Saturday, July 3, 2010

Trip For Chocolate Milk Costs City Thousands Of Dollars! Plus Other Adventures Of John And His Son Alex! (Summer Visitation, 2010)

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

All Alex wanted was a chocolate milk. We were kicking back at a friend's house, spending lots of time on the internet together, watching Star Wars videos repeatedly, when Alex got a hankering for chocolate milk.

I told him, you know, the nearest place is the "thug store" at 26th and Penn. Are you SURE you want your dad to walk there and get you a beverage on a whim?

Alex announced that was just fine. I could walk to the "thug store" and buy him chocolate milk. So I put on my combat boots and walked to the Penn Gas Stop, where even the cement in the parking lot seems to have a thin layer of filth. As I entered the door, a thug standing near the frozen dairy treats freezer quickly jammed something in his pants at (I presume) the sight of my short military-style haircut which (as many thugs do) he probably thought made me look like a cop. (It also gets me rude treatment at my favorite anarchist cafe, but I keep going there, because--once again--my kid wants chocolate milk)

Within sight of the cash register, inside the store and out of sight of police, multiple transactions appeared to be taking place on cell phones by folks who were just hanging around inside, wearing the same "plain white tees" sold at the store, how convenient. With a beatific and tolerant smile, the clerks were ringing up sales of (inter alia) flaming hot Cheetos.

Wouldn't you know it? They didn't even HAVE chocolate milk. Plus I didn't want to spend even a moment longer inside than was necessary...

Walking outside, I saw a squad car writing some thug a ticket. I waited for the officers to finish, then beckoned to indicate I would like to speak to them. I said rather than calling 911, I wanted to make a verbal report about what I'd seen inside the store. The officer on the passenger side proceeded to tell me the store in question was "tolerating" the blatant drug activity inside, and the city government was unhappy with the store, and bad stuff was coming down the bureaucratic pipeline at that store, you just wait, you'll see.

He also said, "We are going to be around here all day."

I thanked the officer. I didn't even think about the fact this conversation took place in front of the very spot where--a few years ago, in a notorious exchange--an officer told me "Good luck with that" when I spoke of my desire to move into the neighborhood and be involved in the process of turning North Minneapolis into a decent, safe, highly-desirable place to live and raise a family.

So I continued on my walk to find my kid chocolate milk. I probably should have turned right and went to CVS, but something caught my attention and I turned left, instead. I walked all the way down to a gas station on West Broadway near the place where my son helped repair a "rat hole" in a fence where unsavory foot traffic was passing through. I was pleased to see the "vigilante carpentry" midnight repairs in the fence were still holding.

Trying to find my way back to Alex, I walked down Logan Avenue North...and noticed a number of vacant houses which had retaining walls in such bad repair, it was necessary to make 311 reports. Then I started calling about unmowed lawns. Then I realized a squatter had broken into 2444 Logan Ave. N.

By the time I got back to my kid with his chocolate milk, I had managed to make sure city inspectors and lawn mowing contractors would have a great deal of work....probably thousands of dollars worth of labor if you totaled up all the hours. Official letters would go out, reports would be filed which would remain in the system for a very long time...

And all because my kid wanted a chocolate milk!

When I returned, Alex looked up from his computer and asked, "What took you so long?" And I explained how his chocolate milk had sent forth "ripples in the universe."

18 comments:

Your Eyedea said...

Sounds like something Hans does when I send him for sunflower seeds or ice cream...

Anonymous said...

Kua and Li Vang own the 26th and Penn gas station.

Anonymous said...

I felt the ripples in the force.
Cpt. Jack Sparrow

Anonymous said...

Case Year: 2010 Case No. 191840



Incident Location: 26** Penn AV N

Date and Time: 6/30/2010 6:23:00 PM - 6/30/2010 6:30:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Loitering with intent to commit a crime - -



Public Information:

I stopped MN 834BZA at the direction of an undercover officer. The back seat passenger handed me a blunt with marijuana inside. A1 stated he just bought the marijuana and was rolling the blunt. A1 was cited for loiter and released.

Case closed with ...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Chamar Wilson - 20 / 005705 Quebec AV Crystal, MN

Anonymous said...

Case Year: 2010 Case No. 191776



Incident Location: 26** Penn AV N

Date and Time: 6/30/2010 5:44:00 PM - 6/30/2010 5:44:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Loitering with intent to commit a crime - -



Public Information:

A1 was cited for the listed charge and released. The suspected marijuana was inventoried.

Case closed with tag ...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Desmond Wallace - 27 / 002925 Queen AV N Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

Case Year: 2010 Case No. 197728



Incident Location: 26** Penn AV N

Date and Time: 7/3/2010 6:00:00 PM - 7/3/2010 6:00:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Loitering with intent to commit a crime - -



Public Information:

A1 was cited for the listed charge and released.

Case closed with tag ...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Bryan Caldwell - 20 / 000615 Adams ST NE Minneapolis, MN

Johnny Northside! said...

Thanks for posting all that stuff. Yeah, the crime around that gas station on Penn is constant, made all the worse by the fact the owners appear to be tolerating it...literally tolerating it with a smile!

Anonymous said...

CASE SUMMARY:



Case Year: 2010 Case No. 184524



Incident Location: 26 AV N Penn AV N

Date and Time: 6/24/2010 8:15:00 PM - 6/24/2010 8:20:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Narcotics - False name or info to police - Warrant



Public Information:

A1 was booked into HCJ for a confirmed Hennepin County warrant and FALSNM. A2 was cited for NARC and released from the scene.

REC: CCA/C ...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Kenneth Thompson - 26 / 000615 Thomas AV N Minneapolis, MN 55411

Steve Clayton - 49 / 003435 Queen AV N Minneapolis, MN 55406

Anonymous said...

CASE SUMMARY:



Case Year: 2010 Case No. 186818



Incident Location: 26** Penn AV N

Date and Time: 6/26/2010 5:59:00 PM - 6/26/2010 6:10:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Loitering with intent to commit a crime - -



Public Information:

Male cited for listed charge.

REC:CCBC ...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Kenneth Thompson - 26 / 002421 Thomas AV N 1 Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

CASE SUMMARY:



Case Year: 2010 Case No. 190127



Incident Location: 26** Penn AV N

Date and Time: 6/29/2010 12:57:00 PM - 6/29/2010 4:00:00 PM



Offenses Recorded: Narcotics - Weapon -



Public Information:

OFFICERS TOOK A NARCOTICS CALL AT THE ABOVE LOCATION. FOUR INDIVIDUALS WERE STOPPED. A GUN AND NARCOTICS WERE RECOVERED FROM THE SCENE. AP 1 AND AP 2 WERE BOOKED HCJ. AP3 AND 4 WERE TAGGED AND RELEASED. GUN AND NARCOTICS WERE PROPERTY INVENTORIED.

...



Arrested Parties, if any (name - age / Address AptNo City, State Zip):

Germaine Swingler - 20 / 000117 59 ST E Minneapolis, MN

Marlon Williams - 20 / 002803 Newton AV N Minneapolis, MN

Robert Anderson - 20 / 001808 Memorial PK Minneapolis, MN

Juan Wilborn - 23 / 002800 Newton AV N Minneapolis, MN 55411

M. Clinton said...

I have only been in there on a couple occasions - because what I observed I found to be so disgusting that I will not go back. There were a bunch of thuggish characters who were just standing around in the store looking out the windows as if they were using the store as some sort of "observation post." I deliberately went by periodically over the next few hours and those same guys were either posted inside the store or hanging around just outside of the store or in the immediate area. It was clear that they were not customers getting a few items and going on their merry way. There was more going on there. In retrospect, I should have called 911. I would have to say that store is my #1 target for something in NoMi which MUST GO AWAY! Glad to hear that it is on others radar as well.

Anonymous said...

Kenneth Thompson needs to stay off of 26th and Penn!

emma. said...

how come kenneth thompson has two different addresses on thomas?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to shut down another business John. I say we just pave NoMi over and start fresh.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should have a vigil at this location?

Patricia said...

Public art would keep the thugs away. Or if that doesn't work maybe we could have a poetry reading there. That way no one will want to be there.

Anonymous said...

What a great story! Love it! You are a good and brave Dad to enter the Penn Gas Stop. I would of just jumped in my car and ran to Cub :)

NoMi Passenger said...

Emma, I noticed that about Kenneth Thompson too. Two different addresses on the same street. Of course there is human error explanation but my more cynical mind jumps to Kenneth giving police the wrong address, either once, or actually twice and he couldn't remember the same address he gave them the first time. Hmmm.