Category Archives: Windom Park

Northeasters Walk Their Neighborhood to Honor the Presidents

Question:  Why will families and neighbors  from Northeast Minneapolis spend a Saturday in February  walking or riding the bus from Edison High School to Northeast Middle School?

Answer:  Because Saturday, February 18, 2012, is the 4th Annual “We Love Our Presidents” Walk and Celebration!

It’s a time-honored tradition.

In Northeast Minneapolis most of the North-South running streets bear the names of presidents.  Starting with Washington Street on the West and continuing through Harding Street to the East it’s easy for folks in Northeast who know their nation’s history to check their internal GIS location.

The President’s Day Walk and Celebration is a tradition, a great way for neighbors young and old learn together, to enjoy their community,  and to honor the nation’s leaders.

Here’s the 2012 agenda:

10:00 a.m. Walkers gather at Edison High School, 700 22nd Avenue, between Madison and Monroe (if you don’t count Howard….)

Walkers proceed along a route walking East on 22nd Avenue to Central Avenue (don’t ask – there was no President Central) then North on Central for a Cocoa Break at the freshly-painted Eastside Food Coop on 25th and Central.   Along the way walkers will stop at each corner where members of the Northeast Urban 4-H Club will relate a few interesting facts about that President.  Neighbors will be encouraged to share their memories of the neighborhood.

Next the intrepid walkers, warm and refreshed, will head East to Northeast Middle School, 2955 Hayes Street NE, just in time for lunch

Noon – Walkers and visitors will meet at Northeast Middle School for lunch and program.  Keynote speaker during lunch is Ginny Zak Kieley who writes and publishes stories about the neighborhood.  Ginny’s books, including three about Northeast, will be on sale.

The President’s Day Walk will wrap up at Northeast Middle School with a steaming hot chili lunch (donation requested), a trivia contest, awards for winners of the coloring contest, and the presentation of the distinguished Northeast Presidential Seal for the group that has gathered the most participants for the Walk.

For those who want to be mentally as well as physically prepared for the Walk, here’s a refresher President-named streets that walkers will travel on February 18.

  • Madison St NE is named for James Madison
  • Monroe St NE is named for James Monroe.
  • Quincy St NE is named for John Quincy Adams
  • Jackson St NE is named for Andrew Jackson
  • Van Buren St NE is named for Martin Van Buren
  • Harrison St NE is named for William Henry Harrison
  • Tyler St NE is named for John Tyler
  • Polk St NE is named for James K. Polk
  • Taylor St NE is named for Zachary Taylor
  • Fillmore St NE is named for Millard Fillmore
  • Pierce St NE is named for Franklin Pierce
  • Buchanan St NE is named for James Buchanan
  • Lincoln St NE is named for Abraham Lincoln
  • Johnson St NE is named for Andrew Johnson
  • [Central Avenue is just an anomaly]
  • Ulysses St NE is named for Ulysses S. Grant
  • Hayes St NE is named for Rutherford B. Hayes
  • Garfield St NE is named for James A. Garfield
  • Arthur St NE is named for Chester A. Arthur
  • Cleveland St NE is named for Grover Cleveland
  • Benjamin St NE is named for Benjamin Harrison
  • McKinley St NE is named for William McKinley
  • [Stinson Parkway is named for a member of the Park and Recreation Board because it is part of the city’s Parkway system.  If you get to Stinson you’ve walked too far.]

Generous sponsors of the “We Love the Presidents Walk and Celebration” include Eastside Food Coop, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Public Schools Community Education, Minneapolis Park and Recreation, Northeast Bank, Northeast Minneapolis Royalty, Northeast Urban 4-H Club, NEMplsOnline.com and The Northeaster Newspaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Latest from the Greatest (Neighborhood, that is…)

Soup with the Supe

Minneapolis School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson will be in Northeast on Thursday, December 8, for another of her Soup with the Supe conversations with families and residents of the neighborhood.  The event includes food, student entertainment and free child care for children age 3 and up.  It’s 6-8 p.m. at Northeast Middle School, 2955 Hayes Street NE.  Spanish, Hmong and Somali interpreters will be available.  Free and open to the public.

 

Northeast Seniors on the Move

Northeast Senior Services, for the past three years in residence at Northeast United Methodist Church, has moved to Autumn Woods, 2580 Kenzie Terrace.  They are in the senior building, Suite 2A.  The phone number and email remain the same 612 781 5096 or mail@neseniors.org.

Kay Anderson, Executive Director, hints that an open house for members andneighbors may be forthcoming – details to follow.

Change Comes to President’s Bike Boulevard

What’s happening in Northeast – would you believe proposed road construction!  The current challenge comes from a proposed median at Polk Street and Lowry Avenue.  The proposal and the anticipated President’s Bike Boulevard will be discussed at a special meeting on Thursday, December 15, 6-7 p.m. at Audubon Park Recreation Center, 1320 39th Avenue NE.

The rationale in support of the change includes slowed traffic on Lowry as well as a safe stopping space for bicycles and pedestrians crossing Lowry at Polk.  Negative impacts would include reduced parking on Lowry and no left turn from Lowry onto Polk/Polk to Lowry.  Motorists would also not be able to travel North-South on Polk at Lowry.

A decision by the City Council on the road changes and the impact on the President’s Bike Boulevard will be made in January.

PACIM Wigilia Dinner

A fundraiser for needy Polish orphanages, the traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal will be held at the Gasthof Restaurant, 2300 University Avenue NE, Minneapolis from 6:00 until 8:00 PM on Sunday, December 11. This community celebration features breaking of opłatek, traditional foods and singing of koledy. Same wonderful menu as last year. Tickets are $35. They can be purchased by mail by sending your check made out to PACIM to Paul Rog, 1213 Monroe Street NE, Minneapolis 55413. Be sure to include the names of the people attending and any special seating requirements you may have. For more information, contact Paul at 612-789-5972.

 

 

 

 

 

Pillsbury School Readers “Targetted”

Later this week several hundred members of the American Association of School Librarians will be gathering for their annual conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The program covers the rapidly expanding outpouring of books that depict and reflect the diversity in the schools, improving reading skills, all manner of technology, information literacy and the inexplicable joy of reading and learning.  I hope to spend some time learning myself.

Even more, I wish I could organize a contingent of these learning librarians to visit my nearest school library media center at Pillsbury School, 2250 Garfield Northeast in Windom Park.  Pillsbury is a K-5 school in which some 650 emerging scholars are just becoming acquainted with the richness of their school library media center, recently rehabbed and restocked through the generous financial contribution of Target Corporation, the redesign of a national partner organization, Heart of America,  and the contributed services of scores of Target employees.

In a 2010 talk to Grantmakers in Education Reba Dominski, Target’s Director of Community Relations Education Initiatives, describes her corporation’s broad commitment to reading and literacy, the commitment that led to the grant to Pillsbury.  School Principal Laura Cavender saw a need to revamp the twenty-plus year old library – and she saw the possibility of Pillsbury applying to Target Corporation for funding.

The result was a $200,000 grant that spiffed up the media center and added 21st Century technology including IPads and computers, new furniture and redesigned reading nooks, and a school-wide buzz about what was happening in the school media center.  Most important, the library collection was the focus of the make-over;  over 2000 new books reflect the time and the student population.

I was fortunate to be on hand September 28 for the Grand Reopening of the Library Media Center – and I was not alone!  Some 175 Target employees who had worked on the project were there to enjoy the fruits of their labors.  Mayor Rybak, Councilman Kevin Reich and Senator Amy Klobuchar stood out in the overwhelming mass of parents and siblings, Pillsbury students, neighbors, teachers and red-shirted Target workers.

One of the most touching aspects of that day was the fact that every child, Pillsbury student or sibling, received a generous stack of age appropriate books – and a canvas bag in which to tote their treasures.  Families in need were also invited to share a plentiful bounty of good food.  These same families will continue to receive food, including fresh produce, throughout the school year.

There were cheers and tears, beaming teachers, proud Target employees and above all young folks reading, showing off their new digs to their friends and families.  This was a day to remember – I replay the event and the idea every time I pass the school.

If the librarians visiting from around the nation – and the readers of this post – don’t have the chance to visit Pillsbury, this video snippet:  http://www.kare11.com/news/article/940125/26/Big-library-makeover-for-Minneapolis-school]

captured by television KARE 11 offers an honest and informative overview of the project, their spirit and energy of the students and volunteers,  and its long term impact on a much deserving school.

Sarah Muench, Pillsbury School librarian, also found time to snap some great photos of appreciative young learners exploring their new media center.

Live Northeast. Educate Northeast – Showcase November 12

Once again the schools of Northeast are collaborating to host the 6th annual Northeast School Showcase. It’s Saturday, November 12, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Thomas Edison High School Community Gym, 700 22nd Avenue Northeast.

The showcase offers a one-stop look at how you can map out an awesome K-12 journal in a Northeast school – Pillsbury, Waite Park (for PK-5), Northeast (6-8), Sheridan (PK-8), March (K-8), Edison (9-12) and Emerson (PK-5 Spanish Immersion)

Free activities for parents and children.

The Showcase is sponsored by PEN (Public Education Northeast), a collaborative organization supporting Minneapolis Public Schools in Northeast. For more information visit http://publicedne.blogspot.com/ or call Jenn Bennington 612 578 8616.

All Politics Are Local – In Windom Park at least

An historic 111 Windom Park residents braved the chill to show up on the monthly meeting of Windom Park Citizens in Action on Tuesday, October 18. Judging from the early exodus of several newbies one might conclude that the draw was a hotly-contested neighborhood vote on a proposed liquor store at Stinson Marketplace, in space recently vacated by Rosacker’s.. A proposal to oppose the liquor store initiative went down to defeat in what seemed to many a confusing vote.

When the dust settled the remaining residents grappled with a wide range of major issues affecting Northeast in general, Windom Park in particular. One that received short schrift at this meeting was the issue of revamping/closing the I35 exit ramp at Johnson/Stinson/New Brighton Boulevard. That discussion was deferred till public discussion sponsored by Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and MnDot. That discussion is October 25, 5-7 p.m. at the Northeast Recreation Center, 1615 Pierce Street NE.

Much more time was spent in exploration of the proposals relating to riverfront development. That discussion, led by Representative Diane Loeffler, covered a wide range of options and issues including environmental, fiscal and development implications. Loefler pointed out the input periods on a wide range of proposals is brief and that the time to learn and to act is immediate. Action on multiple fronts has profound implications for development of the neighborhoods East of the river, including Windom Park. The issue deserves and demands far deeper research and opportunities for resident participation.

The annual meeting of Windom Park Citizens in Action is set for November 15, 7:00 p.m. at Pillsbury School, 2251 Hayes Street NE. One item on the agenda for that meeting is election of Board of Directors.

Additional information at info@windompark.org or http://www.windompark.org.

Windom Park Neighbors Deliberate Weighty Options

Today’s Star Tribune points to a city-wide issue with Windom Park implications.  The issue is  where to put the next liquor store.  That’s the top item on the agenda for the Windom Park Citizens in Action meeting on Tuesday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. at Pillsbury School, 2251 Hayes Northeast.

 

Bob Anderson and Partners is proposing a “wine, craft beer and quality spirits store” to locate in the former Rosacker’s store at Stinson Marketplace.

 

A vote is expected to be taken at the meeting regarding whether or not to support the project or whether to seek potential conditionals.  Neighborhood residents, property owners and business representatives are allowed to vote.

 

Another item of intense community interest at the WPCIA meeting is the proposal to permanently close the Northbound Interstate 35W Stinson/New Brighton/Highway 88 ramp and reroute traffic via the Johnson Street ramp.  The controversy has reminded long time local residents of an earlier community dispute re. the aborted I-335 freeway through Northeast.

Lighting the Parkway

Picture of two men working on installing wiring on the boulevard

Stinson Parkway Work Crew Installing Wiring for Streetlights

Walkers and gawkers want to know – What’s happening on Stinson?  The heavy equipment, the incessant noise, the flock of city employees digging up the boulevard – worth a check.  And so I did.

It’s a good story of progress and collaboration.  The workmen who are Minneapolis city employees are working to improve the street lighting system, not only on Stinson but throughout the 61 miles of parkway that shape the city.  They will string new safer wiring underground, then construct new foundations for each of the street lights.  Safety is the first concern since the wires they are replacing are 30-40 years old and showing the inevitable results of an aging infrastructure.

The Park Board didn’t have the heavy duty equipment, especially the borer, that the job required so, though the parkway system is under the control of Park and Recs, the City is doing the work.

The challenge is to get the job on Stinson done before the ground freezes.  We can only hope that the weather cooperates – we know the workers are going full speed, even if it doesn’t always appear that way.  When I talked with the workers this morning they were probing in a small hole they had dug in what seemed to be an arbitrary spot.  Turns out they were actually trying to locate the gas line into a house along the Parkway, a line they had to find before they could get into serious digging.  They were not, one workman assured me, merely “playing in the mud.”

Though progress may be noisy, messy, and confusing to the gawker, the interruption is a small price to pay for a safe lighted Parkway that serves neighbors and commuters especially through the dark days of winter.

Notes from Northeast

* Fundraiser for NE Seniors:  Past posts have described one of the true treasures of Northeast Minneapolis, Northeast Senior Services.   The organization is headquartered the United Methodist Church, 2510 Cleveland at Lowry

Northeast Seniors programs, ranging from foot clinics to diabetic friendly appetizers, events calendars and housing tours are rich, timely,  informative and fun.  Staff, along with members and volunteers are gearing up now for the Fall Fundraising Dinner scheduled for Friday, October 7, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Faith United Methodist Church, 2708 33rd Avenue NE in St. Anthony.

The suggested donation for the Fundraiser is just $15/adult which covers the cost of hot beef sandwiches, dessert, beverage, entertainment and a basket raffle.  A vegetarian option is available.

Contact NE Seniors at 612 781 5096 or mail@neseniors.org.

HCMC Clinic at St. Anthony Village: Windom Park residents and other Northeast residents have been watching with interest developments at the St. Anthony Village shopping center.  Signs now answer that question as to what’s coming in – the St. Anthony Village, part of the Hennepin County Medical Center network, will open sometime in October at 2714 Highway 88, St Anthony.   It is in the space formerly occupied by the drugstore and a tax service.

  • Among the features of the new clinic HCMC cites these:
  • Evening hours two nights a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Prenatal care and family planning.
  • Care for all ages, including older adults.
  • Same day/next day appointments.
  • Onsite pharmacy.

To follow developments at the new clinic visit the HCMC site.

 

 

The REALLY big news in Windom Park is great good news relating to civic action and hazardous waste abatement.  Thanks to a cadre of Northeast residents, in particular four indomitable women, working with local officials and regulators, Interplastic Corporation has agreed to a $15,000 civil penalty and $263,800 in facility improvements for alleged hazardous waste violations.

Minneapolis Interplastic has operated in the residential Northeast neighborhood, near Johnson and Broadway, since 1969.  ( This is the befuddling cross section where drivers are probably more attentive to steering their way through the remnants of the abandoned Interstate 335 than to the industrial polluters.) With sites throughout the nation, including an affected site in Vadnais Heights, the company identifies itself as “an industry leader in thermoset resin, gel coat and colorant research, design and development.”

Interplastic Corporation is regulated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency which initiated enforcement action after hazardous waste compliance inspections by Hennepin County staff at the Minneapolis plant in September 2008 and March 2009 and by MPCA staff at the Vadnais Heights plant in mid-March 2009.  The charges against Interplastic and the changes already in place are spelled out in detail at the MPCA website.  There is also a good article and a photo of the four women by Randy Furst in the September 8 Star Tribune.

Meanwhile, residents of Northeast anticipate cleaner air, while the intrepid women who pushed for change have no doubt moved on to the next challenge facing the neighborhood.  They will be reporting to the community at the next meeting of Windom Park Citizens in Action, Tuesday, September 20, at the community center in Pillsbury School

Bonneville Models Grassroots Management Style

For the past eleven years Gayle Bonneville has been the sparkplug, the glue and the institutional memory of my Windom Park neighborhood.  Two afternoons a week she’s posted on Lowry and Stinson where I have spent hundreds of hours waiting for the bus, reading the many messages neatly posted in the window, and wondering about who keeps the neighborhood on an even keel.  Now I know that it is Gayle Bonneville who manages to split her busy days between Windom Park and West St. Anthony neighborhoods, keeping a wide swath of Northeast Minneapolis informed, in touch, and, above all, engaged.  No easy task for this diminutive woman who somehow manages to balance two active nonprofits at the same time she energizes the neighborhoods and reaches out as an active denizen of several social media networks.

Windom Park Citizens in Action (WPCIA) is an independent nonprofit that is the city-designated organization for this Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood.  It is also the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) contracting organization for the Windom Park neighborhood.  Working with a nine-member board and committees Gayle steers a steady course helping residents to identify neighborhood needs, plan and implement solutions, and enhance the quality of life for neighborhood residents.

Gayle is adamant in her insistence that it is the neighbors who make the decisions that shape the community.  An ardent believer in grassroots engagement Gayle spends much of her precious time informing and involving the community at large.  Monthly neighborhood meetings, announced broadly online and by postcard, draw a healthy mix of concerned neighbors.  Increasingly Gayle is turning to social media to share the word.  A striking example of Windom Park’s participatory environment is a recent survey of the neighborhood, conducted online and on paper, in English and Spanish.  Residents were queried about a broad range of imminent and long-tern options; at this time the board is delving through the returns to present the results and the challenge of decision-making to the membership.  Though drastic cuts in NRP funding render those decisions painful at best Gayle insists the tough choices will be made by the neighbors not staff or board.

Currently, Gayle is working with WPCIA’s Community Land Use and Planning committee, NRP, and a mix of home improvement and security loan programs.  As a concerned citizen volunteer she continues to grapple with future development of Shoreham Yards – a political, environmental, legal and regulatory quagmire that would fell a lesser mortal

To contact Gayle with questions or suggestions, email info@windompark.org,   For a listing of board, committee and task force members, meetings and responsibilities, check the Windom Park website – better yet, volunteer to serve.  Watch your mailbox and e-list for notices of WPCIA meetings – sign up for e-mail notices here.  The next WPCIA meeting is set for Tuesday, August 16, 7-9 p.m., Pillsbury School Annex, 2551 Hayes – free parking, treats, child care upon request, a chance to learn and have your say about the future of our neighborhood!