SNO News is Good News

May 2003

Editor: Trish Schilling

Layout: Chip Chilling

Web version: John Akre

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Sheridan NRP Town Meeting, June 14th

By John Akre

Join Sheridan residents on Saturday, June 14th at 10 a.m. at Eastside Neighborhood Services (2nd Street and 17th Avenue) for a Town Meeting on the Sheridan NRP Plan. At this meeting we will look at some ways to re-allocate some of the unspent money in the neighborhood's NRP plan and also look back at the neighborhood's NRP plan to see how we've done and discuss how we could make it better.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) was established over ten years ago to help Minneapolis neighborhoods identify and fund needed improvements. Sheridan was allocated over $2 million dollars of NRP money to spend to fulfill the goals of its plan. Members of Sheridan Today and Yesterday (STAY), the former neighborhood organization, spent two years putting together the neighborhood's NRP plan.

Over $130,000 of funds from the original plan could be allocated to new purposes. At the meeting you will hear presentations and discussion from a number of organizations that could potentially use some of this funding. That money could be directed to possible uses like work on the Ritz Theater, the Community Health Program, and Arts District signage or the Fix and Paint program. Other possibilities include providing funding for a Greenway along 18th Avenue, additional street lights, support for the Eastside Co-op, support for Habitat for Humanity, and more funding for the Cops on Bikes program. Other ideas are welcome too, and will be added to the list.

These ideas will then be voted on, and the NRP funds will be disbursed based on the number of votes that the proposals receive. Also at the meeting we will look back at the neighborhood NRP plan and evaluate it. We will compare neighborhood priorities today to the priorities at the time that the plan was written. This work will help us look forward to the next NRP plan that we will work on over the next few years.

3rd Ward Word

By Council Member Don Samuels

Third Ward Vigils: When I was elected to the City Council, I pledged to hold a daylong vigil every time a homicide occurred in the ward. The vigils are to honor the lives of the victims and to help the community to begin to pull together and heal. Tragically, three vigils were held in the Third Ward last month, including one for a double homicide in the Sheridan neighborhood. Although I was saddened by the events that provoked the vigils, it was good to see so many diverse people come together for them. I would like to specially thank Sheridan residents, fellow Council Members, Commissioners, and clergy who have attended the vigils. Together we can really begin to make a difference. Please email me at if you would like to be notified of future vigils.

Upper River Transfer Station: The city's department of Public Works has recommended a new composting contract that would increase the number of trucks using the Upper River Transfer Station by about 2-12 trucks per day, depending on the season. While this plan would save the city about $500,000 over five years, we should also consider whether this expanded use of the transfer station is compatible with the Above the Falls Master Plan (the city's long-term plan for the upper Mississippi River which discourages the expansion of industrial uses along the riverfront). Because the proposed contract came forward with very little community input, I requested that the City Council vote on the issue be postponed until June 6, 2003. A discussion of this issue is scheduled to occur at the next Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee (AFCAC) meeting, which will be held on May 27 at 6:45 p.m. at the North Mississippi Regional Park Interpretive Center. Please feel free to contact my office at 612-673-2203 for more information or to share your views on this issue.

Turning to the Community for Help in Choosing a New Aide: Although the Council Aide position is a political appointment often reserved for campaign workers or political insiders, I have followed a different approach. This staff position is a resource for the residents and business of the Third Ward. I came from the community, the community elected me, and I turned to the community for the wisdom on what we need and want as we complete the new office staffing. A group of community leaders was asked to help collect input, review candidates and make recommendations. Out of 35 applicants, the committee has put forward five for me to interview in the next weeks.

Becky Hunter has served as the Council Aide for the past two years. Becky has been incredibly supportive in bringing me up to speed on the Council issues facing the residents of the Third. We are all sad she has chosen to leave and wish her the best as she returns to graduate school.

Upcoming Events:

May 31 - Bottineau Library Grand Opening, 1212 Marshall St. NE, 1-6 p.m.

June 14 - Breakfast with Council Member Samuels, 10 a.m. at Mill City Coffee, 2205 California St. NE

Visit our website at for updated information about Third Ward events.

New City School Will Open September, 2003

By Linda Crawford

A new school will be opening its doors in Northeast Minneapolis this fall. Sponsored by Hamline University, New City School will offer its first year for children grades kindergarten through fifth, at 229 13th Ave. N.E., in the school building that once housed Bottineau and before that St. Cyril's school.

New City School will be a small (one class per grade level), diverse community. It will use the nationally-known approach called The Responsive Classroom to create caring relationships among all members of the school community. This approach integrates social and academic learning throughout the day so that children can learn with independence and eagerness the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

New City School teachers are experienced, licensed, highly trained professionals familiar with The Responsive Classroom approach to creating a social setting that fosters a love of learning. Principal Terrance Kwame-Ross, who will receive his PhD in Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota this spring, is nationally certified to coach teachers in this approach. He, the school board, and the teachers believe, as do most researchers in Social Emotional Learning, that children learn best when they feel a strong sense of belonging, safety, and enjoyment in their school. The staff , committed to the idea that everyone will know everyone elseís name at New City, will build relationships through all-school events, cross-age connections, and shared rituals, stories, and hopes and dreams.

The arts will be central to learning at New City School. Because the founders and staff believe that children need multiple doorways into learning, doorways that attract them and engage their minds and imaginations, teachers will use the daily presence of storytelling, simulations, drawing, singing, movement, and poetry to teach core subjects. Artists will be included on staff and as visiting teachers at the school. New City participated in Art-A-Whirl with painting, crafts, and photography sessions at the school from 2-4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Families met the founders and staff of the school and toured the building and grounds, while enjoying creative activities.

The goal of New City School is that children build their knowledge and skills while they learn to think and design creative solutions to problems. These skills will be taught in ways that match the learning to the learner. Children will learn math facts as well as how to apply them. They will balance phonics with comprehension and enjoyment in their reading. They will have daily writing opportunities within structures that guide them to excellence. Their studies of the natural, social, and political worlds will be connected to their interests in the real world, and investigation will often be through the arts.

Children will have the opportunity to show what they have learned in many ways at New City School. In addition to tests, they will do performances, create exhibitions, collect work in portfolios designed to teach self-assessment, and engage in the practice of reflection on what makes quality work every day. Assessment involves the whole community--children, teachers, and families, in a balanced approach to good work.

There is no charge to attend this public charter school. It is open to families residing anywhere in the metro area. Minneapolis Public Schools will provide busing. Information meetings are held about once a week at the school site. Call 612-822-3422 for dates and times, for enrollment forms and information, and to ask questions.

Central Avenue to Gain Member-Owned Grocery Store

By Ginny Sutton

Residents of Northeast Minneapolis have taken a dramatic step toward owning a grocery store. On Friday, March 14, 2003 the Eastside Food Cooperative assumed ownership of the former Country Club grocery store near the intersection of Central and Lowry. The same day, the Mayor's office held a press conference to celebrate the good news with representatives of the City Council and member-owners of the Co-op.

The 11,000 square foot building will house the new store. It is near one of the busiest intersections in Minneapolis and has 48 parking places. The number 10 bus route stops in front of the building, and its corner location gives great visibility.

The Co-op intends to provide new shopping options for all citizens on the north and east sides of Minneapolis and its suburbs. Acquiring the building gives a solid foundation for growth. The goal is to gain 400 more members between now and the fall.

Others in the area see the potential for the Eastside Food Co-op as well. Several neighborhoods are loaning Neighborhood Revitalization Program funds to the new store. Both the NE Chamber of Commerce and the NE business community have offered encouragement and advice.

Plans include the hiring of twenty employees with store open seven days a week, morning till evening. Minneapolis architects, Partners and Sirny, will design the store, and a St. Louis Park construction company, Watson-Forsberg, will build it. Members hope to open the store by October 15.

Contact Ginny at 781-1516 or Ken at 788-0950 or visit the wevsite ( for further information or to become a member.


By Madeline Cooper

Saturday, May 31, 2003 from 1:00-6:00 p.m. with remarks and Ribbon Cutting 1:00 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and Marshall Street, 1212 Marshall Street, in Sheridan Neighborhood.

A gala community celebration will mark the grand opening of the new Pierre Bottineau Community Library, located on the historic Grain Belt campus in northeast Minneapolis, on Saturday, May 31. The new library replaces the former leased storefront, and provides greatly increased space and collections to serve the community as a central information resource and gathering place for years to come.

The festivities will include brief remarks followed by a ribbon cutting, music, and a performance by Ballet of the Dolls. Fresco artist Rollin Alm will discuss his mural, River of Knowledge, with guests, and tours of the library will be given. There will also be activities for children, including a bilingual storytime and Summer Reading Program "early bird" registration. Don't forget your library card--the circulation desk will be open for business. If you don't have a library card, bring a photo ID and sign up.

Pierre Bottineau Library combines the best of old and new as it merges two fully renovated historic buildings (the 1893 Wagon Shed and the 1913 Millwright Shop) with a contemporary structure to create a 12,355 square foot library. Features include a Neighborhood History Collection, a kids' "tech" zone, and a teen area. A multi-purpose community space named the Sheridan Room will accommodate neighborhood gatherings, classes, and book clubs.

The collection size has increased considerably, with 17,000 books, 1,000 videos, plus CDs and DVDs available for check-out. The library is up-to-date with the newest technology including twenty-one public computers, and is designed to change with future technology trends.

The new Pierre Bottineau Library project is an excellent example of the Library Board's commitment to sustainable, green architecture. In addition to the reuse of the historic buildings and other materials, the project incorporated green principles and environmentally friendly systems. For example, two skylights were restored to decrease the need for artificial light, and the mechanical systems surpass the Minnesota State Energy Codes. Pedestrian walkways and bicycle racks were included to encourage alternative means of transportation.

Another focus of this project was the incorporation of public art. Fresco artist Rollin Alm was commissioned by the Library Board to create a 6' x 55' mural to hang above the public service desk. The expansive watercolor mural, River of Knowledge portrays the Mississippi River, with the Grain Belt a centerpiece of the skyline. Consisting of fifteen panels, the mural is framed in cherry to match the wood of the library's service desk and bookcases.

Pierre Bottineau Community Library's roots go back to 1913, when a small reading room was opened in the field house in Logan Park. In 1957 the collection was relocated to a leased storefront at 1224 NE 2nd Street and renamed for Pierre Bottineau, one of the guides to General Henry Sibley, who became Minnesota's first governor. This 2,000 sq. ft. space served neighborhood residents and nearby schools for many years. However, the demands on the quaint, well-loved stacks and surroundings eventually exceeded the capacity. In 1997 the Library Board of Trustees, staff, and community leaders began working together to assess the needs of the community and to explore future options for Pierre Bottineau Library.

When the library referendum won voter approval in 2000, $2.5 million was dedicated to Pierre Bottineau, and the community's hopes and dreams of an updated, state-of-the-art library started to become a reality. With strong community initiative and support, an advisory team formed to participate in brainstorming, planning, and execution. In addition to the referendum money, the project was financed in part with $500,000 provided by the State of Minnesota through the State Historic Preservation Office of the Minnesota Historical Society. An additional $110,000 in Neighborhood Revitalization Program funding was donated from the Sheridan and St. Anthony West neighborhoods. The Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA) contributed land acquisition and site remediation.

The Pierre Bottineau Library Project is part of the "Great Libraries for Minneapolis" program, made possible through the 2000 Library Referendum. For more information call 612-630-6890.

The 5th annual SNO Big Deal picnic party is coming to Sheridan's only park - where 13th Avenue meets the river. Save the date of Saturday, August 9th for a fun afternoon of food, music, games and neighborhood camaraderie. watcch for further details as we get closer to the date. If you would like more information or to volunteer, please call Trish at 612-803-5617.

President's Statement 2002-2003

By John Akre

The current SNO Board was elected in April of 2002. Six of the seven members of the board served their first term in 2002-2003. The past year was a year of learning and growing for SNO, and also a year of many achievements.

This past year, SNO worked hard to move over $500,000 of funds in Sheridan's NRP plan, to put those dollars to work for the neighborhood. The NRP Committee used a survey to identify neighborhood priorities and SNO voted to move that money to fund the Fix and Paint housing improvement program for the next three years, and to establish a new down payment assistance program to help people buy houses in the neighborhood. Sheridan's 2002 Fix and Paint program has so far provided $60,000 of grant funds to jump start over $130,000 of home improvements. On Saturday June 14th, 2003 at 10 a.m. SNO will have a town meeting at ESNS to re-allocate the remaining funds in the plan, and to carry out an evaluation of the first phase of NRP.

The SNO Big Deal last June was also a great success. The Sheridan Events Committee put on a wonderful event down by the river, with food, a cakewalk and, for the first time, amplified music brought about by the innovative use of solar power.

This year SNO became an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Thanks go to Melissa Davis for her years of hard work on this. Also, this year SNO amended its bylaws to make it easier for people to vote at its annual meetings.

Sheridan continued to collaborate with its neighbors in Saint Anthony West, Bottineau, and Marshall Terrace through the MEND organization. This year MEND completed its master plan for Marshall Street. The work continues now to execute that plan, and Sheridan residents are meeting regularly with county street planners to convince them of the importance of the community's vision. MEND also spent a session looking to future priorities, one of which will be to carry out an upcoming master planning process for 13th Avenue.

Last May Sheridan residents saw the groundbreaking for a new Pierre Bottineau Library. That library will be officially opening on Saturday May 31. SNO allocated $100,000 of its NRP funds to this project, and was instrumental in making it happen.

This fall we saw the grand opening of the Grain Belt Brewhouse, renovated into a home for RSP Architects. It is hard to describe what a thrill it was to see the lights come back on in this majestic structure, which had sat dark and abandoned for more than twenty years. Sheridan residents wrote many letters and attended many meetings over the years to find an appropriate re-use for this monument. Many of you will remember the monthly updates at SNO meetings almost since the organization began.

The Ballet of the Dolls continues to work on developing another neighborhood landmark, the Ritz Theater, as their future home. This year they moved $500,000 closer in their funding goals with an award from the McKnight Foundation, but much work lies ahead.

SNO also continues to work with developers of two housing proposals on Marshall Street - Sheridan Development, developing ownership units on land around the Grain Belt buildings, and Sherman Associates which is developing rental housing about a block north of there.

SNO has continued to publish its quarterly newsletter, "SNO News is Good News," under the guidance of Trish and Chip Schilling, and I try to keep the web site ( up to date.

SNO continues to be an all-volunteer organization, which is one of its greatest strengths, but can also be a challenge for people with busy schedules. For a variety of reasons, Sheridan residents continue to be involved in this example of real grassroots democracy. SNO continues to give residents of Sheridan a voice in the changes going on in this great neighborhood, and a reason to meet neighbors and work together. Through the strong connections we make working together, we strengthen our entire neighborhood.

One of the greatest of SNO's successes, this year and every year, is that winter fund-raiser event called the SNO Ball. This year, the SNO Events Committee took this successful event one notch higher, by moving into a much larger space, the Grain Belt Bottling House. They transformed this big open dome into an intimate club, complete with kitchen and bar facilities. Arden Millerís gigantic snowflakes, the tapestries from Ballet of the Dolls, tours of the Grain Belt Brewhouse, and memorable music and dance performances were just some of the highlights that made this year's SNO Ball the most successful yet, in many ways.

Sheridan recently experienced a tragedy, the murders of William and Claudia Schwartz. This was a horrible, frightening crime, but while we are afraid we must also remember what Franklin Roosevelt said about fear, that it is the thing that we need to fear the most. A crime like this could turn us all into turtles, safe in our shells and huddled away from all responsibility. Or we could take it as a challenge to build an even better neighborhood by being better neighbors. What makes a good neighbor? I'm not 100% sure, but I know it involves listening, learning, and patience, and the hard work it sometimes takes to smile and reach out.

The Dirt - On Roses

By Jenny Fortman

Roses: "Am I crazy to want roses in my yard?, asks my sister-in-law and fellow Sheridan neighbor. The first thing they teach you as a Master Gardener is that the answer to every gardening question is "it depends". In this case it does depend, because a rose by any name is not necessarily the same. Hybrid or tea roses require lots of special care. While hardy roses, which include shrub roses and old garden roses, tend to be more user friendly. Since I assume most of us don't want to volunteer for a career in rose tending, we'll focus on hardy roses.

Selecting a Site: Roses need full sun, 6 - 10 hours per day. Most require good air circulation. They will do fine among other plants, as long as they are not crowded. Roses do best in well drained soil with a pH of 6.0 - 7.0. Soil test kits are available at garden centers or the University of Minnesota Extension Service. Sheridan soil tends to be a well drained, silty loam with a neutral to slightly acidic pH, ideal for roses.

Shopping for Roses: Look for a hardy rose, shrub rose or old garden rose. Find out if it is an own root (non-budded) rose or grafted (budded) rose. You might have to ask a salesperson. Own root roses are hardier and spread well. Own root roses are typically preferred but some sucker like mad (spread), which can be a problem. Roses that are grafted are more likely to die back to the ground in winter, requiring more spring pruning. They can also send up suckers from the root, which are different from the main plant. To ensure lowest maintenance, look for varieties listed as disease resistant. Choose USDA Zone 4 or a lower number, for Minneapolis. Even with all these things to look for, you will find a good variety of sizes, shapes, colors and fragrances.

Planting Your Rose: Since roses require good air circulation, be sure to leave the room for the plant to mature. If the tag says it gets 5' wide, give the plant 5-6'. You can fill in with annuals until the rose matures. That way your new rose will have the space when it needs it, but won't look so lonely in the mean time. It doesn't hurt to work a couple of inches of peat moss into the soil before you plant. As with any transplant, dig the hole twice as wide as the pot, but only as deep as the soil in the pot. Put the rose into the hole, fill halfway with soil, then water. Once the water has drained, fill in the rest of the hole with soil. Extra soil can be formed into a moat about 4 inches from the stem. Never pack soil like brown sugar. Water again, to ensure that soil settles in around the roots.

Caring for Your Rose: Roses need about an inch of water per week. If we don't get the rain, you'll need to water. Always water roses at the base. Drops of water act like tiny magnifying glasses and can burn the leaves. Besides, many plant diseases are spread by splashing water. Morning is the best time to water the garden, to inhibit fungal infections.

Prune in late spring. You need to wait to see where the strongest buds start. Pick a strong bud that faces the way you want the plant to branch and make a 45 degree angle cut 3/8 - 1/4" above the bud. Use a clean, sharp, bypass pruner for the best cut. Anvil pruners crush the stem and leave the plant open to disease. Remove diseased or dead branches. If any stems are rubbing together, remove one of them.

Climbing roses should be trained up their trellis in early spring when their canes are most pliable. Be sure the trellis is strong enough to support the rose at maturity. It would be a shame to put 3 or 4 years into training a rose, then have it pull down the trellis. Use soft, but sturdy ties to train the rose up the trellis. Green floral tape or nylon stockings work well.

For help in selecting the best rose for you, got to:

Jenny Fortman is a Master Gardener for Hennepin County and a professional gardener. Written questions can be mailed to The SNO Office, C/O The Dirt, 909 Main Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413 or emailed to Questions are also answered, free of charge, on the Yard and Garden Line of the University of Minnesota Extension Office at (612) 624-4771.


By Rob O'Malley

Sheridan raised the roof on this year's SNO Ball. For 2003, the popular winter gala grew into the vast atrium of the Grain Belt Brewery Bottling House on 13th Avenue. Ceiling, walls and entertainment all expanded into a fourth consecutive SNO Ball success. But for the nearly 400 guests who attended from around Minneapolis and points beyond, the high canopy of the Bottling House was slung low and cozy. Custom-dyed curtains were slung around the party's perimeter. A sculpture of mirrors by Juris Plesums caught and scattered the light above the dance floor. The Grand Drapery. on loan from Ballet of the Dolls, swept from behind the stage to the back of the room. Over everything hung an Arden Miller snowfall with the three- to six-foot flakes so appropriate to this neighborhood's growing party.

Because the SNO Ball has attracted more people every year, organizers on the SNO Events Committee chose the larger venue and expanded their own work load to accommodate. "We either had to grow the event or limit the amount of people who could attend," said Trish Schilling, Events Committee Member. By the same token, new and prospective neighbors of Sheridan threw in all-new elements of history and style. RSP Architects, now moved into their refurbished Grain Belt Brewhouse, hosted guided tours of their historic home across the avenue. Those who have never seen the inside of the landmark quickly understood the benefit of having firms like RSP move into Sheridan, it is fabulous.

Ballet of the Dolls dance company, longtime Sheridan friend and Northeast neighbor, brought their landmark talents under the lights, performing a custom number for an enthralled circle of guests. Executive Director Craig Harris said, "We had a great time. We feel such a part of the community; it's just wonderful. Everybody was happy."

Like many of the nearly 400 guests, the dance troupe enjoyed a pose or two in the on-site Polaroid studio of Sean Maszaros, photographer from the California Building. Maszaros was contributing his skills and equipment for a second straight year.

Once again, music played all night long. Headlining the 2004 SNO Ball was the blues quartet of local legend Cornbread Harris. While, returning to provide the party's eclectic moods, was pianist Sandy Waterman and the official bluegrass, celtic quintet of Dusty's Bar, The Tinkers.

New to the Minneapolis City Council and to the SNO Ball was 3rd Ward Councilmember Don Samuels. "My wife and I loved it. It was just a nice, refreshing opportunity for people to get together at a community level." Councilmember Samuels was impressed by the involvement of all the local volunteers and businesses who dedicated time, goods and services to the feel of the party. He appreciated the SNO Ball's singular atmostphere. "We enjoyed the quirky people. You can't get that combination of down-home and sophistication unless it's home grown."

Nor can you get it without a lot of work from Sheridan friends and neighbors. The benefit is organized by the Events Committee of the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization, this year consisting of Jenny Fortman as Chairperson, Dawn Rae Davis, Kristine Harley, Madame Dora Harris, Arden Miller, Mike Romens, Trish Schilling and Sally Waterman. As the party grows, so does the committee's work. Because this year's event, for the first time, was not held in one of Sheridan's restaurants, it fell to the committee to build a party from scratch: Designing and slinging the colorful décor from the clean cement and steel of the Bottling House, renting the stage, the furniture and dishware, obtaining a temporary liquor license and the raw materials for supplying a full line of beverages.

Thanks to the repeated efforts of The Modern Café on 13th Avenue, the SNO Ball's renowned flavor was expanded into another fine menu. The traditional silent auction again offered riches from local residents, artists and businesses for the bidding. The top two items came from the owners of the same Frank Stone Gallery on 2nd Street in Sheridan. A sculpted

table by artist Frank Stone received the highest bid. A day on the bench with District Court Judge Lynn Olson received the second highest. Numerous other donated items-from gift certificates to city restaurants and service companies to original works by local artists-combined to benefit Sheridan with total silent-auction proceeds of $3,130.

The Annual SNO Ball is a neighborhood benefit. This year, the event raised $6,116.40, or approximately $1,100 more than was raised in the previous year. This money pays for such community activities as the SNO Big Deal,

Sheridan's neighborhood picnic. There are now enough funds raised to begin considering other funding efforts. This will be a topic at future board meeetings, held at ESNS on the fourth Monday of each month.

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