Neighborhood News

Kenny treasures named

At its April meeting, the Kenny Neighborhood Association (KNA) awarded 25 individuals (and one dog) with its fifth annual "Kenny Treasures Award." The award recognizes people, groups and businesses that make Kenny a better place to live.

Board member Colleen Sauber said 25-year resident Jon Wasserburger received the honor because of his diligence in distributing Kenny neighborhood welcome packets to new neighbors. Wasserburger has also enriched the neighborhood by coaching baseball, basketball and soccer at Kenny Park.

In addition, she said Wasserburger often helps neighbors by fixing leaky faucets and toilets, moving furniture and appliances, and helping to snowplow.

Kenny Treasures Richard and Fay Yates, who moved into the neighborhood in 1967, won because they keep the neighborhood history and always welcome their new neighbors. Richard Yates also is known for helping his neighbors, Sauber said, keeping an eye on their homes and helping to shovel snow and cut grass.

Another Kenny treasure is Mark Plenke for his work on the newsletter. Sauber said Plenke spends approximately 15 hours on each issue of the newsletter and has done a great job.

The Kenny Garden Club members were also designated Kenny Treasures for their work on community garden spaces at 54th and Lyndale, at Grass Lake and at Uncommon Gardens, 5750 Lyndale Ave. S. Members include Bridget Johnston, Mary Arneson, Sonja Ashner, Nancy Alexander, Lisa Conway, Fern Davidson, Vickie Dooley, Betty and Chuck Elsbecker, Ellen Gavin, Roger Gillette, Mark Glenn, Ginny Kern, Carol Martinson, Alison Morris (and her dog Sophie), Claire Olson, Judy Redepenning, Jim and Renee Rubendall, Brenda Smeby and Gleni Sprague. Uncommon Gardens owner Peggy Poor was also honored as a Kenny Treasure.

Sauber said Kenny Community School also received the award. Neighbors nominated the school because it continues to thrive despite recent budget cuts and closing threats, yielding much community support.

For more information about KNA or the awards, visit

Fire destroys Whittier business center

Pamer Plaza, a the two-story commercial building at 2650 Nicollet Ave. S. caught fire on Monday, April 19. The fire, which started on the second floor at about 11 p.m., ruined the second floor and caused extensive water and smoke damage on the first floor.

Immigrants owned many of the 12 businesses housed in the converted mansion, built in 1930. The morning after the fire, they were busy taking their belongings out of the building, which is boarded up until reconstruction begins.

Somsanouk Sithisack opened Ramsey Video just three weeks ago. A native of Thailand, his shop rented Thai and Cambodian movies. He said half of his stock was ruined by the water and smoke. Many were rare titles that cannot be replaced.

Roland Aichholzer was shocked when he came to work and saw the damage. The Austrian immigrant owned a money transfer business and had been a tenant for two years. He said he is currently looking for a new location.

Michael Pham, Pamer Plaza’s landlord, bought the property two years ago and invested money in its renovation. The building is assessed at $780,000. The Vietnamese native owns several other properties in the Whittier neighborhood. The building will reopen. However, Pham said, depending on the economics of it, he may tear down the structure and replace it with a new building.

While some speculated that a neglected candle caused the fire, the Fire Department says the cause is unknown.

Bryn Mawr garage sale fest is May 1

Bryn Mawr’s Festival of Garage Sales will be held on Saturday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both sides of I-394 and throughout the neighborhood. The festival, which has been an annual spring event since the 1980s, features over 100 homes, selling everything from books to furniture to nick-nacks and clothes. Organizers say it’s the oldest annual garage sale in the city.

It is also a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts, who will earn money from the barbecue they’ll have at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, at 420 S. Cedar Lake Rd. The troop will also reap the benefits of the program guide. The program is available the morning of the sale at Cup of Java and other businesses located at Cedar Lake Road and Penn Avenue North.

Bryn Mawr annual meeting will be held May 12

The Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association (BMNA) will hold its annual meeting Wednesday, May 12 at the Bryn Mawr Elementary School, 252 Upton Ave. S. beginning at 6 p.m.

The meeting will feature a potluck dinner with the BMNA providing the beverages, napkins and the cups. Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Councilmember Lisa Goodman, State Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein will attend. There will be childcare, music and a magician for the kids.

The board will also elect its officers. Current BMNA President Kevin Johnson is not running for reelection and will be replaced by current Vice President Kevin Thompson, who is running unopposed. Current Secretary Joanna Danks is running unopposed for the position of vice president.

May 8 hazardous waste pickup in Windom

Hennepin County is hosting a hazardous waste pickup for Windom residents on Saturday, May 8 in the Windom Community Center parking lot, 5821 Wentworth Ave. S., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hazardous materials collected include adhesives, aerosols, vehicle waste, cleaning solutions, driveway sealers, fluorescent lamps, household batteries, painting materials, including lead-based paint or chips, pesticides, photographic chemicals and wood preservatives.

Rejected materials include things such as tires, appliances, motor oil and filters, asbestos, explosives, compressed gas, medical or infectious waste, as well as anything radioactive.

A driver’s license is required to prove Windom residency. Materials are accepted from households only, not businesses. Businesses interested in disposal can call 348-8100. For more information about accepted materials, call the county at 348-3777.

Postal workers will collect food May 8

The United States Postal Service’s National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their 12th annual food drive on Saturday, May 8.

On that day, people can leave nonperishable food items in their mailboxes. Letter carriers will collect and deliver the items to the Second Harvest food bank.

Second Harvest provides donated groceries to nearly 800 nonprofit agencies throughout 61 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Typical beneficiaries are children, the elderly, the poor and the disadvantaged.

In 2003, letter carriers collected 250,000 pounds of food in Minneapolis in one day, which stocked Second Harvest for over three months, according to spokesperson Kris Bogren.

For more information about the drive, see

Cedar-Isles-Dean cleans up May 8

The Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual greenway cleanup Saturday, May 8 starting at 10 a.m. The cleanup crew will meet on the greenway at the break in the fence behind Calhoun Village, 3262 W. Lake St., to start cleaning.

Anyone interested in volunteering should show up, or contact neighborhood board President Chad Larsen at 925-5180 or at [email protected]

CIDNA holds annual meeting May 4

The Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual meeting Tuesday, May 4 at 6 p.m. at the Jones Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

At the meeting, residents can learn more about the organization, get an overview of the past year’s activities and be considered for board membership.

Public and elected officials will also be speaking at the meeting. The keynote speaker is Police Chief William McManus, and other speakers include city, county and legislative representatives for the area.

For more information about CIDNA, visit

Greenway tree planting May 8

The Midtown Community Works Partnership is hosting its fourth annual Arbor Day tree-planting event along the Midtown Greenway (and the Southwest Regional Trail) on Saturday, May 8 starting at 9:30 a.m. The group hopes to plant 150 trees.

A ceremony at the greenway intersection with Beltline Road in St. Louis Park will kick off the festivities. Planting will then begin at 10 a.m. at various places lining the greenway, including a spot of land east of Lakes Calhoun and Isles, the stretch from Grand to Harriet avenues and from 1st to Stevens avenues. The group still needs volunteers for tree-planting duty.

Volunteer tree experts and professionals will provide tree education and planting advice.

For more event information, visit or to volunteer, contact Theresa Nelson, 879-0103 or Susie Helget 344-1400.

Kingfield seeks teen artists

The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) seeks 13- to 18-year-olds to work on the neighborhood’s 2004 summer mural project. KFNA is taking applications for volunteer artists until May 17.

Through the program, KFNA will be awarding grants to neighborhood businesses and property owners to hire a local artist to design an exterior mural. Once the mural is designed, a volunteer group of local teens will paint the mural during July and August.

Artists will be selected and notified by June 5. For more information about the project or to obtain an application, call Sarah Linnes-Robinson at the KFNA office at 823-5980 or e-mail [email protected]

Homeless alliance hosts Italian dinner fundraiser

The Alliance of the Streets, a Minneapolis organization that works with poor and homeless people, will host its 15th annual Italian dinner fund-raiser on Tuesday, May 11, 5-7 p.m. at the Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave.

Residents are invited to enjoy made-from-scratch Italian cuisine accompanied by the melodious sounds of a jazz pianist with no speeches to endure.

Proceed from the event fund the Alliance’s efforts. Tickets are $15 each and are available at the door or by reservation.

For more information, or to make a reservation, contact Mike Menner at 870-2283 or [email protected]