Bringing low-cost internet to the high rise

When Nancy Przymus heard that the Logan Park neighborhood was “woefully behind the curve” in its number of residents connected to the Internet, she was surprised.Przymus, Logan Park Neighborhood Association (LPNA) executive coordinator, said that Otto Doll and Elise Ebhardt, of Minneapolis’ Information Technology Department, had presented the information at a public meeting last July at the Northeast Library.“I thought, ‘What doesn’t fit here?’ I was pretty sure that most people in Logan Park were doing fine, as far as being connected,” Przymus said. “Then it occurred to me that the senior high rise in the neighborhood was probably skewing the numbers.” (The senior high rise is known as the Holland High Rise, 1717 Washington St. NE, which lies in the Logan Park neighborhood.)Przymus met with Ebhardt, Volunteers of American (VOA) social worker Rhonda Peterson, and Holland High Rise property manager Mary Ostroum, to discuss providing Internet service to high-rise residents. “The building is so dense, with concrete slabs, that they can’t get Wi-Fi from the city. They need a cable company to install it in their apartment, and pay much more than I do for USI wireless at the city’s discount, which is about $10 a month.”The high rise residents are mostly older, low-income people, many of whom have disabilities, Przymus added. Continue Reading

Columbia Heights is ripe for developers

It seems that Columbia Heights is looking good, lately, to some local developers. City officials recently heard a preliminary redevelopment proposal that could include a public library, city hall and senior housing at 40th and Central, and another developer plans to build single family houses at the Grand Central Lofts site, 49th and Central avenues.In addition, the city is working to shape its own future, with the Dec. 13 acquisition of the “Mady’s site,” a parcel on Central and 39th avenues NE that formerly housed Mady’s Bowling Lounge and a Salvation Army Thrift store.Mady’s siteScott Clark, Columbia Heights Community Development Director, said the city agreed to pay $905,000 for the Mady’s site. “That property has been identified by the city as a key development site in the city’s comprehensive plan for some time. It offers a good-sized parcel with depth to the property.”At one time a private dump, the land will need some cleanup. Continue Reading

Columbia Heights writer tackles bullying

Columbia Heights writer Jennifer (Jenny) Elaine Jones-Sorge’s recently published children’s book about bullying, called Monsters, Monsters, Monsters! The power in me is bigger than any monster I’ve ever met! includes her own paintings, drawings, and a lifetime of good and bad experiences.

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Columbia Heights: Aeon chosen to take over Parkview Villa in late 2013

Although Columbia Heights’s sale of Parkview Villa to non-profit developer Aeon will be delayed a few months, Gina Ciganik, Aeon’s vice president of housing development, said it’s nothing unusual. “It’s not a glitch or a snag, or anything like that. It’s real estate development. You can’t anticipate any piece of the process, and we’ve never been able to pick a closing date. We just got our funding from the State of Minnesota, [Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, MHFA] and we feel it’s all falling into place.”

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A little more about ArtShare and the Northeast Library’s “life size book” project

Let’s get one thing straight right away. The new “life-size” book project that ArtShare and the Northeast Library are co-sponsoring early next year isn’t a huge, people-sized book.It’s a book sized book, nine pages long, measuring 11 x 23 inches.ArtShare is a non-profit Northeast-based group of artists who specialize in community art. Artists Laura Brown and Bridget O’Malley will host four free book-making workshops—one in January, three in February—that start with participants brainstorming about images that define Northeast. (Brown will eventually turn those ideas into illustrations.) The next three sessions offer insight into actual book production: papermaking, printmaking and bookbinding.When it’s done, everybody gets to take home a small version of the Northeast Life Size Book. The original will go on display at its permanent home in the Northeast Library, 22nd and Central Ave. Continue Reading

Three on the ballot for State Senator in Northeast

The Minnesota Senate District 60 race has three contenders: Incumbent and DFLer Kari Dziedzic, business owner and Republican Mark Lazarchic, and Independence Party candidate Rahn Workcuff, who lives in South Minneapolis, is an Air Force veteran and is a 40-year member of the Civil Air Patrol.

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Northeast’s representative race: Loeffler vs. Millsop

Northeast Minneapolis lies within Minnesota House District 60A, and this year’s race has two contenders, Diane Loeffler and Brent Millsop. Loeffler, the DFL incumbent, has held the office for eight years. She lives with her husband Mike Vennewitz in the Windom Park Neighborhood and works for Hennepin County. Brent Millsop, the Republican challenger, is an entrepreneur and home school father who has lived in Northeast more than 21 years. He and his wife have four children. He is an Air Force veteran.

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