38th St Graffiti Problem

East 38th St in South Minneapolis is one of the busiest areas for graffiti in the city as far as I can tell. The major problem area runs from Hiawatha Ave on the East to just short of 35W on the West. Businesses are tagged over and over again with gang graffiti.

Discussion of this problem has popped up on e-democracy over the past few days.

I’ve talked to some of the businesses along there. Some have largely given up on removing graffiti from their property because it takes too much time. They just rely on neighbors or the city to get around to cleaning it up for them.

In other cases, the building owner lives outside of Minneapolis and leases the building for retail. The tenants don’t seem particularly motivated to remove the graffiti and at the same time don’t seem interested in bugging their landlords about it. So it sits until the landlord receives a letter from the city telling them their building has been tagged again.

Here are six things I think they should do:

1. Install cameras and better lighting on problem buildings like the antique train building.

2. Commission murals on as many buildings as possible.

3. Add signs saying, “Smile, you’re being recorded” to the walls where they’re most often tagged.

4. Insist that remaining buildings standardize on one color of paint and have building owners sign off on immediate cover-ups of any graffiti on their property.

5. Better publicize graffiti arrests in the schools. Gang graffiti is generally done by a younger crowd. Let prospective taggers know the risks of engaging in this behavior.

6. Follow up with people who report graffiti letting them know it’s been been removed. Make them feel like they’re making a difference.

46th & 46th Condo Development Update

I received this notice today:

What: Meeting on the status of the 46th St & 46th Ave development

When: Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 6:30pm

Where: Hiawatha School Park

It’s great that there is an update scheduled but why have a meeting to discuss what could probably be summarized in the meeting request itself? Send out an update so I know what’s going on. If I have a problem with it, THEN I’ll show up to the meeting to discuss the topic.

Another good place for updates would be on the 46th & 46th page of the developer’s web site.

Longfellow Neighborhood Movie Stars

It’s amazing how many movie stars are from the Longfellow neighborhood.

First, you have Jesse Ventura, who grew up across the street from the Kohler household on 46th Ave S.

Then you have the Kohler household, which is ALMOST famous since it was filmed for the movie Fargo as the sheriff’s house, but didn’t make the final cut.

And now throw Aaron Landry into the mix for his cameo roll in An Inconvenient Truth.

Interestingly, all three examples come from Northern Longfellow, specifically Cooper. What’s the deal with LoFo?

ShotSpotter Spots a Shot

Whadya think of the Minneapolis Police Department’s new ShotSpotters? Personally, I think they’re pretty awesome because they help locate shooting locations without violating anyone’s privacy. That’s pretty darn slick.

ShotSpotter lines up first shooting suspect

Minneapolis police Lt. Greg Reinhardt, who is in charge of the ShotSpotter effort, said the microphones were activated at 6 p.m. on Friday. At 1 a.m., shots were fired in the vicinity of 2500 Park Avenue S. “It worked very well. It worked exactly how we set it up,” Reinhardt said.

Police responded after the shots were recorded, a short pursuit ensued and a suspect with a gun was arrested, he said.

While the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about” arguments are taken a bit too far with some implementations of security cameras, phone tapping, and email monitoring, this is a case where you really have nothing to worry about if you aren’t discharging firearms within the city of Minneapolis.

Condo Buying Tips

Alex Stenback of Behind the Mortgage offers has some great condo buying tips for the Minneapolis market here:

How To: Pick the Right Condo

One question we’ve been getting a lot lately of goes something like this: “We want to buy a condo, but how do we know that we have picked the right condo project? “

I found the info on picking a building too large or small interesting. It makes sense that you’ll have a lot of competition when it comes time to sell a unit in a large building, and small building assessments could be shocking – kind of like home ownership.

Baker Has Beautiful Snow

Baker Has Beautiful Snow, originally uploaded by edkohler.

I’m out ay Baker in Plymouth to time a Lake Conference race. Heck out the tracks. Way more snow than Minneapolis.

Newly Rennovated Franklin Library

Franklin_3, originally uploaded by Pete Sieger.

Pete Sieger has an incredible series of photos of the new Franklin Library posted to his Flickr account. The place looks beautiful, and Sieger’s photography skills are clearly first rate.

One thing I didn’t see much of in the series is photos of computers. Does anyone know what the computer scene is at the library?

Cooper, Minneapolis Rocks for Holiday Lights

Aaron Landry blogged about this a while back, and I finally got around to checking it out last night. A house at 41st Ave S & 32nd St E has Christmas lights choreographed to Christmas songs. They have an FM station set up for visitors to tune in the music rather than forcing their neighbors to put up with the tunes. Here is 30 seconds taken on my Treo from the car:


I like the giggling in the car. Clearly, we were enjoying the show. Thanks to our local Clark Griswold, we’re really have the holiday spirit now.