NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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How about also making Park, Portland, 26th and 28th Streets more “Accessible, Vibrant, Pedestrian and Biker Friendly with Less” and Slower Speeds?

Hennepin and 1st Avenues have been changed to two-way streets again so they will be “more accessible, more vibrant, with slower speeds and less around the block trips,” according to city planners and politicians, plus many pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
The City widened Park and Portland Avenues and 26th and 28th Streets decades ago:

  • decreasing pedestrian space,
  • removing old well-canopied trees
  • decreasing space for new trees,
  • and increasing speeds on former residential streets thus making them speedways unfriendly to residents, pedestrians and bikers alike.

Is it time to return residential streets so they, too, are more “accessible and vibrant” with less around the block driving and slower speeds coupled with improvements for pedestrians and bikers?

Irony Of Ironies

By Peter Molenaar

Followers of this column might recall a two-part slogan issued prior to the Obama presidency. The first part read: “Unite to fight the ultra-right”. The second part: “even as we project the vision of socialist future”. It occurs now that it might be helpful to define some terms.
By ”˜ultra-right”' is meant: those political forces which are manipulated and set in motion by the most greedy and self-absorbed section of the capitalist ruling class. The Republican Party is said to be dominated by these forces. Whereas, the more liberal wing of the ruling class consents to a political alliance with the social-democratic wing of Labor (and the other sectors which make up the Democratic Party).
The term ”˜social-democratic”' refers to that trend within Labor which seeks to improve life without fundamentally challenging the power of accumulated wealth, i.e. without challenging the property relations which constitute the “rule of capital”. However, during a prolonged period of declining living standards, social-democracy of necessity evolves towards a more militant socialism. Similarly, the liberal tendency will be altered, but in reaction.

Note: We will endeavor to define working class socialism as opposed to “national socialism”.

Socialist society is based on public ownership of large scale industry, transport, and real estate.… Read the rest “Irony Of Ironies”

THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS EXPANDED; Or Has It Really? part III

By Raymond Jackson

This epidemic consists of highly addictive legal drugs that go under the moniker of painkillers. Because they are legal, and the big profiteers from them, is the pharmaceutical industry, it will be quite awhile before they are made a relevant part of ”˜The War on Drugs”'. Long considered a Suburban high, painkilling drugs, such as Percecet, Oxycodiene and Vicodine, have found their way into the inner-city. Many addicts trying to get off of crack-cocaine have resorted to these highly addictive pain medications as a way out, only to become addicted to these alternative drugs. A lot cheaper, but just as destructive and deadly!

One could even include the various types of sleeping medications into this epidemic. These pills sell for 2-5 dollars each on the street, so therefore the big profit is being made by the manufacturers, who charge millions to the Health Insurance companies that cover these medications. These pills were once the choice of unemployed suburban housewives and their associates. Just as we, the inner-city communities, had to wean each other away from the Prozac fountain, we will have to do the same with these prescription medications.
AMERICA WAKE UP! According to a Pain Specialist, who spoke under the condition of anonymity; “The state of Minnesota is very strict when it comes to pain killing medication.… Read the rest “THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS EXPANDED; Or Has It Really? part III”

Recovery Act Project Activity to Remove Soil at Arsenic Levels That Pose Long-Term Health Threat to Residents

EPA will use the $10-25 million in Recovery Act funds allocated to the Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination site to conduct all cleanup and restoration work at the approximately 500 remaining residential properties with soils above the arsenic soil cleanup standard. The activities include the excavation and off-site disposal of all contaminated soil above the cleanup standard, with excavation to occur to a depth of 12 inches in lawn areas and 18 inches in garden areas.

If confirmation samples from the base of the excavation show arsenic levels above the acute arsenic cleanup standard, EPA will continue excavating soil until the acute standard is met or foundation depth is reach. Once excavation is complete, the properties will be restored to their original condition. The activities also include establishing institutional controls on properties where excavation is not possible due to access restrictions. Concerning the possibility of household pesticide Application Skewing EPA Date, the EPA replied that, “If common use pesticides was the primary explanation for the residential arsenic contamination at the site we would expect elevated levels on properties from both pre and post 1960 periods (of homes built). However we do not. This all indicates that elevated arsenic levels resulted from some source other than pesticide application.… Read the rest “Recovery Act Project Activity to Remove Soil at Arsenic Levels That Pose Long-Term Health Threat to Residents”

16 residents will interview 750 households door-to-door by year”'s end

By Janice Barbee
The Backyard Initiative”'s Community Interviews are now happening in the Phillips Community and in Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran neighborhoods.

Over the past several months, community residents have been meeting weekly as part of the Backyard Initiative”'s Assessment Team. The Assessment Team has been charged by the larger BYI community group that meets monthly to oversee the process of creating a picture of the current state of health and well-being of the residents and families in the Backyard area.

Early on in the process, the community had given feedback to Allina that they did not think that a proposed mail survey would be an effective and accurate method for assessing the health of people who live in the Backyard area. They decided that a better process would be to hold a number of Listening Circles where people would give their input in groups, and a Walk-around process where people would be asked questions about their health in a one-to-one interview. The Assessment Team has been designing the details of this assessment process, including choosing the questions for the Listening Circles and the Walk-around. The team members, including Africans, African Americans, Natives, Latinos, and European Americans, have worked hard to ensure that all the questions are based in the BYI”'s definition of health that was first developed by the large group.… Read the rest “16 residents will interview 750 households door-to-door by year”'s end”

Leon Oman retires after 28 years in Community Education at Andersen Elementary

001 oct 09 Oman Leon try threeBy Harvey Winje
Two hundred people greeted and cheered Leon Oman on his last day of 28 years as a Minneapolis Schools Community Education Coordinator at Andersen School in the Phillips Community. His years as a community educator brought together his passion for education, his seven years experience as a social worker, as well as, his involvement in citizen participation in the Rice Park neighborhood. Five presenters reminisced about years spent, experiences shared and generally agreed that there were no skeletons about which they could “roast” Leon. However, they altered a shared experience while on a car trip in order to be sure we all knew Leon had made at least one mistake in his career.

The Webster Open School Cafeteria was gaily decorated setting the mood for an upbeat celebration that included several of Leon”'s family members, Phillips Community residents, community leaders from many neighborhoods, past interns, students, current and former colleagues and many, many friends. Paul Boranian attended the event. He was the founder of Community Education in Minneapolis, its director for many years and was the person who hired Leon 28 years ago. Community Education”'s current Director, Jack Tamble also paid a tribute to Leon.

The program was one and a half hours long as attendees shared personal experiences and examples of Leon”'s gentle demeanor whether he is handling parking or curriculum issues, interfacing with the day school, student conduct, or sustaining relationships with many community groups in South Minneapolis.… Read the rest “Leon Oman retires after 28 years in Community Education at Andersen Elementary”

Memories of Leon: Being with Leon, you are the focus

by Jonathan Miller
Without Leon Oman I would probably be unemployed right now. No, Leon didn”'t personally give me a job, but the strong impression he left on me during my internship with The Alley Newspaper did steer me away from the career path I was on”“Magazine journalism. We all know how swimmingly that industry is fairing right now and in part because of Leon, I realized that believing in what I do is very important to me and I moved into non-profit communications.

Leon was my mentor and advisor during my first internship with The Alley Newspaper way back in 1999. The focus of the project was to get children and teenagers involved in the paper, so Leon was the natural choice for two reasons: 1. He worked at Andersen School. 2. He knows EVERYONE in Phillips and EVERYONE knows him and respects him. Leon was always able to make time to provide guidance or give me background on the complex dynamics of the Phillips Community even though he was constantly being pulled in different directions.
But the advantages that Leon provided were more than just his connections. When you talk to Leon, he has a real knack for connecting with you.… Read the rest “Memories of Leon: Being with Leon, you are the focus”

What”'s Up at the Franklin Library: October 2009

By Erin Thomasson
All ages
Bats: Truth vs. Fiction
Fri., Oct. 2, 3 p.m.
Are bats vampires in disguise or harmless flying bug eaters? Learn the truth about these creepy mammals of the night and make an origami bat to take home.
Family Read: The Best Pet of All
Fri., Oct. 9, 4”“5 p.m.
Join us for an hour of reading fun with Minnesota author and illustrator David LaRochelle, whose other books include “The End.”

Children”'s Programs
Sheeko Caruur Af-Soomaali ah/World Language Storytime: Somali
Tues., Oct. 6 through Nov. 24, 6:30”“7:30 p.m.
La wadaag bugagga, sheekoyinka, jaan-gooyada maansada iyo muusikada Soomaalida.
For children ages 2 and up. Experience the world in other languages.
Preschool Storytime
Wed., 10:30-11:00 a.m.
For children ages 4 to 6. Help your preschooler get ready to read. Enjoy stories together and build language skills.
Cuentos y Canciones/World Language Storytime: Spanish
Fri. through Oct. 9, 10:30 a.m.
Para niños de 2 años en adelante. Comparta y disfrute con sus niños libros, cuentos, rimas y música en español. For children ages 2 and up. Share books, stories, rhymes and music in Spanish.
Sonajas de Sol/Sun Shakers
Thurs., Oct. 15, 3 p.m.
Registration required. Register online or call 612.630.6800. For kids in grade 1 and up.… Read the rest “What”'s Up at the Franklin Library: October 2009”

The Alley Newspaper is Bound for the Future With Your Help!

By Susan Gust and Harvey Winje
The Alley Newspaper is Bound for the Future. Bound into 17 volumes, no less, spanning all of its 33 years! It will be printed on paper much better than the newsprint on which it is printed each month, allowing the many photos, stories and articles to be able to be viewed and used by others well into the future. Once it is reprinted it will be kept in the Special Collections Section of the Main Downtown Minneapolis Library on Hennepin Avenue.

This is great news! No pun intended. What would be even better news would be to raise enough money for a duplicate set of those 17 volumes to be housed at the Franklin Branch Library in the Phillips Community. These volumes would be more readily available to community residents and students. If you or a friend, neighbor, or relative have ever appeared in The Alley or submitted a Letter to the Editor, a photo, or written an article, it will become immortalized”“or least be around a long, long time! Please celebrate this great news, or, better yet, help make it happen by attending

The Alley Annual Meeting and Fundraiser
Friday, October 23, 2009
5-7 pm

At the Cultural Wellness Center in Franklin Bank Building
1527 East Lake St.
Read the rest “The Alley Newspaper is Bound for the Future With Your Help!”

SEARCHING CHAPTER 7: A New Start

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

We can”'t say that Angel didn”'t know where to start this leg of his journey. He”'d been starting his whole life. Fits and starts. False starts. Start and stop, start and stop. Angel”'s problem was finishing. He”'d managed to graduate from Roosevelt””barely””and he vaguely remembered the platitudes the locally famous person of color had shared at the graduation ceremony: Believe in your dreams. Reach for the stars. Stay in touch. Good words, he thought, but he”'d spent the six months since then pretty much wandering through life, without a plan, That morning, in Mother Light”'s house, as he tenderly pulled on his jacket and bent over to tie his shoes, he spotted the webbed ornament in the window.
“That”'s a dream catcher, right?” he said to Ana, who was waiting at the door.

She smiled, nodded yes, then pointed to her eyes, to her heart, to her lips and then to Angel. He shook his head and wondered what manner of answer that was: was this beautiful young woman deaf? Or merely insane? “I wonder if it caught any of my dreams”, he muttered to himself.

Ana handed him his backpack, which felt heavier to his bruised shoulders.… Read the rest “SEARCHING CHAPTER 7: A New Start”

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