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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.


Make Homes Happen Minneapolis

Article by Claudia Kittock

Joe Kreisman, head of Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, is a tireless advocate. His creative approach to making sure everyone in Minneapolis has a place to sleep has given the city many innovative programs. The latest is Make Homes Happen, a grassroots coalition of organizations mobilizing for production and preservation of affordable housing and protection of tenants’ rights in the city of Minneapolis through education, advocacy, and public policy reform. This campaign builds on similar ones in cities across the country which include Washington D.C., Seattle, Denver, and many others. They have created or expanded local housing trust funds out of a growing concern that federal resources are limited and becoming unreliable.

As we all know, Minneapolis is growing, but that growth has not seen a concurrent growth in affordable housing stock which has decreased considerably since 2000. Make Homes Happen strives to provide choice and opportunity with a range of housing types and affordability across the full housing continuum. This will require various investments and tools from the City and its community partners.

Make Homes Happen proposes the City commit $50 million annually for ten years in new, local, dedicated revenue to produce and preserve affordable rental and ownership housing. These investments would be made with input from a community advisory committee that will include residents from low-wealth communities, communities of color, and other stakeholders.

We are a city with more renters than owners, and tenant protection and support are crucial for the future of affordable housing here. The city of Minneapolis plays an important role in influencing tenants’ rights, and needs to develop new legal protections to support renters while making investments in housing code enforcement. In addition to specific policies to prevent involuntary displacement and improve fair access to housing, the City needs to center tenant-focused improvements and investments in housing inspections as advocated by affected renters themselves.

Affordable housing is critical for the entire city, and we need your help to make sure it is a priority for the City Council and Mayor. We need to live in a city where everyone has a place to sleep at night. By signing on to the Make Homes Happen coalition, you are joining a city-wide coalition that’s working to ensure housing stability for all Minneapolis residents.

How can you help?
• Contact Rose Teng with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers at or 612-843-3270.
• Talk with your City Council representative and learn more about their stance.

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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).



What You'll Find Along Nicollet at Northern Spark (hint - there's a lot!)

Baptism, photo by Adja Gildersleve. 

For many, Northern Spark is about wandering and finding uncommon art in surprising places. As you perambulate down Nicollet on June 15 & 16, here’s what you will find:

If you’re a planner, make room in your wandering schedule for these timed events:

  • a walking tour of Weird Nicollet  (10 pm & 12 midnight)
  • jams of all kinds featuring Street Showcase musicians (10 pm & 11 pm)
  • Midnight dance class! Perfect if you need a pick me up mid-way through the night.

Also on Nicollet is the tall, glass-paned Minneapolis Central Library. For the first time ever, hang out in the Library after hours at Northern Spark! You'll find:  


Third Annual Preservation Photo Contest to Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department invites you to participate in a photo contest to celebrate the historic resources that make our city special. Contest link

Minneapolis has 177 locally designated landmarks and 18 historic districts, and CPED encourages individuals to share their best photos of them to celebrate the contributions these old buildings and places make to our city.

To enter the contest, snap a photo and post it on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #MPLSpreservation by May 31, 2018.

Examples of past winners:

Minneapolis Post Office, Photo by Brian Lenk 

Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Photo by Rachel Ewell

Hollywood Theater, Photo by Ray Schoch


2018 Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has announced its 2018 Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks schedule, which starts May 28. These events are free - just bring a blanket, sunblock and bug spray, and a picnic basket for a relaxing evening in the park.

Check out the schedules and follow Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks using the following links:

Music Schedule  Movie Schedule  Facebook


Parkway Closure for May 10 Medtronic 1 Mile Races

West River Parkway (from Portland Avenue to 22nd Avenue S) will be closed from 5:30pm-7:30pm on Thursday, May 10, for the Medtronic 1 Mile races.

Event Info

Wave times:

6:30pm – Corporate Team Challenge
6:45pm – First Timer’s
7:00pm – Recreational
7:30pm – Competitive
7:40pm – USATF Minnesota Team Circuit, Invitation Only (USATF Members)
7:52pm – Women’s Professional, Invitation Only
8:01pm – Men’s Professional, Invitation Only

EDITORS NOTE - The Parkway closure info from MPRB stated the road is closed until 7:30p, but the last wave takes off at 8:01pm, so the road may be closed until shortly after 8pm.


Spring Migrating Birds on the Minneapolis Riverfront

Excerpts from a May 8 article by Chee Xiong, published on the Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) website:

Spring migrating birds on the Minneapolis Riverfront

One perk of being next to the Mississippi River, a major flyway, is we get to witness the incredible mass movement of our feathered friends. Here are some recommended places from Matt Karl and the Minnesota Audubon Society:

Coldwater Spring
Best to visit in the A.M.
One of the top birding sites in Minneapolis, Coldwater Spring is located south of Minnehaha Creek on the Mississippi River. The diverse fauna of this shrubby wetland offers a great sighting of waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans) and warblers. It is one of the favorite local sites for birding enthusiasts.

Minnehaha Creek, Minnehaha Regional Park
Best to visit in the A.M.
Take an early morning hike down Minnehaha Creek, starting from the falls and walking toward the Mississippi River. You might find a family of mallards, see falcons dancing in the sky, or Great Egrets glide gracefully above the water, as they seek out their morning breakfast.

Winchell Trail
Visit any time of the day
Hike on the 2.5-mile-long hidden trail between Franklin Avenue and 44th Street, off of West River Parkway.  Stop by White Sand Beach, located on the path to observe sparrows and eagles as they fly over.

Heron Rookery, North Minneapolis
Visit any time of the day
If you have access to a kayak or canoe and the Mississippi River is safe to be on, float down river from the Soo Avenue North boat ramp and see the Heron Rookery. The island is south of the mouth of Shingle Creek. There, you will locate Great Blue Herons and their nest. The island is off limits to anchor or human activities.

Click here for the full article.


Scenes from the May 5 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5 was opening day at the 2018 Mill City Farmers Market, now in it's 13th year. Two MCFM sponsors were on hand to kick off the season: Cynthia Froid Group treated customers to herb plants, and Lakewinds Food Co-op handed out shopping totes.

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers MarketEmily, Lynn and Cindy taking a quick breather from handing out herb plants.

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers MarketCarota, a carrot dip, from new vendor Caldo Foods.

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers MarketThe Pure Maple Sugar from Horner's Corner is a key ingredient for killer cookies. Also, it doesn't get the hard clumps that occur with regular brown sugar. Try it!

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market

May 5, 2018 Mill City Farmers Market


May 4 E-Newsletter from 3rd Ward Council Member Steve Fletcher

100% Renewable Energy Resolution

 Council Member Fletcher speaks at the 100% renewable energy press conference

Last Friday, April 27 was a historic day in Minneapolis! The City Council unanimously approved a resolution that commits our city to achieve 100% renewable electricity: for municipal facilities and operations by 2022 and citywide by 2030. These goals serve as a strategy to meet the City’s aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate change goals by moving away from fossil fuels. The resolution responds to overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is a real and existential threat to human civilization and is caused primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels. The City opposes the rollback of climate policy at the federal level and reaffirms its ongoing commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

In addition to being the right thing to do for the planet, investing in renewable energy also allows us to keep more energy generation revenue in the city and create jobs for Minneapolis people of color who have been historically excluded from the old energy economy.

Thank you to my colleagues and our staff that represent the City on the Clean Energy Partnership (where I serve as an alternate) - Mayor Jacob Frey, Council Member Cam Gordon, and Council Member Jeremy Schroeder - as well as the city's wonderful sustainability staff, the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, iMatter Minneapolis, and many others for their work to get this passed.

This will take a lot of work to accomplish, but it is an essential step for our city. This has been a priority of mine since day one and I'm proud that we are taking this step!

Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Avenue

The City of Minneapolis wants to hear from you about the design for the Hennepin Downtown Street Reconstruction Project, which will include major street improvements for the corridor between Washington Avenue and 12th Street.

People who live, work and travel along Hennepin Avenue are invited to comment on options for the overall aesthetic vision for the corridor between the Walker Art Center and the Mississippi River. An engagement process is underway in preparation for Minneapolis City Council review of the proposed roadway layout in July 2018.

The reconstructed Hennepin will continue to accommodate many different travel modes, including wider sidewalk areas, one-way protected bikeways behind the curb, enhanced transit stops, and four vehicle lanes with Hennepin remaining a two-way street.

This stretch of Hennepin, one of the city’s most celebrated cultural corridors, was last rebuilt in 1986 and the pavement needs to be replaced. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2022. For more information about the project, visit Hennepin Downtown or call 844-887-833.

City Council Approves Pilot Program for Apartment Building Property Tax Breaks in Exchange for Affordable Rents

On April 27, the City Council also approved a pilot program to help encourage Minneapolis apartment owners to use a State provision that provides a 40 percent reduction in property taxes for having naturally occurring affordable housing (often referred to as NOAH). The "4d" pilot program adds incentives to properties that have not previously qualified.

As a result of this pilot, owners of naturally occurring affordable housing can apply to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for low-income rent classification status, otherwise known as 4d status. This results in a 40 percent reduction in property taxes on the restricted units. To qualify, the property must receive financial assistance offered by the City and restrict at least 20 percent of the building’s units to be affordable to and occupied by households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

There is no singular solution to our affordable housing crisis, and we know that we are losing these NOAH units faster than we are building new ones, so we need to do everything we can to preserve their affordability whenever and wherever we can. Council Member Lisa Goodman, Council Member Cam Gordon, and Mayor Jacob Frey all did great work to bring forward a solution that will make a positive difference. I was glad to be able to cast a vote for it.

Small Business Team Community Office Hours

The City's Small Business Team works to help people start and grow small businesses in Minneapolis. They recently launched the Minneapolis Business Portal, which provides entrepreneurs and business owners with valuable information and resources to plan, launch, and grow a business.

In addition, the Small Business Team holds regular community office hours for consultations around the City:

  • Central Library, 2nd Floor: every other Tuesday from 10am-1pm; the next one is May 8th
  • North Regional Library: every 4th Thursday, 1pm-3pm.
  • Hosmer Library: every 3rd Wednesday, 3pm-6pm.

If you are looking to start or grow a small business, come to a community office hour or contact the Small Business Team at 612-673-2499 or

It's Farmers Market Season!

NE Farmers Market

Farmers markets are opening for the season, and the City of Minneapolis now has an online interactive map that makes it easy to find farmers markets all over the city, showing the address, season dates and opening times for each market. The map will be updated as information becomes available on 2018 schedules.

The first market of the season – the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale Avenue North – opened April 21. The Thursday Nicollet Mall farmers market will return this year to Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Other Ward 3 markets include the Mill City Farmers Market at 750 S 2nd St, which opens this weekend, and the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market at 629 2nd St NE, opening May 19.

Nearly 30 farmers markets and mini markets will operate in Minneapolis this year. In 2016 they collectively represented more than $12 million in vendor sales with about 800 vendors. In 2017, market vendors supported approximately 5,000 employees and welcomed an estimated 1.2 million annual visitors to the markets in Minneapolis.

Clean City Minneapolis

The Clean City Minneapolis program, operated through the Minneapolis Public Works Division of Solid Waste and Recycling, offers multiple ways to get involved in keeping our city clean for all. Whether you’re working alone or as part of a group, it’s easy, and it all adds up to enhance our neighborhoods.

Visit the Clean City Minneapolis page for more information on these opportunities to get involved, or contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Division’s Clean City Coordinator at (612) 673-2789:

  • Adopt-A-Street/Highway
  • Adopt-A-Block
  • Adopt-A-Litter Container
  • Adopt-An-Ash Receptacle
  • Adopt-A-Drain
  • Graffiti Paint-Over
  • Neighborhood Clean Up
  • Request Litter Clean-Up Supplies

Ward 3 Resident Receives Park Board Volunteer of the Year Award

Park Board Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations Ward 3 resident Robert Buck on receiving the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Volunteer of the Year Award!

From the Park Board:

“Robert Buck has been generously donating is time and expertise to the Forestry Department since 2013. A professional PhD. statistician by trade, Robert offered to assist with the scientific analysis of tree survival rates in Minneapolis. In collaboration with Park Board Forestry Staff and the University of Minnesota, Robert designed an ongoing study to track the establishment of newly plant trees over a five-year period.

The study includes multiple steps throughout the year to facilitate ongoing quality control analysis. The work is extremely technical and includes pulling a survey sample set from the seasonal planting population, working to find and correct data discrepancies and sourcing additional data sets, writing an annual scientific report, and annually presenting the study results to the Forestry Department and Minneapolis Tree Advisory Commission.

The benefits of this study to the Park Board are immense. Until the study, most, if not all, tree establishment survivability rates have been case by case and anecdotal. Robert’s findings and analysis to date have and will continue to impact Forestry operations and tree care for years to come.”

MPRB Announces 2017 Volunteer of the Year Awards


CenterPoint Energy Utility Work Along E. Hennepin Ave.

Map of CenterPoint Utility Work on East Hennepin Ave

CenterPoint Energy began work on Monday, April 16 to replace natural gas mains and connect natural gas service lines to the installed mains in Minneapolis along E. Hennepin Ave. from Nicollet Island to 5th Street SE, and other nearby streets.

This work is scheduled to end in early July, and it will be done in coordination with Hennepin County concrete rehabilitation work on E. Hennepin Ave., which will begin after July 4; and with the City’s paving project on 5th Street NE.

Access on E. Hennepin Avenue will be maintained for the duration of the project, local businesses will have access to their properties at all times, and pedestrian traffic will be maintained.

Construction will occur in segments along the construction route, rather than all at once. Lane restrictions are anticipated in areas where active construction is occurring and are necessary to keep both the public and construction personnel safe.

If the crews need to perform work on the weekends, they may need to place partial closures on the side streets.

For more info on this project or to sign up for project updates from CenterPoint, visit their project web page.

University Ave. NE Closure North of Lowry Ave.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is resurfacing University Avenue from Lowry Avenue to 44th Avenue in Columbia Heights. Work began on Monday, April 30th and the project should take less than two months.

Please be aware that there will be construction noise in the area and some occasional work that will start before 7 a.m. and continue past 8 p.m.

The recommended detour route is Central Avenue.

Check this web page for more details.

Boom Island - Nicollet Island Bridge Closing for Repairs

Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge

via the Minneapolis Park Board:

The Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge rehabilitation project is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 21, 2018. Work is expected to be complete by early September. 

During construction, the pedestrian and bicycle trail bridge connecting Boom Island/BF Nelson Park to Nicollet Island will be closed to all traffic. A pedestrian and bicycle detour will be posted for the duration of the project.

The City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to allow rehabilitation of and alterations to the existing Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge on April 17, 2018 and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners approved a construction contract on April 18, 2018.

In late 2013, the bridge was closed to emergency and maintenance vehicles after an inspection discovered significant deterioration. Emergency repairs were completed in July 2015 to replace the bearings on the north abutment and modify the ends of the stringers. The bridge was then reopened to emergency and maintenance vehicle traffic.

Please read the Discussion Item submitted to the Heritage Preservation Commission last spring for more information on the updated design of the bridge rehabilitation.

To learn more about this project and others, visit


Open Houses about the City’s Draft Comprehensive Plan

We want to hear from you about the City's draft comprehensive plan! When finalized, Minneapolis 2040 will serve as a framework of interdependent policies, action steps, and maps intended to drive a citywide conversation about how the city will grow and change over the next two decades so all residents benefit.

The public can learn more about the draft plan and provide comments by attending one of the upcoming open houses:

Northeast: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12

Northeast Recreation Center, 1530 Johnson St. NE

Downtown: 5:30- 8 p.m. Thursday, May 17

Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae, 651 Nicollet Mall #300

These open houses will have family-friendly activities and free food from local businesses. You can view and comment on draft policies and maps, or give us your feedback online at Public feedback on the draft plan is being collected until July 22.

Good Morning Ward 3 at Kramarczuk's


Join us for our next Good Morning Ward 3 on May 16 with special guest Joy Marsh Stephens from the City Coordinator’s Office Division of Race & Equity to discuss the City's past, present, and future efforts to address racial inequities in Minneapolis.

Good Morning Ward 3

Wednesday, May 16 from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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

This is a timely topic: racial justice leaders and historians joined members of the City Council’s Committee of the Whole for a first-ever meeting of the Race Equity Subcommittee on Wednesday, April 25.

The subcommittee meeting, which took place during the Committee of the Whole meeting, had presentations on the history of racial harm, the current landscape of racial inequity and the future of racial justice within the city of Minneapolis.

The subcommittee meeting also included an update on the City’s own enterprise-wide work toward race equity and the approval of appointments to the Racial Equity Community Advisory Committee.

Coffee With Your Council Member

Council Member Fletcher will hold regular open community office hours at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at a rotating neighborhood coffee shop in Ward 3 for constituents to drop by, get to know him, 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 and we'll add you to the agenda.

  • May 9 – Moose and Sadie’s, 212 3rd Ave N #107, 55401
  • May 16 – Maeve’s Café, 300 13th Ave NE, 55413
  • May 30 – Chatime, 1315 4th St SE, 55414
  • June 6 – The Commons, 425 Portland Ave S, table in the NE corner on Portland Ave and 4th St, 55415 (weather permitting)
  • June 13 – In the Loop Coffee Co., 708 N 1st St, 55401 (dog friendly)
  • June 20 – Glam Doll Donuts, 519 Central Ave NE, 55413
  • June 27 – The Purple Onion Café, 1301 University Ave SE #1, 55414

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


McKinney Roe Hosts Friends of the Mill District Donor Event

Article by Claudia Kittock, photo by Rick Kittock:

The Friends of the Mill District, a neighborhood charity only 3 years old, is blessed by a community response that has been extraordinary. April 30, 2018, was a perfect example. We had long wanted to have an event to thank all of our donors for their generosity, and when we approached McKinney Roe, the response was that they would donate the event! So, on this past Monday evening, we were able to thank many of our donors with a wonderful event on the second floor of McKinney Roe.

It was a great party! We were able to share drinks and food while discussing the work of the Friends. The discussion about the beginning of the charity was not a story everyone knew, and while most were aware of the Mill City Singers, the Mill City Players, and Yoga in the Park, many were unaware of our plans for the future. It was fun to talk about our hopes for a boxing program, a writing program, a photography program, and a book club.

It is clear that more heads are always better than one, and that goes for parties and for ideas. While sharing a fun evening, we heard many suggestions and questions that we happily answered and are eager to incorporate.

Friends of the Mill District board members, left to right: Dave Tinjum, Claudia Kittock, Ken Searl, Jan Mershon and Cindy Froid

Thank you to McKinney Roe for their generosity and neighborliness! Our donors are the best. They ‘jumped off the cliff’ with us, and we hope that belief in our mission is bearing fruit. We are just getting started, thanks to each and every person who has donated to us. It is always wonderful to remember how lucky we are to live where we live. If you are interested in getting involved with the Friends or would like more information, go to the website or follow us on Facebook. You can also email Claudia Kittock at We are stronger together!

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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).



Count Basie Jazz at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, May 21: Get the Mill City Times Discount!

by Merle Minda

World-class JazzMN Orchestra will be performing Basie Straight Ahead – A Tribute to the Count on the main stage at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Monday, May 21. Dinner at 5:30pm; Concert 7:30 PM. Mill City Times readers can realize a $5.00 discount off dinner and show or show-only tickets. Valid online or at the box office. Discount Promo Code is: JAZZMN5.

Said jazz reviewer Pam Espeland, “This is pure jazz in all its glory.” The jazz orchestra features many top Twin Cities jazz artists, and faithfully recreates the “Basie Sound.” JazzMN is Minnesota’s premiere big band, so this should be a treat.


Preserve Minneapolis Debuts 2018 Summer Tour Schedule

Via a News Release from Preserve Minneapolis:

Explore Minneapolis history with 27 unique outings to famous and lesser-known city landmarks & communities

Preserve Minneapolis is excited to announce its 2018 summer walking and bus tour schedule. This is the local non-profit organization’s seventh year exploring the city’s architectural and cultural resources with the public.

Join experienced architects and historians as Preserve Minneapolis visits diverse corners of the city’s historic neighborhoods, buildings and landmarks. These guided tours reveal stories of the past that have shaped Minneapolis from its earliest days to the present.

Most tickets are $10 and tours begin Saturday, May 12. Learn more about the tours and reserve a spot at Please contact for additional information.

Saturday 5/12 Healy Block Residential Historic District
Saturday 5/19 Red Cedar Lane and Environs

Saturday 6/2 Minneapolis Skyways
Sunday 6/3  Prince’s Side of the Street: North Minneapolis Landmarks
Tuesday 6/5  Lakewood Cemetery: Creating a Landscape of Memory
Tuesday 6/12  Old Highland
Saturday 6/16  Park Ave Part I: Age of Opulence Along the Golden Mile
Saturday, 6/16 Park Ave Part II: Queen Annes, Classical Revivals & the Stories of Their People
Saturday 6/23  Hennepin Avenue Theater District
Sunday 6/24  Como-Harriet Streetcar Line
Monday 6/25  Tangletown and Minnehaha Creek

Saturday 7/14  North Side Former Synagogues and Neighborhood
Sunday 7/15  Historic East Hennepin
Thursday 7/19  Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront
Saturday 7/21  Housing Discrimination Revealed: A History of Race and Real Estate in Minneapolis (Bus Tour)

Tuesday 8/7  Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Saturday 8/11 Brew Houses of Lowry Hill East
Sunday 8/12  Old Minneapolis
Saturday 8/18  Warehouse District
Wednesday 8/22  Minnehaha Falls: More than Just a Little Laugh
Saturday 8/25  Welcome to North Minneapolis: Explorations of a Rich Heritage & History (Bus Tour)

Friday 9/7  Downtown Public Art
Saturday 9/8  Milwaukee Avenue Historic District
Sunday 9/9  North Side Crossings: Alleys of the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District
Sunday 9/16  Prince’s Side of the Street: North Minneapolis Landmarks
Sunday 9/23  Murder and Mayhem: Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
Saturday 9/29  Nicollet Island

Learn more and register for any tour at


Maintenance Work Begins on 5 Hennepin County Road Bridges Over the Mississippi River

Via a May 3 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Bridge maintenance work begins next week

Starting Monday, May 7, crews will begin bridge maintenance work on five county road bridges over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

The bridges, listed in anticipated order of work, are:

- Lake Street Bridge (County Road 3)
- Franklin Avenue Bridge (County Road 5)
- Hennepin Avenue Bridge (County Road 52)
- Broadway Avenue Bridge (County Road 66)
- Lowry Avenue Bridge (County Road 153)

Maintenance work will involve flushing the bridge deck and other critical components underneath the bridge.

Dirt and debris, which hold moisture and chlorides, build up inside joints and crevices over time. Flushing the bridge of dirt and debris helps extend the life of the bridge.

Timing and access

Maintenance work on each bridge is expected to take four to five days to complete. To minimize impacts to traffic, work will be completed on weekdays at off-peak hours.

People driving should expect short-term lane closures, and people walking should expect sidewalk closures. However, we will keep at least one lane for each direction of traffic and one side of the sidewalks open at all times. Signage, cones, barricades and flashing arrow boards will be on site to guide you around the work areas.

Expect delays when traveling through the area. For your safety and the safety of our crews, please exercise caution and slow down as you travel through the area


Third Annual 'Share the River Nordeast' Scheduled for June 27

Wilderness Inquiry canoe on the Mississippi River.

Public invited to experience the Mississippi River in an evening of community, canoeing and cookies.

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization invites community members to a family-friendly evening of cookies and canoeing on the Mississippi River on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The third annual Share the River Nordeast event offers visitors the chance to take a free introductory canoe ride on the Mississippi River with experienced guides. Attendees can also enjoy a complimentary cookie from North Minneapolis nonprofit bakery Cookie Cart and tour indoor and outdoor exhibits at the MWMO’s Stormwater Park and Learning Center in Northeast Minneapolis. 

“Paddling the Mississippi River is an amazing experience, and Share the River Nordeast offers a fun, safe, and family-friendly way to connect with this natural wonder,” said MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder. “The river is an extremely valuable resource, and we want people to see that it is something worth protecting.”

Canoe trips will be led by National Park Service rangers and staff from the Mississippi Park Connection and Wilderness Inquiry. In addition to learning how to paddle on the river, participants will have opportunities to learn about the river’s history, water quality, plants, animals and more.

The event is open to kids and adults of all ages. Visitors who wish to take a canoe ride must be at least 30 pounds in order to fit the provided life jackets.

Attendees are advised to use on-street parking, as the MWMO’s parking lot will be off-limits for the event. Bike parking, a Nice Ride station and bus transit options are also available in the area.


Guild of Book Workers Formation Exhibition Begins Two Year National Tour at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Via a May 1 Press Release from Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA):

Formation: A Juried Exhibition of the Guild of Book Workers, featuring 51 works from 46 Guild members, is set to begin its U.S. tour at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) this June. The jury-selected artists were asked to consider how the act of formation, defined by Merriam-Webster as “an act of giving form or shape to something,” informs their artistic process. The resulting exhibition both honors the Guild’s legacy and celebrates contemporary forms of book art. Works presented in the exhibition include artist’s books, fine bindings, fine press printing, calligraphy, and sculptural books. Formation will run from June 15-October 21 in MCBA’s main gallery, with an opening reception on June 22 from 6-8 pm.

In-Between by Denise Carbone (Stratford, NJ)

A printed exhibition catalog will accompany Formation, which doubles as the Guild’s triennial members’ exhibition. The catalog, published as a special edition of the Guild of Book Workers’ Journal, includes color photographs and descriptions of each piece, information about the artists, remarks from Guild president Bexx Caswell, and more. Formation’s jury is comprised of book artists and Guild members Coleen Curry, Graham Patten, and Sarah Smith. It was curated by Jackie Scott, who also serves as the Guild’s Exhibitions Chair.

Formation’s tour at MCBA coincides with the Guild of Book Workers’ Standards of Excellence Seminar, which will take place in Minneapolis in October 2018. Following the seminar’s conclusion, the exhibition will then embark on a nationwide tour. Among other institutions, it will stop at the Robert C. Williams Papermaking Museum in Atlanta, GA; UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library; the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. A complete schedule is available online at

The Guild of Book Workers was founded in 1906 with the hopes of fostering a community of book artists and craftspeople. Some of its founding members include Edith Diehl, W.A. Dwiggins, and Frederic W. Goudy. Today, the Guild has over 900 members, ranging from amateur to professional book artists, conservators, printers, papermakers, librarians, and collectors. It continues to work toward its initial goal of preserving and sustaining the craft of bookmaking through sponsoring exhibitions, organizing educational opportunities, and cultivating a roster of talented artists and craftspeople to carry on the tradition.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit


Mississippi East Bank Trail Reopened April 27

Via a May 1 e-newsletter from Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

The Mississippi East Bank Trail opened in 2016

Mississippi East Bank Trail reopened last Friday, April 27, after the Hall's Island restoration project closed the trail for nearly six months between Boom Island Park and Sheridan Memorial Park. 

The five-block closure will return for a few days in mid-May to allow workers to repave a short section of trail currently covered in gravel. Visit the Hall's Island project page for more information.

Illustration showing Hall's Island after Phase 2 is complete. Phase 1, which will be finished in summer 2018, only includes the island, back channel and gravel beach on the mainland.

About this project

The Hall's Island restoration will re-establish an island along the Northeast Minneapolis riverfront. Future phases will create pedestrian bridges to allow access to the island and develop some of the open parkland on shore, adjacent to the island.

Thursday Nicollet Farmers Market Opens May 3

After a three-year hiatus during construction and utility work, the Nicollet Farmers Market (on Nicollet from 6th to 8th Streets) officially opens this Thursday, May 3, from 6:00am-6:00pm, and will be open every Thursday thereafter through October.
The Nicollet Farmers Market is part of ongoing programming happening on Nicollet this summer led by the Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID). For more information, visit

Brice Okocha - an Inspiration, Part 2

Article by Claudia Kittock:

Today, April 28, Brice Okocha graduated from Metropolitan State University with a BS in Law Enforcement. According to Metropolitan State, the requirements for this degree are as follows:

Grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, the law enforcement degree programs help individuals develop the knowledge and perspectives for law enforcement careers. A baccalaureate degree is the minimum educational requirement for some state and most federal law enforcement positions, as well as many other interesting positions within the criminal justice system.

To earn a bachelor of science (BS) in law enforcement, students must complete the minimum bachelor's degree requirements (120 credits), including general education, liberal studies and law enforcement coursework.

I can’t describe the feelings I have today. As hundreds of students marched into the auditorium, I wanted to grab every person there and tell them Brice’s story. I want them to know the Brice I know, a wonderful man and an incredible friend. He has worked incredibly hard to earn this degree and has done so while living at the shelter, Higher Ground. Brice and I met there on my very first run with the organization A Mile In My Shoes.

If you read my previous story about Brice you know that we met 3 years ago at 5:45 a.m at Higher Ground.  As I walked in, a large man made his way to us, stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Brice. Welcome!” He immediately went into a short tutorial about what to expect. Before we left he said, “I’ll run with you today.  Don’t forget, whatever happens, I have your back.” The run was wonderful and I left thoroughly interested in Brice. What I wouldn’t know for several months of running with him was that he lived at Higher Ground.

Brice lives in one of the small units on the 2nd floor. The cost is $7/day and is referred to as pay-to-stay. We immediately bonded over our love of running and his pursuit of a college degree.  At the time, Brice was a full-time student at MCTC and we walked about papers, tests, courses, and his goals for a degree and his future. I quickly fell in love with my early morning runs there, and Brice fascinated me and became a good friend. I was mindful of having to ‘share’ Brice with other runners, but I always looked forward to our runs together and talking about college classes. As a lifelong college professor, I knew immediately that Brice was a terrific student.  He is motivated, works incredibly hard, and as with most people who return to school, he knew what he wanted to do and was determined to get there.

As with any college student, it hasn’t been easy, but Brice’s determination and gentle perseverance kept him on track. Brice developed friendships in every class he took and when he and I last spoke a few months ago, he talked passionately about being the type of police officer who will stress relationships, de-escalation, and problem solving.

How did he do it? How did he stick it out and earn his degree when life seemed to be conspiring to make sure he failed? Brice told me that he works to stay resilient and to stay positive. Anger can get in the way of reaching a goal, but as Maya Angelou so famously said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Brice embodies that in everything he does.

I asked Brice to tell me what he would tell a young person experiencing homelessness. He stressed the idea that things will get better and that this situation will pass. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, just keep moving through the tunnel.

Brice Okocha is that light. He shows each of us that know him what it means to be kind, to be compassionate, and to be determined. There is hope. There is success. Look at this amazing man and know that good things do happen, not by accident, but with love and determination. We all do better when we all do better. Today, Brice graduated from college, and we are all better for it. 

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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).



The Meeker Island Lock & Dam

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

On the Mississippi River, where Minneapolis and St. Paul meet, an abandoned structure lies just beneath the waves. Between the shore and the navigation channel are the remains of the Meeker Island Lock and Dam, originally named Lock and Dam No. 2. While it was not operational for a very long time, the impact it had on the utilization of the river from St. Paul to Minneapolis is tremendous.

Screenshot from Google Maps showing the remnants of the lock.

During the mid-1800’s, paddle boats started to make the trek up the river and line the shores of St. Paul, bringing resources and people looking for a new home. While it was possible for boats to reach Minneapolis, it was a very dangerous trip. The eight-mile stretch from St. Anthony Falls to where the Minnesota River flows into the Mississippi was dotted with small islands and rapids with an elevation change of 110 feet. To take advantage of the power St. Anthony Falls was generating for the lumber and flour milling industries, Minneapolis needed to be connected to the transportation network that the river created. In 1898, after roughly fifty years of negotiations, the construction of two lock and dams, one near the Ford Bridge for St. Paul to harness electricity with, and the other near the Lake St. Bridge for Minneapolis, commenced. This would raise the level of the river and hide all those islands and boulders that made navigation very risky.

The Meeker Island Lock and Dam was the first to be built, and it was completed in 1907. On May 19th of that year, the Itura became the first boat to pass through the new lock, and the Meeker Island Lock and Dam became the first lock and dam on the entire Mississippi. During its short lifespan, the lock and dam would see anywhere from 200,000 to 475,000 tons of lumber a year pass through, which was the main use of the lock. The only other industry to use the lock was tourism and transportation. During the early years of the lock, the Army Corps of Engineers annual reports estimated that $15,000 worth of excursion business passed through the lock per year.

Photo of its construction, looking down stream with the Lake St. Bridge in the backgroud.

Photo of its construction, looking up stream.

Shortly after the Meeker Island Lock and Dam was completed, construction for the second dam, just downstream, began. Halfway through its construction, hydropower technology progressed so much that these two lock and dams would not be able to handle the new technology that was required for hydropower. Because of this, a new plan was agreed upon. In 1912, just five years since the Itura passed through its doors, the Meeker Island Lock and Dam shut down and was partially dismantled to make way for the new Lock and Dam No. 1. Not only would this new and larger lock and dam raise the river level even more in the river gorge, it would provide an immense amount of electricity. A man by the name of Henry Ford quickly realized this would be a perfect opportunity to open a new automobile factory and approached the city of St. Paul to strike a deal. I think we all know what happened after that.

Post card of the completed lock and dam.

While the Meeker Island Lock and Dam was only in operation for five years, it opened the river for safe travel up to Minneapolis, and laid the ground work for the current iteration of Lock and Dam No. 1, also known as the Ford Dam. The milling industries in Minneapolis were going to grow no matter what, but if it wasn’t for the idea that first popped up before the Civil War to install a series of locks and dams between the Twin Cities, it’s hard to believe that Minneapolis would eventually become the Mill City.

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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


The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul Announces Best of Fest for the 37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul has announced the schedule of Best of Fest for the 37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF). Best of Fest is five days of MSPIFF encores featuring sell-outs, must-see local productions, audience favorites, and award winners. This year’s Best of Fest includes titles that were postponed due to the blizzard on Saturday, April 14.

Ticket prices for Best of Fest are $14 general admission, $11 members, $8 students and patrons under 25. 6-Packs, MSPIFF passes and vouchers may be used at Best of Fest. For the full schedule of films at Best of Fest, please visit

BEST OF FEST SCHEDULE All at St. Anthony Main Theatre

The Price of Everything - Screening at 1:00PM
Wallay - Screening at 1:10PM
Bitter Flowers - Screening at 3:00PM
Through the Banks of the Red Cedar - Screening at 3:10PM
The Blessed - Screening at 5:00PM
When Paul Came Over the Sea – Journal of an Encounter - Screening at 5:20PM
On Borrowed Time - Screening at 7:20PM
The Judge - Screening at 7:30PM
Shorts: Jury Winners & Honorable Mentions - Screening at 9:15PM
Good Manners - Screening at 9:20PM

Roller Dreams - Screening at 4:45PM
We Are Columbine - Screening 5:00PM
Aurora Borealis - Screening 7:00PM
Work in Progress (Al Milgrom’s Cinema Journey) - Screening 7:10PM
Before We Vanish - Screening 9:00PM
Dragonfly Eyes - Screening 9:15PM

Black Kite - Screening at 5:00PM
The Blessing - Screening at 5:15PM
Virginia Minnesota - Screening at 7:00PM
Minding the Gap - Screening at 7:10PM
Risking Light - Screening at 9:15PM
Samui Song - Screening at 9:20PM

Gutland - Screening at 4:30PM
Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story - Screening 5:00PM
Silicone Soul - Screening at 7:00PM
Indian Horse - Screening at 7:10PM
Not in My Lifetime - Screening 9:00PM
Happy Birthday - Screening 9:20PM

The Whiskey Bandit - Screening at 4:30PM
Becoming Who I Was - Screening at 4:45PM
Dodging Bullets - Screening at 7:00PM
The Prime Minister - Screening at 7:10PM
A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China - Screening at 9:20PM
A Moment in the Reeds - Screening at 9:30PM

The 12th Man
This breathtaking action adventure tells an incredible true-life story of heroism and a man's unbreakable will to live. Norway, 1943: after a failed anti-Nazi sabotage mission leaves his eleven comrades dead, Norwegian resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud (Thomas Gullestad) finds himself on the run from the Gestapo through the snowbound Arctic reaches of Scandinavia. A selection of the 37th MSPIFF.

Sweet Country
Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works for a preacher in the outback of Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter war veteran, moves into a neighboring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defense. As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A selection of the 37th MSPIFF.


Autonomous Shuttle Demonstration This Weekend on Midtown Greenway

Via an April 27 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Autonomous shuttle demonstration this weekend on Midtown Greenway

Hennepin County is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and other agencies and community organizations to demonstrate use of the EasyMile EZ10 electric autonomous shuttle on a two-block section of the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis this weekend, April 27-29.

Autonomous vehicles are no longer a thing of the future, and Hennepin County is interested in learning more about how the technology could work as one piece of a broader transportation system. The county has no current plans to implement an autonomous shuttle or other forms of autonomous transportation.

A chance to learn

“We’re looking ahead to the future of transportation in Hennepin County,” said Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, District 4. “Autonomous shuttles like this one could help more people get to more places without relying on a personal vehicle. We’re thinking about how this technology could help connect more people to major transitways, and how it might complement other types of transportation like walking, biking and driving. It could also improve mobility for people with disabilities and others without access to a car.” 

“As our region continues to grow, making sure there are options for people to get where they need to go safely and efficiently is critical,” said Commissioner Marion Greene, District 3. “People want transportation choices. If we’re smart about how we develop and implement autonomous vehicle technology, it could be a valuable tool in building and maintaining smart, sustainable and healthy communities for the future.” 

Hennepin County is inviting the public to learn about this new technology with us. Residents are encouraged to come out to the greenway this weekend, experience the shuttle in-person, and share feedback via an online survey that will be available at

A safe and efficient ride

The EZ10 shuttle has been used in 20 countries and has a perfect safety record. It has transported more than 230,000 people and logged more than 75,000 miles without incident, including in mixed pedestrian and bicycle environments.

For this demonstration, Hennepin County is taking extra safety precautions. The shuttle will travel no more than 12 miles per hour, and a human operator from First Transit will be on board the shuttle to take over, if needed.

Event Details:

Friday, April 27 — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Closed set up and demonstrations for partners

Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Free rides and demonstrations for the public


  • Two-block stretch of the Midtown Greenway between Hennepin and Fremont avenues

More Info: