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Friday October 23rd 2020

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Peace Lantern Procession on Saturday, September 26th at 7:30 pm

 Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts will be hosting a Peace Lantern Procession on Saturday, September 26th at 7:30 pm starting at the site of the proposed East Phillips Urban Farm Project, at the intersection of 28th St. and Longfellow Ave. S. The procession will weave through the neighborhood visiting spots that need some peace and light, ending up at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2742 15th Ave. S. with video projections and live music. Free public lantern making workshops will be hosted at various sites in the East Phillips and Midtown Phillips neighborhoods in the early/mid-September. The dates for these workshops and online instructions for making a lantern can be found at Semilla’s website www.semillacenter.org and Facebook page in late August.

Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts @ St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

2742 15th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55407 612-724-3862

www.semillacenter.org Twitter & Instagram: @semillacenter

Facebook: Semilla Project

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East Phillips Neighborhood Institute NEWS BRIEFS:

By STEVE SANDBERG 

  • The Mpls. Chapter of the United Nations’ Global Shapers program has chosen East Phillips’ struggle for community development at the Roof Depot site as the subject for its Conference the weekend of September 18 – 20. 
  • Friday, August 21, 2020 was day 10 since Minneapolis Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC), Chair Erin Niehoff submitted a letter to the StarTribune calling on the City of Mpls to halt their HiawathaExpansion Project at the Roof Depot. They told EPNI that they would forego the Strib exclusive, and release it instead everywhere. At least 25 organizations have signed on to the letter, including Sierra Club, MinnPower and Light, Landstewardship, and Midtown Greenway Coalition. Erin Niehoff, Ward 12 resident, Chair of the Community Environmental Advisory Commission Samara Adam, Ward 6 resident, Southside Green Zone member Roxxanne O’Brien, Ward 4 resident, Northside Environmental Justice Organizer and Northern Green Zone member Senator Jeff Hayden, Senate District 62 Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Senate District 63 Community Power DJR Architecture EPIC East Phillips Improvement Coalition EPNI East Phillips Neighborhood Institute Gandhi Mahal and Curry in a Hurry Global Shapers MSP Land Stewardship Project Little Earth of United Tribes Housing Corporation Little Earth Neighborhood Early Learning Center Midtown Greenway Coalition Minneapolis American Indian Center Minneapolis Climate Action Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL) MN350 Project Sweetie Pie Showing Up For Racial Justice Twin Cities Sierra Club North Star Chapter Soular Scenes Twin Cities Climate Strike Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J) Women’s Environmental Institute. 
  • ` Hearing date for lawsuit is now up in the air. Don’t go downtown on 31st. 
  • ` Next Community Meeting will be hosted by Little Earth of United Tribes at their Youth Farm Project Garden at 12:30 on Sunday, September 6th. 

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Seeking Answers & Justice

Minneapolis sued by East Phillips.

Minneapolis Threatens to “unappoint” City Commissions.

 By BRAD PASS, KAREN CLARK, and the Urban Farm Supporters

 Followers of the alley newspaper are aware of the long struggle between the East Phillips Community and the City of Minneapolis over the use of the 7.6-Acre Roof Depot site. 

For Non-Followers, A Review:

In 2014 when EPIC, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, learned the Roof Depot site was going to be sold, they brought the community together and with the help of a sizable State of Minnesota DEED grant, created the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm project and the East Philips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) a 501(C)(3) to oversee it. The project’s purpose is to prevent more pollution from traumatizing this already heavily polluted and health affected part of the City by repurposing the 7.6-Acre site and reusing the newly renovated 230,000+ sq. ft. Sears warehouse on the property. 

The Community Plan:

The Community’s plan includes an indoor urban farm, utilizing hi-tech aquaponics and lower-tech gardening techniques. It will create organic food in a food desert, living wage green jobs, second chance opportunities and job training for local citizens. The project will create a world café, coffee shop & food market with a gallery to display and sell neighborhood artisan’s works all run by local youth. It will create at least 28 

very affordable family housing units, a bike shop on the Midtown Greenway, one of the largest solar arrays in the state and provide space for many of the burned out Lake St. businesses resulting from the murder of George Floyd. 

Why the Lawsuit? 

When the City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works (P.W.) heard of the community plan, they threatened Eminent Domain and bought the site out from under East Phillips. The City Plan is to demolish the former Sears warehouse, build sheds to store the water yard’s fire hydrants, manhole covers, sand-salt mix, hot asphalt and sewer pipes. They will move in their fleet of over 400 commercial vehicles, many diesel and build a four story parking ramp to park an additional 400+ employee vehicles and build a huge “SandBox in which to teach the operation of their loaders, graders and other heavy equipment, all adding to the already horrific pollution and congestion in the Phillips and surrounding neighborhoods. 

The City of Minneapolis refused to do an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on its project and appointed itself as the Responsible Governmental Unit (RGU) overseeing environmental decisions in violation of State rules prohibiting their RGU selection, and 

The City refused to follow the conditions and intent of the Clark – Berglund Cumulative Pollution Law (MN Statute 116.07 subd 4a), and 

The City began inside demolition of the Sears warehouse which is explicitly prohibited by Minn. R. 4410.3100, and 

The city refused to allow the community to present their plan to any meaningful decision making meeting of P.W. or the City Council (until C.M. Jenkins allowed them 20 minutes at the end of a January 2020 meeting after all Council decisions and votes had been taken) in spite of the City’s “Commitment” to Community Engagement – “Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. 

The people of East Phillips believe the city of Minneapolis is in violation of State Laws, Minnesota Regulations, and is ignoring State and Minneapolis Principals and Recommendations in their decisions and treatment of the Roof Depot site. This left EPNI and the people of East Phillips no alternative but to seek legal intervention. 

The Latest from Karen Clark: 

The City is now actively suppressing two city-appointed advisory committees that are writing to the STRIB about their support for the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s community based project and against the city’s planned project to increase pollution in East Phillips. In response the City is threatening to “unappoint” them: the CEAC (Community Environmental Advisory Commission) and the Southside Green Zone Council.) Meanwhile, because of the city’s opposition, the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm is missing out on it’s second (possibly its third) full season of growing food for our neighborhood and creating the jobs to do that! Not to mention the 28-50 low-income affordable housing units that are part of it and the neighborhood businesses that want to relocate into the “saved” warehouse in order to recover from damage or destruction during the uprising. Most are food related–aquaponics or grocers. Interested? 

Note: The City is also being sued on the basis of environmental injustice. East Phillips is the Poster Child of Environmental Injustice! In the words of the people, “We Deserve to Breathe Too”. Watch for court dates and join us. EPNIfarm. org . 

You can Help: 

Write the Mayor. 

Write your City Council member and all the others. Tell them more pollution for East Phillips and surrounding neighborhoods is wrong. Tell them demolishing the newly restored Sears warehouse in this time of need is unconscionable. 

Thank our local State Legislators for their support and request action on the revised Cumulative Pollution legislation. 

Thank CEAC and the SouthSide Green Zone for their incredible support and shame Minneapolis for refusing to take their advice and threatening to dissolve them. 

Go to EPNIfarm.org and donate to support the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm Project and it’s legal expenses. While you’re there, sign on to the EPNI email list. 

Please CC or BCC your letters to 1abjpass@gmail.com 

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Start a Learning Pod

By CARZ NELSON

The approaching school year will be different from every past school year because of COVID-19. School will most certainly involve lots of distance learning. Distance learning is challenging. It requires levels of self-discipline and focus that are hard for children to maintain. 

Kids can learn better when distance learning is reinforced with some in-person tutoring. Most parents don’t have much time to tutor their children, however. One solution is to start a learning pod, a small cluster of families who pool resources to help their kids with school. Parents and other family members share the tasks of teaching the children. Each adult can take a day or two a week, or perhaps take on a special project or subject. Pod members can decide on the structure that best suits the needs of the group.

To decide who to invite to join your learning pod, think about the people that you and your children spend time with already. Most of us have a social “bubble” which includes the people we interact with on a daily basis, for example neighbors and family members. If you limit your pod to people who are already in your bubble, you won’t expose your children or yourself to any additional risk of COVID-19. 

Parents should have regular meetings to decide the strategy and educational subjects to be covered. Think outside the box when you plan pod sessions. In addition to working on homework, break up the day with a variety of activities. Have a book club, put on a play, and create art. Don’t forget to have a stretch break.  

You will need to decide on a location. In good weather, you might want to hold your sessions outside in the backyard. On rainy days, you could use a member’s porch. Even a garage could work; just keep the garage door open for air circulation. As the weather turns cold, an outdoor heater can extend the season.

Hennepin County Public Library has plenty of resources you can use to help kids learn. Go to hclib.org. Scroll down and select the box Additional Resources Online. Then click on K-12 youth and families for a range of useful tools and information.

COVID-19 has brought unique challenges to parents of school-aged children. You can help your kids’ education on track by collaborating with other parents around you- start a learning pod.

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Tips from a COVID-19 Case Investigator

By LINDSEY FENNER

With all of the news about COVID-19, it can be hard to know what to do when YOU are the one feeling sick or when you find out you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. It’s important that you do your best to follow public health recommendations for testing, isolation, and quarantine so that together we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable loved ones. 

When should I get tested?

You should get tested if:

  • You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  •  You have been identified as a close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • You were present at an event or gathering where testing is recommended because of a possible outbreak 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms, and some people may not have any symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it is very important that you ISOLATE. You should stay home and away from other people. For some people, the onset of symptoms can feel very mild, like a cold or allergies. You do not have to have a fever to spread the virus to others. Take ANY symptoms seriously!

Where can I get tested near Phillips? Please call ahead or look online for current hours. Information is accurate as of August 15, 2020.

Community-University Health Care Center

2001 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404,  612-301-3433

Weekday Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

By appointment. Schedule a virtual appointment first through MyChart at www.cuhcc.umn.edu or call. Services provided in different languages. Accepting any symptomatic patient

Indian Health Board and Native American Community Clinic

1315 E 24th Street, Minneapolis 55404 

To schedule a COVID-19 test, call one of our clinics: 

IHB appointments 612-721-9800 NACC appointments 612-872-8086

Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health

2833 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407, 612-863-3333

Weekday Hours : 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

By appointment. Accepting any symptomatic patient. Accepting the following asymptomatic patients: Close contact of someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19

Whittier Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare System

2810 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408, 612-873-6963

Weekday Hours : 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (last patient accepted at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

Hennepin Healthcare Patient: Walk-in, Call or E-visit via MyChart at www.hennepinhealthcare.org/mychart/ | Non-Hennepin Healthcare Patient: Call 612-873-2922 to Register.

Accepting any symptomatic patient. Accepting the following asymptomatic patients: Pre-procedure/travel; Congregate Setting; Close Contact; Mission Critical Staff; Post-Social Event

You can find more testing locations in the state of MN here: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/get-tested.jsp

What if I don’t have health insurance? The testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 is free for many uninsured Minnesotans. When you go in for your test, ask your health care provider for the application for free COVID-19 testing. The provider will submit the application to the state and will bill the state for payment if you meet eligibility requirements.

What should I do while I’m waiting for test results?

If you are experiencing symptoms: you need to ISOLATE: stay home, in a room away from other people. If you need to be around other people in your home, you should wear a mask. Avoid sharing personal household items like utensils, dishes, food, and towels. Clean frequently touched surfaces daily. Wash your hands often.

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive: You need to QUARANTINE. This means you should stay home for 14 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive and wait to see if you get symptoms. You should avoid other people in your household, wear a mask, and avoid sharing personal items.  If your test result is negative for COVID-19 but you were identified as a close contact of someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection, it is important that you still complete your full 14-day QUARANTINE. In the early stages of the infection, it is harder for the tests to detect the virus and so many test results give what is called a “false negative.”

Information and guidance is from the Minnesota Department of Health, and is current as of August 15, 2020. For any questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call the Minnesota Department of Health: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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Resilience

 The African American Leadership Forum (AALF), the Cultural Wellness Center, and Relationships LLC Partner to Launch a Cultural Health & Wellness Directory

See more details in September 2020 issue

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The Alley September 2020 issue

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Cultural Wellness Center

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association

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