Tag Archives: NE Mpls

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.

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

Dolly in Northeast — It’s So Nice to Have You Back Where You Belong!

Morris Park Players are celebrating their 100th production with one of America’s perennial favorites, Hello, Dolly! Beginning Friday, October 28, Dolly will strut her stuff on stage at the Edison High School Auditorium, 700 22nd Avenue Northeast. Performances continue through mid-November with 7:30 performances continuing on November 4,5,10,11 and 12 and 2:00 matinee performances on October 29 and November 6.

Though Morris Park Players have a long history in Minneapolis their move to Northeast is more recent. The troupe began as the Morris Park Father Singers in spring 1952. Over the years, the group transformed and expanded its repertoire, first changing in 1968 to the Morris Park Singers, and again in 1981 to its present name, Morris Park Players.

For many years Morris Park Players performed at Folwell Middle School in South Minneapolis. Over the past 55 years they have mounted some 100 productions, a fact they are celebrating with the ever ebullient Dolly!
The intent of the Morris Park Players is to provide quality musical theatre to the community as well as many opportunities for individuals to contribute and develop their talents. The move to Edison continues their partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools and establishes their position “ in the midst of the vibrant arts community in ‘Nordeast’.
Tickets for Dolly are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Groups of ten or more should call 612 724 8373. Tickets may be purchased online at morrisparkplayers.org – or find the Players on Facebook or Twitter. There’s a special Alumni Night and celebration of the 100th production on Friday evening, November 11 – details online.

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.

How to Become a Tommie – November 15 at Edison

Once again Thomas Edison High School is throwing open its doors to the community.  “How to Become a Tommie” is the theme of the open house, designed for prospective students.  The open house is set for November 15, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Edison, 700 22nd Avenue NE.

 

Potential students are invited to meet staff, students, families and community members, to learn about the curriculum, community partnerships and scholarships.  There will be musical performances by Edison students, arts theatre performance by the Morris Park Players and a chance to meet Superintendent of Schools Bernadeia Johnson.

Those who can’t make the November 15 open house may check out the school at the Northeast showcase, representing all eastside Minneapolis Public Schools, Pre K-8, on Saturday, November 12, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

For more information contact Pamela Vertina 612 668 1310.

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.

Food Safety Made Relevant and Doable by White House Rep Meeting at Eastside Food Coop

Elisabeth A. Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, views her job through a mix of lenses – the lens of the scientist, the bureaucrat, and the mom.  Her professional degree is an MD from Harvard; at USDA she oversees rules and regulations relating to meat, poultry and processed eggs, and she is the proud and caring mother of two young children.

In her professional role at USDA Hagen is responsible for oversight of 20 percent of the food supply.  The agency employs 7,300 inspectors who perform daily and continuous checks inside 6,200 food processing facilities.  Recent concerns about food safety, including those with Twin Cities connections,  have catapulted the agency Hagen directs into the national spotlight.

Dr. Hagen has been in town this week meeting with producers, distributors, bureaucrats and others who play a role in assuring food safety.  Her visit was sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Council on Women and Girls.  On Thursday morning, September 15, she took time to sit down with a group of women gathered at the Eastside Food Cooperative in Northeast Minneapolis where she shared her views from each of these lenses.

Participating in the lively exchange were representatives of area coops, food shelves, city inspectors and others concerned about issues relating to food safety. Though Dr. Hagen’s position in the federal bureaucracy focuses on the “big picture”, emphasis at this gathering was on the “last mile” of food access and safety.

Hagen presented astounding statistics about food borne disease, with particular emphasis on e-coli and salmonella for which there are one million reported cases a year.  She also described the complexities of the federal oversight process – the role of the Food and Drug Administration and that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – with handoff to the Interstate Commerce Commission.  The immense challenge to provide safe food to three hundred million Americans was the prevailing theme of her talk.  She noted several examples of recent changes e.g. labeling changes,  that the federal government has done to accomplish the goal

Discussion turned to the need to alter long-engrained habits at the consumer end of the food chain.  As one office in a complex federal bureaucracy Hagen is quick to note that divergent priorities and institutional modes of operation are a challenge.  The ultimate challenge is to the consumer who makes purchasing and preparation decisions about what people eat.

Participants in the discussion lamented the lack of education opportunities for young people, particularly teens, to learn about food safety.  Though younger children may be protected, teens are on their own and are the parents of the next generation.

Another topic of concern to participants was the issue of local entrepreneurship and the ways in which the federal system does or does not support local farmers and producers.

Hagen listened and offered a number of references to resources that her office and the federal government offer to anyone concerned about food safety.  One tangible offering was free food thermometers available from her office.  Digital resources Hagen suggested include these:

Ask Karen, sponsored by the Food Safety and Inspection Service at USDA

Food Safety.gov, managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Or follow the efforts of Dr. Hagen on her agency blog.

Though she clearly had much more information to share, Dr. Hagen took time to listen with care – while her assistant took copious notes.  The women present, representing as we did a wide range of food safety-related issues, overflowed with queries and suggestions, each of which received a thoughtful response and assurance of follow-up.

Last seen this incredibly busy woman was answering questions, grasping ideas and scrambling to maneuver rush hour  traffic to catch a 5:20 flight back to a mighty professional challenge – and to those two little ones – in Washington, DC.

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.