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Monday July 26th 2021

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In This Time of Need, Minnesotans Have Stepped Up; It’s Government’s Turn

By Allison Sharkey, Felicia Perry, and Chad Kulas

This guest commentary first appeared in the Minnesota Reformer

The civil unrest that unfolded in the wake of George Floyd’s murder has had a deep and lasting impact on the Twin Cities. Buildings burned, family-run shops were robbed, and local health care clinics and nonprofits were broken into and damaged. The places where people lived, worked and relied on for essential services were destroyed and entire communities were left reeling.

During the summer of 2020, KB Balla stands near what remains of Scores Sports Bar at 2713 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. Photo by Hannah Black/Minnesota Reformer.

In this moment of pain, Minnesotans did what they do best: They lent a hand and got to work. Volunteers swept the streets and sidewalks. People organized pop-up food shelves. Donations — of $5, $20 $50 — came in from across our state and the country to help small businesses.

This generosity has accomplished a lot. Thanks to these donations, local nonprofits like the Lake Street Council, the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, and the Midway Chamber of Commerce have been able to provide more than $10 million in grants to more than 400 small businesses. We have seen firsthand how these grants have helped repair building damage and replace lost inventory and equipment. These donations have supported local business owners’ abilities to reopen their doors and hire back employees.

But rebuilding our cities cannot be done through philanthropy alone. Together, Minneapolis and St. Paul sustained more than $500 million in damages. As the Star Tribune previously noted, this makes the Twin Cities riots the second most costly civil disturbance in our country’s history, behind the Los Angeles riots in 1992.

Entire buildings were destroyed. Many affected local business owners don’t have the income or equity needed to develop new property. Even as buildings are rebuilt, the cost of new construction does not allow for affordable rent rates without government support. We have heard loud and clear that people want to see Twin Cities neighborhoods continue to be a home for small businesses — but the need for greater resources to maintain this vision is simply too great for local nonprofits and Minnesotans to bear it alone.

The stakes are also too high. Small business owners invest in and sustain many of the Twin Cities’ thriving commercial corridors like Lake Street, West Broadway and University Avenue. They provide jobs, create economic growth and encourage innovation. The Twin Cities metro area is also the largest contributor to our state tax base — the success of its cities and business community benefits the entire state.

Small business owners are committed to staying and rebuilding once more. These family-run establishments need support in property acquisition, building preservation and new development. Without this support we risk losing these small businesses, which means losing local ownership, entrepreneurship and control.

We also risk widening the already pervasive wealth gap here in our cities and state. Many of the businesses impacted are owned by immigrants, low-income entrepreneurs and Black, Indigenous, people of color families. As we seek to address income inequality, investing in the rebuilding along Lake Street, West Broadway and Midway can make a substantial difference.

We understand there is a lot of demand for funding right now. But we urgently need government support to recognize the huge impact this civil unrest has had on our communities, protect small business owners, and preserve these vibrant economic and cultural corridors. State, county and city governments currently have a huge influx of federal relief funds to distribute; paired with Minnesota’s present budget surplus, small business recovery should be a top priority to lawmakers.

Real people who have worked tirelessly over the past year to support themselves, their families, and their employees amid the pandemic and civil unrest are being affected. They provide incredible benefits to our metro area and the entire state — and they deserve our unflinching support.

Allison Sharkey is the executive director of the Lake Street Council.


Felicia Perry is the executive director of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

Chad Kulas is the executive director of the Midway Chamber of Commerce.

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July 2021

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Eat Your Leafy Greens!

By MARY ELLEN KALUZA

Summer is in full swing, and our local farmers markets are bursting with the first produce of the season. For several weeks now, enterprising farmers with hoop houses have been supplying us with breathtaking spinach, stunning kale, lovely arugula, and delicious Hakurei turnips, with their yummy greens (a great twofer vegetable!).

Fresh vegetables at the local farmers markets are almost always less expensive than in grocery stores, not to mention far more nutritious, as they haven’t languished in a far-off warehouse for weeks before reaching our refrigerators. Most vegetables start to lose nutrients the minute they are picked, and can lose 50 percent or more in less than a week. So, buying directly from the farmer who was up pre-dawn picking those leafy greens gets you the maximum goodness for your dollar.

WHY EAT GREENS?

Greens are probably the most nutrient packed food group. They are a great source of important minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium) and vitamins C, B, E, and K. Plus, greens have phytonutrients like beta-carotene and lutein. Lutein, for example, is shown to promote long term eye health, lowering the risk of cataracts. So, just like saving now in your 401K for retirement, eat your greens today to save your eyesight for those golden years.

All of our body functions, not just our eyesight, depend on those essential nutrients. Eating greens is a smart investment in your future health. And buying at your local farmers market is a smart investment in your community.

NEARBY MARKETS

  • Four Sisters Farmers Market – 1414 E Franklin Ave, Thu 11-3
  • Midtown Farmers Market – 3032 Minnehaha Ave S, Sat 8 – 1, Tue 3 – 7
  • Mill City Farmers Market – 750 2nd St S, Sat 8 – 1
  • Kingfield Farmers Market – 4005 Nicollet Avenue, Sun 8:30 – 1
  • Farmers Market Annex – 200 E Lyndale Ave N, Sat – Sun 7 – 1
  • Nokomis Farmers’ Market, 52nd & Chicago Ave S, Wed 4 – 8

BONUS for WIC PARTICIPANTS

WIC participants get $30 per summer to buy local produce at approved farmers markets! Learn more at: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/food-feed/information-wic-participants. Contact Hennepin County WIC office: 612-348-6100.

OF NOTE FOR SNAP RECIPIENTS: Market Bucks

You may have heard of (and used) Market Bucks. Market Bucks was a program that benefitted SNAP participants by matching $10 of farmers market produce purchases with an additional $10. 

This popular program was funded by the State, with matching Federal funds. As I was drafting this article, the program was cut from the budget by Republicans, effective July 1. There are continued efforts to retain the program through other avenues, so stay tuned. Let your elected representatives know how much you value Market Bucks, a win-win program for the SNAP participants and our local farmers.

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EPIC news

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Phillips West Neighborhood Organization News

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Movie Corner: A Quiet Place II

Paramount Pictures

★★★★★ 

 By HOWARD McQUITTER II 

A Quiet Place ll  is the real deal judging from the stellar original A Quiet Place (2018) which puts us on edge often and with oompah such not to be easily forgotten. Not long ago, my faith in the horror genre stood near nadir, well, at least since the days of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980), both palatable horror films. But my confidence slowly returns with horror pictures such as the Spanish film The Orphanage (2007), It Follows (2015) and Get Out (2017), all intelligent films.

        The second installment of Quiet Place starts off on Day 1, with Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) living, cars going to and fro, electricity is on, American flags rippling in the wind, and boys playing baseball, townspeople drawn out on a sunny summer day. Strange occurrences in the skies interrupt the scene. Creatures attack the town as people run for safety. Fast forward to Day 474 where the original left off to find the Abbotts – Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and Marcus (Noah Jupe) with a newborn baby – leave their farm to wander into the hinterland without creating any sound because that’s what alerts the creatures to their whereabouts. But Regan, being deaf (the actress is deaf in real-life), uses sign language which Evelyn and Marcus are adept at, and the creatures can’t hear.

        The Abbotts find an abandoned mill where they see a family friend named Emmett (Cillian Murphy, 28 Days Later [2002], Inception [2010], The Dark Knight [2010]) who is not exactly keen on seeing the Abbotts. Emmett sees they have a newborn baby and changes his mind about them staying with him. Emmett realizes they have to try to find other survivors, especially with the help of Regan who insists they can’t turn back with all the danger around them. Emmett and Regan venture to find other people while Evelyn stays behind with the infant and her injured son.

          There’s nothing in the movie to give a hint where these ferocious creatures are from. Wherever these beasts are from, they’re bringing havoc on the earthlings. Similar to the fright Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) provides and Byron Haskin’s The War of the Worlds (1953) surprises, suggests that John Krasinski must have studied them. Life is at stake in this dystopian state of the world as the predators from out of nowhere seem to be in control.

         Millicent Simmonds, as Regan, steals the show, a witty and methodical thinker who taps into a little technology, which is one of at least two or more Achilles’ heels for the creatures. She’s on to something that will have to wait for the third installment. The third installment, coming in 2023, will not have John Krasinski as director, but will go to Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter [2011], Mud [2012], Loving

[2016], Shotgun Stories [2007], Midnight Special [2016].)

          Quiet Place ll is a very enjoyable feature and in all likelihood will get an Oscar nomination for sound next year. (Not uncommon the Black characters don’t survive in the film.) I thought It (2017) to be an excellent horror film. I add both Quiet Place movies to the list of what horror films should be like.

       Cast: Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), John Krasinski (Lee Abbott), Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott), Cillian Murphy (Emmett), Djimon Hounsou (Man on Island), Zachary Golinger (Emmett’s

Son), Okieriete Onaodowan (Police Officer). Director: John Krasinski.

Running time: 97 minutes. Writer: John Krasinski. Cinematography: Polly Morgan. Music: Marco Beltrami.

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Ventura Village News

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Free Meals and Snacks for Kids

En la escuela y en otros sitios Comidas escolares nutritivas gratuitas/Iskuulada iyo meelo kaleba

 For more free meals for kids, download the “Free Meals for Kids” app on your smartphone! 

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center 2307 17th Ave S 

•Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 15-August 12 
•Meal Bags will be provided from 5:00 PM- 6:00 PM 

Little Earth Residents Association (LERA) 2495 18th Avenue South 

•Tuesdays and Fridays, July 2-August 13 
•Meal bags will be provided from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM 

Stewart Park 2700 12th Ave S 

• This summer food services program provides children nutritious meals during summer vacation (Monday through Friday) on behalf of the Minneapolis School District. It is free to all children aged 18 and younger. 

• Monday – Friday, 1-2PM: snack; 5-6PM: dinner 

Weekly Meal Boxes Minneapolis Public Schools South High
3131 S 19th Ave, 55407 Door 20, Off of 21st Ave South

•Food boxes will contain 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches. Monday- Friday, 10am – 3pm

Street Eats Food Truck, Minneapolis Public Schools

Hope Academy, 2300 Chicago Ave S: Wednesdays, 12PM-12:30PM
Waite House, 2323 11th Ave: Fridays, 11:40AM-12:10PM

Franklin Library 1314 E Franklin Ave

•Youth snacks:
Thursdays 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Hosmer Library 347 E 36th St

•Snacks for kids always available during open hours
Cold Boxed Lunch: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10:50-11:10AM
Hot Lunch: Wednesday 1:20-1:40

FREE MEALS FOR KIDS aplicación móvil/mobile app

Free Nutritious Meals For Kids 18 And Under

Only a click away, the Free Meals for Kids mobile app will help families and kids find free meals at schools and other sites across Minnesota during COVID-19.

How it works:

1. Download the Free Meals for Kids app to your cell phone.

2. Use the app to find the nearest site providing meals and meal packs by GPS.

3. Click on the nearby site and use the Meals Updates tab for more details.

4. Share the app with friends, neighbors and on social media. 

Free Meals for Kids can be downloaded at Apple or Google Play app stores. 

There are free meal sites across the state at schools and community locations. The app provides location, directions to the site and hours and days of distribution. More sites are added daily. For more information: www.hungerimpactpartners.org

En la escuela y en otros sitios Comidas escolares nutritivas gratuitas

Para niños de18 años y menores Con solo un clic entrara a la aplicación móvil Free Meals for Kids. La cual ayuda a las familias y a los niños a encontrar comidas gratuitas en las escuelas y otros sitios en todo Minnesota durante el COVID-19.

CÓMO FUNCIONA:

1. Descargue la aplicación Free Meals for Kids en su teléfono celular.
2. Use la aplicación para encon- trar el sitio más cercano que proporciona comidas y paquetes
de comidas por GPS.
3. Haga clic en el sitio cer- cano y use la pestaña de actualizaciones de comidas para obtener más detalles.
4. Comparta la aplicación con amigos, vecinos y en las redes sociales.

Las comidas gratuitas para niños se pueden descargar en las tiendas de aplicaciones de Apple o Google Play.

Hay sitios de comidas gratis en todo el estado. En escuelas, paradas de autobús, bibliotecas, centros comunitarios y parques. La aplicación proporciona ubicación e indicaciones para llegar al sitio, horas y días de distribución. Se agregan más sitios diariamente. Para más información: www.hungerimpactpartners.org

Iskuulada iyo meelo kaleba

Cunto nafaqaysan oo bilaash ah looguna talagalay caruurta 18 sano iyo ka yar Waxaa kaa xiga oo kaliya inaad riixdo, cuntada bilaashka ah oo loga dalbanayo taleefoonka, waxay ka caawinaysaa qoysaska iyo caruurta inay ka helaan cunto bilaasha iskuulka iyo meelo kaleba Minnesota oo dhan xiligan cudurka COVID-19. Sidan bay u shaqaysaa: 

1. Ku soo dejiso taleefoonkaaga gacanta Aabka cunto bilaasha oo caruurta loogu tala galay. 

2. U isticmaal aabkan sidii aad ugu heli lahayd meelaha kuugu dhow ee bixiya cunto iyo baakadaha cuntada adoo isticmaalaya GPS. 

3. Riix Meesha kuugu dhow siina taabo warbixinada cusub ee cuntada si aad u aad u hesho faahfaahin dheeraad ah. 4. La wadaag aabkan saaxiibadaa, deriskaaga iyo baraha bulshada. Cunto bilaasha oo caruurta loogu talo galay waxaad ka soo dejisan kartaa Apple ama Google Play app stores. Waxaa ka jira gobolka oo dhan meelo cunto bilaash ah laga bixiyo sida iskuulada, boosteejooyinka basaska, maktabadaha, xarumaha bulshada, iyo jardiinooyinka. Aabkan waxaad ka helaysaa goobaha, tilmaamaha, saacadaha iyo maalmaha la qaybiyo cuntada. Maalin kasta waxaa lagu daraa meele kale oo badan. Wixii macluumaad dheeraad ah: www.hungerimpactpartners.org

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Random alley Labor News

Random Alley Labor News

By Lindsey Fenner

Minimum wage goes up in Minneapolis:  

On July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Minneapolis is going up to $12.50 at small businesses and $14.25 at large businesses. The Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance defines small businesses as 100 or fewer employees and large businesses as more than 100 employees. Tips and gratuities do not count toward payment of a minimum wage. The City’s Department of Civil Rights oversees enforcement of the municipal minimum wage, and workers are encouraged to report violations online at http://minimumwage.minneapolismn.gov/ or by calling 311.

Transit Workers Reject Metro Transit Contract Offer:

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005 voted overwhelmingly to reject Metro Transit’s “best and final” contract offer. ATU Local 1005 represents public transportation bus drivers, rail operators, mechanics, and many other support personnel. Metro Transit workers have been fighting for pandemic hazard pay and safety improvements. 

Nurses Picket at Children’s Hospital: 

Pediatric nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) held informational pickets at the Children’s Hospital in the Phillips neighborhood in June. Restructuring at the Children’s campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul has led to downsizing of staff, which the nurses say has led to shortstaffing and fewer available hospital beds. 

Unions Say New Pandemic OSHA Rules Don’t Go Far Enough: 

After six months of waiting, unions representing frontline workers are disappointed in the new mandatory workplace safety rule put in place by the Biden Administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in June. Although unions had been pushing for new protections for all frontline workers, the new rules only apply to healthcare workers. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents meatpacking, food processing, and grocery store workers called the new rules  “a slap in the face to the millions of American frontline workers and their families who have been infected and killed by this deadly virus.” Meatpacking and food processing facilities have seen significant COVID outbreaks throughout the pandemic.

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