NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Friday August 18th 2017

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Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association News-July 2017

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July 2017 Ventura Village

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Little Earth Annual Mother’s Day Pow Wow, Sat., May 13

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MAY DAY MAY DAY!*

MAY DAY MAY DAY!*

BY ROY McBRIDE

Mayday! Mayday!

Earth calling anyone

Mayday! Mayday!

To all my brothers and sisters

In the bombed-out cities of earth

Earth:

May you have peace.

May you have justice.

May you have joy.

May you have equality.

May you have understanding.

May you have compassion.

May you have love.

So many things that divide.

So many things to decide.

Whose side are you on?

I think you’re right and you’re

right and

you’re right and you’re right

and you’re

right and you’re right and

you’re right

and you’re right and you’re

right and of

course I’m right—I’m always right!

Anybody left?

Anybody left out?

Alright!

Right on!

Right?

Right?

Roy McBride, Poet Extraordinaire; b. Dec 29th 1943, d. July 29th 2011, Printed with Permission

Roy McBride’s poem Mayday! Mayday! with its creative-genius word play  set the cadence, and depth for a longer version written within the MayDay Workshop/Planning Sessions embellishing with the Theme of the Parade and Pageant–IMAGINE-HEAL-RESIST–and sung at the beginning of the May Day Pageant lakeside at Powderhorn Park by Jayanthi Kyle.

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149th Memorial Day at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery: “Taking a Stand” on Memorial Day 2017

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BY SUE HUNTER WEIR

The longest running tradition in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery is our Memorial Day (or, as it was called prior to 1971, Decoration Day) program.  As near as we can tell, this was our 149th observance, and, despite some on-again, off-again showers, it was one of our best.  Our keynote speaker, Major Grant McCall, took as his theme “Taking a Stand,” the theme that students who participated in this year’s History Day competition focused on.  He spoke about courage and leadership and paid special tribute to the men of the First Minnesota who fought at Gettysburg, the battle that is generally acknowledged to have been the turning point in the Civil War.  He brought the message closer to home with stories of his grandfather’s service, and the service and sacrifices of his own colleagues.  It was a beautiful and heartfelt speech.

Each year’s service is the work of many volunteers and participants.  Students from the Minnesota Transitions School, Scouts from Troops 1 and 82, the Seward Community Concert Band, and members of American Legion Post One.  And this year, an anonymous Phillips resident, sent a beautiful wreath in honor of the veterans.  Please join us for next year’s program—our 150th.

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Assisting Parade and Festival Waste Collection: May Day Green Team

BY THE MAY DAY GREEN TEAM

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s May Day Parade and Festival are the result of thousands of hours of planning, preparation, and performance.  Truth-be-told, many feel that the process of building the parade is more exciting than the event itself. Imagine that! This gathering of hundreds of volunteers–all ages, varying years of participating, different cultures—united in presenting these events—is a community building-miracle.

HOBT’s May Day Parade and Festival leave a trail of excitement and good will. The Parade and Festival also leave a trail of waste, recycling and compost! That people gather to responsibly collect and dispose of that waste is also a community building-miracle—and we call that miracle The May Day Green Team.

The May Day Green Team’s objective is to assist waste collection along the Parade route and manage the trash, recycling, and composting at the Festival in order to make the event “Zero-Waste” with the goal to recycle or compost at least 80% of the waste. This year’s collected waste weighed 2218 pounds ( 1080 lbs. of compost, 630 lbs. of recycling, and 508 lbs. for the landfill.)

The team also wants to continue other “green” initiatives like using reusable plates. This year, with the help of Kabomelette, a food truck serving kabobs, rice, and omelettes owned by Chelsea and Greg Miller; and Jos.E. Palen Restaurant Supply, 500 people ate kabobs on reusable/washable plates. Chelsea Miller from Kabomelette said serving on washable plates at the May Day Festival was “easy-peasy.”

Being prepared to handle 2218 pounds of compost, recycling and waste on May Day takes a lot of planning. Before the festival, the team determines the appropriate number and placement of trash, recycling, and organics carts based on previous years and creates a plan for trash/recycling along the parade route. This year, Green Team volunteers asked residents along the parade route to use their own Recycling/Garbage carts along parade route to help manage litter. Yeah Bloomington Ave residents!!! Read the rest of this entry »

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KEATON TRADITION: Classic fun in the Cemetery

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BY SUE HUNTER WEIR

It’s become a Memorial Day weekend tradition:  a Buster Keaton silent film accompanied by local musicians Dreamland Faces.  You’ll never have more fun than this in a cemetery. This year’s classic film, “Steamboat Bill Jr.” was the fourth Keaton film shown in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery.  It was a perfect evening for a movie with beautiful weather and no mosquitoes.  About 200 people attended this year’s screening.  There will be three other opportunities to see movies in the cemetery this season.  On Saturday, August 26th, we’ll be showing “The Last Man on Earth,” the first of three Vincent Price films.  On Saturday, September 9th, the movie will be the not-to-be-missed film, “The Conqueror Worm.”  We’ll close out the season on September 23rd with “The Abominable Dr. Phibes.”  Gates open about an hour before the sunsets.  Tickets are $10; kids under 12 get in for free.  Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on.  Further details will be available in The Alley Newspaper and on facebook (Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery).

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“Shade Tree Mechanics to Multi-Car Service Centers are asked to help: “Squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but it doesn’t stop there!

BY MADDIE NORGAARD

Do you want to make a difference in neighborhood air quality? Locally, poor air quality affects Minnesotans by triggering a range of health problems, from itchy throats to asthma attacks. It also contributes to smog and acid rain, leading to contamination of water bodies. That’s why the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) has teamed up with the Lake Street Council and the Franklin Area Business Association to assist businesses in the Phillips Community to improve air quality.

This summer, a MnTAP intern is working with auto repair shops and other businesses that use degreasing products to evaluate products and find safer alternatives that work. Auto repair facilities can improve the air by switching to safer cleaning and degreasing products. The major challenge is finding safer products since many look similar, but contain different ingredients with a wide range of impacts on health and the environment.

Choosing safer products is not easy, but this summer’s intern is helping businesses identify the safest products available to them that still get the job done. Shops interested in taking advantage of this opportunity receive a free assessment of their current products, samples for testing safer products, and if they choose to make a change, some free product to get started (while supplies last).

Wondering how to get started? Read the rest of this entry »

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Blue Line Changes & Driver “Picks” Plus “Peeing” PUBLIC TRANSIT

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Well, last month I promised my next column on public transit would be more Phillips-specific. My original plan was to write about the June 17, 2017 schedule changes. Fortunately for Phillips but unfortunately for me, there are very few changes this time around that affect Phillips. One morning and one evening trip daily on the Blue Line is being cancelled, an early morning trip on Route 5 is moving three minutes later, and minor adjustments to better reflect real travel times are being instituted on Route 21. The most significant change will affect weekend Night Owl service on the Blue Line. Since last Fall, the Mall of America station has been closed from 2:10 to 3:45 AM, Monday to Friday, probably to discourage the homeless from making it an unofficial shelter. Now the Mall has extended the closure to seven days a week. There are two Blue Line trains which arrive at MOA between those hours on weekends only. As I understand it, they still will operate, but no one will be allowed to leave the train at the Mall. In addition, the last weekend train, which arrives at 3:39 AM, will remain in service back as far as Franklin Avenue instead of going off duty.

That said, I shall digress into a little history and Metro Transit operations lesson. Nowadays, schedule changes are coordinated with driver “picks” and happen four times a year. There was a time when they happened at more or less unpredictable intervals. What is a “pick”? Essentially, a pick is when the drivers get to pick their assigned pieces of work for the next season. This is done in order of seniority, so the drivers who have been there the longest get first choice. New drivers usually get hectic routes like the 5 or the 21, or ones with little time at the end of the line or nowhere to use the bathroom. Drivers got away with peeing in the back stairwells of their buses in the 1970s but that wouldn’t fly today. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas usually end up with the newest drivers too. It takes about ten years to be able to get a low-stress suburban route with a safe, legal, place to pee and ten minutes at each end. Then there’s the “extra board”, transit’s equivalent of substitute teachers, on-call drivers waiting for someone to not show up for their shift.

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PHILLIPS 50+ WELLNESS PROJECT: 6,175,139 Steps and Counting

By the Phillips Wellness 50+ Team

The bright green shirts never fail to grab attention as the Phillips Wellness 50+ walkers move along Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Drivers honk, passersby wave. The walkers get lots of positive support from the community.

The green-shirt-clad walkers have taken more than 6 million steps on the way to our goal of 35,200,000 steps along the 45th parallel. It’s all part of the “Phillips Round the World Challenge,” an effort of Phillips Wellness 50+. None of us can walk around the world by ourselves but together we can achieve the most audacious goal. Twenty to 30 people (out of about 50 on our roster) gather each week for the group walk, and then track their steps throughout the week.

After each walk, the group gathers for conversation, learning and supporting each other. Guest presenters provide information to help us improve health and well-being. For six weeks this spring and early summer, Donald Warneke, a University of Minnesota Extension educator, talked about good nutrition. In June, Rachel Von Ruden with the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging Outreach Team shared information about the Senior LInkAge Line and other resources available to support us as we age.

“Being a part of this group makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself,” says one participant. “I’ve met some wonderful people who will be friends for life.” According to another, “The group helps me keep up with regular exercise. I feel supported and accepted by all. It makes a difference to not have to go it alone.”

Phillips Wellness 50+ is organized and led by community members and everyone involved pitches in to decide what the group will do and to make it happen. At a recent gathering, participants discussed topics they would like to learn more about. Building upper body strength and improving balance, managing a chronic condition, cooking for health and helping someone with depression were at the top of list. Look for these topics to be a part of our discussions over the next few months. Read the rest of this entry »

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