August 2016 Issue

Commissioner Linda Higgins, Hennepin County, MN




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Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

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For past issues of my monthly newsletter, visit my webpage.


District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley,Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth andSt. Anthony.

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Top stories

Grant will provide funding to connect underserved youth with swimming lessons

“Make a Splash” initiative aimed at providing every child with the opportunity to learn how to swim

At its July meeting, The Hennepin County board approved a swimming lesson pilot project to provide swimming lessons for underserved youth and communities in Hennepin County. The pilot project – funded with $35,000 from the Hennepin Youth Sports Program – will be a partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation, the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming.

kids swimming

The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is aimed at providing every child with the opportunity to learn how to swim and has already provided more than 4 million children with swim lessons by working with their local partner network of more than 750 qualified lesson providers across the nation.

Hennepin medicine drop box

Golden Valley is newest location for Hennepin County medicine drop boxes

Hennepin County residents can now properly dispose of their unused and unwanted medicines at nine drop boxes located in Sheriff and county facilities, the newest of which is located at the Golden Valley Police Department, 7800 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valley, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Hennepin County Environmental Services have collected thousands of pounds of unwanted medicines since medicine disposal drop boxes were made available in March 2012.

Storing medicines in the home poses both safety and health threats. Proper disposal also helps to protect the environment. Medicines flushed down the drain or disposed of in the trash can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in drinking water supplies. For further information and a list of all locations, visit

Hennepin County Career Connections

job fair

Job fair will connect job-seekers to employers with positions

The Hennepin County Work and Economic Resource Center will sponsor a career fair on Monday, August 1 from 9 am to 2 pm, at Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th St., Minneapolis.

This is part of a series of events to pair employers looking for workers with employees looking for job opportunities. All participating businesses are actively recruiting for multiple openings. Events are free and open to the public.

Visit for additional information. For additional job fair locations, visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

This location is served by several bus routes. To find the best one, visit or call 612-373-3333.

HUD-assisted residents living in Comcast areas now eligible for low-cost, high-speed internet

HUD low income data adoption

Comcast and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative took an historic step to close the digital divide in America. Now, public housing and HUD-assisted residents living in Comcast’s service area are eligible to apply for Internet Essentials, the company’s high-speed internet adoption program for low-income families.

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed internet adoption program. It provides low-cost high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. For more information or to apply for the program, visit or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.

More information is at The Twin Cities Pioneer Press also covered this story at

Bottineau BLRT station

METRO Blue Line (Bottineau) BLRT Final Environmental Impact Statement now available

The Metropolitan Council has made the final environmental impact statement available. This document includes:

  • Purpose and need for the proposed BLRT Extension project;
  • Alternatives considered;
  • Anticipated impacts that will result from implementing the proposed BLRT Extension project, including avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures;
  • Description of the proposed BLRT Extension project’s public involvement and agency coordination;
  • The proposed BLRT Extension project’s proposed finance plan; and
  • Responses to comments received during the Draft EIS comment period.

The document is available online or in paper format at numerous libraries and city halls. Comments on the adequacy of the Final EIS may be submitted through August 15, 2016.

Learn more from the electronic notice from the Metropolitan Council

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Zero waste kids

Zero Waste Challenge

Slash your trash – join the Zero Waste Challenge

Hennepin County Environment is looking for 50 households to participate in the new Zero Waste Challenge, a year-long opportunity for households to join others in taking a look at the goods we buy and the waste we create to uncover opportunities and challenges to increasing recycling and reducing waste.

Participating households will get personalized coaching and access to classes and workshops to help them take action. For anyone who has ever wanted to reduce the amount of waste they create, the Zero Waste Challenge is a great opportunity to learn more and get hands-on help.

The results and lessons learned will be used to develop future waste reduction programs. The program starts September 15, 2016, and ends September 15, 2017. For their efforts, participating households will receive a $350 stipend. Apply to participate by August 26.

For more information or to ask questions about the program, contact Carolyn Collopy at or or 612-596-0993.

Board news

July 12

Grant will provide funding to connect underserved youth with swimming lessons

The board authorized a swimming lesson pilot project to provide swimming lessons for underserved youth and communities in Hennepin County (story above).

66th Street reconstruction moving forward in Richfield

The board approved a budget agreement with the cities of Richfield and Edina for $59.5 million in improvements to 66th Street (County Rd. 53) from Xerxes Avenue South in Edina to 16th Avenue South in Richfield. The project will include reconstruction of the roadway, sidewalks, curb and gutter, and replacement of Richfield’s water main and sanitary sewer. In addition, the project includes the construction of boulevards and protected bicycle facilities for the length of the project and construction of roundabouts at the intersections of 66th Street at Lyndale Avenue South and 66th Street at Nicollet Avenue. It will also require the replacement of the existing railroad crossing surface on 66th Street east of Pleasant Avenue and the installation of a new railroad crossing warning system. The majority of the construction will take place during the 2017-18 construction seasons.

Environmental Response Fund projects approved for funding

The county agreed to fund nine Environmental Response Fundprojects that will total more than $1 million. The grants will provide for the renovation or construction of as many as 404 affordable and 269 market-rate housing units. The funding will create economic development by increasing the tax base, create permanent jobs, enhance green space, create public recreation space, and create affordable and market-rate housing. Projects include:


  • Bossen Field – $209,740 for contaminated soil cleanup during park improvements.
  • City of Minneapolis – $129,565 to assist with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement at single and multi-family affordable rental homes at multiple locations.

 Fort Snelling

  • Fort Snelling Upper Post – $81,510 for completion of asbestos and lead-based paint surveys and subsurface soil assessment in preparation for the renovation of historic buildings into future affordable housing units.


  • Lyndale Gardens Shoreline Development – $117,436 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with construction of a public recreation space including performance, urban agricultural, and walking features.
  • Lyndale Gardens Residential Development – $115,400 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of multi-family, moderately priced, market-rate residential units

Brooklyn Center

  • Brooklyn Center Economic Development Authority – $60,000 for assistance with required contaminated groundwater monitoring at the former Howe Fertilizer site, associated the redevelopment of a long-vacant brownfield property with light-industrial facility.

St. Louis Park

  • Morrie’s Dealership – $45,045 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with replacement of vacant commercial buildings with a new automobile dealership.
  • Parkway 25 – $60,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with development of new multifamily, market-rate housing units and ground-level commercial space.


  • Hennepin County Lead Hazard Reduction Program – $200,000 for lead-based paint assessment and removal at affordable housing units throughout Hennepin County.

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website

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Northeast Minneapolis

North Loop, Minneapolis

North Minneapolis

  • Thursday, July 28 through Saturday, July 30
    FLOW Northside Arts Crawl is a non-juried, self-guided tour of studios, galleries, theaters, commercial and vacant spaces over a mile and half of the West Broadway
  • Thursday, July 28, 3-8:00 pm
    PAINT-THE-PAVEMENT. As part of FLOW, visit the Northside Arts Crawl activities at Lincoln Playground. Northeast corner of Penn Ave. N. and Oak Park. Drum and dance, playground design team, face painting, food vendors and activities for the whole family.
  • Thursday, August 4, 7pm
    First Thursdays Films at the Capri: Carwash, the Richard Pryor cult classic. $5. 2027 West Broadway.
  • Weekdays through mid-August, 9am-4pm
    PCYC Drop-in Summer Fun at Cleveland Park. Free fun activities for kids of all ages and no advance registration. Info: Catrice O’Neal at 612-643-2026 or 33rd and Queen Ave. N.
  • Friday, August 5 and 12, 5-8pm
    Music in the Heart of Victory. The Warren, 4400 Osseo Rd.
  • Thursday, August 11, 6-8pm
    Live on the Drive featuring Ashley DuBose. For more information, visit Free. 34th and Victory Memorial Dr.


Bryn Mawr, Minneapolis

Golden Valley

Medicine Lake


St. Anthony

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