Midtown Farmers Market, transit-oriented development dominate discussion of site redevelopment at Corcoran Land Use and Housing meeting

The future of the 6.5 acre parcel of land at the corner of Lake Street and 22nd Avenue was once again up for discussion at the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization’s Land Use and Housing meeting on April 3.  Despite the snowstorm, community members and county representatives filled the room and voiced their visions and concerns for the land. A  private development company, L&H Station Development, hopes to purchase the land, which is currently owned by Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS.)  The future of the Midtown Farmer’s Market was a big concern for many of the community members in attendance.  The rendering that L&H developer Jack Boarman presented showed a new permanent location for the market on the east side of the property, but a little further back from Lake Street than it is now.  Miguel Goebel, the manager of the market, voiced his concern that this would create reduced visibility and attract fewer customers.The planned housing developments were another topic of discussion among community members.  Many people wanted to ensure that there would be affordable housing available to people in the community, so that the spaces would not invite gentrification.  Boarman explained that of the roughly 450 housing units the new property would include, many would be specifically designed affordable family or senior housing.  He also plans to keep rent low by offering many one-bedroom apartments that are under 700 square feet, with the rest being leased at market price.Attendees also heard from MPS Chief Operating Officer Robert Doty, who made clear that the successful relocation of the services housed in the school building on the site is the top priority for MPS when considering the sale. These include Adult Basic Education and Transition Plus programs, He said that MPS is considering different options, including relocation or staying on the property in a new building, but it is certain that those services will continue to exist for the community.Newly elected Ninth Ward City Councilmember Alondra Cano spoke briefly at the meeting.  “I wanted to talk about this project as an issue of equity,” Cano said.  She emphasized the importance of input from citizens when considering the future of their community, because, “If we don’t do it, someone else will do it for us.”Boarman spoke for a good portion of the meeting about what the L&H developers envision the site becoming. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The Big E sizes up MN GOP candidates

The Big E, confessing to Minnesita Progressive Project (MPP) readers and contributers, recently wrote that his heart no longer pines to hose down right wing sparkle ponies like Michele Bachmann or even review books by the likes of a Keith Ellison.  The Big E (known to his Minneapolis neighbors as Eric Pusey), is the founding scold of the MPP lefty sentry post and appears on the current edition of Democratic Visions as he retires from political blogging. After a moment of posing as a weary blogosphere elder  (as if blogging was old enough to earn elders), the smart, liberal confederate, prompted by an actual DFL elder,  Tim O’Brien, shines with bemused and bewildered takes on the current state of the Minnesota Republican Party and its clownish, hopeful State and Congressional candidates.   Mr. Pusey, who has splashed gleefully in the rushing stream of blogs, Tweets, Facebook twerking and probably Skype, does quite well in the “legacy” medium of television where I operate.  Fox Nine News knew that and for a while put him on from time-to-time.  But the Fox 9 News producers didn’t have the cojones to make him a regular pundit.   Too bad.  Mr. Pusey has good chemistry. This ten-minute Eric and Tim segment is yours to consider.  Its “tagged” (the TV producer’s sense of the word) with an homage to the late, great, populist troubadour Pete Seeger and Twin Cities activism thanks to the air guitar wonders -The Junk Yard Democrats, a peoples’ anthem, and creative editing.  Enjoy!  Enjoy!  Democratic Visions February Segments Ex-blogger Eric Pusey and Tim O’Brien on senate and gubernatorial hopefuls.Jon Spayde as a clinically depressed motivational speaker with advice for Republican hopefuls.I report on the DFL 48 Precinct Caucuses and present an award winning short film making change. Democratic Visions is handcrafted by Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka volunteer Democrats at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission. Democratic Visions Cable ScheduleMinneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m.; Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. The entire Feburary program and 183 archived Dem Vis segments can be seen on the Democratic Visions Channel on YouTube. Democratic Visions has become the  liveliest political issues show in Minnesota.   I know.  I produce the darned thing.   Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Park Board considers plan to expand urban agriculture

A forest of fruit trees or youth-run community garden could soon be growing in a Minneapolis Park near you. Opportunities like these are outlined in a Urban Agriculture Activity Plan that is currently under review by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.Additional goals outlined in the plan include: increase growing healthy, local food; use of outdoor public spaces to promote, sell and distribute local food; increase edible landscaping and urban fruit tree growth; expand community gardening options; and, enrich youth programs.Russ Henry, an advocate for the plan and former resident of Corcoran, presented the December meeting of Corcoran’s Land Use and Housing Committee. CNO members asked questions about the proposed plan and discussed how urban agriculture could impact the neighborhood and city.”Urban agriculture is an important way to enhance food security for underserved neighborhoods” shares Henry, “and improve access to health for residents throughout Minneapolis. The MPRB Urban Ag Activity Plan, if adopted will give neighbors access to more tools, resources, and knowledge that will empower Minneapolis residents to grow health and sustainability in their neighborhoods.”However, Henry also shared that this plan is not a sure thing. He has a personal goal of recruiting 1,000 Minneapolitans to submit feedback about the Urban Agriculture Activity Plan. The Park Board will be hosting two more information sessions about the proposed Urban Agriculture Activity Plan:- Tuesday, December 17 from 5:15 – 7:15 PM at Hope Community- Thursday, December 19 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at St. Olaf Community CampusPlease review the draft plan (PDF), and then take a minute to share your feedback in this online survey before December 21. For more information please refer to the MPRB project webpage. Continue Reading

“Dracula” at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

Oct. 2nd in Pioneers and Soldiers CemetaryTake-Up and All-Star Video are proud to present George Melford’s classic Spanish Language Dracula (1931, HDS)–that some argue is the better film–as a benefit for the beautiful, historic Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery at 2925 Cedar Avenue South. The film will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles.Wednesday, October 2Gates open: 5:30pmShowtime: 7:30pmCome early to experience the historic cemetery, do the smart phone history hunt, and enjoy a trailer reel with ads and trailers from other Universal horror films.Suggested donation levels: $5, $10, $15, $20. Children 12 and under free (donations gladly accepted).Taco Taxi food truck will sell food during the event. No coolers or alcoholic beverages, pets, or video-taping allowed.Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Continue Reading

Corcoran News | September 2013

September 2013 Corcoran News(To see the Corcoran News main page on TCDP, click here. For the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization web page, click here.)Minneapolis city council candidate forum – Sept. 21 at Midtown Farmers MarketFall is right around the corner at the Midtown Farmers MarketAugust 2013 CNO Board Meeting minutesJuly 2013 CNO Board Meeting minutesCorcoran News editor’s noteMidtown Farmers Market Fall Harvest FundraiserUpcoming art event! Residents plan to “Take the Field” Friday October 11, 2013A stop by the “Y”Rain doesn’t stop neighbors celebrating National Night OutCorcoran Neighborhood and the Midtown Farmers Market Welcomes New AssistantAssistance NeededSeeking Creative Minds!What did you learn when the power went out?Greenway: No. #1 Bike Path in the USAPark updateCanning WorkshopsMexican Food: In Mexico and in CorcoranDoor-to-door sales in MinneapolisCub Scout RoundupLonesome Valley: Veterans Administration struggles to make ends meetStore to Door Seeks VolunteersIn SpanishForo de candidatos para City Council – 21 de Septiembre en Midtown Farmers MarketTalleres sobre enlates y tarrosVentas a domiclio en MinneapolisUltimas notices del parqueEl otoño está a la vuelta del Mercado GranjeroEl Barrio Corcoran y el Mercado Granjero de Midtown da una bienvenida a una nueva asistenteContribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.Click here for current edition. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Martín: A hidden voice

I first met Martín while tending my garden in the summer of 2012.  He is perhaps the single most humble recipient of fresh produce from my small garden, and has been for at least two summers.  My earliest recollection noticing him takes place sometime in the spring.  I was looking out my window and he was walking by my house to the park.  It was cold and rainy, and he and his three sons were going to the park to play soccer. Continue Reading

Minneapolis Ward Nine candidates debate at Midtown Market forum

Five of Ward Nine’s six candidates participated in a forum last Saturday, September 21, at the Midtown Farmer’s Market. (Greg McDonald was absent).  The forum, moderated by Pam Telleen, was sponsored by the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, and Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization. Participating candidates were Abdi Abdulle, Alondra Cano, Charles Curtis, Pat Fleetham, and Ty Moore,After a one-minute introduction and opening statement from each candidate, they answered questions on a variety of topics from both the sponsoring organizations and audience members.One of the questions from the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization asked how the candidates would attempt to make housing safer and more accessible to the residents of Ward Nine.  All of the candidates agreed that there needs to be an expansion of affordable housing. Ty Moore pointed out that many residents pay [MU1] more than 50 percent of their income toward housing, and stated that he would work to make sure housing cost no more than 25 percent of people’s income. Pat Fleetham advocated more meaningful inspection and enforcement of laws, as well as the incorporation of multilingual interpreters in this process to make sure that landlords were not taking advantage of non-English speakers.The Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization asked how the candidates would work to make the city of Minneapolis competitive with other progressive cities such as Portland and Seattle.  Abdi Abdulle, who is a resident of Central Neighborhood, said that competition should not be our first priority, asking, “How can we compete with other cities when we are not doing well in our own backyard?”A member of the audience asked the candidates whether or not they supported municpalizing Minneapolis’s energy through Minneapolis Energy Options, and how they planned to hold Xcel and Centerpoint Energy accountable for the agreements they made in recent months. Charles Curtis said that he does not support municipal energy.  Curtis said that he believes Minneapolis needs to focus its resources on doing a better job at the things the city is already responsible for rather than taking on a new expensive project, though he does support holding Xcel and Centerpoint accountable and shortening their contracts.Candidates were asked whether or not they supported the use of eminent domain to fight foreclosure.  While Alondra Cano, Moore, and Abdulle thought that eminent domain could be used in a positive way, Curtis and Fleetham were doubtful of the city’s ability to finance it.  They explained that because foreclosed homes belong to the banks, the city would have to pay just compensation to the banks in order to use eminent domain.When asked about how to close the achievement gap in Minneapolis public schools, Moore emphasized the need to put more teachers in public schools to lower class sizes, and Cano added that the city should put more emphasis on hiring teachers of color.  Curtis also brought up that providing more stable housing and demanding living wages for parents will help children succeed in school.An audience member asked the candidates how they would ensure the safety of children in Ward Nine in the wake of Terrance Franklin’s death.  Pat Fleetham stated that there is a, “Cultural racism in the police force that the current chief is not addressing.”  He also added that he would like to see more police on foot and bike in the neighborhoods. Moore stated that he would like to see an elected civilian board created to hold police accountable, and Cano said that she supports residency requirements for police officers so that residents know their police officers more. Related articles — see Ward 9 election coverage. If you’d like to pose questions to the candidates, click here. This is one of a number of articles produced by student interns at the TC Daily Planet.  Continue Reading

La Alborada Market brings Mexican food, culture, and history to Minneapolis’s Corcoran neighborhood

Recently I’ve enjoyed finding new ethnic markets in the Twin Cities suburbs—but with the price of gasoline spiking, I needed to find an ethnic grocery a little closer to home. I headed up Chicago Avenue toward the Lake Street, then turned east keeping my eyes open for some place interesting. That’s how I ended up at La Alborada Market at the corner of Lake and 19th, a mostly Mexican grocery owned by the Cruz family.The store was crowded and the parking lot filled—both good signs. Coming here, is seems, is an event for whole families, from little kids to their grandparents. The store is a color festival. It’s painted, inside and out with murals and brightly colored signs. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Tim Springer: A Life on Purpose

Tim Springer, a Minneapolis community leader from East Phillips, Powderhorn, and Central for the past 23 years, is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9.  He is known for his leadership of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, where he played a major role in making the Greenway Minnesota’s busiest bikeway and a platform for urban revitalized and community connection. Tim’s accomplishments have not happened by accident.  He has led a life pursuing his values.  His perspectives and experience extend beyond the Greenway.  As Ninth Ward resident Janis Lane-Ewart says, “Tim has the rare combination of impassioned advocacy for challenging ideals like equality and sustainability, while at the same time bringing people together and actually getting something done.”Most of you know Tim as the Executive Director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, but some of you may not know that he co-founded the Coalition, starting as a volunteer in 1992.  As Executive Director since 1995, he led the Coalition to advocate for creation of the Greenway, now a national model for greenway and urban renewal. During his tenure, Tim tirelessly advocated for safe neighborhoods, friendly trail design and implementation, attractive land use and green space planning, neighborhood art, community partnerships, and neighborhood involvement. The Greenway helped Minneapolis to be named the number-one bicycling city in the nation by Bicycling Magazine in 2010.  Tim has worked with all levels of government including neighborhoods, and city, county, state, and federal officials. Continue Reading