NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday February 23rd 2019

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Cepro site may become neighborhood park

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) may aquire the Cepro site along the Midtown Greenway to add a path from 10th Ave. S., a stage with seating and onsite utilities.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MINNEAPOLIS PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
A public hearing is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m. at the MPRB Headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N. to discuss whether the Cepro site should become a neighborhood park.

The site currently belongs to Hennepin County. 

The MPRB, Hennepin County and community members collaborated on a concept plan for the property in 2016-17.  

If the Cepro site is transferred to the MPRB, the site would become a neighborhood park and MPRB would assume responsibility for operations, maintenance and public safety. The park would also be eligible for funding through the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan.

About the Cepro site

The Cepro site is a 1.65-acre green space along the Midtown Greenway between 10th and 11th Avenues S in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood. 

It contains bike and pedestrian paths that serve as a connector to the Midtown Exchange building, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Anderson Schools, Powderhorn Park and the Midtown Phillips Community.

Hennepin County acquired the former grain elevator site in 2000 to support Midtown Greenway Phase 2. The elevators were demolished in early 2004, greenway connections constructed in 2007 and a variety of placemaking and landscaping projects have been completed since 2011.

To learn more, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/planning.

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Bangoura returns as Minneapolis Parks Superintendent

As former team lead in Phillips, he knows area well

Superintendent candidate finalist Al Bangoura

Alfred Bangoura, currently of Charlotte, N.C. but formerly of Minneapolis, has been named as the new Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Superintendent.

He replaces interim Superintendent Mary Merrill.

Bangoura formerly served as the Director of Recreation Centers and Programs for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. From 2001-2015, Bangoura held a variety of progressive recreation leadership positions with the MPRB, which included supervision over East Phillips, Phillips, Stewart, Elliot and Peavy Recreation Centers.

Commissioners hope to have Bangoura aboard as soon as possible.

“We’re excited to welcome Mr. Bangoura back home to Minneapolis,” said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board President Brad Bourn. “Al believes our parks are for everyone and he’s ready to advance this board’s mandate of increasing our investment in youth and building an even better park system for our guests and everyone who calls Minneapolis their home.”

Bourn added, “His knowledge of Minneapolis and our parks coupled with his unique professional skills will provide cohesiveness and inspire collaboration.”

Bangoura is currently the Recreation Superintendent of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, which includes Charlotte, N.C. and serves over 1.1 million people. Bangoura oversees community and recreation services for the county’s 17 recreation facilities and three senior and active adult facilities. Bangoura is currently leading the construction and program development of the county’s first 100,000-square-foot recreation facility. 

He is a Certified Park and Recreational Professional (CPRP) and has a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. 

President Bourn and other commissioners praised Superintendent Emeritus Mary Merrill for her service and many accomplishments during this critical time of transition. Under Merrill’s leadership, a new community-led Juneteenth celebration was held, ordinances on spitting and lurking were repealed, agreements with Graco were settled, and her 2019 recommended budget was supported by the Mayor and the Board of Estimate and Taxation and included a down payment for investing in Minneapolis youth. 

Under her watch, several significant projects were completed, including the Phillips Community Center, Wirth Trailhead, and improvements to Peavey Park and Central Gym. 

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December 2018 service changes and a comparison between Minneapolis and Milwaukee transit

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

The last “pick” of the year is upon us. A “pick” is when Metro Transit changes bus schedules and drivers are assigned new routes. This service change goes into effect the 1st of December 2018 and includes the following adjustments that will affect the Phillips Community:

• Route 5 will have trips reinstated that were eliminated during the driver shortage.

• Route 21 will run slightly less often.

• Route 53 will have one trip in each direction reinstated.

• Route 67 will have one weekday morning trip reinstated; however, there will be significant cuts in both the morning and evening seven days a week.

In addition, please be reminded that special schedules are in effect on Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Black Friday and Christmas Eve are usually a Saturday schedule plus a few rush-hour trips on commuter routes. New Year’s Eve is usually almost a regular weekday schedule minus a few rush-hour trips. Non-rush-hour fares are charged all day on Black Friday and Christmas Eve. 

In other news, I recently had the opportunity to visit Milwaukee for two days. While I didn’t have time to ride the buses there, I did pay attention to their system as best I could. One glaring difference between their transit system and ours is theirs is run by Milwaukee County, whereas we have the Metropolitan Council, which includes seven counties. Unfortunately, metropolitan Milwaukee extends beyond the county line to the north and to the west. While the Milwaukee County Transit System does run buses to Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties, except for the route to Brookfield Mall, it is mostly commuter service. For example, I went to Costco in New Berlin. Near the Costco was a bus stop sign for MCTS Route 6. Unfortunately, that bus is aimed mainly at industrial workers and only runs at shift change times. This is in a busy area comparable to Eagan. 

The contrast served as a good reminder how lucky we are in the Twin Cities to have the transit system we do.

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What’s Up at the Franklin Community Library | December 2018

By ERIN THOMASSON

Family Storytime
Fridays, 10:30-11 am
For children of all ages and their caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write and play together in a format appropriate for young children. Share books, stories, rhymes, music and movement.

Joke Telling with the Mobile Comedy Suitcasee
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 4:30-6:30 pm
Learn the art of writing and telling a great joke from a professional comedy writer and theater artist. And if you’re brave enough, perform your favorite joke on their portable stage! Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

Teen Programs
Urban 4-H Club
Tuesdays Dec. 11 & 18, 5-7pm
We do everything from urban gardening to digital photo/video to theater. Partner: U of MN.

Teen Tech Workshop
Wednesdays, 5-6:30pm
Get creative and make music, videos, animation and other projects using both high- and low-tech tools, everything from iPads and 3D printers to synthesizers and sewing machines. Led by the library’s Teen Tech Squad.

Dhalinta Horumar sare rabta / Young Achievers
Wednesdays, 4:30-6pm 
U dabaaldag Dhaqanka Soomalida, sameyso saaxiibo cusub iyo in aad isticmaasho hab nololeed cafimaad leh. Lamaane: WellShare International. Celebrate Somali culture, make new friends and practice healthy lifestyles. Partner: WellShare International.

Teen Anime Club
Saturdays, 3-4:30 pm
Discuss manga and share artwork. Something different every time!

Act Out for Teens: Intro to Physical Comedy
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 4:30-6 pm
Registration Required. Grades 9-12. Are you ready to get serious about being funny? Led by an experienced Guthrie teaching artist, you will set off on an adventure to explore theater techniques for a wide variety of physical comedy. Let your humor run wild in a safe and creative environment. No experience necessary! Collaborator: Guthrie Theater. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Adult Programs
Fasal furan oo ku Saabsan Barashada Teknoolojiga Maktabadda/Library Technology Open Lab
Wednesday, Dec. 5 & 12, 10:30 am-12 pm
Kaalay oo baro Teknoolojiga maktabadda. Shaqaalaha waxey ku bilaabi doonaan Open lab-ka 20-daqiiqo oo horudhac ku saabsan teknoolojiga maktabadda. Mowduucyada laga hadli doono waxaa ka mid ah: sidaad u isticmaali laheyd kombiyuutarada maktabada, Internet-ka iyo Email-lada, asturnaanta, printer-rada iyo Scanner, iyo sidaad buugaagta uga raadsan laheyd bogga maktabada iyo kheyraadka laga helaba. Markuu mowduuca horidhaciisa lasiiyo, ka qeyb galayaasha waxey waqti u heli doonaan iney sii dabaqaan waxey barteen iyadoo shaqaalahana diyaar u ahaan doonaan iney uga jawaabaan su’aalahooda mid-midna u caawiyaan.

Come and explore library technology. Staff will start each Open Lab with a 20-minute orientation to library technology. Following the orientation, participants will have time to explore on their own, while staff will be available for questions and one-to-one support.

Franklin Technology Hour Thursdays, 12-1 pm  and Fridays, 3-4 pm
Do you want to explore new technology, practice using a computer program, or learn more about the library’s electronic resources? Then come to Franklin Technology Hour! Bring your questions, or come and explore a spotlighted resource.

Crafting for Good: Crochet a Washcloth
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2:30-4:30 pm
Registration Required. Learn how to crochet and make a simple cotton washcloth. Keep it for yourself, or donate it to someone in need. Materials provided.

Franklin Learning Center:
612-543-6934 flc@hclib.org
The Franklin Learning Center offers free, one-to-one tutoring for adults who are learning English and math, preparing for the GED and citizenship exams, and gaining life skills. We are always looking for community volunteers! No experience necessary; we provide training and materials. Contact us at 952-847-2934 or flc@hclib.org.

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That was an interesting workday

Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

In the 1890s Congress passed legislation allowing a number of organizations to apply for military surplus equipment. This “decorative” cannon and mortar were placed in the cemetery in the1920s and removed during World War II – they were most likely used for scrap.

162nd in a Series

Albert Nelson, caretaker at Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery from 1927 until his death in 1953, had a keen awareness of the role than many in the cemetery played in the state and city’s history.  It seems unlikely that he had any idea about his own role in that story.  He had intended to write a book about the cemetery, but it appears that he ran out of time.  Nonetheless, he left us an amazing amount of information that Mike Barth, current caretaker, found in one of the cemetery’s ancient file cabinets.  

The file contains Mr. Nelson’s monthly reports to his supervisor between January 1939 and March 1944.  There are 95 pages, carbon copies, most no more than one or two pages long.  In addition to reporting on routine maintenance tasks – mowing, raking, shoveling, etc. – he provided important information about many monuments, tree plantings, memorial and dedication programs, burials and removals. He answered a question that we have often wondered about – who built the addition to the caretaker’s cottage and when?

The original building, built in 1871, consisted of two rooms.  Nelson first mentioned the addition, a “tool house,” in June 1939.  The men who worked on it were employees of the Work Projects Administration, a program created by the Roosevelt administration to combat unemployment during the Depression.  Work progressed slowly, interrupted by funding shortfalls and a nation-wide labor strike in 1939 when hundreds of thousands of workers walked off their jobs to protest a cut in wages.  Masons, stonecutters, and carpenters stayed off the job until October.  When they returned carpenters cut an opening that connected what is now the middle room and the back room.  The addition was completed in July 1940.

There were 19 burials between 1938 and early 1944; most were widows in their 70s or 80s. One of the most interesting pieces of information that Mr. Nelson provided was about the family of Katherine Smith.  Mrs. Smith was the mother of Lafayette Mason, a South High football star, a professional pianist, and one of the city’s earliest African-American firefighters who in 1910 died at the age of 29 and was buried in the family’s plot. Mr. Nelson described Mrs. Smith’s 1941 funeral as “ a very large funeral,” and noted that she was buried near her grandmother, father, and mother “all born slaves.”  Her father, Morgan Jones, at 101 years old, is the oldest person buried in the cemetery.  His story appeared in the Alley in December 2017 (http://alleynews.org/?s=morgan+jones).

Then, as now, people seemed to have been prone to driving into the fence.  On April 21, 1938, a car or truck crashed into a section of fence.  The fence was repaired but in February 1940, another section of the fence was knocked down.  Fortunately those drivers hit the chain link rather than the decorative steel and limestone fence.

And the turnaround at the end of the cemetery’s only road posed a problem for at least one driver whose car “pinched its wheels on the outside curb.”  The driver stepped on the gas, jumped the curb on the other side of the loop and crashed into a tree.  The result according to Mr. Nelson was “a bent bumper, broken headlight and small dent in the fender.  A little bark was loosened from the tree.”

Cars weren’t the only potential hazard to the cemetery.  In October 1941, a horse got into the cemetery where a section of fence had been removed.  Nelson and the horse had to stay in the cemetery until the horse’s owner was found. The following month, a different horse got into the cemetery but, according to Nelson, it “was a very old horse and no damage was done.”

Mr. Nelson frequently reported that friends and family members of those buried in the cemetery came to visit.  In September 1938, James Needles traveled from Honolulu, Hawaii, to visit the unmarked grave of his father, Joseph Nettles, a Civil War veteran who had died in 1890.  Four years later Joseph Needles had a military marker placed on his grave.

Not all visitors came to visit graves.  In April 1938, Nelson “…played nurse to a lost baby boy…for two hours until the mother and police came for him.”  Nelson wrote his funniest comment in July 1941:  “I had to request a young woman who mistook the cemetery for a nudist camp to leave the grounds.  She was sober and good looking but had a very bad temper.”

Some of his workdays were just more interesting than others.

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The Alley lands on its feet

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Write for The Alley

THE ALLEY

is looking for

a volunteer

restaurant reviewer.

Email sample of writing:

copydesk@alleynews.org

Got other ideas and want to begin contributing to The Alley? We want to hear from you, too!

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Cartoon December 2018-January 2019

Cartoon December 2018

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Movie Corner December 2018-January 2019

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com

howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

“THE PRIVATE WAR” — The film is based on the 2012 article “Marie Colvin’s Private War” in Vanity Fair by Marie Brenner. All wars are ugly, often scripted, and always deadly (especially for civilians and war correspondents).

Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is a celebrated war correspondent who went to the most dangerous places on Earth to tell the world the truth about real-life suffering in war-torn countries such as Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya where the world can see rubble, dead bodies, wounded men, women and children, understaffed medical personnel. She wants people to see the indiscriminate horror bombs and bullets do to civilians – elderly, women and children. 

Colvin’s exterior is tough, but the running from blasts and bullets, accompanied by soldiers and other news correspondents and the sights of dead children, wailing women, armed police and brutal interrogations causes her nightmares. Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) is a photographer who is a good friend of Colvin is almost always in the shadow of Colvin. Her Sunday Times editor Sean Ryan (Tom Hollander) often argues with her telling her certain situations are just too dangerous to be there. 

Colvin wears a patch on her left eye after a shell blinds her in Sri Lanka. As one of her friends tells her when she refuses to stay out of danger she’s addicted to the cause. When she’s away from the bombs Colvin smokes heavy and sips far too much liquor to be settled in her profession.

Whatever shortcoming “A Private War” may have, I highly recommend the film for the outstanding performance of Rosamund Pike. I am predicting she will land an Oscar nomination for Actress in a Leading Role. Believe me. She deserves one.

Cast: Rosamund Pike (Marie Colvin), Jamie Dorman (Paul Conroy), Tom Hollander (Sean Ryan), Stanley Tucci (Tony Shaw), Faye Marsay (Kate Richardson),, Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rita Williams), Corey Johnson (Norm Coburn), Alexandra Moen (Amy Bentham), Raad Rawi (Gaddafi), Hilton McRae (Adam Watkins), Jeremie  Laheurte (Remi Ochlik), Manoj Anand (Sri Lankan Hospital Patient), Michele Belgrand (Old Time Friend), Jesuthasan Anthonythasan(Tamilselvan), Natasha Jayetileke (Nurse). 

(R) Running time:109 minutes. 

Director: Matthew Heineman 

Written by Arash Amel

Cinematographer: Robert Richardson

Music by H. Scott Salinas

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News in Yemen vastly underreported

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

Recently, the New York Times in its Sunday Review section reported the Saudi war in Yemen in the last three years has caused 85,000 children to die from the bombardment or from starvation. 

What’s more, the article goes further by saying Americans’ tax dollars are helping not only to fund the war, but is helping to starve tens of thousands of men, women and children and displaced thousands of  others. The United Nations is saying the famine in Yemen is likely to be the worst famine in a generation.

There is plenty of blood on the hands of the United States which both the Obama and Trump administrations support the Saudis’ war in Yemen. One wouldn’t know how severe the famine is if the white Fourth Estate, social media, ignores most of the coverage in Yemen. One has to rely on Amy Goodman’s  Democracy Now” or Ron Edward’s “Black Focus,” or the likes of independent news outlets to get much more honest news not only abroad but local and national news. It is shameful how America  continues involve itself in someone else’s business leaving count- less casualties. Make no mistake about it: all of this will backfire.

I believe in life, from womb to tomb; One of the seven things Our Lord hates is “shedding innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-19) and that includes abortion.

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