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June 2011 Daves’ Dumpster

June 11 Daves Dumpster

June 2011 Daves Dumpster

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Neighborhood Talk

As of the month of May 2011, the total Public Debt Outstanding of the United States of America bumped the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling set by Congress. This is not good. Come August, Lord knows what will happen should Congress fail to lift the ceiling.

So, what’s going on?

Our country’s gross debt has increased over $500 billion each year since 2003. Why? Because G.W. Bush gave a tax cut gift to the super rich which erased roughly $2 trillion in revenue. Then, of course, there were a couple of Wars which have cost us $1.1 trillion. To which we must add a financial melt-down which necessitated a bail-out and stimulus even as revenue streams went dry.

Note 1.): A former chief U.N. nuclear inspector is now pressing the World Court to pass judgment as to the degree of criminality in the “grotesque distortions” (i.e. weapons of mass destruction, etc.) which facilitated a war with Iraq and the consequent death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Note 2.): To learn more about the “melt-down” culprits, go get the DVD “Inside Job” to find greed, immorality and power fueled by cocaine and prostitution.

So, what?

So, presently, the Federal government can’t pay its bills without deficit spending. However, if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, deficit spending will become illegal. Which is to say: the Obama administration would then have to pick and choose which bills to pay.

What choices? Social Security, Medicare, the military, and the servicing of the national debt (i.e. interest on government bonds held by rich people, etc.)- -these are the choices.

Congressional Republicans have threatened to block any raising of the debt ceiling without massive spending cuts up front. Which choices? Sadly, President Obama has advised his Democrats: “Don’t draw any lines in the sand”. OMG!

Mr. President, dear man, listen, please. The Republicans know full well that cuts to Social Security and Medicare would induce massive demonstrations lead by Organized Labor in conjunction with an invigorated Peace Movement calling for big cuts in military spending. Clearly, the Republicans are bluffing.

Mr. President, we who elected you continue to exist. And, all things considered, you continue to have our respect…and most likely our vote, but partly in fear of consequences much worse. Yet there are times when you appear to have lost sight of us.

Would you have us conclude that Karl Marx was right all along?

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Open Letter about Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery and Sue Hunter Weir

As I have gotten to know Sue over the years, I can not even begin to describe how impressed I am with what a great historian, member of our community, and friend Sue is.  Sue has such a passion for the cemetery.  It may seem like a very niche interest, but Sue has a talent for researching the lives of those Minneapolitans who have come before us and translating them into stories that we may “get to know” these great people in a way that is not communicated through granite.  It is inspirational to know someone who “gets it” that life is about putting your energies toward that which you are passionate about.

One of my great self indulgences (when I can find time to be by myself) is to go to the Midtown Global Market, grab a bite to eat, grab an Alley newspaper, and loose myself in one of Sue’s articles about someone who lived in our city 100+ years ago.  In particular, Sue brings attention to those who lived rather common, or sometimes even unconventional lives.

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Open Letter: Phillips’ youth petition helped create the new Stewart Park Soccer Field

In 2009 the Park Board held a public meeting at Stewart Park to gain input from the community on possible athletic field improvements at the park. The East/Midtown Phillips Youth Soccer teams attended in force. They came prepared with nearly 800 signatures on petitions requesting a new soccer field in the park. With funding help from the Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant program and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, that dream became reality.

On May 19th, 2011 a beautiful, state of the art soccer field with artificial turf and field lighting was dedicated with the first Barbeque of the season. The celebration included face painting by Park Staff, Juggling and Balloon magic by William Bradshaw of Fun Time Functions and comments by Park Board Commissioner Scott Vreeland and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

Two youth who were at the 2009 public meeting presented McLaughlin and Vreeland soccer balls signed by many of the young petitioners. The highlight of the day after enjoying the luxurious turf of the new field was watching two of the youngest soccer aficionados score on both commissioners who were totally ineffective as goal tenders.

Brad Pass

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Stewart Soccer Field “Kickoff” Grand Opening Highlights Vast Field and Program Improvements

By MPRB and Harvey Winje

Phillips Community soccer playing youth and adults, Hennepin County, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) celebrated the completion of work on Stewart Field with a Grand Opening celebration, complete with music, balloon artists and face painters, Thursday, May 19.

In the culturally diverse Phillips Community of south Minneapolis with more than 7,000 youth*, the availability of a durable and high quality soccer field is essential. Stewart Park at 2700 12th Avenue was hard and worn from overuse. In the Fall of 2010 it was totally renovated including synthetic turf that will improve safety, reduce potential injuries and withstand high volumes of repetitive use with funding from a Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant.

*[See “Phillips’ Youth petition helped create the new Stewart Park Soccer Field” Alley Newspaper, June 2011, page 7]

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Focus on Mental Health in the Backyard

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Community residents participating in the Backyard Initiative have identified “mental health” as one focus for their work to improve the health of all residents. At their past few monthly meetings, members of the Community Commission on Health and Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) of the Backyard Initiative (BYI) have been discussing which health condition all the CHATs would work on together. Community members have named many different aspects of mental health, such as stress, depression, and chemical dependency as having a significant impact on overall health. In the community health assessment conducted in 2009, the top health conditions that residents reported experiencing in the last five years were stress (51%), depression (21%), and high blood pressure (21%).

The BYI is a partnership between Allina Health Systems and the community surrounding Allina headquarters (the four neighborhoods of Phillips, Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran) to develop ways to improve the health of the community. Resident-run CHATs are now implementing their health strategies and are accountable to the Community’s Commission on Health, a group of primarily community residents who are also members of a CHAT.

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Upcoming events at the Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

Unveiling of Restored Grand Entrance Gate of Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery May 17th 3 PM

The Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery’s restored front gate and first of other sections will be commemorated with an unveiling on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 3 p.m. Join Mpls. Council Member Gary Schiff, friends and family members of those buried in the cemetery, and a host of people who have worked so hard on this restoration project. 553 pickets have been adopted at a cost of $30 a piece. Thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far. For more information on donating see page 4.

Asa Clark Brown Honored by Daughters of the War of 1812. May 30th 9 AM

On Monday, May 30, 2011, at 9 a.m., the Minnesota chapter of the Daughters of 1812 will dedicate Mr. Brown’s new marker. Everyone is welcome. Please join us in honoring Asa Clark Brown.

142nd Memorial Day Celebration At Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. May 30th 10 AM

Monday, May 30, 2011 marks the 142nd time that Memorial Day has been observed at the cemetery. At 9 a.m., the Minnesota Daughters of 1812 will dedicate the new military marker for Asa Clark Brown. The traditional Memorial Day observance will take place at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m. there will be a history talk followed by an optional tour. All Memorial Day events are free and everyone is welcome.

Preserve Minneapolis. Walking Tour of Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. June 10th 10 AM

On Saturday, June 10th, at 10 a.m., Preserve Minneapolis will sponsor a cemetery walking tour. The tour will take about an hour and a-half and will take place rain or shine. The cost is $5.00

 

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Asa Clark Brown-Sawyer, Carpenter, and Veteran from the War of 1812 Seven children and three grandchildren served in Civil War Union Army

Asa Clark Brown-Sawyer

By Sue Hunter Weir

The War of 1812 is one of those subjects that most of us studied in high school but would be hard pressed to explain to anyone else. Part of the reason is that it was less of a war than a series of skirmishes that ranged from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. We might remember that the British burned the White House, and that Dolley Madison was forced to run for her life having had the presence of mind to take a painting of George Washington with her. We might also remember that Frances Scott Key was inspired to write the Star-Spangled Banner after watching the British Navy bombard Fort McHenry.

During the War of 1812 many soldiers were drafted to serve in militias, and the practice of sending a substitute to serve in one’s place was not uncommon. One such substitute was Asa Clark Brown, who fought in place of a man whose last name was Thomas, first name unknown. In September of 1813, Asa Brown enrolled in Captain Adams’ Company of the New York State Detached Artillery. He served until November 9, 1813, when he was given an honorable discharge.

He married Elizabeth Reynolds sometime between 1810 and 1815. They had four children. It is likely that Elizabeth died sometime between 1822, when their last child was born, and March 8,1832, when Mr. Brown married his second wife, Eleanor Huppenan. Asa and Eleanor Brown had five sons.

By 1826, Asa Brown was co-owner of a saw mill in Venango, Pennsylvania. Sometime before the 1860 federal census was taken, Asa Brown and several of his children had moved to Richfield, Minnesota. The census listed his occupation as carpenter, and his net worth as a comfortable, though not wealthy, $275. During the Civil War, seven of Asa Brown’s sons and three of his grandsons served in the Union Army. Mr. Brown lived long enough to see all of them return unharmed. He died on March 7, 1866, from pleurisy at the age of 73 years, 4 months and 23 days.

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Volunteers honored for contributions to Minneapolis parks


Minneapolis Park Board Honors its volunteers

By Angela Schneider

If it wasn’t for the thousands of volunteers who selflessly donate their time and talents, the Minneapolis Park System would not be as successful as it is. Their contributions range from gardening and coaching to starting a neighborhood festival and playing vital roles in the creation of a new recreation center.

To recognize the essential role volunteers play in the parks, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) presented the Volunteer of the Year Awards at special ceremonies held Wednesday, April 20. Remarkable Volunteer Service Awards were presented to five adults and one group. The Rising Star Award was given to four youth.

All honoree contributions embody one or more of the themes set forth in the Park Board’s Comprehensive Plan including, Environmental Stewardship, Community Engagement, Recreation that Inspires, Safe Places, and Vision and Leadership.

REMARKABLE VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD

Each recipient of the Remarkable Volunteer Service Award received an art piece created by a local artist, and a donation of $500 to the park program where they serve as a volunteer. Funds will be used to enhance programming, purchase needed materials or supplies and launch innovative ideas. The award recipients are Amos Deinard in Kenwood, Brad Pass in Phillips, Jessica Hill at Lake Hiawatha Center, Rodney Lossow in Longfellow, Steve Young in Fulton Neighborhood and Pershing/Linden Hills. and the Youthline Gang Prevention Program mentors in Folwell, Hawthorne, Jordan, and McKinley Neighborhoods.

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“Growing in the Backyard” Citizen Health Action Team The Community Commission on Health Approves a New Project for the Backyard

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

On April 7, 2011, the Commission on Health approved the Family Garden project of the Backyard Initiative’s Growing in the Backyard Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT). The CHAT stated in their proposal to the Commission: “This project will empower Backyard residents to produce their own healthy foods, increase connections to the local food system, and increase each family’s understanding about how the food system works. Families participating in the Family Gardens project will actively take responsibility for creating and maintaining a series of gardens throughout the Backyard. These activities will also increase a sense of belonging and community for each family.”

The Commission on Health, a group composed primarily of residents who live in the “Backyard” – in Powderhorn Park, Central, Corcoran, or one of the four neighborhoods in Phillips – meets every month at the Cultural Wellness Center. The Commission first met in February 2010 to put community residents at the center of the Backyard Initiative, a partnership between Allina and these communities. Its work is to monitor the health of the community, build the community’s capacity for taking responsibility for its own health, and support efforts to maintain and improve the health of Backyard residents. The Commission gives guidance and support to community residents who work together in Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) on projects that will lead to greater health for all community residents.

The members of the Growing in the Backyard CHAT told the Commission that their project is addressing the lack of access to affordable healthy food for families by helping people to overcome the barriers to growing their own food. In the health assessment conducted in 2009, 97% of Backyard residents interviewed said that affordable locally grown fruits and vegetables were very important to them.

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