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Meg Forney

Doug Verdier

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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.


Road Closures for March 24 Hot Dash 5K & 10 Mile

The following roads will be temporarily closed from 7:30am-1:00pm on Saturday, March 24, for the Hot Dash 5K & 10 Mile:

- Stone Arch Bridge
- NE Main Street - from 6th Ave SE to Hennepin Ave
- West River Parkway - from Plymouth Ave to E 27th Ave

Course map and more info.


Geo:Code 2018 is Happening March 24-25 at Central Library

People of all backgrounds and skills will use open data to develop solutions to community challenges at Geo:Code 2018, being held March 24 and 25 at Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.

During the annual event, civic-minded residents, geographers, technology developers and Hennepin County officials will come together for hands-on presentations, discussions and working sessions. Participants will brainstorm solutions to make county government more transparent and accessible. The event is free and open to people of all backgrounds and interests.

Topics for Saturday, March 24, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Delighting your customer: What does creating a great customer experience look like? Learn service approaches and behaviors to power moments and create experiences.
Introduction to Usability Testing: See examples of successful usability projects, view a live demo, and learn tips and techniques to start talking with your users.
Innovation by Design – Rapid Prototyping: Start with user research, create a low fidelity prototype, test the prototype, iterate and create an interactive prototype.
Story Maps – Visual Storytelling with Maps: Go through the process of telling stories with maps using the ESRI Story Map platform. Bring a computer or tablet to create your own Story Maps in this workshop.
Crowdsourcing Spatial Data Collection: Learn how to harness the crowdsourcing data collection capabilities of Esri’s online mapping platform, ArcGIS Online.
Topics for Sunday, March 25, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Digital Government Listening Session: Help us design a new virtual “doorway” to Hennepin County! Tells us your thoughts and ideas on dealing with usernames, passwords, security questions, and profiles.
Data and Statutes and Laws, Oh My!: Learn about the laws we have to follow to protect data, and how to request it. In addition, we’ll be discussing what you (the citizens) want from us.
Data!: Learn about free and open data sources that are available, where they come from and how to use them well.

Book Launch Open House Event for Bill Sullivan's Lemon Jail: On the Road with the Replacements set for April 18 at The Loon Cafe

Via a March 31 Press Release from University of Minnesota Press:

Book launch open house event for Bill Sullivan's Lemon Jail: On the Road with the Replacements scheduled for 6:00 PM, Wednesday, April 18 at The Loon Cafe, 500 N 1st Avenue

“Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” is Bill Sullivan’s motto, which will come as no surprise to anyone who opens Lemon Jail. A raucous tour diary of rock ’n’ roll in the 1980s, Sullivan’s book puts us in the van with the Replacements in the early years. Barreling down the highway to the next show through quiet nights and hightailing it out of scandalized college towns, Sullivan—the young and reckless roadie—is in the middle of the joy and chaos, trying to get the band on stage and the crowd off it and knowing when to jump in and cover Alice Cooper. Lemon Jail shows what it’s like to keep the band on the road and the wheels on the van—and when to just close your eyes and hit the gas.

That first van, dubbed the Lemon Jail by Bill, takes the now legendary Replacements from a south Minneapolis basement to dive bars and iconic rock clubs to college parties and eventually an international stage. It’s not a straight shot or a smooth ride, and there’s never a dull moment, whether Bob Stinson is setting a record for the quickest ejection from CBGB in NYC or hiding White Castle sliders around a hotel room or whether Paul Westerberg is sneaking gear out of a hostile venue or saving Bill’s life at a brothel in New Jersey. With growing fame (and new vans) come tours with REM and X (what happens when the audience isn’t allowed to stand?), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Violent Femmes (against their will), and Saturday Night Live, where the band’s televised antics earn the edict You’ll never play on NBC again. Fast forward: You’ll never play Washington, D.C., again. Or Moorhead.

Hiding in fans’ backyards while the police search the streets and pelted with canned goods at a Kent State food drive, the Replacements hit rough patches along with sweet spots, and Lemon Jail reveals the grit and glory both onstage and off, all told in the irrepressible, full-throttle style that makes Bill Sullivan an irresistible guide on this once-in-a-lifetime road trip with a band on the make.

Bill Sullivan has been on tour since the early 1980s. After the Replacements and stints with the Del Fuegos and the Cherrybomz, he was tour manager for Soul Asylum, Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst’s Monsters of Folk, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, The New Pornographers featuring Neko Case, Spoon, Syl Johnson, Teenie Hodges, and blues legend Jimmie Vaughan. He was co-owner of the 400 Bar on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota.


Art Classes and Workshops at the Northrup King Building

Did you know that some of the artists of the Northrup King Building also offer classes and workshops?

Multiple classes are available in drawing, painting, photography, calligraphy, woodworking & upholstery and more.  

Check out the list of classes available and sign up today.


Minneapolis Music History Project Captures Important Places, Structures, and Buildings in the City to Fully Understand the History of Music in Minneapolis

Engagement Event to Take Place Tuesday, March 20 at Capri Theater

Community members are invited to participate in the new Minneapolis Music Project, an initiative by the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) to capture the important places, structures, and buildings that represent the history of music in Minneapolis. The project explores the locations where music shaped the city’s culture starting from 1850 through the 20th century. 

The City has already identified 100 buildings that are related to music history in Minneapolis. Music is such an integral part of Minneapolis’ history and what the city is known for, both nationally and internationally.  This is why the City is turning to the public to share stories and photographs of places where music was performed, purchased, and recorded in Minneapolis.

A series of community engagement activities will take place as part of the project with the next event occurring on Tuesday, March 20 from 6:00pm – 8:00 pm at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis. The event will feature an overview of the Minneapolis Music History Study, a history of the Capri Theater, rarely before scene music related visual images and an opportunity for the public to provide thoughts on the important places in Minneapolis music history and their musical experiences. Refreshments and appetizers will be provided by Breaking Bread Café and Catering and a local music soundtrack will be featured. We will have an Adam Turman print for kids to color their own First Avenue.

People interested are encouraged to share information using the hashtag #mplsmusichistory.

The Minneapolis Music History project is made possible by a grant from the National Park Service. Follow @Growingmpls on Twitter to stay updated on the “Artist of the Week,” presented by the Minneapolis Music History project. The artists that are featured reflect the city’s music history. There is also a must-listen-to song featured from the artist. For complete project details visit the Minneapolis Music History website.


Ryan Companies, Developer Unveil New Riverfront Condo Proposal

By Rick Kittock

On Wednesday, March 14 at 6:00 pm a meeting was held at the Stonebridge Lofts community room to present plans for a new 39 story condo tower to be built on the parking lot of the Padilla office building located at the corner of 11th avenue and west river parkway.  Presenting to a large crowd of Stonebridge and other neghborhood residents were Carl Runck, Josh Ekstrand and Chad Lockwood of Ryan Companies.  Also present was the developer Luigi Bernardi. 

Images of the new "Eleven" building were viewed and audience members asked numerous questions:

- The project will have no underground parking, instead, a 6 story base covering most of the parking lot will serve as a parking garage.

- The 39 story tower will be located in the northeast corner.

- The smallest units will be around 1600 square feet with various floors having only 2 to 5 units.

- There are plans for a 10,000 square foot penthouse.

- The developer indicated that 50% of the units would need to be pre-sold prior to obtaining financing.

- The price range will be $800-$1000 per square foot.

Concerns were raised by the audience regarding traffic flow, parking, lighting and safety, the overall height of the tower as well the view impact on the Stonebridge building as well as the new Legacy condos currently under construction.  Questions were also raised about valuations and property taxes. 

New public meetings are scheduled for March 19 and April 3rd at the Mill City Museum.  The first meeting before the city planning commission is set for April 12.


Hennepin Theater Trust Collaborates With Other Downtown Organizations to Create Community Engagement

Article by Claudia Kittock

Most of us have had the joy of attending a play in downtown Minneapolis, promoted by the Hennepin Theater Trust. An evening of magic and joy is always something to relish. However, did you know that Hennepin Theater Trust is so much more?

The Global Pandemic of Domestic Violence, Location: 730 Hennepin Avenue, Photo credit Steven Lang

breathe, Location: 924 Hennepin Avenue, Photo credit Steven LangOne of their projects, Made Here, is billed as a "walkable urban art experience," connecting people to local art and showcasing Minnesota artists - with projects as diverse as the artists who created them. The spaces used to display the art are empty storefronts or commercial spaces in the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.

If you haven’t heard of Made Here or have no idea where to start, it isn’t that difficult. Made Here is best experienced on foot (or bicycle). You can determine your own self-guided path to explore all the Showcase windows by starting with the information available online. If you're standing in front of a window, just connect to the Made Here website with your smart device.

panel of 19 artists and art professionals choose the artists and the work. This group of artists are great advocates for Made Here and are passionate about not only the work being done, but the artists themselves.

Another facet of the work Hennepin Theater Trust has created and sponsors is 5 to 10 on Hennepin. This project brings the community together to enjoy unique urban festivities, including live music, family-friendly activities, games, food and public art. The work has attracted national attention, highlighting the power of the arts to spark new community connections and conversations and transforming our city into a thriving, inclusive destination for everyone.

Photo credit Scott Knight Photography

Photo credit Scott Knight Photography

Photo credit Scott Knight PhotographyLast summer, more than 1,200 people participated in 5 to 10 on Hennepin experiences that spanned several several blocks, featuring live performances from over 20 local artists. Musicians performed on the Jack Link’s sponsored Northern Lights Stage. At several of these performances, the Trust provided art supplies for children to create sidewalk art! It was a huge success and will be expanded this summer.

Strong community partnerships were key to the success of 5 to 10 on Hennepin. They worked across a wide range of sectors, integrating the diverse perspectives of local city government, social service organizations, major corporations, small businesses and cultural organizations.

Highlights of this collaborative work:

Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (MDID) and Metro Transit supported the transformation of sidewalks into community spaces with more than 50 street performances and 28 days of chess along Hennepin Avenue.
Salvation Army Harbor Light Center collaborated along with two local artists — Bianca Pettis and Erin Sayer — to create a colorful new mural on the center’s exterior walls.
Kulture Klub Collaborative teamed up to curate and present more than 30 performances on the Northern Lights Stage presented by Jack Link’s, and develop an enriching arts internship for one of its youth.

Artist Bianca Pettis painting a mural on the Harbor Light Center. Photo by Eric Best

Minneapolis MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder) partnered with the Hennepin Theater Trust and Harbor Light residents to conceptualize their mural project and establish a visible, positive presence at their monthly programs for everyone in the community to feel welcome and safe.

Photo credit Scott Knight Photography

The Chess program is worth another mention. During the summer, chess boards were set up along Hennepin Avenue on Wednesdays from 11 am to 7 pm. It was incredibly popular and the anecdotal information from this program was incredible. Here are a few quotes from participants.

“Kinda crazy, we were both just passing by, we totally just met and started playing, thanks man. This is a great idea. If I knew it was going to be here I would come down all the time.”

“Well, I came down for 5 to 10 with Mad Dad’s to work. Me and this guy just met. Who do you think is going to win? Thank you guys for doing this, it is so good for our community.”

“This is the way I want my town to be. The energy around it is great. Even if I wasn’t playing, it makes me feel better about being here. We actually just met here tonight.”

“We came down together tonight for 5 to 10. This is the first time my wife has played, she’s not bad. Really appreciate all the trouble you have gone through for us to have so much fun.”

Intrigued?  Want to help?  There are a number of ways to participate in these programs from Hennepin Theater Trust.

Come to events!
• Spread the word. These are incredible programs, free to the public, and worth everyone’s time. Let friends and neighbors know what you have learned.
• Donate. Go to to learn about all the ways you can be part of this vital resource.

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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).



In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

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

WEEK OF 3/19/2018

Downtown Minneapolis violent crime drops by a third so far in 2018
In Minneapolis, efforts paying off in fewer robberies and safer streets, police say.

City Club Apartments groundbreaking planned for March 21
A developer has demolished a 1914 addition to the Handicraft Guild Building at 10th & Marquette to make way for a residential high-rise that will preserve the original building next door.

History, revealed
Through Water Works, the Park Board will uncover ruins from the Mill District’s industrial history.

Lipstick Pig: New Northeast BBQ joint replacing Legends Bar & Grill
It's a boom time for barbecue in northeast Minneapolis.

Click to read more ...


The Week Ahead in Mill City


The 1893 Nicollet Island-Northeast Fire

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

August 13th, 1893 was not a good day for the city of Minneapolis. It hadn’t rained for two months, the breeze was hot, and clouds were sparse. Just past 1:00pm, the infamous fire started when a few boys decided to have a quick smoke near the southwest side of Nicollet Island. The first building to catch fire was the Lenhart Wagon Works, and it didn’t take long before the Cedar Lake Ice House and stable and the Clark Box Factory were ablaze as well. Because of the arid conditions, the Minneapolis Fire Department did not want to take any chances. While they had crews fight the fires on the south side of the island, they also made sure to have a crew patrol the north side to quickly put out any embers and debris that floated away on this windy day and landed in the area. 

When reinforcements were crossing the Hennepin Avenue bridge, they noticed a towering inferno at Boom Island, growing larger by the second. At the time, Boom Island was the heart of the log milling industry in Minneapolis, or in other words, the least desirable place for an uncontrollable fire. Now, how did a fire on the south side of Nicollet Island leap to Boom Island? As previously mentioned, it was a windy day, and when fires grow, the energy created can create even more wind. That seems like a sufficient explanation. However, there’s a rumor floating around that some of the log mill owners who lived on the northern part of Nicollet Island bought insurance plans for their companies a few years prior to the fire. Sure, the lumber industry was rapidly declining, and insuring your company would have been a smart move, but come on! Embers from a fire jump over half an island where log mill owners just happen to live, leap a river channel, and land where there’s dozens of acres of mills and lumber stacks? I’ll let the conspiracy theorists take over from here.

The fire spread north from Boom Island and was rapidly approaching residential areas, so the St. Paul Fire Department was called in to help fight the blaze. The plan was to stop the fire at Marshall Street from spreading east, and at 13th Avenue from spreading north. Thankfully, the fire itself did not take any lives, but roughly 24 square blocks of Northeast Minneapolis were reduced to rubble. It could have been a lot worse, but the brand-new metal and brick brew house of the Grain Belt Brewery, then known as the Minneapolis Brewing Company, stopped the fire dead in its tracks.

It took a long time for that area to recover, but since then, businesses moved back, homes were built, and trees sprouted from the ashes. When walking on the new, beautiful park trail from Sheridan Memorial Park to Boom Island Park, it’s hard to believe that Minneapolis’ biggest fire ravaged the area over 100 years ago. 

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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 5+ years.

He can be reached at


Experience Thai Massage - Now Available at Bierbrauer Chiropractic

Bierbrauer Chiropractic, located at 221 10th Avenue S in the retail level of the Bridgewater Lofts, recently welcomed Certified Massage Therapist Devin Harwood.

Devin Harwood

With over five years of experience in the industry, Devin's work includes Swedish massage, Thai Yoga Stretching, Tui Na, Relaxation and Deep Tissue. However, his primary work is grounded in Thai and Thai oil massage.

While traditional Thai yoga massage is done on the floor on a mat, Devin prefers to work on a table, otherwise known as “Thai Table Massage,” because it allows the option of getting up onto the table to perform compressions, direct pressure, trigger point therapy, easier application of oils, plus it's less strain on the body being directly over what’s being worked on (similar to the way a chiropractor may work to adjust the back, hips, etc.).

Doing Thai oil massage also offers the options of doing anything from relaxing Swedish massage to deep tissue and all styles in between. Where Thai is traditionally done clothed, Thai oil massage is done in the same way you would get a Swedish or deep tissue massage; allowing you to undress to your level of comfort whilst incorporating various modalities and techniques to let you fully relax and become immersed in relaxation.

A graduate of Aveda Institute, Devin has explored different styles and approaches to bodywork and draws inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine, not only with massage but as a life style. He is Registered Yoga Teacher and practices Qi Gong and Tai Chi regularly. His knowledge of posture and alignment enables him to recommend useful stretches that will enhance and lengthen your results. He believes that first and foremost, massage does not have to be painful in order to be effective. In fact, he believes the best work that can be done is to relax and relieve - not just the body, but most importantly, the mind.

Massage services are available Fridays 1p-6p and Saturdays 12p-6p. Book appointments online. Grant yourself the gift of self healing!


St. Patrick's Day Pre-parade Face Painting and Discounts at Minneapolis Visitor Information

Join Minneapolis Visitor Information (505 Nicollet, Suite 100) on St. Patrick's Day! 

Love from Minneapolis is offering 17% of retail items. 

From 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. we are offering free face painting before the parade. 

We also have free green beads while supplies last.


Free Rides to Get You Home Safely March 17 from 6pm - 3am

If your St. Patrick's Day plans include green beer and whiskey - this one's for you!

Miller Free Rides on March 17

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day responsibly and get a free ride on Metro Transit on Friday, March 17. 

On St. Patrick’s Day, customers can ride free from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on all Metro Transit routes – buses, METRO lines and Northstar. Simply hop on and take a seat for free. 

If you’re celebrating that night – or want to avoid driving alongside those who are – riding the bus or train is a worry-free and safe alternative. 

Watch for Metro Transit in the St. Patrick’s Day parades in downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul on March 17. 

Free rides will also be available on Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, SouthWest Transit and Anoka Transit routes.

Check which routes go late here.

Miller Lite Free Rides is a community service program made possible through a partnership with Metro Transit and MillerCoors. 

Call 1-800-FREE-RIDES 
Text “FREE RIDES” to 90464 


Annie Young Meadow in Riverside Park Dedication Scheduled for March 17

Via a March 13 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will celebrate the life of longtime Commissioner Annie Young during a special event to dedicate Annie Young Meadow in Riverside Park on Saturday, March 17, 2018, beginning at 10 am.

In February, the MPRB voted to rename a portion of Riverside Park, formerly called Lower Riverside Park, to Annie Young Meadow in honor of Young, a seven-term commissioner who passed away in January.

All Minneapolis park users and members of the public are invited to attend.


State-of-the-art Clinic & Specialty Center to Open in Late March in Downtown Minneapolis

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Thursday, March 15 at 8am in the Clinic & Specialty Center’s lobby. Speakers included Hennepin County Board Chair Jan Callison and Board Member Peter McLaughlin, Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman and Mayor Jacob Frey, along with others. 

When the doors of the Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center open on March 26, 2018, patients will find their familiar caregivers in an inviting, convenient new building located on the campus in downtown Minneapolis. What they won’t find are multiple entrances, long skyways, and three block walks from the parking ramp their clinic. The new Clinic & Specialty Center has eliminated complicated wayfinding and created a seamless, patient-friendly experience – beginning with something simple as parking.

“Parking and convenient access are fundamental needs, which can be hard to accommodate downtown,” said Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO. “So we built two levels of parking below the building with elevators that bring patients directly to the floor of their appointment. No more long walks from parking ramps and bus stops to get to our clinics.”   

Parking is important, but access to quality healthcare is what really matters, and Hennepin Healthcare has designed a clinic experience that brings care teams together to provide care that is centered on the needs of the patient. Those patients had a voice in the design of the six-story, 377,000 sq. ft. Clinic & Specialty Center.

“We started by asking our patients what they were looking for in a clinic, and we were not going to miss this opportunity to build it right – which meant listening closely to their suggestions and working them into the plan,” said Pryor. “From design workshops to an experiential mock-up clinic, our patients, staff, and community members provided input every step of the way.”

More than 25 primary care and specialty clinics, including Allergy, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Pediatrics, Pulmonary, and more, as well as same-day surgery, imaging, rehabilitation and other services that were once scattered throughout the five-block campus are now under one roof in the Clinic & Specialty Center. Dental services have expanded thanks to a $4.6 million grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. It’s the largest non-governmental grant that HCMC has ever received.

A skyway across 8th St. connects the new building to rest of the campus and the welcoming atmosphere in the new center includes large windows and open areas that offer ample natural lighting, an education and community center, comfortable seating areas, and commissioned artwork placed throughout the building create a healing environment for patients, visitors and employees.

Other strategic design features may not be as noticeable, but are built-in essentials to patient flow and convenience. The building’s team centers support collaborative care by having primary care providers and specialists in close proximity to quickly consult with each other when necessary. Clinic design separates the patient areas from the work areas to maintain a calm, healing environment. 

On the sixth floor outpatient surgical area, patients flow in one direction from check-in to pre-induction, to surgery, to post-op. After they are discharged they exit through a separate elevator to the lower level parking ramp – without needing to move through public areas. Likewise, imaging services are strategically located near those clinics that use them most (Orthopedics, Comprehensive Cancer Center). These are only a few examples of the many thoughtful placements of innovative design features that make the Clinic & Specialty Center a special place.

HCMC was Minnesota’s first Level I Trauma Center, and as part of its comprehensive care for adult and pediatric trauma patients, the full spectrum of care and services are offered, often meaning multiple follow-up outpatient visits.

“It’s no secret that our critical care expertise naturally translate into outstanding primary care,” said Kelly Spratt, Chief of Ambulatory Care. “It’s something that our patients already know – and that’s one reason why the clinics on our campus have seen year-over-year volume growth.”

Aligned with the opening of the new center is a new name for the system – Hennepin Healthcare – to better tell the story of the all of the care, services, and points of access available across the system.

More than 110,000 people (including trauma patients) access Hennepin Healthcare clinics for routine and specialty healthcare services every year. In 2017 this represented a total of 630,000 clinic visits. After the Clinic & Specialty Center opens in March, an estimated 530,000 clinic visits will be scheduled before the end of December at the new building alone.  

Reflecting on the journey it’s taken to arrive at this point, Pryor says that “It was time for a new building to keep pace with the growing healthcare trend from inpatient to outpatient care. To see the Clinic & Specialty Center finally come together from ‘concept’ to state-of-the-art center is not just exciting – it fulfills our mission as an organization to provide access to outstanding care for all. Now our patients and their families can experience care in a state-of-the-art facility and our valued staff has the newest, most advanced facilities in which to do what they do best.” 


CenterPoint Energy's 2018 Project List Includes East Hennepin Avenue 

Via a recent e-newsletter from CenterPoint Energy, and additional information from the related Project pageon their website:

In 2017, CenterPoint Energy worked hard to improve and modernize natural gas pipelines throughout several neighborhoods in its service territory. We would like thank everyone for their patience while this construction activity was taking place. 

For this new construction year, the new piping segments and upgrades will continue to be installed with the most current construction standards and requirements, ensuring safety and reliability of the pipelines for many years to come.

As CenterPoint Energy's crews begin the 2018 construction season in approximately April, please continue to visit our Construction Zone website as 2018 projects have been added to the website. Any changes on the 2018 projects will be added closer to the projects' start dates.

In conjunction with construction from Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis, CenterPoint Energy will be replacing existing natural gas pipeline in Minneapolis along the following streets:
  • East Hennepin Avenue from 5th Street NE to Main Street
  • 5th Street NE from East Hennepin Avenue to the 5th Street NE bridge over the Northstar Line
  • A short s​ection of pipe replacement on Nicollet Island
CenterPoint Energy’s contractor Michels Corporation will begin the work in April or May 2018 and will finish the work in at least twelve weeks. Further construction will be done by road contractors from Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis.

Frequent updates will be posted on CenterPoint Energy’s website closer to the project’s start date. Lane restrictions are anticipated in areas where active construction is occurring. The lane restrictions are necessary to keep both the public and construction personnel safe.
Construction will happen in three phases:
  • Phase 1 is installing the natural gas distribution main.
  • Phase 2 is connecting the natural gas service lines to the new main along the same construction route. (A gas service line is a small-diameter pipe connecting the customer's gas service to the main line in the street.)
  • Phase 3 is restoring the areas affected by construction--typically the utility easement, the street, and the customer's yard.

Map of construction area

How may construction affect customers?

As part of this main project, the crews will also be replacing several natural gas service lines that connect from the main to the customer's property. Customers will experience a short disruption of gas service as the crews are installing the gas service line. 

Crews may have to dig in the ground on your property in the utility easement to complete the task of service and main distribution line replacement. If a customer’s property is disturbed, CenterPoint Energy will restore the hard and soft surfaces affected by construction at no cost to you.
How can I contact CenterPoint Energy?
For questions about the project, please call our Information Hotline at 612-321-5369 or our Communication Specialist at 612-321-5546. For questions about restoration (hard or soft surfaces) please call our Restoration Department at 612-321-5042.

Sisterhood Boutique Brings Fashion Week to Cedar-Riverside

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

All of you have heard of Fashion Week, and maybe about April 23-29 Spring Fashion Week MN, but did you know this year the Cedar Riverside neighborhood will have it's own Fashion Week? How did this happen? I had the honor of having a wonderful conversation with Yasameen Sajady, Social Enterprise Manager at Pillsbury United Communities, and came away stunned at what a small group of indomitable women have accomplished.

It had its beginning in a conversation at the Bryan Coyle Center amongst a group of East African teenagers.  These young women were asked a series of questions by a group leader. They were nudged to talk about what they wanted, and on their list was a space for themselves where they could work on something uniquely their own. During that conversation, the idea of a fashion club and a clothing drive were enthusiastically received. This was the birth of the Sisterhood Boutique.

With support from Augsburg College and the African Development Center, the Boutique opened in a small space on the 2nd floor of the Center. The Boutique opened with the goal of providing gently used clothes at a reasonable price to people in the neighborhood. It caught on quickly, and just as quickly outgrew its original space. Within the last few months they have moved to 2220 Riverside Avenue, directly across from Augsburg College.

One of the things that sets Sisterhood Boutique apart from other retail stores is that the profits of this store are used to fund paid internships for juniors and seniors in high school. The staff at the Boutique run 3 cohorts of students every year. During the internship, each young woman learns business and customer service skills and is required to give back to the community. The first group of interns are now juniors in college and are well on their way to developing their own career paths.

Fashion Week is this week and the slate of activities is both fun and impressive. On Monday, March 12, the Boutique will be highlighted at Pints 4 Pillsbury at Surly Brewing Co. They will hold a casual happy hour to support the people and programs making a difference throughout all of the Pillsbury United Communities. There will be prize drawings, activities, tasty appetizers, great local beer & the chance to support this agency’s work in 2018 and beyond.

Tuesday, March 13th will be an event titled Breakfast 4 Dinner. Held at the Hi-Lo Diner on Lake Street, you will be able to enjoy breakfast for dinner. A portion of the proceeds from all pancake orders will go to Sisterhood Boutique. Bring your friends, family and colleagues along for a night out. Pancakes and supporting a local youth social enterprise? It's a win, win. Raffles throughout the evening, and t-shirts will be available for purchase!

How about a Spa Day? On Wednesday, March 14th, the Boutique will offer a $5 Spa Day with services that include: Massage by Bash Beauty, Henna by Mehndi Moments, facials and DIY essential oils. They are asking for a suggested donation of $5 for each service, and will also be running a Big "Bag Sale" where customers can choose a bag to fill for either $20, $25, or $30.

Thursday, March 15th is an event that I have heard about for quite some time. It is the Open Mic Night, open to high school and college students from the community. Join the Boutique at Cedar Commons from 4-6 pm. Come together for spoken word, performances and, of course, snacks. It might also be worth knowing that this is actually something that happens every month! The address is 2001 Riverside Avenue S.

Alumni Karaoke Night will be held on Friday, March 16th. Current and past youth interns, college interns, volunteers and advisory board members are invited to come eat and sing karaoke at Encore Karaoke & Sushi Lounge, 2111 E Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis. It's an opportunity for everyone to connect while celebrating Sisterhood's 4-year anniversary!

The final event of this fun filled week is the 3rd Annual Fashion Show, held on Tuesday, March 20th at Augsburg University, where you will see the talents of young social entrepreneurs through spoken word, art and fashion. Doors will open at 6 pm, with the show starting at 7 pm. Admittance is free but donations are accepted. There will be Henna by Mehndi Moments when doors open at 6, music, and Sisterhood t-shirts for sale.

After the show there will be light refreshments and possibly the opportunity to buy outfits. Most of the pieces are being designed by a class from St. Kate's and the others by the intern from the U of MN.

This is an exciting small venture that deserves your business. It is incredible to see what they have done and the dreams for this store. How can you help support this dynamic, neighborhood business?

• Attend their Fashion Week events.
• Donate clothes at the Boutique.
• Learn more about the sewing program at
• Sign up for the email list at

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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).



City Employees are Eligible for CSA Deliveries and Discounts

City employees can sign up for the workplace CSA and receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce

Are you employed by the City of Minneapolis? Does your busy schedule keep you from shopping at local Farmers Markets? If so, you can get fresh, locally grown produce delivered weekly to a City worksite by joining the workplace community supported agriculture (CSA) program. When you become a member, you purchase a “share” of vegetables in advance from a local farmer, and during the summer your farmer will deliver your weekly share of produce to a convenient drop-off location.

Learn more about this program between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in the City Hall Rotunda. You’ll have a chance to talk to the farmers, ask questions and get information on their produce and pricing. In addition, you’ll get a coupon for an additional $10 off your membership and a free insulated tote when you pledge to register for a CSA share at the fair.

The Wellness Committee is offering City employees who participate in the CSA program a subsidy. Employees can receive 25 percent off the cost of a summer share up to a maximum of $100 off a half share and $150 off a full share. To apply the discount, you must sign up on the farm’s website and enter the coupon code in the discount code box when you check out.

The farms participating in this year’s City CSA program are the Hmong American Farmers Association and Shared Ground Farmers’ Cooperative. Each farm offers half and full shares. Both farms will deliver Wednesdays to the Public Service Center in downtown, and Shared Ground will deliver Wednesdays to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board headquarters in north Minneapolis. You can receive 25 percent off the cost with a discount from the Wellness Committee.

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2018 Open Streets Minneapolis Dates Announced

Via a March 9 e-newsletter from Our Streets Minneapolis:

Mark your calendars! We are thrilled to announce the Open Streets Minneapolis 2018 summer events! We can't wait to walk, bike, roll, dance, and play with our neighbors all across Minneapolis. We hope to see you at all the 2018 summer events: 

Open Streets Lyndale - Sunday, June 10, 11 AM - 5 PM

Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha - Sunday July 22, 11 AM - 5 PM

Open Streets Northeast - Sunday, August 5, time TBD

Open Streets Franklin - Sunday, August 26, 11 AM - 5 PM

Open Streets West Broadway - Saturday, September 15, 11 AM - 5 PM 

Open Streets Nicollet - Sunday, September 23, 11 AM - 5 PM

Open Streets University of Minnesota - Sunday, September 30, 11 AM - 5 PM

Visit for more information, and to learn how you can sponsor Open Streets Minneapolis or get a spot along the route for any of the events. 


World Premiere of Beck Lee's Dark Comedy “Subprime” Debuts at Mixed Blood in May

Via a March 8 News Release:
Minneapolis will host the world premiere of Beck Lee’s Subprime, a new dark comedy with Minneapolis roots that was developed in New York. Lee’s play, about two couples from Minneapolis who travel to New York on a bargain vacation none of them can afford, debuts at the Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S 4th Street, beginning Friday May 4 at 7:30pm, with an opening on Sunday May 6 at 3pm. Produced by Media Blitz Entertainment, the show’s four-week engagement plays through Sunday May 27 at 3pm. Tickets are now on sale at
A prominent New York publicist, Lee conceived the play with Andrea Iten when he was living part-time in Minneapolis. “I have wanted this play to launch in Minneapolis,” says Lee. “The city means a lot to me and premiering it with a homegrown cast and creative team drawn from the city’s extraordinary talent pool, is exactly what this play calls for.”  The Carbonelle Award-nominated director and actor Peter Moore who directed the play’s first developmental readings in Minneapolis - at The Jungle and the Hennepin Theatre Trust -- directs and is the production’s fight and intimacy choreographer.

Featured in the cast of five are Bonni Allen, Jen Burleigh-Bentz, Charles Fraser and Dan Hopman.  (Allen’s notable Mixed Blood credits include “Avenue Q” and “Barbecue.”  Fraser’s many local credits include “Driving Miss Daisy” at The Jungle for which he shared an Ivey Award for ensemble acting. He was recently in Yellow Tree Theatre’s knockout hit “The Royale.”)  The production design team includes several of Minneapolis’s top, award-winning designers: Joe Stanley(scenic design), Anita Kelling (sound design), Mike Wangen (lighting design), and Sara Wilcox (costumes). Toni Solie is the production stage manager.

Set in the summer of 2008 when sharp hints of an impending financial meltdown were being studiously ignored by many Americans - “Subprime” introduces us to the Kellys and the Swensons, two couples from the well-to-do Linden Hills neighborhood in Minneapolis. The scope of their denial about the state of their finances, their marriages and even their identities comes into focus in the course of an evening of progressively debauched relaxation in their Midtown Manhattan hotel.

Lee’s contemporary farce, which he co-conceived with Iten, a Minneapolis-based marketing and brand placement specialist, had several developmental readings in New York, and was first seen publicly in a workshop in June of last year, at the Jersey City Theater Center. Thomas Burns Scully, writing in described the play as “the next ‘God of Carnage,’” calling it “staggering…a show that’s going to be talked about.”  Lee is also developing a new play, “God Save the Human Cannonball,” with the celebrated actress Laila Robins in the lead. Robins, a St. Paul native, starred at The Guthrie in “Lion in Winter” in 2016.