NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday August 20th 2019

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Transit: The ghosts of transit past

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Since The Alley is starting off on a new foot, I thought this was a good time to discuss the past of our transit system. I was a child in the 1970s and a teenager in the early 1980s, when the Metropolitan Transit Commission buses were known as the “Big Red” for their color scheme.

MTC ads called it the “OughtaMobile” – as in you “oughta” ride the bus instead of driving. Slogans like “Go to California for 30 cents” abounded. (Of course, they meant California Ave. in Saint Paul – and nowadays that price would be $2!)

Before 1982, the adult fare was the same at all times of day, but discount fares for senior citizens, people with limited mobility, and students only applied during non-rush hours from the mid-1970s on. I remember finding it odd that children got a discount during school hours and at night, but not right after school, when it would have been most useful. Until 1979, the senior citizen fare during non-rush hours was zero.

There was no Metro Mobility back then, nor did regular buses have wheelchair lifts. Around 1979, MTC started a pilot project called Project Mobility which offered door-to-door service for people not able to use the regular buses. It was almost a victim of its own success – the planners only anticipated a few users going to medical appointments or maybe grocery shopping once a week. However, the existence of Project Mobility enabled people with physical disabilities to dare to try to have more active lives. “Build it and they will come” was an understatement! Project Mobility was expanded into the modern Metro Mobility program by popular demand, and later, a federal mandate.

The farthest out suburbs were what I called “next day” suburbs. That is, you couldn’t go there on the bus and return to the inner city the same day, because the bus service was designed for people who lived out there and worked downtown. Apple Valley, Burnsville, and Eagan were “next day” suburbs before the Mall of America opened! There aren’t many “next day” suburbs anymore, but Maple Grove and Forest Lake still are. A few others, as a practical matter, might as well be, such as Plymouth, downtown White Bear Lake, Cottage Grove, Newport, and Saint Paul Park, Circle Pines, and Lexington.

Oh, the ghosts of transit past!

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Community Briefs

Free health care clinic

The free Phillips Neighborhood Clinic is open Mondays and Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2742 15th Ave. S. Closed on holidays. The free, walk-in clinic is operated by University of Minnesota health professional students. 

All students are supervised by licensed doctors. No appointments or insurance is necessary. Spanish interpreters are available. For more information, call 612-724-1690 between 6-9 p.m.n on Mondays or Thursdays or visit www.phillipsneighborhoodclinic.com.

Upcoming speciality nights: 

– Feb. 4 and March 11: Audiology students and a licensed audiologist will provide hearing testing, management of hearing loss, and education about hearing protection

– March 18: Eye checks and free glasses

– April 11:  Mammograms, pelvic exams/cervical cancer screening, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and information about women’s health.

‘Grace’ at new museum

The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery is located at 1256 Penn Ave. N. in THOR Companies’ new headquarters in Minneapolis, fourth floor. It operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 1 to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Unbreakable: Celebrating the Resilience of African Americans in Minnesota” has been extended through Summer 2019 due to its popularity. 

The “Grace” exhibit is also so popular that it has been extended through Feb. 28 during Black History Month. “Grace” tells the visual story of African American women wearing hats, often called church hats, which has cultural and spiritual significance in the African American community. The exhibit features photography by Phillips resident Walter Griffin and paintings by Beverly Tipton Hammond. The exhibit also includes a collection of hats provided by Kevin Henderson of Mr. H’s hats.

For more information, visit www.maahmg.org.

Really Really Free Market 

Attend the Really Really Free Market in the East Phillips Park building, 2399 S. 17th Ave. on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 1-3 p.m. Everything there is free: offer what you’d like to give and take what you would like to receive. Just be prepared to take back anything you bring that no one else claims. Enjoy an afternoon in the gift economy.

Town hall 

meeting set

Senator Torres Ray, Representative Wagenius and  State Representative Jim Davnie will be sharing significant legislative initiatives moving forward.  during a town hall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10-11:30 a.m. at Corcoran Park, 3334 20th Ave. S.

Community  Connections

The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department invites citizens to the 8th annual Community Connections Conference on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The conference is a free event meant to build connections and foster collaboration between communities, neighborhoods and government. The conference features interactive workshops, speakers, panel discussions, legal clinic, exhibit hall with over 100 vendors, and a delicious catered lunch. The theme of this year’s conference is Together: Mobilizing for a Better Minneapolis. 

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She waited 50 years – and the city kept its promise

Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

163rd in a Series

People often ask whether it is still possible to be buried in the cemetery. The answer is – maybe.  It is possible, but not likely.

On May 23, 1919, the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance that closed Layman’s (now Pioneers and Soldiers) Cemetery to future burials. They did so in response to a petition circulated by business owners and neighbors from the surrounding area who complained that the cemetery had become an eyesore and a health hazard. 

The burial ban went into effect on Aug. 1, 1919.  The ordinance did not condemn the cemetery, which would have required disinterring the 27,000 people buried there, but simply said that no more could be added; there was enough misinformation and confusion about what the cemetery’s future that family members arranged for the removal of more than 5,000 people. More that 22,000 remain.

The last person buried before the ban went into effect was 16-year-old Jessie Wethern who drowned on July 20, 1919, while swimming in Minnehaha Creek with three of her girlfriends. Jessie lived with her widowed mother at 4122 East Lake Street, not far from the cemetery, and that may have been why her mother chose to have Jessie buried at Layman’s on July 22, 1919, nine days before the ban went into effect.

Fifteen years later, in 1934, the city council voted to make their first exception to the ordinance and allow Ann Maria Witherell Lynde to be buried next to her husband, Elihu Spencer Lynde. Mrs. Lynde died on Dec. 17, 1934, from heart disease at the age of 88. Her husband, a Civil War veteran, had died 50 years earlier, on April 30, 1884.  

Mrs. Lynde’s story was one of promises both made and kept.  

According to a story in the Minneapolis Star, she had appeared before members of the city council before they approved the ban on burials and had been promised that she could be buried next to her husband, a promise that her children assured her they would see fulfilled. Ann Lynde was buried next to her husband on April 13, 1935.  

During their deliberations about whether or not to approve Mrs. Lynde’s request, council members worried that they would be opening the floodgates for similar requests.  That did not happen: only 83 adults were buried after that date. Those requests were all approved by the city council for people who already owned plots in the cemetery (not sold since at least 1919) and who had at least one relative buried there.

The majority of people buried after 1919 were, as might be expected, elderly. They were widows and widowers or the adult sons and daughters of people already buried in the cemetery. In a handful of cases, they were parents who had lost young children decades earlier.  Only two of those buried were in their 40s, one was in her 50s, and seven were in their 60s.  The rest were in their 70s (27), 80s (35) and 90s (11). Most of them died from the same causes that people die from today: heart disease and cancer. 

What distinguishes them from those who had died earlier is that very few of them died at home.  Most died in nursing homes and hospitals, reflecting a shift in thinking about caring for the dying.

The most recent burial took place in 1999 when Mrs. Vesta Bachelder, widow of Richard Bachelder. Mrs. Bachelder died on May 22, 1999, from congestive heart failure.  She was 93 years old.  Her husband had been buried in the family’s plot 11 years earlier after he died from a stroke. Mr. Bachelder, was the great-grandson of Asa Clark Brown, one of the cemetery’s four War of 1812 veterans.

Can you still be buried in Pioneers and Soldiers? Maybe. If your family bought a plot before 1919 and never used it, and you already have a relative buried there, you are eligible to be buried in the cemetery. The city council would need to approve the request (imagine their surprise when they learn they have that authority) and most likely would.  So, the number of people who meet those conditions is small but there are people who meet them, including one of Friends of the cemetery’s board members.

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association February 2019

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EPIC February 2019

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Ventura Village news February 2019

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Movie Corner February 2019

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com

howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

10 Best Films of 2018

1.) “Roma” (R) – In the early 1970s, a maid (Yalitza Aparicio) working for a well-to-do family in one year has unexpected challenges. Director: Alfonso Cuaron. Running time: 135 minutes. Language: Spanish in English subtitles. Drama.

2.) “Green Book” (PG-13) – An Italian American from Brooklyn  leaves his bounce job to be the driver to an African American classical pianist. drama/Comedy/Bio-graphy. Director: Peter Farrelly. Running time: 134 minutes.

3.) “Bohemian  Rhapsody” – (PG-13) Who ever thought someone would be playing Freddie Mercury(Rami Malek) of the rock band “Queen”? Biography/Drama/Music. Director: Bryan Singer. Running time: 134 minutes.

4.) “BlacKkKlansman”(R) – Colorado Springs, Colo., in the early 1970s, hires its first Black police officer (John David Washington) while another police officer, white, infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. Director: Spike Lee.Drama/Biography/Romance. Running  time:135 minutes.

5.)”Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (PG-13) – I saw this wonderful documentary about Fred Rogers at the 37th Minneapolis- St. Paul Film Festival. Director: Morgan Neville. Running time: 94 minutes.

 6.) “If Beale Street Could Talk”(R) – The movie is taken from a novel by James Baldwin where A young African American couple face unexpected challenges especially when the woman’s beau is falsely (spoiler alert) accused of rape. Director:Barry Jenkins. Drama/Romance/. Running time: 119 minutes.

 7.) “The Death of Stalin”(R) – Wow!, you mean someone can pull off a comedy about Stalin and his henchmen? Well, here is an example it can be done. Comedy. Director: Armando Iannucci. Running time; 107 minutes.

8.) “ Three Identical Strangers” (PG-13) – Three young men separated at birth at 19 years old find out they are identical triplets. Director: Tim Wardle. Running time: 96 minutes.

9.) “A Private War” (R) – War correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) goes to the worst wars on the globe trying to bring the horrors of war to the  world. Director: Matthew Heineman. Drama/War /Biography. Running time: 110 minutes.

10.) “I Can Only Imagine” (PG) – Bart Millard overcomes living with an abusive father to become the leader of one of the biggest Christian bands in the country whose song hits the top of the charts. Directors: Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin. Music/ Biography/ Christian. Running time: 110 minutes.

 Best of the Rest

1.) “Black Panther”

2.) “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

3.) “At Eternity’s Gate”

4.) “Beautiful Boy” 

5.) “Love, Gilda”

6.) “Boy Erased”

7.) “Sorry to Bother You”

8.) “The Favourite”

9.) “Blindspotting’

10.) “Bye Bye Germany” 

11.) “A  Memoir of War”(French in English subtitles)* 

12.) Hitler’s Hollywood” (German in English subtitles)* 

13.) “A Star is Born”

* From the 37th Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

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Alley Communications* and its ‘Alley cat’ landing on its feet!

Tesha M. Christensen Meet The Alley newspaper Interim Board members. These volunteers are working to shape the future of The Alley. Back, left to right: Sunshine Sevigny, Steve Dreyer, Thorbjorn Adam, and Gabriel Pass. Front: Lee Leichentritt, Cathy Strobel-Ayres (president), Lindsey Fenner, and Francis Mendenhall. Not pictured: Steve Sundberg and Harvey Winje. Want to join? Email copydesk@alleynews.org.



  • Optimism and enthusiasm of the Interim Board, Editorial Leadership Committee, and new Coordinator are striving to with good energy to assume productive roles.
  • Planning will begin for a public Gathering of Alley readers and stakeholders.
  • Editorial Leadership Committee is being formed to assure the many voices and cultural ways of knowing are represented within The Alley Newspaper.

*Alley Communications is the 501C3 non-profit. There are plenty of ways the organization can grow and learn to be an effective communication tool of the community. Send us an email with your ideas: copydesk@alleynews.org org or call Harvey, 612-990-4022.

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Cartoon February 2019

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The Rand Report: Who is really listening?

By Rand Retterath

Rand Retterrath

I know, let’s put in a bike lane!  AFTER we approve the construction of five new parking ramps to join the existing five — and all within a mile of each other!

Makes sense to me!

Oh, wait, we already did that!  Silly me! And still we have cars parking all over residential streets!

RAMP TALLY

1) Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Blue/26th St. Ramp:  477 vehicle spaces

2) Abbott Northwestern Piper Building, 60 vehicle spaces

3) Childrens’ MN Hospital and Clinics, 26th St. Ramp: 700 vehicle spaces

4) Midtown Doctors Building: 19 vehicle spaces

5) Midtown Exchange: 1,000 vehicle spaces + 400 Surface Lot spaces

6) Wells Fargo: 2,239 vehicle spaces

7) Wells Fargo new ramp: 696 vehicle spaces

At time of press, specific number of vehicle spaces was unknown at these following ramps:

8) Abbott Northwestern Hospital Main Ramp, 2800 Medical Building: 1 Ramp

9) Phillips Eye Institute: 1 Ramp

10) Sheraton Hotel: 1 surface lot

11) Wells Fargo: 5th St. Ramp

According to MnDOT, approximately 14,000 vehicles traverse 28th/Chicago as well as the 26th/Chicago intersections daily, often EMS vehicles.

The city master bike plans were adopted in 2011, with a revisit in 2014.

The initial planning phase for Global Market/Village and Allina included promises of a traffic flow analysis because of the anticipated influx of vehicles coming into Midtown from the freeway to work at Allina. It was again promised with the redevelopment of Honeywell to Wells Fargo, its former step building and the new construction. Both have yet to be performed.

Andersen United Elementary School is still looking for 100 stalls after being evicted from Abbott Northwestern ramp as the hospital had reached capacity with the addition of the Minneapolis Heart Institute and the expansion on 10th. Look for the teaching staff on residential streets. Then the Islamic Community Center went in on 13th. Good neighbors, but everyone has a car. Of cours,e no one likes to pay for ramps when you can park on streets for free.

Finally, all those poor desperate visitors to loved ones in the hospital — they have never been in the city before and think 10th is a one way, the way they are going. And those others who choose the wrong ramp and have to back up. When contacted, one city urban planner responded, “We can’t legislate for stupid people,” and that was just to get some traffic directional signage.

One last point, Andersen United Elementary School and the A/N Hospital have same time shift change/start. Tenth Ave. becomes a major obstruction; so, daily, 40-60 parents use adjoining alleys to circumnavigate the traffic jams. That tally was from a recent school safety officer who was shocked at this quantification.

Likewise, the bike Master Plan has not been updated to correct for actions taken on these commercial development projects.

All appropriate leaders within these companies were polled on thoughts regarding bike lanes and their feedback universally ignored.

AND there is talk of and plans for another bike lane on 10th!

Now, how about maintenance of those stellar bike lanes and the bollards, 1/2 block from the Midtown Greenway wherein half of the trench is unused, because we are saving it for the magical “Mr. Rogers Trolley.”  I have more than one bollard in my garage that I have found lying in the gutter!

And it only took me nine months to get the safe kids lane cleaned up after construction was completed! How about all those meaningless road construction signs, sandbags and barriers littering our streets?

Keep in mind, as a community we support new business in our communities, to that end we acknowledge the importance of flow of and access to goods and services predicated on easy accessible transportation. We see that 28th and 26th are major commuter routes. We acknowledge the future and importance of bike lanes. What seems to be missing in all of this is that age old Minneapolis value of “Community Engagement! How best to serve the most people in a democratic process that involves negotiation and compromise.

In that regard, the lesson here beyond urban planning, future modeling and population/business forecasting is how “do we talk to each other?” In what ways is the current Minneapolis model of conducting business more similar to that of Washington D.C. than we care to admit.  Who is really listening and to what?

Rand has been a Phillips resident since 1992. Hobbies include reading, dogs, home, running, and playing the bagpipes. He is currently the marketing director for a non-profit with a background in market research. He participated in consituent research and business development on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and Mille Lacs Reservation.Under Mayor Sa yles-Belton, he served on the substance abuse task force combating the use of native and chronic inebriate as synonyms. Rand has focused on attempts to revise policies regarding the treatment of vulnerable adults at 1800 Chicago, and raising awareness of toxicity and homeless on the Greenway. Rand has partnered to identify needs on Lake Street related to Sabri Properties, sex and drug trade to expand the conversation to include the multiple trans and gay sex workers as well as female and lesbian pimps.

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