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Sunday May 19th 2019

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Month of May: a mix of old and new events

Tales from
Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

165th in a Series

It seemed like spring would never come, but here we are at last.  And that means that there will be a lot of wonderful events happening in the cemetery.

One of the most important is the 151st Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m.  This year’s keynote speaker is Lt. Col. Lori Allert, U.S. Army Nurse.  Students from the Minnesota Transition Charter School will read General Logan’s Orders and the Gettysburg Address. American Legion Post 1 will provide the Firing Team, and the Seward Community Concert Band will provide the music. Please join us for this moving tribute to veterans dating back to the War of 1812.

At 1 p.m. on the 27th, there will be a seated history talk followed by an optional tour.  If you’ve always meant to stop in and visit the cemetery but never quite made it, this is a perfect chance to do just that.  All Memorial Day events are free.

And spring just wouldn’t be spring if we didn’t show a Buster Keaton silent film. This year’s film is regarded as one of Keaton’s best—Sherlock Jr.  The Library of Congress designated this film to be preserved on the National Film Registry because it is “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” What better film to show in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery—the first cemetery in Minnesota listed as an individual landmark in the National Register of Historic Places. Dreamland Faces, another local treasure, will perform a live soundtrack. The film will begin at sundown (officially 8:45 p.m. but most likely closer to 8 p.m.) on Saturday, May 25th.  Gates will open at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on.  Snacks will be available. Service animals only, please. Tickets $10 at the gate (cash or checks).  No need to purchase tickets in advance.

And on Sunday, May 19 at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., join us for the first-ever performance of “Hiraeth: Walking the Long Field at Laymans,” an original play written by local artist Cynthia Veal Holm.  Hiraeth is a Welsh word that doesn’t have an exact equivalent in English, but translates roughly into “yearning” or a sense of nostalgia for something from the past, even if that “something” never existed.  The play consists of three scenes woven together by music as guests proceed from one grave to the next.  Jenn Kudelka directs an amazing cast – Murial Bonertz, Wendy Freshman, and Ilana Kapra – and Laura Nichols creates the music to guide us on our way.  

The play is part of a weekend-long initiative from the Mayor’s office called Doors Open Minneapolis.  The cemetery will host an open house on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (the play is Sunday afternoon only). There will be a self-guided history hunt, crafts for the kids, the opportunity to make a rubbing on one of the cemetery’s granite markers, a chance to see the inside of the 1871 caretaker’s cottage and a number of displays.  All open house activities, including the play, are free and open to the public.

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Movie corner Bold whodunit from Denmark

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com

howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

“The Purity of Vengeance” (2019) ***** 5 of 5 stars

 This month I’m attending the 38th Minneapolis- St. Paul International Film Festival for about the 14th year (not necessarily in consecutive order) and for the third year (consecutively) as press (once I did press back in the days of Oak Street Cinema).

This year the festival has brought to the Twin Cities more than 250 films from 75 countries.

One of the films that catches  my eye is a brilliant thriller/crime/ drama from Denmark called “The Purity of Vengeance” directed by Christopher Boe. Simply put, the film is as bold as it is smart marked by whodunit and why. To date, “The Purity of Vengeance” is the highest- grossing film in Denmark, but unlike so many American films of similar genre that put too much heat in the violence blocking out any feasible plot(s) the movie just blossoms.

To get a feel of director Christopher Boe’s riveting story one first must see homicide detective Carl Morck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas)  sitting in his office mopping over his confinement to the cold case division for some indiscreet act. His partner Syrian émigré Assad (Fares Fares) vis transferred to another division as he’s been promoted. The last days before he’s transferred to another department, Assad looks through cold cases on his desk and one particular case catches his eye: Construction workers tearing down a false wall in seems like an abandoned apartment find three mummified bodies sitting around a table as if drinking tea. The weirdness and mystery continues when a fourth chair is empty. Television stations in Copenhagen and throughout Den- mark report the macabre mystery deaths as all three have been poisoned according to the toxicology labs.

Morck go on the assignment joined by his partner Assad and a third party Rose (Johanne Louise Schmidt) to solve this bizarre case. As one can imagine, the case is going to be a difficult one to solve especially since the bodies have been there for 30 years or more. What may take them to the source is to Sprogo – now defunct – a school for wayward girls subjected to forced sterilization and feticide. A young woman, in particular, Nete (Fanny Bornedal) is the key character subjected to sterilization and solitary confinement. She has disappeared over the years – finding her will not be easy for the three detectives. One thing is for sure is one of the principal villains at Sprogo, Doctor Wad (Anders Hove), who led the sterilization program is now the head of a fertility clinic. Apparently, Wad has changed his evil ways, a doctor death who will do anything to keep from getting caught. He has men around him to do his dirty work directing their attention at the  detectives. Dead men (woman) tell no tells.

I hope the film can get a wider audience and those who dismiss viewing subtitled  films should be much more opened-minded. Danish subtitles notwithstanding and fun to watch.

Cast: Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Carl Morck), Fares Fares (Assad), Johanne Louise Schmidt (Rose), Soren Pilmark (Marcus Jacobsen), Fanny Borneaal (Nete), Clara Rosager (Rita), Amanda Radeljak (Nour), Anders Juul (Gunnar). Director: Christopher Boe. Running time: 118 minutes.

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Make your garbage beautiful

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Have you seen the beautiful mosaics on concrete garbage and recycling containers around Phillips?  Would you like one on yours?  

Those mosaics are the work of the Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts @ St Paul’s Lutheran and its artistic director, Pastor Luisa Cabello Hansel. Pastor Luisa and other community artists would love to work with you and your neighbors to create a unique mosaic that will last decades.In the process, you will learn how to do mosaic, and maybe meet some new people in our community.

The Semilla Center also is looking for youth ages 11 to 15 who are interested in learning about community art this summer. Our Young Leaders program trains youth for the job market and leadership in the community. Youth earn stipends while creating together. Career day visits to artists, theaters and museums connect youth with possible professions in the arts.

For information on either of these programs, call 612-724-3862 or e-mail: semillacenter@gmail.com. And like “Semilla Center” on Face Book, ¡por favor!

Pollinating 

Phillips

As we know, pollinators are crucial for life. Without butterflies, bees and other insects, many of the foods we eat would not be available. And we know that humans have had a negative effect on the life of our small friends, through use of pesticides, destruction of habitat and global warming. We can make a positive difference in the life of pollinators in our neighborhood by what we plant and by what we use

Saturday, May 18: 9 a.m. to noon, the Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts at St. Paul’s Lutheran will host its annual “Pollinate Phillips Day.” We will plant pollinator attracting plants and art in boulevard gardens to make our beautiful community even healthier and more beautiful.The day begins at 9 am with a breakfast and presentation on practical ways to protect our land and water. Any age can participate! Pollinate Phillips will be at: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2742 15th Ave S.

We also know that ideas and changes in our community and our society need pollinators as well. People who are willing to take wing and take risks to bring new ideas to life, and bring people together. On Thursday, May 9, from 5-8 p.m., the Semilla Center St. Paul’s will be at Midtown Global Market’s Neighborhood Night.  Pastor Patrick will read from his new poetry collection “The Devouring Land”, 4th grade poets from Andersen United School will read their poetry about deportation, racism, violence and other issues.  Live music will feature jazz pianist Peter Breen. All these events are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 612-724-3862 or e-mail stpaulscreate@gmail.com. Follow the Semilla Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @semillacenter.

And coming up this summer:  “Our Sacred Land:” A day camp for children 3 to 11, June 10-14. Block Party July 20. Workshops in poetry, mosaic, lantern making and more!

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Briefs

Help bump up recycling

Funding is available to neighborhood and community nonprofit organizations in Minneapolis to conduct outreach focused on increasing participation in the city’s residential organics recycling program. Participating organizations will receive training, funding and environmental education resources to conduct a project in their communities. Contact: jessica.arika@hennepin.us or 612-348-3025.

Help mow for seniors 

Senior Community Services is a city of Minneapolis partner organization, and its HOME Program mows lawns for seniors in Hennepin County. The HOME Program is seeking helpers to mow lawns every 7-10 days and use a weed whip once a month for $16 per hour. Mowers must supply their own lawn mower and weed whip and set their own schedule. Contact Bethany at seasonalwork@seniorcommunity.org or call 952-767-7886. 

Rethink I-94 over free meal 

Share a free family-style, sit-down meal with the communities surrounding I-94 and I-35W on Thursday, May 2, 5-8 p.m. at Franklin Steele Park off Portland Ave. This is an opportunity for neighbors to meet, share a table, and have a conversation with MnDOT staff and construction workers about rethinking I-94.The meal will include halal, vegan, and gluten free options, and there will be kids activities. More at: mndot.gov/I-94minneapolis-stpaul

Norway House to expand

The country of Norway has pledged NOK 1.5 million (around USD $175,000) to Norway House in Minneapolis. The funds will help to build a new event center that aims to strengthen cooperation between the business sector in Norway and the Midwest. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall next year. Other financing will be provided by the private and public sectors in the United States and Norway.

“Norwegian technology companies are at the forefront internationally, and there is great potential in the Midwest. By supporting this expansion of Norway House, we want to showcase Norway as a leader in technology, with a dynamic business community that is ready to grasp the opportunities that are available in the United States,” said Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

“There are strong historical and cultural ties between Norway and the Midwest. The expansion of Norway House provides an excellent opportunity to present modern-day Norway, with a focus on innovation and the business sector. Norway House also highlights the close ties between the people of Norway and the United States,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

Midtsommer Gala 

The Midtsommer Gala Celebration at the Norway House is an annual signature event set near the summer solstice. The gala dinner features the Going Viking awards, which honors Norwegian-Americans who have significantly advanced the quality of life for others through their adventuresome spirit and extraordinary accomplishments. It is set for Tuesday, June 11, 5 p.m. at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, in the Newly Renovated Expansion – The Great Northern Ballroom. More at www.norwayhouse.org.

American Indian Month’s 50th 

May marks the 50th anniversary of American Indian Month in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, community members gather each May to celebrate Minnesota’s native cultures with a kickoff rally on May 1, art, food and open houses showcasing American Indian organizations in Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor, along Franklin Avenue. Stay up to date by following the Native American Community Development Institute’s Facebook page.

Cars, bikes & more 

The city of Minneapolis is collecting public input on ways to improve the city’s transportation system as city staff develop the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan and the Vision Zero Action Plan. The Transportation Action Plan will be a 10-year plan to implement the transportation vision outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. It will develop strategies and actions on advanced mobility, pedestrian, bicycle, transit, freight, street operations and street design. The Vision Zero Action Plan will be a three-year plan to advance the City’s commitment to ending traffic fatalities and severe injuries resulting from traffic crashes on our streets by 2027

Attend the south area open house on Thursday, May 9, 5-7 p.m. at Longfellow Rec Center, 3435 36th Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55406. You can respond to short surveys at http://go.minneapolismn.gov/.

Celebrate Freedom Day 

Juneteenth – Celebrating Freedom Day brings together people throughout the Twin Cities area to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States on June 14. The daylong festival features a parade, music and performances, historical re-enactments, a host of family activities and more; it takes place at Bethune Park in North Minneapolis: site of the first Freedom Day celebration in Minneapolis, which was led by Michael Chaney and Spike Moss.

 Community meals during Ramadan

In 2019, mosques and Islamic Community Centers throughout the Metro area, and in several places in greater Minnesota, are extending an invitation to their non-Muslim neighbors for a traditional Ramadan Iftar, or fast-breaking meal May 5 to June 4.  People of all faiths are invited to Masjid Dar Al-HIra on May 15, 7 p.m. (504 Cedar Ave. S.). Information and registration materials can be found on the Minnesota Council of Churches website: http://bit.ly/TakingHeartRegister

Ending Homelessness Day

On April 23, Avivo and members of Red Lake Nation, along with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, celebrate “Red Lake Nation and Avivo Ending Homelessness Day in Minneapolis.” In October, Red Lake and Avivo partnered to house 100 people from the Wall of Forgotten Natives homeless encampment and Navigation Center in six months. The project exceeded the goal, housing 103 individuals in under 6 months, and organizers remain committed to helping house the 90 individuals remaining.

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Letter to community: Arsenic levels map confusing

The April 2019 Alley page 3 shows a map with a confusing description: “Childhood elevated blood lead, arsenic & asthma per 10,000 people.”

 It should be clarified to show that the arsenic levels were in soil, not blood.  Soil with greater than 95 ppm (or mg/kg) was removed in an extensive project by 2008.     For more information about arsenic, see https://www.mda.state.mn.us/chemicals/spills/incidentresponse/superfund/southmplsressoil

My neighbor’s yard in Seward was removed and replaced with new soil because of arsenic. I agree that children in Phillips  bear excess burdens of a contaminated environment. Lead remains a major issue because of lead paint and poor removal practices that allowed lead to go into the soil.

Jim Haefemeyer

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Raise Your Voice: The last martyr smiled

By PETER MOLENAAR

Peter Molenaar

Elliot Park (1000 E. 14th St.) was host on April 6 to Sudanese immigrants, friends, and families, who had come to observe a revolutionary moment. In Khartoum, a million people surrounded the armed forces. Soldiers were leaving the compound to celebrate among the people. The 30-year dictatorship of al-Bashir was about to fall… and it did!

It is not too soon to begin casting the vision for a new Sudan, including the reconstruction of the historic irrigation system. Naturally, the prison gates have been breached, freeing the comrades to the democratic process.

What might we take home from the heart of Africa?

For all time, the Sudanese people have demonstrated the possibility of implementing fundamental change by nonviolent means. (Hey, why wait for some mythical Red Army to drop from the sky?)

Anything else?

We are witness to a Muslim people who have taken down an “Islamic” state. How does this square with the assertion by D. Trump and Company that our Congresswoman bears responsibility for the 9/11 event? Supposedly, all Muslims are the same. Right?

However, progressive Jewish voices are coming forward. I will cite former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich:

“The President of the United States has endangered the life of a member of Congress by creating and disseminating a propaganda video… which ties her to the 9/11 tragedy because she is a Muslim….

“He has not condemned the recent burnings of three black churches. He has not repudiated his relationship with the Saudi crown prince who murdered an American journalist. But he attacks a political opponent… for exercising her First Amendment rights….

“Congresswoman Omar has already received death threats….

“This is how tyranny takes hold, friends.”

From a distance and in a small way, I have been privileged to take part in the Sudanese People’s Revolution. From that far away land an image of a martyr was sent to my phone. His head was cradled by a comrade as he bled out upon the stretcher. In the last flickering of the light, he smiled.

 

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Frank Reflections: How much more death and destruction will we endure?

by Frank Erickson

“Military interventions” are murder! They can never be trusted! How can they be trusted when the factor that puts them into motion is a smaller country’s lack of relative defense?

There is talk of United States “military intervention” into Venezuela. Here’s an idea: the world powers come together and attack Washington D.C. by a “military intervention” to stop the U.S. from doing all their “military interventions!”

Representative Ilhan Omar is strongly opposed to “military interventions” upon smaller defenseless countries. This is very encouraging. Rep. Omar’s first months in office have been rough. How does a Black Muslim Congresswoman illicit more trouble than two White Christian male politicians who started the Iraq War murdering over 200,000 Muslims? White supremacy runs Washington D.C. and Minneapolis! The Iraq War and those that started it are no different than a war started by Isis! Please, let us give thought to these words:

“We, the members of the Black Alliance for Peace, uphold our political stance in the face of aggressions waged by the United States. Two of BAP’s core principles are an unwavering commitment to self-determination for peoples and nations alike and opposition to imperialism in all its varied and brutal forms.Therefore, unlike so many who are confused about Venezuela, we say without equivocation that we oppose the illegal and immoral attempts by the United States and their Organization of American States (OAS) allies to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela. No objective right has been bestowed upon the United States to impose its will on any sovereign people or nation. 

…We pose the question to progressive forces in the United States: How much more war, how much more death and destruction will you endure before you break with the capitalist duopoly of your government and say no more war, no more subversion, no more killings in my name by a state that by every definition has become a rogue state and threat to global humanity?”

See full statement at https://blackallianceforpeace.com/bapstatements/defendvenezuela

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The Rand Report 2020 plan: ‘Do what I say not what I do’ applies to city

By Rand Retterath

Rand Retterrath

The stated mission of Neighborhoods 2020 is “an opportunity to further develop and improve upon the city of Minneapolis’ neighborhood-based engagement structure…by the people, for the people.” However, neighborhoods all over the city are opposed to this document.

Here are my concerns:

1.  The goals are laudable, however, execution is completely contrary to the stated goals. Neighborhoods are held to a standard that is completely disregarded within the city. The proverbial “do what I say, not what I do” applies, and is a mandate with funding as the hostage.

2.  The stated goals of “public purpose” require neighborhoods to be inclusive, responsive and informative. Regrettably, there is no mechanism in place to hold the council and other decision makers accountable in the same way. 

3.  Pooling resources and forcing neighborhoods into a co-operative purchasing will restrict options and diminish localized spending.

4.  Funding requirements reduce the neighborhood decision-making process.  At various times MPNAI has elected to do without staff or used part time/volunteer staff in favor of additional community spending.  The 2020 plan would mandate our actions in this regard by requiring staff.

5.  Community organization funding will be a mechanism to create “group think” across all neighborhoods. It will hold us hostage to a limited set of options.

6.  The potential exists for uniformity across all neighborhoods in the bylaw process, as well. The “minimum requirement” clause concerns many. These mandated points must be included or risk losing funding. 

7. It states, “Not all residents can attend an annual meeting but may have interest in participating in the election process. Therefore, an alternate method to vote will be provided.” Is any neighborhood set up to address the complexities this requirement mandates?

8. The document states, “Have no more than 25% of the board membership serve more than 6 years. Require board officer term limits.” What does the first sentence mean?  If it is good for us, it should be even better for the council.

9. Neighborhoods are “required to develop a robust engagement outreach plan that includes some form of direct resident contact. Neighborhood organizations should submit a measurable outreach plan that provides residents, including under-represented residents, with multiple opportunities to engage…”   This one is the most upsetting to me. Residents are routinely blocked from communicating with our elected representative. There MUST be some accountability within this document for shared responsibility between us and council members and their staff. Mechanisms for mutual accountability must be contained within 2020. 

10. This document is overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of consolidating power at the city level reducing the efforts of community groups.  

11. It keeps us busy with accountabilities at the expense of community effort and accomplishment.

The following are points gleaned from other neighborhoods in opposition to this proposal. My comments are in parentheses.

– The document is regulatory focused, punitive vs. empowering or supportive.

– The document promotes services from NCR which suggests that the program is about growing NCR, not neighborhoods.

– All neighborhood board elections and annual meetings should be held simultaneously. (How is this possible given the complexities of alternative absentee voting measures?)

– NCR will review bylaws of our organizations and require changes for funding eligibility (another opportunity to reduce individual community identity and efforts in favor of group think).

– While cultural organizations are to be funded, they are not required to include bylaw mandates.  Yet another double standard. Furthermore, there are no mandates on outcomes nor financial reviews.

– The funding formula requires 50% to go to administration.  Absolutely laughable with the expectations for neighborhoods represented. (For us to spend 50% of our budget on administration… think about that and how much our efforts will be curtailed.)

– It promotes segregated organizing under the rhetoric of inclusion and equity. Neighborhoods are about providing a form for differing points of view on issues or on ideas to develop, not – community organizing.  

– Citywide universal election day mandate for all non-profits that are receiving money illustrates the lack of understanding as to capacity building, engagement, partnership and celebration of victories and accomplishments. Such a suggestion reflects the lack of understanding in creating a ‘Sense of Place.’

– The new program will include a minimum set of requirements that funded neighborhood groups must include in their bylaws.  This is over reach. We are Independent 501c3s with nonprofit directors are legally responsible for fiduciary accountability to neighborhoods.

– Neighborhood organizations give feedback to, not respond to the city. The model requires groups to go thru NCR – NCEC – NRP Policy Board to access city council. (Community groups should have direct access to council members and city department no one should be excluded from direct communication with elected representatives. Remember “taxation without representation.”)

– We need to reject this document.  It was written by city staff, and not based on feedback obtained and documented. Grassroots empowerment is NOT a top-down model which this reflects. 

– The proposed public comment period and timeline are flawed, ineffective and appear only to benefit the department. 

– Remove NCR from acting as lead on this restructure. They have created deep mistrust with the communities over the last four years by disregarding most, if not all, the feedback the community has already given. 

Clearly, this summary (and it doesn’t reflect all of the comments floating in the city) should raise an alarm to all residents reading this.  THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITY HALL AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  Absolutely no one is listening to anyone.  When we persist, we are blocked from electronic communication, sent to junk mail, and phone calls go unanswered/returned.  This should be a concern to anyone who values a democratic republic. I may not like what you have to say, BUT as a veteran, I pledged to defend your right to say it with my life.  Please pay attention to this dangerous trend. Call your Council member Alondra Cano, 612-673-2209, email Alondra.Cano@minneapolismn.gov or write to her at 350 South 5th Street, Room 307 Minneapolis, MN 55415 to voice not only your opposition but your expectation of accountability.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)

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Backyard Community Health Hub April 2019 calendar

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April 2019 edition of The Alley

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