Ward 8 Update Newsletters March 26, 2014

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March 26, 2014

Last chance - last hours - for Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Park Playground survey

Results from the March 6 community meeting and a previous playground survey revealed that play equipment options 1A and 4 both have strong support. Through March 26, the Park Board is seeking information that will bring the best of 1A and 4 together into a final version that is embraced by the community.  Below is a survey that is designed to gather information related to critical design objectives of the play equipment, including how well it will hold the interest of users, how well it integrates the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King and African American History theme into the design, and how well it meets the community’s playground needs.

Step 1: Review Play Equipment Options 1A and 4
Online: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=1359
In person: The options are displayed at the park building (4055 Nicollet Avenue S)

Step 2: Complete the survey by March 26, 2014 at 11:59pm
Online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6MWS337
In person: Surveys are available at the park building (4055 Nicollet Avenue S)

After March 26, a revised play equipment design will be developed based on your feedback.  The Park Board will then gather input from you on the revised design through a survey and open house.


Minneapolis Parks Ash Canopy Replacement Plan

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Forestry Department is holding a series of community meetings to share details of its Ash Canopy Replacement Plan. The meetings will provide attendees with a general overview about Emerald ash borer (EAB), an explanation of the MPRB’s partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to safely detect and remove EAB-infested trees, and a description of the Ash Canopy Replacement Plan. There will also be plenty of time for Forestry staff to answer questions.

Here are the remaining meetings:

Thursday, March 27th – 6:30-8pm – Kenwood Community Center

Monday, March 31st – 6:30-8pm – East Phillips Community Center

Tuesday, April 1st – 6:30-8pm- Lyndhurst Recreation Center

Thursday, April 3rd – 6:30-8pm – Nokomis Community Center

There are 40,000 public ash trees in Minneapolis that will be removed and replanted over the next 8 years.  The Park Board will start this ambitious undertaking this year with the removal of 5000 boulevard and park ash trees.  You can find out more in this news article here.


City Council Establishes Transgender Issues Work Group

The Ward 8 Office, with Senior Policy Aide Andrea Jenkins and Council Vice President Glidden, are proud to lead efforts at the City to address one of the top civil rights issues of today – supporting our transgender community members.   On March 7, 2014, the City Council approved establishment of a Transgender Issues Work Group, including representatives from the City Council, the Mayor’s Office, the Police Department, City Human Resources, Civil Rights, and many other engaged department staff.  The Transgender Issues Work Group will develop a work plan, engage with the broader community, and report its recommendations to the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Emergency Management Committee and other relevant Committees by February 2015.  Work is underway right now to set a first community forum to hear from you about the issues that are most important.  We look forward to updating you on this important work!


Local fire departments stress importance of fire prevention

fire dept

The Minneapolis Fire Department is partnering with fire departments across the region to raise awareness of fire prevention following a winter in which there were 10 deaths in Minneapolis due to fire. There are simple things we can all do to prevent fires in homes and businesses.

Have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home
Have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of your home and one carbon monoxide alarm within 10 feet of every bedroom. You should test alarms every month and replace the batteries twice a year.  If you need smoke detectors or batteries, the Minneapolis Fire Department can provide those and install them in your home.  Just call 311.

Look when you cook
Most house fires start in the kitchen and unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. 

•Remain in the kitchen when using the stovetop.

•Stay awake, and in the house, while using the oven.

•Keep your cooking area clean; keep towels, hot pads, and other combustibles away from the hot stove.

•Keep children and pets away from the oven and stove.

Practice safe heating
It’s important to keep your furnace in good working condition, have it inspected annually, and replace the furnace filters every month. If you have to use a space heater, follow these guidelines:

•Use space heaters only in occupied rooms.

•Keep heaters at least 3 feet from furniture, walls, drapes, and bedding.

•Never use space heaters while sleeping.


Join in for Earth Hour March 29: 8:30-9:30 pm

On Earth Hour – 8:30-9:30 pm, Saturday, March 29 – hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple: turning off their lights for one hour. The movement symbolizes that by working together, each of us can help protect our future and that of future generations. The City of Minneapolis has participated in Earth Hour since 2008. For more information and ways you can join in, visit www.earthhour.org. For tips on saving energy and helping protect our future, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability/action.


Rain gardens and beyond - $15 workshops

You can help keep our lakes, rivers and streams clean by making simple choices about your yard such as starting a rain garden. Metro Blooms workshops offer the latest information on a healthy yard and combine a do-it-yourself approach with expert help to put “rain gardening” in the hands of gardeners and non-gardeners alike.

For more information and to register, go to www.myraingarden.org or call 651-699-2426.


Minneapolis Expands Tenant Assistance

Beginning April 1, 2014, if you are a tenant in Minneapolis and are interested in your rights as a renter, you can receive free legal advice from HOME Line in addition to Minneapolis Legal Aid.  If you are a renter, and have questions about your rights please call 311 to be referred to tenant assistance.

HOME Line provides free legal, organizing, educational and advocacy services so tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems. For 22 years, HOME Line has provided Minnesota renters with legal information regarding their rights. Staffed by lawyers, law students, and community volunteers, the tenant hotline has prevented over 11,700 evictions and saved renters over 21 million dollars in returned damage deposits and rent abatements.  All calls are free and all information is kept confidential. 

How to reach HOME Line?  You can e-mail a HOME Line lawyer at www.homelinemn.org/e-mail-an-attorney/; you can call HOME Line directly at its free Tenant Hotline: (612) 728-5767; or call 311 and City Staff will refer you for assistance.

To learn more about HOME Line and about volunteering opportunities on our hotline, please go to www.homelinemn.org


Minneapolis Considers Candidate Filing Fee Changes

In the 2013 election season, public questions were raised about Minneapolis’ filing fees for Mayor, City Council, and other offices, and whether those filing fees should be raised to be more similar to those in St. Paul and other major cities.  Today, the filing fees are $20 for any municipal office, a low threshold that some have said contributed to the large (35!) number of candidates for Mayor.

The Minneapolis Charter Commission will conduct a public hearing on the question of municipal filing fees at its next meeting, Wednesday, April 2, at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 350 South 5th Street, Room 317 (Council Chamber). 

The hearing is to consider a proposal that would set municipal filing fees as follows:

Mayor = $500

Council Member = $250

Park Board = $100

Board of Estimate & Taxation = $100

The Charter Commission will likely forward this recommendation, to the City Council for consideration.  Changing the filing fees requires a change to the City Charter, which can occur by either a vote of approval by all 13 Council Members, or by putting the measure on the ballot.


Metro Paint-A-Thon Taking Applications

Metro paint-a-thon

Metro Paint-A-Thon is a program that helps low-income seniors and people with permanent physical disabilities continue to live independently in their own homes.  A volunteer team is matched with a home-owner to scrape, prime and paint the exterior of each eligible home/garage, thereby keeping it well-maintained, beautiful and an asset to the neighborhood. All of this is done at no cost to the homeowner.

Paint-A-Thon welcomes referrals and accepts applications from all eligible homeowners. To be considered, completed applications must be received by mid-April and meet certain criteria:

• Be over the age of 60 or have a permanent physical disability.
• Own and occupy a single-family home that needs the exterior painted, but does not need major repairs.
• The monthly household income cannot exceed 200% of federal poverty level.

For more information, visit Metro Paint-A-Thon’s website: http://paintathon.gmcc.org or call 612-276-1579.


City Council to Approve Values, Goals and Strategic Directions

And start work on Racial Equity Action Plan

On March 26, at its Committee of the Whole, the Minneapolis City Council approved its Values, Goals and Strategic Directions for 2014-2017 (this four-year election cycle), setting the stage for full council adoption at the March 28 Council Meetings.  You can see the goals at www.minneapolismn.gov/citygoals.  Adoption of the goals is significant and will impact City department business plans, the budget process, and the work of City Council Committees.

As part of the goals adoption process, Council Member Glidden directed work to begin on some new items including developing an annual reporting and assessment process to determine progress on the City’s adopted goals, seeking community perspective on progress on the goals on at least an annual basis, and asking the City Council Committee Chairs to develop Committee work plans.

As Equity and eliminating racial disparities is at the core of the City’s new goals and strategic directions Council Member Glidden also directed staff to create a scope of work for a Racial Equity Action Plan, modeled after the City’s Climate Action Plan.  As part of the Racial Equity Action Plan Council Member Glidden has asked for a format that will set a baseline for measurement, include goals and timelines, reference existing City policies and programs that support the goals, and recommend new policies and programs for consideration.  The Racial Equity Action Plan will be developed in cooperation with a range of engaged stakeholders.  We look forward to sharing more information with you about this work as it moves forward.


Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes Celebrate Ten Years!

Red Hat Sabathanettes

Congratulations to Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes, which recently celebrated their ten year anniversary as a chapter of the International Red Hat Society with a ceremony at Sabathani Community Center.  You can learn more about the Royal Red Hats here.

The Eighth Ward thanks all Red Hat Members for their participation, as the Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes is an example of the strength in our community, with special thanks to Queen (President) Marionne Robbins, who founded the Minneapolis Chapter at age 90 and now, at age 99, is the Queen Mother, and to the three succeeding Queens, Ms. Mary Cunningham, Ms. Letrice Jones, and Ms. Mamie Favor.