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Archive | March, 2016

160225_Midway Presentation overview nite

Soccer stadium development renderings unveiled

Posted on 09 March 2016 by Calvin

Plans laid out for possible super-block development that could be the catalyst for complete makeover in 10 years

All illustrations courtesy of MN United FC, Populous and S9Architecture

Editor’s Note: On Wed., Mar. 2, the St. Paul City Council approved $18.4 million for infrastructure work around the proposed stadium site. The vote was 5-2 with Council Members Jane Prince and Dan Bostrom voting against. After the vote, Mayor Chris Coleman said, “Not only will we be able to bring the fastest growing sport in the nation to our state, but today’s agreement builds on the promise of the Green Line and ushers in new possibilities for economic growth and development throughout the Midway and the region.”

By JANE MCCLURE

004_ViewSE_DayPhoto left: Daytime southeast view of the proposed stadium.

An oval, translucent open-air stadium would dominate the Midway Center superblock, with green spaces, high-rise offices, hotels, retail, and housing. Minnesota United FC unveiled its stadium plans Feb. 24, a week after a master plan was revealed for the area bounded by St. Anthony, Snelling and University avenues and Pascal St.

The plans have met with excitement from area residents and soccer fans, but also with questions about everything from parking to how the current Midway Center stores would fit in. The stadium would be near the center of the block at St. Anthony. Plans show it extending into the current footprint of Rainbow Foods.

The public can weigh in on the plans 7-8:30pm, Tue., Mar. 15 at Buenger Center at Concordia University.

Superblock site planUnder the master plan (see photo left), the entire 1950s shopping center and other center buildings would be replaced with new structures, green spaces, and a street grid with bike and pedestrian connections.

McGuire said the intent is to break ground this summer and open the stadium for the 2018 soccer season. The stadium would house soccer games as well as festivals and other events. Rick Birdoff of RD Management and RK Midway, the shopping center owners, said that reconstruction of Midway Center would take place over a period of years and would be phased in.

007_ViewSW_DayPhoto left: Daytime view of the stadium from the southwest.

The stadium itself was designed by the Kansas City-based sports-architecture firm Populous. Populous was the lead architect for Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The stadium exterior would feature limestone, glass and a translucent plastic “skin.” The stadium would have a roof covering most of the seats. Its design is supposed to evoke lakes and rivers, as well as the Aurora Borealis.

014_InteriorSouthPhoto left: Interior of stadium, south view.

The field would be sunk about 16 feet below grade, with the stadium about 70 to 75 feet high.

The stadium would have three hospitality areas, a natural grass field, and field heating similar to that at other Twin Cities stadiums. No seat would be more than 125 feet from the field. McGuire said the stadium skin is meant to block noise and light. It could change color, possibly depending on which team is playing there.

It would cost $150 million or more, an increase from the $120 million initially announced.

015_AerialPhoto left: Ariel view of the stadium at night. I94 is on the north of the illustration.

McGuire said additional investors are being sought to help cover the costs. No public funds would be used to build the stadium itself. Sports team owners the Pohlad family and Glen Taylor are already among soccer investors.

However, there would be substantial infrastructure costs that the city, county, and state would have to absorb in conjunction with the project.

McGuire said the stadium would be similar to Alliance Arena in Munich, Germany. The St. Paul stadium, like its German counterpart, could change color. It would hold more than 20,000 people including 3,000 in a standing area popular with soccer fans.

McGuire said the intent is to offer an “iconic professional soccer experience” as well as provide a quality facility for the Minnesota United FC.

Both Birdoff and McGuire described the stadium as “catalytic” to area redevelopment. Birdoff’s firm has owned Midway Center since 1992.

160225_Midway Presentation overview nite“We’re very excited to redevelop our site and the superblock,” Birdoff said. “We needed a catalytic event to turn the property around.”

Photo left: Artists rendition of the future for the Midway Center / Bus Barn site. In this illustration the freeway is at the top and University Ave. at the bottom. Snelling is on the right of the towers. (Illustration courtesy of MN United FC, Populous and S9Architecture)

Birdoff showed plans that the Snelling-Midway Community Advisory Committee, a city task force, saw Feb. 18. All of the buildings planned would have retail on the first floor. Midway Center is honoring all of its current leases. Birdoff said there is ample space in the new development to accommodate all center tenants and add new ones. But he also noted that market forces would dictate when and how the center redevelops.

“Whether it’s a five-year or a 10-year build-out is to be seen,” Birdoff said.

009_TopOfStepsWest_DayPhoto left: Top of the stadium steps facing left toward proposed office towers.

In the first phase, the plans show 15 to 17-story office towers along Snelling, with a health club and movie theater there as well. The offices will require a major tenant, which Midway Center is working with United Properties to secure. Those buildings would also house much of the structured parking.

001_ViewSouth_DayPhoto right: Green space between University Ave. and the new stadium.

Two large privately owned green spaces would connect University Ave. to the stadium. High-rise residential buildings are proposed for University and Pascal, with two hotels and a large green space at the Pascal-St. Anthony corner. That space could be used for parking as well.

An extensively landscaped  plaza is planned at the corner of St. Anthony and Snelling avenues.
The plan shows the major pedestrian entrances at Shields and Snelling, and on Pascal. One suggestion is to move the Spruce Tree Drive traffic signal to Shield, but how that would affect the Spruce Tree-Fry Street bypass route to University remains unclear.

Birdoff said the intent is to make the entire area one with 24-hour activity, where people could live, work, shop and enjoy recreation. Having Green Line light rail and arterial bus service by the property provides an opportunity for transit-oriented development.

Costs to redevelop the shopping center property is unknown.

Community advisory committee members who saw the plans Feb. 18 said they are excited about the idea of walkable, bikeable redevelopment. But they raised concerns ranging from the fate of the current businesses to how the already busy Snelling-University intersection would handle large crowds coming in via transit or their own vehicles. Committee co-chairman Eric Molho acknowledged the excitement over redevelopment, adding “But the devil is in the details.”

Elected officials said they are excited about the plans. “This is about the redevelopment of the Midway, the central district of St. Paul, and quite frankly the Twin Cities,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. He added, “We get closer and closer every day to breaking ground on this project.”

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Block Nurse Program 02 slider

Como resident becomes a centenarian

Posted on 09 March 2016 by Calvin

His secret? ”You should choose your parents very carefully,” he notes with a smile

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN

Bill Treumann, a resident of Como by the Lake Senior Apartments, is proof that staying phy­sically and mentally active can im­prove the quality and quan­tity of your years. Treumann turned 100 on Feb. 26. When asked the secret to his longevity, he smiled and said, ”You should choose your parents very carefully.”

Block Nurse Program 02Image right: NE-SC Block Nurse Program executive director Chris Langer (left), Bill Treumann (center) and wellness coordinator Molly Fitzel (right) at Como by the Lake Senior Apartments. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Current research shows that while genetics matter, there are other factors that are just as important. Treumann displays the optimism, good humor and sense of community connection that researchers say support aging long and well.

The centenarian was born in 1916, midway through World War I, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. At age 16, he contracted tuberculosis and would spend a total of 1,009 days in a sanatorium over the next few years.

Sanatoriums were commonplace in the first half of the 1900’s: hospital settings where people with long-term, chronic illness could rest and recover in the days before antibiotics were available.
Treumann was able to return to finish high school in 1936. During his first year in the sanatorium, he had a roommate who was a chemistry graduate student. Treumann read all of his textbooks and found them so interesting that he chose chemistry as his own life’s work.

He enrolled at North Dakota State University in 1937, had to return to the sanitarium to heal his lungs for another year, and then completed his chemistry degree. He would go on to earn his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University Of Illinois.

During one of his sanatorium stays, Treumann read Harry Frank’s book, “A Vagabond Journey Around the World.” It tells the story of a young man who sets out to see Europe with only $3.18 in his pocket. The author’s travels in Europe were so successful that he kept going, eventually circling the globe.

In a similar style, Treumann longed for adventure. Before starting his doctorate program, he took several months to hitch-hike across the United States, seeing every state except Oregon and Hawaii. “I visited Alaska when it was still a territory,” he said proudly.

He wasn’t ready to stop yet, so his travels took him across Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, through Mexico and Cuba.

Following graduate school, Treumann married his first wife—whom he had met at the sanatorium. She would die at the age of 30. He married again to a woman who, like himself, was a professor.
Treumann started his teaching career in Fargo, North Dakota, before moving across the Red River to Moorhead. He would finish his long academic career as Dean of Mathematical and Natural Sciences there.

At 100, Treumann is still quite physically mobile, and his memory is uncannily sharp. One of the things he most looks forward to is the bridge game that takes place every Wednesday in the lobby of his apartment building.

Chris Langer, executive director of the North End-South Como (NE-SC) Block Nurse Program, organized the bridge club for Treumann several months ago. She knew how much he liked to play and realized there weren’t any other players in the building. She asked three bridge-playing friends of hers, and they were happy to volunteer. Treumann is an excellent player, and his 100-year-old mind doesn’t struggle with the complexities of the game.

Langer said, “Friendly visits like these are just one of the ways our block nurse program helps keep the elderly engaged and connected. A community that has a diverse population in every way, including age, is a stronger community.”

The NE-SC Block Nurse Program is one of 26 programs of its kind throughout the state of Minnesota. Part of the Living-at-Home Network, this non-profit organization helps seniors stay in their homes, improves their quality of life and strengthens neighborhoods by not isolating the elderly.

They contract for medical services through Recover Health, a Medicare-certified agency offering in-home health care with nurses, health aides, and physical therapists.

The senior apartment complex Como by the Lake is one of the locations where the NE-SC Block Nurse Program provides services. Located at 901 East Como Blvd. in the South Como neighborhood, there are several benefits being offered to seniors living in the area at little to no cost.

Molly Fitzel is the health and wellness coordinator for the program. She teaches a free Chair Yoga class at 11am on Monday and Thursday mornings in the Community Room. This non-strenuous form of exercise helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength. “The movements build a healthy sense of body awareness,” Fitzel said, “and the closing meditation leaves participants feeling calm, restored and happy.” Call Molly at 651-487-5135 to learn more or to sign up.

On Monday thru Friday at noon, a nutritious lunch is served in the Community Room of Como by the Lake. The suggested donation is $3.50 for persons over 60, but no one is turned away for inability to pay. An intake can be done over the phone by calling Optage Senior Dining 651-746-8280.

The NE-SC Block Nurse Program offers volunteer opportunities for people in the neighborhood. “It’s so important to look out for your neighbors,” Langer said. “We welcome volunteers to help with raking, shoveling, grocery shopping, household chores and friendly visiting, among other things.”

Questions about volunteering can be directed to volunteer coordinator Jamie Schlough at 651-489-4067.

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_MG_2685

Bounty + beauty: the art of Night Owl Farm

Posted on 09 March 2016 by Calvin

By JUDY MALMON
All Photos provided

As I look out the window at the colorless winter landscape, I find myself dreaming of spring and colors and weekly deliveries of fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that has always appealed to me. I’m a bit of a lame gardener myself, yet I love veggies fresh from the ground, in rich abundance and variety. The anti-capitalist in me also likes the economic structure of democratizing investment costs at the start of the season and the shared risk. As a member of a CSA, I share the risk of both the rampant disasters that can befall attempts to tease food from a mercurial earth, as well as the generous bounty equally possible. In a single growing season, you can even have both.

For years I have sought out the right combination of inspiration, convenience and value from a CSA, and for a variety of reasons, we have shopped around and had occasion to try some the farms in our area. I’ve eagerly anticipated the ritual of each week’s box of surprises, and I’ve generally been pleased with the quality and breadth I’ve received. Fresh, seasonal, organic produce—what could be bad?

But I didn’t realize there could be even more. Until last year.

In 2015, we completed our first summer with Night Owl Farm, a joint venture of Midway artists Susan Andre and Rosie Kimball. They started their farming adventure in 2014, on a 20-acre tract of land near North Branch. Both were avid gardeners, and had organized community gardens, but neither had experience growing for a CSA in the past. With an abundance of enthusiasm, they jumped in. The first season, they experimented with a limited group of family and friends. This year, Night Owl Farm CSA officially launched, opening up the field to the broader public.

_MG_2685Photo left: Midway residents and artists Rosemary Kimball (l) and Susan Andre co-own Night Owl Farms near North Branch.

I signed up and quickly learned what happens when you have your food grown by artists: it becomes an exercise in transcendence. Most local CSAs deliver a standard cardboard box to their weekly customers, typically a 5/9 bushel. There are all kinds of reasons for this, like that it’s economical, and that you can stack the boxes in the truck and at the pickup site. Also, you can close them, which keeps everything inside, and protects delicate produce from getting squished. Makes sense. But also, the boxes are innately limited, in that when they’re full, they’re full, and if you need to close them to stack them, there’s no way to fit more inside. Plus, well, they’re just a box.

Artful Bounty 6768I have no problem with any of this. Only, this year, we got sprinkles, and now, those plain boxes look a little vanilla to me. Like when you get cupcakes, and some of them are undecorated, some have colored sprinkles on top. The undecorated one is good, delicious; you are so happy until you see the one with the sprinkles. Then you realize you could have more, something beautiful and special, as well as delicious. This is what Night Owl gives you.

Artful Bounty 5040Susan and Rosie eschew the traditional white cardboard box, in favor of a wicker basket. This might sound impractical, but each week’s basket is more than a random assortment of vegetables—it’s an installation! The basket is lined with a drape of colored fabric, and the veggies arranged in a visually thrilling display. And because it’s not a closed box, but an open basket, as the summer goes on and the harvest grows more copious, the basket fills to overflowing. There were a couple of times I could barely lift the thing (thank you, conveniently handled sturdy basket!), so packed it was with eggplant, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and other assorted delicacies.

But that’s not all; there are little touches. Every week throughout the season, we also received a small bunch of flowers, stems carefully wrapped in a wet paper towel and rubber-banded into a plastic bag, to ensure they are fresh and beautiful when we get them home. All summer long, I had a vase of these flowers on the shelf over my kitchen sink, a little wink of color and happiness every time I rinsed a dish.

Artful Bounty 7142Also, instead of the more typical emailed list of the week’s items and recipes, Rosie and Susan insert a rectangle of parchment-colored printed cardstock. It’s like getting an invitation to a gala event each week! Or a menu at a fancy restaurant, with the lineup of the day elegantly listed on the front, each item an italicized showcase. On the back—which you might not notice, as I didn’t at first, so it feels like even more of a bonus—are two recipes. The ones that I have tried have been unique and awesome.

But wait, there’s more!! Night Owl partnered with one of its neighbors, who has chickens, and offered shares of fresh, pasture-raised eggs. Even the eggs are specially packaged, like a present, in a bag with a satin bow. There also were sweet surprises, like the bag of hand-harvested wild rice, or the bunch of tiny, wild apples.

When the final basket arrived, it was a masterful finale to what had been 16 weeks of pure,
understated delight. I set the basket on the kitchen table and had to call my family into the room, to behold the breathtaking beauty of this last offering. So gorgeous, the array of colors and textures and shapes, all tucked into its enormous wicker nest. I didn’t want to unpack it, even though of course I did, to savor the feel and taste of all this magnificence. This is the transcendent moment that Susan and Rosie give from their hearts: vegetables, and nature, and color, and form, and scent, and feel, and taste, and abundance, and love. The effect is exponentially more than the sum of its parts: exquisite. Make no mistake, this is art!

As if that weren’t enough sprinkles to send anyone into a sugar coma, there is yet a final gift. I didn’t discover it until this morning, when I noticed the baggie sitting on the table, containing a rolled up scroll of paper. I’d cast it aside in my orgiastic unpacking, thought it to be the request for feedback referred to in Night Owl’s final email. Picking it up, I thought, how odd, that they would print their evaluation questionnaire on such heavy paper. And tie it with a piece of sisal. Wow, they can make even a survey a beautiful thing. They’re artists!

I rolled off the tie, pulled the paper from the bag, and gasped. I actually gasped. I unrolled a full-size print of Susan Andre’s woodcut of the Night Owl ‘logo,’ a luscious, color-saturated image of an owl and a farm, signed by Susan. I’m not exaggerating to say it brought tears to my eyes.

Artful Bounty 7093I am so filled up by this experience. It is multi-sensory, it is joyful, it is the most lovely, astonishing representation of all that life can be. I thought I was signing up for a CSA, but Night Owl Farm is so much more. It is CSA, elevated. And I am grateful, for such unexpected grace.
Congratulations, Susan and Rosie, you have created a true masterpiece!

The Midway pickup location is 1689 Hubbard Ave. To find out more about Night Owl Farms CSA program, go to their website at http://nightowlfarm.com.

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StPaulStrong_inauguralEvent

Saint Paul STRONG pushes for more community engagement

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

Among other issues, group concerned about how Midway soccer stadium being handled

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN

Members of Saint Paul STRONG are tired of being invited to city government meetings after the decisions have already been made.

They’re working to do something about it.

StPaulStrong_inauguralEvent“Saint Paul STRONG was formed because too many big decisions—like the one to provide permanent property tax relief to major league soccer or the new Comcast long-term contract—happened with virtually no public input,” said founder John Mannillo.

Photo left: Community members interested in seeing more transparency and community input attended the Saint Paul STRONG event in January 2016. (Photo courtesy of Saint Paul STRONG)

The community-led organization is dedicated to improving open and representative government in St. Paul by encouraging and supporting open and transparent public processes at city hall, engaging and empowering resident participation, and building a stronger, more inclusive St. Paul.

StPaulStrong_WinsorBusuriPhoto right: Saint Paul STRONG members Linda Winsor of Save Our Neighborhoods and Somali-American activist Kassim Busuri participated in a Jan. 7 forum to discuss ways to create a more open process at City Hall that was sponsored by Saint Paul STRONG. (Photo courtesy of Saint Paul STRONG)

Launched in October 2015, the steering committee includes diverse community leaders, such as former City Council member and Ramsey County Commissioner Ruby Hunt, Roy Magnuson of the St. Paul Federations of Teachers’ executive board, disabilities activist Rick Cardenas, Hmong-American activist Pa Chua Vang, former state Representative Andy Dawkins, Somali-American activist Kassim Busuri, former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger, Linda Winsor of Save Our Neighborhoods, former City Council candidate Ed Davis, NAACP vice-president Yusef Mgeni, and former City Council candidate and American Indian activist David Glass, in addition to Mannillo, a downtown businessman.

Dawkins: more engagement
A member of former St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly’s cabinet, Dawkins said he worked hard to make sure his department was in regular touch with the community and was transparent.

Dawkins said, “The goal I have for Saint Paul STRONG is simple: More public engagement!”
Dawkins represented a part of the Midway area from 1987 to 2002 as the DFL state representative and is married to former State Senator Ellen Anderson. One of his sons is a freshman at Hamline, and the other is a junior at Central High School.

Dawkin’s always been a proponent of third parties and is the founder of Coalition of Third Party Organizers. He was the Green Party of Minnesota nominee for Minnesota Attorney General in the 2014 election.

Dawkins believes that St. Paul suffers from being a “one-party town.”

“I see the need for more transparency/accountability/citizen involvement in St. Paul city politics,” stated Dawkins. “Under our strong mayoral system too much city council work is just ratifying the mayor’s wishes.”

He pointed to the soccer stadium as an example.

“How many of us, as members of the public, knew the City Council took a vote to ask the Minnesota Legislature to give the billionaire owner of the for-profit soccer team tax exemptions?

How much money are we giving up by treating the land as owned by a non-profit? How many of us members of the public showed up at the mayor’s soccer stadium forums only to learn there was no time for public comment? When will we get a chance to learn if making the surrounding area a TIF (Tax Increment Finance) district will impact the city’s STAR program? How much will it cost us taxpayers to do the infrastructure investments owner McGuire has requested?”

StPaulStrong_BostromPrinceThaoMannilloPhoto right: (L to R) St. Paul City Council members Dan Bostrom, Jane Prince, and Dai Thao, participated in a Jan. 7, 2016 forum to discuss ways to create a more open process at City Hall that was sponsored by Saint Paul STRONG. John Mannillo, at right, helped found the organization in order to increase the amount of public input on city decisions. (Photo courtesy of Saint Paul STRONG)

Ruby Hunt, a former St. Paul Council Member from 1972-1982, is also concerned about how the city has handled the Midway site for the soccer stadium.

“It was approved that day without any opportunity for citizen participation,” said Hunt.

The list of grievances on the Saint Paul STRONG website that affect the Midway-Como neighborhood include:
• The decision to offer permanent property tax forgiveness for soccer stadium, then supporting a Met Council proposal to prevent the public from any access to knowledge and negotiations of internal decisions.
• The Black Bear Crossings legal decision to award $800,000 to a private owner put out of business and the subsequent cover-up.
• Tax dollars committed to the construction of new bikeways without comprehensive public input.
• Community’s need to file a lawsuit to have three Saint Paul LRT stations built in minority/transit dependent areas of the Green Line.

Find more at http://www.saintpaulstrong.com/.

Hunt: checks and balances needed
A former Mac-Grove resident, Hunt currently lives at Episcopal Homes in the Como-Midway neighborhood. Her concerns don’t end with the soccer stadium.

“I am concerned about the way the Consent Agenda has been used over the last several years to pass items without any discussion unless a member requests that it be taken from the Consent Agenda for discussion,” remarked Hunt. “Rebecca Noecker made that request recently. It was a request for approval of a contract for outside legal services. However, as I understand it, this was for a contract that already had been awarded but which should have first been approved by the City Council.

“I hope this sends a message to the administration that they should follow the proper procedures,” Hunt said.

Another issue Hunt sees has to do with notifying district councils when city agencies are proposing development in their districts.

This early notification system has been in place since the establishment of the district councils some 40 years ago, Hunt pointed out. In the Grand Ave. parking meter issue, the district council didn’t hear about it until it was found to be an item in the Mayor Chris Coleman’s proposed budget.

“Having played a part in establishing a strong mayor-strong council form of government for St. Paul, I want to see the mayor and council each play their respective check and balance roles in governing the city,” said Hunt.

Mannillo: City Council abusing transparency and accountability
Mannillo believes that Saint Paul STRONG is needed because of the lack of open government on the municipal level. “As a one-party town, it has abused transparency and accountability, to benefit political goals and to the detriment to good public policy,” Mannillo said.

Saint Paul STRONG represents the entire city. It is non-partisan, and will not support specific candidates or specific issues.

“We support public process,” stressed Mannillo.

In October, the five incumbent City Council members and two new Council members were invited to endorse Saint Paul STRONG’s six principles of openness, accountability, and a more vibrant public process. All seven council members did so.

“We are optimistic with two new Council members working with like-minded incumbents, we will see attention paid to transparency and openness,” said Mannillo. “All the Council members have subscribed to our principles and will be held accountable for their decisions.”

Saint Paul STRONG is work­ing to expand its avenues of communication and plans to work with Community Councils, as well as offer input to the mayor and City Council. “This should be embraced by the city administration as a valuable tool to build consensus with the public,” noted Mannillo.

He said that Saint Paul STRONG will encourage the exploration of new election policy to increase voter turnout.

“We will make our city administration more visible. Our focus will continue to address public process,” Mannillo stated. “We will continue to shed light on the public process and related information that has not been available in the past.”

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Midway Immigrant 5288

Building a business on the needs of immigrants

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

Article and photos by MARIA HERD

Midway Immigrant 5294There are approximately 85,700 Somali people in the United States, and nearly one-third of them – about 25,000 – reside in Minnesota, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010.
Out of the 2,338 total immigrants that came to Minnesota last year, almost 45 percent were from Somalia, reported the Star Tribune in December.

The Midway Immigrant Center, 1910 University Ave., has been assisting immigrants and refugees, the majority of them Somali, for the last three years out of the Midway neighborhood.

Midway Immigrant 5288Manager and founder Dalmar Jama (photo left) says that although the majority of his clients are originally from Somali and West Africa, the center has served immigrants of various ethnicities and continents, who now reside all over the Greater Twin Cities area.

The immigration center offers three primary services to their clients—temporary mailboxes, discounted international flights, and assistance translating documents.

Midway Immigrant 5280There are currently 60 mailboxes available to rent for up to 6 months at a time, and Jama is hoping to add more boxes soon. Most recently, the immigration center started providing the DHL mailing service after Jama recognized his clientele’s need to mail or receive documents internationally.

The Midway Immigrant Center sells plane tickets to people traveling all over the world, but the majority of tickets are for immigrants that are already living in Minnesota visiting their home country, according to Jama.

Immigrants come to the center looking for help with many types of forms ranging from green card loss and renewal to housing and job applications.

“We help them complete the forms electronically, and then we charge a fee depending on the complexity of the service we’re providing,” said Jama.

He estimates that his office assists about seven clients per day.

Building a business
A Somali immigrant himself, Jama worked at an organization that assisted immigrants and refugees in Minneapolis for about six years. Seeing the need for a similar business in Saint Paul, he took entrepreneurship classes through the non-profit Neighborhood Development Center. Then, Jama opened the Midway Immigrant Center in 2012.

Jama said that many people assume his business is connected to the government or that the services are free. However, that is not the case. “We are just here to to pay the bills,” he says.

There are currently just two other full-time employees besides Jama that assist clients; both are Somali immigrants as well.

Jama is enthusiastic about the Midway location, hence the name of his business.

“And it’s getting better all the time,” he said, referring to the new stadium going up in the Midway. Clients have already asked him for help finding employment opportunities at the stadium.

The Midway Immigrant Center opened right during the middle of the light rail construction, he recalled. But with the office located next to the Fairview Avenue Station, many of his clients now take the light rail.

Jama pointed out that the majority of those clients board in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. That area is also sometimes referred to as Little Mogadishu, or Little Somalia, for its large Somali population.

Immigration trends
Jama says that the majority of people who immigrate to Minnesota choose this state because they have a family member here already. However, “the underlying reasons are employment opportunities, housing and safety,” he said. “Minnesota is a good place to live.”

Jama understands that people have their opinions on the refugee crisis, but he says that refugees are immigrating not because they want to, but because they have to.

“There are some people that think we have too many people coming to the U.S.,” he said. “But at the same time, those people had a reason to run. They have to do it because of their safety. When there is killing, when you see that people are dying, or there is a gun pointed at you, you have no option but to run.”

However, Jama says he has not seen as many recent immigrants lately, or those with refugee status come through his doors. Most clients are immigrants that have already been living in Minnesota for awhile.

But in the early 2000’s while working at his previous immigration organization, Jama says he saw many new refugees. He attributes the trend to discontinued family reunification refugee settlements.

Nevertheless, Jama says that he has his hands full until April.

“My busiest time of year is tax season,” he said.

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Summercampsign

Summer Camp fun!

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

SummercampsignBy TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Imagine you are a zookeeper, junior sleuth or engineer. Get lost in a colossal cardboard maze. Learn how to make a Rube Goldberg machine, ice cream, fused glass, and Lego movie. Hone your soccer and German skills. Rollerski, canoe, and dance.

That’s just the start of the youth camp options available in the Twin Cities area. Browse below for more information on some of the camps offered locally.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

ART START
Pre-school children ages 4-5 years register for “A Start with the Arts”. Youth ages 13 years and older register for “Camp CREATE.” Youth select classes taught by professional artists from multiple arts disciplines— music, creative movement/dance, and visual arts. As a result of participating in this 5-day immersion experience, youth gain artistic knowledge and skills, learn about the people, geography and environment of a place and create art works and performances inspired by the culture. Week 1, Galapogos; Week 2, Cuba. Includes options in drawing/painting, mosaics, puppetry, construction arts, movement/dance, weaving, clay jewelry, music and mixed media. Cost: $140-$270. 651-698-2787. http://www.artstart.org/summer-immersion

BLACKHAWKS OF ST. PAUL
Blackhawks offer several exciting half- and full-day soccer camps for players ages 5-18 that encompass a wide variety of activities and skills. Specialty camps focus on specific skills such as ball control, shooting, and goalkeeping. Cost: $75-175. 651-894-3527. http://blackhawksoccer.org

CAMP COMO
Spend some time Monkeying Around with your primate pals; discover your creative side with Adventures in Art; take an African Adventure right at Como; or, try on the hat of a zookeeper or gardener in Behind-the-Scenes! Como’s camps include “behind-the-scenes” experiences and meeting Como’s plant and animal ambassadors up-close! Five-day, half-day sessions. Extended care available. In partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), Como also offers summer camp opportunities for youth, ages 8-18, with autism. Cost: $117-150. 651-487-8272. http://www.tinyurl.com/p3u4lqv

Friends---(Slide)cmykCREATE SOMETHING GREAT AT FRIENDS SCHOOL
From junior sleuths to budding lawyers to young artists, there are seven weeks of adventures and summer fun planned for ages 4-14 at the Friends School of Minnesota (photo at right provided). Weekdays, half- and full-day. Cost: $100 to $440. 651-621-8941. https://fsmn.org/summer-camp/overview

GIBBS FARM: PIONEER AND DAKOTA LIFE CAMPS
Travel back in time and learn about life in the 1800s. Explore seasonal Dakota activities including the maple sugar camp, wild rice village, life in the tipi, hunting games, methods of travel, language and song during the Say It In Dakota Camp. Three-day, half-day camps. Two-hour day sessions for ages 6-13 only $19. Cost: $99. 651-646-8629. http://www.rchs.com

HAMLINE YOUNG WRITERS
High school students ages 15-18 can explore the craft, prepare for college, and connect with other young writers in the Twin Cities while working closely with Hamline Creative Writing faculty and published authors. Cost: $400. 651-523-2476. http://www.hamline.edu/gls/youngwriters

MINNESOTA WALDORF SCHOOL    
Join them for good, old-fashioned summer fun at Minnesota Waldorf School summer camp. Outdoor games, natural crafts, water play, gardening, caring for the school’s chickens, and much more, all on their beautiful 8 acre campus. 70 East County Road B, St. Paul. For children ages 3.5 to (rising) 5th grade. Cost: $150/wk (half-day); $270/wk (full-day). 651-487-6700 x202. http://mnwaldorf.org/summercamp

ST. PAUL ACADEMY
Make Rube Goldberg machines. Take a writing workshop entitled: “A Week at Hogwarts.” Learn about 3D printing and movie-making. Debate, play chess, take competitive math, debate, or learn how to be a better leader. Twelve options at SPA cover a wide range of academic, arts, and enrichment activities for grades 2-12. The Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth offers the ExplorSchool for students in grades 4-6. Cost: $169-425. 651-698-2451. http://www.spa.edu/about_spa/summer_programs_2015/

SPIRIT TAE KWON DO
Fun, exciting camps that combine physical fitness and education are offered throughout the summer for school-age kids. Register early for discounts. 651-428-6170, 651-428-6172. www.istkd.com

St. Paul Ballet 2ST. PAUL BALLET
Summer at St. Paul Ballet (photo provided) is a time to try something new that you’ve always wanted to try. Programs include workshops and camps for ages 3-22. It’s a time to try out classical ballet, as well as other genres of dance such as flamenco, modern, and some surprises. Weekly and drop-in classes offered throughout the summer ($8.50 to $20). Cost: $75-1,800. 651-690-1588. www.spballet.org

ST. PAUL URBAN TENNIS
Located all over the St. Pauul map, with several locations in the Midway Como neighborhoods, St. Paul Urban Tennis offers summer camp programs for all age groups. In addition to tennis lessons, they offer SPUT Sampler Camps ($45) which offer a condensed version in 4 days of their acclaimed summer program, with a high dose of tennis instruction for players just starting out with the sport. Cost: wide range. http://stpaulurbantennis.org/2011-summer-program.php

IN THE TWIN CITIES

ADVENTURES IN CARDBOARD
Construct giant castles, get lost in colossal mazes, build suits of armor and more during these five-day, full-day sessions for ages 8-17. Eight weeks offered at five different parks. Cost: $320. 612-532-6764. http://julianmcfaul.com

ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY
Unleashed summer campers entering grades 3-10 spend a full week immersed in animal learning and fun. Camp sessions are held in St. Paul and Golden Valley (as well as three other locations). Cost: $300. 763-489-2220. http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/camps

ARTICULTURE
A variety of art disciplines and mediums with themes like Claymation, theater, art car, or food as art offered for ages 4-18. Five-day, half- and full-day sessions available. Cost: $117-270. 612-729-5151. http://www.articulture.org

ALEXANDER RAMSEY HOUSE
Solve mysteries of the past in this three-day History Detective Camp for ages 11-13. Or, young ladies ages 9-12 can step back in time in a unique Finishing School for Young Ladies day camp. Cost: $200-$220. 612-341-7555. http://www.mnhs.org/summercamps

CAMP SUNRISE
Camp and canoe while learning leadership and teamwork skills in a seven-day resident camp for youths age 13-18 who live within the city limits of Minneapolis or St. Paul. Held on the St. Croix River in Rush City and organized by YouthCARE. Cost: free. 612-338-1233. http://www.youthcaremn.org

CIRCUS JUVENTAS
Explore international circus arts at Circus Juventas. Five-day, full-day sessions offered for ages 6-18. Or make your own camp with Circus Sampler Days. Cost: $395. 651-699-8229. http://www.circusjuventas.org

CONCORDIA LANGUAGE  VILLAGES
Experience cultural and language immersion;15 languages to choose from. Resident camp for ages 6-18 and half-day programs offered. Cost: $240-$4,400. 1-800-222-4750. http://www.concordialanguagevillages.org

DODGE NATURE CENTER
Explore prairies, wetlands and woodland trails during full- and half-day, four-day camps offered for students entering 1-8 grades. Shorter sessions are available for ages 3-6. Cost: $42-255. 651-455-4531. http://www.dodgenaturecenter.org

FARM TO TABLE
Make butter, ice cream and bread while learning about science, agriculture, and history at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. Plus, students will play old-time games like townball and do arts and crafts. Three four-day sessions offered in July and August. Cost: $150. 651-748-8645. http://tinyurl.com/bhf2016

FOCCI MN CENTER FOR GLASS
From fusing to casting to glass blowing, ages 9-18 are introduced to the mesmerizing medium of glass through immersive half-day, five-day experiences. Cost: $375-420. 612-623-3624. http://tinyurl.com/foci2016

FORT SNELLING
Be an adventurer like Davy Crockett. Explore like Huck Finn. Experience the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Be a soldier for a day. Or, try out what life as an archeologist is like. Camps range from one day to one week. $60-$250. 612-341-7555. http://www.mnhs.org/summercamps

GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE CAMPS
Speak, hear, sing, and create in German while exploring subjects ranging from history and art to science and music during five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for grades K-2 at the Germanic American Institute. Cost: $130-270. 651-222-2979. http://gai-mn.org

JUGHEADS JUGGLING CAMP
Half-day, five-day sessions for beginners through experts ages 8-18 enhance hand-eye coordination, boost concentration, and build self-confidence. Cost: $110. 612-229-3348. http://jugheads.com

LEONARDO’S BASEMENT
Girls and boys ages 6 to 17 can design and build their creative ideas, mixing art, science and technology during partial-day, weekday camps. There are more than 88 classes available over ten weeks. New this summer: Star Wars week. Cost: $185-370, scholarships available. 612-824-4394. http://www.leonardosbasement.org

LOPPET ADVENTURE CAMPS
Roller ski, mountain bike, canoe and more during adventure camps for ages 9-13 at Theodore Wirth Park in MInneapolis. Equipment provided during the full-day, five-day sessions. Cost: $200. 612-604-5330. http://loppet.org

Minnehaha_popsicleMINNEHAHA ACADEMY
A variety of athletic, academic and enrichment programs are offered, including woodworking, Lego robotics, puddle-stompers, geocaching, movie making, sailing, painting, rocket science, guitar, and more. Half- and full-day, one- to three-week weekday sessions. Camp Minnehaha (photo at right provided), a full day camp for pre-k to grade 8, includes daily devotions, games, indoor and outdoor activities, daily swimming lessons and a weekly off-campus activity. Cost: $36-500. 612-728-7745, ext. 1. http://www.minnehahaacademy.net

MILL CITY MUSEUM
Play music, get creative, bake bread and construct books while exploring the rich culture of the Minneapolis riverfront district. Campers aged 9-11 will explore a new experience each day at four arts centers, including Mill City Museum, the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Center for Book Arts and MacPhail Center for Music. Cost: $225-$250. 612-341-7555. http://www.mnhs.org/summercamps

STEM CAMPS
Use LEGO bricks, gears and motors to construct and program robots, or produce their a LEGO movie using the latest Stop-Motion Animation software. Opt to learn to code or create your own video game. Math Addvantage offers five-day, half-day camps for grades 2-8. $215. http://mathaddvantage.com

STEPPING STONE THEATER
Learn about devised theater, music, and other performance art forms during these one- to two-week, half- and full-day sessions for those preK to grade 12. A sliding scale scholarship program is available for all on-site summer camps.Cost: $125-475. http://steppingstonetheatre.org

SCIENCE MUSEUM  OF MINNESOTA
Summer programs for youth ages 3 to 16 combine science, art, drama, and literature in ways that encourage kids to actively discover and examine concepts for themselves. Programs also offered at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center, the state’s oldest outdoor environmental education facility. Cost: $60-345. 651-221-4511, 651-433-2427. http://www.smm.org/classes

TEXTILE CENTER CAMPS
Sew, knit, felt, dye and more. Take home completed fiber items from three- and five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for ages 6-18. Cost $87-370. 612-436-0464. http://textilecentermn.org/summer-camps

WHITE BEAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS
White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) is offering artist-led, fun-filled art classes this summer from June 14-August 18 for young people ages 6-14. Classes will be offered in painting, drawing, clay, theatre, writing, glass and much more. Call or email WBCA for more information or to get on the mailing list. Cost: $23-$69 Member Price. $29-$97 Non-Member. Scholarships Available. 651-407-0597. http://www.WhiteBearArts.org

YMCA
Explore the variety of Y Summer Programs at over 60 metro-area locations. Programs include flexible three-, four-, and five-day options. There’s something fun for everyone from preschool through grade nine. Cost: $80-350. http://www.ymcatwincities.org/child_care__preschool/summer_programs

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list of every camp in the Twin Cities. If you would like to be included in next year’s guide, please send us detailed information on the camp to editorial@deruyternelson.com.

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Keystone Community Services 01

Keystone Community Services welcomes new president

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

Outgoing president retires after 32 years of service to Keystone

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN

Keystone Community Services 01Eric Nyberg will retire as Keystone Community Services’ chief executive officer on Apr. 1, ending a career that began 32 years ago. “I had my reasons,” he said, “but you might wonder why anyone would stay with an organization that long?”

Photo right: Mary McKeown (left) is the incoming president of Keystone Community Services, and Eric Nyberg (right) is the outgoing. The two have been friends and colleagues for nearly 30 years. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

It seems to be something of a pattern at Keystone. The organization celebrated its 75th birthday last year, and Nyberg has only been the fifth person to serve as president. He explained that “with learning opportunities at every turn, I just never felt the need to leave.”

Nyberg came to his first job at Keystone with a master’s of social work and training as a family counselor. “It was clear to me that healthy individuals had a better chance of establishing healthy families,” he said, “and from there we could work toward building a healthy community.”

Initially hired as a program director, he eventually branched out into fundraising and development.

“One of the things that distinguishes Keystone as a service provider is a dedicated base of 2,000+ donors, and almost as many active volunteers,” Nyberg said. “We also receive excellent support from the Greater Twin Cities United Way, for which we’re very grateful.”

Keystone addresses three areas of community service: basic needs such as food and shelter, activities for youth and critical support for senior citizens. It offers these services at seven sites throughout St. Paul and covers an area that includes half of Ramsey County. Nyberg noted that “engagement is our ultimate goal. If we can help people get engaged in their communities, then we feel we’re succeeding.”

The non-profit organization began in the Merriam Park Community Center in 1939, under the name St. Paul Community Services. It was the end of the Great Depression, and neighbors were worried about kids in the Merriam Park neighborhood. They got together and started a pre-school, which was the first of many youth services to come.

The incoming president, Mary McKeown, is a long time Keystone employee and Merriam Park resident. She was selected by the board of directors to step into Nyberg’s role and brings to the job many years of experience in St. Paul social services. Nyberg added, “Mary really understands the history of this organization, as well as the needs of the community.”

He continued, “the diversity of people Keystone serves reflects current community needs, and the range of services reflects the missions of the organizations that have become part of ours: Capitol Community Services, Neighbor to Neighbor, the Good Neighbor Foundation, Youth Express and West Seventh Community Center.

The organization has gone through a series of mergers over the years, most recently with West Seventh Community Center, a major multi-service center in the West Seventh neighborhood, with programs very similar to Keystone’s senior and after-school programs for youth.

Two years ago Keystone merged with Youth Express at 1128 Selby Ave. Youth Express is a full-service bike shop and youth employment program. They specialize in refurbished bikes, bike repair, and the sale of new and used bike parts. All store proceeds are re-invested back into the Youth Express Program, which currently serves 100+ youth and is expected to grow in 2016.

Shopping at Youth Express is one way to support the work of Keystone. Other opportunities include delivering Meals on Wheels, helping at Keystone’s two food shelves, or becoming a youth program tutor. Consider hosting a collection for food and personal care items at your business, school or faith community, or becoming a Keystone business or congregational partner. For information about any of these volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, email volunteer@keystoneservices.org.

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Future Dennys

Denny’s looks to open doors at long-vacant University building

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

Future DennysSome might remember the Embers, which stood at 1664 University Ave. for many years. Others might recall Kim Huoy Chor, a once-popular restaurant that managed to rack up many health code violations and force the city to shut it down in late 2010.

Now it appears that a Denny’s will be opening its doors at the long-vacant site. Building permits were pulled in February for renovation as well as work on the building’s mechanical systems. The permits total $342,500.

It’s not clear yet when Denny’s would open. State officials must inspect the premises and issue needed licenses for a restaurant use, as the city lost its restaurant licensing authority several years ago when state officials found shortcomings in inspection and recordkeeping processes.

The building has been owned by the St. Paul Federal Credit Union for several years. The credit union twice went through city approval processes for variances needed to install drive-through service in preparation for a move there. Those variances and conditional use permits have expired. Right now it doesn’t appear that Denny’s would need any zoning changes to open in the Midway.

New tenant for old stadium site on Energy Park Drive
The old Midway Stadium site on Energy Park Dr. has its first occupant. United Properties announced in late February that it will work with the St. Paul Port Authority this spring to build an almost-200,000-square-foot light-industrial building there. It was also announced that Tierney Brothers Inc. will occupy about a quarter of the facility.

Tierney Brothers is a technology firm located in Minneapolis. The company plans to move its headquarters to the Midway. The new building will also provide a warehouse and showroom. Tierney’s local staff of about 100 people will be relocating to the new site.

The building is to be completed in the fall.

No other tenants have been announced.

The stadium was torn down last summer after the St. Paul Saints and other teams moved to CHS Field in Lowertown.

Daycare will be part of redevelopment
As The Vintage on Selby (1555 Selby Ave.) continues to welcome apartment residents and prepares for the opening of Whole Foods in mid-March, developer Ryan Companies has announced the sale of land at 1533 Dayton Ave. for a new Primrose daycare center. The property was sold for $1.05 million. “Primrose School of St. Paul at Merriam Park” will be built on Dayton Ave. east of Associated Bank.

The development is one of the last pieces of plans that have transformed the Selby-Snelling intersection and the east side of Snelling. The apartments above Whole Foods opened late last year. The bank has been open for more than a year.

Those properties eventually wound up in the hands of Associated Bank, which worked with Ryan Companies on site redevelopment.

The last remaining piece of the properties to be redeveloped may be the most contentious, as Union Park District Council has objected to a proposal to put a Starbucks with drive-through service there. The plans have been debated for several months.

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Altered University Ave. parking plan approved

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Businesses along University Ave. will have on-street parking restored later this year, as a result of Feb. 17 St. Paul City Council approval of a parking plan. The plan will provide more than 300 spots between 6pm and 2am. Adding parking back will narrow University and Washington avenues from four lanes to two during those hours.

In the Monitor area, the areas affected by the additional parking hours will be between Emerald to Hampden streets, between Syndicate and Grotto streets, and between Mackubin and Rice streets.
But the plan won’t include adding parking between Aldine St. and Prior Ave. as the Planning

Commission previously recommended. That could affect people who want to visit Dickerman and Iris parks and future evening events there. That’s because the stretch of University is eyed for shared bicycle use, as a connection between bicycle facilities on Charles and Prior avenues. Council President Russ Stark, whose Fourth Ward includes that part of University, said he’d like to see share the road or sharrow  (shared lane) markings on the street as soon as this year. The section of University is identified as a future route in the city’s bike plan.

While Stark joked that the markings might be “sharrows on steroids,” no decisions have been made as to what type of markings would be used and when that would take place. It won’t include a bike lane, as there isn’t space for one.

University is a Ramsey County road, so the county also must sign off on the bike and parking plans. That isn’t likely until March. The Hennepin County Board and Minneapolis City Council must also sign off on the parking plans for the sections of University and Washington in their stretch of roadway.

Proponents would like to see parking restored later this spring or early this summer.

The parking plan has been discussed for several years. It is meant to help St. Paul and Minneapolis businesses that lost parking during Green Line light rail construction and the first years of operation. Most on-street parking on University and Washington avenues was lost as a result of the rail project, which prompted protests all along the route.

The plan recommended by the Planning Commission would have restored about 451 spots in nine areas between Park St. in St. Paul and 23rd Ave. in Minneapolis. It’s not clear exactly how many spaces will be lost by eliminating the Aldine to Prior stretch. Stark estimated that more than 300 spaces will be restored under the plan adopted by the City Council.

Council members said the plan could be changed as needed. The cost of adding parking is about $80,000 for signage. Meters won’t be installed in areas where parking is being added, but that could change if a need to turn spaces over is seen. Parking spaces can also be removed if there are traffic flow problems. The Planning Commission recommended that the parking renewal is viewed as a test and that it be evaluated after a year.

“For the time being, this is a really good compromise,” said Stark. “It’s a relatively inexpensive way to bring back parking.”

One challenge Ward One Council Member Dai Thao noted is that the parking plan was developed before plans emerged for a soccer stadium to be built at Snelling and St. Anthony avenues. Traffic studies for that project are underway. Concerns are already being raised about spillover parking in adjacent neighborhoods.

Although the loss of on-street parking caused an uproar several years ago and drew many comments in online surveys, the Planning Commission and City Council review drew few comments. Christopher Ferguson, a Minneapolis East Bank business owner and Midway Chamber of Commerce Board member, was one of the study leaders.

The Prior-to-Aldine stretch has been the most controversial, prompting a split vote on the Planning Commission’s Transportation Committee in January. Union Park District Council (UPDC) asked that that stretch be removed from the plan, saying that businesses don’t want or need on-street parking in that area. But the committee and full Planning Commission asked that the parking be kept in the plan. Commissioners cited a need for on-street parking when people visit Iris and Dickerman parks.

UPDC’s Land Use Committee discussed the parking proposal in mid-February. Former district council member Mike Madden told the committee that he was dismayed to see the Aldine to Prior parking removed. He said that in 2010 the district council took a position that parking on University should be restored “to the greatest extent possible.”

Committee members said they were aware of the previous district council stance on parking, but that they were trying to balance that with the bike plan, the survey responses, and current conditions. Committee member Benita Warns, who owns and operates two small businesses on Prior, said most businesses in the area are closed at night and don’t need on-street parking during the period that parking is being restored.

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Our Souls At Night bookcover

HM Elders plan for monthly activities

Posted on 08 March 2016 by Calvin

Hamline Midway Elders (HME) announce the following programs.

Our Souls At Night bookcoverBaby Boomers Book Club—HME is excited about a new partnership with the Hamline Midway Library on a monthly book club. The first session will be held on Sat., Mar. 19 from 1-2pm at the library and will feature a discussion on the book “Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf (see book cover at right). Shelly Hawkins from the library will facilitate along with Tom Fitzpatrick and Monica Gallagher from Hamline Midway Elders. The book club will also meet on Sat., Apr. 16 to discuss “The Virtues of Aging” by Jimmy Carter (and free copies of this book will be given to the first 20 individuals who commit to reading the book and attending the book club).

Exercise Class—Joni O’Connell returns to lead another eight-week series that will be held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2-3pm beginning Mar. 22. Classes will be held in the Community Room at Hamline Church United Methodist, 1514 Englewood Ave. New attendees are always welcome for these free classes, so if you’ve never tried a group exercise class before please consider coming.
Jody’s Documentary Series—Our partnership with the Hamline Midway Library continues Wed., Mar. 30 at 1pm with the POV film, “Tea Time,” about old friends getting together. Jody Huber will introduce the film and lead a discussion after the showing. Snacks will be provided, and all are welcome to this monthly last Wednesday series.

Monthly Luncheon, “Forever Fit”—On Tue., Apr. 12, Cathy Quinlivan from the Midway YMCA willexplain the importance of fitness and movement as well as share information on the new YMCA facility. Green Books will also be hosting another book giveaway during the luncheon. The meal begins at 11:30am at Hamline Church United Methodist (1514 Englewood Ave.) followed by the presentation at 12:15. New attendees are always welcome at these second Tuesday monthly luncheons.

Re-Defining Home—HME is excited to be partnering again with the Vital Aging Network on a workshop that explores the question “What does home and community mean to you?” This workshop will be held on Sat., Apr. 30 from 12-3:30pm at the Hamline Midway Library (1558 W. Minnehaha Ave.). The workshop leader will be Lynn Englund, Ph.D., who teaches in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, attendance is limited to 20 individuals. Advance registration is required, and HME is asking a $10 fee to cover the cost of lunch and snacks.

Volunteers Wanted—Hamline Midway Elders operates with only two part-time staff. The majority of our services to neighborhood elders is provided by some wonderful volunteers, and we could use more. We have a variety of volunteer needs ranging from driving folks to/from medical appointments, to providing chore services, to friendly visiting, to helping out at program events. Please consider helping our program help neighborhood elders.

For more information on any of the above items, please contact Hamline Midway Elders at 651-209-6542 or info@hmelders.org.

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Discovery Club