By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
A GOVERNMENT PLAN to demolish hundreds of homes in the Lind-Bohanan neighborhood on Minneapolis's near north side has some area residents up in arms. The proposal, designed by Hennepin Community Works, a government planning and development collective, would purportedly remove up to 250 houses to make way for a large-scale greenway that would include ball fields and jogging trails. Residents say they believe that the number of homes razed could go much higher, and add that they fear the ones built in their place--up to 80 or so by most estimates--will be unaffordable to those who currently live in the neighborhood.
The prospect of forced relocation has caused some residents to form a group called ROAR (Residents Organized for Acceptable Relocation) to voice their concerns. "People are scared to death here," says Valerie Flood, a group member. Chief among ROAR's concerns is fair payment for relocation. Although officials say they will pay market value plus a relocation stipend to those who get displaced, it is not yet clear how much that stipend will be. According to Flood, market values have dropped as much as 25 percent in the area over the past year--largely as a result of the redevelopment proposal, she believes.
Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat says he's only trying to help: "I'm not interested in being painted as though I want to pave a whole neighborhood over. This is a surgical process. We're trying to introduce more market-driven housing that will stabilize a property-value trend that is negative. It certainly is not my intention to try to usher people out on the cheap."
According to Kirk Hill, director of the Minnesota Tenant's Union, there is ample precedent for this type of urban gentrification. Previously, however, the focus has been on low-income rental properties, whereas the "greenway" plan targets owner-occupied homes. Still, they have one thing in common, he says: "It's about money. All these blueprints to transform the urban landscape and make it fit for upper-middle class people--they all involve getting rid of poor people, and somebody's always going to make a lot of money out of that."
CITY POLITICS: THE HOT STOVE
LEAGUE HEATS UP
POLITICS JUNKIES ARE in for their first good fix in a while starting this weekend. Saturday marks the beginning of ward-convention season in Minneapolis, and the sparks are already beginning to fly. (In St. Paul, precinct caucuses selected delegates last week, but conventions don't start until April 12.) Right off the bat, the 7th Ward affair promises fireworks. Residents of neighborhoods including Loring Park, Bryn Mawr, and parts of Kenwood and downtown will have to choose whether to endorse one of four candidates for the City Council seat being vacated by Pat Scott. Longtime DFL and gay activist Chris Bacon looked like a shoo-in until recently, but suffered a setback when the DFL's gay/lesbian Brian Coyle caucus refused to endorse him. Minnesota NARAL head Lisa Goodman, Park Board member George Puzak, and Elliot Park neighborhood organizer Loren Niemi are all nipping at Bacon's heels.
Another potentially bruising contest looms in the 10th Ward. There, neighborhood activist Niel Ritchie is challenging first-term councilmember Lisa McDonald. This might not be news had Ritchie not attracted the support of several powerful councilmembers, including Jim Niland (6th Ward) and Council President Jackie Cherryhomes (5th Ward). Ritchie's allies are upset, among other things, about McDonald's flirtation with a budget-cutting "Fiscally Moderate Caucus" during her first year on the council. The only other incumbent facing a tough challenge is the 11th's Dore Mead; her opponent, Minneapolis Police Sergeant Jim Kaju, probably won't get the endorsement, but could stand a chance in the primary.
By contrast, not much excitement is expected in the endorsement of replacements for retiring warhorses Walt Dziedzic in the 1st and Alice Rainville in the 4th (the front-runner is Rainville's daughter, Barb Johnson). Yet, it's shaping up to be a busy
campaign season--especially when
you throw in the propensity of Minneapolis activists to cross the river and meddle in St. Paul mayoral and City Council races. Not to mention the possibility of Barbara Carlson making good on the threat she issued in her farewell radio show: "Maybe I should get back into the game." CP
We recently paged through the classic cookbook How to Eat Better for Less Moneyby James Beard and Sam Aaron and landed on instructions on how to "Stock an Emergency Shelf." We'll never look at our meager cupboards the same:
"The following list is to be regarded merely as a check for things to have on hand. It includes the foods I like to keep on my shelves and have found most useful. Add to or subtract from it according to your taste, budget, and storage space."
Chili con carne 2 cans
Chili with beans 2 cans
Corned beef 4 cans
Corned-beef hash 2 cans
Ham, deviled 2 cans
Ham, whole 2 cans
Tongue 1 can
You should also have on hand a selection of dried sausages, such as salami, cervelat, and summer sausage, that will keep indefinitely. Snack sausages like pepperoni and the Spanish chorizo are also good to stock in the refrigerator and can be used for cooking.