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Neighborhood Spotlight.

Campus dining gets an upgrade


Get Out Guide.



May 17–30, 2018 Vol. 29, No. 10

g n i t n a l P canopy w e n a The Park Board’s strategy in its fight against emerald ash borer is planting a new tree canopy

By Eric Best /

The long winter means that Nick Hart and his fellow arborists have less time than usual as they race to get more than 8,000 trees planted this spring. The tree-planting season, which was supposed to start on April 1 before blizzards pushed it several weeks out, is no joke. The work is slower for Hart and his crew, who are responsible for planting a couple dozen trees in the hustle

Arborists Chris Watson, Nick Hart and Lanel Lane replaced a removed tree with a white pine in Loring Park. Photo by Eric Best

and bustle of downtown Minneapolis in just one 10-hour day. With others working around the city, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board can plant about 250 a day between April and June. “We’re hand-digging every hole. It can be tedious,” he said. Forestry officials say the work is worth it. Some of the


As costs rise for Southwest light rail, so does risk of ‘fatal’ delay

For what it’s worth

Challenges mount for the Met Council-led project

Property in Minneapolis is averaging annual 8–10 percent increases in value since 2014. In Linden Hills, single-family home valuations went up 11.5 percent in the past year, according to city data. In Lynnhurst, valuations went up nearly 15 percent. Jordan: 13 percent. Seward: 19 percent. Phillips West: 24 percent. Appeals contesting property valuations, meanwhile, shot up to about 1,400 this year, an increase of 85 percent over 2017 — and the city assessor said he has no problem with that. In fact, he said he relies on appeals to ensure valuations are correct. “We always assume that people are going to let us know if the value’s wrong. People say that you can’t fight City Hall. Well that’s not true,” said City Assessor Patrick Todd. “... If you don’t tell us it’s wrong, then we assume it’s right.” The city assessor’s office uses a mass appraisal system that looks at one year of comparable sales; in this case, from October 2016 to September 2017. That means they’ll use 7,000 sales to value

By Dylan Thomas /

As costs continued to rise for Southwest Light Rail Transit this spring, the Metropolitan Council sounded a warning in a federal filing that its ongoing dispute with a regional railroad could cause a “potentially fatal” delay for the $1.9 billion project. The agency is now battling on multiple fronts to keep the state’s largest-ever public works project viable: in federal court, where it faces two SWLRT-related lawsuits; before the federal Surface Transportation Board, which is currently weighing Met Council’s plan to acquire two critical sections of future light-rail corridor; in Washington, D.C., where

Congressman Jason Lewis is pushing a measure that could endanger Met Council’s ability to access federal transportation funds; and at its headquarters in St. Paul, where on May 2 it announced the latest bids for the project’s massive civil construction contract. The $799.5 million low bid from the team of Lunda Construction Co. and C.S. McCrossan was roughly $3 million higher than the lowest of four construction bids submitted last summer — all four of which were rejected because they were too high and included disqualified contractors. SEE SWLRT BIDS / PAGE A9

Citywide property valuations increase 10 percent By Michelle Bruch /

the remaining 120,000 properties, Todd said. The method becomes more difficult in markets like this one, when there aren’t many home sales and multiple bidders hike the sale prices. Todd said that’s one of the reasons the city saw so many appeals this year. “Minneapolis is just the top place to live right now, and that kind of ebbs and flows. At some point it will change,” he said. Todd said that overall assessed values are accurate, because they have to be. He said the Department of Revenue requires valuations to be in lockstep with the market. When the foreclosure crisis hit, he said the state didn’t allow the office to reduce valuations as much as staff wanted. “Year after year, the Department of Revenue runs their statistical analysis and makes sure that our assessments are rock solid,” he said. City assessors visit every home in a five-year cycle. If homeowners don’t invite them inside, SEE PROPERTY VALUATIONS / PAGE A10

A2 May 17–30, 2018 / / May 17–30, 2018 A3

By Michelle Bruch /

Nandi Solórzano (l) and Karina Elze will open Academia ELZE this summer. Photo by Michelle Bruch


Academia ELZE The co-founders of a new dual language immersion preschool in Stevens Square want to teach children to be truly bilingual, equally strong in Spanish and English. “I learned English and Spanish simultaneously,” said co-founder Nandi Solórzano, whose father is from Guatemala and mother is from Minnesota. “I don’t consider one to be my first or second language. That’s why I believe in immersion so much. It defined my life and my opportunities.” Academia ELZE co-founders Solórzano and Karina Elze, who previously worked together at a Minneapolis Spanish-immersion school, said it’s common for students to be conversational in one language and stronger academically in another. Elze said it’s important that native Spanish speakers have a place to maintain their Spanish and learn English as well. “It’s a bridge for them,” she said. The founders also want to provide highquality education to children of any socioeconomic status, aiming to close achievement gaps that appear as early as kindergarten. Not everyone arrives in kindergarten knowing how

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to hold a pencil, write their name or distinguish letters and numbers, Elze said. “The first years — zero to 5 — that is very significant and that can make the whole difference,” Solórzano said. Once the program is up and running, they plan to secure funding to offer tuition scholarships. The for-profit center will also accept families enrolled in Hennepin County’s child care assistance program. They will initially open to 29 children ages 16 months–5 years, later expanding the center to include infant care. Operating out of Plymouth Congregational Church, they have space for an indoor gym. Future plans include a natural playground in a fenced-in area. They’re adapting a curriculum for preschoolers based in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). The fullday program is available for two, three or five days per week. Tours of the facility are beginning now. The academy is in the process of securing a state license, and it’s slated to open early this summer at 4 W. Franklin Ave.


Metro Inn The Metro Inn is for sale. The 1950s-era motel at 5637 Lyndale Ave. S. nearly sold this spring. “The deal fell apart,” said owner Shahid Mian. Shaw-Lundquist Associates had an option to purchase the property, with plans to build a five-story senior housing project, according to Katya Pilling, the company’s Business Development Director. But the purchase agreement was canceled. “There just wasn’t any way to make the financials work with the acquisition cost being that high,” she said. Mian said he’s still willing to accept “any reasonable offer.” “We really want to run the property, but the city is giving us a hard time,” he said, citing frequent inspections and tickets for issues like litter. He said staff at the family-run business are working hard day and night. City staff recommended not to renew the Metro Inn and Aqua City Motel licenses last year, and the business owners have appealed, according to the city. City staff said the case is scheduled to have an evidentiary hearing soon. The city placed operating conditions on the motel licenses in recent years, regulating security staffing, litter pickup, guest IDs and staff training.

Pilling said Shaw-Lundquist remains interested in the site. The general contractor and design-build firm is currently working on projects that include the renovation of Bancroft Elementary. If the Metro Inn development went well, they were willing to consider a second acquisition of the neighboring Aqua City Motel, she said. “We would still definitely be interested in building it here,” Pilling said. “… It’s a good market, it’s a good project.”


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Matthew Kazama prepares Hawaiian-inspired poké bowls at Fish Bowl Poké. Photo by Michelle Bruch Arthur Murray SWJ 040518 6.indd 1

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Fish Bowl Poké A doorway connects Ramen Kazama to its new counterpart, Fish Bowl Poké at 5 W. 34th St. Visitors can order ramen and draft beer on one side and find mochi ice cream and poké bowls on the other. Poké means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian. The poké bowl features a choice of raw tuna, salmon or tofu over rice topped with veggies and house-made sauce. Ramen Kazama’s co-owner Matthew Kazama created the menu. He was born in Honolulu, raised in Japan and started living in the U.S. at age 18, where he gained expertise preparing sushi and Japanese cuisine at Fuji Ya. Kazama said the House bowl is a traditional poké — he thought the menu should begin by getting the basics right. The K-Pop adds

Korean-style kimchee, adapted from his favorite dish, yukhoe. “Not too many poké restaurants have this idea,” he said. The Salsa bowl (as the drummer in the Birthday Suits, Kazama’s bowls feature musically-inspired names) incorporates pico de gallo, avocado, lime juice and cilantro. And the Rock-N-Roll bowl, proving popular in the restaurant’s early days, includes spicy mayo and the vibrant flavors of a sushi roll. Patrons can build their own bowls as well, choosing a base, add-ins, protein, sauce and toppings. Much of the menu is made from scratch and is gluten-free. Hours are 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


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Two developers are teaming up to redevelop the former CenturyLink office site at 2800 N. Wayzata Blvd. They envision new office tenants in the existing CenturyLink building, perhaps flanked by 100 units of market-rate senior housing on the east side and 150 units of affordable family housing on the west side. Developer Ned Abdul of Swervo Development, the firm behind the downtown Armory renovation, would handle the office development. Steve Minn of Lupe Development, developer of Eat Street Flats, would handle the residential development. Although Lupe has suggested heights of three to five stories, Minn said he wants neighborhood input. The neighborhood association is co-hosting a design charrette on May 22, where several design concepts will be presented. “I’m really focused on not making any presumptions about what will be there so the neighborhood has a chance to weigh in and look at the options and give us some feedback,” Minn said. “… I really want neighborhood buy-in on this.” The site is located south of Anwatin Middle School. “We’re totally sensitive to and want to be attentive to issues the neighborhood has,” Minn said. “Traffic is going to be a concern. Cedar Lake Road is the primary way to get

there. There are going to be neighbors who are concerned about that.” The project would likely incorporate 300–400 parking spaces to ensure the office space is successful, Minn said. He noted an active bus route, and said a proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit station would not be too far away. A Swervo representative told the Bryn Mawr neighborhood that the office building may be updated to include outdoor patios and a rooftop deck, according to meeting minutes. They are looking for a large anchor tenant. The affordable housing would likely serve people making about half of the area median income. An option under consideration for the senior housing is an equity cooperative. Such cooperatives typically have an entry fee and a refundable equity component that still allows for an easy exit, Minn said. One of the nation’s first senior co-ops in 1977 is the 7500 York Cooperative in Edina, according to the Star Tribune. The co-op shares start at $40,000 and appreciate annually. Estimated wait times for 337 units range from three months to 12 years, depending on the unit. 2800 Partners LLC purchased the 8-acre site from CenturyLink in October for $4.75 million. The May 22 design charrette is 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. at the Bryn Mawr Elementary cafeteria, 252 Upton Ave. S. / May 17–30, 2018 A5

Steele Smiley (center), the entrepreneur behind STEELE Fitness, was a silent partner in the launch of CRISP & GREEN and became majority owner in 2017. He plans to take the franchise national. Photo courtesy of CRISP & GREEN


CRISP & GREEN Construction is underway on a new CRISP & GREEN location slated to open this summer at 3930 W. 50th St. The menu offers salads like the Yacht Club (with shrimp, avocado, radish and jalapeñolime vinaigrette), smoothies like the Big Island (with banana, pineapple, coconut milk and vanilla pea protein), seasonal items like Pesto Primavera, build-your-own dishes and grain bowls like the Chef Curry (with tofu, roasted

yam, fajita pepper and ginger-curry vinaigrette). The fast-casual restaurant got its start in Wayzata and the North Loop. The company recently announced plans to expand the franchise nationally. The Edina storefront was previously home to SHOP in the CITY, which relocated four doors down into a larger two-level space at 3916 W. 50th St.





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NOTED: Burger King at 3342 Nicollet Ave. has closed. The business’s website calls the closure temporary. KMSP reports that the location is

one of nine that abruptly closed, all owned by the Chicago-based P3 Foods, which was ordered to surrender its properties in bankruptcy court.

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Mayor Jacob Frey announced a four-point affordable housing plan May 14 at Blue Line Flats in the Corcoran neighborhood. Photo by Dylan Thomas

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Mayor Jacob Frey pledged May 14 to include an “historic investment� in affordable housing in his 2019 city budget proposal. Acting on the recommendation of his affordable housing task force, Frey said he would seek a stable, dedicated source of funding to increase the city’s annual housing budget to $50 million. He described that target as “far and away a record,� but there’s no certainty at this point if the funding can be found or if the proposal will survive the city’s budgeting process. “I don’t want to spend too much time on that figure, but I will note that if we fall short it will not be for lack of effort from our team,� Frey said. The mayor’s four-point plan, which he described as the “bedrock� of his affordable housing agenda, would seek to increase the production of new affordable housing, preserve the affordable housing that already exists, help renters stay in their homes and increase access to homeownership. “It is my core belief that affordable housing must be in every neighborhood, so this agenda must be for our entire city,� Frey said. He said historic action was required for a housing crisis that is the worst Minneapolis has seen since the Great Depression. The city has lost about 10,000 affordable units since 2000, Frey noted. The Twin Cities apartment vacancy rate was just 2.4 percent at the end of 2017, according to Marquette Advisors, while 5 percent is considered healthy for a metropolitan area, and housing costs are rising faster than incomes for many. Frey said the city should tweak the rules for its Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help create more of what he called “deeply affordable� housing, one part of his plan’s strategy to boost affordable housing production. He suggested removing the fund’s “arbitrary� $25,000-per-unit cap and creating more units affordable to renters earning 30 percent or less of area median income. Many trust fund-assisted projects target renters earning closer to 50–60 percent of area median income. To preserve the affordable rental housing that already exists, Frey suggested expanding a pilot project, currently underway, to enroll local rental property owners in a state program that offers a property tax reduction on their afford-

able rental units. This spring, the city helped some Minneapolis landlords qualify for the state’s 4d program by offering a small subsidy; it covered the $10-per-unit application fee. Frey’s affordable housing task force recommended creating a new rental rehab program that would assist with repairs to buildings with fewer than 20 units. It also recommended giving more financial support for housing providers and public agencies to buy and preserve so-called naturally occurring affordable housing, or affordable rental units that receive no government subsidy. Frey’s plan to support renters includes adding city housing inspectors and working more closely with renters who are fighting landlords for maintenance and upkeep of their units. He would also create new supports for renters displaced by eviction or the sale of their buildings. The city may even explore rental subsidies for the lowest-income renters. The plan proposes $6 million annually for efforts to expand access to affordable homeownership. Specific steps include doubling or tripling the rate of development on vacant city-owned lots, down payment assistance for “first-generation� homebuyers and collaborating with non-profit partners to offer more education and other types of support to firsttime homebuyers. Even if the City Council fully funds Frey’s plan, $50 million represents just a fraction of the investment needed in affordable housing regionally. A report from his affordable housing task force notes that the Minnesota Housing Partnership estimates “the Twin Cities needs $1.1 billion for housing in order to address current need and meet the demands of projected growth.� Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, a co-chair of the mayor’s task force, said ending the affordable housing crisis would take “a coordinated approach from all the actors in the public and the private sector.� McLaughlin said the county was testing several strategies, including putting sentencedto-serve crews to work on housing rehabilitation projects and helping tenants with legal assistance. “I applaud the mayor for making this his no. 1 priority, and if we work together we can solve this problem,� McLaughlin said. / May 17–30, 2018 A7

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No plea entered during Noor court appearance Mohamed Noor, the former police officer facing murder chargers for the on-duty shooting of a Southwest Minneapolis woman last year, did not enter a plea during a brief hearing May 8 in Hennepin County District Court. Noor did not speak during the omnibus hearing, which lasted only a few minutes. A document filed with the court April 25 indicated he intends to plead not guilty and argue during trial that he was acting in self-defense and used reasonable force in the July 2017 incident. Noor shot and killed Justince Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, in the alley behind her Fulton-neighborhood home the night of July 15. The former officer and his partner were responding to a 911 call placed by Damond, a native of Australia who was engaged and living with her fiance in Minneapolis. The small 19th-floor courtroom was filled to capacity, and some late arrivals were forced to wait outside, including a television crew from Australia. The attorneys discussed scheduling for the case in an exchange with district court Judge Kathryn Quaintance. One of the two members of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office who

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are prosecuting the case told Quaintance the sharing of information between prosecution and defense attorneys, known as discovery, was “mostly complete.” Noor, dressed in a dark blue suit, left the Hennepin County Government Center flanked by defense attorneys Tom Plunkett and Peter Wold. A hearing is scheduled to begin Sept. 27.

Charter Commission examines even-year city elections With the goal of boosting turnout when city offices are on the ballot, the Minneapolis Charter Commission began in May to explore the possibility of shifting municipal elections to even years. As allowed under state law, Minneapolis holds municipal elections in odd-numbered years; the last was in 2017, and the next is scheduled for 2021. Turnout is relatively low, averaging just over 31 percent in odd years since 2001, compared to 59 percent for even-year elections — a rate that rises to 75 percent in presidential election years. But aligning municipal elections with state and federal elections isn’t as simple as changing a few words in the city’s charter. A variety of legal and technical hurdles stand in the way, according to Caroline Bachun, who outlined the challenges in a May 19 memo to the Charter Commission. For example: The city uses ranked-choice voting for municipal elections, a system that has not been adopted for either state or federal races. Minneapolis doesn’t currently have equipment that can scan and tabulate both ranked-choice and non-ranked-choice votes on the same ballot. Asking voters to switch between the two types of voting could create confusion, Bachun noted. It would likely also confuse the technology used to assist voters who are blind or visually impaired in casting their ballots. And just squeezing all the state, federal and local candidates onto one ballot, as required under state law, would be difficult. The state could make exception to allow for a two-ballot election, but that scenario raises a related issue: when polls close, election officials typically check to make sure the number of ballots cast in an election matches exactly the voter count, a process called ballot reconciliation. Despite those challenges, the Charter Commission is pushing ahead. The chair, Barry Clegg, said a student from


the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota was researching other, similarly sized cities that hold municipal elections in even years and would present his findings to the commission in June. That report would look specifically at the issue of ballot dropoff or ballot fatigue — when voters, faced with a lengthy ballot, are more likely to vote in the races listed at the top and less likely to vote in those at the bottom. If ballot fatigue meant fewer votes were cast in races for city offices — which by law must be listed below federal, state and county offices on the ballot — then it would defeat the purpose of switching municipal elections to even-numbered years. But Clegg said the initial findings show drop-off only occurs on a small number of ballots, and the effect might be overcome by the boost in turnout that comes with aligning municipal elections with state and federal elections. “We didn’t want to run tilting against windmills unless it would make a meaningful difference,” he said. Clegg said it isn’t just about getting more voters to the polls when city offices are on the ballot; it’s about getting a more diverse constituency to participate in electing the mayor and City Council members. Turnout in municipal elections is lower across the board, but it’s especially low in communities that are already underrepresented at the polls, he said. Some of the other hurdles to the shift are already falling. Clegg said Maine recently became the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting for statewide elections, and that has driven the companies that develop balloting technology to address some of the technical challenges outlined in Bachun’s memo to the Charter Commission. Clegg said any proposal to amend the city’s charter probably wouldn’t go to Minneapolis voters until 2020, at the earliest.


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EDITOR Dylan Thomas 612-436-4391


STAFF WRITERS Michelle Bruch

Nate Gotlieb

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By Jim Walsh

Harriet Lovejoy was here


he ice was finally off Lake Harriet Sunday night, so as I took in the sunset from my favorite sunset-watching bench facing South Beach, I decided to hold a séance and call up the lake’s namesake, Harriet Lovejoy Leavenworth. Lo and behold, the lady of the lake rose up from the swimming area and hovered over a freshly shorn tree stump on the beach. I turned on my recorder ... Jim: Whoa and wow! Good evening, Ms. Lovejoy. Harriet: Happy sundown, Mr. Jim. Yet another beautiful one. Can you believe they tore down that tree? It hung over this lake for decades, but now the vista of the beach horizon is all the grander, and people have been using the stump as a prop for photos with the downtown skyline and lake. Jim: So good to see and hear you! I must say I’m surprised you answered my call. I’ve tried to contact you in the past, but … Harriet: That awful John C. Calhoun got so much publicity in the last few years that I felt it was about time I make an appearance. So much has been made about him being a racist and segregationist, but what you might not know is that, like a lot of men then, he made Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein look like choirboys. Jim: I can imagine. I’m glad to finally get a chance to talk to you. You’ve always haunted this place. Your name is everywhere in Minneapolis, yet the history books barely mention you. You don’t even warrant a Wikipedia entry, yet the so-called jewel of the Minneapolis lakes and all her progeny are named for you. Harriet: HIStory books. You said it. I was a woman and it was a man’s world. Times have changed, thank goddess. Jim: You’re a woman of mystery, for sure. All we know is that you were the third wife of Henry Leavenworth, a soldier famous for fighting in the War of 1812 and alongside the Sioux Indians in the Arikara War of 1823 and building forts Snelling and Leavenworth. By all accounts your love was strong. It survived separation by the wars, and you were widowed in 1834. Everybody called you “Mrs. L.” Soldiers described you as a Florence Nightingale figure who helped heal the troops with courage and compassion — a fitting profile of this lake’s heroine. But there’s no record of why it was named for you. Harriet: I have no idea. I’m not sure I ever even visited it. I suppose it was a way to honor … my husband? I guess I’m honored, but it’s sort of embarrassing. I hear there are streets, bars, beers and restaurants named after me? Jim: Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, churches, songs, schools, florists, apartment buildings. You’re a freaking cottage industry here. Harriet: It’s funny, because I only spent a short of time in Minnesota. Not even a year. I mean, my grave is in New York, which is where I’m from.

The only existing image of Harriet Lovejoy Leavenworth, circa 1815. (Oil painting by John Wesley Jarvis, courtesy of the Frontier Army Museum.) Submitted image

Jim: How do you feel about having this lake named after you? Harriet: I thought it was strange then, and I think it’s strange now. The original Dakota name was Bde Unma. I had many Indian friends. I was the first white woman to trek the territory from Missouri to Wisconsin, accompanied on my and my daughter’s journey to be by my husband’s side by 14 brave and kind Indian warriors. What did the ancestral Native Americans think of these people coming in and changing the name of their lake to honor some white lady? What? I was supposed to be honored? They never even asked me. You should honor me now by mounting a campaign to change it back. Jim: Hoo boy. Harriet: “Bde Maka Ska” and “Bde Unma” sounds about right to me. “Harriet” is an old word from the old world. Meaningless. But I do like the idea that people might think it was named for Harriet Tubman. Jim: It’s about time you got your long overdue and righteous due as a pioneer woman, feminist and healer. We need you in these times! Also: Love. Joy. “Lake Lovejoy” would be sweet. Harriet: Dream on, young man. By the way, wish me happy birthday. I just turned 227 years old. I died in 1854, that big rock over there says “Established 1883.” Jim: The only known image of you is a portrait painted in 1815. You’ve got a bit of Mona Lisa smile. Harriet: I was thinking about how much fun it would be to some day come back to this world as a ghost. Jim: The look on your face is one of kindness, something this world could use more of. Harriet: So I hear. I try to impart it whenever

I visit, which is often, at all times of the day and night. I eavesdrop on heartbreaking stories of love and loss, told with such passion, pain, and wisdom … all as you the living walk, run, ride, or drive around this medicinal lake. Sometimes I touch people on their shoulder and take their pain away. I learned that from Wim Wenders’ “Wings Of Desire.” Jim: Speaking of which, sometimes I linger over the brick pavers in front of the bandshell: Lots of life and beautiful times commemorated and celebrated there. But nothing about you. You should at least have a brick, bench or plaque, for heaven’s sakes. Then again, not much is known about who you were … Harriet: Typical. Let me tell you. I was one of the undocumented founding mothers of Suffragette City. Women didn’t win the right to vote until I’d been dead for 66 years. The word “feminist” wasn’t around until the late 1880s, but the truth is we worked hard to earn our privilege as pioneer women who cared for the sick and dying. We were strong women. Strong leaders. We fought for our rights every day. The segregationists were horrible people, much like the white racists of today. I had slaves who were my friends and slave families I loved like my own and we were at war and we were all raising our babies. People are people. Jim: Happy Mother’s Day, by the way. I know you had four children, and that you lost your eldest daughter, tragically, not long after the death of your husband. Your life was not easy, but you persevered and after those deaths and after the war you became a teacher at what would become the Delaware Academy in New York. Go ahead and think yourself unworthy, but a lake named for a wife, mother, nurse, teacher and lover who gave so much of herself to others seems just about perfect to me. Harriet: Well, thank you, but I hardly need your approval or certification. Not your ghost story to tell. Now it’s time for me to get out of here. You’re starting to creep me out with all your flowery accolades. Ahoy! It’s been lovely chatting with you. Maybe I’ll go put on my long flowing Lady Of The Lake sheets, hang in the pines and scare some ’mockers and crows. Jim: I’ll look for you hovering in all the same old haunts around here. Please come again! When will I see you next? What should I tell your fans? Harriet: Tell them not to forget me. Tell them I’ll be here. Tell them to look and listen for me. Let them know that I was more than somebody’s wife and that The Ghost Of Harriet is real … Jim Walsh lives and grew up in South Minneapolis. He can be reached at / May 17–30, 2018 A9 FROM SWLRT BIDS / PAGE A1

Bids in that round ranged from $796.5 million to nearly $1.1 billion. This second round of bidding attracted just one other offer, from the team of Ames Construction and Kraemer North America, for $812.1 million. In an email, a Met Council spokesperson said the agency “anticipated that the bids would be more than the lowest bids in August 2017 for several reasons,” including delays to the schedule, inflation, a tightening labor market and rising diesel fuel and steel costs. After the federal government, the county is the largest funder of the project, a 14.5-mile extension of the Metro Green Line into the southwestern suburbs. Two weeks after the bids came in, Met Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff said it was time to increase the project’s budget 7.8 percent to just more than $2 billion. The Hennepin County Board was scheduled to meet May 17, just after this edition went to press, to consider Met Council’s proposal. It would require the county to up its contribution by $204 million, which Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said would come from sales tax revenue that is already used to fund transit. He said the board would also consider actions that gave it greater oversight of the project’s contingency fund, which to meet federal requirements will exceed a quarter of a billion dollars. One likely option would be to split the project’s contingency fund in half, with half controlled by an executive control board and the other half by the county. As McLaughlin explained it, the executive control board, made up of officials from Met Council and Hennepin County, would sign off on any project changes exceeding $350,000. If the portion of the contingency fund managed by the executive control board is exhausted during construction, the project could then tap into the half controlled by the county board, but only if a majority of the board voted to approve.


Met Council is seeking what’s called a letter of no prejudice from the Federal Transit Administration that would allow it to award a civil construction contract and break ground on SWLRT this summer, even before the FTA awards the project a fullfunding grant agreement. That FTA grant was expected to cover roughly half the cost of SWLRT, but the grant amount was locked in at about $930 million at a time when the project’s budget was lower. It would cover about 46 percent of a $2 billion project. In a May 3 letter to council members, Tchourumoff noted the agency followed a similar process for the first segment of the Metro Green Line. Nine letters of no prejudice were issued for the Central Corridor LRT Project, and heavy construction began in 2010, nearly eight months before the FTA grant was awarded, she said. Still, at least one more barrier stands in the way of Met Council’s plan to start SWLRT work this construction season: an intensifying legal fight with Twin Cities & Western Railroad.

Time and money In March, Met Council and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority announced a joint plan to reorganize ownership and control of two segments of the future SWLRT corridor, the 6.7-mile Bass Lake Spur and 2.6-mile Kenilworth Corridor. Both submitted the required filings with the Surface Transportation Board — which soon also heard from TC&W and more than 30 of its shippers. The regional shortline alleged SWLRT construction would “substantially and unreasonably” interfere with its right to operate on those tracks. TC&W moves $1.5 billion in freight through the Bass Lake Spur and Kenilworth Corridor each year, mainly agricultural products from southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. Met Council and TC&W already had

conducted lengthy negotiations over SWLRT construction agreements in 2017. Met Council maintains they were close to a deal late last summer when TC&W added unreasonable last-minute demands; TC&W contends that several issues were unsettled when Met Council walked away from the negotiating table and went silent for months. Met Council officials said the impasse forced their hand. They struck the deal with Hennepin County, then asked the Surface Transportation Board to quickly review and OK the plan so that SWLRT would remain on schedule. TC&W’s shippers, meanwhile, asked the board to take its time and open a public comment period. In late April, TC&W filed a lawsuit against Met Council in U.S. District Court — which it cited in a letter to the Surface Transportation Board as yet another reason for the board to delay its decision. In a May 2 filing with the Surface Transportation Board, Met Council stated a delay “could cost tens of millions of dollars” and “jeopardize” the project. “Unless the Council is able to establish site control of the Kenilworth Corridor and Bass Lake Spur by the middle of July, 2018, it will be impossible to award civil construction contracts in August, 2018,” the Met Council stated in its filing. “If the project does not begin construction during the 2018 season, the unnecessary delay will significantly impact project costs and delay revenue service. This type of delay cannot be corrected later.” The board has not yet issued a decision on Met Council’s request. On May 3, the board announced it would postpone the date Hennepin County’s portion of the deal takes effect, but it did not signal whether the plan could face a more significant delay. “It seems reasonable that the STB would want to take time to review the materials it has received on this matter,” Kate Brickman, the council’s communications director said.

“We remain confident in our STB filing and await the STB’s decision.”

On the defensive Even as Met Council labored to push SWLRT closer to a full-funding grant agreement with the FTA, the agency found itself defending its role in planning and funding regional transportation projects. The measure authored by 2nd District GOP Rep. Lewis, an amendment to a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, would require the Met Council to come into compliance with a federal statute requiring it and other municipal planning organizations to include elected officials on their boards. The Met Council board has been appointed by the governor since the 1960s and was grandfathered-in when the current federal law took effect. Lewis said his amendment would “give citizens power over their regional government.” The House adopted it on a voice vote April 26. State and local officials opposed to the measure warned its passage could threaten Met Council’s ability to apply for and use federal transportation funds, including the nearly $930 million the agency anticipates winning for SWLRT. In a letter dated April 30, Gov. Mark Dayton urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to leave the amendment out of the Senate version of the FAA authorization bill. Dayton pointed out that the state’s Transportation Advisory Board guides Met Council’s transportation planning. The 34-member TAB includes 18 elected officials, he said, adding that “the Metropolitan Council’s powers are limited to either concurrence or returning the decisions to TAB for reconsideration.”


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Appeals spike Todd said that one factor driving more appeals this year is social media. Lynnhurst, the neighborhood with the most appeals, did not see the city’s biggest increase in value. But it did have a lively discussion on Nextdoor. “I think it only makes sense that the area with the highest voter turnout and the highest percentage of single-family homes would have the most appeals,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano. Lynnhurst resident Paul Ragozzino said his property valuation went up 16 percent, but he successfully appealed to land at a 5 percent valuation increase. “There’s a lot of seniors in the neighborhood that are on fixed incomes that this really will impact,” he said. Sandy Loescher, a real estate agent who hears appeals as part of the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization, said she listens to heart-wrenching stories: A widow in poor health who lives on valuable Lake of the Isles real estate. A homeowner of 40 years who can’t afford the taxes anymore.

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I wouldn’t say that the door is closed on affordable places to buy yet, but I see it kind of narrowing. — Sandy Loescher, real estate agent

She said appellants who go before the board must allow an assessor inside the house, and they have to provide information to back up their case. “The quickest, easiest way for people to do this is to call their real estate agent … and have them do a market analysis,” she said. Although the city appeal process is closed, residents can still appeal by April 2019 through Small Claims Court for a fee of about $150 or Tax Court for a $299 fee. Palmisano said it’s hard to estimate exactly how the valuations will impact next year’s property taxes. As the budget chair, Palmisano said she thinks the city is already looking at a levy increase of at least 5.5 percent, without any new funding allocations. Last year, she said, many Southwest residents saw a roughly 5 percent increase in their property valuations, resulting in property tax increases of less than $100 due to citywide growth in the tax base. “If the whole city goes up in tandem, our tax base is expanding, and this isn’t going to result in the tax hikes that people fear,” she said.

Pressure on rents Renters may also feel the effects of rising property valuations. Cotty Lowry said he owns three small apartment buildings in Uptown and Lowry Hill and he feels forced to raise the rent because of a $10,000 increase in property tax bills this year. “It’s going to cause turnover, it’s going to cause upheaval in people’s lives,” said Lowry, who raised rents last week by about $50 per month. He said his Lowry Hill apartment is a century old and needs repairs all the time. “What can I do?” he said. Bernadette Hornig said Hornig Companies’ apartments are taxed as if rents were at the top of the market. “This affects our ability to reinvest in capital needs, pay our mortgage and other expenses,” she said in an email. “We then need to push on revenue side (by raising rents, charging for parking, etc.) to get things back in balance. … The city is wondering why all of these properties are selling and being repositioned — this is why. The numbers don’t work.” Todd, the city assessor, said apartments have seen a steady increase in valuation over time. City data indicate a 5.6 percent valuation increase in apartment properties this year, with a 21 percent increase since 2014. “In my opinion, apartments as an investment strategy has been one of the best market segments to invest in for many years, therefore, values have been steadily going up,” he said in an email. “I think the increase in apartment appeals has a lot to do with the owner’s return on investment. As a general rule, apartment owners have a difficult time passing 100 (percent) of the property tax increase on to their tenant, therefore it impacts the owner’s bottom line.” Pat Werner, who works as a real estate agent and serves on the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization hearing appeals, said she remembers when certain neighborhoods were the city’s “best-kept secrets,” like areas around Bryn Mawr, Brackett Field Park, Phillips, Camden and Longfellow. Not anymore, she said. Loescher said she lives in a lovely area on the North side, and there are still bargains to be had. “I wouldn’t say that the door is closed on affordable places to buy yet, but I see it kind of narrowing,” she said. / May 17–30, 2018 A11

School Board set to pass 2018-19 budget State requires school districts to pass budget by June By Nate Gotlieb /

The Minneapolis Board of Education appears positioned to pass the district’s 2018-19 budget next month, despite lingering controversy over a vote to restore a line item district leaders had cut from the budget. Seven of the board’s nine members have said publicly or in interviews with the Southwest Journal they will support the district’s $604.4 million general operating budget, which pays for salaries, transportation and other operating expenses. That’s despite four board members and dozens of community members speaking out against the restoration of the line item, which goes toward middle and high schools. “I think it’s really important that we have to turn the page and we have to accept what is best at this point and make sure that we do our best by our students next year and every month going forward,” School Board Chair Nelson Inz said at the board’s meeting on May 8. Inz’s comments came about a month after the board voted 5-4 to restore what the district calls time-adjustment funding to its 16 middle and high schools. The district distributes about $470 in time-adjustment funding per student to middle and high schools so they can add time to their school days. Some use it to help cover the costs of a seven-period school day. The district distributed about $6.4 million in time-adjustment funding in 2017-18. MPS cut the time-adjustment funding as part of its plan for eliminating a projected $33 million budget gap for 2018-19. The projected

gap is due to enrollment declines, negotiated salary increases, increases in the costs of state and federal mandates and other factors, according to the district. Superintendent Ed Graff announced the projected gap in early fall and asked School Board members for feedback on potential cuts during several meetings this fall. District leaders also surveyed the public on their values when it came to the budget and held multiple community meetings outlining potential actions. In February, district leaders announced their initial recommendations for cutting $33 million, including cutting the $6.4 million in time-adjustment funding. The district also made cuts to its centrally funded departments, changed bell times at 20 schools to create transportation efficiencies and required schools and departments to absorb salary increases in response to the projected gap. The cuts hit especially hard at Washburn High School, which initially faced a cut totaling nearly $1.7 million. The school lost nearly $800,000 in time-adjustment funding and over $400,000 in federal Title I funding, which goes toward helping students who are performing below grade level in reading or math. The district redistributed Washburn’s Title I funding to schools in Minneapolis with the highest concentrations of poverty. Washburn also lost funding because of a slight projected enrollment decline and the loss of one special education classroom, among other reasons.

The cuts forced Washburn leaders to eliminate over two dozen positions, including multiple counselor, security and dean positions. Parents at the school advocated for the board to restore some of the school’s funding and asked board members to consider their resolution to restore time-adjustment funding at all schools. Board Member Rebecca Gagnon, who carried the resolution, argued that cuts to middle and high schools were too steep. Gagnon, KerryJo Felder, Ira Jourdain, Bob Walser and Siad Ali voted for the resolution on April 10, forcing Graff and his team to cut nearly an additional $5 million from the district’s central office during the next week.

I think it’s really important that we have to turn the page and we have to accept what is best at this point and make sure that we do our best by our students next year and every month going forward. — Minneapolis Board of Education Chair Nelson Inz

Questions over equity In an interview about her re-election campaign earlier this month, Gagnon said she heard from multiple secondary school communities about how cuts were having a negative effect at their schools. Gagnon said she introduced the timeadjustment resolution thinking that it would spur additional suggestions but noted that nothing else came forward. “I’m a person that acts,” she said, adding that the time-adjustment funding helps secondary schools pay for critical programming. “It was critical to get it done March–April,” she added. Still, not all board members agreed that the resolution was the way to deal with the effects of the cuts. Board Treasurer Jenny Arneson

noted on April 10 that the resolution could have unintended impacts on kids, especially in parts of Minneapolis with greater disparities. She pointed out that schools in Southwest Minneapolis would receive more time-adjustment funding. Arneson also noted the resolution disregarded the recommendation of the superintendent and his team. In a letter after the vote, leaders of the district’s four largest labor unions noted that School Board members had time this fall and earlier this winter to voice concerns about the time-adjustment funding. Graff said in SEE SCHOOL BUDGET / PAGE A12

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an exchange with Felder in April that he never heard anything different from what he presented to the board. Multiple school site councils and booster groups spoke out against the resolution after it passed on April 10. About 20 community members voiced similar opinions during the board’s public comment period on May 8, urging the School Board to rescind its resolution. Jill Pearson-Wood, a parent at Waite Park and Northeast, said the resolution felt like a betrayal of the process district leaders used to craft their initial recommendations. She said the resolution will end up hurting kids of color the most, adding that it leaves out students in K–8 schools. “The board should set values and goals in the budgeting process, keeping the needs of the entire district as its priority,” PearsonWood said. “By passing this resolution, it’s stating that this particular line item is the most important thing.” Several board members indicated in a subsequent discussion that they wished they could vote to undo the resolution. But they

The board should set values and goals in the budgeting process, keeping the needs of the entire district as its priority. By passing this resolution, it’s stating that this particular line item is the most important thing. — Jill Pearson-Wood, a parent at Waite Park and Northeast

noted Graff ’s recommendation that they continue forward with the amended budget, because of the uncertainty that any further changes could make. “The window of opportunity to make adjustments to what occurred has past us,” Graff said.

Election impact The resolution appears to have politically cost Gagnon, who began campaigning for a third term as an at-large member on the board this spring. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals criticized the resolution and did not endorse Gagnon for the open seats, instead offering support to Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly. “These endorsed candidates are committed to equitably funding and resourcing our schools and have articulated a progressive, forward-looking vision for what our schools can be,” the teachers and ESPs unions wrote. At the DFL convention on May 12, delegates endorsed Caprini and Pauly on the first ballot, with nearly 90 percent of delegates selecting Caprini and over 60 percent selecting Pauly. Gagnon received votes from about 31 percent of delegates. In her response to a teachers union questionnaire, Gagnon said she would abide by her political party’s endorsement. In addition to Gagnon, Caprini and Pauly, Christy Caez and Sharon El-Amin were also running for the DFL endorsement for the two at-large seats. Voters from across Minneapolis elect at-large board members. The board has six seats specific to different areas of the city and three at-large seats. Voters in District 1, District 3 and District 5 will also elect School Board members this fall. Arneson, Ali and Inz, respectively, hold those seats. Each is running for re-election and was unopposed for DFL endorsement.


work is part of the Park Board’s routine replacement of dying trees throughout the city, but 5,000 of those trees are meant to replace ash trees infested by emerald ash borer. Following the infestation’s appearance in 2009, the city’s forestry officials put together an eight-year plan to remove 40,000 ash trees that are vulnerable to the invasive beetle and plant a more diverse mix of trees in their place. Five years into the plan, officials say the infestation’s growth is slowing as a more diverse tree canopy takes roots. “We describe it as a once-in-a-generation pest problem that’s really altering the look of our public urban forest,” said Ralph Sievert, who directs the Park Board’s forestry department. “The whole idea is, holy cow, if you wait and the beetle population rises, you’re going to have so many trees dying that you’re going to be in trouble.” Once infected, ash trees begin to crumble, dropping branches and becoming both a nuisance for the Park Board and a safety concern for homeowners. There isn’t a neighborhood that’s safe from the infestation. Of the city’s 87 neighborhoods, Sievert said most are already infected by emerald ash borer. “But we look at it as if we’ll find it in all the other ones. We just haven’t found it yet,” he said. The Park Board’s replacement plan has rapidly changed the city’s tree canopy. The population of ash trees, once one of the most common trees in Minneapolis, is dropping, representing just 5 percent of the public tree canopy, according to 2017 data from the Minneapolis Tree Advisory Commission. The Park Board’s forestry department manages hundreds of thousands of trees along roads, in parks and in wooded areas. It totals more trees than Minneapolis residents, Sievert said. This year Minneapolis arborists will plant

Forestry crews wrap recently planted trees with bags capable of storing 20 gallons of water, slowly watering the plant. Photo by Eric Best

8,200 trees, which is down from last year’s abnormally high planting effort of 10,300 trees. The work is funded by a special levy that brings in about $1.7 million annually solely to preserve the city’s tree canopy. The Park Board staggers the work over the life of the plan, marking, removing and replacing only a portion of a block’s ash trees in a year. Rather than cutting them down and leaving a block bare, Sievert said they like neighborhood canopies to change gradually. SEE TREE CANOPY / PAGE A14







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By Nate Gotlieb /

City leaders celebrate Justice Page Middle School’s STEAM efforts Several city leaders came to Justice Page Middle School this past month to celebrate a group of students who competed in a national engineering competition in February. Mayor Jacob Frey, Ward 11 City Council Member Jeremy Schroeder and Fire Chief John Fruetel attended a celebration at the school to honor six students who competed in the national Future City competition in Washington D.C. The team finished 14th at the competition after taking first out of 59 teams in a regional competition in January. “They made myself, our school, our district, our city and our state proud,” science teacher Travis Koupal, the team’s coach, said during the ceremony. Future City is an engineering competition for students in grades 6–8 centered on city planning, according to Koupal. The students design a virtual city using the SimCity video game, write a research essay around the year’s theme, construct a tabletop model of their city using recycled materials and prepare and perform a five-to-seven-minute presentation. Koupal said the project incorporates nearly

every element of science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, in additionto broad concepts such as critical thinking, project management and teamwork. About 60 students took Koupal’s Future City class at Page this past fall, and the top two teams in the class went to the regional competition. The regional-winning team, called Team Star Je Novi Mladi, won awards for best essay and best model, in addition to the first-place award. The school’s second team, called Civitatem Vita, had the highest-scoring presentation at regionals and won the award for engineering excellence. “It was a good day for us,” Koupal said. Koupal is leading an effort to rebuild Page’s STEAM program around its maker’s space, a hands-on science, technology and engineering room in the school’s basement. Nearly all of the school’s students will have had at least one experience in the space by the school year’s end, Koupal said. The school is working to raise funds to purchase 3-D printers, sewing machines, electronic components and more for the new space.

Students on a Justice Page Middle School Future City team smile for a picture with Mayor Jacob Frey (right) and Ward 11 City Council Member Jeremy Schroeder (left) during a ceremony this past month at the school. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

During the ceremony, Koupal recognized the efforts of the school’s partners at the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota. He also recognized the contributions of the school’s parent-teacher association and the school’s staff STEAM team that includes Tim Jungwirth, Abbey Janicek and Angie Martin. Koupal said the school will have raised nearly $10,000 for Future City and STEAM education by the end of the year. Frey praised the Future City students for

their work and added that he likes that the competition includes a cross section of disciplines. He said the city needs to make sure that every bit of talent in the Minneapolis school district is utilized, noting a workforce shortage in the region. Team Star Je Novi Mladi consisted of students Julia Moore, Shirley O’Mara, Maya Gels, Hannah Willingham, Eva Allinder and Clover Mills. John Haupt is the team’s engineering mentor, and teacher Hayley Wender helped the team prepare its presentation.

MPS announces new Southwest High School principal Minneapolis Public Schools has hired a longtime principal and administrator to be the new principal of Southwest High School. The district announced May 7 that Michael Favor, who is currently interim superintendent of Monticello Public Schools, will become the school’s principal on July 1. Favor previously was an executive director in the Robbinsdale school district and a principal at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and Minneapolis North High School. “Southwest High School has amazing students and staff committed to social justice and making our school, our community and

our world a better place,” Favor said in a letter posted on the school’s website. “My job will be to give them the tools to make that happen and to set them up to achieve their dreams — both today and tomorrow. Together, we can make sure Southwest remains a world-class school where every student has the opportunity to thrive.” Favor began his career as co-director of the residential treatment center at St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis, according to a bio posted by the district. He went onto work as an assistant principal and dean of students at St. Louis Park High School before working at

North for six years, according to his LinkedIn page. He worked for the Robbinsdale district for about 10 years, serving the last four as executive director of schools and student services. According to his bio, Favor was instrumental in expanding post-secondary opportunities for students in Robbinsdale by creating partnerships with local colleges and technical schools. The bio says student suspensions decreased more than 75 percent while opportunities for students to earn concurrent college credit have doubled. Graduation rates increased for all student demographic groups during Favor’s tenure as principal at Cooper, according to the bio.

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Favor holds a doctorate in education from St. Cloud State University. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, inducted in 2011 after helping North Dakota State University to three Division II national championships as a center in the 1980s. Favor also serves as an adjunct professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Favor’s hire comes about nine months after the district announced the retirement of longtime principal Bill Smith and the departure of two of the school’s assistant principals. Longtime MPS principal Karen Wells has served as interim principal this school year.



A14 May 17–30, 2018 / FROM TREE CANOPY / PAGE A12

“By the time that you get to year eight, you have some trees that were planted in year one with some growth,” he said. In place of the ash trees, arborists like Hart and his crew aren’t planting a single tree species, but a laundry list of rarer plants. A newly planted tree variety must represent less than 10 percent of a neighborhood’s tree population, so ash and other removed trees get replaced by Kentucky coffee, river birch, London Planetree, Japanese tree lilac and Prairie Horizon alder, among others. Sievert said they plant a few disease-resistant elms, a “full circle” moment for the species that was once decimated by its own invasive tree species, Dutch elm disease. “It’s a thoughtful way to make sure the next big pest or disease that comes into our area doesn’t totally decimate our forest,” said District 5 Commissioner Steffanie Musich, who serves on the Minneapolis Tree Advisory Commission. The Park Board buys the trees from commercial nurseries around the country,


Twin Sweeney Lake Lake

with some coming from around the state and others coming as far away as Illinois or New York. While Sievert said they get demands for more fruit trees, the Park Board only plans a few hundred each year, as these trees typically don’t last long and cost more to maintain. Forestry officials would rather see larger trees that can hold up to the elements of an urban city. “We’re constantly looking for cold hardiness, trees that will last through our winters, and we’re having good luck with those,” Sievert said. Valerie McClannahan, a community forestry project lead with the Department of Natural Resources, works with cities around the state to manage invasive tree species and prepare plans to address them. She said larger cities like Minneapolis are ahead of the curve compared to smaller rural communities. Ash trees make up roughly 30 percent of the state’s tree canopy, with some cities’ canopies as much as 70 percent ash. Replacing just one tree can cost $4,000 to remove, McClannahan said. She hopes that cities put in work now to combat the infestation so that its spread across the state will take several decades, giving other communities time to prepare. “If you imagine the sheer cost of what it’s going to look like, a lot of communities have been putting in efforts to manage the ash that they have, but there are so many communities out there that are still figuring out where to start,” she said. Meanwhile, Minneapolis is just a few years out from completing its plan to replace its ash trees. Musich, whose serving her second term Lake representing South Minneapolis,Harvey said she’s planted a couple hundred trees during her time as a commissioner. She said the work pays it forward to future generations who will have healthy trees to enjoy. Lake “At least some of those (trees) are going to Pamela be around for my kids and for my kids’ kids and their kids to potentially climb. That’s a beautiful thing,” she said.





Wirth Lake







394 55

1 394 12




Brownie Lake

1. Bryn Mawr: 99 2. Kenwood: 68 3. Lowry Hill: 28 4. Cedar Isles/Dean: 75 5. East Isles: 70 6. Lowry Hill East: 45 7. Whittier: 158 8. West Calhoun: 32 9. ECCO: 77 10. CARAG: 76 11. Lyndale: 119 12. Linden Hills: 215 Powderhorn Harriet: 144 13. East Lake 14. Kingfield: 303 15. Fulton: 195 16. Lynnhurst: 177 17. Tangletown: 88 18. Page: 49 19. Hale: 89 20. Armatage: 170 21. Kenny: 152 22. Windom: 96 23. Diamond Lake: 170 35W


94 55





Cedar Lake


Lake of the Isles




9 8


Bde Maka Ska




13 14

12 Lake Harriet


If you imagine the sheer cost of what it’s going to look like, a lot of communities have been putting in efforts to manage the ash that they have, but there are so many communities out there that are still figuring out where to start. — Valerie McClannahan, community forestry project lead with the Department of Natural Resources


Lake Hiawatha



17 18

Lake Nokomis



Diamond Lake








Mother Lake

Taft Lake




62 35W





best of


Richfield Lake 35W


Source: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

It’s time to celebrate the Best of Southwest! Tell us what you love most about Southwest Minneapolis and vote for your favorite restaurants, businesses and sights in our annual Best of Southwest contest. This year’s contest winners will be featured in our June 28 print edition. DEADLINE: June 15
















































MAIL PAPER BALLOT TO: “Best of Southwest” 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403 VOTE ONLINE:



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Exciting News!

After 100 years of service, we have decided to rename our company. We are changing from Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to Hero Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We started out in Minneapolis over 100 years agot which is why we named the company Uptown. We have grown tremendously and today we service the entire Twin Cities metro area. As we continue to expand we want our name to reflect the company we are today.

Did Uptown Get Bought Out? No! We are the same great company, with the same great staff. From the customer service experts that answer the phones to the professional plumbers and HVAC technicians that visit your homes, we are all still here, offering the very best home services available in our market today!

Why The Change? We have found that customers outside of Minneapolis are hesitant to call us because our name implies a geographical service area. The fact of the matter is that we have 50 fully stocked trucks working all over the Twin Cities at any given time.

What Does This Mean For You, Our Customers? Not much! You'll simply call us by our new name,

and will be receiving emails and other correspondence from our Hero Plumbing, Heating & Cooling going forward!

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KITCHEN REMODEL MAKES EXTENSIVE USE OF COLOR Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build adds function and beauty


ven interior design writers need their kitchens remodeled, and boy, did my kitchen need it. Our 1922 bungalow had been remodeled years before we bought it in 1999, extending the kitchen 10 feet back toward the garage and adding 22 feet in width to create a big “L” that wrapped around the basement stairwell. Even with all that space, however, the design didn’t work. The sink, dishwasher, cooktop and refrigerator were all along one wall, and the fridge door would bang against a windowsill if not opened carefully. The mudroom, in the “foot” of the L, was wide open to the kitchen, so we could always see the coats, backpacks, shoes, umbrellas, etc. The white linoleum floor was scuffed, and the thin, white cabinet doors had long ceased closing properly. The counter on a peninsula that contained a radiator and


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“The kitchen is way more interesting and attractive with its multiple colors and multiple textures and different environments than dressing it all in one color,” designer Michael Anschel says. “There’s a reason that white kitchens are a trend that came and went.”

lower cabinets was rendered useless by the upper cabinetshelving combination above. The peninsula was also too long, restricting entry to the kitchen. After interviewing a few contractors, we hired OtogawaAnschel Design+Build of Minneapolis to redesign and remodel the kitchen. Owner Michael Anschel had several ideas for making it more functional, beautiful and sustainable. The biggest change was a peninsula extending diagonally 10 feet from one of two large, existing rear windows toward the dining room. Topped by granite slabs cut into curving shapes, the peninsula provides three times the workspace of the old kitchen and a bar-height counter for dining. The drawers below hold dishes, glasses, silverware,

bakeware, food-storage wraps and containers. In place of an apartment-sized wall oven, the company installed a pair of floating wooden shelves that hold the microwave and some tchotchkes above a rounded butcherblock counter. Drawers below provide more storage space. The new refrigerator is directly across from this setup and diagonally across from the edge of the peninsula for easy unloading of groceries. The company also removed some unsightly soffits, insulated the roofline and crawlspace, and installed a wall with a pocket door to close off the mudroom. Anschel made several recommendations with a nod to sustainability and economy. The extra storage space plus a new pantry meant we didn’t need upper cabinets. This

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REMODELING SHOWCASE allows more light to flow between the kitchen and dining room and significantly reduced the cost. He offered to find granite remnants rather than newly cut stone and suggested using butcher block for three counters so we’d need less granite. Although there is plenty of new lighting, he suggested installing a solar tube that would protrude through the roof to bring in natural light. The company offered tile leftover from previous projects for the backsplash. The new flooring is an all-natural, modern take on linoleum. On a recent home tour, many visitors remarked on the two-toned, wavy peninsula countertops. Anschel described the curving lines as a signature move. “It comes from this idea that we are organic and our spaces should have good


flow and good movement,” he said. “When we have a solid surface like stone, cutting it into straight lines seems kind of ridiculous. It’s one of the few materials that we could cut into any shape that we wanted and we can polish it up.” “Human bodies aren’t square or rectangular,” he added. “We’re roundish. We’re lumpy and wavy and curvy, so it’s more comfortable for starters when the countertop embraces you and you can nestle into the space.” The company also made extensive use of color, beyond the sage green and gray/white of the granite. Burnt orange, cornflower blue, greenish clay and soft yellow cover the walls. The kitchen floor is a sandy loam color, and the mudroom floor is green. The blues and grayish-tan of the

The two-toned, wavy peninsula countertops are a signature move. “When we have a solid surface like stone, cutting it into straight lines seems kind of ridiculous,” says Anschel.

backsplash were inspired by a tile mosaic that a friend made for us several years ago. “The kitchen is way more interesting and attractive with its multiple colors and multiple textures and different environments than dressing it all in one color,” Anschel said. “There’s a reason that white kitchens are a trend that came and went. And any time you get into a mono-color anything, it’s a temporary trend. The more complex the design, the more complex the layers, the greater the likelihood that it will last much, much longer. It’s not tied to a single moment or a single trend.”

The company also made extensive use of color, beyond the sage green and gray/white of the granite. The blues and grayish-tan of the backsplash were inspired by a tile mosaic that a friend made for the homeowners several years ago.

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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A18 May 17–30, 2018 /

By Nate Gotlieb /

Southwest students advocate for climate action at Capitol Members of a Southwest High School student group advocated for clean energy policies and practices at the state Capitol this spring. Students on the school’s green team participated in the annual Youth Climate Justice Summit that the Minneapolisbased nonprofit Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy hosted on April 25 in conjunction with several other organizations. The students met with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and local legislators and attended workshops on climate change and clean energy solutions. Eleventh-grader Hema Patel, president of the Southwest green team, said the students met people their age and talked about different ways to approach government and talk about issues they find important. Eleventh-grader Klara Foss said it was cool to talk with other youth about the systems they have and what they’re doing at their schools. “They just have such good ideas,” she said. The team members met with local DFL legislators Scott Dibble and Frank Hornstein as well as Sen. Dan Hall, a Republican from Apple Valley. Foss said Hornstein enthusiastically suggested that he and the students propose a bill on composting in the schools. Eleventh-grader Anna Smalley, the green team’s service coordinator, said she thought it was cool to see the number of people who were unafraid to voice their opinions. She said it made a lot of the students realize there are so many reasons why they care. She noted one workshop about how students could work to get climate change incorporated into their school curricula. In other workshops, Petal said, participants discussed environmental racism and the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. Southwest green team advisor Andrew Gramm said the event was a great demonstra-

Southwest High School students Klara Foss (left), Hema Patel (center) and Anna Smalley (right) were part of a group of students who advocated for climate action at the state Capitol last month. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

tion of what democracy can look like. He said everyone is better off when young people have opportunities to advocate for themselves and their futures. “All young people have these gifts to offer,” Gramm said, adding that it’s great for their development when they have opportunities to advocate for themselves. The Southwest green team has about 60 students who regularly show up to meetings, Smalley said. The team’s goal is to raise awareness of environmental issues through student leadership, according to its website. The group educates other students on environmental topics, performs community service projects and works to make Southwest greener. It also works to find intersectionality between racial justice, environmental justice and wellness, Patel and Smalley said.

Patel said the team has been working to make the lunchroom at Southwest zero waste. The group wrote a grant to get new bins in the lunchroom, organics and recycling pick up and reusable plates and silverware at the school. Other projects have including volunteering at Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores, working with the organization Day for Girls to make female hygiene kits and teaching students at Southwest how to use recycling and compost bins. The group had a speaker from Hennepin County talk with them before they went out to educate their fellow students on recycling, Patel said. “I feel that’s a big thing with our team,” she said. “We definitely want to educate ourselves to educate others.”

Watershed district releases new Minnehaha paddling map The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has released a new paddling map for 2018. The map features the 17 public access points for paddlers, starting at the creek headwaters on the east side of Gray’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka. It includes instructions on how to get to each of the sites and amenities available at each. The Watershed District says it takes approximately six to nine hours to paddle the entire 22-mile creek. It says that paddlers may want to tackle the creek in stretches, especially if it is their first time. The district includes water safety tips on the map, such as checking the forecast, wearing a life jacket, scanning ahead and letting someone know where you are going. It notes the multiple required portage sites on the creek and reminds creek users of required steps to avoid the spread of aquatic invasive species. Ideal creek flows for canoeing are between 75 and 150 cubic feet per second, according to the Watershed District. People can find the creek’s flow at and can find the new map at

Minnehaha Creek. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

Solar United Neighbors seeks proposal for Minneapolis co-op The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors has issued a request for proposal for a solar installer on behalf of about 20 homeowners in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. The homeowners hope to find a solar installer who will give them a discounted rate for purchasing panels in bulk. Virginia Rutter, Solar United Neighbors’ Minnesota program

director, said she expects the homeowners to have their installations completed by the end of the fall. Solar United Neighbors has helped homeowners around the nation install solar panels on their homes. It brings interested homeowners together into groups, or co-ops, and provides them with information on going solar.

Homeowners do not have to pay to join a co-op and they do not have to commit to purchasing solar panels when they join. Solar United Neighbors charges installers a fee for each signed contract. The nonprofit says solar panels do not generate pollution, help improve the electric grid and help homeowners lower their energy bills.

Solar United Neighbors will close the Minneapolis/St. Louis Park co-op to new members at the end of July, Rutter said. The Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, the Whittier Alliance and Environment Minnesota are sponsoring the co-op. Visit to learn more about the group.

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Hall’s Island returns to Mississippi The island north of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge isn’t new to the Mississippi River, but it hasn’t been there for over half a century. Hall’s Island has made its return to the Northeast Minneapolis riverfront thanks to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which will complete an initial phase of recreating the small island by the end of June. “Everything worked out as we imagined,” said Michael Schroeder, the board’s assistant superintendent for planning. “There’s been pretty significant flows on the river, but everything held together.” The island never quite left the riverfront. Rather, it was sold and dredged by the Scherer Bros. Lumber Co. in the 1960s, becoming part of the former lumberyard. Beginning last October, the Park Board excavated an approximately 150-foot back channel to create the island, which stretches north and beneath the bridge near the Sheridan neighborhood. The roughly 4.4-acre island is meant to resemble the original. Hall’s Island won’t be usable for park goers until the board builds a boardwalk out to the island as part of a future construction phase. Schroeder said the next wave of improvements to turn the island into a new park destination is reliant on state bonding money. Eventually the

The Park Board is considering devoting a small portion of Boom Island Park for a memorial recognizing survivors of sexual violence in partnership with a local group of survivors and allies. Park staff are exploring ways the board can financially support the project. Schroeder said the board doesn’t have a plan yet for the former lumberyard, now known as the Scherer site, that once included the island. The Park Board had opened a portion of the 11-acre site to private developers, but the board and a nearby business failed to reach an agreement on how to develop the land. Right now, Schroeder said, their focus is on the new island on the Mississippi River. “We would love to find a way to advance that and get something happening so that the (Scherer site) is not some fallow piece of land,” he said. “It’s an amazing park site.”

board would like to connect the island to Boom Island Park via a bridge and build an observation platform that will keep humans and wildlife separate. In the meantime, Schroeder said the island has already become a sanctuary for birds. Crews will add a number of trees before the work is complete this spring to flesh out the habitat. The Park Board envisions turtles, mussels, fish and other wildlife calling the island and the new back channel home. “By establishing vegetation on the island, it will be that habitat that we’re imagining,” he said. The island is one of several improvements the Park Board has planned for the stretch of Northeast Minneapolis. Just upriver, the board is planning to finish building Sheridan Memorial Park north of Broadway Street with art and recreation areas for both younger and older kids.

Before the Park Board’s reconstruction of Hall’s Island, the land mass was a part of the Scherer site in Northeast Minneapolis. Photo by Eric Best

Twins donate $100,000 to support youth baseball The Minnesota Twins Community Fund recently donated $100,000 to support youth baseball and softball in the city’s parks. The check is the largest the team has given to the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program, a partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to provide kids with equipment and eliminate financial hurdles to playing the game. “There are no barriers for kids who want to play baseball or softball in Minneapolis because of this funding,” said Mimi Kalb, the board’s director of athletic programs and aquatics. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Twins RBI program between the Park Board and the team. The initiative will direct $85,000 to pay for uniforms and protective gear, $10,000 for baseball field renovations and $5,000 for an internship that helps to administer the program. Josh Ortiz of the Twins Community Fund told commissioners that the program, part of a national RBI initiative administered by Major League Baseball, is meant to promote baseball and grow the game. In addition to the donation, the team hosts clinics for players and coaches, gives out commemorative baseball gloves and hats, and invites kids and their coaches to games and practices. “It’s this all-encompassing way for (MLB) to try to grow the game and also teach the wonderful skills that go along with team sports to children in disadvantaged areas of the country,” Ortiz said. Last year, nearly 2,500 kids ages 5–18 played baseball or softball in Minneapolis through the local RBI program.

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Neighborhood Spotlight. The Wedge/Uptown

Southwest Journal May 17–30, 2018


s a i c n w g o th h


LynLake district

Morgan Luzier and Josh Wilken-Simon are leading an effort to promote the LynLake business district. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

By Nate Gotlieb /

Business owners showing off the neighborhood’s character

Hundreds of people participated in the Love from LynLake game in March for the chance to win prizes from businesses in the district. This summer, several area business owners are planning another effort to increase their district’s visibility. The group is planning a street fair-style series of events called the Lyn Lake Street Art Series, the first of which is June 15–17. The event will feature food, music and artists creating an outdoor mural in real time. SEE LYNLAKE DISTRICT / PAGE B8

B2 May 17–30, 2018 /



LANDSCAPING NEEDS REGULAR ATTENTION TO LOOK ITS BEST LandCraft provides what’s needed to maintain attractive design


ome contractors will sell customers a landscape project saying it’s maintenance-free. As the guy in the old TV commercial used to say, “Bunk! Don’t you believe it!” Plants and trees live and breathe, grow and change, get sick and die, and react to changes in their environment. Suzanne Butzow and Colette Gandelot had their original landscape design done 15 years ago. For the past four years, they’ve had LandCraft, a South Minneapolis landscape design, installation and maintenance company, maintain the plantings in their yard near Bde Maka Ska. “I feel like there’s so many landscapes around the lake, you see them go in and they’re beautiful and they don’t look good 15 years down the road, but this one does,” said LandCraft co-owner Shannon O’Halloran. “Nothing looks good with no attention. An outdoor space falls apart way faster than an indoor space.” Many homeowners wait so long to prune their shrubs, for example, that they grow out of scale and can’t be brought back


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into shape, O’Halloran said. She does the design and installation for LandCraft, and co-owner Trish Lundberg performs maintenance, visiting Butzow and Gandelot’s home every other week in growing season. Lundberg comes by more often in early spring and early fall to search for insect infestations and diseases, and regularly walks Butzow through the yard to point out issues. The women originally had 15 dogwood trees planted in their back yard, according to Butzow. “They were starved of nutrients and space, and Shannon suggested we take half of them out, which was a painful decision but it was the right decision, because now they have come back,” Butzow said of the remaining trees. LandCraft does a lot of landscape “editing” at homes with older landscape installations, according to O’Halloran. “The landscape has zero to five years of age when everything is filling in, and then there’s the five to 10 years when everything is overfilling, and then there’s this period where you have to edit,” she said. “A lot of people have a really hard time with that editing. Usually there’s one plant that’s weaker that you want to take out. It’s a good conversation to have with someone who can visualize it.” Editing can include removing plants and trees affected by a new home that is built or expanded next door. Butzow and Gandelot said they lost a magnolia tree, in part due to a disease, but also because the air flow changed when neighbors added a second story to their house. The women are also aware that whatever goes into their yard can end up in the lake. Lundberg was able to rid the grass of ring mold using a new organic treatment after others had recommended replacing the entire lawn. The problem was overwatering. LandCraft directed the women to vendors who helped them choose an irrigation system that used the least amount of water to the greatest effect, according to Gandelot. Gandelot appreciates working with a company that does design, installation and maintenance. Weeding is important, but more important is the health of the landscape.

Walkers around Bde Maka Ska (formerly, Lake Calhoun) have told the homeowners how perfect their yard always looks. “Everybody is always very complimentary,” says Suzanne Butzow.

Good communication makes it all work, Butzow said. “We can design what we want based on what we’re willing to invest but also based on what the landscape requires,” Gandelot added. “They work with us to define our priorities.” People take notice of LandCraft’s work, even if they don’t see it happening. “We have a lot of foot traffic here,” Butzow said. “I was out working in the yard one day last year and somebody came by and they said, ‘Oh, your landscape is always perfect. We wondered, because we never see (maintenance) people here.’ Everybody is always very complimentary.” About Landscape Showcase Landscape 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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Whittier event benefits Clothes Closet When immigrants arrive without warm clothes in the middle of winter, they can head to the Clothes Closet in an alley off Eat Street stocked with coats, boots, coffee cups and silverware. The free thrift store operates out of a former mortuary in a garage where hearses once pulled in. It’s part of Learning In Style, a center devoted to English language classes that was founded by nuns in 1994. The center will partner with the Whittier Alliance at the Black Forest Inn on May 19 to mend clothing. Residents can bring clothes to repair, with the option to keep them, donate them or exchange them for something new. At the Clothes Closet, Art Stoeberl recently dropped off several boxes of donations. Volunteer Pat FitzPatrick said housewares like towels and kitchen plates disappear quickly from the shelves. “That’s like gold to us,” he said. Director Martha Nemesi said they’re starting to see more immigrants arriving from Syria. About 150 students come through the building on any given day. Eighty percent are Somali refugees, most of them women. Enrollment dropped 18 percent from the prior school year, which staff think may be due to the current political climate. Aside from English classes, immigrants can take classes in math, computers and the American citizenship test. Summer classes will be available this year for the first time.

Learning In Style was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, the same group that founded their namesake hospital and schools like St. Catherine University and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Learning In Style’s founders had retired from careers in education and decided to teach English to immigrants. Funding comes from the state, the federal government, Minneapolis Public Schools, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Sisters’ foundation. FitzPatrick said the sisters’ impact on local institutions is widespread, if not widely known, and they often volunteer into their 80s. “They always run under the radar,” FitzPatrick said. “… They never retire.” The Clothes Closet is open for shopping every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at 2200 Nicollet Ave., typically drawing about 50 visitors per day. All of the goods are free. “People laugh when I say everything is on sale,” FitzPatrick said. “It’s a great service for people in our community.” To donate, make an appointment with FitzPatrick at “We are always looking for volunteers,” he said. The Whittier mend/swap/donate/recycle event is Saturday, May 19 from 1 p.m.–4 p.m. at Black Forest Inn, 9 E. 26th St. The suggested donation is $2–$5.

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Art Stoeberl drops off donations for the Clothes Closet in early May. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Metro Transit tests bus-only lanes on Hennepin Avenue Metro Transit recently tested rush hour busonly lanes on Hennepin Avenue, investigating whether they should be part of a future “E Line” bus service overhaul on Hennepin. The May 15–17 pilot restricted street parking on the east side of the street between Franklin Avenue and 26th Street 6 a.m.–10 a.m. and restricted parking on the west side of the street between 26th Street and the Uptown Transit Center 3 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The pilot aimed to help Metro Transit learn about travel-time changes and hear reactions from riders, businesses and property owners. The concept is similar to the bus-only lanes on Marquette Avenue downtown, with the goal of faster, more reliable bus service, particularly on snowy and congested days.

Hennepin Avenue is one of the region’s busiest transit corridors, tallying 400 daily bus trips and 3,300 weekday boarders between Lake Street and Franklin Avenue. Metro Transit is studying ways to improve Hennepin Avenue bus service as part of the “E Line” project, which may begin construction in 2022 if funding is secured. For more information, visit hennepin-bus-lanes. Hennepin Avenue will be reconstructed this year between Lake Street and 36th Street. The City of Minneapolis is also planning to reconstruct Hennepin Avenue between Douglas Avenue and Lake Street in 2023. The corridor is targeted for a future bikeway.

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a travel writer, I’m on the road a lot. Here’s a quick synopsis of my latest getaway, a trek that led from a world-class art museum to chamber music concert to dinner divine in a sweet hotel, followed by a morning riverside jog and a cool-down stroll through a charming college campus. Heidelberg? Nah. Bologna? Wrong again. Try Minneapolis. This was a staycation right in my hometown, where I overnighted at Graduate Hotel on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank, in a room where walleye swam across the wallpaper. On another wall, a prof’s tweed jacket was framed as Art (along with a poster of Loni Anderson). Hockey players skated across the bedspread, and my room key posed as a student I.D. The museum was the Frank Gehry-designed Weisman, the concert at the School of Music (both free), and the stroll took me through a campus upgraded from my student days in the Middle Ages with promenades banked by daffodils, inviting benches and public art. One word about the Graduate? It isn’t “plastics.” It’s “Beacon.” That’s where Mrs. Robinson, if she had a hankering for a locovore-focused menu, would be dining. I confess that I’d expected chain restaurant fare, but no. Students aren’t dinner guests here, their professors are — plus visiting dignitaries, conference speakers and knowing locals before a Northrop performance. (Sure, there’s a section suitable to Feed Your Student for those whose parents pick up the tab, but here even the Bucket O Fries comes with house-made béarnaise, the onion rings with sriracha aioli and the cheese curds with curry ketchup.) My starter of wild mushroom toast ($9) featured more morels on a plate than I’ve seen in my lifetime. They rest upon a deeply flavored olive tapenade and swipe of sweet tomato pesto under shingles of Pecorino cheese.


Add a beer ($4 at happy hour), such as my George Hunter Stout from Two Harbors, and smile. Next I summoned a Caesar salad, embellished with hardboiled eggs, tomato wedges and kalamata olives (anchovies optional). The Pub Grub entrees ($18–$27) are not what you might expect (unless you’re less naïve than I): coconut-lemongrass sea bass; pecan-crusted walleye; Amish chicken; bangers (from Kramarczuk’s) and mash (with roasted garlic); and — what’s this? — lemongrass-sweet potato moussaka. Bring it on! (Alas, the kitchen couldn’t; it was so popular that it had sold out.) OK, then: the house-made gnocchi. They’re festooned with a banner of prosciutto and dollops of braised kale and herb-roasted tomatoes, but something got lost in translation (into Swedish?). The dumplings themselves proved bready rather than the airy balloons of Italian kitchens, anchored in a paste of melted Gorgonzola. The Simply Grilled section ($24–$35) delivered on its promise, however. My generous, eight-bone rack of lamb proved a tender and rosy celebration, on the mild end of the meat’s usual flavor spectrum. It rested upon a mountain of grilled veggies: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, asparagus, tomatoes and probably a few more I forgot to write down. Blame it on the side of béarnaise, that ultra-luxe use of good butter. Desserts ($8) fail to include the usual molten chocolate cake — bonus points right there. Instead, a slice of bread pudding studded with morsels of deep, dark, ultra-delicious chocolate and intense, Grand Marnier-like jolts of orange, all clouded with actual freshly, gently whipped cream. Or choose apple pie a la mode with salted caramel-Bourbon sauce or house-made ice creams. Then there’s breakfast. Let’s just say that the restaurant’s tostada — poached eggs timed to the minute, huge hunks of perfectly-ripe avocado, lots of olives (kalamatas — what a swell upgrade) and more — was Best of Class. / May 17–30, 2018 B5

Moments in Minneapolis

By Cedar Imboden Phillips

A modern addition to Lakewood Cemetery


ven cemeteries, designed for perpetuity, evolve over the years as needs and tastes change. In 1965, Lakewood Cemetery built a new mausoleum. Designed by Detroit architects Harley, Ellington, Cowan & Stirton, the Modernist structure fit the mood of the times. Southdale, the nation’s first modern shopping center, had opened just nine years earlier. Located five miles southwest of Lakewood, Southdale offered a climate-controlled experience for Minnesota shoppers. To the north, skyways were being built in downtown Minneapolis. It was in this context that Lakewood offered its newest building. A mausoleum offered practical benefits in a winter climate, after all; “there,” proclaimed Lakewood’s advertisements, “above ground interment, free from the elements, permits visitations by loved ones in pleasant, comfortable surroundings … regardless of season.” Lakewood’s Memorial Mausoleum, called a “new symbol of dignity and memory” in 1965, has endured the test of time, and remains as relevant and dignified today as it did in the 1960s. Cedar Imboden Phillips serves as the executive director for the Hennepin History Museum. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at or 870-1329.

Image from the collection of the Hennepin History Museum

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Neighborhood Spotlight. The Wedge/Uptown

Inside Flowers Studio A landmark hiding in the heart of Uptown

By Michelle Bruch /

One of Uptown’s most notable landmarks doesn’t publish its address. Since 1998, Flowers Studio has recorded musicians like Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Mason Jennings, Lizzo, The Jayhawks and Jeremy Messersmith. Visitors receive a map to find the studio door in a residential neighborhood of The Wedge. And they’ve never heard the neighbors complain. When Ed Ackerson converted a former flower shop and guitar warehouse into his home and recording studio, he invested heavily in soundproofing so no one outside could hear his four-foot-tall 1970s “make-yourhair-fly-back” speakers. “To me, that’s part of the experience,” he said. “You can really hear what’s going on.” He felt it was important to create a day-lit studio in a neighborhood where bands could walk for coffee or take breaks at Namaste Café. He said the more typical recording experience is a 14-hour day in a windowless warehouse. “You go in the morning and it’s sunny, and you come out at 2 a.m. and it’s snowing, and you think where did my life go? It makes you pasty-faced and kind of grouchy,” he said. The former florist’s greenhouse — still featuring a pond Ackerson remembers from childhood — is converted into a lounge space for musicians to take breaks. Ackerson noted that it’s become slightly less rock ’n’ roll, as it now holds a rocking horse and other toys for his daughter.

Capturing the moment

Ed Ackerson at the Flowers Studio console. Photo by Michelle Bruch

The studio stocks more than 70 microphones and a slew of instruments. One guitar can make a great record, but it’s more fun to have 50, Ackerson said. After 20 years in the studio, he said he knows exactly which guitar and which amp he needs to achieve a particular sound. He

doesn’t want musicians to waste time thinking about tech in trial-and-error guesses. “The gear is a path to expression. I want that path to be as short as possible. Before the inspiration goes — that’s the thing that’s perishable,” he said.

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Ackerson described Paul Westerberg of The Replacements as a “fire-in-a-bottle dude,” for example. “When he’s ready to do it, he does it, and there is not usually a second chance,” he said. “… You better be ready to document, because it’s only going to happen once.” A tracking room with a piano and a drum kit allows bandmates to play as an ensemble on a single track in the old-school way of ’60s and ’70s recordings. The Jayhawks do many of their recordings that way, he said. He recalls one “goose-bump” moment during the song “Listen Joe” by Golden Smog (a supergroup involving members of Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Wilco, The Jayhawks, Run Westy Run and The Honeydogs). “Hearing Gary Louris and Jeff Tweedy sing and play the guitars together in a single live take was really memorable,” he said. On the track, Ackerson played a 1943 Hammond organ that still works “fantastically well” and has appeared on hundreds of records. “There is no modern equivalent,” said Ackerson. “… They’ve been touched by a tremendous number of people. It feels like part of the lexicon around here.” He said the instruments are like old friends. “This one, you’ve heard on a lot of records,” he said, pulling out a yellow, duct-taped tambourine that he purchased for about $9 from Guitar

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Neighborhood Spotlight. The Wedge/Uptown

A view of the Flowers Studio tracking room. Photos by Michelle Bruch

Center in 1997. Though he has 10 more of higher quality, that particular tambourine has appeared on nearly every record, because it blends well and doesn’t distract from the music. “It can really color a track, but you have to find the right spot for it,” he said. During a Two Harbors recording session, guitarist Kris Johnson said the Hammond instantly transformed one of his less-favored songs. “When you do your own art by yourself all the time, the edges get a little blurry after a while,” Johnson said. “(Ackerson) is really good at hearing the song overall and picking out aspects of it that need improvement or things that you didn’t think of.” Johnson is a Kingfield resident who works as a Flowers Studio engineer, Twin Town Guitars service manager, and owner of KJ Audio amps used at the studio. “I can’t think of any place I’ve ever been to that has such a deep gear list,” he said. “If you want a sound, it’s in that room.” When Ackerson upgraded to a new console,

Johnson essentially rewired the entire studio. He compared it to a brain transplant, and figures he soldered 2,500 connections. “This is kind of extreme DIY here,” Ackerson said. He shoehorned into his home the blueprints from the Fort Apache studio in Boston, known for recording bands like the Pixies and Radiohead.

Modern tech, classic technique Ackerson is the second owner of a Studer 24 track analog machine that dates back to the late ’70s and came from the famous Record Plant studio in New York. He got a deal on it in 1998, at a moment when the technology was expected to become obsolete. He recalls eight people lifting it off the back of a truck. “We’re using the best aspects of classic production techniques,” he said, explaining that he combines modern tech’s “dirty tricks” with analog sound quality.

Caleb Hinz, a member of The Happy Children, said he’d heard about Flowers Studio since age 13, and he was a fan of Ackerson’s band, BNLX. “He seemed like sort of a local legend,” he said. He wasn’t sure if his band could get into Flowers, or if it would be too high-end for them, but decided they had to try. He said they found the studio to be beautiful and homey. Ackerson checked on his napping daughter in the house between takes. When he chimed in with advice, it wasn’t too harsh. “You could tell he had the song’s best interest,” Hinz said. Ackerson still buys an average of one record a day, often purchasing direct from artists via Bandcamp. As the music industry continues to evolve, Ackerson said he’s noticed that recording budgets are tighter and the work moves faster. But there are benefits to time pressure, he said. “I have a day to do these vocals, and I better do them well, as opposed to always revising things,” he said. And the sound quality, deep collection of instruments and collaborative environment lead to tracks that can’t be reproduced on one’s own, he said. “There will always be demand for a space like this,” he said. He still sees a line from the days recording with boom boxes in his parents’ basement, to the 4-track on his Harriet Avenue porch, to the professional gear in his own building. Today he runs the Susstones indie label and packages CDs in the building. “It’s really important to not sell that out and stay true to what that kid believed in,” he said. Ackerson said he walks away from more business than he takes on. “I don’t work on anything that I don’t believe in,” he said. When he listens to a demo, he also researches

the artist to discern how he can contribute to their work, looking for artistic merit and genuine expression. He wants to provide a positive force, promoting individuality and creativity.

At home in Uptown Flowers Studio remains firmly rooted in Uptown. For Ackerson, soundproofing a studio in the heart of Uptown was well worth the expense. He visited the building back when it operated as a flower shop. He visited the building when it was the Knut Koupee repair and rental warehouse. And he hung out with the punk rock kids who lived in the rooms upstairs. When he decided it was time to build a world-class workshop of his own, he called up the owner and made an offer. Ackerson said he isn’t among the crowd that wishes for the “old Uptown.” To him, the neighborhood is now much more livable, better suited for his nearly 3-year-old daughter. “Twenty years ago, it was more absentee and more Wild West,” he said, describing a derelict Greenway and neglected properties. “I walk 99.9 percent of the time, and bike the rest of it,” he said. “… Bryant-Lake Bowl has been my living room for a really long time.”

Flowers Studio converted the building’s 1949 greenhouse into a lounge.


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Neighborhood Spotlight. The Wedge/Uptown Murals line public buildings in the LynLake business district, including this one of Donald Duck on a building near 29th & Garfield. Photo by Nate Gotlieb


“It’s amazing to see the process of a mural being created,” said Morgan Luzier, owner of Balance Fitness Studio located at 29th & Garfield. She added that she hopes that people check out the art, see what else the district has to offer and come back periodically to see the progress the artists are making. The first artist series event will come three months after Luzier and about 10–12 business owners launched the Love from LynLake game. Participants stopped into different businesses in the district and completed challenges, such as doing a pushup at Luzier’s studio. They marked completed challenges on bingo-style game cards and were eligible for prizes when their cards had certain sequences. Luzier said about 60 LynLake businesses participated in the game, noting a goal of touching every business in the commercial

district. She said generating that level of participation took a lot of work and often required personal visits to the stores. “We were proud that we pulled the damn thing off,” she said. The Love from LynLake game came out of the informal LynLake marketing committee, a group Luzier, Josh Wilken-Simon and Jill Bernard started earlier this year. Wilken-Simon is new to the district, having opened a second location of his glassblowing studio Legacy Glassworks at the Lake & Lyndale intersection this past December. Bernard is education director of HUGE Improv Theater down the street. Wilken-Simon said he loves the independent spirit of the LynLake district but added that it also can be an Achilles heel. He said he asked why business owners weren’t pulling their talents together to give LynLake an identity. Wilken-Simon and Luzier noted how the district is known for its many bars and restau-

rants. But they said they want to encourage people to come to the district at all times, noting its theaters, art galleries, retail fitness studios and more. LynLake, which spans portions of the Lowry Hill East, Whittier, CARAG and Lyndale neighborhoods, developed as a commercial corridor in the late 1800s as the Lyndale & Lake intersection became a major streetcar transfer point. Today, its borders include Franklin Avenue to the north, 36th to the south and Blaisdell and Dupont avenues to the east and west, respectively.

Efforts in Duluth Wilken-Simon said he saw how a business association could help revitalize a city after opening his first studio in 2010 in Duluth. He said downtown Duluth used to not be a place people went to, but that it changed because of efforts from Duluth’s Greater Downtown Council.

“It really spurred a new downtown,” he said. Luzier and Wilken-Simon said their goal in LynLake is to promote existing businesses and incubate new businesses while maintaining the unique cultural identity of the district. Luzier added that they want to make sure that new development matches what is already in the district. “I think what we’re really trying to do is make a great place,” she said. She said she aspires for the LynLake Business Association to someday be in a position in which it can hire a staff person to promote its efforts. She stressed that she doesn’t want people to confuse the LynLake district with Uptown, noting the big-box commercial nature of the Uptown. “Independents cannot afford to rent there,” she said, adding that the LynLake district wants to be a bridge between Uptown and Eat Street. John Meegan, board chair of the LynLake Business Association, said he thinks the effort the business owners made to promote the district with the game was fantastic. “The concept was so powerful,” said Meegan, who owns Top Shelf, a men’s clothing store near 31st & Lyndale. Meegan said the businesses got excellent feedback from consumers who played the game, some of whom made a day out of it. He said patrons gave a concise rundown of which businesses at which they had the most fun. “We can do a better job, but it was still a fabulous concept, and I’m sure we’re going to do it again,” Meegan said. Meegan said the LynLake Business Association is in the process of redoing its website, noting new maps that will allow people to see the locations of the different businesses. He said it used to bother him that Uptown seemed to be annexing the LynLake district but noted efforts to establish the independence of the district. “Now it seems like people are proud to say, ‘LynLake,’” he said.


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Neighborhood Spotlight. The Wedge/Uptown

Talk of the town A conversation with The Theater of Public Policy’s Tane Danger

By Dylan Thomas /

Something in the civic life of Minneapolis changed when The Theater of Public Policy debuted on the stage of LynLake’s HUGE Improv Theater in 2011. It got funnier. It is now almost a right of passage for our local public figures to sit down for an interview with T2P2 host Tane Danger and then watch as the theater’s spontaneously humorous cast riffs on their conversation. Past guests include the current and two former Minneapolis mayors, three of the candidates seeking the DFL endorsement for governor and dozens of other politicians, public servants, academics and journalists. The Southwest Journal recently caught up with Danger as he was preparing for a May 14 performance with meteorologist and author Paul Douglas at Bryant-Lake Bowl, where the show has run since 2013. Danger is co-founder of the theater with Brandon Boat, a fellow Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus. T2P2 wraps up its spring season at BryantLake Bowl with shows on May 21 and May 28. A grant-funded series of five shows runs every Tuesday in July at Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul. For more information, go to This interview has been edited and condensed.

Southwest Journal: Your guest tonight on The Theater of Public Policy is meteorologist Paul Douglas. What kind of research do you do to prepare for a guest? Danger: A lot. Obviously, I read up on the guest’s background and anything they have written or talks that they’ve done. In Paul Douglas’ case, he does a lot of public speaking. I will touch base with a guest before a show and say, OK, what would you think the three most important things for us to get to on stage are? That usually is clarifying for me, and (it gives me) a sense of what the guest thinks is the most important few things.

You’ve covered a lot of topics in The Theater of Public Policy, so I’m wondering if there are aspects of our civic life that proved unexpectedly humorous — or, to flip that around, difficult to joke about? One of things we didn’t expect when we started the show, and tonight will probably be a good example of it, is that science-related topics end up being some of the best shows. They’re so fun for some reason. And so funny. My best theory is that there’s something about the right brain-left brain connection that has to happen in order to take what might be a very sciency topic and translate it to improv comedy on stage that ends up producing something that is just very surprising and unexpected from everybody. Those shows, we’ve definitely found, end up being really good. I have been surprised at how hard it is to do shows around education topics. Those are the shows where literally people will call me at home before the show and tell me all the things that we’re going to do wrong and all the ways that, you know, we’re not engaging the issue the way we should or we don’t understand what we’re doing.

We do shows about gun violence prevention and gun rights. We’ve done shows about women’s health and abortion even, and people are just sort of like, ‘Oh yes, those are interesting for you to talk about.’ But when we get anywhere near education, those are the ones I just sort of have to brace myself for people being really — engaged is a polite way to put it.

In addition to hosting T2P2, you’re also regularly called on to host forums for local political candidates. Since this is an election year, I’m wondering if you have any advice for running a successful candidate forum? That’s a great question. I actually have in my drafts folder an op ed that I’ve been trying to work on of advice for running better candidate forums. The first candidate forum we did, we actually just did it as a Theater of Public Policy (show). Nobody asked me to do that one.

Was this the mayoral forum back in 2013? Yes, exactly. We did that because I thought: Man, most of these are terrible, so why don’t we do one that would be less terrible? This is why the op ed is only in my drafts folder, because it’s hard to narrow down exactly what it is, but I think one of the big things is thinking about this from the audience’s perspective. For legitimate reasons, moderators or organizers think about a lot of this from the candidate’s perspective, because that’s who maybe they’re interacting with, and that’s who they have to convince to do this thing. But what that often ends up meaning is we set up a forum where we’re going to make sure everyone gets exactly two minutes to answer the exact same question so that it’s hyper quote-unquote “fair.” If we’re doing a school board forum, all of the candidates up on stage are going to say, We need to have strong schools. Yes, most people will agree with that. So, what is it you are going to do that is different from somebody else who is up on stage? And what is it that you actually can do that is different from somebody else on stage? Because I think a lot of times we don’t correlate what a candidate is promising to do with whatever office they’re in.

The Theater of Public Policy cast member Alexis Camille. Submitted photo

B10 May 17–30, 2018 /

Mill City Cooks

Recipes and food news from the Mill City Farmers Market

Inspiring your #WeeklyMarketMeal


he Mill City Farmers Market, open every Saturday May–October, has the goal to inspire all of its visitors to prepare at least one weekly market meal using ingredients from its local farmers and food makers. As part of this mission and the market’s dedication to healthy and local food education, Mill City Farmers Market offers free 20–30 minute professional cooking classes every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. These classes, located in the covered train shed patio area, feature seasonal ingredients from the market prepared by the market’s chefs, plus printed recipes and a delicious sample for everyone in the audience. The cooking class series kicked off on May 5 with chef and nutrition educator Jenny Breen teaching the crowd not only how to cook spring greens in a delicious and creamy risotto (recipe follows) but also how to make a simple vegetable broth and the benefits of whole grains and healthy fats. In addition to cooking classes, the market often features book signings, local celebrity guest chefs and special events like its annual Bread Fest baking showcase in September. Join the fun every Saturday — rain or shine! Learn more at — Jenny Heck

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SPINACH & RADISH RISOTTO By Market Chef Jenny Breen • Serves 4 Unlike your traditional risotto, this one is whole grain, full of nutrients and a delicious variation on the traditional theme. The grains lend themselves to creaminess, and as you continue to add liquid, they thicken and soften while still maintaining unique flavor. The spinach, radish tops and radish bulbs bring a crunchy and fresh addition. Share your photos of this spring dish with #WeeklyMarketMeal and #MillCityCooks.

Salt and black pepper, to taste ¼ cup grated Fresiago cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farm (substitute parmesan or similar cheese) 2 packed cups of spinach or other greens, roughly chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 1 bunch radishes, greens roughly chopped and bulbs quartered

Ingredients 1 cup wheat berries from Sunrise Flour Mill (substitute barley, brown rice or farro) 3 cups stock or water 8–12 ounces fresh bacon from Sunshine Harvest Farm (substitute smoked turkey or skip if vegetarian) ¼ cup rendered bacon fat or olive oil, separated 2 cloves garlic, minced 2–3 spring onions or 1 regular onion, chopped 2 cups dairy or plant-based milk of your choice ¼–½ cup white wine (substitute stock or water)

Method Cook grain in 3 cups stock or water until tender (about 40 minutes) and set aside. Cook bacon in a large frying pan. Chop strips of cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Save rendered bacon fat for cooking if desired.

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In the same frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked grain and slowly add 1 cup of the milk, stirring constantly. Add the wine and remaining milk in small amounts while continuing to stir constantly, for 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Submitted photo

The risotto should be creamy, not mushy. If you prefer it creamier, continue with the slow cooking and addition of liquid for up to an hour. In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat or olive oil over medium heat, add the onions, herbs spinach, radish tops and sliced radishes. Remove from heat when greens are wilted. Add the vegetables to the grain, and combine well. Fold in the chopped bacon and cheese and mix until well blended, adding more wine or milk if desired.

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By Emily Lund

Opening weekend


t’s finally opening weekend for Neighborhood Roots outdoor farmers markets. Neighborhood Roots is a small nonprofit that operates the Kingfield, Fulton and Nokomis farmers markets, as well as the indoor winter markets at Bachman’s on Lyndale. Dozens of volunteers, more than a hundred vendors and a few staff members work together to bring three farmers markets to South Minneapolis. Not only do these markets provide a great way to spend a day, they support small farmers and stimulate our local economy. Minnesota farmers have worked through snow, sleet and rain to bring us fresh food, so let’s show our appreciation by buying our groceries directly from the folks who grow them. Grab your shopping list (and a friend or two), and meet us at the market! Bright and early on Saturday, May 19, we kick off Fulton Farmers Market. Just a few blocks northeast from 50th & France you will find family-friendly activities, great food and live music every Saturday all summer. Join us on opening day to pick up fantastic fungi from Cherry Tree Mushrooms, tasty treats from Wicked Tarts and early season produce like radishes, rhubarb, greens and even hoophouse strawberries. Local guitarpicker and farmers market favorite Matthew St. Francis will set the scene for the first of many marvelous market days. If you have a few things left on your grocery list, join us again on Sunday at the first day of Kingfield Farmers Market. The folks at Uproot Farm will have plenty

A Neighborhood Roots farmers market shopper browses the selection. Submitted photo courtesy Hannah Lauber

of perky plants to populate your vegetable garden. Don’t forget to stock up on meat and eggs from Sunshine Harvest, a fourth-generation farm located less than an hour south of the market. Sunstreet Breads and Sift GlutenFree will have a variety of baked goods for every taste and tolerance. In addition to supporting local farms at the farmers markets, you can connect with other organizations working on issues important to your community. Be sure to stop by the Kingfield Neighborhood Association table to learn about how to get involved in the environmental sustainability movement in your community. Play a wastesorting game and sign up to win your very own household composting kit. Want to help spread the word about organics recycling? Ask them about hosting your own Green House Party. Even if you spend every weekend out of town, you don’t have to miss out!


Nokomis Farmers Market will be open every Wednesday from mid-June through September. This evening market is located on Chicago Avenue, one block south of Minnehaha Creek.

FARMERS MARKETS Fulton Farmers Market 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturdays, May 19–Oct. 27 4901 Chowen Ave. S. Kingfield Farmers Market 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Sundays, May 20–Oct. 28 4310 Nicollet Ave. S. Nokomis Farmers Market 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Wednesdays, June 13–Sept. 26 5167 Chicago Ave. S.

Take a creekside bike ride to enjoy the same awesome variety of food and activities you expect from Neighborhood Roots. Northern Fire Pizza will be there every week selling seasonal specialties, so make a habit of grabbing a slice while you do some midweek grocery shopping. The 2018 season of the Fulton, Kingfield and Nokomis farmers markets is a great opportunity to get to spend time with your farmers, family and friends while supporting our local economy. Mark your calendars and make a habit of buying groceries at your closest farmers market. It takes a village to organize and support a farmers market. There are volunteer opportunities for all ages and abilities, including staffing our information table and reading stories to our youngest neighbors. If you’re a morning person (or want to become one), volunteering to help set up the market is a good way to get a little exercise and meet new people. Whatever your interest, we have a project for you. A couple hours a month can make all the difference. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact us at 207-7893 or volunteers@ For more information, including directions and vendor lists, visit See you at the market! Emily Lund is executive director of Neighborhood Roots. P.S.: Opening day of Kingfield Farmers Market is also her birthday!


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B12 May 17–30, 2018 /

By Dr. Teresa Hershey

New allergy management strategies


t is getting to be allergy time of year again, when pollens and grasses emerge and wreak havoc with our immune systems. Human allergy sufferers often experience sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. For dogs, skin lesions are the most common presentation of allergies. This inflamed skin can easily get infected by the yeast and bacteria that is on the skin normally. In addition, because this condition is itchy, dogs tend to lick themselves and scratch their body, exacerbating the problem and leading to more itchiness and infection. Allergies tend to affect the areas of a dog’s body that have less fur. Classic spots for allergy problems to arise on the body are in between the toes, the groin, around the anus and the ears.   When I graduated from veterinary school 20 years ago, we had very few good treatment options for dogs that had allergies. Our treatment strategies involved frequent bathing, topical steroids or numbing agents, antihistamines, steroids and hyposensitization treatment.    Bathing is still a very helpful tool when managing allergies. Bathing can help remove grease from the skin, as well as bacteria and yeast. However, veterinarians know that compliance with bathing is very poor. It is often a big pain to shower and shampoo your dog, especially big dogs that hate the tub. Antihistamines are still helpful for mild allergies. I will typically prescribe Benadryl at a dose of 1 mg per pound of dog every 8–12 hours. For example, a 50-pound dog would get 50 mg of Benadryl every 8–12 hours. If your dog’s allergies

are not too bad, this is an inexpensive way to start to try to stop itchiness and inflammation. Prednisone always works to clear up allergies. Prednisone is a potent steroid that suppresses the immune system. The problem with prednisone is that it has a lot of side effects. In the short term, excessive thirst and needing to urinate all of the time is the most bothersome side effect. Long term, I describe prednisone as aging the body faster. Long-time prednisone users will have thinner skin, and it puts a stress on the internal organs. Dogs on prednisone are also prone to infection because the steroid is suppressing the “good part” of the immune system as well as the allergic part. With hyposensitization treatment, a dermatologist will do a skin test to see what your pet is allergic to and then can formulate a mixture of these allergens in shot form for the owner to administer in small doses at home. The theory behind this treatment is if you introduce the allergen in tiny amount, the immune system will get “bored” with that allergen and start to realize that it doesn’t need to mount a big immune response to it. For some patients, hyposensitization treatments work. However, it can take up to a year for them to have an effect, and some patients never do improve with hyposensitization shots. In the last several years, however, we have been blessed with some new allergy treatment medications. I say blessed because, truly, the new medications, Apoquel and Cytopoint, have relieved so much suffering in patients that previ-

ously either had the option of treatments that didn’t work very well or prednisone that had a lot of side effects.   Apoquel is the medication that came out first. The way I describe this drug to owners is that unlike prednisone, which suppresses the whole immune system, Apoquel is formulated to suppress just the allergic part of the immune system. Because of that, we don’t see the dramatic side effects that we see with prednisone. Apoquel is not without its own side effects, however. We can see a drop in white blood cell counts when on Apoquel, and we also have seen patients that start to get elevated liver values and need to discontinue the medication. Blood monitoring is very important for dogs that take Apoquel. A small percentage of dogs that have problems with Apoquel, and its benefits far outweigh the potential side effects when deciding whether or not to start a new patient on Apoquel. New to the allergy arena is Cytopoint. General veterinarians were able to start using this medication in the last year or two.  It is a shot that your veterinarian gives at the clinic, and it lasts for 4–6 weeks in most dogs. Where Apoquel had a narrower scope of immunosuppressive activity then prednisone, Cytopoint is an even more targeted approach to managing allergies. Scientists have discovered that there is one protein in the body that is responsible for all of the itchiness that allergic dogs develop. Cytopoint binds to and inactivates the protein, stopping the itchiness.

Because Cytopoint is new, the veterinarians at Westgate Pet Clinic recommend blood monitoring with this allergy treatment as well. Apoquel and Cytopoint are great options for dogs with allergies. A big downside of these medications is the cost. The treatment can range from $50–$150 a month depending on the size of your dog. However, there is certainly a cost savings if you don’t have to pay for frequent vet visits because your dog has skin or ear infections from poorly managed allergies.   Although I love Apoquel and Cytopoint, it should be noted that they don’t work for all patients. They are effective treatment options in about 90–95 percent of dogs. I have some patients that do well on Apoquel or Cytopoint during most of the year, except when whatever they are allergic to is out in full force. Then we need to either give both medications or a short course of prednisone to get them over a really itchy period in the season. I also have some patients that will still get the occasional yeast or bacterial infection on the skin or in their ears, in particular, because Apoquel and Cytopoint don’t seem to help dogs with chronic ear infections as much as they do dogs with chronic skin infections. If you have a dog with allergies, I need to say I am sorry. Allergies can be expensive to treat, difficult to manage and they make your dog miserable. But with Apoquel and Cytopoint available to your veterinarian now, we have at our disposal much better ways to improve your dog’s quality of life. / May 17–30, 2018 B13


By Ethan Fawley

City Council approves Nice Ride dockless bike share pilot


ice Ride Minnesota will be shifting its gears to “dockless” bikes starting this August after receiving Minneapolis City Council approval May 11 for a three-year pilot. 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. Nice Ride is partnering with Motivate for this expansion, which will be privately funded. Nice Ride’s approach to dockless bike share will not be the park-nearly-anywhere model of dockless bike share that has been common in other cities. Instead, Nice Ride will create a network of “virtual stations” marked with a sign or paint where riders must return bikes. This approach is intended to reduce bikes being left in inappropriate locations, like blocking sidewalks. Getting a robust network of virtual stations in place before August is one of the big tasks for Nice Ride now. “We need a thousand virtual stations as soon as possible,” said Nice Ride Executive Director Bill Dossett. Nice Ride currently has 200 docked stations. Both Nice Ride and the city have committed to ensuring that virtual stations serve nearly all of Minneapolis and that neighborhoods with lower income are well served. Nice Ride will still maintain its docked system this year and will start transitioning that out as

bicycles and stations need to be replaced. They will add 1,500 dockless bikes each year for the next four years. They currently have 1,850 bikes. They plan to include at least 150 electric-assist bicycles as part of the transition. The new bikes will look different than their iconic green bikes, partly to make sure people do not try to park them at the docked stations. The new bikes are also expected to be lighter than the current bikes but similarly durable. When the dockless bikes roll out in August, Nice Ride plans to offer 30-minute dockless rides for $1 and docked-bike rides for $2. In the future, the rate will be capped at the price of a regular Metro Transit bus fare. Nice Ride and Motivate are looking at alternative ways to check out a bike other than a smartphone, like a Metro Transit Go-To card. One of the things that Nice Ride has stressed in their approach to this transition is continuing to prioritize quality and reliability over rapid growth. Other cities have seen very rapid influx of bikes — with both positives and challenges. Nice Ride’s approach certainly promises to increase bicycle access, which is a great thing, but attempts to avoid some of the challenges. There are still sure to be hiccups along the way, but it is great to have a committed local partner in Nice Ride leading the way on this. It is a pilot, so Minneapolis will be able to re-evaluate in a few years as the bike share industry continues to evolve rapidly. I’m excited to see how it goes.

Other cities go dockless

Tips for Bike to Work Day

As Minneapolis was approving Nice Ride’s approach to dockless bike share, St. Paul released a request for proposals for their own dockless bike-share system. This comes after St. Paul decided in January not to participate in the Nice Ride-led transition effort that included Minneapolis. St. Paul plans to select one or two vendors in June and hopes to launch as soon as July. Nice Ride said at a public meeting in April that they plan to apply — presumably with Motivate — to work with St. Paul as well. That could mean a system where riders can take a dockless bike between the two cities. If another vendor is selected, there would be separate and disconnected systems in the two cities. That will certainly be the case for Golden Valley, Edina and probably St. Louis Park. Golden Valley and Edina have approved pilot dockless bike-share programs with Lime Bike, and St. Louis Park is also in discussions with Lime. The Golden Valley and Edina programs should launch by June. Lime Bike bikes, or bikes from any other unlicensed bike share provider, would not be allowed to be parked unattended in Minneapolis. A regional approach to bike share would certainly be nice, but having different models will allow cities to see what works best in the short term. Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure out a regional model in the near future.

May 18th is Twin Cities Bike to Work Day, with commuter pit stops along many routes and celebrations in downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park and Richfield. With summer construction driving headaches ahead, it’s a great time to try biking to work. Here are five tips for trying bike commuting: • Ask a friend or co-worker for help. Most bike commuters are happy to share their ideas and help you get started. A co-worker can also help you with routing, access to bike parking and showers in your office, and may even ride with you. • Choose a nice day when you can take extra time. You don’t want to be in a rush or too hot or too cold on your first ride. • Start simple and take it slow. You don’t need special gear or to make it a race. • Connect with transit if it’s too far to bike the whole way. Each Metro Transit bus and train has bike racks. Or lock your bike at the transit stop. • Google Maps has bike directions! For more resources to help you in biking, check out, a new onestop-shop for all the best information.


CROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1 Learn to fit in 6 “Sí,” on the Seine 9 Nasser of Egypt 14 Oscar winner Marisa 15 “What was __ expect?” 16 Martini garnish 17 “The Sixth Sense” writer/director M. Night __ 19 “Mack the Knife” singer Bobby 20 Basic cocktail with Dewar’s 22 Spanish “other” 23 Acorn producer 24 Live frugally 31 What truants “play” 32 2010 Apple release 33 Application file suffix 35 Pests in a pantry 36 Like very serious errors 38 Octopus octet 39 Muscle spasm 40 Chore 41 Most of Wile E. Coyote’s gadgets, brand-wise 42 Political entities subject to Constitutional separation 46 Forget-me-__ 47 Ohio border lake 48 Exhortation to come together ... and a hint to 20-, 24- and 42-Across

with “the” 60 Nick of “Cape Fear” 61 Shoelace problems 62 Stockholm airline 63 Wear away

DOWN 1 @ signs 2 “I am so stupid!” 3 Actress Poehler and singer Grant

10 Where Nome is

40 Some “Iliad” warriors

11 Surrealist painter Joan

41 Utterly absurd

12 Gung-ho 13 “Girls” creator Dunham 18 Gillette blade 21 Diet-friendly 24 Cool, in ’90s slang 25 Greek column type 26 V-shaped cut

43 Left open, as a door 44 Indian political family 45 “Dagnabbit!” 48 Absence 49 Splashy style 50 Axis dictator who ordered the Pearl Harbor attack

4 Birds with eyelike spots on their tails

27 Football’s “Iron Mike”

5 Youngest-ever Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Hutton

29 Prefix with frost

52 “Julie & Julia” director Ephron 56 Flight board abbr.

28 Place for a waxing

51 Little rascals

54 Hawaiian hi

6 Lube shop container

30 Ron Darling or Tom Seaver

53 Grain tower

55 Embarrasses deeply

7 D-Day beach

34 To be, to Livy

57 “Just like I said!”

58 Bourbon Street cuisine 59 Boston skyscraper,

8 Hebrides isle

36 De __: actual

9 NASA’s __ Space Flight Center

38 Represented

Crossword Puzzle SWJ 051718 4.indd 1

37 Campfire remnant

Crossword answers on page B14

5/7/18 11:58 AM

Celebrate the incredible SWHS Performing Arts in this stunning setting. Bring a picnic and enjoy music and dance in the great outdoors! Dance Concert: Monday, May 21 • Choir Concert: Wednesday, May 23 Band/Orchestra Concert: Thursday, May 24 • Jazz Concert: Wednesday, May 30 All concerts from 7 to 9pm at Lake Harriet Band Shell Photos courtesy of Marc Wanvig and Angie Erdrich

B14 May 17–30, 2018 /

Get Out Guide. By Jahna Peloquin

‘THE FANTASTICAL WORLDS OF KIM SIMONSSON’ The art of the handmade is at the heart of the American Swedish Institute’s 2018 programming, which explores handcrafts by Scandinavian artists. Its current exhibition in the series is “The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson,” an engaging, imaginative display of 35 lifesize ceramic sculptures by the Finnish artist. On display in the Midwest for the first time, Simonsson’s worlds — described in a press release as “a cross between ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’ with a splash of ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘The Hunger Games’” — is made up of enchanting figures of children and animals that appear to be covered in moss. Experience the exhibition with a special Cocktails at the Castle event on June 1, which features live synth-pop tunes by Graveyard Club, psychedelic dance-punk by Gramma’s Boyfriend, dance party, art activities, surprise pop-up performances, food and drinks.

When: Cocktails at the Castle: Friday, June 1, 7 p.m.–11 p.m. On view through July 15. Where: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave. Cost: Cocktails at the Castle: $17–$25; regular museum admission: $5–$10 (free for ASI members and kids 5 and under) Info:

‘MIXTAPE SIDE B’ The cultural significance of hip-hop is at the center of “Mixtape Side B,” a collaboration of five Twin Cities dance artists offering unique perspectives on the genre. In this sequel to last year’s “Mixtape,” each artist challenges commercial hip-hop culture while reclaiming the movement and exploring its history. A collective of local urban and street choreographers, including Al Taw’am, Darrius Strong, Herbert Johnson III, Joelle Fernandez and veteran breakdancer J-Sun, engage with issues of community, power and identity in a powerful collaborative dance performance. Together, the group explores — and questions — the concept of hip-hop, from its roots to its modern manifestations while unpacking issues of gender inequality, privilege, appropriation and homophobia within the genre.

When: Friday, May 18 & Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. Where: The Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave.

Cost: $22–$25 Info:

WALKER’S ARTIST-DESIGNED MINI GOLF After several years on the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden grounds, the Walker Art Center’s popular warm-weather mainstay moves to the Walker terraces, with views overlooking the Minneapolis skyline. To fit the smaller space, the 2018 mini golf course has been cut in half, from 20 to 10 artist-designed holes. Returning favorites include a hole inspired by Warhol’s iconic Brillo Boxes, one that features an oversized hot dog and French fries and a hole built into a giant gumball machine. Afterward, head inside the museum to check out the latest exhibitions — each mini golf ticket includes free gallery admission.

When: May 22–September 2. Open 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays; 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays; and 11 a.m.–6 p.m Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Monday. Where: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 725 Vineland Place Cost: $10 adults, $8 Walker members and kids, free for ages 6 and under with paid adult Info:


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5/3/16 12:23 PM / May 17–30, 2018 B15

ARt-A-WhiRl What started as an open artist studio tour in Northeast Minneapolis has expanded into a full-blown, neighborhood-wide party featuring art, music, food trucks and craft beer. Here are some highlights from this year’s festivities.

‘Blanket Statement’ Minneapolis-based artist Terrence Payne is known for his monumental oil-pastel portraits that explore idealism, iconography and ideology with narrative elements and refined, organic forms. Now, he’s bringing his eye-popping style to a new series of textile quilts that expand on his long-running themes while taking advantage of the traditional, historical elements associated with this traditional craft.

When: Opening reception: Friday, May 18, 6 p.m.–10 p.m. On view Saturdays and Sundays noon– 4 p.m. through May 31.


‘... For Now: A New Work by Paris1919’

A group of local artists, poets, musicians and craftspeople are collaborating on a day of river-themed art and music for Art-A-Whirl in partnership with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The day includes performances of original compositions by local chamber music ensembles and singers, including poet and songwriter Ben Weaver.

When: Saturday, May 19, noon–8 p.m. Where: Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, 2522 Marshall St. NE

Where: Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE #195 Cost: Free Info:

At Art-A-Whirl 2011, the Mississippi River served as the unconventional venue for “Czeslaw’s Loop: The Final Opus,” which featured a group of experimental local musicians playing on the river in artfully decked-out, floating structures over the course of three days. That ambitious project was helmed by legendary local producer Chris Strouth of Paris1919, who is at it again — this time at a church. “... For Now” is a live performance piece that incorporates digitally manipulated imagery, avant-garde sounds and paintings by celebrated local artist Nicholas Harper that promises to be an equally memorable experience.

Cost: Free Info:

When: Saturday, May 19. 9:45 p.m. doors, 10:15 p.m. show. Where: St. Boniface Catholic Church, 629 2nd St. NE



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10:00AM The Bazillions


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B16 May 17–30, 2018 /

By Meleah Maynard

Sexy bird songs, monarch help and houseplant hugs


efore I start nattering on different topics, I just want to let you know that people have given generously to the Little Free Library at my house this year, so if you’re looking for vegetable and/or flower seeds, come on over. We literally have hundreds of donated seed packets to share, and I put more out every day. Take whole packs of seeds, or package up just a few and leave the rest of the packet for others. Everyone is welcome! The library is located on the boulevard on the corner of 45th & Washburn in Linden Hills.

Bird wake-up calls I love birds, and it’s wonderful to hear them chattering away. But, boy, do they start calling and singing early this time of year. Lately, we don’t need an alarm because the birds in the front yard wake us up around 4:45 a.m., sometimes earlier. Wondering what motivates them to do this, I read up on the topic a bit and learned some odd yet interesting things that I’d like to share with you. First, as you probably imagined, the birds that really turn up the volume before dawn are mostly males. Their goal is often to attract the ladies, but they might also be claiming and/or defending their territory. Theories on why birds love to sing and call in the pre-dawn hours vary, and I must say some

ideas sound more plausible than others. Some argue that birds sing so vigorously and loudly when it’s still dark because, hey, it’s hard to do much else when it’s not light out yet. Fair enough. Others think birdsong is more clear and consistent in the early morning, and that makes it more likely that other birds can tell which sexy (or tough) man-bird is doing all that singing. And then there is the idea that perhaps the best way to impress the ladies, or stake out territory, is to sing loud and proud early in the morning because just the fact that you’re up and able to do that means you are one awesome catch of a manly bird.

Monarch way stations A few years back we made our garden an official Monarch Waystation so we could be part of a network of folks looking to help the millions of monarchs that migrate every fall from the U.S. and Canada to overwintering sites in Mexico and California. Monarchs have long depended on plants along their migration route, but in recent years, much of that habitat has been lost to development and increased pesticide use in areas that used to grow wild. A program of the University of Kansas, Monarch Watch offers Monarch Waystation registration as well as seed kits to establish a monarch-friendly garden if you don’t already

have one. To learn more or become a part of Monarch Watch, check out their website (

Hugs for houseplants It can really suck to be a houseplant in Minnesota, especially when winter lasts for six months. Now is a good time to help those bedraggled, light-deprived plants of yours by giving them a little loving care. Use a damp cloth to remove dust from plants’ leaves. Or, if your plants are easy enough to carry, take them outside (or put ’em in the bathtub) and gently hose them down. Snip off leaves and stems that look diseased or just too darn tired to come back to life. See bugs?

Try moving them on using a spray of lukewarm water before going for chemical treatments. Repotting isn’t necessary, unless the current pot is too small, which you can usually tell because roots will stick out of the hole in the bottom and/or water will just run right out because you’ve got a pot full of roots and very little soil. Repotted or not, I find houseplants do better when I mix a little bit of compost into their pots once a year. 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


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Southwest Journal, May 17–30, 2018  

Southwest Journal Vol. 29, No. 10

Southwest Journal, May 17–30, 2018  

Southwest Journal Vol. 29, No. 10