NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday December 12th 2017

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Approaching YEAR 10 of the Backyard Initiative!

Grounded in a simple premise—that active community and cultural connections are the foundation of good health—the Backyard Initiative (BYI) is a dynamic partnership between the residents of 7 neighborhoods of South Minneapolis, the Cultural Wellness Center, and Allina Health.

Despite having access to world-class medical care right in their “backyard,” many residents in the area experience poor health outcomes. The Backyard Initiative goes beyond medical care to improve health by improving the capacity of residents to strengthen their own health. As part of the BYI, residents draw upon their own knowledge, skills, and cultural values to take care of themselves and their families, friends and neighbors.

This remarkable partnership began in 2008 with a commitment between the partners to sustain this unique initiative for 10 years. The year 2018 will begin the final year of this partnership in its current form, largely funded by the financial contributions of Allina put alongside of the social capital of many residents. This will not hearken the end of the Backyard Initiative, however, as the end of this decade of work approaches! Look for the exciting changes and transformation to the Backyard Initiative that will occur throughout 2018!

Building COMMUNITY To Improve Health

Using the Philosophy of Community

The group is valued and empowered…

Authority is given to the organic idea…

Power rests within people’s
experience…

Citizens have
collective interests…

Everyone is a student & a teacher…

Knowledge derives from internal
experience…

Thinking is honored. The process is the product…

Participants are the evaluators…

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November 2017 Alley Newspaper

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Transit Streetcars, Light Rail

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

There is no directly Phillips-related transit news this month, so I’d like to take this opportunity to write about streetcars.

As you may know, the Riverview Corridor Advisory Committee is proposing a modern streetcar line down West 7th Street connecting the Green Line in downtown Saint Paul with the Blue Line at Fort Snelling.

Modern streetcars are nothing like the old-fashioned streetcars that plied the Twin Cities until 1954. Essentially a modern streetcar is like a one-car light rail train.

However, streetcars, both modern and ancient, have two major flaws that caused their abolition and should ring warning bells in the minds of those who advocate their return: 1) They run in the street, in the same lanes used for automobiles. 2) They can’t be rerouted in an emergency; say, during a parade or when the street is being fixed. And what’s the joke about Minnesota having two seasons? Winter and road construction. At least rail beats buses in a snowstorm. During the Blizzard of 2010, buses were pulled off the streets but the light rail ran the rest of the day.

Light rail, on the other hand, usually has its own right-of-way or at least its own lane. Its efficiency derives from its separation from automobile traffic. That is why the Blue Line is significantly faster than the Green Line.

Since the basic difference between light rail and modern streetcars is the length of the train, it is possible to have “streetcars” that don’t run in the street. One such proposal is to run a streetcar in the Midtown Greenway between the future Southwest light rail and the Blue Line stop at Lake Street. Now that would be a good use for a streetcar – a faster alternative to bus route 21.

Most of the other streetcar proposals in the Twin Cities will do little or nothing to relieve traffic congestion, and will probably make it worse by blocking traffic. The only reasons these projects are so popular with transit authorities are: 1) They qualify as “capital improvements” which are eligible for federal funding; and 2) They appeal to tourists and developers. These may be legitimate reasons to favour it, but we should be fully informed before jumping on the bandwagon.

Next month, I will probably write about the December schedule changes and/or the completion of the Nicollet Mall project in time for the Super Bowl. Keep your eyes peeled!

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The Roof Depot Site: Thursday, Nov. 30th Mtg. at EPCCC 6:30 PM

What do we want? A Change for the Better or More of the Same?

Come to a Community Meeting to express your thoughts and help us seek a positive and healthy future!

Thursday, November 30th at 6:30 PM at the East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center.

By Carol Pass,

“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 first Core Principle of Community Engagement, endorsed by the Minneapolis City Council in 2007)

Four years ago, the East Phillips Community began again trying to rid ourselves of the major pollution in the industrial sites on the South side of E. 28th St. East of Cedar Ave. This led to a look across the street at the 7-acre Roof Depot site. We created a research team, engaged a developer and began inquiries and negotiations with the owners to purchase it. The vision was, and still is, to create an Indoor Urban Farm with a bicycle repair facility, a coffee shop, a small farm produce store to provide year-round organic produce and an outlet for local artisans along with a job training facility to provide quality jobs for the local community.

Then the City of Minneapolis stepped in and informed us that they been planning, for over a decade without informing us, to buy the site and move the City Water Works there with its many diesel trucks and huge additional traffic… intensifying, not reducing, the pollution problem…so much for the call to involve all of us in the decision-making stated in the City’s first Core Principle of Community Engagement!

Faced with the East Phillips community’s strong resolve to move ahead with our positive vision for the future of East Phillips, the city began talking the language of Eminent Domain to compel their own purchase of the 7-acre site. The Roof Depot owners caved to the threat and the City now owns all 7-acres.

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EPIC Report-November 2017

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association News-November 2017

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November 2017 Ventura Village

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A Jones Sanctuary Masterpiece – Messiah’s Church – Boarded and Unheated?

Drawing done by Harry Wild Jones nationally famous, church Architect

BY HARVEY WINJE

On October 10, Minneapolis’ Heritage Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate Messiah Lutheran Church. Their findings indicate that the church met at least three of the six criteria designated for landmark status. Those criteria are: 1). its association with distinctive elements of the city and neighborhood’s identity (i.e., immigration), 2). its distinctive architecture and 3). its association with Harry Wild Jones, a master architect.

During the hearing Pastor Louise Britts announced that the congregation has served notice to their two, current congregational tenants that they will have to vacate by the beginning of November, that the church will be deconsecrated, and boarded on November 5th, and that the church will not maintain the property going forward.

The designation study for the church is online at: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@cped/documents/webcontent/wcmsp-204184.pdf

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“American Made”

“American Made” (2017)

Action/ Biography/ Crime / Thriller/Comedy by Universal Pictures

*** and 1/2 out of 5 stars

The key to the action/biography film “American Made” is no other than Tom Cruise, the same actor this director Doug Liman also uses in “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014). Cruise of course is the face of Mission Impossible films from 1996 to 2015, “The Mummy”(2017), “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (2016) and the late Stanley Kubrick’s dreamy-eyed, mystery “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999); furthermore, Cruise’s best work (may be behind him?) “Top Gun” (1986), “The Color of Money” (1986), “Risky Business”(1983),”Taps”(1981),”Born on the Fourth of July”(1989), “A Few Good Men”(1992) and “The Firm”(1993).

In “American Made» Mr. Cruise, plays Barry Seal, a real- life TWA pilot who is “bored” with his career and goes completely in the other direction by becoming a cocaine smuggler for the C.I.A. Seal’s drastic career change seems unreal for several reasons what the movie generally ignores. Almost immediately Seal is known as “El Gordo” (the “Fat Man”) , a name he may have acquired while taking loads of cocaine into Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala or Columbia, or combination of these countries. But before I go on, Seal gets the “bright idea” of becoming a cocaine dealer from a shady C.I.A. runner for cocaine to support then – President Reagan’s clandestine war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua who overthrow U.S. backed ruthless dictator Anastasio Somoza. To drive the Sandinistas out of power, Reagan supports the Contras by smuggling cocaine for weapons for the Contras. The shady man I’ve been referring to is Monty Schafer (Domhnail Gleeson). And as far as Reagan is concerned, he creates one of the most sinister plots in American international affairs. And what the movie never alludes to is the devastating effects the cocaine has on black communities–in particular–back in the U.S.

Seal’s job is to fly a small aircraft carrying cocaine to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela or Columbia. He has some near misses on takeoff as he barely misses the trees. Barry Seals not only acts like a rogue he rather enjoys it. Even after being jailed briefly he never learns his lesson putting his wife Lucy Seals (Sarah Wright) and kid in jeopardy.

Moving to Mena, Arkansas, with his family where he thinks he’ll be less likely to be detected by law authorities. Just the fact Seal has relocated to Mena has implications in real-life, a bundle of rumors that cocaine in the 1980s (which is the period the film is covering) went through Mena while Bill Clinton is governor.

But like so many other films about criminals–how can one criminal be trusted by another, even by a stupid move by greedy amatuers that doom the sordid endeavors altogether?

Cast: Tom Cruise (Barry Seal), Domhnail Gleeson (Monty Schafer), Sarah Wright (Lucy Seal), Caleb Landry Jones (J B). Running time: 115 minutes. Languages: Spanish and English. Director: Doug Liman.

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“Agitation stirs all the Atmosphere into Movement”

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