Tag Archives: NE Minneapolis

Harvest Gathering Matches Needs with Volunteers

Television personality turned local theater star Don Shelby will highlight the 6th annual Gathering the Harvest community gathering and exhibit sponsored by Interfaith Minnesota.  Gathering the Harvest showcases the wide range of organizations that serve individuals and families in need in the Northeast community. Northeast neighbors are invited to participate in the event which is set for Monday, November 21, 7-9 p.m. at Northeast Middle School, 2955 Hayes Street, NE.

An invitation has gone out to community service organization to participate and promote their work and their volunteer opportunities.  The goal is to match volunteers with opportunities to serve the community.  There is no cost for exhibitors or attendees, though donations to the Harvest Gathering are appreciated.  Those organizations interested in exhibiting should reserve a table space now by contacting Jennifer@necommunity.net or 512 788 2444.

Interfaith Minnesota is a virtual community, sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches, grows out of the Council’s mission to manifest unity and build the common good.  The Minnesota Council of Churches is a member of numerous interfaith partnerships working for justice, including the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition.

Don’t Dump on Northeast Redux


“Don’t Dump on Northeast” signs that once marched boldly across Northeast have faded and faded from view.  The threat has not.  In fact, the Minneapolis-Hennepin County proposal to construct a “recycling and drop-off center” in the Holland neighborhood, at 340 27th Avenue NE near University Avenue, is currently boiling on the “front burner” at City Hall. The “Don’t Dump on Northeast” campaign has engaged all of the Northeast neighborhoods.


Though Holland residents are most immediately affected, other neighborhoods, including my own Windom Park, are concerned about a host of issues including pollution, truck traffic, and the inclination of City officials to dismiss the concerns of Minneapolitans who happen to live East of the Mississippi.

Spring 2012 is the proposed start of construction of the site which is projected to be fully operational by spring 2013.  The project as outlined by the City will include two buildings that will house separate functions:  The first building, approximately 26,000 square feet, will contain the Hennepin County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Center (HHDC) and support offices.  The second building, termed the Voucher Program Building (VPB), is approximately 22,800 square feet and is planned to operate as a drop-off point for construction and demolition materials and clean up debris for the City of Minneapolis voucher program whereby residents receive City vouchers to unload “household debris.”

More details re. the City-County plan for the Recycling-Drop-off Center  are laid out in a recent detailed document with copious links to detailed reports, maps, studies, and other government-produced information.

And then there are the opinions of the affected Northeasters who have consistently and persistently organized and protested the City-County plan.  When local residents sued to stop the project, largely on the basis that the dump does not meet zoning requirements, they were held at bay by the City Attorney’s contention that “the city will move to dismiss the lawsuit because no application is yet pending for the facility with the city.”

Another major bone of contention between Northeasters and the City of Minneapolis concern the very purpose of the facility.  The City and County prefer the more benign “recycling and drop-off center” terminology.  At the same time, plans seem to call for the move of the Hennepin County Southside Transfer Station to the site.  Statistics indicate that only 1/3 of the materials at the Southside Transfer Station are recycled.  Residents’ challenge on this issue could put a crimp in the plans for a joint City-County venture.

In spite of City officials’ assertion that there are no definite plans, residents argue that the taxpayers have already invested $2 million in the planning process.  Opponents also object to the fact that several City staffers with whom they had been working have been reassigned.

The facts are indisputable:  1) The City continues to work on a recycling-drop off center (whatever it’s to be named) and 2) opposition to what is locally known as “the dump” in Northeast is alive and well.  In today’s E-Democracy post local activist and Holland resident Bruce Shoemaker writes:

It’s time for the City (or the few proponents for this that are left among City staff) to face reality,[to] stop wasting their time and our money, and give up on the current plan.  The opponents – who have won every neighborhood vote that has taken place in Northeast by substantial margins – aren’t going away.  Every step of the process is going to be under intense scrutiny.  We have a strong and compelling legal argument and a substantial majority of our community on our side and we are going to prevail.






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.

Friends of NE Library Slate Book Sale December 2-3

Friends of the Northeast Library has announced plans for their next book sale to be held December 2-3 at the Northeast Library, 2200 Central Avenue NE.  Hours TBA.

The Friends will be collecting books for the sale beginning Friday, November 25.  Other collections dates are Saturday, November 26, Tuesday, November 29, Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1.  Drop off gently used books at the Library meeting room – Please no Reader’s Digest condensed books of textbooks.

In the week preceding the book sale Friends of Northeast Library volunteers will sort the books and organize for the sale December 2-3.

No plans for a blizzard this year – but then again we didn’t plan on a blizzard during the book sale last year either.  And still, thanks to the resilience of shoppers and Friends, we made a handsome profit to enhance the “new” library.

Questions – contact the Friends at northeast@supporthclib.org

Magnificent new Mosaic at the East Side Food Cooperative

Picture of a man putting the finishing touches on a mosaic including a bright sun.

I was fortunate enough last week
to be on hand for the final touch-up of magnificent mosaic mural that now
graces the South external wall of the Eastside Food Cooperative.  The work of art, created by area youth under
the mentorship of artist Sharra Frank, is stunning – a happy visual respite for
Central Avenue travelers.

ArtsWork, a
project of COMPASS,
employs young people during the summer months, giving them an opportunity to
learn a skill, to learn some income, and to experience the work that an artist

The formal
installation was part of the community BBQ sponsored by the Eastside Food

Neighbors, nosh and news at Neighborhood Night Out



By my count there are seventeen sites in the Windom Park Neighborhood.  For a full listing of sites, arranged by neighborhood,, check the City Hall website.

By my count there are seventeen NNO sites in Windom Park!  All feature good food – potluck or BBQ;  specialties include bounce houses, visits from the police and fire departments, games, rides, food shelf drives, even a book swap!

Like most grassroots efforts, NNO has roots.  The National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit, crime prevention organization, introduced NNO in 1984 as a concerted effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts.  The first year 400 communities in 23 states participated for a total of 2.5 million Americans.  Focus in the early days was on “lights on” and front porch vigils, some of which remain in practice.

Today NNO involves 37 million people in over 15,000 communities from fifty states, territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Sure, you know all your neighbors.  Remember, though, that it was a long hard winter and a short hot summer.  Folks cocooned.  You could have missed something.  Here’s your chance to pick up on the news and to share stories, pictures and a tempting taste treat with folks you might not have seen since last August!

Library Friends sponsor book sale

No excuse for readers in Northeast Minneapolis to run short of books this winter!  Friends of the Northeast Library are arranging truck routes, sort plans and volunteer work schedules for the celebratory book sale set for December 10th and 11th at the Eastside Food Co-op, 2551 Central Avenue Northeast.  The book sale celebrates – and will help to fund — the Spring 2011 re-opening of the Northeast Library which is currently being renovated and generously expanded.  Northeast Library is part of the Hennepin County Library System.


The book sale begins with a preview sale for members of the Friends, the Library Foundation or Eastside Co-op on Friday, December 10, 2:00-8:00 p.m.  The general sale is Saturday, December 11, 10:00-5:00 p.m.  On Saturday book buyers will have a chance to participate in another celebration, the 7th anniversary of the Eastside Food Co-op, replete with entertainment and taste treats.


Friends of the Northeast Library is one of several Friends groups that has received organizing assistance from the Library Foundation of Hennepin County which has much to celebrate itself. Recently the Otto Bremer Foundation has awarded the Library Foundation of Hennepin County Library a grant of $50,000 to support local Library Friends groups.  The Professional Librarians Union of Minneapolis (PLUM) has also voted to give slightly over $83,000 to the Library Foundation of Hennepin County.  A portion of that gift is specifically given to support formation of Friends groups for community libraries.


For more information about donating gently-used books or to volunteer to help with the sale contact northeast@supporthclib.org.