Posts filed under ‘Agenda 21’
By Andrew Richter
This is totally out of the Twilight Zone:
African Career, Education and Resource Inc. and Asamblea de Derechos Civiles hosted a regional housing forum to address housing discrimination, displacement, development and otherwise undignified living conditions in the northwest metro. The meeting was held Jan. 12 at Zanewood Community Center in Brooklyn Park. The meeting attracted the attention of elected officials. District 36 Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin), Brooklyn Center Councilmember Marquita Butler, and Brooklyn Park Councilmembers Lisa Jacobson and Susan Pha were in attendance.
Wow! What a shock that a race-baiter like Susan Pha would be there.
Pha said she attended, in part, to hear feedback on affordable rent for new developments in Brooklyn Park. Jacobson said she is regularly confronted with housing issues, as she is executive director at Hope 4 Youth, an Anoka area homeless shelter for young people age 23 and younger.
Participants testified that affordable housing with livable conditions are exceedingly difficult to find, and said landlords can exercise unethical and discriminatory policies towards people of color and the impoverished. Alfreda Daniels, Brooklyn Park resident and community organizer for the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation said she was “terribly disappointed,” after moving into The Willows apartment complex in Brooklyn Park, and that landlords take advantage of rental residents. Rents are raised yearly without making any improvements to the apartments, she said.
Oh so if rent goes up its racist! How about the price of homes? They go up too! How about the city of Brooklyn Park stop raising property taxes on landlords who just pass off the cost to their tenants.
Within two weeks of moving in, she said she had difficulty with mice. “I’ve called the city actually, twice. I called the city two days later, and there were people that came over for inspection, but to my surprise, they were checking out my smoke detectors,” she said. If a resident of the complex is paying their rent on time, they must either pay in-person at the head office in Minneapolis or mail a check, but late payments with interest can be made on-site, Daniels said. “What about my neighbors who don’t have a car … and work [late]?” she said.
If you have mice why are you calling the city? If your neighbor doesn’t have a car can’t they ride a bus? How do they get to work?
Carol LaFleur, a Brooklyn Park resident, has rented houses with mold issues that caused her child health issues resulting in hospitalization, she said. She said city officials did not step in to address the issue. She lived on a fixed income, and raisin her family to other properties in the city, she said. Antonia Alvarez, co-founder of Asamblea de Derechos Civiles (or Assembly for Civil Rights) is a resident of Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park in St. Anthony. Alvg rents forced her to movearez has been a leader in the fight to save Lowry Grove from redevelopment. The park was sold to The Village, a developer, in June 2016.
Under state law, mobile home residents have the right of first refusal in the case of a mobile home closure. That is, if 51 percent of park residents can organize and match the terms and conditions of the buyer’s offer, they can purchase the park. Lowry Grove residents worked with Aeon, a nonprofit in the housing field, to offer the same $6 million that The Village offered. Park owners sold to The Village rather than to Aeon. The legality of the park’s sale is currently being reviewed in the courts.
So then change the law if you don’t like it!
Alvarez said Lowry Grove is the only affordable housing and immigrant-friendly community in St. Anthony.
“We need affordable houses; Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Bloomington,” she said. “Are you ready in Brooklyn Park to fight for affordable houses?” she asked, with the crowd replying “Yes.” Application fees are used unjustly by landlords, participants said. Landlords will accept applicant fees already knowing they will not offer housing to the applicant, they said. Several residents said coded racial language is used by landlords and developers to segregate neighborhoods, or otherwise turn away potential renters of color. “It’s impactful to hear, I mean these are real life stories, this is really what’s happening,” Hoffman said. “It causes one to think, ‘Well, alright, how deep is this issue? How systemic is it?’ You have folks from different parts of the community that are all experiencing.
Unreal, now a fee is racist! What are you; entitled to housing in a certain city?
Statutory language would need to be looked at to see how to address the issue, “especially on the discrimination side,” Hoffman said. “It’s real, and it’s happening right in our backyard.” He said if statutory language already does not allow for discrimination based on factors such as race or poverty, then city housing authorities would need to look at what can be done to provide relief. The forum broke into workgroups to discuss their personal experiences and possible solutions. Tim Moriarty, an area resident, said cities should require developers to include low-cost or subsidized housing in their new development proposals. Rather than separate and stigmatize these renters by separating their housing, thVey should have low-cost or subsidized housing mixed with unsubsidized housing, he said.
So the solution is to pass of the cost of real estate on to the taxpayers!
Ugh! Take it from me folks; there’s tons of housing in Brooklyn Park. These people don’t want housing, they want to race-bait to get housing at a lower cost or on the taxpayer’s dime.
By Andrew Richter
I am happy to accept this appointment;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sept. 20, 2016
CITIZENS LEAGUE ANNOUNCES NEW TRANSIT STUDY COMMITTEE
Is there a better way to govern, plan, and fund a transit system to strengthen the region?
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Citizens League is convening a new study committee to look at transit in the region through the lens of governance, policy, and funding. The study committee will be chaired by Peter Bell, former Met Council chair. Ann Lenczewski, former legislator and chair of the Minnesota House Tax Committee, will serve as vice-chair.
This focus on transit—defined broadly to include all modes—is the result of a more general study of the Met Council that the Citizens League completed earlier this spring with a 19-member task force of community members. In that final report, the task force reported that while experts maintained that the region’s system of transit governance, planning, operating, and funding worked well despite its seemingly fragmented and complex nature, there remained important questions related to accountability and transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, and equity. Given the limited time the previous group had to review these issues, it recommended that the Citizens League undertake a separate study.
“As our transit system continues to expand it is important to make sure that our funding structure is adequate, equitable, sustainable, and transparent,” said Peter Bell.
“Almost everyone agrees that we do not currently have a sustainable system for addressing long-term transit needs related to both workforce changes and aging,” said Sean Kershaw, Citizens League Executive Director. “In the last session, transit funding questions ultimately prevented a number of other funding and policy issues from being addressed. Instead of limping along, we want to study the current system to see if there could be a better way to plan for a stronger region now and in the future.”
Through recommendations and an open call to all Citizens League members, the new transit study committee will include the following members:
Chair and Vice-Chair
· Mr. Peter Bell, Former Metropolitan Council Chair (2003-2011) (Chair)
· Ms. Ann T. Lenczewski, State Government Relations, Lockridge Grindal Nauen and former Minnesota House of Representative, Chair of Tax Committee (Vice-Chair)
1. Mr. Abou Amara, Director of Public Policy, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
2. Mr. Michael Beard, Scott County Commissioner, District 3 and former legislator
3. Mr. Bill Blazar, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
4. Mr. Patrick Born, former Regional Administrator, Metropolitan Council and current Citizens League Board Member
5. Mr. James Erkel, Attorney and Director of the Land Use and Transportation Program, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
6. Mr. Ethan Fawley, Executive Director, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and member of Transportation Advisory Board
7. Ms. Mary Giuliani Stephens, Mayor of Woodbury
8. Ms. Elizabeth Glidden, Vice President and Council Member (Ward 8), Minneapolis City Council.
9. Mr. Jason Grev, Director of Government Relations, Ecolab, Inc.
10. Ms. Mary Liz Holberg, Dakota County Commissioner, District 6 and former legislator
11. Ms. Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Mayor of Eden Prairie
12. Mr. Scott McBride, Transportation District Engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
13. Mr. Jim McDonough, Ramsey County Commissioner, District 6
14. Mr. Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner, District 4 and Chair, Counties Transit Improvement Board
15. Ms. Kenya McKnight, President, Black Women’s Wealth Alliance and member of the Transportation Advisory Board
16. Mr. Vayong Moua, Director, Health Equity Advocacy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
17. Mr. Andrew Richter, organizer for Community Solutions MN, former planning commission member for City of Crystal and former chair of the Crystal city code task force
18. Mr. William Schreiber, former legislator and retired lobbyist with Messerli and Kramer
19. Ms. Patty Thorsen, Member of the Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee, Metropolitan Council
The transit study committee will take on this effort this month with the goal to release a report by February 1st to inform the 2017 legislative session.
Well my friends I know some of you probably think I’m crazy for accepting this appointment but unless sceptics of transit get their feet wet at this level we will never change things. I want to thank the Citizens League for this appointment and for their willingness to bring in transit opponents. Look for my updates very soon!
By Andrew Richter
Take a look around folks, not only is our nation dying but so many Minnesotans are just sitting by and watching their state crumble.
Somali immigrants are flooding Minneapolis and it’s only a matter of time before they filter out to the suburbs. These immigrants or refugees are not assimilating into the United States. Many of them disrespect our laws yet of course they want all of our “free stuff.” Why else do you think they settle in Minneapolis? Here’s a recent story on what’s going on in Minneapolis;
A mob of up to 30 young Somali men paraded through one of Minneapolis’ more upscale neighborhoods last week, yelling disparaging comments and threats against homeowners.
A female resident of the neighborhood, obviously shaken in a TV interview, related how she was screamed at by a Somali man who threatened to kidnap and rape her.
“They were screaming at the house that they were going to kidnap you and they were going to rape you,” one Minneapolis resident told KSTP TV. “It was a very traumatizing experience.”
Somalis living in Minneapolis are almost all Sunni Muslims, and residents of the Lake Calhoun area say this isn’t the first time a group of Somali men has made an intimidating march through their neighborhood, which is filled with million-dollar homes.
No hate-crime charges are apparently being considered by either the Minnesota authorities or the Obama Justice Department headed by Loretta Lynch.
Yeah like those idiots would ever do that. hate crimes are reserved for white defendants.
Police were called to the scene on June 28 about 9:30 a.m. and are investigating the incident as a potential case of terroristic threats. No arrests have been made, and the Minneapolis media appear to be largely uninterested in reporting on the mob threats.
No arrests? What if the Ku Klux Klan was marching down the street making threats? I bet there would be arrests and the media would probably find a way to try and link it to Donald Trump.
According to a Minneapolis police report, between 20 and 30 young Somali men showed up in front of a woman’s house about 9:30 in the morning and started shouting insults. “The comments turned to threats,” the report said.
Nearly all Somalis living in Minnesota are either refugees or children of refugees. They form a burgeoning Muslim enclave created by the U.S. government’s long-term refugee policy.
The U.S. State Department, working with the United Nations, has permanently resettled more than 132,000 Somali ”refugees” into dozens of American cities since 1983, according to federal data collected by the State Department.
Over the last decade, the feds have resettled an average of 7,000 Somali refugees per year into the U.S., with Minneapolis-St. Paul receiving the largest number, followed by Columbus, Ohio, San Diego, Seattle and Atlanta. Maine, Texas, North Dakota, Tennessee and even Alaska have also received dozens if not hundreds of Somali refugees.
And of course we have the media indifference
The most shocking part of the incident may be the Minneapolis media’s coverage of the incident – or lack thereof. A check of the Star-Tribune website, Minneapolis’s largest newspaper, did not turn up a single story about the June 28 terror-threatening run through the Lake Calhoun neighborhood.
KSTP Channel 5, an ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, never mentions that those making the alleged terroristic threats were Somalis. The station’s video report by Brett Hoffland, however, zooms in on a police report highlighting that the suspects were “approximately 20-30 Somali males” who were making “comments” that turned to “threats.”
“Multiple young men have been harassing them,” Hoffland reported. “We couldn’t get them out,” a woman tells Hoffland from behind shadows, her voice digitally altered to protect her identity. “We didn’t know what to do.”
When the shouts of “We’re going to rape you” rang out, “it was just a very traumatizing experience,” the woman said. The Somalis were driving onto the sidewalk and onto the homeowners’ lawns, “all while shooting off bottle rockets and screaming” their threats, she said.
“It’s a scary thought especially for those who have young children.” Multiple neighbors took cell-phone videos of the roaming gang of young Somali men.
It’s not the first time they’ve showed up, but on June 28 the threats were “much more personal,” the female resident told KSTP. The Minneapolis Police Department told KSTP it has opened an active investigation, and police were taking it “very seriously.”
Yeah whatever! Look at what Minneapolis and Minnesota officials are doing and tell me there’s going to be any response;
The Somali refugee program has been among the most widely criticized of all refugee programs for the lack of assimilation that the Somalis have exhibited over the past 30 years. At least three-dozen Somali men from Minnesota have been charged since 2007 with trying to leave the U.S. and join overseas terrorist organizations including the Islamic State and al-Shabab. Others have been convicted of providing material support to terrorist organizations. That prompted the state’s U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger in April 2015 to admit that “Minnesota has a terror recruitment problem,” but he stopped short of saying the “S” word.
Minnesota politicians and media have for the most part toed the line of political correctness whenever crimes or terrorist activity surfaces involving Minnesota’s Somali community, say local activists.
The Cedar Riverside area of Minneapolis is often called “Little Mogadishu” for its swelling Somali community. The city’s mayor, Betsy Hodges, has in the past showed up for meetings with leaders of the local Somali community dressed in a hijab – the headscarf worn by Muslim women as a sign of their submission in a male-dominated society governed by Shariah law.
Last year, Ami Horowitz of the David Horowitz Freedom Center filmed a series of interviews on the streets of Minneapolis’s Cedar Riverside community, and the vast majority of Somalis he spoke with said they preferred Shariah law over U.S. law.
Yet Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has let it be known his commitment to the multicultural model, the same model followed by the European Union which is now breaking apart, is unwavering.
Last October, Dayton told those attending a town-hall meeting in St. Cloud that those Minnesotans not comfortable with the arrival of Syrian refugees and the state’s expanding Somali population “should find a new state” because Minnesota’s economy “cannot expand based on white, B+, native-born citizens. We don’t have enough.”
Nothing is going to happen with these idiots in charge! We are going to continue to be invaded by people with no respect for our country or our culture.
So what’s going to happen? With over 25,000 Somalis in Minneapolis alone how long before these incidents happen in your town? Folks, we have to protect our culture from Sharia Law and if our state and federal governments won’t act then our local governments will have to!
By Candace Oathout
Well, the folks in Crystal are slammed again. The Metropolitan Council scheduled a number of public meetings to hear residents’ concerns about the Blue Line Extension which completely ignored. Not only did they deal dishonestly with our Mayor and City Council, they ignored our very valid concerns about the safety of both school children and adults. The proposed pedestrian crossing should be built regardless of the light rail alignment.
Bass Lake Road and County 81 is a dangerous intersection as it stands. The Northeast quadrant of the city has no safe way for the non-driving residents, especially children, to get to the Crystal Community Center, Cooper High School or the shopping center. We, residents attend meetings discuss our concerns and ask that they be considered. Our Mayor and Council Members make the needs of the constituents clearly known requesting that both the pedestrian crossing and sound walls are needed. They negotiated in good faith although they were told that these accommodations were “beyond the scope” of the project. Rather than continue a public discussion, the Metropolitan Council moved negotiations to a corridor management committee meeting which voted to remove this addition from the project. Our County Commissioner Mike Opat refused to support the safety needs of the people of Crystal. He spoke against this important safety addition. As a result, Crystal’s residents will be forced to deal with years of construction disruption, increased noise and traffic congestion. This rail line will never be an asset to Crystal or the other pass through communities that will suffer from neighborhood disruption, increased noise and increased safety hazards for pedestrians along the route and increased traffic congestion. We just have to allow our City to be cut in two for a $1.49 billion (and rising) Light Rail Line which will remain drain on the taxpayers for as long as it exists as Commissioner Opat decrees.
By Andrew Richter
Oh what a shock!
Following the Minnesota Legislature’s failed attempt at passing a transportation bill in the last session and two canceled Blue Line Extension Corridor Management Committee meetings in June, the committee reconvened to discuss the updated project scope and budget on July 7.
The last project scope and budget was discussed in late October 2015, when the line was expected to cost $1.5 billion. That estimate came after only 15 percent of the project was complete. At the time, project staff knew there would be additional costs associated with the line in the future.
Now, eight months later, project staff has completed 30 percent of the project’s development. On July 7, Project Director Dan Solar reviewed items that have been added. According to Solar, project partners such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hennepin County and others are required to pay for benefits received as part of the project.
For MnDOT, this means funding $8.2 million for the mill and overlay of Highway 55, 50 percent removal and replacement of existing traffic signals on Highway 55 and the relocation of Bassett Creek stormwater tunnel. Hennepin County will also need to provide $4.1 million to go toward a portion of West Broadway Avenue north of Highway 610 to Winnetka Avenue.
Finally, Brooklyn Park is required to pay $8.2 million for various segments of street and utilities work north of Highway 610. The additional funds allows an increase in matching federal funds, if received, from $19.6 million to $752.7 million, but does not increase the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority or state’s cost participation. When it comes to the overall project cost, two large components are adding expenses. Advanced design, which consists of bridge refinement, parking ramps, rail system elements, traffic signal adjustments, retaining walls and a reduction in traction power substations, adds $26 million to the overall project cost.
Seriously! Does anyone care about the taxpayer?
Environmental mitigations and requirements including noise walls, Sochacki Park restoration, visual screening in Crystal, secondary access to the Plymouth Avenue station, retaining walls, eliminating the crossing closure at 39 1/2 Avenue and relocating the Bassett Creek tunnel equates to an additional $14 million.
The combined $40 million in additional costs brings the overall project cost to $1.54 billion.
If all scope additions — at-grade improvements at 63rd Avenue, pedestrian bridge at Bass Lake Road, Rail Control Center modification, Hiawatha Operations and Maintenance Facility modifications and rail crossings and gates north of Highway 610 — are included, it would add another $31 million to the project. These funds could be covered through contingency funds, however. The contingency funds could then be reduced from 30 percent to 28 percent.
Anoka County Commissioner Scott Schulte was most concerned about the suggested reduction in contingency funding. He said there are continued risks that could increase the project cost therefore requiring the full 30 percent contingency. He also believes it is problematic to “mix controls,” meaning either the Met Council controls maintenance of the entire line including bridges or not. “I think there’s too many wants in this and not enough needs,” he said.
The entire project is a want not a need you idiot!
Crystal Mayor Jim Adams spoke up about Crystal being told it needed to fund maintenance of a pedestrian bridge at County Road 81. “The discussions we’ve had are not consistent with us taking on that cost,” he said. “We didn’t find out about this until three hours ago. We haven’t had a chance to vet that out. We were under the impression this would be part of Met Council’s expense.”
Yes, Jim Adams is right. I was at those council meeting and heard the Met Council hired gun say just that.
Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris requested estimates for what bridge maintenance in Crystal would cost. “I hope it’s not a deal breaker since we’ve gone through all this,” he said. Adams agreed his city needs figures. “If I were to guess, I would think it would be a deal breaker, and that’s a very tough thing to say,” he said. “We really strongly feel this is a metro transit driven cost. It is something to support the vision of the region.”
Met Council Chair Adam Duininck provided his opinion on the issue. “From my vantage point, it’s always been uncertain who would pay for that,” he said. “No one volunteered. I think everyone assumed someone else would pay. I don’t think it’s a cost that we were hoping or thinking we’d take on.”
Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat said it was clear that the cost of the pedestrian bridge maintenance would be between Crystal and the Met Council. “It’s the fact that this is dropping in at the last minute that makes it hard to bear,” he said. Adams said he would love to have a conversation with the Met Council prior to the next corridor management committee meeting.
How would you know Opat? Why don’t you just stay out of it and go build another monument to yourself?
After much back and forth, Solar stated that local improvements have always been identified as outside of the project scope. With no other concerns, project staff informed the committee that the Federal Transportation Authority approved the publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The entire 3,200 page document is anticipated to release Friday, July 15. The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be available at all corridor libraries and city halls as well as online at metrocouncil.org.
Over the next two months, project staff will finalize the project scope and budget.
Once the final project scope and budget are determined, project staff can apply for financing and enter into the engineering phase, which will bring the project up to 60 percent completion.
This project is such a disaster!!! Maybe we can get ReNae Bowman to pay for it all!
By Andrew Richter
Hennepin County just has money to burn;
I hope by now you have had an opportunity to check out the new Hennepin County Library – Brooklyn Park, located at 8500 W. Broadway. It is a special place!
All I saw was the price tag: a cool $24 million! Couldn’t you build this for $21 million?
Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in Minnesota and one of the state’s fastest growing communities. Now it finally has the signature library it deserves. While the new library was conceived of more than a decade ago, the building’s technological features and flexibility contemplate far into the future of Brooklyn Park.
The original Brooklyn Park Library Task Force was creative in its initial conception of what the building should represent. Today, we have the first STEM-focused library in our system.
Library task force?
Throughout the years, the Community Advisory Committees were equally as thoughtful when considering the library’s design and the gorgeous displays adorning the walls, ceiling and perimeter of the building. Thanks go to the dozens of involved residents for making the library truly reflective of the diverse backgrounds and viewpoints of Brooklyn Park.
There is space devoted to learners of all ages, with square footage more than twice that of the old library on Zane Avenue. The amenities at the new Brooklyn Park Library rival any great library in the nation: an interactive learning wall, a fully-immersive recording studio, 78 new computers, 11 private meeting rooms, early literacy programming with science and technology themes, large format video conferencing that can take you all over the world, dynamic public art that you can touch and explore. All open seven days a week.
It’s got every bell and whistle that you could possibly charge to the taxpayer. Funny, too, I thought this was a library, but no, now it’s for meeting space or surfing the net I guess.
Now, the kicker; as always Opat links it to the light rail.
Hennepin County has always been committed to the vision of a signature library, a gathering place for the people of Brooklyn Park. We have delivered one that will ensure new discoveries and experiences with each visit. In the not-too-distant future, we will have a Blue Line LRT station at the intersection of 85th and West Broadway. North Hennepin Community College continues to assess its plans for growth in the area as well. Our new library is yet another reason why residents have good reason to dream big about the future of Hennepin County and Brooklyn Park.
I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself.