Monthly Archives: July 2012

Heads-Up for the August 1, 2012 Park Board Meeting


5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The meeting will be held in the boardroom at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road, just north of Broadway Pizza.

5:30 P.M. OPEN TIME. Speakers can call 612-230-6400 before 3:00 p.m. the day of the meeting to sign up or they can sign up at the Board meeting prior to the start of “Open Time.”

Some agenda items of interest are:

–Requesting the Board of Estimate and Taxation Set the Maximum Certified Tax Levy for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for the Year 2013

–Amending the Board Rules

–Superintendent Goals Discussion

The complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 is at

Also of interest and now available to the commissioners and the public are the monthly reports that Superintendent Miller has initiated for construction permits and for Planning Department projects. The availability of these reports is one of the important changes instituted by Superintendent Miller. Look for the links to these reports under Petitions and Communications in the agenda for the first Regular Meeting of the month.

MPRB meetings are telecast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at

The regular meetings are retelecast on Channel 79 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Webcasts for the recent two months are posted two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing under “Webcast Archives” at

The Park Board’s website is The phone number is 612-230-6400.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

Lake Nokomis Restaurant Decision Not Unanimous


The following is a reader’s comment posted on-line regarding the Strib article about the Lake Nokomis CAC’s decision for a new food vendor at Lake Nokomis.


The decision for a really cool and gentrified concession eatery was NOT unanymous.~~~~~ A number of questions in the financial realm still remain. ~~~~ These will need to be considered by the full park board before the final decision is made…including the future RISK Factors to the taxpayer and park user. —————~~~~~ A recommendation was made to have the first year vendor’s ‘rent’ to the park board of ___ $144,000 ___ be used by the park board for landscape improvements around the new rennovated concession facility.~~~~ That’s a taxpayer —NOT a vendor—investment of _____$144,000___ that’s **AT RISK** if this venture does NOT fulfill expectations. ~~~~~~that $144,000 could be used for kids programming and other VITAL park services ~~~~ It’s not like the park board has alot of financial ‘infallibility’ in the past —-what with a number of its public private partnerships havinge shown major problems eding in a loss or bail out.~~~~~~ Hopefully it will work out. If not, guess who pays. ? Anyone notice— this comes from a standard park board press release…without any attribution or followup ?

New Food Vendor for Lake Nokomis

The following article was published in the July 28, 2012 issue of the Star Tribune:


Lake Nokomis may feature a healthy and sustainable food concession if plans move forward for a new vendor.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Community Advisory Committee for the project chose Sandcastle as its preferred concession plan on July 26 and will recommend it to the Board of Commissioners Sept. 5.

Sandcastle, proposed by husband and wife Doug Flicker and Amy Greeley, would feature affordable healthy and locally produced fare, and also aims to be a near-zero waste establishment.

It was chosen from among three proposals. Flicker runs Piccolo, a restaurant near Lake Harriet. He has been in the Minneapolis restaurant business for 25 years.

Plans for a new vendor started after the concession building at Lake Nokomis stopped meeting health standards and closed for the past two seasons.

After the Sept. 5 meeting, the Park Board expects to make a final decision Sept. 19. They plan to have the concession ready to open in April 2013.

Committee Makes Recommendation for Lake Nokomis

The following press release has been issued by the Park Board on July 27. Omitted from this release is the fact that this proposal–unlike other Park Board vendors Tin Fish, SeaSalt and Bread and Pickle–is predicated on a 10-year lease. Leases for Tin Fish, SeaSalt and Bread and Pickle were of a shorter duration. The Park Board has not been granting long term leases.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch



The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) process to select a new food vendor for operation of the Lake Nokomis concession moved one step closer Thursday, July 26, after the project’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) chose a preferred vendor to recommend to the Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 5 meeting.

The CAC received and evaluated three vendor proposals from local restaurant and business owners before choosing Sandcastle as its preference for operation of the Lake Nokomis concession.

The Sandcastle proposal was submitted by husband and wife team Doug Flicker and Amy Greeley.

Flicker has been in the restaurant business in Minneapolis for 25 years. His current restaurant, Piccolo, is located near Lake Nokomis.

Based on evaluations, the CAC favored Sandcastle for various reasons, including its menu featuring healthy food choices at affordable prices, ability to provide a neighborhood amenity, environmentally sustainable business approach, and potential of providing increased income to the MPRB.

“The CAC’s choice of Sandcastle will be an exciting addition and good fit for Lake Nokomis users and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Carol Kummer, MPRB Fifth Park District Commissioner. “I want to thank the community for taking part in the process over the past six months and a special thank you to the CAC members for all their hard work.”

The public process in determining a vendor included both online and on-site surveys, five CAC meetings and public input during the CAC meetings. On Sept. 5, the CAC plans to present its recommendations to MPRB Commissioners and a public hearing will be held. Final Board approval is anticipated at the Sept. 19 meeting. The MPRB aims to execute a contract with a selected vendor by Sept. 30, 2012 with the concession ready for operation in April 2013.

Watch Olympics Coverage at the Lake Harriet Band Shell


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Xfinity are teaming up to present KARE 11’s coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games at the iconic Lake Harriet Band Shell. Coverage will run six nights per week from July 28 through Aug. 11. The band shell is located at 4135 Lake Harriet Parkway.

Olympics coverage will air from 9:30 to 11 p.m. each evening at the band shell, immediately following the renowned Music in the Parks series, and will be televised on a 25’ x 13’ jumbo screen. Cheer on your favorite athletes as they go for gold in London! Pack a late night snack or come down early and grab a treat from Bread & Pickle restaurant. It’s a fun-filled evening of great music and action-packed Olympics excitement for the entire family!

For more details, visit

Video of M P R B 's Vote to Support F E R C 's Termination of Crown Hydro's License


Here’s a link, courtesy of the Mill City Times, to a video excerpt of the July 11, 2012 Park Board meeting which shows the commissioners voting to support FERC’S termination of Crown Hydro’s license.

M P R B Letter to F E R C Re: Termination of Crown Hydro


On July 19, 2012 the MPRB submitted a letter to FERC supporting the termination of Crown Hydro’s license. Here is the letter’s introduction:


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (“Park Board”) supports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC”) proposed Termination of License by Implied Surrender for Crown Hydro, LLC’s (“Crown Hydro”) proposed hydroelectric facility, Project Number 11175. FERC’S action is completely justified under the implied surrender doctrine as articulated in Lichoulas v. F.E.R.C., 606 F.3d 769 (2010) and the facts of the case. In March of 1999, FERC issued a license to Crown Hydro to construct a hydroelectric facility. Thirteen years later the project has not even begun. Simply put, the time has come to end this project and terminate the license.”

Attached is a copy of the complete seven page letter submitted to FERC by the MPRB’S legal counsel, Brian Rice.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch


M P R B Adopts Resolution Regarding Termination of Crown Hydro


The Park Board adopted Resolution 2012-230 regarding Crown Hydro at its July 11, 2012 Park Board meeting:

“Resolution Directing Legal Counsel to Submit Comments to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Supporting Termination of Crown Hydro’s License to Construct Crown Mill Hydroelectric Project”

AYES: Erwin, Wielinski, Bourn, Tabb, Vreeland

NAYS: Bob Fine, Carol Kummer

ABSENT: Jon Olson, Annie Young

M P R B Increases Public Boat Launch Inspections Beginning July 13, 2012

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has issued the following item:


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) increased efforts to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Minneapolis’ celebrated lakes kicks off on Friday, July 13.
On that date, inspections will be required for any boats or water-related equipment launching from the public boat launches on Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis. Sailboats moored on the lakes, or canoes and kayaks entering the water from storage racks or other access points are not affected, and watercraft may exit the lakes through the public boat launch at any time without penalty.


Launches will be open and inspectors on duty at each boat launch during the times of the day and days of the week that people are most likely to launch boats. These hours are:

•Monday through Thursday: 6 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.

•Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“These steps are in line with what the Park Board has done – and will continue to do – to protect our cities’ natural resources,” said John Erwin, MPRB president. “Whether we’re talking about Eurasian water milfoil and Asian carp or buckthorn and emerald ash borer, we will do what we have to, to ensure that that our park system will be around for future generations to enjoy.���

While the lakes are already affected by some AIS, including Eurasian water milfoil, there are still many species, with far worse impacts, that can be prevented from entering and harming the lakes.

Minneapolis Park Board and Invasive Species

In 2012, the MPRB will spend nearly $3 million on initiatives to prevent or manage invasive species. The Park Board’s efforts include the placement of Emerald ash borer traps, treating, removing and replacing trees infected with Dutch elm disease and harvesting and removing Eurasian water milfoil from the swimming and recreation areas in six lakes. Additionally, thousands of volunteer hours are spent to hand remove buckthorn, mustard garlic and purple loosestrife. The Board of Commissioners also restricted lock use on the Mississippi River to its river boat cruise vendor to slow the spread of Asian carp.

Erwin noted that the measures approved by the Board at their June 20 meeting are for the 2012 season only. Over the next six months, Park Board staff will seek input from the public, including representatives from nearby neighborhoods and the boating, fishing and sailing communities, the DNR and other interested groups to help draft a final policy for 2013 and beyond. In mid-August, an online feedback survey will be available through the Park Board’s website. Additionally, a public comment line is available at 612-313-7782. Anyone interested in participating in public meetings regarding the AIS prevention policy can sign up for updates at

Inspectors from the MPRB and the Minnesota DNR have been inspecting boats and educating boaters on AIS prevention measures at its public boat launches since early May.


Boaters entering the water through the public boat launch on Calhoun, Harriet and Nokomis during non-staffed hours may be cited and fined by Minneapolis Park Police.

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water, from water bodies infested with aquatic invasives. Violators could face fines up to $1,000.

The inspection hours will run through September 30, 2012.