Bridgeland Angler, January 2009

Happy New Year to all in Bridgeland! It’s a year we all begin with some trepidation, due to the economic turmoil, as well as with a sense of hope as the country inaugurates a new president. Let’s hang on to our hats and hope for the best, shall we? At least we can start the year right, with lots of kudos for members of the Bridgeland community.

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Congratulations to Tom Johnson of Marcy-Holmes for being awarded the 2008 Equal Justice Award by the Council on Crime and Justice. The award, which was presented by fellow Marcy resident Senator Amy Klobuchar at the Equal Justice Benefit on Dec. 11, recognized Johnson for his work seeking a fairer and more just society as president of the council, 1999–2008.

Earlier this year, Johnson returned to private practice at the Gray Plant Mooty law firm in Minneapolis, where he served as one of the lead attorneys of the team investigating the collapse of the 35W bridge on behalf of the Minnesota Legislature.

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Thank you and congratulations to Shelby Bloodshaw for being honored with the 2008 Adult Volunteer Recognition Award from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The award was presented at a banquet held on Nov. 12. Bloodshaw was selected for her excellent work as a first-year coach with the 16-U basketball team at Prospect Park’s Luxton Recreation Center. Great job, Shelby!

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The folks at the Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) are celebrating a very distinguished award from the state of Minnesota: a Governor’s Award for their work in pollution prevention. The award is the result of SECIA’s work with local industries to set up stakeholder dialogues and reach good neighbor agreements.

According to Justin Eibenholzl, SECIA’s environmental coordinator, the most recent agreement was reached with Greatbatch Globe Tool in May 2008, and two previous agreements were reached with Ritrama, Inc., and the Rock-Tenn Company, both of which reduced their emissions by over 92 percent over the course of the project.

The award will be given on Feb. 11 at the Air, Water and Waste Conference, which will take place at the Rivercentre in Downtown St. Paul.

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Here at The Bridge newspaper, we’re happy for the chance to pat ourselves on the back a bit. At the first annual Ethnic and Community Media Awards on Dec. 5, co-sponsored by New America Media and the Twin Cities Daily Planet, regular Bridge contributor Anna Pratt won honorable mention for her March 2008 article Framework for the Future, or Failure?”, on the different opinions over Minneapolis’ plan to provide neighborhood funding after the 2009 end of the 20-year Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Pratt also won a first-place award for a two-part series she wrote for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder looking at workforce diversity in the state’s courts.

A second-place award went to Jeremy Stratton and Liz Riggs of The Bridge for their ongoing coverage of the Seward Neighborhood Group’s struggle to resolve their complicated financial issues and rebuild their organization.

The Bridge also won an honorable mention for the “In Our Own Words” feature, which presents personal essays and reflections from community members. The submissions that received the award were specifically the writings of students from area schools, including Anne Sullivan, Marcy Open, Pratt and Seward. Thank you and congrats to the students who contributed and to the Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning, which sponsors and organizes this valuable project.

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More journalism honors to pass along: congrats to The Southerner, the newspaper of Minneapolis South High School, which received a gold award for its issues last year from the Minnesota High School Press Association. It’s the first time South has received a gold award, the highest given by the association. Congratulations to writers and editors Conor Fitzpatrick, Sara Glesne, Kayla Johnson, Addie Royce and Mark Van Cleave. Congrats also to those students who won individual awards: writer Molly Hensley-Clancy and photographer Zoe Prinds-Flash.

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Here’s a congrats that will actually save you money: Jim Picard, better known as Fast Eddie of Fast Eddie’s shoe repair in Dinkytown, was given a “Hole in the Wall” award by Metro Magazine.

I saw the award when I was at Fast Eddie’s getting some worn-out soles replaced on a pair of boots. According to Picard, he’s busier than ever as the current financial downturn has motivated people to repair their shoes rather than tossing them out and buying new ones. He also said that shoe repair has become a dying art, with fewer than 100 shoe repair people left in the state of Minnesota. I’m glad we have such a good one nearby; my boots now look as good as new. Check out Fast Eddie’s hours and services at www.fasteddiesshoerepair.com.

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Speaking of the financial downturn, a big thank you goes out to Joe Radaich, owner of Sporty’s Pub & Grill, in the Como neighborhood, and a team of volunteers for hosting a free community holiday meal on Christmas Eve to provide a gathering space for those who were alone or in need over the holidays. Sporty’s, located at 2124 Como Ave. SE, is a great place to eat over the holidays or at any time. Check out their website at www.sportsmanspub.com.

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Finally, a local church congregation received an interesting shout-out in the Dec. 22, 2008, issue of Time magazine. In an article on the lengthy Senate race recount between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, reporter Joel Stein said, “The main point of contention between the Franken and Coleman camps involves an envelope of 133 ballots from the not-exactly-shenanigans-prone University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis.” I think his description is probably right, but if there are any voting shenanigans going on at the church, I’d love to get the story first. Send details — or any other community news you’d like to share — to Linda Lincoln at lmlincoln@comcast.net.

last revised: January 13, 2009