KerryJo Felder was a whirlwind, answering questions, directing traffic, inspecting boxes of food and coaxing volunteers to have a hot dog for lunch. The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation education organizer was on a mission to distribute 1,200 boxes of food free to anyone who drove into the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers parking lot at 67 8th Avenue NE on Saturday, March 20, and asked.
Joe Rickenbach spent the Sunday before Easter the way he spent all of his working days: in an Embers restaurant. In this case, as the owner of the last Embers, on its last day before closing for good, ending a 65-year run for the chain that once numbered 29 sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.
It took eight months and more than 300 hours of volunteer labor, but the Columbia Heights Centennial Quilt was nearing completion. Alison Marzolf and Becky Loader met in a lower level room of Murzyn Hall on March 25 to put the finishing touches on the 78-inch x 90-inch work. All it needed were a few beads here, some chickens there.
What do you do when you realize you’re in trouble and you can’t get out of it alone? You ask for help.
That’s what the students of Climate Generation’s Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN) did when they brought a proposal they’d written to the desk of Rep. Sydney Jordan, asking for it to be passed into law. The Climate Justice Education Bill proposes a curriculum that would teach students about the impacts of climate change from a young age, as well as practical solutions to prepare them to fight against its effects in the future. Rep. Jordan (DFL-Northeast Minneapolis) is co-authoring an official version of the proposed bill alongside Sen. Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville); and they hope to have it ready for deliberation early next year.
Call it a victory for neighbors. At its March 9 meeting the St. Anthony City Council voted 4-1 to deny a conditional use permit (CUP) to Tom Archambault, owner of BLVD Autoworks, to build a car wash on a triangle of land next to his business.
For 64 years, Northeast Middle School has stood along St. Anthony Parkway, a nearly anonymous block of mid-century brick. For newcomers, it’s difficult to tell which entrance is the main entrance – or if the school even has one.
That will change by this fall. A project is underway at the school that will not only provide students and visitors with new, more visible entrances, but enhanced security and improved air quality as well.
More than four dozen candidates filed digital paperwork with Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) to seek the endorsement of the party’s members for various offices during the upcoming caucus and convention process.
The St. Anthony Huskies swim team capped an extremely successful season at the Section 4A Swim Meet on March 13 by capturing 6 of the 12 events. Combined with a regular season where they posted a 7-1 dual meet record, the success is remarkable for a program just three years after emerging from a 30-year hibernation.
The sloped, seven-plus acre area, called Gateway Gardens, has been maintained by the Columbia Park Neighborhood Association (CPNA) and the group’s volunteers kept 30 rectangular plots available for public gardening. In 2018, the HCRRA sent out requests for proposals for the land’s use, and the Minnesota Transportation Network, a Fridley school bus company, made an offer to build a “bus barn” on the property. It was not a popular proposal, largely because of the amount of large-vehicle traffic that would be generated in the mostly-residential area. Asked about neighborhood opposition, CPNA staffer Liz Wielinski said, “There was a ton of opposition! We made the evening news!” The bus company said they were willing to address traffic concerns, but ultimately backed out of buying the property after getting a $3 million estimate for soil remediation, stormwater management, and soil corrections. Wielinski added that 180-acre Columbia Park wasn’t likely to expand there, either.
See the 2021 St Patrick’s Day Parade in photos held on Saturday, March 20 in Columbia Heights. The event, traditionally held in Downtown Minneapolis, was moved to Heights due to COVID-19 restrictions on gathering, and safety concerns relating to the Derek Chauvin trial.