Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thank You, Don Samuels And Diane Hofstede, For Cleaning Up "Crackhead Alley" (Summer Visitation, 2010)

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

After the "World's Largest YWCA" project plan fell through--a relatively rare setback in the overwhelming revitalization trend taking place in North Minneapolis--the alley next to the building turned into an eyesore, click here for details. The vacant lot next door also turned into an overgrown, weedy mess.

During the recent five weeks I had summer visitation with my 13-year-old son, Alex, I would often go to the nearby Burger King to pick up his favorite breakfast of hot "Cini Minis," a chocolate shake and a plain egg croissant sandwich. Other days we'd make scrambled eggs on our own, so it's not like Alex had a "Burger King breakfast" every day, you know? But the Burger King trip happened often enough, and every time I was fetching that breakfast for my son, I would see no-accounts loitering in the alley, sometimes stripping copper wire and leaving a big mess. And who knows where they... the copper wire? A dumpster, maybe, and that would be a commendable act of super-proactive recycling but then again...maybe the copper wire came out of somebody's house. And who can tell with folks who look, act and (wrinkling nose) SMELL like crackheads?

So, every day, I would be calling the police on this loitering while fetching my son his breakfast. As I've written before on this blog, a casual trip to fetch some kind of treat for Alex can end up accidentally involving a great deal of effort from the city's regulatory services!

But it wasn't just me calling about "crackhead alley." Jordan Super Citizen Megan Goodmundson did a lot of calling, too. Finally, the ongoing problem reached a point where we called the city council offices of Don Samuels and Diane Hofstede.

After we called our city council members, it didn't take very long before the alley was cleaned up and the no-accounts, well, they stopped hanging around there so much. I'm sure the day will come when I see them hanging around in the alley again, and I'll have to call the police again, but for now everything is fine. As for the project planned for that building...something good will happen, and good things take time. For now, we just have to clear out the (suspected) crackheads.


Patrick said...

Don and Diane are heroes. I wouldn't quite put them at the hero level of first responders (especially swat team members, who look absolutely delicious in their black armor and faceless helmets) but they have done a lot of good for NoMi.

Thanks, to you too, JNS!

Anonymous said...

You should really reconsider publishing stupid comments from "Patrick".

Freedom Vet said...

What's wrong with Patrick's comment? I think Diane and Don especially do a lot of good for NoMi.

I don't agree with his preference for same sex relationships, but I sure don't fault him for it.

Anonymous said...

I like Don but Diane really chaps my hide. She can't seem to keep staffers and ends up costing NOMI tax payers in employment related settlements.

Melissa Belcourt - Connor/Anoka, MNh said...

JNS, Megan, Eric and other contributors to this blog. I have been following the Irving Inquisition. While personally I love it, I over heard that Terry woman from the MPLS "Mess" talking to some white guy about how funny it was that you guys think its Malcolm X (Don Allen) who is the Jordan Hawkman.

At FLOW today, I watched Terry try to take photos of Jeff S. and Connie to make her parody video she was discussing with this guy.

I've actually met Don a couple of times and don't mind his views (He's a sharp businessman.)

It was obvious to me, this white male about 40-45 years old, 6'2" bald, could possibly be the author of Jordan Hawkman.

I want both blogs to keep moving ahead, but "this one time, you guys need to look at Terry Y from the MPLS Mess.

Thank you.

clevelandguy said...

To Freedom Vet... don't know what there is to "agree with," any more than you can "agree with" people being tall or short. It's the way the world is, full of people of all colors, shapes, skill sets and sexual orientations. Though I gues I could commend you in not faulting somebody for something they can't do anything about anyway.

NoMi Passenger said...

@clevelandguy: freedom vet is a made up persona by an angry, jealous, malcontent troll. Probably the same angry, jealous malcontent troll that made up the persona of Patrick.