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Saturday April 20th 2019

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Franklin Aldi closed until mid-April

Remodel will remake store with wider aisles, more fresh foods, and more refrigerated products

by Tesha M. Christensen

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Finding it hard to get to the grocery store since the Franklin Aldi’s closed? Get free delivery via Instacart, Aldi’s grocery delivery service.

Look for an updated Aldi at 1311 E. Franklin Ave. in mid-April.

The Franklin Aldi store closed on Jan. 28, 2018 for an extensive remodeling that will make the store over into one similar to the new Aldi that opened in the former Rainbow Foods at 2912 28th Ave. S. It will feature wider aisles, more refrigerated items and a wider selection of fresh foods.

“The new store layout will provide an improved in-store experience and features additional refrigeration space to accommodate even more fresh, healthy and convenient products,” according to Matt Lilla, Aldi’s Faribault division vice president. 

Compared to last year, 20 percent of the Aldi product selection is new — and the company isn’t finished.  In all, the company’s national growth plan calls for increasing its fresh food selection by 40 percent with many organic, convenient and easy-to-prepare options. 

With that model, Aldi hopes to double its sales again over the next five years.

The Franklin Aldi is one of 28 Aldi stores being remodeled and expanded in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and the surrounding metropolitan area in 2019. In all, Aldi is investing $1.9 billion to remodel more than 1,300 U.S. ALDI stores by the end of 2020. 

The remodeled store at Franklin will bump the size of the store floor from 10,000 to 13,000 square feet of sales floor space. 

Aldi buildings feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly construction materials. There are only four or five aisles, and every Aldi has a similar layout.

“This is a significant investment in our stores, but it’s really an investment in our shoppers,” remarked Lilla. “We’re evolving to meet their changing tastes and needs.”

He added, “As one of the fastest-growing retailers with a long history in the U.S., we’re confident in our current business model. We’re always looking for ways to innovate but we don’t get distracted by what’s happening across the industry. We’re focused on providing people with outstanding value on quality food and products.”

Aldi caters to shoppers who are pressed for time and money.

“We pioneered a model that gives people more of both,” observed Lilla. “Our shopping experience is designed to make life easier for people and to offer high-quality food at affordable prices.”

SHINGOBEE PROJECT

The project is being managed by Shingobee, a nationally-acclaimed commercial construction and development company. With two offices located in Minnesota, Shingobee operates throughout the upper Midwest. It was founded in 1980 by Gae Veit, a Native American woman who retired in 2007. In September 2018, the Loretto-based company returned to its roots as a woman-led construction company when industry veteran and 14-year employee Nancy Samson became its new owner, president and CEO. She previously worked as the CFO and corporate secretary/treasurer.

Recent Shingobee projects include a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in St. Louis Park, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Woodbury, the Gardner School in Edina, and Crisp and Green in Dinkytown.

Shingobee Project manager Shane Johnson said they appreciate the business they get from Aldi. “Each project has its own set of challenges and it is rewarding at the end,” Johnson observed.

Food resources

• Messiah Lutheran/Community Bridge, 2400 Park Ave. S., 612-746-4108 or 612-871-8831. Tuesdays, noon: Free hot meal following community Bible study. It is not required to attend the Bible study, but the food will be served at noon and go quickly. Thursdays, noon: free hot meals except on holidays. Food shelf: second Fridays and fourth Saturdays, 8-11 a.m. 

• Community Emergency Services, 1900 11th Ave., 612-870-1125. Food shelf, Monday-Thursday; people start lining up at 10:30 a.m. Meals on Wheels, weekdays, noon: free hot lunch meal delivery service available to ages 60+ or people with limited mobility.

• MN Food Helpline, 1-800-936-1154, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Calls connect residents with resources like SNAP, food shelves, farmers markers, meal programs and discount grocery programs.

• Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS), 651-484-8241 or 800-365-0270, box of nutritious food each month to eligible low-income seniors, 60 years and over. Boxes are distributed at many locations; call Second Harvest for more information about eligibility, applications, and delivery sites.

• Help at Your Door is a nonprofit offering a grocery delivery service for elderly and people with disabilities; people can use a printable product catalog to order food via phone or online. The service is available on a sliding scale from $5-$35 with a minimum order of $40. Participants can use EBT to pay for groceries, unless people get cash benefits on their EBT card. In the 55404 zip code, people would get called on Wednesday or Thursday for their order and then have groceries delivered the following Tuesday. More info at https://helpatyourdoor.org/services/,  (651) 642-1892.

• Fare for All is an organization that purchases fresh produce and frozen meat in bulk from wholesalers and manufactures, and then pre-packs the produce and meat into affordable food packages that range in price from $10-$30. It then sells the packages at delivery sites once a month. Cash, credit, debit and SNAP accepted; anyone is able to participate. No pre-payment or pre-registration required. Pricing and package details available at https://fareforall.org/pricing/. There is a current Fare For All pick-up site at Open Arms of MN, located .6 miles away from the Aldi  at 2500 Bloomington Ave S (https://fareforall.org/directory/listing/minneapolis-little-earth-of-united-tribes-2). Winter/spring schedule for the Open Arms site is Friday from 1-3 p.m. on March 22 and April 19.  

• Minneapolis’ staple foods ordinance (SFO) is a local law that requires grocery stores – including most corner stores, gas stations, and pharmacies – to stock nutritious foods in six basic categories (dairy/dairy alternatives, animal and vegetable proteins, fruits and vegetables, 100% juice, whole grains, and beans/peas/lentils). There are several stores located near Aldi and stocked most or all of the required staple foods when last inspected (summer 2018).

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One of busiest food shelves right here

Donate or check out Waite House Food Shelf during March Minnesota FoodShare Campaign

by Meghan Muffett

Waite House staff, Jovita (left), assists a community member in the Waite House Food Shelf.

Located right here in the Phillips community, the food shelf at Waite House Community Center is one of the busiest in the Twin Cities, serving nearly 4,000 families on an annual basis. 

It serves as a much needed resource for many single-family households, homeless and highly mobile community members, seniors, immigrants, and others who – for a variety of reasons – are having a tough time making ends meet. 

Yet, in the past four years, the amount of participants have increased 25% while funding changes have been minimal.

This means that more than ever, this March is a critical time for the Waite House food shelf to garner support. During the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, both monetary and food donations made to Waite House (and all participating food shelves) will be partially matched by the group Minnesota FoodShare. 

Also, did you know that because Waite House is a nonprofit with ‘bulk purchasing abilities,’ they can purchase even more food to multiply your dollar’s buying power? AKA, they are able to stretch your $1 into $7, allowing them to purchase even more fresh, healthy, and culturally appropriate food to serve our community members.

Your help is needed. Last year, the food shelf distributed 275,000 pounds of food, 

with expectations to provide an even greater amount this year. Please consider supporting the health and wellness of your neighbors and fellow community members by making a donation this March. 

Here’s how you can support the Pillsbury United Communities – Waite House Food Shelf:

All monetary and food donations made through the month of March will be partially matched by Minnesota FoodShare.

• Donate money. You can donate online at www.pillsburyunited.org or drop off a check at the center. 

• Donate food. Food donations can be delivered any time during business hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special accommodations could be made to receive donations at other times if needed. See contact information below. Suggested donation items include: Oil, flour, cooking spices, Masa (like Maseca), salt and pepper, low sodium soups, and oatmeal.

Would you like to use the food shelf? 

Here’s what you need to know:

• Families and individuals can visit the food shelf once each month. For the first visit, there is a short registration process in which a form of identification for each member of the household will need to be provided. 

• Please bring your own bags. 

Hours: Mondays and Fridays: 1-5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to noon and 2-5 p.m.

Also – Check out our free Community Café from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays or Produce Days every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Find more details online at pillsburyunited.org/waite-house or by calling 612-721-1681.

Questions or want to get more involved? 

Contact Meghan: 612.455.0388, meghanm@pillsburyunited.org.

Pillsbury United Communities – Waite House is located at 2323 11th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55404.

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UnBank and UnMission with common wall and uncommon purpose

by HARVEY WINJE

The corner storefront that was Roger Beck Florist until November 2018 at 1100 E. Franklin Ave. is, apparently, now owned by and about to become the UnBank currently at 1009 E. Franklin after initially being restricted from being there because it was too close to a “mission” by city zoning requirements.

Historically, businesses like UnBank and plasma centers being in a retail and residential area are seen as predators of poor people and people living within difficult circumstances. The presence of such businesses is usually a characteristic that reduces signals an area’s decline and causes a drop in property values.

This property’s value and advantage to E. Franklin Ave.’s vast improvements of the last three decades were raised when it was improved from Mr. Arthur’s 3.2 Bar to the Wendell Phillips Federal Community Credit Union in 1996. Ironically, that credit union had the opposite mission and ethic of helping local people into better navigate financial circumstances and improve their well being rather than taking advantage of them.

The “bottom line” is that UnBank presence at this prominent corner hurts the “bottom line” and lives of its clientele and of other businesses and the avenue generally.

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Patron saint of lost causes

by TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN

COURTESY OF Peter McLaughlin
Former District 4 Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin speaks during the South Minneapolis Hub opening along Lake Street and Hiawatha Ave.. The South Minneapolis Hub represents a move to decentralize human services from downtown to make it easier for people to get access the county’s social services at a site that’s more accessible.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part two of a two-part series that originally appeared in the Longfellow/Nokomis Messenger. The first section ran in the February 2019 edition of The Alley.

If there’s one thing that defines Peter McLaughlin’s career as a public servant, it imay be his attitude towards what others consider to be lost causes.

 “I’m sort of the Patron Saint of Lost Causes,” admitted McLaughlin.

There’s something about certain projects that kept him searching for solutions, even over decades, observed McLaughlin, who was elected as District 4 Hennepin County Commissioner first in 1990 and left office in December.

Take the Fort Snelling Upper Post, a group of 27 historic buildings that were falling apart. There wasn’t a fund of money available to pay for fixing the buildings nor anyone interested in using them. But McLaughlin believed they should be saved and so he kept talking about it with others. When the site was listed as one of the top endangered historic sites in the United States, he realized there might be a source of workers he could tap into. Even better, the county was already paying for the Sentence-To-Service crews so it wouldn’t cost additional money. 

When one of the buildings collapsed, others also started shuffling things around, working hard to find funds to pay for building materials to stabilize the buildings. 

A group began meeting to talk about the future of the site, and McLaughlin chaired the Fort Snelling Upper Post Task Force. They put together a land use plan and waited for the right opportunity.

It came in 2018 when the Plymouth-based Dominium, no stranger to historical rennovation projects, and the Department of Natural Resources struck a deal to redevelop the site into 176 units of affordable housing. Soon veterans and families will be breathing new life into the 47-acre site that’s the last unincorporated area of Hennepin County.

walter griffin
Phillips West Neighborhood Organization and Midtown Phillips thank Peter McLaughlin for his Outstanding Service Representing Phillips residents from 1985-2018 during the 22nd Annual Phillips West Winter Social on Feb. 21. Left to right, Minneapolis Police Third Precinct Inspector Michael Sullivan, PWNO Executive Director Crystal Windschitl, PWNO Board Chair Rev. Jacob Rock, Peter McLaughlin, Jana Metge of Midtown Phillips, and Ryan SanCartier, senior aide of 6th Ward Council Member Abdi Warsame. The event brought together about 300 neighbors for a huge smorgasbord of supper choices by several Phillips West institutions on a serving table the length of the large assembly room. The evening was prefaced by institutional exhibitors in the Changing Lives Lobby at 2400 Park Ave. each decorated with institutional banners, paraphernalia, gifts like candy bars and ballpoint pens and a whole lot of information by institutional representatives. PWNO also honored former state Representative Karen Clark an award at the Phillips Wide Fall Clean Sweep in October for her service.

SYSTEMATIC CHANGE FOR LIBRARIES

Things shifted for McLaughlin 12 years ago. His daughter was born, and he battled prostate cancer. He stated, “I decided at that point to work on bigger projects.”

 McLaughlin added, “You can do individual projects, but you have to turn them into something bigger, into systematic change.”

Around the same time Minneapolis  started closing libraries — an option they hadn’t done even during the Great Depression, McLaughlin pointed out. And they planned to close more. Two of the three closed libraries were in McLaughlin’s district, Roosevelt and Southeast. 

McLaughlin learned about the issues while attending a spaghetti dinner in the basement of a Lutheran church in his district. He didn’t hesitate about taking this project on. He supports walkable, bikeable cities, and to have that one needs destinations such as libraries. “They are places that anchor neighborhoods,” observed McLaughlin.

There had been discussions about merging the Minneapolis Library and the Hennepin County Library systems for years, but it had never progressed. McLaughlin believed the time had come, and he worked to make the merger happen within a few months. 

There were issues, such as the surburban libraries worried their money was going into a declining system, and the city libraries worried their referendum money would be used outside Minneapolis. But a deal was struck, and the merger official on Jan. 1, 2008. 

“Libraries are one of the great democratic services we provide,” stated McLaughlin. “It needed to be solid.”

Since the merger, all the closed libraries have been re-opened, nearly every library in the system has been rennovated (the last project just began), and hours added. For the first time since the Kenendy administration, Central Library downtown is open seven days a week.

FIGHT FOR LIGHTRAIL

Neighbors stopped the freeway from going in during the 1960s, but then nothing happened along the giant swatch of right-of-way along Hiawatha Ave. for years. It took until 1985 to reach a deal about what the road would look like, and until the early 1990s to finish the project. Meanwhile, discussions had gone back and forth for years about lightrail lines and which one should be the first. 

“I took on the fight for rail transit,” McLaughlin said. He knew one of his biggest battles was to reach an agreement between Hennepin and Ramsey counties, and keep that in place until federal and state funding was appropriated and work could begin. It was agreed that because right-of-way was available along Hiawatha and the Environment Impact Statement already done (because of the road work) that it would be the pilot project.

Governor Carlson signed off on a $40 million appropriation, and then Governor Ventura (who had attended Roosevelt High School) made the line a priority. A bonding bill was passed in 1999 during Ventura’s first year in office that included the last $60 million needed from the state. 

“I always told people, we put all our chips on red 26 and spun the wheel,” said McLaughlin. 

Once the Blue Line was operating (2004), the Green Line followed in 2014, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul along University Ave. The Southwest extention of the Green Line is next. When McLaughlin attended the groundbreaking on  Nov. 30, 2018, he brought the same shovel he used at the Blue Line groundbreaking.

McLaughlin’s focus on “transit ways” has also included bus lines (such as the Orange line that will be going down 35W), and he’s had a whiteboard in his office for decades that shows a transit map of the region. 

“Why do I care so much about this? Transit reinforces the center as the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul,” McLaughlin explained. It goes back to the lessons he learned in Trenton, N.J. and from Sears, and the exodus of people from the city that happened across the nation. How do you keep people in the city? If you’re McLaughlin, you give them something to stay for. 

“It’s all part of how do we attract people to the city and make a more prosperous life?” McLaughlin said.

DEVELOPMENT HAS COME

Some of the lightrail supports, including McLaughlin, promised that there would be development along the lines. Every year for many years, a Star Tribune reporter would call him to ask when development was going to happen.

After a recession and years of planning, in 2015 McLaughlin helped broker a deal for the county to anchor a large development at Hiawatha Ave. and Lake St., and things began to snowball.

In addition to the new development on the southwest side of Lake and Hiawatha, there is a new building on the north side, and another multi-story apartment building a few blocks south. Several buildings are planned around the 38th St. Station, and Longfellow Stations was built there on the southeast side a few years ago. A major development is in the works at 46th St., and five more are in progress. 

McLaughlin tries to work within existing plans to make other things happen. 

Some have accused him of being too patient. “It takes a long time to work these puzzles out,” he observed.

Hennepin County had already decided to decentralize its services and spread out to more convenient buildings within the communities it serves. It needed a hub somewhere in south Minneaplis, so McLaughlin pitched the idea of putting a service center at Hiawatha and Lake. It became part of a development that will add more than 500 housing units and a permanant space for the Midtown Farmers’ Market. The first housing unit opened on Dec. 1, 2018. Next year, a site that wasn’t generating any tax revenue while owned entirely by Minneapolis Schools will generate $300,000 in property taxes and that’s just a start. 

“You can’t do all the things you want to do with new money,” said McLaughlin. “You’ve got to do it with money you were going to spend anyway. You have to be intentional about it.”

BATTLING CRIME AND BUILDING A GREENWAY

The Midtown Greenway is an iconic part of south Minneapolis now, but when McLaughlin started his career it was a trench where folks threw their old mattresses and trash. 

The city had just been dubbed “Murderopolis” by the New York Times, and south Minneapolis was the epicenter of the crime issues facing the city.

“I used to say if you’re going to go down to the Greenway to do an inspection, you need to be sure to get your tetanus shot up to date,” said McLaughlin.

He got involved with the Midtown Community Works Partnership, and they worked to convince first Honeywell and then Wells Fargo when they took over the Honeywell facility at 600 S. 4th St. to support the Greenway project. 

Construction on the line began in 2000 and the final phase was done in 2007. Organizers are now considering an extension across a rail bridge to St. Paul.

“We said there would be development along the trench, and people laughed at us 20 years ago,” recalled McLaughlin. “Success will beget more success – and that’s what happened.”

The line has become one of the busiest bikeways in Minnesota and recognized as the best urban bike trail in the nation. Plus, new housing and retail has gone in along the trail.

The trail was one of several prongs of an approach focused on building up the neighborhood and reducing crime. 

“You’re not going to solve crime without a comprehensive approach,” observed McLaughlin, or solve racism. For him, one part always includes adding jobs, and so he worked to build up what was already existing in the neighborhood, including Wells Fargo and Abbott hospital through work with the Phillips Partnership. They supported Abbot’s heart hospital expansion, keeping it in the city versus out in the suburbs.

They offered funds to rehabilitate old homes and increase the number of owner-occupied houses, supported by the Project for Pride in Living (PPL) Selvaggio Fund. 

The group worked to create the Pathways Program to provided training at the Minneapolis College for jobs at Abbott, as well as jobs within the county itself.

McLaughlin once found himself in the elevator with three women who were part of the Pathways program. As they got out, one told him, “This job changed my life.”

“That’s why I do this work,” remarked McLaughlin. 

ENTREPRENEURIAL      POLICY MAKER

McLaughlin has approached policy making by trying to fix community problems, even when there was no clear role for Hennepin County in the solution, pointed out his principal aide Brian Shekelton. 

“Life’s problems aren’t categorized by a series of neat silos, and he believes that silos shouldn’t define the way to fix problems. 

“Before Commissioner McLaughlin took office Hennepin County wasn’t helping to building train lines, it wasn’t helping to build permanent homes for farmers markets, it wasn’t leading a partnership to build Greenways (Midtown was a community development project, not just a transportation/recreation project), it wasn’t investing in Minneapolis parks or Minneapolis libraries, it wasn’t creating train stations like Target Field Station, and it didn’t have a tree nursery to replenish the lost Ash trees. 

“I’ve always thought that of Peter McLaughlin as an entrepreneurial policy maker, and I think that’s why he has been able to achieve so many goals.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

So, what’s next for  the man who left office in December after 28 years?

He’s not sure yet.

“I’ve devoted my entire adult life to community work,” he said.

He doesn’t think he’s done yet.

“I’m still a believer that government can play a positive role in changing people’s lives,” remarked McLaughlin.

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Phillips West March 2019

By CRYSTAL WINDSCHITL

Phillips West Neighborhood Upcoming Events:

Check out the Phillips West Website: www.phillipswest.info

Community meeting

March 7 (Thursday) 6-7pm
Join your neighbors and other Community Partners for updates from Local City Government, 3rd Precinct Police. Meeting will take place at the Center for Changing Lives in the Centrum Room (2400 Park Avenue). Free parking is available in the rear of building off Oakland Ave. Free delivery pizza and beverages will be provided!  If you would like more information or would like to get involved with the neighborhood please contact Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email her at pwno2005@yahoo.com.

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Transit: Route changes and the luck of the Irish

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Here we are, coming up on the Spring “pick.” For those of you not familiar with the term, that is when Metro Transit drivers get to pick their piece of work for the next three months, in order of seniority. That is also when route and schedule changes are made, unless a state of emergency trumps waiting for the next pick. The schedules based on this pick go into effect March 9, 2019. 

Fortunately, changes affecting the Phillips neighborhood are fairly minor. They are:

• Extra buses eastbound on Route 2 on weekday and Saturday nights.

• Minor schedule adjustments on Routes 2, 5, 9, 14, 19, and 22.

• Routes which currently run on 8th Street downtown are changing over to 6th Street due to construction. These include Routes 5, 9, 19, 22,and 39. This also means the Ramp A/7th Street Transit Center will not be in use. Route 39 will start and end at the Ramp B/5th Street Transit Center instead. Route 14 already goes through Ramp B/5th Street.

• A few early morning and late night buses on Sundays on Route 9 will be abolished.

• Route 14 will be changing over from 4th Street to 7th Street downtown.

Free Bus and Train Rides a Day Early This Year

Metro Transit is usually free twice a year: New Year’s Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day. Because Saint Patrick’s Day is on a Sunday, the Minneapolis and Saint Paul parades are going to be held the day before, and most of the drinking and partying will probably be on Saturday, too. Therefore, we will be getting our free transit a day early. From 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. the evening of Saturday, March 16, 2019, Miller Coors will be picking up the tab for our bus and train rides. 

This is a good deal for everyone whether or not they drink, but it’s an especially great deal for everyone who doesn’t get arrested for driving while intoxicated, or worse yet, get into an accident. 

Please use this service if you’re going to get drunk anywhere except at home. I’d like to have you around to read this column next month!

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What’s Up at the Franklin Community Library | March 2019

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.

Teen Programs
Urban 4-H Club
Tuesdays, 5–7pm
We do everything from urban gardening to digital photo/video to theater. Partner: University of Minnesota.

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
Saturday, March 6, 3-4:30 pm
Discuss manga and share artwork. Something different every time!

Adult Programs
Open Crafting
Monday, March 4, 1-3pm
Looking for a space to sew, knit or work on other crafts? Bring your current project and materials and join us! Sewing machines, knitting needles and other equipment will be available for your use.

Fasal furan oo ku Saabsan Barashada Teknoolojiga Maktabadda/Library Technology Open Lab
Wednesdays, Mar. 6 & 13, 10:30am-12pm
Registration Required. 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-on-one support. March 6 Topic: Creating a library account, using the library catalog. March 13 Topic: Online library databases for learning, literacy and employment.

Franklin Technology Hour
Thursdays, 12-1pm
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.

Cards and Board Games
Saturday, March 16, 2-4:30pm
Chess, Scrabble®, backgammon, cribbage, Mahjong and more! Come play a variety of games with new or old friends. Games are provided, or bring a favorite from home.

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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Movie corner ‘Stan and Ollie’ delightful

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com

howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

2019, Sony Pictures

4.5 out of 5

A delightful, modest biopic about Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), the best comedy duo in Hollywood at its golden age.

Director Jon S. Baird (“Filth” 2014, “Cass” 2008) and writer Jeff Pope  put together a very fine biopic about Stan and Ollie in phases of their careers. The first is when both comedians worked for Hal Roach Studios in 1937, at the height of their careers; the second phase, fast-forward to 1953, their popularity and money has greatly waned. The lion’s share of the film is spent in the latter period.

Stan and Ollie (nicknamed “Babe”) go on tour in Great Britain attempting to rekindle their fame even after the two men split for many years. They start in Newcastle before bouncing around in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, England; then to Glasgow, Scotland; then to Dublin, Ireland. Their famous acts, including their classic dance duet, in theatre after theatre witnessed half-filled seats. Some people thought Stan and Ollie had died. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the good performances by each man’s wife (Ida Kitaeva Laurel  played by Nina Arianda and Lucille Hardy played by Shirley Henderson), both women with forebearance joining their spouses on the tour.

Altogether Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made over 100 movies, but that was in the 1920s-1930s when the two had great success in money and fame. By 1953, they were trying to make a comeback, but now Ollie is obese and suffering from heart trouble. Although they say some unkind things to each other, and resentments surface going back in the Hal Studio days, the two men love each other.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s when Stan (d. 1965) and Ollie (d.1957) were still alive yet well beyond their primes. I watched them on television and on big screens at the local theaters. (The houses in those days was one big screen.) Those are the days when kids went to the movies for 25 cents (it went up to 50 but that’s still a deal), seeing a full featured film (in color or black-and-white), adding to it “Laurel and Hardy” “The Three Stooges,” a Bugs Bunny cartoon, etc.). As such, “Stan and Ollie” is a must for me. 

Cast: John C. Reilly (Oliver Hardy), Steve Coogan (Stan Laurel), Danny Huston (Hal Roach), Shirley Henderson (Lucille Hardy), Nina Arianda (Ida Kitaeva Laurel). Director: Jon Baird. Writer: Jeff Pope.

Running time: 97 minutes. Rated PG

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W H A T Y O U S E E


Karissa Kleven, 8, took this photo after the freshly fallen snow on Feb. 20, 2019 “because I think these trees are beautiful with the snow on them.” 

 To be part of our new WHAT YOU SEE feature, post a photo to your Instagram account and tag #alleynews, or email it to copydesk@alleynews.org.  All ages encouraged to 

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Controversy reaches crisis

Editor’s note: The following was submitted as an open letter by Carol Pass, Cassandra Holmes, Chad Hebert, Clarence Bischoff, Dean Dovolis, Abah Mohamed, Steve Sandberg, and Jose Luis Villasenor. 

TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
The city threatened eminent domain to purchase the Roof Depot site in order to expand its public works facility at 26th and Hiawatha Ave, as viewed from the Sabo bridge. Neighborhood citizens want part of the property for use as an urban farm to create jobs for local residents.

On Dec. 7, 2018 the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution which we naively thought held out hope for serious community-driven green, sustainable activities in a portion of the Roof Depot site. We waited for over two months for a meeting with Council Member Alondra Cano to explain the “back doors” that appeared to have been opened in her “Staff Direction.” 

We then had a long-awaited meeting with City Chief Financial Officer Mark Ruff who acknowledged that he helped C.M. Cano write the “Staff Direction” though he stated much was C. M. Cano’s work. Although, by statute, members of the City Council hold decision-making power on this property, it is clear that CFO Ruff assumed he was speaking for the City Council when he stated at our Feb. 4, 2019 meeting that “…there will be no non-municipal use…” of anything in the Roof Depot site with the possible exception of off-hour use of the training facility. 

To further his point, he stated that he has control over the nearly $4 million architectural budget, and he will bring his architects his interpretation of the staff direction and that is what they will design.

Childhood
Elevated Blood Lead, Arsenic, and Per Capita Income

The staff direction has many possible interpretations. CFO Ruff’s is one. However, in our discussions with every council member, except Council Member Goodman who refused to meet with us, there is no possibility the Council vote would have come out unanimously in favor of NOTHING FOR THE COMMUNITY at the Roof Depot site if they had known that was to be the interpretation of the outcome. If that were the case, the staff direction would have included only 3 words “Approve Option A.” The remaining two pages would have been irrelevant. 

So, either CFO Ruff and staff are usurping city council decision making, or the council members we talked with were not being truthful. 

In other words, if CFO Ruff’s interpretation prevails, and the city council members were being truthful, then decision-making in Minneapolis is upside down and staff driven with meaningful community engagement totally absent and the power of council decision-making totally neutered!

The facts: 

1) After being cheated out of the 7.5-acre Roof Depot site in 2015 by the unethical city threat of eminent domain, and

2) After our repeated attempts to negotiate in good faith for a shared use agreement with the city at this site by reducing our request to 3, then 2, and eventually only 1-acre of the site’s 16 + acres to be set aside for the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm Project, and

3) After the hope of no more pollution at this site and any hope of environmental and economic justice for this multi-cultural economically and health challenged neighborhood has been ripped away by a controlling city staff, and/or an ineffective city council and 

4) Since this community has no intention of losing this opportunity to create community driven green and second chance job opportunities, desperately needed affordable family housing, organic food production a coffee shop amnd small café and a bicycle repair facility on the Greenway,

Therefore:

1) We strongly suggest that the City Council and Staff seek an alternate site for the Water Yard, or

2) Immediately start meaningful negotiations with EPNI and the Community to go back to our 3-acre option at the Roof Depot site, and

3) Immediately start working to move the other neighborhood polluters out of East Phillips – our people have suffered under the devastating effects of their negligence long enough.

A note to our supporters:

Please contact the mayor, the city council members, the state and federal senators and representatives and the governor and help us make the case for what is right. In your calls insist on real community engagement and development instead of city sponsored increases in pollution and congestion which is in violation of the state’s Clark/Berglund Cumulative Pollution legislation: Thank you!

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