Kingfield Crime and Safety Meeting
Wednesday, May 17
Attendance: 6 Kingfield residents (including representatives from two Citizen Patrol walking groups).
MPD: Tom Thompson, Community Safe Officer
KFNA Staff: Joanna S. Hallstrom, Project Organizer – KFNA
Hallstrom handed out the April Kingfield crime map and Thompson opened discussion about incidents in the neighborhood. Residents asked about a shooting on 44th and Nicollet. Thompson was unaware of this incident or who was responsible. He stated that the Vatos Locs gang is thought to be responsible for the drive by shooting at 38th and Nicollet (no one was seriously injured in this incident). It was also stated that even though there isn’t proof that the homicide victim found at 38th and Nicollet a few months ago was shot in Kingfield it is reported as a homicide in our neighborhood – thus Kingfield has a total of two homicides in 2006.
The main topic of discussion was surrounding criminal activity around Pump and Munch and Westrums Tavern at 44th and Nicollet Ave. Residents who live near buy reported being awoken from sleep two to three night a week at 2:00am and 3:00am from loud disruptive activity at or around Westrums. Residents questioned the hours of operation of the bar and why such activity continues so early into the morning. Residents have witnessed drug dealing at both locations and frustrated at the responses from the business owner of the Pump and Munch to take action and by the lack of police response to 911 calls.
When asked what a gas station could do to address such activities Thompson gave explained what the Super America at 35th and Nicollet did to address similar issues:
Install exterior surveillance system
Hired an outside firm to monitor the system
The firm could communicate via a PA system and speak directly to customers – this relieved the pressure on gas station workers and fear of retaliation/harm if workers tried to confront disruptive behavior.
Programmed the gas pumps that so a credit card could only be used twice in a 24-hour period.
The group discussed what steps they can take to address/confront the issues at 44th and Nicollet. Thompson suggested setting up a meeting with the business owner of Westrums first. To have an open discussion and inform the owner about resident concerns regarding the business. It was agreed that Hallstrom will invite the owner of Westrums to the next Crime and Safety Task Force meeting. Hallstrom will also bring documentation of Kingfield Neighborhood Association’s agreement with Westrums that was written up in order for KFNA to support their liquor license.
Residents are very concerned about the increase of gang activity in the neighborhood. When asked if gang members are living in the neighborhood or just passing through, Thompson noted that there is an increase of gang members residing in Kingfield. Particularly members of the Troop Squad, who live around MLK Park but Thompson noted that it is very hard to confirm the addresses of the Latino gangs because of the lack of ID, and limits to the police’s ability to confirm addresses (Surenos 13, Vatos Locos and the Latin Kings are the most active Latino gangs in the area). One resident asked Thompson if it was safe for her kids to bike around the block by themselves. This was a difficult question for Thompson to address and shared that philosophically if people hide inside and avoid places of concern, criminal activity will increase. He stated that it is important for people to be present and active in their neighborhood. Due the location of where this woman lived and known gang members in her area, Thompson recommend that she accompany her children on bike rides. He stated that most violent crimes involving gang members are gang on gang and no random acts.
Thompson gave an overview of the Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan and Mayor Rybak’s Safe Summer Initiative. The Safe Summer Initiative time frame is between May 15 and Novembers. Five neighborhoods were selected to receive extra policing support for their period. The neighborhoods include three in North Minneapolis and Central and Phillips Neighborhoods in South Minneapolis. The major concern is that police pressure on these areas cause criminal activity to spill over into bordering neighborhoods – displacing crime. Thompson reported that the good news is that Precinct 5 was given some buy back funding to increase police support at certain designated criminal hot spots. The following areas will receive this extra policing:
Uptown business node and residential area
Nicollet Ave. from Lake street to 44th street (through Kingfield).
Lake street around Wendy’s Restaurant and Pleasant Ave.
Hallstrom has confirmed two Citizen Patrol Coordinators for the two of the three walking groups (Hallstrom trained on KFNA’s third Citizen Patrol last Friday). The coordinators will organize their Citizen Patrol throughout the summer.
Hallstrom also confirmed that Shawna Gibson; new KFNA board member will chair the Crime and Safety Task Force starting mid summer. Hallstrom will work with Thompson and Gibson to identify a meeting time that works with for both of them and the Crime and Safety meeting time will be adjusted accordingly.
Hallstrom will invite the owner of Westrums to the July 21st Crime and Safety meeting
Hallstrom will also invite a board member that was present when Westrums was applying for their liqueur license to be there for background history.
Hallstrom will located the agreement Kingfield made with Westrums
Jennifer Spraque will lead the July 21st meeting in Hallstrom absence (Hallstrom will be on maternity leave)
Lynn Salmon-Easter will coordinate a supplemental Citizen Patrol training sometime this summer. She will be contacting V.J. Smith of MADD to invite him to do the training.
Summer Safety Strategy Meeting: Thursday, May 25th, Phelps Park, 3900 Chicago Ave. S., 7-8:30pm.
Sponsored by the 8th Ward City Council office
Minutes completed by Joanna S. Hallstrom – KFNA
Niki Valens, Arthur Knowles, and Melinda Ludwiczak (Members of the NRP Steering Committee), Mark Hinds (Pedestrian Bridge and Redevelopment Chair), and Sarah Linnes-Robinson (Staff) attended the May NRP Policy Board to present the approved Kingfield Neighborhood Phase II NRP Plan. After a presentation that covered the points noted below, the group took questions. To say that the plan was well received is to state it mildly. It was unanimously approved by the Policy Board and will now proceed to City Council for approval.
Successes of the Phase I Plan and how that experience informed the Phase II Plan:
- RiverLake Greenway
- Kingfield Farmers’ Market
- Business Façade Program/Business Mural Project/Nicollet Streetscape Improvements
- Development of Affordable and/or Accessible Housing in Kingfield with Minneapolis Public Housing, Project for Pride in Living, Habitat for Humanity, and Hennepin County
- Emergency Home Repair Grant for Low Income Homeowners
- Environmental Organizing including the boulevard tree planting project and a stormwater management project both occurring this year.
- Strengthening the organization/ building board and committees and improving outreach on a block-by-block basis via personal outreach and via the newsletter and establishing website and e-mail list.
These key projects will continue in Phase II, along with increased attention on Affordable Housing, a growing issue in Kingfield, spearheaded by the KFNA Redevelopment Committee.
Kingfield Farmer’s Market Task Force
Meeting minutes: May 11th, 2006
Attendees: Jobylynn, Michelle Wood-Kustanowitz, Mike Yang, Madison Cha and Kathy Raleigh
- Vendor Updates: We have received 11 applications. Mike Yang is a new produce vendor—a lead from the Midtown Market. Maura and Kathy will talk to some of the old vendors again.
- Maura and Kathy distributed Opening Market posters to business sponsors. (May 19).
- Newsletter: June Content- Rhubarb
Edibles- Kylene Walberg
Handmade – Maura Bosch
Gardening Tips – Melinda Ludwickzac
Recipe – Michelle Woods-Kustanowitz
Other Info Section –Ice cream contest info for July
Final edits and print by June 2nd- we will need volunteers to help distribute the week before opening market.
- Second Sunday:
Business sponsors have received applications for the no-fee table guidelines.
Kathy to draft letter (and mail) for neighborhood community groups with application to no-fee table guidelines for non-profits.
Next Meeting: Thursday June 1st
Kathy Raleigh is responsible for taking and writing the minutes for the latter meeting.
Kingfield Neighborhood Association
Board of Directors Meeting
May 10, 2006
Board Members Present:
Thor Anderson, Dave Saddoris, Pete Hallstrom, Ben Kristensen, Erik Lindseth, Shawna Gibson, JobyLyn Sassily, Diana Schleisman, Niki Valens, Darrell Gerber, Mark Hinds, Martha Ingram, Arthur Knowles
KFNA Staff Present: Sarah Linnes-Robinson
Meeting Called to Order:
Lindseth called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
Carol O’Connor, a Kingfield neighbor from 4351 1st Ave. S., shared with the board her concern over activity around the Pump & Munch. She suspects drug related. She also notices people leaving Westrum’s between 2 and 3 AM and she wonders what they are up to. The board recommended that she call 911 to report any suspicious activity. The board also highlighted the existence of the Crime Prevention & Safety Committee, which meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at MLK.
Karen Haleman, a resident at 4315 Nic. Ave, spoke to the suspicious activity at Westrum’s. Again, the board recommended that she call 911 to report any suspicious activity. Sarah suggested that she will follow up to see if Westrum’s has followed through with several promises they previously made to improve and enforce the safety aspects of their property.
Chris Austin, also a Kingfield resident, complained about the fence by the BP Amoco on Nicollet Ave. It is badly deteriorating. The board suggested that they would try to find out who is responsible for the fence.
March minutes were adopted with the following changes: correct spelling JobyLyn Sassily.
Dave Saddoris noticed a slight discrepancy between the February “Net Income” as reported on the Balance Sheet and as it appears on the same month’s Income Expense Statement. Sarah invited the board to consider how detailed of a report they want every month. Hinds suggested that there must be a way we can generate a report that is clearer. Sarah asked Hinds to provide examples of such reports from other organizations.
Redevelopment Committee Report:
Regarding the now closed SA on the EHF side, Hinds and Matt Perry, from EHFNA are forming a task force to create a vision for the redevelopment of the corner where the SA is located. In particular, they are looking for Kingfield residents to participate on the task force. There will be a 4-6 month planning process. Hinds feels that the SA is trying to be a good neighbor and that they are open to ideas as to how to proceed with the redevelopment of the sites.
The “Local Commons” Project (see committee minute) will meet next Wednesday at 7 at MLK Park.
Zoning Committee Report:
NRP Committee Report:
Green Committee Report:
A discussion regarding Nikki Valens’ property was tabled until new business.
King Bridge Partnership:
It was reported that the “draw bridge” contest was successful, with over 150 applicants. Hinds reported that $25,000 of reallocated Phase I NRP money has been approved towards the bridge project.
Ingram asked if there is a shortage of vendor application. Sarah indicated that there are a sufficient number of applicants at this time.
Crime & Safety Committee Report:
Gibson wondered if it is better to call the committee the Crime Prevention & Safety Committee. She also wondered about upgrading its status to “formal” committee. Lindseth and Hallstrom suggested that it is best to leave the status as it is for now as the interest in that topic ebbs and flows according to current crime activity.
Transportation Action Plan:
Gerber reported that there was a community meeting held a couple weeks ago. The turnout was not great but those who were there were engaged in the discussion.
ACTION ITEMS – Board Elections
Lindseth read a description of the duties for the elected offices (from the KFNA by-laws).
Lindseth was elected President without opposition.
Gerber was elected Vice-President without opposition
Hallstrom was elected Secretary without opposition
Kristensen was elected Treasurer without opposition
Sarah stated for the minutes that all KFNA staff and elected officials are recognized signers on our bank account with Wells Fargo. Hallstrom requested that his name be removed as a recognized signer.
Valens’ Property (Victor’s):
Valens explained that she is seeking an extension on a landscaping variance (from Steve Poor’s office) because she wants to do more extensive re-landscaping than initially envisioned. Plus, in light of the fire next to her business site, she may need to rethink her landscaping based on how Petersen’s rebuilds. In addition to a letter she wrote to Steve Poor, she requested that the Green committee draft a letter for Steve Poor that indicates that her sight is being considered as a Stormwater BMP Program site. The board suggested that we wait to see if she is granted an extension. If the request is denied, the board will seek ways to further her request.
It was moved and carried that the subject be sent back to the Green committee. The motion carried, Valens abstained.
Lindseth suggested we table the selection of Committee Chairs until next meeting. Meanwhile a list was distributed so that people could log their specific committee interests.
Sarah reported that our 6-month contract with our current bookkeeper ended April 30th. She posted the position and received four applications. Two of the four applicants appear to have the sufficient qualifications for the position. Sarah would like to receive board authorization to hire one of the two candidates. Lindseth suggested that the board should have a few minutes to review the job position (memo circulated to the board) the topic will be revisited later in the meeting.
Saddoris gave a brief history of the contract negotiations with Kestrel and indicated that now those discussions have deteriorated, as the parties are not able to come to an agreement of terms. It was motioned that KFNA rescind the original contract offer to Kestrel and begin discussions with an alternate firm (one of the original bidders). The motion carried.
Sarah informed the board that Glenn, the owner of the burned Petersens’ Flowers, now knows that he needs to tear down the old building. This means the mural needs to be relocated. Nikki Valens has indicated that she would be happy to have the mural on her business property (Victor’s). It is unclear whether or not it is permissible to use a 10×30 piece of tin as a fence. It is also unclear who will pay the roughly $1,500 for the move.
The board is supportive of moving the mural to the adjacent property (Victor’s) and will arrange a meeting with Glenn to see if we will be able to secure the moving costs through his insurance policy – per the original loan agreement. If this strategy is not successful, the board will consider the possibility of a fund-raiser for the move. Alternatively, “Art Is The Key” money may be considered. We also need to find out if the mural will be allowed on the Valens site, per zoning regulations.
Bookkeeper Position (continued):
Having reviewed the letter stating the position requirements the board requested it be approved with the following clarifications:
1) Use generally accepted accounting procedures
2) Rate of pay between $25-31 per hour
3) Hired as either an employee or independent contractor
4) Up to 5 hours per month
The motion carried and Sarah has authorization to hire a new bookkeeper.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM
Board minutes respectfully prepared by Thor Anderson
KFNA Board Secretary – Pete Hallstrom
KFNA Board President – Erik Lindseth