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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.


Replacement of West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail begins September 29

Via a September 27 e-newsletter from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

100-foot section of wood plank trail will be replaced over 2-3 weeks; parkway remains open

Work begins next week on a project that will replace an approximately 100-foot long section of the West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail. Construction is expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

Closures and Detours

  • During construction, the north (river) side of West River Parkway Trail will be closed between Portland Avenue and 11th Avenue South. The parkway will remain open.
  • Pedestrians will use a detour to the sidewalk across the parkway. 
  • Bicyclists may choose to use the parkway or travel south one block and use the bike lane on Second Street.
  • Motorists traveling in this area need to use caution and share the road with bicycle traffic.

Project Details

  • Beginning at Portland Avenue, approximately 100 linear feet of planks will be replaced.
  • The new planks are made from Douglas Fir, replacing the old White Oak planks.
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board maintenance and planning staff will evaluate the new plank design before replacing the entire plank trail, which will occur as funding becomes available.

Project History

  • In 2003 this section of West River Parkway (between Portland and 11th Aves.) was converted to an oak plank road similar to the original plank road used during the area's milling heyday. 
  • In 2010 the parkway planks were replaced by concrete due to deterioration of the wood and noise the planks created under the weight of motorized traffic.
In 2015 some of the most-deteriorated trail planks were replaced as part of a project that repaved and realigned more than three miles of West River Parkway Trail.

About this project

The West River Parkway Wood Plank Trail Replacement project will eventually replace all of the warped wooden planks on West River Parkway Trail near Mill Ruins Park.

Project Contact:
Julie Roessler
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Phone: 612-230-6463


October 1 Twin Cities Marathon Road Closures Starting at 7:30am

Sunday, October 1 - Twin Cities Marathon

Road Closures Starting at 7:30am

Impacted parkways listed below. To review a more detailed list of parkway closures and estimated timeline of re-opening per section of parkway, CLICK HERE.


Lake of the Isles Parkway (West side of Lake)
Dean Parkway
W Lake Calhoun Parkway (West side of Lake
William Berry Parkway
E Lake Harriet Parkway (Bandshell to Minnehaha Pkwy)
Minnehaha Parkway (Harriet to Godfrey Parkway)
Lake Nokomis Parkway
Godfrey Parkway
West River Parkway (Godfrey to Franklin Ave)
West River Parkway (Portland to 22nd Ave),
East River Parkway (14th Ave to Lake Street)

CLICK HERE to review a detailed detour list of each intersection impacted by the Marathon.

And remember - 35W south of Downtown will be closed both ways this weekend - plan accordingly!


Hennepin County Board Actions

Excerpts from a September 26 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Thrivent Financial building purchase will consolidate operations
The board voted 5-2 to approve a purchase agreement for the Thrivent Financial building adjacent to the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.
Hennepin County plans to purchase the 18-story, 525,000-square-foot building for $55 million. The county also plans to acquire 332 parking stalls and skyway connections through a $11.5 agreement with Interstate Parking Company. The future parking lot will be built east of the Thrivent Building.
These actions will allow the county to address long-term space needs, consolidate operations and expand connections to other county buildings. Thrivent Financial's decision to sell the building also aligns with its goal of developing a new corporate center across 5th Avenue from its current location.
Hennepin County expects to close on the building purchase during the first quarter of 2018. The county will then lease the building back to Thrivent for two to three years while the company builds its new corporate center. After this time, Hennepin County staff will begin moving into the building.
Federal Reserve Bank to purchase surplus land for $7.5 million
The board, voting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, approved the negotiation of a purchase agreement to sell approximately three acres of surplus property to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for $7.5 million.  Located adjacent to the Federal Reserve office building, the property is currently being used as a surface parking lot. The Federal Reserve plans to develop the property to support its current operations.
Event slated to raise awareness on sex trafficking and domestic violence
The board approved a request to host a domestic violence and sex trafficking resource fair October 4 in the Hennepin County Government Center. This event will provide information regarding organizations and services available to the community. The Fourth Judicial District Hennepin County Family Violence Coordinating Council will host the fair from 11:30 - 1 p.m. on the skyway level of the Government Center. Following the fair, a panel discussion will take place in the A-level auditorium on the intersection between domestic violence and sex trafficking. For more information on the resource fair, contact Anne Taylor at For more information about the panel discussion, contact Michelle Jacobson at

Metro Transit Fare Increases Begin October 1

Beginning Sunday, October 1, fares for all buses and trains will increase by 25¢. This affects all service operated by Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council, Maple Grove Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Plymouth Metrolink and SouthWest Transit.

Cash fares                                                Current    New

Local (bus/rail) Off-Peak                              $1.75       $2.00
Local (bus/rail) Peak                                     $2.25       $2.50
Express bus Off-Peak                                     $2.25       $2.50
Express bus Peak                                            $3.00       $3.25
Senior/Youth/Medicare Off-Peak               $0.70       $1.00
Senior/Youth/Medicare Peak (local peak) $2.25       $2.50
Senior/Youth/Medicare Peak (express)     $3.00       $3.25
Limited Mobility (at all times)                      $0.75       $1.00
Downtown Zone                                              $0.50    No change

All Northstar fares will also increase by 25¢ on weekdays and weekends.

Metro Mobility prices will increase by 50¢ with an added distance-based surcharge. Transit Link fares will be restructured.

Pass prices will change accordingly. The 10% discount currently offered with stored value purchases will be eliminated.

For pass prices and other details related to the fare increase, visit


Tonight: Final Tuesday Night Mill City Farmers Market at The Commons

2017 MCFM Night Market

Support the final day of the Tuesday Night Mill City Farmers Market of the season at The Commons!

Tonight at the Market:
• Beer & wine for sale from Day Block Brewing
• Free yoga class from 6-7 with YogaFit Studios Northeast
• Farm-to-table wood fired pizzas!
• Live music by Pat O’Loughlin at 5:30

Produce Planner: Apples, aronia berries, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery,  collards, cucumbers, dried beans, eggplant, fresh herbs, garlic, grapes, green beans, kale, lettuce, microgreens, mushrooms, pears, peppers, radicchio, radishes, romanesco, onions, peppers, pumpkins, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatillos, tomatoes, winter squash (acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, spaghetti), zucchini and more!


Scenes from the September 23 Mill City Farmers Market

Burning River Farm is known for premium produce and artistic signage, and now they even have a mascot for their Dino kale! Just one example of fun little surprises you'll find any given Saturday at the Mill City Farmers Market. :D

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23 was Oktoberfest at the Market, which wouldn't be complete without the Elk River German Band (the little ones love to dance along!) and hard cider from Sociable Cider Werks. Yum!

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

In keeping with the day's theme, Chef Beth Jones prepared Spätzle for the Mill City Cooks demo.

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Terri Peterson Smith was at the Market promoting her book, Unique Eats and Eateries of the Twin Cities.

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

In spite of the unseasonably warm temps, Barn Swallow Garden was busy selling winter hats, mittens, slippers, etc. (Because anyone who lives in Minnesota knows today's 80 can easily turn into tomorrow's 50.)

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

September 23, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


Streets Closures Near US Bank Stadium for Sunday’s Vikings Game

The City of Minneapolis will close streets around US Bank Stadium for Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings game, which starts at noon. 

Beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, the City will close:
• Chicago Avenue, from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.
• Norm McGrew Place from Third Street to Fourth Street.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, the City will close:
• Fourth Street from Park Avenue to Interstate 35W.

These street closings are for traffic safety and security needs related to a large stadium event. All streets will reopen about one hour after the completion of the game.

Metered spaces change for events
Prior to the game, metered parking spaces on streets surrounding U.S. Bank Stadium will switch from hourly rates to event rates. Starting at 9 a.m., event rate spaces will require a flat fee of $25, which will cover parking costs for the entire game. Anyone starting a parking session after 1 p.m. will use hourly rates. To find out which streets have event rate parking, please see the attached map or use the interactive parking meter map at

All of the City’s parking pay stations and the MPLS Parking app on a smartphone (iPhone or Android device) will automatically charge the rate in effect. Drivers should follow all signed hours of enforcement, time limits and other parking restrictions. 


Nonprofit Spotlight: Uprising Theatre Company

Article by Claudia Kittock

Remember the 60s and the 70s? Remember political discussions that were about solving real life issues?  Remember being able to express your ideas and having them serve as part of an exchange that might actually yield tangible results? It sounds like a time long ago, but Shannon T.L. Kearns, founder of the Uprising Theatre Company wants that to happen again, through theater.

Five years ago, Shannon had just finished acting in a production of The Laramie Project, the play about the murder of Matthew Shephard because he was gay. Shannon was struck by two responses from the audience. The first was that it was a terribly sad story, but aren’t we happy that those times are over. The second was the question, "What can we do?"

He decided to start a Kickstarter fund, hoping to get enough money to fully fund a production of Son of a Gun. It worked, and the production happened. Two and a half years later, Uprising Theatre Company is a reality and produces two plays a year at the Phoenix Theater on Hennepin Avenue, former home to Brave New Workshop.

Scene from Son Of A Gun, photo by Jill Harms Photography

The mission of Uprising is to produce plays about social justice issues, partnering with groups that are doing the work of each particular issue. These groups are asked to set up a table at every production to educate theater goers about things that they can do. They also make a specific ask of the audience, allowing you to get involved in change before you even leave the theater, taking it beyond just education and into action.

Uprising Theatre Company is a theater currently run by volunteers. Actors are paid stipends, and for the latest production of 6 actors, there were over 100 people who auditioned. The cost of admission is a ‘pay what you can plan’. No one at Uprising wants finances to be a reason to stay away from the theater. You can pay as little as $5 or as much as $50.

The latest production, These Shining Lives, opens on October 6 and tells the true story of poor and immigrant women who were hired to paint watch dials with radium so that they would illuminate in the dark. Radium poisoning is slow and insidious, and even though the watch companies knew it was dangerous work, the women were not told. When the women got sick, they were fired. These brave women filed a lawsuit and took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, where they won. This was the first successful case of workers’ rights, and was the beginning of OSHA and protecting people who work hard jobs, sometimes at great risk.

Interested? How can you help?
• Learn more about Uprising Theater at
• Come to the show!
• Be a donor
• Be a volunteer
• Audition for a show

Claudia can be reached at


Authors Chef Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley Book Signing Events for The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

Authors Chef Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley are scheduled to present and sign copies of The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen at these upcoming events:

October 18, 6:00-9:00pm, Aster Cafe River Room, 125 SE Main Street

Open house event and book signing. Samples made from recipes in the cookbook will be served. Cash bar. Books will be available for purchase from Birchbark Books. Please RSVP at

October 21, 12:30-2:30pm, Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd Street

Join Chef Sean Sherman for a series of cooking demonstrations based on his new book The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, an introduction to the modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. 30-minute demos will take place at 12:30 pm and 2 pm. Cost: Included with site admission. For more info, see:


Here is real food—our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, “clean” ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his breakout book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy.

Sherman dispels outdated notions of Native American fare—no fry bread or Indian tacos here—and no European staples such as wheat flour, dairy products, sugar, and domestic pork and beef. The Sioux Chef’s healthful plates embrace venison and rabbit, river and lake trout, duck and quail, wild turkey, blueberries, sage, sumac, timpsulaor wild turnip, plums, purslane, and abundant wildflowers. Contemporary and authentic, his dishes feature cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes, amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste, three sisters salad, deviled duck eggs, smoked turkey soup, dried meats, roasted corn sorbet, and hazelnut–maple bites.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.


Chef Sean Sherman was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana for the past twenty-seven years. He works as a caterer and food educator across the country through his business The Sioux Chef, based in South Minneapolis. He has earned plaudits and profiles in such venues as National Public Radio, Guardian UK, Saveur, and the New York Times.

Beth Dooley is author of many award-winning cookbooks, including Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen, Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, and The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. She has also written a memoir, In Winter’s Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.


City of Minneapolis Exceeds $1 Billion in Permits for 6th Consecutive Year

Via a Septemer 22 News Release from the City of Minneapolis:

City of Minneapolis Exceeds $1 Billion in Permits for Sixth Consecutive Year

For the sixth year in a row, the City has surpassed the $1 billion mark for approved construction projects. Thanks to continued strong growth in the multi-family housing industry, Minneapolis reached $1 billion earlier this September. 

“Minneapolis continues to grow, and that growth is making it possible for all of us to do better,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Great projects, from the YMCA and Select Comfort headquarters downtown, to Thor Construction’s buildout on the Near North Side point to a city-wide investment in our future. I thank everyone who is joining with us to build for the future of Minneapolis in 2017.”

"Minneapolis is a vibrant, health city and I am proud people are continuing to invest in this exciting economy,” said Council President Barbara Johnson.

Following is the total valuation of building permits in Minneapolis since 2000:

2000: $1.142 billion
2001: $975.8 million
2002: $889.2 million
2003: $852.2 million
2004: $944.7 million
2005: $855.2 million
2006: $839.6 million
2007: $761.3 million
2008: $772.5 million
2009: $778 million
2010: $547.6 million
2011: $752.8 million
2012: $1.118 billion
2013: $1.211 billion
2014: $2 billion
2015: $1.389 billion
2016: $1.757 billion
2017: $1.016 billion (as of 9.15.17)

Multi-family housing development continues to play a major role in Minneapolis construction projects, driven by the high demand for urban living. The trend appears to be larger, taller, higher-rent apartment buildings with more amenities. Given the continued low vacancy rate, these trends are expected to continue into 2018.

In addition to housing, there are a significant number of redevelopment projects in the North Loop with large commercial buildings being converted and/or renovated into new spaces for offices, retail and businesses.

The top ten construction projects in Minneapolis by building permit valuation are as follows:

  1. Legacy Condominium at 1240 Second St. S. valued at $123,425,731.
  2. The Hub, a 26-story mixed-use building with 407-units at 600 Washington Ave SE. valued at $57,799,980.
  3. Ironclad, a mixed-use building with 180-units and underground parking at 240 Chicago Ave. valued at $32,621,424. 
  4. The Elliot hotel redevelopment at 523 Eighth St. S. valued at $32,621,424.
  5. The Westminster Presbyterian Church addition with below grade parking at 1200 Marquette Ave. valued at $25,799,117. 
  6. Thor Construction’s headquarters buildout at 1256 Penn Ave. N. valued at $24,568,252. 
  7. YMCA buildout at 651 Nicollet Mall valued at $20,156,283. 
  8. Bancroft Elementary School addition at 1315 38th St. E. valued at $19,377,000. 
  9. Jack Link’s project at Mayo Clinic Square, a remodel at 600 Hennepin Ave. valued at $19,342,136.
  10. Select Comfort’s new headquarters at 1001 Third Ave. S. valued at $19,098,037.

"Our investments in great streets, parks and amenities are paying off and making our city attractive for more people to live and work. I'm proud that as our city grows we are also working hard to ensure everyone benefits and that we minimize displacement for current residents," said Council Member Lisa Bender, Chair of the City of Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee.

"I'm proud that for the fourth year in a row, the 3rd Ward leads the way on economic development,” said Council Member Jacob Frey. “Previously vacant areas with nothing more than surface parking lots and tumble weeds are now teaming with life and vibrancy."

The remainder of 2017 will continue to see continued strong building permit activity.  Several large projects are still expected to go before the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission before the end of the year. For more information on any of the City’s upcoming projects please contact CPED Communications, Rose Lindsay at 612.673.5015.


SteppingStone Theatre presents Goosebumps: The Phantom of the Auditorium

Do you know any young readers who are hooked on Goosebumps, the bestselling series by R.L. Stine? 

If so, check out this new production of Goosebumps: The Phantom of the Auditorium, coming to the SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria Street N, Saint Paul. SteppingStone Theatre is kicking off their 2017-2018 season with an October 13 – 29 run of this production.

Suggested for families with young people ages 7 – 16 and up, this story is about Brooke and Zeke, who've been cast as the leads in the school’s new production of an old play about a…Phantom. Strange things start disrupting rehearsals and they have to wonder: is this someone’s idea of a joke? Or is the Phantom real? A silly and spooky adventure ensues that will keep the whole family in suspense until the final curtain!

“I love that R.L. Stine often talks about humor and scariness being closely related. I think it's the key to his amazing and enduring popularity. 400 million books sold! He knows something about what grabs our imaginations. We are so excited to be bringing this mystery whodunit to our stage,” commented SteppingStone Theatre Artistic and Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck. "This is a perfect opportunity for parents and teachers to celebrate the joy of reading for pleasure with young people. R.L. Stine understands that for young people overcoming fear, being an outsider, questioning your assumptions are simply part of growing up. They are nothing to run from. Truth be told we could all be reminded of that." 

Director Dane Stauffer adds, "We are having such a great time putting this production together. The cast is wonderful! The joy of doing something new, (this is only the third time this play has been produced) is that we can discover and invent our own twists on the material. The cast is all familiar with the "Goosebumps" series, and the rhythm of R.L.Stine's writing, the cliff-hanger tensions followed by a funny release...until the one that isn't funny! really a fun dynamic to play. We're pleased to get on the roller coaster, and are looking forward to bringing the audience along for the ride!”

With book and lyrics by John Maclay, along with music and lyrics by Danny Abosch, this production promises a silly, spooky adventure that will keep the whole family at the edge of their seats.

Opening Night Reception, Friday, October 13

Following the opening night performance, SteppingStone invites all patrons to attend the Opening Night Reception in the Studio at SteppingStone Theatre. Patrons can mix and mingle with the cast and crew of GOOSEBUMPS THE MUSICAL: PHANTOM OF THE AUDITORIUM while enjoying refreshments, courtesy of SteppingStone.

About SteppingStone Theatre

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in the 2017-2018 production season, SteppingStone Theatre has served St. Paul and the East Metro as the premiere performing arts organization for youth. Our child-focused approach, teaming professional teaching artists with youth in collaborative and child-driven creative activity, has distinguished SteppingStone from its peers as we continue to nurture meaningful change for youth, families and schools in the community.


In July 1992, Scholastic introduced a monthly book series by R.L. Stine called Goosebumps with Goosebumps: Welcome to the Dead House. Nearly Twenty-five years later, Goosebumps is now one of the best-selling children’s series of all-time—with more than 350 million English language books in print, plus an additional 50+ million international copies in print in 22 languages.  The Goosebumps series made R.L. Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity (and Jeopardy answer). Goosebumps, a feature film starring Jack Black, based on the book series by R.L. Stine, was released in theaters on October 16, 2015, and opened at #1 at the box office.


Mill City Singers' 7th Inning Stretch Performance

Members of the Mill City Singers had a grand time singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at a recent Twins game. Thanks to funding by Friends of the Mill District, participation in this group is free, and all singing levels are welcome. Rehearsals are every Saturday afternoon, 2:00-3:30pm, on the 8th floor at the Guthrie Theatre.


University of Minnesota's School of Architecture to Host "Complexity: Dutch and American Housing" Symposium, October 6-8 

The symposium "Complexity: Dutch and American Housing" will explore the similarities and differences between the way housing is designed, developed, and constructed in the Netherlands and in the United States, as a way to create new practices. The dialogue is inspired by complex housing, a special form of housing developed in Northern Europe, provides an innovative model that includes:
• Moderate to high density
• Mixed income housing
• Dwellings for purchase and for rent
• Three or more housing types
• Mixed use
• Notable architectural design

Extending from the book Complex Housing: Designing for Density, (Routledge, forthcoming 2017) and accompanying the exhibition Dutch Complex Housing (September 2 - Jan 28, 2017), the symposium brings 12-13 presenters from the Netherlands, including architects, developers, residents, urban planners, and politicians to engage in discussions about best housing practices. The book and exhibition introduce the reader and exhibition participant to the background that has led to these projects, and then analyzes eight case studies. They end by presenting the implications of these projects for future design of housing, and the requisites for its replication elsewhere. The symposium supplements these more passive presentations of information by engaging conversations among a variety of people engaged in the creating of housing in the two countries that are directed toward application of the ideas in practice. These discussions, both informal (breaks, meals and receptions) and formal (sessions, tours and salon dinners) will be sparked by morning presentations of the Dutch designs and afternoon tours to exemplary local projects.

The conference will address such questions as how to build equitable housing that: 1) incorporates mixed-income households, 2) includes rental and purchase opportunities, 3) is financed in new ways, and 4) is architecturally innovative and diverse?

Registration Information & Rates


Hennepin County Seeks Feedback on Strategies to Reach Goal of Zero Waste to Landfills

Draft Solid Waste Management Master Plan available for public comment

Hennepin County encourages people to complete a survey and give their feedback on proposed strategies in its draft Solid Waste Management Master Plan. This survey is intended for various stakeholders, including residents and representatives from businesses, cities, haulers and community groups.

The survey, plan and supporting materials are available at through October 9. It is anticipated that the county board will consider the plan for approval in November.

Focusing on organics recycling

A primary focus of the plan is diverting organics from the trash. Organics, which include food, food-soiled paper and compostable products, is the biggest opportunity to reduce waste. Waste sort studies continue to show that organics make up the largest proportion of trash: 25 percent.

The county is proposing four key strategies to increase organics diversion:

  1. Require cities to provide residents the opportunity to recycle organics by 2022, with a possible exemption for cities with 10,000 residents or fewer.
  2. Require businesses that generate large quantities of food waste to implement organics recycling by 2020.
  3. Support the expansion of organics recycling in a cost-effective way by increasing local capacity to process organics. Tactics include expanding the county's transfer station in Brooklyn Park to accept more organics; working with private transfer stations to accept organics; and developing additional processing capacity through methods, such as anaerobic digestion, that can produce renewable energy, compost, and fertilizer from organic materials.
  4. Expand efforts to prevent wasted food by providing assistance to businesses and schools and educating residents.

Developing the strategies

Earlier this year, the county gathered input on the plan from 1,500 participants through public engagement.

Overall, the county found that people are willing to do their part to expand organics recycling if it is part of a broader effort to make organics available more widely. Many residents consider organics recycling to be important, with 62 percent of residents indicating they would be very likely to participate in organics recycling programs.

Representatives from businesses and business associations found that the approach to the requirements made sense. The requirements were also palatable to representatives from cities and businesses if they were implemented with county guidance and support.  

About the master plan

State statute requires metropolitan counties to prepare master plans every six years that identify strategies to meet the state’s goal of 75 percent of waste recycled and zero waste landfilled by 2030. The county has made steady progress towards this goal and diverted 82 percent of waste from landfills in 2016, a rate on par with national leaders.


Scenes from the September 16 Mill City Farmers Market

These ornamental pumpkins and late season blooms help saying goodbye to summer a little less melancholy.

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

So worth the wait - super sweet white corn from Nistler Farms. :D

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

A honey rainbow from Ames Farm.

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Pizza on a swing!

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

September 16, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


Absentee Voting for 2017 Election Begins September 22

Via an e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

All eligible voters in Hennepin County can vote absentee—either in-person or by mail—beginning Friday, September 22.

Vote early in person

In-person absentee voting will be available September 22 through November 6 at city halls and school district offices across Hennepin County and at the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis at 217 S. Third Street. Each city location can accommodate voters who live in that particular city. Only Minneapolis residents can vote at the Early Vote Center.

To check if there is an election in their area or to find the appropriate polling place, voters can view a sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s website.

Voters who live anywhere in Hennepin County can pick up an absentee ballot application or a voter registration form at the Hennepin County Government Center – 300 S. Sixth Street, Minneapolis – skyway level. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Monday through Friday.

Learn more about absentee voting in person.

Vote early by mail

Voters must fill out a paper application to receive a ballot. Paper applications are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khmer and Amharic.

Voters do not need to be registered to vote to apply to vote absentee. To make the process easier, voters may want to register or ensure you are registered before applying for an absentee ballot.

Ballots will be mailed to voters within one to two days of receiving the application.

Completed ballots must be received on or before Election Day, November 7. Voters can return ballots by mail or in person

Learn more about absentee voting by mail.


Restoring Books Into Forever Keepsakes: Minnesota Book Restoration & Binding

Article and photos by Merle Minda

Many of us have some books stashed away on our shelves that are in terrible shape, perhaps inherited from parents or grandparents, or perhaps even some of our own – old albums, high school annuals, college readers, art books, an encyclopedia or whatever. And often these books are on their last legs, with ripped pages or broken spines, just for starters.

If you want to make a rescue, help is at hand. A new company, Minnesota Book Restoration & Binding, can fix literally any deteriorating book. Owner Mary Bahneman has set up shop in the North Loop, glueing, scraping, trimming, binding and restoring books in any shape of bad.

Mary Bahneman founder-owner of Minnesota Book Restoration - Minnesota Book RestorationMary Bahneman founder-owner of Minnesota Book Restoration & Binding

Mentor and master book restorer Gary Buchner - Minnesota Book RestorationMentor and master book restorer Gary Buchner

Happily, as she began setting up this business in May of 2017, she happened onto book restoration mentor Gary Buchner, who has been in the business of book restoration for over 18 years and was about ready to call it a day. He not only taught Mary everything he knows, but he brought all of his book restoration equipment to the party. These machines are old and expensive to find and buy. So here we have, in our very own North Loop, a terrific book restorer, very hard to find these days.

A Book Press in action - Minnesota Book RestorationA Book Press in action

Drawers of type for hand set covers and pages - Minnesota Book RestorationDrawers of type for hand set covers and pages

Everything is done by hand, from trimming exhausted edges to restoring bindings, refreshing covers, glueing pages, etc. These books come back to life in a miraculous way. The company also makes beautiful blank journals with your individualized or signature cover – perhaps a wedding photograph or a special postcard. The refreshed books and journals are then sewn together and bound for a new life. Gary drops in to teach classes or to help with difficult projects. Apprentice Christopher Bohnet is also on site most days.

Apprentice and helper Christopher Bohnet - Minnesota Book RestorationApprentice and helper Christopher Bohnet

Their sturdy, powerful equipment fills the space. The Book Board, which puts the final covers together, is over 130 years old. The Book Block creates book journals, and then there’s the aptly named Guillotine, for careful edging or large sectional cutting. The process of restoring a book takes approximately four to six weeks, and costs start at $150, depending on what has to be done.

Mary with a terrifying looking machine called the Guillotine - Minnesota Book RestorationMary with a terrifying looking machine called the Guillotine

I looked at pages which had a large tear and could not see it at all once it came through Mary’s magic fingers. “We can do whatever it takes to bring a book back to life,” says Mary. “Once in good condition, your book could last perhaps for another 100 years!” she says.

Mark Twin's Innocents Abroad and Pilgrim's Progress in the midst of major restoration - Minnesota Book RestorationMark Twain's Innocents Abroad and Pilgrim's Progress in the midst of major restoration

A finished restored book - Minnesota Book RestorationA finished restored book

So dig out Mom’s high school annual or Grandma’s ancient photo album and get thee to Minnesota Book Restoration & Binding. Your results will be far beyond expectations. Check out their web site at

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About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


Nonprofit Spotlight: The Aliveness Project

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock 

Some of you remember the mid-80s when HIV was causing terror. People died quickly and there were limited treatments. It was a death sentence and an epidemic. 33 years ago, at a dining room table in Minneapolis,  The Aliveness Project was born. In 1985, in the early days of the epidemic when The Aliveness Project was founded, there were few services for people with AIDS and no effective treatments. The first members gathered in homes to share a meal and fellowship while they mapped out solutions to their problems. Vowing that they were not dying, but rather were living with HIV, and needed to move forward to live a healthy life.  The Aliveness Project was created out of the Denver Principles which were rooted in health, not illness.

Located on 3808 Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis, the Aliveness Project’s mission is to link people living with HIV to resources for leading healthy, self-directed lives. The vision of this project is for the members to feel supported as part of a safe community center that maximizes their health and wellbeing. As James, an Aliveness member said, “Aliveness is the difference between surviving and living.”

Amy Moser

Amy Moser, Executive Director, emphasizes the breadth of services available, all of which are about health. Aliveness offers an onsite meal program six days a week, all cooked from scratch with healthy ingredients.  There is also an extensive food shelf stocked with food that are based on the properties of anti-inflammation.

There are 3 levels of case management available. They include: care linkage for those needing support in arranging and managing health care, medical management for support in navigating the health care systems, and non-medical care management for the other issues that arise for someone with this chronic medical condition.

Aliveness is the coordinated entry point for people with HIV seeking housing. Approximately 1000 people with HIV in our community are either experiencing unstable housing or homelessness. Poverty is a leading indicator for HIV, so many of the members are already in poverty prior to being diagnosed. They struggle with housing insecurity as a result of a number of factors - and there only 350 housing units dedicated for people living with HIV. Obviously, the need far outweighs the solution at this time.

Our time at The Aliveness Project was spent talking about and seeing hope everywhere. Living with HIV is not only the theme, it is visible. There is a computer area and library available on site as well as integrative therapies which include massage, yoga classes, acupuncture, meditation, life coaches, and chiropractic care just to name a few.

When I asked what people could do to support this amazing entity, the list was long. Please take some time to read the entire list and find a way to participate in and support the Project: 

  • Volunteers for the front desk
  • Meal service—10 meals/week are served, and volunteers are a critical need
  • During fundraising events, the Project depends on volunteers to talk with people about the Project
  • Participate in Dining Out for Life
  • Riders and crew members for the Red Ribbon Ride
  • Volunteers to help with the Holiday Gift program
  • Organize drives for winter wear
  • Donations of money are always needed:


MPRB & Minneapolis Parks Foundation to partner with The Sioux Chef on Water Works restaurant and event venue 

The Sioux Chef’s Native American cuisine will bring to life the riverfront’s Indigenous culture; education, healthy living, and revitalized food systems are key to The Sioux Chef mission

Today, The Sioux Chef, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Boardand the Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced their intent to partner to open a riverfront restaurant and food service venue for the future public pavilion at Water Works. The Sioux Chef is a diverse, Indigenous-led team committed to revitalizing Native American Cuisine and reclaiming an important culinary tradition that has been long buried and often inaccessible. Water Works, a park development project overlooking St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, will bring visitor services and recreational and cultural amenities to one of Minnesota’s most highly visited areas. 

The Water Works design includes a park pavilion embedded into the historic remnants of the Bassett and Columbia mills, and expands outdoor gathering spaces with a rooftop patio, outdoor seating plaza, tree-sheltered city steps, playspace for children and families, and an open lawn overlooking the river.

The pavilion will include the new restaurant as well as a public lounge, restrooms and support spaces; a flexible room for small group activities and a Park Board staff desk; and elevator to the rooftop. The restaurant will be the first year-round, full service food venue within the Minneapolis Park System, which is known for seasonal destinations such as Sea Salt. In addition to its full-service venue, The Sioux Chef will also provide casual, counter-service food options.

“Our work within the evolution of the Indigenous food systems offers many opportunities for supportive nutritional and spiritual experiences,” says Dana Thompson, co-owner of The Sioux Chef. “With the removal of colonial ingredients, our plan is to drive economic wealth back into indigenous communities by sourcing food from these growers first. We look forward to sharing and enjoying these diverse and healthy foods with all communities.”

Opportunities to celebrate historic and current cultures

Water Works is within the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, one of the most popular public spaces in the region; its estimated 2.5 million annual visits is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Also within the regional park, St. Anthony Falls is an incredibly important landmark, as a spiritual place that has shaped culture and traditions for Indigenous people, and as the birthplace of the city’s milling history.

“We are thrilled The Sioux Chef was interested in this location for their restaurant,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “Water Works will celebrate the complex history of this area, through a layered park design, as well as programming, art, play, and performance. Co-owners Sean Sherman and Dana Thompson, along with their team, are sharing powerful stories through food about the intricate relationship between people and land.”

The Sioux Chef has a mission beyond serving food. The team will work with the pavilion’s architects and landscape architects to create places within the park to grow native plants traditionally used for food and medicine. The Sioux Chef plans to create events and educational opportunities to help bring diverse voices into a larger dialogue about Native American cultures, the river, and food.

“We realize that the river corridor is Dakota homeland and the river remains important to many Indigenous cultures,” says Jayne Miller, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “Our partnership with The Sioux Chef opens up opportunities beyond what the Park Board could achieve on its own. Our goals of providing healthy, locally sourced food and meaningful recreational and economic opportunities are well-aligned with the vision of The Sioux Chef.”

In addition to serving food, The Sioux Chef intends to have their restaurant support training and jobs for people interested in related fields. 

“We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to help honor the Indigenous history of Owamni Yamni (Place of Whirlpools). This location has been a sacred site of peace and well-being for the Dakota and Anishinaabe people for millennia,” says Thompson. “We plan to leverage this wonderful partnership with the Minneapolis Park Board, through our aligned mission of nutritional, physical, and spiritual health for all, as well as to create food access and education about the rich history of the Native people in this beautiful area.”

Grand Opening Anticipated in 2019

The Minneapolis Park Board approved the Water Works concept in June 2017. The design team is continuing with schematic design and construction documents and will share updated plans during community engagement events this fall. Limited archaeological work and selective deconstruction of the Fuji-Ya building have begun and will continue through early 2018. Construction is expected to begin in the late summer of 2018.

Through the Parks Foundation, the majority of Mezzanine Phase funding will be provided by philanthropic investment. In 2015, the Parks Foundation launched the RiverFirst Capital Campaign, which has, to date, raised $12.3M in philanthropic gifts and commitments.

About The Sioux Chef

The Sioux Chef is a team of Anishinaabe, Mdewakanton Dakota, Navajo, Northern Cheyenne, Oglala Lakota, Wahpeton-Sisseton Dakota and are ever growing. We are chefs, ethnobotanists, food preservationists, adventurers, foragers, caterers, event planners, artists and food lovers. The Sioux Chef was founded by Chef Sean Sherman, and is co-owned by Dana Thompson. The team is now twelve people, with the hope of expanding to all tribal areas. This fall, Sherman and Thompson co-founded a non-profit called Nā (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems) for the purpose of Indigenous focused education, research and food access, which we plan to leverage in order to align with the mission of the Minneapolis Park Board as well as other projects.  

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. The Parks Foundation co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. The Parks Foundation also supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects through equity funding and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more at

About the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 179 park properties totaling 6,804 acres of land and water, the Park Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community and the environment. Its Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work. More than 22 million annual visits are made to the nationally acclaimed park system, which was named the number one park system in the nation in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by The Trust for Public Land’s 2016 ParkScore® Index.


Exploring the Upper River: Bridges

Article by Kathleen BoeMinneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Exploring the Upper River

A look at places that are hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

Photo by Michael Hicks 

We tend to think of bridges as utilitarian objects, when we think of them at all. A transit point between two parts of a city. An inconvenience to be gotten past.

Stopping on a bridge is probably last on most people’s minds, since generally it would mean one is stuck in traffic, a major inconvenience.

I’m here to suggest you park your vehicle, get out, walk and look. Slow down. For this is a great time of year to do so.

Stopping along any of the three bridges will give you some of the best views of the Minneapolis skyline. We’re heading into fall, and the river is incredible with fall colors. Every day you can be surprised and awed about how beautiful the river is, whether we’re talking about the Plymouth Ave. Bridge or Broadway or Lowry.

It’s very easy to make an afternoon of it. You could drive between the bridges, but instead, you should think about biking. Or even walking. From the Plymouth Ave. Bridge, it’s only three-quarters of a mile to walk to Broadway and a total of two miles to Lowry. That’s easily manageable by foot, although there are Nice Ride stations where you can easily rent a bike all through this area.

There are, of course, things that are common to the view to all three of these bridges. Plymouth is your closest view to downtown. That’s where the skyline and entrance, the flow of the river into downtown is more apparent. You have Boom Island Park right there for a green setting. It’s also the most bike-friendly of the three bridges.

If you want to get out and walk, or park and bike, you can park along the river roads, especially along West River Road. There is also a paid lot here at Boom Island.

On the Broadway Avenue Bridge, you get a sense of the expanse of the river, both to the south and the north. You’re in the center of the upper river area, with downtown on one side and industry on the other.

Parking is similar, again, especially along West River Road. On the Northeast side, there is street parking along 13th Avenue NE, as well as parking for Sheridan Memorial Park.

The Lowry Avenue Bridge is the newest of the three and it’s the only one with lighting in this corridor. Now there is talk about lighting even more bridges. The thing about the Lowry bridge is it’s the best place to get a view of the Upper Harbor Terminal. It’s also by the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization building, and there’s a path down to the shore.

From Lowry you can get a sense of all the river activity, including the docks by The Sample Room, the houseboats along the river. You realize that people use the river in lot of ways that one never thinks about. You just get a sense that there’s this river community when you are looking at it from the Lowry Bridge toward the south, from the northeast side.

There is parking along Marshall Avenue in this area.

Of course, there is one more bridge even further up, and from the Camden Bridge you get a completely different sense of the river and of downtown. Think of it as the entrance to Minneapolis. This will also be the place to watch the UHT work once it gets underway.

These crossings serve to do more than help get us from Point A to Point B. They’re a beautiful vantage point above the Minneapolis riverfront which can give us a new perspective.

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at

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