Now, with my fingers comfortably back at the keyboard, and hot content ready to roll in the usual prolific Johnny Northside style, I thought it would be fun to review some of the amazing changes which have taken place during the last ten weeks. It's incredible how quickly our neighborhood changes, evolves, and revitalizes even in a relatively short span of time. Being out of the loop for ten weeks and then trying to catch up gives me a whole new appreciation for just how quickly our neighborhood is changing.
* First, and most recently, three nights ago the Jordan Neighborhood had its annual meeting and (for the second year in a row) managed to elect a slate of candidates to its board without any of the drama which, once upon a time, was synonymous with Jordan Neighborhood politics. In fact, the only drama was something positive: bylaws were changed so that mere property ownership in the neighborhood isn't enough to qualify individuals for board membership, not anymore. What this means, effectively, is shameless slumlords like Keith Reitman will no longer have such a powerful role in Jordan politics.
Best of all, the bylaw change took place right in front of Keith Reitman, but other than barking briefly and in a paranoid manner over whether somebody was "whispering" to the chair of the meeting--saying something, whining something about open meeting laws, blah blah blah, as though open meeting laws ever regulated whispering--Keith David Reitman was powerless to stop the change in the bylaws. As of that moment...
...Rietman no longer has a vote in JACC business. Though this seems like a relatively minor change, progress in our neighborhood is a moving mosaic made up of such minor changes. In my absence, other bloggers kept the neighborhood informed of important developments, such as these:
* Jimmy Carter's visit to the Eco Village, reported in detail by Jeff Skrenes on the Hawthorne Voices blog.
* 1564 Hillside Ave. N. was demolished, reported in detail by Hillside Chronicles.
* Decent people in the Jordan Neighborhood have grown increasingly upset with Steve Meldahl, who has been dubbed "Slumeldahl" by NoMi Passenger. WARNING: Slumeldahl has NOT been approved by the FDA for neighborhood usage, and has been known to have serious side effects, such as urban blight and low curb appeal. The fiery "Irving Inquisition" blog has been on top of Meldahl.
* Thug-on-thug homicidal violence. Yawn. What else is new? There are two different worlds in North Minneapolis, and one of those worlds is actually very safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. And then there are thuggish idiots who kill each other with whatever weapon is available, including a speeding vehicle. Outside observers should not be misled by colorful mainstream media reports of such criminal violence: the "revitalizer" lifestyle is gaining ground in North Minneapolis, and the "thug lifestyle" is retreating. It's my hypothesis that North Minneapolis thugs are killing each other over increasingly smaller territory, and increasingly more limited areas of influence. North Minneapolis is truly a tale of two cities.
* The "Tripping Cows" mural was painted over at the Kemps Dairy facility.
* NoMi resident Brian Reichow married the girl of his dreams. Brian, sorry I missed your wedding. I did get text updates through the whole wedding and reception and almost felt like I was present.
* The "thug memorial riot" took place. Some folks just can't behave themselves, even while mourning their dead. This is another good argument in favor of not allowing "thug shooting memorials" to remain on trees, fences, etc. Did I mention "a tale of two cities?" Yes, I certainly did.
* I was re-elected to the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Board, even while not there to speak in my own favor at the annual meeting. Thank you, friends and neighbors.
* Jerome Kingrussell, the notorious "Imposter Foster" from the Larry Maxwell mortgage fraud trial, was arrested and held without bail.
* Principals of Dana D III pled guilty to mortgage fraud.
All these amazing events happened in A MERE TEN WEEKS, and I've actually left a lot of important stuff out. So what will the next ten weeks bring? What will the next year, the next five years, the next ten years bring to North Minneapolis?
These ten weeks have hammered home two lessons for me:
1. Though I intend to play a large and highly-active role in the positive changes taking place in our neighborhood, change will take place no matter what. Even if this blog grew silent, even if work forced me to leave the neighborhood or the COUNTRY for months at a time, Urban Utopia is headed toward NoMi.
Urban Utopia in North Minneapolis is unstoppable.
2. During times when this blog is unable to play a very active roll, other committed bloggers take up the slack and use grassroots media to move the revitalizer agenda forward.
Because of this--once again--Urban Utopia is unstoppable.
To all the readers who have been so loyal to this blog: I am sorry that I was gone for so long, but it was necessary so I could pay my child support and the taxes on my house. (My goodness, what will the hateful haters have to hatefully hate about in light of THIS development?) I also wish to give a special thank you to neighborhood "super citizen" Megan Goodmundson, who virtually kept my blog on life support in my absence.
But now I am finally heading back home, and tonight I am...
Blogging From Joplin, Missouri