Ward 8 News Update: February 13, 2013

News of the 8th Ward

February 13, 2013

Early Mornings with Elizabeth! Transportation Bill 2013: Opportunities for Transit, Bike, and Pedestrian Improvements 

Friday, February 22nd
7:30 – 9am
Turtle Bread
4762 Chicago Ave S
In the Pizza Biga Room

Please join us this month for an opportunity to hear from our legislative leaders in transportation about the 2013 Transportation Bill, and proposal for funding critical transportation needs.  How does this plan improve road and bridge safety, move Minnesota’s transit needs forward, and consider bikes and pedestrians?

We welcome the Senate’s Transportation and Public Safety Finance Division Chair Senator Scott Dibble (SD61), and Chair of the House Transportation Finance Committee Representative Frank Hornstein (61A), to discuss transportation needs, funding proposals, and the coalition needed to pass a bill.  We will also be joined by Peter Wagenius, Senior Policy Aide for Mayor Rybak, to discuss the city’s streetcar proposals for the 2013 Legislative Session.

Join your neighbors to learn more about what’s happening on the legislative level to move transportation forward! 


Traffic Safety Improvements for Field School Area

Thanks to parent and school advocacy, safety improvements are coming to Field School.

In 2012, Field School requested that stop signs be installed on 4th Avenue at 47th Street, helping to help manage traffic congestion and ensure a safer environment for students walking to school.  In response, Minneapolis public works installed temporary stop signs in Spring 2012 at the intersection to conduct a test and evaluation period.

Minneapolis Public Works will soon make the temporary stop signs at 47th St and 4th Avenue permanent!  After monitoring the temporary stop signs, evidence indicated that permanent stop signs would provide the best improvement for pedestrians and drivers.   Thank you to Field School parents, students, and staff for raising this issue.

In addition, also in response to parent and student engagement, Park Avenue at 47th Street is now a designated school crossing for Field School.  This spring, Minneapolis Public Works will paint the crosswalk at 47th Street on Park Avenue with zebra striping, which indicates school crossing zone along with signage.


So Alive: A Retro Dance Benefit for The Aliveness Project on Friday, Feb 22


Are you ready to dance, lounge, and help a great organization? Please join your friends and neighbors at So Alive:  A Retro Dance Benefit for The Aliveness Project!  “Join” the So Alive Facebook Event for more information and to and share it with your network of friends.

The event is Friday, Feb 22, 9 pm to 2 am, at 100 W 46th Street (Solomon’s Porch).  All proceeds will benefit The Aliveness Project, a community center for people living with HIV/AIDS, to support its move to a larger location at 38th St and Nicollet Avenue.  Donations can also be made in the Kingfield Neighborhood web site at www.kingfield.org.

Doors open at 9 pm with $5 cover, $10 cover after 10:30 pm, cash bar on both levels.  The downstairs dance floor is hosted by DJ Jack Rudh and Resurrection by djoctagone.  The Upstairs lounge hosted by the Peep! Studios crew.   Hope to see you at this visible and fun neighborhood welcome to The Aliveness Project. 


Minneapolis Green Building Benchmarking Ordinance is Approved

Minneapolis just became the first Midwestern city to implement green building benchmarking for large commercial buildings, requiring building owners to submit water and energy efficiency reports that the city will publicly disclose.

Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden authored this change, already adopted by many east and west coast cities.  As commercial buildings account for about 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in Minneapolis, this ordinance can significantly benefit our environment by encouraging building owners to increase energy efficiency and also result, as evidenced in other cities, in local green job creation!

The ordinance creates transparency in the market by disclosing building energy data, motivating owners and tenants to invest in efficiency improvements.  The results?  Saving energy, lowering energy costs, reducing pollution and spurring local green jobs.

The City will partner with the Center for Energy and Environment to offer training for building owners starting in early 2014, before the first reporting deadline. For more information including the complete ordinance, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/environment.


Third Avenue South Bridge Over I-94 to Be Rededicated in Honor of Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton


The City of Minneapolis is embarking on a plan to renovate the landmark, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired bridge on Third Avenue South over Interstate 94 and rededicate it as the “Sharon Sayles Belton Bridge.”  The plaza at the foot of the north side of the bridge will feature a new public artwork that will honor Mayor Sayles Belton’s historic accomplishments.

The rededication is recommended by Mayor Rybak and supported by the City Council.  A formal rededication of the bridge, along with the unveiling of the public artwork in Mayor Sayles Belton’s honor, will take place in the fall.  The City of Minneapolis has released an RFP for the public artwork, to be installed on the plaza at the north side of the bridge. Proposals are due on February 28, 2013. From among those proposals, three artists will be invited to submit full designs, with the winning design selected during the week of April 8, 2013.

Sharon Sayles Belton served as Mayor of Minneapolis from 1994–2001, and was the first woman and first African American to hold the post. Before serving as mayor, she represented the residents of Ward 8 on the City Council for 10 years, the last three as City Council President.


Foreclosure Prevention Resources at City Hall

The HomeOwnership Center will provide Foreclosure Prevention Counseling at City Hall.  Conference Room 333, outside of the Mayor’s office, has been reserved on the first and the third Thursdays of each month, from 10:00 am to noon, and from 1:00-4:00pm through the end of 2013 for foreclosure prevention counseling services, with Spanish and Hmong speaking counselors available. 

As always, homeowners or tenants facing foreclosure may call Minneapolis 311 to be connected to the HomeOwnership Center counseling network.   Of the 704 households that sought services in 2012, 311 are still being served.  Foreclosures are prevented for approximately half of the households who are served by the HomeOwnership Center counseling network.

In addition, Minneapolis is working hard to seek legislative changes that will benefit struggling homeowners and prevent foreclosures.  Minneapolis supports many state authored bills to protect homeowners including the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, mandatory mediation in the foreclosure setting, protections for buyers in contract for deed, and preventing the practice known as “dual tracking.” 


Green Central School Plans Monumental Exterior Mural


Something BIG is brewing in Central Neighborhood! Green Central students and community members will be working with artist Greta McLain to create a MONUMENTAL EXTERIOR MURAL on the outside of the Green Central building that will welcome community and reflect the different cultures present within the school and greater Central neighborhood.

This mural will be the FIRST of its kind and scale in Minneapolis, bringing positive attention to the innovative organizing happening in and around Green Central. Highlighting the corner of the building most visible from 35th St and 4th Ave, the mural will also act to raise driver awareness, suggesting the presence of children and young people in and around the building to promote slowed traffic on the two streets.

Students will research and create a design under McLain's guidance, using input from the school community and many partner organizations. The project will incorporate elements of culture and community present in the Central Neighborhood and Green Central School.

Watch for community paint days this summer and (in the meantime), help make this visionary project possible! Contact Candida Gonzalez at: Candida.Gonzalez@mpls.k12.mn.us to find out more, and see how YOU can help!


One Billion Rising to End Violence Against Women: Twin Cities Valentine's Day Event


Honored at the City Council with a Resolution in February 2013, One Billion Rising to End Violence Against Women invites women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country.

You are invited to join One Billion Rising in Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave S, from 6:30-8:30pm on February 14th, 2013 for a candle-light vigil, live music, activist speakers, and dance in memory of the student in Delhi, India who was brutally raped, and later died on Dec. 16, 2012. Community members will assemble to express our stand against all forms of violence against women in all communities.


Join Breaking Ice for Arts on Chicago Performance


Pillsbury House Theatre’s award-winning Breaking Ice company takes on race, class, and economics in this entertaining and thought-provoking live performance on our main stage.

How are our neighborhoods responding to development and change?
How do we respond to culture clash and conflict?
How can neighborhoods evolve in economically stable and sustainable ways?

We invite you to join us for the show and participate in a short, facilitated discussion afterward as we confront these questions in an effort to strengthen the ties that bind neighbors together.

Show times are: February 18, 25 & 26, 7:30 p.m. at Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Avenue South.  Tickets are Pay-What-You-Want.  Pick your price for every performance. ($5 per ticket minimum to reserve in advance.) To reserve tickets, or reserve FREE child care for any performance, call 612-825-0459 or visit www.pillsburyhousetheatre.org.

This production is one of the twenty art experiences in the Arts on Chicago initiative, an arts-based community development project led by Pillsbury House + Theater, Upstream Arts, PPNA, and MCAD Professor Natasha Pestich with support from the Ward 8 Council Office of Elizabeth Glidden.