through which residents may access housing and healthcare.This project comes after years of increasing houselessness within the community, and years of community organizing and development among Minnesota tribal leaders, Indigenous outreach workers, and community members at large. Construction began in the fall of 2019, and moved rapidly through the winter, on a site familiar to the population for whom this development is built to serve. At this site, in December of 2018, Simpson Housing opened the Navigation Center. By the guidance of local Native leadership groups, including Red Lake Nation, American Indian Community Development Center (AICDC) and Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID), this temporary shelter was built in response to the Franklin/Hiawatha encampment, known as the Wall of Forgotten Natives, which quickly grew through the spring and summer of 2018.The short-lived shelter provided 24/7, low-barrier entrance, where staff helped residents find permanent housing, and access to social services and health care. Many social [...]

Free Meals and Snacks for Kids

Free Meals and Snacks for Kids

En la escuela y en otros sitios Comidas escolares nutritivas gratuitas/Iskuulada iyo meelo kaleba  For more free meals for kids, download the “Free Meals for Kids” app on your smartphone!  East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center 2307 17th Ave S  •Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 15-August 12 •Meal Bags will be provided from 5:00 PM- 6:00 PM  Little Earth Residents Association (LERA) 2495 18th Avenue South  •Tuesdays and Fridays, July 2-August 13 •Meal bags will be provided from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  Stewart Park 2700 12th Ave S  • This summer food services program provides children nutritious meals during summer vacation (Monday through Friday) on behalf of the Minneapolis School District. It is free to all children aged 18 and younger.  • Monday – Friday, 1-2PM: snack; 5-6PM: dinner  Weekly Meal Boxes Minneapolis Public Schools South High3131 S 19th Ave, 55407 Door 20, Off of 21st Ave South •Food boxes will contain 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches. Monday- Friday, 10am - 3pm Street Eats Food Truck, Minneapolis Public Schools •Hope Academy, 2300 Chicago Ave S: Wednesdays, 12PM-12:30PM •Waite House, 2323 11th Ave: Fridays, 11:40AM-12:10PM Franklin Library 1314 E Franklin Ave •Youth snacks:Thursdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. Hosmer Library 347 E 36th St •Snacks for kids always available during open hours •Cold Boxed Lunch: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10:50-11:10AM •Hot Lunch: Wednesday 1:20-1:40 FREE MEALS FOR KIDS aplicación móvil/mobile app Free Nutritious Meals For Kids 18 And Under Only a click away, the Free Meals for Kids mobile app will help families and kids find free meals at schools and other sites across Minnesota during COVID-19. How it works: 1. Download the Free Meals for Kids app to your cell phone. 2. Use the app to find the nearest [...]

How We Get to the End (because we’re not there yet)

TIPS FROM A COVID-19 CASE INVESTIGATOR By LINDSEY FENNER Now that COVID vaccines are much more easily available in Minnesota, we have reached what is perhaps the hardest part of this enormous vaccination task: reaching the folks who waited or haven’t quite made up their minds or still have questions. And as much information as any government public health official can send out in the world, YOU can make a difference by having conversations with loved ones about getting vaccinated. These conversations might be difficult. And it will likely take more than one conversation. But this is how we get to the end of the pandemic.  Some tips for having these difficult yet crucial discussions Listen with empathy and without judgement: These vaccines are new. There is so much information and misinformation about them, it can be overwhelming. It is understandable that people have questions or anxiety about getting their shot. Give folks space to talk it out. Ask open-ended questions: This helps keep the conversation going, and helps you understand what your friend or relative is concerned about. Share information and resources (but ask permission first): There are many good informational resources about the vaccine. Just try not to SPAM them with information!Help them find their reason why: People who get vaccinated do it for different reasons. You could share why you got vaccinated to help them think about it, or talk about what you both could do together once everyone is vaccinated.Remove barriers: Sometimes people just need a little logistical support, like help finding an appointment or vaccination event, transportation to the vaccination site, help with caregiving if they have side effects, or just someone familiar to accompany them at the appointment. We need  to acknowledge that there are so many structural reasons that have prevented people from getting vaccinated, like lack of access to healthcare, paid time off, or [...]

“There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns,” – Octavia Butler

“There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns,” – Octavia Butler

photo by Megan Gramlow, April 20, 2021 SAY THEIR NAMES cemetery at 37th and Park (near George Floyd Square). The sun sets on a call for justice. Visitors at the cemetery honor, mourn, celebrate, and gather momentum for the work of tomorrow. They compose a symphony for those lost: Guilty on all three counts.Black Lives MatterHumanity MattersYou Matter --Megan Gramlow, Phillips West Neighborhood Organization Safety Committee Duante Wright and his son, by Nikkolas Smith 2021 (www.nikkolasart.com)“If she saw your child, Katie, as she saw her child, I don’t think she would’ve reached for a taser, let alone a gun,” attorney Ben Crump said to Wright’s mother and the crowd assembled at the services in North Minneapolis Thursday, April 22. A great exhale of relief went through the city, through the world, with the three guilty verdicts for Derick Chauvin.But, the verdicts cannot bring back those who lost their lives at the hands of police, or begin to comfort grieving families.Even as we feel relief over the verdict in the Chauvin trial, Duante Wright must be added to the picture. Our work is only beginning. --the alley editorial leadership committee

Past, Present, Theater

Past, Present, Theater

On Stage involves local students in a closer look at Nina Simone’s work around racialized violence  By JESSIE MERRIAM Don't tell meI tell youMe and my people just about due I’ve been there so I knowThey keep on saying “Go slow!” But that’s just the trouble ---Nina Simone “Mississippi Goddam” 1963 On Stage's flyer for Nina Simone: Four Women virtual discussions “When we listen to Simone sing ‘Mississippi Goddam’--it could’ve been written yesterday. Somebody needs to write a ‘Minnesota Goddam’ right now,” Twin Cities actress Thomasina Petrus declared to the group, gathered on the morning of April 1 to explore the play Nina Simone: Four Women and Simone’s reverberating legacy.  This gathering was arranged by On Stage: Creating a Community Dialogue Around Live Theater, a Twin Cities nonprofit that brings the scripts of local plays to college classes and community centers and facilitates discussions with the aid of theater creators and educators. On April 1, Professor Jo Lee’s “American Drama by Playwrights of Color” class at the University of Minnesota was joined by creators/ artist-activists Nora Montañes and Sun Mee Chomet, as well as Petrus, who performed in the 2016 Park Square Theatre staging of Nina Simone: Four Women in St. Paul. Lucas Erickson, On Stage’s founder, facilitates every discussion.  Have you ever written a song? Have you been to a protest before? Is there a social issue in the world or something in your heart that activates you?  Christina Ham, an acclaimed Minnesota playwright, wrote the 2016 play that digs deeper into the way racialized violence catalyzed Nina Simone’s evolution as  an artist-activist. Pillsbury House Theatre planned to stage the play last year, but Covid postponement has pushed it to this fall or next spring.  The play [...]

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