Monday, January 31, 2011

Minor Fire At 2811 Newton Ave. N., One Of Slumlord Steven Meldahl's "Nicer Properties"

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

A week or two ago, there was a minor fire at 2811 Newton Ave. N. However, there didn't seem to be any injuries, including no injuries to the miserable pit pull which manages to survive, somehow, on the cold front porch. I was in the area so I snapped a picture, but it was freezing and, well, I didn't stick around to get a clearer images. Since it wasn't a major fire, I wasn't even sure it was worth writing about.

Then, tonight, it came to my attention that the property is owned by...oh my word...

...Slumlord Steven Meldahl, who is the human chew toy of the Irving Inquisition blog, click here for an example.

The house at 2811 is actually one of the "nicer" Meldahl properties, though that isn't saying a whole lot. The blinds in the upstairs are all garbled up, and the snow removal is obviously a low priority compared to, well, the joys of pit bull ownership.

Does Meldahl even KNOW there was a fire at this property? Well, if he didn't before...

I'm sure he does now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A "Private Leak" At 2723 Knox Ave. N., Water Spews Into The Gutter...

Above, that's not ice but fresh running water.
The doughnut shaped "main valve" is visible on the boulevard beneath fresh water spewing out from the valve.
Photos and blog post by John Hoff

The house at 2723 Knox Ave. N. is a pristine example of why North Minneapolis citizens need the network of "revitalizer blogs" which has sprung up over the last couple years: long after the big media have entertained and titillated the rest of the city with a dramatic cautionary tale of a child playing with matches (click here for example news coverage) neighbors on the Jordan Pond are still dealing with this burned out house in their midst and need information updates.

Well, there's a new problem coming from the damaged structure. The water main on the boulevard is...

...wide open and spewing fresh, clean, highly drinkable Minneapolis water into the gutter. And, worse yet, the water company isn't going to lift a finger to stop the leak. Upon calling 311 about this issue, I was informed that...

1. 311 has already been called.

2. This is a "private leak." The water company will not do anything to stop the leak. Instead the owners of the property need to get a contractor to stop the leak. This process may take, oh, a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the water we all pay for is spewing into the gutter.

Attempts to contact city officials have not worked. Their hands appear tied by the policy. If city water can just spew into the street and the city can't do anything about it, then something is wrong, particularly when the leak appears to be at the main valve which is located ON THE BOULEVARD, not private property. (Owners are responsible for maintaining their boulevards but do not, in the strictest sense, own them. Readers, feel free to discuss the boulevard ownership and maintenance issue if you have something to add)

What can be said or added? If this is the policy, then the policy is messed up and the policy needs to change.

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: New Bus Stop Art Near Five Points Building On West Broadway...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

While documenting a completely different story...or maybe it was really two separate stories which got all entangled, click here, I noticed the much-anticipated bus station art had arrived at the intersection of Penn Ave. N. and West Broadway, in front of the Five Points building.

It's amazing how lifelike these flowers appear, though they're made out of solid metal and big enough to be sniffed by dinosaurs. My second photo--a blurry shot snapped from a moving vehicle--shows how, if you sort of squint your eyes, it is possible to make the flowers appear to scale.

Though we have challenges to overcome in North Minneapolis, something like this reminds us we are constantly moving forward and the neighborhood is improving.

(Do Not Click "Read More")

JNS BLOG VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Auto Accident At Penn Ave. N. And West Broadway, Three Alleged Crackheads Arrested In Unrelated Incident...

Videos, photos, blog post by John Hoff

What a night it was at Penn Ave. N. and West Broadway! I received a phone call about 5 PM from a new friend. He'd just visited Megan Goodmundson and myself at Megan's house. We sipped some wine, talked about photography, mostly, and then he was headed to some art thing. A few minutes after leaving he called me. There had been a spectacular vehicle accident at West Broadway and Penn Ave. N.

My friend was the first witness at the scene, calling police moments after the impact. He saw a white truck speeding along Penn Ave. N., laying on the horn from "several house lengths" away from the intersection of Penn and West Broadway, as though to say...

"Get the (expletive) out of my way. I'm not stopping for the red light!"

But the white truck did not clear the intersection. It smashed into a white Jeep Cherokee, license plate 501 BKX.

When I reached the scene, neither driver was present. I saw an ambulance leaving, apparently not empty. My friend could not confirm whether the driver of the white truck had bailed and fled on foot. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the license plate of the white truck which caused the accident.

A flatbed wrecker on the scene hauled away the Jeep. I personally picked up the detached front bumper and placed it on the flatbed, so the bumper and license plate wouldn't be lost to the driver, who wasn't there to watch out for their own property.

The tow truck driver thanked me. And that's when I saw the three crackheads being arrested.

At first, naturally, I thought the arrests were part of the accident. However, officers on the scene stated the arrests--which happened right in the middle of the accident scene--were not related.

There were three arrestees, all total, though one of them quickly went in a police vehicle. He is visible at the very beginning of the first video. He is a tall, slim character and Megan states he is, almost certainly, the same person known as "Push Up Man" to a few residents in the area of the Jordan Pond, because he was often seen doing push-ups, grunting dramatically out in the middle of the street between bouts of jogging, trying to maintain his super ripped post-prison physique. Megan witnessed officers on the scene search the mouth of "Push Up Man" and the ground around him.

The other two individuals get a lot of face time in the videos. At one point you can see an officer pull out what he announces to be a vial of suspected crack. At another point, the male being arrested (the shorter one, not "Push Up Man") protests at my videotaping his arrest, saying it's embarrassing, and a police officer agrees it may be embarrassing but I have a right to stand on a public sidewalk and take pictures. You can hear me say, "God bless the Fourth Precinct." Twice.

We left the scene before the arrests were resolved, figuring police might release the (alleged) crackheads, and we didn't want to interact with them if police weren't present.

As we were leaving, we saw something wonderful which I will share with readers in my next post: public art has been installed at the new bus stop in front of the Five Points Building. As gritty as tonight was, progress was apparent at West Broadway and Penn Ave. N., and the police were doing a great job catching the (alleged) bad guys.

The "Curtains Of Despair" At 2131 Lyndale Ave. N., Bashir Moghul's Slummy Rental...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

I am endlessly fascinated by 2131 Lyndale Ave. N., Bashir Moghul's slummy rental which is just a hop, skip and drunken jump from Merwin's Liquor. The other night I was driving by and, oh my word, the curtains. Are those blankets? Bed sheets? I wouldn't be surprised if some of those "curtains" were towels.

Whatever the original purpose of the material, it is now being used for curtains. The Curtains of Despair! (Click here for a sad song I am digging lately)

Fortunately, this house is for sale so there is hope...hope that somebody better than Bashir Moghul might buy it. Hope that whoever buys it will be an owner, not another predatory slumlord who we will need to watch, endlessly, and energetically blog about. Yes, beyond the Curtains of Despair there is hope.

You know, it wouldn't be so hard for somebody like Bashir to make renters sign leases saying stuff like, "Windows must have curtains. Blankets, towels, sheets and other 'make do' materials are not acceptable; the curtains must be actual curtains." Yes, Bashir COULD do that, but he doesn't. Why doesn't he do it? Well, because he's a scummy slumlord and he only cares about the monthly rent checks, not the impact he has on the neighborhood.

Every day we watch Bashir Moghul's properties, and every day we stew and seethe. Nice work, Bashir. (Sarcasm font) The house at 2131 Lyndale Ave. N. looks like hell, and you obviously don't give a damn.

(Do Not Click "Read More")

Two Serious Incidents In One Day At 26th Ave. N. And Lyndale Ave. N.

Photos and blog post by John Hoff,
bottom photo is "reverse rearview mirror image"

Yesterday afternoon, there was a crash at 26th Ave. N. and Lyndale Ave. N. I snapped pictures as I went by, but didn't stop to gather information. Both vehicles were obviously totaled. Some hours after this accident, a police chase began at the same intersection, click here for news story.

The intersection in question is, (as we say in NoMi), filled with "negative energy." There is a slummy Bashir Moghul rental on the corner, and two empty vacant houses nearby.

God bless the officers who risked their lives in this high speed chase. Decent people in North Minneapolis appreciate you.

(Do Not Click "Read More")

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Pothole Purgatory" On Washington Ave. N. And Elsewhere In North Minneapolis...

Photo by Megan Goodmundson, video and blog post by John Hoff

Citizens all over NoMi are grumbling about it, but so far (to the degree I can verify) the grumbling has not reached listservs or blogs. But parts of Washington Ave. N. have more craters than bad neighborhoods on the moon. It has become necessary to slow down and make some effort to drive around or straddle the potholes, and the situation has gone from annoying to actually dangerous.

This video shot a couple days ago shows... rough the ride gets along Washington Ave. N., northbound from downtown, just before West Broadway near BJ's strip club. (Doomed. And good riddance) The southbound lane is just as bad. In addition, there are other parts of North Minneapolis where the streets are getting pretty bad. Most of 26th Ave. N. is a mess, and a portion of 23rd Ave. N. just north of the Holiday gas station is arguably worse than Washington Ave. N., but it's small and doesn't see as much traffic. Part of the issue involves the fact this is a historic cobblestone street. It doesn't seem to get cleared of snow and ice in the same way, so some of the "potholes" seem to be severe ice buildup.

Obviously, the end of January is not the preferred season for filling potholes. It's understandable public officials prefer to start filling potholes when the weather turns warm in the spring. But the situation with these roads has reached a point where it's possible to break the suspension on a vehicle. Something needs to be done, and sooner rather than later.

Monday, January 24, 2011

MLK Celebration, Volunteer Interior Demolition At 620 23rd Ave. N., More Images...

Photos by Megan Goodmundson, blog post by John Hoff

I wrote a few days ago about the MLK Day weekend activity coordinated through MCTC, and how I was a volunteer at the interior demolition at 620 23rd Ave. N., an apartment building which has been vacant for, well, a while.

Urban Homeworks has purchased the property and neighbors are excited to see their progress. This used to be a really tough block but ever since the demise of the Wafanas "inconvenience store," it's been fairly peaceful.

In the photo above, two volunteers smile (we think, based on their smiling eyes) and pose for the camera. Note the shirts. Everybody got a great new shirt to commemorate the volunteer activity. The masks...

...were kindly provided by Urban Homeworks so our lungs wouldn't get polluted with crud at the apartment building. Looking at the flecks on the camera, you can actually see the air was full of, well, crud.

Here's the great breakfast buffet served at MCTC for the volunteers. There were a dozen or more different projects.
I brought my own hammer and, well, I needed to put it SOMEWHERE. Oh, my, does the hammer go to the left or the right of the salad fork?
Above, I can hardly wait to rip out some sheet rock.
Our speaker at the breakfast was compelling and talked about his own childhood encounters with Martin Luther King, Jr. Click here to learn more about Tyrone Bledsoe and his organization, Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB).
The same bus took volunteers to 620 23rd Ave. N. as well as the St. Anne's Place women's shelter. This group was going to St. Anne's.
The back door of 620 23rd Ave. N. Hey, at least it has real numbers instead of Keith Reitman slumlord Sharpie marker.
Here's the view from the front, which has become a familiar sight on 23rd Ave. N. Thank goodness it won't always look this bad with Urban Homeworks advancing the project forward
All the volunteers had to sign releases saying stuff like, "If I accidentally hit my own face with a hammer, I will not blame Urban Homeworks" or words to that effect.
Removing sheet rock is easy. Getting every little bit is the challenge.
Walls that needed to be removed were marked with an "X." One volunteer removed part of a wall that was NOT marked with an "X," but the wall looked crappy inside and, really, needed to be replaced. I told her, "You know what? I think you did them a favor by ripping into that wall." An incredible amount of work was done at the building, and all of the labor contributed. I'm sure Urban Homeworks saved tens of thousands of dollars by using the volunteer labor even if they paid the price in purloined fridge magnets. (Who would DO something like that?)
"Fridge sledding" in North Minneapolis. I wonder if it would be possible to ride a fridge from the top of Farview Park all the way to the bottom? My mental wheels are spinning around a single compelling thought: This seems like a good idea!
Waiting for the scrappers to do their thing.
"Jasmine" helps to move around debris to make sure there will be enough room in the dumpster. Word is Jasmine is a talented "spoken word" artist.
Tossing part of a door jamb in the dumpster.
Ovens just don't work as well for sleds as fridges do.
Once they get the debris-filled trash can outside, getting it into the tall dumpster is a bit of a challenge.
My new acquaintance "Terrell" ripping out wire mesh in the basement level. It was such a dirty job but we made a lot of progress.
Moving a big hunk of...well, I don't know what.

This image was taped to a wall inside a unit of 620 23rd Ave. N. It was recognized by one of the volunteers to be the house of notorious fraudster Tom Petters.
So much crap we had to move it around with shovels.
This image of a baby was found on the floor inside 620 23rd Ave. N. The backside said "To Grandad."
I found this plate in one of the apartments and became obsessed with saving it. I will probably have to use oven cleaner to get the crud off.
What did I tell you? "To Grandad." Why was this photo left behind? How did the apartment complex become vacant and fall into the hands of Urban Homeworks? I'm sure there's a story in it of thousands of stories of foreclosure in North Minneapolis.

On this day the story was much happier: We helped make things better, it felt good, and then we all went to Psycho Suzi's for drinks and snacks.

But there was a solemn moment as the lost baby picture was passed around. In that apartment building, somebody was sad and felt loss. Somebody suffered.

And somebody is at fault...but who?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Volunteer Interior Demo For MLK Day, 620 23rd Ave. N.

Video by Megan Goodmundson posted to JohnnyHoffa
YouTube account, blog post by John Hoff

This Saturday, after a rousing speech and a delicious breakfast at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, (MCTC) myself and Megan Goodmundson volunteered at the interior demolition of 620 23rd Ave. N., an apartment complex getting a new lease on life from Urban Homeworks.

This building is located on the same block as the old Wafana's "inconvenience store." Some of us were wondering recently if it was going to be torn down when we saw a large construction dumpster show up. Turned out the apartment building is in good hands and, in fact, volunteer labor was helping the bottom line of the project as part of community-minded efforts coordinated by MCTC on the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.

Buses took some volunteers there, others arrived in their own vehicles. For several hours we ripped out drywall, unmounted old doors, removed worn out appliances, (I managed to score a bunch of fridge magnets) and at one point we discovered the best way to move a fridge on the icy path near the dumpster was to...

...transform it into a sled. This video captures some of our "fridge sledding." I'm the one pushing and the young man on the fridge is named "Terrell" (spelling unknown) a student at MCTC whose regular job is demolition, the same stuff he was doing at 620 23rd Ave. N. as an unpaid volunteer.

At one point while ripping out wire mesh together, Terrell and I talked about the struggle to stay part of our children's lives, which I've been working at since, like, late 1999 but which Terrell has just started to experience. I told Terrell it was worth the difficulty. Nothing was worth so much in life as being involved with your child. Stick with it, I told him, no matter what obstacles are placed in your path.

And then we went back to ripping out wire mesh.

Scrappers were on hand and got quite a score of aluminum, appliances and even a small section of copper piping which somehow got missed by, well, whoever got the REST of the copper piping.

This was a great way to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and MCTC apparently has an event like this every year so if you missed this round, there's next year and the year after that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

City Councilman Don Samuels Responds To Shooting In The Jordan Neighborhood...

Contributed Photos, blog post by NoMi Passenger

Those who know Don Samuels, city councilman for the 5th Ward of north Minneapolis, won't be the least bit surprised after reading this blog post. After a recent house party in the Jordan neighborhood that resulted in a young lady taking a bullet in her buttocks, the 5th Ward council member drafted a letter to the neighbors in that area and hit the streets in action. And no, it was not due to coverage on this blog. He was already in action when this blog featured the brief story about another house party ending in another shooting.

Councilmember Samuels braved the cold weather and ...

... unshoveled sidewalks along with his council aide Steve Hogan (whom I call the "new Jose") and another constituent to reach out to the neighbors around 25th Ave N and Hillside Ave to let them know that his office was aware of the recent violence and he is prepared to stand in the face of it and chase it out of the community. With their anonymous, confidential help he is ready to take back their streets in the hopes of peace and safety.

This is what Don Samuels was doing before he was elected to the city council in 2003. And through his leadership we can all be better equipped to take action in pursuit of a healthy, safe community for everyone who lives, works and plays in north Minneapolis.

JNS BLOG PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: 2723 Knox Ave. N. Fire, House Was "Fully Involved"

Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff

The fire at 2723 Knox Ave. N. happened on January 2, 2011 and was due to a child playing with matches, click here for news article.

This fire took place right in the heart of the Jordan Pond, an area where many active and involved NoMi neighbors live, some of whom are the heart and soul of the revitalization movement in the Jordan Neighborhood.

Even before the precise address of the fire was known, there was commentary on the Irving Inquisition blog, click here.

The house was boarded after the fire and everybody wondered...

...what was the extent of the damage? Can the house be saved? Did the owners even have insurance?

This photo, taken from the rear of the house, shows the structure "fully involved" on the first floor, with massive flames blowing out the windows. Though firefighters were seen after the conflagration entering the house and using a stairway, which would tend to make one believe the house had some structural integrity left, this photo would tend to show the house is most likely a complete loss and the odds of it being rebuilt are slim.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Images, 2700 Morgan Ave. N. Demolished, Fridge Magnets Saved!

Photos by Megan Goodmundson, xoxo, blog post by John Hoff

For the convenience of future historians or anybody who might need a still photo to illustrate revitalization progress on the Northside, here are some images of Friday's demolition of 2700 Morgan Ave. N., a.k.a. "The Salmon House." (Just the fact the HOUSE had an ALIAS says PLENTY about what went on there) Click here for a musical tribute to the house.

In the photo above, please note, all the pinkish "salmon colored siding" has been stripped from the structure because it was reportedly full of asbestos. But, notably, the house STILL looks like a salmon with silvery scales. It was and forever will be "the salmon house" in our memories.

In regard to the issue heaviest upon my mind regarding this particular structure--"Will the precious fridge magnets be saved?"--please note the following image...
SCORE!!!! Fridge magnets!!!

A mysterious green door inside the structure. What on earth went on behind the green door? Do we really want to know?
The man with the hose has a fun job! But it's nothing compared to the guy with the backhoe.

As of this morning when I write these words, loud banging sounds can be heard at the site of the salmon house. Apparently the demolition crew has returned and they are loading up the cement rubble from the foundation. But it's too cold to go outside and confirm this.

(Do Not Click "Read More")

JNS BLOG VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: 2700 Morgan Ave. North a.k.a. "The Salmon House" Demolished, Neighbors Joyful, ALL THE FRIDGE MAGNETS SAVED!

Video shot my Megan Goodmundson, uploaded to "JohnnyHoffa"YouTube profile, blog post by John Hoff

The decrepit former whorehouse at 2700 Morgan Ave. N., known as the "Salmon House," was demolished on Friday, January 14, beginning at about 9 a.m.

One neighbor in a nearby house actually took the day off from work just to watch in quiet jubilation. Another neighbor came out in a bathrobe and...

...can be heard cheering near the beginning of this video. The crew which demolished the "Salmon House" was apparently the same outfit responsible for taking down the "Devil's House" at 3020 6th St. N. and, in fact, they had vivid recollections of neighbors "drinking champagne and dancing in the streets." (Click here for some video)

Due to their involvement in tearing down two notorious whorehouses, Megan has dubbed this crew "the slum slayers."

Prior to the demolition, I personally managed to obtain all the fridge magnets from the door of a skanky-looking, rather small and forlorn fridge in what was left of the kitchen.

And so the unstoppable and massive wave of NoMi revitalization continues, but not everything is lost: some small things are saved, stories are written down, images and video are recorded. Some of the run down houses are NOT destroyed, but fall into the hands of new owners who will transform them. Slumlords are on the run, knowing they will be relentlessly hounded in North Minneapolis for irresponsible behavior. This house at 2700 Morgan Ave. N. belonged to an entity named "Dana D III," who were involved in mortgage fraud, click here.

Consider: For how many years did neighbors cry out "Salmon House" this and "Salmon House" that and fight for change? And then one snowy morning the change arrived and massive transformation took place in only a couple hours.

What does this tell us? That all the other changes we want can happen, too, if we don't lose hope, or lose heart, or cease in our energetic efforts to live in an urban environment that is not just BETTER, not just SAFE, not just DECENT, but something approaching an urban utopia.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brett Von Schlosser, Come Move to NoMi!

Photo and blog by NoMi Passenger

I got a few giggles from reading this Metro Magazine feature about an interesting Minneapolitan named Brett Von Schlosser, and surprisingly I noticed quite a few north Minneapolis connections in Brett's life.

Brett works at North Regional Library on Lowry Ave N.

He shops and grooves at So Low Grocery Outlet on Lowry and Emerson, too.

He enjoys hanging at Donnie Dirk's Zombie Den, a.k.a. DDZD, and he's an avid cyclist who can even fight off a handlebar attack.

So here's my plea to Brett:

Brett, darling, I can only imagine how delightful the Elmwood House in SoMi must be, but I feel you belong in NoMi we want you here in NoMi, we *need* you here in NoMi.  Just think, you can buy a grand old house in NoMi for pennies on the dollar and fix it up with all the obscure, interesting and down right weird features and fixtures you can stand. And then Metro Magazine can come and do another interesting feature of your new NoMi digs.

In closing, Mr. Von Schlosser, Get to NoMi!

Do Not Click "Read More"

Don't Worry, THE CATS WERE SAVED at 3201 4th St. N.

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

The little white brick house at the corner of Lowry and 4th Ave. N. used to be a home, of sorts, for a notorious no account public defecator who hung out in the Eco Village before forces of revitalization took that area back. He'd go in there to squat, (in more ways than one, I suspect) he'd get kicked out repeatedly, he'd vent his fury and shake his fist.

How well I remember the bad old days when this homeless pimp and the one girl in his stable-less stable would wander the streets of the Eco Village like a Satanic version of Joseph and Mary. I won't say his name here to avoid raising his ghost. Who wants HIM back?

The authorities slapped a geographic ban on him. And he disappeared. As for the house...

It finally met its doom a couple days ago. Before THAT happened, Joy The Kind Hearted Cat Lady of NoMi was out there daily, trying to lure the strays which made their home in proximity to the house, apparently under the porch. I ran into her at Cub Foods last weekend, as I went inside to purchase frozen cookie dough for my son, whose gourmet skills are improving with every weekend visit. French onion soup! Need I say more?

But anyway. Joy was wheeling a cart full of cat food into the parking lot (of course) and we stopped to chat for a moment just like we all live in a small town, and folks run into each other in NoMi and stop dead in their tracks to catch up. (One sees the thugs doing the same thing, and then small objects and money are exchanged with furtive quick hand gestures) Joy was very concerned about the cats at "3201," worried the house would go down and they'd still be inside like Haitian earthquake victims.

It was yesterday, I think, and I was at Cub Foods to use an ATM (I'm more of a So Low food buyer, myself) and there was Joy. I received joyful word the cats had been captured and were safe, though in rough condition and needing nursing back to health.


And so a house that stood a hundred years goes down and stray cats become its epitaph. This structure, arguably, couldn't be saved. But there's hope for other houses like 2939 Lyndale Ave. N. STEAL THIS HOUSE! More to follow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another House Party Ends in Another Shooting...

Photo by John Hoff, blog post by NoMi Passenger

Usually I examine the 4th Precinct Weekly Highlights (or lowlights as I prefer to call them) pretty closely. In fact, I even post them up on the Minneapolis Crime Watch blog for the Google bots to feast upon, however due to the holidays, traveling and other obligations I am a few weeks behind.

So it was really handy that an avid reader of this blog and a very active revitalizer citizen brought it to my attention...

That a recent edition of the highlights contained a report about a shooting outside of a house party, the kind of house party in north Minneapolis that has become synonymous with gun shots, violence and danger. Presumably the blog reader thought to bring it to my attention since this blog recently busted up a birthday party in the Homewood neighborhood, in an attempt to save a life or two or three.

25th Ave N & Hillside Ave Thursday 12/30/10 2322 hrs 10-386378

Officer was dispatched to a hospital on the report of a shooting. V1/female, 18 yrs, was receiving treatment for a gunshot wound to the buttocks. V1 stated she was at a house party in the above area & while in the house, people started yelling about robberies outside. V1 walked outside with her friends & saw a group of males & females arguing in the street. Unknown S1/male, 16-25 yrs, threatened to start shooting & pulled out a large black handgun. When S1 aimed the gun at V1, she ran in fear & heard about 20-30 shots before feeling pain in her leg. V1 was taken to the hospital by witnesses at the scene. V1 stated that S1 was very intoxicated. No one had suspect info or could provide a description of the party house. V1’s wounds are non-life threatening.

Right now I'm waiting on the full report from the police department and hopefully I can nail down the exact address that hosted the party. Of course I'll send the address and owner details to the authorities that be so they can do anything they can to come down hard on the owner, whether it be homesteaded or rental, the owner needs to hear from authorities and concerned citizens in the neighborhood.

North Minneapolis readers should be on the look out for signs of these lethally dangerous parties and call 9-1-1 immediately upon any sign of a dangerous party. Including but not limited to: flocks of young people arriving from all directions on foot, bike and of course some cars. Any sign that a line is forming or admission is somehow being charged at the door. Ummm, a flier posted or distributed around the area advertising the house party would be a sure sign. Noisy party goers spilling out into yards and sidewalks and streets would be a good indication. But don't just rely on this short list of symptoms, use your gut radar. Something seem wrong? Dangerous? Call 9-1-1 and let them figure it out.

I remember vividly a teen house party taking place on my block and I only realized it when a crowd of about 75 teens and young adults gathered in the street, divided into two groups in a stand off style position, with gang bandanas pulled up over their noses and faces. Pretty scary. Luckily nothing happened before police arrived and tear gassed the the house and the crowd in the streets.

Readers should spread the word to their non-blog reading neighbors and strengthen up the action plan to be on the watch for these dangerous house parties and call 9-1-1 immediately, even if nothing dangerous is happening yet, we are all better off to get the party shut down before anything does. Don't feel like a party pooper, feel like a life saver.

The "Salmon House" Continues To Go Downhill...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

The house at 2700 Morgan Ave. N., which used to be full of whores and crack, has been vacant and boarded for a while and we're so happy about that. But when is it going away? Recently, neighbors thought its demise was imminent because a big construction dumpster was deposited in the back yard. However...

Some weeks ago the dumpster went away, but the house didn't. And now it appears the little detached garage took a hard, damaging blow from a piece of heavy equipment. (See photo) A big pile of what appears to be snowy rubble has been deposited in the yard and, oh, did I mention the house was unsecured around Christmas Day? Yeah, nothing really valuable inside except fridge magnets, I would guess, but some folks really really really love fridge magnets and you never know when the "fridge magnet bandit" will strike.

Sigh. And so the "Salmon House" sits, forlorn and doomed, not really going anywhere but somehow still managing to move in a downhill direction. Even its vacant state represents progress of a sort, but it's a long slow hard painful road to Urban Utopia most days.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mario--The Police Have Already Been Called LOL ;-)

Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff

These are the kind of parties where young people tend to buy a bullet, youth like Charez Jones and Alisha Neely. That's why, when a resident of North Minneapolis noticed this sign hung up on the door of the Pennwood Market at Penn Ave. N. and Glenwood Ave. N., advertising Mario's birthday party and inviting the whole world to show up if they could produce a buck or two, that resident FIRST called the police and SECOND sent a photo to this blog.


I was tied up all day and didn't get the image until just now. I am promised, however, that I will get a firsthand account of police showing up at the party to wish Mario a happy birthday. The house at 818 Queen Ave. N. is owned by King Investors LLC, 1043 Grand Ave. S., #550 St. Paul, MN 55105.

By the way, the letters at the bottom of the poster reportedly stand for "laughing but serious" according to Urban Dictionary Dot Com. We are not sure if that's the meaning of the letters on the poster. Another source says it stands for "laughing but very serious" which makes more sense. What happened to the "v" word in the Urban Dictionary definition for "lbvs?" I used to have more respect for Urban Dictionary and was, at one time, one of the many volunteer editors but lately it's become more of a joke than a source of insight and documentation about the ever-evolving English language.

But, all the same, how appropriate. Some decent folks feel just the same way about Mario's party. They're laughing as they SERIOUSLY call the police.