Ward 8 Newsletter June 9, 2014

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 June 9, 2014

40th Street West Resurfacing Public Hearing Tomorrow

During the 2014 construction season, 40th Street West - from Lyndale to Stevens - will be resurfaced. For a resurfacing project, the top asphalt layer of the street is scraped off and new layer is put in place (mill and overlay). This will extend the life of the road at least 10 years and likely more.

Properties adjacent to 40th Street will be assessed for a portion of the street resurfacing project; the remainder of the project will be paid for from general property taxes. You can find out more about the assessment for the project here. Affected property owners will receive individual mailings with more information.

A community meeting to discuss the project is set for June 10, 6:30 pm, at Dr Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. Questions? Call project manager Chris Trembath at (612) 919-1196 or chris.trembath@minneapolismn.gov.

 

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June 14th - Packed Full of Festival Fun!

Rest up the night of June 13th, because you will want to experience exciting art, food, bicycling and transit all day and night on Saturday June 14.

38th and Chicago Annual BBQ and Music Festival/Arts on Chicago 

11 am-3 pm, 3700 block of Chicago. This is a great family friendly event with musical talent for your listening pleasure and BBQ for your taste buds. Check out more information for the 38th and Chicago Business association and about Arts on Chicago.

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northern spark

Northern Spark and Greenway Glow

Northern Spark, Minneapolis’ all-night arts festival, will light up the city June 14 with dusk to dawn events including giant video projections, temporary sculptures, dance presentations, concerts and experimental performances. You can experience the Midtown Greenway’s “Greenway Glow” bicycle ride the same night!  Complete details about Northern Spark can be found here.

Celebrate the Opening of Central Corridor/Green Line LRT

 June 14 with free transit rides on ALL Metro Transit buses and LRT lines.  Check out all opening day events here.

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I-35W Transit/Access Project Open House

Please join community members for a public open house for the I-35W Transit/Access project on June 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Whittier Community Center, 425 W 26th Street. 

35W transit access mtg
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Welcome Jeremiah Osokpo, Ward 8 Urban Scholar/Intern

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This summer the Ward 8 City Council Office welcomes Urban Scholar and intern Jeremiah Osokpo.  Born in Nigeria, Jeremiah is a high performing undergraduate student at Hamline University with many student leadership experiences.

Jeremiah has already brought high energy and enthusiasm to the Ward 8 office, creating a QR code and identifying needed updates to Ward 8’s web and social media presence on his first day.  Jeremiah will be working this summer on a significant project to research, preserve and document African American historic resources in Ward 8, focusing on history around the E 38th Street corridor.  The project will include conducting some oral histories of our elders.

The Urban Scholars program is a full-time paid summer internship experience that aims to provide college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with a professional employment experience focused on gaining essential leadership skills and creating a resume-building, career pathway. 

The students selected are working in key areas of City government and public policy, and in the long run, the City and partnering organizations hope to develop a group of young talent who can begin careers in the public and private sectors, and someday be the next generation of City leaders. The 39 Scholars attend colleges across the country. You can find out more at the Urban Scholars blog or the Urban Scholars web page. 

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All Together Now: Neighborhood Inspections for Clean and Safe Communities

This year, Minneapolis inspectors have a special initiative to provide extra attention to nuisance violations in our neighborhoods like tall weeds, garbage and litter, inoperable vehicles, and more.  

While inspectors are working city-wide, special attention will be given in select neighborhoods across the city, where mailings have gone to every house describing inspections issues.  Kingfield and Central are the Ward 8 neighborhoods selected for this program, called “All Together Now.”  Extra focus will be given to vacant properties or properties with repeated nuisance violations.  

Another feature of “All Together Now” is that the City has contacted local business who have agreed to provide discounts on things that will help you spruce up your property as part of the cleanup.  Check out the Regulatory Services Website here for a list of businesses who have agreed to provide a 10-15% discount on home improvement supplies if you show them a letter or citation/order you received from the City.  You can also call 311 for this information.  

Thank you for making a difference by helping to improve our neighborhoods as clean and safe places to live!

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Protect Your Home in Warm Weather

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Each year officers see a rise in burglaries and thefts in the spring because of open windows and doors, as well as thefts from yards and garages. 

Below are some tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim:

  • Pinning windows so that they open only far enough to allow air in but not far enough to allow a burglar to use them to gain entry to your home. Six inches is recommended. 
  • When working in the backyard remember to secure the front door. Some burglars are brave and fast enough to enter your home and make off with valuables before you know they have even been there. 
  • Don’t leave garage doors open even for a few minutes. The visible items stored there make a very tempting target to someone passing by. 
  • Don’t leave valuable items such as bicycles and lawn equipment in your yard, especially overnight. 
  • Beware of the influx of door-to-door salespeople and home repair contractors. Do your homework before hiring anyone to do work on your home and get a written estimate before work begins. And remember that all door-to-door salespeople must be licensed by the City, so ask to see a license. 
  • Report suspicious activity in your neighborhood to 911 immediately. 
  • Never allow someone you don’t know into your home. Common ruses used to gain entry are requests to use a phone or to get a drink of water. 

    For more information on burglary prevention, go to: www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimeprevention
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Minneapolis mobile groceries can now sell more

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Thanks to Council Member Cam Gordon’s initiative, the Minneapolis City Council has approved an ordinance permitting mobile grocery stores to offer a bigger selection of healthy foods and operate in more locations than before. 

Under the new regulations, mobile grocery stores will be limited to parking lots of commercial, industrial or high density residential properties. No mobile grocery store may operate within 100 feet of a licensed grocery store or operating farmers markets except with express permission of that grocery store or farmers market. All must offer at least 50 items of fresh fruits and vegetables in at least seven varieties. 

This ordinance change aligns with the City goals that businesses — big and small — start here, stay here, thrive here; and that healthy choices are easy and economical. 

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Matching grants for Green Business Practices

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Congratulations to Green Business Awardee Mulroy’s Auto Shop 

Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota have matching grants for small businesses such as auto shops, dry cleaners, and others to reduce the harmful chemicals their processes release into the air. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency notes that these chemicals – volatile organic compounds – can cause health problems from eye, nose and throat irritation to headaches, nausea and dizziness. Exposure over long periods can increase cancer risk and damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

Minneapolis developed these grants in 2012 and helped the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency expand its statewide program.

Applications for City programs are accepted through 4 p.m., June 20. Apply or learn more about the City programs at www.minneapolismn.gov/greenbusiness. Applications for State programs are accepted through Aug. 13. Apply or learn more about the State programs at www.pca.state.mn.us/voc.

On June 2, Minneapolis recognized several businesses for their green and healthy business practices, including Ward 8’s own Mulroy’s Body Shop.  The City’s recognized that “Mulroy’s Auto is the poster child for an unassuming Minnesota Green Business. [Pat Mulroy] started off by making the entire office energy efficient through lighting upgrades. He has 174 microinverters of solar panels on his roof. He has a waterborne paint system like the one just installed at Paramount Collision.”  Congratulations Mulroy’s

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New program helps post-9/11 vets get homes

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The City of Minneapolis has launched a new housing program to assist veterans who served or are serving since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Minneapolis Houses for Heroes provides up to $20,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance for these veterans.

Minneapolis Houses for Heroes is done in partnership with ReserveAid, the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation and other partners.

The $20,000 will be provided in the form of a zero-percent interest deferred loan that will be forgiven at the end of five years as long as the veteran remains living in the home. Funds are being provided by ReserveAid. For more information contact www.gmhchousing.org and ask about the Minneapolis Houses for Heroes program.

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Minneapolis Park Board brings staff back to Phelps Park

The Minneapolis Park & Rec Board recently approved an important investment in Phelps Park, at 39th and Chicago, bringing park board staff back to Phelps Park.

Phelps Park is leased by the Boys & Girls Club, which operates youth-serving programs from the park building.  Plans are that park board staff will be assigned outdoor supervision shifts for the playground and wading pools from approximately 5-8 pm on weekdays, after Boys & Girls Club staff have left for the day.

A schedule of activities and opportunities is still being developed by the Minneapolis Park Board, with input from neighbors and the Bryant Neighborhood Organization, with more information to come soon.  Thank you to Minneapolis Park Board and Commissioner Steffanie Musich for investing in support for Phelps Park!

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Changes proposed to alcohol ordinances and restaurant regulations

At the June 13th Council Meeting, Council Members Elizabeth Glidden, Jacob Frey and Linea Palmisano introduced a series of changes to the City’s alcohol ordinances. Council Members hope to remove the food to beverage sales requirement ratios, while adding other sections describing expected management responsibilities, server training, and increasing ability to take adverse action against problem establishments. The amendments will also extend the community outreach notification for establishment of liquor licensing. 

The City's changes come on the heels of similar action taken by the State of Minnesota in the 2014 legislative session, and supported strongly by both the City and the Hospitality Association of Minnesota. The state passed a liquor omnibus bill that provides cities with additional enforcement power when necessary to remove a bad actor. ‚Äč

"We take great pride in our local food scene. Our restaurant culture has grown and we value and celebrate an increasingly diverse mix of restaurants and eateries," said Glidden, Palmisano and Frey in a released statement. "Part of fostering this and enabling local entrepreneurs to thrive include the need for better rules and tools for both restaurants and regulators." 

Related to the ordinance changes is a charter amendment proposal led by restaurants that have requirements to sell 70 % food to 30% alcohol, known as "charter wine restaurants." These restaurants, including Corner Table, Victor's 1959 Cafe, Turtle Bread, King's Wine Bar, and Blackbird in Ward 8 (to name a few), are currently seeking to remove these requirements from the charter so that their restaurants, like others, can be regulated through city ordinances.  The City's Charter Commission recently approved this proposed change to go on the ballot.  A vote by the public is required because of state laws requiring 55% approval by the voters of any liquor changes in city charters.  

A timeline and more information on the proposed changes will be available in the coming months.