Twin Cities Daily Planet | Latest Headlines https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/columnists en Feral cats in the city: A primer https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/feral-cats-city-primer <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/19/feral-cats-city-primer" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/19/feralcatsincity.png" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/megan-nash" title="View user profile.">Megan Nash</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Northeaster </div> </div> </div> <p>What started as Don Waalen-Radzevicius spotting a few feral cats living under his front deck has now turned into caretaking of an entire colony of around 16 felines.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/19/feral-cats-city-primer"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What started as Don Waalen-Radzevicius spotting a few feral cats living under his front deck has now turned into caretaking of an entire colony of around 16 felines.<!--break--></p><p>When Northeast Minneapolis resident Waalen-Radzevicius heard that the feral cats were going to most likely be trapped and destroyed, he decided to contact a local organization called Pet Project Rescue. The people at the organization helped him to figure out how to trap the feral cats and bring them in to be spayed or neutered. Pet Project Rescue is a local, for purpose organization that rescues homeless or abandoned dogs and cats and places them in volunteer foster homes until the animal is adopted. In this first of a series, we look at parts of the urban animal puzzle.</p><p><strong>Pet Project Rescue</strong></p><p>Pet Project Rescue referred Waalen- Radzevicius to Minnesota Spay Neuter Assistance Program (MN SNAP), a non-profit that gives high-quality, affordable, and accessible spay and neuter services for animals to those in need. He then had to go through the process of filling out paperwork in order to become the caretaker of his colony of cats. You are agreeing to feed and take care of the feral cat colony until it is gone when you become the colony caretaker.</p><p>After Waalen-Radzevicius became the caretaker, he learned that there was a colony of over one hundred cats around one mile away from his house and another colony of about 40 cats within a four block radius. They have three traps from Pet Project Rescue that they lend out to neighbors if they need help trapping feral cats. One of his neighbors is the caretaker of one of the other colonies so they have shared some of the feeding responsibilities of feeding. Pet Project Rescue also helps by giving food to colony caretakers when they receive food donations.</p><p>Any kittens born in the colony that are at least 6 weeks old are taken and put in a foster home to see if they are tame enough to be adopted. If the kittens are 12-13 weeks old, the feral instinct generally is so dominant that they are no longer tameable, and the foster family has to bring them back so they can be returned to their colony.</p><p>“The big thing is that these animals are being treated humanely and trying to keep them as little of a public nuisance as possible,” Waalen-Radzevicius said.</p><p><strong>MN SNAP</strong></p><p>Dr. Kim Culbertson worked in the animal shelter business for about 10 years when she realized that there wasn’t an organization like MN SNAP in Minnesota, so she started it. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, she is the MN SNAP Founder and Blue Sky Veterinary Services Lead. Since they opened in 2010, Dr. Culbertson and her staff have spayed or neutered over 50,000 animals with 15% of those being feral cats specifically. At the previous shelter where she worked, Dr. Culbertson said that she didn’t remember any feral cats leaving alive. However, she learned the Trap-Neuter-Return concept from another animal shelter she worked at.</p><p>In the Trap-Neuter-Release method, the colony caretaker will trap the feral cat and bring it in to be spayed or neutered. Finally, it is released back into the colony. “Spay and Neuter is the first and foremost method of management,” Dr. Culbertson explained. “It has been shown time and time again that removing cats isn’t an effective method because then more cats come in.” If the feral cats are spayed and neutered and then released back into the colony the numbers generally remain the same and eventually the colony will end with the existing cats.</p><p>“If more of the neighbors could be educated about the benefit of TNR they would be more accepting of living with the cats and managing the population humanely,” Dr. Culbertson said.</p><p>People in low income neighborhoods are the least likely to have their pets sterilized and the most likely to relinquish their pet to a shelter. Because of this, MN SNAP tries to make it possible for everyone to have a chance to have their pets spayed or neutered. They screen clients by requiring that they receive public assistance or have a total annual income of $40,000 or less. They don’t require feral cat caretakers to meet certain standards, because they want to prevent the feral cat colonies from increasing. Dr. Culbertson says that they spay or neuter at least one feral cat almost every day.</p><p>“Feral cats have very few advocates and they can be a nuisance to neighbors, but their numbers can be humanely controlled through being spayed and neutered,” explained Dr. Culbertson. “For them to be spayed and neutered in Minneapolis is affordable and accessible for people. That’s what we’re all about, being affordable and accessible.”</p><p>MN SNAP has clinics each week that go to different locations all over the state. They are now traveling all the way to Roseau, MN, the furthest they’ve ever gone. At these clinics, the residents in the different locations are able to bring animals in to be spayed or neutered. For feral cats, they do an initial exam and shots, notch off the corner of the ear so you can visually tell if they’ve been spayed or neutered, and microchip them to track where they end up. If they find a cat outside of its colony, they can bring it back using the microchip.</p><p>MN SNAP purchased a building in North Minneapolis on North Washington Avenue at the end of 2012. The building is only a shell right now and will need a complete remodel. They are in the midst of a capital campaign to raise funds for the remodel. They are hoping to raise the funds so they can open sometime in the next year.</p><p><strong>MACC</strong></p><p>Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) works with residents to create safe and healthy communities for people and animals. On September 27 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the MACC is sponsoring their annual community celebration called “I’m in the Doghouse” to raise money for the animal shelter. In their words, they will be “’kenneling’ and ‘adopting’ local elected officials, celebrities and average citizens.” Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council Members and McGruff the Safety Dog will be making special appearances.</p><p>City Council Member Jacob Frey is going to participate in the “I’m in the Doghouse” event. A while ago he was able to tour the MACC facilities. “I was amazed at the amount of care and compassion exhibited by MACC staff,” Frey said. “On an annual basis MACC takes in over 4,000 animals, is visited by more than 6,000 customers, and partners with 46 animal rescue groups to send more than 90 percent of adoptable pets home. These numbers illustrate our ongoing success in placing as many animals as possible with loving homes.”</p><p>In addition to the kenneling of humans at the event, MACC staff and volunteers will be giving tours of the shelter. There will be educational booths, face-painting, a dog agility demonstration, food and more. There will be a dog costume contest at 1 p.m.</p><p>Stay tuned for part two of this story. It will give an update on how the “I’m in the Doghouse” event went, will give more specifics about the new city initiatives to help create a healthy relationship between people and animals, and will explain what is new at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Northeaster </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/feral-cats-city-primer#comments animals minneapolis Politics & Policy Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:20:39 +0000 101760 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola created https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/minnesota-african-taskforce-against-ebola-created <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/19/minnesota-african-taskforce-against-ebola-created" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/19/front_taskforce.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/issa-mansaray" title="View user profile.">Issa A. Mansaray</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the number of Ebola cases in West Africa continue to increase to more than 2,000 according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola, formed by the African community on Aug. 5, is gathering medical supplies and equipment to ship to West Africa.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/19/minnesota-african-taskforce-against-ebola-created"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As the number of Ebola cases in West Africa continue to increase to more than 2,000 according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola, formed by the African community on Aug. 5, is gathering medical supplies and equipment to ship to West Africa.<!--break--></p><p>“We are also recruiting more than 200 nurses and medical volunteers to send to West Africa,” said Wynfred Russell, the Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola communication and media representative in Brooklyn Park. He added that the volunteers would choose which country they want to render their services to. The taskforce, he said, will gather all volunteers on September 30 for briefing and training before they depart to the West African nations.</p><blockquote><p><em>This article is reposted from TCDP media partner <a href="http://www.spokesman-recorder.com">Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder</a>. Check out the links below for other recent Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder stories:</em></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.spokesman-recorder.com/2014/09/18/police-violence-black-violence/"><em>Police violence and Black violence are not the same</em></a></li><li><a href="http://www.spokesman-recorder.com/2014/09/11/entrepreneurs-story-refugee-hardship-results-success/"><em>Entrepreneur’s story of refugee hardship results in success</em></a></li></ul></blockquote><p>The number of countries affected in the region has also increased to five that include Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and a recent case of an Ebola patient in Senegal. A lockdown in Liberia last month and in Sierra Leone this week hasn’t helped the situation either. The measure has been criticized by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the medical humanitarian group known by its English name as Doctors without Borders. MSF said it could encourage people to conceal their relatives infected with Ebola.</p><p>WHO has announced the sum of $100 million to help solve the outbreak in West Africa. There is pressure for researchers to come up with a vaccine. There is some promise of a vaccine for Ebola being tested in animals, and currently medical laboratories in the U.S. and Britain are seeking human volunteers to test recently developed vaccines. The major problem for the slow vaccine development for a disease showing sporadically in poor populations is that there is not a lot of economic interest to invest in vaccine products for outbreaks such as Ebola, according to medical experts.</p><p>Though the incubation period for Ebola is said to be 21 days, many are concerned that it may take more than that period after contact with an Ebola patient’s bodily fluids. This has been a major source of concern as people in West Africa touch and wash corpses, and take care of their sick relatives.</p><p>“We are engaged in the awareness [campaign] of what Ebola is, and how we can guide those who are travelling from Minnesota to Sierra Leone, to Guniea to Liberia, what they should be careful of,” said Abdullah Kiatamba, chairman of the Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola. “Because, if you contracted Ebola, when you come back that could lead to stigmatization that the community is infected, and it will lead to alarm and strife [for] many people.”</p><p><em><img src="/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/2014/September/front_ebola.russell.devris.03.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" height="200" width="200" />Left: Wynfred Russell</em></p><p>At the moment, the campaign is to bring together different organizations and people affected in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The taskforce members said their work and commitment is being supported by Minnesota Department of Health and community organizations. The formation of the task force also helps in the humanitarian effort from the diaspora in providing gloves, sanitizers, and personal protection gear. There is a current drive for food to send along with medical supplies.</p><p>According to members, the task force would seek resources and information materials that could help people to raise awareness in West Africa. The health facilities and hospitals still need basic medical equipment and supplies, and personal protective equipment for sanitation officers. In Sierra Leone and Liberia nurses and doctors have been infected as they work in unsafe environments. At the same time, local people are afraid of foreign medical workers and it has made things more difficult to control Ebola.</p><p>“On a daily basis there may be more than a million calls from Minnesota to other countries,” Kiatamba told the <em>MSR</em>, also explaining that the community is really disturbed and there is hysteria “because things are happening so fast and the capacity in these three countries — Guinea, Liberia, [and] Sierra Leone — to contain these virus and disease has not been as effective as everybody would have wished. It has created some sense of hopelessness.”</p><p>Those present at the formation of the task force believe it will highlight the problem in the mainstream media and generate international support and attention. Also, the task force is engaging local schools and colleges with information about Ebola, and that people from West Africa are not carriers of the disease.</p><p>In recent months, the U.S. government sent 50 health experts to help contain the outbreak. The WHO also hosted a conference and the allocated $100 million will be used to help correct some of the emergency gaps that existed in the health system in the three countries. The African task force promises to engage in community awareness about what happened in Nigeria and Liberia, and those who are travelling to take all the precautions necessary.</p><p>“When they hear that those who are supposed to be protecting people — the doctors — cannot protect themselves, people start to think about their relatives [in West Africa]. If the gatekeeper cannot protect the gate, then those inside are not protected,” said Kiatamba.</p><p>The task force members said they are working on how to frame the narrative of events, as Ebola is now an international issue. Its immediate concern is how to send supplies to West Africa and support the process of containing the deadly virus.</p><p>The task force has held several meetings and is currently conducting information sessions, collaborative discussions, and working groups that focus on messaging, relief, and coordinating with all different organizations and community leaders.</p><p>“It is beyond boundaries,” said Kiatamba. “It could affect anybody.”</p><p><em>Issa A. Mansaray welcomes reader responses to <span class="spamspan"><span class="u">issa</span> [at] <span class="d">theafricapaper [dot] com</span></span>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/minnesota-african-taskforce-against-ebola-created#comments Global/Local Health Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:44:45 +0000 101755 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net THEATER REVIEW | Workhaus Collective's "Lake Untersee" navigates glaciers, divorce, autism https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/19/theater-review-lake-untersee-workhaus-collective <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arts/2014/09/19/theater-review-lake-untersee-workhaus-collective" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/19/lakeuntersee-0447_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/basil-considine" title="View user profile.">Basil Considine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most transformative movements in 20<sup>th</sup>-century opera was <em>verismo</em>, which foregrounded realistic depictions of everyday life. This focus on realism, especially in examinations of contemporary lower-class life, opened the floodgates to a rich array of stories that simply had not been told or were previously being swept under the rug. <em>Lake Untersee</em> similarly pulls back a veil, revealing a story that delves into a condition still largely absent from the theatrical limelight.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/arts/2014/09/19/theater-review-lake-untersee-workhaus-collective"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One of the most transformative movements in 20<sup>th</sup>-century opera was <em>verismo</em>, which foregrounded realistic depictions of everyday life. This focus on realism, especially in examinations of contemporary lower-class life, opened the floodgates to a rich array of stories that simply had not been told or were previously being swept under the rug. <em>Lake Untersee</em> similarly pulls back a veil, revealing a story that delves into a condition still largely absent from the theatrical limelight.<!--break--></p><p>The heart of this new play by Joe Waechter is a family drama, with divorced parents Phyllis (Jennifer Blagen) and Jason (Michael Booth) striving to raise their teenage son Rocky (Michael Thurston). A new girlfriend (Adelin Phelps) doesn’t help the fragile balance, but this outwardly familiar situation is immensely complicated by an unspecified communication disorder (strongly implied to be autism) that sometimes robs Rocky of speech. Tension mounts as words are replaced by pregnant silence and guttural grunts, and the full-blown fit that enfolds in one scene is devastating. Thurston’s performance is exceptional, especially given his age (he is currently a senior at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists), and bears watching in years to come.</p><p>Several technical features stand out from this Workhaus Collective production. The winter effects are excellently done and Jesse Cogswell has a few noteworthy lighting cues, but the depiction of an Antarctic ice shelf (a scenic design by Geoffrey Curley) is especially impressive.</p><p>Waechter’s script is alternately funny, poignant, and heightened, and his characters fill out over the course of the play such that they are familiar yet fresh. It does raise interesting questions about diagnosis and medication, but without letting these background issues overwhelm the narrative as a whole. The script is brought to life by an ensemble with strong chemistry and smart transitions between scenes; everyone comes across as “right” in their respective family units (broken and otherwise). Under Jeremy Cohen’s direction, Blagen and Booth have just the right amount of post-divorce chemistry: their past marriage is plausible and their divorce entirely understandable.</p><p>This is a tightly knit production of an engaging new work. <em>Lake Untersee</em> treats with some heavy themes and doesn’t pull its punches, but makes quite the pleasant evening when the story is told.</p><hr /><p><em>Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ©2014 Basil Considine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-relatedevent"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/events/workhaus-collective-presents-lake-untersee">Workhaus Collective presents &quot;Lake Untersee&quot;</a> </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/19/theater-review-lake-untersee-workhaus-collective#comments CC area Arts Entertainment Theater Daily Planet Originals Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:17:20 +0000 101751 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net SuperValu announces closure; City moves to redevelop Nicollet https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/supervalu-announces-closure-city-moves-redevelop-nicollet <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/19/supervalu-announces-closure-city-moves-redevelop-nicollet" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/19/cashier_carmen_according_to_her_name_tag_had_been_working_almost_non-stop._.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/stephanie-fox" title="View user profile.">Stephanie Fox</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>Last week, the signs announcing that Sullivan’s SuperValu at Lake and Nicollet was closing were small so many people didn’t notice. But by Sunday, word spread that everything was 50 percent off and people were grabbing anything they could.</p><p>“It’s a controlled riot,” a security guard joked.</p><p></p><span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/19/supervalu-announces-closure-city-moves-redevelop-nicollet"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last week, the signs announcing that Sullivan’s SuperValu at Lake and Nicollet was closing were small so many people didn’t notice. But by Sunday, word spread that everything was 50 percent off and people were grabbing anything they could.</p><p>“It’s a controlled riot,” a security guard joked.</p><p><!--break--></p><p>After 21 years of service, the privately owned grocery store announced they will be closing their doors this Saturday, Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. <a href="http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2013/01/07/global-groceries-last-chance-maybe-sullivans-asian-african-southern-supervalu-south-">Sullivan’s faced financial peril last winter</a>, and the city is planning to finalize plans to possibly redevelop Nicollet Avenue and demolish the building next month, allowing passage through the property, which cuts off Nicollet at Lake St.</p><p>“It’s complicated,” said Minneapolis Transit Development director David Frank. “There are two pieces of land owned by two different families with each store with a different tenant and a different lease. But, it’s been a long held goal of the city to reopen Nicollet.”</p><p>Frank said the city doesn’t want to get rid of either business, including Kmart, which shares the space with Sullivan’s. But they believe opening Nicollet Avenue up at that juncture is the best option for the city moving forward, he said.</p><p>Redevelopment is a slow process, said Frank. “We expect something to come before the city council next month with an agreement that allows us to go in the site to do due diligence to determine the property value.”</p><p>Right now the city is negotiating to buy both pieces of property, Frank said, and obtain site control so it has power over the land and the leases there.</p><p>“As far as the city is concerned, we have been talking about potential redevelopment of the site,” said Lisa Bender, the City Council member who represents the area.” A grocery store is something we’d like to see. We could require or suggest a grocery store, but it depends on the financial feasibility.”</p><p>Further east down Lake Street is a Cub Foods, but some still believe losing the store may open up food accessibility issues in the area.</p><p><img src="/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/2014/September/the_fresh_produce_was_nearly_gone_by_sunday_afternoon.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" height="200" width="300" />Dennis Betcher works in Eagan but lives near Sullivan’s. He said he often shops at the store, stopping in after work, simply because he likes the place.</p><p>“The consumer is going to lose out,” Betcher said. “It’s sad. A lot of local people don’t have cars. They take the bus or bike here and that’s hard, especially when you have the kids to drag along. But, it’s competitive in the grocery business.”</p><p>Quionna McCaster lives in North Minneapolis but still comes to Sullivan’s to buy groceries. Last week, she brought friends to the store to show it off, she said, not knowing it was closing, and they ended up filling their carts.</p><p>“I bought $150 of groceries for $75,” McCaster said. “I’ve come here for years to buy meat. It’s a big shocker that the store is closing. Where will I get my meat, now?”</p><p>The store catered to the ethnic diversity in the nearby Whittier, Lyndale and Central neighborhoods, and served items like chicken or beef feet, smoked turkey tails, buffalo fish heads, chitterlings, pork chops, steaks, gizzards and thin-cut pot roasts.</p><p>Nearly two years ago, Bob Shadduck, president of Jerry’s Foods, which owns Sullivan’s, said that he hoped to build a larger store at the location, perhaps with a different footprint. As of now, Jerry’s Foods has made no plans to reopen or rebuild.</p><p>Meanwhile, plans to reopen Nicollet are proceeding, said Frank.</p><p>“I don’t want to jinx anything,” he said<strong>,</strong> “but if we didn’t believe we could make this happen, we wouldn’t spend the time, effort and energy … it’s the broader public who wants this to happen. So many people wanted to accomplish this for so long.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Stephanie Fox </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/19/supervalu-announces-closure-city-moves-redevelop-nicollet#comments SuperValu Daily Planet Originals Food and restaurants Government Local Politics & Policy Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:21:36 +0000 101749 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net MUSIC REVIEW | Real Phonic Radio returns to Hill Library with Augie Meyers, Broke Down Dollys and Erik Koskinen https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/19/real-phonic-radio-returns-hill-library-augie-meyers-broke-down-dollys-and-erik-koski <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arts/2014/09/19/real-phonic-radio-returns-hill-library-augie-meyers-broke-down-dollys-and-erik-koski" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/19/rpr_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/ann-treacy" title="View user profile.">Ann Treacy</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>After a summer hiatus, <a href="http://www.realphonic.com/" style="line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Real Phonic Radio</a> returned to the James J Hill Library for their monthly show of local and national country-flavored music performed on the third Thursday of the month. This month <a href="http://augiemeyers.com/" style="line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Augie Meyers</a> headlined.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/arts/2014/09/19/real-phonic-radio-returns-hill-library-augie-meyers-broke-down-dollys-and-erik-koski"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After a summer hiatus, <a href="http://www.realphonic.com/" style="line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Real Phonic Radio</a> returned to the James J Hill Library for their monthly show of local and national country-flavored music performed on the third Thursday of the month. This month <a href="http://augiemeyers.com/" style="line-height: 16.7999992370605px;">Augie Meyers</a> headlined.<!--break--></p><p>Meyers has played with a wide range of musicians and in a number of bands such as Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornadoes. He started with “Is anybody going to San Antone?” And the music went old school from there. It went through the country continuum – from kind of blue grassy to Tex Mex with a strong lean towards honky tonk. Meyers has a rich, gravelly voice that sets off the classic country perfectly.</p><p>Meyers was very charismatic, mentioning that his dad told him if he played songs like, ‘I didn’t know God made Honky Tonk angels” that he’d really be someone. “I’ve been playing this for 50 years and I’m still me,” Meyers added. I asked my 10 year old day what she thought. She thought Grandpa would love the music. It’s the music that we have been listening to in Grandpa’s cars for a long time.</p><p>A highlight was having Meyers bring Molly Maher up to sing with him.</p><p><a href="http://thedollys.com/">Broke Down Dollys</a> also played. They were a sweeter version of old school. It’s nice to hear women singing and their harmony was strong, clear and moving. They played a slowed down version of “9 to 5” that almost made me forget the original. It was an interesting spin that made the song new. They also played a pretty rendition of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" that reminded me of <a href="http://www.coveringthemouse.com/2007/11/blue-shadows-on-trail-syd-straw.html">Syd Straw singing “Blue Shadows on the Trail</a>.”</p><p>The featured poet this month was Real Phonic Host, Thom Middlebrook. He read a piece about Martin Luther King on the phone long distance because Middlebrook was in Paris and saving the world and civil rights and MLK handing the civil rights baton onto Middlebrook based on his success with Real Phonic Radio. It sounded like the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_(novel)#Episode_15.2C_Circe">Nighttown chapter of Ulysses</a> – not smutty, but feverish with detailed hallucinations.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.erikkoskinen.com/">Erik Koskinen</a> Band started and ended the show. In fact many of the members were on stage all night playing with all of the bands. On their own set they started with “Detroit Detroit”; few things could make me happier. They sounded well with a slightly altered lineup. It’s amazing to hear how good musicians can jump in and out of a band lineup as these musicians did all night.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ©2014 Ann Treacy </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/19/real-phonic-radio-returns-hill-library-augie-meyers-broke-down-dollys-and-erik-koski#comments Arts Entertainment Music Food and restaurants Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:20:38 +0000 101739 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net A Frogtown feast: Thousands gather to discuss food access in St. Paul https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/frogtown-feast-thousands-gather-discuss-food-access-st-paul <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/18/frogtown-feast-thousands-gather-discuss-food-access-st-paul" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/18/andy_king_cu_table_sm.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/cirien-saadeh" title="View user profile.">Cirien Saadeh</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everyone thinks about their food as art, but one St. Paul artist is using art to spread awareness about food access issues in his neighborhood.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/18/frogtown-feast-thousands-gather-discuss-food-access-st-paul"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Not everyone thinks about their food as art, but one St. Paul artist is using art to spread awareness about food access issues in his neighborhood.<!--break--></p><p>When artist Seitu Jones looked out the window of his apartment in Frogtown, he noticed many people in his neighborhood were buying their groceries from the local convenience store. It was a revelation to him, and he decided he wanted to do something about it.</p><p>On Sept. 14, Jones, along with Public Art St. Paul, organized an outdoor community meal and art project that fed nearly 2,000 people. The project, called CREATE: the Community Meal, took place on a stretch of Victoria Street in St. Paul and was meant to raise awareness of areas with poor food access and spur community conversations over the problem.</p><p>“We commissioned poets to come up with the grace and the closing. We commissioned a choreographer to come up with the movement that the servers would use for bringing food to the table. We commissioned another artist to help design those mobile art kitchens,” Jones said.</p><p>According to a 2010 Ramsey County Public Health report, low-income communities and communities of color in St. Paul face a number of barriers to healthy foods, such as cost, quality and availability. More than 90 percent of the survey participants said they were “somewhat” or “very interested” in eating healthier, and 60 percent of low-income participants said they lacked money to buy groceries at least once in the three months prior to taking the survey.</p><p>There were artists working at every level of the project, Jones said, and some of the servers were artists who had volunteered to participate. Even the food itself was meant to be a work of art, he said.</p><p>Jones and members of Public Art St. Paul also built mobile art kitchens that could be pulled by bike around the neighborhood to feed Frogtown residents and teach them how to cook.</p><p><img src="/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/2014/September/andy_king_vert_table_sm.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" height="466" width="300" />CREATE organizers worked with local farms sourcing most of the ingredients from Minnesota farms no more than 47 miles away. Chef James Baker and Sous-Chef Lachell Cunningham of the Elite Catering Inc., alongside a team of volunteers, cooked the meal, which consisted of chicken, salad, pulled greens, cornbread, and apple cider.</p><p>“Remember, they call cooking a culinary art and Seitu is an artist,” Baker said. “So, when he asked me to do this, I had to.”</p><p>Blending this community meal with art made sense, Jones said, in part because he has been combining social engagement with art for a long time.</p><p>He grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s when many different cultures and politics were intersecting, he said, and in the early ‘70s he joined the Black Arts Movement.</p><p>“One of the things I learned at that time is that we should leave the world more beautiful than we found it,” Jones said. “So my work as an artist has taken on a real heavy social engagement component.”</p><p>Public Art St. Paul president Christine Podas-Larson said the project was far bigger than anything Jones had taken on before, and said the project could help spread awareness in the area regarding the role that residents play in the local food system.</p><p>“2,000 citizens talking about [food access], it’s like throwing a stone in the water,” Podas-Larson said. “It can have incredible rippling impacts. I think one thing is a lot of people maybe don’t understand their place in the food system.”</p><p>That’s a point Jones wanted to make with the project, she said, that residents understand that being denied access to healthy foods isn’t just something they need to live with.</p><p>Alex Liebman with Stone’s Throw Urban Farm said the community meal could help show residents how food gets to the consumer. Stone’s Throw provided herbs and salad greens for the meal.</p><p>“It’s exciting to have this very, very tangible evidence of where your food is going,” Liebman said. “It’s not often that it is presented in such a grand way.”</p><p>Roxanne Darjhn, a community organizer in the Summit-University neighborhood, volunteered to host a table at the event. “I thought it would be a good idea to engage the residents and get to know some more residents, more of an outreach effort,” she said.</p><p>State legislator Rena Moran, who represents District 65A, joined the meal that day and said that food access is a particularly important conversation, especially when talking about health issues that impact low-income communities and communities of color.</p><p>“I think we really have to be very intentional in saying, ‘How do we create those opportunities for the prevention of obesity and diabetes and things like that,’ to really look at how we can create those spaces,” she said.</p><hr /><p><em>Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Cirien Saadeh </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/frogtown-feast-thousands-gather-discuss-food-access-st-paul#comments CC area Frogtown gardening and urban agriculture Daily Planet Originals Food and restaurants Health Local Minnesota Race/Ethnicity Summit-University Thomas Dale Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:44:38 +0000 101727 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net Planting the new Raymond Avenue: Volunteer initiative sows lasting results https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/planting-new-raymond-avenue-volunteer-initiative-sows-lasting-results <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/18/planting-new-raymond-avenue-volunteer-initiative-sows-lasting-results" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/18/dsc_3923.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/kyle-mianulli" title="View user profile.">Kyle Mianulli</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Community Voices </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to improving the beauty and environmental friendliness of any neighborhood, there’s no better way to get things done and done in the right way than through the power and initiative of</p> <span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/18/planting-new-raymond-avenue-volunteer-initiative-sows-lasting-results"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When it comes to improving the beauty and environmental friendliness of any neighborhood, there’s no better way to get things done and done in the right way than through the power and initiative of those who live there.</p> <blockquote><p><strong>This is a Community Voices submission</strong> and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.</p> </blockquote> <p>That’s a notion St. Anthony Park resident and Stephen Mastey understands well. He recently spearheaded an enormous neighborhood environmental initiative to beautify and improve the environmental friendliness of one of St. Anthony Park’s most vital routes in St. Paul.</p> <p>He, along with a group of 8 other St. Anthony Park residents worked sun up to sun down over three days in August to caringly weed, cultivate and plant 16 rain gardens with more than 1,600 pollinator-friendly plants along Raymond Avenue between Hampden and Ellis Aves.</p> <p>“We’ve eliminated one acre of hardcover or impervious (pavement) and converted it to green space….and then on top of that we’ve added 16 rain gardens. It’s just a huge water quality improvement initiative,” Mastey says.</p> <p>The story of the transformation along Raymond Ave. neighbors witnessed in the last year actually began almost a decade ago when a group of concerned neighbors began advocating for improvements to Raymond Ave. that would make it safer and easier for pedestrians to traverse.</p> <p>After years of negotiations and dealings at the city, county, state and even national level, the neighborhood saw the first fruits of these volunteers’ labors last fall when Raymond Ave between University and Hampden reopened with bike lanes, bump-outs, grassy medians and other pedestrian-friendly amenities.</p> <p>Quick to recognize an opportunity, Mastey advocated for the inclusion of improved green space and the addition of rain gardens to the city’s early plans for Raymond Avenue. Like many things in city planning, this was no simple task, but through the sustained work of Mastey and the rest of the SAPCC Environment Committee, plans were eventually amended to replace one acre of impervious ground cover with new green space that included an expansion of Hampden Park (along with a new underground storm water system) and new lawn space at several of the intersections along Raymond Ave.</p> <p>Why have lawn where you could have rain gardens, though? In addition to the added beautification qualities of a planted rain garden, they also clean rainwater runoff more efficiently than lawn, which keeps more pollution out of the Mississippi River and other vital waterways.</p> <p>“If we wouldn’t have stepped up to the plate and said ‘hey, let’s do some plantings in here, they would have just done lawn,” Mastey says.</p> <p>The Capitol Region Watershed District, which supplied the plants for the rain gardens, deserves praise, as well, Mastey says.</p> <p>A landscape architect by trade, Mastey took the plans a step further for the environment and ensured every plant that was to be included in the rain gardens would also provide pollinator insects like bees and butterflies with a steady source of pollen throughout the season.</p> <p>“One of the things we really looked at in addition to beautification and civic value, was wildlife and specifically, pollinators,” Mastey says. “Every plant that we planted is a huge pollinator plant.”</p> <p>Knowing volunteers would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the rain gardens, Mastey chose only three types of plants for the largest two gardens. The Autumn Brilliance Service Berry Trees provide sustenance for pollinators early in the season along with the Isanti Dogwood Shrubs, and the Purple Pavement roses bloom and re-bloom throughout the middle of summer and into the fall.</p> <p>By complimenting these plantings with six other varieties of pollinator plants in the smaller rain gardens along the avenue, various insects that play vital roles in the health of our environment and support our biosystems will enjoy a bountiful new Raymond Avenue for years to come.</p> <p>It’s not just insects that will enjoy the new plantings, either. Mastey says pheasants and wild turkeys are known to eat the rosehips and 38 different species of neo-tropical migrant songbirds enjoy the Service Berries.</p> <p>The next time you’re out and about on Raymond Avenue, take a moment to stop and smell the roses. When you see a pollinator insect or interesting bird, take note. Appreciate that far less pollution now makes its way to the Mississippi River from Raymond Avenue. None of this would have been possible without the dedication and investment of some extraordinary neighborhood volunteers.</p> <p><em>Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Kyle Mianulli </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/planting-new-raymond-avenue-volunteer-initiative-sows-lasting-results#comments CC area Community Voices Environment Local Neighborhoods Saint Anthony Park Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:42:45 +0000 101711 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net THEATER REVIEW | "Test Pilot" at The O'Shaughnessy: The untold story of the Wright brothers' sister https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/18/theater-review-test-pilot-untold-story-wright-brothers-sister-oshaughnessy <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arts/2014/09/18/theater-review-test-pilot-untold-story-wright-brothers-sister-oshaughnessy" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/18/carrie1sm.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/basil-considine" title="View user profile.">Basil Considine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>St. Catherine University launched its 2014-2015<em> </em>Women of Substance series on September 12 with <em>Test Pilot</em>, a striking new music and dance piece. The work, billed as a dance opera, delves into the early history of aviation from an unusual perspective: that of the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine. The explorations of flight, its mechanics, and the build-up to the final flight are engagingly rendered in vocal and instrumental music and in modern dance.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/arts/2014/09/18/theater-review-test-pilot-untold-story-wright-brothers-sister-oshaughnessy"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>St. Catherine University launched its 2014-2015<em> </em>Women of Substance series on September 12 with <em>Test Pilot</em>, a striking new music and dance piece. The work, billed as a dance opera, delves into the early history of aviation from an unusual perspective: that of the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine. The explorations of flight, its mechanics, and the build-up to the final flight are engagingly rendered in vocal and instrumental music and in modern dance.<!--break--></p><p>The term “dance opera” is both evocative and somewhat ambiguous. “Scenic cantata,” the subtitle of Carl Orff’s <em>Carmina Burana</em> (originally staged as a ballet, before its appropriation as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJC-_j3SnXk">a concert piece</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Orff's_O_Fortuna_in_popular_culture">element of popular culture</a>) comes closer to describing how the different elements relate. Vocal music <em>does</em> play a prominent role in exposition and atmosphere, with some truly striking numbers such as the five-part pieces for men’s voices “The Art of War I” and “The Art of War II”, but it’s the backdrop of the scenario and its evocation through dance that weaves everything together.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Test Pilot</em> was created by choreographer Penelope Freeh (who also appeared as one of the dancers) and composer Jocelyn Hagen. The texts that they set are an interesting bunch, picked from both historical documents and more contemporary poetry and song lyrics. Some of these texts give unexpected insights, such as a poem written by Amelia Earhart shortly before her disappearance while flying around the world. Although eclectic, these texts and the projections by Justin Schell add an important focus to the work as a whole.</p><p>Hagen’s score is engaging, drawing on a potpourri of musical styles including the operatic; a live string quartet, prerecorded tracks, and some interesting use of looping effects added to the variety. Freeh’s choreography was excellently rendered by the cast of dancers, with some of the airplane segments being especially memorable. As a whole, the individual numbers flow well from one to the other, although a planned intermission would be welcome.</p><p>The Wright Brothers repeated their test flight for the benefit of the press, before moving on to bigger and better things; <em>Test Pilot</em> similarly deserves another showing.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ©2014 Basil Considine </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/18/theater-review-test-pilot-untold-story-wright-brothers-sister-oshaughnessy#comments Arts Entertainment Theater Daily Planet Originals Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:04:38 +0000 101701 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net MUSIC PHOTOS | I Am the Avalanche and Dads at Triple Rock Social Club https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/18/music-photos-i-am-avalanche-triple-rock-social-club <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arts/2014/09/18/music-photos-i-am-avalanche-triple-rock-social-club" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/18/img_5811_copy.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/nikki-rykhus" title="View user profile.">Nikki Rykhus</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>On Wednesday, September 17,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.iamtheavalanchenyc.com/" target="_blank">I Am the Avalanche</a>&nbsp;with <a href="http://dadsnj.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">Dads</a> played at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/arts/2014/09/18/music-photos-i-am-avalanche-triple-rock-social-club"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On Wednesday, September 17,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.iamtheavalanchenyc.com/" target="_blank">I Am the Avalanche</a>&nbsp;with <a href="http://dadsnj.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">Dads</a> played at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.<!--break--></p><hr /><p><em>Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ©2014 Nikki Rykhus </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/2014/09/18/music-photos-i-am-avalanche-triple-rock-social-club#comments CC area University District Arts Entertainment Music Daily Planet Originals Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:45:34 +0000 101696 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net North Minneapolis residents fight out-of-state investors, poor maintenance https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/north-minneapolis-residents-fight-out-state-investors-poor-maintenance <div class="field field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/news/2014/09/18/north-minneapolis-residents-fight-out-state-investors-poor-maintenance" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel imagecache-linked imagecache-frontpanel_linked"><img src="https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/imagecache/frontpanel/14/18/conniebeckers.jpg" alt="" title="" width="600" height="440" class="imagecache imagecache-frontpanel"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-credit"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/profiles/sshahid" title="View user profile.">S.Shahid</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-media-partner-link"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> TC Daily Planet </div> </div> </div> <p>If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.</p><span class="read-more"><a href="/news/2014/09/18/north-minneapolis-residents-fight-out-state-investors-poor-maintenance"><strong>MORE &raquo;</strong></a></span><div class="field field-article-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you’re a landlord in the city of Minneapolis, you already have the home field advantage when it comes to the rental game. But some North Minneapolis residents say they’re tired of out-of-state landlords playing hardball with their neighborhoods.<!--break--></p><p>Last month, more than 130 Minneapolis residents signed a petition demanding a moratorium on rental licenses issued by the city of Minneapolis until all Northside residencies have been inspected and brought up to code.</p><p>“There is a problem in the city of Minneapolis with proper tracking of the conditions of some of the rental properties,” said north Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers in the petition. “Too many single family homes have been scooped up by investors who rent them out, don't screen their tenants and don't keep up with even minimal upkeep at their properties.”</p><p>Data from the Minneapolis Regulatory Services shows the number of rental licenses distributed to owners with more than 10 rental licenses has risen dramatically in the city over the last decade. According to the data, monopolization of properties by single owners in the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods have more than doubled in the last five years.</p><p>Beckers said that part of the problem is that there’s too much focus on rental properties. An out-of-state investor recently purchased five homes on her block, she said, bringing the number of rental properties on her block to 15, while only nine are retained by homeowners.</p><p>“Most are single family homes which are often poorly cared for and maintained.” Beckers said. “These properties are sometimes inhabited by trouble makers, as well, which brings down the livability factor.”</p><p>The homes on Beckers’ block were purchased by Georgia-based HavenBrook Homes, who alarmed neighborhood leaders earlier this year after purchasing dozens of houses in north Minneapolis in just a few months, <a href="http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/258396511.html">reported the Star Tribune</a>.</p><p>Geroldine McNeill lives in a property owned by HavenBrook and said that the experience hasn’t been pleasant.</p><p>“It’s hard to really get ahold of them,” McNeill said. “They are very rude. Once you get ahold of them, you ask them certain things and they’ll hang up on you.”</p><p>McNeill, who is a recipient of Section 8, said her property has failed three different inspections in the last five months. On top of that, the company only performs minimum maintenance, she said, and charged her $70 for lawn care services.</p><p>Under Minnesota law, <a href="http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/housing/lt/lt1.asp">property owners cannot require tenants to do maintenance, including lawn care</a>. They can, however, compensate tenants for maintenance through payment or reduced rent.</p><p>And when McNeill decided not to renew her lease, she said, her landlord retaliated by charging her $5,000 for water and sewage. “I’m on Section 8,” she said. “How am I supposed to pay that?”</p><p>HavenBrook representative Sandra Noonan said there were no records of the $5,000 charge, and that they don’t charge tenants for lawn care. The company refers tenants to a third party, she said, and adjusts the rent to reflect the exchange.</p><p>HavenBrook also released this statement:</p><p>“We absolutely agree that properly maintained homes are essential to the well-being of every neighborhood. Our Minneapolis team, staffed by Minnesota locals, works continuously to ensure compliance with all codes and standards, and provides our residents with comprehensive written guidance on filing maintenance requests and keeping their homes in good condition.</p><p>“By conducting extensive renovations on vacant, physically distressed properties, we make homes more habitable, energy efficient, and code-compliant, thereby supporting property values. We also seek to be a constructive presence in communities – assisting in the training of local landlords, attending neighborhood events, and working to provide resources and education to our residents.”</p><p>Minneapolis laws as they are now can only react to problems as they occur, rather than prevent them.</p><p>“Currently there is no cap on the number of properties an LLC can own,” said deputy director of Minneapolis Housing Inspection Services JoAnn Velde. “The city has discussed limiting the number of rentals on a block, similar to Winona law which was challenged at the State of Appeals [Court], and the state supported Winona law to limit the rentals.”</p><p>That law, which limits rental properties to 30 percent of any block, is now being challenged at the state Supreme Court, Velde said, but Minneapolis is monitoring it to help influence their decision as they move forward.</p><p>Minneapolis primarily performs inspections based on tenant complaints, Velde said, but they also systematically inspect all rental buildings in the city over an eight-year period. But there are about 23,000 rental buildings in the city, she said, so the city encourages residents to report violators of housing code.</p><p>Housing attorney and HOME Line director Michael Vraa said the solution is complicated, but that tenants should better familiarize themselves with their rights. Tenants should know things like how it’s the owner’s responsibility to shovel and mow, he said, not the tenants.</p><p>But ideally, he said, these problems should be addressed by both tenants and the city.</p><p>“Obviously, more money with more inspectors and more tenant awareness of their rights would be a start in solving the problem,” he said.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-img-copyright"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> © 2014 Sagirah Shahid </div> </div> </div> https://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/09/18/north-minneapolis-residents-fight-out-state-investors-poor-maintenance#comments Landlords north minneapolis Daily Planet Originals Government Housing Local Minnesota Neighborhoods Race/Ethnicity Near North Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:26:16 +0000 101691 at https://www.tcdailyplanet.net