NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Sunday November 18th 2018

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March 2011 Daves’ Dumpster

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Millions In Motion

By Peter Molenaar

The people in this neighborhood of the world have yet another opportunity to experience an enhanced human connection—to elicit a smile and eye contact from the Arab people among us.  For example, don’t just plop coins on the counter at the corner convenience store, but boldly ask:  “What’s your opinion regarding the Egyptian Revolution?”  You are likely to discover a knowledgeable person.

Why the commotion in Arab lands?

In Egypt, we are told, the corruption of the old regime cost more than $6 billion in public money per year.  Estimates of the former president’s accumulated fortune range as high as $70 billion.  Mubarek’s good buddies became merely billionaires while millions lived on less than $2 per day.  Heartless brutality appears as the hallmark of a regime which sadly was considered to have been a “good friend of the United States”.

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Editorial “A Smile is…the shortest distance between people.”

The final piano number at the recent Grand Opening of the American Swedish Institute’s Victor Borge Exhibit was the nostalgic Claire de Lune played by pianist Glenn Henriksen.

The last quotation shared by Janet Borge Crowle, a daughter of Borge, following nearly an hour of fascinating reminiscing about her “Papa,” the famous “Great Dane” and Clown Prince, was, “A smile is the shortest distance between people.”

Claire de Lune was always Borge’s final song.  It is also a reminder that even with turbulence in his life composer Claude-Achille DeBussy was able to compose contemplative and even romantic music like this song of the moon.

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Concrete Beet Farmers Puts Down Roots in Midtown Phillips

By Dusty Hinz

What do you get when you mix a global environmental crisis, an industrial food system that threatens our food security, a city with an increasing number of vacant properties, and six conscious young people with an entrepreneurial and community spirit? The answer is a micro urban farm that seeks to help re-localize our community food system, beautify our neighborhood, and combat climate change.

Concrete Beet Farmers is a new urban farming venture being started in a vacant lot in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood that attempts to be part of this solution. The team of six entrepreneurs consists of four current Macalester students, a recent Augsburg graduate, and a recent University of Minnesota graduate now living in the neighborhood.

This farming venture will not be held captive to the sole pursuit of profit; rather, it will strive for ecological resilience, long-term financial sustainability, and community food access and education. This small-scale, tangible project is devoted to the triple-bottom-line—where profits are measured environmentally, socially, and economically.

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After 18 years! Tim Springer Resigns as Executive Director: Replacement Sought

by Tim Springer

“Wow. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work on the Greenway as part of a team with dedicated fellow staff, volunteers, elected officials, and public and private partners. Yay for the Midtown Greenway, Minnesota’s busiest bikeway! I’m also very proud that we’ve created a new national model for community involvement with alternative transportation and city building. I made the decision to leave so the Coalition can fly on its own and I can explore new things. “

The Coalition board requests your help recruiting an outstanding new Executive Director prior to Tim’s departure on June 3. Applications are due March 11. Visit the Greenway web site to view the job description.

 

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Update on the Backyard Initiative Rebirthing Community: A new project gets approved by the Commission on Health

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

The Commission on Health approved the project of another Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT) of the Backyard Initiative. On February 3, 2011 the Rebirthing Community CHAT received the go-ahead to implement their project which intends to create “Communities of Light.”

The Backyard Initiative was started two years ago as a community partnership between Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the residents of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran with the goal of improving the health of the community. The core work of the Backyard Initiative is done within teams of community residents (CHATs) which develop and implement their members’ ideas. Each CHAT appoints two members to sit on the Commission.

Rebirthing Community CHAT – Creating Communities of Light

The goal of the Rebirthing Community CHAT is to build and strengthen the relationships, the knowledge, and the capacity for community residents to create their own conditions for health through intergenerational dialogue and working together on a solar energy project. They plan to light up the yards and residences in the Backyard with solar-powered lanterns.

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2323 11th Phillips Community Center Update Park Board’s Planning Committee Passes PCC Plan

by Robert Albee

It wasn’t really a surprise! January 5th’s Minneapolis Park Board Meeting was the occasion when Planning Committee members voted unanimously to support the Phillips Community Parks Initiative’s (PCPI) re-use plan to utilize available space within the 49,000 square foot facility. The plan promotes programs and activities to serve persons of all ages and cultures residing within the Phillips Community.

No surprise–because on December 15, Planning Committee commissioners invited the Phillips Community Parks Initiative (PCPI) to publicly present its plan for re-use of the Phillips Community Center praising these efforts as an excellent beginning for a plan that combined community-based tenants working side-by-side with the Park Board’s Community Service Area (CSA) #6 staff.

When the Request For Proposal was issued by the Park Board, commissioners and staff sought the following:

  • Community partners that will add programming and services that are compatible and complimentary to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
  • Utilizing all the space available in the building for community use.
  • A tenant or tenants that have a the vision and financial 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 center.
  • A service provider with a strong interest in the community and a solid reputation for service.

According to a December 15th Memorandum submitted by Jayne Miller, MPRB’s new Superintendent:

The proposal submitted by the Phillips Coalition [PCPI} is comprehensive and includes a wide range of services to be provided to the community in addition to services provided by the MPRB. The Pillsbury Waite House, a tenant in another MPRB building, is included in the Phillips Coalition and would provide many complimentary youth services that would be a very good fit with the MPRB programming at this site. In addition, the compliment of other community service providers created a very synergistic level of recreation and social service programming that does not exist in any of our other community centers.

Approval by the MPRB Planning Committee does not constitute a slam-dunk outcome, however. Instead, eight parameters were established that are essential in order for the Park Board to issue leases. Since one of the leases might extend for ten to twenty years into the future, and others up to five years, it was clear that they want to get it right at the point in which signatures become affixed to the leasing documents. These are:

  • Tenants are incorporated or a viable legal entity.
  • Tenants must be able to demonstrate the financial viability to make improvements, pay operating costs and pay rent.
  • Tenants are responsible for the improvements within their space.
  • The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board be responsible for common space improvements.
  • Duration of the leases be based on the amount of tenant improvements made – the higher the investment, the longer the lease term
  • All tenants pay for their share of utilities for their space; a proportional share of common space, utilities, custodial and maintenance; and a proportional share of a sinking fund for future building repairs and renovation to the HVAC, roof, windows, building shell, bathrooms, parking lot and common spaces
  • All tenants enter into a three to five year programmatic agreement on services to the provided.
  • Use of the common facilities, possibly the gymnasium and cafeteria kitchen, be included in the terms of the programmatic agreements.

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Momentary absence.Flames prevail. Mother burned, and grieving

The unmarked graves of Rooth children, Gladys, age 4, Andrew, age 2, and Evaline, a baby are marked in this photo by photographer/historian Tim McCall who has plotted the location from Cemetery’s records. Tim has over 20,000 photos of the cemetery and has plotted graves of the entire Cemetery on a vector map. His interest in the Cemetery was prompted because of a relative buried there. Sue Hunter Weir researched for this month’s story after she saw the following message from Rhonda, a granddaughter of the Rooths in the story, had placed in the Minnesota Historical Society’s Death Index page. “Andrew Rooth, son of Andrew and Bertha Rooth waskilled in a house fire in Minneapolis in 1911. There were at least two other children killed, Gladys and one other. If any-one can provide any info (newspaper article, etc) I will be very grateful. Thank You, Rhonda Rooth Devilbiss” Sue searched for more information and sent that and the photograph of the gravesite published here. She then received the following e-mail from Rhonda. “I would be very grateful for any information you could send. I have the death certificates for all four children, and a couple of newspaper articles about the house fire. I do not have any information or articles about Clifford Rooth other than what is on his D.C. I cannot make out where he is buried because the hand writing is illegible. I think the other three are buried in Laymans’ cemetery, which may also be called Pioneers and Settlers’ cemetery. It is so difficult to make out the hand writing on these old documents. My grand-parents must have been very strong people to have survived so much tragedy in their young lives. I will appreciate any information you can provide. I look very forward to hearing from you. Rhonda”

By Sue Hunter Weir

In the early years of the last century the Minneapolis Tribune’s coverage tended toward the sensational, especially when it came to covering tragedies involving children. But every now and then a reporter captured the sense of loss and grief, like in this excerpt from a story written by an unidentified Tribune reporter on January 14, 1911:

A white hearse wound its way between snow-covered mounds and marble shafts at Layman’s cemetery yesterday and stopped at the door of the vault room. From the three carriages that followed it a little group of people stepped and moved silently toward the vault.

A man in a black cassock led. Following close came two old men, each looking straight ahead, their eyes dim with something besides age. Last came a little figure in deepest mourning, toil worn hand clutching the sleeve of the man who walked beside her. The door of the hearse opened and a square white coffin was borne out and carried into the vault room. It was very light. The last rites over the bodies of the three Rooth babies had begun.

Three days earlier the three children of Andrew and Ellen Rooth had been killed in a fire at their home, 3234 41st Avenue South. It was cold that day, and Ellen Rooth had left the three children alone for a moment while she ran an errand to one of the family’s neighbors. When she looked out of the window to make sure that everything was all right, she saw flames and smoke coming from the back of her house. Mrs. Rooth ran home and tried to open the door but was forced back by the intense heat. She tried again, but was again unsuccessful. A neighbor prevented her from trying a third time. Mrs. Rooth, burned on her face, neck, and arms and in shock, was taken to the City Hospital. Her husband, Andrew, was called home from work. When he reached home and learned what had happened, he, too, collapsed and was taken to the hospital.

The “two old men” referred to in the story were the children’s grandfathers, who “stood with bared heads and shaking bodies” at the children’s graveside. Their three grandchildren were Gladys, age 4, Andrew, age 2, and Evaline, a baby.

Although the exact cause of the fire was not determined, there was some speculation that Gladys had accidentally started it; investigators found an open kerosene can by one the house’s two stoves.

The Rooths built another house, this one at 2952 Pleasant Avenue South, and had several more children. They lost another son, Clifford, when he was seven years old. He was on his way home from school when he was struck by a car on Lake Street. He is buried near the Rooth’s three other children in Lot 28, Section P, of the cemetery.

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Searching – A Serial Novelle Chapter 23: “Turning Darker”

“The couple ran down 14th, jumped the fence and slid down the slope to the Greenway. They ran several blocks before they stopped under a bridge. Angel turned back to look and saw that no one had followed. Heavy snow had begun to fall, covering their tracks. They sat on the concrete skin of the bridge underpass.”

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

We can’t control what is coming. We can’t foresee it. Angel and Luz, upon leaving the Mercado Central were as in love as two can be. Together, come what may.

What came was not a stab from Angel’s past, but from Luz’. As they walked west on Lake Street, they didn’t notice the man standing at the corner a block and a half down. They didn’t see that he had seen them, and was waiting with eyes like radar. As they got closer, Angel could tell the kind of man he was: the kind you nod at as you pass, but don’t engage in conversation. The kind whose business takes all.

They intended to go around him, and continue to Luz’ aunt’s house. She wanted to talk with her about all that had happened. But as they approached the corner, the man stepped into their path and laughed, a laugh swarming with deceit.

“Well look who’s here—little old Luz. Lucy Goosey, alive in Minneapolis. How have you been, sweetie?”

Her body tightened, like a rope pulled taut. Later, Angel would say something snapped in her eyes, a sharp mix of fear, anger and pain. She tried to pull Angel towards her, in order to get around the man, but he blocked their way, almost pushing them into the building.

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THIS IS GOOD OR I’LL EAT MY CHRISTMAS TREE

By Jane Thomson

My first recipe is from 97 ORCHARD , an Edible History of Five Immigrant Families, by Jane Ziegelman. This book interests me because my father grew up in a New York tenement (the word just meant “rental building” at the time; I don’t know how shabby his family’s apartment was, but I suspect it was not spacious). The building at 97 Orchard is on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and is now the Tenement Museum. It was built about 1860 and was abandoned after 1935. It has been preserved and restored. The first time I visited the building about 20 years ago, it was left just as it had been found. The tour started in the narrow dark front hall with a dingy frieze painted on the wall, a tin ceiling and rickety stairs going up to the next of several stories. We were then taken to an apartment composed of two small rooms with one window between them and one window to the outside. There were layers of old wallpaper peeling, and numbers on the wall showing the quantity of trousers that had been sewn, as the apartment was also a sweat shop. Since then several apartments have been restored and decorated as they might have been when an immigrant family lived there – one for an Irish family, one for a German family, one for an Italian family and one for a Jewish family. Furnished and decorated it is much more cheerful; but I hope one apartment has still been left as found.

The recipe is one that might have been made for a Jewish family that lived at 97 Orchard, the Rogarshevsky‘s. It was contributed to the book by Frieda Schwartz, who was born on the Lower East Side in 1918.

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