NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 24th 2017

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Two Harveys Among Us

By Peter Molenaar

Almost everyone in the Phillips Community knows something about Hurricane Harvey and associates.  Not as many are acquainted with Harvey Winje, editor of the Alley Newspaper.  So sad.

Truth to tell, Harvey (the hurricane) is not a totally bad sort of being.  Actually, Mother Earth deploys hurricanes to flush excess heat from her oceans into outer space.  As is revealed in great beds of fossils, this was a common practice in olden times.  However, it is no longer the methane of dinosaur farts which confines Sun’s rays to our atmosphere, rather it is the burning of fossil fuels.

So in the recent teaching moment, H. Harvey posed some questions:

1.) How much energy will it take to create the infrastructure for a post-fossil-fuel economy?

2.) How might we mitigate ongoing damage in the process?

3.) Will the pivot from coal to natural gas slow global warming?

4.)  Are market forces combined with the profit motive impeding necessary developments?

5.)  How might a “just transition” be administered?

6.)  Will democracy ever fully blossom beneath the “rule of capital?”

The other Harvey has endeavored, as well, to deepen the discussion.  A carpenter by trade his knowledge of the “nooks and crannies” has made The Alley conversation possible.  We have Harvey the builder and Harvey the destroyer.  May it be said that, in a certain sense, both have had purposeful intentions.

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Frank Reflections: White Supremacy is monumental in scope and statuary

BY FRANK ERICKSON

White Supremacy is an amazing thing!  Why was Robert E. Lee a free man after the Civil War?

He took up arms against the United States government and killed over 100,000 American, yet he is treated like a rock star and is emboldened with statues all over the South.

We now have eight Somali-American men from Minneapolis who tried to do the exact same thing that Confederate General Robert E. Lee did: take up arms against the United States government on a battlefield, albeit in Syria, although they never succeeded as did he.

They never got to the battlefield! They never killed anyone! How, then, do they get decades in prison and Robert E, Lee gets monuments erected to honor him?

Imagine if Robert E. Lee was black!

Frank Erickson is a Neighborhood resident.

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Making a BIG difference through small “p” policy changes…

ReTHINK Your Drink!

Through the efforts of the Backyard Initiative (BYI), implemented by staff members of the BYI Resource Center, the second City of Minneapolis ReTHINK Your Drink campaign is coming to a successful close at the Midtown Global Market. The campaign effectively established a relationship-building model for working with small business owners from ethnically diverse backgrounds to improve their beverage environment. All three MGM vendors interviewed for this article have made practice or policy changes to their beverage offerings as a result of the ReTHINK Your Drink campaign.

Pol-i-cy…………definition by Merriam Webster Dictionary

1a: prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs

2a: a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions

BYI Resource Center staff members Rose Lobley, Carl Lobley, and Roberta Barnes

The Backyard Initiative wanted to learn more about the experiences of some of the Midtown Global Market vendors who participated in the ReTHINK Your Drink campaign.  A BYI Communications Community Health Action Team member and several staff members of the BYI Resource Center conducted the following interviews with three MGM vendors and asked the following questions:

1. What were your hesitations of concerns about participating in the Rethink Your Drink Project with the Backyard Initiative?

2. In spite of your concerns or hesitations, why did you decide to participate?

3. What do you think about your participation now or what changes have you made, if any?

Following are the results of those interviews.

SAFARI EXPRESS-Interview with Sharmaarke Hashi, Manager Read the rest of this entry »

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September 2017 Alley Newspaper

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In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre: Update to Our Community August 2017

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) recently received a $275,000 gift from the Sarah Bowman Trust.

BY CORRIE ZOLL

HOBT’s Vision: 3 Years 3 Goals

Over the past three years, HOBT has been working toward a transformational plan to build a more resilient organization, to address the issues of owning an aging and distressed building, and to better serve its neighbors.

The Avalon Theatre: HOBT Says! & Welcomes Renters

The plan centers on a rebranding of HOBT’s Avalon Theater at the corner of 15th Avenue South and East Lake Street as a neighborhood art center. HOBT will continue to own and operate the building, and will continue to use it to present programming.

Nearly all of HOBT’s programming can be condensed so that it relies on the Avalon Theater stage 20 weeks of the year. This leaves 30 weeks each year to fill the space with arts programming and events that represent the cultures present in the neighborhoods served by HOBT. Imagine live music, dance, theater, film, birthday parties, weddings and more. The additional income will strengthen HOBT’s ability to work toward its mission to bring people together for the common good. Making an updated facility more accessible to more users serves a deep need for rehearsal and performance space in the Twin Cities. For HOBT’s neighbors in the Midtown Phillips, East Phillips and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods, that means more weekends that the Avalon Theater marquee is lit, more nights with activity on the corner of 15th & Lake, and more opportunities to connect with neighbors across cultures.

HOBT’s Next Steps

HOBT believes that a capital campaign will be needed to raise three million dollars to make this vision possible. Funds will be needed for upgrading the building’s basic infrastructure, for making the building more accessible to a wider range of audiences, and for changes that will transform the building into a powerful asset for realizing this vision.

A Special Gift from Sarah Bowman Read the rest of this entry »

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Theatre’s Community Soul

BY SANDY SPIELER*

Perhaps it seems like a contradiction to be a professional theatre with a community soul.  Our internal dilemmas—about speaking our artistic voices while also giving community participants a voice; about providing our company with livable wages while keeping the theatre work inexpensive and affordable—are not separate from the external dilemmas of the larger world.  Indeed, such a path contains all the recurring dilemmas of seeking to live a soulful life in the midst of our nation, where everything is valued primarily as a commodity of the marketplace.  Walking this dilemma is part of being “in the heart of the beast.”

In 1979, company member and poet Stephen Linsner suggested the name “In the Heart of the Beast” as a metaphor for our theatre.  He wrote,

“To be puppeteers in the Heart of the Beast

…is to find ourselves in the great world Beast made of families, races, ages, classes, corporations, and nations, people, (and creatures!) all different, working out a way to live together.

…is to work puppets. To hold life in our hands, to sense how we are all like puppets—worked by instincts, voices, and forces above and below us.

…is to carry and protect something very old like a heart within us, a secret, a promise.  Like carrying a flickering candle through a dark place.  Like carrying a family in a horse drawn wagon.

…is to travel the roads of history and loss, in search of something like a new heart: new communities, new families, new work, new holidays.

…is to tell the story of people who live in the heart of the beast—as courageous and resourceful as they really are.”

This name was inspired by a phrase written by the Cuban poet Jose’ Marti, though often attributed to Che Guevara.  Che had urged North Americans who wanted to be part of the Cuban revolution to “stay home and work in the place where you live, where you find your community, in the heart of the beast.”

Sandy Spieler is Artistic Director of HOBT

*This is an excerpt from the 7th Chapter “From the Mud—Puppets From the Pulse—Song Twenty-five Years of Puppet Theatre on East Lake Street” written by Sandy Spieler within the book, THEATRE OF WONDER: 25 YEARS IN THE HEART OF THE BEAST, published by University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Excerpts from page 45-46 and page 50.

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Clyde Turner Basketball Camp At East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center-17th Ave. & Phillips Community Center-13th Ave.

Coach Karim Jackson says, “Stretch you arms way out!” “Keep them up.” “Now you have it! “That’s Good!”

Is MORE than Basketball!

BY CAROL PASS

The highlight of summer for hundreds of Phillips kids is the Clyde Turner Youth Basketball Camp. Approximately eighty boys and girls from nine to seventeen years of age filled the East Phillips Park Gym the week of August 14th and the Phillips Community Center the week earlier. They came for basketball and got a whole lot more. Clyde Turner’s Camp is an Educational Basketball Academy where basketball is utilized as a conduit to learning skills and skill application for success on and off the court. It provides sport opportunities for group social learning, leadership, development of good decision-making skills and a sense of accountability. The Camp is made possible by a partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC), Minneapolis Parks & Rec. and Past Athletes Concerned About Education (PACE).

I saw this unique concept unfold on Thursday as the gym started to fill at 11:00 AM. Clyde called the group to order at a little after 11:30 and introduced Dequon Oliver.  Dequon was one of the youth in Clyde’s Basketball Camp twenty plus years ago. He is now a business man and owns a very successful barber/beauty shop in the area. Before basketball coaching and practice began, Dequon gave an inspiring talk about how his dream came true and challenged the youth in his audience to DREAM big as well. He counseled the kids to equate the “R” in DREAM to the word “Resource” – ie, find resources such as parents, school, church, etc. to help realize their dream. The “E” is to “Educate” yourself in-order-to prepare for the dream. “A” is to “Apply” yourself in all you do, and “M” is keep yourself “Motivated” in all decisions on your way to your goal. He then asked the youth to share their dreams which included the law, farming, politics, human and veterinarian medicine, and many more wonderful DREAMS all of which he assured, would be attained. A few of the youth wore Clyde Turner t-shirts which read; “Work Hard, Play Hard, Study Hard – Excel in Life – Beat the Odds”.

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Phillips West Neighborhood Upcoming Events

September 7th (Thursday) 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.Phillips West Monthly Community Meeting!

Join your neighbors and other Community Partners for updates from Local City Government & Minneapolis Police.  We will also have Hennepin County Community Action present to share their programs that can benefit residents! The meeting will take place at the Center for Changing Lives Building in the Centrum Room (2400 Park Avenue).  Free parking is available in the rear of building off of Oakland Avenue.  Free Jakeeno’s Pizza Dinner will be provided!  If you would like more information or would like to get involved in the neighborhood please contact Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email her at pwno2005@yahoo.com

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Transit: Loos, Fare Hikes, and Detours

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Finally! A month with Phillips-specific transit news, after two months of waiting.

The Lake Street light rail station is being renovated, including fixing the elevators and escalators, cleaning and re-coating/re-painting surfaces, replacing broken glass, and putting in new signs and lights.

Now if only the Met Council would do something about the elevators smelling like urine. I recommend installing a “Portland Loo” (http://www.theloo.biz) at light rail stations, park and ride lots, and other transit facilities. The Portland Loo is a metal outdoor toilet designed for areas where people often misuse provided facilities. It is vandalism-resistant and affords just enough privacy and comfort to be usable while not encouraging loitering or improper use. Passersby can’t see your genitals, but they can hear everything and see if more than one person is inside.

Non-rush hour local fares are going up from $1.75 to $2.00 and rush hour local fares are going up from $2.25 to $2.50 as of October 1, 2017. Express and Northstar fares are also increasing by 25 cents across the board. The Transit Assistance Program, an experiment which provided lower fares to people with low incomes, becomes permanent with a fare of $1.00 at all times, the same as the revised limited mobility fare. A proposed extension of reduced fares for children 6-12 and senior citizens to all times, instead of just non-rush hours, was not adopted.

Route and schedule changes affecting Phillips for the August 19, 2017 pick are as follows:

Minor schedule adjustments for the Blue Line and Routes 5 and 9; weekday afternoon times will be adjusted “to better accommodate ridership” on Route 21; Route 11 will have minor changes to reflect the new schedule at Washburn High School.

Route 2 must detour because the Franklin Ave. bridge over I-35W will be closed. It will take five minutes longer than usual between points east and west of the freeway. In addition, Route 27 will run once every 30 minutes at all times, rather than increasing to once every 10 minutes at rush hour. This route uses 26th and 28th Streets to zoom between the Lake St. light rail and McDonald’s by I-35W and Lake. Last but not least, Route 67 is being reduced from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes at non-rush hours weekdays and Saturdays. The 67 provides a pleasant alternative to busier routes between the Franklin Ave. light rail and downtown Saint Paul.

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History: what and who chooses? After 150 Years Gone, But Not Forgotten

Mike Barth, Pioneer and Soldier Cemetery Caretaker “through rain or shine” on the lawnmower or here on a bobcat helping Brian Orth setting a Veterans grave marker. Tim McCall

By Sue Hunter Weir

In his book “In the Memory House,” author Howard Mansfield raises questions about who we, as a society, choose to remember and why.  The “why” has less to do with the accomplishments of those being remembered and more to do with our sense of who we are as a society.  Some people’s stories get told; others’ stories do not.  Who decides?

In 1993, when he wrote the book, he made an observaation that describes what we are witnessing today:  “History is like that; you’re gone but a hundred, a hundred and fifty years, and someone takes you off your pedestal, or they leave your name off of your portrait.” After last week’s events in Charlottesville, statues, monuments, and markers honoring the military leaders of the Confederacy are coming down but with tens of thousands of books written about the Civil War, those men are not likely to be forgotten.

The monuments and markers in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery are mostly in memory of individuals and none of them would be viewed as offensive or hurtful.  There is a flagpole that was a gift of the Women’s Auxiliary in the 1930s, two Depression-era stone birdbaths, and a large boulder with a sentimental quote by Abraham Lincoln that celebrates the contributions of pioneer women.  There is a large block of granite with a plaque dedicating it “To Our Nation’s Defenders.”  Where it came from, and when, is one of our enduring mysteries.

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