Thank you, Southwest!

Thank you notes from Journal readers


Our special Thank You feature is always one of my favorite things we do all year. I encourage you to keep sending along “thank you tributes” to me. I’m always happy to run them as letters to the editor. So often we focus on what’s not working in our neighborhoods. This is a great chance to celebrate the bright side.

Thanks to all who have sent in notes for this edition, and a very special thank you to everyone who has donated to our Fight Hunger campaign benefiting the Joyce Uptown Food Shelf. To date, $2,330 has been raised for the campaign, which includes $1,000 from our company matching the first $1,000 in community donations. 

— Sarah McKenzie 


A coffee shop that serves more than coffee 

In August of 2008, Ann and I moved to Minneapolis from Lakeville. One of the first people we met was Hakan Sezer, who owns Sovereign Grounds coffee shop at 48th & Chicago.

I’ve always felt that coffee shops are more about community than coffee. Hakan’s place is a marvelous melting pot of humanity. Folks of all colors, walks of life and ages consider the place a second home. The clientele ranges from those of us who remember where we were when JFK was shot to those who weren’t born when Obama was elected to his second term.

As Sovereign Grounds undergoes a major remodel and expansion, Hakan has taken great pains to keep the play room open so moms and dads can have a cuppa joe while their babies play in the plastic house or watch the turtle. And Hakan has found a place for the round table so we old folks can tell each other about their latest ailments. In a little over five years I’ve said goodbye to a couple friends who were regulars at the coffee shop until weeks before their deaths. At Linda’s funeral, there was Hakan. He wouldn’t qualify for the presidency because he was born and raised in Turkey. But he’s the mayor of my community — 48th & Chicago — and I am thankful to be one of his constituents and his friend.

Larry Werner

A kind ‘mover and shaker’ in Kingfield 

When Scott and his wife Kelly moved to our Pleasant Avenue block, we had no idea just what we had on our hands. Scott turned out to be the proverbial “mover and shaker.” He is a member of the KFNA board, a tireless organizer for Aliveness Project fundraisers, the eyes and ears of our block.

He gets neighbors together by arranging and publicizing yard sales annually. He apprises folks of snow emergencies. He promotes friendly gatherings on cold nights around a fire pit. He and Kelly have been loving foster “parents” for three dogs. On days when we have snow, we always expect to look out our window early in the morning to see him busily shoveling our sidewalk (he says he loves shoveling!).

But best of all for us personally, in an already LGBT-friendly block, he arranged a surprise, Minnesotan-bring-a-hot-dish party for us on our 40th anniversary together (we got married for real on Oct. 20 in a small ceremony performed by another great neighbor, Tad Salyards).  

We are forever grateful for Scott’s support and generosity of spirit.

Dennis Carey & Bruce Taylor

An urban oasis

No matter how rushed and frantic I feel when I arrive (and I always do), when I open the door of Ascent Acupuncture’s corner storefront, I breathe a little deeper and walk a little easier. The world outside may be chaotic, but inside this cozy space, there is a warm (if electric) fire, a pot of hot water ready for tea, and an atmosphere of — what’s that feeling? Oh right, it’s called “calm.” Jill Larsen and her team have been in this location for just over a year, and I would be willing to swear that the entire corner of Grand & 41st is already calmer and healthier, just from the great energy this place puts out.

Julie Kendrick

An awesome neighbor for 33 years 

To my neighbor Donna Peter:

Whether it is your snowman in the front yard, your notes to me in your window, your Christmas tree positioned so we can enjoy it in the kitchen, or your fresh scotch-a-roos in the grill waiting for us, you are the BEST neighbor we could ever have had these past 33 years and we love you!

Jean, Andy, and Lloyd (Billy Bones & Lucy, too) 

Farmers market heroes 

The board of directors of the Kingfield and Fulton Farmers Markets would like to express our deep gratitude to four very special people who have just completed their tenures with the board. We cannot express enough thanks for the tireless efforts of Lee Watkins, Natalie Lenz, Theresa Cook, and outgoing board chair David Brauer. These four volunteer rock stars have given a collective 20-plus years of service to our local farmers market scene and leave a legacy for the Kingfield and Fulton neighborhoods (and beyond).

Kingfield dynamos Natalie and Lee have been consistently reliable in their dedication to the programming and events of the Kingfield Farmers Market. Same goes for Theresa, who also had a hand in the physical launch of the Kingfield market when it was originally housed at her own Anodyne Coffeehouse.

Last but certainly not least, David has served as our fearless leader in a number of capacities. He has championed the market’s continual growth, from its development as a project of the Kingfield Neighborhood Association, to becoming a stand-alone organization, to serving as board treasurer and then chair through the process of successfully launching the Fulton Farmers Market.

On behalf of those of us who remain on the board, we could not be more appreciative for what these four have done to benefit so many. We intend to carry on to the high standards they have set. In our eyes, they are nothing short of community heroes. Thank you, Natalie, Lee, Theresa and David! 

On behalf of the Kingfield and Fulton Farmers Markets board of directors,

John Brosnan
Vice chair of the KFM-FFM board, former Kingfield Farmers Market manager, and resident of the Loring Park neighborhood

Trail warriors 

I was recently asked by Council Member Lisa Goodman if I regretted moving near the Kenilworth Trail because of the time and energy I’ve spent in the last seven months with the grassroots group LRT Done Right. On the contrary I replied. I have met some of the most dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate people through LRT Done right, a grassroots group that came together to fight the bait and switch of SWLRT and freight rail co-location on the Kenilworth Trail. 

We are a rag-tag group of people who volunteer their time to spotlight the many environmental, cost and equity issues related to SWLRT as currently routed on the Kenilworth Trail. I want to thank LRT Done Right and all its supporters for protecting Minneapolis’ urban green space and Chain of Lakes for future generations. 

A special thank you to the LRT Done Right leadership group — Amy Rock, Angie Erdrich, Bill Dooley, Cathy Deikman, Charlie Lazor, Georgianna Day, Jack Levi, Jeanette Colby, Judy Meath, Julie Sabo, Kasia McMahon, Mike Wilson, Patty Schmitz, Peter Baatrup, Sacha Walser, Sandi Larson, Sarai Brenner, Stephanie Bell and Xandra Coe.

It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish in just a few months. Regardless of the outcome, it has been an honor to work with you all on such an important issue for our city.

Thank you!
Courtney Cushing Kiernat


Not your average Joe 

The Livability Committee of Citizens for a Loring Park Community (CLPC) would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe Kaplan, owner of Joe’s Garage. Not only did Joe operate a fabulous restaurant in the Loring Park Neighborhood for almost two decades, but he is and has been a fabulous community partner.  

Joe has annually donated food all day for the performers and volunteers of the Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival. Sandwiches, salads, deserts, chips, delights all and adds an extra perk for all those bringing enjoyment & entertainment to our community through this free and open Public Event each June. Thank you Joe!! You are the best partner ever!

Citizens for a Loring Park thanks you!!
Joseph Finley, Livability Chair
Jana Metge, CLPC Coordinator

A special newspaper carrier 

We would like to recognize and thank our newspaper carrier Jeff Passey who always delivers the paper on time every day even when the streets have not been plowed during snow storms. We love seeing his maroon minivan every morning. Thanks Jeff. 

Meg & Jim Killian

Gratitude for Meg Tuthill 

Thanks to Meg Tuthill for being an amazing friend, neighbor  and city council person. For the years that our daughter walked into your balloon store with her friends, handed them treats and made them feel like they lived in a magic kingdom.

For giving so many neighborhood kids their first jobs in your store. For being a strong booster of Jefferson School by giving time, treats and balloons. For being the best Halloween house in the neighborhood for so many years.  For being there and offering support when neighbors or their families were ill or passed away and for being there when there was cause to celebrate.  

For making it possible to live in the historic homes many of us live in by being watchful and vigilant. And for being a great City Council person, for listening, for making the neighborhood safer, more bike friendly, more vibrant, for showing up for every meeting and for the joy and passion that you approached your work. You have given your heart and soul to this neighborhood and made a positive difference in so many of our lives. Thank you, Meg.   

Mary Hartnett and Joe Knaeble 

Random acts of Dan 

We would like to thank a very kind neighbor of ours, Dan Griep.

There have been many snowy and cold days when Dan has gotten up early and used his trusty snow blower to clear the entire block’s sidewalks, including ours, and we never expect it. But, it is such a kind and generous act that we wanted to say thank you to Dan, as he cannot hear us as we yell “thank you” as he goes by.  His is truly a selfless act in a cold and wintry climate and we thank Dan sincerely for his generosity of time and effort.  

Rob and Mary Bruley
Linden Hills