Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dibble — Hornstein Letter On Freight Train Route For Southwest LRT

On September 26, State Sen. Scott Dibble and State Rep. Frank Hornstein sent the attached letter to Susan Haigh, chair of the Metropolitan Council, commenting on the proposed Southwest light rail route.  This letter was referred to in a Star Tribune article on September 27 (see earlier post).  Dibble and Hornstein say, in effect, that the Met Council has not gotten good advice on the re-routing of rail freight lines and that the whole subject should be re-visited.


Rybak Criticizes Proposed Freight Re-Route for Southwest LRT

On September 20, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak sent the attached letter about the Southwest light rail route to Met Council Chair Susan Haigh.  Rybak urged further consideration of alternate routes for freight trains to minimize impacts on the Kenilworth Corridor and the city of St. Louis Park.


Legislators add pressure to move freight trains for Southwest LRT

The following article by Pat Doyle was published September 27 in the Star Tribune:

Legislators add pressure to move freight trains for Southwest LRT


Transportation committee leaders criticize a decision to vote on key elements of the Southwest Corridor project without further study.

Warning that the future of the metro area’s biggest light-rail project is at stake, key legislators Thursday urged the agency in charge to look for new ways to route freight rail traffic out of Minneapolis to make way for the transit line and mollify critics.

State Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFLers from Minneapolis who lead the Legislature’s transportation finance committees, said the decision this week by Metropolitan Council Chairwoman Susan Haigh to end a search for alternative routes “will result in significant delays and may very seriously imperil” the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.

They urged Haigh to postpone critical votes scheduled in the next two weeks so that other options for dealing with the freight trains can be more fully explored.

“No decision should be made until the questions are answered and these issues are resolved,” they said in a letter to Haigh.

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Arvonne Fraser: Re-think Ranked-Choice Voting

The following letter-to-the-editor by Arvonne Fraser was published in a recent issue of the Star-tribune:


The fact that there’s a tryout is telling

Something is wrong when the process of voting is made so complex that Minneapolis has to buy new voting machines and host lunch-hour educational sessions to explain the process. The Star Tribune’s well-meaning explanatory editorial (“Try ranked-choice before Nov. 5 voting,” Sept. 13): laments the fact that few people show up for these educational sessions and urges us to bone up on this new ranked-choice voting system.

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Park Worker / Board Candidate Fired Over Lost Funds

The following article by Bill McAuliffe was published in the September 20, 2013 issue of the Star Tribune:



A Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board youth specialist backed by Mayor R.T. Rybak in his run for a seat on the board was fired from his job last month after being unable to account for $3,800 in soccer field rentals, according to board documents.

Hashim Yonis, who accompanied Rybak last year to meet President Obama for recognition of a Minneapolis youth jobs and mentoring program, was dismissed Aug. 23, two weeks after filing to run for one of three at-large seats on the Park Board.

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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.”

The following topics are some of the agenda highlights:

–Resolution Amending Professional Services Agreement #C-36040 with Tom Leader Studio/Kennedy Violich Architecture for Schematic Design of RiverFirst Priority Projects in the Amount of $35,000 for a New Contract Total of $811,033.

–STUDY/REPORT ITEM: Visioning ideas for 4 areas: River, Downtown, Stadium, other (neighborhood/other parks)

–STUDY/REPORT ITEM: Pros/cons associated with various funding devices: Tax Liens, Referendum, Conservancy, Naming Rights

The complete agenda, with staff reports, for the MPRB Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday September 18, 2013 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.

View Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast Cable. You may also view live meetings online on the Channel 79 webpage:

Regular meetings are typically re-telecast on Channel 79 on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m. Telecast schedules are subject to change.

Webcasts of MPRB regular board meetings are posted on the MPRB website two to five business days following each meeting and are available for viewing, along with webcasts for the recent two months, at

Board meeting agendas and related information are posted on www.minneapolisparks.orgtwo business days prior to meetings.

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

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch


The following item by Nick Halter was published in the August 29, 2013 issue of the Southwest Journal:


Lots of challengers emerged in the final days of filing for public office, announcing runs for Minneapolis Park Board this November.

The most competitive race will be for the three at-large seats that are elected citywide.

One of the incumbents, Bob Fine, decided to instead run for mayor. Now, 10 candidates are vying for the three seats.

John Erwin and Annie Young are incumbents. Tom Nordyke is a former Park Board president and got the DFL endorsement along with Erwin and Fine.

Also running are Meg Forney and Jason Stone, who lost Park Board elections in 2009.

The field is rounded out by Hashim Yonis, Mary Lynn McPherson, Steve Barland, Casper Hill and Ishmael Israel.

Hill works for the city of Minneapolis communications department.

In the Park Board’s sixth district in Southwest, incumbent Brad Bourn is facing Josh Neiman. Bourn got the DFL endorsement. Neiman’s father and grandfather were Park Board commissioners.

In the fourth district, incumbent Anita Tabb faces Bobby Davis.

Roberts Bird Sanctuary Management Plan Open House

The following item has been issued by the Park Board:

Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary Management Plan Open House Sept. 12

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is hosting a public meeting to review the sanctuary’s management plan, proposed trail improvements and capital improvement program opportunities.

The meeting will be held Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary Shelter:

4124 Roseway Road

Minneapolis, MN 55409

612 230-6400

Public Contact:

Debra Lynn Pilger

Director, Environmental Management

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board