July 8, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Meeting Minutes
July 8, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Allan Campbell, Kathy Cobb, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Rodgers Adams, Katie Larson, Bonnie Kiley

Treasurer’s Report:  John Abraham-Watne reported that the NRP balance is $607.93 after writing a check for $955 to PrintGlobe for the Safety Whistles.  The NCEC balance is $3,412.84.   We also received two checks – one for $3,361 for an NRP reimbursement and one for $3.24 for an NCEC reimbursement from 2013 funds.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the June 10 meeting were approved with the change under Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene’s report that “Richard Logan mentioned…Excelsior traffic blocks the driveway out of the ambulance station,” not out of the fire station as was noted.

The CPP Annual report for 2013 was approved with two changes.  It was noted that there were approximately 40 people at the Station Area Walkabout that was held in April of 2013.  We also will add mention of our Ward 13 Candidate Forum.

We have $27, 438.27 in CPP funds remaining from 2013 that need to be rolled over into 2014.  The Board agreed to roll over $5,000 to Professional Services, $12,000 to Communications/Outreach, $5,321 to Meetings/community building events and $5,117.27 to Other Services.  Rhea will submit the rollover budget to Judy Duffey.

Council Member Linea Palmisano:  Council Member Palmisano was not present, but she submitted a written report prior to the meeting focusing on the Southwest LRT.

Midtown Greenway Access Point Kiosk:  John Abraham-Watne reported that the Plexiglass is now up in the kiosk.  The case opens with a Phillips screwdriver, not a key.  There was another discussion about what to put up.  John plans to put materials up on Saturday, July 12.

Utility Boxes:  Haydee Peterson reported that she submitted the utility box application, but she hasn’t heard back yet.  There seems to be a general consensus that the Board would like original art that represents the neighborhood.  We will need to select which boxes to cover and then will need to select an artist.  Haydee is hoping we can interview an artist by November.  She said that the Uptown Association is willing to come to our September meeting.  We will also need insurance.  Haydee said that the whole process will likely take a year to complete.

Calhoun Conversations:  David Rhees, Haydee Peterson and Mary Underwood met to discuss the Calhoun Conversations project.  They are proposing that it would not just be a lecture, but that it would be more interactive, with time included for conversation.  For example, bird stories – everyone has a bird story.  They would like to invite other neighborhoods/organizations: CIDNA, ECCO, Linden Hills and the Uptown Business Association.  They would do the programs quarterly.  They would like to make it a floating conversation, so that it would be at a different location each time.  Ideas for locations include: The Bakken Museum, St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Lakewood Cemetery, Linden Hills Library, Minikahda Club, Calhoun Towers penthouse, Calhoun Beach Club, Lake Point, Lake Calhoun Center.

Movie Night:  Movie Night was cancelled due to flooding on the soccer field.

Future Agenda Items:  1) The Calhoun-Isles planning process will be reopened for public input.  This project could involve moving the sailing school to our side of the lake.  2) We will continue strategic planning at our October Retreat.  3) We are looking at forming committees and pulling in more volunteers.

Neighborhood Priority Plan questions:  1) If you could change one thing about West Calhoun Neighborhood, what would it be? Traffic and access.  Market Plaza is the worst street.  2) If WCNC had money to invest in a project in the West Calhoun neighborhood, what should they do?  Invest in new, attractive lighting.  Move the lights from the sidewalks.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

June 10, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Meeting Minutes
June 10, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Allan Campbell, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, David Rhees, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Rodgers Adams, Louise Campbell, Marion Greene, Ray Hoover, Bonnie Kiley, Kathryn Murray, Linea Palmisano, Emily Ziring

Treasurer’s Report:  John Abraham-Watne reported that the NRP balance remains at $1,562.93.  The NCEC balance is $4,490.66.   The questions that the Board had about the Attorney General’s report were answered.  We only need to report NRP funds that flow directly through our check book.  A motion was made to approve the Attorney General’s report.  The motion carried.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the May 13 Annual Meeting were approved as read.

Council Member Linea Palmisano:  Linea Palmisano has been in contact with our new Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene about important improvements needed in West Calhoun.  Emily Ziring has also met with Ray Hoover, Marion’s principal aide.  

Council Member Palmisano reported that she believes that speed cameras would be a good idea in our area.  She wants to get it on the state legislature’s agenda.

Emily Ziring reported on the 5 top items on the “dotmocracy” poll that was conducted at the Bike and Pedestrian Safety meeting.  The top five things are:

  1. Refresh crosswalk markings – These get repainted every year.  Downtown is always done first.  Emily asked them to paint our crosswalks next after downtown.  Some are already in on Market Plaza.  Emily has also asked that stop bars be placed further back from the crosswalk so cars stop farther away from pedestrians.
  2. Countdown timers – They will be installed this summer.  There should be eight.
  3. No Turn on Red – Emily is a fan of “No Turn on Red,” but Public Works feels it is more dangerous with “No Turn on Red.”  Emily is going to ask if they might be used in select places like exiting Calhoun Village.
  4. Intersection lighting – There are only two lights at Lake and Excelsior.  They will double the light levels by adding two more poles.
  5. Lighting on Abbott Ave. – This is still on the radar according to Emily.  She has put in a request for new poles.

Kathy Cobb requested that Linea keep us informed about the Southwest LRT.  We want to be involved in the process.  We are Tier 1 for Transit Oriented Development.  The City of Minneapolis and the County are currently in mediation over the SW LRT plan.  It should be done some time between now and July 1.  

Louise Campbell noted that the sidewalks in the neighborhood aren’t ADA accessible.  

Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene:  Commissioner Greene reported that she is in constant communication with Council Member Palmisano.  She will send updates to Rhea.  She will be doing a monthly newsletter.  Rhea will send the Board’s email addresses to Commissioner Greene.  

Commissioner Greene said she wants more transparency in government.  She is also interested in community partnerships.  Regarding the Southwest LRT, she said that not only are the municipalities having hearings, but the county is also having hearings.  She stated that she wants to be sure that the Southwest LRT takes into account pedestrian and bike safety.  Her term ends on December 31.  She will stand for re-election in the August primary (November election).  Richard Logan mentioned that one issue he would like to see her address is the fact that Excelsior traffic blocks the driveway out of the ambulance station.

The Edge Business Association: Kathy Cobb and Allan Campbell suggested that we send the businesses an email blast about Movie Night.  The plan is to follow up with a survey.  Kathy and Allan have put together some questions.  It might be helpful to look at what other groups are doing.  The Uptown Association has members in the area who participate.  They put together a coupon book.  The Lake St. Association have few members in West Calhoun.  Ian Kees suggested that we have a Business Outreach Committee and that we make a point to meet with the manager owners of each business.  Kathy said that we have done that kind of outreach before.  They liked the idea of the Business Outreach Committee.  Kathy and Allan will be members.  They will look to recruit more members.  

Utility Boxes:  Haydee was unable to come to the meeting.  Kathy commented that Kingfield and East Harriet have utility boxes with great photo collages. She believes we should hire a professional.  Ian reported that the Uptown Association has a utility box program.  Maude Lovell is willing to speak to us about it.  The application is due June 13.  Rhea will see that the application gets in.

Southwest LRT:  Allan and Kathy went to the Corridor Management meeting.  All municipalities have scheduled hearings except Minneapolis.  The City is currently in mediation with the Met Council.  The Federal government would like consent.  Richard Logan suggested that we should have a list of what we want in the station area.  He feels that if we want betterments we need to tell the City.

Midtown Greenway Access Point Kiosk:  John Abraham-Watne reported that the kiosk has been painted.  They will replace the Plexiglass.  We will need to get the key.  Ideas for what to put up: 1) a map of the Greenway, 2) info about businesses, 3) a large version of our logo, 4) information about how to get to businesses and the lake, 5) a Park Board map.

Calhoun Conversations:  Mary is interested in working on this.  She and David will plan to meet.  David commented that he attended the June 5 Walking Tour of the area and he said that Peter Sussman would be a great speaker.

Movie Night:  We have a food truck that is interested – the Motley Crew.  Ian plans to go out with a table to collect email addresses.  If there is a microphone he will introduce the movie.  He will also hand out magnets. The Southwest LRT information bus will park in the Lake Calhoun Center parking lot from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Mary Underwood said she would check with food trucks at the Capital.  Rhea will contact Ben and Jerrys.  Rhea will send out an eblast on Monday and will make 30 posters.  Richard Logan is willing to put up posters.

Officer Elections:  Chair David Rhees thanked the current officers, David Rhees, Richard Logan and John Abraham-Watne.  David announced he is stepping down as chair.  The slate of officers for this year is: Chair – Ian Kees, Vice Chair – David Rhees and Treasurer – John Abraham-Watne.  A motion was made to approve the slate.  The motion carried.  It was suggested that we plan to have a retreat in October.  Ian will try to schedule it with Meg at the Minikahda Club.

Ian suggested that we have more committees like Southwest LRT, Pedestrian Safety.  David suggested that we add “Next month’s agenda” to the agenda each month.  It was also suggested that we invite Frank Hornstein and Scott Dibble to attend a meeting.

August meeting:  A motion was made to cancel the August meeting.  The motion carried.  David asked that Rhea notify The Bakken Museum staff about the cancellation.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

May 13, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Annual Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, John Abraham-Watne.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Aaron Schaffer, Allan Campbell, Louise Campbell, John Fagerson, Meg Forney, Carol Logan, Mary Abraham-Watne, Lester Block, Charles Mosner, George Effrem, B. Kiley, G.E. Krause.

Treasurer’s Report:  Rhea Sullivan reported for Treasurer John Abraham-Watne that the NRP balance remains at $1,562.93.  The NCEC balance is $840.68.  We received an NCEC advance of $4,800, which has yet to be deposited.  

The Board reviewed the Attorney General’s Report for 2013.  We need to check on whether our NRP funds need to be included.  David also asked what is the $2,610.00 that is listed as “EXCESS or DEFICIT.”  We should include the ePostcard when we bring the report back to the Board in June.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the March 11 and April 8 Board Meetings were approved as read.

NCEC Elector:  The Board voted to appoint Kathy Cobb as our NCEC Elector and Haydee Peterson as alternate.

Safety Whistles:  Richard Logan reported that the 800 safety whistles we purchased were gone within four days.  He would like to have more made.  Kathy mentioned that the Calhoun Beach Club Apartments might be interested as well as Calhoun Place.  A motion was made that we order more whistles and that we take into consideration if there is a price break.  The purchase is not to exceed $1,200.  The motion carried.  ACTION ITEM: Rhea will get the actual cost for the NRP contract amendment.

Art on Utility Boxes:  Haydee Peterson reported that the whole process of putting art on utility boxes usually takes 2-3 years.  We have six utility boxes. The first step is to take photos and measure boxes.  There is an application that needs to be submitted with photos of the boxes we want to wrap or paint.  It is due by June 13.  We will need to get written permission from adjacent property owners.  It was suggested that we could use windsurfing photos.  Aaron Shaffer offered that he has many such photos that he’d be willing to give WCNC.  Another option would be to put out a request for an artist to the neighborhood.  Haydee suggested that we do four of the boxes.  A motion was made to submit four boxes.  The motion carried.  ACTION ITEM:  Haydee Peterson will submit an application and photos of the four boxes by June 13.

Southwest LRT – Sophia Ginis, Outreach Coordinator for the Southwest LRT, reported that on April 9 the Met Council voted on the scope and budget for the Southwest LRT project.  There will be 16 stations, the length will be 15.8 miles and it will include two shallow tunnels with a bridge over the channel.  On May 29 there will be a joint meeting between the Met Council and HCCRA.  Municipal approval needs to be wrapped up by July.  Looking ahead, the focus will be on more specific design, including landscaping and streetscaping.  There will also be an environmental process.  Final engineering will be in 2015.  The full funding grant agreement will be in 2016 and the project should be completed by 2019.

Kathy Cobb reported that the Community Advisory Committee has been disbanded.  Sophia said that the CAC was set up to be in place for a year.  Kathy asked how the Southwest LRT will continue to engage neighborhood associations.  Sophia said that they are looking for a structure for community involvement.

Midtown Greenway Access Point Kiosk – We haven’t heard any news yet about the kiosk.  ACTION ITEM:  Kathy Cobb volunteered to work on what to put into the kiosk.

Calhoun Conversations:  ACTION ITEM:  David and Mary and Haydee need to set up a time to meet to discuss format, timing, etc.

Summer Movie Night:  Our movie will be on Monday, June 23 and will be “Saving Mr. Banks.”  Ian reported that no volunteers are needed.  No beer and wine will be allowed.  The Park Board will connect us with a couple of food trucks.  We will do a postcard to promote the event and will include “To obtain info about future events, subscribe to our enews list at www.westcalhoun.org.”  Ian is thinking of having a table at the event.

Park Board Representative Meg Forney:  Meg reported that several businesses in the Lake Calhoun Executive Center are interested in redoing the business brochure.  Meg spoke about Emerald Ash Borer.  The Park Board has inventoried ash trees in the city.  Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Lakewood Cemetery.  There are few ash trees in West Calhoun, but many in East Calhoun and Linden Hills.  Meg also mentioned that the Park Board is concerned about connections to the Southwest LRT.  They did a charrette last year regarding the lid over Lake Street.  Once the Southwest LRT project is on track, they have a vision.  Meg also mentioned that the City is assessing a dedication fee to new developments for funds for trails.  The funds need to be used within a half mile radius of the development.  Meg also brought copies of a paving and lighting projects map.

WCNC Elections:  Allan Campbell, prospective new Board member, spoke briefly about his experience and why he wants to run for the Board.  A motion was made to elect the proposed slate that was listed on the May 13 agenda.  The motion carried.  Allan Campbell, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, Mary Underwood and John Abraham-Watne were elected to serve on the Board for the coming year.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

April 8, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
April 8, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Rodgers Adams, Allan Campbell, Louise Campbell, Council Member Linea Palmisano and Emily Ziring.

Treasurer’s Report:  Rhea Sullivan reported for Treasurer John Abraham-Watne that the NRP balance remains at $1,562.93.  The NCEC balance is 2,624.41.  

Secretary’s Report:  We did not have quorum.  The March 11 minutes were approved conditionally.  We discussed potential articles for the Spring newsletter, which will be delivered to homes the week of April 28 – May 2.  The newsletter will include an announcement about the West Calhoun Public Meeting on Pedestrian and Bike Safety which will be held after the Annual Meeting on May 13 (from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.)  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will ask Whole Foods to donate pizzas for the Annual Meeting.  Rhea also announced that we need an elector for the June 12th NCEC election.  ACTION ITEM:  We will put this on the May agenda.

Greenway Trail Access Point issues:  Richard Logan reviewed the proposal that Aaron Shaffer presented last month.  Aaron is following up with the Midtown Greenway Coalition.

Council Member Linea Palmisano:  Linea’s aide, Emily Ziring, presented the agenda for the May 13 Public Meeting on Pedestrian and Bike Safety.  They would like public input on the top priorities.  They are looking for near-term and mid-term potential fixes.  They will review the efforts to date, discuss what has been ruled out and the factors complicating implementation near Calhoun Commons.  They will bring a list of potential solutions and ask the public where we should put our resources.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will make a flyer that can be posted to publicize the meeting.  

Council Member Palmisano reported that our resolution from last month’s meeting has been submitted to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committees.  If they say “yes”, it can go to the Transportation and Public Works Committee.  Regarding potential speed humps on Chowen Avenue near the Greenway, Public Works says that we need more data.  

Regarding the Southwest LRT, Council Member Palmisano reported that the Governor has come out publicly to endorse co-location in Kenilworth.  Basically we need to figure out how to make this work.  If we can’t get the alignment we want, what things can we get?  What are the mitigations?  What would quality service to Minneapolis look like?  There will be a vote at the end of June.  WCNC still has NRP funds.  We may be able to contribute to making improvements for the Southwest LRT.

Art on Utility Boxes:  Rhea Sullivan reported on some of the details about covering utility boxes with public art.  There are two options.  We could hire an artist to paint or design an art wrap for the boxes or we could consider selecting one of the twelve pre-approved designs that are offered through the Minneapolis Art Wraps program.  Our first step is to figure out where the utility boxes are.  David Rhees said he would like to use the art that is on our logo.  ACTION ITEM:  Haydee Peterson will find out how many boxes we have and where they are.    

Earth Day April 26:  We will be staffing a table at Lake Calhoun Parkway and W. 32nd Street.  Haydee, Richard and John have volunteered to help.  Rhea will also plan to be there.  It is from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.  ACTION ITEM:  Richard Logan will ask Caribou for coffee for the event.

WCNC Elections:  We are hoping to fill the Board at the upcoming elections.  There are 9 seats and we currently have 7 Board members.  We will elect officers in June.  ACTION ITEM:  David Rhees will email the Board to remind them to try to find potential Board candidates.

Logo Signs:  The logo signs are now up.

Calhoun Conversations:  We may want to team up with other neighborhood associations.  We need to determine who is the intended audience, is it a lecture or is it participatory?  Possible speakers mentioned included Chuck Denny, Dave Chase and Richard Logan.  ACTION ITEM:  David and Mary and Haydee need to set up a time to meet to discuss format, timing, etc.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

March 11, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
March 11, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Board Members:  John Abraham-Watne, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  Also present: Jennifer Mutschler, Bonnie Kiley, Rodgers Adams, Aaron Shaffer, Emily Ziring, Council Member Linea Palmisano, Jess Harris.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that the NRP balance remains at $1,562.93.  The NCEC balance is 4,082.41.  This amount includes our NCEC reimbursement of $2,201.35.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the January and February 2014 meetings were both approved as read.  Kathy Cobb recommended that we purchase stationery with our new logo from Vista Print.  The cost will be $215 for 250 pieces of letterhead and 250 envelopes.  The Board approved this expenditure.  ACTION ITEM:  Kathy will order the stationery.

Making the West Calhoun Greenway Exit Safer:  Aaron Shaffer brought a proposal to the Board that he developed with Richard Logan that is intended to make the West Calhoun Greenway exit safer for all.  In this area where bikes, pedestrians and cars meet, the question is “How do we get cars to stop?” The ideas for immediate improvement include: pedestrian/bicyclist crossing signs, possible stop signs for vehicles, painted bike lanes on Abbott (possibly on Chowen too for the apartment residents) in both directions and a gate to prevent anything larger than a wheelchair from entering the Greenway.  The proposal also included ideas for near future improvement and future improvement.    

Council Member Linea Palmisano commented that a lot of the area near the access point is owned by the Hennepin County Railroad Authority (HCRRA).  The other part is owned by Calhoun Commons.  She also mentioned that only 17% of people stop at stop signs.  Policy Aide Emily Ziring suggested that speed humps or traffic circles would likely be better options than stop signs.  

The Board made this resolution:  “We recommend that the appropriate government entities do a study of pedestrian and bicycle safety at the Chowen and Abbott exit from the Midtown Greenway.”

Council Member Linea Palmisano:  Linea passed out a handout regarding the resolution that came out of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee regarding the Lake Street/Excelsior Boulevard/Market Plaza “Triangle.”  There was one item that seemed extreme to her: “Remove right turn lanes on Lake Street in both directions to reduce pedestrian crossing distances by approximately 12 feet each.  Potentially use temporary measures initially to restrict the lanes and monitor how traffic responds and then evaluate a permanent solution.”  The Board agreed that this seems extreme.  It was not suggested by the neighborhood.  

Something they are looking to implement quickly is a leading pedestrian interval at Lake Street and Market Plaza, which moves pedestrians out into the street earlier than cars.  They do this at Hennepin and Lagoon and Hennepin and Lake.  It requires Hennepin County approval and then the City makes the change.  Another idea is to have a charrette.  Linea suggested that rather than starting the long process of having a charrette we instead have a community meeting to get input on all the ideas that we have.  The consensus was that a community meeting makes more sense.  Council Member Palmisano said that the meeting would likely be in the community space at Whole Foods.  She will consider our newsletter publication date in setting the date for the meeting.  The newsletter should arrive in homes two weeks before our May 13 Annual Meeting.

Regarding the Southwest LRT, the City maintains the same stance that it has had in the past.  They feel that the re-route of freight is viable.  Council Member Palmisano let the Board know that she is the mayor’s appointee for LRT station planning.  

Polar Bear Plunge:  Ian Kees reported that the fireworks on February 28 were a success, however the table at the event didn’t draw many people.  We need to consider if it’s worthwhile having a table.  David mentioned the idea of having a gathering on the Bakken’s green roof next year.

Summer Movie Night:  Ian Kees suggested that we form a movie committee next year.  We will soon find out if we got a movie.  He had to submit 5 dates with 5 movies for each date.  It would be good to include the June movie in the May newsletter.  The Park Board would help us with food trucks.    

Lake St. Council/Uptown Association:  Our memberships in the Lake Street Council and the Uptown Association have come up for renewal.  The Board discussed whether to renew.  The feeling was that the memberships could be helpful in the future.  Rhea will be the contact person for communications with the organizations and will disseminate information that is of interest.  The Board voted to continue our memberships in both business associations.  Ian said that he would be willing to contact both associations to talk about the benefits of membership.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will renew the memberships and Ian will contact both of them.

Board members:  We need more Board members.  People should be thinking about who we might recruit.  The Annual Meeting is coming up May 13.

Earth Day April 26:  We have agreed to staff the table at the site at Lake Calhoun Parkway and W. 32nd Street.  Haydee, Richard and John have volunteered to help.  Rhea will also plan to be there.  It is from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will put together a little blurb about Earth Day for an eblast, the website and general publicity.

Small Area Plan:  Kathy Cobb reported that she had reviewed the Small Area Plan.  She suggested that we talk about it at our next retreat.  We will schedule the retreat after the Annual Meeting.

SW LRT Updates:  John Abraham-Watne attended the CAC for Kathy.  Rodgers Adams also reported that negotiations are currently occurring.  The Corridor Management Committee will meet on Wednesday and will challenge the railroad’s stance.  While municipal consent is desired, it’s not required.

Logo Signs:  They are finished, but probably won’t go up until the end of March.

Calhoun Conversations:  David and Mary and Haydee need to set up a time to meet.  David explained the concept to the meeting attendees.  We are looking to start the programs in the Fall of 2014.

If we had money to invest in one project, what would it be?  Jennifer Mutschler said she would like to have more trash cans around.  Another Board member mentioned the idea of the gazebo at the location of the Clear Channel billboard.  The Board wonders how to find out who owns the land that the billboard is on.  ACTION ITEM:  Kathy will ask Meg when she returns from her vacation.

David said that he would like to complain about the last minute closings of Calhoun Parkway for running events.  He would like to request a list of closings.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

February 11, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
February 11, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., 3515 Zenith Ave. S. (Home of Ian Kees)

Board Members:  John Abraham-Watne, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, Mary Underwood.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  

The meeting was held at the home of Ian Kees due to a power outage at The Bakken Museum.

Summer Movie Night:  In order to hold a Summer Movie Night(s) at the neighborhood soccer field, we will likely need to work with the park that is closest to us.  Our contact at the Park Board will let us know which park that is.  A motion was made: “Move to spend up to $1,200 to sponsor up to three movie nights in the park.”  The motion carried.  It was suggested that it would be best to have some consistency with date, like the same day each month.  The date for signing up is coming up on February 24.  

Polar Bear Plunge:  Ian Kees reported that we need to submit what we would like to appear on the JumboTron.  It was suggested that we put together a series of photographs (perhaps 6) that represent the neighborhood – like the Greenway, the business nodes, The Bakken Museum.  We would like to include the text: “West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Welcomes You.”  Ian will find out what format they need it in.  John Abraham-Watne agreed to help if a PowerPoint is needed.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will send the text and images to Megan Powell at the Polar Bear Plunge.  She will also request one table and two chairs.

The Board discussed having a presence at the event on Saturday, March 1, 2014.  The consensus was that we should do it.   This is the schedule for staffing the tent:  

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Haydee Peterson and Rhea Sullivan

12 – 2 p.m. – Kathy Cobb

2 – 4 p.m. – Richard Logan

Ian said that we have 10 VIP seats available.  David requested to use two for his staff on February 28 because they will be observing the fireworks.  

Ian agreed to distribute the Save The Date flyers for the fireworks.

Lighting Walk:  Our Lighting Walk will be held on Wednesday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m.  We will begin and end at Wakame.  Council Member Linea Palmisano and her Policy Aide Emily Ziring will attend.  Richard Logan and John Abraham-Watne will lead the walk.

Tryg’s development:  David Rhees reported that we had a letter from Janet Halloway (who may be on the CIDNA Board) asking WCNC to take a position on the Tryg’s development.  Our concern is that we would need to be educated in order to make an intelligent response.  David offered that we could consider taking a position if someone on the Board wants to research it.  There were no volunteers.  Apparently CIDNA only weighed in on the height of the building.     

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 11, 2014.  

The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m.

January 14, 2014 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
January 14, 2014 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  John Abraham-Watne, Kathy Cobb, Ian Kees, Richard Logan, Haydee Peterson, David Rhees, Mary Underwood.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Louise Campbell, Allan Campbell, Aaron Shaffer, Rodgers Adams, Ken Dahler, Emily Ziring, Linea Palmisano, George Effrem

Midtown Greenway Coalition Report:  Aaron Shaffer reported that the City has signed a new contract for the blue safety phones on the Greenway.  Many of them were not working properly.  Eagan Electric will be responsible for maintaining them in working order.  He also reported that east of 35W there have been instances of people throwing things off bridges onto the Greenway, including a chair and a sandbag.  Aaron also brought up the issue of how to get anywhere safely from our Greenway access point.  Directional signs or painted bike lanes are needed.  If we can come up with what we want, Aaron can present it to the Midtown Greenway Coalition’s Improvement Committee for approval.  It could be a possible interim improvement before the LRT station goes in.  ACTION ITEM:  Richard Logan will work with Aaron on this and they will report back to the Board.    

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that the NRP balance remains the same at $1,562.93 and there is an $8,467.95 balance in the NCEC account.

Secretary’s Report:  The minutes of the December 10 Board meeting were approved as read.  

Logo/Logo Signs:  Kathy Cobb reported that the artwork for the logo signs is ready to go to the printer.  They will be 15 x 20”.  Kathy circulated a map of where the signs will be located.  

Hennepin/Lake Wine Tasting Fundraiser:  Kathy reported that she contacted Pat Fleetwood about the Hennepin/Lake Wine Tasting Fundraiser and asked that WCNC be put on the list for ticket sales.  We would sell tickets and help to staff the event.  The event is usually held before Thanksgiving.

Polar Bear Plunge:  Ian Kees reported that in November the Board approved $7,000 for a sponsorship of the Polar Bear Plunge.  After talking with Jack Whitehurst, we are proposing to lower that amount to $2,500.  We would now be sponsoring the JumboTron.  We will get most of the same benefits, including our name on the t-shirt and we can have a presence at the event.  Ian made a motion to reduce our prior board-approved sponsorship from $7,000 to $2,500.  The motion carried.  ACTION ITEM:  David asked that we get a written description of what we get for our sponsorship.  

David proposed that The Bakken would open up their Green Roof for community members and donors to view the fireworks on Friday, February 28 at 7 p.m.  They would likely start at 6:15 or 6:30 p.m. and serve hot cocoa and cookies before the fireworks.  We will include that information in the promotional post card.  Ian will ask Linden Hills to also publicize the event.  ACTION ITEM:  We need to decide if we want a table at the Polar Plunge on Saturday and what materials we want to have there.

2014-2016 CPP Application:  Rhea Sullivan explained the CPP application and what changes had been made since the Board saw the last version.  A motion was made to approve the CPP application for 2014-2016.  The motion carried.  ACTION ITEM:  Rhea will submit the CPP application and WCNC Bylaws to the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department.  

Council Member Linea Palmisano:  Council Member Palmisano reported that she was sworn in last Monday.  She gave an overview of her committee assignments, which include: Vice Chair of Transportation and Public Works Committee, member of the Budget Committee, Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as member of Public Safety Committee, the Airport Working Group and the Youth Coordinating Board.  She said she was working with Jim Tincher of Fulton to set up a coffee for neighborhood association chairs.  She introduced her two staff people: Emily Ziring (Senior Policy Aide) and Ken Dahler (Junior Policy Aide).  Emily will likely be our Policy Aide because of her background in Transportation.  ACTION ITEM:  We will plan to schedule the lighting walk in February.  We will propose three dates and follow up.  Also, in the Spring newsletter feature Linea’s staff and how to connect with the Ward 13 office.

The Loppet:  The Board discussed staffing a table at the Loppet.  The Loppet hours are: Friday, January 31 from 5-9 p.m., Saturday, February 1 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, February 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  We would likely be sharing a table with someone, possibly The Bakken Museum.  We discussed what to have at our table.  We will include copies of The Edge business directory, we could promote the Polar Plunge and could bring our maps.  Mary Underwood suggested that we make magnets with our logo on it and the website address.  She has done magnets before.  She will look into it.  Mary Underwood and George Effrem expressed willingness to help staff the table.  

Calhoun Conversations:  Mary Underwood and Haydee Peterson will meet with David Rhees to discuss the implementation of the Calhoun Conversations events.  They are looking to start the programs in the Fall of 2014.

Hill and Lake Press:  ACTION ITEMS:  Rhea will check in with Jean Deatrick about whether they have had a chance to consider including West Calhoun Neighborhood Council in the Hill and Lake Press.  She will also ask if we could include an article about the Polar Bear Plunge.  

Southwest LRT:  At a recent meeting, many St. Louis Park residents showed up who were very upset about the possibility of relocation of the freight rail.  The question came up of whether the trains are carrying hazardous materials.  Kathy Cobb reported that she is the WCNC representative for the CAC for Southwest light rail.  She reiterated that West Calhoun was chosen as a prime spot for development.  There is nothing concrete yet.  We have been in touch with Beth Elliott asking to keep us in the loop.  

Development Resolution:  Richard Logan proposed a resolution regarding development and urged that the Board register our concerns about development.  The resolution was:  “No more major development projects in CIDNA and West Calhoun along the Lake St. – Excelsior corridor until infrastructure  to make this  sustainable is in place.  By this I mean: a) Light Rail in place (or other sensible transit) and b) Dangerous Traffic density on Lake-Excelsior significantly reducedvia upgrades or rerouting of vehicles, or however.”  After some discussion, David Rhees said that it’s a question of what’s appropriate for this organization.  What is our best strategy?  It is likely that a resolution would not carry much weight.  In order to affect development, we would need to put together a small area plan.  David said that the resolution probably doesn’t make sense.  

Traffic Control:  Richard proposed five pressing traffic control issues that he feels should be worked on.  They are: 1. The urgent need for a left-turn arrow for eastbound Excelsior traffic turning left into W. 32d St.  2. Pedestrian crossing lights are not long enough on Lake St at Market Plaza, even for relatively fit people; as a result many residents avoid walking that intersection; 3. Left turns into Calhoun Commons from Market Plaza should not be allowed because of the traffic blocks they cause, all the more urgent because this is in front of the fire station. A central flexible-post barrier could be constructed.  Cars wanting to access Calhoun Commons from Excelsior have two entrances from Excelsior they can use, instead of turning into Market Plaza; 4. People do not obey the Do Not Block Driveway sign at the driveway for the rescue squad on Excelsior. Some much more dramatic signage is needed there; 5. The left-turn-on-green-arrow-only into Calhoun Commons from eastbound Excelsior seems superfluous and causes unnecessary delays and traffic back-up.  

Kathy Cobb cautioned about the left turn into Calhoun Commons from Market Plaza.  This was a subject of contention when Whole Foods was developed.  It’s possible that Whole Foods could break its lease if there was no left turn there.  

David suggested that we start a conversation with the Ward 13 Office about traffic.  We would ask “How would you suggest we work with you on these issues?” and ask them to suggest a process.  We need to redraft the language on the traffic control issues.  David said that he would like to funnel communications with the Ward 13 Office through him (as Chair).  ACTION ITEM:  David will send a letter to the Ward 13 Office about traffic control issues.  

Safety Whistles:  Richard Logan discussed the rationale for providing safety whistles.  It is a way to warn off criminal activity and to make residents feel safer in their neighborhood.  He made a motion to purchase 1,000 safety whistles for $600 and to hand them out to residences and business establishments.  Richard will personally distribute them.  The motion carried.  Rhea suggested that we use NRP funds from our Crime and Safety Strategy.  The Board would like blue whistles.  ACTION ITEM:  Richard will propose copy for the whistles via email.

Next meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  

The meeting was adjourned at 7:37 p.m.

January 8, 2013 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council Board Meeting Minutes
January 8, 2013 – 5:30 p.m., Bakken Museum

Board Members:  Kathy Cobb, Meg Forney, Gary Knutson, Richard Logan, David Rhees, Aaron Shaffer, Mary Underwood, John Abraham-Watne.  Board members absent: none.  Staff:  Rhea Sullivan.  In attendance:  Rodge Adams, Matt Perry.  

Secretary’s Report:  November meeting minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer John Abraham-Watne reported that after a deposit of $2,051, there is a $5,942 balance in NCEC account; $1,066 balance in NRP account.  David destroyed the debit cards that were sent to John (after the meeting.)  

The Edge Business Association Update:  Kathy reported that she and Coordinator Rhea Sullivan attended a meeting regarding the Great Streets Business District Support program.  This program provides funding for things like customer surveys, marketing and other activities designed to support the work of business associations.  The RFP will likely be issued in mid-January with proposals due in mid-February.  The maximum grant is $50,000.  Kathy proposes to build in time for the Coordinator to connect with business owners.  We plan to apply on behalf of the Edge Business Association.  We will keep the Board advised about the grant application.

Earth Day 2013 – April 20:  Earth Day this year is April 20.  Rhea explained that it takes some staff time to coordinate.  David mentioned that members of The Bakken Museum staff have participated for the past two years.  The Board agreed that WCNC will participate again in 2013.  Meg Forney suggested that we do more signage in the business area, in the Lake Calhoun Executive Center and in condos.  

Red Cross Bloodmobile:  Last year WCNC sponsored a bloodmobile with the business community at the Spring Wellness event.  It was decided that we won’t sponsor another event this year.  It seems more appropriate for businesses to take the lead on this sort of activity.  

Funding request for architectural renderings and video for the Capstone projects:  Jeff Peltola has requested that WCNC, in partnership with CIDNA, fund up to $1,000 for architectural renderings and a video to help showcase the work that has been done in the five Capstone projects that have been completed by University of Minnesota civil engineering students.  The computer generated images will help people understand the students’ assessments and conceptual solutions and the video will be a useful educational, outreach and advocacy tool.  Phil Rader will be creating the architectural images and Natin Moreno will produce a 4-5 minute video.  CIDNA will also fund $1,000 of the project expense.  Meg Forney suggested that in the future we engage landscape architects to help make the projects aesthetically pleasing.  The Board voted to approve the funding request with the understanding that WCNC will be acknowledged in all presentations as having provided partial support and that WCNC can add a link to the finished products on our website.  Funding for the project will come from Strategy #1 Corridor Planning ($752.40) and from Strategy #3 Neighborhood Corridors ($247.60.)  

WCNC Grievance Policy:  Rhea explained that WCNC needs a Grievance Policy in order to participate in the Community Participation Program (CPP.)  Rhea reviewed a number of policies and chose East Calhoun Community Organization’s grievance procedure as a model.  Rhea submitted a draft policy for the Board to review.  The Board voted to approve the policy as drafted.  Rhea will submit it to Jack Whitehurst at NCR.

Proposed Clarification to CPP Grievance Policy:  Rhea reviewed the NCR Department’s proposed clarification to the CPP Grievance Policy which has been provided to us for comment (by January 31).  Under the proposed clarification, when an ADA-related grievance made to and acted on by a neighborhood organization is appealed to the NCR Department, the appeal will be forwarded to the City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.  NCR is also developing broad support resources to help neighborhoods address, achieve or maintain ADA compliance.  These resources include training sessions, a resource guide titled “ADA Guidelines for Neighborhood Organizations” and program and space assessments in which the department will provide one-on-one assistance with on-site physical and program assessments, as requested.  The Board reviewed the proposed clarification and had no comment.

Park Board CAC for Dean Parkway and Cedar Lake trail improvements:  Meg Forney is the WCNC appointee to the CAC; Aaron Shaffer is Betsy Hodges’s appointee.  There are three meetings and one public open house (to be held at The Bakken Museum on Feb. 12 at 6:30 pm.)

Southwest Transitway:  Meg Forney reminded the Board that she and Kathy Cobb are still representatives to the Metropolitan Council CAC that will meet on Thursday.  Meg reported that the railway has come out against relocation of the freight rail line, which has added some friction since the City is adamantly opposed to co-location.  The engineering firm has been hired.  There is some concern that the firm was hired before the DEIS came out.  Responses to the DEIS could take up to a year.  There will be a final EIS, but we will not be able to comment on that.  

Matt Perry:  Matt announced that he will seek Betsy Hodges’s seat as Ward 13 Council Member.  

Next Meeting:  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 12.  Possible agenda items include:  1) Great Streets Business District Support grant; 2) the possibility of pulling people together from the various planning events that have taken place including the Walking Workshop, the Park Board charrette, the DEIS, the Parking Study, the Capstone projects to come up with a cohesive take-away from the events; 3) review our remaining NRP allocation to anticipate how to use those funds, including possibly revisiting our park site on the Greenway; 4) include something in our Spring newsletter to request suggestions for our Neighborhood Priority Plan (and possibly NRP funding).  

The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.