May 20, 2014 Minutes – Annual Meeting

Armatage Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting

After an allotted social time, the meeting was called to order at 6:46 by Board President, Betsen Philip

ANA board members in attendance: Tom Alagna, Sarah Broich, Lance Custer, Kelly Falsani, Jeff Forss, Denis Houle, Steve Johnson, Bri Keeney, Nikki Lindberg, Betsen Philip, and Keith Swanson.

Others in attendance: Tina Erazmus, ANA staff member; Speakers and over a dozen residents.


Betsen updated everyone on the annual meeting shift to May, recent ANA events (personal safety workshop, meeting on crime, Twitter and Facebook activity, involvement with Fair Skies, having the Chief of Police at a meeting, etc.)

MN Honey Company – Kelley Flanders

Kelley and his wife own the MN Honey Company store at 50th & Xerxes. They support over 30 different local beekeepers (ranging from age 10-80). With the recent significant loss of hives, many businesses have struggled or closed, so they are glad to be supporting this new, growing industry. The bee hive collapses are a worldwide problem, but Minnesota is proving to be a leader in finding solutions (both through hobbyists and professionals, as well as significant research through the University). Our region represents a significant percentage of honey production. The bee loss issues is complicated, and educating ourselves as consumers is a great start in helping the bee population return.

City Council Update by Linea Palmisano

Minneapolis was just announced today as the host for the 2018 Super Bowl. The LRT station at Target Field just opened last weekend, and trains to Union Depot in St. Paul will begin June 14. Pedestrian safety continues to be of concern (especially in the Calhoun neighborhood), and they are looking at solutions/improvements for Xerxes Ave. The city has begun looking into become self-insured, which could provide huge city-wide cost savings. Regarding composting and recycling, juice and other aseptic box packaging is now recyclable. Another $1M was just appropriated for road repairs (report issues through 3-1-1). Although the City Council is looking as banning Styrofoam, her feeling is that most business are already phasing it out, and that it wouldn’t be enforceable, and would rather see the city look at ways to encourage wider composting programs. Some concerns were raised over parking on Penn (especially with local construction and during rush hour) and questions were asked about any possible parking concerns near Lola. No specific concerns have been brought to her attention, but know that traffic enforcement would help in both areas (again, you can call 3-1-1 with specific concerns).

Minnehaha Creek Survey Results – Fulton Neighborhood Association President, Jim Tincher

Jim provided a very brief history of this project and the gathering of input (feedback doors, neighborhood festivals, surveys, etc.). The Park Board has set aside $6-7M for path development along the Creek. The neighborhoods requested they hold off any development until after some other projects are completed, and after this feedback could be gathered, so the path development won’t take place until 2018-19. Overall, the feedback was to keep paths as natural as possible (not cement) and to increase access to the Creek. Neighborhood involvement is done for now, and the Park Board with be creating the final recommendations for development. These plans will then be made available for public response some time in 2016.

Bee Speaker & Flower Recommendations – Rene Lynch

Rene agreed that the issue of bee hive loss is complicated, but wanted to show us ways we could support our native pollinators, particularly two species of bees: Blue Orchard Mason and Leaf Cutter bees. These pollinators, unlike honeybees, are non-aggressive, since they are not protecting a queen. They are solitary dwellers, and life in holes in trees. You can provide a bee house, which has tubes to encourage a bee habitat in your own yard. Blue Orchard Mason bees hibernate over the winter in cocoons. When they emerge one Blue Orchard Mason bee can pollinate at the level it would take 600 honeybees. However, they can’t fly very far (and are often being harvested in one part of the country and shared with other areas during pollination seasons). Blue Orchard Mason bees are active in the spring, while Leaf Cutter bees are fall pollinators. Leaf Cutter bees also will live in the tube, but instead of a cocoon, the use a piece of a leaf to create a hibernation capsule. You can order bees online to help establish a population. There are also many native plants that encourage and help these pollinators: hollyhock, globe thistle, garden phlox, echinacea, ligularia, hyssop, lobelia, dumosus, joe pye weed and golden rod, for example.

Board Elections

Ballots distributed. Slate of candidates approved:

New Business

  • The Home Loan Program is in the development stage. We should have the details about these low interest home improvement loans soon.
  • Armatage Summer Festival  is Monday, August 11. Watch for more details in the coming months and consider volunteering a 1/2 hr of your time!

Meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.