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

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Curious about a “key victory” in the Xcel Powerline dilemma?

By Tim Springer, Executive Director, Midtown Greenway Coalition
As many Alley readers may know, Xcel energy applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a permit to construct two new high voltage transmission lines over the Midtown Greenway or nearby, and two new substations. The community has concerns about potential impacts on human health, aesthetics, and historic resources, and consigning this part of town to blight.

Because of the relatively short distance of the lines, about 1.2 miles, a “certificate of need” was not required for the project. This means that the PUC cannot deny the project, they may only say where the wires go. This was a frustration to many people who felt that a closer look should be taken at energy conservation, local power production such as with photovoltaic solar panels, electricity storage, and smart grid. The only way to require an analysis of this bundle of alternatives is to require a certificate of need.

Enter State Representative Karen Clark, our rock star legislator. Karen pulled together a group of people, including lobbyists for Xcel Energy, and hammered out language acceptable to community members and Xcel Energy. Then she changed state law to require a certificate of need! Other legislators who deserve thanks are Senators Linda Berglin and Ellen Anderson.

The certificate of need process will be undertaken over the next year or so. The route permit process that is already underway with the PUC to determine where the wires and substations will go will be finalized and decisions made, but the permit will not be signed and the project will not be constructed until after the need for the lines is proven. Even if a certificate of need is provided and the high voltage lines are allowed, the analysis of possible energy alternatives created as part of the certificate of need process could provide a great energy efficiency and energy alternatives roadmap for south Minneapolis, potentially making us much greener and providing many green jobs. Yeah Karen Clark, shero of the day.

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Curious about another threat to East Phillips Community Center?

Cockroaches may have been our “canary in the coal mine” at Cockroach Park, the neighbor’s name for the East Phillips Park for the four decades since housing was demolished.

By Brad Pass, Chair East Phillips Park Community Design Team

Once again East Phillips Cultural and Community Center has uncovered a deeply dismaying setback. Serious hazardous pollution was discovered as excavation proceeded this spring as if the struggles to gain political support, funding, and an appropriate design were not enough,. Borings and beginning excavation last Fall did not find this problem.

Foundation rubble from houses demolished in the early 1970s left small quantities of numerous pollutants; asbestos, lead, ash and fuel oil, and others thoroughly intermixed with the excavated soil. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) require all excavated material be treated as hazardous waste and disposed and new soil brought substituted. The total cost of removing this and purchasing more clean fill and top soil far exceeds budgeted project funds.
The solution proposed by the Park Board was to reduce the building’s size and function by:
Eliminating 1,000 Sq. Ft. at the south end of building designated as the Elder and Family Gathering Space;

Eliminating all commercial kitchen equipment: refrigerator, freezer, range, exhaust hood, fire suppression system, make-up air system, and all counters, cupboards and storage cabinets;
Eliminating the sound attenuating system in the gymnasium.
Eliminating many other building amenities.

Downgrading was a nightmare after the long struggle to deliver a wonderful multi-use building for the many needs of Phillips’ incredible diversity. The losses were too severe to accept without a fight. The Community Design Team and EPIC scrambled quickly and found two sources of money to help.

One is a Hennepin County Pollution Mitigation Grant. The second is a bill rushed through the legislature in the last days of the session by Representative Karen Clark.

Members of the Design Team worked frantically on May Day weekend to meet the Monday, May 3rd deadline for the Hennepin County grant.

Rep. Clark worked tirelessly at the Legislature to shepherd her bill through and to attain the Governor’s signature.

These two options were minor miracles.

We will have most of the “solution,” if we are successful with Hennepin County and if we are able to use all of both grants. We are continuing to seek funding to avoid any losses to the building.
Stay tuned and curious.

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Curious about a United Phillips plus Waite House Proposal for Phillips Pool and Gym Community Center?

The Phillips Pool and Gym Community Center on East 24th St. between 10th and 13th Avenues closed for repairs and awaiting operating proposals.

by Robert Albee, Ventura Village Secretary
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has set July 9th as the date by which interested parties must submit their applications for future leasing of the Phillips Community Center. The Park Board has clearly stated that they are interested in proposals compatible with, and complimentary to MPRB programs and services and have a good reputation and an interest in the community being served.

Accordingly, successful applicant/s must have the resources “to renovate the interior and exterior of the building and provide rental income to offset the building utilities, operating costs and provide for long term building maintenance and operation of the project.”

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Curious about Seward’s Folly and Sarah Palin?

By Harvey Winje
The only connection of Seward’s Folly with Seward Neighborhood in Mpls. is the namesake—William Henry Seward, 1801-1872.

Seward was a staunch fighter of slavery and, in fact, was so outspoken that it probably lost him the nomination to the presidency in the year that Abraham Lincoln (a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate) won the nomination of a new political party called Republican. He had been the 12th Governor of New York and a U.S. Senator from New York.
After winning the presidency, Lincoln appointed Seward to be Secretary of State. Does this sound familiar? A Congressman from Illinois becomes President after winning nomination from a Senator from New York who then appoints his previous adversary as Secretary of State?.

Seward was stabbed in a associated, conspiratorial assignation attempt the same night that Lincoln was killed.

Seward survived and continued as Secretary of State under President Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor.

It was during that time that on March 30, 1867 he negotiated the purchase of the 586,412 square mile territory of Alaska from Russia for $7,200.000. It was broadly considered to be a wasteful purchase and thus was called Seward’s Folly.

Perhaps, history has vindicated him giving the United States an outpost State to the North. If it wasn’t for Seward’s Folly, Sarah Palin would not be looking at Russia from her deck–she would be Russian!

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Mayor Rybak Appoints Sue Hunter Weir to the Heritage Preservation Commission

Are you curious about history, how we preserve and celebrate history in Minneapolis, and who writes it?

by Harvey Winje
If 19th century Irish poet and author Oscar Wilde is correct that “any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it,” then, who we commission to preserve and celebrate our local and national history is very important. Selection of those to lead us in acknowledgment of our past do well in listening to American historian Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s advice, “an historian should yield himself to his subject, become immersed in the place and period of his choice, standing apart from it now and then for a fresh view.”

Sue Hunter Weir, our own local, Phillips historian, is a hands-on chronicler of the past who does “yield herself to her subject, become immersed in the place and period of her choice,” and stands “apart from it now and then for a fresh view.” She toils in the soil planting flowers at our own Cedar Avenue and Lake Street Cemetery and she rummages through scores of newspaper archive pages to tell the stories of those thousands buried there.

Perhaps agreeing with Alexis de Tocqueville that when “the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness,” a commission to preserve and celebrate our heritage was created by the City of Minneapolis in 1972. The Mayor and City Councilmembers make appointments to the Commission.  Mayor R.T. Rybak appointed Sue Hunter Weir to assume a vacancy on the Commission in May 2010. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) serves as a citizen advisory body to the Minneapolis City Council. HPC is part of a nation-wide network of groups dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our local and national heritage. The Commission holds public hearings twice each month. The public is welcome to attend and highly encouraged to participate.”

The Commission sponsors summer walking tours of Minneapolis historic sites, partners with American Institute of Architects Minneapolis (AIA), and Preserve Minneapolis to “…recognize projects, individuals, and organizations that celebrate and enhance the heritage and historic
character of Minneapolis.” (That’s about 10 awards each year). The more routine business includes designating historic landmarks in the city and holding public hearings about proposed changes (usually architectural) to historic properties.

Other members of the Commission are: Mr. Chad Larsen, Ms. Denita Lemmon, Mr. Kevin Kelley, Ms. Kathleen Anderson, Ms. Meghan Elliott, Ms. Christina Harrison, Ms. Ginny Lackovic, Ms. Linda Mack, and Ms. Deborah Morse-Kahn. (they include architects, realtors, preservationists, an archeologist and historians).

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SEARCHING – a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 15: The Ties that Bind

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Our searchers, Angel and Luz walked west in the alley, holding their silence like a candle in front of their faces. They paused for a moment by the mural at Kaplan’s. Angel said he knew some kids that had worked on it; Luz said that she did as well, and as they compared notes they realized that their world was both smaller and more connected than they thought.

They walked past the makeshift memorial in front of the store where Eddie had been shot on his way home from basketball practice. The teddy bears and dried flowers poked their heads through the fresh snow. At first, neither one of them spoke, but then, almost as if a wind had blown through them, they both sighed.

“What a waste,” Angel said.
“He was such a good guy.” Luz said.
Luz said, “I think I know who the shooter is.”
Angel replied: “I know I know who the shooter is.”

And in that moment they knew that their lives which were weaving together into the future, were also intertwined in the past. How far past they had no idea.

After they stood at Eddie’s memorial for a few minutes, Luz asked, “Angel, where are we going? You said your teacher could help us—where is he?”

“I’m not sure it’s a he”, he said, softly.
“You’re not sure it’s a he!” Luz said, not softly at all. “What do you mean? I thought you said you had a teacher who could help us find Uncle Jaime. Is this some kind of game for you?”
Angel turned to look at Luz directly. “It’s not a game. When we were talking in the dark in the puppet theater, I was thinking of one teacher who actually is a teacher although he’s not teaching right now.”
Luz stared at him: “If you think that made sense to me, you’re wrong.”
“No, Luz, listen. I was thinking of my teacher from Roosevelt, Mr. Bussey. He has been helping me understand my history, and the history of my people, the Hidalgos”.
“The Hidalgos?” Luz said. “You told me your name was Angel Cruz Rojas. Since when are you a Hidalgo?”
Angel thought she said that last name of his grandmother as if she owned it, as if it were hers to confer or withhold.
“My great grandmother was a Hidalgo, and my great, great grandfather, and going back and back.”
“Hidalgos where—here or there?”
“Now you’re not making sense.”
“I mean are your Hidalgos from Guanajuato or are they from here, from the swale?” Luz said.
If Angel had been holding anything at that moment, he would have dropped it. He could feel a cold wind up his back, even though the air around them was still.
“Luz, did you say Hidalgos from the swale?”
“Yes, and Hidalgos from Guanajuato.”
“How do you know about that?” Angel asked, although he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.
“From my abuela. Her family goes way back—to Guanajuato, to Texas, all the way to Spain. Her great, great, grandmother was Guadalupe Hidalgo, who lived for awhile in the swale—right over here around 18th Avenue. “
“Luz, mi abuela said the same thing: that her great, great grandmother was Guadalupe Hidalgo, who was married to an Irishman, who gave birth to twin boys here, in this neighborhood.”

Now it was Luz’ turn to be surprised. Shocked. She opened her purse, and rummaged through it until she found a copy of a large family tree. At the top were Guadalupe Hidalgo and Matthew Kelley. Below were two boys, Marcos and Mateo Kelly Hidalgo. Below Marcos’ name were straight lines showing descendents. Below Mateo’s name was a gap, with three penciled in question marks. After the gap, a line of descendents. As the lines of the two boys grew, they began to intertwine in the center, almost like a double helix, then separated in different directions.

“This is where I am”, Luz said, as she unfolded the genealogy to show a greater widening web of names.
“And this…”, she said, turning the paper over, “this I think is your abuela. Socorro Cruz Rojas.”
“So that means…”, Angel began to ask.
“Yes we’re related,” Luz said, calmly.

Angel had two equal and opposite reactions: joy in finding someone that was closely tied to him in blood, and wonder about what would have happened had they kissed. The look on his face made Luz smile
“Don’t worry, Angel”, she laughed. “If we’re cousins, we’re like tenth cousins or something.” And then she reached up and kissed Angel on the cheek, a kiss that promised more.

Angel looked at the family tree intensely.
“So are you and I descended from Mateo or Marcos? Did Mateo even live long enough to have children? Is his ghost still around here like I’ve heard? ”
“Yes! No! Maybe!”, Luz said, laughing even harder.
“So what do we do know?” Angel asked.
“I think we need to go talk to abuela—my abuela”, and they started to walk again.

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June 2010 Food Obsession: No Waste or No Waist

by Jane Thomson

It is criminal to waste food – so thought my late husband, grandmother, and mother-in-law. My mother, on the other hand, said it was good manners to leave a little food on your plate.

Surprisingly, so does Michael Pollan in his new book Food Rules (do not pay $12 for this book). I am in the middle on this issue: I know that gross waste of food is very wrong. I also think that cleaning your plate when you are already full is a double waste, first of the food and then of your figure and your health. The waste needs to be curbed earlier. Don’t buy more than you can use or preserve and smell it later, rotting at the back of your fridge. At meals, don’t overload your plate, as in “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” (eat it all, and soon they won’t be). If you are at an “All You Can Eat” restaurant, load up on vegetables and protein foods. They are the most expensive anyway, so you will get your money’s worth.

Speaking of vegetables, here is a formula for Salad dressing or dip for veggies, hardboiled eggs, etc.
Combine low –fat or fat-free plain yoghurt with cocktail sauce and sweet pickle relish and/or dill pickle relish. Use about three parts yoghurt to one part cocktail sauce and one part relish.
All right, this isn’t exactly a diet recipe, but it isn’t junk food either. It uses up some stale bread, stale or low quality cake, and some bananas. As long as the proportion of milk and eggs to baked goods is just about right, other things, like jam, raisins or nuts can be tucked in (the theory is kind of like meat loaf).

Banana Bread Pudding
(about 12 servings)
• About 5 ½ cups of bread or cake (I used 5 slices of good wheat bread and 4 slices of Cub Foods banana bread)
• 3 c. of milk (I used skim milk and a little fat-free half and half.)
• 4 eggs
• 1 t. vanilla
• 1/3 c. sugar
• ¼ t. salt
• ½ cup or more of powdered skim milk
• 4 bananas
• 1 T. of grated lemon peel (or a little nutmeg)
• A few T. of chocolate syrup
Turn oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” pan or comparable pan, or 2 pans.
Tear bread into small pieces. Put the salt in the mild and pour it on the bread to soak for a few minutes. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks by hand and add the sugar and vanilla. Fold the yolk mixture into the bread mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the rest. Layer in the pans with sliced bananas and squirts of chocolate syrup. Bake about 45 minutes. With the milks and eggs and bananas, this would not be the worst breakfast in the world.

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Are you curious about a bamboo shirt or hemp socks? Bamboo, Cotton, and Hemp Clothing add comfort and sustainability

by Paul Wallick and Raymond Jackson

Many people are becoming more eco-friendly, by recycling and reducing waste. Global changes conditions suggest these are a much needed and appreciated lifestyle changes. There is also increased awareness of how other practices will help the environment and the sustainability of our planet as well.

The fabrics we wear and use can be a huge contribution to our own comfort but also to the more natural and less harmful impact on the earth. Bamboo, hemp and organic cotton use is on the rise to help combat waste.

Bamboo, at first feel, one notices the softness and comfort ability, while learning more about its eco-friendly existence. Because of bamboo’s natural properties, which include moisture wicking, (keeps you dry); anti-microbial,(reduces odor); thermal regulating, (keeps you a few degrees cooler in the summer and a few degrees warmer in the winter); the t-shirts, shorts, pants and socks, are wonderful for yoga, bicycling and just an overall active lifestyle. In addition, bamboo is grown organically with no pesticides and fertilizers, which make it a healthy choice for you and the Earth!
Hemp fabric is four times stronger than cotton, so it lasts longer and gets softer with each use. Hemp is breathable, so it also keeps you be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter! Requiring very little water, hemp leaves topsoil in great shape and it resists bacterial growth.
Organic cotton is grown in chemical free fields and helps drastically to reduce the pesticides and fertilizers used in regular cotton growing. Organic cotton is perfect for people with sensitive skin, allergies or irritations. Organic clothing makes for healthier families.

One customer said, “I purchased a pair of the EarthVitality socks, and have never had a more comfortable pair of socks in my life. They are quickly spoiling me. My feet just feel so at ease. I highly recommend them to others.”

Chemical free and organic baby’s teething rings, storage jars, bio-degradable water bottles and travel mugs, as well as cleaning products and much more are available at EarthVitality, located on the south end of the Global Market, Lake Street and Chicago Avenue, in South Minneapolis. For more information call, 763-213-7265.
Paul Wallick, is owner of Earth Vitality.

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Maria Hoyos and Maria’s Café Honored by the City

Are you curious what “working hard and staying strong can do?”

by Raymond Jackson

Maria Hoyos and her Café’ that she owns and operates received a Business Resolution award from Mayor R.T. Rybak and The Minneapolis City Council on January 29th. Maria’s Café’ located at 1113 East Franklin Avenue, in the Ancient Traders Market, was recognized by the city for having been in business at this location for 10 years.

Having to overcome a variety of challenges leading to her success, the resolution presented to Mrs. Hoyos read: Maria’s Café has helped to improve the city of Minneapolis and the Phillips Neighborhood.’

Arriving in Minneapolis from Columbia, in 1979, Maria Hoyos brought with her a wealth of business experience. Combining that experience with her ability to prepare and present good food and good service, Maria opened Maria’s Breakfast Club in 1993. Her dream of a full scale restaurant was kept alive and she added her private catering and country club experience to receive the opportunity to open Maria’s Café, on East Franklin Avenue, in 1999. This opportunity was presented to her by The American Indian Neighborhood Development Corporation (new name of which is Great Neighborhoods Development Corporation).

Maria’s continues to flourish, offering breakfast and lunch seven days a week and to make a difference, not just in the Phillips Community, but in the entire city of Minneapolis. Maria’s assortment of specialty pancakes and other delightful treats keep people coming from all around.
“I really enjoy helping those in need, because my family and I know what it’s like to not have. I try to encourage others to work hard and stay strong as they follow their dreams. It is good the way the neighborhood makes us feel very accepted and I am very proud that they gave me a chance at success,” says Maria.

I recommend treating yourself and your family to breakfast or lunch soon at Maria’s.

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Police, Adjective & The Ghost Writer

Police, Adjective

by Howard McQuitter

Police, Adjective (2009)
***
Twentieth Century Fox
Lagoon
Running Time: 115 minutes
Language: Romanian
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Bucharest detective Cristi (Dragos Bucur) trails a teenage boy who may be a hashish user, trying to find his supplier. Cristi would rather stop what seems to be overkill in finding small quantities of drugs on a 16 or 17 year old boy. Examining cigarette butts after the boy or his friends leave isn’t what Cristi relishes doing.

Cristi’s boss (Vlad Ivanov, “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”) wants convictions; Cristi wants a far softer approach, clemency if you will, for a conviction can mean 15 years and ruin the boy’s life, which is against his conscience. Perhaps his boss’ draconian approach to the boy (we never know his name) is rooted in the Ceausescu regime (1965-1989), a former iron-fisted Communist rule in Romania.

“Police, Adjective” is certainly not for everyone unless one has extreme patience. Waiting for something is an excruciating experience.

The Ghost Writer

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