Category Archives: Neighborhood News

A longtime neighbor – St. Mary’s Cemetery

By Sue Filbin

One of the busiest intersections in our neighborhood – 46th and Chicago – is also among the most quiet. Since 1873, long before traffic became plentiful, the northeast corner of this intersection has been occupied by St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

St. Mary's Cemetery

One distinctive memorial in the cemetery
honors firefighters from the City of Minneapolis.

With its location near the center of Field Regina Northrop, St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery is geographically part of the community. Its 65 groomed acres provide a resting place for more than 66,000 people, and a quiet space for neighbors and visitors.

The sole full-time employee, Baltazar Cardoso, who speaks English and Spanish, lives nearby. From April through October, seasonal employees help Baltazar maintain the grounds, prepare sites for burials, tend and install markers, repair equipment, clean up storm damage, and place flowers and wreaths.

St. Mary’s is dedicated to being a good neighbor. When pedestrians remarked that it was inconvenient to walk on the 46th Street sidewalk because of the heavy snow flung onto the sidewalk by Hennepin County plowing crews, St. Mary’s purchased a special plow attachment to clear that extra-heavy snow.

Welcome

Neighbors are welcome to walk on the paved roads and to take in the tranquility of the site. Artists sometimes sketch the rolling landscape and historic, sculptural markers. School children rub tennis balls on rubbing paper to transfer decorative images from grave markers to paper. Dog walkers are welcome when they keep their dogs leashed and pick up after their dogs.

Each year, St. Mary’s hosts a Memorial Day celebration that includes a parade, recognition of veterans of past wars, Mass, and refreshments. This special observance is part of a long partnership between the Knights of Columbus and the cemetery.

History

St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery was originally established as the parish cemetery for the Basilica of St. Mary (located in downtown Minneapolis). It is now one of five cemeteries owned and operated by The Catholic Cemeteries, an independent, self-sustaining religious corporation. In the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, 110 cemetery properties are owned and maintained by their respective parishes.

The cemetery’s designation as a Catholic cemetery means that it is considered by Catholics to be sacred ground due to its having been blessed by a bishop. Catholics are welcome to be buried at St. Mary’s, as are their non-Catholic spouses and family members. Friends and neighbors who live nearby have also been buried in the cemetery over the years. Between 100 to 125 burials now take place annually.

In the fall of 2015, one of the less-used paved roads was closed to make space for 100 conventional graves and 100 cremation spaces. In addition to traditional burial plots, 600 crypts and 300 cremation niches are available in St. Mary’s Garden Mausoleum that opened in 1994. One of the most striking markers in the cemetery is a tall memorial to firefighters who served in the City of Minneapolis.

The dedication to the cemetery and neighborhood from those responsible for St. Mary’s became apparent during a conference-call phone conversation with John Cherek, director of Catholic Cemeteries, and Jon Louris, operations manager for the Catholic Cemeteries and supervisor at St. Mary’s Cemetery and Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul. John Cherek said, “If any neighbors have any ideas as to how we can be a better neighbor, please let us know.” (651) 228-9991

New Director at McRae Park

By Chris Schommer

McRae Park welcomed new full-time director Heather Susag in December. Heather first started working for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) as a 16-year-old and has been involved ever since. For the past nine years, Heather has been working full time for the MPRB in the area of youth development and the “Youthline” program that provides youth mentorship, education and recreation programs all over the city of Minneapolis. Heather also has experience working at several local park programs. This is Heather’s first opportunity as park director.

Heather Susag

Heather Susag became the director of McRae
Park in December 2015.

When asked what she was looking forward to in her new position, Heather said she is excited to, “Hone in and develop programming that has a wide spectrum.” Heather says her experience so far at McRae has been very well rounded and she hopes to support the local community by making McRae a neighborhood destination no matter your age. In addition to supporting the youth sports community, there are opportunities to pilot new senior programs and host more programing for pre-school children (such as the new indoor playground on Mondays for pre-K children). She has already expanded youth programming with the return of RecPlus, a summer child care and education program, after a 10-year absence from McRae.

The upcoming athletic field replacement project that is scheduled to begin later this summer and last through 2017 will be a big challenge for McRae Park but Heather says she is excited about it. “I know how tough it has been to play sports in the past. I am excited that [this project] is not only going to re-shape sports but will make the land more usable for everyone.” This includes new multi-sport athletic courts, additional warm-up basketball hoops and completely re-built athletic fields. Heather said she is also very excited about one overlooked aspect of this project – new walking paths, shady areas, benches and lighting that will allow guests to circumnavigate the entire park. “Now you can walk your dog, seniors can walk, and small kids can bike all around the park!”

If people want to contact Heather with their ideas for programming at McRae or for more information, please email mcrae@minneapolisparks.org or call the front desk at 612-370-4909. McRae is open 3-9 p.m. during the school year and 12-8 p.m. during the summer.

Programs at McRae Park

Indoor Playground on Mondays
Mondays from 10:30-12:30 6 month-Pre K Register online or register in person.
Kids can play with newly purchased tunnels, bikes, and listen to music. Free. Starting in the spring there will be a one-time cost of $5.

Summer Rec PLUS
Summer childcare. Includes swim lessons, field trips, naturalist programs and other activities.
Age: Must have completed kindergarten through 6th grade 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Registration starts March 15

Committee Name Change Proposed

Proposal Renames Committee Name to Housing & Community Development Committee

By Ian Campbell and Nate Lansing

With new real estate developments being constructed around the City of Minneapolis at a seemingly breakneck pace, it’s only a matter of time before the Field Regina Northrop neighborhood begins to experience some of these changes. The FRNNG housing committee feels that it is important for residents of the neighborhood to have a committee who can act as a facilitator for conversations between neighborhood residents and developers interested in investing in our neighborhood.

At the January FRNNG board meeting, housing committee co-chair, Ian Campbell, proposed a motion to add “Community Development” to the name and responsibilities of the housing committee, which was unanimously approved. According to FRNNG bylaws, this change now must be presented in print to the public. The following are the changes being made to the committee name and Statement of Purpose:

Name: The FRNNG Housing Committee shall become the FRNNG Housing & Community Development Committee.

Statement of Purpose: The Housing & Community Development Committee’s Statement of Purpose shall be amended as indicated by wording in bold:

“The goal of the Housing & Community Development Committee is to promote a safe and healthy environment for all Field Regina Northrop neighborhood residents, developing housing strategies to rehabilitate existing housing stock and affordable rental housing, and to facilitate the responsible development of the built environment.”

Questions or comments regarding this change may be submitted to frnng@frnng.org and housing@frnng.org.

46th Street Update

By Chris Schommer

While the time-frame for resurfacing 46th Street has not changed from this summer, the 46th Street planning process has been slightly delayed. The delay is mostly due to several other other major Hennepin County planning projects that are occurring this winter and the slow task of coordination between different agencies. In this case Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Works, and Metro transit.

Particularly troublesome is the busy area around the intersection of 46th and Nicollet, since Nicollet is now also scheduled resurfacing and restriping this summer that will need to interface with the 46th St project. Because of this original goal of a public meeting in March was pushed back to late April or early May with the intention of sharing a design option for the corridor that is fully engineered and stable so that neighborhood feedback on the project can be most useful and accurate.

Notice of a public meeting with Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Works staff will be sent out via a postcard or our next Newsletter, and shared on our webpage and social media. If you would like to review the community developed concept from October or submit a comment to Hennepin County about your opinions, concerns or ideas for the project visit the Hennepin County project webpage at: www.hennepin.us/residents/ transportation/46-street

Follow-up Community Safety Meeting

Monday, April 4, 7-8pm at McRae Park
mpd

Join your neighbors for a follow up meeting to address issues raised at the well attended February 22nd, “Neighborhood Crime information and Prevention meeting” at St. Joan of Arc Church.

Speakers will include Council Member Glidden, Council Member Quincy, Lt Lund for the 3rd Precinct , and a representative from Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), plus a supervisor from 911 to answer questions.

We hope you will be able to attend this meeting to continue the conversation about crime and safety in our neighborhood. If you are unable to attend or would just like to be more involved, please contact the FRN Community and Safety committee at communityandsafety@frnng.org for more information. Neighborhood volunteers make things happen!

Neighborhood Crime information and Prevention Followup meeting
Monday April 4th, 7:00-8:00 pm
McRae Park, 906 E. 47th St

 

Pick Up a Free Home Radon Test Kit

FRNNG, in partnership with the City of Minneapolis, is offering residents free radon test kits during February for “Radon-Awareness Month.” The neighborhood group has received 100 kits on a first-come basis. The tests will be available for pickup at two times and locations. If you cannot drop by during these times, please contact the neighborhood office.

Sovereign Grounds Coffee Shop (813 E 48th St)

Saturday, February 6, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

 

Turtle Bread Company (4762 Chicago Ave S)

Saturday, February 20, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

 

Radon Cancer Risk

Radon is a health concern and is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. When breathed in, the radioactive particles from radon gas can damage the cells that line the lung. Long-term exposure to radon can then lead to lung cancer. Radon is found in nearly all soils and gets drawn into the home as a colorless, odorless gas that passes through a building’s foundations and can accumulate in the house.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action to reduce radon in homes that have a radon level at or above 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). If your free radon test kit measures above this level, you might want to consider a follow-up long-term test to confirm your results or contact a radon mitigation specialist. The Minnesota Department of Health has more information on radon and mitigation speciliasts on their radon information webpage: www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon

New Italian Restaurant Opens on Cedar Avenue

ie_entrywayThe weekend after Thanksgiving, ie – short for Italian Eatery – opened its doors at 4724 Cedar Avenue. This welcome new addition to the growing food scene in south Minneapolis has created a lot of buzz in the neighborhood.

Owners Eric and Vanessa Carrera closed on the property in the fall, and managed a complete remodel to the building that formerly housed Cork Dork and Carbone’s, which moved just across the street. The space, created in collaboration with Shea Design, is now a sleek, modern space along the lines of a stylish downtown restaurant, with the warmth and coziness of a neighborhood joint. According to Eric, “We wanted to create a place that people in the community could come to for a date night, or right off of a walk along the parkway.”

 

Eric and Vanessa Carrera, owners and operators of restaurant ie on 47th and Cedar Avenue.

Eric and Vanessa Carrera, owners and operators of restaurant ie on 47th and Cedar Avenue.

The Carreras have been grateful for community response. “We wanted to be a neighborhood place, but we’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received. So many people have come, and introduced themselves as our neighbors, and brought their friends,” he says. Dishes are Italian-inspired, seasonal dishes at approachable price points. Early favorites on the menu include dry-rubbed beef short ribs, a wild boar meatball and garganelli baked pasta, and charred octopus appetizer. There is also a small-but-mighty dessert list and a full bar, including specialty cocktails, and an extensive beer and wine list.

 

The Carreras are feeling satisfied about the launch of ie, and are already planning for new ways to serve the community, including weekend brunch service starting in January, a special Valentine’s Day menu, and hint at more to come, “We’ve got big plans for the spring and summer that the neighborhood will love!” For more information, visit 
www.italianeatery.com 
or call (612) 223-8504
By Carrie Shidla, Member, Communications Committeeie_counter

46th Street Community Open House

date

46thIn the Summer of 2016 Hennepin County will be performing a “mill and overlay” of 46th street that will extend the life of the road. This process removes the top layer of asphalt and replaces it with a new smooth surface. During this process there is an opportunity to rethink the lane configuration of the corridor when re-applying the lane markings. This paving project could provide improvement opportunities for vehicular traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Residents and business owners are invited to join representatives from Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, Field Regina Northrop, Kingfield and Tangletown for a community meeting and workshop to discuss the future of 46th street from Lyndale to Cedar Ave. This joint meeting will take place at the Field Middle School auditorium on Wednesday October 21st from 6-8pm. A map of the area will be displayed to allow posting comments and identifying problem areas. Staff will provide information on existing traffic volumes, crash history, and background on previous ideas for improvement.

Many community members have called for traffic calming measures on 46th street as the process of driving, walking, or cycling around this four lane corridor is often described as a “crazy” experience. Hennepin county officials recognize this and their data shows that 46th Street is experiencing a rate of crashes significantly higher than comparable streets. A working group has been established to study the transportation issues in this area and to examine actions which could be implemented with the paving project. The group consists of county and city staff members with representatives from the Field Regina Northrop, Kingfield and Tangletown neighborhoods.

423One option for traffic calming available to the County in this situation is what is commonly known as a “4-to-3 Conversion” where the current four lanes are converted into two single vehicle lanes heading east and west with a center turn lane. Similar projects have become very common around Minneapolis and have achieved the result of a more predictable and steady traffic flow, with a significant reduction of crashes and injuries. A local examples of this type of conversion is 50th street between Lyndale and France Ave, which was converted from a four to a three lane street in the early 2000s. This type of configuration reduces the dangerous weaving that often occurs when people must stop to make a left hand turn which is common today along many sections of 46th street. This is particularly dangerous to people crossing on foot who are often invisible to drivers passing by quickly on a four lane street.

Different sections of 46th Street present their own problems, from the hectic 35W ramp to the wide open “speedway” north of McRae Park to the calmer areas along the far east end of the corridor. Many cyclists must use 46th to cross the freeway and there may be room for bike lanes in a three lane configuration and 46th Street is listed on the Hennepin County’s master bike plan. Parking may be impacted for sections of the corridor. The County is studying these options and others, and is actively seeking neighborhood feedback on these issues. Many neighbors have already weighed in and you can too even before the October 21st meeting. Just send your thoughts, comments, and wishes to the FRN office at frnng@frnng.org, contact us on Facebook or Twitter, or call the office at (612) 721-5424 and leave a message. Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to comment, your input has been very valuable already.

Look for more updates on the FRN webpage and our Facebook and Twitter. Neighbors will also be receiving a reminder postcard closer to the October 21st meeting.

Additional information is available on the county website at: www.hennepin.us. In the search box, type “46th Street Study”. Questions or comments can also be directed to the county and city staff members:

Hennepin County
Bob Byers (612) 596-0354 robert.byers@hennepin.us
Kelley Yemen (612) 543-1963 kelley.yemen@hennepin.us

Minneapolis
Allan Klugman (612) 673-2743 allan.klugman@minneapolismn.gov

Plants and flowers for 2nd Avenue

49thNeighbors:  As you may know or have read, the Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group (FRNNG) Greening Committee has been working to maintain the lands east and adjacent to the sound barrier walls of 35W South running from 42nd Street to 51st Street along 2nd Avenue South.  We have made a lot of progress in maintaining the lands (mowing) with some planting of perennial flowers & plants since May, 2015 to today.

The next phase of our maintenance efforts includes planting as many perennial plants and flowers along the wall to meet two goals 1) add some flower/color to the expanse of wall space; and 2) lessen the amount of land that will need to be mowed annually. With the cooperation of neighbors across several communities, we will make our first planting effort during the next month or so with a call for neighbors to split and donate perennial plants & flowers that do well in Minnesota’s climate.

Call for plants & flowers:  If you are splitting plants/flowers over the next month, please consider donating some of these to FRNNG’s Greening Committee for planting along 2ndAvenue; 2nd Avenue remains a primary thoroughfare for most who are entering or exiting 35W South.  We are looking for a variety of plants including hostas (sun-worthy) and other hostas; false indigo(baptisia); varieties of Bee Balm; Black-Eyed Susan; Aster, cone-flowers; Joe Pye; ornamental grasses, Asiatic Lillies, Lillies, etc.  While it is understood that these propagate over time, we are less interested in plants that are so invasive that we will spend our time, excising the overgrowth.  Of course, the Greening Committee welcomes all donations with some description of the plant’s needs (sun, shade, dry, soggy, etc.) – any added guidance or cautionary notes regarding donated plants is appreciated.  For plants or flowers that are best split in the spring, please keep FRNNG Greening’s needs in mind.  Send us an email of spring split and we’ll track back to you in spring, 2016. Email to greening@frnng.org

HELP IN DIGGING OUT PLANTS: We will help dig/separate plants/flowers for those who are not able to do so or would appreciate a little help. We’ll do our best to keep up with requests for help in the digging & separating effort. Please provide contact information & address, as appropriate.  Patience is appreciated. Email to greening@frnng.org

PLANT DROP OFF:  If you are able to drop-off plants, please do so to 205 East 48thStreet (between 2nd & 3rd Avenue South – Maroon House with orange door).  Plants may be left on the garage pad (signs will mark the place).   If you have difficulty in lifting or transporting, please call Tim Price 612-385-2297 or email to: timtprice@comcast.net. Timis willing to help if you are traveling to his home to drop off plants if possible.

Advertisements in Close to Home

webpage Our Bi-monthly Newsletter Close to Home is now including  advertising for local business in future issues of our newsletter to help partially offset our costs.

We are now offering two sizes for advertisements: 4” wide by 2” deep or a 4×4″ square option. The cost to place one smaller ad is $65, and $130 for the larger format per issue of the newsletter. In addition, if you purchase on year’s worth of advertisement space we will make your final issue free! That is six advertisements for the price of five. Your advertisement and will be delivered to almost 4,000 homes and businesses in our area. Several hundred newsletters are also available at some neighborhood businesses and gathering spaces. If you are interested in reserving space, this is what we need from you by the deadline which is 5 p.m. Wednesday, December 9th:

  • Reserve space by contacting, Stearline Rucker, FRNNG program manager. Call (612) 721-5424 or email at: frnng@frnng.org
  • Mail or drop off a check payable to FRNNG for your
  • Email a completed digital press-quality PDF or JPEG of your ad to communications@frnng.org
  • The image must be high resolution at 300 DPI (1200 pixels wide by 600 tall for a standard size ad) or greater. Colors will reproduce better if the original is in CMYK.
  • Advertisements must meet these requirements to be published.
  • If you need assistance creating an ad, there is a one-time charge of $40 for this service and you will be provided with a digital proof of the advertisement. You may also contact any outside designer for assistance as long as they can meet our design requirements.

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