NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday September 29th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Sections

‘Random alley News’ Archives

Random alley news September ’22

Random alley news September ’22

Location of community air sensors in and around the Southside Green ZoneMap credit: Rob Hendrickson Representative Aisha Gomez - MN House of Representatives Senator Omar Fateh - MN Senate By LINDSEY FENNER GREEN GRANTS GALORE Hennepin County Receives $12 million for Lake Street Improvements: The Federal award is from the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, which received an increase in funding from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021. The funding will pay for “turn lanes, bus only lanes, removing a lane, providing ADA upgrades (pedestrian ramps and APS push button stations), and paving new surfaces along the Lake Street corridor in Minneapolis.” Learn more about the planned Lake Street Improvement project, which includes the Lake Street Bus Rapid Transit Line, here: https://www.hennepin.us/lake-street-improvements Resilient Minneapolis Microgrid Project Receives Public Utilities Commission Approval: The $9 million Xcel Energy project in three Minneapolis neighborhoods will pilot community electric microgrids in the face of climate uncertainty. If the power goes out during a heatwave, the community centers can provide cooling, shelter and electricity. Hosting organizations are the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Sabathani Community Center, and Renewable Energy Partners in coordination with three schools in North Minneapolis. The hosting organizations will pay for the solar arrays, while Xcel Energy will pay for and own the storage battery. As part of their $30 million renovation project, the Minneapolis American Indian Center will install a 200-kilowatt solar array with 1MW of battery storage. As a pilot, the project is not without criticism. The MN Department of Commerce raised concerns about the lack of detail from Xcel on the goals and benefits of the program and how those goals and benefits would be measured. Hennepin County [...]

Random alley news August ’22

Random alley news August ’22

By Lindsey Fenner pictures by Ben Heath MN State Senator Omar Fateh’s Ethics Hearing Continued Through July: Sen. Fateh represents Senate District 62, which includes all of Phillips. The ethics investigation, led by the Republican-controlled Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct,  has raised questions about whether Fateh sought $500,000 in state funding for Somali TV of Minnesota after Somali TV ran campaign ads for Fateh for free. As a non-profit, Somali TV cannot endorse candidates. The other ethics concern involves Fateh’s connection to Muse Mohamed Mohamed. Mohamed, who is Fateh’s brother-in-law and volunteered with Fateh’s campaign and was convicted of lying to a grand jury during an investigation of voter fraud in the 2020 DFL primary race between Fateh and longtime incumbent Jeff Hayden. Fateh is now facing a DFL primary challenge in the August 9 Primary election from Shaun Laden, a Minneapolis Public Schools Education Support Specialist and union leader. According to reporting by Deena Winter in the MN Reformer, two witnesses called to a July 7 hearing didn’t show up. They are expected to be subpoenaed for a hearing scheduled for July 27, after the alley goes to press. Check the MN Reformer https://minnesotareformer.com/ for updated coverage.  Little Earth Urban Farm Proposes Greenhouse on Empty Lot: The Little Earth Residents Association (LERA), which runs the Little Earth Urban Farm, is proposing to build a 20,000 square foot greenhouse on the vacant lot LERA owns at the northwest of Hiawatha Avenue and E 26th Street. According to LERA, the greenhouse “will host indoor vertical farming using nutrient-rich water circulated from a yellow perch aquaculture system.” The greenhouse project will expand existing gardening and farming programming and food accessibility. Southside Green Zone Signs Going Up: The 120 signs, designed by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre founder Sandy Spieler, are intended to [...]

Random alley News July ’22

Random alley News July ’22

SEIU mental health workers and allies on the picketline in front of Abbott Northwestern Hospital for a one-day strike on May 24, 2022 Credit- SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa Nurses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and other metro-area hospitals held informational pickets on June 1. / Minnesota Nurses Association Written or compiled by LINDSEY FENNER 100 Percent of Cristo Rey’s Graduating Class of 2022 Accepted Into College: For the twelfth year in a row, the Jesuit High School in Phillips West will be sending all of its seniors to college. The private Roman Catholic school, which was established in 2007, is part of the “Cristo Rey Network” of 38 schools around the US that prepare low-income students of color for post-secondary education. Congratulations graduates! Minimum Wage Increases July 1 in Minneapolis: On July 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Minneapolis is going up to $13.50 at small businesses and $15 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 wage theft prevention ordinances, and workers are encouraged to report violations online at www.minimumwage.minneapolismn.gov -City of Minneapolis South Minneapolis Tenants Go on a Rent Strike to Protest Safety and Maintenance Issues: Five families who live at 3100 Bloomington Avenue South announced on May 25 they would be withholding May rent to protest unsafe and unhealthy living conditions. Residents are supported by United Renters for Justice - Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia, a tenant-led housing justice organization. The property was formerly owned by landlord Stephen Frenz, who in 2016 was sued by tenants, lost his rental license, and later went to jail. The new owners of the building say they are not affiliated [...]

June Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace Named Minnesota’s Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Friend of the alley newspaper and 100-year old Lake Street small business Ingebretsen’s was honored by the US Small Business Association as part of National Small Business Week in May. Four generations of Ingebretsens have owned the retail business celebrating Scandinavian culture which includes a gift shop and butcher shop, as well as cultural education classes. The current co-owner, Julie Ingebretsen, has been active in mentoring new immigrant business owners along Lake Street. Congratulations Ingebretsen’s! East Phillips Park Basketball Court Getting Redone: The basketball court will be repaired, resurfaced, and restriped. According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the work should be done by June. Eighteen courts, from basketball and tennis to bike polo, are being redone in parks throughout Minneapolis. Check minneapolisparks.org/courtrepairs to see if your favorite court will be impacted. Funding for the project is through the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan, which increases capital, maintenance, and rehabilitation funding for Minneapolis Parks. CTUL, Construction Workers, Call on Twin Cities Developers to Join the Fight Against Labor Abuse: Construction workers with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) and allies want the largest Twin Cities developers to join the Building Dignity and Respect Standards Council (BDR). Under the worker-driven council, developers would sign agreements to uphold standards such as safe working conditions and fair pay, as well as workers protections from wage theft, human trafficking, and abuse. The construction industry in the Twin Cities has struggled with human rights violations. According to a 2019 report by BDR, construction workers commonly experience labor abuse such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions, discrimination, retaliation, and labor trafficking. Most recently [...]

May Random alley News 22

May Random alley News 22

Nellie Stone Johnson/ Hennepin County Library Special Collections By Lindsey Fenner The Women’s Environmental Institute Is Offering Free Classes for Phillips Folks: WEI offers a variety of courses and workshops on gardening, farming, herbalism, food preservation and more. People who work, live, play or pray in Phillips can take these events for free. Most classes are at the Amador Hill Farm Campus in North Branch. Check out the class schedule and learn more about the Women's Environmental Institute: w-e-i.org. Contact Jerry at jerry@w-e-i.org for more information on how to get free registration. Urban Farm Veto Upheld by City Council: On March 24, the Minneapolis City Council upheld Mayor Frey’s veto of CM Chavez’ motion supporting the East Phillips Urban Farm by a vote of 7-6. Although CM Chavez said he hoped to bring a new motion forward at the next full council meeting on April 14, no motion was made. According to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute, the community group organizing the Urban Farm, they are in negotiations with the City of Minneapolis with a meeting scheduled for April 26. So far EPNI has rejected various proposals from the City. One would require the organization to come up with $14 million by this summer to purchase the full site. Another proposal would sell EPNI 2.9acre of the site for $1 but would include the demolition of the Roof Depot building. Midtown Farmers Market Opens Saturday May 7 at Renovated Plaza: After three years at a temporary location, the Midtown Farmers Market will be returning to Lake and Hiawatha at a new civic plaza. The project was a collaboration between Hennepin County, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, and the developers of the newly built apartment complex near the plaza. The new plaza is next to the Lake Street/Midtown Light rail station. The Market is open Saturdays May-October from 8am to 1pm and Tuesdays June-October 3pm-6pm. Vendors accept [...]

Random alley news April ’22

Random alley news April ’22

By LINDSEY FENNER Allina Proposing a New 10-Story Surgical Care Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital All Youth Programs and Sports Are Free This Summer at Phillips Parks: The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has made activities free for ages 17 and under in Minneapolis neighborhoods within “census-designated Areas of Concentrated Poverty (ACP).” This includes activities in East Phillips Park, Phillips Park, Peavey Park, and Stewart Park in the Phillips neighborhoods. Other area parks with waived fees for youth include: Central Gym, Elliot Park, Painter Park, Powderhorn Park, Whittier Park. The program applies to 17 parks throughout Minneapolis through at least the end of 2022. The funding for this project comes from a gradual increase in the Park Board property tax levy and City of Minneapolis allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 Stimulus funding passed by the Biden administration in 2021.  How it Works: Visit minneapolisparks.org/register to browse all MPRB programs online via the ActiveNet platform. People can also drop by or call their local recreation center to ask about upcoming programs and sign up. Youth program registration will be free for anyone with a Minneapolis address on their ActiveNet account at one of the 17 sites. Allina Proposing a New 10-Story Surgical Care Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital: At the February 24 City of Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole meeting, Allina presented a proposal for a new 10-story “surgical and critical care pavilion” along with changes to traffic access to the hospital campus. The new building, located in the middle of the two-block hospital campus between approximately Chicago and 10th Avenues, and 26th and 28th Streets, adds approximately 500,000 sq ft of space. This building project is in the preliminary stages of City approval. Allina will need to complete an environmental worksheet and traffic study and go through a [...]

March Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER Bring Her Home, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Documentary Airing on PBS: The documentary, directed by Leya Hale (Dakota/Diné) and produced by Sergio Rapu (Rapanui), follows three indigenous women: artist and All My Relations Gallery Director Angela Two Stars, activist Mysti Babineau, and U.S. Rep. Ruth Buffalo, as they fight to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives who have fallen victims to a growing epidemic across Indian country.  Airing on Twin Cities Public Television Channel TPT 2 Monday, Mar 21 at 8pm or streaming at https://www.tpt.org/bring-her-home/ Pillsbury House Launches Documenters, A New Civic Reporting Project: The Documenters project was first developed in Chicago by City Bureau, a local media non-profit with a goal of making journalism more democratic and public meetings more accessible. Documenters trains and pays community members to attend public meetings, take and share notes, and gather related public documents. Minneapolis joins other Documenters networks in Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. Find Minneapolis Documenters information here: https://minneapolis.documenters.org/ Hennepin County Workers Cancel Strike, Approve New Contract: Thirty-five hundred Hennepin County workers represented by AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 voted to accept a new contract offer from Hennepin County in February. Workers, including human services workers and clerical workers, had been planning on going on strike at the beginning of February unless a last minute agreement could be made. The new offer from the County cleared “negative leave balances” that workers might have accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, County workers who didn’t have enough paid leave to cover COVID-related time off could go into a leave debt that would need to be repaid if they left employment with the County.  Free Home Weatherization Classes Through Rethos and Hennepin County: Workshops will teach [...]

February Random News

February Random News

by LINDSEY FENNER Phillips-area Cultural Malls Receive State COVID Relief Grants: At the end of 2021, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded funds of up to $300,000 each to twelve “cultural mall operators” throughout Minnesota, including the four listed below in the Phillips area. The $3 million program is part of the $70 million Main Street COVID Relief Grant packages passed by the State Legislature in 2021. To qualify, facilities had to have 50% or more tenants identifying as Black, African American, Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, or other racial or ethnic minority. Support our vibrant Phillips businesses here: 24 Mall, 912 E 24th Street Midtown Global Market, 920 E Lake Street JigJiga Business Center, 1516 E Lake Street Mercado Central, 1515 E Lake Street New Workers Unionize at Allina’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital: 220 lab workers at Abbott have recently voted to join SEIU Healthcare MN (Service Employees International Union). According to SEIU, worker organizing focused on relief from understaffing and heavy workloads and increasing wages for healthcare workers. Newly organized workers include Cytotechnologists, Histotechnicians, Laboratory Assistants, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and Medical Laboratory Technicians. They join other SEIU and Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) unionized workers at Allina. North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NāTIFS) Receives Award for Excellence in Human Services: Based out of the Midtown Global Market, NāTIFS Indigenous Food Lab was honored by the State of Minnesota for mobilizing to get healthy indigenous meals to neighbors in need. Over the winter of 2020-2021 NāTIFS with community partners distributed 80,000 culturally appropriate meals to tribal elders and families across Minnesota. Founded by the Sioux Chef, NāTIFS is “dedicated to addressing the economic and health crises [...]

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 [...]

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »
Copyright © 2022 Alley Communications - Contact the alley