NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday July 19th 2019

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9 Cent Movies and Sugar from Minnehaha Fire Station

Bill Nelson, Director of Correctional Services at Volunteers of America, shares some of his many Lake Street memories. Go to www.youtube.com/visitlakestreet to watch his whole story, and those of others.

By Joyce Wisdom and Chris Oien

My name is Bill Nelson, and I showed up in the neighborhood of March 1941, which was just a few months before Pearl Harbor. Some of my earliest memories go back to shortly after the beginning of World War II, when I and my mother, along with my brother who was an infant at the time, would make the trek from 36th Ave. to the old fire station on Minnehaha [the current home of Patrick’s Cabaret]. And of course, you take a kid my age, she could hardly drag me away I was so fascinated with the fire engines. But the reason we went there was to get our sugar rations. Those were the days of austerity and World War II.

I grew up at 36th & Lake, just a half block off from Lake. In the vicinity were businesses like Peterson Drug, Lubiss Hardware, Supervalu, and of course everyone knew Liberty Grocery, which was on 35th & Lake. When we went to the movies, we went to the matinee usually, and paid nine cents to get in. We went to the El Lago Theater, but also in the area on 27th was the Lake Theater, and further down was the East Lake. That’s how we spent our time, it was quite a treat to go to the movies. I can only remember once that we went out to eat. It was always that you ate at home, and that was it.

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Howard’s top 10 movies of 2010

King's Speech

Howard McQuitter II
Movie Corner
HowardMcQuitterii@yahoo.com

King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is this year’s favorite film for me after pondering on it hours and even days later. Colin Firth (nominated for best actor in a “Single Man” in 2009) plays King George VI. He ascends the throne in Great Britain in 1936, when his brother King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) abdicates the throne rather than sever his marriage to twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson (Eve Best). His marriage causes a constitutional and ecclesiastical crisis for the United Kingdom and the Dominions. Before George VI takes the throne, he is Duke of Cornwall.

George VI has one stumbling problem: he stammers. He’s sent to a rather unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) who, after a number of hurdles with George, achieves success. George VI’s wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) encourages him to continue to see Lionel. George VI ascends the throne concurrently with Hitler beginning to move aggressively across Europe.

“The King’s Speech” was nominated for best director (Tom Hooper), in addition to best picture as well as Colin Firth for best actor, Helena Bonham Carter for best supporting actress and Geoffrey Rush for best supporting actor.

Inception

Inception is arguably the most imaginative big film of the year. What irks me though is the Academy conveniently snubbing director Christopher Nolan for nomination in the best director slot. True, “Inception” received eight nominations, but Nolan is disgracefully excluded. Why and how “The Fighter” director David O Russell is chosen over Nolan borders on scandal.

That said, “Inception” is full of illusion and perception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as James Cobb. He is on a path of labyrinths because he has the “gift” of inserting ideas into people’s dreams. His challenge is to successfully insert in the hopes of getting the person to think it is his or her own idea. Cobb is wooed by a shrewd Japanese businessman, Salto (Ken Watanabe). Cobb’s memory of his wife (Marion Cottilard) haunts him and he wants to reconnect with his children. Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt), Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Earnest (Tom Hardy) work with Cobb in pursuit of business magnate Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy).

Nolan’s “Inception” (also of “Memento”, “The Prestige”, “The Dark Knight”) is a fine-tuned, convoluted, intelligent piece of work. As such, Nolan’s hand is solid, the prejudicial Academy’s hand is not.

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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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