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

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What Democracy Looks Like

by Peter Molenaar

From the November/December issue of “Teamster” magazine:

Did you know that more than 750 Teamster women recently marched through downtown Minneapolis, coloring the city in a sea of pink and black rally signs? The chant “We’re Teamsters! We fight! We fight for workers’ rights!” was amplified by sky-scraper acoustics. The refrain “Workers ‘Yes’, Wall Street ‘No’” echoed…

The photo-journalist who covered the 2010 Teamsters Women’s Conference depicted the event with a multi-racial/multi-national collage. One beaming face was adorned by the Muslim hajib. Message: no order of prejudicial exclusion is to be tolerated by our union movement.

Did you know that some 600 Teamsters National Black Caucus members recently walked gallantly through the streets of Washington, D.C.? “Civil rights and workers’ rights go hand-in hand” was the theme. The 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech was commemorated.

Truthfully, every page of the “Teamster” depicts the face of democracy.

In his lead article “Corporations Vs. Working Americans”, General President James P. Hoffa states:

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January 2011 Daves’ Dumpster

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Food Obsession: FOOD AND CLASS

Recently I read an article in the November 29 Newsweek that claimed that eating habits and tastes are the new dividers of social class in America. Well-off people can choose pure, organic, out-of-season and hard-to-find-foods, as they have access to high-end stores that carry these things and the money to buy them when they are there. These foods are usually nutritious, delicious and satisfying. One woman cited in the article felt she was doing her part to make the world a better place by demanding such foods for herself and her family. Meanwhile, the poor go to a convenience store or a huge supermarket and get the cheapest foods sold in quantity and featured in coupons and price deals, foods that give quick satisfaction, little real nutrition and a load of calories.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At Cedar Food and Grill, the grocery store at East 26th Street and Cedar Avenue, “Mo” is making sure that there are fresh fruits and vegetables and other wholesome foods available for his mostly low-income customers. Wholesome foods, some even organic, can be found at some huge supermarkets. Your backyard or community garden will yield organic and locally grown foods. Canning and freezing will make them last, with none wasted. (Since an experience canning a pint of tomatoes in junior high school home ec class, I haven’t canned any foods. I should read up on it and try it again.) Eating less meat, cooking at home oftener also make for tasty, nutritious dinners – and you know what went into your finished product.

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Searching – A Serial Novelle Chapter 22: “For whatever might come”

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

By the time they reached Ingebretsen’s there was a line out the store, down the block in front of the poster collective and La Que Buena, all the way around the corner on 17th. Angel’s Mom and Dad decided to go to the Mercado Central rather than wait in line, but Angel and Luz were curious to see what this great fuss was about.

When they got to the end of the line, they stood behind an elderly couple, holding hands and smiling. The woman nodded at them and said something that sounded to Angel like “Lotten barn in”. There was that word again: lotten. He had heard it from the strange man in the park; the waitress at Maria’s had told him it meant “Let”. Let the barn in?” Angel thought. What is that supposed to mean?

The woman noticed the perplexed look on Angel’s face and said, “Don’t worry; it’s an old Santa Lucia day blessing. You two do know it’s Santa Lucia Day, don’t you?”

“Yes!” Luz said, “That’s why we’re here! But what are all these people doing in line?” she asked.

“Buying lutefisk, my dear”, the older gentleman said.

“Lutefisk?” Angel said. “What is lutefisk?” He was beginning to tire from so many foreign words.

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Bartered Health Care Fails in court

George Strebel died from heart disease on October 21, 1916. His body was held in the cemetery’s vault for eight months, then buried, only to be exhumed shortly after for identification by sisters from whom he had severed all ties decades earlier. He is buried to the left of the small obelisk.

by Sue Hunter Weir

A word of warning—don’t write your last will and testament on wallpaper and expect it to stand up in court. That’s especially true if you don’t want your relatives to inherit your money. George Strebel may (or may not) have done just that, and it led to what the Minneapolis Tribune called “one of the most unusual inheritance cases ever brought into the Hennepin County Courts.”

George Strebel died from heart disease on October 21, 1916. For the next eight months, his body was held in the cemetery’s vault while county officials attempted to locate his relatives. After eight months of fruitless searching, he was finally buried in Layman’s Cemetery. Shortly afterward, two women, who claimed to be Strebel’s sisters, came forward. His body was exhumed and the two sisters identified Strebel’s remains by a malformation of one of his hands. Neither of the women had seen their brother in over 30 years. Ironically, he had severed all ties with his family over what he believed to be an unfair division of his family’s property.

For the last six years of his life, Strebel had lived at the Pacific Hotel, which was located at 226 Washington Avenue North. He was in poor health much of that time and was cared for by the hotel’s staff who he regarded as being his real family. He developed his own unique method of getting the health care that he needed–he promised those who cared for him that they would be his heirs. Unfortunately, he did it in a series of wills, naming first one person, then another. A handful of those wills survived and became evidence in probate court. If there was one thing that those who worked in the hotel agreed on, however, it was that Strebel didn’t want his family to inherit his $6,000.

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January Programs at the Franklin Library

By Erin Thomasson

Children’s Programs

Family Storytime
Wed. Feb. 23, 10:30 –11 a.m.
Age 2 & up. Share books, stories, rhymes, music, and movement with your children.

Waxbarasho iyo Ciyaar Caruureed Af-Soomaali ah/Somali Play and Learn
Fri., thru Jan. 7 & 14, 10:30a.m.–12:30 p.m. Preschool-grade 2. Dhammaan caruurta ka yar da’ dugsi. Ka soo qaybgal sheekooyin caruur, heeso iyo hawlo waxbarasho. Soo bandhigidda barnaamijkan waxaa lala kaashaday Join us for stories, songs and activities. *

Sheeko Caruur Af-Soomaali ah/World Language Storytime: Somali Tues. thru Feb. 22, 6–7 p.m. La wadaag bugagga, sheekoyinka, jaan-gooyada maansada iyo muusikada Soomaalida. Mashruucaan waxaa lagu maalgaliyey lacag ka timid tage Fund. Age 2 and up. Experience the world in other languages. **

Celebrate Winter
Fri. Jan. 21, 4–5 p.m. Grade 2 and up. Join us for winter-themed stories and crafts!

Kids Book Club
Fri., Jan. 28, 4–5 p.m. Grades 4-6. Join other kids to talk about a great book! No pre-reading required. We will read a book and discuss.

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Seeking Wellness

by Harvey Winje

With great resiliency, neighborhood people have
endured change for decades while seeking to maintain personal wellness for themselves and the entire community.

Many have discovered that seeking personal wellness and community wellness are integrally linked together.  Good sleep, adequate resources, physical activity (especially walking), access to healthy food and healthcare, cultural celebrations, and social connectedness are essentials for wellness.  Many have also discovered that positive attitudes and consistent hard work are also necessary to attain and sustain those elements contributing to wellness.

This issue of The Alley has several examples and possibilities of seeking personal and community wellness within our lives and neighborhoods.

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199 Years later Wendell Phillips is still in “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Wendell Phillips from the Library of Congress

Wendell Phillips, Phillips Community’s namesake, still makes news as the agitator and moral guide.  The following article was in the New York Times this month.  Following the article, we have printed an e-mail exchange between the author of the article and James B. Stewart, Macalaster College, St. Paul.  Stewart is a professor of history and scholar/author of the life of Wendell Phillips.

On Dec. 3rd 2010, The Alley Newspaper will celebrate Wendell’s 199th birthday with a special carrot cake from Franklin Street Bakery at St. Paul’s Church on 28th St and 15th Ave. from 6:00- 8:00 PM along with a Fundraising Silent Auction.

Next year, The Alley will have a special 200th Anniversary of Wendell’s birthday.  We’re hoping to have James Stewart join us that day to help underscore the still relevant admonitions of Ann Green Phillips and Wendell Phillips.

The Abolitionist’s Epiphany

By Adam Goodheart

Boston, Nov. 7, 1860

Throughout most of the nation’s history, it had taken weeks for votes to be counted and for Americans to find out who their new president was. But by 1860, telegraph lines – more than 50,000 miles of them – had spread so far and wide across the country that the results were in the morning editions of the next day’s papers.

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PCPI Pitches PCC Proposal to Park Personnel

Minneapolis Swims presentation to MPRB’s Don Sigglekow, Judd Reichert, and Al Bangoura; included MS board members and Dean Dovolis and Hannah Lieder (standing).

by Robert Albee

After three months of waiting, the Phillips Community Parks Initiative (PCPI) finally had an opportunity to present its proposal to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for leasing and participating in the operations of the Phillips Community Center. The actual written proposal was submitted July 9th and project organizers have been waiting ever since to formally address the opportunities face-to-face with Park Board staff and commissioners. Presentations were finally made on November 3rd and November 4th.

MPRB staff members Don Siggelkow, Judd Reichert and Al Bangoura attended the two days of presentations provided by the Waite House, Soos Early Childhood Learning Center, Minneapolis Swims a “wellness” coalition including Native American Community Clinic, Running Wolf Fitness Center, Freeport West, A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD), Guri Nabad and Ventura Village neighborhood. The other three Phillips Community neighborhoods, East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Mid Town Phillips  and Phillips West Neighborhood Association were on hand supporting most of the other presenters and the notion of the MPRB and Phillips Community jointly supporting the Community Services Area (CSA), currently comprising Phillips Community and Eliot Park neighborhood.

Soos represents a Day Care center seeking to move from South 33rd Street and Chicago Avenue and was not included in the group presentations but all the rest of the groups presented together as an applicant’s coalition and then separately as the Pillsbury United Communities (Waite House), Minneapolis Swims and Soos.

The response of MPRB staff was friendly and very responsive but stopped short of making any commitments to the applicants who will present their report and recommendations to the MPRB commissioners. Then the MPRB commissioners will then decide to approve or reject the request, which is expected to take place within the next four to six weeks.

The Phillips Community Parks Initiative hopes to join with the MPRB in re-opening the Phillips Community Center for a combination of recreation, health and wellness-oriented activities, neighborhood organizing, and some supports for recent immigrants and low-income people seeking community assistance. Some of the space would be leased, leaving the largest areas for scheduled community usage under the aegis of the CSA.

Separately to all of this, Minneapolis Swims hopes to use the report commissioned by the PCPI members and themselves and prepared by DJR Architects to find independent funding to renovate the swimming pool and operate it in a manner that accords the greatest opportunity for youth and their families to have a fun aquatic experience while learning the life-skills associated with swimming lessons and water safety.

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Mpls. Swims Plunges in With Pool Proposal to Park Board

By Robert Albee

Citing statistics of persons of color and low incomes drowning in the Land of 10,000 Lakes prompted Minneapolis Swims and the Phillips Community Parks Initiative (PCPI) into pushing the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) toward supporting a proposal to enable them to pursue independent funding to restore the 75’ pool located in the now-closed Phillips Community Center building, scheduled for reopening in February, 2011.

Minneapolis Swims is the brainchild of East Phillips residents Hannah and Kevin Lieder who have begun efforts to organize Phillips residents and stakeholders for the effort needed to get the pool up, running and sustainable. Hannah, a swimming instructor at the Mid-Town YWCA has long sought the opportunities to get a better handle on the life-skills of water safety and fun associated with recreational swimming.

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