TC Weekend | Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Fest, Vote NO on War Protest, Monarch Fest and more!

The MN State Fair may be gone, but there’s plenty to do and see this weekend in the Twin Cities (and surrounding areas).  Below are a few of this weekend’s highlights:Flow Art Space presents “Me, Myself, and Eye” Group Exhibition in St. Paul, Friday, September 6. The reception will be held at the Flow Art Space in the Northern Warehouse in Lowertown; the event is free and open to the public. More details per the Flow Art Space website: “This group exhibition reflects the many ways artists see themselves. Please join us for a reception to meet and greet artists.  Light refreshments and beverages served. Friday, September 6 from 6-8 pm. Held in conjunction with Lowertown First Friday, with additional art spaces open in the building and throughout Lowertown.”Monarch Festival / Festival de la Monarca, Saturday, September 7, at Nokomis Naturescape in Minneapolis. This colorful event is bound to set the cameras aflutter. Continue Reading

Changes in airplane traffic could harm South Minneapolis, community forum with public officals planned for Tues, Aug 27

MSP FairSkies Coalition, an organization composed of representatives from Minneapolis and Edina, is bringing attention to planned changes in airplane traffic. Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to install new Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) technology to study the capability of flight paths to airports in the Twin Cities. This technology, which is composed of Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performace (RNP) methods, could redirect and significantly increase the number of flights over South Minneapolis neighborhoods.MSP FairSkies Coalition states that the potential reconfiguration of flight paths and autopilot routes would increase daily flights from less than 5% today to over 35% starting in 2014. MSP FairSkies also states “This technology will unfairly burden us with more noise and more emissions, leading to lower quality of health and lower property values for us all.”Congressmen Keith Ellison will be hosting a community forum on Tuesday, August 27 from 5:30-7:30PM at Washburn High School to discuss how these changes will impact Minneapolis neighborhoods. This meeting will help clarify the noise, environmental, safety, and economic issues of PBN implementation. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The perils of 42nd Street East

For the past decade 42nd Street East has become a showcase for the conflict between urban expansion and ecology. As a result, the street has lost its identity and now serves as nothing more than an eyesore, headache, and danger to the community. This “evolution” (or should I say “de-evolution”) has taken place slowly over the past decade but is certainly highlighted by these key events:The removal of many corner bus stops:While residents may have initially praised this move, since it resulted in less people hanging around their front yards while they waited for the bus, we have now learned that faster bus service equals an increase in the overall traffic speed. Today, there is a “your speed” trailer at the intersection of 23rd Ave South and 42nd Street East. I consistently see cars and buses blazing through the intersection at speeds between 38 and 42 MPH. The posted speed limit is 30 MPH. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Neighborhood solar and insulation programs grow across the Twin Cities

A quiet revolution is taking place across the rooftops, attics and walls, and community meeting rooms of a number of Twin Cities neighborhoods. Groups of residents are coming together to make the transition to a clean, efficient, and community-based energy future, working together to tighten up their homes’ energy use and generate clean energy in the neighborhood. Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF), a co-op of community members, has emerged to help residents work together to cut costs and simplify the process of contracting home efficiency and clean energy improvements. As the first results of its projects emerge, several neighborhoods and nearby cities are adopting the model. In May 2013, Cooperative Energy Futures is launching four community energy programs across the Twin Cities.In early 2012, the CEF launched a neighborhood insulation group-contracting program, helping a group of South Minneapolis residents in the Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Corcoran, and Longfellow neighborhoods work with a qualified home efficiency contractor, SustainMax, to insulate and air seal their homes, cutting winter heating costs and summer cooling costs by up to 50% and creating a noticeable improvement in home comfort.“We already had an energy audit and knew we needed insulation, but we procrastinated: the CEF neighborhood insulation project helped us act. Continue Reading

South Minneapolis airplane noise update

Ahhhh…we are about to open our windows again, bringing in fresh breezes that make our curtains sway. Unfortunately, we will also bring in airplane noise and airplane-created exhaust fumes and pollution. If you think planes are too low and/or too loud and too frequent over your block, you need to call the Noise Hotline (612-726-9411) set up by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). Remind your neighbors, too. One person calling often is not as effective as many neighbors calling a few times.

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Morris Park Players threatened with eviction

Almost every week night in October, a number of Southside residents, including Kaj Johnson, Carolyn Strauss, and brothers Noah and Tyler Quam of Nokomis,  could be found singing and dancing with a dedicated group of over 40 performers while an elaborate theater set was being built all around them in preparation for the opening night of the beloved Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast” on Nov. 6. The group is the Morris Park Players Community Theater-a venerable institution founded 57 years ago in South Minneapolis. Since then, the Morris Park Players have presented over 100 musical productions to enthusiastic audiences who have followed them loyally from stage to stage: Nokomis Junior High, Roosevelt Senior High, and for the past 12 years, Folwell Middle School, at 3611 20th Ave. S. Unfortunately, last month the Minneapolis School Board voted to close down the school programs housed in Folwell. Continue Reading

Dave Bicking will be kicking …

Quick: What rhymes with Bicking? In South Minneapolis’ city council race, Ward Nine challenger Dave Bicking is rolling out an unconventional campaign tool: the Green Party–endorsed candidate now has a song written about him. And to answer that question, “kicking” is the rhyming word — and it’s followed immediately by the word “ass.”
While musically closer to Mark Russell’s piano-driven political satires, the tune has more of a folk-music plot line: a champion of the little guy goes head to head with corporate foes, in this case stadium-scamming developers. It was written and performed by Eskit, a local musician who does satirical political numbers, including a few in which Bicking has served as clarinetist and chorus member. There’s no official plan for the song, Bicking says, which was a volunteer effort by Eskit. Continue Reading