NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday May 21st 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘Phillips Community Center Pool and Gym’

COMMENTARY Saving the Phillips Pool to Save Lives

By State Senator Jeff Hayden Minneapolis “The City of Lakes.” Minnesota “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Behind all those images of sky blue sparkling waters, there is a startling fact: Minnesota has the highest drowning rate among African-Americans in U.S. The drowning rate for Native Americans is third highest in U.S. One reason is the lack of opportunities for inner city youth and adults to learn how to swim. In fact, the only free indoor public swimming pool in the city of Mpls. is at the Phillips Community Center and the only pool in the Phillips community. Unfortunately, the pool has been closed since Boys and Girls Clubs lease ended in 2008. The Mpls. Park and Rec. Dept. planned to infill with dirt and cap with concrete in 2010. Thanks to an outpouring of support from the community and advocacy from interested organizations, the pool was saved from demolition. However, before the pool can be reopened to the public, it needs extensive renovations. I”'m carrying a bill in the Senate, with Rep. Karen Clark in the House, to renovate the Phillips Pool using $2.1 million from the state”'s capital investment budget. The proposal was in Gov. Dayton”'s bonding request, and is currently included in the House version. The funds would pay for the pool”'s renovation, repairing decking, adding starting blocks,  diving board, timing system scoreboard and an addition added for a wading pool and family locker rooms. There”'s been powerful support from the community and from local and state institutions. These include Mpls. Swims, the MN Chap. of USA Swimming, the Indian Health Board, Little Earth of United Tribes, the Mpls. Public Health Advisory Committee, the Roy Wilkins Center at the U of M”'s Hubert H. Humphrey School, and Augsburg College. Before funding can happen, it has to pass the House and Senate and included in the conference committee report before final votes in both chambers. [...]

“The Alley” Goes to Harvard Law School, Cambridge & Old South Hall, Boston “Spirit of Phillips” to be experienced by its Cartoonist and Editor from Phillips

By Harvey Winje, Editor, The Alley Newspaper Fifty-nine years ago, as a young boy growing up in Phillips, my parents enrolled me at  Wendell Phillips Junior High School on 13th Avenue and East 24th Street where housing stands now north of the Phillips Community Center Pool and Gym.  To the best of my recollection, no one ever told us who Wendell Phillips was or why the school was named from him when it was built in 1926.  The only reference to Wendell Phillips that I can remember is that a picture of him hung in the front lobby of the school. Forty years ago, I spotted a book titled Prophet of Liberty: the Life and Times of Wendell Phillips by Oscar Sherwin in a used book store where a dollar and a half bought me the explanation not given at our junior high school.  The life of Wendell Phillips opened a whole new endeavor of study for me of mid-19th century history.  By learning about the namesake of our community, I was also able to link our community”'s current struggles for human rights and social justice with people like Wendell Phillips who were willing to speak up and passionately debate and agitate for the rights of women, immigrants, slaves, and all other disenfranchised in the 1800”'s.  Learning about the life of Wendell Phillips has not only inspired me but has helped to ground me in my own pursuit of social justice for the Phillips Community in my work with The Alley Newspaper. (more…)

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