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David Tinjum
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Claudia Kittock
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Michael Rainville Jr.
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Ryan Ojard
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Mill City Cooks
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Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Wednesday
Feb202019

MnSpin Open Now for Music Submissions

Via a February 20 e-announcement from Hennepin County:

Hennepin County Library's digital music platform, MnSpin, open now for local music submissions

Minnesota musicians can join established acts and rising stars on MnSpin, the local music streaming and download platform from your library. MnSpin connects music lovers with our local scene, and Minnesota creators with new audiences.

Submit a song

Minnesota musicians and bands of all genres are invited to submit one music recording by March 27. The song must have been produced in the past five years. A panel of local music experts and library staff will review all submissions, and invite selected artists to make one album available through the online platform. MnSpin artists will sign a license agreement and receive $200.

For full submission details and consideration criteria, see the MnSpin FAQ.

A diverse collection

Currently, MnSpin features more than 1,100 songs on more than 120 albums, covering 18 genres. Following this submission cycle, Hennepin County Library will add as many as 100 more albums. The collection captures the richness of music created in Minnesota and the diversity of Minnesota creators in all genres, including rap and hip-hop, classical, folk, pop and rock, world music and more.

Connect to MnSpin

Anyone can stream from the platform, and Hennepin County Library cardholders can download songs for free. Connect to MnSpin on any device through www.hclib.org/arts-culture.

MnSpin is supported by Friends of the Hennepin County Library.

Sunday
Feb172019

The Mill City Singers + Out of the Box Opera = Opera Gospel Fusion

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Ric Rosow

When you decide to become a part of the Mill City Singers, life changes in very important ways. The first way is that on Saturday afternoons, from 2:00-3:30p on the 8th floor of the Guthrie, you find a sense of hope, and a community of singers who make wonderful music while laughing, hugging, and singing together.         

The second change that occurs is that you go places and do things that you never thought would be part of your life. Appearances at Orchestra Hall, the Ordway, the Loring Park Music Fest, Holidazzle, the MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon, and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Twins games are just a few examples. On Saturday, February 9th, another first happened for the Singers. We were part of an opera, literally and figuratively, front and center! 

A heavy snow could not deter the audience from attending.

Noah Eisenberg and Jim Berman, opera aficionados and great friends, have spent decades of their friendship going to operas and delighting in the wonder of the sights and sounds of opera. As time progressed, Noah and Jim discussed a mutual concern about how to introduce opera to younger people and by introducing it, make sure to show the humor, the showmanship, and the skill needed to be a performer in the world of opera. So along with artistic director David Lefkowich, Noah and Jim formed Out of The Box Opera, whose mission is to bring opera to new audiences in new ways.

The Mill City Singers performed in their signature hand painted scarves.

After several very successful shows, the idea was hatched to have an opera fusion event. J.D. Steele was a judge in the first Out Of the Box Opera Cage Match, so he became part of this discussion and suggested an Opera Gospel fusion, featuring the Mill City Singers, and opera stars. That is what happened on February 9th at the Wiseman Art Museum, because...what says opera and gospel more than a museum? Yes, creativity abounds at every turn.

Tenor Dominique Wooten, front center, with the Mill City Singers.

Michele Crowder and J.D. Steele with the Mill City Singers.

Soprano Alexandra RazskazoffDominique Wooten and Alexandra Razskazoff were the featured singers, alternating arias with gospel songs sung by the Mill City Singers. Then came the fusions pieces, led by Tonia Hughes and J.D. Steele with the Singers singing back up in the choruses.

It was a sold-out performance with an enthusiastic audience, and the evening ended with a rendition of Oh Happy Day that will not soon be forgotten. Even the audience joined in, as it was impossible to resist the magic of the evening.

Sound like fun?  It is, and so much more. The Singers are free and open to anyone who loves singing. If you are interested, please contact Claudia Kittock at cjkittock@gmail.com. Be warned if you come - the magic is difficult to resist!

This event was also covered by the Minnesota Daily.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org

 

Sunday
Feb172019

February E-Newsletter from 3rd Ward Council Member Steve Fletcher

My Policy Priorities for 2019

The City Council began meeting in 2019 on January 7, and this Friday, February 15, marks the end of our third full cycle. As my first newsletter of the year, this is a great opportunity to outline some of my policy priorities that I'll be working on in 2019 -- many of these are covered in more detail in stories below this one, so read on:

  • The Public Works Department will spend most of this year developing our next 10-year Transportation Action Plan, which builds on the foundation of the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan to identify specific strategies and actions we need to pursue to meet those goals. 

I'll be following this process very closely, and I encourage everyone in Ward 3 and across the City to add your input to it. Join me at Honey (at 205 E. Hennepin) next Wednesday the 20th from 5:00 - 7:30 for my first Ward 3 Happy Hour, where I'll discuss the Transportation Action Plan with Public Works staff.

  • Last year, I started the process for a Data Privacy ordinance, and I will be working to develop that ordinance this year. One aspect of that ordinance will be our use of surveillance technology; the Public Safety Committee recently received a report on our use of cameras, which served as a good starting point for this discussion.
  • Residents have recently shone light on data available through the Police Department's data dashboards that show clear inequities in some of our traffic stops, specifically for equipment violations. I think this issue is one worth digging into to see if we can pursue our public safety goals in a more equitable and effective fashion, and that's going to take time and effort to do right. 
  • Affordable housing has been a top priority of mine since day one, and that hasn't changed from last year. We have a good set of affordable housing projects in the pipeline in Ward 3 in the next few years, but we need to accelerate our pace and I will continue to seek the inclusion of affordable units in every project I possibly can.
  • One specific housing-related policy that I am interested in pursuing this year is a workable definition of housing affordability for students and student housing, which is of particular relevance in our Ward and a thorny problem to tackle. Our current affordability definitions by median income could have the perverse effect of most benefiting those students with the highest debt load, and penalizing those who are working their way through school and who most need access to affordable housing.    
  • I was thrilled to hear that Minneapolis and Saint Paul got selected last year for Bloomberg Philanthropies' American Cities Climate Challenge, and I am super excited that one of our areas of work that they'll be helping us develop is on transportation hubs and Mobility as a Service. If we are going to meet the challenge of climate change head-on, we need to continue to decrease our use of cars by allowing folks to get around in other ways: walking, biking, on public transit, on scooters, via car-share (like HourCar), via ride-hail services like Uber & Lyft, and in ways we haven't thought of yet -- AND we need to make all of those options as seamless as possible. That's what our transportation hub and Mobility as a Serviceinitiatives are all about.

There's lots more that I expect will be coming through the City Council this year, and more that I'll be working on. If there's a policy item that you think should be a priority for me this year, contact my office and I'd love to hear more about it.


Help Shape Our Transportation Action Plan

 

Multi-modal transportation options

On January 22, Public Works staff presented to the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee a vision for developing the next Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan. It will identify specific strategies and actions the City and our partners need to take within the next decade to implement the transportation policies of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which has been sent to the Metropolitan Council for review.

The Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan will guide transportation decisions to ensure alignment with these goals: safety, equity, prosperity, climate, mobility and active partnerships. It’s focused on the following topics: advanced mobility, pedestrian, bicycle, transit, freight, street operations and street design.

Public Works will conduct community engagement to gather input and feedback on the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan throughout the year. A draft plan will be released later in 2019, and staff will seek official public comment on it at that time. Staff is expected to submit the plan to the City Council for approval in late 2020.

Please join me at a Ward 3 Happy Hour to learn more about the Transportation Action Plan and share your feedback to help shape it:

Wednesday, February 20

5:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Honey, 205 E. Hennepin Ave.

RSVP on Facebook or just show up!

Visit go.minneapolismn.gov to learn more about the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan and upcoming engagement opportunities, or search #gompls on social media.


Weigh in on "Neighborhoods 2020"

 

The public comment period is open for the Neighborhoods 2020 framework recommendationson neighborhood programming, funding and governance structure for the City’s 70 officially recognized neighborhood organizations in 2020 and beyond. The public comment period runs through March 31.

The recommendations align with the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which states that “Minneapolis will have an equitable civic participation system that enfranchises everyone, recognizes the core and vital service neighborhood organizations provide to the City of Minneapolis, and builds people’s long-term capacity to organize and improve their lives and neighborhoods.”

Goals include:

  • Organizations reflecting the communities they serve.
  • Simplifying participation for all.
  • Saving money and staff time for participating organizations.

The public can comment in person at community information meetings or in writing. All meetings will have interpreters available and will take public comments. Meeting dates include:

  • Feb. 27 6-8 p.m.: Eastside Services, 1700 Second St. NE (held in English)
  • March 8 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Harrison Community Center, 503 Irving Ave. N. (held in Lao and Hmong)
  • March 13 6-8 p.m.: Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center, 505 15th Ave. S. (held in Somali)
  • March 15 6-8 p.m.: Waite House, 2323 11th Ave. S. (held in Spanish)

Additional meetings will be scheduled in multiple languages. See the most up-to-date list at Minneapolismn.gov/ncr/2020. The final policy recommendations are tentatively scheduled to go before the City Council in April.

More information is available at minneapolismn.gov/ncr/2020. The Neighborhoods 2020 framework recommendations are online in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. 


Traffic Stops for Equipment Violations

 

Council Members Fletcher, Jenkins, and Ellison at a Public Safety Committee hearing in 2018

Photo credit: Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

In the Public Safety Committee meeting on February 6, we heard from a number of community members raising concerns about racial bias in traffic stops, both in who gets stopped, and in which stops get escalated to searches. The Star Tribune covered the discussion in this story.

A group called the Racial Justice Network is organizing to demand a moratorium on equipment violation stops (for things like a broken tail-light) as a strategy for reducing racial profiling. We also heard from community members who have heard from MPD that these traffic stops are an important tool for getting guns off the streets, and asked us to prioritize that over people's concerns about profiling and harassment. As I said during the meeting, I think that's a false choice.

We owe it to all of our residents to design smart, effective public safety strategies to get guns off the street and eliminate gun violence in our community.

**AND**

We owe it to all of our residents to treat everyone fairly, and to make every department in our city a resource, rather than a cause of harassment and fear.

So, the real question is this: are traffic stops an effective tool for reducing gun violence? MPD presented some limited data, and based on what we know right now, it's hard to argue that they are. In 2018, we made 40,000 traffic stops and recovered 97 weapons.

Those stops are disproportionately in neighborhoods in North Minneapolis, and are disproportionately stopping African American drivers. People know when they're being targeted unfairly, and each time someone is pulled over with a brake light as a pretext to question them and maybe search their vehicle, it adds to a sense of mistrust that makes it harder to solve crimes and address the violence we're trying to prevent.

This is against a backdrop of a 70% drop in traffic stops city-wide, after we cut our traffic enforcement unit. My office routinely receives requests for increased safety enforcement to curb dangerous driving behaviors in more affluent neighborhoods. The impression in many parts of the city is that we don't do traffic stops at all, and in other parts, that we stop people all the time, but using traffic safety as a pretext.

So, I'm not ready to support it yet, but I'm inclined to take the community demand for a moratorium on equipment stops very seriously. We could achieve a similar traffic safety outcome (informing vehicle owners their light is out) with a postcard, rather than a stop that exposes a driver to potential escalation.

Before we commit to something like that, we need more data and more specific information from MPD, and I'm going to work to get it. Specifically, we need to know how many of these stops are pretext stops, as opposed to traffic enforcement for traffic enforcement's sake. We can be fairly sure that the percentage is very high, but drilling down into how this works in practice will help us understand whether there are legitimate public safety reasons to do something short of a moratorium.

I'm also always open to constructive suggestions from community and from MPD about better ways to eliminate racial bias from our policing practices, and approach community safety in a smarter way that builds trust and makes everyone safer.

You can view the committee meeting, including public testimony, here.

You can view MPD's data dashboard here (and, if I may brag for a minute, our Police Department under Chief Arradondo's leadership has one of the best, most transparent open data platforms in the country for police data).

Please continue to share your thoughts and feedback with me at steve.fletcher@minneapolismn.gov.


Should MPD purchase security cameras from Verizon that got installed for the Super Bowl?

 

One of the components of hosting a Super Bowl is providing a very high level of security, which often includes new technology and surveillance capacity. In Minneapolis, there are 20 cameras that were added by Verizon last year that have not yet been taken down. The Minneapolis Police Department is now considering a proposal from Verizon to sell us the cameras so that we can leave them up, rather than take them down.

I want to make sure we have a real public discussion of this, especially because constituents raised concerns last year about temporary Super Bowl-related surveillance becoming permanent. We received a report from MPD in the Public Safety committee on February 6 that outlined our current surveillance capacity: how many cameras we already have (212), where they are located, who can access them, and how they are used.

Surveillance cameras are a complex issue. I'm someone who takes privacy concerns very seriously, and worries about the way these cameras might be used. I'm critically aware that data privacy is one of the major issues of our time, and that cameras take on a different meaning in the age of high-resolution digital images, facial recognition and other software advances that are here or on their way. (For the record, none of our current surveillance capacity has the ability to be run through facial recognition software. That's not something we do, or can do.)

If we were just making this decision based on what makes me feel comfortable, we would not install any surveillance cameras, and we would take down the Verizon cameras, most of which are aimed at my neighborhood along Washington and near the stadium in Downtown East.

That said... I've also heard from constituents who wish we had more cameras, and who express feeling safer when they know someone is watching. I've received a few calls this year in this office when something bad has happened from constituents hoping that we have footage of an incident. While it's not an approach I share, we shouldn't discount anyone's concerns in this discussion. I want to take seriously both people's right to privacy, and people's desire to feel safe.

It's possible this specific decision won't even be about privacy - we might find out Verizon wants too much money, or the cameras are placed in way that's not helpful to us, and it doesn't make sense, regardless. That said, we're planning to have a deeper conversation about surveillance and data privacy generally this year, and since this proposal is coming up now, I'm hoping we can use this as a launching point for that conversation. So... if you're someone who has strong feelings about surveillance cameras, send me an e-mail at steve.fletcher@minneapolismn.gov.


Crash Study Will Help Inform "Vision Zero" Action Plan

 

Vision Zero

On January 22, Public Works staff also presented findings from the Vision Zero Crash Study to the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee. The data will help guide infrastructure investments and inform the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which is under development to advance the City’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths and severe injuries on City streets by 2027.

Key findings from the Vision Zero Crash Study include:

  • An average of 11 people were killed and 84 more suffered a life-altering injury on Minneapolis streets each year from 2007 to 2015.
  • Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users followed by bicyclists. Eleven percent of reported pedestrian crashes resulted in a severe injury or death compared to 5 percent for bicycle crashes and 1 percent for vehicle crashes.
  • Crashes and injuries in Minneapolis are concentrated on a small percentage of streets. Seventy-five percent of severe and fatal pedestrian crashes happened on 5 percent of streets, 81 percent of severe and fatal bicycle crashes happened on 3 percent of streets, and 63 percent of severe and fatal vehicle crashes happened on 4 percent of streets.
  • Crashes are disproportionately concentrated in low-income neighborhoods with a majority of people of color. Native Americans are most disproportionately impacted by traffic deaths.

We had a robust discussion about this in committee, and will keep pushing for safety improvements at the intersections listed on the crash data map, as well as proactive work to prevent more intersections from being added to that map. MinnPost covered this report and our committee hearing on it very well in this article; I recommend giving it a read.

The Vision Zero Crash Study complements the 2017 Pedestrian Crash Study commissioned by the Public Works Department that analyzed more than 3,000 pedestrian-motorist crash records over 10 years from 2007 to 2016. The data from the crash studies will help shape the Vision Zero Action Plan and Transportation Action Plan. The two action plans are moving ahead on the same timeline and provide action steps for reaching the vision outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan that will guide growth in the city over the next two decades.

The City of Minneapolis officially became a Vision Zero city in September 2017 when the City Council passed a resolution setting a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries within 10 years. Traffic deaths and severe injuries are unacceptable and preventable. Minneapolis has joined more than 30 other cities across the country, including Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; New York City; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Washington, in pledging to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

The City’s Vision Zero Action Plan will put equity at its forefront and provide extra focus on protecting the most vulnerable users of the roadways: pedestrians and bicyclists. A Vision Zero Task Force made up of City leaders from several departments is guiding work on the plan and engaging local and regional stakeholders to consider the best approaches in street design, education, encouraging behavior changes, enforcement and legislative solutions to make the transportation network safer for everyone.

Learn about ways to get involved: visionzerompls.com.


City Council passes ordinance for residential energy disclosure

 

When new policies take effect, consumers will have energy information before buying or renting

Starting over the next few years, homebuyers and renters will be able to learn energy information about a Minneapolis home or apartment before they sign on the dotted line. The Minneapolis City Council approved three policies that combined touch all housing types in the city:

  • Residential Energy Benchmarking: A requirement that extends the existing commercial benchmarking ordinance to cover residential buildings 50,000 square feet and larger and requires an energy evaluation of properties with high savings potential. This policy will be phased in based on building size, with the first compliance date being June 1, 2019 for buildings 100,000 square feet and larger.
  • Time of Rent Energy Disclosure: A requirement at the time of rent for residential building owners to disclose average energy cost per square foot. This policy will go into effect in 2021.
  • Time of Sale Energy Disclosure: a requirement to include energy efficiency characteristics as part of the already-required Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) report when selling a home. This covers information on the home’s insulation, heating system and windows. This policy will go into effect in 2020.

The goals of these policies are to reduce overall housing costs, ensure homeowners and renters have reliable information about their energy costs when deciding where to live, and reduce carbon emissions. These policies are recommended in Minneapolis’ Climate Action Plan and will help the City make progress toward its community-wide greenhouse gas reduction goals. Minneapolis joins nearly 20 other cities in adopting residential energy benchmarking for large buildings.

  • Learn more about the requirements and rules for benchmarking and time of rent energy disclosure.
  • Learn more about the requirements for time of sale energy disclosure.

Plug in to savings

Several programs are available to help property owners reduce energy use including:

  • Homeowners:
    • Can get a visit from the Home Energy Squad. The program is available at a low cost for all homes, and the City offers residents in Green Zones no-cost visits to improve energy efficiency for single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes. At the visit, energy experts identify opportunities to save energy and make some energy-efficient improvements on the spot.
    • Can access zero-interest financing made available from the City for eligible energy efficiency improvements.
  • Rental property owners:
    • Can participate in the Multifamily Building Efficiency Program. This free, utility-funded program provides multifamily buildings (five or more units) with an assessment to identify energy-saving opportunities, directly install several energy-saving measures for immediate savings, and offer financial incentives for buildings that meet energy saving targets including covering up to 80 percent of the costs for energy upgrades in qualifying low-income housing.
    • Can participate in the 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program, which helps apartment building owners obtain property tax reductions if they agree to keep 20 percent or more of their rental units affordable. The program also helps owners make existing buildings greener through cost sharing for energy efficiency improvements and solar installations.
  • Large multifamily and commercial properties can participate in the Green Cost Share energy efficiency program. The City offers a funding match of 20-30 percent up to $50,000 (not to be repaid) for residential buildings with four units or more and commercial buildings that increase energy efficiency.

Find the complete list of programs here.


Development Proposals before the Heritage Preservation Commission

 

I have heard from lots of people in the Ward about two different development proposals that will go before the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) soon:

  • a proposal by Doran Cos & CSM at 311 2nd St SE, the former site of the General Mills Riverside Technical Facility, for a large housing development; and
  • a proposal by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for a large "Heritage Landing Parking Ramp" on the site of a surface parking lot that they own at 24 2nd Ave N.

The Doran proposal had a public hearing at the HPC meeting on January 22nd, and is currently scheduled to return to the HPC for additional public comment, and final discussion and action on March 6.

The Federal Reserve proposal went before the HPC for informational discussion on January 22nd, and will need to return to the HPC for a public hearing, discussion, and final action.

The HPC is the first step for both of these proposals, which will still need to go to the City Planning Commission for further review and land use approval.

I encourage everyone to continue to share your thoughts about these projects with me -- positive, negative, and in between - at Steve.Fletcher@minneapolismn.gov.


Minneapolis Fire Department EMS Pathways Academy Student Internship Program

 

MFD EMT Academy dates


City and U.S. Department of Labor Join Forces to Step Up Labor Standards Enforcement

 

The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and U.S. Department of Labor signed an agreement formalizing their commitment to collaborate on investigations and public awareness of labor standards, including the City’s minimum wage ordinance.

The agreement will increase the capacity of both City and federal officials to enforce labor standards in Minneapolis to protect all workers and ensure that abusive employers seeking unfair competitive advantages are held accountable.

The collaboration comes as the City recognizes the one-year anniversary of the minimum wage ordinance.

More than 4,000 workers received back wages or new benefits because of investigations by the City’s Labor Standards Enforcement Division in 2018.

The City’s minimum wage ordinance has a phase-in schedule requiring large businesses to pay $15 an hour by 2022 and small businesses by 2024. Currently, the minimum wage is $10.25 for businesses with 100 or fewer employees and $11.25 for employers with more than 100 workers. The next minimum wage increase takes effect July 1, 2019.

Violations of the minimum wage ordinance can be reported by calling 311 or filling out an online form, or in person at City Hall, Room 239.

The ordinance supports the City’s goals of promoting inclusive economic growth by reducing economic and racial disparities. For more information about the ordinance, visit minimumwage.minneapolismn.gov, call 311 or email minwage@minneapolismn.gov.


Central Riverfront Bridge Repair Projects

 

Third Avenue Bridge

On January 14, I co-hosted a meeting with State Senator Kari Dziedzic, along with staff from both the Minneapolis Public Works Department and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, about the upcoming central riverfront bridge repair projects on the 10th Avenue, 3rd Avenue, and Stone Arch bridges.

The City project on the 10th Avenue bridge is scheduled to go first, with a full closure of the bridge expected for all of calendar year 2020 and project completion in the first half of 2021.

MnDOT's project on the 3rd Avenue bridge will begin in late 2020, with a full closure of the bridge expected to begin in 2021. A full closure of two years is expected, with a total project duration of 30 months.

The City and MnDOT are coordinating as closely as possible to prevent an overlap in the full closure of the two bridges if at all possible.

The Stone Arch Bridge, also owned by MnDOT, is also in need of significant repairs. Senator Dziedzic was able to share at our meeting that that project is now fully funded, which is outstanding news. The full details and timeline of that repair project are yet to be determined, but we are hopeful that it will NOT need to be fully closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

You can view and download the three presentations here (links are to PDFs):


Hennepin Ave Reconstruction Downtown Begins This Spring

 

Hennepin Downtown reconstruction project

Reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue downtown begins this spring with utility work from 12th St. to 7th St. The general schedule of this project is for a year of utility work followed by a year of street reconstruction, for each of two segments from South to North: 12th St. to 7th St., followed by 7th St. to Washington Ave.

At this time, project staff plan to maintain open lanes during the utility work (this year for 12th to 7th; 2021 for 7th to Washington) but full closure during the street reconstruction (next year for 12th to 7th; 2022 for 7th to Washington).

For more project information, a more detailed schedule, or to sign up for email updates, go to hennepindowntown.com


Sister City Delegation to Harbin, China

 

Council Member Steve Fletcher and Council Member Kevin Reich on a Minneapolis delegation to Harbin, China

At the beginning of January, I had the honor of joining the Minneapolis delegation to Harbin, China for a convening of their Sister Cities at their 35th Annual Snow and Ice Festival. Harbin has been one of our more active "sister city" relationships, and I think we succeeded in representing the city well, and deepening that friendship.

The government of Harbin showed us remarkable hospitality, arranging formal meetings with their leadership, a conference of all of their sister cities at which we all presented, a tour of the Harbin city hall, a visit to their urban planning institute and the Harbin Jewish Museum, a walk through China's longest outdoor pedestrian mall, as well as their new indoor shopping mall (which includes a curling rink and the world's largest indoor ski slope), and of course, the snow and ice festival itself.

It's a worthwhile exercise to visit unfamiliar places and see things that challenge your assumptions about your own city. As would be true of any city, I saw some things that I really liked that we could learn from Harbin, as well as some things that I wouldn't want Minneapolis to emulate. I was impressed with the multitude of seasonal uses they make of the river as a place to play, as a natural resource, as a center of activity. I really liked their Central Avenue, which is a car-free pedestrian street in the center of their downtown. Some of the modern architecture is big and bold and beautiful.

Most of all, I appreciated the unapologetic pride Harbin takes in its seasons. They proclaim to the world that they have a "strong winter", and they make it a real asset. People travel from all over China and the rest of the world to experience Harbin's winter, and Harbin makes that really fun, not just at the festival, but all over the city. That spirit's given me a little more energy to appreciate our own strong winter, and to think about the possibilities to turn our weather into more of an asset for residents and visitors.

You can see a set of photos from the trip on my Facebook Page.


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Ward 3 Happy Hour on Wednesday, February 20

 

Transportation Action Plan

Please join me at my first Ward 3 Happy Hour next Wednesday, February 20 to learn more about the Transportation Action Plan and share your feedback to help shape it!

More details in the 2nd story of this newsletter.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 20 from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Honey, 205 E. Hennepin Ave.

You can RSVP on Facebook or just show up!


Good Morning Ward 3 returns on March 20

 

Kramarczuk's

This year, we'll be holding Good Morning Ward 3 and Ward 3 Happy Hour events in alternating months, usually on the third Wednesday of each month.

Our next Good Morning Ward 3 will be:

Wednesday, March 20th -- 7:30 - 9:00 A.M.

Kramarczuk's, 215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

See you then! 


Coffee With Your Council Member

 

Council Member Fletcher holds regular open community office hours at 5:00 p.m., normally on Wednesdays, at a rotating neighborhood coffee shop in Ward 3 for constituents to drop by, ask questions, and raise any issues you see in the community.

All are welcome! RSVP on Facebook or just show up. If you want to discuss a specific issue or project, email david.zaffrann@minneapolismn.gov and we'll add you to the agenda.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for all the details on future scheduled events, or contact our office at 612-673-2203.

Sunday
Feb172019

In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18, 2019

Almost 50,000 people now calling downtown Minneapolis home
The number of residents moving near city's center has risen for past decade.

Downtown Minneapolis is one step closer to new skyways at the Central Library
Two new skyways would connect Central Library with nearby buildings.

Minnesota Opera aims to protect, develop artistic space with purchase of Lab Theater
The Minnesota Opera wants input from local arts organizations after purchasing the Lab Theater, its next-door neighbor in the Minneapolis North Loop.

After leading a Minneapolis riverfront revival, MSR Design heads downtown
Leaving its historic home isn't easy, but the design firm has decided to embrace change.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb172019

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, February 18

Tuesday, February 19

Wednesday, February 20

Thursday, February 21

Friday, February 22

Saturday, February 23

Sunday, February 24

Saturday
Feb162019

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival Returns April 4 - 20

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul recently announced the 38th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), from April 4 - 20, 2019. MSPIFF is the largest annual arts events in the region, Minnesota’s largest film event, and one of the longest-running film festivals in the country. Each year, the festival showcases the latest films by both emerging and veteran filmmakers from around the globe, totaling more than 250 bold, exciting films from 70+ countries.

MSPIFF screenings will once again be concentrated at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, taking over the five screens for the full run of the festival. MSPIFF continues to expand the festival’s footprint with screenings and special events to be held the newly-renovated Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis, and returning to the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, Film Space at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, and the Marcus Rochester Cinema in Rochester, MN.
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The programming staff of MPSIFF has been scouring international film festivals from Sundance to Berlin, Palm Springs to Toronto, San Francisco to San Sebastian, in addition to sifting through well over a thousand film submissions, to bring its characteristically unique slate of films to Minnesota—films that reflect issues of global and local interest and that would otherwise never be experienced in Twin Cities theaters.
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The complete MSPIFF line-up will be announced on March 14, and will be on view at mspfilm.org. Festival Passes and 6-packs are on sale now at mspfilm.org, with individual ticket sales opening to Film Society Members on March 14 and to the public on March 21.
Thursday
Feb142019

Draft Minneapolis Parks Ecological System Plan opens for 45-day Comment Period

Via a February 14 e-announcement from Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Project will set vision for more environmentally friendly Minneapolis parks and public land 

Today, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) published the draft Ecological System Plan for a 45-day public comment period ending Sunday, April 1, 2019. This plan was created to set a vision for making more environmentally friendly parks and public land in Minneapolis.

Follow the links below to view and comment on the updated plan. It's also available to view in person along with paper surveys at the following locations: Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center, Kenwood Community Center, Lake Nokomis Community Center, Luxton Recreation Center, Lynnhurst Recreation Center, Mary Merrill MPRB Headquarters, North Commons Recreation Center, Northeast Recreation Center and Powderhorn Recreation Center.

Draft Ecological System Plan:

Ch. 1: Introduction

Ch. 2: Water

Ch. 3: Air

Ch. 4: Land

Ch. 5: Life

Ch. 6: Recommendations

Appendix: Maps

Comment on Draft Ecological System Plan

After the public comment period closes, MPRB staff will compile and analyze feedback received and potentially adjust the plan. Then the Board of Commissioners will host a public hearing before considering its approval.

About this project

The Ecological Systems Plan, in conjunction with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, will set a vision for making Minneapolis parks and public lands more friendly to the environment.

Thursday
Feb142019

Minnesota Makers Downtown Store Grand Opening at the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center on Feb 19

The Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center on Nicollet and 5th Street is pleased to announce a grand opening celebration for Minnesota Makers. The event will feature Minnesota artists, a ribbon cutting ceremony, artist showcases and giveaways. Free food samples will be available, as well. Local artists will be onsite throughout the day offering samples of their work; Fast Mary’s, Dancing Bear Chocolate and Bolton Bees are just a few of the artists scheduled to attend.

Festivities take place Tuesday, February 19, 10 - 10:20 a.m. (10-minute program and ribbon-cutting ceremony); artists will be in store until 6 p.m. Location: 505 Nicollet Mall, Suite 100, directly across from the METRO Nicollet station. 

Minnesota Makers features the work of more than 100 Minnesota artists from all over the state, including Minneapolis-centric items like prints, clothing and wood products. Guests shopping at the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center location also will find illustrations by Adam Turman, screen prints by Brian Giehl of Dogfish Media and cutting boards and games by Al Walker of Savanna Woods available for purchase.

The opportunity to purchase locally made products and artwork is just part of what makes the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center unique for visitors, downtown workers and local residents. Visitor center staff answers questions and shares information on what to see and do around Minneapolis, provides maps and has transit resources including all-day $5 transit passes. To get the most out of visiting Minneapolis, consider the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center your one-stop resource. 

For more information on the official grand opening of Minnesota Makers retail, the event invitation is available on Facebook, or visit www.minnesotamakers.net/

Tuesday
Feb122019

Boom Island: One Thing After Another

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

Minneapolis skyline from Boom Island

Boom Island, a once bustling industrial island that has transformed into a large, quaint park. It is home to kayaks and canoes, perfect picnic spots, and great views of the Minneapolis riverfront and skyline. A lot has happened throughout the decades upon these 22.5 acres from 5K’s to concerts, and the history of this land is as much a part of humankind history as it is Minneapolis history.

Before humans started developing Boom Island, it was not a very attractive piece of real estate. The back channel of the island was very shallow which meant it was only a true island during high water, and during the rest of the time it was quite swampy. While little to no activity occurred on the island, a very important site lies just across the back channel. During the first decade of the 20th century a team from the Minnesota Historical Society travelled the state to inventory Native American mounds, pottery shards, stone pictographs, and everything in between. One of their discoveries was an ancient burial mound that was found 15 feet beneath the surface near the northwest corner of present-day B.F. Nelson Park. The soil layer that the bones and relics were found in dated the time of burial to the last glacial period, which ended roughly 12,000 years ago. It is somewhat eerie yet amazing to think that humans have found beauty in the back channels of the Minneapolis riverfront for thousands of years.

It was only when pioneers began settling the area that Boom Island saw significant use. During the years leading up to the establishment of the Village of St. Anthony in 1849, a Mdewakanton Dakota woman, who was in Cloud Man’s band on the shores of Lake Bde Maka Ska, ran a ferry service from Boom Island across the river to the area around the mouth of Bassett Creek using her log canoe. Once the first Hennepin Avenue Bridge opened in 1855, there was no need for a ferry service anymore, but Boom Island gradually transformed into Minneapolis’ lumber milling industry. During the industry’s peak, there were too many sawmills to count, so to make things easier the lumberjacks up in northern Minnesota would apply company stamps to the logs they cut down before they tossed them into the Mississippi. Once the logs floated down to Minneapolis, a boom, which is a bunch of logs chained together across the river from bank to bank, caught the logs at Boom Island where the sawmills would then find their company stamped logs and cut them into lumber. It was a log boom, not an explosion or Fourth of July fireworks, that provided the name for the island.

As the forests of Minnesota started to dwindle, the logging industry slowed down significantly. To make matters worse, in 1893, Minneapolis’ largest fire devastated the area, and most of the debris from the fire was bulldozed into the back channel of the island, which permanently connected it to the east bank. 

Boom Island when the railway owned it. Facing east, taken roughly where the current pedestrian bridge is; roundhouse can be seen in the background.

The turn of the century slowly saw Boom Island change from a sawmill hub to a rail hub. The Wisconsin Central Railway turned the island into a train yard with roughly 28 tracks and a roundhouse. The trains would enter the island via the current pedestrian bridge that connects Boom Island to Nicollet Island. The railway abandoned the train yard in the early 1970s, and the city quickly acquired the land. A few years later that land came close to being used for Interstate 335, which would connect I-94 to I-35W, but the local neighborhood had different plans and became the first neighborhood board to stop a federal project in the US.

After a decade of other industries occupying Boom Island, it was sold to the Minneapolis Park Board in 1982 for $2.6 million. During the clean up of the area, the Park Board also considered digging out the back channel to make it a true island once again, however, that would have been far too expensive. The park was opened in 1987 and was officially completed in 1988. Since then it has been a place to enjoy a walk along the river, launch a boat, have a party, and fly a kite. Important events have also taken place on Boom Island since it has turned into a park. Numerous concerts have been performed on the island from The Pointer Sisters and the Oak Ridge Boys to Hippo Campus and Chance The Rapper. In 1996, the Olympic torch relay made a pit stop at the park to spend the night before heading out on its way to Atlanta.

Credit: Michael Rainville. Jr. Taken at the February 10 Klobuchar event.

Most recently, on a very snowy Sunday along the riverfront, Boom Island became the starting point for Senator Amy Klobuchar’s 2020 presidential campaign. A lot has happened on this 22.5-acre piece of land, and I’m sure there will be more to come.

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

A 6th generation Minneapolitan, Michael Rainville Jr. received his B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in their M.A. in Art History and Certificate in Museum Studies programs.

Michael is also a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 6+ years.

He can be reached at mrainvillejr@comcast.net.

Tuesday
Feb122019

Black Sheep and Whole Foods February promo to support Hennepin County Libraries

Have an appetite for reading? Stop by Black Sheep Pizza or Whole Foods this month!

  

 

Pizza and groceries for you and support for our Library - it's a win-win!
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Black Sheep Pizza: Order a cheese pizza (item #1 on the menu) by February 28 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit our Library.
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Whole Foods: Bring your own shopping bag to any Twin Cities location through March 31 and you can donate your 10 cent bag credit to our Library.
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Check out Black Sheep Pizza's menu here and find your nearest Whole Foods location here
Monday
Feb112019

Jack Link's announces Valentine's Day “Kiss my SAS(quatch)” event to support Secondhand Hounds

Help Furry Friends this Valentine’s Day at Jack Link’s Sasquatch Kissing Booth

Fundraiser to Benefit Local Secondhand Hounds Pet Adoption At Minneapolis Target Center

 

This Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Jack Link’s protein snacks is asking local Minneapolis shoppers, “Are you brave enough to kiss the Sas?” To benefit local Minnetonka charity, Secondhand Hounds, the Sasquatch will be hosting his very own kissing booth at the Wildside Store in Minneapolis’ Target Center, 600 N 1st Avenue. For every kiss the Sasquatch receives, Jack Link’s will donate $1 to Second Hand Hounds pet adoption agency.

In addition, furry canine friends from Secondhand Hounds will be on-site and available to meet visitors.

The Wildside store will also be open all day selling last-minute Valentine’s Day essentials, like the clever Jack Link's I Love Sasquatch Gift Box.

Hours of the event are 11:30am – 1:30pm and 3:00pm - 5:30pm.

 

Friday
Feb082019

Submit Your Nominations for City Pages' Best of the Twin Cities Readers' Choice Poll

City Pages' annual Best of the Twin Cities issue celebrates all the things we love most about our metropolis, from the finest bars and restaurants, to the coolest people, parks, museums, and music.

The 2019 Best of the Twin Cities Readers' Choice Poll gives you the chance to vote for 100 Best of the Twin Cities winners. For the first round of voting, which runs from February 5 until midnight on February 26, you'll nominate your favorite people, places, and things in 100 select categories. City Pages will tally the nominations, and from March 5 until midnight on March 26, readers will be able to vote on the top five nominees in each category. The Readers' Choice Poll results will be announced in the annual Best of the Twin Cities issue, online and hitting newsstands April 17. 

Thursday
Feb072019

Welcome Back the Herons March 23 with the Mississippi Park Connection

The Mississippi Park Connection invites you to join them in welcoming back the herons on Saturday, March 23, at Marshall Terrace Park, 2740 Marshall Street NE.

Great blue herons start returning to their rookery on the Mississippi River toward the end of March. Join Park Ranger Sharon (aka Birdchick) at Marshall Terrace Park in Minneapolis to watch them rebuild nests and do a little flirting. With any luck, you may also see the resident peregrine falcons fly over, as well as migrating ducks such as the buffleheads and goldeneye.

This event takes place on the banks of the Mississippi River (weather permitting), so attendees should be prepared for mud or ice. It is free and open to everyone. Binoculars and cameras are encouraged. Ranger Sharon will have her spotting scope to aid viewing the birds.

NOTE: The time of this event will be announced closer to the date. Attendees will meet Ranger Sharon at the park down on the river bank.

Tuesday
Feb052019

February and March Opportunities to Meet with 3rd Ward Council Member Fletcher

Council Member Fletcher holds regular open office hours on Wednesday evenings for constituents to drop by, ask questions, and raise any issues you see in the community. These rotate through the different quadrants of Ward 3 (NE, SE, Downtown, North Loop), but all are welcome at any of them. If you would like to discuss a specific issue, contact the office (612-673-2203) so they can put you on the agenda. 

Upcoming Coffee with Your Council Member dates/locations:
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February 6, 5pm at Five Watt Coffee
February 13, 5pm at the Purple Onion Cafe
February 27, 5pm Open Book
March 6, 5pm at In the Loop Coffee
March 13, 5pm at Taraccino Coffee
March 20, 5pm at Five Watt Coffee
March 27, 5pm at the Purple Onion Cafe
Monday
Feb042019

The Southern Theater opens 2019-2020 Call for Artists

Via a February 4 announcement from The Southern Theater 

The Minneapolis Theater will expand programming options for artists who want to perform under the historic arch

The Southern Theater has opened its call for artist for those interested in presenting work now through the summer of 2020.  Proposals will be accepted until February 22, 2019 with more presenting options available than in previous years.  
 
New this year is a program that will allow 3-4 artists to be part of a cohort series thanks to an Arts Access Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  AMPLIFY: to make larger, greater, stronger: to increase in strength. The AMPLIFY series will give voice and a platform to underrepresented stories that need to be heard. Through different performance genres and artistic styles, cohort members will share their message, experiences and process, culminating in public performances of their work.  Artists will also participate in panel discussions and student performance, something The Southern programming has not offered recently.  
 
Other presenting options include a more traditional rental. The Southern has been almost exclusively a shared revenue presenter since the launch of the ARTshare program in 2015.  While some of these partnership slots are available, other groups and organizations find an upfront cost fits better with their operating model. More choices broaden the opportunity for a wider range of artists to present their work.   
 
The expansion comes in response to a number of challenges impacting many of the nonprofit arts organizations today. Two of the most pressing issues facing The Southern are artists’ need for space and the costs associated with operating a venue.   
 
“We are responding to the challenges that many are facing, finding the balance between rising cost, fewer foundation and grant funds, increased competition for limited dollars, donor giving trends decreasing, audience engagement shifting; all of this makes it necessary for us to adapt and be responsive,” says acting Executive Director Janette Davis.
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With more and more performance spaces closing, artists need more options to be able to share their work.  Davis says by staying nimble, The Southern will be able to better serve the community as a whole. The Southern is also exploring special Monday night mini-programs that educate, inform and broaden the Southern’s reach to artist, audience and community.  This includes showcase evenings, new works in progress and various outreach and community engagement programs.
   

In addition to revised programming, The Southern has some new faces under the arch.  

Program Associate, Kaleena Miller (Kaleena Miller Dance, Twin Cities Tap Festival), Production Coordinator and Front of House Manager, Kelly Turpin (Arbeit Opera Theater) Production Supervisor, Mark Ruark (Rhythmic Circus), and Media Intern, Andy Glischinski (Winona State University) join acting Executive Director, Janette Davis, Graphic Artist Galen Higgins (Schubert Club), and Sequoia Hauck (Administrative Services, on sabbatical until spring) to round out the staff.   

Those interested in submitting proposals can find more information at www.southerntheater.org.  Accepted submissions will be announcements after March 15, 2019.

Monday
Feb042019

Opinion: Act to Protect the “Power of the Falls”

By Cordelia Pierson

Growing with Integrity to Protect Our Historic Mississippi Riverfront

Our elected officials will soon decide how our Mississippi riverfront community will grow, as they review a proposal to redevelop the General Mills Riverside Technical Center, just one block from the Mississippi River.  Despite a 15-17 story height maximum, Doran/CSM is proposing a 32-story tower for the 311 2nd Street SE project, transforming two full city blocks between Second Street and University Avenue.  The site is next to the Pillsbury A Mill complex, a National Historic Landmark, in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District’s Water Power Character Area, where the historic mill buildings define the district on both banks of the Mississippi River.  The 32-story tower would dwarf the historic industrial buildings surrounding the Pillsbury A Mill, now prominent features in the protected “key viewshed” from the Mill City Museum and Stone Arch Bridge.

Now is a great time to ask our elected officials to vote to protect the “Power of the Falls” by supporting growth that honors this riverfront area’s integrity.

What is the “Power of the Falls?”

What places do you choose when you are welcoming visitors from other countries or cities here?

The Stone Arch Bridge? Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater? Perhaps Gold Medal Park?

All of these places are along the Great River Road, in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.  The Great River Road is an 80-year old National Scenic Byway, connecting communities from the Headwaters at Lake Itasca to Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, from Oliver Kelley Farm to Fort Snelling, from Oheyawahi (Pilot Knob) to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.  Along the Great River Road, people can experience beautiful views and nature; learn about American Indian culture today; discover stories about how farming, sawmilling and grain milling here changed our state and nation; and enjoy biking, paddling and walking.  I serve as regional commissioner on the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, which protects and enhances the Mississippi valley and the Great River Road.

Here in Minneapolis, by the Mississippi River’s only falls, our riverfront boasts an incredible blend of all those values – scenic, natural, spiritual, cultural, historic, recreational.  We are lucky to have two National Historic Landmarks – the sister mills facing each other, one now the Mill City Museum, and the other affordable artist housing at Pillsbury A Mill.  We can easily see these mills and grain elevators that define the area’s “Water Power Character” area, at the heart of this national and state-designated St. Anthony Falls Historic District.  This protected, historic character makes this area unique, and private and public investment – well over $2 billion - has followed. 

While we have a National Scenic Byway Great River Road that is hundreds of miles long, we have only one national park on the entire length of the Mississippi River.  Our Mississippi River in the metro region earned its National Park status – the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area - because of this concentration of amazing, diverse assets at the falls.  Standing on the Hennepin Bridge and looking downstream at night, you can see “Gold Medal Flour” towering over the West bank, and “Pillsbury” atop the Red Tile Elevator on the East bank.  These mill complexes define this Water Power Character area, tying us to our sister communities in Greater Minnesota, where grain elevators dominate the landscape of rural towns. 

So why the “Power of the Falls?” That phrase captures more than the hydropower we draw from the Mississippi here.  It is the title of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board’s interpretive plan for the area because the “Power of the Falls” also captures the area’s spiritual, cultural, historic and natural significance and inspires new plans for the area’s future. “The enduring sense of place that drew people here many hundreds of years ago is prompting new generations to embrace the riverfront and care about its future.”  According to the plan,

  • Spiritually significant place for indigenous people: This relationship with the river is felt by many and is inspiring a new understanding of the river among others. St. Anthony Falls continues to be a place of homecoming for Dakota people.
  • Historically significant: The Mississippi River’s steepest drop attracted waterpower for industries that helped build a city, shape the region’s economy, and change how we eat.
  • Uniquely scenic: This is an urban landscape shaped by human and natural forces. The dramatic tension between these two forces resulted in a setting that is unlike any other in the region.

This is indeed a place of power – unique, and worth protecting, investing our lives in, and sharing with our visitors from afar.  Did that power draw you, too?

What does “Growing with Integrity” mean?

The City of Minneapolis adopted St. Anthony Falls Historic District Guidelines to protect the integrity of this area and the “Power of the Falls.” These rules apply to all private and public development here – parks, like Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, now in planning for $1M in 2019; public facilities, like WaterWorks and the Lock and Dam visitor center, now proposed; and private development, like the General Mills Riverside Technical Center redevelopment.  The City has also adopted a Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area plan, which applies to the entire historic district as well. 

Our elected officials are charged with applying these rules to all developments, private and public.  Everyone considering whether to invest here knows about both the historic and river protections. 

A key test for whether to grant permission to build here is whether the project “will ensure the historic district’s continued integrity” as well as being “compatible with the historic designation” and “consistent with the spirit and intent of preservation policies and laws.” 

“Growing with Integrity” means two things:  following the rules that apply to us all, and ensuring the historic district’s continued integrity. 

The proposal Doran/CSM submitted in December 2018 does not meet that standard. 

  • Height: The rules clearly require a maximum height of the Red Tile Elevators, which is 15 – 17 stories, and a 32-story tower does not meet the requirement of being “compatible with the character area.”
  • Visual impact: The rules list specific “key view opportunities” to gauge visual impact, particularly from public ways, and require new structures to be low to maintain views, such as from Mill City Museum and West River Road, our Great River Road.  Whether the project reduces the prominence and scale of the historic resources is the key test.  The 32-story tower would loom over the Pillsbury A Mill complex, and indisputably impact these historic resources.

Other towers have been approved in the historic district, close to the activity center along University and Central Avenues.  To use them as an excuse for allowing excessive height closer to the National Historic Landmark Pillsbury A Mill and deeper into the historic district and residential neighborhood is simply to abandon the design guidelines that aim for building compatibility in height, mass and scale. Previous loss of integrity underscores the importance of adhering to the guidelines and maintaining the integrity that remains in the district. 

Act to Protect the “Power of the Falls:” Urge Our Elected Officials to Support Growing with Integrity

You were drawn to the “Power of the Falls.”  You can act to protect it.

Members of the Heritage Preservation Commission on January 22 said they would deny permission for the 32-story proposed, and the developer agreed to return on February 19 with a revised proposal.  The City of Minneapolis now has until April 12 to approve or deny the developer’s project, a planned unit development.

Contact our elected officials – Council Member Steve Fletcher; Zoning and Planning Committee Chair Jeremy Schroeder; Council President Lisa Bender; Mayor Jacob Frey.

Encourage them to deny approvals for this 32-story project.  Encourage them to ask the developer to submit a revised proposal that preserves the integrity of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District by meeting historic district guidelines, including honoring the Red Tile Elevator maximum height (15-17 stories) and meeting visual impact requirements. 

Learn more at Power of the Falls – East Bank Development Task Force of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.

Join me in acting to protect the “Power of the Falls” and welcome growth with integrity.  And the next time you tour the area with a visitor, you can be proud that you have helped protect the future of our Mississippi riverfront, leaving an inspiring legacy for generations to come.

Cordelia Pierson, Mississippi River Parkway Commissioner, Metro Region

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cordelia Pierson, 1st elected to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission in 2011, serves as Vice Chair. Contact Cordelia at cordelia.pierson@gmail.com

Monday
Feb042019

2019 Event Planner: Downtown Minneapolis & Riverfront Neighborhoods

Updated on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 8:55AM by Registered CommenterDavid Tinjum

Our first annual event planner for Downtown Minneapolis & Riverfront Neighborhoods is a list of 20 top events for 2019. We'll be adding to the list during the year as event dates & details become available. Did we miss your favorite event? Let us know, click here to submit event info...

*MAY 2019 DOWNTOWN & RIVERFRONT EVENTS*

MAY 4 / OPENING DAY: MILL CITY FARMERS MARKET (OUTDOOR SEASON)

Mill City Farmers Market is Minneapolis’ trusted source for healthy, local and organic groceries, bringing a wide assortment of fresh food, cooking education and live entertainment to one beautiful space.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MillCityFarmersMarket

Website: www.millcityfarmersmarket.org/

MAY 17-19 / ART-A-WHIRL

View artwork of nearly 800 artists in every medium at more than 60 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis, including studio buildings, art galleries, homes, storefronts, and local businesses. The artists’ open studio tours may include demonstrations, mini workshops, installations, and special exhibitions. Studio tours offer a great opportunity to ask questions, discuss techniques, experience art first-hand, and purchase unique artwork directly from the artists.

Website: https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl/

 

*JUNE 2019 DOWNTOWN & RIVERFRONT EVENTS*

JUNE 14-15 / NORTHERN SPARK 2019

Northern Spark is known as an all-night arts festival that lights up the Twin Cities. In early June, tens of thousands of people gather throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces. From dusk to dawn the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences. Experience the artful magic of Northern Spark for two nights until 2 am!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthernSparkMN/

Website: www.northern.lights.mn/

JUNE 15-16 / STONE ARCH BRIDGE FESTIVAL

A huge celebration of art and music on the Mpls Riverfront! Join 200+ artists, live music on 3 stages, family fun, food trucks, beer/wine gardens and the Art of the Car display.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoneArchBridgeFestival/

Website: www.stonearchbridgefestival.com

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb042019

Downtown Living: Stonebridge Lofts - 1120 S 2nd St #908

It’s all about the VIEW. Full unobstructed views of Gold Medal Park and the Mississippi River from this Stonebridge gem. Corner location and prime orientation allow for sunrise and sunset views from all windows.Two private balconies and open floor plan featuring 2 bedrooms and den, hardwood floors, and many thoughtful details. Bright and cheery with fresh paint throughout. Lovely amenities and new art exhibit in the lobby make this property a very special place to call home. Walking distance to the Light Rail, Trader Joe’s, Farmers Market, U of M, and US Bank Stadium.

2 bed | 2 bath | 2 parking | 1,640 sf

Visit this listing online for more details...

Sunday
Feb032019

Mirror, Mirror - a poem by Sam Karpeh

Article by Claudia Kittock

This is the title poem from the book Mirror, Mirror written by 23-year old Sam Karpeh. Available through Amazon, this book of poems chronicles much of the chaos, pain, and triumph of Sam’s life. Sam, an actor in the Mill City Players since the first rehearsal, is multi-talented and an amazing young man. Don’t miss reading his story.

Mirror, Mirror 

Mirror
    Can you hear me?
    What am I looking at?
    Answer me now dammit
    All I see is a man six feet three inches standing there
    With eyes red from all the bleeding to live and smile
    You adding weight to what I’m already carrying
    Can’t carry no more, my legs dying like I’m on my death bed waiting for someone to come and carry me on
    Come on now,
    I want to see what you see when you look me in the eye.
    I’m still waiting for that answer
    Day in, day out, it’s still quiet
    I see a fat man in the mirror trying to smile back at me
    I know you think I’ll fade away into the dust of the wind
    Come on I’m blowing away here
    I eat and eat the fruit of life yet I’m not full
    Something missing
    What’s missing here?
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Mirror, mirror are you there?
    Can you hear me, are you still there
    Are you death to the ear or you sleep to the day to be waken by night
    Where you roam freely
    Mirror, mirror
    It’s getting cold from the day of loneliness
    Rushing to reckoning the night away
    Reckoning,
    Damaging my face with every blow
    Given
    Mirror, mirror
    It’s winter to the summer breeze
    Feel the cold air hit you
    Mind blowing ain’t it
    How long you going to let me bleed tears of fire
    Burning twisting in cyclone of flames touching the stars
    Mirror, mirror
    I slay demon and laugh at fear straight up
    Laughing
    Mirror, mirror
    Why do I pretend to smile?
    When I know it kills me
    Lend me your smile for a day
    And that I will smile till the sun cry out
    Mirror, mirror
    Borrow me your happiness
    Borrow me that sun that shine over you
    While I borrow you my rain of could that lurking over me
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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org

 

Saturday
Feb022019

January by the Numbers

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group: