Weekly Roundup: Feb 26-Mar 4

Stay safe and strong, Greater Longfellow.


Statement from Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene on Security Preparations for Trial of Derek Chauvin:
In preparation for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, security measures are being taken, including secured fencing around the Hennepin County Government Center. The County provides facilities for Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District, which is the venue for this trial.
While I’m unsettled to see secured fencing around these buildings that serve our community, I know three things:
• Justice and community safety must be a top and guiding priority.
• First amendment rights must be protected and peaceful demonstration allowed.
• Services to county residents will not be interrupted, and are available online or at other locations throughout the county.

In the past year, our city and our nation have experienced civil unrest that has resulted in an unprecedented, and for many an unwelcome, military presence in our lives. The barricades in and of themselves may feel like an act of aggression, layered on top of existing and ongoing trauma. To ensure that justice is served for George Floyd, his family, and our community, these measures are being taken to prevent any disruption to the trial.

Read more here: https://content.govdelivery.com/…/MNH…/bulletins/2c2c1de

Researchers in Iowa State University’s Community and Regional Planning program are conducting a study on Accessory Dwelling Units and would like to hear from Minneapolis residents.
Accessory Dwelling Units (sometimes just referred to as ADUs or “granny cottages”) are smaller dwelling units located on the same lot with single family homes, with the smaller dwelling unit generally rented out or used as additional living space. ADUs can come in a few different forms, such as a converted garage, a detached unit in the backyard, or even a converted basement space.

To understand Minneapolis residents’ opinions on ADUs, we have put together a brief survey and would appreciate your input! Both renters and homeowners are welcome to take the survey, and survey responses are anonymous. At the end of the survey, there is an option to enter your name and email address to be entered into a drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card. Names and contact information will be separated from the rest of your responses.
Click the link to take the surveyhttps://tinyurl.com/adusurvey
Questions? Please contact Andrea Wagner (aewagner@iastate.edu) or Dr. Kathryn Terzano (kterzano@iastate.edu).

Auto Theft Prevention Board
Minnesota Department of Commerce houses several advisory boards related to the areas that we regulate. This board is in need of a community representative and since south Minneapolis is one of the areas that seen recent spikes in car thefts, it would be great to have someone from this area to apply. I’d like to see if you would share this on the newsletter but also, I’d like to connect with some other neighborhood associations – it would be great to have applicants of diversity.

Here is information about the board:
The Auto Theft Prevention Board advises the Commissioner of Commerce on how to develop and sponsor statewide plans, programs and strategies to encourage cooperation between agencies to prevent auto theft. Granting funds, auditing programs, providing education, and withdrawing funds part of their statutory duties. This board can grant financial support to neighborhood, community organizations, tribal groups or business organizations to fund programs and disseminate information to assist with prevention of auto theft. Appointments to this board is for a four year term. There are meetings regarding the granting of funds (virtual capability is necessary), but those only occur generally 1X every year with some participation to prepare for those meetings.

The open seat is the public appointment which can be filled by someone from a neighborhood, community organizations, tribal groups or business organizations. To Apply, visit the Open Positions Page on the Secretary of State’s website at: https://commissionsandappointments.sos.state.mn.us/
(Scroll down to find the correct Agency/Board/Council.
Choose the correct seat type, and click button that says APPLY
The system will walk you through creating an application profile.
Attach the following documents:
• Letter of Interest
• Resume or Biography

Minneapolis property owners can buy a $25 tree this spring!
Applicants are encouraged to use the online application as the Appointing Authority will have access to your information as soon as it is submitted. Paper application can be submitted to: Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, 180 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St Paul, MN 55155-1299. Applications are kept on file for a one-year period In accordance with the Minnesota Open Appointments Law, the Secretary of State acts as an administrator in publishing vacancies, receiving applications and recording appointments. Applications will be reviewed and appointments made by the appointing authorities; questions about specific vacancies and appointments should be directed to the appointing authority.)

Minneapolis property owners will soon be able to order a 5- to 8-foot tree for $25 each to plant on their private property. This year, Minneapolis property owners in Green Zones, rental property owners and property owners who haven’t gotten a tree in the City Trees program in the last two years will get a chance to order a tree earlier.

The 2,000 trees in 24 varieties this year include large and medium shade trees, fruit trees, evergreens and smaller flowering trees. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery.

Tiered purchasing windows

  1. Green Zones property owners can order up to three trees starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 8. Just fill out a separate order for each tree.
  2. Rental property owners citywide can order one tree per property, maximum of 10 properties, starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 8. Just fill out a separate order for each tree.
  3. Minneapolis property owners who haven’t received a tree from the Minneapolis tree sale in the last two years, who aren’t in a Green Zone, can order one tree per address starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 15.
  4. All Minneapolis property owners can order one tree per address starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 22.

Read more

Featured Upcoming & Ongoing Events

KFAI presents: Black History Month: 25 Hours of All Black Content
Saturday, February 27, all day:


NEIGHBORHOOD TRAINING: Nonviolence & Solidarity—
Here is the link as well for registration:
When: Feb 25, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Interested in sustainability and the environment on a local level?  LCC’s Environment-River Gorge Committee (ERGC) is now accepting new members! Their objective is to promote the greening of Greater Longfellow, review and fund environmentally-focused program/project requests, as well as protect and promote the River Gorge though activities, programs and events that engage community residents.
NEXT MEETING: Wed, Mar 3 @ 7pm
Subsequent meetings will be the FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month at 7pm. (Currently, all meetings will be held online via zoom, link information TBD)
Past Projects include:
• Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) Events 2018 and 2019
Funded and partnered on events held by FMR in 2018 and upcoming events in 2019. The events focus on ecological restoration planning and events-based engagement for natural areas between 34th Street and 44th Street along West River Parkway.
• Annual Share the Gorge Event: This popular summer gathering invites Longfellow residents to explore the gorge in a fun, family-friendly style. Step off the bank and into a canoe for a short trip on the river, enjoy ice cream, and learn more about the work of LCC’s River Gorge Committee.
• Spring Birding Hike: This event links residents with local birding experts to look for migrating and returning spring birds along the Mississippi River Gorge.
• Backyard Wildlife Habitat Promotion: Neighbor-to-neighbor mentoring project to promote and support the creation of wildlife habitat (especially for birds and pollinators) in urban yards. The committee is also seeking to promote individual homeowner backyard wildlife certification through the National Wildlife Federation, and ultimately neighborhood certification.

Virtual Hiring Event: Everyone is welcome to attend this virtual hiring event which features jobs in a variety of professions. This online event is free to all community members, workforce professionals, employment services staff, counselors and anyone interested in learning more about these job openings. It’s easy to join with a smart phone or computer. Each employer will talk about their organization, job openings, and other important information. After the presentation, you will be able to speak with someone from each employer to get your questions answered.

  • Wednesday, March 3, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Register online https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-hiring-event-march-3-tickets-138951502685Or, at the time of the event, use this link and follow the instructions: https://hc.adobeconnect.com/march3Participating employers:Anoka-Hennepin School District is hiring Special Education Paraprofessionals and CustodiansCassia is hiring Dietary Aides, Assistant Cooks, CNAs, LPNs, RNs, Housekeeper and Laundry AidesMN Department of Transportation is hiring Accounting/Finance positions, Civil Engineers, Highway Maintenance Workers, Student Workers and Entry Level positionsNew Horizon Academy is hiring Childcare Teachers, Assistant Teachers, and AidesThe Home Depot is hiring for Overnight Freight and Recovery, Merchandising (overnight), Store Support (Order Fulfillment), Customer Service/Sales, and CashiersWells Fargo is hiring Consumer Loan Underwriters, Mortgage Processors, Mortgage Funders, Mortgage Closers, Loan Documentation Specialists, Lending Managers & Loan Administration Managers, Teller, Personal Banker, Service Managers and Branch Managers


Friday, Feb 26 

Storytime with Sid City! w/ Picture Book Parade @ 10am • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
Online: youtu.be
Storytime friend Sid City will share a reading, answer questions, and get you dancing! This event is pre-recorded and will only be available for 24 hours.
Siddeeqah Shabazz (She/They, They/Them in drag) is a Black, queer, muslim woman, originally from Oakland, CA. She graduated with degrees in theater from the University of La Verne in Southern California and the Guildford School of Acting in England. In the Twin Cities she has worked with Climb, Shadow Horse, Gadfly, Chain Reaction, Freshwater, and 20% Theaters, Exposed Brick Theatre, Savage Umbrella, Aniccha Arts, Intermedia Arts, Artistry, and Full Circle Theatre. Siddeeqah is delighted and thrilled to work with the fabulous Drag Story Hour Team!

Saturday, Feb 27

ASI’s Virtual Midwinter Folk Festival w/ American Swedish Institute and Ross Sutter w/ American Swedish Institute and Ross Sutter from Feb 27 at 10am – Feb 28 at 3pm • Tickets:

This joyous annual celebration of folk music, dance and songs brings together some of the foremost artists and practitioners from Sweden, locally and nationally to share the Scandinavian skills and traditions in a weekend of virtual workshops and a culminating concert! the American Swedish Institute presents this festival in collaboration with the following music and dance groups: ASI Lilla Spelmanslaget, ASI SpelmanslagTwin Cities Nyckelharpalag, Twin Cities Swedish Folk Dancers, ASI Cloudberries and ASI Male Chorus.

Featured teaching artists include: Swedish guests Maria & Anders Larsson from Malmö and Eva Tjörnebo from Nyköping, along with local and national luminaries Roo Lester of Chicago, Kirsty Money of Nova Scotia, Anne-Charlotte Harvey of San Diego and Paul Dahlin of Two Harbors.

Schedule for Saturday, February 27:
• 9-10:15am – “Learning this Swedish musical language, as Americans” with Paul Dahlin
• 10:30am-Noon – “Youth Swedish Folk Music Workshop – for fiddle, cello, viola” with Maria & Anders Larsson
• 12:30-1:45 pm – “Scandinavian Dance for Covid Times” with Roo Lester
• 2-3:15pm – “New rhythms and enhancements for traditional Swedish folk music tunes” with Kirsty Money
• 3:30-4:45pm – “Return to Snoose Boulevard – the Scandinavian immigrant heritage in song” with Anne-Charlotte Harvey

Schedule for Sunday, February 28:
• 10:30-11:45am – “Adult Swedish Folk Music Workshop – for fiddle, cello, viola” with Maria & Anders Larsson
• Noon-1pm– “Swedish Traditional songs from southern Sweden” with Eva Tjörnebo
• 1:30-3pm – Closing Concert. Celebrate the weekend’s workshops when the presenters and participants play, sing or dance to share highlights of what was learned!

Cost: $20 members / $25 non-members. Includes access to full weekend of workshops and closing concert. *Students 18 and under are free – please email info@asimn.org to register.

Sunday, Feb 28

Monday, Mar 1

Tuesday, Mar 2

Planning for the Future of Your Business – Lunchtime Learning @ Noon • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
Your local business and neighborhood associations are hosting a Lunchtime Learning with Christina Nicholson, Program Manager at Nexus Community Partners.

Spend an hour with us to learn about the newest program at Nexus – Worker Ownership Initiative (WOI)

This program helps business owners with succession planning. Our team specializes in exploring the benefits of employee-owned business models for restructuring or as an exit strategy.

There are many benefits when selling to employees:
1. A potential buyer is already onsite
2. No brokers fees
3. With Nexus’s CDFI lending partners, financing is available for a fair sale price
4. There are tax benefits via the Mainstreet Employee Ownership Act
5. A controlled transition can be laid out, allowing a range of timelines and involvement for the existing owner
6. Selling to employees maintains the legacy of the business

The WOI team provides a full suite of services to support a streamlined transition process. We work with the existing owner to structure the deal and provide support to the employees up to 2 years after transition. Link to Nexus: https://www.nexuscp.org/…/worker…/our-strategy/

Nexus Community Partners is a Twin Cities nonprofit supporting strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, are recognized as leaders and have pathways to opportunities. The key to building more engaged and powerful communities of color lies in the dynamic relationship between authorship, leadership and ownership. Cohosts: Longfellow Community Council • Nokomis East Business Association • Nokomis East Neighborhood Association • Standish Ericsson Neighborhood Association • West of the Rail Business Association

Virtual Grand Opening: Three New Exhibitions Unveiled w/ The Museum of Russian Art @ 11am • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
Online: zoom.us
The Museum of Russian Art invites you to the virtual unveiling of three new exhibitions in our galleries – all installed in February 2021. This remarkable transformation calls for a celebration with Chief Curator Dr. Masha Zavialova, Executive Director & President Mark J. Meister, and Director of Public Programs Michelle Massey.

During this virtual event, you’ll have the opportunity to glimpse each new gallery and listen to insightful commentary by Dr. Zavialova. The virtual event will be presented via Zoom Webinar | FREE | Please register in advance.

Wednesday, Mar 3

Conversations With Creatives w/ Weisman Art Museum @ Noon • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
Online: z.umn.edu
Hear from artists, designers and community organizers about making a career in the creative economy, the advice they would give to their younger selves, and how to network in the time of COVID.

Panelists include shoe designer, artist, and consultant Antione Jenkins, visual artist and Waiting Room director Kristina Johnson, and social justice poster campaign designers Mike Gaines and Maggie Williams. This program is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. Register at z.umn.edu/CwCRegister 

Laugh for no Reason: Online Laughter Yoga w/ Longfellow/Seward Healthy Seniors @ 10:30-11am
Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine which combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing.  Laughter Yoga improves mood, reduces stress and allows you to laugh during these strange and difficult times.  This class is appropriate for every level of fitness and will be done in a seated position.  Join Certified Laughter Yoga Instructor, Julia Ockuly, in some fun, simple exercises with have you laughing in no time.  Please send an email to juliaockuly@lshealthyseniors.org to receive Zoom log-in information.

Cancer Education & Support Group (virtual) w/ Minneapolis VA Health Care System @ 12:15-1:15pm • FREE • ONLINE EVENT 
Meetings via Webex (with a phone option) every Wednesday from 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Join by phone (audio only) or Webex (video and audio)
Link: https://veteransaffairs.webex.com/
Webex Meeting Number (access code): 199 304 1993
Webex Meeting password: ZSgSfEZ*796
Instructions to join the Webex are on our website: https://www.minneapolis.va.gov/…/How_to_join…
or Phone Number: 404-397-1596
Phone Access Code: 199 822 0585
No appointment needed
All Veterans affected by cancer and their caregiver are welcome.

Topics include:
– Overview of Cancer
– “Chemo Brain”
– Integrative Health
– Movement & Rehabilitation
– Nutrition
– Caregiver Stress

Thursday, Mar 4

NEIGHBORHOOD TRAINING: Tactical Safety & Security—w/ Nonviolent Peace Force in partnership with Corcoran Neighborhood Training @ 6pm • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

JazzMN Quintet live from the Dakota w/ JazzMN Orchestra @ 7pm • FREE • ONLINE EVENT
JazzMN takes you on a musical journey through the evolution of the jazz quintet as part of Jazz Fest Live. Directed and narrated by JazzMN artistic director, JC Sanford. The quintet of trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums has been the standard instrumentation of jazz groups throughout the history of the music. The JazzMN Quintet will present a historical nod to noteworthy artists that used this instrumentation from its infancy in the swing era, into standardization in bebop, through its heyday of the hard bop era, and more modern explorations from the 1960s and beyond.

Sit back in the comfort of your own home and enjoy the music of Lester Young & Count Basie, Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis & John Coltrane, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, and so much more!

Meet a Musician/ACCENT with Violinist James Ehnes w/ FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra @ 8pm • ONLINE EVENT
Tickets: friendsofminnesotaorchestra.org/product/accent-james-ehnes
Pay as you can!


City of Minneapolis Updates & Info

City holding online meeting March 2 on transforming community safety work
An online meeting on the City’s work to transform community safety has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 2. Check this webpage for the RSVP, which will be posted later.

The City of Minneapolis is committed to a goal of safety for everyone in Minneapolis. On June 12, 2020, the City Council passed a resolution committing to creating a transformative new model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.

Since then, internal work groups and key stakeholders have been exploring ways to develop an integrated community safety response that works for everyone. The City’s realignment to provide a holistic community safety response will take place in phases over time with much staff, partner and community participation. It focuses on three main areas:

  • A public-health-oriented response for preventing violence.
  • Alternatives to police response for 911 calls.
  • Reforming law enforcement policies, protocols and practices.

Read more

City, Metro Transit leaders share update on preparations for upcoming Derek Chauvin trial
Mayor Jacob Frey, along with other City and Metro Transit officials, held another media briefing this morning to share updates on preparedness plans ahead of the March trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin.

The Minneapolis Police Department continues to work with law enforcement partners to ensure the success of Operation Safety Net, which brings together local and state law enforcement agencies under a unified command to respond to any civil unrest interrupting peaceful protests during the upcoming trial. 

The City’s Office of Violence Prevention plans to fund a network of community-based groups that can be activated during periods of heightened tension during the remainder of 2021, including during the trials of the former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. The groups will assist in providing accurate information and resources to the community. 

The City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department continues to work directly with businesses, business associations and technical assistance providers to collaboratively develop information on what business and property owners need to know to keep properties secure and workers and customers safe. It’s important we keep supporting our local businesses during these challenging and uncertain times. The City recommends businesses develop emergency preparedness plans. Ready.gov has sample plans and guidance. Businesses can also reach out to SmallBusiness@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-2499 with questions about advanced preparation before the trial, business operations during the trial and general information about regulations and resources. Read more.
Watch this morning’s press conference.

Law enforcement officials provide update on public safety plan for Chauvin trial
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo joined other law enforcement leaders for a media briefing this afternoon to introduce Operation Safety Net, which brings together local and state law enforcement agencies under a unified command to respond to any civil unrest interrupting peaceful protests during the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. Watch the Operation Safety Net press conferencePublic can comment on proposed charter amendment that would establish a new public safety department
People can comment on a proposed public safety charter amendment at an upcoming public hearing Thursday, Feb. 18. The proposal would create a new charter department to provide public safety services, including law enforcement, and remove the Police Department as a standalone charter department.

The public hearing takes place during the City Council’s Public Health & Safety Committee, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Information on participating is on the City’s meetings and hearings webpage.

The City Charter is the constitution of the City of Minneapolis. Legally, it is a delegation of a portion of the State’s central governing authority exercised at the local level. 

The two ordinances that are subject of Thursday’s public hearing are Public Safety Charter Amendment Ordinance: Article VII (PDF) and Public Safety Charter Amendment Ordinance: Article VIII (PDF). If the proposed changes are approved by the City Council following the public hearing, State law requires the Charter Commission to review it and submit its recommendation(s) back to the City Council before a ballot question can be presented to voters this November.

Hennepin County deconstruction grant funds available for 2021 Reuse and recycle building materials from remodeling and construction projects: To help divert waste from landfills, Hennepin County has grants available for property owners and developers to deconstruct residential buildings to salvage building materials rather than demolish them. The deconstruction grant program launched as a pilot in February 2020 and 17 projects were awarded in the first year of the program. During the 2020 pilot, grant eligibility was limited to properties in cities with a pre-demolition inspection program established, and this year the program is open to all cities. Read more here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNHENNE/bulletins/2bde590

Recycling and trash information, schedule arriving in Minneapolis customer mailboxes
City of Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers should watch their mailboxes for service guides. The guides include information on all services provided by Solid Waste & Recycling, a list of accepted materials and a collection schedule for the year. The guide also highlights ways to reduce waste generated at home.
New web resource: searchable disposal guide is now available on the City website showing the best way to dispose of household items.

Ways to reduce the impact of waste:
• “Love Your Stuff.”
 Solid Waste & Recycling surveyed residents to learn how COVID-19 has affected how they buy, use and throw away single-use items, clothing, household goods and food. More than half of residents feel more aware of the waste they create and are reducing waste from their homes. Solid Waste & Recycling aims to encourage residents to continue those behaviors by loving their stuff (reusing), shopping smart (avoiding buying single-use plastics) and reducing waste. They can sign up for recycling reminder emails or visit the City’s website for more information.
• Recycle organics. The City’s organics recycling program has hit a milestone with more than 50% of its customers signed up to participate. Diverting organics through the City’s organics recycling program helps put food scraps and other compostable items to better use: making compost. Any resident with City garbage service can sign up for the organics recycling program at no extra cost.

People who don’t have City garbage service can encourage their building owners to add organics recycling or sign up to use an organics drop-off site. Learn more about organics recycling on the City website.


COVID-19 Updates & Resources:

Gov. Walz announces COVID-19 community vaccination site at Mall of America
As part of the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program (CVP), Gov. Tim Walz announced a new community vaccination site to launch this week at Mall of America in Bloomington. The large-scale, permanent site will be the fourth of its kind, joining sites in Minneapolis, Duluth and Rochester that launched last week. The Mall of America will serve approximately 8,190 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educators, school staff, and child care workers in its first week.

The Bloomington site launch follows the announcement last week that more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota as of Feb. 19.

Staff in education and child care settings will be contacted directly if selected to sign up for vaccine appointments.

To date, over 94,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered through the State of Minnesota’s community vaccination efforts since Jan. 21. This includes over 23,000 doses at the State’s Community Vaccination Program’s (CVP) large-scale, permanent sites in Duluth, Minneapolis and Rochester since Feb. 4.

Minnesotans can sign up at mn.gov/vaccineconnector. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Minnesotans can call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. In addition to the Vaccine Connector, Minnesotans can search for local providers on the State’s vaccine finder map.

Minneapolis unveils new vaccination web tool

The City of Minneapolis has developed a new web tool to help residents find information in multiple languages on the current status of the vaccination rollout, what to expect when getting the vaccine, and the safety of getting a vaccine.

The web tool includes:

  • The up-to-date status of the phased vaccination rollout. It shows which groups of people are being vaccinated now and which groups are next.
  • Detailed information about: the COVID-19 vaccines available, the safety of receiving the vaccine and what people need to know before, during and after a vaccine appointment.
  • An acknowledgement of past trauma for those who have experienced discrimination in medicine and vaccinations. This web tool is one effort in the City’s commitment to ensure equity, justice and transparency in distributing the vaccinations.
  • A form for community organizations and other groups to request a Minneapolis Health Department speaker to address common vaccine questions and concerns. The form is in four languages.

People should also check back for more web functions yet to be added, which could include a mapping tool to find vaccination locations and an interactive quiz to find out if they are eligible.
Find the City’s new COVID-19 vaccine web tool on the City website.

Keep safe while waiting for vaccinations
With the welcome news that vaccinations have begun against the coronavirus, we also know the demand for vaccine far outpaces the supply. The entire distribution process will take time.While we wait throughout this process, public health experts remind us to keep protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors by doing what works:

Thanks for your patience. We will end this pandemic together.

Free COVID-19 tests detect COVID even as variants:
The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 saliva tests. Testing is encouraged and available to everyone, whether or not you have symptoms. It’s one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent exposing your loved ones to the virus.

The tests detect COVID-19 whether it’s the original strain or a variant. Some of the recently found variants seem to spread more easily than the original strain – up to 70% more – and two of the three known variants have been identified in Minnesota.

Free COVID-19 tests Do not eat, drink or use tobacco products for 30 minutes before taking a COVID-19 saliva test.

  • Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center, 1250 West Broadway 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, March 13 and 20
  • Columbia Manor Golf Course, 3300 Central Ave. NE 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 25, March 4, 11, 18 and 25
  • Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, 1301 10th Ave. N. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

You can expect to get your test results in about two business days.

More free COVID-19 saliva tests

  • Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S., Exhibit Room E 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave. 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.
  • Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St. 2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment. You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days. Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.
  • Brooklyn Park Starlight Center 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.

Find a current list of free COVID-19 tests on the City website.

Why get tested? Videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong
Whether you feel sick or not, get tested. This will protect your loved ones and help us all return safely back to school, work and other activities. Watch and share these short videos in SpanishSomali and Hmong.


Ways to Help

Du Nord Foundation Community Market (food pantry) opens this month, and they are looking for volunteers. Please feel free to share the link below with anyone who may be interested. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4da8a823a0f4c25-come

How to donate food & supplies If you’re moved to support your community by donating food, the best way to reach hungry people is through food shelves. And the best way to help food shelves is with monetary donations. The dollars go much further through their own purchases, it prevents food donations from spoiling, and it allows the food shelves to purchase specific items that are needed for the community. Please note that Minneapolis Public Schools is not able to accept food donations or supplies at its food distribution sites or schools at this time. For information on how to support food shelves and meal sites, please visit the Health Department’s food donations page or view the pdf for specific needs shared by food shelves.


Virtual concerts, events, tours, and children’s activities to entertain everyone during social distancing:

Mill City Times Digital Puzzle of the Week: “Crown Roller Mill”

Theater Mu presents: Today is My Birthday
Through February 28

BIZ-ingo – Restaurant Week
Sunday, February 28, 6 – 8 pm

Ramsey County Library presents: Tuesdays with a Scholar
Tuesday, March 2 – April 27; 1 – 2:30 pm


A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of Nowhere: The Untold Story of the Making of ‘Fargo’ Virtual Book Launch
Monday, March 8, 7 – 7:30 pm

Talk of the Stacks with Imbolo Mbue
Wednesday, March 10, 7 – 8 pm

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Videos
While their typical outreach programming is on hold due to COVID-19, MWMO staff have remained hard at work on a series of educational videos. Check out their latest offerings below, and don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel.
• Fall Yard Care Tips for Protecting Clean Water
• Stormwater Reuse Tank Installation at Metro Transit Bus Garage in Minneapolis(Clip)
• Mississippi River Green Team Alumni Spotlight: Fartun Ahmed
• Sustainability at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
• Towerside District Stormwater System Tour
• Cleaning Out the Old Bassett Creek Tunnel (Clip)
• Mississippi River Green Team Alumni Spotlight: Akia Vang

North Loop Neighborhood Association presents: North Loop’s Colorful History
The North Loop has been through some dramatic ups and downs over the past century, from a booming distribution center to a neglected warehouse district to the dynamic urban neighborhood and entertainment district we see today. The North Loop Neighborhood Association is launching a new series of videos and web posts to give you a look back at how far the area has come. For information and to view the videos: https://northloop.org/about/historic-north-loop/. For a self-guided walking tour: https://northloop.org/go-on-a-walking-history-tour/.

Mississippi Park Connection’s Women of the Mississippi
The Women of the Mississippi Project features people who have impacted the Mississippi River in Minnesota, honoring the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment. For information: parkconnection.org/com
Great River Road Plan Your Trip

The Plan Your Trip interactive map application features the Great River Road and Mississippi River (bicycle) Trail routes in Minnesota, over 700 points of interest, over 200 local food providers and more. It also includes expanded interactive travel guides for each of six distinct regions from the headwaters at Lake Itasca to the Bluffs Region in the southeastern area of the state. Each region has unique features and histories, towns and recreational opportunities. This information is also the most updated that Great River Road Minnesota has available. Follow the Great River Road to find unique places to explore along the Mississippi River in the Metro Region. Statewide, Minnesota’s Great River Road offers 565 miles of byway with over 700 places to experience this great river.

The Water Blog
Stay up to date on metro Mississippi River water issues with the Friends of the Mississippi River Water Blog. As news comes out or important river protection milestones are achieved, updates will be posted at: https://fmr.org/waterblog

St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board Web Site
The St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board web site provides information about the history of the St. Anthony Falls area and history-related things to do (including web versions of the various walking tour brochures); visit: http://www.mnhs.org/places/safhb/.

Minnesota Great River Road Information and Maps
The newest Minnesota Great River Road information pieces are six maps that have been developed for each of the six destination areas of the Great River Road. They feature a map on one side, with travel ideas on the reverse side. To see all six maps and access lots of other information about the Great River Road, visit http://www.mnmississippiriver.com

Minneapolis Bicycling Map
The City of Minneapolis now has a map available online that includes extensive information of interest to bicyclists, e.g., bike route locations, Nice Ride kiosk locations, points of interest and street conditions. There’s one version that you can print out and another that allows you to zoom in and pan around to view the information. Check it out at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/maps/pan/index.htm.