Monthly updates for Minneapolis Ward 12
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Council Member Andrew Johnson

Upcoming Events

9/12 - Monarch Festival
9/13 - Nokomis Block Party
9/15 - Lake Hiawatha Public Input Meeting
9/15 - LCC Happy Hour
9/18, 9/19, 9/20 - Autumn Daze
9/19 - Experience Minnehaha
9/19, 9/20 - LoLa Art Crawl
9/30 - Meeting on 54th St & Riverview Rd


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Updates from Andrew

I have some exciting personal news to share... 

Sara said yes!!! 

We got engaged along the Superior Hiking Trail overlooking Lake Agnes as the sun set on Wednesday night. We plan on getting married next year.

On August 12th, Mayor Hodges presented her proposed budget for 2016. Among the highlights, two-thirds of residents can expect to see a reduction in property taxes. I was happy that the Mayor included funding for Nokomis Healthy Seniors at my request, which helps seniors continue living safely and independently in their own homes. Among my other requests, the Mayor tripled restorative justice funding (an effective tool for reducing crime), added more investigation support for the Minneapolis Police Department, and is expediting the rollout of LED streetlights. You can watch the Mayor's budget address here. The Council will hold budget hearings from now until December, when we take a final vote. As always, your feedback on the proposed budget (and anything else) is appreciated.

Last month I mentioned my ongoing work with Park Commissioner Musich to improve water quality at Lake Hiawatha and reduce flood risks for nearby residents. I said we would keep you posted about the need for public input, and now we need your input! We are hosting a public meeting on Tuesday September 15th from 6-8pm at Lake Nokomis Community Center (2401 E Minnehaha Blvd) to get your thoughts on a few different options. I strongly encourage nearby residents to attend and be heard. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of Lake Hiawatha and the golf course for the benefit of our community. Don't forget to bring your neighbors!

Finally, it was great seeing so many of you last month for National Night Out! While I was able to stop by more than a dozen block parties, I wish it was possible to have stopped by them all. If your block is ever having a gathering, or if you're willing to host me for a meet and greet / Q&A, please let me know! I truly enjoy these events more than any other, connecting with neighbors, hearing your thoughts, and giving you the inside scoop on many topics.

Wishing you a happy September,

Feedback needed on Hiawatha Park plans
Residents can find out more about the reconstruction plans for Lake Hiawatha Park on September 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at an open house. It will be hosted at Nokomis Community Center, 2401 East Minnehaha Parkway. There will be three alternative concepts shared at the meeting which include plans for reconstructing the flood-damaged golf course, as well as plotting out additional uses for the park. The meeting is open to all, and park visitors and nearby residents are encouraged to attend to give their input. Plans will allow flood-control improvements along the creek, which borders the course. The City, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, and Minnehaha Watershed Creek District have been working in partnership on the plans. Any reconstruction will be funded in part by Federal disaster aid. More background is available on the project page on the Minneapolis Parks website.    
Apply to serve on a board or commission
Applications are currently being accepted for a number of open board and commission positions that the City Council and Mayor will appoint this fall. Board and commission members serve an important role with the city, provide valuable insights, shape key policy decisions, and provide community-based input into how the city provides services. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to strengthen the work of the City. Note that applications will be reviewed beginning October 23, but positions are open until filled. There are openings on 11 City boards and commissions, listed online. The City of Minneapolis has more than 50 volunteer-based boards, commissions and advisory committees that advise the City on issues and help with policy development and administration of services. Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards, and special service districts, which are defined areas within the city where special services are rendered. Appointments to board and commissions are made twice a year  - in the spring and fall.
Longfellow Art Crawl 

On Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, the League of Longfellow Artists (LoLa) is hosting its annual art crawl. This event is dedicated to bringing attention to the treasures of artistic expression created by artists living and/or working in the greater Longfellow neighborhood. A map and listing of artists is available online. During the art crawl, each site will have art crawl directories available. Anyone who purchases art during the event can ask for a sticker, which will be good for a number of discounts at local sponsoring businesses during the weekend of the art crawl. 

Free low-flow showerheads
To save money on utility bills and conserve energy without sacrificing comfort, Minneapolis residents can get free low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. They are available through a partnership with the City and CenterPoint Energy. They are designed to provide good water flow while using less hot water. Just one showerhead and one faucet aerator in a family home can reduce hot water use by more than 4,200 gallons in a year and residents can get up to three of each for free. Showerheads are available in a chrome or ivory finish. Faucet aerators are available in kitchen or bathroom models. To order and for more information on this program, go online or call 1-866-425-1748.
Monarch celebration on Sept. 12
The Minneapolis Monarch Festival is coming to Lake Nokomis (50th Street at Lake Nokomis Parkway) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 12. The event will include music, art activities, games, food, a costume parade, and more. The day offers many fun ways for people of all ages to learn about the monarch butterfly and its amazing 2,300 mile migration from Minnesota to the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico. The connection between Minnesota and Mexico will be highlighted through music and dance on an all-day stage. It is a free event, open to all, with all activities conducted in Spanish and English. The University of Minnesota Monarch Lab is bringing the monarchs for an up close and personal learning experience. Their staff will release adult butterflies with small identification tags affixed to their wings. Where and when these butterflies are found provides important information about the migration. The Wild Ones, Mexican Consulate, US Forest Service and other organizations working on habitat conservation will be on hand to talk about actions everyone can take to help monarchs and the migration that means so much to people here and in Mexico, where the monarch has been an important part of culture going back hundreds of years to the time of the Aztecs. Find more information and details online
Free graffiti solvent at fire stations
Graffiti is always among the top service requests to 311 for Ward 12 for the year. Many proactive residents already report this issue and help prevent it. Graffiti makes neighborhoods and commercial districts look and feel unsafe, and that can harm property values and retail revenues, especially for small, neighborhood businesses. Left alone, graffiti attracts more graffiti. Graffiti that is not cleaned off or covered up promptly is more likely to return. There are many ways to report graffiti. For anyone who sees someone vandalizing property, call 911. Anyone who sees graffiti in their neighborhood can report it by calling 311, taking a picture of the graffiti with a phone and reporting with the 311 app, or online. It is the property owner’s responsibility to clean up graffiti. All Minneapolis fire stations offer free graffiti removal solvent to Minneapolis property owners, and the City website has instructions for graffiti removal. Preventing graffiti is also part of the solution. A wall with a mural or plants is less likely to be tagged by a vandal. Adding lights to a property can also help. Find more complete tips online
Rarely seen City images now available online
A number of historical images, photos, video and slides from the City’s archival collection, some dating back to the 1800s are now available online via a Flickr site. Visitors to the Flickr site are encouraged to comment, add tags and other historical data they may have related to images so that City staff can better identify posted materials and provide historical context. Staff plans to keep the site updated with new images as the City Clerk’s office continues to assess and digitize the City’s archival holdings. 
City tests out new parking app
For residents and visitors who want to pay for on-street parking time without going to a meter or pay station, the city is testing out a pilot program allows for payment via a smartphone app. Plans are in the works for the MPLS Parking App to go citywide later this fall as a more convenient meter paying option. The pilot program is currently in parts of the North Loop and Downtown West neighborhoods, just north of Target field. The way the app works is that drivers just enter their space numbers and payment methods into the app from wherever they are. They can also add more time to their parking without having to go back out into the street. There is a small fee for using the app, which amounts to 15 or 25 cents per transaction. The app can also be set up to send a warning email or text message when parking is about to expire, and can also help drivers locate their cars. For anyone who needs to keep track of parking expenses, the app also has reporting functions. The app will be an additional option for paying meters. Drivers are not required to use it, and can always choose to pay at the meter with credit cards or coins. More information is available online

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