NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday September 20th 2018

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Ideas and responses to The Alley transition

1. Sunday, July 22, 11-5pm, Open Streets

Come and talk to Alley volunteers as part of the Midtown Phillips Festival, 15th Ave. and E. Lake St. and/or at Friends of the Cemetery at the Lake Street Gate to Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery between Cedar Av. And 21st Av; both as part of Open Street Lake Street.

2. Thoughts about the transition from Alley reader and Phillips resident, Kelly Trius:

“I’ve been an Alley reader and a resident for over a decade here and when I saw the last issue of The Alley, with its call for residential input, I started thinking.”

“I love the Alley, the fact that there is a neighborhood newspaper, that there are people distributing it. I would love it in any neighborhood, but I especially love it here. East Phillips is in so many ways a microcosm of the world. In these few square blocks people have gathered who know the meaning of the word ‘Resilience’. Every day here, we are literally healing the pain and repercussions of slavery and Jim Crow, genocide and boarding schools, colonialism and refugee camps by getting to know one another, supporting one another, valuing each other, empowering each other. Each day we face the biggest, scariest, most traumatizing forces of history—and each day most of us come out alive on the other side.”

“There are stories and images, imaginings and histories in this neighborhood that could make the meanest person laugh and cry. On the eve of climate change, Minneapolis and the world are looking for someone to teach them about ‘Resilience.’”

“I think that there is no better place than right here in East Phillips.”

“I think that it is time for the Alley to reach out to a larger audience, with a larger message. Not pity stories, not scary stories, but stories that show our strength in overcoming each day, our ingenuity for staying alive, our ability to care for and about each other. On our good days, East Phillips residents and community workers are keeping each other off drugs, helping each other out of domestic abuse, keeping each other off the streets, holding each other’s babies, planting gardens that we all may eat and see beauty. As for our bad days—well, maybe there won’t be so many when the little things that we do each day are lauded as the great things that they are. Poverty and oppression are good teachers, if you can keep from being traumatized.”

“When I meet my neighbors across The Alley, these are the stories we tell each other—clothes for the free market, food down the street, microloans, chasing off drug-dealers with children bearing Popsicles, befriending the teen who ‘kidnapped’ your daughter because she was ANGRY with her world and its history, ending a knife fight with a few looks across the playground, creating transitional space for refugee women escaping domestic violence, art on the sidewalks, gardens, affordable swim lessons, the power of drums…”

“You and I both know that this list goes on forever. I think we need to tell our stories of ‘Resilience.’ And I think that The Alley should help us tell them—through interviews, ghost-writing, art, poetry, youth contests, thematic discussion pages—media that touches emotions and a deeper purpose.”

“Not to mention the practical side of having a larger audience and a larger cause for a paper that needs a financial boost.”

“I’d love to help save The Alley; sorry I had to miss the meeting last Wednesday. Thank you for all that you do!!!”

3. What are your opinions? Ideas? Email Cathy: cstrobel11@gmail.com

4. Make a donation of $5 or more!  Alley Communications, PO Box 7006, Mpls MN 55407. Thank you to those who have!

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Movie Corner “I like you just the way you are.” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”… Fred Rogers, 1928-2003

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is one the kindest titles given to any film. It is a benevolent, heartfelt, energetic portrayal of Fred Rogers, a man of exemplary status who revolutionized children’s programs on television. Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, took a route, not to a church pulpit, but to PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) with a new method of programming for children.

He brought children into his studio from different races and backgrounds engaging them by speaking in ways up to the time, circa 1968, unheard of on children’s programs which usually concentrated on using cartoons and superheroes.

Soon, young and not so young were glued to TVs “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood”, starting on February 19, 1968; eventually lasting 31 seasons and 912 episodes. He did not shy away from certain topics, such as producing a primetime special that spoke directly to children about Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination.

It was a bold move by Rogers for that day when most programmers would have shied away from telling children about an assassination or any other such devastating event.

The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” at the 37th Mpls.-St. Paul International Film Festival began locally at the Uptown Theater on June 15, 2018.

Cast: Joe Negri (Himself), Francois Clemmons (Himself), Kailyn Davis (Herself), David Newell (Himself), Yo-You Ma (Himself).

Director: Morgan Neville (“20 Feet from Stardom”) presents a real treat to a man who loved all, especially children. (PG-13) Running time: 94 minutes.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

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How green is your clean?

By EMILY WORMAN

This summer, the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is partnering with Hope Community and the Lake Street Council on a project focused on improving air quality in Phillips. This project aims to reduce the environmental and public health risks associated with certain cleaners, by assessing the janitorial products used in housing complexes and local businesses and working to help them switch to cleaner products. MnTAP offers a variety of free services to interested businesses, including assessment of the safety of current cleaning products, education on safer products and recommendations for alternative products, and samples of new products. We are dedicated to making this project a success by working with you to find alternatives that are comparable in cost and effectiveness.

There are many benefits to switching to safer cleaning products:

  • Improve air quality for customers and residents by limiting harsh chemicals and air pollutants.
  • Protect employees from health risks such as respiratory system issues and aggravated asthma- that can come from exposure to unsafe chemicals.
  • Limit loss of labor and reduce insurance and worker compensation costs through creating a safer work environment.
  • Lower cleaning costs by replacing aerosols with reusable containers and reducing the cost of hazardous waste disposal.
  • Use as a marketing tool, by showing your commitment to sustainability and earning green building credits.

This is a great way to continue to improve your community, while helping address the important issues of pollution and community health. A small change can make a big difference. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with MnTAP, to schedule a free consultation and sample new cleaning products, please reach out to Emily Worman at worma007@umn.edu, 952-567-0445 or 612-435-1682.

Emily Worman is a MnTAP Intern at Hope Community

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What’s Up at the Franklin Community Library – July 2018

By Erin Thomasson

ALL AGES

Franklin on the Green
Tuesdays, 2-4 pm
Badminton, soccer, Frisbee, & games outside; weather permitting.

Science Wednesdays
2-4 pm
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) activity each week!

Puzzlemania!
Thursdays, 2-4 pm
Educational, fun puzzles & games!

Game On!
Thursdays, 5-7 pm
Card games, board games, xBox, & VR – play or learn a new one.

Family Storytime
Fridays, 10:30-11 am
All ages & caregivers. Talk, sing, read, write & play sharing books, stories, rhymes, music & movement.

Energy Release Games
Saturday, July 14, 2-3 pm
Registration required. Try 10-15 different games that will make you move! Sponsors: Friends of the Hennepin County Library, MELSA. Collaborator: Pros of the Rope.

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Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table

Thursday, July 19, 6 – 8:30pm
Also Ingebretsen’s at Norway House (913 E. Franklin Avenue)

A celebration of wild mushroom foraging…beyond morels + a photo exhibit of wild mushroom still lifes by Michael Karns, Lisa Golden Schroeder, and Dennis Becker. Free event.

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Phillips West – July 2018

Phillips West Neighborhood Events: www.phillipswest.info

By CRYSTAL WINDSCHITL

July 5th Thurs. 6-7:30pm
Phillips West Monthly Community Meeting

(Note: No July meeting due to proximity to 4th of July holiday)

August 7th Tuesday 5-8 pm
Phillips West Neighborhood 22nd Annual National Night Out Celebration!

Please join hundreds of Community Partners & Residents for one of the biggest National Night Out Celebrations in Minneapolis! EVENT IS OPEN TO ALL AGES WITH PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES FOR EVERYONE!!!!! Event will be held along 27th Street between Columbus and Portland Avenues! A variety of FREE picnic food including snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, watermelon, cookies & ice cream! There will also be a variety of entertainment including a Mariachi band, dancing contest, open mic rap contest with opportunity to win grand prizes, salsa dancers, 3 clowns, 2 bounce houses, a puppet show, face painters, fish pond, children’s games, McGruff the Crime Dog, twinkle the Mascot, Mickey Mouse, and a giant inflated slide! Information on dozens of community resources will be available! If you would like an information table or would like to get involved contact Crystal at 612-879-5383 or email pwno2005@yahoo.com

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Two in One Celebration! Peavey Park Phase 1 Grand Opening & Phase 2 Ground Breaking! July 9, 11 am (Franklin & Park Ave)

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Letter to the Editor Separating children from parents? “This is exactly who we are!”

BY DONNA NESTE

I have been glued to MSNBC, writing letters, and emails to the Justice Dept., Homeland Security, the White House, and calling lawmakers in Washington; since the horrendous, immoral and, frankly, evil Trump policy was put in place; of separating children from their parents at the southern border. While watching this unbelievable darkness descend upon our nation (again) and unfold on cable television, I heard the talking heads say time and time again, “This is not who we are.” Really? This is exactly who we are.
We have a history of separating children from their parents. We did it during our nation’s “original sin,” slavery. We separated Native American children from their parents and put them in boarding schools. Stealing their land was not enough, we also had to steal their children. We imprisoned Japanese American families during World War II and we turned away a cruise ship, the St. Louis, with hundreds of Jewish people from our shores in 1939 fleeing Nazi Germany, all forced to return and most died in Nazi death camps. Hopefully we can take action to break this cycle of national child abuse.

Today, I sent a post card to Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, because the only way to contact her that I could find is by snail mail and I wrote: “Do you hear the babies crying in the middle of the night?” Her address is Homeland Security, Washington D.C. 20528. Perhaps she should receive a shower of such post cards.

– Donna Neste, Citizen of Phillips, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the USA and Humanity

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Metro Transit – The squeaky wheel gets the grease

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Another slow month in the transit world… However, there was one interesting piece of news for Route 2 riders. I went to an “open house” in June regarding proposed improvements to Franklin Avenue bus service, including cutting back on the number of stops to make the bus go faster, installing new (presumably better) bus shelters, and adding signal priority, which is a system that allows buses to request a green light sooner than would normally be the case. Unlike signal preemption, which is used by emergency vehicles to demand a green light immediately, signal priority requires a computer to make a judgment call as to whether granting an early green to the bus is better or worse for the overall movement of people through an intersection.

The most controversial part of this proposal from the bus rider perspective is probably the stop spacing. Metro Transit is proposing to have a stop once every four blocks on average instead of every two blocks. That will indeed improve the speed of the bus, but will also mean a longer walk to or from the stop, especially if your origin or destination isn’t a major intersection or transfer point. Some people, however, have trouble walking long distances and would prefer a slower ride with less walking at either their origin or destination. This is one of those trade-offs that the public should make their voices heard on, no matter which side they support. (Personally, I support less stops and more speed, despite currently having mobility issues.) This is one of the reasons I attend Metro Transit open houses and public hearings on proposed changes, and write about them in this column. Not everybody has the time or ability to follow this stuff, but now that you’ve read about it, you can contact Metro with your opinion if you have one.*

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Restoration by movie and tour funds – Markers keep memories aboveground

TODD MAHON, MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
By SUE HUNTER WEIR
158th in a Series

Have you ever wondered what happens to the money that we raise by showing movies and giving tours in the Cemetery? Now that the money needed to restore the fence is secured, we’ve moved on to see what can be done to preserve the markers.

From June 13 until June 20, 2018, members of the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps have been in the Cemetery cleaning, straightening, unearthing, and resetting markers. At the end of only three and a-half days they had already completed work on 80 markers and they still had two and-a-half days to go. And they did much of their work in 90-plus degree temperatures.

The staff is five members of an AmeriCorps crew who have received training in restoring historic properties. Their work is funded through the State’s Legacy program, and Friends of the Cemetery is picking up the cost of the materials and cleaning supplies.

How important are these markers? Cemetery markers serve as gateways to stories about people’s lives. The section of the Cemetery where the crew started working is Section j-1, the stretch that runs from approximately 20th Avenue to Cedar along Lake Street. There are 814 people buried in that section but probably no more than 80-100 of them have markers. The majority of burials in j-1 date from between 1900 and 1910.

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