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Thursday September 23rd 2021

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Have You Heard the One About…

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

A lawyer, a pastor and a saxophone player walked into…a cemetery? What’s the punchline? You’ll have to come to “QUITTING TIME at a Place of Endless Time,” on Saturday, September 18th at 4 pm at the historic Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery at East Lake Street and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis.

Patrick Cabello Hansel’s 2nd book of poetry, “Quitting Time,” is an extended elegy to his father, Walter Hansel. It engages his history from his birth into a German-speaking home in rural North Dakota, through the Great Depression, World War II, and becoming a barber and raising a family in Austin, MN.

Patrick retired in 2020 after serving with his wife Luisa for 15 years at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Phillips. He is the author of the poetry collection “The Devouring Land,” and his work has been published in over 70 journals. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he has received awards from the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

At the event, Patrick will read with prize-winning poets Tim Nolan and Richard Terrill. There will be live music with Larry McDonough on keyboards and Richard Terrill on sax. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the program, and there will be an optional tour of the historic cemetery.

Tim Nolan is a lawyer and the author of The Field (New Rivers Press, 2016), And Then (New Rivers Press, 2012) and The Sound of It (New Rivers Press, 2008).

Richard Terrill is a sax player and the author of poetry collections What Falls Away is Always, Almost Dark and Leaning Into Rachmaninoff.

You can enter the cemetery on the Cedar Avenue side. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket. We will try to keep you updated on COVID restrictions, but be prepared with a mask just in case. And if you’re not vaccinated, please do so!

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RETURNING CHAPTER 12: THE PAST IS NOT EVEN PAST

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Imagine you are just about to see your child that has been lost; a loss that has taken your heart to new depths of pain. You’ve been cared for by a gentle elder, you’ve been refreshed with the tastiest food and drink. You are ready for the miracle.

But then, our loving Agnes told Luz and Angel that they had to see ‘just one more person.’ Like many heroes on a quest, the parents were ready to do anything. What was one more challenge. But as Agnes told them, she shrunk down, and the light and warmth of the room took on a chill.

From a doorway at the far end of the seniors’ community room, someone appeared. ‘Appeared’ may be the best word to describe this person, if it really was a person. Dressed in a torn scarlet dress, with layers of black lace, she looked more like a creation out of an older horror movie. And when she spoke everyone, including little Angel, felt a shiver.

The strange being was covered in garish makeup, so much so you could not tell if she was young or old. Her voice had the rasp of a heavy smoker, but her words were very clear. She spoke directly to Luz:

“So, little Luz. Little Lucy, snooping around my territory.”

“Do I know you?” Luz asked.

The being let out a laugh that was as far from cheerful as hell is from heaven.

“Ha! Do you know me?” she howled. “You ruined my life! You wouldn’t obey and you ran away, and so the punishment that was to be yours was given to me. Me, loosey, juicy, boozy Lucy! Me!”

Angel looked at Luz for some hint of explanation, but what he saw instead was fear. Fear because Luz had realized that this creature standing between her and her child was from her past.

“Are you Cindy? Cindy Keefe?”

“Ha!” the creature cackled again. “I was Cindy Keefe. I was your friend, remember? I took you to the party when we were in 7th grade.”

“The party where your friends and your brother raped me,” Luz said, defiantly. “What do you want with me? Why have you taken my daughter? Take me to her!”

“Just like I was taken after you left town, you mean?”

And then it all hit Luz like a blow to the gut. After she left the party, she had never set foot in Albert Lea again, Her family didn’t come to the harvest at Hollandale and Le Sueur for many seasons. She got therapy and managed to graduate from high school, and had settled in Minneapolis with her Uncle Jaime. But the pain of that party had never left her. She had never seen Cindy again, but had heard that she had become involved with drugs and crime.

“Listen, Cindy,” Luz began. “I am sorry that terrible things happened to you. But it’s not my fault. I left. I survived. Now take me to my little girl.”

“Oh, I will, pretty Lucy,” she said. “There’s some other people waiting for you there. Let’s go.”

She pointed to the doorway in the corner. Luz took little Angel with one hand and her husband with the other.

“Oh, I don’t think you want your hubby to see this,” the creature laughed. “It will be fun, but not for him!”

Angel stepped up close to her face. He could smell some terrible kind of perfume that made him want to puke, but he didn’t waver.

“Where Luz goes, I go,” he said. “We are one now, and nothing is going to separate us.”

“We’ll see about that, won’t we?!!”

To be continued…

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Phillips West News

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Cartoon

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Help for Voters Living with Disabilities

The fifth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis.

journalistresources.com

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against individuals living with disabilities, has put the force of law behind mandates for equal access in all areas of civic life, including access for voting.

Voting accessibility is essential to ensure that all people have the right and ability to vote, regardless of their mobility or their physical, communication or other limitations. Minnesota has made strides in improving access to voting for all. In addition to the requirement that polling places be physically accessible, here are a few accommodations that may provide individuals living with disabilities better access to the ballot box:

  1. ASSISTANCE: You can bring anyone to assist you while you vote, except your employer or union rep, or you can get assistance from election judges. Your assistant can participate in all parts of the voting process, including marking your ballot if you can communicate to them who you want to vote for.

  2. ACCESSIBLE VOTING MACHINES: All polling places have a machine that can mark a ballot for you, giving you privacy if you cannot or choose not to vote using a pen. Voting machines display the ballot in large print or with a high-contrast background and can also read the ballot to you through headphones. You can fill out your ballot using a Braille keypad, touchscreen or sip-and-puff device. After you make your choices, the machine prints your completed ballot.

  3. CURBSIDE VOTING: If you cannot leave your vehicle, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to you. Two election judges from different major political parties will bring the ballot to your vehicle, wait for you to vote, then take the ballot back inside and place it in the ballot box.

  4. AGENT: In some situations, an agent may pick up and return an absentee ballot from your home. To qualify, you must reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, residential treatment center, group home, domestic violence shelter, or be hospitalized. Your agent must be at least 18 years old and cannot be a candidate. Metro Mobility also provides agent delivery services. Read more details about use of an agent here: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/have-an-agent-pick-up-your-ballot-agent-delivery/

Remember, unless a court order specifically removes your right to vote, you may still vote if you are under guardianship, conservatorship or if you granted someone power of attorney.

Election Day is November 2. For more information about voting and registering to vote, visit www.lwvmpls.org, mnvotes.org, call the Disability Law Center’s voting hotline at 612-334-5970 or call the City of Minneapolis voter information line 311. 

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Raise Your Voice

By PETER MOLENAAR

Truth is a Delicate Matter

The term “Cliocide” refers to the destruction of history. In Greek mythology, Clio, a daughter of Zeus, was the proclaimer and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments. Clio is the “muse of history.”

Did every neighbor see the June 28th airing of the PBS documentary “The People vs Agent Orange?” Hey, an estimated 13 million gallons of this cocktail (laced with dioxin) was dumped on Vietnam during my formative years. Survivors often gave birth to babies with severe birth defects, before succumbing to their own cancers. Sadly, David Dix, a former editor of the Alley and a veteran of the Vietnam War, was exposed to Agent Orange. Cancer was the cause of death. Is it wrong to recall such things?

Note: the lethal dioxin element was included as a result of cost cutting the production process. So now, we say: PEOPLE and NATURE BEFORE PROFITS. Right?

Time goes on…

Then it was George W. Bush who declared that the Iraqi people would soon be “ready to take the training wheels off.” Never mind the ancient civilization which developed writing and mathematics (duh). Indeed, thousands of priceless artifacts were destroyed by the war, or otherwise looted and sold at auction. Thus far, the Biden administration has managed to return only a small fraction, and Lord knows, Saddam Hussein was no friend of Osama bin Laden!

Are there young adults among us who have forgotten Osama? Osama mixed well with the mujahideen—the Taliban types who, at the time, were armed by the U.S. to overthrow Afghanistan’s socialist government (and to lure the Soviets to “invade”). Nonetheless, this neighborhood proudly elects Ilhan Omar to raise a hand against all forms of oppression and hypocrisy. 

Note: more recently, another al-Qaeda has focused its terror on China’s Xinjiang province.

Moreover, former President Donald Trump, loves Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota. Evidently, Trump wants to dumb things down yet another notch in the name of “patriotism” (his manipulation of undereducated white-folks is well documented). Meanwhile, Gov. Noem is endeavoring to diminish references to Native Americans in her state’s curriculum, while bleeding hearts express concern that too much truth will impose divisions among our children!

Yes, admittedly: truth is a delicate matter. However, ignorance is the feed which sustains our haunting white supremacy. Going forward, therefore, teachers of every grade must hone their skills in order to rededicate their purpose.

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Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

190th in a series

For Want of Breath and Blood

By SUE HUNTER WEIR

“For want of breath and blood.” With those words Dr. John Cockburn, the city’s Health Officer, painted a heartbreaking picture of the death of a fragile infant born in 19th century Minneapolis. He wrote those words on the burial permit for Baby Girl Weeks who died on April 3, 1883. She was only two days old. She was not the first of her father’s children to die. John Warren Weeks and his first wife, Martha, had lost three children. Martha died in childbirth in 1877. John’s second wife, Elizabeth, was the mother of the unnamed baby girl who died in 1883. John Weeks died from consumption (tuberculosis) five months after his infant daughter died. He was only 39 years old and had outlived four of his children.

The marker for six members of the Weeks family-
-John and Martha Weeks and four infants. Photo by Tim McCall

Before the late 19th and early 20th centuries, infant and childhood deaths were so common that families had no expectation that all of the children would survive to adulthood. Approximately 100 out of every 1,000 babies did not live until their first birthday. (Infant mortality refers to children who died before their first birthdays and child mortality refers to children who died between the ages of one and five). The more than 10,000 children who are buried in the cemetery who died before their tenth birthdays died at a time when the causes of childhood illnesses were poorly understood and when treatments and preventive measures did not yet exist. Doctors had no answers or explanations to offer their parents, and there was nothing to be done to save their children.

Advances in medical and scientific knowledge during the late 1800s began to provide answers about the causes of some childhood diseases. In some cases that led to treatments, but preventing children from getting sick in the first place played an even larger role in keeping them safe. That knowledge, “a unified human accomplishment,” resulted in a dramatic decline in infant and childhood mortality rates. Dr. Perri Klass, author of A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future, described that decline as perhaps “our greatest human accomplishment.”

But it was more than just scientific breakthroughs that made it possible for so many more children to live. It required a shift in thinking about the role and responsibility that government had to protect the health of its citizens—especially its most vulnerable members. Public health initiatives were a critical part of the process. Improved sanitation, a shift to municipal water supplies, the creation of the Food and Drug Administration in 1907, visiting home nurse programs, and countless programs designed to improve infant health care were all essential parts of the effort.

Today infant mortality rates are seen as one indicator of a society’s health and well-being. The United States’ infant mortality rate in 2017 was 5.6 deaths for every 1,000 live births. While that is tiny in comparison to earlier rates, it is still too high and, not surprisingly, has a disproportionate impact on low-income families and on communities of color. Worldwide the lowest rates are in countries like Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden where rates hover around 2 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

Many of the issues that politicians are debating and that we hear about on the news—mandates about masks and vaccinations, and how much money we should spend on repairing or improving the country’s infrastructure—are part of the debate that began more than 125 years ago. The difference is that we now have evidence that government programs and regulations do save lives. There is little doubt that the majority of the 10,000 children buried in the cemetery would, if they had been born today, have lived to adulthood.

The six members of the Weeks family—parents and four children– are buried in Lot 31, Block K.

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Library News

Carz Nelson

All information listed here is accurate as of August 15, 2021. For the most recent information, check out the library website at www.hclib.org.

FRANKLIN LIBRARY HOURS

Monday Closed

Tuesday 9 AM to 5 PM

Wednesday 9 AM to 5 PM

Thursday 12 Noon to 8 PM

Friday 9 AM to 5 PM

Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM

Sunday 12 Noon to -5 PM

MASKS ARE REQUIRED

Everyone must wear a mask in the library and in all county buildings. Children under five years old are exempt. People who tested positive for COVID 19 or who are experiencing symptoms should not enter the library.

LIBRARY SERVICE

Franklin Library is open for regular service; including book check out, holds pick up, and walk-in computer use. There’s no limit on the time people can spend inside the library.

READING SUGGESTIONS

Looking for a good book to read? You could ask a librarian. At hclib.org, towards the bottom of the page, you’ll find the link, Ask us for reading suggestions. This leads to a form you fill out about what sorts of books you like, and what sorts you don’t like. Fill in the form, and you will get an email with reading recommendations.

If you don’t want to fill out a form, you can always ask librarians for recommendations in person, over the phone, or via chat.

FRANKLIN LEARNING CENTER CLOSED

The Franklin Learning Center is closed. Alternate resources can be found at the following locations:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: www.uscis.gov/citizenship

Hennepin County Hotline: 612-348-3000. Find legal, food, education and health resources and answers to immigration questions

Language learning and test preparation: www.hclib.org/programs/adult-learning

Literacy Minnesota: 1-800-222-1990,   www.literacymn.org/classesforadultsEnglish. Language Learning, GED, and citizenship classes

FREE BOOKS

The library gives away free books at the Four Sisters Farmers Market on the first Thursday of the month at 1414 Franklin Avenue. Four Sisters Farmers Market is held every Thursday 11AM-3PM through October.

STATE PARK PASS

You can borrow a Minnesota State Park pass from Franklin Library! The pass grants entry into any of the 75 state parks, and is valid for 7 days after check out.

CHILL ON THE LAWN

Franklin Library has free Wi-Fi outside the building from 7 AM to 10 PM. They also have chairs on the front lawn when the library is open. It’s a convenient spot to hang out and log on.

NO MORE FINES

Hennepin County Library has gone fine free. Patrons are no longer charged for overdue material, but they continue to be responsible for the replacement cost of unreturned or lost items. An item is considered unreturned 41 days after its due date.

AT HOME SERVICE

At Home service is provided free of charge to Hennepin County residents who can’t get to a library due to illness, disability, or visual impairment. To apply for At Home service, submit an online application or apply by phone at 612-543-8850 Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

ONLINE SERVICES

Go to the library without leaving home. Here are just a few of the many services available at www.hclib.org:

  • Tools for job searches
  • Ancestry Library Edition and other resources to research family history
  • Local music on MNspin

ASK THE LIBRARY

Have a reference or library account question? Call, text, chat with, or email a library worker. 

www.hclib.org/contact

Call 612-543-KNOW (5669) to reach library staff by phone.

Monday to Thursday 9 AM to 9 PM

Friday & Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM

Sunday Noon to 5 PM

Español/Spanish: Llame o envíe un texto al 651-503-8013 para recibir ayuda en español.

Hmoob/Hmong: Hu losis text rau lub tsev nyeem ntawv ntawm 612-385-0886 txais kev pab hais lus Hmoob.

Soomaali/Somali: Caawimaad Soomaali ah, soo wac ama qoraal (text) usoo dir maktabada 612-235-1339.

Carz is a Phillips resident and an enthusiastic patron of Hennepin County Library.

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the alley is looking for new board members to help steer the paper and join our community!

Board Member Wanted

The alley is happy to announce that its Editorial Leadership Committee is growing and producing new and interesting articles of interest to our readers while supporting our current long time group of volunteer writers . This is due in large part to new community voices and volunteers..

We are, however, in need of new volunteers to grow the Board of Directors. The Board manages the business aspect of Alley Communications. This includes contracting for and overseeing the services we need such as bookkeeping and business management as well as ensuring our financial stability with new sources of stable income. We have made great strides the last few years but now need your help to build our Board capacity to allow us to continue to build on our work.

Like reading our long running Tales from Pioneer and Soldiers Cemetery, Raise Your Voice, The Movie Corner or the Spirit of Phillips cartoon each month? Or maybe it’s some of our newer offerings like our Transit column, our Covid-19 coverage from a contact tracer, or the Random alley News with short news summaries or following your neighborhood organization’s news and events. Whatever your alley jam, come join the Board and help be a part of a community driven, volunteer run paper highlighting the often overlooked voices of the Phillips neighborhood.

We meet monthly for 1 1/2 hours and expect an additional few hours of time to complete needed tasks. All in all, most current members spend about 5-6 hours a month doing Board work. Do you have 5-6 hours a month to join us? We’d love to have you.

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Edible Boulevards

By MICHELLE SHAW

Join us for our Edible Boulevards cooking classes! Our class will help you utilize the harvest from your own garden to create simple, delicious summer and autumn recipes. We were delighted to have Appetite for Change teach our first two classes, and we’re excited to welcome Kelly Shay, founder of Harmonious World, to lead our September and October classes. You’ll learn about the nutritional value of the produce in each recipe, and when the class is over, you will have made that evening’s meal for yourself and your family. Invite your partner, a friend, or your kids to the Zoom class, and cook the meal together! Here’s what we have in store for you:

  • Thursday, September 30 with Kelly Shay: Vegetable Basil Stir-fry w/ Quinoa and a Side Salad — 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 28 with Kelly Shay: Cozy Autumn Lentil Stew — 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Register in advance:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMscOCprz8vGtdw0iHhiRISE1BfEDky87Sv

Edible Boulevards is an initiative focused on making fresh produce accessible in every Minneapolis neighborhood, starting with Green Zone neighborhoods, which have suffered environmental injustice and food apartheid policies for decades. Our garden sites get tested for lead, because children in Green Zone neighborhoods typically experience higher blood lead levels. We teach participants self-sustainability in gardening, so that they can share their skills with neighbors, friends and family, and grow their own food together.

We are partnered with the East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) and have funding to build several gardens for residents of East Phillips. Please contact minneapolisedibleboulevards@gmail.com if you’d like an application.

If you’re interested, and don’t live in East Phillips, we still welcome you to attend our free cooking classes. The first five people from South Minneapolis who pre-register will get a $10 Seward Co-op gift card, to help defray the cost of the August class. If you want to create a boulevard garden on your own, tell your city council member, so they’re aware that more people are in favor of our pilot program. We hope to change the ordinance that prohibits growing edible plants on the boulevard. If the city suddenly begins a crack-down on this ordinance, we’ll tell them you’re one of us! And even though we can’t provide funding for gardens outside of East Phillips, please reach out to us, to let us know that there’s a demand in your neighborhood. We’d love to have volunteers from any neighborhood to help us build our capacity as an all volunteer initiative.

Check out our Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Facebook page each month, where we post the recipe with the ingredients list. You can also watch the classes on Facebook. We can’t wait to cook with you!

Anita, Michelle, Lila, Tim, and Joythi helped to create the Edible Boulevard at Hawthorne’s Celestial Garden, tended to by this group of urban agriculture community organizers.

Karen’s family is creating a space for the community to gather in East Phillips, break bread, do projects, and take any food they might need.

Christie created a land acknowledgment for the garden and spoke about it to the Growing North Minneapolis students in Jordan.

Edible Boulevards and Zintkala Luta tabling at the East Phillips Urban Farm rally on August 1.

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