Don't Think Twice...

This is a hard day for me. Today is my last day with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. 
I started on June 2, 2014, about 7 weeks before our third kid was born. Now 8, our Beatrix has grown up knowing me tucked into and toiling away in a corner basement office called "Marcy-Holmes." It's actually First Congregational Church, but give her a break. She's 8. Well, almost 8. Beatrix has grown up being surrounded by office walls, business cards, and stationery with a wide variety of Marcy-Holmes lettering.
Here she is, helping me stuff MHNA fundraising envelopes in mid 2020, when we were all still reeling and dealing with the first months of the pandemic.

Although our older two children were not often as helpful, Hazel and Julius were truly raised in Marcy-Holmes as well. They remember the "old bridge" that we used to walk across when I picked them up from Miniapple Montessori on 5th and 12th.
I used to cajole Hazel to add visual interest to some of the thousands of photographs I've taken throughout the neighborhood. 
All 3 wandered around and collected rocks under the Stone Arch Bridge when the river was temporarily drained in 2020.
They were just mimicking, albeit at an earlier age, how I think I got my street smarts in Dinkytown at 17...starting when I first moved here in 1993. My first real cup of coffee was at the Purple Onion (yeah, the Real One on the corner of 14th and 4th).
My pizza came from the lame Rocky Rococo on 14th:
My clothes came from the Ragstock at 315 14th Avenue SE:

My art supplies came from downstairs, while my school supplies came from Nelson's:

My cigarettes came from Gray's.
My most important friends came from the smoking section (the only section) of Espresso 22 in the Dinkydome (none of you need to see those pictures). 
I'm not entirely convinced there was another version of Dinkytown before my time in the early 1990s. DId something happen before? 
But I didn't just start a boring old job (you wouldn't believe my original job description)  on June 2, 2014. I started a wild ride with many of you. On my first day, I was asked by the Honorable Melissa Bean to attend a "Garden Party" in an alley a few blocks away from the office. I wasn't entirely thrilled to return to a work function later in the day, but I had to make a good impression on the new boss. I arrived, and was promptly told to walk down the alley—to face the Waldorf and Statler of the neighborhood.
I was to be interrogated like I was a target of a Blade Runner's inquiry
And that's when I met Doug Carlson (All Honor to His Name), and Ted Tucker (that guy). I wouldn't say we hit it off immediately. There was a fair amount of skepticism, curiosity, and plain ol' mocking going on. Toward me. I walked back to Melissa, reporting that I think I did "okay," unsure if I truly survived. 
Ted Waldorf and Doug Statler, my weak, left hand on the right of the frame
June 2, 2014
But Doug and Ted, despite being leagues apart in so many ways, ended up being my staunchest allies. Doug would always give me those stupid endorsements on LinkedIn, and Ted, well, he still thinks LinkedIn is nonsense. But like Melissa, I think Ted figured I did somewhat have a grasp on the pleasantly intense beast that is Marcy-Holmes. They would invite me to lunch every week and would wait to see if I would order alcohol with them. I knew better than to drink around these two judgers.
I have a thousand and a half people that I should thank for believing in me, but I'd really be nowhere in this organization without the guidance, mentorship, and camaraderie of Melissa Bean and Ted Tucker. I have to throw Vic in here as well.
Ted and I got each other through the first and worst winter of COVID, drinking under odd heat lamps while seated in his cold ass chairs and fake heat blankets:
But we also socially distanced our companionship in the heat too:
And if you're still reading these emails, Bob Stableski, I'm forever in your debt and you're always in my mind whenever I create a new system of doing things.
I'd truly be lost without my original guy, Bob Cooper. My respect and admiration for you is without bounds.
A final note:
I intentionally chose to write this note about the impact that this neighborhood has made on me and the rest of my family. I didn't want to talk about programs, projects, task forces or committees. I have no continuing input on those things. But I do want to ask that you support the staff I put in place over the past 5 months. Harper and Hannah are competent and capable individuals who care about doing a good job. Amy Arcand, your new Interim Executive Director, will help lead this organization into its next phase of governance and administration. Amy knows what she is doing.
Be well - 
Christopher J. Lautenschlager
Outgoing Executive Director
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The Falls Initiative Community Conversations


Friends of the Falls and the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) are partnering with the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to consider the future of the Upper Lock at Owámniyomni (meaning “turbulent waters” in the Dakota language), St. Anthony Falls. The lock closed to commercial navigation in 2015 and now presents an opportunity to not only restore public access to the river, but to create a place of healing and celebration that acknowledges the past and advances a more equitable and inclusive future.

Attend an upcoming Community Conversation to connect with Native leaders, the design team, and neighbors and discuss topics like restoration, programming, connectivity, and economic opportunity.

The first session will be held virtually on February 15 from 5-7pm. Robert Lilligren, Carrie Day Aspinwall and Karen Diver will be joined by Native Partnership Council members Jewell Arcoren, Juanita Espinosa and Wakinyan LaPointe to discuss how we can approach this project from an Indigenous perspective. 

We invite all in our Minneapolis community to join the conversation and shape the future of the Falls.


About the panelists:

  • Robert Lilligren is President and CEO of NACDI, an appointed member of the Metropolitan Council and Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID). He is enrolled in the White Earth Ojibwe Nation.
  • Carrie Day Aspinwall, CDA Enterprises, facilitates meetings of the Native Partnership Council. Previously Carrie engaged residents, stakeholders and institutions across Minneapolis’ seventy-one neighborhoods in her role with the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. Carrie is an enrolled citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe/Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
  • Karen Diver is currently serving as the Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs at the University of Minnesota after previous roles at the University of Arizona and the College of St. Scholastica. Karen was also an appointee of President Obama as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs, and she served as Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from 2007-2015.
  • Jewell Arcoren is a ‘change agent’ and community activist. She is currently serving as Executive Director for Wicoie Nandagikendan and is committed to Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization at the early childhood level. Jewell is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Nation.
  • Juanita G. Corbine Espinosa is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota with blood lines that connect to the Ojibwe of Lac Courte Oreilles in Wisconsin and Turtle Mountain Ojibwe in North Dakota. Juanita is a dedicated community organizer, currently working at the University of Minnesota-Department of Medicine Northern Range Satellite Center. She coordinates with 10 institutions across the US focused on American Indian research.
  • Wakinyan Skye LaPointe is Sicangu Lakota, an Indigenous Human Rights advocate, and Co-Convener of the Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Water Decade. He centers Lakota knowledge, language, and ways of life in his work across human rights, working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and youth.


The Falls Initiative: Community Conversations

February 15 – A Story Disrupted: Indigenous Perspectives

March 16 – Relationships with the River: Water is Life

April 12 – Restoring a Story Disrupted: What Can This Place Become?

May 21 – Building Connections

June 15 – A Powerful Place for Partnerships

Register to attend the February 15 event here:

And learn more about future Community Conversations at

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Notice of a Public Hearing: Top Ten Liquors

Notice of Public Hearing

All public hearings shall be conducted by telephonic or other electronic means to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 13D.021. The public may watch the live broadcast on Comcast (Channels 14 or 799) or live stream on City Council TV at  

DBA: Top Ten Liquors

Purpose:  To gather public opinion and solicit comments regarding the application from Top Ten Liquors for an Off Sale Liquor license. If approved, they intend to operate a 10,000 square foot retail liquor store. Their hours will be Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Date:   February 15, 2022
Time:  1:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter

Applicant's Name (Legal Entity):  Yayin Katan, LLC
Complete Address:  1440 5th Street Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Telephone Number:  TBD

Current License(s):  None
Requested License(s):  Off Sale Liquor

Zoning District:  BFC6 / Corridor 6 Built Form Overlay District, C3A / Community Activity Center District, PO / Pedestrian Oriented Overlay District, UA / University Area Overlay District

Neighborhood and Ward:  Marcy Holmes/3

Hours of OperationMonday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This application is subject to final approval of all ordinance requirements which may include zoning, health, criminal background, and financial reviews.  You are invited to express your opinions and/or submit such in writing by contacting Inspector Kristina Stichter at 612-673-2593 or [email protected]  If you would like to participate in the public hearing by telephone, instructions are on the City Clerk’s website:

Request accessible format: If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.  People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 or 612-673-3000.   

Information in Other Languages:  Para asistencia 612-673-2700. Rau kev pab 612-673-2800. Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.


If you cannot attend this public hearing but would like to give feedback, you can download this form and submit it to Inspector
Kristina Stichter.

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Free sand for sidewalks

You can get sand for your sidewalk at these locations

• 6036 Harriet Ave. S. (on W. 60th St. between Lyndale and Harriet)

• 1809 Washington St. NE (at 18th and Jefferson)

• E. 27th St. (just east of Longfellow Ave. near the Public Works gate)

• 2710 Pacific St. (outside the main Public Works gate between 27th and 28th Aves. N.)



Locations are open 24 hours a day. 


  1. Free sand is for Minneapolis residents only
  2. You're limited to one five-gallon bucket

Salt to sand ratio

We add salt to the sand to prevent freezing. The ratio is up to 25% salt and 75% or more sand.

Come prepared

You must bring your own pail and shovel.

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Father Hennepin Bluff Park will undergo major renovation in 2022

A new performance stage and seasonal restroom building next to the Stone Arch Bridge is part of the project

Project includes new stage, seasonal restroom building and improvements to park entry, paths, lights, wayfinding, landscaping and stormwater management

On Wednesday, January 19, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Commissioners approved a construction contract to renovate and improve Father Hennepin Bluff Park. The project includes:

  • A new performance stage and attached seasonal restroom facility
  • New park entry plaza spaces
  • Upgraded lights, path connections, wayfinding signage and trail markings
  • Landscape and stormwater management improvements

Follow the link below to view the project design and some illustrations of the new stage/restroom facility:

Father Hennepin Bluff Park Improvements Design [PDF]


Some initial work will occur in the park this winter to set the stage for full-scale construction beginning in the spring. Most of the park will be under construction starting Spring 2022, with work expected to be complete in Fall 2022.

Park Access

At this point there are no plans to fully close access to the park during construction, but please stay away from areas that are fenced off or where construction is happening. Construction updates will be sent periodically throughout the year with information on park access. Visit the Father Hennepin Bluff Park Improvements project page and sign up for email updates to stay informed.

There are two other public infrastructure projects in the area that may impact park access:

The Metropolitan Council is performing nearby sewer repair that closed Main Street SE to motorized traffic between Merriam Street and 3rd Avenue SE beginning Jan. 3, 2022 through April 2022. Please visit the Minneapolis East Interceptor Rehabilitation project page for more information.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) is planning to begin a project to repair the Stone Arch Bridge in 2022. That project may include short-term closures of the bridge and impacts to park access through 2024. Please visit the MNDOT Stone Arch Bridge project page for more details.

Environmental Impact

Throughout the design process and during construction, the MPRB coordinates efforts to preserve as much of the existing tree canopy at the park as possible. This coordination will result in many trees being preserved, however, some tree removal is unavoidable to safely complete these park improvements. 

This project will also improve stormwater management at the park and reduce untreated runoff into the Mississippi River.

Stay Informed

Visit the Father Hennepin Bluff Improvements project page to learn more about the project and sign up for email updates to stay informed. Updates will be sent via email and posted on MPRB social media channels throughout construction.

To learn more about this project and others, visit



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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Share your input on draft neighborhood traffic calming process

Minneapolis Public Works wants your input on a new process we are proposing to address traffic safety concerns and traffic calming requests on neighborhood streets. The process provides a way for community members to request traffic calming and for Public Works to review those requests fairly, transparently, and equitably. 

The proposed process for neighborhood traffic calming seeks to provide a process that:

• better considers the overall network;

• is data-driven and transparent; and

• is more equitable.

An overview of the new neighborhood traffic calming process is available here

You can find additional details about the proposal here, including the link for sharing comments. The city is accepting comments on the draft through January 31,2022.

After reviewing feedback, Public Works will finalize the process early in 2022. The city will share final details on how you can request traffic calming in the spring.

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Take the Marcy-Holmes Traffic-Calming Survey


The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association's Infrastructure Committee is collecting preliminary feedback from its residents, business and property owners, workers, and guests about traffic calming possibilities within the neighborhood.

Feedback gathered here will be a first—but certainly not last—step to gathering ideas on possible projects (both small and large) over the next 3 years. This survey doesn't have an end date, we are accepting submissions continually over the next weeks and months.

If you have questions or comments about this initial gathering of thoughts, please contact Chris Lautenschlager, MHNA Executive Director, at [email protected] (612.623.7633).



(you can also access it via this direct URL:

Consider attending the next MHNA Infrastructure Committee meeting, taking place on Monday, January 10, 2022. You can RSVP here:

RELATED (what follows below is a City of Minneapolis process, not one put forth by the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association)

Minneapolis Public Works wants your input on a new process it is proposing to address traffic safety concerns and traffic calming requests on neighborhood streets. The process provides a way for community members to request traffic calming and for Public Works to review those requests fairly, transparently, and equitably. 

The proposed process for neighborhood traffic calming seeks to provide a process that:

  • better considers the overall network;
  • is data-driven and transparent; and
  • is more equitable.

An overview of the new neighborhood traffic calming process is available here

You can find additional details about the proposal here, including the link for sharing comments. The city is accepting comments on the draft through December 31.

After reviewing feedback, Public Works will finalize the process early in 2022. They will share final details on how you can request traffic calming in the spring.



Donate online at or send a check to our office:


500 8th Avenue SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414

Your contribution is fully tax-deductible and will help us continue to fund projects, programs and events.

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Minneapolis East Interceptor (MEI) Rehab on Main Street SE

From January thru April of 2022, the Met Council Environmental Services (MCES) will be rehabilitating their Minneapolis East Interceptor (MEI) system on Main Street SE, between 1st and 2nd Aves SE.

There will be a temporary closure of Main Street SE with no parking allowed. Please see image below for detour route.
You can view a PDF of a recent presentation given to MHNA on 12/6/2021 at this link:
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UMN Short Survey on Pedestrian Safety

The HumanFIRST laboratory is seeking volunteers to participate in a short survey about pedestrian safety in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This is a follow up survey to one that was administered in Nov 2020-Jan 2021. Regardless of your participation in the previous survey, they appreciate your response to this follow up survey. Everyone aged 18 and older is invited to take this survey, including those who previously took it last winter. This survey is expected to take approximately 5 minutes to complete and can be found here:

This research is being conducted by Dr. Nichole Morris from the HumanFIRST Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, email Nichole Morris at [email protected]
Contact Bradley Drahos [email protected] with any additional questions about this survey. If you would like to know more about this project feel free to read more at
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City asks public for ideas on Minneapolis redistricting


After every census, Minneapolis updates the boundaries of its 13 City Council wards and six Park Board districts to reflect new population counts. The Redistricting Group, made up of 24 Minneapolis volunteers, builds the new maps with input from their communities. The Redistricting Group needs your help with the redistricting project to make sure all voices are heard.

The 2021 municipal election is based on the 2010 census maps, but City Council members elected in November will serve a term of two years rather than four. Another City Council election in 2023 will be based on the new maps from the 2020 census.

Participate in the redistricting project

Explore the redistricting webpages.

Research neighborhood demographics.

Draw and submit draft maps.

Register for redistricting meetings presenting draft maps for public discussion.

4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17.

4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.

4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

4 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Sign up to get notices for all redistricting meetings.

Email comments or questions.

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