NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday July 26th 2021

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Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER

No Open Streets this year on Franklin and East Lake: The tentatively scheduled Open Streets along Franklin Avenue and East Lake Street have been cancelled again this year because of the pandemic. Open Streets is a partnership between Our Streets Minneapolis and the City of Minneapolis that temporarily closes major streets to car traffic, and opens them up for biking, walking, and rolling.

Holy Rosary/Santo Rosario Church will remain open, possible merger with the Church of St. Stephens: The future of Holy Rosary Catholic Church at 2424 18th Avenue South had been in question when the founding Dominican Order left in 2020. Declining donations, plus an ageing historic building in need of maintenance means a parish merger with the Church of St. Stephens is likely for ongoing financial stability. The parish was fou nded in 1878, with the current church building built in 1888. 

Minneapolis Deciding How to Spend Federal recovery funding: The City of Minneapolis has been allocated $271 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), broken up into two phases. In early June, Mayor Jacob Frey submitted a proposal for spending the first phase of $89 million. The mayor’s proposal included: $28 million for housing and homelessness, $37 million economic rebuilding, $12 million public safety, $5 million climate and public health, $7 million City Capacity and Performance. The City Council held public hearings and made amendments throughout June, with an expected final vote in early July. 

Somali Museum, Cultural Wellness Center Receive Sizable New Grants: 

The Somali Museum of MN at 1516 East Lake St recieved a $500,000 unrestricted grant from the McKnight and Ford Foundations, as part of the “Regional Cultural Treasures” program. Founded in 2011, the Somali Museum of MN is North America’s only museum of Somali culture. The Cultural Wellness Center at 2025 Portland Ave. S was the first recipient of ten $100,000 unsolicited grants from the McKnight Foundation made in honor of George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his murder. The mission of the Cultural Wellness Center is “to unleash the power of people to heal themselves and to build community.” They are  an ongoing partner and friend of the alley 

Minneapolis Slips in Park Ranking Because of Disparities: In the annual ParkScore rankings index by the Trust for Public Lands, Minneapolis fell to third after being ranked first for six years in a row. The Trust for Public Lands added new measures looking at park equity. According to the Trust for Public Lands, residents of Minneapolis neighborhoods where most people identify as people of color have access to 58 percent less park space than residents in neighborhoods that are predominantly white. The national average disparity gap is 44 percent. Residents of low-income neighborhoods have access to 65 percent less park space than residents in high-income neighborhoods. Historically in Phillips, neighbors have had to fight for park development, investment and maintenance. 

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Thanks to Vaccines, the Golden Age for Children’s Health is Now

Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

188th in a series

By SUE HUNTER WEIR
A grandmother tends the graves of two of her grandchildren. Two year-old Freda Aubele died on December 2, 1915. Her six-year-old sister, Annie, died the following day. Their wooden cross is gone but family members placed a new marker on their grave in 2009.
Photo credit: Aubele Family

The Washington Post recently ran the following headline: “Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated and rising where they are not.” The story was news only because it specifically referred to the novel coronavirus.  We have known for a long time that the numbers of illnesses and deaths decrease when people, especially children, are vaccinated. There are several  diseases that were once among the leading killers of young children, which have been either nearly or entirely eradicated in the United States. Since the arrival of vaccines, we no longer have to worry about measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, or smallpox. We have much to be thankful for, but the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued some alarming warnings about the current state of those diseases.

According to The Washington Post, in 2019, the number of people who died from measles was at a 23-year-high, having increased 50 percent in only three years. There has been a 60 percent decrease in the number of two- to six-year-olds who receive the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine, and a decrease of 63 percent in the number of two- to eight-year-olds who receive the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

How alarmed should we be? Looking back at the number of deaths caused by just one of the diseases mentioned above, in only one of the city’s cemeteries, the answer is: very. Among the people buried in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery between 1862 and 1918, 812 of them died of diptheria. Twenty-six of them were adults; the other 786 were children. It’s a staggering number. 

Thirty-nine families lost more than one child to diphtheria within a few days or a week of each other; five families lost two children on the same day.  Five families lost three of their members within a matter of days or weeks. These families’ heartache is unimaginable.

Within a period of 24 hours, Joseph and Madeline Aubele lost two children to diphtheria. Frida Aubele died on December 2, 1915; she was not quite two-and-a-half years old. Her sister, Annie, died the following day, aged six. Martin and Martina Renlie lost their second oldest daughter, Fredricka, on July 21, 1914. Peter and Anna Hatlestad lost their 23-month-old son, Theodore, and their five-year-old daughter, Eliza, on February 10, 1888. Less than a month later, on March 6th, they lost two-year-old, Tina. The list goes on and on, a grim reminder that when it comes to children’s health, there were no “good old days.” 


Four of Martin and Martina Renlie’s five children. From left to right, they are Harlaug, Fredricka, Frank Olaf, and Mollie. Fredricka died from diphtheria on July 21, 1914. She was ten years old.

The COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down, but by no means over. More people, including children, are eligible to be vaccinated.  Coronavirus vaccines are compatible with DTaP and MMR vaccines, so depending on availability at a particular location, it may be possible to protect your child from a long list of vaccine-preventable diseases and deaths in one visit. Despite the challenges of the past year and half, it is a good time for children’s health. Let’s be grateful for that, and take the opportunity to carry it forward. 

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Library News

State Parks Pass! Crossroads Exhibit! Free Books!

By CARZ NELSON

All information listed here is accurate as of June 15, 2021. For the most recent information, check out the library website at www.hclib.org.

LIBRARY EXPANDS SERVICE

Franklin Library is now open for regular service, including book check out, holds pick up, and walk-in computer use. There is no longer a limit on the time people can spend inside the library. Visitors and employees who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings.

NEW HOURS AT FRANKLIN LIBRARY

Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday 9 AM to 5 PM
Thursday 12 Noon to 8 PM
Friday 9 AM to 5 PM
Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday 12 Noon to 5 PM

EXHIBIT: CROSSROADS

Franklin Library presents an exhibit featuring select poems, essays, and art from Crossroads, an anthology by young Somali Minnesotans. On display on the lower level of Franklin Library between July 1 and 31.

FREE BOOKS

The library will give away free books at the Four Sisters Farm- ers Market at 1414 E Franklin Avenue. Four Sisters Farmers Market is held every Thursday, 11am-3pm but the library will be there only on the FIRST Thurs- day of each month.

STATE PARK PASS

You can borrow a Minnesota State Park pass from Franklin Library! The pass grants entry into any of the 75 state parks, and is valid for 7 days after check out.

FUN FOR KIDS

This summer, Franklin Library will host snacks and outdoor games for youth on Thursdays at 2:30 PM. 

CHILL ON THE LAWN

Franklin Library has free Wi-Fi outside the building from 7 AM to 10 PM. They also have chairs on the front lawn when the library is open. It’s a convenient spot to hang out and log on.

DUE DATES RETURN

Hennepin County Library suspended due dates for the past year because of COVID. This policy ended on April 26. Check your online account or paper receipts for due dates. Renewal policies remain the same; items can be renewed up to three times. Returns are accepted at all library locations. Book drops accept returns 24/7.

NO MORE FINES

Hennepin County Library has gone fine free. Patrons are no longer charged for overdue material, but they continue to be responsible for the replacement cost of unreturned or lost items. An item is considered unreturned 41 days after its due date.

LIBRARY SOCIAL WORKER

Devin, the library’s social worker, can be found at Franklin Library on Wednesdays and Fridays. He can help people with basic needs, chemical health, education and employment services, housing, mental health resources, and more.

AT HOME SERVICE

At Home service is provided free of charge to Hennepin County residents who can’t get to a library due to illness, disability, or visual impairment. To apply for At Home service, submit an online application at https://www.hclib.org/about/outreach, or apply by phone at 612-543-8850 Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

ONLINE SERVICES

Go to the library without leaving home. Here are just a few of the many services available at www.hclib.org:

  • Tools for job searches
  • Ancestry Library Edition and other resources to research family history
  • Local music on MNspin

ASK THE LIBRARY

Have a reference or library account question? Call, text, chat with, or email a library worker. 

www.hclib.org/contact

Call 612-543-KNOW (5669) to reach library staff by phone.

Monday to Thursday 9 AM to 9 PM
Friday & Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday Noon to 5 PM

Español/Spanish: Llame o envíe un texto al 651-503-8013 para recibir ayuda en español.

Hmoob/Hmong: Hu losis text rau lub tsev nyeem ntawv ntawm 612-385-0886 txais kev pab hais lus Hmoob.

Soomaali/Somali: Caawimaad Soomaali ah, soo wac ama qoraal (text) usoo dir maktabada 612-235-1339.

Carz is a Phillips resident and an enthusiastic patron of Hennepin County Library.

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Free & Fun Programming For Children Impacted By Incarceration

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Juneteenth Celebrations

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Kid’s Summer Stuff!

Fun Activities for Youth at Parks and Libraries in and around Phillips Neighborhood

COMPILED By LINDSEY FENNER

Minneapolis Parks (to register and find even more activities go to https:// apm.activecommunities.com/minneapolisparks/). Contact the park for sched- ule changes and availability.

East Phillips Park, 2399 17th Avenue South. 612-370-4888

Jr. Naturalists: Drop-In Discovery, Tuesday 5-7PM, through August

Join us for no-touch or easily sanitizable nature exploring — such as meeting live animals, dissecting an owl pellet, playing water quality mini-golf, planting seeds, and much more! No need to register, just stop on by for free family fun! Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Land Back Mask Making: July 26-30, 2PM-5PM

Free, ages 10-14, register online. The Artist in Residence (AiR) program will focus on Land Back Face Mask Making: An activity designed to educate and to gain the knowledge to care for Grandmother Earth.

Sculpture by Dakota artist Graci Horne, who will be leading the mask making activities

Phillips Park, 2324 11th Avenue South. 612-370-4946

Film Festival: Mondays through August 30, 6PM-8PM

Each week Phillips Community Center will bring films to youth. We will showcase the creativity of film makers and facilitate discussion on cinema- tography. Youth will be a part of this program process and collaborate to pick films and topics to discuss! This activity is an ActivePass Program and a pass is required to participate. Please go to your neighborhood recreation center during business hours to sign up for a free ActivePass.

Youth Adventures: Monday through Friday 1PM-6PM

Free, ages 10-16, Youth Adventures at Phillips is the place to be! You can come get homework help, use the computer lab with our super fast WiFi from Comcast’s LiftZone, play video/table games or join in on daily art/stem activi- ties! This activity is an ActivePass Program and a pass is required to participate. Please go to your neighborhood recreation center during business hours to sign up for a free ActivePass. Register online

Stewart Park, 2700 S 12th Ave. 612-370-4932

Board Game Fun: Tuesday/Thursdays 3PM-4:30PM through September 2

Get out of the house and enjoy friendly competition at this drop-in activity. Play Scrabble, Apples To Apples, Trivial Pursuit, Uno and many other games to choose from. Borrow a game or bring a game of your own to play. Fun for everyone! An ActivePass is required to play, you can sign up for the free pass at any recreation center to perfect your play.

Youth Garden Club: Wednesdays in July, 5-7PM

Come join us to create a community garden. Our goal is to educate youth and to nurture a sense of world stewardship in the next generation of gardeners. We will learn about germinating seeds, picking which fruits, vegetables and flowers to grow, and build a garden infrastructure together.

Franklin Library, 1314 E Franklin Avenue.

Drop-in outdoor summer activities for kids: Thursdays 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Franklin Teen Tech Squad will have activities for youth at Waite House, 2323 11th Ave S, 10 AM- noon on Wednesday June 23, July 14 and 28, and August 11 and 25.

Hosmer Library, 347 E 36th Street.

Drop-in outdoor summer activities for kids: 3PM-close daily.

Hosmer Teen Tech Squad will have activities for youth Mondays, 4:30-6PM

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Reflections From a Former COVID-19 Case Investigator

By LINDSEY FENNER

 After over a year working in public health as a pandemic responder, I am back doing my pre-pandemic work. And although this doesn’t mean the pandemic is over, it does mean this column is at an end. I started writing it because I wanted people to have something to hold onto within the swirl of pandemic uncertainty and anxiety. I realized very quickly that no matter what my job description was on paper, what I was really doing was struggling with people through uncertainty. My job was to listen, to talk through complicated realities that didn’t fit neatly into a box, to help people who were sick make decisions when there wasn’t a clear correct choice. And now, after my job is over, what is there to say about what we have all been through together? 

We are all connected. Which is nothing new, but doing this work meant relearning that every single day. In my role doing case investigation/epidemiology we called people one by one, asking them questions about their individual actions. But in every individual conversation, we were really teasing out all of these threads of connection. How one thing led to another, led to this particular person I was talking to on the phone being infected. This is after all how infectious diseases work, and why this work is done by “public” health and not your personal healthcare provider. 

And each individual conversation was so important, especially at the beginning when there was so much we didn’t know. Each person had a story. And these stories, as lived experiences, all matter. And parts of that story became data points on a graph. This shouldn’t be seen as something purely reductive or dehumanizing. These data points, made up of stories, collectively helped tell the policy makers what to do next. 

We could have done better. Sometimes the wrong decision was made by people in power. Sometimes there was no good choice: no clear scientific evidence to help make a decision, or a choice where no matter what was decided, someone would be harmed. We could have done better. Too many people got sick and died through routes that were preventable. And yes, sometimes that was because of personal choices. They took a chance. They didn’t believe COVID was real. But sometimes they just didn’t know how to make a safer choice. We could have done better. Too many people didn’t have access to paid sick leave or safe workplaces or adequate protective equipment or support for isolation or quarantine or caregiving. We could have done better, in so many ways. 

In order for public health to work, we need people to trust us. But many people had no reason to trust us. Because we were part of a government that didn’t seem to care, because of historical and present-day white supremacy and oppression. Because of political ideologies where government is always the bad guy. This pandemic isn’t over yet, but we need to start learning from it and figuring out how we respond better. How do we build this trust? How do we create better safety nets that people don’t fall through? How can we communicate more clearly about science and uncertainty and risk? How do we center communities over individuals when making policy? 

And how do we never ever forget how each of us are connected? 

MINNESOTA COVID-19 PUBLIC HOTLINE: 

For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 

1-833-431-2053 
Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Sat.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Hennepin County Navigator Line: Call the COVID-19 navigator line with questions or for help registering for a vaccine appointment 

We want to ensure that everyone, including people with language or technology barriers, can get their COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and sign up for a vaccine appointment. Call the Hennepin County COVID-19 navigator line at 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. 

Español: Queremos asegurarnos de que todos, incluyendo las personas que la barrera es el idioma o la tecnología, puedan obtener respuestas a sus preguntas sobre la vacuna COVID-19 y puedan inscribirse para una cita para recibir la vacuna. Llame al 612- 348-8900 para obtener ayuda en inglés, español, somalí y hmong. 

Soomaali: Waxaan doonaynaa in aan hubino in qof kasta, marka lagu daro dadka dhibaatadu ka haysato luqada iyo tiknoolojigu, ay heli karaan jawaabaha su’aalohooda talaalada COVID-19 ayna isu diiwaan gelin karaan balanta talaalka. Wac 612-348-8900 si aad u heshid caawimaad luqdaha English, Spanish, Somali, iyo Hmong. 

Hmoob: Peb xav kom txhua leej txhia tus nrog rau cov tsis paub lus zoo, los sis, tsis paub txog kev mus siv saum huab cua, uas yuav txais tau tej lus nug thiab tej lus teb txog koob tshuaj tiv thaiv tus kabmob COVID-19 thiab sau npe teem caij txhaj koob tshuaj. Yog xav tau kev pab hais ua lus Askiv, Spanish, Somali, los sis Hmoob, hu rau tus xov tooj 612-348-8900. 

Lindsey lives in East Phillips and worked a COVID response reassignment in local public health from May 2020-May 2021. She would like to remind everyone that the pandemic isn’t over until it is over for everyone. 


TRAVEL GUIDELINES
By MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public trans- portation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. trans- portation hubs such as airports and stations. For more information, visit CDC: Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportations Hubs.
If you have a condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.
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Transit Waves of the Future

METRO TRANSIT

by JOHN CHARLES WILSON

With the COVID emergency drawing to a close, and all the new transit coming to the Twin Cities in the near future, I decided it’s time to write about exciting new concepts in transit that may benefit you someday.

Bus Rapid Transit is making headway (pun intended for you transit insiders*) in South Minneapolis and the southern suburbs. The Orange Line is almost ready to start rolling down I-35W,  the D Line is coming to Chicago Avenue next year, and the B Line is supposed to come to Lake Street in 2024, and may even have a dedicated bus lane.

Another exciting new development for outer suburbs and small towns is called “microtransit”. Microtransit is a modernized version of dial-a-ride service; however, instead of having to call a day in advance, you now only need to use a smartphone app to order your custom ride, often only minutes before you need it. This will make the concept appealing to more people. In the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority has a service called MVTA Connect; Southwest Transit operates SW Prime; Plymouth Metrolink has the Dial-a-Ride service that was recently converted to a smartphone app; and Maple Grove Transit operates a microtransit system called My Ride. Only the Met Council’s Transit Link, which serves parts of the seven counties that are not near fixed-route transit, still requires a phone call at least two hours in advance. However, the march of technology will probably soon put this into an app as well. 

___

*In the transit industry, a “headway” is the time between vehicles on a route. For example, a 10 minute headway means the bus or train comes every 10 minutes.

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Scratch Your Head

Raise Your Voice

By PETER MOLENAAR

“The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You!” Such was a recent caption in the New York Times. For the first time, thanks to Trump’s tax cut, the 400 wealthiest Americans now pay a lower overall tax rate than any other income group… and some folks had the gaul to steal the election by casting their votes!

Actually, wages have always been taxed at a higher rate than stock dividends, etc. Naturally then, for generations the ruling class has spawned progeny who inherit the lot without lifting a finger. Never mind that the value of a commodity is determined by the socially necessary labor time embodied in it, i.e., labor is the source of all wealth.

What’s this got to do with our neighborhood? Think “build back better” jobs, and note: the East Phillips Urban Farm has received something of a green light… but what? The Republican Party is working overtime to blunt Biden’s infrastructure vision in favor of “no new taxes”. How then will a marketing professional and technical staff be paid if and when the farm is launched?

The idea that capital gains taxes should be raised to the level of taxes on wages is a modest one. Even so, Republicans are keen to smash it and thereby blunt the rebuilding of our nation. 

Standing to the left of Biden are senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who, with the support of progressive congress persons (note: Ilhan Omar is once again functioning under death threats) have proposed a special tax bracket for “ultra-millionaires”. The measure would provide some $3 trillion over 10 years for our people… but no, not a chance with Republicans sucking up air.

Obviously, were we in a revolutionary situation, the call for outright expropriation would be the patriot’s demand. However, for the time being, two suggestions: 1.) elected representatives who retain a modicum of integrity should be hosting town halls for the elaboration of theS present situation and 2.) our left/progressive forces should be holding regular street corner rallies featuring the slogan: TAX THE RICH.

A billionaire named Buffet has described what’s at stake: “There’s been class warfare going on… my class has won.” Oh no, Brother, the struggle has just begun.

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