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Friday October 23rd 2020

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Beyond the 4th of July

Raise Your Voice

By Peter Molenaar

The 15th of every month is “alley time” for those who submit articles, yet the fire crackers persist late into the night… disturbing little children and disrupting the sleep of workers.

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”  is the title now given to a speech by Frederick Douglass, delivered July 5th, 1852. Has the image of Frederick Douglass been embedded in every mind?

Wielding the stature of a George Floyd, Douglass’ Native-American facial bone structure shown prominently through his African-American complexion. Having escaped the illiteracy of an enslaved childhood, he rose to become an eloquent orator and esteemed author of the day. Naturally, Wendell Phillips, our neighborhood namesake, was a friend of his.

Sample some of Frederick’s words:

Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?… What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim… You profess to believe that, of one blood, God made all nations… and hath commanded all men everywhere to love one another, yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own.

In extreme opposition to Douglass, was a confederate general named Henry Lewis Benning, evidently history’s most fanatical proponent of the lash. Fort Benning is named for this guy. In addition, nine more U.S.A. military installations are named for leaders of white-supremacy.

Enter the New World, please…

In response to the recent international outrage, our military leaders have proposed to delete all such designations. Incredibly, in order to satisfy his base of “under-educated people,” Trump will endeavor to block the renaming process. In addition, the one called “Little-Boy-Man” has proposed 10 year prison terms for the destruction of statuary memorials to oppression.

Congress must act! All such monuments to treason must be relegated to museums. A placard designating SHAME must be attached to every one of them.

Sadly, to date, two marvelous statuary renderings of Douglass have been vandalized by racist activists. Neighbors, stay strong. The face of Frederick Douglass will never be erased. Eventually, every school child will come to know this truth.

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Homeless Crisis Requires Common Sense Solutions

Something I said

By DWIGHT HOBBES

There comes a point at which even bleeding heart liberalism must yield to common sense and things at Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis have passed it.

There’s been a great deal of carping about how the city owes the homeless a place to go, the parks – not just Powderhorn – should be their sanctuary, so on and so forth. This would hold water if the encampment in the middle of a decent, peaceful neighborhood had not sordidly and violently disrupted the surrounding quality of life. The inhabitants didn’t even have to contribute to communal well being, just not drag it down into the gutter and literally endanger it.

As of this writing, crime there has gone from bad to worse. A teen aged girl was raped on June 26. Two days later, so was a woman. All told, there have been three sexual assaults; at least three that were reported. A man was shot in the face recently. Drug use has become so commonplace, neighborhood residents don’t bother to call police when they see suspected activity, including the directly related traffic of hookers hopping in and out of cars at all hours of the day and night. Junkies have been carted away in ambulances after overdosing. Home owners and rent-paying tenants who work for a roof overhead have had their windows tampered with and seen their automobiles broken into.

The Sheraton Hotel at Chicago and Lake was a homeless sanctuary before this. The owner threw them out for good reasons – drug overdoses and a fire. There are some people you just can’t help for the simple reason that they don’t want to be helped. They’ll gladly take a handout but have no interest in changing, in taking accountability to if not lead a productive life, not violate the rights of others.

Apparently, the whole endeavor was handled in ramshackle fashion from day one. Just pitch some tents to a chorus of Kumbaya and all will be well. The reality is there should have been, from the outset, screening; for addicts and for sexual predators. Not to mention people with criminal records, particularly prostitution. After all, they were not moving into a shelter but invading a locality where there are families, including children who, of course, can no longer just go play in the park, because their parents don’t dare let them. The worst tragedy is that there are, among these homeless, decent folk down on their luck who just need a hand up, or, at least, a place to figure out their next move.   For the safety and well-being of people to whom the area rightfully belongs, though, the best thing to do was go through the place with a broom and sweep it out.

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“Walkabout” (1971) ***** 5 out of 5 stars 20th Century Fox

Movie Corner 

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

A riveting film by Nicholas Roeg in which  a teenage girl, (Jenny Agutter), and her younger brother, Lucien John, (Luc Roeg), find themselves in unforeseen circumstances in the Australian Outback. The two youngsters and their father are supposedly on their way to a picnic.  Without warning, the father (John Meillon), stops the car and starts shooting at the children who seek refuge behind a rock.  Then, the father sets the car on fire before shooting himself in the head. The teenage girl, witnessing the horror, shields her brother from seeing the incident. 

Out in the middle of nowhere in scorching heat, crawling with scorpions and snakes and seemingly endless sand, the two English children walk for miles.  Tired and hungry, they come upon a watering hole.  It is here they meet the Aboriginal Boy, (David Gulpilil), who knows the Outback backwards and forwards. 

Gulpilil’s character,  just known as Black Boy, shows the two white children how to hunt and survive in the harshness of the Outback.   In one scene, Gulphilil is wrestling a small buffalo to the ground before he’s nearly run over by white men in a truck. They are shooting at buffalo with rifles, more for sport than for food.   This reckless act by the white men is indicative of the decades of Western civilization. 

“Walkabout” has its share of nudity, especially by Aqutter’s character.The swimming scenes create sexual tension between her and the Aborigine. The watering hole and the farmhouse are two places where the three characters can be playful. And, it must be mentioned, not only are the English children and the Aborigine from different cultures, there’s a language barrier as well.   The contrast between Western civilization’s “superior” culture and the simplicity of humanity’s natural ways are well-portrayed in the movie. 

Nicholas Roeg (1928-2018), the director of “Walkabout”, also has directed works such as the films “Performance” (1970), “Don’t Look Now” (1973), and “The Man Who Fell To Earth” (1976). The cinematography by Anthony Roeg is breathtaking. The soundtrack by John Barry (1933-2011) is extraordinary.  

Cast: Jenny Aqutter (Girl), Luc Roeg (Lucien John), David Gulpilil (Black Boy), John Meillion (Father), Robert McDarra (Man), Pete Carver (Wo Hopper), John Illingsworth (Husband), Hilary Bemberger (Woman), Barry Donnelly (Australian Scientist),  CarlManehini (Italian Scientist). 

Running Time: 100 minutes

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Groundhog Day

Peace House Community—A Place to Belong

By MARTI MALTBY

Back in May, when people had settled into the Covid-19 lockdown, a survey by OnePoll asked Americans how their sense of time was being affected by spending day after day in their homes. The results included:

  • The average American got confused about what day it was five times every week.
  • 59% of respondents didn’t even know what day it was when they took the survey.
  • 65% of those polled said they were struggling to stay motivated during self-isolation.

When I heard the results, my mind immediately flashed back many months to a meditation discussion I led at PHC. I asked community members what parts of homelessness could never be explained but simply had to be experienced. Several people gave answers that almost exactly mirrored the survey results I just mentioned. Among other things, the community members said:

  • “It’s like [the movie] Groundhog Day. Every day is just like the day before.”
  • “You have to learn how to make yourself comfortable because you know what tomorrow is going to bring, and it’s the same as today.”
  • “It takes strength not to snap into depression. You’ve got to keep a positive mind.”
  • “Being homeless over a period of time messes with your mind.”

Another interesting parallel emerged when many of the survey respondents identified snacking as a method of coping with their isolation. As a summary of the survey commented, “Is food the key to this problem? Over one in three of those surveyed said they’re using snacks as a motivating tool. In fact, 69% of those surveyed said they blew through their snack stockpile quicker than they planned.” People’s snacking habits even produced the following quips about sheltering in place:

  • I need to practice physical-distancing from the refrigerator.
  • PSA (Public Service Announcement): Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
  • So, after this quarantine…..will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?

These phrases about unhealthy coping mechanisms mirrored a comment by one of PHC’s community members, who said that he used drugs as a way to escape the sleeplessness, boredom and other dynamics of homelessness. The drugs allowed him to keep functioning in the face of homelessness.

The recent turmoil caused by Covid and George Floyd’s death have shaken everyone up, but it has also provided new opportunities for connection and understanding. While many of us look forward to things returning to normal, we are also grasping on a deeper level how bad normal was for many of those around us. Hopefully, instead of returning to normal, we will find a way to create a different normal, one that features greater empathy and doesn’t leave so many on the fringes of society.

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Tales From Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

179th in a Series

By SUE HUNTER WEIR

Emeline Baker Balch

1830-1867

The Cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in part because of its ties to the anti-slavery movement.  Its original owners, Martin and Elizabeth Layman, were members of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis which was closely associated with that movement; and there are several others buried in the cemetery, including a number of women, who had ties to both the anti-slavery and temperance movements.  It is hard to gauge the exact nature of their involvement since very few of the women who died during the cemetery’s early years left first-hand accounts of their lives, but there can be little doubt about what they believed.

Emeline Baker Balch was born in Onondaga, New York on 20 March 1830.  When she was 14 years old, Emeline and her family moved to Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.  The town of Aurora was settled by New Englanders who tended to migrate in groups—sometimes extended families, sometimes in colonies of church-members. Many were descendants of Puritans who fled religious persecution and arrived in what was to become America in the 1600s. Emeline’s paternal and maternal grandfathers were veterans of the Revolutionary War.

The New Englanders who relocated to Aurora had been successful merchants and farmers back East and their moves were prompted less by economic necessity than by economic opportunity.  They were reform-minded, religious people, sympathetic to the temperance and anti-slavery movements, and Aurora became an important stop on the Underground Railroad.

In 1908, the author of an early history of Kane County, wrote that the history of the county’s involvement in the Underground Railroad had not been written, and would, in fact, be difficult to write since its activities were by necessity conducted in secret.  But, he offered this colorful description:

It was a strange road.  It had neither locomotive nor cars; it ran in the darkness and was invisible…The friends of this mysterious railway declared that its charter came from God and that it ran from the northern portion of the southern states to Canada.  Its officers were largely volunteers and its route was that which afforded to its passengers the greatest safety—salary, time, if not paid in this world—would surely be in the next; running expenses donated. (P. 129)

Although Illinois was officially a “free” state, there were laws in effect that made anyone convicted of aiding fugitives subject to heavy fines and lengthy prison terms.  Those risks did not deter members of the Kane County Anti-Slavery Society (KCASS).  The KCASS, founded in 1843, encouraged women’s participation in the organization’s activities.  One-third of the Kane County Anti-Slavery Society’s members were women who attended meetings and were among the signers of the organization’s constitution; they raised funds and sewed clothing to aid escapees on their way to Canada. 

Since she was only a teenager in the organization’s early years, Emeline’s name is not mentioned in the Society’s minutes, but there is little question that she supported the abolitionist cause since she married a known abolitionist.

Emeline married Albert Balch on June 1, 1854.  Albert, the son of Stephen and Polly Terrell Balch, was born in Covington, New York in 1823.  His family, like Emeline’s, moved to Illinois in the 1840s, and, like Emeline, one of his forebears was a soldier during the Revolutionary War. When Albert was 16 years old, during a national period of religious revivalism, he joined the Church of the Disciples. In 1865, he “united with the Adventists for whom he preached.”   The Adventists were strongly opposed to slavery.

The same year that Albert joined the Adventists, he and Emeline, and their two sons moved to Minneapolis.  Leonidas Baker, Emeline’s older brother, came about the same time.  Most likely he came for the same reasons as Emeline—lured by promises from the city’s boosters that Minnesota’s climate would cure their respiratory illnesses.  That promise was not fulfilled.  Emeline died from tuberculosis on December 1, 1867, at the age of 37.  After Emeline died, her brother returned to Aurora where he died a few years later from complications of “hay asthma.”  Emeline is buried in an unmarked grave in Lot 33 Block A.

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Keeping Cool in the Heat of It

Phillips Neighborhood Clinic 

By Harry Leeds

There’s this joke about Minnesota: “We have a really incredible summer! You should come see it.  It’s on a Thursday.”  Yes, Minnesota is blessed with sunny skies, relatively low humidity, cool breezes, and some of the best parks in the country, all at our disposal to enjoy in July and August. 

Joking aside, it can get hot outside. While many of us used to spend our summer days in air-conditioned offices or cafes, now we find ourselves at home.  It is heatstroke  when your body is exposed to high temperatures and exhaustive physical exertion

So, it is important for the more vulnerable (or in my case, irritable) of us to stay cool during the summer.   It is important that you do not stress yourself, physically and emotionally.  Carrying a couch up the stairs of an apartment building in 90 degree heat may seem like a good idea at the time, but you can hurt yourself. High temperatures can make you cranky, confused, and dangerously dehydrated.  So you’ll want to make sure you are drinking enough water.

If you can stay safely inside an air-conditioned space, you should do that on the hottest of days. Go outside early in the morning before the sun is directly overhead and the streets have had time to suck up so much of its heat. You can also use blinds efficiently. Close the east-facing blinds in the morning and open west blinds; then, reverse it in the evening.  If it is safe, open your windows at night to let in the cool air, then close them before it heats up in the morning.

A person might be experiencing heatstroke if they have flushed skin, strange alterations in sweating, throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion and possibly a high heart rate. Medications or alcohol can make it worse.   If this happens to you, get in the shade and cool down anyway you can like with cooling water.  Most importantly, call for medical help. Remember, if you call for the ambulance, you don’t have to go to the hospital after the EMTs assess you. 

Stay cool out there.

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What’s Up at Your Community Libraries

By LINDSEY FENNER

Hennepin County Libraries are reopening with limited in-person services.

For Updated information on Hennepin County Library (HCL) services during the Coronavirus Pandemic, visit www.hclib.org.   All information is accurate as of July 15, 2020

Library Updates:  As of Tuesday, July 14, Franklin Library is open for computer use! Call 612-543-6925 to make an appointment. The building will remain locked, but staff will let you in at your appointment time. Masks are required and will be provided if you don’t bring one.  You will need to bring your own headphones. At this time, Franklin Library is open for computer use ONLY.  Other areas and services, including book/DVD check-out, are not available. They will be accepting returns during staffed service hours.

Franklin Library Computer Hours  

Tuesday & Wednesday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Thursday 12-7:30 p.m.

Friday & Saturday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Sunday & Monday – closed 

Franklin Library meal pick-up for youth, Thursdays, Noon-2 p.m. For ages 18 and under. Pick up a week worth of free meals. Caregivers can pick up meals for youth who are not present.  Meals include: sandwiches, milk, fruit, vegetable, and snack.

Curbside Pick Up Library Service at Hosmer Library: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  All East Lake Library patrons will have the default pickup location of their holds changed to Hosmer Library. Place an item on hold through the Library website, wait for notification that the item is ready, then call the Library when you are ready to come pick items up. Hosmer Library: 612-543-6900

Physical Materials: Due dates for physical materials continue to be automatically extended. You are not required to return materials at this time. Libraries are accepting returns during staffed service hours only. Items will be removed from your account after a three day quarantine.

Grab and Go Library Service: Libraries will be phasing in services over the summer. Some Libraries will begin to open for holds pick up, limited browsing, and computer appointments at 50 percent capacity. Check the website for up-to-date service information and hours. Masks are required and will be provided if you do not bring one.

Library News: Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, libraries have had to reduce costs. Nine HCL buildings will not be opening through the end of 2020, and 66 vacant staff positions have been permanently cut. As County Administration prepares the budget for 2021, there is an expectation for more cuts in staffing, significant cuts to the collection budget, and the potential that some Library buildings will be closed long-term. The Hennepin County 2021 proposed budget will be presented on September 17, so if you care about Libraries, let District 4 County Commissioner Angela Conley know!  Phone: 612-348-7884 Email: angela.conley@hennepin.us

Ask Us: Have a reference or Library account question? Call, text, chat with, or email a library worker 

https://www.hclib.org/contact

Call 612-543-KNOW (5669) to reach Library staff by phone.

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday noon – 5 p.m.

Español/Spanish: Llame o envíe un texto al 651-503-8013 para recibir ayuda en español.

Hmoob/Hmong: Hu losis text rau lub tsev nyeem ntawv ntawm 612-385-0886 txais kev pab hais lus Hmoob.

Soomaali/Somali: Caawimaad Soomaali ah, soo wac ama qoraal (text) usoo dir maktabada 612-235-1339.

Online Library Events:

There are a growing number of online library events! Check out the schedule by going online to www.hclib.org and click on “Events”

Storytimes on Facebook: Hennepin County children’s librarians are hosting storytimes on Facebook. New family storytimes premiere at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, baby storytimes at 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and are available on YouTube anytime.

Distance Assistance for Computers and Job Searching: Mondays, 2PM-4PM. Need help with email, word processing, internet navigation, writing résumés, or searching for jobs? A staff member is available to answer questions and provide computer assistance via phone or videoconference. Please call 612-208-7849  to get started.

Summer Learning: Your Library is here for summer learning, with great books, online events, and more ways to connect and have fun. Check out the Library website for reading lists, book clubs, and virtual summer learning programs for youth of all ages, including art, science, technology and more.

Online Resources: HCLhas a smorgasboard of online resources including: Newspapers, Practice Tests, Interactives for Kids, Journals, Encyclopedias, Directories, Local History Digital Archives, Free Downloadable Music, Streamable Movies, Government Documents, Biographies, Computer Tutorials, and last but not least, E-Books. Visit the website to browse all online resources: https://www.hclib.org/b rowse/online-resources

E-Books and Audiobooks:

Libby: The Libby app is available for iOS and Android devices and is a streamlined way to access downloadable ebooks and audiobooks from OverDrive. You can check out audiobooks right in the app. You can also read eBooks in the app or send them to your Kindle.

Cloud Library: Find downloadable eBooks for readers of all ages. A reader app is also available for Apple, Android and other devices.

Hennepin County Resource Helpline: 612-348-3000, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week

Help available in different languages. If you’re impacted by COVID-19, call for help with clothing, financial assistance, grocery and household supplies, medical care and equipment, or medication.

Lindsey Fenner is an East Phillips resident and usually works at Hosmer Library in South Minneapolis. After not working for the County for almost two months, she has recently been reassigned to Hennepin County Public Health as a Covid-19 Case Investigator.

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Where Are We Going?

METRO TRANSIT

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Even though our buses and trains are still running on a greatly reduced schedule, Metro Transit is hard at work behind the scenes building and planning for a COVID-19-free future.

That said, I wish to interrupt the good news to tell everyone that Cub Foods is running a FREE shuttle bus between its temporarily ruined Lake and Minnehaha location to their Quarry location at 1540 New Brighton Blvd. in Northeast Minneapolis. Buses leave the Lake Street Cub every hour between 10 AM and 5 PM and leave the Quarry store one half-hour later. Each bus will transport up to 20 people, allowing for social distancing and room for shopping bags. Other rules are similar to Metro Transit.

Now, for what is in store for us when this debacle is over:

  • The Green Line Extension (Southwest Light Rail) construction is continuing as normal. It is planned to be ready for use in 2023.
  • The Blue Line Extension (Bottineau Line Light Rail) is anticipated to be done by 2024; however, a snag in negotiations with BNSF Railway for use of their right of way may cause a delay.
  • The D Line bus rapid transit (BRT) (similar to Route 5 but faster) is expected to open in 2022.
  • The B and E (BRT) Lines (similar to Routes 21 and 6 but faster) are expected to be built in 2022 and 2023.
  • The Orange Line (BRT) to Burnsville on I-35W is still under construction and is expected to open near the end of 2021.
  • The Gold Line (BRT) from Saint Paul to Woodbury is expected to open in 2024.

All of this excitement gets to happen within the next presidential term, which means we all have something to look forward to no matter who wins in November’s popularity contest.

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Tips from a COVID-19 Case Investigator

By LINDSEY FENNER

For the past two months, I have been reassigned  as a COVID-19 Case Investigator. This means that everyday I have conversations with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Over the next few months, I will share tips and ideas from this experience. This month, I want to introduce everyone to what a Case Investigator does and what you should know if you get a call from one.

What happens when I test positive? 

After a positive test for COVID-19, you should be getting two phone calls: one phone call from the clinic where you got tested, and another phone call from a case investigator from the State of Minnesota Department of Health or a local public health agency. 

Why do we call?

We want to give you information about isolation and quarantine. I spend most of my time answering questions, talking through what isolation might look like, and making sure families have what they need to isolate and to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others. We also provide letters for work or school and can connect people with resources for essential needs while they are in isolation.

We also need to gather information to help understand this new virus and keep people safe. We only share private information with other people working in public health, like epidemiologists and other public health and infectious disease experts.We also want to make sure everyone you had contact with while potentially infectious has the information they need to quarantine. We usually ask you to communicate quarantine information with friends and family. We do follow-up with workplaces if someone worked while they were infectious, but only so the workplace knows what to do to keep everyone safe. We only share your name with your permission. 

What should I know about the questions you ask? 

There is a reason behind every question we ask. Some questions help us understand how the virus is spreading. For example, we only knew about clusters of cases at different Minneapolis bars because different people told us where and when they went out. Because of this information, we were able to inform the public that anyone who went to those bars should isolate and get tested. Other questions help us understand what occupations might be more hazardous or how different communities are being impacted by COVID-19.

How can I be prepared when someone calls me from the Public Health Department?

  • Think about your symptoms and see if you can remember the specific date for when you first started to feel sick. We use that symptom onset date to figure out how you got exposed to COVID-19 AND to know when you were likely infectious.
  • Think through all of the places and people with whom you would have had close contact two weeks before you started to feel sick AND ten days after you started to feel sick. 
  • Get permission from anyone you may have caught the virus from OR any close contacts while you were infectious to share their name with public health authorities. We usually only contact them if you are unable to, but it is important for us to get names so we can connect cases and understand how the virus is spreading.
  • Answer the phone! Our goal is to call everyone in the State of MN who has had a positive test result within 24 hours of that result being reported to the state. We really need to talk to you, so we will keep calling! But it will save us all time if you pick up the phone on the first call. There are many different public health agencies working on this, but people who call should clearly identify themselves as calling from the Minnesota Department of Health, or a local jurisdiction like Minneapolis or Hennepin County. We NEVER ask for social security numbers or bank account information.  If you have questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call the Minnesota Helpline: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit https://mn.gov/covid19/ add period here (?)
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Swim Safely at Home or Away

By H. Lynn Adelsman, Modified from MN Dept. Natural Resources advice

With few or no lifeguards at Minneapolis lakes and beaches this summer,  please be aware of these safe practices:

  • Always watch children around water, without being distracted. Phones can be distracting and contrary to child-monitoring.
  • Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult at all times.
  • Teach children how to swim. Consider their age, development, and how comfortable they are around water. (See below for swim lesson resources).
  • Empty buckets, containers, and kiddie pools immediately after use. Store them upside down so they don’t collect water.
  • Air-filled and foam toys are NOT safety devices.
  • Children should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in the water.
  • Be aware that fences are needed around home or apartment pools. A 4 foot tall, pool fence should surround all sides and have self-closing and self-latching gates to avoid children from entering unsafely without supervision.
  • Drowning most often occurs silently; not like in movies where the victim shouts and waves their arms. People often cannot recognize a drowning that makes little noise as a person can’t cry out for help. Ask the person if they are alright.  If they can answer they likely are OK. If not quick action is needed. 
  • Know what to do when rescue is needed including calling 911. Throw a floating object or extend a towel or paddle but release if the victim starts to pull you in and try something else.

Swimming During the COVID-19 Pandemic  not bolded in PDF file

  • Maintain your beach area with a towel, etc, at least 6 feet away from anyone not in your household. Then you can remove your mask. Wear a mask when you go for a walk or to a parking lot.
  • Practice social distancing in the water just as you would on land thus allowing any virus that might emanate from nearby swimmers, surfers, or paddlers to dilute, disperse, and die off.”

Swimming Lessons Now Available

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) offers lessons for all ages and abilities, with scholarships and donated swimwear is available to help make swimming more accessible and equitable.

For Minneapolis youth who qualify, a series of eight lessons with a scholarship is just $5, (versus the typical $50 cost); scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

These lessons are part of the Water and Ice Safety Education (WISE) program launched by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and take place throughout the summer at a variety of MPRB aquatics facilities.  WISE scholarships are also available for women’s-only swimming lessons and lifeguard training classes.

Classes are held throughout the summer at various MPRB lakes and pools and year-’round at the Phillips Aquatics Center 2323 11th Ave. So.

For more information on MPRB swim lessons and scholarships, email aquatics@minneapolisparks.org or call 612-230-6495.

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