Friday May 20th 2022

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May issue 22

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Edible Boulevards Community Resources for Spring


Do you live in Cedar Riverside, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West or East Phillips? If so, that means you live in the Southside Green Zone and you’re eligible to apply for participation in the Minneapolis Edible Boulevards initiative. We have funding to go towards teaching people how to transform the space between the sidewalk and curb into an edible boulevard, in addition to free soil testing, seeds, organic soil, compost, garden gloves, and a trowel if you need one. The application is posted on our Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Facebook page, which we invite you to join.

We’re excited to announce a few new community resources that we’ve just completed as a result of a grant we received through the Joint Green Zones Task Force. Janicea Coney, Julius Rennie and Michelle Shaw spent the last three months creating three community resources that can all be found on our Facebook page: the Green Zones Community Garden Map, the Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Map, and the Minneapolis Green Zones Plant-based Budding Directory.… Read the rest “Edible Boulevards Community Resources for Spring”

Library News May 22


All information listed here is accurate as of April 15, 2022. For the most recent information, check out the library website at


Monday 9 AM to 5 PM 12 PM to 8 PM

Tuesday 12 PM to 8 PM 12 PM to 8 PM

Wednesday 12 PM to 8 PM 12 PM to 8 PM

Thursday 12 PM to 8 PM 9 AM to 5 PM

Friday 9 AM to 5 PM 9 AM to 5 PM

Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM 9 AM to 5 PM

Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM 12 PM to 5 PM


Local historians and fans of neighborhood research will be happy to learn that the HCLib Special Collections department now houses minutes, correspondence, and other records created by People of Phillips, a neighborhood organization that dissolved in 1998. The collection includes documents from 1988 to 1994. You can view this material, as well as many other interesting items from the city’s history, at Minneapolis Central Library..


Coffee & Conversations has resumed! In May, Franklin Library will distribute free copies of Clyde Bellecourt’s book, Thunder Before the Storm.… Read the rest “Library News May 22”

Spring Nettle Recipe

By Paul Morley on Mobography


One of my favorite parts of spring is enjoying fresh, nutrient dense nettles. They seem intimidating and uninviting because when raw, they sting! It is wise to wear gloves when harvesting and destemming, but once exposed to heat through cooking the “stingers” melt away and you’re left with tasty, nutritive greens to enjoy. Nettles are rich in iron, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Nettles are commonly used for supporting lactation, kidney health, iron deficiency, allergies as well as joint pain. You or your neighbors may have a patch of nettles in your yard without even knowing it. They can also be found wild in nature throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding areas in the spring and summer. Most coops sell them in the spring as well. If you cannot find nettles or do not want to purchase them, spinach, collards or any dark leafy green are delicious substitutions for this recipe.

5 large eggs
½ cup of goats cheese
½ cup red bell pepper
2 cups of raw nettles, spinach or chard
¼ tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 yellow onion sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
Optional: freshly chopped spring chives or cilantro

-Preheat oven to 350º.… Read the rest “Spring Nettle Recipe”

Interview With Local Artist Orren Fen

by Mary Ellen Kaluza

Last month the alley debuted a new feature highlighting young artists in Phillips. Within moments of having the idea of a regular featured artist, I knew I had to talk with Orren Fen. I first met Orren a few years ago, in pre-COVID times. I was visiting their home and they showed me a project they were working on: a puppet stage made out of cardboard, maybe 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. I was blown away by the clever design, the creativity, the engineering — both structural and mechanical. Orren explained all the parts, moving and stationary, in great detail. Like I said, I was blown away! Lucky for us, Orren graciously agreed to be interviewed for the alley.

How old are you? What grade are you in?

Fourteen, and I’m a freshman in high school.

Describe your main art form.

I focus mostly on puppetry and performance art.

What inspired you to take up your art?

I grew up two blocks from In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, and participated in the May Day parades since I was two years old. It’s always been part of my life. I’ve also participated in BareBones Halloween Extravaganza since a young age.… Read the rest “Interview With Local Artist Orren Fen”

# 198 Jack Ferman

Tales from the Cemetery

by Susan Hunter Weir

November 20, 2021, was a bittersweet day in the history of Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. It was a sad day because it was the day that his wife and daughters buried Jack Ferman. It was a sweet day because he was buried where he wanted to be—in his family’s plot near the cemetery’s Lake Street gates. Jack’s was our first burial in 22 years and the first in the 21st century.

If you attended one of the movies that we’ve shown in the cemetery and bought some snacks, there’s a good chance that you bought them from Jack. He attended every Memorial Day program for at least the past 20 years and possibly before that. He was at all of our fundraising events, always present and always helping out. He was on the Board of Friends of the Cemetery. He wrote about his immigrant grandparents who are buried in the cemetery in an Alley story published in January 2016. He followed politics, both local and national, closely and was a frequent contributor to He loved to tell jokes, most of them awful.

Jack spent four years in the Navy. He had traced the story of his Norwegian seafaring family back to the 17th century.… Read the rest “# 198 Jack Ferman”

Phillips Community Listening Session Focused on Encampments


On March 30, a meeting entitled “A Listening Session About Encampments in Phillips and Minneapolis” organized by a Phillips Neighborhood group calling themselves Phillips Neighborhood Safety Coalition took place at the East Phillips Park Community and Cultural Center. Facilitator James Trice, a resident of Phillips for 25 years, welcomed all and went over the ground rules for a respectful meeting, which it was. 78 people signed in, however there were an estimated 100 in attendance. AIM Patrol members mingled with the crowd to let everyone know they were welcome and that their presence was important. Attendees were invited to add printed materials to an information table in which various perspectives were represented, from a harm reduction model for safe injection sites to a draft on policy and procedure for encampments.

Five community members gave testimony on their experiences with encampments. Mike Forcia, a leader in the AIM Patrol, spoke on healing the Native community and the Dakota land we are on, and on the need for jobs, culturally specific programs for youth, as well as culturally specific treatment centers for addiction, mental health, and historical trauma. He said that we can build a hundred little houses, but his people won’t leave the camps unless their opioid addictions are addressed.… Read the rest “Phillips Community Listening Session Focused on Encampments”

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

By Project Advisory Team members scottie hall and Tim Springer

Voters selected Heather Doyle’s proposed “New Dawn” sculpture, a 17-foot-tall stylized spray of flowers, as their favorite design for a proposed light-emitting sculpture for the Midtown Greenway’s 18th Avenue entrance ramp. This is the result of a Call for Artists that resulted in proposals from around the United States. Finalists were selected by an advisory team, and then voted on by the public. Voting outcomes from three voter groups were weighed equally: (1) residents on the block where the sculpture will go; (2) greater Phillips residents; (3) Twin Cities residents who use the Greenway.

Doyle is a founder of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center here in South Minneapolis. She designed New Dawn to recognize and celebrate our community’s resilience in dealing with so much trauma in recent years. Doyle commented “I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you all on this project. This community’s story is incredible and I am honored to have been chosen to realize your vision for this space.” Doyle will engage local residents to influence selected elements of the design.

The sculpture will be located in what was an epicenter of drug dealing in 2020.… Read the rest ““New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest”

A Penguin Walks Through the Door …

Peace House Community journal

by Marti Maltby

A few years ago I came across a list of questions employers could ask potential employees to test their creativity and their ability to adjust quickly to unexpected circumstances. My favorite question was “A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What’s the first thing it says?” I actually used this during a few interviews, and I got to see a wonderful array of responses.

One man broke into laughter at the ridiculous nature of the question. That turned out to be a benefit to him, as he had been nervous up to that point in the interview. The question helped him relax, and he showed a friendly demeanor from that point on.

Another applicant responded immediately, “I don’t know. I don’t speak penguin”, and then waited for the next question. I learned that he wasn’t easily thrown off by unexpected developments and could think quickly when needed.

Someone else told me the penguin would say “I’ve got the chips. Who’s got the salsa and guacamole?” Another job applicant answered, “I think I’m lost. Which was is Tijuana?” In each case, I learned something about the applicant that I could never get by asking about their job history, or how they would handle a conflict with a co-worker.… Read the rest “A Penguin Walks Through the Door …”

Procrastination Saves Lives!

overgrown bench/ ben heath


Early in my gardening career (some 4+ decades ago) I cleaned up the garden each fall, pulling everything out, cutting down plants and stems so that everything was ready to go in the spring. That didn’t last many years. By first frost I was soon ready to be done with gardening and looked forward to just shoveling snow for a few months. Clean out was left till spring. I soon noticed birds feeding on the dried seed heads left standing during the winter. So, I now had an excellent reason to not clean away the dead plants: feeding the birds. Also, in spring I found last year’s vegetable plants munched down to nubs with abundant rabbit turds left behind, presumably in thanks for getting the bunnies through the winter.

Rabbit poop is an excellent fertilizer with four times more nutrients than cow or horse manure, and is twice as nutritious as chicken manure. It is not a “hot” manure like horse, cow, or chicken poop – it doesn’t have to be composted first. And the rabbits handle application for free. All I have to do is put off cleaning the garden!

Recently I’ve learned that delaying garden clean up longer into the spring pays off, too.… Read the rest “Procrastination Saves Lives!”

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood in movie art for the film ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’, 1976. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)




The Outlaw Josey Wales is a superb western by Clint Eastwood with a great cast. Josey (Clint Eastwood) is a farmer in Missouri during the Civil War when Union soldiers, led by Terrill (Bill McKinney), murder his wife and child. Josey joins the Confederate Army in revenge for the murder of his family. After the war he refuses to surrender. And when most of his fellow soldiers give up their guns, they are massacred by the Union soldiers. He’s able to escape from the Union soldiers (led by Terrill) and the bounty hunters on his trail. Fellow Confederate soldier, Fletcher (John Vernon), does his best to convince some lawmen that Josey has been killed in a shootout. Though, the gung-ho bounty hunters are not so easily convinced.

Josey flees to Texas and along the way he picks up a wounded rebel soldier, Jamie (Sam Bottoms) and two adult Native Americans – Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) and Little Moonlight (Geraldine Keams). Soon an old woman named Grandma Sarah (Paula Trueman) and her granddaughter Laura Lee (Sondra Locke) join up.… Read the rest “The Outlaw Josey Wales”

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