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Posts Tagged ‘Midtown Greenway Coalition’

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

By Project Advisory Team members scottie hall and Tim Springer The winning design Artist Heather Doyle. Photo by Sharolyn Hagen. Voters selected Heather Doyle’s proposed “New Dawn” sculpture, a 17-foot-tall stylized spray of flowers, as their favorite design for a proposed light-emitting sculpture for the Midtown Greenway’s 18th Avenue entrance ramp. This is the result of a Call for Artists that resulted in proposals from around the United States. Finalists were selected by an advisory team, and then voted on by the public. Voting outcomes from three voter groups were weighed equally: (1) residents on the block where the sculpture will go; (2) greater Phillips residents; (3) Twin Cities residents who use the Greenway. Doyle is a founder of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center here in South Minneapolis. She designed New Dawn to recognize and celebrate our community’s resilience in dealing with so much trauma in recent years. Doyle commented “I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you all on this project. This community's story is incredible and I am honored to have been chosen to realize your vision for this space.” Doyle will engage local residents to influence selected elements of the design. The sculpture will be located in what was an epicenter of drug dealing in 2020. That July, block residents barricaded the block and sat at the barricades for eight days around the clock. The barricades remained in place for much of that summer. Project Advisory Team member Abdi Hassan Jr. shared his interest in the sculpture, saying “I’m excited for the passerby to enjoy this beautiful sight.” Another Project Advisory Team member, Lauren Evans, says, “I’m hoping for a transcendental effect from the regular world to a world of possibility.” The project now goes from concept approval into a detailed design phase to prepare for approval for installation by public agencies. Midtown Greenway is owned by the Hennepin [...]

Xcel Underground powerline Substations Planning-Public Hearing in June

By Shirley Heyer, MPNIA rep to the Hiawatha Project Substation Design Advisory Committee Xcel held 3 design workshops with an Advisory Committee of 20 folks, including neighborhood reps, for proposed Hiawatha and Midtown South Substations (SS) as directed by Minnesota Pubic Utilities Commission.  Final schematic designs to be presented June Public Hearing”“ watch for time and place. At 3rd mtg.April 9, Architecture Alliance, artistic design architects of the SS walls, requested 5 ideas from each rep. describing their concept (not details) of “artistic” design. The design is for 20”'-22”' high walls surrounding each SS.  2 main concepts emerged; that there be different artistic wall designs because of disparate surroundings. Arch. Alliance will merge the ideas for the Adv. Subcomm. in early May to be sure they are on the right track. The SSs are extremely large using all space at each location. The Hiawatha SS is modeled after the Elliot SS (11th Ave. S. east of M-dome). Also see the Elliot SS from the I-35 freeway into downtown off Hiawatha Ave. It goes around the north side of the Metrodome and the Elliott SS can be seen up above to the right. The Hiawatha SS will be similar in size and design except the Hiawatha SS”'s distribution structure will be 50”' taller. The Midtown South SS between Park and Portland residential areas overlooks the MGW. It is located on property owned by Xcel (a former SS which Xcel demolished and 2 residential properties to the north; recently bought). (more…)

Come Celebrate Re-Opening of Phillips Community Center May 12!

By Shirley Heyer, MPNIA rep to the Phillips Community Parks Initiative and PCC meetings After saving the PCC from demolition or sale to private ownership, residents of the surrounding neighborhoods can sigh with relief! Their four-year effort saved the building with its double gym and swimming pool. Their efforts also resulted in a new partnership between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and a half dozen neighborhood organizations which are jointly operating and programming the building. Tours of building: staff of the MPRB, Minneapolis Swims, Running Wolf Fitness Center, Waite House, A Partnership of Diabetics, Ventura Village and the Guri Nabad Center before and after lunch Recognition ceremony Free lunch at noon Four hours of free music ”“ come sit on the grass (or bring a lawn chair) on the west side of the park and watch local performers entertain you on the MPRB semi-truck stage. Participate in the Midtown Greenway Coalition”'s bike rodeo on 13th Ave. S. Check out numerous neighborhood exhibit tables. Come join the Grand Re-opening Festivities Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The main entrance is at E. 24th St. and 12th Ave. S. Bike, walk, use your wheelchair! E. 24th St. from 11th to 13th avenues and the 2300 block of 13th Ave. S. will be closed to parking.

Meet Soren Jensen, the new Executive Director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition

Meet Soren Jensen, the new Executive Director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition

Soren has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including management positions with the National Parks Conservation Association, American Red Cross, and Sabathani Community Center. He has also worked for Target Corporation, where he managed the United Way campaign and employee volunteerism for Dayton”'s, Hudson”'s, and Marshall Field”'s stores across the Upper Midwest. One of the things we really liked about Soren was the depth of his non-profit management experience. He has all the essential skills you need in a non-profit leader, including extensive experience with fundraising, marketing, finance and volunteer management. He is well-positioned to lead our organization into the future. - Michael Nelson, Board President Like so many people in the Minneapolis area, I treasure the Midtown Greenway. It has made has made a noticeable impact on the quality of life in our community, from providing transportation across town, to creating beautiful green urban spaces for both exercise and reflection, to influencing urban planning and neighborhood revitalization. I am honored to have been selected to continue the Coalition”'s important work. - Soren Jensen, ED of the Midtown Greenway Coalition

Thank you Tim for decades of gracious, dedicated work “Bridging” Minneapolis

By Harvey Winje The adjacent article by Tim Springer is reprinted with permission from the Midtown Greenway Coalition newsletter “Pathways.” The Alley appreciates having this farewell in Tim”'s own words. Another article by a writer familiar with the saga of this Phillips resident and organizer who has done yeoman”'s work for nearly two decades. There are very people who have navigated the “mine fields” of funding, regulation, political and bureaucratic protocols and egos, successfully for such a long time. Thank you, Tim, for your gracious, dedicated service to this Community and to the City. Because of his initiatives in marshalling hundreds of Greenway workers, the future is bright and even greener. You have truly “bridged” many obstacles assisting many citizens of creating this wonderful amenity to our lives”“the Midtown Greenway.

After 18 years! Tim Springer Resigns as Executive Director: Replacement Sought

After 18 years! Tim Springer Resigns as Executive Director:  Replacement Sought

by Tim Springer “Wow. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity I”'ve had to work on the Greenway as part of a team with dedicated fellow staff, volunteers, elected officials, and public and private partners. Yay for the Midtown Greenway, Minnesota”'s busiest bikeway! I”'m also very proud that we”'ve created a new national model for community involvement with alternative transportation and city building. I made the decision to leave so the Coalition can fly on its own and I can explore new things. “ The Coalition board requests your help recruiting an outstanding new Executive Director prior to Tim”'s departure on June 3. Applications are due March 11. Visit the Greenway web site to view the job description.  

Love the Midtown Greenway?

Take The Greenway Challenge! By Lauren Fulner, Community Organizer, Midtown Greenway Coalition The Twin Cities community will be taking over the Greenway this September, and we want you to join in the celebration! Riders in the first annual bike-a-thon on the Midtown Greenway on September 25, 2010 will be delighted by live music, colorful community art, and delicious snacks along all 5.5 miles of the Greenway trail. We”'d love for you and your friends to participate; cyclists commit to ride 44 miles in the Greenway on event day and secure at minimum of $250 in personal pledges beforehand. Fantastic prizes await the fundraising fanatics””the top pledge-getter wins airfare for two and a week at a chateau built in an old winery in the bike-friendly Loire Valley of France. This grand prize is being donated by Bob Corrick and Beth Parkhill. Other prizes will be given away via raffle open to all bikers in the Challenge, and for best costume and best decorated bike. The Midtown Greenway Coalition invites trail users to sign up months early so that the pledge raising is a cinch, and will be hosting Pledge-Raising How-To parties throughout the summer. Cyclists have all afternoon to complete their ride, and can begin as early as 11:00 a.m., with an awards ceremony capping off the evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Cepro site (10th Avenue entrance to the Greenway by Midtown Exchange). All funds raised go directly to keeping your Greenway safe and beautiful. You can register for The Greenway Challenge online following links from, or by contacting or visiting the Midtown Greenway Coalition office inside the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center to request a hard copy of the registration form. Thanks in advance for your support!

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 [...]

High Voltage Lines Public Meeting Feb. 10 “Draft” Environmental Impact Statement is Released

by Midtown Greenway Coalition The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on January 8, 2010 regarding Xcel Energy”'s proposed high voltage transmission lines and two new substations along the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. The 463-page document will inform proceedings by an Administrative Law Judge and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding a route permit for the transmission lines. The Midtown Greenway Coalition is pleased that an underground route, as compared to an overhead route on 70 to 115-foot-tall towers, was identified as a potential mitigation measure for impacts related to land use, structures, safety and health, recreation and tourism, aesthetics, utilities systems, and transportation. On the other hand, these potential mitigation strategies are not stated in the form of recommendations and many steps remain before a route is determined. Furthermore, a route now under consideration is underneath the cycling and walking trails which the Coalition is evaluating at this time. To be part of the process and comment on the DEIS, attend the upcoming public meeting where representatives from the OES and Xcel Energy will be available to answer questions about the permitting process and the proposed project. Individuals on the Coalition”'s email list for Xcel updates will be sent talking points as the meeting approaches. To be added to this list, email Public Meeting Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ”“ 6:00 p.m. Plaza Verde 1516 East Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 550407 612-724-5332 Also be sure to check the Coalition”'s website for updates as the process continues, and keep your calendar marked for the hearings on April 5th and 6th, location TBA.

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