Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When People Can't Drive...

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photos contributed by Todd Heintz

I was on my way to pick up some eggs from Cub and in the stretch between Washington and Lyndale on Broadway I saw three people pull VERY boneheaded maneuvers on the road. It's almost as if there was something in the air. Barely five minutes later, as I was leaving, I passed up the scene pictured above. By the time I made it back to my office, these pictures were already in my mailbox.

What I couldn't figure out when I drove past, or by looking at the pictures, is how the front end of the white car is so messed up. There wasn't much debris in the street and the van doesn't seem to have collided with it either. Nor did I see a third vehicle.

(Do not click "read more," but do use the comment section to provide details if you know what happened here - let's especially hope there were no serious injuries or worse.)

Dave Bicking, Michelle Gross File Defamation Lawsuit Against CRA Chair Donald Bellfield...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

It would be fair to say Dave Bicking, a member of the CRA (for now) doesn't get along very well with Donald Bellfield, who is the chair of the CRA. This conflict has hit the mainstream media, and this blog commented on it, as well.

Now Bicking is suing Bellfield, and Bellfield's girlfriend, for (what else?) defamation. Anybody who reads the Johnny Northside blog and can't name the plaintiff lawyer for this case needs to...

...sit in the corner with a white, pointy paper hat. The same goes for anybody who can't name the exact amount of damages demanded. Really, can't we get any new plots in these North Minneapolis political soap operas? The dramatic formula is getting a bit repetitive, and I fear viewers will begin to tune out, to maybe start following SOUTH Minneapolis soap operas.

Anyway, here is a link to the lawsuit, click here.

In a nutshell: somebody spray painted graffiti on Bellfield's house, Bellfield's girlfriend fired off an email and aired her suspicions about who she THOUGHT might be responsible (but never said, oh, she knew FOR SURE or anything like that) and next thing you know, Bicking and Gross filed a defamation suit.

Amazing. I mean, I was expecting some kind of new CRA lawsuit to fall like a dirty left shoe in an upstairs apartment on the other side of a paper thin ceiling...but I'm surprised the issue in this lawsuit is so petty and so oddly contradictory about whether free speech should be protected or, in fact, suppressed at every turn.

In the meantime, pro-Bicking folks are on the Minneapolis issues list, asking Bicking supporters to email their city council people, mayor, etc. to keep Bicking on the CRA.

But, really, ask yourself why Chief Dolan doesn't follow through on CRA recommendations for police officer discipline. Gee, would it have something to do with the board being stacked with individuals who are not exactly (what is the word?) moderate? Or reasonable? Or representative of the mainstream?

I wouldn't bet money on Bicking staying and, somehow, I think the vote might break down the same way as the vote to reappoint Chief Dolan.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Water Issues Resolved!

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

The water shut-off has been fixed at 2501 4th St N. To my further delight, I checked about the sign, and Cichy's was doing the work and had permission to place their sign at that spot. PLUS, they took it when they were done. After all, this isn't some cheap, corrugated plastic piece of junk that could be considered an acceptable loss if a law-abiding citizen came along to clean it up.

And speaking of cleaning up, I took a big grocery bag from So Low (I do love that store!) to pick up as much litter as I could. With that accomplished, I disposed of the bag and washed my hands in the water that was still pouring out into the street at the time. I figured that at least a small portion of the water wouldn't go to waste that way.

My favorite piece of litter was a child's reading lesson titled, "Vicky skips a stone." Based on the surprising number of teeny-tiny ziplock baggies, I'm guessing that skipping anything related to stones is not an activity frequently done on this particular block.

(Do not click "read more," but do keep an eye on the 300 block of 25th Ave N.)

Mark Ireland for Ramsey County Judge!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, image from

Mark Ireland, who represented the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council in their landmark lawsuit against Citimortgage, has decided to run for election as a judge in Ramsey County. This blog is happy and proud to endorse Ireland for Ramsey County judge.

Now I have to admit, even though I'm a political wonk and I've voted in every single election and primary since coming to Minnesota over ten years ago, I've never once voted for a judge. My thinking has been that I haven't really been informed why one judicial candidate is better than another and the last thing I want to do in an election booth is cast a vote without knowing who or what I'm voting for.

But personal and professional connections aside, I'm weighing in on this election because...

...we all know plenty of people in Ramsey County. It's likely that our family, friends, and colleagues who live, work, worship, shop, and play there may either come before a judge or have their lives affected in some small way by his or her decisions. This also means, by the way, that we can and should encourage our friends who are registered voters in Ramsey County to vote for Mark Ireland in both the primary and (hopefully!) the general election.

The judge who currently holds the seat Ireland is seeking, Michael Monahan, is retiring. This makes the election rather rare, as there is no incumbent. So friends of Mark's started to tell him, "You should do this." Mark reacted like a lot of us probably would - by laughing it off, then mulling it over, then talking with his wife about hey, maybe this isn't such a crazy idea.

With a judgeship, there is no platform to run on, like one would for other publicly chosen seats. After all, a judge who promised to enact certain things could hardly be seen as fair later on. Instead, the key questions are whether this person will be fair, just, and follow and accurately interpret the law. Based on my work with Mark Ireland, I have every confidence that he will do a superb job at just that.

So as he's been running this campaign, he's asked folks, "What do you want a judge to be? What do you want our judicial system to look like?" Nine times out of ten, the response has been "I've never thought of that before because no one's ever asked me that." Such openness speaks volumes about the kind of judge Ireland will be.

There are a few different ways that we can help Mark Ireland win this election. First, go to his website,, and check out whatever opportunities there are to help. Second, Ireland for Judge has a Facebook page. Join as a fan and spread the word to your friends, especially voters in Ramsey County.

And keep in mind that due to compliance with federal laws about absentee ballots, the primary in Minnesota has been moved up to August 10th. Since judicial elections are non-partisan, people can vote for Ireland whether they are Democrat/DFLers, Republicans, Independents, Greens, or of any other political persuasion.

Mark consider yourself endorsed by the Johnny Northside blog!

EDITORIAL NOTE: Previous JNS "endorsements" have occurred under a very loose structure. Since the JNS blog isn't a separately incorporated entity, the endorsements were made either by John Hoff or by myself with John's permission. Now that there are several other contributors to this blog, it is important to note that political endorsements of this nature are the opinion of the author, and not necessarily of any other JNS contributor.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere the Signs

Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

About a week and a half ago, I was driving through the southern part of Hawthorne when I saw a red-and-white sign from Hennepin County on a vacant lot. The sign was announcing an auction for tax-forfeited properties, in honor of Bashir Moghul. Next to the official Hennepin County sign, though, was a sign advertising architectural services.

I've taken down unpermitted signs before, and have found ways to make the activity fun for the whole family.

"Hmmm," I thought, "I'm not aware of the county allowing such signs on their property."

So I called the number listed on the sign, and when someone answered...

...I identified myself as the housing director of the Hawthorne neighborhood and informed them that I saw a sign of theirs posted on county land.

"Do you have permission or any kind of arrangement with Hennepin County to post the sign here?"

"Yes, we do."

"Great. Can you tell me the name of your contact person so I can confirm this?"

"Um, Lance."

"Lance who?"

"I don't remember the last name."

"Okay, do you have an email address or phone number?"


"Well, sir, let me tell you something. I'm not convinced that you do have permission to place your sign here. So I'm going to take it with me. If I'm wrong and you do indeed have authorization, here's how you contact me...Send me that proof and within five minutes I'll have your sign put back where it belongs and you'll have my profound apologies."

"Are you saying you're against development in your neighborhood?"

"No sir. In fact development is one of my top priorities. But you claim to have permission to put this sign here and you haven't convinced me. Placing this on land next to a government sign lends you an air of credibility that you do not have. All I want is for you and other people to follow the rules about how such things are posted in my community." (Click here for an example of what can happen when such basic rules aren't enforced.)

(in a sarcastic voice) "Well, I'm SURE glad that YOU'RE looking out for your neighborhood!"

"I detect an air of sarcasm there, but I'll take the compliment. Thank you, and if you send me proof that I'm wrong, I'll replace your sign immediately."

The auction for the tax-forfeited land occurred on Friday of last week. No contact was made by this person or anyone else to refute my assertion that this sign was not permitted on county land.

The Devil is a Bad Neighbor

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

The Hawthorne EcoVillage was once an epicenter of open-air drug dealing, prostitution, and other crimes. The "apartment complex of anarchy" was one of the main buildings that contributed to the sorry state of affairs that once existed here. But perhaps more than any other person, "The Devil" was responsible for much of what transpired. "The Devil" goes by Evanner, Evannor, or Van as a first name, and Haywood or Haymon as a last name. He owned two houses in the EcoVillage, 3020 6th St N and 3024 6th St N.

3024 is where he ran his prostitution/flop house until THAT was foreclosed upon and he had to consolidate his "business" to his drug/pill house at 3020. After that foreclosure, somebody came along and set the house on fire. In the midst of this battle - and it was indeed a battle for the very fate of the neighborhood - our board chair's truck was set on fire as well, in retaliation for our incessant 911 calls on all the illegal activity.

Crime is now virtually non-existent in the EcoVillage, but the Devil didn't go to far. He now resides at 3007 3rd St N. Recently a bright orange placard went up that said...

...the property is condemned because of a lack of utilities. Water, in this case.

This isn't his first problem at 3007 3rd St N either. As far as the neighborhood is aware, he purchased the property in late 2008. We didn't find out about it until several months later, though, because the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County websites do not allow users to enter the name of property owners as search criteria. (You CAN do this in Douglas County, Wisconsin though)

Even though we didn't see much of any illegal activity there, we did have reason to believe that Evannor, or someone else, was living there before the full code compliance had been met. That belief was confirmed when police found evidence that people were spending the night. A stop work order was issued for unpermitted work and Haywood/Haymon was told he could not live there until full code compliance had been met.

In the meantime, he's racked up all sorts of fees for violations since taking ownership of this property. $8,400 was assessed and paid in 2008 although it's not clear from this site how much was to Evannor and how much was to a previous owner. Most of those fees, however, came from basic upkeep/removal of debris from the property and continuous increased penalties for not paying the small fee the first time around.

In 2009, he was assessed $2,285 in similar fees, and he's already surpassed that amount for 2010 with $2,835 in pending assessments.

Now it appears once again that his house is thankfully uninhabitable. Hawthorne residents are encouraged to call 911 at any sign that someone may be living in unhealthy or unsanitary or otherwise illegal conditions at 3007 3rd St N. That advice comes directly from a friendly 311 operator who said that when the water is shut off and people should not be living in a place, we should call 911.

Lately it seems like there have been quite a few detractors posting comments against just about any type of activity wherein we work to make our neighborhood better. To those people, I reiterate the history of "The Devil" in Hawthorne: this man has been the driving force behind countless drug and prostitution crimes. He is believed to be connected to two instances of arson, both within several hundred feet of each other and one of which was directed at a law-abiding citizen with a wife and children. Whatever differences you all have with this blog, can we at least agree that open-air drug dealing, prostitution, and arson--ARSON!--have no place in our community? If we cannot, then I'm afraid we really don't have a lot to say to each other.

I know that everybody needs a place to call home. For "The Devil," that place should be a jail cell.

Hawthorne Lemonade Day?

photo by Bryan Thao Worra

So, if you're the kind of person who likes to wake up early, this Thursday at the Hawthorne Huddle they're showing off the plans for Twin Cities Lemonade Day, which is apparently a national event to show our kids how to become the entrepreneurs of the future and to remember to give back to the community. This is a big project from the Liemandt Foundation, whose believe no situation or person is hopeless. Does this mean we're going to see a bunch of lemonade stands popping up all over the city for a day, or something more? Lemonade in May beats a lot of other things that we could be selling out here, that's for sure. You can get a sense of it all at:

There's still opportunities to become a sponsor, a volunteer, a participant or member of the Youth Leadership Committee. The Hawthorne Huddle is 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room at Farview Park at 621 29th Avenue North. And you can nosh on a continental breakfast, too!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Historic Rehab Tax Credit Means JOBS!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photo from Ranty

As I've looked around at various landlords' properties, I have come to realize the importance of housing preservation. This isn't just an opposition to a home being demolished, as I could bring you to a dozen houses in Hawthorne alone that should have been torn down ages ago. And this isn't about pricing poor people out of buying or renting homes. I think that people of modest means or who are otherwise disenfranchised deserve quality housing just like the rest of us.

My support of architectural and housing preservation stems largely from the kind of communities that are built when we have and value quality housing. Not only that, because preservation work is more labor-intensive, that means it provides more JOBS. And now there is a chance for our state legislature to enshrine those values...

...through the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HF2695 & SF2568).

This credit will help homeowners currently restoring their properties, but also communities with older, vacant housing stock, as this tax credit will encourage investment and equity-building.

Here's a little background information, according to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota:

The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Tax Credit was first introduced at the Legislature in 1998, one year after the successful passage of Missouri’s 25% state rehabilitation credit. Since then, Missouri’s credit has generated $1.37 billion in public and private investment. Almost 7,000 jobs were created in the first four years alone of their incentive.

The Minnesota Historic Structure and Community Reinvestment Tax Credit has been reintroduced yearly since 1998 garnering more and more bipartisan support from rural, suburban, and urban legislators. In 2009, the rehabilitation tax credit was included in a comprehensive jobs bill promoted by the Building Jobs Coalition representing the labor, contracting, design, and real estate industries. The job creation aspects of historic preservation further strengthened interest in the provision and this year, for the first time, the rehabilitation tax credit has been included in both the House and Senate Omnibus Tax Bills.

How Does It Work?

· Allows credit on state income taxes equal to 20% of the qualified cost of a historic rehabilitation.

· Parallels federal historic preservation 20% tax credit for National Register listed properties, creating more development opportunities in Minnesota and leveraging millions of dollars in federal monies not currently flowing into our state.

· Depending on the final legislation, it could be used for both commercial and residential property, developers and homeowners. Federal credit is for income‐producing properties only.

How Does Historic Preservation Create More Jobs?

· Historic rehab is more labor intensive than new construction with 60‐70% of the investment in labor rather than materials, thereby creating more jobs per dollar output.

· Increased labor costs create more jobs than new construction resulting in greater income and sales tax revenue. In Missouri, the cost of the credit was recouped in additional payroll taxes alone.

· In Minnesota, historic rehabilitation projects would create 5.7 more jobs per $1 million in output than manufacturing, 4 more than infrastructure projects, and 2 more jobs per $ 1 million than new construction. An estimated 1,500 jobs would be created per year by tax credit activity. A new report by Rutgers found that the federal rehabilitation tax credit has created 1.8 million new jobs since it was enacted by Congress in 1981.

Why is the tax credit so important?

· The state historic preservation tax credit will more than pay its own way. A 2009 report by the Abell Foundation found that Maryland’s state historic tax credit has returned $8.53 in revenue for each dollar of the state’s tax credit investment and has generated $1.74 billion in total economic activity. Between one-third and one-half of that revenue was returned to the state in payroll and sales taxes prior to the state’s release of funds. A cumulative impact study of the federal rehabilitation tax credit released by Rutgers in 2010 found that there has been a 5:1 return on investment for the American taxpayer.

· This credit would keep preservation development dollars in Minnesota. Thirty other states--including Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, Missouri, and Kansas—have already enacted similar programs and are now reaping the economic and community benefits, which go far beyond the immediate cost to the state. Minnesota is the only state in the Upper Midwest with an income tax that does not have a state historic preservation tax credit, effectively sending preservation development dollars to our neighbors.

· State tax credits leverage other federal funds. The state credit, which in many cases can be paired with the 20 percent federal rehab or low-income housing tax credits, encourages private investment in underutilized historic properties in both urban and rural Minnesota, generating jobs and stimulating local and state economic development. The Rutgers study found that about 75% of the tax credit’s economic effects are retained in the localities and states where the project is located.

I'm going to add one more item to this in terms of job creation: I keep on hearing about how we're training our young people in NoMi to do apprenticeship work on construction projects. It would be great to get a new generation of historic preservation housing contractors trained right here in our neighborhoods. Preservation, quality and affordable housing, jobs for those who need it most...I see no reason why we can't have it all. The historic rehabilitation tax credit helps us get there.

Call Linda Higgins, Joe Mullery, and Bobby Joe Champion and tell them to support this bill!

Hawthorne Supports Study of Sheltering Arms House

Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

Earlier this month, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council board took up the issue of what to do with the Sheltering Arms House, located at 2648 Emerson Ave N. Technically, this was the second time the board reviewed the house. Several months ago, before the potentially historic nature of the property was known, the board declined to oppose either CPED's acquisition of the property or its demolition. However, upon finding out new information, the support of a study to determine its historic designation was unanimous at both the housing committee and full board.

CPED has already acquired the property, so the question of acquisition is moot. As for its demolition...

...this desire to explore the historic nature of the house delays that question. The Sheltering Arms orphanages, founded in the 1880's, were led by a group of thirty Episcopalian nuns, "to provide services to children without discrimination as to race, color, or creed." These orphanages were the precursors to the Sheltering Arms Foundation in Minneapolis today.

Furthermore, the historical contributions of women and minorities in Minneapolis are woefully under-documented. Whether this house - believed to be either the first or second Sheltering Arms orphanage in Minneapolis - meets historic criteria, a group of women in racially-inclusive servant leadership is a significant part of our neighborhood's history.

What the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council has done is expressed its support for the Heritage Preservation Commission of Minneapolis to do a historical designation study. These are the following criteria used to determine if a site is historic:

(1) The property is associated with significant events or with periods that exemplify broad patterns of cultural, political, economic, or social history.

(2) The property is associated with the lives of significant persons or groups.

(3) The property contains or is associated with distinctive elements of neighborhood identity.

(4) The property embodies the distinctive characteristics of an architectural or engineering type or style, or method of construction.

(5) The property exemplifies a landscape design or development pattern distinguished by innovation, rarity, uniqueness or quality of design or detail.

(6) The property exemplifies works of master builders, engineers, designers, artists, craftsmen or architects.

(7) The property has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

What is important here is that cost does not come into play while the study is underway. (Even an ongoing study doesn't necessarily rule out demolition; it just makes such a move more difficult.) Once its historic nature (or lack of) has been determined, THEN cost comes back into the picture.

I've argued from the beginning that first, I believe this property to be historically significant, and second, that such designation should not be necessary to prevent this house from being demolished. But if this study finds historic significance at the Sheltering Arms House, and therefore keeps it from demolition, so much the better.

One person who was inside the house did express concern that it has serious water damage that could make it unsalvageable at any cost. If JNS readers know of some basic ways that Hawthorne could help the city protect the house and mitigate any further damage, please share them in the comment section below or contact me directly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Water Shut-Off Issues at 2501 4th St N

Post and video by the Hawthorne Hawkman

The day after I attended a community meeting demonstrating the effectiveness of 311, several residents told me of an ongoing issue that hasn't been resolved yet. Water has been coming from the stop box at 2501 4th St N.

Normally I'd give the city a fair shot at resolving the issue before putting up a post on JNS. This was different, however, because...

...multiple Hawthorne residents said the issue had been unresolved for several months in spite of their calls to 311. Furthermore, I shot this video and then went immediately to call 311. Other than promising to get someone out to the property "sometime next week," the operator did not give me a time frame for when specific action would be taken. Even more frustrating, I asked for a reference number and was not given one. Instead, the 311 operator simply told me to call back and ask to be transferred to the water department, where I would then ask about the specific address.

I always thought the whole POINT of 311 was to open those tickets so that residents would have one point of contact for concerns exactly like this one. Overall, 311 is a terrific system. But in this instance, I am very dissatisfied. I encourage NoMi residents to call 311 on a regular basis until this is resolved. If anyone does get a reference number, please post it in the comments section.

The Nuts and Bolts of a 311 Call

Post and videos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

At last week's 3rd Ward CARE Committee meeting, the director of Minneapolis 311 walked attendees through what happens when citizens (and visitors!) call 311. Since this blog promotes calling 311 as a wonderful civic service, I had to get video of this presentation.

(Do not click "read more," but do call 311 on a regular basis!)

Bashir Moghul Photo Tour of Slumminess

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

As promised, here is the Bashir Moghul photo tour (of Minneapolis properties only, unfortunately. I don't have the ability to get over to Indiana or track down vacant parcels in northern Wisconsin). One thing at least, is different than previous photo tours, such as of Gregge Johnson's, Paul Koenig (pronounced Kay-neg) of Pamiko, Mahmood Khan's, or Danna D III's properties: I have at times put a disclaimer at the start so as not to be overly critical.

That disclaimer said something like, "to be fair, we don't know if so-and-so made these slummy repairs or bought the property in that condition." Well I've had it with that nicety and I no longer care. If you, as a slumlord, bought a property and it was already in a slummy condition, then when you do nothing to abate the slumminess, it continues to harm my neighborhood. And we as a community will hold slumlords responsible.

The first photo above... of 2942 Tyler St NE, a vacant lot owned by Moghul. He seems to buy quite a few vacant lots, and then almost forget he owns them. That is about the only explanation I can come up with for why he can't pay the minimal property taxes on the land.

(The post listing Moghul's Minneapolis properties was sorted by what neighborhood each property was in, and this post will show photos in the same order.)

2516 Lowry Avenue is the second photo, and was also the childhood home of one of NoMi's newest residents.

And here is 816 Park Ave...

Image from the Pixar Blog.

Image from
...which is the site of the last residential structure in downtown Minneapolis. When I did the initial post, I had not determined whether the house was still there. But these images confirm that the house was carried away by roughly 100,000 helium balloons in a heartwarming story about an old man finally realizing the dreams of his youth and building a friendship with a young boy scout. No, wait! That's the Disney/Pixar movie "Up." What really happened was Bashir Moghul bought the property and let it fall into such a state of disrepair that it had to be demolished.

Up next is 3347 Fremont Ave N.

3550 Girard Ave N is the first really slummy-looking house we get to. Phone books and other debris are littered throughout the front yard. That's been reported to 311.

And what's this? Looks like another Neapolitan House!

Nice fence.

This is 318 27th Ave N.

623 26th Ave N looks okay, but has had problem tenants in the past...the kind of tenants that would assault their landlord, apparently. You can look at the other structures on this post and see crappy windows, but this is perhaps the first property where the such ugliness is glaringly obvious.

At 2110 Lyndale Ave N, take a look at the windows on the second floor (clicking on the photograph enlarges the image on a separate page). What do you do when the window you have doesn't fit the opening? Use plywood to fill the gaps. We'll see plenty more of this, unfortunately. Also, in the second photo, it sure looks like pre-existing windows were just covered up.

More or less across the street, we have 2131 Lyndale Ave N. Residents have reported seeing drug dealing coming and going from this property. While things have been getting better, the 2000-2200 blocks of Lyndale are a rough spot - right up there with Hawthorn (sic) Crossings as the last bastions of drug dealing in the Hawthorne neighborhood. Bashir isn't helping the community or himself by renting to these no-accounts.

And how many different ways can you count that Bashir has bastardized windows at this property?

2514 Emerson Avenue N continues Bashir's habit of slummifying windows with plywood.

2617 Dupont Ave N is one of the nicest-looking houses Bashir owns. Well, as long as you ignore the second-story windows, that is.

What in God's name is going on with 2915 3rd St N? I've got to think that extension on the second floor wasn't there originally. Anyone who knows more about the history of housing construction, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm NOT wrong, however, in pointing out that the windows once again look like crap.

We get a break from visually painful windows at 2950 Bryant Ave N, but only because this is a vacant lot.

2124 Bryant Ave N is next.

The windows at 1547 22nd Ave N are the housing equivalent of lipstick on a pig. You've got crappy windows and plywood that's not even painted, surrounded by shutters with horse-and-buggy decals.

Here's 2646 Penn Ave N.

And 3027 Penn Ave N, right next to a new community garden. It would sure be nice if Moghul would lose this property to tax forfeiture and then the garden could be even bigger.

3114 Upton Ave N is a tiny little house. I'm trying to figure out how the basketball hoop got all the way up in the tree.

3200 2nd St N is right next to the Lowry bridge. There are no house numbers visible on this property. That violation has been reported to 311 as well.

Here's another vacant lot at 3248 6th St N.

3318 6th St N is another property missing house numbers. Thank goodness for 311.

It's hard to believe that 2532 Bloomington Ave S actually qualifies as a duplex.

704-706 Penn Ave N has a lot going on. First, the doors don't match or even come close to looking like there's an architectural theme (other than slumminess). Second, carpeting has been left out in the front yard. That brings our 311 tally to four calls. Then there's just about every kind of window problem you want to imagine. Finally, what in the world is going on with the garage? This is a duplex, and the garage is clearly big enough for two cars, perhaps three. Yet there's only room for one car to enter and exit. Call me jaded, but I'd bet a steak and a Manhattan at Good Sports Bar and Grill that illegal activity is or has been taking place in a garage like this.

1500 Irving Ave N is right next door to a Dream Home (1504 Irving Ave N, currently owned by GF Properties. I just KNOW I've seen that name before. What I wouldn't give to be able to search city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County properties BY OWNER NAME to see if GF is up to anything). But 1500 Irving appears to have the lone window that has survived Bashir's renovations. Also, it's listed as a duplex, but I'd bet another steak dinner that it's functioning as a 3-4 unit property.

1900 5th St N was a tricky one to find. Throughout much of NoMi, 4th St just skips over to 6th St, making me think this might be some mythical, nonexistent intersection. But it's there, just behind Taco Bell and Wendy's. And the lot is--ahem--LITTERALLY covered with trash. That's 311 call number five. Anyone who wants to hold Bashir accountable here, just take a gander at this property whenever you're at Taco Bell or Wendy's and call in the debris that is sure to accumulate. It's got to be a real pain owning property in an area where so much litter piles up. On the other hand, it's primo real estate and I'm sure Moghul bought it in hopes that one of the few fast food franchises we DON'T have on Broadway would give him a hefty sum. If he's going to make money off of this land, then he should do the work of keeping it clean on a regular basis.

The city's website indicates that 2301 5th Ave S is a duplex, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing but vacant land where a duplex should be.

1917 1st Ave S is another vacant lot with back taxes.

3814 Fremont Ave N is our third vacant lot in a row.

4206 Colfax Ave N is one of Moghul's nicer properties as well.

So is 1831 Morgan Ave N.

Finally, at 1934 Oliver, we have our second Bashir property next to a Dream Home. This Dream Home, 1938 Oliver Ave N, is owned by Njeri Enterprises. At Bashir's property each door had a notice posted about unlawful occupancy, and poor attempts to remove them had been made. Either the place is still illegally occupied, or Moghul can't be bothered with the simple task of applying some elbow grease to make this place even a little bit nicer. How would you like to come home every day to a sign on your door about unlawful occupancy?

For old times' sake, here's a Pamiko rail.

Like the initial list of properties, this photo tour leaves me wanting more. I am certain that we have not fully documented properties owned by the Moghuls either in the metro area or elsewhere.

I am also VERY interested in knowing what criteria specifically is being used to bring the rental license at 2030 Willow Ave N up for revocation. If Moghul is behind on property taxes and loses ONE license because of that, well then the same conditions still exist in regards to every single other rental license he may have in the city of Minneapolis. Bashir Moghul should be forced to bring all of his taxes current or face revocation of all his Minneapolis rental licenses.

Finally, I have to wonder why Moghul and so many other slumlords seem to have the worst possible windows on their properties. Oh, I know that once they get around to replacing windows they'll just put the cheapest ones in. After all, their tenants will pay utilities, so why should it matter if the windows are energy-efficient?

But why even bother with the windows at all? Leaving an existing window alone is still less expensive than putting in a newer one. I'm told there are grant programs through either the city or federal government and even non-owner-occupants can qualify for assistance with their windows. Does anyone have details about that program specifically? It's bad enough when our tax dollars have to go towards cleaning up the aftermath of what the Koenigs and Khans and Moghuls leave us. But it would appear as if our taxes are first ENABLING such slumminess.

The problem is not just slumlords, it's a system that isn't stringent enough that allows them to exist in the first place.