Monthly Archives: September 2015

Joe Soucheray: If We’re Going to Rename Lake Calhoun, Where Does It All End?

The following article by Joe Soucheray was published in the Pioneer Press on June 23, 2015.

Joe Soucheray: If We’re Going to Rename Lake Calhoun, Where Does It All End?

Joe Soucheray


Removing the Confederate flag, as it might be flown adjacent to the state Capitol in Columbia, S.C., is not at all problematic and does not at all attempt to be a sanitization of anything, much less our shared American history. We have a flag. The American flag serves South Carolina as it does Minnesota or any other state.

Calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol in Columbia have intensified since it was discovered that the latest devil in our midst, Dylann Storm Roof, featured a Confederate flag license plate and other Confederate flag paraphernalia, the likes of which Walmart will stop selling. If that was our only flag, the implications of its removal would be complicated and highly suspicious of rewriting history.

But it is an adjunct flag, superfluous, mindful only of a divide.

We have a flag. Problem solved.

Now, as a result of the same evil force who shot up the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the spire of which is seen from everywhere in Charleston, local activists want to change the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. That is a problem.

Want a safe SWLRT? Write City Council THIS WEEK

The following item was posted on Next Door by Sally Rousse of Bryn Mawr.

Want a safe SWLRT?  Write City Council THIS WEEK 

There’s still hope for a better, safer SWLRT: Write or call City Council members THIS WEEK.
I attending the hearing at City Hall this past week and even though the subcommittee voted (3 of 5) in favor of forwarding the project to the entire City Council for municipal consent vote, one former “yes” became an abstainer. If his vote could change to a full “no” and there are 3 more who switch to “no”, municipal consent will be denied. SWLRT needs full municipal support from all five cities along the corridor. Denying consent will send a message to the FTA and the legislature and Hennepin County that the dangers of co-locating crude-oil-carrying freight along the 1.5 mile pinch point within the vulnerable Chain of Lakes where there is already contaminated soil and dewatering predicted alongside LRT will not be tolerated. Today, yet another derailment and fire in South Dakota. (see article way below)

Please, take the time to write or call each and every one of the 13 council members NOW, before next friday, September 25th, when the final vote occurs. Even if all you say is “please deny municipal consent, vote no.”

Statement by Sarai Brenner Opposing SWLRT Co-location

The following statement by Sarai Brenner opposing freight and light-rail co-location in the Kenilworth Corridor was presented at the Municipal Consent Public Heating on September 15, 2015.

Statement by Sarai Brenner Opposing SWLRT Co-location

I’m not going to talk to you directly about why you should not give your consent to SWLRT, about the inadequacy of the SDEIS or the dangers of COLOCATION with running highly volatile hazardous ethanol freight immediately adjacent to 35 foot construction pits or electrified trains. I won’t even talk to you about the vote, for I’m skeptical enough to believe that each of your votes will be exactly the same as it was in the previous round of municipal consent. Instead, I want to talk to you about how cynical I and many citizens of Minneapolis feel about the political process that has led us to this point.

We thought you stood with us. We thought that you represented us. Instead, you traded our safety and security in a dirty back room deal for some other favor that the MET Council, an undemocratic unelected body of government had the power to grant. I used to be an idealist, believing in the power of what was right and just in the process of democracy, but this political process has been so vulgar so disgusting.

It makes some fight harder, but it also makes many more just give up. If it weren’t for a single politician, I might be one of those who just give up, but fortunately, we have Minnesota Congressman Hornstein who’s willing to discuss the very real dangers of running 100+ unit trains of ethanol and crude oil alongside LRT and underneath the Twins stadium – We don’t even allow a single high hazard tanker semi with about 7000 gals of gas to go through the Loring tunnel but allow a 100+ unit freight train with 2,000,000 gallons to go underneath the Twins stadium.

We elect you to be our advocates, to protect us. Today, my expectations are low which really just breaks my heart. It breaks so many citizens of Minneapolis’ heart. Surprise us by being our advocates and voting no colocation.

Sarai Brenner

Heads-Up for the September 23, 2015 Park Board Meeting

4:30 P.M.  CLOSED SESSION for Discussion Regarding Proposed Workers Compensation Settlement and Proposed Settlement Agreement for 22 on the River

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.  Visitors to Park Board meetings can find at the back of the meeting room the agenda book with all the printed materials for the meeting

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”

Listed below are some agenda items of interest:

Continue reading

Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins Approve Scaled-back SWLRT Plans

The following article by Janet Moore was published in the September 16, 2015 edition of the Star Tribune.

Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins Approve Scaled-back SWLRT Plans


The Kenilworth Trail alongside a current freight train track that has been a proposed route for the Southwest Corridor light-rail line.

The Kenilworth Trail alongside a current freight train track that has been a proposed route for the Southwest Corridor light-rail line.

The scaled-down plans move through second approvals.

Three cities along the Southwest light-rail line have approved scaled-back plans for the controversial $1.77 billion transit project this week.

The public hearings and council votes were prompted by changes to the 14 ½-mile line, which will connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie beginning in 2020. Adjustments were necessary because the project’s budget ballooned last spring, prompting $250 million in cuts to get the line back on track.

State law requires that Hennepin County and the cities along the line — Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie — approve the changes and hold public hearings, after undergoing a similar process last year.

To continue reading, click on the link to the StarTribune

Regarding the SWLRT Minneapolis Municipal Consent Hearing

The following commentary by Chris Johnson was posted on the Minneapolis Issues List
( on September 17, 2015.  Chris Johnson is a Fulton resident and a Co-founder of Park Watch.

Regarding the SWLRT Minneapolis Municipal Consent Hearing

From what I’ve read, it appears the fix is in for Minneapolis giving Municipal Consent. Minneapolis CMs have even said as much. How does that happen? If they’re worried about safety or any of the myriad of other problems with the Kenilworth route, why not withhold Consent? Is the fear of retribution by suburbs that great?
Continue reading

Reminder: Final city-wide Closing the Gap meetings resume next week

the Gap

Reminder: Final city-wide Closing the Gap meetings resume next week

Residents invited to help plan the future of
Minneapolis Parks

On Monday, Sept. 21, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold the next series of city-wide meetings to share information and gather feedback on what may be the most comprehensive planning effort in its 130 year history. Minneapolis residents are encouraged to get involved and help the MPRB with three distinct, yet deeply intertwined projects: Closing the Gap: Investing in our Neighborhood Parks, RecQuest, and Service Area Master Plans.

RecQuest and Service Area Master Plans focus on what Minneapolis residents want in parks over the next 25 to 30 years. Closing the Gap is about funding these needs.

The final “wrap-up” meetings will continue throughout September.

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Read the full news release on our website.

Reminder: CAC Meetings for Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan

The following notice has been issued by the Park Board.

Reminder: CAC Meetings for Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan and Improvements will be meeting twice before the end of September:

  • Meeting #3 – Monday, September 21 6:30–8:30 pm
  • Meeting #4 – Tuesday, September 29, 6:30–8:30 pm

Both meetings will be held in the Centrum Room of the Jones Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

There will be an Open House at the Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S, Thursday evening, October 1 to review the material from both September CAC meetings.

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Learn more about the project on our website.