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Commissioner, District 2
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District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth and St. Anthony.
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I was looking for something substantive to share with our
readers as we enter into this season of joy and I came across this quote from Agnes Mae Pharo that I find quite beautiful. I hope you do
"What is Christmas? It
is tenderness for the past, courage for the present,
hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to
Be sure to check out the great holiday events in this month’s
newsletter, and think about subscribing to
other interesting topics offered by Hennepin County.
Wishing you and yours peace, hope and a happy holiday
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
CP Rail Holiday Train at night (image via CP Rail)
See the CP Rail Holiday Train December 10
The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train is coming to Hennepin
County on Saturday, December 10! This year is also the first year that the
train will stop in Golden Valley.
The Holiday Train is a delight for children and adults alike. At 1,000 feet in length and decorated with hundreds of thousands of
LED lights and holiday designs, lights, music and entertainment surrounds. This is the 18th year for the train in an effort to raise money, food and awareness for local
food banks and food shelves. Last
year, approximately 450,000 people celebrated with CP Holiday Train, raising
more than $1.4 million for food banks.
can also view the CP Rail Holiday Train behind the scenes mini-documentary at cpr.ca/holiday-train/canada. To continue to support the
Holiday Train and receive updates for this year’s program, visit it Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram @CPHolidaytrain #CPHolidayTrain. The U.S. schedule is
Spiced cranberry sangria
Sangria is a no-fuss cocktail that can be prepared for larger or small parties.
Looking for a new recipe to try this holiday season? I found this delicious looking sangria recipe that can spice up your holiday gathering (note: it can be made with or without Cointreau and wine for your guests who do not drink alcohol). Thanks, PBS food blog!
- 1 (12-ounce) bag of
cranberries (1/4 cup cranberries reserved for garnish)
- 2 oranges, juiced, plus a few
orange slices for garnish
- 1 cup water
- 2-inch knob of fresh ginger,
- 1 1/4 cups pure cane sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup Cointreau
- 1 green apple, sliced
- 1 bottle of white wine (you
could also use a light red wine)
- In a medium
saucepan, add the cranberries, orange juice, water, fresh ginger, sugar
and cinnamon stick. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes,
until the cranberries have softened. Run the cranberry syrup through a
fine-mesh sieve and press the cranberries to release any juices; transfer
the syrup to a large pitcher.
- Pour in the
Cointreau and wine; give it a good mix. Add the reserved cranberries,
orange slices and sliced green apple. Transfer to the fridge to chill for
1 to 2 hours. Stir the sangria before serving. Serve over ice.
servings. Recipe via the PBS food blog, pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/spiced-cranberry-sangria/.
New contracting approach will increase participation of small businesses for Hennepin projects
Hennepin County is launching a new contracting approach that will increase participation of small businesses on county
projects. The goals of this program are to create a more diverse
contracting pool and create more contracting opportunities for women and
minority owned small businesses on county contracts that include general
contracting, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and painting.
Beginning in 2017, the county will have a pool of qualified small businesses
who will be awarded work on county building construction, repair and remodeling
projects based on their price quotes.
Hennepin County will pre-qualify general contractors and
specialty-trade contractors for a Job Order Contracting Program. In addition, the county will request qualifications information from
size-eligible general and specialty trade contractors that are certified as an
SBE for a Targeted Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program. Contractors can submit qualifications information for either or
Interested contractors may contact Gilbert
Odonkor via email at email@example.com.
RFQs are due December 5, 2016, by 12 pm.
More information is at hennepin.us/business/work-with-henn-co/rfq-general-electrical-plumbing-mechanical-painting-contractor.
Image of painting by featured artist Aziz Osman via Somalia Online.
celebrated at the Hennepin County Government Center Gallery
The Somali Museum of Minnesota
is presenting “The Somali Museum of Minnesota: Treasures of the Diaspora” at
the Hennepin Gallery, featuring highlights from the museum’s collection. The
display showcases the cultural roots that Somalis in Minnesota share, and uses
traditional arts as a platform for all Minnesotans to experience the richness
of Somali culture and glimpse their Somali neighbors’ history and
The Somali Museum of Minnesota is the only museum in the
world devoted to preserving, celebrating, and advancing Somali art and culture.
The Somali Museum displays a collection of over 700 artifacts from Somalia and
The exhibit will kick off with a performance from Somali
Museum Dance Troupe, December 8, Noon to 1 pm at the Hennepin County Government
Center Skyway level.
The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday
through Friday, 7:30 am to 6 pm, at the Hennepin County Government Center,
A-level, 300. S. Sixth St., Minneapolis. This exhibit will run December through
The Gallery is a project of Hennepin County Communications.
The exhibit is supported by the Hennepin County Multicultural Arts Committee
(MCAC) and Forecast Public Art. More information is here.
Hennepin County Adoption Day celebrates 21 children, families
In Minnesota, 489 children are waiting for
adoptive families. (DHS October 2016)
children and teens have not found permanent families.
adoption in Hennepin County
Last year, 100 adoptions were finalized in the
county; by the end of the 2016 Adoption Day celebrations, 110 children and
teens will have their adoptions finalized with families who have committed to
love and care for them for the long haul.
care: Families care for children or teens while their birth parents work to
resolve their issues. Sometimes adoptive parents start out in the foster to
adopt program, sometimes they are foster parents who find they can’t let the
child go to another family when the birth parent’s rights are terminated.
The first priority when children are removed from their homes is to find
relatives to care for them. Relative adoptions happen when a grandmother, aunt,
uncle, cousin or older sibling commits to raising the children and giving them
a permanent home. Sometimes the “relative” can be a neighbor, friend, mentor or
adoptive families: Adults who want to become parents are matched with a waiting
child or teen who is living in foster care.
and foster families
make a powerful difference in children’s lives. Please help us spread the
word: Foster and adoptive families are needed in Hennepin County. The
reward is being there every day to see children have safe and happy childhoods.
The next foster care and adoption
information meeting is Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at
Hennepin County Library – Brookdale, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn
Learn more about foster care or
adoption at hennepin.us/adoption.
See an article from the Star Tribune about the 2016 Adoption Day celebration at startribune.com/national-adoption-day-in-hennepin-county/402062735/.
Child well-being is the
focus for Child Protection Oversight Committee
At a board briefing on November 10, committee co-chairs Commissioner Mike
Opat and Ann Ahlstrom, with Deputy County Administrator Jennifer DeCubellis, presented the Child Protection Oversight Committee’s
findings and recommendations, drawn from 13 months of system analysis conducted
by the committee and staff, community partners and residents. The work resulted
in a three-year, $26.1 million work plan and a set of six
core recommendations that will dramatically shape the county’s work to
protect and care for children.
In the briefing county leaders discussed recommended
dramatic changes to the approach the county takes to protect and care for
Addressing a major
The committee was created by the County Board in July 2015
after a series of events, including:
county-initiated study by Casey Family Programs that found serious
systemic problems with child protection practices.
- Child deaths
from maltreatment in Minnesota, including in Hennepin County, that drew
Dayton’s Task Force on the Protection of Children released its
recommendations. The county already authorized hiring 100 more social
workers and county attorney staff, and has adopted a 24-7 response system.
The committee made a series of recommendations that will
stabilize the workforce and allow for reasonable workloads; improve
professional supports by co-locating work teams in the same offices; offer
early and practical help to families that are at risk for violence or
dysfunction; improve data collection, analysis and sharing; and establish an
ongoing successor committee to continue to study and monitor achievement of
The biggest change is the adoption of a new focus: Child
well-being. The county will use multiple platforms to prioritize children’s
physical health, emotional and social health, relational health and development.
That means that rather than waiting to intervene with a family when there is a
crisis, workers across the spectrum of county services will work to identify
children and families that are at risk, under toxic stress, or challenged by
physical, mental or chemical health issues.
The oversight group
The committee was made up of 12 experts from health
care, family courts, social work, public policy, child development, law
enforcement and nonprofit agencies.
For more information about child protection services and
the Hennepin County Child Protection Oversight Committee initiative, visit hennepin.us/childprotection.
Hennepin Career Connections: Metro Transit Light Rail Construction Contracting Open House: METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT) Project
December 5, 2016, 2 to 4:30 pm
Minnetonka Community Center
14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345
2-3 pm Presentation by Metropolitan Council staff
3-4:30 pm Contractor mixer
Construction of the planned METRO Green Line Extension
(Southwest LRT) project creates many contracting and subcontracting
opportunities. The prime contractors for this project will subcontract with
hundreds of firms. Attend this free informational event to learn about
contracting opportunities in construction, demolition, electrical, excavation,
HVAC, hauling, and many more.
Pre-registration is not required to attend, but individuals
and firms are encouraged to register online.
event flyer [PDF]
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Full board meeting agendas and actions may be found at board.co.hennepin.mn.us/hcmeetview/.
Special levies will
fund watershed projects
The board set a special levy to support projects in four
watershed management organizations: Bassett Creek, Shingle Creek, West Mississippi
and Elm Creek. The special levy is separate from the general property tax levy,
which is set to be approved next month.
Bassett Creek: $1.3 million for three water quality improvement
projects, improving water quality and stream habitat of Bassett and
Plymouth Creeks within the cities of Minneapolis and Plymouth, and
reducing phosphorus loading into Northwood Lake in New Hope.
Shingle Creek: $363,600 for three storm water retrofit projects and a
diverted streamflow treatment project in the cities of Crystal,
Minneapolis, and Robbinsdale, and to support a best management practices
West Mississippi: $131,300 to complete a storm water retrofit project
in Champlin and support a BMP cost-share program, which will implement
small water quality projects throughout the watershed to protect and
improve the quality of water resources.
Elm Creek: $492,812 for five water quality improvement projects
including stream bank/shoreline restoration along Rush Creek in Maple
Grove, Fox Creek in Rogers and the Mississippi River at the Elm Creek Dam
in Champlin, repair of storm water outfalls along the Mississippi River in
Champlin, and in-lake water treatment to reduce phosphorus at Fish Lake in
more about special levies.
Measure applies tobacco rules to e-cigs, moves
authority to Public Health
The board approved an amendment to County Ordinance 21 that will
apply all county tobacco regulations to electronic tobacco and tobacco-related
products, such as e-cigarettes. The
measure will allow the ordinance to adapt in the future to new tobacco
products. This change
puts Hennepin County in line with new state regulations and wording meant to
better control use of tobacco products. It will also allow the board to delegate licensing of tobacco
retailers to the Hennepin County Public Health Department.
more about the ordinance change.
Federal program helps offenders with mental
The board agreed to sign on to the White House Data-Driven
Justice Initiative, which aims to keep low-risk offenders out of jail to help them
become productive members of our community.
This initiative will further efforts to consider offenders’
mental health. Nationwide, 64 percent of all people in jail have a mental
illness, and the county jail may not be best suited to treat and support those
Hennepin County committed to reduce unnecessary detention for
low-risk offenders and identify appropriate alternatives for those with mental
illnesses in our county jail by:
- Identifying appropriate
alternatives for the mentally ill, including diversion programs and
initiatives to support high utilizers
- Developing new strategies for
- Reducing bench warrants for
people who do not appear for court
- Eliminating delays in the legal
- Ensuring that decisions to detain
or release are based on validated risk assessment tools
- Identifying opportunities to
responsibly share information to improve coordination of services across
more about the White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative.
Funding covers Southwest LRT infrastructure,
environmental cleanup costs
The board approved an agreement with the Metropolitan Council to
fund infrastructure and environmental investments that will improve communities
on the Southwest Light Rail line: St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Eden
Prairie and Minneapolis.
The vote confirms action the board took in July 2015 to approve
$8 million in local matching funds for the project. Infrastructure costs of as
much as $3 million will improve plaza infrastructure items, such as benches,
lighting, and bike racks, as well as community connectivity. The Environmental
Response Fund will provide as much as $5 million to assess and clean up
contamination exposed during construction at the Hopkins Tech Center site,
Louisiana Station Area and the Hopkins Operations and Maintenance Facility site.
more about the funding agreement
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November 27, 11:30am to 4pm
International Holiday Festival. Ukrainian American Community Center. 301 Main
St. NE. millcitytimes.com
December 3, 6-9 pm
Interwine Northeast Community Christmas Carnival, East Side Neighborhood
Services, 1700 2nd St. NE. InterwineNortheast
December 10, 8am-2pm
Holiday Bazaar at Jackson Flats. Artisans and craftspeople from the NE Arts District. Light refreshments and
live music. 901 18 ½ Ave. NE. Free.
Sunday, December 11, 12-4pm
Fix It Clinics. Get free assistance repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more. race Center for Community Life, 1500 6th St. NE. Fix-It-Clinics
Family Storytime at Webber Park Library. For children of all ages. Books,
stories, rhymes, music and movement. 4203 Webber Pkwy. webberparklibrary
1, 2016, 7pm
Daughters of the Dust at the Capri Theatre. A classic film
by director Julie Dash. Theatre and musical events throughout December. capritheater
Friday, December 2,
Holiday on 44th. Music, crafts,
face painters and magicians at Loring Community School. 44th Ave. North between Morgan and Upton Avenues N.
December 17 and 18, 9:30am-4pm
Magic, hosted by the Goddess of Glass. 4400 Osseo Rd. HolidayMagic
Anwatin Craft Fair, Anwatin Middle School, 256 Upton Ave. S. bmna.org
Saturday, November 26, 9am-5pm
Small Business Saturday. Holiday shop the North Loop. Celebrate and support small businesses. smallbusinesssaturday
2, 24 hours a day
Toys for Tots. Toys
and gifts are collected throughout December. Golden Valley Police Department. 7700 Golden Valley Rd. goldenvalleymn.gov
December 3, 8:30-11:30am
Santa Breakfast and Workshop. Good Shepherd Catholic Church. 145 Jersey Ave. S.
Thursday, December 8, 6:30
Plymouth Lions Dinner Meeting and Christmas Party, Medicine Lake City Hall, Christmas Party, 10609
South Shore Dr. plymouthlions.org
Saturday, December 10, 2-5pm
Fashioned Christmas. Visit Santa, Ms. Claus, the elves
and reindeer. Refreshments and stories of Christmas past. Hay rides as sleigh
bells ring. Free. Old Fashioned Christmas
Saturday, December 31,
in the New Year with family fun. Ice skating, crafts, face painting,
entertainment, swimming, inflatables, food, games and open gym time, Plymouth
Ice Center, 3650 Plymouth Blvd. 14800 34th Ave. N. plymouthmn.gov
Saturday, November 26, 11am-3pm
Shop Small Holiday Market. Featuring more than 40 Minnesota businesses. Free
child care and parking. St. Anthony Community Center. 3301 Silver Lake Rd. midwestpantry.com
Friday, December 9, 4-8pm
Holiday Horse drawn Trolley Rides and lighting tour buses. Shopping Center. 2900
Pentagon Dr. HorseDrawnTrolley
Holiday Activities Elsewhere
November 12 through January 8, 10am-5pm
A Nordic Christmas: Celebrations of Light. American Swedish Institute. 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis. nordicchristmascelebrationsoflight
Thursday, December 1, 10am-5pm
Double Discount Holiday Shopping Weekend at Mill City Museum (4 days). Mill City Museum. 704 S. 2nd St. millcitytimes.com
December 3-4, Saturday/10-5pm, Sunday/12-6pm
9th Annual Vine Arts Center Holiday Sale. Jewelry, photography, painting, clothing and fiber arts, cards, prints, pottery, paintings, and other great gifts. 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis. vineartscenter.org
December 3, 10, and 17, 11:30 am-1pm
Santa Saturdays at the Zoo. December is a great time to visit the Minnesota Zoo. Bring the kids to meet Santa. He’ll be available for photos.13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley
Sunday, December 4, 4:30pm and 7 pm
A St. Thomas Christmas Gathering. Featuring over 350 student performers in nine of the university's vocal and instrumental ensembles. Tickets $17.50. Orchestra Hall Nicollet Mall. christmasgatheringconcert
Saturday, December 10, 11am-1pm
Winterfest on 2nd St., Minneapolis. Sleigh rides, caroling, hot cocoa and photo booth and warm clothing drive. Mill District, 704 S. 2nd St. Winterfest2016
Saturday, December 17, 10am-1pm
Mill City Holiday Farmers' Market. Shop for all the local produce, meat, cheeses, flowers, and unique hostess gifts for your holiday feasts! Plus, buy your Christmas tree, wreaths, and spruce tops from at the markets! Mill City Museum. 704 S. 2nd St. millcityfarmersmarket.org
Wednesday, November 30- Friday, Dec 2, 10am-5pm
Weisman Art Museum Holiday Sale. A great selection of items for everyone. Choose from jewelry, cards, handmade goods, treats, locally made items, and more. U of M East Bank, 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis. wam.shop
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