NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday April 4th 2020

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Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By SUE HUNTER WEIR
175th in a Series

An Oasis by Streets and Industry

Trees can reduce air temperature by as much as 10 degrees within a block radius. If Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery had only 300 trees, eight tons of carbon monoxide from one of the city’s busiest intersections every year. Over the Cemeteriy’s 162 years there have been many tree planting events. The next one is April 18th—Earth Day 2020.
PHOTO TIM McCALL

Values beyond money
At a time when the value of most things is measured in dollars and cents, there are some who question whether cemeteries are sustainable. They question whether there is a business model for land that is purchased once but occupied forever. Cemeteries, especially inactive ones, are not moneymakers but they serve a number of valuable purposes. Not least of those is their value as urban green spaces.

22 Acres between pollution sources and Lake Street
Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery is the only green space of any significant size on Lake Street. It’s not large—only 22 square acres. In comparison, St. Mary’s Cemetery is 65 square acres, Hillside is 124, Lakewood is 250, and Fort Snelling National Cemetery is 436 square acres. Pioneers and Soldiers takes up only a very small percentage of the city’s land—only 7/10,000. The exact number of trees is not known, but if there are only 300, and there may well be double that, those trees remove eight tons of carbon dioxide from one of the city’s busiest intersections every year.

Cemetery is “Cool”
Trees also have a significant effect on local temperatures. In 2019, the National Academy of Sciences published a study that said that the right amount of tree cover (about 40%) can reduce air temperature by as much as 10 degrees. The cooling effect is very localized—it can be 10 degrees hotter across the street or only one block away.

Gifted trees keep giving
Over the years there have been several tree planting events in the cemetery. In September 1939, five local veteran organizations presented the City of Minneapolis with twelve evergreen trees as a memorial to the veterans buried in the cemetery. In 2003, the cemetery was Hennepin County’s Regional Arbor Day planting site. Volunteers planted 150 trees, one for each year that the cemetery had been in existence. There were large shade trees, such as Autumn Blaze and Green Mountain Sugar Maples. There were medium-sized trees like Ohio Buckeyes, Amur Chokecherries and Showy Mountain Ash. Twenty-seven specimen and evergreen trees were planted throughout the cemetery to provide species diversity and to create habitat for wildlife.

Enjoy heat relief in summer
When things heat up this summer and your air conditioning is making you feel claustrophobic, grab a lawn chair or a blanket and head out to your local cemetery. Bring a book, a sketchpad, a picnic lunch, or nothing at all. Hang out and enjoy the wildlife on Lake Street.

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Peace House Community–A Place to Belong

We’ll Get Through It Together

By MARTI MALTBY

PHOTO MIKE HAZARD

I recently attended an all-day seminar put on by a couple of colleagues from North Dakota. Their organization, Ministry on the Margins, has a similar mission to Peace House Community, although their activities are more diverse than ours. Among other things, they provide toys to children. Sister Kathleen Atkinson, who runs the agency, shared many stories, but one struck me because of a personal experience I have had.

Sister Kathleen, like many ministry directors, wants to provide her clients with good quality items. She said that one day she was horrified to see that a seven year old boy had received a stuffed dinosaur that was missing an eye. To her, the toy was defective and shouldn’t have been offered to the child. She didn’t want him to feel like he was unworthy of a good toy just because his family was poor. However, when she approached him, he showed that he had already developed an attachment to the toy.

“You see his eye,” the boy asked Sister Kathleen. “Yes,” she replied, but before she could say more he continued. “I chose him because he’s been through a lot. So have I. We’ll get through it together.”

The story resonated with me because of my daughter’s stuffed unicorn Brockie. She loved Brockie, but a few years ago our dog, which had never touched any of our kids’ toys, started chewing on Brockie’s head. By the time we rescued Brockie, the dog had opened up two large tears on Brockie’s face, and Amber was understandably distraught. I have some basic sewing skills and told Amber I could heal Brockie. By my own standards, the repairs were really good. The stitches were almost invisible and her head was almost back to its original shape. But, of course, Amber could see the difference. “She doesn’t look the same,” she said, and she wouldn’t play with Brockie as she had before. I was pained that I hadn’t been able to restore Amber’s joy in her unicorn, but that changed some months later when Amber fell sick. Suddenly, she insisted on keeping Brockie with her in bed. “She knows what it is like to feel bad,” she said. Since then, anytime anyone in our family is sick, Amber makes sure Brockie stays in bed with them to help them get better.

I’m finally old enough to understand that my life has been different from the lives of most of the people with whom I interact. I’ve had more material security and haven’t experienced the discrimination and challenges that others have. While I’m thankful for the advantages I’ve had, I sometimes think I’m a poorer person for it. I’ve seen people who have much less than me be far more generous, because they understand the need for people to help each other in times of need. I’ve watched people go through traumatic experiences without any idea what to say or do to help them, despite having a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry. By contrast, individuals with severe mental health problems and no resources have jumped into action, making sure their friends know they aren’t alone in their times of darkness. These days I still feel clumsy and inadequate when I try to help people, but I have at least learned that being present and going through things together is the place to start.

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Lawns For Legumes

Earlier this year, Minnesota approved the Lawns to Legumes program which provides funding to help residents convert their lawns to natural habitat for pollinators. Learn how you can bee involved!

• Demonstration Neighborhood Project for Phillips and Corcoran neighborhoods’ grant provides funding for residents to install pollinator-friendly, native plantings in yards for little to no cost.
Contact Lilah to be involved in this project: lilah@metroblooms.org or (612) 293-4027.

• Lawns to Legumes: Resilient Yards Workshop (3 hours) Learn about the four planting types Lawns to Legumes supports: pocket plantings, pollinator-beneficial trees and shrubs, pollinator lawns, and pollinator meadows, and the funding offered to Phillips and Corcoran neighbors.

Date & Time:
Thursday, May 14th, @ 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Location:
Phillips Community Center
(2nd floor dining room)
2323 11th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404

After the presentation all attendees will receive one-on-one consultations with professional landscape designers to incorporate natural habitat at their residence.

Workshop is free to residents of Corcoran + Phillips neighborhoods – just check the box! Visit bluethumb.org/events to register.

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Sing After Every Storm

By MIKE HAZARD

PHOTO MIKE HAZARD

Ellie and Jamaih posed in the sun outside the back door at Peace House. Ellie wrote a poetical reflection on life the day she got sober. It hangs on the poetry wall inside. A few lines go:

“Be like the winds: Sing after every storm.

Change is scary, especially to those who watch us change while their lives stay the same.

Don’t hang out with negative people, especially yourself.
You don’t need a loud voice to be heard. All you need is something worthwhile to say. Sometimes you must end an old relationship to begin a new one with yourself.”

Sing after every storm, Ellie.

This picture story is by Mike Hazard. It is part of a project called Peace House People. A version of the work will be on display at Franklin Library from April 13 through May 9, 2020. The project is funded by an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

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Palm Sunday Peace Processional April 5th

By PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL, St. Paul’s Church 15th & 28th

Palm Sunday Peace Processional 2019
PHOTO PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

St. Paul’s will host its annual Palm Sunday Procession for Peace on Sunday, April 5. We will march to places of pain and joy in Phillips, stopping to pray, to remember and to reclaim spaces that have been taken by forces who consider human life cheap. The procession starts at 12 noon at St. Paul’s, 2742 15th Ave S. For more info, call 612-724-3862 or e-mail stpaulscreate@gmail.com.

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“Searching,” Chapter 34 Epilog

By PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

“One person’s found is another person’s lost.” We are taught that this is true, that there always must be winners and losers, that it is part of the way the world is made, that the “invisible hand” directs the fortunes of everyone, and that as one rises, another must fall. But what if by searching and finding, or even by searching and not finding, we are more connected to our fellow human beings? What if our search, our healing and our wisdom multiplies unto others, so that as one of us is found, we all are? It is easy to speculate on what will become of Angel and Luz, our beloveds. It is easy to speculate, and hard to know. They have found each other, and they are willing to go to any length to keep that treasure that is their love. But we know that love untested is not real love, and that it is in trial that we often find our true strength. Luz and Angel will now walk together, and discover together, what their search will show them. Perhaps we will catch up to them a few years down the line: perhaps with babies, perhaps with degrees, most certainly with life’s troubles big and small, and with life’s joys, small and bigger than we can imagine. But what if by searching and finding, or even by searching and not finding, we are more connected to our fellow human beings? What if our search, our healing and our wisdom multiplies unto others, so that as one of us is found, we all are? And what of the others we have found along the way? Will Mr. Bussey return to Roosevelt a more curious and courageous teacher? Will Ana use her law degree to free the captives and ruffle the feathers of the powers? Will Angel’s and Luz’ families intertwine in a new weaving that reaches south to Mexico, deep into the past and far into the future? Will the man with the violin—if indeed he is a man—learn new melodies hidden in old, old songs? It would be foolish of me to try and speculate where Mother Light may shine, and foolish to speculate where evil—be it the scarred cheek, the minions of La Migra, the sneering smile of the cowards who rape and steal and torture—may cast their shadow. It would be foolish to speculate, but it is never foolish to imagine. It is our spirits that lead us to dream, and it is our dreams that lead us to hope. And so, we do not say “Adios” to those with whom we have walked these thirty-four moons, we do not even say “see you later”. We say, “Vaya con Dios”—“Go with God”—and we imagine and hope and believe that their going, and our going—though difficult and bitter and wounded as it may be—will lead us onward to the spring that bubbled up in the swale so many years ago, that sates the thirst of the desert crossers today, that refreshes all who welcome and all who are welcomed. Laten barnen komma til mig—Let the children come unto me—Dejen que los niños venga a mí.

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“Searching,” A Serial Novelle— Chapter 1

By PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

EDITOR’S NOTE Regarding “SEARCHING”
Alley Communications has been honored and pleased to publish this novella by Patrick Cabello Hansel in The Alley Newspaper — a first for The Alley and for any local community paper as far as we know. Many noteworthy writers published novels in a serial format in newspapers or other periodicals; for example Charles Dickens published chapters at regular intervals and if they became popular he would publish the chapters as a book. Some writers sought and even depended upon reader comments and suggestions as they developed their novels. All 34 Chapters are at: www.alleynews.org/category/searching

Left to right: Orson Scott Card “Intergalactic Medicine Show”; Michael Chabon “Gentlemen of the Road”; Wilkie Collins “The Moonshine”; Charles Dickens “The Pickwick Papers”; Harriet Beecher Stowe “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “Sherlock Holmes”; Herman Melville “Moby Dick”; Center photo Patrick Cabello Hansel of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Angel swore it was an owl. It was calling from a tree hidden deep behind the locked cemetery gates. He remembered that an owl calling meant death, but for whom? Himself? One in his family? A friend who had a death wish? He tried to see the owl through the fog that was beginning to creep in from Cedar Avenue, but he could not. It continued to call, lonely, vigilant, demanding.

Angel tried to laugh about it: of course there’d be an owl in the cemetery. Nothing but dead people there! But he didn’t know anyone in that cemetery. They didn’t bury Latinos there. They didn’t bury anyone there anymore. Mr. Bussey, in his 4th hour history class at Roosevelt, had talked about the Civil War veterans buried there, the heroes of the Underground Railroad, the first murderers and their victims. It was the old dead who laid there, the ones who had grown tired of being restless and wandering, the dead who had settled in for the long millennium’s wait for the final trumpet.

No, this owl was calling for someone outside. Someone still living, who didn’t know their number was up. That was a fact: death was on the prowl in the neighborhood. Death had an appointment, and death was never tardy. Angel shuddered for a second at that fact. Then he began to shake as he realized something else: he had been chosen to hear the owl calling. He had been called to be the messenger. The one who might be killed for bringing bad news. He, Angel Augusto Cruz Rojas, the first born of seven, was the one who must tell the story.

Angel pulled his hoodie over his ears and started walking. He was intending to go see Sammy and some of his friends downtown, but he turned around, walked quickly passed the bus stop, made a sharp right across the street, and headed west on Lake. The sky over the Global Market ten blocks away bore the faintest trace of pink from the sun that had set nearly an hour before, and the wind was straight in his face. When he stopped two blocks away to light a cigarette, it took him several tries to keep the flame lit. Even from that distance, he could swear he heard it. The owl was calling him. But to do what? To tell whom? Angel needed to find out.

Patrick Cabello Hansel and his wife, Luisa are pastors of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 28th Street and 15th Avenue in Midtown Phillips. He is also a writer of poetry and short fiction.

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“Returning”

By PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

Author’s note: this story picks up years after the saga of Searching, serialized in 34 issues of the Alley in the early 2010’s. In that story, we met Luz and Angel, two 19 year olds running from their past and searching for their future, along with a score of beautiful and strange neighbors.

Patrick Cabello Hansel, is a Phillips Community resident, poet, pastor, and the author of the serial novel “Searching” that has appeared with a new chapter each month the last three years. What does Patrick have in common with Charles Dickens, Henry James, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, and Rudyard Kipling. Gustave Falubert, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Boleslaw Prus, Tom Wolfe, Michael Chabon, Stephen King, Michel Faber, Orson Scott Card, Laura Hickman, and Lawrence Watt-Evans? See more about serial stories below.

Alley Communications has been honored and pleased to have been able to publish this novel by Patrick Cabello Hansel in The Alley Newspaper, chapter by chapter, each month for nearly three years. It has been a first for The Alley and for any local community paper as far as we know.
We have been reminded by Jane Thomson, one of our most avid readers, writers, and active Alley Allies, that many noteworthy writers published novels in a serial format in newspapers or other periodicals. For example Jane points out that Charles Dickens published some of his works through serials in newspapers. He would publish chapters at regular intervals and if they were popular he would publish it as a book.

Some writers sought and even depended upon reader comments and suggestions as they developed their novels. Readers are encouraged to send or call with responses to “Searching.” Did you enjoy it? Would you have changed any part? Would you like to see this story continued or another one sometime soon?

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Ventura Village Neighborhood News

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East Phillips Improvement Coalition

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