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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 [...]

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 [...]

Metro Transit: Lake Street and I-35W Station Opens

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON It’s finally happening! The new bus station in the middle of I-35W at Lake Street is opening Monday, 18 October 2021. (This means it’s already open by the time this issue is published. Such is the lag time inherent in a monthly newspaper.) As I’m sure everyone who’s read my column knows, it’s for the new Orange Line to Burnsville, which begins 4 December. In the meantime, Metro Transit Routes 535, 553, 578, 597, and Southwest Transit Routes 600 and 695 will be using it, joined by various MVTA express routes as of 20 November. Local Metro Transit Routes 21 and 27 will provide connections on Lake Street, just below the station. Speaking of Lake Street, planning for the B Line, a Bus Rapid Transit line to open on Lake Street in 2024, is chugging right along. Presently, Route 21 is the slowest and second busiest route in the whole Metro Transit bus system. Anyone who’s had to ride a 21 during a rush-hour traffic jam knows it’s not a good experience. The B Line will have all-door boarding; you will buy your ticket or scan your card before getting on, like the light rail. This will save a lot of time. There won’t be as many stops, which will speed service but be hard on people who can’t walk far. For those of us who need it, the 21 will still run once every half hour, while the B Line will run every 10 minutes. The B Line may also get its own dedicated lane. If that happens, even more of a time savings will be had by all. I’ve used the similar A Line on Snelling Avenue, and it really is great!

Ingebretsen’s Celebrates 100 Years

Ingebretsen’s Celebrates 100 Years

By Laila Simon, Ingebretsen’s staff The western side of Ingebretsen's in the 90s, including the Dala Style mural painted by Judith Kjenstad. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace, the hub for shopping all things Nordic in South Minneapolis. A neighborhood place, Ingebretsen’s is a store where you can stock up on everyday items like butter and eggs, as well as specialty imports. As a fourth generation family business, celebrating one hundred years is an incredible milestone. Ask any member of the family or staff and they’ll tell you that the business is still here because of Ingebretsen’s loyal customers. You might know Ingebretsen’s as an online store for Christmas gifts and traditional foods, or as the place you drive by in December in Minnesota, with a line of people waiting in subzero temperatures all the way down the block. You may have even heard of people making “lute” (lutefisk) pilgrimages from out of state each year. But Ingebretsen’s has come to represent a lot more. It is a cultural and community gathering spot for people to share their heritage and keep family traditions alive. Food has always been at the center of Ingebretsen’s, and shopping at the Butcher Shop & Deli is a tradition in and of itself, passed down through generations. Nancy Carlson, a customer, said, “My dad worked at Peterson Motors on 38th E Lake St from the late ’50s to the late ’60s. He would stop at Ingebretsen's at least once a week for Scandinavian food (both parents are Norwegian). I've continued that tradition, although it's not weekly, more like monthly.” A story many people will recognize from their own family histories: Karl (Charlie) Ingebretsen immigrated to the United States from Norway in the early twentieth century. Charlie passed through Ellis Island in 1904, and soon got a job on the docks. He traveled west to Fargo, North Dakota, where he learned butchering; he then moved south [...]

In The Heart of the Beast Theatre Update

In The Heart of the Beast Theatre Update

BOARD UPDATE AUGUST 12 2021In 2021, HOBT has been working to restart our organization and adapt to the impacts of COVID-19. We considered every path forward that would put us in the best possible position to live out our mission and carry the important work of the MayDay Council into the future.In conversation and with the input of HOBT staff and the MayDay Council, the HOBT Board of Directors has voted to sell the Avalon Theatre, our home since 1988.It”™s time to find a new, smaller home that will allow us to live into our vision of a decentralized MayDay. That includes moving into a new space that is more sustainable and accessible.HOBT is also in the process of moving out of our puppet storage warehouse, which was rented to store the thousands of puppets in HOBT”™s collection.The puppets will return to the artists that created them, museums who can house them (both locally and nationally), and HOBT will be maintaining a smaller collection to carry our work into the future.We have come to these decisions out of a fierce commitment to the power of puppet and mask performance to create new ways forward together with our beloved community.We give abundant gratitude for all the brilliant work done over the past 48 years: the many artists, staff, board members, and volunteers who have given their whole hearts to the work of HOBT. Thank you!As we sell the building and move out of puppet storage, we are turning the page on this chapter of our organization.With hope, we are embarking on a new journey: finding a new space, creating new decentralized MayDay experiences, and choosing a new name for our puppet and mask theater.For more information and to read our full announcement, go here: https://hobt.org/the-avalon/ The Avalon Theatre at 1500 E Lake Street has been home to In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre since 1988.

Midtown Phillips Neighborhood News

Midtown Phillips Neighborhood News

Around the Neighborhood: Hopeful Messages

Around the Neighborhood: Hopeful Messages

By BEN HEATH

“Who Dyed?” “What is next to Which?” “Who”'s on First?” *

“Who Dyed?” “What is next to Which?” “Who”'s on First?” *

By Sue Hunter Wier Uncle Peter first? Joan Wardwell second?, all at Hodsdon”'s at Bloomington and Lake Farm next to Layman”'s In the late 19-teens and early 1920s several newspaper articles claimed that “Uncle” Peter Wardell (sometimes Wardwell or Waddell) was the second (or even the first) person buried in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. He was buried, so the stories go, either under what is now the bus stop at Cedar Avenue and Lake Street or in the far southeastern corner of the cemetery at Lake Street and 21st Avenue. Supposedly, Uncle Peter was an employee of Martin Layman who had moved to Minnesota with members of the Layman family in 1853. There”'s only one problem””“Uncle” Peter didn”'t exist. The confusion about this imaginary man is understandable, though. There is a person with a similar name who was among the earliest burials in the cemetery. Her name was Joan Robbins Wardwell. Mrs. Wardwell died from cancer in 1858, supposedly the first recorded case of cancer in Minneapolis. Although one of her granddaughters claimed that Mrs. Wardwell was the second person buried in the cemetery, that isn”'t true either””there were at least two dozen people buried in the cemetery before she was. What is true is that her husband, George Wardwell, worked for Martin Layman, the cemetery”'s original owner. George Wardwell surveyed the section of Layman”'s farmland that became the first municipal cemetery on the west side of the river. In return, he was given two burial plots. (more…)

Fish Tacos by La Sirena Gorda, “The Fat Mermaid.”

Fish Tacos by  La Sirena Gorda, “The Fat Mermaid.”

By Courtney Algeo The truth is this: I went to the Midtown Global Market on a rainy Tuesday evening to review Pacific Islander Cuisine. We went around 6:00 p.m.”“prime dinnertime”“but only one person was working at the restaurant, cooking and dishing up all of the made to order food herself. She looked like she was working extremely hard, and the food she was making smelled delicious. Unfortunately, I suffer from what some call the hanger. Hanger is a portmanteau of the words “hungry” and “angry”, that signifies the emotion contained in the moment when your desire for food turns into a hot, burning rage. Or, perhaps it”'s just a case of crippling impatience. To shield those near me from my hanger, I simply turned around in the aisle at Midtown Global Market and ordered some delightful fish tacos from La Sirena Gorda, which means (hilariously) “the fat mermaid.” Although this was the first time a name had been associated with the restaurant, I had heard a lot about the fish tacos before I stumbled into this dining experience. Whenever tacos are brought up in conversation (which, if you know me, is a lot) friends and strangers alike always ask if I”'ve had the fish tacos at the Midtown Global Market. Now, I can grin slightly, rub my belly, lift my chin and say to them, “Why yes. Yes I have.” The tacos come in orders of two or four. I would recommend always getting four. This is not because they are small, by any means, but rather the tacos come, for the most part, unassembled. If you order four tacos, you get a healthy portion of taco innards, and then four soft tortilla shells. I”'m not sure why they do this, but I was glad to be served that way, because I was in control of how full I filled my tacos, and that made me feel like an empowered consumer. If you order two tacos, I assume you will get a smaller pile of fish bits, and only two tortillas. You will also feel strangely [...]

“Hats Off” as Honors are Given

“Hats Off” as Honors are Given

May 19, 2011, marked the perfect ending to a perfect week for Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery””the kind of week that comes around once every 83 years. It was a week in which we celebrated the history of Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial (formerly Layman”'s) Cemetery while making a little history of our own. May is National Preservation Month, a time when preservationists and their supporters call attention to efforts to save the nation”'s historic treasures. One of those national treasures is right here in Phillips Community Grand Opening of the Restored Main Gate “Hinges” on contributions On Tuesday, May 17th, about 60 people attended the unveiling of Phase I of the restoration of the cemetery”'s gates and the 13 sections of the fence that were in the worst condition. The weather was glorious, the tulips were in full bloom, and even the dandelions looked festive. A lime-green dune buggy buzzed around one of the vacant lots across from the Lake Street gates where guests gathered to listen to speakers. A gentleman walking down Lake Street removed his hat and held it over his heart as he passed by the cemetery gates. Council Member Gary Schiff made the opening remarks. He was followed by Winnie Layman Fernstrom, great-great-granddaughter of the cemetery”'s original owners; Britta Bloomberg from the State Historic Preservation Office; Chad Larsen, Chair of the Heritage Preservation Commission; Joyce Wisdom, Executive Director of the Lake Street Business Council; and me, as Chair of Friends of the Cemetery. The message was clear: this project wouldn”'t have been possible without the hard work and generous support of many individuals and agencies. The State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Minneapolis have provided the lion”'s share of funding, but the value of contributions from those who have adopted pickets can not be overstated. Funders want to know, and rightly so, [...]

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