NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 24th 2017

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THE HOTEL ST. PAUL’S

BY PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL

It’s not hard to find a spot

to build your nest on the old

church roof.  After all, the

psalm says “even the sparrow finds  a home, and the swallow a nest
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts
”.

The problem is finding a spot

where the red-tailed hawk,

who claims heaven and earth

as his supermarket, cannot

ravage with his fearsome talons.

Perhaps this is why, a century

ago, the Swedes decided to

add these parapets, niches,

cornices and mini-gables high

above the rose window: not

to make it impossible to paint

without a helicopter and a Tom

Cruise stuntman hanging from

a cable, but to build a haven as

close to heaven as wooden

ladders and scaffolds allow;

for they knew—for winged

as well as biped beasts—that

blessings are passed from

generation to generation and

that a good home to raise your

little ones is a legacy that will

not be forgotten, a kindness

that will spread over the wide earth.

Patrick Cabello Hansel is Co-Pastor of St. Paul’s Luth. Church at 28th St. and 15th Av. also the location of the “old church roof.

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Confederate General Robert E. Lee advised no Statuary for fear of war’s sores kept open

According to historian Jonathan Horn, Lee was often consulted in his lifetime about proposals to erect monuments to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson and others.

In a 1866 letter to fellow Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser, Lee wrote,

“As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt … would have the effect of … continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour.”

Three years later, Lee was invited to a meeting of Union and Confederate officers to mark the placing of a memorial honoring those who took part in the battle of Gettysburg.

“I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered,” he wrote in a letter declining the invitation.

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Frank Reflections: The Korean Dilemma

Self-defense is a “slippery slope”

BY FRANK ERICKSON

The “scholars” are debating if the United States of America can “legally” attack North Korea and claim it is an act of self-defense.  Why is it those same “scholars” never talk about people’s right to attack the USA in self-defense?

How can you continue to kill people claiming self-defense, when your very existence comes from murdering those who had the right of self-defense against you?

How can the U.S. government claim the right to kill in self-defense when Native Americans and their right to self-defense should have taken down the U.S. government a long time ago?

All of this “warring” has nothing to do with self-defense.  Why can’t Cuba “war” upon North Korea in self-defense?

Self-defense is a “slippery slope,” especially when those with the biggest bombs keep claiming to have the right to use it.  How many use violence in self-defense if they don’t see a chance at winning the fight?

What does the future hold?  Nothing but “winners of wars” claiming self-defense.”

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The Aerobics Beyond the “Y”

By Peter Molenaar

Visits to the Lake Street YWCA have become familiar to me, in the aftermath of thirty-five years hard labor at Smith Foundry.  However, when worn ankles dictate, treadmills and elipticals won’t do.  It is from the vantage of a stationary bike that I am allowed to discreetly observe.

As for aerobics, evidently there are many women who have surpassed what I once was.  One wonders why a world-wide movement of women has not been mobilized to fight ISIS.  Sending our young men to war tends to make matters worse.

Recently, en route to burning 100 calories at 95rpm, the caption line on the big screen flashed BREAKING NEWS:  NORTH KOREA THREATENS GUAM WITH MISSILE ATTACK. Amazingly, the elipticals and treadmills kept churning.

I happen to garden with the Koreans who founded the Community Peace Garden, at the junction of Highway 94 and Cedar Avenue.  From them I received a copy of the spring issue of the Korean Quarterly with the front page caption:  WAR PROVOCATION.  The sum of Christine Hong’s “The Long, Dirty History” was most impressive.

“…Unsurprisingly, few media outlets have reported on North Korea’s overtures to the U.S., even as these, if pursued, might result in meaningful de-escalation on both sides.  To be clear:  peaceful alternatives are at hand.  Far from being an intractable foe, North Korea has repeatedly asked the U.S. to sign a peace treaty that would bring the unresolved Korean War to a long-overdue end…”

Clearly, it is “we” who threaten “them” not “they who threaten “us.”  JUST SAY NO TO NUCLEAR WAR.  Please.  Yet, even I will return to the marvelous machines of the YWCA, as I intend to breathe for another thirty years.

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Franklin Av’s Open Street 2017

Courtesy of Residents, Businesses, Institutions, Franklin Avenue Business Association, & OpenStreetsMpls.

Franklin Av & 14th, looking east, Av near Pow-Wow Grounds Coffee Shop, All My Relations Gallery, Many Rivers Apts. East, and Ancient Trader’s Market, et al; portion of Native American Cultural Corridor during Open Streets Mpls 2017. Erik Renk-Grant

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What’s going on in there? Phillips Aquatic Center Update

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A new south addition to the original 1972 Phillips Pool and Gym building has taken shape and construction is over the halfway point. Throughout the building, the mechanicals, electric and plumbing have all been roughed in so that the walls, floors and ceiling can progress. The new structure will house the new zero-entry, 25-yard, shallow, warm-water teaching pool.  The new pool concrete is being poured into the forms in this photo.

BY DENNY BENNETT

You know something is happening, you see the mounds of dirt, the heavy equipment, and the hard hats, but how is it coming along? Is it really going to be a new Aquatics Center?

I’m happy to report, that not only is construction progressing, but it is right on schedule! You can count on being in the water with your Valentine this next winter.

If you drive by the site, you can see that the structure holding the new teaching pool is up and work has begun on the parking lot. What you can’t see is the exciting progress inside the building. We are over the halfway point, and, with each passing week, it will look more and more like they are ready to open!

Throughout the building, the mechanicals, electric and plumbing have all been roughed in so that the walls, floors and ceiling can progress. In the existing pool area, the spectator seating is taking shape, and you can almost hear the cheering for the South, Roosevelt and Washburn high school varsity swim team (TMT — Tigers, Millers & Teddies) as this diverse group of kids competes in swimming and diving meets. These meets will bring in families from a variety of suburbs giving a boost to the local economy as the team encourages them to arrive early, and plan to eat and shop in the area before each meet.

The new structure, which will house the new zero-entry, 25-yard, shallow, warm-water teaching pool, has also seen some real progress! The new pool is in, and the concrete has been poured. The attached photo shows the concrete being poured into the forms.

In addition to all of the construction work, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation (MPRB) Assistant Superintendent Tyrize Cox has been working hard on scheduling and programming for the facility, once it opens in 2018. While an exact figure for pool entry, membership or swim lessons has not yet been approved by the board of directors, Tyrize assured me that any fees will be very modest, and that scholarships for folks demonstrating a financial hardship will definitely be available.

Finally, Minneapolis Swims continues to raise money, and is currently seeking funds for two different programs. The first is the “Sha-Kym Adams Learn to Swim Fund,” named in honor of a South High School sophomore who drowned in Lake Nokomis three years ago. This program will provide “gap” scholarships for kids seeking swimming instruction, helping to cover anything that the MPRB does not. Just this month, we received a generous and much-needed $10,000 grant from the Bentsen Foundation!

The other Phillips Aquatics Center need is for the equipment necessary for competitive swimming: starting blocks, touchpads, scoreboard, etc. The MPRB is estimating the cost of these accoutrements to be close to $100,000. The TMT high school team is counting on using this as a home pool. These items need to be collected, donated, purchased or otherwise procured.

To make a donation to either of these worthwhile funds, email director@mplsswims.org.

Denny Bennett is a senior mortgage banker with US Bank, and serves as president of the board of directors and executive director for Minneapolis Swims, a 501(c)3 not-for profit corporation whose mission is to provide Equity, Access and the Opportunities that swimming can provide to all in Minneapolis. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children.

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August 2017 Alley Newspaper

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To Barricade or Not to Barricade, That is the Question!

A street blocked? Why would anyone want that? 16th Ave. Block Club complaints and kids asking for safety years ago resulted in a Barricade blocking vehicular traffic on E. 25th St, between Bloomington Ave. and 16th Ave. S. just South of the S.A. Gas Station and Convenience store. Now its appearance and need are being discussed.

by Brad Pass

A BARRICADE MEETING:

On Tuesday evening, July 18th, 2017 the neighborhood gathered at Open Arms to discuss the Barricades which have blocked vehicular traffic on E 25th St. between Bloomington Ave. and 16th Ave. S. for many years. The issue, as pointed out by Third Precinct Lt. Catherine Johnson, is that in the last two years crime statistics in the area have risen precipitously. Everyone at the meeting agreed that the police statistics more of less accurately reflect what is happening on the ground. There was disagreement as to the cause of, and the solution to, the problem.

The CAUSE?

Some thought that the Barricades had become institutionalized and were seen as a place free of traffic and interference that could be used by prostitutes, users, dealers, and the homeless to conduct their business.

Some wondered if the elimination or lack of enforcement of “Livability Crimes” such as the “No Loitering” law and others is related to the increase of crime and asked to see the relationship of the increase of police crime statistics to the date of elimination.

Some wondered if the difficulty of enforcing the “No Trespassing” ordinance was related to the increase. (In addition to having the authorized sign posted, the property owner must file a “Trespassing Authorization” form with the local police precinct. When a Trespassing incident occurs, the owner must confront the trespassers and get each to Print their name and sign the “Trespass Notice Form” which says, “YOU ARE HEREBY REQUESTED TO DEPART FROM THIS LAND AND NOT TO RETURN FOR ONE YEAR”. The owner must include his/her name on the form, give a copy to the trespassers and save the original. All this while not knowing if the trespasser is dangerous and has a weapon or not, thus forcing police work on property owners.

Some saw the barricades as an essential safety feature of the neighborhood unrelated to the increase in crime.

Native Americans at the meeting perceived the barricades as an implicit statement cordoning off and thereby devaluing their community with respect to the rest of the neighborhood.

The SOLUTION?

Some wanted the Barricades removed permanently.

Some wanted them to remain indefinitely but to be improved in appearance.

Some wanted them removed on a trial basis.

Some wanted them removed with another traffic calming amenity such as a Traffic Circle installed at 17th Ave. S and E 25th St. similar to ones at 32, 34, & 36 Streets and 17th Ave. S. or a street wide Wrought Iron Gate.

In the end, it was decided to meet again August 8, 2017 at 6:30 PM. To further discuss the issue. Watch for notification of meeting location or contact Alondra Cano.

The HISTORY

Many years ago, in response to complaints from the 16th Ave. Block Club, a Barricade was erected blocking vehicular traffic on E. 25th St, between Bloomington Ave. and 16th Ave. S. just South of the S.A. Gas Station and Convenience store.

Why would anyone want that, you might ask?  Before the barricade was erected, E. 25th St. was an East to West conduit for everything illegal between Bloomington Ave. on the West and Cedar Field Park on the East. At one time in the past this stretch of road was called the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the area was referred to as Baby Beirut. Then several young kids came to an EPIC meeting and told how they had to dive into the S.A. dumpster to avoid being hit by a hail of gunfire. One was hit in the leg. They asked us to do something to make it safe. How could we say No? The residents formed the Bloomington Ave. Citizen’s Patrol.

The Citizen’s Patrol had its base at their card table at the intersection of E 25th and Bloomington Ave. and patrolled East and Midtown Phillips every morning with coffee on the corner and walking, biking and driving patrols for 2 ½ years, never missing a morning. This effort led to Security Cameras on Bloomington, getting to know and offer help to the prostitutes, users and even some dealers as well as proving to the police that there were actually decent, concerned people in the ‘hood, and eventually, it led to the Barricade. It all made an incredible difference.

Many times, over the years, EPIC and the neighbors tried to get more permanent, better looking barricades only to be told that they needed to be able to be fully and easily removed for various reasons. As time passed and especially in the last two years, Police records and citizens observations show a radical increase in illegal activity in the neighborhood and the Barricades seem to have become a gathering place for the homeless and those using and dealing drugs.

Join us on August 8th, 2017 at 6:30 PM and give the residents your ideas. The Location of the meeting is not yet confirmed.

Partial list of Meeting Attendees: Karen Clark, Lt. Catherine Johnson Alondra Cano, Carol Pass, Brad Pass, Mark Welna, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Cassie Holmes, Joanie Essenburg, Tim Essenburg, Apologies to the many attendees not included.

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Consumed by News?

By Harvey Winje

Are we too consumed by NEWS?

Publisher Peter W. Marty challenges himself and readers with this question when also quoting “Alain de Botton, a British-based philosopher and author of The News: A User’s Manual, who believes that in contemporary culture news has largely replaced religion as ‘our central source of guidance and our touchstone of authority.’  The news—not scripture, tradition, or inspired ritual—informs how we handle suffering and make moral choices.  A desire to know what’s going on all hours of the day and night actually makes us more shallow than we may want to admit.”  [See, complete article by Peter Marty in Christian Century, November 23, 2016 and hopefully reprinted in the September Alley Newspaper]

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Sears/Roof Depot Warehouse Site Up-Date The East Phillips Community Making Waves for Water Works

The curved east wall of the building built as the Sear Warehouse adjacent to railroad track for efficient unloading from railroad cars in the path now the Midtown Greenway with the Martin Sabo Bridge rise of the Greenway over Hiawatha Avenue/Highway #55.

BY CAROL PASS, GAC member and EPIC Board President

Ready or not: Here comes the City Water Yard, its numerous huge diesel trucks, its 100+ employees’ additional cars to one of the most polluted and dangerously traffic-congested areas of the City.

The Promise:

The City’s Core Principles of Community Engagement PROMISE ourRight to be involved”, namely that “… those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.” (Adopted by the Mpls. City Council, Dec. 2007)

The Reality:

Despite the promise, the City of Minneapolis, unbeknown to the “affected” East Phillips community, had been working on acquiring the Roof Depot site for the purpose of transferring the water yard there for at least ten years without informing us. This only came to light after the East Phillips Community began a major campaign to de-industrialize the very heavy industry area around Cedar Ave. and 28th St. City officials may have realized the outrage it would create in the middle of our campaign to de-industrialize were they to just begin this process without giving the community even an ounce of information before beginning. It was obvious that we would encounter this plan with its secrecy for moving this heavily polluted area in the opposite direction the neighborhood was moving. So the purpose of their acquisition, we came to know, is to provide a new site for the City’s Water Yard, in the Face of EPIC’s efforts to de-industrialize and reduce pollution in this dangerously polluted area and in opposition to our effort to do more to protect Phillips’ children from an increase in the dangerous forms of pollution they already face.

The City of Minneapolis immediately encountered protest and good alternative plans were offered to move the neighborhood in the direction we had hoped. Hopeful to avoid further protest and without consulting us, the City used the threat of taking the site by “Eminent Domain” to compel the Roof Depot owners to sell to them. The purchase has been made, placing the city in the drivers seat  and we are now trying to determine our response.

Most of you are aware that East Phillips had created a viable and strong plan to build the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm on this site to provide good jobs and a pollution free business producing good food for the neighborhood. Whether this happens is now in our hands and in the hands of the city. This is where this great project now sits.

So, What’s New? Read the rest of this entry »

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