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Random alley news August ’22

Random alley news August ’22

By Lindsey Fenner pictures by Ben Heath MN State Senator Omar Fateh’s Ethics Hearing Continued Through July: Sen. Fateh represents Senate District 62, which includes all of Phillips. The ethics investigation, led by the Republican-controlled Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct,  has raised questions about whether Fateh sought $500,000 in state funding for Somali TV of Minnesota after Somali TV ran campaign ads for Fateh for free. As a non-profit, Somali TV cannot endorse candidates. The other ethics concern involves Fateh’s connection to Muse Mohamed Mohamed. Mohamed, who is Fateh’s brother-in-law and volunteered with Fateh’s campaign and was convicted of lying to a grand jury during an investigation of voter fraud in the 2020 DFL primary race between Fateh and longtime incumbent Jeff Hayden. Fateh is now facing a DFL primary challenge in the August 9 Primary election from Shaun Laden, a Minneapolis Public Schools Education Support Specialist and union leader. According to reporting by Deena Winter in the MN Reformer, two witnesses called to a July 7 hearing didn’t show up. They are expected to be subpoenaed for a hearing scheduled for July 27, after the alley goes to press. Check the MN Reformer https://minnesotareformer.com/ for updated coverage.  Little Earth Urban Farm Proposes Greenhouse on Empty Lot: The Little Earth Residents Association (LERA), which runs the Little Earth Urban Farm, is proposing to build a 20,000 square foot greenhouse on the vacant lot LERA owns at the northwest of Hiawatha Avenue and E 26th Street. According to LERA, the greenhouse “will host indoor vertical farming using nutrient-rich water circulated from a yellow perch aquaculture system.” The greenhouse project will expand existing gardening and farming programming and food accessibility. Southside Green Zone Signs Going Up: The 120 signs, designed by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre founder Sandy Spieler, are intended to [...]

AICDC’s New Shelter Homeward Bound Opens To Serve in Minneapolis!

AICDC’s New Shelter Homeward Bound Opens To Serve in Minneapolis!

 By LINDSEY FENNER The Homeward Bound Shelter opened at the former Cedar Box Company building at Cedar and Franklin. On December 7, 2020, American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) opened a new 50 bed shelter providing culturally specific services for the Native American community.The shelter will operate 24/7, and provide meals and storage. Hennepin County provided $3.5 million in funding, with additional funding from the City of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota, and private donors. The shelter was developed relatively quickly, due to the hard work of contractor KMS Construction and AICDC staff, with murals by Rory Wakemup. To get connected for placement at AICDC's shelter, call Adult Shelter Connect at 612-248-2350.  HOMEWARD BOUND, AICDC's new 24hr Shelter opened on Monday, Dec. 7th!Executive Director Michael Goze sent gratitude to the many people that have worked tirelessly to make it happen including; Funders, KMS Construction, subcontractors, Rory Wakemup for the art, and most of all the staff of AICDC!

Tips from a COVID-19 Case Investigator

 By LINDSEY FENNER  How to gather together indoors As we spend more time indoors, it”™s important to keep in mind all of the ways we can reduce risk of spreading COVID-19 and still spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, smaller social gatherings are a very common way that coronavirus spreads. Numbers are rising and the virus is much more widespread across Minnesota and our neighboring states. This means that we are going to have to work together  to make sure the upcoming winter holiday season doesn”™t make things worse. Here are some things to think about when you are planning for the holidays:  Communicate expectations beforehand: Make sure everyone attending has agreed to take the same precautions like wearing masks indoors, staying home when sick, and limiting activities for a few weeks before and after the gathering.  Plan ahead for preventative measures: If you”™re hosting, make sure to have extra masks, hand sanitizer, and supplies for handwashing. Have furniture already spaced. Get single use utensils or encourage people to bring their own.  Keep a list: Write down who was at the gathering, just in case someone gets COVID. This will be helpful if you are contacted by the health department.  Outdoors is better than indoors: How could you adjust traditions to make them outdoor activities? If you are meeting indoors, think about how to avoid crowding and improve ventilation. Is there enough space indoors for everyone to easily socially distance? Can you open some windows or doors to improve ventilation?  Smaller is better than bigger: Try to limit indoor gatherings to ten or fewer people. The more people attending means the higher the risk, especially if guests are coming from out of town. You should not be attending gatherings if you have been told to isolate or quarantine, have symptoms of COVID-19 or are at high risk of serious illness.  Be [...]

Tips from a COVID-19 Case Investigator

 By LINDSEY FENNER  The pandemic has brought into sharp focus all of the inadequacies and inequities of American society. And yet, so many are zoomed in on personal actions and individual rights, based on some blurry idea of “freedom.” While there is much we can each do as individuals to limit risk and exposure to COVID-19, after every single phone call I have with someone who has tested positive, I am struck by the enormous structural failures everyone I talk to has encountered. From testing difficulties, loss of income, confusing communication, mistrust of government, lack of ability to isolate, workplace safety concerns, and on and on, it is clear to me that there is no singular or simple solution to this pandemic. But this doesn”™t mean that there is nothing to be done.  This is where all of you come in. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.  Vote for Federal leadership on masking, PPE production, testing, treatment, and vaccines so that we have all of the tools that we need; Vote for getting politics out of public health, so that experts at the CDC and other public health agencies can do their jobs without political meddling; Vote for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that will enact and enforce coronavirus workplace safety standards; Vote for meaningful economic support for workers and families who are impacted by the pandemic; Vote for an increased minimum wage so that our lowest paid workers on the frontline of this pandemic can have economic security; Vote for unions because we know that unionized workplaces are safer; Vote for reducing the pollution that leads to higher COVID-19 death rates and more severe illness in people who live or grow up in areas overburdened with pollution (like East Phillips); Vote for a Green New Deal that will slow down climate change and the habitat loss that would be certain to lead to more new viruses and future [...]

What”™s Up at Your Community Libraries

By LINDSEY FENNER Hennepin County Libraries are reopening with limited in-person services. For Updated information on Hennepin County Library (HCL) services during the Coronavirus Pandemic, visit www.hclib.org.   All information is accurate as of July 15, 2020 Library Updates:  As of Tuesday, July 14, Franklin Library is open for computer use! Call 612-543-6925 to make an appointment. The building will remain locked, but staff will let you in at your appointment time. Masks are required and will be provided if you don”™t bring one.  You will need to bring your own headphones. At this time, Franklin Library is open for computer use ONLY.  Other areas and services, including book/DVD check-out, are not available. They will be accepting returns during staffed service hours. Franklin Library Computer Hours   Tuesday & Wednesday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Thursday 12-7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday & Monday ”“ closed  Franklin Library meal pick-up for youth, Thursdays, Noon-2 p.m. For ages 18 and under. Pick up a week worth of free meals. Caregivers can pick up meals for youth who are not present.  Meals include: sandwiches, milk, fruit, vegetable, and snack. Curbside Pick Up Library Service at Hosmer Library: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  All East Lake Library patrons will have the default pickup location of their holds changed to Hosmer Library. Place an item on hold through the Library website, wait for notification that the item is ready, then call the Library when you are ready to come pick items up. Hosmer Library: 612-543-6900 Physical Materials: Due dates for physical materials continue to be automatically extended. You are not required to return materials at this time. Libraries are accepting returns during staffed service hours only. Items will be removed from your account after a three day quarantine. Grab and Go Library Service: [...]

Tips from a COVID-19 Case Investigator

By LINDSEY FENNER For the past two months, I have been reassigned  as a COVID-19 Case Investigator. This means that everyday I have conversations with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Over the next few months, I will share tips and ideas from this experience. This month, I want to introduce everyone to what a Case Investigator does and what you should know if you get a call from one. What happens when I test positive?  After a positive test for COVID-19, you should be getting two phone calls: one phone call from the clinic where you got tested, and another phone call from a case investigator from the State of Minnesota Department of Health or a local public health agency.  Why do we call? We want to give you information about isolation and quarantine. I spend most of my time answering questions, talking through what isolation might look like, and making sure families have what they need to isolate and to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others. We also provide letters for work or school and can connect people with resources for essential needs while they are in isolation. We also need to gather information to help understand this new virus and keep people safe. We only share private information with other people working in public health, like epidemiologists and other public health and infectious disease experts.We also want to make sure everyone you had contact with while potentially infectious has the information they need to quarantine. We usually ask you to communicate quarantine information with friends and family. We do follow-up with workplaces if someone worked while they were infectious, but only so the workplace knows what to do to keep everyone safe. We only share your name with your permission.  What should I know about the questions you ask?  There is a reason behind every question we ask. Some questions help us understand how the virus is spreading. For example, we only knew about clusters of [...]

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