Get Out Guide.
Experiencing Mia’s Chinese art collection
Get a read on Book Club PAGE B3
February 22–March 7, 2018 Vol. 29, No. 4 southwestjournal.com
Sons of Norway project moves ahead A neighborhood organization’s appeal of the Uptown redevelopment was denied By Dylan Thomas / firstname.lastname@example.org
The redevelopment of a key Uptown site is moving ahead despite an attempt by the East Calhoun Community Organization to reduce the scale of the proposed mixed-use project. ECCO argued that the planned 7-story development on the Sons of Norway site at 1455 W. Lake St. was too tall and, with 319 proposed residential units and 23,000 square feet of commercial and office space, too dense for
the popular, bustling neighborhood near Bde Maka Ska. It appealed the Planning Commission’s decision in January to grant six land-use applications for the project, including one to rezone a portion of the site to high-density R6 from medium-density R4. The City Council Zoning and Planning Committee
Part of Riverside Park renamed for Annie Young Park Board will consider a full renaming to honor the late commissioner By Eric Best / email@example.com
A piece of the city’s riverfront now bears the name of one of its longstanding champions. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Feb. 7 to rename the lower portion of Riverside Park after Annie Young, who died in January after serving 28 years on the board. Commissioners are considering renaming the entire park after Young. The lower portion of the Riverside Park will be known as Annie Young Meadow. Becki Smith, Young’s campaign manager, told commissioners that the 28 acres of riverfront land, one of the city’s first parks, held a special place for the former citywide commissioner. “If anybody asked her which park she liked the most, she would actually say she liked them all because they were all different and
unique in their own ways,” she said, “but I will say if anybody asked which held her fondest memories, she would say Riverside Park was the place that held her fondest memories.” In 2005, former Commissioner John Erwin formally nominated that the lower portion of the park should be named for Young, who was an early adopter of the board’s push to reclaim and develop riverfront property. During her tenure as the board’s second longest-serving member, Young supported water quality, reducing pesticide use and RiverFirst, an initiative that is being realized with high-profile projects like Water Works. As the board’s acting president, Young signed the final paperwork in the acquisition of the SEE RIVERSIDE PARK / PAGE A15
Although the ECCO neighborhood organization appealed the Sons of Norway project, some neighborhood residents spoke up in support at a public hearing. Submitted image
SEE SONS OF NORWAY / PAGE A2
Top of the class Minneapolis Fire Dept hires from 1,000-plus applicant pool By Michelle Bruch / firstname.lastname@example.org
Nineteen Minneapolis Fire Department cadets are training in Northeast Minneapolis this week, representing the best from a field of more than 1,200 candidates. To get there, each completed a timed physical agility test that involved swinging a sledgehammer to simulate forced entry. They had to climb a stair-stepper while holding 75 pounds — without touching the railing for balance — and underwent department interviews, background checks and medical and psychological exams. For many, the cadet class is the culmination of years of work. Jared Moore, a Life Time Fitness manager, said he applied to become a firefighter several years ago and didn’t make it past the first round. This time, he’s one of the top 19 recruits.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Moore grew up near the station on Lowry Avenue North. “I’m looking forward to all of the training,” he said. Nearly 300 other finalists wait on a ranked list to enter cadet training. Fire Chief John Fruetel said the list will likely stand for the next two years, and chances are high that many of their names will be called. He expects significant attrition as firefighters retire over the next three to five years. A thousand-plus applicants is not an unusual number for the Minneapolis Fire Department, which currently holds 429 employees. The last time the department recruited, in 2013, nearly 5,000 people picked up applications and nearly SEE MPLS FIRE DEPT / PAGE A14
A2 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com FROM SONS OF NORWAY / PAGE A1
denied the appeal Feb. 15 on a 3–1 vote. Council Member Lisa Goodman was the lone dissenter. Voting to deny the appeal were council members Jeremy Schroeder and Kevin Reich and Council President Lisa Bender. A project of Weidner Apartment Homes with developer Ryan Companies, the development would replace the Sons of Norway’s three-story headquarters and a large surface parking lot near the heart of Uptown. The plan includes two structures connected via a fivestory glass walkway and a rounded tower at the corner of Lake & Humboldt. More than 20 people spoke during the public hearing, and roughly twice as many supported ECCO’s appeal as opposed it. Carol Dines, who lives several blocks from the proposed redevelopment, described the project as “really bad urban planning for our neighborhood.” “If the goal in the city is to build walk-able, bike-able spaces, the Sons of Norway density is not responsible planning in an area that is already highly congested five months of the year,” Dines said, adding that the project’s 323 proposed parking spaces were inadequate. “It’s particularly that rezoning that is troublesome to people in my community,” said ECCO resident Lara Norkus-Crampton, a former Planning Commission member. Norkus-Crampton said the number of land-use exceptions required by the project showed just how far the city was willing to stray from the Uptown Small Area Plan, a non-binding document that suggests guidelines for new development. Project supporters, including Nathan Campeau, who described himself as a former neighborhood resident and member of the ECCO board, said the proposed density was ideally suited to a walk-able neighborhood served by high-frequency transit. Campeau said the additional residents would boost neighbor-
REX 26 DEVELOPER’S APPEAL DENIED A developer’s bid to add more residential units to a development at the corner of 26th & Lyndale was denied by the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee. The committee’s unanimous vote at its Feb. 15 meeting upheld an earlier Planning Commission decision to reject a floor-area-ratio variance for the Rex 26 project. Developer Master Properties and the property owner, Mark Vannelli, were seeking to increase the number of residential units in the mixed-use project to 97 from 86. The four-story building, which is closer to five stories in actual height, includes an ALDI grocery store on the ground floor. The mixed-use development replacing the Sons of Norway building includes office space for the fraternal life insurance company founded in 1895. File photo
hood businesses, and described the redevelopment as “just one of many needed projects” to address the city’s housing shortage. Goodman, who said she otherwise supported the redevelopment, agreed with the project’s critics on one key point. She said the design failed to include a gradual “stepdown” to neighboring single-family homes and duplexes as is recommended in the Uptown Small Area Plan. “I don’t think it’s really open to interpretation that five stories stepping down to two is not the graceful stepping-down the small area plan suggested,” she said. Goodman described the city’s small area plans as “a contract, in a way” between the city and neighborhoods, one that creates an expec-
tation that elected officials would “work toward something that would be better and more consistent” with its recommendations. But Bender, whose Ward 10 includes the ECCO neighborhood, said the city didn’t ignore the small area plan’s recommendations. The building planned for the rezoned portion of the site is similar in scale to an R4 building, she said, but without the density allowed for in R6, the redevelopment would consist of fewer, larger and more expensive residential units. “I can’t in good conscience, as an elected official in the city of Minneapolis, force a developer to build multi-million dollar homes at this location,” Bender said. “It just isn’t consistent with any of our policies or the promises that I have made when I ran for office.”
Construction is already underway at the site. In their appeal, the property owner and developer noted “the grocery tenant has required major design modifications” that have added to the project’s costs. Committee member and Council President Lisa Bender said the economic pressures on the developer and property owner were not the city’s concern. Council Member Lisa Goodman agreed, adding that the arguments presented in the appeal “do not remotely meet” the legal requirements for an additional variance. Goodman said she hoped the committee vote “sends a message” to other developers.
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A3
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Andrea Flores works behind the bar at El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul, which is taking over the Pepitos restaurant space. (She recommends the mole poblano, an original recipe made with more than 32 spices.) Photo by Michelle Bruch
48TH & CHICAGO
El Burrito to take over Pepitos space Pepitos owner Joe Minjares feels okay about turning over the keys to St. Paul’s El Burrito. El Burrito is also a family-run restaurant, and it has a history nearly as long as Pepitos. Minjares met the family years ago and sold them a tortilla maker around 1980. And oddly enough, both of their families have roots in the same Mexican town, Aguascalientes. “They’re going to do a great job,” he said. Minjares said he fielded several offers for the property at 4820 Chicago Ave., but the El Burrito proposal was the best. Investor Ward Johnson lives a few blocks from the restaurant, and business partner Eddie Landenberger lives in Kingfield. They want to renovate the neighboring Parkway Theater and present indie films, live performances and even chamber musicians. “We’re just two local guys that really want to continue investing in the neighborhood,” Landenberger said. El Burrito may add a grab-and-go deli, and the space would continue operating as a bar and restaurant. “We will keep that family feel and make it family-friendly,” said Analita Silva, who co-owns the business with her mother Suzanne and aunt Milissa Silva-Diaz. She said El Burrito is famous for its tamales and guisado taco fillings, stewed meats that range from spicy shredded chicken to pork in salsa verde. Her grandparents Tomas and Maria Silva opened El Burrito Mercado in 1979 in St. Paul’s West Side neighborhood. The grocery store offered spices and chili peppers not sold in traditional grocery stores, requiring her grandfather to drive to Chicago weekly to buy the ingredients wholesale. “We’ve heard people come in and say it’s ‘Little Mexico,’” Analita said. El Burrito has continually expanded,
taking over neighboring storefronts to add space for the bakery and hot deli. The business employs more than 80 people, and in 2017 the restaurant opened a patio and launched a food truck. El Burrito was named Minnesota’s Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year in 2017 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They’re aiming to open the Minneapolis restaurant in mid-May or early June, envisioning a bar design with a focus on influential Latina women. Minjares said it’s hard to let the restaurant go, but he’s glad the stress is over. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and recently underwent a successful lung transplant, and he said he’s feeling better every day. He said he may return to stage acting, and he’s writing a new screenplay. Most restaurants come and go within a few years, he said, and Pepitos hung on for 46 years. “I can look back with pride,” he said. The Parkway Theater renovation will begin shortly after the March 3 Bow Wow Film Festival. If feasible, Johnson hopes to refurbish the seats while preserving the art deco details along the aisles. While they will upgrade digital projection equipment, they will also keep the 35mm projector to show classic movies on film attached to their original trailers. They plan to upgrade the sound system to improve the experience for both performers and patrons. Alongside movie popcorn and concessions, a mixologist will develop a bar program. “I’ve always been drawn to the idea of owning a movie theater,” said Johnson, who said he’s excited to take on a passion project in his own neighborhood. “… Selfishly, I want to see both businesses restored to their glory days.”
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A4 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
Co-owners of The Sole Room (l to r) are Tou Chue Moua, Anthony Oyewo and Rashawn “Reezy” Shaver. Photo by Michelle Bruch
Sneaker Clinic and The Sole Room Some of the sneakers at The Sole Room are under glass for good reason. To obtain limited-edition shoes, the owners have camped overnight in 16-degree weather, driven as far as New York and entered raﬄes to have the chance at a purchase. “A lot of people don’t like that frustration, and that’s where we come in,” said Anthony Oyewo, a co-owner of The Sole Room. “We compare it a lot to the stock market,” said co-owner Rashawn “Reezy” Shaver. “A hot shoe, the longer you keep it, the more it’s going up.” The Sole Room is a two-year-old business that previously operated online and at sneaker conventions across the country. They buy and sell shoes, take requests for hard-to-find sneakers and sell shoes on consignment. The owners are teaming up with a new business called Sneaker Clinic. “It’s like a dry cleaners for shoes,” Oyewo said. “Lots of people collect shoes. … You’ve got to keep the shoes perfect and in good shape.”
Services range from $11 for a basic cleaning to $45 for a premium package, which includes deodorizing; lace, insole and lining cleaning; and deep undersole cleaning to remove gum, mud and salt from every indentation. “It’s all about bringing the movement of sneaker culture to Minneapolis,” said Wintana Melekin, the general manager of Sneaker Clinic. “You can participate in sneaker culture and not lose a pair of shoes to Minnesota weather.” The shop carries shoes like Yeezy, which is a collaboration between Adidas and Kanye West; the Nike Air Max 97, part of the “Off White” 10-shoe collaboration with designer Virgil Abloh; and Air Jordans that pay homage to the 1991 “Like Mike” Gatorade ads. The Sole Room is pursuing a philanthropic project that would use 3D printers to create shoes for distribution in poverty-stricken areas. Shaver said a percentage of each sale goes toward the project.
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Blue Door Pub It turns out the 2008 recession was the perfect time to launch Blue Door Pub, which just opened its fourth location in the former Country Bar space. Co-owners Pat McDonough and Jeremy Woerner were “crazy naive,” veterans of the Groveland Tap and not interested in any other career. They signed a purchase agreement without a formal business plan and without a secured loan, Woerner said. “This is what we knew how to do really well,” he said. There weren’t many other restaurants opening at the time, so Blue Door took the
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Pat McDonough (l) and Jeremy Woerner at Blue Door Pub, now open in the former Country Bar space. Photo by Michelle Bruch 2/20/18 10:33 AM
spotlight in the press and easily filled the small St. Paul venue. The second Blue Door Pub came five years later, and in 2015 they relocated an original 1957 Fodero Diner from Pennsylvania to East Lake Street to create the Hi-Lo Diner. Blue Door Pub’s first location was slightly bigger than the new LynLake spot at 3006 Lyndale Ave. S., which holds a new prep kitchen in the basement. Country Bar’s taxidermy is gone, and so is the animated sign. Much remains, however, including the tile floor, the copper bar, and the Airbnb room upstairs, which Woerner’s eight-year-old has claimed as his future residence. The menu features a Carolina-style barbecue pulled pork sandwich with marinated cucumber and a list of burgers like the “Mount Blucuvious” — taking the spotlight in a yet-tobe-announced television episode — with ghost pepper cheese, fried avocado, spicy bacon and cilantro-lime sauce. This is the first Blue Door Pub to serve liquor, offering a Sunday morning bloody and cocktails like the Fashionably Crazy, made with Indeed Stir Crazy, Redemption Rye and coffee angostura. Dani De Tuncq returns every Thursday to host karaoke.
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A5
Sarah Burrington gives the dog Luna a bath at Bubbly Paws. Photos by Michelle Bruch
48TH & CHICAGO
Bubbly Paws A muddy Bernese mountain dog generated the idea for Bubbly Paws. “She would get messy and we had no place to bathe her,” said co-owner Keith Miller. Armatage residents Keith and Patrycia Miller opened a self-serve dog wash in 2011 and have since grown to open a fourth location at 4737 Chicago Ave. They also own the Pampered Pooch Playground in St. Louis Park. The dog wash comes complete with towels, toothbrushes and shampoo, with a separate room available to blow dry dogs. “If there is a wait, most of the stores around here are dog-friendly,” Miller said. (A co-owner of Primp Boutique, a friend of the Millers, is partly to thank for the new dog wash — she said their 48th & Chicago store sees the most dogs of all their stores.) Groomers are available for appointments as well, and they take in a limited number of dogs each day to keep the atmosphere calm.
“We try to be a lower-stress grooming salon,” Keith said. He and Patrycia visited dog washes across the country and brainstormed how to make a better one. “They were missing the whole cute, salon atmosphere,” Miller said. They also worked with a North Dakota vendor to develop their own shampoo scent. “We know that dog wasn’t bathed in flowers,” Miller said. “This is more like a natural, woodsy scent.” The business donates to local pet rescues and foundations including Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN, Secondhand Hounds and the Animal Humane Society. Last fall, Bubbly Paws staff met about 20 dogs from Texas that had been awaiting rescue prior to Hurricane Harvey, giving them baths before they headed to local foster homes. “We want to be more than just a business,” Keith said.
The Café Meow Ten dollars buys one hour with a roomful of about 15 cats at The Café Meow, now open at 2323 Hennepin Ave. There is Frankie, a “talker” who watches people out the window. There is Sylvester, a “ladies’ man” wearing a tie. And there is Annabelle, who kept warm inside the undercarriage of a car until the driver entered a car wash. “She’s a little bit of a character, probably because of that,” said co-founder Jessica Burge. “She loves being up high and loves being held.” The cats sleep on perches that stretch to the ceiling, run inside an exercise wheel or curl up on visitors’ laps. “This way they really get to shine in their personalities and you get to meet them,” said Burge. “… Definitely choose a cat for their personality, not their looks.” Staff members hope each cat is adopted quickly — a cat café in Vancouver actually ran out of adoptable cats shortly after opening — but cats could stay for several months as they acclimate to the shop and find new owners. Adoptions are handled through No Kitten Left Behind, Minnesota Animal Rescue and Ruff Start Rescue. Customers can sit at tables outside the cat room or bring treats inside. “Cupcakes from FoxCakes are going like crazy,” said Burge, highlighting the Northeast Minneapolis baker’s vegan cupcakes. Blueberry scones by My Sister’s Sweets are another hit, and the shop offers T-Rex Cookies,
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The Café Meow co-founder Jessica Burge relaxes with Nani, a four-year-old cat who was pregnant with six kittens when she came to Minnesota Animal Rescue. Photo by Michelle Bruch
Bootstrap Coffee and teas from Northern Lights Tea Co. The cat room is limited to 10 visitor reservations per hour, with space for a couple of walk-ins. The first two weekends were nearly booked solid. Only friendly cats are admitted to the café, but the owners can keep an eye on them overnight through a surveillance camera and even talk to the cats through a speaker. Within a few months, the owners expect to start cat yoga, painting events and kid-specific classes. “We’re making a little bit of joy and happiness in the world,” Burge said. “Seeing that dream come to reality is heartwarming and wonderful.”
2/21/18 8:46 AM
A6 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Dylan Thomas / email@example.com
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The Minneapolis Police Department’s plan to issue quarterly reports on its body-worn camera program won the approval of the City Council’s Public Safety and Emergency Management Committee. The council last year directed the department to submit the reports in response to an audit of the body-worn camera program. Among other issues, the audit showed officers often were failing to turn on their cameras after being dispatched to a call and that the recordings were sometimes ended early without explanation. The city audit was released two months after Fulton neighborhood resident Justine Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, was shot by a Minneapolis police officer who responded to her 911 call. The body cameras worn by both that officer, Mohamed Noor, and his partner were turned off at the time. Two weeks later, then-interim Police Chief Medaria Arradondo ordered a change to the department’s body camera policy that required officers to activate their cameras after being dispatched on any call or in response to selfinitiated activity by the officers. The first quarterly report on the program, expected in the next few months, will track the number of videos produced by the body worn cameras, the total hours of footage and the precincts where the videos are recorded. Deputy Chief of Professional Standards Henry Halvorson told the committee at its Feb. 15 meeting that future reports will also include checks on when officers start, activate, use and deactivate their cameras, as well as how they categorize and attach case numbers to the video when filing the data. Those audits will cover about 2 percent of officers. City Council Member Linea Palmisano said that audit data would be essential to building public trust in the program. “I think the thing most important to the
public here is: How often are body cameras not being turned on when dispatch data indicates that they should? I don’t know that the public cares as much about start-up checks and the activation checks,” Palmisano said. The department is also rewriting its bodyworn camera policy to respond to the shortcomings highlighted in the city’s September audit of the program. Halvorson said the new policy would address specific issues raised in that report, including the inconsistent categorizing of body camera videos. Misclassification of the recordings could mean some video evidence was not retained as long as was called for in policy. Halvorson said a draft of the updated policy was complete and under review by city and police department staff. The department aims to complete that review by March, he said. Once adopted, the department plans to update its body-worn camera training and training materials. It’s also in the process of hiring civilian staff to review compliance with the new body worn camera policy. Those civilians will be assigned to the department’s quality assurance unit, Halvorson said. City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison asked Halvorson how the department’s body camera usage was affected by officers who “simply don’t like this tool and don’t want to use this tool because they haven’t had to use it in the past.” Halvorson said officers had struggled to adapt to other new technologies, including the mobile video cameras installed in squad cars and GPS, but eventually learned to embrace both. “So, there might have been an initial pushback on (body-worn cameras), but when officers see the importance of it, what it captures and what it shows from their perspective, there’s definitely more positive responses then we have had negative responses,” he said.
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A7
Joining other mayors, Frey opposes Census citizenship question Mayor Jacob Frey joined more than 160 U.S. mayors who are in opposition to including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. “Mayors across the country are a united front for a fair census that accurately represents our country,” Frey said in a statement released by his office. “Ensuring that our immigrant and New American communities can participate in the census without intimidation is the right thing to do and crucial for the fair representation of diverse cities like Minneapolis.” Frey added his name to a Feb. 8 letter from the United State Conference of Mayors to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The letter urges Ross to reject a bid by the U.S. Department of Justice to add the question about the citizenship status of Census participants, warning it could “compromise” the once-a-decade count. In the letter, the mayors write that such a
question would raise privacy concerns and likely lower Census participation by immigrants “who fear the government will use this information to harm them and their families.” That could contribute to an undercount in areas with large immigrant populations. The Census count is used to draw congressional district boundaries and apportion federal dollars, putting undercounted communities at risk. The letter from the mayors expresses concern about a lack of resources for the upcoming count, and urges Ross to add more local partnership specialists to build relationships with hard-to-reach communities. The letter also calls on President Trump to nominate “nonpartisan, experienced, and strong” candidates to lead the Census Bureau as director and deputy director.
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Frey hires new chief of staff Mayor Jacob Frey hired Gia Vitali, a deputy assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, to serve as his new chief of staff. Vitali replaces Joe Radinovich, who announced Feb. 15 he would leave his post to run for Congress. Her start date is March 5, according to the mayor’s office. Frey and Vitali both played a role in the successful 2012 effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Vitali served as deputy campaign manager for Minnesota United for All Families and Frey organized the Big Gay Race, raising more than $250,000 for the cause. “I am thrilled that Gia Vitali and I will once again be working together to help improve people’s lives,” Frey said in a statement released
by his office. He praised Vitali for her experience, ability to build coalitions and “her fierce commitment to justice and equality.” “Mayor Frey and I share that vision and we are both committed to making sure that every bit of potential in our city is realized,” Vitali said. “I am proud to call Minneapolis my home, and I can’t wait to get to work with this excellent team to advance Mayor Frey’s agenda for the city.” Vitali previously served on the staff of Congresswoman Betty McCollum and was state policy director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She later worked in communications for Medica Health Plans. Frey’s former chief of staff, Radinovich, is among the DFLers seeking to replace retiring 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan. A Crosby native, Radinovich served one term in the state House representing north-central Minnesota’s District 10B.
Thissen out of governor’s race Rep. Paul Thissen of Southwest Minneapolis’ District 61B ended his campaign for governor in early February. Thissen made the announcement Feb. 7, the morning after DFL precinct caucuses were held across the state. In a straw poll to determine caucus participants’ preferences in the governor’s race, the eight-term state representative finished behind five other DFL candidates with less than 5 percent of the vote. Congressman Tim Walz won the straw poll with just over 30 percent of the vote. His running mate is Rep. Peggy Flanagan of St. Louis Park, a former Minneapolis School Board member. Thissen announced in January he would not seek another term representing District 61B, which extends from Uptown south to the Richfield border. There are currently four DFL candidates vying for his seat: Sara Freeman,
Tim Laughinghouse, Jamie Long and Meggie Wittorf. The endorsing convention for the district is March 24. In a statement released by his campaign, Thissen said he was “incredibly blessed and honored” to have represented his district in the Legislature since 2002. “Not many people get such a chance,” he said in the statement. “I’ve done my best to do all I could with that opportunity. But I know from experience that so much of life is not just working hard, but being in the right place at the right time. Now is not the right time for my campaign for Governor.” Thissen was elected leader of the DFL House members in 2012 and served as Speaker of the House for the 2013–2014 biennium. In his statement, Thissen said a discussion on racial equality and the state’s wide disparities should be “the heart of the 2018 campaign.”
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A8 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
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By Jim Walsh
A lesson before dying
he Sunday after the Minneapolis Miracle, my brother Jay and I drove down to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to say goodbye to our old friend, Norm Rogers, a true rock ’n’ roll believer-warrior-soldier and drummer for Minneapolis music legends the Neglecters, Jayhawks and Cows. Norm passed away last night after fighting cancer for much of last year, and so through real tears I need to tell you what I learned from him during our visit last month. “I have the wisdom of a dying man,” he said, sucking on a cigarette and fondling a crisp red apple. He’d lusted after that apple so much that we’d gone on a mission to the grocery store for it exclusively, now here he was about to bite into it for the first time. “I find pleasure in everything,” he said. “I cherish every moment.” And how: I can still see him looking at the red skin of that apple, like it was everything, and he bit into it like it was, because as he reminded us with every word, every shake of the head and every laugh, being grateful and present is just that — everything. Norm doled out his wisdom matter-of-factly but seriously. Everything he said, everything we talked about, between the lines he was telling us, Let me be a lesson to you, and for God’s sake be grateful for this gift of life. “Enjoy every sandwich,” is how Warren Zevon put it, and so we did, Norm chomping on a late lunch, and my brother and I raising our glasses of Guinness in a toast. Later we retired to Norm’s assisted-living home, which was festooned with pictures of family and posters of his old bands, where he told us of his love for the Foo Fighters, who he was thrilled to have caught in Sioux Falls last year. After four decades spent rocking hard in the bands and bars of Minneapolis, the last part of Norm’s story is one of redemption. Two years ago after he got fired from his job at Brit’s in downtown Minneapolis, he hit the bottle hard. His family scooped him up, moved him to Sioux Falls, and got him into treatment, where he got sober.
‘I have the wisdom of a dying man,’ he said, sucking on a cigarette and fondling a crisp red apple. He’d lusted after that apple so much that we’d gone on a mission to the grocery store for it exclusively, now here he was about to bite into it for the ﬁrst time. ‘I ﬁnd pleasure in everything,’ he said. ‘I cherish every moment.’
Jay Walsh and Norm Rogers in Sioux Falls last month. “I have the wisdom of a dying man,” Norm told us. “I find pleasure in everything. I cherish every moment.” Photo by Jim Walsh
Soon after he suffered a stroke, but as the haze of alcohol wore off, his memory returned and in short order he forged new bonds and deeper connections with many of his newfound family members. During our five-hour hang he was sharp as a tack and clear-eyed with memories of our times meeting at the University of Minnesota and forming bands in the late ’70s at the dawn of punk rock. A former sailor (or “the worst excuse for a sailor the Navy has ever seen,” as he put it), Norm’s lilting cackle was a song unto itself, and his drumming was bat-out-of-hell furious and as relentless, powerful and urgent as the punk rock that inspired it. “We were part of something,” he said, with the perspective and certitude of a man whose life was flashing before his eyes. “We were part of a movement.” One life can give so many gifts, a sad fact that we realize profoundly when death comes calling. For one example, Norm’s terminal illness gave us the chance to tell him what he meant to us, to hug him and say our long goodbyes, and it gave me and my big brother a chance to go on a road trip and talk about Norm, family, friends and everything under the sun. I’ll always cherish that trip, thanks to Norm. He and Jay were band mates and fellow philosophy majors at the University of Minnesota, and the hours flew by. We met his niece and visited her home, and a few weeks later Norm’s Sioux Falls and Minneapolis families gathered at Brit’s. The Irish wake humor was in full effect throughout the night, with many old punks making the joke that we’re seeing more friends at funerals than rock shows these days, and the truth is that there is a similar carpe noctem to both. Tears. So much of our time is spent these chaotic days with our armor up, thick skins getting thicker, numbed by the news of the day,
suspicious of humanity itself, wary of love and human connection, all of us all the while trying fruitlessly to come to grips with getting older and pain and loss, and then the news of an old buddy dying pricks your skin and penetrates your heart and leaves you blubbering and opens you up to let life back in, just like Norm said we should. Last night, my answer to the What Would Norm Do? was to go see Run Westy Run at Mortimer’s. As I headed out from my own funk and hibernation, I was reminded of a tweet my friend Ellen Stanley put out from the Folk Alliance music conference in Kansas City a few days ago: “Mary Chapin-Carpenter on the value of live performance: ‘There is no substitute for being together… I couldn’t live without it.’” So true. Turns out Monday was the birthday of First Avenue’s MVP stage manager Conrad Sverkerson, who attended the festivities in a suit and even took to the stage with his brothers and sisters for a joyous Swedish birthday song sing-a-long. Crammed into the club were many of the Minneapolis rock scene’s brightest lights and many of Norm’s friends, a group that has been through its share of collective loss — friends, family, innocence — and, as Run Westy Run lit up the night with their swampy-Stonesy-sexy-punk-blues, Norm passed away. I got the news when I got back from the club, but in honor of Norm, for much of the set I fixed on drummer Peter Anderson and that relentless Westies beat. I made my way up close to the stage, where I let Peter’s kick drum hit me hard in the chest, feeling Norm’s spirit all the while, and hell if it didn’t sound like a heartbeat, the one we’re all attached to, the one that never stops. Jim Walsh lives and grew up in South Minneapolis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A9
Giving dog owners a bad name My bearded collie, Josie, and I frequently walk by the Dupont Avenue dog park in East Harriet. With the snow melting, a disgusting trail of dog poop appears every few feet from the park entrance to the nearby streets where the humans park. How can someone be responsible enough to take your dog to a fun place and yet so irresponsible as to allow your pet to poop without cleaning it up? I have never seen any evidence that a check is done in the dog park for dog licenses and park permits. I suggest a few such visits from the authorities, asking each person for evidence of
cleanup bags. And maybe a closure of the dog park occasionally if conditions don’t improve. I remember years ago, when the topic of dog parks was broached at a public meeting, many residents were concerned about the ill effects of the park. And maybe they were correct to be concerned. Some irresponsible dog people are giving the rest of us a bad name. Susan Kennedy East Harriet
On constituent service in Ward 13 I have been trying to contact City Council Member Linea Palmisano for at least a couple of years regarding a couple of issues of importance in our neighborhood. Leaving voice messages
and emails specifically for Linea, I only received one call back from Kendal Killian, an aide in Linea’s office. The concern was regarding icy conditions in front of my house on fairly steep hill leading onto busy 39th Street, which gets one city bus at least every 15 minutes and other fast moving traffic. I mentioned to Kendall that, because of unusually icy conditions, cars were braking and sliding uncontrollably down the hill directly onto oncoming traffic at 39th Street. Cars with adults and children in the back seat were being put in danger. Normally the city will take care of this and other potentially dangerous icy intersections first thing with a sanding truck, but for some reason this hill was being missed. The answer I received was quite disturbing. Kendall said, first off, Linea’s Ward 13 office was taking care of other issues and they “do not micromanage” the city departments. He also said that, on that day, Linea was driving with
her child or children and was able to get around because she was exercising proper caution. I mentioned that it was not an issue of exercising proper caution but rather a dangerous intersection that should be getting the city’s immediate attention. And in my 30-plus years as a Linden Hills resident, I never had such an unprofessional and condescending conversation with any member of City Hall. Today, I contacted the mayor’s office regarding another concern and told them of the difficulty in getting in contact with my council member. I received an email back within hours saying they were sorry to heat of my prior experiences with calling into City Hall, they welcome conversation any time in the mayor’s office and they would bring the current concern to public works. John Delkoski Linden Hills
CORRECTION A story on a proposed West Calhoun development on page A15 of the Feb. 8–21 issue mischaracterized the neighborhood organization’s position on parking. The West Calhoun Neighborhood Council requested one parking stall per bedroom in the first phase of construction at the proposed Calhoun Towers development, with the ratio decreasing in subsequent phases if light rail and changing auto trends make additional parking unnecessary. BY
A10 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Nate Gotlieb / email@example.com
Teachers union rallies amid contract negotiations The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers rallied outside Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters Feb. 13, as contract negotiations continued in private between union and district leaders. Hundreds of union members picketed, many holding signs describing the changes they’d like to see in their schools, such as
smaller class sizes and school psychologists and nurses. Speakers at the rally said the union plans to wait for as long as necessary to get the services that students deserve. “Tonight we stand up for our students,” MFT president Michelle Wiese said. “Tonight we stand up and say, ‘We are here to fight for the schools our students deserve.’”
Hundreds attended a rally organized by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers before the School Board meeting on Feb. 13. Photos by Nate Gotlieb
The rally came just days before the union and district were scheduled to hold a mediation session. The union and the district did not come to a contract agreement during public talks this fall, leading Superintendent Ed Graff to request mediation. The union has asked for limits on class sizes, 5 percent salary increases, more paid holidays and full-time nurses, social workers, psychologists and teaching specialists as part of negotiations. The district rejected the union’s class-size proposal and says cost of 10 of the union’s proposals alone would be more than $126 million. That would further exacerbate a projected $33 million deficit for 2018–2019, it says. South High School teacher Mary Manor, a member of the union’s negotiating team, countered that the union’s proposals are necessary for the success of students. They asked when would be the right time to fully fund schools if not now and said the district needs to find better ways to use its money. “Students can’t wait for fully funded schools,” they said. They characterized the rally as positive and a chance for the community to show solidarity. Manor also said they think there’s “doubledigit millions” to be saved when it comes to student testing and teacher evaluation. At the School Board meeting following the rally, Graff expressed a desire to reduce the number of evaluations and said that the district
and the union have many points of agreement. “For the record, I think we both want schools that serve all of our students very well,” he said, adding that he appreciates the teachers and other staff who showed up at the Davis Center. As part of negotiations, the district has proposed changing how MPS pays for teachers’ health and dental insurance and reducing the number of teacher-prep days before the school year. It’s also proposed allowing the district flexibility in the length of the school year and the number of teacher-duty days. The proposal would allow the district to reduce the number of duty days by up to 11 and reduce teachers’ pay by 0.5 percent for each day cut. The union has rejected the proposal. The teachers union’s previous contract expired June 30, but Minnesota has a statute that requires contracts to remain in place even if they’ve expired.
Board support for referendums At the Feb. 13 meeting, the School Board approved a resolution supporting a pair of funding questions to be placed on the ballot in November. One referendum would ask voters to increase the district’s operating levy by roughly $18 million annually. The other would SEE SCHOOLS NOTEBOOK / PAGE A11
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A11 FROM SCHOOLS NOTEBOOK / PAGE A10
ask voters to establish a capital projects levy, also known as a technology levy, that would generally an estimated $12 million annually. The referendums are part of Graff ’s strategy to restructure the district’s revenue and expenses amid chronic budget shortfalls. The strategy also calls for minimizing the use of reserve funds this school year; creating a balanced budget for 2018–2019 through “targeted” budget reductions; creating a structurally balanced budget for 2019–2020 based on a comprehensive district-wide assessment; and working at the Legislature to increase funding for special education and English-learner services. Graff has said that more than 20 other metro districts utilize capital-projects levies to address technology costs, which the district largely covers through its general fund. He said the district would begin seeing revenue from the referendums during the 2019–2020 school year if approved. In a document from January, the district projected that the referendums would increase annual taxes by $83 for a residential property valued at $150,000; $175 for a residential property valued at $300,000; and $491 for a residential property valued at $800,000. The School Board will need to approve a tax-impact table and a resolution containing the exact ballot language, among other statements, before the referendums can be placed on the ballot. State law requires the board to approve that resolution by Aug. 24, according Ryan Strack, manager of homeless and highly mobile student services at MPS.
Achievement and integration budget changes Also on Feb. 13, the board heard about proposed changes to how the district plans to fund programs that are part of its achievement and integration plan.
Rally attendees walk through the School Board meeting room.
The district plans on funding several achievement and integration programs, such as Urban Debate League and Project Success, with other funding sources next year. That will allow more funding to go to other achievement and integration programs and initiatives, such as support for family engagement and magnet school transportation. MPS is required by state law to have an achievement and integration plan, which the state approved last year. The district is slated to receive about $15.6 million annually during the 2017–2018, 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 school years for the plan, which funds over 20 programs and initiatives. The district in the past has used the
program to fund its participation in the West Metro Education Program, an inter-district collaborative that provides professional development and training. But the district will instead use that money for its own professional development and for a partnership with the St. Louis Park district, after the School Board voted to withdraw from WMEP. The School Board is scheduled to vote on the amended achievement and integration budget next month.
Washburn debaters, Lake Harriet principal honored The School Board also honored several
MPS students and staff before the Feb. 13 meeting, including the state champion debate team from Washburn High School. Washburn’s Grace Klage and Alex Dresdner and their teammates Lily Endo and Luke Peichel were honored, along with other MPS debate participants. The four made state history last month when they became the first teams from the same school to make the finals of the state tournament. The board also honored Lake Harriet Community School lower campus principal Merry Tilleson, who received a leadership award from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association earlier in February.
A12 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Nate Gotlieb / firstname.lastname@example.org
County to test driverless technology on greenway Hennepin County is planning a demonstration of an all-electric shuttle that’s capable of operating without a human operator. The county is planning to test the EZ10 shuttle April 20–22 on the Midtown Greenway. The shuttle can go up to 25 miles per hour, can accommodate up to 12 passengers and meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards. John Doan of the county’s Community Works initiative said the shuttles have logged over 75,000 operating miles worldwide without any major safety incidents. The test will come as the county continues to invest in mass transit systems, such as the planned Orange Line bus-rapid transit and Southwest Light Rail Transit lines. It also comes as the county works toward its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the number of vehicle miles traveled. Driverless shuttles could connect more people to mass transit by picking them up and dropping them off closer to their homes, Doan said. That, in turn, could help reduce car trips and greenhouse gas emissions. Doan said people are generally willing to walk a quarter of a mile or bike half a mile to access transit. But that “walkshed” or “bikeshed” can shrink quite a bit when it’s
raining or cold outside, he said. The driverless shuttles could give riders a closer access point to transit, Doan said. “It creates all of a sudden the opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access transit and the transit stations to be able to access it,” he said. The east-west Midtown Greenway could be a candidate for such a shuttle system. Doan noted its connection to the future Southwest light rail and Orange Line as well as the existing the Blue Line light rail to the east. Having a shuttle along the greenway could allow riders to go east and west without going through downtown Minneapolis, Doan said. In the suburbs, SouthWest Transit offers a first- and last-mile connection service called Southwest Prime. For $4 per person, riders can receive curb-to-curb service within Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen and Carver. SouthWest Transit CEO Len Simich said the goal is to get to riders within 20 minutes. Over 300 people a day use Prime, he said, adding that SouthWest Transit has been able to reduce labor costs compared to the dial-aride service it used to run. Prime runs Monday through Friday and provides a connection on Saturday to
A passenger departs after a ride on the EZ10 shuttle in January on Nicollet Mall. Hennepin County plans on testing the driverless, electric vehicles this spring. Photo courtesy Hennepin County
Southdale Center. SouthWest is looking at electric vehicles for the year-and-a-halfold service, Simich said, adding that Prime provides the flexibility that’s required for workers in the area’s industrial parks. He said SouthWest is also looking at doing a demonstration of the driverless shuttle technology.
Hennepin County will use human operators for its demonstration. The county will lease the shuttle from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which has been testing it over the past few months. The demonstration is projected to cost around $25,000, Doan told the County Board.
Dave McNary, assistant director of Hennepin County’s Department of Environmental Services, said organics requirements could extend to restaurants, grocery stores and stadiums. “Our thought is, if you have one ton of trash per week and if you fit into one of those categories, then you probably have large quantities of organics,” he said. Organics makes up about 25 percent of the waste stream, McNary noted, adding that he considers Minneapolis and St. Louis Park success stories when it comes to organics
recycling. Both cities have voluntary curbsidecollection programs, and Minneapolis’ has a participation rate of nearly 44 percent. McNary said the county is meeting with businesses associations and businesses about the planned ordinance revisions. Andre Xiong, business recycling program coordinator for Minneapolis, stressed that the county plans on assisting businesses in meeting any new requirements. County staff plan to present the recommended revised ordinance to the County Board this summer.
County to revise recycling ordinance Hennepin County is planning on revising its recycling ordinance this year. The county is considering provisions that would update multifamily recycling requirements and incorporate state recycling requirements for businesses. It’s also considering provisions that would require cities to offer curbside organics recycling by 2022 and require businesses that generate large quantities of food waste to implement food recycling. The process of revising the ordinance comes several months after the County Board
adopted the Solid Waste Management Master Plan for 2018–2023. The plan identifies strategies the county will pursue to reach goals of recycling 75 percent of waste and sending zero waste to landfills by 2030. The plan says the county should focus on organics recycling, which it says presents the greatest opportunity for the county to reduce trash. It calls on the county to produce requirements for cities and certain businesses when it comes to organics, to increase local capacity to manage organics and to work to prevent food waste.
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A13
By Eric Best / email@example.com
New Park Board is still ﬁnding its bearings After a divisive election year and unprecedented turnover, six new members and three returning commissioners are settling in as a different Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board emerges. It’s been a year of new beginnings at the Park Board, which lost its superintendent to another city in February. Commissioners, many of them first-time elected officials who are still learning the ropes, will spend the year looking for a new top executive. District 5 Commissioner Steffanie Musich says there’s a learning curve for every commissioner, from newly elected officials to returning commissioners who find themselves in leadership roles. The first few meetings have been “awkward,” she added. “At the moment, this organization sort of feels rudderless. We’re just drifting along. I hope that changes as folks gain more experience,” said Musich, who is serving her second term representing the Lake Nokomis area. “It’s a big jump to go from the campaign trail to being on the dais and doing the work of a commissioner.” Former Superintendent Jayne Miller announced her resignation late last year before the latest generation of commissioners took office. In an interview before she left, Miller said she had concerns with the number of new commissioners and several of their campaigns that opposed her and her work. Jono Cowgill, a newly elected commissioner whose District 4 stretches between Bde Maka Ska and the downtown riverfront, said he doesn’t think anyone should be concerned. “I got involved not to take anybody down but to be talking aspirationally about what could be better about how the Park Board includes everybody in the community, (shapes) our community spaces and (makes) safe, engaging places to live. I think everyone on the board shares that,” he said. With only a few meetings under its belt so far, the character of the new Park Board has yet to materialize in votes or policy. Musich, however, said she’s already experienced a lack of communication between board members. Little things, such as directing speakers during the board’s regular open time
Members of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board pose with Mayor Jacob Frey (center) at a swearing-in ceremony in January. Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
to staff, have fallen by the wayside. “There’s definitely a clique, and I’m not part of it,” she said. “I just don’t know how much we’re listening to each other yet.” Meg Forney, a returning at-large commissioner, said while she doesn’t feel a separation from her fellow commissioners, it does feel different from the previous board. The body then felt “matured,” Forney said, because she was coming as a freshman commissioner among several seasoned park officials. “We’re definitely a board who hasn’t coalesced and figured out what is it that we can agree on,” she said. Many commissioners may simply be navigating politics for the first time. Cowgill said he joined the board not as a politician, but as a neighborhood organizer who didn’t have relationships with many Park Board members. The Lowry Hill East resident said he doesn’t see a divide between new and returning commissioners. As the vice chair of the board’s Planning Committee and a professional planner outside politics, he said Forney has been a mentor to him as chair. The two don’t live far from each other, either. “The schism that was really marketable
during the campaign … I don’t think exists in the reality of a workaday environment,” he said. “I think it’s critical to the intellectual independence of our different Park Board members to stay away from (the) sort of narrative that we’re voting as a bloc.” Forney, who said the election is “water over the dam” now, said she’s hopeful the nine commissioners can learn from each other. So far, they’ve received more training than they have in years past, she added. “I’m trying my best to see the real, genuine people,” she said. District 1 Commissioner Chris Meyer is chair of the board’s Legislative & Intergovernmental Committee. He said he’s spent the first couple months working long hours preparing for the next legislative session. “We have a lot to learn,” he said. “There’s been lots of reading [and] a lot of staff meetings.” Cowgill, 29, said there is an advantage to the new group of commissioners, who represent a shift toward a younger, more racially diverse Park Board. Their experiences are just as necessary as the experiences and longevity of seasoned commissioners, he added. “Diversity and energy around that is hugely
needed at a time when our city is growing (and) when we have so many more young people moving into the city,” he said. President Brad Bourn (District 6), the ranking commissioner on the board, said the key difference with the current board is its energy. There’s a “spark of curiosity” among commissioners that has them open to new ideas, he added. “(Before), the first answer was ‘we can’t do this,’ ‘we’ve tried this’ or ‘no, because,’” he said. “All the commissioners are really starting from ‘why can’t we do this?’ or ‘why can’t we work this way?’” Commissioners will need to come together in a search for a new superintendent. Superintendent Emeritus Mary Merrill is serving as Miller’s temporary replacement through October. Musich said she would like to see a new superintendent with a handle on modern business practices, which would be useful in making sure the board’s business practices are self-sustaining and property taxes don’t price out Minneapolis residents. Managing the board — almost like a “city within the city,” she said — requires balancing complicated moving parts. “I really want to see someone who has some deep executive roots,” she said. Cowgill said ground-up experience working with communities, especially under-represented communities, is on his priority list. Meyer said he’d ideally like someone from Minnesota who is able to stay with the organization for a while. Before the board even begins its search, Forney said she’d like an independent facilitator to review their aspirations for the organization and help them figure out what they want to see in the city’s next parks leader. The search will be the primary topic of the board’s March 1 retreat. Bourn, who is the only sitting commissioner who has gone through a superintendent search process, said a request for proposals for a search firm will likely go out in mid or late March. He said community input will be key to the process. “We’ve never really engaged folks in our community of what kind of interactions and values are important… in a superintendent,” he said.
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A14 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com FROM MPLS FIRE DEPT / PAGE A1
3,000 people applied, Fruetel said. When the economy takes a downturn, more people consider firefighting, he said. “There is a lot of stability in this career,” he said. There were 1,800 applicants when Fruetel joined the department in 1979. “A lot of folks just want to serve their communities,” he said. Cadet Romel Bacon enrolled in the EMS Pathways Academy in 2016. He previously worked as a chef and trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and he was looking for a career change. Cadet Mallory Cramer previously worked at a Chevy dealership in Bloomington. A South High School alum and longtime basketball player, she knew she wanted a physical job that required working with her hands. “I just went for it,” Cramer said. Historically, not everyone graduates from the cadet training program, although Fruetel suspects the current class will have no problem. He said some cadets discover that firefighting isn’t for them. “All of a sudden you put on a breathing apparatus and you’re a little more claustrophobic and a little more afraid of heights than you thought,” he said. “That’s why we have that process.”
A changing job During a tour of the Emergency Operations Training Facility in Northeast Minneapolis, Staff Capt. Stephanie Johnson, a Kingfield neighborhood resident, cautioned the cadets not to bring any firefighting clothing home to their families. Firefighters work in increasingly dangerous
It gives young adults the opportunity to consider a career they may not have considered before. … I can’t think of anything better than to recruit someone out of North Minneapolis and have them come back into the community and come take care of that community. — Fire Chief John Fruetel
environments, Fruetel said. The increasing amount of plastics and synthetic materials in homes can generate carcinogenic byproducts when burned. Firefighters routinely encounter diesel exhaust, asbestos, carbon monoxide and benzene, and the International Association of Fire Fighters reports that cancer is now the leading cause of death for firefighters. The days of black, soot-covered helmets are gone. “We’ve changed the procedure on how we clean our gear,” Fruetel said. Technology advances represent the biggest change to the department in recent years, he said. The breathing apparatus, for example, now features built-in thermal imaging to assist in rescue searches. Operating procedures and command structures have also improved safety. Fruetel said the current cadet class is 52 percent people of color and 15.8 percent female. Fifty-seven percent are veterans. A 1970 lawsuit alleging employment discrimination resulted in a federal court order to diversify the Minneapolis Fire Department; court oversight continued until 2000. Fruetel said he’s worked hard to diversify the department. “That’s easy to say, but I want to make
sure we get that done,” he said. “… A lot of the female firefighters I trained are retiring.” The department eliminated the written exam this year, and the recruiting process emphasizes skills like fluency in a second language. Every cadet class now includes 30 percent from the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Pathways Academy, where graduates receive Emergency Medical Technician certification as part of a paid program. The program launched in 2016 as a partnership
between the Fire Department and Hennepin County Medical Center with funding from the Minneapolis Foundation and support from Project for Pride in Living. “It gives young adults the opportunity to consider a career they may not have considered before,” Fruetel said. “… I can’t think of anything better than to recruit someone out of North Minneapolis and have them come back into the community and come take care of that community.”
Staff Captain Stephanie Johnson (top) trains cadets at the Emergency Operations Training Facility in Northeast Minneapolis. More than 1,200 people applied to become a Minneapolis firefighter. Photos by Michelle Bruch
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 A15 FROM RIVERSIDE PARK / PAGE A1
Scherer site where the board is now recreating Hall’s Island. Commissioners voted 7–0 to change the name of the portion of the park alongside West River Parkway from Lower Riverside Park to Annie Young Meadow. The approved resolution puts in place a plan to have a public hearing within 45 days of the Feb. 7 vote regarding the renaming of the entire park to Annie Young Riverside Park. At-Large Commissioner LaTrisha Vetaw was absent for the vote. District 5 Commissioner Steffanie Musich abstained after voting against a suspension of board rules, which was necessary because of the board’s renaming policy requiring community input. Musich introduced a substitute motion calling for additional public comment in order to follow the policy, though it failed after only drawing support from Commissioner Meg Forney (at-large). “I cannot support the hypocrisy of honoring a woman who believed in process and community engagement by bypassing that process and community engagement,” Musich said. The meeting also served as a public celebration for Young, with several of her former colleagues and fellow elected officials speaking on her work with the Park Board. Brian Rice, the board’s longtime legal counsel, called Young a “person of rare quality.” “She was an earth protector. She was a historian. She was a shrewd vote counter. She was an idealist. But she was also pragmatic and she knew how to get things done,” he said. Council Member Cam Gordon, a fellow member of Young’s Green Party, described her as a “troublemaker” with a soft side. “I know that she could certainly be abrasive, but she could also be really nurturing and caring. She was always looking at how
Riverside Park, one of the city’s first parks, is located along West River Parkway in the CedarRiverside neighborhood. Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Watching her serve was a great example for all of us because she did not compromise if it meant putting aside her values or her desire to see us produce the best government that we possibly could for the citizens of Minneapolis. — Steffanie Musich, District 5 Commissioner
she [could] bring others along and into the fold and raise them up and help them move forward,” he said. Over the years, Mayor Jacob Frey said, he got several pointers from Young, who relayed decades of local institutional knowledge. “The historic knowledge that she had about policy, about community building [and] just about love of community in general, was [indispensable],” he said. Many park staff and younger commissioners said Young served as a mentor. Deputy Superintendent Jennifer Ringold, also the board’s secretary, said Young stressed the community’s role in the organization. “She really I think helped staff understand
the human side of commissioners,” she said. Vetaw, a newly elected citywide commissioner, described Young as a “soul sister” who managed to unload a lot of wisdom in her first month on the board. “In very, very little time I got lots of advice,” she said in a video message. Musich, who served one term with Young, said she will support her legacy by “being willing to not just go along with the wave.” “Watching her serve was a great example for all of us because she did not compromise if it meant putting aside her values or her desire to see us produce the best government that we possibly could for the citizens of Minneapolis,” she said.
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Southwest Journal February 22–March 7, 2018
Exhibition as experience Mia enlists theater artist Robert Wilson for a dramatic staging of its Chinese art collection A Chinese imperial throne dating from the 18th century set against a dramatic backdrop designed by Robert Wilson. Wilson also contributes a dragon-like shriek to the soundtrack that plays in the gallery. Submitted image
By Dylan Thomas / email@example.com
poiler alert: When you exit “Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty,” a smiling Minneapolis Institute of Art employee will hand you a pamphlet explaining what it was you just saw. The dramatically staged displays of Qing dynasty textiles, decorative objects and religious paintings and sculptures from Mia’s collection of Chinese art are unaccompanied by the didactic wall labels found throughout the rest of the museum. Designed by theater and visual artist Robert Wilson, “Power and Beauty” emphasizes spectacle over scholarship. Or, at the very least, it puts spectacle before scholarship. Wilson stages five of the imperial garments under lights that dim and then suddenly grow in intensity — the better to spark the sheen of the elaborate silk embroidery. But he also purposely obscures some objects, including a SEE CHINA’S LAST DYNASTY / PAGE B7
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 B3
Eater’s digest by carla waldemar
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s I returned from a meeting of my beloved book club, I pondered over the newest edition from prolific restaurateur Kim Bartmann, this time partnering with chef Asher Miller, entitled Book Club. It’s a revision of Armatage’s former Café Maude. But something got lost in translation. Under what genre would an avid reader/ eater classify the menu? It comes off more like a collection of unrelated short stories than the unified thread that pulls a novel together. What’s touted as a “California-inspired” food list vaults from rice bowl to mac and cheese, from Balinese chicken to a fried chicken sandwich. If this might represent the food of, say, San Francisco, is it the clean, farm-inspired fare of Alice Waters? The gustatory treats of Chinatown? Or maybe red sauce-enriched Little Italy? Chowder from Fishermen’s Wharf?
Probably not. Any one focus would be fine. A mélange, not so much. It’s more like “The New Settlement Cookbook,” which works better in a home kitchen than for a night out. The cheery, tomato-red dining room, brightened by flowerpots along a windowsill, sports some interesting flavors, but here in Southwest Minneapolis, they don’t play well together. From the items listed on the menu under Prologue ($4–$9) and Introduction ($9–$15), we hit upon the greatest success of the evening: a sumptuous, kale-based salad starring chewy chickpeas and deeply-flavored roasted eggplant enhanced with cameos of roasted tomatoes, sweet golden raisins and savory, creamy feta cubes. Next, in the Grilled Skewers section ($6–$7), we split — and enjoyed — a kebab
composed of rich, juicy short rib, full-bodied mushrooms and pickled green beans that added a sharp whistle to the line-up. Dip them in the lively tarragon-mustard aioli delivered in a tiny pitcher. Then turn your eyes to The Full Story, a wide-ranging, unabridged survey of somethingfor-everyone-and-then-some entrees ranging from grilled cheese, a burger and a steak sandwich to a rice bowl and burritos ($12–$14). There’s also trout, prepared Asian-style for $38. (Here? This isn’t Oceanaire.) Or ribeye, $42. (Nor Manny’s). We chose the evening’s special, marlin — well-timed to hit that sweet spot between tough and limp, embellished with the flavors of avocado, eggplant, red onion, a raita-like yogurt and notes of pickling. Nice plate. Then, dithering between the pork and beans
(porchetta, cannellini) and confit turkey leg, I followed our server’s recommendation and chose the turkey. No twists of plot here: a crispskinned hunk o’ Thanksgiving accompanied by baby potatoes, haricots and bits of pancetta abetted by a cider-laced barbecue sauce, deep and rich. It delivers what is promised, which is nothing special. Epilogues (I’m not making these titles up — if only!) consist of a quartet of familiar sweets ($7–$8): banana split, chocolate cake, bread pudding and poached pear. Un-tasted, mea culpa. The setting’s pleasant, indeed, and brim-full on a recent Friday, creating a decided buzz. (Don’t come with laryngitis.) Armatage residents clearly are happy to see the lights back on, but the menu may need editing to appeal to a wider audience.
B4 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Ethan Fawley
Gearing up for dockless bike share
not be participating in Nice Ride’s transition to dockless bike share, citing legal concerns over the vendor selection process. The City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and University of Minnesota remain poised to continue the work with Nice Ride, pending final details. St. Paul may rejoin the effort later or seek a different approach to bike sharing. Also in January, Nice Ride announced that they had selected New York-based Motivate as their vendor for dockless bikes after a review committee recommended the company in a competitive process. (Full disclosure: I was on the review committee.) Final details of the transition are still being worked out. Nice Ride has said they expect an agreement to go to the City Council for review soon. Based on recent information from Nice Ride and information that Motivate shared at a public meeting in November, we can expect the proposal to include:
e’re just six weeks away from the annual return of Nice Ride Minnesota’s green bikes in early April. By summer, the system will see big changes — “dockless” bikes, cheaper prices, lots more bikes serving more of Minneapolis and electric-assist bikes. Last fall, Nice Ride — the local bike share provider since 2010 — announced that it was planning to transition to an expanded fleet of dockless bikes. Instead of requiring riders to rent and return bikes at stations, dockless bike sharing allows riders to find a bike using an app and, when they’re finished, park it in any approved area near their destination. The shift would be funded with private dollars through a partnership with a private company. Nice Ride, a nonprofit, has received funding from a variety of public and private sources, as well as from users. The transition hit a bit of speed bump in January when St. Paul announced it would
• $1 rides for 30 minutes • double the number of bike-share bikes in Minneapolis, serving more of the city
We are excited that new privately funded technologies ... are increasing mobility and health options in cities.
• a pilot program to test electric-assist bikes • a winter bike share pilot
— Bill Dossett, Nice Ride’s executive director
Current Nice Ride memberships will remain active, and Nice Ride’s current docks and fleet will continue in 2018 as part of a transition to full dockless bike share.
“We are excited that new privately funded technologies — dockless bike share and electric-assist bikes — are increasing mobility and health options in cities,” said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride’s executive director. Motivate’s proposal also included a unique solution to the challenge of dockless bikes being left in problematic places — an issue for dockless bike share in other cities. And they plan to move bikes to ensure they are serving all Minneapolis neighborhoods and needs as they vary.
Weighing exclusivity One of the big questions that the city will undoubtedly be weighing as they conduct a final review is whether to have Nice Ride be the exclusive provider of bike share in Minneapolis. In most cities, dockless bike share is provided by a variety of companies competing in a regulated market. In Seattle, a pilot worked with three companies who had more than 9,000 bikes on the streets by last December. Washington, D.C. has five dockless companies operating alongside docked bike share. Nice Ride’s approach, pending final approval, would be different in that Nice Ride — and its partner Motivate — would be the exclusive provider of bike share in Minneapolis, likely until 2021. In exchange for exclusivity, they would be required to meet certain standards in an arrangement approved by the City Council. When Nice Ride’s process to transition to dockless started last summer, I wasn’t sure
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whether open competition or a contract with a single entity was preferable. Some have argued strongly that a regulated market means competition that will drive access (more bikes), cheaper prices and better service. After looking at this in other cities, talking to people and listening to proposals, I strongly feel that a contract with a single entity is the most likely approach for dockless bike share to be the most successful in Minneapolis (and hopefully in the future, St. Paul). I think it provides the best chance to serve more parts of the city, whereas private companies on their own have incentive to focus in highest demand areas. It also ensures bikes aren’t being left blocking sidewalks, and it will be sustainable over a longer term in our market, where many people already own bikes. Now, the contracting is important, and if Minneapolis can’t get a good agreement, they should not do it. And it still might not work out, because the bike share industry is changing quickly. But it would still be a good deal for just a few years. Some city needs to try this approach to dockless, and Minneapolis is in a good spot to do that. In a few years, cities across the country will be able to better determine what works for them. I also applaud Nice Ride for being proactive on this change. They could have kept on and made it hard for competitors to enter the market. Instead, they are using their assets to support the transition and have used their time to try to set up the best deal possible for the Twin Cities.
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 B5
By Steve Brandt
The Park Board’s version of rent control
he Minneapolis park superintendent stands alone among municipal officials in the Twin Cities area in having a taxsupported place to live. It’s not free. Former Superintendent Jayne Miller paid $1,154 monthly to live in the hulking Dutch colonial house that overlooks the Lyndale Farmstead Park sledding hill. That once may have been a fair rent, but it hasn’t risen in more than six years. The Park Board’s version of rent control for its superintendent persisted even after promises in late 2016 to re-examine the house’s rent after this reporter highlighted the situation. Then-President Anita Tabb said she’d seek a review of the superintendent’s rent once the board adopted its annual budget in late 2016. Tabb didn’t return this reporter’s calls about the matter a few days before her term expired in December. But a board spokeswoman said such a review didn’t start until late last year, almost a year later, and still isn’t complete. The Park Board’s laxness comes despite one Southwest area rental-market specialist’s estimate that rents have gone up at least 15–20 percent since the superintendent’s rent was last set in 2011. Plenty of other tenants in Minneapolis no doubt wish they could go that long without a rent increase. This isn’t a matter of whether you loved or loathed Miller, a career public servant. She accomplished a number of steps to lift the park system out of its old boys’ network and played a key role in assuring better funding for neighborhood park improvements. She also
Former Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller lived in the Dutch colonial originally built for Theodore Wirth. Photo by Nate Gotlieb
could be a demanding boss, engendered some union opposition and ultimately foundered on the perception — fair or not — that the park system wasn’t serving minority residents equitably. Seeing the handwriting on the wall with a newly elected insurgent board, she left her $171,253 per year job without waiting out the mid-2018 expiration of her contract, as this writer forecast in a column last summer. Not hiking the rent has implications for Miller or any future superintendent, and for the board. One is that charging her a below-market rent amounts to additional compensation. The added compensation would have pushed Miller over
the state salary cap on local officials in 2016, when she was already at the maximum allowed. There are also tax implications. The IRS regards any difference between the fair market rent for a provided residence and what the employee is actually paying as taxable compensation. Not keeping the rent up to date could mean a back tax bill for the superintendent. The board spokeswoman said that no taxable compensation for below-market rent has been reported for Miller because the market study isn’t completed. It’s possible that Miller may wind up being the last superintendent to occupy the mansion.
It was built for second superintendent Theodore Wirth as an incentive to lure the famed park planner to Minneapolis early in the 20th century. During his long tenure here, he built many features of our modern park system, supervising engineers and draftsmen who worked out of a basement-level office of the house. Seven of the park system’s 13 superintendents have occupied the house. Some who got the job already lived in the city and didn’t need the house. Those who lived there paid no rent until the 1990s; superintendents contractually required to live there are exempted by the IRS from having to report subsidized rent as compensation. Miller was required by her contract to live in the city but not the house. She opted to occupy it to better familiarize herself with the city. But she may be the last superintendent to do so. Brad Bourn, the board president from Southwest Minneapolis, said recently that he doesn’t envision the next superintendent living in the house. But he said if the person offered a contract wants to live there, the matter of fair rent should be revisited. As an aside, he noted that he was paying more to rent a basement apartment in Uptown than Miller paid in rent for the house. That’s all the more reason the board needs to determine the true market value for a future tenant, whether that’s a superintendent or some other tenant. Steve Brandt retired from a 40-year career at the Star Tribune in 2016. He lives in Southwest Minneapolis.
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B6 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Paul Burnstein
Tech for a warmer season
he gadgets I look at today are quite complementary to outside events, travel and more. Verizon Wireless sent me some samples to try out; I have the Mophie Powerstation XL and the UE Boom 2. What are they? The Mophie Powerstation XL is a portable charging station capable of charging two devices at the same time via USB ports. One of those ports can also pass through the power so that it can charge an external device before it recharges itself. It can be used with your devices (phones, tablets, ebook readers, etc.) either to extend the battery (in use while plugged in) or simply to recharge your devices, two at a time. Their website claims “more than three additional charges on your smartphone.” It is a bit heavy and clunky, being about the size of two smartphones. It is not a replacement for the small one-time personal chargers that can be about the size of a roll of quarters, as those are used more for just getting you through the day without having to plug into a wall. The advantage that the Powerstation XL has is the ability to charge two devices at a time and get multiple charges out of it. When my family goes on road trips, my wife and I charge our phones through the car, but our kids in the back would greatly benefit from a heavy-duty charger like this. It doesn’t require long cables stretching to the front of the car and competing for the charging slots we use. Both of their tablets could connect at the same time for charging, keeping everyone in the car happy.
UE Boom 2. Photo courtesy the Ultimate Ears Facebook page
This is also a great gadget to have for airplanes and airports, where it can be difficult to find outlets for charging. Just bring your own. As we approach a warmer season, I can’t think of a time when this wouldn’t be useful to have — picnics, tailgating, barbecues, you name it. Additional power is needed and used,
Moments in Minneapolis
as we have more devices, and with 10,000 milliamp hours this should cover them for quite some time. The UE Boom 2 from Ultimate Ears is a portable, wireless, waterproof speaker. It connects to your device (smartphone or tablet) via Bluetooth, and the sound is robust and
impressive for such a small speaker. It provides 360 degrees of sound in a small package. Practical uses can include both indoor and outdoor use anywhere that you need more sound than a smartphone can put out — picnics, tailgating, barbecues. In my house, we generally connect to our Amazon Echo for a speaker that is more powerful than those in our phones. But the Echo is stationary, as we don’t move it around the house or outside. My wife has a portable Bluetooth speaker that she uses to listen when she is cooking or feeding the girls breakfast outside in our backyard. The external speakers provide much better sound than just playing from your smartphone, and the fact that the UE Boom 2 is waterproof just makes it more comfortable to have outside. One other feature that the UE Boom 2 and many other portable speakers have is to function as a speakerphone for calls, which is great for gathering the family around to hear the call well. Our girls love this. Both of these devices are great for travel and outdoor use. I am quite curious to know what other gadgets are essential for you, for outdoors and travel. Please let me know via my email address below. Paul Burnstein is a tech handyman. As the founder of Gadget Guy MN, Paul helps personal and business clients optimize their use of technology. He can be found through gadgetguymn.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Cedar Imboden Phillips
A snowy drive
his unassuming rental car office at 2612 Lyndale Ave. was home to the Lend Lease Transportation Company during much of the 1950s and ’60s. Never heard of the Lend Lease Company? Following some mergers and acquisitions it changed its name to National Car Rental, still around — although no longer on Lyndale. The company was originally founded in 1947 and focused on long-term leases geared towards traveling salespeople. Lend Lease was a member of National Car Rental, then an association of car lease firms from across the country. In the 1960s, Lend Lease co-founder Ken Glaser, by then the president of National Car Rental, was instrumental in moving National’s headquarters to Minneapolis. Cedar Imboden Phillips serves as the executive director for the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.
Photo from the collection of the Hennepin History Museum
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 B7
Dozens of objects in a display case are unaccompanied by any explanatory text. Robert Wilson’s exhibition design asks viewers to simply take them as they are. Submitted images
FROM CHINA’S LAST DYNASTY / PAGE B1
pale jadeite vase found in the final gallery before the exit. Its intricate details can be difficult to make out because Wilson has placed it behind a semi-transparent scrim. And if you wonder who held that vase or who wore that robe, well, just wait. The answers to your questions might be in that pamphlet. “The most important thing for me is experience,” Wilson told a small group of reporters a few days before the opening, and with “Power and Beauty” he makes a direct appeal to the senses. The exhibition progresses through 10 separate rooms, beginning in near total darkness and ending in a room bathed in white light. Gallery-goers’ shoes tread on steel and mud. The soundtrack shifts, videogame-like, with the environment; Wilson described it as an “aural map.” Wilson even promised to enhance the experience with different smells, although — except for the dry-grass odor in one room with thatch-covered walls — they weren’t easy to detect on a recent visit. (One imagines the prohibition on food and drink in the galleries was the only thing stopping Wilson from engaging our sense of taste.)
Celebrated for his experimental work in the theater, including the landmark opera “Einstein on the Beach” with composer Philip Glass, Wilson was selected to collaborate with Mia’s curator of Chinese art, Liu Yang, on what is the museum’s first major exhibition of its imperial Chinese textile collection since 1991. Yang and Mia Deputy Director Matthew Welch traveled in August to the Watermill Center, Wilson’s Long Island arts laboratory, where Wilson — a noted collector of Asian art — selected the pieces for the exhibition and sketched out a design. “We’re used to planning exhibitions more than five years in advance,” Welch said. “This has been six months.” Wilson said his approach to designing museum exhibitions is to “try to think about it quickly,” and in this case he seized on the number 2, his conceptual shorthand for duality, for two things that complement each other or contrast or do both at the same time. Reflecting the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, the exhibition is designed around counterpoint: light against darkness, dusty thatch against shining Mylar and minimalism against maximalism. “It’s not just taking any opposite and putting it together but to find the right opposite, the way you put a rock on a computer,” he said. (In
terms of pure theater, Wilson’s press conference, a free-ranging lecture on architecture, opera and exhibition design, during which he quoted Susan Sontag, Louis Kahn and Baudelaire from memory, may have upstaged the exhibition.) That dark room that opens “Power and Beauty” — where the only object on display is a dimly illuminated black porcelain vase, and the soundtrack is an ascending keyboard line punctuated by the tinkling of a dropped chopstick — is immediately followed by a wave of color and sound. The next room’s central display case is filled with dozens of items — red lacquer boxes, sculpted jade and coral, bronze urns, blue and white porcelain — POWER AND that hint at the palette of colors BEAUTY IN found in the CHINA’S LAST royal garments in the next room. DYNASTY Now the sound When: Through May 27 coming through the overhead Where: Minneapolis speakers sounds Institute of Art, like a Mark 2400 3rd Ave. S. Mothersbaugh Info: artsmia.org composition for
a cartoon show, a jaunty collage of whip cracks, laser zaps, whistles and barnyard bleatings. That room is also one of the places where the lack of explanatory material is most noticeable. What is this stuff, other than the paraphernalia of an imperial court? Wilson implores the viewer to stand in the presence of these objects and simply take them as they are. And where Wilson’s counterpoint is sharpest, it makes it possible to see even familiar objects in a new way — as with a grouping of weathered Buddhist stone sculptures, including a menacing guardian figure known as a Dvarapala, that Wilson contrasts against a gallery space lined with polished metal. But three very similar-looking Daoist paintings on silk, hung side-by-side in a mud-walled gallery meant to evoke a mountain retreat, were simply puzzling. Even the pamphlet didn’t help much. That mystery is part of the experience Wilson has designed, and even puzzlement is a kind of engagement with the material. “Power and Beauty” is an experience, one that provokes new ways of seeing in part by tossing away the template for this type of exhibition. Wilson’s theatrical approach can even be genuinely startling at moments, but to explain how might spoil the surprise.
Left: Stone contrasts with steel in a display of Buddhist statues. Above: Clothing and objects from the Qing dynasty imperial household are set in a gallery lined with reflective Mylar.
B8 February A2 February22–March 22–March7,7,2018 2018// southwestjournal.com southwestjournal.com
KITCHEN REMODEL CHANGES HOW THE HOUSE IS USED
PUUSTELLI USA DESIGN GIVES THE NEW SPACE “TIMELESS” FEEL
eb and Mark Hanson love the style of their 1954 Edina rambler, but they never cared for the kitchen. Typical of the period, the kitchen and three-season sun porch were walled off from the rest of the living area. Last remodeled in 1978, the kitchen was in disrepair. Storage was minimal, and the sun porch was rarely used. Mark described living with the old kitchen as “nine years of a bad dream.” The Hansons were going to go with a conventional remodel, complete with crown moldings and granite countertops, until Deb met Bjorn Freudenthal of Finnish kitchen design-build company Puustelli USA in 2016. That’s when Puustelli opened its first U.S. location in Edina, bringing sleek Scandinavian style with environmentally friendly materials to homeowners in the Twin Cities metro area. Mikko Juola, president of Puustelli USA, redesigned the Hansons’ living area, opening up the kitchen and sun porch and prompting a furniture update as well. In addition to removing the interior walls that separated the kitchen from the living and dining rooms, Puustelli expanded the exterior kitchen wall by about five feet into the backyard, removing the door in the process. The Hansons now access the yard through a door in a side wall of the sun porch. The expansion allowed for a 51.5-inch-by90.5-inch kitchen island that houses plenty of storage. Rather than have
The Hansons enjoy entertaining, and have found that the new layout better allows guests and conversations to circulate. They’ve had up to 40 guests in the new space with no problems. Photos courtesy Puustelli USA
one surface material, the Hansons chose Puustelli’s scratch-, burn- and stain-resistant ceramic counter on the food prep side of the island and butcher block on the dining side, with backless stools tucked underneath. To keep sight lines clear, the couple opted for a steel beam in the attic to replace the load-bearing interior wall that separated the kitchen and living room.
“We just love the clean looks, the clean lines and the potential from what Puustelli could offer,” Mark said. “The modern, sleek look, when we compared it to what we were thinking of… ” added Deb. “It kind of grew on you,” concluded Freudenthal. The couple also appreciates the types of building materials that Puustelli uses. The interiors of the wood-front cabinets are made of a formaldehyde-free biocomposite of 60% polypropylene and 40% wood fibers.
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REMODELING SHOWCASE “It’s a stable material, so there’s no expansion or contraction,” Freudenthal said. “It can’t take in any moisture, which is completely different from any other cabinet construction.” Although known for its kitchen systems, Puustelli will accommodate homeowners’ desires for custom design. The Hansons requested a pair of adjacent appliance garages beneath the glass-doored cabinets that house their drinkware. They also value the extendable, rotating shelving system in the corner cabinet beneath the appliance garages for storing larger items. The Hansons enjoy entertaining, and have found that the new layout better allows guests and conversations to circulate. Guests’ tendency toward hanging out in the kitchen no longer causes traffic jams. They’ve had up to 40 guests with no problems. “The way it’s laid out, it takes half the time to clean up after entertaining,” Mark said. “It really is kind of a wipe-and-go, and you’re done,” Deb added. In addition to creating a new kitchen, Puustelli updated the sun porch, which had honey oak paneling covering the 12-foot ceiling and extending down the walls to the floor. The company covered the wall paneling with drywall for a more finished look. It replaced the French-doored wall that had separated the sun porch from the dining room with a pair of built-in cabinets, creating a subtle visual break. The effect is lighter, brighter and more open. The company matched and extended the kitchen and dining areas’ wood flooring into the living room and hall that leads to the bedrooms, added several recessed can lights and updated the stairwell to the entryway. With only a minor expansion, the Hansons gained 250 feet of everyday living space, including the now-open sun porch. “It’s not just been practical, but a beautiful space for us as well,” Deb said. “It’s really changed the way we live in the home.” The remodel lasted from September to December 2016.
The couple has largely forgotten how it felt to live in the original space. “If we had taken on a project like that when we first moved into the house, the space would be dated now,” Deb Hanson added. “We’re so happy that we waited. This look is timeless. This look will not go out of style 10 years from now.”
PUUSTELLI USA Address: 1624 West Lake Street Minneapolis Phone: 612-405-2227 Website: puustelliusa.com Years in business: 99
The expansion allowed for a 51.5-inch-by-90.5-inch kitchen island that houses plenty of storage. Puustelli employed a scratch-, burn- and stain-resistant ceramic counter on the food prep side of the island and butcher block on the dining side, with backless stools tucked underneath.
About Remodeling Showcase Remodeling Showcase is a paid series of profiles featuring local contractors in Southwest Minneapolis. The profiles are written by Nancy Crotti, a freelance writer.
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B10 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
Get Out Guide. By Jahna Peloquin
‘EXCAVATING THE FUTURE CITY’ With the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s newest exhibition, one of Japan’s most prominent photographers is receiving his first U.S. museum survey. “Excavating the Future City: Naoya Hatakeyama” spans 30 years of the artist’s photographs, including a dozen of Hatakeyama’s photo series and nearly 100 works. The artist is known for his starkly beautiful large-scale images that showcase the tension between nature and human culture, capturing the force of human will on nature via Japanese cityscapes. In a series of photographs documenting the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, he also reveals the equally powerful impact of natural forces on cities. Images range from close-ups of limestone quarried by explosive blasts to bird’s-eye views of cities from above. Each tightly composed image captures the phases of creation, change and destruction over time in Japan’s contemporary urban landscapes. Over the years, Hatakeyama himself has evolved as an artist, transforming from a conceptual, detached documentarian to a participant with a point of view all his own. Hatakeyama will be the keynote speaker for the Arnold Newman Lecture on New Media and Photography Symposium (Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at Mia; $30 for GA, $15 for members).
When: March 4–July 22. Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S.
Cost: Free Info: artsmia.org
CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO MASQUERADE BALL ‘HOW TO HAVE FUN IN A CIVIL WAR’ Minnesota-based Somali playwright and performer Ifrah Mansour mined her childhood memories of the 1991 Somali Civil War for a one-act, multimedia play that explores war from the idyllic viewpoint of a 7-year-old Somali refugee girl. “How to Have Fun in a Civil War” layers poetry, puppetry, videos and multiple narratives culled from interviews of fellow Somali refugees to tell a captivating story about the horrors of war, the resilience of survivors and the healing that must take place afterward with a sense of humor and innocence. The show is part of the Guthrie Theater’s Solo Emerging Artist Celebration, which also features a new solo work by local African-American artist Antonio Duke, who embodies victims of racial violence from the mid-’50s to today in a mix of poetry and prose inspired by “The Iliad.” There will be a post-play discussion with the artists following each performance.
When: Feb. 24–March 11 Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St. Cost: $9 Info: guthrietheater.org
Every February, the Carnaval do Brazil floods the streets of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória for a weeklong celebration of Afro-Brazilian culture—what many call the Mardi Gras of the Southern Hemisphere. In the Twin Cities, the festival is celebrated with Brazilfest MN’s Carnaval Brasileiro, the longest-running and most-attended Brazilian event in the state. More than 50 singers, drummers, samba dancers, capoeiristas (Brazilian martial artists) and artisans will transform the Cedar Culture Center into an authentic Brazilian experience. Hear music steeped in the sounds of Brazil from world music guitarist and singer Robert Everest and his 10-piece brand, Beira Mar Brasil, which will be joined by Brazilian singer and samba dancer extraordinaire, Dandara. Other performers include the 15-piece Brazilian percussion ensemble Batucada do Norte, percussion group Drumheart and Minnesota-based Brazilian martial arts group Floração Capoeira. Revelers can also get into the act by wearing masquerade masks created by a master Brazilian artist or having their face and body painted, just like they do in Rio. One thing’s for sure: This party is guaranteed to be a feast for the senses.
Cost: $22 advance, $30 day of show When: Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m. Info: thecedar.org (doors at 6:30 p.m.) Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S.
‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER’ Two inventive Minneapolis visual artists, Dick Brewer and Al Wadzinski, have joined forces for a mixed-media exhibition featuring birds and other winged animals. The name of the exhibition has a double meaning — the two are old friends who share a similarly offbeat point of view and style. Wadzinski works with found objects that are sewn, hammered, welded or bolted together into oddly beautiful objects, proving the value that can be found in discarded, mundane materials. Brewer uses a 21,000-rpm die grinder to create abstract, gem-like images on painted and carved Plexiglas. His experimental works combine three-dimensional, bas-relief elements that play with the viewer’s eye. With the exhibition’s avian theme, the two artists bring otherworldly whimsy to the humble bird-art genre.
When: March 3–April 25. Opening reception: Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.–10 p.m. Where: Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St. Cost: Free Info: gallery360mpls.com
‘CONSTANCE IN THE DARKNESS: A MUSICAL IN MINIATURE’ Disney princess culture gets an intergalactic twist in “Constance in the Darkness,” a musical journey about a mother who has gone missing and an astronomer daughter determined to find her in the furthest reaches of space. The story was written by local playwrights Michael Sommers and Josef Evans, who were lauded for another Open Eye Figure Theatre production in 2014, “Strumply Peter,” their absurdist, madcap take on a series of 19th-century German cautionary tales for children. Once again, theatrical designer Michael Sommers, who has an affinity for stage design and puppetry with a middle-European aesthetic, joins the duo. The story is told with a mix of whimsical puppetry, exuberantly arranged songs and energetic performances that are sure to be a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike.
When: Feb. 23–March 11 (Feb. 22 preview) Where: Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St.
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southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 B11
Beer Me: Winter Beer Festival Spring’s on its way, and so are the craft beer fests. Gather round and talk hops with other beer enthusiasts while sampling the latest seasonal brews at these festive happenings.
WINTER BEER DABBLER
BREW, BLUES & BBQ Head to Modist Brewing for an evening of craft beer, live blues and BBQ. The brewery will have a selection of specialty brews just for the event, and they’ll be joined by ZZQ Smokehouse, which will provide barbecue pulled pork and chicken. A lineup of four blues-inspired brands will play throughout the evening, including Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders and Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue.
When: Saturday, March 3, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Where: Modist Brewing, 505 N. 3rd St. Cost: $25–$50 Info: getknitevents.com/brews-blues-bbq
NEW BOHEMIA’S BIG BAD BEER FEST New Bohemia’s Big Bad Beer Fest: Over the last few years, craft beer hall New Bohemia has been stashing away some of its darkest, boldest beers. Barrel-aged beers from Clown Shoes, Founders and Central Waters are finally seeing the light of day during the Big Bad Beer Fest, where you can also find 11 other tap lines of easy-drinking beers, cool beer swag and giveaways.
Minnesotans pride themselves on being hardy, and the Winter Beer Dabbler offers the perfect opportunity to prove their mettle. The annual fest is the biggest outdoor beer festival in the state, taking place on the Minnesota State Fair grounds. Sample more than 500 different offerings from over 150 local, regional and national craft breweries and cideries. Enjoy live music, sample meat and cheese and watch brewers battle it out in the American Brewer Warrior competition.
When: Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Where: New Bohemia, 8040 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley Cost: Free Info: facebook.com/newbohemiagoldenvalley
UTEPILS FAT BIKE FESTIVAL Minnesotans don’t put away their bikes for the winter — they add fat tires and ride them. Participate in bike races through three Minneapolis parks or stick around the brewery to demo fat bikes, shop local vendor booths, warm up by a campfire and enjoy marshmallows and hot chocolate, food trucks and kids’ activities.
When: Saturday, Feb. 24, 2:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. Where: Midway & Warner Coliseum at Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul Cost: $20–$99 Info: beerdabbler.com
When: Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Cost: Free to attend, registration for races is $30–$60
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2/15/18 2:30 PM
Congratulations to SWHS Ski Teams! Both Men and Women’s Nordic teams won their Section 2 Championships. Men went on to place 4th at State and Women placed 5th. All State Honors went to Henry Hall, Torsten Brinkema, Kasia Bednarski and Sudie Hall. The SW Girls Alpine team also had a stellar season winning their Section 4 Championship for the second year in a row and placing 8th at State. Go Lakers! SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL, GROW TOGETHER
B12 February 22–March 7, 2018 / southwestjournal.com
By Meleah Maynard
es, it’s time once again for another round of Gardening Q&A. As some of you may already know, gardening questions come in all year round, and I try to answer as many as possible. I also keep track of the questions that lots of people ask so I can periodically share those in a Q&A roundup, since I figure they might be on a lot of other people’s minds too. Here we go.
Why do my hostas turn brown around the outside edges of the leaves? Though some hostas are said to be able to tolerate sun, most do best in semi- to partshade, and that browning often happens when they scorch in the sun. It is also possible that they need more water or it’s just terribly hot or both. While it’s true that hostas are amazingly tough, they do need some regular moisture and protection from blazing sun to look their best.
When can I prune azaleas? First, let me congratulate those of you who actually have nice azaleas. Mine always get eaten down to the nubbin by starving rabbits and/or never really grow much and probably wish I would just put them out of their misery. Anyway, the best time to prune azaleas is right after the flowers have faded. To help them keep their natural shape, prune out all the dead wood you see and cut older stems back to their base. Unless branches are really doing weird things all over the place, don’t go pruning them back elsewhere or you’ll get a bunch of new, leggy growth.
Why do robins cock their heads to the side when they’re on the ground in the garden? Way to notice cool things about nature! By the looks of it, you’d think that robins were listening for something when they tilt their heads while remaining motionless at times in the garden. In fact, though, they are hunting for earthworms.
Cocking their heads just so allows robins to turn one eye to the ground so they can better notice teeny-tiny, itty-bitty worm movements beneath the soil. If they don’t see much, sometimes robins will thump their feet on the ground to stir up some worm action.
Most of the time, the damage is unsightly, but not really harmful. To stop damage before it spreads, pick off and throw away affected leaves. Or, squeeze affected leaves between your fingers to squish that larvae before it finishes dinner.
What causes the wavy lines that appear on a lot of my plants’ leaves in the summer?
How long should new trees be staked?
Those lines are caused by leafminers, the larval stage of insects that create tunnels as they feed between the lower and upper surfaces of leaves. Leafminers love a wide array of plants, including fruits and vegetables as well as flowers, shrubs and trees. Like most pests, they cause damage for a limited time — in their case, about two to three weeks before they mature and move on.
This is a rather fiercely debated question, actually. Experts used to say that most young trees should be staked for the first year. But more recent research indicates that staking can hinder trees’ ability to develop a strong trunk. Better to let that little tree sway in the wind a bit — unless it’s a super windy spot — they now say. If you do decide to stake a tree, be sure to remove the stake within one year or as soon as you feel the tree can stand alone.
Why won’t my Siberian iris bloom anymore? Like other types of iris, Siberian iris likes to be divided. Old clumps of iris tend to develop the dreaded empty donut hole in the middle, which is a sure sign it is time to divide them. But even if you don’t see that yet, a lack of blooms can often mean the clumps need to be thinned out a bit. When you replant various clumps, remember to put them in the ground at the same level they were growing before, because being too deep or too shallow can adversely affect bloom too. Meleah Maynard is a writer, editor and master gardener. For more gardening ideas and tips, visit her blog, which has been renamed Livin’ Thing, at livinthing.com.
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That Handy Guy Greg SWJ 102314 1cx3.indd 10/3/14 12:03 PM
2/6/18 10:31 AM
TO PLACE YOUR AD CALL OWEN AT 612.436.4392 expand pattern2 1cx3.indd 1
11/15/17 4:08 PM
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR PAINTING PAINTING & DECORATING
Wallpaper removal & hanging • Plaster & sheetrock repair • All facets of interior PROTECTPAINTERS.com painting • Stripping & “trim” restoration ProTect Painters SWJ 042315 1cx1.5.indd 4/7/15 1 1:39 PM • Skimcoating
LOCAL BUSINESSES ADVERTISE WITH US
Advertise with us to E X P A N D your business
Local Painters. Green Solutions. Local Business 2cx1.indd 9
612-310-8023 Dave Novak
35+ yrs. experience Lic • Bond • Ins
EXPERT PLASTER & DRYWALL RESTORATION “REPAIR SPECIALIST” Skim Coating Walls & Ceilings Water Damage Repair Popcorn Texture Removal Wall & Ceiling Textures
Certified Plasterers • 40 Years Experience Professional • Reliable • Free Estimates
UNITED WALL SYSTEMS 952-292-7800 UNITEDWALL.COM
SWJ 022218 Classifieds.indd 2 expand pattern4 1cx1.5.indd 1
8/30/17 9:24 AM
– Linden Hills
Painting & Wallcovering Co. A SW tradition of excellence since 1970 • Int/Ext Painting • Stain & Wood Finish • Enamel • Water Damage • Plaster & Drywall Repair • Wallcovering Installation & Removal
Exterior, Interior & Decorative Painting 7/2/12 10:37 AM Staining Decks • Wallpaper Stripping & Wallpapering • Wood Stripping, Refinishing & Cabinets • Plaster, Sheetrock, Texture Repair & Skim Coating • Ceiling Texturing & Texture Removal • Wood Floor Sanding & Refinishing •
TigerOx Painting SWJ 070912 2cx1.5.indd 1
(612) 827-6140 or (651) 699-6140 PAINTINGBYJERRYWIND.COM
Experienced craftsmen (no subcontractors) working steady from start to finish. Neat and courteous; references and 2 year warranty. Liability Ins. and Workers Comp. for Your Protection.
Novak Painting SWJ 020818 1cx3.indd 12/22/17 1 10:03 AM United Wall Systems SWJ 111915 1cx2.indd 11/12/15 1Greco 9:55 AM Painting SWJ 012617 1cx2.indd1/24/17 1 Painting 1:14 PMby Jerry Wind SWJ 123115 2cx1.5.indd 1 11/15/17 3:06 PM
2/20/18 4:34 PM 12/30/15 9:54 AM
southwestjournal.com / February 22–March 7, 2018 B15
TO PLACE YOUR AD CALL OWEN AT 612.436.4392
Professional Quality Work Exterior Painting Interior Painting Wood Finishing Exterior Wood Restoration
Your vintage home remodeler
Licensed & Insured
firstname.lastname@example.org | chileenpainting.com
Home Restoration Services SWJ 012915 1/14/15 1cx1.5.indd Bristol 2:15 PM Built 1 SWJ 012617 1cx1.5.indd 1/20/17 1 1:29 PM
Decks, Fences, Pergolas & More!
Chileen Painting DTJ 020917 2cx2.indd 2
M-F 7:30am–5pm, Sat 8am–Noon 3233 East 40th St., Mpls / 612-729-2358
Mantis Design Build SWJ 061517 1cx1.5.indd 6/12/17 Hiawatha 16:15 PM Lumber NEW 1cx1.5.indd 1 5/2/17 1:28 PM
Cross off lumbing all your p items checklist Install a new kitchen or bathroom faucet
Call today and save
Garbage disposal repairs & installation Leaky sinks, faucets, showers, toilets & pipe repair
Your Sign of Satisfaction
Hot water heaters Fix low water pressure
Your Next Plumbing Service
Toilets that are always running Faucet that drips
Roelofs Remodeling SWJ 073015 2cx2.indd 2
Sinks that drain slow
2/3/17 1:01 PM
7/28/15 3:01 PM
(612) 424-9349 CallUptown.com
Plumbing, Uptown Heating SWJ 061616 2cx4.indd 1Inc.
TO PLACE AN AD CALL 612.436.4392 10/18/16 11:32 AM
A Fresh Look SWJ NR2 2cx6.indd 1
Local services. 6/14/16 12:55 PM Local references. Local expertise.
2nd Stories • Additions • Kitchens • Basements Baths • Attic Rooms • Windows
Remodel • Design • Build
promasterplumbing.com Call Jim!
Pro Master Plumbing SWJ 071615 1cx1.indd 7/2/15 1Tool 3:20Icons PM - Fall SWJ 2013 1cx1 filler_#2.indd 3/25/13 11:34 1 AM
Create • Collaborate Communicate
MN License #BC451256
612-655-4961 hansonbuildingandremodeling.com Lic #BC633225
Lic: BC637388 1/31/14 10:44 AM
Fusion Home Improvement SWJ 021314 2cx3.indd 1
EK Johnson Construction
Specializing in Reproduction Kitchens & Baths
Hanson Building SWJ 011118 2cx2.indd 1
No project is too small for good design
you dream it
1/3/18 3:02 PM
we build it
Living and Working in Southwest Minneapolis Call Ethan Johnson, Owner
Inspired Spaces SWJ 022714 2cx2.indd 1
2/17/14 3:02 PM
EK Johnson Construction SWJ 060216 2cx2.indd 1
5/31/16 4:49 PM
Bringing ideas to life 952.401.3900
edgework-designbuild.com License #BC003681
612.821.1100 or 651.690.3442 www.houseliftinc.com License #BC378021
Visit narimn.org or call 612-332-6274 to find a NARI-certified professional for your next remodeling project or to become a NARI member. The NARI logo is a registered trademark of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. ©2015 NARI of Minnesota. SWJ 022218 Classifieds.indd 3 NARI SWJ 2010 2cx1.indd 1
TO PLACE AN AD IN THE SW JOURNAL CALL 612.436.4392
House Lift SWJ 041612 2cx3.indd 1
4/5/12 3:00 PM
2/20/18 10:31 AM 12/28/17 12:31 PM
CONSTRUCTION, CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
& Trust. · CUSTOM CABINETRY · ADDITIONS & DORMERS · KITCHENS & BATHROOMS · WHOLE HOUSE RENOVATION · PORCHES & SUN-ROOMS · FINISHED BASEMENTS ·
612.821.1100 or 651.690.3442 www.houseliftinc.com House Lift Remodeler | 4330 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409 | License # BC 378021 House Lift Remodeler SWJ 022218 FP.indd 1
2/15/18 1:30 PM
Southwest Journal Vol. 29, No. 4