NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday April 24th 2018

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East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center at 2300 17th Ave. Exemplifies reward of unity after 40 years of vision and six years of struggle

[Historical Note by Editor]: It has been forty years since hopes and visions of improvement to the two blocks of land between 17th and Cedar Avenues and 22nd and 24th Streets began.  Initial plans and proposals for dense housing were halted by limited citizen initiated political “arm twisting” that was nonetheless effective.  That effort led to park development limited to the barest of un-staffed, built facilities.  Six years ago that same awareness and tenacity of local residents– knowing their numbers and needs were greater than were being met and propelled by the obvious inequity of program and facility availability for local youth compared to other parts of the city—initiated concentrated focus on further improvement.

The January 22, 2011 Building Opening and Ribbon Cutting marks the culmination of six years of creative and determined effort by neighborhood organizations, residents, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board with city, county, and state support.

The newly constructed 14,000 sq. ft. building features a high school-sized gym and adjacent kitchen, a teen center, computer lab, and rooms that will accommodate a variety of programming. At 30% more energy efficient than the average building in Minneapolis, the East Phillips building sets a new standard for energy efficiency in Park Board community centers.

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ReUse Center Closed after 15 years

by Harvey Winje

The Reuse Center in Phillips closed on Dec. 11th, held a one week on-line auction, gave away the remains, and was ended by Dec 31st.

The Mpls. Reuse Center, which began as the first retail sales store selling reusable building materials in an urban shopping center in the United States, opened at the Hi-Lake Shopping Center on October 15, 1995. An Elder from Little Earth, Gladys Cain, opened the program with a traditional American Indian smudging and blessing followed with remarks by Senator Paul Wellstone, David Morris, city, county and state political representatives, environmental activists and community residents. This event topped off the culmination of 2 years of writing a business plan, fundraising, and conducting a pilot project in local warehouses in Phillips.

The ReUse Center did not originate from an idea of a few nor did it come from an entirely environmental perspective. Instead, it arose out of a controversy between Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis versus the Phillips Community about clearing land of 27 homes and 5 businesses where a state of the art, garbage transfer station was to be built costing 10 million dollars. A diverse community of homeowners and renters, seasoned activists and passionate mothers decried that their children were worth more than what a garbage station represented and that together, they would fight to prevent this from occurring. The garbage transfer station was not built in Phillips. In fact, it was not built anywhere. Instead, the community did the research to discover that they could save Hennepin County these many millions of dollars with a relatively simple remodeling to the downtown incinerator to accept the existing garbage trucks to operate efficiently. This organizing effort became the catalyst for The Green Institute.

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The Alley’s Annual Fundraising event persevered through record snowfall!

The record-setting snowfall the evening of The Alley Newspaper’s Annual Meeting and Fundraising Auction understandably limited attendance and income for this important event.

Bravo and thanks to the three dozen who were able to navigate the streets and snowdrifts.

Thank you also to the individuals and businesses whose donations were auctioned.

The Alley does need additional financial contributions donations to accomplish our work this New Year.

In spite of enormous snow drifts and narrowed streets, the US mail is still getting delivered remarkably well. Please consider using the mail and making a tax deductible contribution to Alley Communications, the community-owned nonprofit that produces The Alley Newspaper. Assist The Alley in 2011 to continue to ENGAGE and INFORM about life in the neighborhoods of Phillips Community and also reaching into the Backyards of Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran Neighborhoods.

Every increment of $5 is appreciated. Give whatever amount you can afford.

Address to: Alley Communications P.O. Box 7006, Mpls., MN 55407

Or you can donate online by clicking on the donate now button on the left column of this website

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What are the goals for content in each Alley Newspaper?

The Alley Newspaper is not classic journalism that strives for absolute objectivity. The Alley is subjective because it is written by people who live and work in the community and their experiences in doing so.

Ever wonder how The Alley arrived at its name? It acquired the name 35 years ago to represent the honest, person-to-person conversations that happen over the backyard fences of the community whether they are figurative or actual fences. The Alley name represents the common, everyday things that occur in backyards and alleys. The front yards do not necessarily portray the day-to-day activities of the folks who live there.

The printed pages of an issue are finite and especially when we are limited to publishing only 8 to 12 pages. So we have to make choices on what goes into each issue. We have a list of topics from which we strive to have something about every month.

Like a family’s income and expenses, The Alley’s ability to include more of these priorities each month is dependent on income. Though The Alley is a nonprofit organization, very little of our income comes from gifts or grants. Instead, we are dependent on having a steady stream of advertisers. Nonetheless, you can expect to see these topics from which we select each month:

  • Advocacy of Community Interests
  • Aesthetics and Architecture
  • Arsenic
  • Arts
  • Good Food
  • Healthcare
  • History
  • Literature
  • Neighborhood News
  • Opinion
  • Resources
  • Sports
  • Stories of people’s Lives and Events
  • Walking and Biking

If you would like to influence the paper’s content, if you would like to contribute an article or a photo from time to time, or if you are willing to deliver the paper around your block, please do not hesitate to contact Harvey Winje at editor@alleynews.org or call 612-990-4022. There are abundant ways to help The Alley to continue to appear each month. Or, if you or someone you know would like to advertise in The Alley, please contact Harvey. The Alley wants YOU!

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The Alley Newspaper is Bound for The Future!

Bound for the Future had two meanings for The Alley Newspaper in 2010 and now into 2011.

First, it means that the first 30 years of The Alley Newspaper’s issues are now reprinted on good quality book paper instead of lower quality newsprint paper, and the over 4,000 pages are bound into two sets of 13, hardcover volumes. One set is available to the public at the Downtown Central Library on Hennepin Avenue and the other is available at the Franklin Library on Franklin Avenue. This making of The Alley’s into hardcover volumes was initiated and paid for by the Hennepin County Library after an Alley volunteer spent hundreds of hours assembling a complete set of those many issues.

The next tasks are:

1. Minnesota Historical Society to the complete 35 years of issues onto microfilm.

2. Digitizing of the 35 years of issue.

3. Produce an index for use with all of the reproductions.

Secondly, “Bound for the Future” means that The Alley has survived for 35 years and is setting a course to continue publishing in 2011 this community-owned and governed newspaper. We hope it is also “bound for the future” while many small and large newspaper are ceasing production. This community-governed media vehicle continues to follow its mission to allow neighbors to talk to each other, “inform and engage” local residents and workers, advocate for causes of peace and justice, and invite everyone to tell a story.

We’re excited and cautious about this continuation. While there is great encouragement to continue publishing and to find the means to provide the financial support of this endeavor, it is a daunting task. We’re strengthened to do the job knowing it is a valuable resource and that so many people read the paper and depend on it to be available to fulfill specific, respective purposes.

We invite others to help continue in this task by doing jobs attractive and appropriate to them as we expand our coverage of stories important to our current readers and, indeed, bring along other readers by including additional topics of interest. Please help The Alley to continue holding a vision of the future for the Phillips Community and beyond and to implement that vision. We are still looking for Board Members to help to guide our work, donations of money and articles, advertisers, and constructive critique. We appreciate hearing from our readers no matter what your views are because all views help us to serve our purpose. You can reach as at alleynews.org or 612-990-4022 or PO Box 7006, Mpls,MN 55407. All of us at Alley Communications wish you ample times of hope and joy in 2011.

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Phillips What? Where? Contest!

Guess What and Where the bottom right photo is and get a chance to be in a drawing for $10. Gift Certificate to Welna Hardware.

Guess What and Where the bottom right photo is and get a chance to be in a drawing for $10. Gift Certificate to Welna Hardware. Email your answer.

Peter Kirschmann, Eve MacLeish, Brenda Morrow, Jean Morrow, and Pamela Rivera knew that the December Phillips What Where photo was at the corner of 26th Street and Hiawath Avenue.

No one told us what it is exactly nor who did it nor that we featured the beginning of this sculpture on the front page of The Alley, July 2010.

But Eve came the closest with the following narrative so she wins this month’s gift certificate to Welna Hardware. “The image of the plow-truck sculpture is part of the decorative wall metal sculptures along Hiawatha Avenue at 26th St, between 26th and 28th.

The first part of the decoration, the metal mesh, aged nicely into rust before the vehicle sculptures went up. I enjoy this every morning on my way to work!”

So….FYI & I For Your Information and Inspiration

Brad Kaspari, Owner, Kaspari Design Services

Brad Kaspari was born in rural North Dakota and grew up on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He has completed numerous public art commissions across the country, both as a solo artist and as a part of collaborative teams. His work ranges from temporary interactive sculptural installations to permanent scattered site sculptural object making to fully architecturally integrated projects such as terrazzo and decorative stone flooring treatments. He has received grants and awards from the McKnight and Jerome Foundations and the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association. He recently served on the public art planning and station design task force for Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Light Rail design team.

Brad currently lives in Seward Neighborhood Minneapolis, Minnesota where he directs his own design and fabrication firm, Kaspari Design Services. For over twelve years Kaspari Design has been producing original public art commission work, as well as, providing design, project management, and fabrication services for nationally recognized artists and corporate clients.

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Phillips Community Center at 2323 11th Ave building Update

by Robert Albee

The Phillips Community Parks Initiative members met on Tuesday, December 14th with MPRB President John Erwin, Commissioner Scott Vreeland, Jayne Miller, the new MPRB Superintendent and with Al Bangoura, the CSA #6 Director that serves the Phillips Community. This meeting gave the PCPI members an opportunity to determine what the MPRB Commissioners were considering and review any concerns that were raised during earlier individual visits with each MPRB commissioner.. Feedback from the meeting was very positive, indicating that there would be some parameters established by the Park Board that once addressed could lead to a signing of leases for space within the Phillips Community Center.

The next day, on Wednesday, December 15th, the MPRB Planning Committee sponsored a presentation by PCPI members to formally outline and present the overall plan and request for space in the Phillips Community Center facility. This presentation was designed to provide the basic information to any interested media producer/writer and an opportunity to present the plan via cable television on Channel 79. PCPI’s presentation was met with unanimous praise and encouragement. The next and final formal step in the process will be to appear before the entire Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. At this time the board will choose to ratify the recommendation of the Planning Committee to go forward with the proposed leasing and space utilization proposal

PCPI proponents are requesting that the building become available by March 1, 2011. The MPRB is currently removing all carpeting and ceiling tiles and will be repainting the common areas prior to any lease ups of the facility.

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Health providers and community development organizations invited to work with Back Yard community

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Looking back over the activities and accomplishments of 2010, the partners of the Backyard Initiative have a lot to celebrate. The residents of the Backyard (Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran) and Allina Hospitals and Clinics are creating a new kind of partnership to improve the health of the community.

On December 10, the Cultural Wellness Center and Allina hosted a breakfast for CHAT members and other guests to learn about the Backyard Initiative and meet Dr. David Kindig, Emeritus Professor of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine. Dr. Kendig shared Hennepin County’s scores from the County Health Rankings which ranks the overall health of every county in the U.S. (available on www.countyhealthrankings.org). The report, released by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the first of its kind to measure the state of health of a county based on health measures and other key factors that affect health, such as smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty. A list of such measures, chosen by community residents, could be a tool to help the Backyard residents assess the health of the Backyard community.

Marcus Thygeson, MD, president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Hospitals & Clinics (the Backyard Initiative is an initiative of this Center) spoke about the need for a “new frontier” of corporate and community partnership. This partnership is not the traditional “we will help you” model, but listens to the community’s voice, ideas, and self-interests. It’s not about Allina being the experts or knowing best – it’s about honoring all the experts in the room. He said that the BYI is about building capacity to improve the community’s health, and that capacity building needs to be both within the community and within Allina.

Thygeson stated, “We want to build a model where patients are autonomous, co-creators of their own health and that of the systems they are part of, which includes family, community and culture. In order to see true improvements in health, we must find a way to address the social and environmental determinants of health. As health care providers, we can’t do this by ourselves – we must partner with our patients and our community to figure this out together. The Backyard Initiative is part of Allina’s strategy to change the way that we operate. Through the BYI we are gaining new capabilities and tools to support our patients.”

Thygeson and Atum Azzahir, Executive Director of the Cultural Wellness Center, extended an invitation to guests from other health and community development organizations to help change the way health care and corporations relate to and work with community residents, and to the community residents in the room to help change the way community relates to corporations and health care.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 127 Hours & Tangled

by Howard McQuitter II

HowardMcQuitterii@yahoo.com

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
****1/2
Warner Brothers
Fantasy/Drama/Thriller
Lagoon
Running Time: 146 minutes
Rated: PG-13
Director: David Yates

The trio: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are grown up now. We’ve watched these lovely children grow up through seven (2 parts) Harry Potter films and four directors. In the seventh Harry Potter film, the principal cast (and lesser cast too) are away from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They’re on the run, with Harry Potter being sought after as the principal enemy. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are entrusted with a most dangerous quest: seek and destroy Lord Voldemort’s secret to immortality – the Horcruxes.

The sense of playfulness with Harry, Hermione, and Ron in previous movies is all but gone in “Deadly Hallows”. Their lives are in danger, fearing their nemesis Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) will appear at any time. An awkward if not fairly predictable love triangle surfaces in very subtle ways. The trickles of love, however present, do not in any way overshadow the plot. The magic continues as Harry, Hermione, and Ron fight off ambushes and confrontations.

In the beginning of “Deadly Hallows” Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) rescues Harry from a well-organized Death Eaters assault. That scene is the most action packed in “Deadly Hallows”. For the most part the film seeks much calmer moments.

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Food and Lack of Nutrition

By Randall Gray

For over the last 20 years I have noticed the foods I eat are getting to taste less and less as it should. I’ve quit eating anything from a can, fast food restaurants (a.k.a. McDonald’s, Burger King or any one of the sort), any food that is microwaveable or pre-made.

While growing up, over 90 percent of the foods we ate were not pre-made, frozen or stuffed with so many ingredients that when you try to pronounce them, it seems like you’re just trying to say some glorified word for a particle that you would rather use to adhere wallpaper to the wall. What ever happened to the ingredients on the package stating “fruit or vegetable, salt or sugar, vinegar or water? Have we wanted to preserve so much of our bodies that we have to add these chemicals to our foods? With all these different preservatives in our foods and the rise of all the different health issues we have now, isn’t there a connection between the two? Years ago kids were not on medication for ADHD; it didn’t exist! What are these chemicals doing to us, our bodies and our society?

Let’s look at what has changed from 1940 to now. You very rarely heard of anyone getting E-coli poisoning. Restaurants actually slapped the burger patties together and threw them on the grill. French fries were made from potatoes that came out of the ground—peeled, sliced, and deep fried. Salads were made from a fresh head of lettuce with dressings that were made from everything that was not loaded with processed anything.

Now to what we have today…over 98 percent of all fast food restaurants have their food brought into the restaurant that has been pre-made in some factory, with additives, preservative and fillers that help enhance the food’s taste. Yes, that’s right! Additives to help enhance the food’s taste!

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