Planners anticipate Green Line effects

On June 14th, the Central Corridor “Green Line” Light Rail project will open, ushering in a new era in transit for the Twin Cities metropolitan area.The Met Council has tallied at least $2.5 billion in development, including 121 new construction and redevelopment projects planned, under construction or completed within a half-mile of the $957 million line.But the long term effect of light rail on low income communities along the route is still open to debate.St. Paul and Ramsey County officials gathered recently at a meeting of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce to talk with business leaders about development changes that are underway, and those yet to come.Rico Morales has a report.  Listen to the audio here. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Baking and breaking bread in the Phillips neighborhood

For the past few weeks, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church has been engaging their members, local residents, ‘shelter’ residents, and ‘transitional housing’ community by creating an outdoor community oven. This wood-fired brick oven will be available for community bake days (under supervision) for many people whom have never experienced the opportunity to create their own breads and/or pizzas. This religious community has put their faith and belief into action by welcoming others and have truly been “Inclusive”. There is a plan for a local pizza bake day for National Night Out on August 6th. Please come and join them as they celebrate another wonderful event and outreach. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Project Homeless Connect

There are many challenges to being homeless; the cost of transportation, locations of programs and services, and having open access to these opportunities. The Project Homeless Connect event at The Minneapolis Convention Center temporarily solved all of these ‘problems’ in one day for hundreds of people struggling with different aspects of mental health, dental issues, and even fixing a flat tire or a rusty chain on a bicycle.The all day outreach involved many volunteers and as far as I am concerned, “we” can not thank these non-profits, agencies, and people enough. There were volunteers giving free legal advice, bicycle maintenance, medical care, etc. And then there was lunch!As a former homeless person I know the burden of not having a place or ‘space’ to live and for living. I have seen and heard the complaints of all the ‘bums’ sleeping at the library, asking for spare change, and being high on something. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Occupy Homes Helps Create a Better Neighborhood

On Friday, April 12th an abandoned house in south Minneapolis  was turned into an art gallery, open mic stage, and ‘community center’ for a neighborhood struggling with distressed housing issues. Two months earlier, Jessica English spoke with the neighbors in the area and asked them for their opinions, ideas, and permission to habitate the dwelling with her family. The response was positive and supportive from other residents and with the help of Occupy Homes, volunteers, and friends Jessica has been living in a ‘Home’. The evening’s events and purpose attracted many other local homeowners, renters, advocates, musicians, artists, and media partners. As a volunteer at KFAI Fresh Air community radio I was given the opportunity to participate and record the event for use in relation to many of KFAI’s programs and specifically, “The Morning Blend”. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | From Cultural Conflict To Regional War in Minnesota (1862)

On a beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon on September 15th, the Minneapolis Central Library invited artist and historian Scott Seekins to display and discuss his latest work in response to cultural and religious aspects of the 1862 Dakota War. This presentation helped to promote a challenging view of the government policies, practices, and behavior of religious organizations through the artwork and media releases, such as Governor Ramsey’s public attempt at Genocide against Native Americans in Minnesota. The main presentation and description of this ‘theme’ in his art was insightful and helped this author explore more detailed facts of the racism and hostile causes of this inevitable and tragic war. As we take time to ‘celebrate diversity’ after more than 150 years of Statehood we are reminded of our continual struggles for unity still happening today in “A very polarized city” (Scott Seekins). As I spoke with the artist, my own ignorance of Little Crow, The Concentration/Prison Camp at Fort Snelling, Native American “War-Brides” and other facts became more and more evident. Continue Reading