Weekly Roundup : March 20-26 (Local COVID-19 information)

Check out this week’s information for Greater Longfellow and stay safe!


Longfellow Community Council COVID-19 Notice

Like everyone, we don’t know the long-term implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We do know it’s important that all of us try to do what we can to mitigate transmission and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, ALL currently scheduled LCC meetings are canceled/postponed until further notice. As your neighborhood organization, we want to provide resources and information to help ease the current uncertainty of our community. However, we’re not medical professionals and this current health crisis is unprecedented, so unfortunately, we don’t have a strategy in place to address this situation. We are working on ways to hold LCC Board Meetings remotely. If we are able to hold conference call meetings, we will advertise on our FB page so that residents will be able to listen in, if they are interest- ed. Check with the Center for Disease Control for up- dated information, and guidance. Visit CDC.gov
No Pie Charts! Only Pies! Our annual general member- ship meeting and resource fair, No Pie Charts! Only Pies! was scheduled for Tue, April 21. At this meeting, we would have held our annual elections for open seats on our Board of Di- rectors, as well as presented our proposed bylaw amendments. This meeting is also CANCELLED. Proposed bylaw amendments will be publicly shared once we have a new general membership meeting scheduled, at a future date.

ALL Longfellow Community Council Committee Meetings scheduled for April are Cancelled.




Upcoming & Ongoing Events

Gardening for Wildlife MentorshipNow taking applications for the Gardening for Wildlife Mentorship. We did this for the first time last year, and it was so much fun, we are going to do it again. This year is looking better for many reasons, but especially because we will be teaching an intro class and the Longfellow Community Council got the Lawns to Legumes community grant! Info below, please consider joining us on this adventure this year.  Garden for Wildlife Mentorship: $75. Learn about, design, and create a wildlife friendly yard. A 2-Night Intro class April 14 th and 21 st 6:30-8:30pm is required, and then you will be matched with a local experienced Wildlife Gardener, and they will share their expertise with you, and possibly even some “extra” native plants from their own yard. An optional field trip, yard tour, and seed exchange event will take place over the summer and fall. By the end of the year you should be able to certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation (more info on our communities’ efforts at www.LongfellowWildlife.blogspot.com). Thanks to the Lawns to Legumes grant, 90% of your expenses for native plants and mulch can then be reimbursed up to $350 until our funding is used up (save receipts!). Email Daniel Schultz at dschultz6@comcast.net, and he will send you the application.

Minnesota Transportation Action Plan Open Houses:
Due to COVID-19, our in-person open houses will move online. We’ll post a link with instructions on how to access as they are available. The events will be held at the same dates and times. Thank you for being flexible as we make adjustments and continue this transportation conversation with you.

Your voice is incredibly important in this planning process. To create a better future, all of us need to turn out and to speak up for great transit and safe streets that put people first. We need to show that this matters and that we care. 
Tuesday, March 24, 5-7 PM 
Wednesday, April 8, 6-7 PM • Online: City of Minneapolis Facebook Page 
Monday, April 13, 4:30-6:30 PM 
WHAT’S AT STAKE? A LOT.
This 10-year action plan is a huge opportunity to advance mobility, equity, and climate action throughout Minneapolis and to create the transportation future you want to see. For starters: Let’s make sure the TAP’s goals reflect the scale of action needed on climate change. The draft TAP sets a goal to reduce Minneapolis’s transportation-related carbon pollution by 35% by 2030. But experts say we need to reduce carbon pollution by 45% (!) by 2030 if we want to head off extraordinary hardship for hundreds of millions of people. 
Let’s make sure our High-Frequency Transit routes are actually fast and frequent. You shouldn’t have to choose between a slow transit trip and a fast car trip.The draft TAP sets goals for speeding up Minneapolis’s High-Frequency Network buses. This is great! And we want to make sure the City is setting the right targets. Today, Minneapolis local bus routes can travel at just 6 miles per hour on average. That’s less than half than the speed of local routes in Boston, D.C., or Chicago. Demand better: high-frequency routes that average 13-15 miles per hour and are time-competitive with car travel. 
Public comment on the TAP is open now through April 22. Don’t miss out!
Questions? Contact Sam at samr@movemn.org.

We want to let you know about upcoming in-person and online events. You can read, download, and comment on the plan at our website anytime at go.minneapolismn.gov
Help us gather feedback on the Draft Plan. For neighborhood associations and community organizations interested and available to help us gather feedback, we have an engagement toolbox available on our website.
Other ways to provide feedback on the draft plan. Can’t attend one of the in-person events? Head to the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan website to read the draft plan and provide feedback. Starting March 9th, the interactive website will include opportunities to provide your input on the plan and our draft strategies and actions.
You can also follow the City of Minneapolis on social media to stay updated. Use #gompls to share your feedback with us and follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Creating a Resilient Yard With Buzz
Blue Thumb’s 2020 Lawns to Legumes workshops teach sustainable practices and pollinator conservation techniques to create resilient yards. Participants can choose from three options — Resilient Yards, Turf Alternatives, and Healthy Soils — to learn sustainable practices ranging from installing a raingarden to replacing a conventional lawn to protecting the living earth that makes up healthy soil. In addition, participants will learn about Lawns to Legumes, a new state program offering grants and other support to help Minnesotans protect the endangered rusty patched bumblebee and other at-risk pollinators by putting in native pocket plantings, beneficial trees and shrubs and pollinator lawns and meadows. Blue Thumb coordinates part of the Lawns to Legumes program in partnership with the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources. “Pollinator conservation can be as simple as allowing clover to bloom within your lawn or installing a few native perennials. Small actions like these can have great impacts when adopted by communities that have the proper information and guidance,” says James Wolfin, an expert on bee-friendly lawns and a manager of the Lawns to Legumes program for Blue Thumb.

Workshops cost $15 per household unless otherwise noted and will be offered throughout the spring starting in March. Participants will learn practical information about installing projects, as well as Lawns to Legumes and other cost-share programs and resources that can help get a project in the ground. More information and scheduled workshops are available by visiting  https://bluethumb.org/events/ or calling ​651-699-2426​.

Resilient Yards Workshop (3 hours) A framework for understanding and creating resilience, covering site planning, raingardens, turf alternatives, trees, other plantings, pollinator habitat, and more. Includes one-on-one design assistance for individual yards from Blue Thumb landscape designers, Hennepin County Master Gardeners, Master Water Stewards.
Turf Alternatives Workshop (2 hours) Alternatives to conventional grass turf that require less watering and fewer chemical inputs, with step-by-step instructions for establishing them. Includes information about pollinator-friendly (bee) lawns. Group will discuss common challenges and solutions.
Healthy Soils Workshop (2 hours) Laying the groundwork for healthy soil. Healthy soil helps plants thrive, filters and cleans water, prevents erosion and is teeming with life. Participants learn why healthy soil is the foundation of a resilient yard and how to take action to strengthen and protect their soil.

Locations for these workshops are offered throughout the metropolitan area. As of now, we have several workshops scheduled  with more to come. Updates and additional dates will be updated here: https://bluethumb.org/events/



Chard Your Yard Garden Registration Opens March 15
Have you seen those signs near your neighbors gardens and wondered what Chard Your Yard is all about? Since 2013, Transition Longfellow has partnered with the Longfellow Community Council to offer a fun and exciting event to increase vegetable gardening in our neighborhoods, CHARD YOUR YARD. Transition Longfellow is a community led group of neighbors focused on building sustainable communities in order to address climate change.

Chard Your Yard volunteers have built and installed about 160 raised bed vegetable gardens in the greater Longfellow neighborhoods. We plan to build, deliver, and fill dirt in 24 raised bed vegetable gardens for neighbors in zip code 55406. The garden beds are $70 which includes: a 3’x5’x12” wooden frame installed and delivered to your house, a site visit by a master gardener to find the perfect spot for your bed, a fill of nutrient rich dirt, and a Chard Your Yard sign. Through the generous support of Longfellow Community Council, ​we can offer a limited number of beds for low-income and senior citizen gardeners ($35) and double-high beds for gardeners with disabilities ($70). These beds are only available for people in Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods.

This event is completely volunteer based and we need your help! This is a great event to meet neighbors and learn more about Transition Longfellow. ​We will be building and installing the beds Wednesday, April 29th between 5pm-9pm and filling them Saturday, May 2nd from 8am-4pm (attendance for entire shifts not required). Registration to receive a bed opens March 15th and will close in April or when all beds are purchased. Please visit ​www.transitionlongfellow.org/chard-your-yard​ for further information and to sign up to receive a bed or volunteer. 
 

Announcements

Find the latest from the State of Minnesota Department of Health regarding COVID-19 here, including Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19Resources & MaterialsSituations Updates, and Information for Businesses & Employers.
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Here is the latest from the City of Minneapolis regarding COVID-19 including Mayor Frey signing emergency regulations and Community Support Resources. 
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Information and Resources for Workers

DEED’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program assists workers who can’t work, have their hours reduced or lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The UI program is prepared and ready to assist these workers. If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, you may apply for unemployment benefits by visiting www.uimn.org. If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, please apply for unemployment benefits by going online to www.uimn.org.
Please use the www.uimn.org website to submit your application, because this is the most efficient way to serve applicants.
The website can accept applications Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. We are working to add Sunday hours.
Given the volume of expected applications, we are asking for applicants’ patience as we ramp up to meet demand in this unprecedented situation.What else should workers know?
We encourage workers to talk to their employers about any health concerns. If ANY worker finds themselves unemployed or with significantly reduced hours, they should apply for benefits at www.uimn.org.

Information for people who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut because of COVID-19.

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Given the Governors order closing bars and many restaurants, Minnesota is working on making UI benefits more accessible to employees and less of a burden to the employers given the extraordinary situation we are in. Representative Jim Davnie, Minnesota House of Representatives District 62A, has shared a legislative update, as well as other unemployment information including Unemployment Assistance Q & ACOVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Response, Additionally, below is information from DEED on how tips are handled in calculating UI benefits.
Tips: Since tips are not calculated towards unemployment, how do we recommend tipped workers apply for UI?
Tipped workers are included in the UI system but you are correct that their wage calculation is based on the wage detail that their employer uploads. If they do not include tips in their wages for tax and reporting purposes then we do not have that information in our database.

We cannot change how the system calculates wages – it’s hard coded into the system and would require taking people from their work literally keeping the current system from crashing (which the federal interface has been doing all day), answering questions and paying people and require them to recode the computer calculations. Much of the work of the UI program (especially in times of high demand) is intentionally automated. Our staff do not typically do manual calculations for benefit payments – if they did we would require many hundreds of additional staff, the process would be rife with mistakes and it would be easier for fraud to occur. With the current demand, we are focusing on serving those folks as quickly as possible.

It is important to remember that UI is but one tool in the toolbox that the state and federal government could deploy to assist people and it is not perfect.
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Unemployment Assistance Q&A: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/


Looking for something interesting while social distancing?

Fun for Kids & Families
San Diago Zoo Kids
Videos, Activities and Games for kids.
Boston Children’s Museum Virtual Tour


Animal Webcams & Live Streams
Huston Zoo
Georgia Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Lifestyle & Culture
Great Wall of China Virtual Tour
Louvre Virtual Tours
NPR Live Concerts
: A list of live virtual concerts
CBS News Fitness Classes: A list of gyms and fitness studios live-streaming free workout classes
Metropolitan Opera streaming free performances