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Old Arizona: “Bridging” Community, Café, and Classroom

by Brittany Gilbertson, Lake Street Council Intern

“When we bought our building in the 1980’s, this was the fourth leading corner for drug traffic and prostitution,” says Elizabeth Trumble, co-founder of 29th and Nicollet’s Old Arizona, and Executive Director of the Arizona Bridge Project. “Each year, we saw the prostitutes getting younger and younger and our concerns for the girls in this neighborhood and others like it grew stronger.”

For the past 16 years, Old Arizona has been doing something about it. They have served over 1,800 inner city girls by providing free, after-school and summer arts programming, with an ever-evolving selection of classes and employment opportunities in a positive, supportive setting.

“Our concern for girls also arose from the lack of understanding in the juvenile system, a system that can be of concern in general but especially troublesome for girls. Girls have social needs not met by the justice system and their strong desire to belong to a group leads some girls to gangs and other unhealthy decisions,” says Trumble.

Throughout the years, youth programs at Old Arizona have offered a safe place for girls to belong and have provided a social setting where they are encouraged to follow their dreams and their voices are heard. “Some of the girls we worked with are now in their thirties. Many have come back and thanked us for believing in them, and said “Growing up, people laughed at my dreams. You didn’t. You supported them,’” Trumble says.

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Brian McKnight at Dakota Jazz “Bridging” Music

By Raymond Jackson and Tamrala Jackson

Brian McKnight made a return visit to the Dakota Jazz Club on July 7th, promoting his new cd, ‘Just Me.’

As usual, he gave a startling performance with his brother; Claude McKnight founder of the Gospel a Capella group, Take 6; and two sons, Brian Jr., 21 and Niko 19, as special guests.  You could tell he is a man on a mission, and a proud father and mentor leaving a long lasting impression on all in attendance!

His four performances in two days clearly showed his overall talent.   Having come from a family of Gospel/Inspirational singers, he stated, “I was the self taught piano player; all of my siblings are better than me vocally, so I just supplied them with the music”

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Super 8 & 13 Assassins

Super 8

Super 8
****1/2
Paramount Pictures
PG 13, Running Time 112 minutes
Director: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Kyle Chandler (Jackson Lamb), Elle Fanning (Alice Dainard), Joel Courtney (Joe Lamb), Noah Emmerich (Nelec), Ron Eldard (Louis Dainard), Glynn Turman (Dr. Woodward), Riley Griffiths (Charles), Ryan Lee (Cary), Zach Mills (Preston), Gabriel Basso (Martin). 

If there are any lovable movies for the 2011 Summer Movie season (and there are very few) it’s the science-fiction/fantasy “Super 8.” Directed by J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”[2009], “Mission Impossible lll” [2006]) and produced by Steven Spielberg, “Super 8”has the delicate touch of Spielberg-esque. And that touch also has the lovely audience pleasers of an “E.T”, “Close Encounters”, all Spielberg-esque. Not just a few have compared “Super 8”to Rob Reiner’s 1986 film “Stand By Me”, with a similar twist at play: kids being kids.

Joe (Joel Courtney), Alice (Elle Fanning), Cary (Ryan Lee), Charles (Riley Griffiths), Martin (Gabriel Basso), all adolescents living in a unspecified Ohio town of 12,000; in1979. Upcoming amateur filmmakers Joe and Charlie, along with Alice, Cary and Martin go to a train station to make a “scary” film for an upcoming arts film festival. They await an on coming train before they start filming, but just as the train is approaching the train station a pickup truck goes straight towards the train. But before the handful of eager youngsters can barely get the camera rolling a spectator train crash occurs sending all five kids scattering in all directions.

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August 2011 Daves’ Dumpster

August 2011 Dave's Dumpster

August 2011 Dave's Dumpster

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Farewell by Susan Young, Mpls’ ‘Trash Lady,’ who “Bridged” to citizens

Editor’s Note Regarding Susan Young “First Class Lady” Open Letter:

The recent dismissal of Susan Young as Head of the Department of Solid Waste and Recycling has met with overwhelming disbelief, disapproval, and anger by scores of people. Her professional abilities have spoken for themselves only to be exceeded by her unique abilities to simultaneously relate public policy and service to the public for whom she has worked in a personable, nonbureaucratic manner. Her astute professionalism and sincere ethics are obvious here in her own words about her dismissal from a position where her performance has gotten rave reviews from tax payers but apparently not from the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for her appointment. Many open letters via e-democracy in support of Young and in opposition to her dismissal have been far too numerous to reprint here. Suffice it to say they were widespread and unanimous as they all poignantly gave witness to her explicit effectiveness and diplomatic skills that combine to make her a “first Class ‘Lady’”.

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High Heat

By Peter Molenaar

The weather we’ve endured recently has produced the oft heard comment: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”. Well, OK. Let’s bear in mind, however, that temperature is a measurement of how energetically molecules are vibrating. Note: In the desert we feel comfortable even at relatively elevated temperatures. Why? Dry air is less dense, i.e. has fewer molecules vibrating against the skin and so manifests less “heat”. Conversely, humid air manifests more heat. So then, its not the humidity, it’s the heat (more heat). Right?

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Sen. Linda Berglin retires from MN Senate and “Bridges” to County Health System

By Sen. Linda Berglin, Senator from District 61,

“I have taken a job with Hennepin County that excites me because it will give me the opportunity to improve outcomes for many of the people I have served in the legislature. It also means I will be part of the effort to help Hennepin County and its partners succeed in implementing heath care reform.

This does mean however, now that the state budget has been resolved, that I will be resigning my seat in the State Senate effective August 15, 2011. I want to take this opportunity to thank my constituents who have sent me to the legislature for many years. It has been rewarding for me to work on public policy that has improved the lives of many Minnesotans. I have had the opportunity also to work with many organizations that have helped me learn so much.

Some of the highlights of my career include working on health care cost containment and access to affordable health care, mental health reforms to help people be served in the community, jobs for people with disabilities as well as single parents, pay equity for state and local government employees, community-based services to help frail elderly stay in their homes, and improved quality of child care.

During the last six months, I have felt that my talents and skills have been underutilized in the Minnesota Senate.  As I see so much of what I have worked on over the years being chipped away or repealed entirely, I worry that our state is moving away from the community spirit that has made us such a great place.

In the future, there will be others in the legislature and the Dayton administration who will step up to the plate to do the unfinished work of health care reform, as well as standing up for the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.

I look forward to continuing to use what I have learned in the legislature and to continue learning as I work now at the ground level to make policies I have worked on at the state level work for people in the community.”

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“Celebrate Your Independents”: Stalwart Businesses “Bridging” Shopper’s Needs for Decades

Left to Right: Janet Robert, President and General Manager for AM950 (Metro IBA Board Member), Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Mary Hamel executive Director Metro IBA

By Julie Ingebretsen

Throughout July, dozens of local independent businesses, who are members of the Metro Independent Business Alliance (Metro IBA) joined forces in a “Celebrate Your Independents” campaign.

“Celebrate Your Independents” offered shoppers exclusive deals, as well as a chance to register to win $1,250 in gift cards from the participating Metro IBA member businesses; including Bibelot Shops, Butter Bakery Café, Electric Fetus, First Tech, Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts, Linden Hills Co-op, Midwest Mountaineering, Peapods, Trotter’s Café, Warners’ Stellian and others.

The campaign kicked-off with an event at Ingebretsen’s on Thursday, June 30, where Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie spoke to the importance of supporting local businesses.

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Meet Soren Jensen, the new Executive Director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition

Soren Jensen

Soren has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including management positions with the National Parks Conservation Association, American Red Cross, and Sabathani Community Center. He has also worked for Target Corporation, where he managed the United Way campaign and employee volunteerism for Dayton’s, Hudson’s, and Marshall Field’s stores across the Upper Midwest.

One of the things we really liked about Soren was the depth of his non-profit management experience. He has all the essential skills you need in a non-profit leader, including extensive experience with fundraising, marketing, finance and volunteer management. He is well-positioned to lead our organization into the future.

– Michael Nelson, Board President

Like so many people in the Minneapolis area, I treasure the Midtown Greenway. It has made has made a noticeable impact on the quality of life in our community, from providing transportation across town, to creating beautiful green urban spaces for both exercise and reflection, to influencing urban planning and neighborhood revitalization. I am honored to have been selected to continue the Coalition’s important work.

– Soren Jensen, ED of the Midtown Greenway Coalition

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Thank you Tim for decades of gracious, dedicated work “Bridging” Minneapolis

By Harvey Winje

The adjacent article by Tim Springer is reprinted with permission from the Midtown Greenway Coalition newsletter “Pathways.” The Alley appreciates having this farewell in Tim’s own words. Another article by a writer familiar with the saga of this Phillips resident and organizer who has done yeoman’s work for nearly two decades. There are very people who have navigated the “mine fields” of funding, regulation, political and bureaucratic protocols and egos, successfully for such a long time. Thank you, Tim, for your gracious, dedicated service to this Community and to the City. Because of his initiatives in marshalling hundreds of Greenway workers, the future is bright and even greener. You have truly “bridged” many obstacles assisting many citizens of creating this wonderful amenity to our lives–the Midtown Greenway.

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