Longtimers of Yesteryear

Luther Carlson’s house at 2301 Colfax.

For Luther Carlson (Longtimer, Class of ’72) 1938 was the bad old days; a time when houses were ill-maintained, and children were scarce. Luther refused to sell out, despite being a virtual island in a sea of transients. We present his story below.

Luther Carlson in 1972.

Rhymes with “transientsy.” Coincidence?

Luther’s no sell-out.
Read the full story of Luther and his home at 2301 Colfax.

Countdown to 2017

This New Year’s Eve let’s skip the countdown to 2015. Nicole is “counting the days” to Election Day 2017. Now’s the time to begin stockpiling campaign contributions (up to a max of $300).

Latest on 2320 Colfax Appeal

Anonymous sources are confirming:

Opponents are showing up in force/e-mailing in force for tomorrow’s hearing.  If you are able, please make your voice heard.  Please write these people —before 8am tomorrow morning:

Lisa.Bender@minneapolismn.gov
andrew.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
Lisa.Goodman@minneapolismn.gov
abdi.warsame@minneapolismn.gov
kevin.reich@minneapolismn.gov
barbara.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
aaron.hanauer@minneapolismn.gov 

The 2320 Colfax appeal is being heard by Z&P this upcoming Tuesday at 9:30. If you are able, please come down and testify. The appellants have appealed everything, the variances and the site plan review.

The basis for the appeal is that William Wells can’t imagine living anywhere that doesn’t have a “party room.” You can read it here

NCR Comes to LHENA

Robert Thompson and Michelle Chavez of Minneapolis’ NCR came to speak with LHENA board members about the Community Participation Program before last night’s board meeting. President Leslie Foreman graciously welcomed me to the discussion. They talked about what makes a neighborhood eligible for funding–you can’t require membership dues, for example. They covered eligible/ineligible expenses–no food allowed. And so much more. This is the packet they handed out.

The issue of voter ID was raised by board member Becky Dernbach as a potential barrier to participation. Thompson said that neighborhoods should allow for alternative means of identification such as a piece of mail, or having another person in the neighborhood vouch for them. As part of the discussion, he obliquely referred to an individual (Basim Sabri) who buses people from across the city to neighborhood association (Whittier Alliance) meetings. And he told a story of his experience with the Loring Park neighborhood; they have a very open policy that allows anyone to participate because of the significant presence of homeless youth without an official address.

Thompson said that occasionally he reads letters from neighborhood organizations that use “I” instead of “we” phrasing; this erodes their credibility with the city (is this the opinion of a neighborhood, or one person?). He cautioned against the mixing of personal, divisive activism with the activities of the neighborhood association. This was amusing. I’ve honestly never been sure how many board members are involved with the radical, anti-everything MRRDC, besides Sara Romanishan.

It was interesting to learn from NCR’s Michelle Chavez that there’s been some behind the scenes email discussion around the Healy Project‘s ghost stories fundraiser. Do you remember last month’s proposed joint fundraiser between Healy Project and LHENA? It was nixed by the board for being too controversial–a sort of endorsement of Healy by LHENA. Now they’ve found a loophole. Healy will hold the fundraiser, and might donate some portion of the proceeds to LHENA. Maybe I’m imagining this, but Leslie seemed annoyed when Chavez brought it up. I don’t think I was supposed to hear this.

It sounded like Chavez thinks this fundraiser nonsense is a bad idea. In my mind, this damages LHENA’s credibility. But more than that, I’m annoyed that I have to remember three different names for groups with the same agenda, run by many of the same people. It’s time they started using the same acronym. HPLHENAMRRDC–or something.

Thompson used the example of Linden Hills to show what happens when a neighborhood becomes divided over a controversial issue like development. Antagonized neighbors start coming to meetings to watch the proceedings like a hawk. I’m thinking, that sounds about right. And, do you not know where you are right now, Mr. Thompson? Lowry Hill East invented this shit.

Comparing LHENA to Lowry Hill East: Age & Race

I recently discovered that LHENA conducted a survey in 2007 that included demographic questions. That’s kind of impressive. Way to go, LHENA of 2007.

Now, you might question why I’ve gone to all this trouble for a survey that got 21 responses. My answer: that’s quadruple the turnout for your typical board meeting (and that’s only if you include the Wedge LIVE! news team). Considering that this is the only known demographic information about people who give enough of a damn about LHENA to respond to a survey, we’re going with the story. We stand behind our numbers! Unless of course you find a mistake.

You should also read this recent story in the Southwest Journal about the problem of unrepresentative neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis. NCR is doing a demographic survey of neighborhood boards. I’d be just as interested in a demographic survey of the people the neighborhood associations are actively engaging with. Again: lots of credit to the visionaries of LHENA 2007!

Sources: Lowry Hill East numbers are based on information available at this link. LHENA’s 2007 survey is available here.

Infographic below.

11 Wedge Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following

A list of Lowry Hill East’s most prominent twits.

@bad_wedgecoop posted three tweets on November 28th, 2009 and has been dormant ever since. Started by someone who claims to have been “kicked out of the Wedge for looking too poor.” The co-op. Not the neighborhood.
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According to Vox.com, @bzosiad is one of the “activists who want to make the Fed listen to workers for a change.” She’s also a LHENA board member whose garden was recently targeted by tomato bandits. Why do bad things happen to good people?

@FakeSueBode doesn’t exist, but we would definitely follow if it did. Imaginary tweets include a heavy focus on driveway egress and the archaeologically significant Lake Blaisdell.

@Uptownlogic is an ironically-named watchdog account created for the sole purpose of ensuring that @WedgeLIVE is “acting within the law.” So far, things are cool.
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@Dr_Eric is a man who needs no introduction. His exploits are the stuff of neighborhood legend.

@FlisrandJK is an affordable housing and bike advocate. She’s sure to be tweeting about her annual cherry harvest in 2015.

@WedgeForeman is the brand new Twitter account of LHENA President Leslie Foreman. She hasn’t tweeted yet. But some jerk is trying to change that by filling up her mentions.

@wbbbmr is a newly appointed LHENA board member. He once got 22,000 retweets (in what some would call a shameless exploitation of tragedy).

@atrupar is a veteran reporter for CityPages who was once visually traumatized by campaign season. It’s unclear if he’s still a Wedge resident, or if he’s since moved to a neighborhood without elections.

@ForgotAboutDray is LHENA board member Tim Dray’s “Dr. Dre fan” twitter account (created to keep his hip hop tweets separate from his personal tweets). Much like @FakeSueBode, this account does not exist.

@scttdvd is not a Wedge resident. He lives three blocks from Lowry Hill East. We’re putting him on the list anyway. When he attends LHENA meetings, you’ll often hear amazed groans of geographic confusion from neighbors when he’s asked to give his home address (Wedge LIVE can report that Kingfield residents seem to be exempt from this treatment).