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December 1, 2003 // UPDATED 11:07 am - April 30, 2007
By: Skyway News editorial staff
Skyway News editorial staff

Things going on in Downtown Minneapolis\' area Neighborhood\'s.

DMNA targets nuisance crime The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) has revised its 2003 Neighborhood Revitalization Program plan to spend more money on reducing so-called "nuisance" crime.

Residents and workers who live in the neighborhood, which includes the Downtown core and the riverfront west of Hennepin Avenue, voted to adopt changes to DMNA's 2003 NRP plan at an annual meeting Nov. 19.

The more-than-$480,000 budget plan calls for spending $95,000 on efforts to target nuisance crime offenders -- individuals ticketed with panhandling, public urination, drug dealing and other street crimes.

The city has been considering a range of initiatives for some time to combat such crime. A recent proposal passed by the City Council involves establishing an administrative hearing process, which allows the city to use a collection agency to go after offenders who fail to respond to tickets.

The DMNA plan also calls for spending $10,000 on a new campaign to fight public urination Downtown.

DMNA's NRP spending plan also sets aside money for the following:

  • $95,000 for the new Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center, 6th Street and Hennepin;
  • $25,000 for the new Planetarium at the Minneapolis Public Library, 4th Street and Nicollet Mall;
  • $60,000 over a two-year period to support the Skyway Senior Center, 10th Street and LaSalle Avenue;
  • more than $160,000 for streetscaping Downtown; and
  • $35,000 for NRP administrative work.

    About 50 people also participated in an election of new DMNA board members, which was moderated by the League of Women Voters. Three current members were re-elected to new terms, including current DMNA Chair Tom Hoch, Andrew Hauer and Dee Cotton. Newcomers elected to the board include Dave Abele and Jodi Pfarr. -- Sarah McKenzie

    Artists unveil ideas for new Central Library Artists working on public art pieces for Downtown's new $136 million Central Library recently gave show-and-tell presentations to the community -- piquing public interest in many dynamic ideas, such as fireplaces featuring floating glass mosaics and a elevator faade with movable text.

    Community members filled out feedback surveys at the Nov. 18 open house; the results will be forwarded to the artists to incorporate into their design proposals. The artists are expected to present revised designs Dec. 16. to a public art subcommittee charged with overseeing the artwork.

    The new library's public art budget is $175,000.

    Artist Ben Rubin of New York City presented an elaborate presentation involving an electronic light sculpture. Rubin's piece involves flashing movable text onto the library's elevator shaft with a band of colored light.

    The text would be drawn from a library database and transposed on the side of the elevator. After the elevator completes a full cycle, the text would change. Rubin said he's been thinking of drawing from a database that tracks what books patrons are checking out.

    Dale Lanzone presented plans on behalf of renowned New York City sculptor Beverly Pepper. Pepper has proposed a large, wedge-like sculpture made of cast iron for the library's front entrance. The wedge, placed slightly off center on the sculpture's base, would face toward the building.

    Three artists -- Ta-coumba Aiken of St. Paul, Jackie Chang of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Teri Kwant of Minneapolis -- presented plans for library fireplaces.

    Aiken proposes placing tiles with digital images on the fourth-floor fireplace's exterior. He's working on themes that would draw on the area's history and inspire a sense of discovery.

    Chang's second-floor fireplace concept features a glass mosaic on its exterior. The mosaic would prominently feature the words, "Want Not," on top of a cloudy sky. "It's a poetic gesture ... placing the image with the text," she said.

    She said she wants patrons to construct the artwork's meaning on their own.

    Kwant's main-floor fireplace design is intended to spark a dialogue about censorship. The fireplace would feature many rocks with words on them, while the exterior of the fireplace would have other images and phrases, such as "smother" and "inflame," evoking censorship imagery.

    The three artists are also working together on a third-floor piece, with a book-spine theme. Aiken proposes using an exclamation point, while Kwant and Chang chose tornado and backbone imagery in their respective designs.

    Artist Lita Alburquerque of Santa Monica, Calif., has the task of creating an artistic space on the library's 8,000-square-foot main floor. She has proposed a "ripple effect" theme for the floor, playing on the role of water in the city.

    The piece involves placing five blue lines along the entire length of the library hall, which "represent the flow of knowledge that are like continuous lava flows below our feet."

    Alburquerque also plans to embed 18 circular glass pieces in a star pattern in the floor. The pieces will have text and images from different periods in history. At the floor's center point, she had plans for a hearth or a "still point," which will draw on six sites of wisdom from various philosophical disciplines.

    To view and comment on the public art proposals, visit

    The new Central Library, under construction at 300 Nicollet Mall, is scheduled to open the spring of 2006. -- Sarah McKenzie

    Neighborhood notes

    Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) 11/19 annual meeting ELECTIONS: Current board members Tom Hoch, chair of DMNA, Dee Cotton and Andrew Hauer were re-elected to two-year terms. The board also elected two new members, Dave Abele and Jodi Pfarr. PLAN MODIFICATION: Community members voted to pass a DMNA plan modification with some revisions, including allocating $25,000 to the capital campaign for the Minneapolis Planetarium. Overall, the plan calls for spending about $480,000 on initiatives to promote the arts and fight so-called "nuisance" crime Downtown. Next: Land Use committee meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 2. Meetings: Land Use meetings, 1st Tuesday of each month; Board meetings 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m., LaSalle Plaza, 800 LaSalle Ave., Suite #131. Contact: 659-1279, Borders: Mississippi River, Hennepin Ave., Washington Ave., 3rd Ave., 12th St., 5th Ave., 5th St., I-35W.

    North Loop Neighborhood Association Next: Board meeting, Dec. 17. Meetings: Third Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., Heritage Landing, 415 N. 1st St.Contact: Jim Grabek, 677-1090, Borders: Lyndale Ave., Mississippi River, I-94, Hennepin Ave., Washington Ave., 3rd. Ave.

    Citizens for a Loring Park Community (CLPC) Next: CLPC holiday party, Dec. 8. Meetings: Board meets 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. 430 Oak Grove St., #207. Nicollet Task Force, 2nd Wednesday, Hibaq Coffee Shop. Livability Committee, 3rd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Dunn Bros on 15th St.; Land Use Committee, 6:30 p.m., 4th Monday, 430 Oak Grove St. Contact: Jana Metge, 874-9002; Borders: S. 12th St., I-35W, I-94, Lyndale Ave., and I-394.

    Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. (EPNI) Next: Board meeting, Dec. 8. Meetings: Board 2nd Monday of the month, 7 p.m., 1000 E. 14th St.; Economic Development Strategies, 3rd Wednesday, Building Land Use and Housing, 3rd Thursday; Neighborhood Action Committee, 4th Monday. (EPNI's committee meetings are open to all adults who live, work or own property in the neighborhood. Local Churches may appoint up to 3 people to represent them.) Contact: 335-5846 Borders: I-94, Hwy. 55, 5th Ave., S. 5th St.

    Nicollet Island/East Bank Neighborhood Association Next: Meeting, Jan. 20. Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the odd-numbered months, 7 p.m., Pracna on Main, 117 SE Main St. Contact: Borders: Nicollet Island, Mississippi River, Central Ave. SE, railroad tracks north of and parallel to 1st Ave.