Monthly Archives: May 2006

Kevin Kling Joins River Roots Revue


SUNDAY, MAY 21, 5 to 10 PM

Press Contact: Georgia Gould-Lyle, 763-546-8715

“Nicollet Island is everyone’s backyard. … To have a place in the center of Minneapolis where you can hear the wind blow and the river roll by is a treasure.”

— Louise Erdrich, Star Tribune, May 10, 2006

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, MAY 10, 2006) Storyteller Kevin Kling will appear at the “River Roots Revue,”? a fundraising party on Sunday, May 21, 2006, from 5:00 to 10:00 PM, with a host of performers, four dance bands, a silent auction and free carriage rides at the Van Dusen Center, 1900 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis. For information call 612-874-1900 or go to Suggested donations are $25, $50 and $100.

Kling is a noted performer and writer who describes his Zodiac sign as “Minnesota with Iowa Rising.”? He is best known for his regular storytelling contributions to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

Other entertainers include fiddle and mandolin player Peter Ostroushko, folk performers Bill Hinkley & Judy Larson, singer Prudence Johnson, pianist Dan Chouinard, singer Leslie Ball, comedian Ari Hoptman, performance artist Patrick Scully, keyboardist George Maurer and many more.

The River Roots Revue will raise funds to assess the impact of DeLaSalle High School’s intention to build a football stadium on this small island in the Mississippi River by the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Closing of the eastern half of two-block Grove Street has been proposed to make way for the stadium. However, the loss of east Grove Street would endanger the 19th-century neighborhood, where residents rely on access to the only bridge over a busy railroad crossing. Closing Grove Street would also block a vital route for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.

Over 50 trains* cross the island daily, and the number will increase to 80 trains if the Northstar commuter rail corridor goes through. Trains obstruct the crossing on two of three available streets, Island Avenues West and East. With the east end of Grove Street sealed, there would be no eastern access to the third road, Nicollet Street, which bridges the railroad. (Note the street map of Nicollet Island.)

Grove Street was recently named among Minnesota’s “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places,” making this the second consecutive year the Preservation Alliance has put the stadium’s threat to Nicollet Island among the state’s most urgent.

Ticket purchases and donations to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota help save historic Grove Street and protect Nicollet Island’s public parkland, and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


* “BNSF train traffic is 50+ trains per day thru this area.” — Spencer D. Arndt, assistant director, public projects, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, in a Nov. 21, 2005 official comment letter to the City of Minneapolis.

Star Tribune: Louise Erdrich: Preserve this island's rare character

“Instead of giving it over to a high school playing field, think what this precious site can teach students today.” World-renown Minnesota writer Louise Erdich writes in her commentary in the Star Tribune today:

The decision whether or not to build a football field on Nicollet Island is not a NIMBY issue, it is everyone’s issue, for Nicollet Island is everyone’s backyard. Although I do not live near, I walk the quiet streets and sit by the river when I need peace. Often, I take family along, and every time a person comes to visit, I bring them to see Nicollet Island because of its rare charm. To have a place in the center of Minneapolis where you can hear the wind blow and the river roll by is a treasure.

I was a football fan in high school when our North Dakota team won the state championship — I was even a cheerleader. It was a lot of fun, but I can’t say I learned vital lessons or even think about it anymore. What I do think about was the time my history teacher took us to the banks of the Sheyenne River. We dug petrified buffalo fossils, thousands of years old. I have mine to this day, on my writing desk. A piece of life caught in time.

What I am saying is this: If a school really, truly, wants to use this site to improve the character of its students, use it to think about and reconstruct our city’s extraordinary history. Learn what Nicollet Island was, first to its Native inhabitants, the Dakota and the Ojibwe who settled and traded there, and then to the boom town of St. Anthony. Digging on Nicollet Island should require an archeological team, a permit, and many years of thought. But students could study it right now.

Read the entire story on the Star Tribune website, here.

Grove Street, Nicollet Island on 10 Most Endangered List

On Thursday, May 4, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota announced their 13th annual list of the state’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Places. Included on the list was Grove Street on Nicollet Island. Grove Street, built in 1865, is among the oldest streets in Minneapolis. But the elite, private DeLaSalle High School is turning the thumbscrews on every Minneapolis politician it can corner in an effort to build a football stadium on top of that street, wiping it and the adjoining parkland into fading memory.

The Preservation Alliance website has the full details.

Steve Scott of the Pioneer Press reports on the endangered places and the Preservation Alliance.

MPR also did a story on the list.

The Star Tribune’s Linda Mack wrote a story about it in the May 5 edition.

Not content with just strong-arming politicians, the hypocrites at DeLaSalle also bullied Garrison Keillor into withdrawing from a charitable performance in support of preserving the Minneapolis riverfront by threatening to disrupt the midwest premier of the movie “Prairie Home Companion.”