Neighborhood Notes

50th-and-France turning restrictions installed
If you’re heading south on France Avenue, you can’t turn right into Edina at West 50th Street. And if you’re heading north on France Avenue, you can’t turn left into Edina at West 50th Street.

The turning restrictions recently were added to improve traffic flow through the busy intersection, according to Steve Mosing, transportation engineer for Minneapolis. A left turn lane also was added to the southbound lane of France Avenue at West 50th Street.

Mosing encouraged drivers who wish

to travel from France Avenue to westbound West 50th Street to use the so-called "ring roads" of West 49 1/2 Street and West

51st Street.

Mosing said Minneapolis and Edina hope to have changes in traffic signal timing at the West 50th Street intersections at Halifax and France Avenues to alleviate back-ups by this summer.

— Brent Killackey

Seminar on Islam planned in 13th Ward The 13th Ward City Council office will host a seminar on Islamic culture, entitled "Understanding Islam and Middle Eastern Culture," on Jan. 31, 7-9 p.m., at the Linden Hills Community Center.

Zafar Siddiqui, of the Islamic Resource Group, will speak on Islamic beliefs, practices and values and how they relate to everyday life in America, Muslim populations around the world, and Islamic

holidays and celebrations. Professor "Buzz" Brookman of North Central University

will discuss the main differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Other panel members will be Jabra Kawas, one of the City’s CCP/SAFE officers, and Ahmed Hassan, the Somali Police Liaison for the City of Minneapolis.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentations.

— Brent Killackey

Walker Library seeks ghost stories
The Walker Community Library is looking for ghost stories — its own, actually.

Staff at Walker, 2880 Hennepin Ave. S., are assembling an Uptown History Collection and are asking residents for help. In particular, they want to talk to anyone who has stories about a ghost (or ghosts) at the old Walker Library across the street at 2901 Hennepin.

If you have information (or are simply curious about the project), call Sandra Roback at 630-6650.

— Scott Russell

Whittier business loans available
The Whittier Community Development Corporation is beefing up marketing efforts on a business loan program, and trying to coordinate it with Nicollet Avenue redevelopment efforts.

The city established the $250,000 revolving loan fund when it closed off Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street, said CDC director Tom Reynolds. The Whittier Alliance had administered it. The CDC took it over Jan. 1.

The program has roughly $160,000 to $170,000 available at 2 percent interest. The 2 percent loans are capped at $30,000 and must be matched by a conventional bank loan.

Businesses can use the loans for interior or exterior improvements, said CDC staffer John Flory. Apartment buildings are not eligible.

Whittier is bounded by Lake Street, Lyndale Avenue, Franklin Avenue and I-35W.

For more information, call Flory at 879-0109.

— Scott Russell

Winter kite festival scheduled
Kites will be flying high over Lake Harriet in mid-January.

The Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival 2002 will be held Jan. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. on the ice near the Lake Harriet band shell.

The event will include kite demonstrations, kites for sale, sleigh rides, refreshments and ice skating.

The event is sponsored by the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association, the Minnesota Kite Society and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

For information, call Lyndale Farmstead Park at 370-4948.

— Brent Killackey

Linden Hills blood drive cancelled
A blood drive scheduled for Feb. 9 in Linden Hills has been cancelled.

The Linden Hills Business Association had planned for the Bloodmobile to visit the 43rd and Upton area, but the Red Cross cancelled because of a lack of staff.

— Brent Killackey