NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday December 12th 2017

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Summer of Solutions Workers Listening, Responding, and Supporting

by Martha Pskowski and Nalatlie Camplair

At the beginning of June, six members of Summer of Solutions (SoS) moved into a house in Midtown Phillips. This summer residence serves as headquarters for the SoS program, a grassroots youth leadership program that focuses on building capacity and potential in communities to address social and environmental injustices. There are 15 full-time SoS members in the Twin Cities. Summer of Solutions, hosted by the non-profit Grand Aspirations, was formed by Macalester College students in 2008 and is now made up of young people from around Minnesota and the U.S.

Participants will work on bike access, urban agriculture, energy efficiency and green manufacturing. Summer of Solutions will support existing local organizations that already work in these project areas and support them with their time and energy. For example, participants will be working with a variety of urban farms this summer, including several in East Phillips.  SoS is also working on creating networks of urban farmers to create jobs and keep “food dollars” in our communities. Another partnership with a for-profit co-op, Cooperative Energy Futures, seeks to create jobs and build community by capturing the savings from energy efficiency projects. CEF is working with Karen Clark to pursue the solution of improved energy efficiency in Phillips as a strong argument against constructing the Xcel transmission lines.

CEF, urban agriculture and all the projects of SoS attempt to create new models to replace those that aren’t working for employees, the natural world and our health. Redefining the priorities of both business and charitable work to build potential in communities is primary goal of Summer of Solutions.

In all its work, Summer of Solutions tries to listen and respond to the needs and concerns of community members. The members are excited to be in the Phillips neighborhood and be a part of its rich tradition of organizing. The program runs until the end of July but many members will continue to work on local projects throughout the rest of the year.

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What and Where is this in PHILLIPS Community?

Identify what and where of these photos and win a chance for a drawing for a $10.00 Gift Certificate to Welna Hardware on Bloomington Avenue. Email us the answer.
Hint: It was news in June that this corner will have a $21M change in 2011.

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Alice’s murder exploited by vagaries of politicos and publishers

Phase I of the fence restoration is scheduled to begin in late July. Thanks to all of you who helped make it possible. Additional funds are needed to complete Phase II, the final phase of the restoration. Enough money has been contributed for 430 of the 1,583 pickets. There’s still plenty of time to adopt a picket

Roosevelt, Taft, politicos, prostitution, Titanic dominate headlines

by Sue Hunter Weir

Alice Mathews led a rather ordinary life except for one thing: she was murdered. On Saturday, March 23, 1912, the night that she was murdered, Alice was twenty years old. She worked as a packer at the Pillsbury C Mill and lived with her father, stepmother and four siblings in South Minneapolis. Alice had spent the evening downtown going to a movie and having a late supper with two of her girlfriends. At 11:06, Alice caught the Cedar Avenue streetcar. She got off on 34th Street and Cedar Avenue, the end of the line, and started to walk home, a distance of about seven blocks. When Alice was within a few houses of her own home, someone attempted to rape her. Failing that, her attacker strangled her.

The story of Alice’s murder was front-page news for the next three weeks. Except for those who were interested in the battle between Theodore Roosevelt and Howard Taft for the Republican endorsement in the 1912 presidential campaign, there wasn’t much interesting going on, at least not much that would sell papers. But it was an election year for local politicians as well, and Alice’s murder provided an opening for people to vent their frustration or show their support for various local candidates and causes.

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Searching – A Serial Novelle Chapter 16: El Corrido De Don Jaime

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

When Angel and Luz arrived at her abuela’s house, the whole neighborhood was gathered. Children running everywhere, elderly women dancing to scratchy phonograph records from Mexico. Even though it was freezing outside, Luz’s cousin Rodrigo was in the backyard, turning steaks and sausages on a large grill cut from an oil drum. People who had run in terror from the raid just a few hours before were partying as if Mexico had just won the World Cup. Luz finally found her grandmother Dolores in the kitchen. Over the noise, she asked her what happened.

“Your Uncle Jaime is free!” she shouted as she gave her a big hug.
“What?” Luz cried. “Immigration let him go?”
“No, mi amor—he escaped—he flew the coop—¡voló como un paloma!”
It took a few moments for this to sink in.
“Where? How? Abuela, they’re going to come looking for him! They’ll bust the door down!” Luz shouted.
“No-no, he’s safe—he’s not here—he’s miles away and they’ll never catch him again!”
Luz wasn’t quite sure what that meant, and kept shaking her head. Angel, meanwhile, stood with his hands in his pockets, surrounded by people whom he did not know, but who surely knew Luz. Everyone, young and old, came up to give her a hug or a kiss on the check. Angel finally nudged her with her elbow.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” Luz laughed. “This is mi abuela Dolores. Grandma, this is Angel”.
“Oh I know you”, Dolores said. “The Tecolote Man!”

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Food Obsession: Something Different

by Jane Thomson
My readers (both relatives) are probably tired of my preaching about diet, obesity, waste etc., so I will tone it down.

These two recipes are good for summer. Neither is for “everyday”.
“Bill’s” Smoked Oyster Salad (from Star Tribune, long ago)
3 cans of smoked oysters, drained
2 cups of cooked curly macaroni, rinsed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 ripe medium-size tomatoes, cut up
6 hard-boiled egg, sliced
Mayonnaise seasoned with a dash of ketchup
“Good squirts” of Tobasco sauce
Combine oysters, macaroni, green pepper, celery, 2 of the tomatoes and 5 of the eggs. Moisten with mayonnaise, seasoning to taste with ketchup and Tobasco. Chill. Serve garnished with sliced egg and tomato wedges. Serves 6 to 8.

This recipe is a good one to illustrate the point that you should read the whole recipe, instructions and all, before starting to make it as there are some time lapses involved. Obviously, since there are no instructions for heating the water, it is for experienced cooks.

Red, White and Blue Salad (also from Strib)
Have a glass 9×13-inch pan? This salad would look nicer in glass.
2 of 3 oz. packages of raspberry Jello
3 cups of hot water
1 envelope of plain gelatin
½ cup of cold water
1 cup of half-and-half
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8oz). package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of pecans, chopped
2 cups of canned blueberries with juice (frozen would probably be fine). See also mulberries, enhanced with blue food color).
First layer: Dissolve on package of raspberry Jello in 2 cups of hot water. Allow to jell in a 9” x 13” pan.
Second layer: Dissolve plain gelatin in cold water. Heat cream and sugar without boiling. Mix with plain gelatin mixture. Add vanilla and cream cheese and beat until blended. Stir in nuts. Put on top of first layer and allow to jell before adding last layer.
Third layer: Dissolve the second box of raspberry Jello in the remaining 1 cup of hot water. Add blueberries with juice (or mulberries with a little water and blue food color), Mix and put on top of second layer. Refrigerate until firm. Cut in squares to serve (I guess if the pan isn’t pretty, you put the squares on a plate). Makes about 12 servings.

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Solitary Man & The Karate Kid

The Solitary Man

Solitary Man (2009)
***1/2
Millennium Films
Comedy/Drama
Running Time: 90 minutes
Director: Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Michael Douglas as graying old Ben Kalmen is neither villain nor hero in “Solitary Man,” Mr. Kalmen in his heyday was a sparkling car dealer for New York’s Honest Car Dealership. He’s saliently flawed in the morality department by cheating on his wife Nancy (Susan Sarandon) and disappointed his daughter Susan (Jenna Fischer) too many times to count.
Interestingly enough, Ben’s not solitary by choice but because of his breaking trust with the ones he loves. His new girlfriend Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker) asks him to accompany her college-bound daughter Allyson (Imogen Poots) to a college interview at his alma mater. He’s reluctant to go but he goes anyway. Later (as he has done in the past) he makes more injudicious choices.
Michael Douglas is one of those actors who can look like he’s in crisis or about to get out of one. “Solitary Man” is no “Fatal Attraction” (1987) nor is it “American President” (1995) which Michael Douglas also starred in. Douglas, like Robert DeNiro in “everybody’s Fine”, has alienated himself from familial circles in sated conclusion: everybody’s dysfunctional.

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Bow to Rwanda

by Peter Molenaar

At the corner of 31st Street and 16th Avenue exists a modest reddish brown brick structure –- home to United Methodist Walker Community Church. For decades, the Peace and Justice Community has used this facility for planning meetings and public forums. It is a proud church.
About early April of this year, the pews were occupied by supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal, political prisoner wrongly convicted of murder. An exposition of developments in Mumia’s case was delivered by a world famous professor of law. Shortly thereafter, Peter Erlinder would find himself imprisoned in far-away Rwanda.

Peter’s initial call to Africa had been issued in the year 2003 by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He was to lead a defense team assigned to persons charged with perpetrating the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Please google “Rwanda genocide” and follow the Wikepedia links.

No doubt, the anti-Tutsi genocide delivered by Hutu forces is near the top of the list of 20th century horrors. Perhaps one million people were exterminated in 100 days. That would be 10,000 every day, 400 every hour. The machete was the weapon of convenience.

However, the genocide occurred in the context of a civil-war with roots in the age-old humiliation of the Hutu under Tutsi domination.

Question: Who precipitated this genocide by shooting down (Hutu) President Juvenal Habyarimana?

Question: Why did the radio voice which fomented and guided the genocide emanate from a European?

Question: Should the military force under (Tutsi) Paul Kagame be viewed as an invasion force under U.S. sponsorship?

So, Peter returned to Rwanda in order to defend Victoire Ingabire, the leader of political opposition to Paul Kagame, now president of Rwanda. It appears that both Peter and Victoire are guilty of “speech critical of the official version of the 1994 genocide”. Conclusion: A just law against “genocide ideology” has been perverted for purposes of political repression.
Elected persons Klobuchar, Ellison, and McCollum have pulled strings. Hillary Clinton has acted. Peter has bowed before the Rwanda judge and is coming home.
Let us all bow our heads…

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Love the Midtown Greenway?

Take The Greenway Challenge!

By Lauren Fulner, Community Organizer, Midtown Greenway Coalition

The Twin Cities community will be taking over the Greenway this September, and we want you to join in the celebration! Riders in the first annual bike-a-thon on the Midtown Greenway on September 25, 2010 will be delighted by live music, colorful community art, and delicious snacks along all 5.5 miles of the Greenway trail.

We’d love for you and your friends to participate; cyclists commit to ride 44 miles in the Greenway on event day and secure at minimum of $250 in personal pledges beforehand. Fantastic prizes await the fundraising fanatics—the top pledge-getter wins airfare for two and a week at a chateau built in an old winery in the bike-friendly Loire Valley of France. This grand prize is being donated by Bob Corrick and Beth Parkhill. Other prizes will be given away via raffle open to all bikers in the Challenge, and for best costume and best decorated bike. The Midtown Greenway Coalition invites trail users to sign up months early so that the pledge raising is a cinch, and will be hosting Pledge-Raising How-To parties throughout the summer.

Cyclists have all afternoon to complete their ride, and can begin as early as 11:00 a.m., with an awards ceremony capping off the evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Cepro site (10th Avenue entrance to the Greenway by Midtown Exchange).

All funds raised go directly to keeping your Greenway safe and beautiful. You can register for The Greenway Challenge online following links from midtowngreenway.org, or by contacting or visiting the Midtown Greenway Coalition office inside the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center to request a hard copy of the registration form. Thanks in advance for your support!

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CHAT: Citizen Health Action Teams mobilize to improve health

Hilma Grundstrom Johnson Winje, 1948, taking clothes and quilts from the clothesline in their backyard at 2512-14 Chicago Avenue at this spot where a 800 car parking ramp has replaced the backyards and homes of 26 families. Send photos of your Backyard that has been affected by institutions for The Alley’s Gallery of Loss to editor@alleynews.org

Update on the Backyard Initiative

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Community Residents’ Strategies to Improve Health in the Backyard
Residents of the Backyard have been meeting at the Cultural Wellness Center for the past six months to develop their ideas for health improvement. People with similar interests have been contributing their ideas and designing projects together that they believe will make a difference in the health of the community. So far 11 teams have formed and are now working on their projects. The CHATs are continually recruiting new members to join their teams.

The Backyard Initiative was initiated by Allina Hospitals and Clinics in the fall of 2008 in the neighborhoods of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Corcoran, and Central. What was once a project led by Allina is now a community-owned project in which Allina is a major partner.

The Community Commission on Health
Some of the CHATs have developed their projects to the point that they are now in the process of presenting their proposals to the Community Commission on Health, a group of approximately 35 people who are members of CHATs or represent institutions that have been part of the process. The Commission’s work is to monitor the health of the community, build the community’s capacity for taking responsibility for its own health, and support efforts to maintain and improve the health of Backyard members.

In June, the Commission discussed how it will make decisions about which projects to fund.  They have approved a list of criteria that each project has to meet (see BYI update in the Alley’s June edition) and are now looking at how to score each proposal so that the most important criteria carry more weight than the less important. This will make it easier to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal. They have decided they do not want to use a scoring system as a formula to determine which proposals are approved, but only as a basis for discussion in order to reach consensus  Members of the Commission are excited about developing a process that keeps the interests of the community in the center. Members have said they want to act differently than a funding board; they want to help build capacity in the community and support each good idea to move to implementation.

If you have a great idea to improve the community’s health that involves community residents working together, please come to the next CHAT meeting. You may also join an existing CHAT.
Current Citizen Health Action Teams

  1. Rebirthing Community: Bringing Elders and Youth Together: The team has discussed mentoring and visual arts as a way to bring the generations together.
  2. Establishing Anchor Families: This team is seeking to establish “anchor families” on each block who can teach life skills and guiding values to youth as well as connect youth and their families to resources for wellness.
  3. Did You Know?: Working on establishing and strengthening informal networks of communication through neighbors by recruiting, training, equipping, and supporting block leaders .
  4. LGBT: A team that is working to connect individuals from all cultures who are LGBT with the resources they need to be healthy and safe.
  5. Food and Nutrition: This group is focusing on creating an empowered community that is actively involved with the production and distribution of its own food.
  6. Dakota Language Revitalization: This group is concentrated on keeping Dakota language and life ways alive and vibrant in the Dakota community.
  7. Ancient and Traditional Healing Arts: The focus of this group is on educating community about natural and ancient ways to be healthy and well and connecting people to so-called ‘alternative’ health practitioners for healing and wellness purposes.
  8. Environmental: This group is looking at the impact of environment on the health of residents in the Backyard.
  9. Communications/Media: This group is working to lessen or eliminate the divide between people who have information and those who don’t so that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged in a healthy community.
  10. Organizational Leadership: This group is working on connecting the organizations of the Backyard with each other and with residents in the interests of the whole community.
  11. Assessment/Analysis Team: Guiding data analysis and utilization of the data collected in the Backyard assessment.

Call the Cultural Wellness Center, 612-721-5745, for more information.

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CURIOUS?

“Curiosity didn’t kill this cat!” …Studs Terkel

When you asked too many questions as a child, you were probably scolded with this advice, “Curiosity killed the cat!”

Studs Terkel died on Halloween Eve 2008 at 96 years of age. Three years earlier, at the time of major heart surgery, he said he wanted his tombstone to read, “Curiosity didn’t kill this cat!!” He was curious when he asked questions of many great Americans—not Presidents, Generals, and the famous–he was curious as he interviewed hundreds of common folks. After graduation from law school he became a doorman instead of a lawyer–so he could constantly meet and greet people. His consummate curiosity was only exceeded by his superb listening. Terkel asked poignant questions and overbalanced that adroit inquisitiveness with listening and documenting the answers.

Are you curious? That’s probably, why you are reading this newspaper. You may be curious about topics explained in this June issue of The Alley. So, read on, curb your appetite of curiosity. And then, “Tell Us Your Story,” because neighbors are curious about your stories and opinions, too.
Are you curious about……………?????

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