NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday August 8th 2022

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1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

By Dallas Johnson Our 12 hour event on 8/13 (two dozen activities moving through 10 sites) exceeded our wildest expectations. The active embodiment of an invitation, the majority of the day was hands-on and interactive. It was well attended and numbers grew with each stop along 24th St. From collecting the water at dawn, bringing the water together (w/ Sandy Spieler), Simone Speer”'s dance workshop at E Philips Park, singing quietly in a circle (with Louis Alemayhu at PCC), decorating parade regalia (w/ Heart of the Beast), marveling at the Somali Mall, the parade up 24th St (with three 12 foot puppets, musicians and our decorated umbrellas), a big crowd and Patrick Nolan”'s original poem at the murals unveiling (w/ artists Elissa Cedarleaf and Greta McLain), neighborhood skit honoring Muriel Simmons that ended in a spiral dance, party at Center for Changing Lives with art activities, seed balls, MPRB”'s kids”' games, live African music, The Alley-hosted storytelling, snow cones and fudgicles, my original song with Julie Allen”' ASL interpretation)”¦we showed how creative, welcoming, willing and visionary we are when we come together. (more…)

Community Garden Day

By Brad Pass The East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Gardeners invite you to join us on Community Garden Day, Saturday August 6th for free tours of this neighborhood garden and a talk about how three burned out houses, the resolve of a neighborhood and a portion of EPIC”'s NRP dollars resulted in a beautiful garden available to East Phillips”' residents. Rain or Shine.  No tickets necessary.  Tours and Talk are free and open to the public.  Just come dressed for the weather and enjoy. We will provide shade from the sun or shelter from the rain and a beverage appropriate for the day. (more…)

Taking Root

Taking Root

By Margaret Shields Taking Root is a beginning gardener class series for new gardeners interested in growing their own food. This 6-class series takes place in a community garden in East Phillips, and brings you through an entire growing season in Minnesota, with a class held approximately once a month between May and October. Cost: $30 for the whole series! Pre-registration required. Class Topics: Garden Planning and Gardening Basics Early May Transplanting, Mulching and General Garden Maintenance Early June Planting for Fall, Crop Rotation and Harvesting Techniques Mid July Height-of-Summer Trouble-Shooting Mid August Late Summer Harvesting, Fall Planting and Cover Crops Mid September Garlic Planting, Preparing for Winter, Vermiculture Composting Mid October About the Instructor: Nick Schneider is a gardener and professional chef. Nick has been a community gardener for 11 years, a gardening instructor for six, and a market gardener for 3 years. His passion for bio-intensive, high-yield sustainable food production has yielded a world of ticks and tips great for beginning gardeners. (more…)

“Programs might die, but good ideas and community”¦ live” Phillips”' “Wellness Corridor”

“Programs might die, but good ideas and community”¦ live” Phillips”' “Wellness Corridor”

by Robert Albee For the past two years many of us in the Phillips Community have been working to resurrect the Phillips Community Center (PCC) and turn it into a centerpiece for rebuilding the fabric of the neighborhood””this time as Phillips people instead of edifices or individual programs. We want the PCC to become Phillip”'s hub of activity just like the Sabathani Community Center does for the Greater Central neighborhood. If you look below at the map of Phillips, 24th Street is the only street in Phillips that intersects all four Phillips neighborhoods: West Phillips, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips and East Phillips. It connects LSS”' Center For Changing Lives on the west to Little Earth of the United Tribes on the East. In between is East Phillips Park”'s new building, Holy Rosary Church, AICDC”'s Townhomes, Center School and Open Arms. Then there is the Minnesota Indian Women”'s Resource Center, All Nations Church, 1ra Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus, Habitat For Humanity homes, Indian Health Board, Phillips Community Center, the Somali Village Market, Hope Academy, Phillips Eye Institute, Our Saviour”'s Church and Shelter, Southside Family Nurturing Center, Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens, and of course Lutheran Social Services. WOW! (more…)

PCPI Pitches PCC Proposal to Park Personnel

PCPI Pitches PCC Proposal to Park Personnel

by Robert Albee After three months of waiting, the Phillips Community Parks Initiative (PCPI) finally had an opportunity to present its proposal to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for leasing and participating in the operations of the Phillips Community Center. The actual written proposal was submitted July 9th and project organizers have been waiting ever since to formally address the opportunities face-to-face with Park Board staff and commissioners. Presentations were finally made on November 3rd and November 4th. MPRB staff members Don Siggelkow, Judd Reichert and Al Bangoura attended the two days of presentations provided by the Waite House, Soos Early Childhood Learning Center, Minneapolis Swims a “wellness” coalition including Native American Community Clinic, Running Wolf Fitness Center, Freeport West, A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD), Guri Nabad and Ventura Village neighborhood. The other three Phillips Community neighborhoods, East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Mid Town Phillips  and Phillips West Neighborhood Association were on hand supporting most of the other presenters and the notion of the MPRB and Phillips Community jointly supporting the Community Services Area (CSA), currently comprising Phillips Community and Eliot Park neighborhood. Soos represents a Day Care center seeking to move from South 33rd Street and Chicago Avenue and was not included in the group presentations but all the rest of the groups presented together as an applicant”'s coalition and then separately as the Pillsbury United Communities (Waite House), Minneapolis Swims and Soos. The response of MPRB staff was friendly and very responsive but stopped short of making any commitments to the applicants who will present their report and recommendations to the MPRB commissioners. Then the MPRB commissioners will then decide to approve or reject the request, which is expected to take place within the next four to six weeks. The [...]

Phillips Community Center Update “No, I”'ll take the stairs!” ”¦ Carl Peterson

Phillips Community Center Update  “No, I”'ll take the stairs!”  ”¦ Carl Peterson

by Robert Albee, Ventura Village It”'s finally done! Last week we sent to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for most of the organizations who want to work together with the Park Board in the reopening and ongoing operations of the Phillips Community Center. It”'s located at 11th Avenue and 24th Street in Ventura Village of the Phillips Community. In addition to prospective tenants, others who wish to have an ongoing presence in the building also have signed the agreement. Those seeking to be tenants and are signatories to this MOU are the Waite House/Pillsbury United Communities, Freeport West, Native American Community Clinic, Running Wolf Fitness Center, A Partnership Of Diabetics (A-POD), Ventura Village (Neighborhood), Guri Nabad, a No Child Left Behind After-School Program and Minneapolis Swims. Representatives from the other three Phillips Communities are also signatories to the MOU and include East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association and Phillips West Neighborhood Organization. Also participating as “non-tenants”, but strongly interested parties include Sergio Martinez from Messiah Lutheran Church, Hope Academy, Phillips Neighborhood Free Clinic and Access Chiropractic Clinic. (more…)

“On Behalf of” or is it “In Behalf of?”

By Robert Albee I consider myself a fairly experienced writer, though I wouldn”'t call myself a “man of letters” or anything as strong as that. You might have caught my story when I tried for a clever headline entitled, Five Separate Suitors Seek Space in the Phillips Community Center in last month”'s Alley newspaper. Two weeks later, I received a terse email from Crystal Trutnau of the Phillips West Neighborhood Association that was sent to me, the Alley editor, various neighborhood representatives and every Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner””indicating that I had falsely misrepresented the truth by stating “”¦ the Phillips Community Partnership proposal”¦was submitted by Ventura Village on behalf of all four Phillips Community neighborhoods and other long-term stakeholders.” The email said, “Phillips West made it clear they were supporting Waite House and not part of the proposal submitted by Ventura Village on behalf of the 4 Phillips Neighborhoods. It should have been the 3 Phillips Neighborhoods. I read the proposal submitted by Ventura Village yesterday . Phillips West is included in the entire proposal without our knowledge. My Board is not happy having our organization name associated with something they did not approve. As I stated yesterday Phillips West did not endorse the Phillips Community proposal and had no knowledge we were included in this proposal. I painfully realized that I had overstepped my boundaries both as a community organizer and as a writer for the Alley. I immediately responded with an apology. Then I thought more about the situation and decided to go to the dictionary. There, I learned a very valuable lesson: I was technically incorrect when I used the words, “on behalf” in my story and my submission to the MPRB and the Alley. Here”'s what it says, “On behalf of”¦ In behalf of”¦ Usage Note: A traditional rule holds that in behalf of and [...]

East Phillips Improvement Coalition Policy Statement Summary in Opposition to Xcel Hiawatha Powerline Proposal

At the request of the EPIC Board, Carol Pass, Board President, submitted a 35 Page Position Statement to the State Of Minnesota Office Of Administrative Hearings For The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) expressing the community”'s strong opposition to these Overhead High Voltage Electrical Transmission Lines. The brief focused on three issues: Health: The U.S. National Academy of Science, National Research Council report (1997) stated that the link between power line wire-code rating and childhood leukemia “is statistically significant (unlikely to have arisen from chance) and is robust”. While the risk to human health at the current state of research appears to be small, the statistical significance of health study findings is that there IS a risk. The Children of Phillips are already at risk from multiple sources and issues, of which we are well aware, especially since the education we all received in facing down the Midtown Burner. Economic Issues: Dean Dovolis of DJR Architects,  architect and developer stated: "I am convinced through work with these and other developers ”¦. that overhead high voltage power lines will severely damage future prospects for development investments anywhere nearby. In addition, such power lines could undo much of the valuable work that has already gone on. The increased risk of loss of market value and probable insurability problems would be enough to cause developers to put their future investment elsewhere.” “It should also be considered that those who own homes, businesses and rental property would undoubtedly suffer a serious economic loss in potential resale value. The area as a whole would suffer long term damage resulting from the loss of future transit-oriented and other development,” Dean Dovolis reported. Ethical Issues: The ethical issues involve the subjection of this ethnically diverse and economically challenged community to the probability of more [...]

1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

Update on the Backyard Initiative By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center 1st Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative Community residents celebrated the first year of the BYI at the Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) on January 30th. Atum Azzahir, CWC Executive Director and facilitator of BYI community meetings, reviewed the progress that has been made: A community-authored definition of health A set of guiding principles for BYI work in the community An understanding of community dynamics before and after engagement Attention paid to the history and culture of the people in the Backyard The formation and development of Citizen Health Action Teams that have been working on designing projects to improve health The work of the Assessment and Analysis Teams that has transformed conventional assessment into a community-owned process, and The concept of a Community Commission on Health was developed and the formation of the Commission was approved by community members. Participants left with a written report on results of the Listening Circles, a process in which community residents developed questions, were trained in facilitation and note-taking, recruited people for the Listening Circles, facilitated the discussion and took the notes, analyzed the notes using qualitative methods, and approved the report. Since the BYI began, close to 300 residents have been involved in ongoing BYI meetings hosted by the Center. In addition, approximately 250 residents, participated in the Listening Circles that were held in the community. In the BYI Walk Around, more than 650 residents were interviewed, either in person or via telephone. Quotes from people who have participated in the BYI throughout 2009: “There is more than meets the eye in the people on the street, in the stores, and in the cars passing by.” “The big institution is just people who have to be encouraged to come outside.” “People want to work together [...]

Health Assessment Leads to Health Action Teams

Health Assessment Leads to Health Action Teams

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Thank you to all the residents who participated in the Listening Circles and the Walk-Around door-to-door or telephone interviews. Gracias a todos los residentes que participaron en los grupos de pláticas y en la encuesta, en persona o por teléfono. Waxaan u mahadcelineynaa dhamaan dadki kasoo qeyb galeen fikrad isweydaarsigi iyo wareysi xaafadaha oo ka dhacay xaafadaha kamid ah Phillips, Powderhorn Park , Central iyo Corcoran. BYI Assessment Completed The implementation of the health assessment of Backyard residents is now complete. The Listening Circles were completed in September and the Walk-around, where community residents hired by Wilder Research interviewed community residents about their health, was completed in January. Over 650 interviews were completed, in person or by phone. In accordance with one of the principles that guide the Backyard Initiative community engagement, “Any assessment of needs or assets, strengths or weaknesses, must be done by residents or with residents,” the assessment process has been planned, guided by, and implemented from start to finish by residents of the Backyard area. For the residents who were involved in conducting the door to door and telephone interviews the process has been engaging and full of insight. Stories from this process and the information from both the Listening Circles and the Walk-around will be shared in upcoming reports. (more…)

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