Friday August 12th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!



Re: Letter to the Editor

Here is the promised “rebuttal” to Sam Harrison’s June letter which sought to discredit my May article entitled Peace Be With You. This May offering revealed a local connection to the war between Russia and Ukraine ($billions spent on war, even as climate change begs solutions and has induced starvation in East Africa). 

Frankly, Mr. Harrison’s dismissive tone is difficult to grapple with. He describes himself as “someone with a long academic background”, whereas, “Mr. Molenaar repeats a number of Russian talking points…all of which are refutable.” Rather wish he had troubled to refute one… am glad he is not a peace negotiator! Note: Although I placed primary blame on U.S. imperialism, I also stated: “Putin went way out of bounds to reveal his own imperial vision.”

Mr. Harrison, you have asserted that my reference to fascistic gangs in Ukraine was somehow overblown when, not so long ago, similar not so sizable gangs set fire to our own city!

Is it not now ironic that the likes of Henry Kissinger has called upon Ukraine to cede territory in the name of peace? The Crimean people have voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. Right or wrong? The people of the Donbas are entitled to a U.N. supervised referendum on the question of their independence. Don’t you agree?

Peter Molenaar

Note: Peter Molenaar is a regular opinion columnist for the alley.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: 150th Anniversary and Still Proclaiming the Gospel

The current home of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is at 1901 Portland Avenue South. Built as a Presbyterian church in 1887, the building was acquired by St. Paul’s in the 1960s. The congregation has worshiped in several nearby locations throughout its 150-year history.
Credit: Photo provided by St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

By PASTOR TOM PARRISH, current pastor of St. Paul’s

On Sunday July 10, 2022 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at Portland Ave S and 19th Ave will be celebrating 150 years of Jesus’ faithfulness and mission. That timespan takes us back to 1872, a mere seventeen years after Minneapolis was established, and the same year St. Anthony Falls and Minneapolis merged into one city. The proximity of Fort Snelling, built in 1819, was one of the major catalysts for the establishment of the two towns and their uniting into Minneapolis.

1872 was a mere four years prior to Custer’s defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Into this mix St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was established. Throughout those 150 years the church has had but one goal. That goal is to clearly present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How did St. Paul’s go about this mission? The church did the typical things most churches do in providing worship, music, education, children’s Sunday School and member care.… Read the rest “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church: 150th Anniversary and Still Proclaiming the Gospel”

Raise Your Voice: Reporting Back In


June 14…

A co-activist with the Minneapolis Regional Retirees Council knew the bus route. We traveled a good length of Bloomington Avenue before ultimately arriving at 4th and Hennepin for a demonstration at Xcel energy headquarters. MN350 and Sierra Club had combined to produce a splendid multi-racial/multiple-nationality gathering. Xcel was denounced in English and Spanish for being a private utility, guilty of “extraction from nature and the public.”

Quiz question: When “power to the people” is truly realized, what industry is first on the list to be socialized?

In hand that day was an article printout from the PEOPLE’S WORLD with the caption: “Trumpite Postmaster DeJoy sued over huge gas guzzler buy.” The USPS desperately needs to refurbish one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world. However, if DeJoy is allowed to have his way, these will not be modern electric trucks produced in a union shop in Wisconsin. No, they will be gas and diesel vehicles produced in a nonunion shop in South Carolina. Several key activists are now familiar with this article. So, we shall see.

From the Clean Transportation website of MN350:

“Air pollution caused by vehicles is the United States’ biggest single contributor to global warming. It’s responsible for up to an estimated 4,000 annual deaths in the Twin Cities alone, and disproportionately affects the young, old, low-income, and communities of color.”… Read the rest “Raise Your Voice: Reporting Back In”

Tale of the Tales: Q&A with Sue Hunter Weir

Caption: Anna Clark
Credit: Courtesy of Bob Clark


This is your 200th column. How long have you been writing Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery? What inspired you to start?

I wrote my first story about the cemetery in September 2003. At the time I was concerned (irritated) about the Phillips Neighborhood being characterized as “crime-ridden” and wanted to remind people that Phillips is a community with a long and very rich history. Ours is a community shaped by migration, immigration, the need for public housing and for livable-wage jobs. Our boundaries were, and are, shaped by transportation routes. Much has changed but much remains the same. We have a great deal to be proud of.

What motivates you to continue the series after so many years?

I remember reading that no one is truly dead who is remembered. I believe that and these stories are my way of remembering people who I never knew but who deserve to be remembered. They are the people who built this City. I have written about 200 people so far and have many thousands left to go. Stay tuned.

If you could meet one cemetery resident you have written about, who would it be?Read the rest “Tale of the Tales: Q&A with Sue Hunter Weir”

Cupping Therapy

Photo Caption: Glass cup used in fire cupping
Photo Credit: Nikki Fleck

By Nikki Fleck NTP, L.Ac.

Therapeutic cupping has been around for a long time. It has been used in China for thousands of years and also in many other cultures around the globe. Cupping is the practice of creating reverse pressure or suction on the skin by using heat (fire) or manual suction with various cylindrical, hollow tools. Historically, some communities used bull horns, gourds or bamboo to cup but today tools like glass are more common. In my own practice today we use glass to allow for adequate disinfection of the cups. Cupping creates a vacuum-like action which pulls skin and muscle tissues up and away from the body which provides a delightful releasing and relaxing sensation for the patient. Many patients even fall asleep during treatment.
Although many western trained providers offer cupping today, there are some notable differences when receiving cupping from practitioners properly trained from an East Asian medicine perspective. The foundational knowledge of meridians, acupuncture points and extensive anatomy and physiology training provides us with a diverse toolkit in treating an assortment of conditions. Patients often seek out cupping to address muscle pain and tightness.… Read the rest “Cupping Therapy”

Tales from the Cemetery #200: A Peaceable Fourth?

Caption: Jan Hamorrik’s marker is typical of markers placed on the graves of Slovak immigrants at the turn of the 20th century.
Credit: Tim McCall

by Sue Hunter Weir

Reporters who covered Fourth of July festivities in 1906 had a peculiar notion of what a “peaceable” Fourth looked like. The Minneapolis Tribune described it as the “most peaceable Fourth that the city has seen.” They then went on to list 29 injuries and accidents, including two children blinded, three people who lost fingers, and numerous people, mostly children, with burned faces, hands and arms. The Journal’s headline described the day’s events in its headline: “Man Murdered, Boy Blinded, Many Patriots Injured.”

The man who was murdered was 24-year Jan Hamorrik, a Slovak immigrant. Little, other than the fact that he was employed as a laborer, is known about him but he appears not to have lived in Minneapolis more than a year or so. His wife, Anna, gave birth to their daughter, also named Anna, on June 5, 1906, about a month before her father was killed.

On the Fourth of July, Hamorrik was drinking with his friend Andrew Shurba in a saloon owned by Shurba’s son-in-law. Shurba’s son, Steven, who had been drinking heavily, came into the saloon and demanded that his father give him money to buy fireworks.… Read the rest “Tales from the Cemetery #200: A Peaceable Fourth?”

Powderhorn Joins Minneapolis Edible Boulevards!

By MICHELLE SHAW, Minneapolis Edible Boulevards

Do you live in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood? If so, you can now join your neighbors who live in Cedar Riverside, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West and East Phillips by applying for an edible boulevard.

Hindolo Pokawa, the new environmental justice community coordinator for the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA), has been leading the effort to bring the two groups together. He is just as passionate as Minneapolis Edible Boulevards about having Powderhorn residents participate in this movement. “Our human and ecological relationships are based on extracting and exploiting each other and the environment. If we do not interact, know how people are feeling, or know the impact of our extractive and exploitative dynamics, ideas would never generate,” Pokawa says. Both groups are intentionally setting out to be inclusive, work towards food justice, and heal our environment together.  

So what exactly does that mean for the participating Southside Green Zone neighborhoods listed above? Minneapolis Edible Boulevards (MEB) has funding to go towards teaching people how to transform the space between sidewalks and curbs into an edible boulevard, in addition to paying for soil testing, seeds, seedlings, organic soil, and compost.… Read the rest “Powderhorn Joins Minneapolis Edible Boulevards!”

New Pollinator Plantings Beautify Neighborhood and Decrease Erosion on Abbott Northwestern Hospital Campus

A wildlifefriendly landscaping plan is part of Allina Health’s multi-year infrastructure project at Abbott Northwestern Hospital that benefits the environment and pollinators


Allina Health is showing its commitment to sustainability in its multi-year infrastructure project on the Abbott Northwestern Hospital campus in the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis. As part of the project, Allina Health is transforming the campus with a new Surgical and Critical Care Pavilion and a new Transportation Hub. With the help of a Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) Action Grant of $50,000, Allina Health planted native, pollinator-friendly plantings in May 2022 along the Transportation Hub’s 5,000-square-foot slope near the Midtown Greenway. The new pollinator habitat includes carefully selected plants based on their bloom time and ability to grow well and prevent erosion on a steep slope.

“I am happy that we were able to make the landscaping at the Transportation Hub more sustainable by planting pollinator plants with much deeper root systems that reduce stormwater by reducing erosion. As a health care system, taking care of our environment is a responsibility that is critical to ensuring good health for Allina Health patients, employees and our community,” said Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Allina Health sustainability manager.… Read the rest “New Pollinator Plantings Beautify Neighborhood and Decrease Erosion on Abbott Northwestern Hospital Campus”

Public Safety is On the Ballot Again This Year

Third article in a series on the 2022 Midterm Elections

By the League of Women Voters Minneapolis

In November, you won’t see an obvious question on the ballot like last year’s ballot Question 2. Nonetheless, almost every federal, state and local public office in the general election affects policing and public safety in Minneapolis. The mayor and police chief have direct authority over the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), but those powers are limited by state and federal policies. When you vote, think about how these elected offices impact your community’s safety.

CONGRESS instituted “qualified immunity” that protects public employees from being sued for actions taken on the job. Congress has the authority to make changes at the federal level. Since 2009, more than half of the cases brought against police officers have been dismissed based on qualified immunity.

The GOVERNOR, STATE SENATORS and STATE REPRESENTATIVES set the parameters for police union contracts and oversee both the state patrol — which has statewide law enforcement authority — and the P.O.S.T. Board, which sets standards of conduct and training for police officers. They can also pass state-level civil rights laws explicitly without qualified immunity.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS manage the social service agencies that provide mobile mental health crisis response and co-responders to accompany police emergencies.… Read the rest “Public Safety is On the Ballot Again This Year”

Library News July ’22

Library News

Carz Nelson

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


Monday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Franklin Library is hosting special events for Franklin Open Streets. Outside on the lawn, as well as inside the library, there will be a wide variety of exhibits, performances, presentations, and activities.

Sunday, July 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The City of Minneapolis Small Business Team is holding public office hours at Franklin Library. This is a great opportunity for people with questions about starting, maintaining, or expanding their business. Please feel free to drop in – no appointment needed.

Tuesdays, July 12 and 26, 12 – 2 p.m.


Join us at Franklin Library for Coffee & Conversations!

Friday, July 8, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Community Ambassadors for FAIR, a program through Prepare & Prosper, will answer questions and sign people up for this financial service.… Read the rest “Library News July ’22”

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