June 2017 News and Updates from Commissioner Higgins

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linda higgins

June 2017

Webber Park Library

As Memorial Day approaches, I hope you take time to smell the beautiful lilacs and lilies of the valley, eat burgers and brats fresh from the grill, and enjoy the laughter of little kids playing outside. As the calendar in this newsletter will show, there is an abundance of activities to keep you entertained this summer. Go outside!


See you tomorrow at the grand opening of the new Webber Park Library. 5 pm at the corner of 45th and Humboldt Ave. N. (photo by Spacecrafting.com).



linda higgins signature
800 W Broadway ribbon cutting group photo

800 West Broadway finds new life, celebrates grand opening

Senator Champion and Lt. Governor Smith

Commissioner Linda Higgins recently joined with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Senator Bobby Joe Champion, Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Shawntera Hardy, ‎ NorthPoint Health and Wellness CEO Stella Whitney-West and other dignitaries in celebrating the grand reopening of 800 W. Broadway in North Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Workforce Center previously on Plymouth Avenue is the anchor tenant. Its move to West Broadway was in response to Gov. Mark Dayton’s promise to do more and better for North Minneapolis. Other tenants include NorthPoint and the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Education and workforce partners will serve the diverse needs of students and job seekers, with a focus on non-traditional learners. The career and education resources at the center will further Hennepin County’s goal of providing opportunities for lifelong learning.

The 47,000 sq. ft. former car dealership had long been vacant following forfeiture because of unpaid taxes. Hennepin County then sold the building to Minneapolis recently at a reduced price for reasons of blight and to allow redevelopment.

Learn more about the services available at 800 W. Broadway by visiting the Minneapolis North WorkForce Center (help for job seekers), Minneapolis Public Schools and NorthPoint Health and Wellness websites.

New flag being installed at the Government Center

American flag retired and replaced at the Hennepin County Government Center

Local law enforcement and veterans retired and replaced the American flag in the Government Center this week. The original flag had been on display in the Hennepin County Government Center skyway since 2002 following 9/11.

Local law enforcement also participated in the Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony in the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda, a nationwide ceremony to honor and remember law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. In addition, our Lowry Bridge was lit blue to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day.

It is fitting to honor those peace officers who gave their lives to protect ours, and to thank the over 10,000 law enforcement officers who serve in Minnesota’s 446 law enforcement agencies, for their dedication and service to our communities. 

Hennepin County makes teen pregnancy prevention a priority

AIM program

While teen birth rates in Hennepin County have dropped 58 percent since 2008, they remain high in some areas and populations.

So often, the term “teen pregnancy prevention” conjures awkward images, like adolescents watching a demonstration about how to properly use a condom. But in recent years, there has been a trend toward thinking more broadly and holistically about sexual health education.

Project AIM is based on research that if adolescents have a clearer vision of their future – and if that future sounds appealing – they’ll want to safeguard it, and will be more motivated to avoid activities that could derail it. After twelve weeks of Project AIM, participants reported increased abstinence and decreased intention to engage in sex.

Because of outcomes like these, Hennepin County’s teen pregnancy prevention program implements Project AIM in several school districts in the county, including Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, Osseo, and Minneapolis.  

AIM program worksheet

Grant funding for Project AIM comes from the federal Office of Adolescent Health and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Abstinence Education Grant Program. This funding covers the cost of the curriculum, student workbooks, and the trained facilitators from Annex Teen Clinic and Northpoint Health and Wellness Clinic.

See full story, information and resources from Better Together Hennepin here.

Funding available to fix lead hazards in your home

NE Minneapolis family used lead hazard funding

Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Lead-based paint in older homes can pose serious health risks to young children, including permanent brain damage, slowed growth and development, and learning and behavior problems. A recent investigation found that in some Hennepin County neighborhoods, as many as 1 in 10 children who were tested had higher than normal levels of lead in their blood.

Hennepin County has fixed lead hazards in more than 4,200 homes through our lead program. We offer free home lead assessments and up to $8,000 in grant funding to fix home lead hazards, such as windows that have lead-based paint. You may be eligible for our lead program if:

  • Your home or rental property was built before 1978 (the year lead paint was banned)
  • A child under the age of six lives at or regularly visits your home or rental property
  • Your household meets basic income requirements.

Learn more about Hennepin County’s lead program

Fill out this short survey to start the lead program enrollment process

Read one family’s story about working with Hennepin County to make their home lead-safe

Hennepin golf

Parkers Lake Golf Center is open for the season

When most people think about jail, they don’t envision bunkers and birdies, green grass and sunny skies. But since 1998, the county has operated a driving range, a nine hole chip-n-putt course and a putting green at the Adult Corrections Facility in Plymouth.

The golf center is open to the public, and gives back to the community by providing free practice time to several high school golf teams and Special Olympics athletes. 

Parkers Lake location, hours, cost, and volunteer opportunities.

Plymouth Police recognized for bravery, innovation by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association

Plymouth Police Department recognized

The Plymouth Police Department, its chief and two officers were recently recognized for bravery and innovation by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

The department received three awards at the organization’s annual statewide conference, including the Medal of Honor, Excellence in Innovation and the Richard W. Schaller Award.

Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor was presented to Plymouth police officers Quincy Grabau and Steve Larson for their bravery, tactical knowledge and selfless dedication to public safety during the February 12, 2016 incident in which they were required to search an apartment complex for a gunman suspected of killing his fiancé on a busy county road.

Excellence in Innovation

The Plymouth Police Department was awarded the large-agency Excellence in Innovation Award for its three-pronged approach – mind, body, spirit – to officer wellness.

Richard W. Schaller Award
Plymouth Public Safety Director/Police Chief Mike Goldstein was awarded with the Richard W. Schaller Award. The award is given to police chiefs who are active and respected in their communities and have had a statewide impact on policing.

book sale image

Hennepin County Library book sales!

kid jumping

Bargain hunters and book lovers take note: there are various opportunities throughout the spring and summer to purchase adult and children's books in hardcover and paperback, CDs, videos, magazines and DVDs. Items available are dependent on location. All items are withdrawn from the Hennepin County Library system or donated by the public. Funds raised will benefit the library. Some locations request cash or check only so please come prepared. Many thanks to the Friends of the Hennepin County Library for this great services to our libraries!

To find a list of the used book sales, visit the library webpage.

Career Connections: Hennepin Career Fairs

Job-seekers can connect with actively recruiting companies at upcoming career fairs. Events are free and open to the public.

Event details

Monday, June 5, 9 am to 2 pm

Hennepin County Job Development Career Fair

Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430  

Tuesday, June 6, 11 am to 1 pm

Hennepin County Health and Safety Fair in Celebration of National Safety Month

Hennepin County Government Center – Skyway level, 300 6th St. S., Minneapolis 55487 

Job-seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and take copies of their resume.

Career fairs are events to pair employers looking for workers with employees looking for job opportunities. All participating businesses are aiming to fill multiple openings. For more information about recruiters and job fairs, see hennepin.us/jobs/job-fairs-recruiters.

These locations are served by several bus routes. For more information, visit metrotransit.org or call 612-373-3333.

Event spotlight: Pen Pals

Pen Pals

Buy your tickets now, because once they're gone, they're gone. 

Friends of the Hennepin County Library is pleased to announce the 21st season of Pen Pals, the award-winning and longest-running literary series in the Twin Cities.

The 2017-18 season offers a range of literary personalities, including an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actor, two Pulitzer Prize winners, a Peabody Award winning journalist, and a National Book Award winner.

  • Alan Alda – Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actor, author and director
    Sept. 26, 2017, 7:30 pm  /  Sept. 27, 2017, 11 am
  • Jennifer Egan – Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
    Oct. 26, 2017, 7:30 pm   /  Oct. 27, 2017, 11 am
  • Dan Rather – Peabody Award winning journalist and longtime CBS Evening News anchor
    Nov. 30, 2017, 7:30 pm  /  Dec. 1, 2017, 11 am
  • Colson Whitehead – 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad
    Feb. 1, 2018, 7:30 pm  /  Feb. 2, 2018, 11 am
  • Jesmyn Ward – National Book Award winning author of Salvage the Bones
    May 3, 2018, 7:30 pm  /  May 4, 2018, 11 am

Season subscriptions (starting at $160) will go on sale Monday, May 15, 2017. Subscribe by phone at 612-543-8112 (M - F, 9 am - 4:30 PM), or snail mail in this order form. Season subscribers receive 20% savings.

Individual tickets ($40/$50) will go on sale Tuesday, August 1, 2017, supporthclib.org/pen-pals.

Event spotlight: Live on the Drive

Live on the Drive image of Davina

The annual Northside summer concert series Live on the Drive will begin its tenth year on June 8. It’s a wonderful live music series on the scenic Victory Memorial Drive at 34th Avenue North in Minneapolis.

The concerts are scheduled on the second Thursday of each summer month from 6 to 8 pm.

June 8, Davina and the Vagabonds (movie Gravity).

July 13, Jayanthi Kyle (movie Fences).

August 10, Lush Country (movie Moana).

Pack a picnic, bring the kids and dogs, and enjoy some great music with your neighbors. Food vendors will be at each event. After the concerts at approximately 9 pm, the Park Board will show family friendly movies.

Live on the Drive is presented by the Cleveland Neighborhood Association with partners North Memorial Health Care, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

For more information, call 612-588-1155 or visit LiveOnTheDrive.org


Board news

May 9

$2.7 million awarded for affordable housing  

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority voted May 2 to award 2017 Affordable Housing Incentive Fund grants to help develop and preserve 657 affordable housing units.

Hennepin County awarded funding to the following projects:

  • Aeon Prospect Park, Minneapolis: $250,000 to construct 70 units of mixed-income rental housing
  • CLCLT Homebuyer Initiated Program, Minneapolis: $100,000 to restore four single-family homes
  • Knox and American, Bloomington: $300,000 to construct 284 units of mixed-income rental housing including 50 affordable rental units
  • Minnehaha Commons, Minneapolis: $250,000 to construct 43 rental units for seniors experiencing homelessness
  • Minnehaha Townhomes, Minneapolis: $500,000 to construct 16 rental units for families experiencing homeless
  • PLACE St. Louis Park: $300,000 to construct 299 units of mixed-income rental housing including 200 affordable rental units
  • Reprise: Brooklyn Park: $200,000 to refinance and rehabilitate 110 senior apartment units and 60 family townhome rental units
  • Sabathani Senior Housing, Minneapolis: $400,000 to construct 50 affordable rental units for seniors next to the Sabathani Community Center
  • The Mariner, Minnetonka: $200,000 to construct 236 units of mixed-income rental housing including 55 affordable rental units
  • WHAHLT Homes Within Reach, suburban Hennepin County: $200,000 to restore six single-family homes

Since 2000, the program has committed $59.9 million and leveraged more than $1.3 billion in additional investment to create and maintain more than 7,200 affordable housing units. 

Read more about funding awards.

Read more about the Affordable Housing Incentive Fund.

$2.2 million awarded for development along transit lines 

Voting May 2 as the HRA, the board awarded funding for seven projects that will create housing, commercial space, jobs and improved connections to transit. Hennepin County funding for these projects will support bicycle infrastructure, landscaping, sidewalks, trails, wayfinding, streetscaping, lighting and more near transit stations.

Hennepin County awarded funding to the following projects:

  • 38th Street Station, Minneapolis, $400,000: Located near the 38th Street Station on the METRO Blue Line, the project will construct a new mixed-use development with housing, retail and office space.
  • East Town Apartments, Minneapolis, $330,000: The project, located within walking distance of the U.S. Bank Station on the METRO Blue and Green Lines, will support development of 169 affordable housing units.
  • Green on 4th, Minneapolis, $400,000: The project includes 243 mixed-income units located near the Prospect Park Station on the METRO Green Line.
  • Knox and American, Bloomington, $400,000: Located along the future Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit corridor, the project will include 248 mixed-income apartments, a 125-room hotel and restaurant.
  • Penn Avenue Union, Minneapolis, $200,000: The project, adjacent to the future Penn and Golden Valley Station on the C-Line in North Minneapolis, will create 64 units of mixed-income housing and commercial space.
  • Southwest Station Apartments, Eden Prairie, $300,000: Located next to the existing Southwest Station and future Green Line Extension Station, the project will add 222 mixed-income units and retail space.
  • Youth Link-Downtown View Apartments, Minneapolis, $170,000: The project will consist of 47 new affordable housing units for homeless youth and the expansion of a youth service center.

Read more about funding awards.

Read more about Hennepin County transit oriented development grants.

Program will continue connecting chronically homeless with housing

The board approved $351,875 of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funding to help chronically homeless families attain stable housing. Funding will allow six full-time caseworkers to continue serving hard-to-reach families coping with physical, emotional or behavioral disabilities. Between June 2015 and June 2016, 99 percent of all 51 families participating in the program secured or maintained permanent housing.

Read more.



  • Friday, May 19, 5-10 pm, Saturday, May 20, 12-8 pm, Sunday, May 21, 12-5 pm
    Art A Whirl! The largest open studio tour in the country! Free. Various locations in NE Arts District. See map. art-a-whirl-map.
  • Saturdays, May 20 through October 21, 9 am-1 pm
    Northeast Farmers Market. St. Boniface Church. 629 2nd St. NE. northeastmarket.
  • Saturday, May 20, 8 am
    Northeast Farmers Market Foodie 4 Mile Run/Walk. Celebrate Opening Day of the Farmers Market. A fundraiser for the Northeast Farmers Market. B.F. Nelson Park, 400 Marshall St. NE. Cost $35. Foodie 4 Mile Run.
  • Tuesdays, May 23 through June 27, 11 am-12 pm
    Vital Fitness. Exercise that improves balance, strength, and coordination. Free. East Side, 1700 Second St. NE. vitalfitness.com.
  • Wednesday, May 31, 5-6:30 pm
    Keep the Beat. Fundraiser to help the NE Business Association support the Second Precinct Substation. Raffle, silent auction, beverages and Hors d'oeuvres. Vic’s Restaurant, 201 SE Main St. KeeptheBeat.com.
  • Friday, June 2, 10 am-5 pm
    Johnstock Festival. Free love, music and crafts. 2800 Johnson St. NE. johnstock.
  • Saturday, June 3, 11 am and 1 pm
    Twin Cities Food Tours' Historic Northeast Minneapolis Food Tour
    The Historic Northeast Walking Food Tour takes place in Northeast. Savor favorites from 6 tour locations. Tickets $45. twincitiesfoodtours.
  • Friday, June 9, 1-3:30 pm
    Career Planning for Artists. Learn how to define your values, identify key choices and develop a plan to achieve your career goals. Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave. NE. Learn more.
  • Saturday, June 10, 12-4 pm
    Hennepin County Fix It Clinic. Get household items fixed for free and learn valuable repair skills. Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis. fix-it-clinics.
  • Saturday, June 17 from 9-10:30 pm
    Dreamworks Trolls movie showing. Sheridan Memorial Park, 1300 Water St. NE movie-park-trolls.  

North Loop

  • Saturday, June, 3, 10-11 am
    June’s North Loop Clean-Up. Take an hour out of your day  to "sweep" through the North Loop. Form your own team or meet at Whole Foods for clean-up supplies. Whole Food Market, 222 Hennepin Ave. NorthLoopCleanup.  


  • Saturday, June 3, 10:30-11:30 am
    Research the History of Your Minneapolis Home. Tools and resources available that will help you research the history of your house within Minneapolis city limits. North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N. HomeHistory.
  • June 11 through June 24
    Hennepin County Library’s Juneteenth celebrations
    Sunday, June 11, 2-4 pm North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N.; Thursday, June 22, Sumner Library, 611 Van White Memorial Blvd.; Saturday, June 24, 1-3 pm, Webber Park Library 4440 Humboldt Ave. N. Celebrate this important moment in African-American history. Juneteenth at your library.
  • Thursday, June 15, 5:30-8 pm
    Folwell Ice Cream Social. Food, games, music, community booths and lots of ice cream. Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Ave. N. FolwellIceCreamSocial.
  • Friday, June 16 through Saturday, June 18
    Minnesota Juneteenth Festival. Celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery with a multitude of family-friendly activities. North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Ct. N. juneteenthminnesota.org.
  • June 19 through July 28, 9 am-3 pm
    Americorps Beacons Leadership Academy Summer 2017 at North High.
    Dance, theatre, sports, music and field trips for kindergarten through 8th grade students. Free breakfast, lunch and transportation. Contact Matthew Branch, 612-668-2470 or visit Summer Leadership Academy.
  • Wednesday, June 28, 7-9 pm
    Victory Ice Cream Social. Victory Park. 4414 Upton Ave. N. IceCreamSocial.  

Golden Valley

  • Saturday, June 3, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
    Studio Ghibli-Inspired Art. Make fan art from your favorite movies including Soot Ball Sprites made with pom-poms, paper mache, masks, and clay. Materials provided. Golden Valley Library, 830 Winnetka Ave. N. InspiredArt.
  • Mondays, June 5 through August 14
    Concerts in the Park. Free. Brookview Park. 200 Brookview Parkway N. Concert schedule at concertsinthepark.
  • Sunday, June 11, noon-6 pm
    Golden Valley Pride Festival. Brookview Park. Pride run at 2 pm. 200 Brookview Pkwy. N. goldenvalleypride.com.
  • June 18 through October 1, 9 am-1 pm.
    Golden Valley Sunday Farmers Market. 7800 Golden Valley Rd. under the water tower. marketinthevalley.

Bryn Mawr

  • Saturday, May 20, 10 am-12:30 pm
    MSP Wellness Event. Energy Release activities for the whole family to include healthy snacks, button making, community building, and music Anwatin Middle School 256 Upton Ave. S. WellnessEvent.
  • Thursday, May 25 and June 1, 6-8 pm
    Family Night. Bryn Mawr Elementary School. 252 Upton Ave. S. familynight.
  • June 19 through July 20, Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    Summer Soccer at Anwatin School, 256 Upton Ave. S. $60/week. Ages 9-14 years old. Register at SummerSoccer.    

St. Anthony


  • Wednesdays, June 28 through October 11, 2:30-6:30 pm
    Plymouth Farmers Market. Over 20 vendors with local produce. Parkers Lake Playfield. 15500 County Rd. 6. plymouthfarmersmarket.
  • Sunday, June 4, 12:30 pm
    Northwest Greenway Ribbon Cutting. Celebrate the opening of a pedestrian bridge over Vicksburg Lane. Volunteers will help plant 1,500 trees. Bridge over Vicksburg Ln., located south of County Road 47 and north of Schmidt Lake Rd. Greenway. GreenwayRibbonCutting.
  • Monday, June 5, 6:30-8:30 pm
    Work of Art: Business education for artists. Bring your artistic practice into a diverse array of educational settings. Plymouth Library, 15700 36th Avenue North. Learn more.

Multiple communities 

  • May 31, 12 pm., June 8, 6:30 pm, June 13, 6 pm
    Metro Transit Fare Increase Public Hearings. May 31, 300 Nicollet Mall. June 13, North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N. For a complete list of all open houses and public hearings, click here    
  • Saturday, June 3, 10 am-12 pm
    Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Grand Reopening. Celebration with music, tours, dance and children’s activities. Free. Sculpture-garden-grand-reopening.
  • Sunday, June 4, 1-3 pm
    Railroad History Walking Tour. Mill City Museum. Take a guided tour of railroad landmarks, including the Stone Arch Bridge and Milwaukee Road Depot. $14/$11 members. 704 S. 2nd St. Walking Tour.
  • Sunday, June 11, 11 am-5 pm
    Open Streets Downtown. See link for information for all seven Open Street events in 2017. openstreetsmpls.org.
  • Friday, June 16 through Sunday, June 18
    Stone Arch Bridge Festival. Over 200 artists, family activities and live music on three states. Water Power Park, 206 SE Main St. stonearchbridgefestival.  


Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Beverly Hammond
Administrative Secretary

You can also send comments via my feedback form.



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