NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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December Random alley News

December Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER Photo courtesy of the American Swedish Institute. Tree delivery by horse-drawn cart next to Swan J. Turnblad residence, 26th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Completed in 1908, the Swan J. Turnblad mansion was built in the French Chateauesque style. The house became the American Swedish Institute in 1929. Midtown Greenway Coalition Calls for Re-Do of Re-Paving Greenway: A section of the Midtown Greenway commuter bike trail was repaved by Minneapolis Public Works in October, but bikers are already calling for a re-do. According to the Midtown Greenway Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates for the Greenway and Greenway users, the repaving has left the trail surface worse than it was before and created a safety hazard for users. Public Works has admitted they used a different resurfacing process, called “micropaving,” which cost a third of the 1.6 million budgeted for the project. The 5.5 mile bike and pedestrian route runs along the former Milwaukee Railroad line from the Uptown Chain of Lakes to the Mississippi River. Southside Green Zone Council Seeking Members: The citizen advisory committee advises the Mayor and City Council on the implementation and evaluation of the Southside Green Zone Work Plan. The Southside Green Zone boundaries include all of Phillips and parts of Seward and Cedar-Riverside. There are ten open seats. 4 open seats for voting members who live inside the Southside Green Zone.4 youth ambassadors who will be voting members that live inside the Southside Green Zone.2 “at large” non-voting members. For more information about the responsibilities of a committee member, contact Kelly Muellman: kelly.muellman@minneapolismn.gov Phone: (612) 673-3014 Turnblad Mansion Being Restored: The American Swedish Institute is beginning a $20 million project to restore and renovate the Turnblad Mansion at 2600 Park Avenue. The 33-room “castle,” which now serves as a museum and cultural center, was built in [...]

November Random alley News

November Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER Nonfatal Opioid Overdoses Saw a Sharp Increase in 2020: A new report out from the Minnesota Department of Health looks at nonfatal overdose trends in Minnesota from 2016 to 2020.  From 2019 to 2020 alone, the number of nonfatal overdoses involving opioids increased 43%, with the increase most pronounced in the 7-county metro region. American Indian Minnesotans were nine times more likely and African American Minnesotans were three times more likely than white Minnesotans to experience a nonfatal overdose. Younger people are also more likely to experience a nonfatal overdose, with Minnesotans aged 15-34 experiencing the largest number of nonfatal overdoses, accounting for 55% of all nonfatal overdose Emergency Department visits. See the October 2021 alley for the steps to reverse an opioid overdose.  Your Feedback Wanted on City Redistricting: Every ten years, after the federal Census, political boundaries like City Council Ward and Congressional District get redrawn based on changes in population, so that each district has equal representation. The City of Minneapolis has begun the process of setting new boundaries for City Council Wards and Park Districts. This process is led by the City Charter Commission and Redistricting Advisory Group. You can get involved by attending public meetings, speaking at public hearings and listening sessions, submitting your own redistricting map through an app called Districtr, and sending in written feedback.  To learn more about the redistricting process visit: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/programs-initiatives/redistricting/ Former Gas Station at 25th and Bloomington Being Sold: The shuttered Speedway at 2445 Bloomington Avenue was put up for closed bid auction in mid-October, along with 166 retail sites in 22 states owned by Speedway LLC as part of an antitrust divestment agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. 7-Eleven Inc acquired Marathon Petroleum Company [...]

Random Alley News

Random Alley News

By Lindsey Fenner East Phillips Neighborhood Group Partnering with Southside Harm Reduction Services for Syringe, Litter Pickup: The East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) approved $15,000 for Southside Harm Reduction Services”™ (SHRS) “Community Syringe and Trash Clean Up in East Phillips Project.” The funding will pay community members that SHRS serves in gift cards to help clean up the neighborhood of syringes and other litter. Based in South Minneapolis, SHRS “works within a harm reduction framework to promote the human rights to health, safety, autonomy, and agency among people who use substances.”  Public Housing Class Action Lawsuit Filed against City, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority: The complaint against the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)  was filed in  MN District Court in September, on behalf of public housing tenant Kimberly Lowry and other Minneapolis public housing tenants. The civil rights lawsuit alleges “longstanding and egregious discriminatory practices that have forced public housing tenants in Minneapolis to live in substandard and dangerous conditions.” The current Executive Director of the MPHA is Abdi Warsame, former Ward 6 City Council Member. New Program Providing Foreclosure Prevention Advising and Financial Assistance to Homeowners: Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis have partnered with Minnesota Homeownership Center to create and administer the Hennepin Homeownership Preservation Program (HHPP). HHPP is promoting foreclosure prevention advising to Hennepin County homeowners, and limited financial assistance may be available under certain circumstances. The maximum amount available to any household through HHPP is $35,000. To determine eligibility for HHPP, applicants should complete the eligibility form at HennepinHPP.com. For assistance, applicants may call 651-236-8952.  Grants to Plant Your Own [...]

September Random alley News

September Random alley News

By Lindsey Fenner and Laura Hulscher All the Ward 6 and Ward 9 City Council Candidates on the Ballot in November: Candidates for City of Minneapolis elections had an August 10 deadline to file to be on the November ballot. Candidates for Ward 6 City Council (which includes Ventura Village and Phillips West in the Phillips neighborhood: Jamal Osman (incumbent) and A. Bihi. Candidates for Ward 9 City Council (which includes East Phillips and Midtown Phillips in the Phillips Neighborhood): Mickey Moore, Yussuf Haji, Brenda Short, Ross Tenneson, Carmen Means, Jason Chavez, Alfred "AJ" Flowers Jr., and Jon Randall Denison. Look for a City Council candidate questionnaire in upcoming editions of the alley! Long Vacant 628 East Franklin to Be Developed into Affordable Housing: City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT) and Hope Community have entered into an agreement with the City of Minneapolis to turn the historic vacant building at 628 East Franklin Avenue into perpetually affordable housing. The building has been vacant for over 20 years, as various redevelopment plans have fallen through. The plan submitted by CLCLT in partnership with Hope Community will renovate the gutted building into seven condo units: six 3-bed, 2-bath units and one 1-bed, 1-bath unit, affordable to households at or below 60% Area Median Income. Hope Community operates over 200 affordable housing units in the Phillips neighborhood, including the nearby South Quarter affordable housing community at Franklin and Portland.  Drop In Behavioral Health Center Now Open at 1800 Chicago: Hennepin County”™s new Behavioral Health Clinic is open to anyone 18 and older needing help with mental health or substance use. Services include urgent care and physical screening; Housing, cash and food support; and Mental health and substance use services such as Mental health screening and diagnostic assessmentsComprehensive screening for addiction disordersCase management and care [...]

Random alley Labor News

Random Alley Labor News By Lindsey Fenner Minimum wage goes up in Minneapolis:   On July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Minneapolis is going up to $12.50 at small businesses and $14.25 at large businesses. The Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance defines small businesses as 100 or fewer employees and large businesses as more than 100 employees. Tips and gratuities do not count toward payment of a minimum wage. The City”™s Department of Civil Rights oversees enforcement of the municipal minimum wage, and workers are encouraged to report violations online at http://minimumwage.minneapolismn.gov/ or by calling 311. Transit Workers Reject Metro Transit Contract Offer: Members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005 voted overwhelmingly to reject Metro Transit”™s “best and final” contract offer. ATU Local 1005 represents public transportation bus drivers, rail operators, mechanics, and many other support personnel. Metro Transit workers have been fighting for pandemic hazard pay and safety improvements.  Nurses Picket at Children”™s Hospital:  Pediatric nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) held informational pickets at the Children”™s Hospital in the Phillips neighborhood in June. Restructuring at the Children”™s campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul has led to downsizing of staff, which the nurses say has led to shortstaffing and fewer available hospital beds.  Unions Say New Pandemic OSHA Rules Don”™t Go Far Enough:  After six months of waiting, unions representing frontline workers are disappointed in the new mandatory workplace safety rule put in place by the Biden Administration”™s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in June. Although unions had been pushing for new protections for all frontline workers, the new rules only apply to healthcare workers. The United Food and [...]

Random alley News

Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER No Open Streets this year on Franklin and East Lake: The tentatively scheduled Open Streets along Franklin Avenue and East Lake Street have been cancelled again this year because of the pandemic. Open Streets is a partnership between Our Streets Minneapolis and the City of Minneapolis that temporarily closes major streets to car traffic, and opens them up for biking, walking, and rolling. Holy Rosary/Santo Rosario Church will remain open, possible merger with the Church of St. Stephens: The future of Holy Rosary Catholic Church at 2424 18th Avenue South had been in question when the founding Dominican Order left in 2020. Declining donations, plus an ageing historic building in need of maintenance means a parish merger with the Church of St. Stephens is likely for ongoing financial stability. The parish was fou nded in 1878, with the current church building built in 1888.  Minneapolis Deciding How to Spend Federal recovery funding: The City of Minneapolis has been allocated $271 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), broken up into two phases. In early June, Mayor Jacob Frey submitted a proposal for spending the first phase of $89 million. The mayor”™s proposal included: $28 million for housing and homelessness, $37 million economic rebuilding, $12 million public safety, $5 million climate and public health, $7 million City Capacity and Performance. The City Council held public hearings and made amendments throughout June, with an expected final vote in early July.  Somali Museum, Cultural Wellness Center Receive Sizable New Grants:  The Somali Museum of MN at 1516 East Lake St recieved a $500,000 unrestricted grant from the McKnight and Ford Foundations, as part of the “Regional Cultural Treasures” program. Founded in 2011, the Somali Museum of MN is North America”™s only museum of Somali culture. The Cultural Wellness Center at 2025 Portland Ave. S was the first recipient of [...]