Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

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.

Thursday
Mar052015

Park Board and City Announce 2015 Earth Day Clean-Up Event

Via a March 5 Minneapolis Park and Rec Board e-newsletter:

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board along with the City of Minneapolis announce the 21st annual Minneapolis Earth Day Clean-Up event on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 9:30 am–12 pm.

The Earth Day Clean-Up has become the largest community service project in Minneapolis and takes place at nearly 40 clean-up sites throughout the city.  Since 2008, more than 17,000 residents have removed more than 140,000 pounds of garbage.  A special thank you to our 2015 Earth Day Sponsors for supporting this important community event: Cargill, the Minnesota Twins, Birchwood Café and The Wedge.

There is no charge to participate and residents are encouraged to participate by volunteering to help pick up trash in parks, neighborhoods, and watersheds.  No registration needed, just choose a site and show up. To find a detailed list of clean-up sites and more information please visit http://www.minneapolisearthday.com/ or call 612-230-6479.

Contact

Erica Chua
Community Outreach Coordinator
612-230-6479
echua@minneapolisparks.org

Thursday
Mar052015

40's (and 50's?) Next Week - Great Time to Experience the Minneapolis Historical Mobile Tour Smartphone App

The Minneapolis Historical Mobile Tour app is available for free for iPhones and Androids.  The upcoming forecasted warm temps present the perfect opportunity to use this app to take a self-paced tour the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.

With this app you can walk to/bike to and learn about the 24 historical sites in this tour (see website for the list) that tell stories of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood—what was once the town of Saint Anthony Falls—from 1849 through the early twentieth century. Historical information was drawn from Penny Petersen’s 1999 book, "Hiding in Plain Sight: Minneapolis’ First Neighborhood" and the stops on the tour correspond with the 24 bronze sculptures lining the neighborhood's 6th Avenue Gateway.

Each stop on the tour consists of a present day image of the site, the corresponding bronze sculpture, an historic image (when available), brief text and two audio recordings by an individual somehow related to the site.  Approximately 3 miles total.

Wednesday
Mar042015

Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty to perform at Hall's Island site May 30

I can't be the only one excited about this. Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty performing in an outdoor concert - on the shores of the Mississippi !?! Ticket go on sale this Friday, March 6.

Local historian David C Smith wrote about Hall's Island in this 2012 blog. The concert will take place under the Plymouth Avenue bridge, as Hall's Island isn't quite an island any more (although restoring it is part of the RiverFirst plan).

Scroll down below this First Avenue poster to check out the animated flyover depicting the vision of what this park area can become.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Hennepin County Survey Asks How Property Tax Notices Can be Improved

Via a March 3 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

As a property owner, we need your ideas to make the notice easier to use and understand.

This 15-minute survey is voluntary, confidential, and will have no impact on your future property taxes. You can stop and submit your answers at any point in the survey.

Thank you for your input.

Take the Survey

Learn more about your property taxes at www.hennepin.us/propertytaxes.

Monday
Mar022015

This Week's E-Newsletter

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2015

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
-- Frederick Buechner


[PHOTO] PIC OF THE WEEK - GIANT BUBBLE
https://www.flickr.com/photos/millcitytimes/13536393953/in/set-72157643210113654

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar022015

[Video] A New Cable TV Option for Downtown Minneapolis?

The City Council Ways & Means Committee held a public hearing last week to consider a franchise application from CenturyLink Cable Television for constructing a cable system and providing cable service within the territorial limits of the City of Minneapolis.

Monday
Mar022015

In the News - March 2, 2015

CORPS TO REOPEN UPPER FALLS LOCK THIS SPRING

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/294111481.html

MINNEAPOLIS' OFFICE BUILDING OF THE FUTURE WILL BE MADE OF, UH, WOOD?

http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2015/02/minneapolis-office-building-future-will-be-made-uh-wood

POP-UP MILL CITY FARMERS MARKET COMES TO CAPELLA TOWER

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=22a43c8dd46686cc62536b5b9&id=85632d0495&e=0f62c8cca1

RESIDENTS EYE ROADS AS DOWNTOWN EAST COMMONS TAKES SHAPE

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/294059931.html

FROM SOOTHING RESPITE TO FURIOUS MAKE-OUT SPOT, DESIGN IDEAS FOR DOWNTOWN 'COMMONS' RUN THE GAMUT

http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2015/02/soothing-respite-furious-make-out-spot-design-ideas-downtown-commons-run-gam

MILL CITY QUARTER HOUSING PROJECT LEADS THE WAY TO A 'WOONERF'

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/293772291.html

CENTURYLINK'S CABLE GUYS MAKE PLUG TO ENTER MINNEAPOLIS MARKET

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/293771231.html

Monday
Mar022015

Friday Declared Tony Hofstede Day

Long time community leader had his day at City Hall, literally.  On Friday the City Council passed a resolution proclaiming Friday, February 27, 2015 as Tony Hofstede Day.

Monday
Mar022015

[Download] More Details on Ritz Block Proposal

The Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and associated studies for the proposed Ritz Block project located on the property at 315 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, were released last week.  The total project area encompasses an approximately two and one-half acre site along Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, between South 3rd and 4th Streets.  This phased development is anticipated to be developed in two separate phases and would provide at completion up to 728 dwelling units, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and up to 909 off-street parking spaces.  Alternatively, Phase 2 could be constructed with up to 365,606 square feet of office space instead of residential units.   Phase 1, would include 364 residential units, up to 12,000 SF of ground level retail space, approximately 430 parking spaces, occupy approximately 60,524 square feet of land and is planned for construction in 2015-2017.  Each phase would be taken through the City’s design and approval process independently.

Sunday
Mar012015

Opinion - Big Dig Slated for Downtown, Centerpoint Drops the Ball With Short Notice

Visitors can expect traffic delays, parking closures and lane closures

MCT Exclusive: Mill City Times has obtained a copy of a notice CenterPoint Energy will be mailing this week to those who will be affected by a major construction project set to start in Mid-March (see letter below).  CenterPoint will be replacing approximately 1.4 miles of 20-inch high-pressure steel transmission pipe with new 20-inch steel pipe along 1st and 2nd Streets S., and 1st and 2nd Streets N. and both 2nd Avenue South and North (see map for more detail). Construction is expected to begin in Mid-March 2015, weather permitting, and will continue until September 2015:

http://millcitytimes.com/opinion/centerpoint-drops-the-ball-to-give-short-notice-of-big-dig.html

Sunday
Mar012015

A-Mill Hydro Update

Attached PDF are letters to FERC from Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service and the MN Dept. of Natural Resources that provide comments and recommendations regarding the proposed A-Mill hydro project. Both documents are extremely detailed and focus on specific concerns regarding each agency's area of responsibility. These responses to FERC indicate that these government agencies take their missions very seriously. Worth the time it takes to read them.

Sunday
Mar012015

The Week Ahead in Mill City

1856-1908 / Advertisement from The St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company

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, March 2

Tuesday, March 3

Wednesday, March 4

Thursday, March 5

Friday, March 6

Saturday, March 7

Sunday, March 8 

Friday
Feb272015

The Environmental Assessment Worksheet and Associated Studies for the Proposed Ritz Block are Now Available

Minneapolis City of Lakes 

Via a February 27 News Release from The City of Minneapolis, Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED):

The Environmental Assessment Worksheet and Associated Studies for the Proposed Ritz Block are Now Available

Friday, February 27, 2015 (Minneapolis, MN) - The Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and associated studies for the proposed Ritz Block project located on the property at 315 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, are now available.  The total project area encompasses an approximately two and one-half acre site along Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, between South 3rd and 4th Streets.  This phased development is anticipated to be developed in two separate phases and would provide at completion up to 728 dwelling units, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and up to 909 off-street parking spaces.  Alternatively, Phase 2 could be constructed with up to 365,606 square feet of office space instead of residential units.   Phase 1, would include 364 residential units, up to 12,000 SF of ground level retail space, approximately 430 parking spaces, occupy approximately 60,524 square feet of land and is planned for construction in 2015-2017.  Each phase would be taken through the City’s design and approval process independently. 

Copies of the EAW will be available for review at the downtown Minneapolis Central Library located at 300 Nicollet Mall, and in the office of the City’s CPED, Land Use, Design and Preservation Section at 250 S. 4th Street, Room 300 Public Service Center.   Notice will be published in the EQB Monitor on Monday, March 2nd, 2015. Public comments on the EAW must be made within the 30-day comment period, which ends at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. It is anticipated that the Zoning and Planning Committee at its regular meeting on April 23, 2015, or at a subsequent meeting, will receive a report and recommendation from City staff, hear comment from all parties and consider the adequacy of this EAW and the need for an Environmental Impact Statement for this proposal. The City Council will act on the recommendation of this Committee at a subsequent meeting on May 1, 2015.

This EAW and supporting information will also be available for review on the City of Minneapolis website. Copies of this EAW can also be provided to individuals by email. For further information or to submit comments on the EAW, contact Becca Farrar-Hughes, Senior Planner, at 612.673.3594.

Wednesday
Feb252015

New City of Minneapolis Program Provides Increased Wheelchair Accessible Taxicab Service to the Public

Minneapolis City of Lakes 

Via a February 25 Press Release from The City of Minneapolis:

New City of Minneapolis Program Provides Increased Wheelchair Accessible Taxicab Service to the Public

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (Minneapolis, MN) – The City of Minneapolis has developed a new program to provide wheelchair accessible taxicab service to the public.  Effective February 1st, 2015 five local taxicab companies have agreed to provide wheelchair accessible taxicab service 24 hours a day. 

The participating companies receive incentives in the form of reduced license fees for providing the services. The incentive fund is created by charging an annual license surcharge to all other taxicab companies and Transportation Network Companies such as UberX and Lyft who do not provide the services. 

“This new program is a great step in the right direction to increasing accessibility for our residents,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “It’s important that all residents know they can rely on services when they need them, and I thank these participating taxicab companies for recognizing the importance of serving the entire community. This program aligns with other investments the City is making to increase accessibility in a range of transportation options, including pedestrian improvements, winter-time snow-clearing, and advocacy for level boarding at LRT and future streetcar stops.”

All of the participating taxicab vehicles are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and charge the same fare as all other licensed taxicabs. Currently, 23 wheelchair accessible taxicabs are participating in the program, and all accept credit cards. The drivers have received training from their respective companies on the proper use of these specialty vehicles. 

The taxicab companies participating in the program are Airport Taxi (7 wheelchair accessible vehicles), Yellow Taxi (7 wheelchair accessible vehicles), Green and White Taxi (6 wheelchair accessible vehicles), Minneapple Taxi (2 wheelchair accessible vehicles), and La Mexicana Taxicab (1 wheelchair accessible vehicle). 

The Wheelchair Accessible Taxicab program was developed by the City of Minneapolis Division of Licenses and Consumer Services, the taxicab advisory committees of taxicab service companies, owners, and drivers, plus advice from the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities.  For more information visit the City of Minneapolis Business Licensing website.

Wednesday
Feb252015

Pop-up Mill City Farmers Market Comes to Capella Tower 

Thursday, March 5 - 11:00a-2:00p in the Capella Tower Atrium

On Thursday, March 5, the Mill City Farmers Market moves to downtown Minneapolis’ Capella Tower(225 S. 6th Street) for a one-of-a-kind pop-up market with over 20 of its fabulous vendors in a vibrant lunchtime marketplace full of quality, locally produced, homegrown products. From 11:00am-2:00pm, visitors can choose from an assortment of artisanal products and take-home groceries, including farmstead cheese, dry-cured meats, pickled veggies, a selection of vegan “meats” and cheeses, kitchen utensils, and more!

Click here for more info.
 

Participating Vendors:

Ames Farm – Single-source honey, beeswax candles
Aprilierre – Jewelry
Barkley’s Bistro – All natural, gluten-free puppy treats
Birchberry Native Arts and Food -  Wild rice, maple syrup, soup and pancake mixes, handmade crafts
Buffalo by Bike - 100% grass fed bison meat
Crookedwood – Handcrafted wooden cooking utensils
Down In The Valley Bakehouse – Gluten-free baked goods
Heath Glen Farm – Artisanal fruit preserves
Kiss My Cabbage – Lacto-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi
Jeanne Beatrice – Handwoven market bags and baskets
Martha’s Joy – Pickled vegetables
Red Table Meat Co. – Dry-cured pork products
Salty Tart – Fresh breads + pastries
Sassy Knitwear – Up-cycled clothing and accessories
Singing Hills Goat Dairy - Farmstead goat milk cheese
Star Prairie Trout Farm – Fresh + smoked farm-raised trout, salmon and walleye
St. Croix Chocolate Co. – Artisan chocolates
The Abbey Alpacas – Alpaca knits and fibers
The Herbivorous Butcher – All vegan “meats” and cheeses
Zula Juice – 100% organic cold-pressed juices and cleanses

Wednesday
Feb252015

Lose That "Case of the Mondays" at Magna During the Month of March

During the month of March, Magna is offering a free Cardio Barre class every Monday at Noon.

In addition to a fun and energized 50-minute Cardio Barre with expert instructor Christine Reiser, each class will feature awesome giveaways, including a t-shirt and shaker bottle, foam roller, and even a 60-minute massage!

You'll also receive a flyer to enter a raffle for a $25 shop card at Athleta in Edina at 50th and France.

Click here to register.

Tuesday
Feb242015

Mayor Hodges Invites You to Join the 'Cradles to K Cabinet' 

Minneapolis City of Lakes 

Via a February 24, 2015, e-newsletter from Mayor Betsy Hodges:

Dear Friend,

My Cradle to K Cabinet has been hard at work since last year on a plan to eliminate disparities for our youngest residents. Last month, I released the Cradle to K Cabinet’s draft report, which outlines policy, legislative and collaboration recommendations.

Read the draft recommendations here.

These draft recommendations are grounded in research and the prevailing best practices in the field and in our community. Recommendations range from increasing housing options for the lowest-income families, expanding home visiting, increasing early childhood screening at age three, and more.

Now I’m asking for participation from all of you.

Join the Cradle to K Cabinet at a community meeting to learn more about the draft plan, to talk with others in the community and to share your feedback on the recommendations and strategies.

Food will be served and Child Care is available at both meetings. We want to make sure we have enough food and chairs, so please let us know you are attending.

Tuesday, March 3
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Children’s Hospital – Education Center, 2nd Floor
2525 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
Co-hosted by Children’s Hospital, Way to Grow and YWCA of Minneapolis
Register at: http://march3forum.eventbrite.com/

Thursday, March 5
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Phyllis Wheatley Community Center – Gertrude Brown Room
915 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN
Co-hosted by Children’s Defense Fund, Think Small, Start Early Funders
Register at: http://march5forum.eventbrite.com/

If you can’t make it to one of the meetings, we still want to hear from you. Share your feedback with us online at the link below.

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/mayor/cradle/WCMS1P-136627

Many of these recommendations won’t be possible without support from the community, so we are inviting all of you to be part of this process as we work to create equity with our kids.

Sincerely,

Mayor Betsy Hodges
City of Minneapolis

P.S. To learn more about how I’m working to address the issues affecting our city, sign up for my e-mail update or check out my website or my blog.

Tuesday
Feb242015

Park Board Votes to Take Action Against Graco

The MPRB passed a Resolution Authorizing the Acquisition of Real Property by Purchase or Condemnation from Graco Minnesota, Inc. for East Bank Trail Purposes.   See our recent opinion piece for more info on this issue.

Highlights from the February 18, 2015 MPRB meeting -

Commissioner Scott Vreeland reading mission statement from Graco website:

Commissioner Vreeland statement on resolution:

MPRB President Liz Wielinski's statement:

Commissioner Erwin statement on resolution:

Commissioner Tabb statement on resolution:

Full video of the resolution discussion and vote -

Tuesday
Feb242015

MPRB Approves Public "Woonerf" Connecting to the Downtown Riverfront

The Park Board passed a Resolution Approving a Parkland Development and Easement Agreement with Eagle Iron Partners, LLC and the City of Minneapolis for Application of the “Private Land Maintained for Public Use” Park Dedication Option to the Mill City Quarter Development Project in Downtown Minneapolis.  This public space and trail connecting to the riverfront is part of the Mill City Quarter project on 2nd St. S. between 5th and 3rd Ave S.  Kudos to developer Steve Minn for going above and beyond in negotiating this new public amenity.

Woonerf Site Plan Approved by MPRB:

Monday
Feb232015

Public Meeting - Wednesday March 4 / Park Board to Consider Approval of Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan

A public hearing will be held prior to Board discussion.

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 6:30pm, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold a public hearing regarding the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan. The hearing will be held in the Board Room at MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis. Individuals wishing to speak at the hearing may call 612-230-6400 to sign up in advance, or may sign up outside the board room until 6:25 pm the day of the hearing. After the hearing, the MPRB Commissioners will consider approval of the plan.

Changing the name of the park from its current name, Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, is also being considered as a part of the Master Plan.  Through the design and community engagement process, it became evident that a name change was needed. The proposed name of St. Anthony Falls Regional Park is considered a more descriptive and identifiable name which captures the essence of the birthplace of Minneapolis.

The Regional Park currently includes approximately 350 acres of land and water around St. Anthony Falls, near Downtown Minneapolis. The Master Plan is a written and graphic document intended to relate current park data and analysis, communicate a plan for the park’s future, and guide strategic implementation of the plan over the years to come. It is a reflection of the recommendations of an appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which met 12 times between September 2013 and October of 2014. In addition to the CAC meetings, the master planning process included three open houses, five two-day public charrettes, an online survey, coordination with neighborhood organizations, and a 45-day public comment period.

The previously issued Draft Master Plan has been revised based on public, MPRB staff, and partner agency comments. The final plan to be considered for approval will be made available to the public when the Board Meeting agenda and meeting materials are made public, around the Friday before the March 4 meeting. At that time the public may access the document and all supporting materials via the Park Board’s meeting website at http://minneapolisparksmn.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx. For general information about the planning process to date, visit the project webpage, or go to www.minneapolisparks.org/currentprojects then select “Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan”).

The Park Board will be launching its new website on the afternoon of Thursday, February 26.  At this time the above link to the project webpage will not work.  Please use the search function in the upper right corner of the new website, and search for “Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park.”  The park board's website name will continue to be www.minneapolisparks.org and the link to www.minneapolisparks.org/currentprojects  will also continue to function with the new website. 

 

CONTACT:

Tyler Pederson
tpederson@minneapolisparks.org
612-499-9084