NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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Posts Tagged ‘Karen Clark’

Party planned for Karen Clark

Party planned for Karen Clark

Beyond Wisconsin

by Peter Molenaar March 13, 2011”¦ There were pleasant greetings between the handful of neighborhood folk who attended the most recent rally in Hudson. David Bicking was there. His handmade sign read: “Labor Creates All Wealth”. In jest, I pondered out loud, “Oh, I thought ownership of the means of production created wealth.” And then, yet another great semi-truck roared beneath our occupied overpass. Honk. Honk. Honnkkk”¦ Are public workers being unjustly scape-goated? Well, for starters, millions of good paying American jobs have been shipped overseas. And then came huge tax breaks for super-wealthy people in a time of war. To which we must add some wildly irresponsible Wall Street speculations and sub-prime mortgage schemes which culminated in a $700 billion bailout. You be the judge. My own handmade sign read simply: “Tax the rich”. Some long ago training as a draftsman found a nice expression. Requests for photo poses were many. Smile. In today”'s world, just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined””more loot than the combined assets of 155 million people. Or, to slice it in a different way, 20% of America owns 85% of the country”'s wealth. Clearly, public workers are in the category of “the people”””the 80% which owns a mere 15% . Therefore, the attacks against these workers are an absolute disgrace. Note: Wisconsin teachers average about $46,000 a year””top hedge fun managers “earn” $48,000 per hour. (more…)

On The FBI Raids

by Peter Molenaar The basic facts: The FBI raided five homes and an anti-war office on September 24, 2010.  Federal grand jury subpoenas were handed to nine local activists.  The activists include eight women and one man ranging in age from 29 to 71.  Four are parents of children ranging in age from 18 months to 6 years of age.  One is a great-grandmother.  Six are members of labor unions.  All have been involved in international solidarity and peace work for many years.  They are friends and neighbors to each and every one of us. So, now they all face jail time for refusing the initial subpoena.  Conceivably, the period of incarceration might be extended “indefinitely” in the event the grand jury reconvenes with this in mind.  Representative Clark and Senator Berglin have received praise for resolving against this intrusion. (more…)

Losing our Assets: A Plea For Help!

By Robert Albee I started out trying to tell a story about Ancient Traders, the East Franklin Avenue strip mall across the street from my house, but wise counsel prevailed and pointed out too many holes, inaccuracies and inflammatory language in that draft so it is better to start afresh. So this story is more of an editorial than a narrative, as it awaits a true storyteller with more time and access to facts than I possess. This piece begins with a plea to our state elected officials””Senator Berglin and Representative Clark and our county and municipal officials, Peter McLaughlin, Robert Lilligren and Gary Schiff”” requesting that we begin a forensics investigation into the practice using one property to leverage another when public monies were originally used and were obtained to serve a given locality. In a shifting economy, this conduct has the makings to destabilize an area that was only recently stabilized, with investments of more than $130 million and crime rates dropping along the East Franklin Avenue corridor. (more…)

State Commissioner Recklessly Alters Locally Initiated Window Safety Legislation

by Jim Graham Three years ago Minneapolis”' own Linda Berglin and Karen Clark, with a little help from yours truly, got legislation passed to require window fall protection, such as security screens, on all new window construction for multi-unit buildings. It was limited to multi-unit buildings as a compromise, and as a beginning, but also because a huge proportion of child falls came from apartment buildings. It was anticipated even that limited law might prevent up to 80% of child falls. And that it would eventually result in even concerned parents with single family homes installing such screens. Much like the CO regulations has successfully done. The attention and work on that legislation came about because of the sudden awareness of the problem due to Laela Shagobay falling from a window four floors up in a newly constructed building that met ALL construction codes and regulations at the time. That building and some others put on “Safety” screens as soon as they could be designed to retro-fit the windows, and before “Laela”'s Law” went into effect. (more…)

Open Letter to the Community Historic Community Protection Legislation is studied locally by North Mpls. and nationally by CA”“Re-Elect Responsible Lawmakers

With regard to a post on Mpls.e-democracy forum suggesting we sweep all the incumbents from the legislature, I just received a note from a friend in north Mpls. telling me to hang on to Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Berglin. My friend”'s neighborhood is facing exposure to becoming host to a hazardous waste site and is aware of what Rep. Clark, Sen. Berglin and many neighborhood folks have accomplished together to bring about a first-in-the-nation environmental justice zone protective of the Phillips”' population through a bill in the legislature. The legislation requires far stricter guidelines than currently exist to protect a large section of the urban core neighborhood of Phillips, based on poverty statistics, already existing area pollution, health challenges and intense diversity. Phillips and Clark/Berglin”'s high profile protective bill are being watched from as far away as California for implications and responses. The bill is historic on the environmental justice scene. (more…)

Summer of Solutions Workers Listening, Responding, and Supporting

by Martha Pskowski and Nalatlie Camplair At the beginning of June, six members of Summer of Solutions (SoS) moved into a house in Midtown Phillips. This summer residence serves as headquarters for the SoS program, a grassroots youth leadership program that focuses on building capacity and potential in communities to address social and environmental injustices. There are 15 full-time SoS members in the Twin Cities. Summer of Solutions, hosted by the non-profit Grand Aspirations, was formed by Macalester College students in 2008 and is now made up of young people from around Minnesota and the U.S. Participants will work on bike access, urban agriculture, energy efficiency and green manufacturing. Summer of Solutions will support existing local organizations that already work in these project areas and support them with their time and energy. For example, participants will be working with a variety of urban farms this summer, including several in East Phillips.  SoS is also working on creating networks of urban farmers to create jobs and keep “food dollars” in our communities. Another partnership with a for-profit co-op, Cooperative Energy Futures, seeks to create jobs and build community by capturing the savings from energy efficiency projects. CEF is working with Karen Clark to pursue the solution of improved energy efficiency in Phillips as a strong argument against constructing the Xcel transmission lines. CEF, urban agriculture and all the projects of SoS attempt to create new models to replace those that aren”'t working for employees, the natural world and our health. Redefining the priorities of both business and charitable work to build potential in communities is primary goal of Summer of Solutions. In all its work, Summer of Solutions tries to listen and respond to the needs and concerns of community members. The members are excited to be in the Phillips neighborhood and be a part of its rich tradition of [...]

Curious about a “key victory” in the Xcel Powerline dilemma?

By Tim Springer, Executive Director, Midtown Greenway Coalition As many Alley readers may know, Xcel energy applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a permit to construct two new high voltage transmission lines over the Midtown Greenway or nearby, and two new substations. The community has concerns about potential impacts on human health, aesthetics, and historic resources, and consigning this part of town to blight. Because of the relatively short distance of the lines, about 1.2 miles, a “certificate of need” was not required for the project. This means that the PUC cannot deny the project, they may only say where the wires go. This was a frustration to many people who felt that a closer look should be taken at energy conservation, local power production such as with photovoltaic solar panels, electricity storage, and smart grid. The only way to require an analysis of this bundle of alternatives is to require a certificate of need. Enter State Representative Karen Clark, our rock star legislator. Karen pulled together a group of people, including lobbyists for Xcel Energy, and hammered out language acceptable to community members and Xcel Energy. Then she changed state law to require a certificate of need! Other legislators who deserve thanks are Senators Linda Berglin and Ellen Anderson. The certificate of need process will be undertaken over the next year or so. The route permit process that is already underway with the PUC to determine where the wires and substations will go will be finalized and decisions made, but the permit will not be signed and the project will not be constructed until after the need for the lines is proven. Even if a certificate of need is provided and the high voltage lines are allowed, the analysis of possible energy alternatives created as part of the certificate of need process could provide a great energy efficiency and energy alternatives roadmap for south Minneapolis, potentially making [...]

Curious about another threat to East Phillips Community Center?

Curious about  another threat to East Phillips Community Center?

By Brad Pass, Chair East Phillips Park Community Design Team Once again East Phillips Cultural and Community Center has uncovered a deeply dismaying setback. Serious hazardous pollution was discovered as excavation proceeded this spring as if the struggles to gain political support, funding, and an appropriate design were not enough,. Borings and beginning excavation last Fall did not find this problem. Foundation rubble from houses demolished in the early 1970s left small quantities of numerous pollutants; asbestos, lead, ash and fuel oil, and others thoroughly intermixed with the excavated soil. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) require all excavated material be treated as hazardous waste and disposed and new soil brought substituted. The total cost of removing this and purchasing more clean fill and top soil far exceeds budgeted project funds. The solution proposed by the Park Board was to reduce the building”'s size and function by: Eliminating 1,000 Sq. Ft. at the south end of building designated as the Elder and Family Gathering Space; Eliminating all commercial kitchen equipment: refrigerator, freezer, range, exhaust hood, fire suppression system, make-up air system, and all counters, cupboards and storage cabinets; Eliminating the sound attenuating system in the gymnasium. Eliminating many other building amenities. Downgrading was a nightmare after the long struggle to deliver a wonderful multi-use building for the many needs of Phillips”' incredible diversity. The losses were too severe to accept without a fight. The Community Design Team and EPIC scrambled quickly and found two sources of money to help. One is a Hennepin County Pollution Mitigation Grant. The second is a bill rushed through the legislature in the last days of the session by Representative Karen Clark. Members of the Design Team worked frantically on May Day weekend to meet the Monday, May 3rd deadline for the Hennepin County grant. Rep. [...]

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Ground-Breaking 4 ½ Years after Linda”'s Dream, Neighbors-described on ”˜Butcher Paper”'**

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Ground-Breaking 4 ½ Years after Linda”'s Dream, Neighbors-described on ”˜Butcher Paper”'**

By Brad Pass and Carol Pass On November 19th, 2009 a momentous event for the Phillips Neighborhood occurred. It was the ground breaking of the long awaited East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center. After years of relentless struggle primarily by the residents and organizations of East Phillips, with help from our adjoining neighborhood to the west, Midtown Phillips, and many others, the end is in sight. Within months we will be able to enjoy this beautiful new building. The East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center will include a big gym with bleachers, a community kitchen, a beautiful entry rotunda, an elder and family gathering space and rooms to provide programs and educational help for our multitude of residents. It will provide space to help them reach their potential, to improve their lives, celebrate their many cultures and just chill out and enjoy one another. Ball fields and landscaping will also be added. Such a Center was a long held dream going back years, but always stalled out for a thousand reasons. However, when the neighborhood organization, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, EPIC, began to plan programs for our neglected and desperately needy youth, the board members were stymied and brought to a halt by lack of space. They realized they could not write the grants to bring help to anyone, because there was no place to put the programs that were needed. All the churches were full. All the other possible spaces were occupied. The needs of this very diverse population were overwhelming, and we were helpless to respond. Then on July 14th, 2005, at the monthly EPIC neighborhood meeting, faced with a sense of sorrow at the inability to move ahead, East Phillips resident Linda Leonard spoke of a dream. She asked, “if we could have a Community Center in East Phillips Park, what problems would it solve and what could it do and be for the community?” She got out a large piece of butcher paper and started copying the [...]

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