January 20, 2022 eNews

January 18, 2022 Meeting Recap

Thanks for a great first meeting of 2022!  Council Vice President Linea Palmisano shared updates on plowing, COVID-19 restrictions, and plans for an upcoming forum on public safety. Armatage Park director Jordan Nelson gave an update on activity enrollment, the Fire & Ice skating party next Friday, and summer movies. The ANA Board also elected Sharla McIntosh-Ziegler as Vice President (congrats, Sharla!!!!!), discussed armatage.org website layout changes, started planning this year’s Annual Meeting, and gave the green light (pun intended) to the Armatage Green Team to apply for a Lawns to Legumes grant.

Open Board Seat: the ANA continues to have an open seat on the Board of Directors. If you are interested in joining or learning more about the time commitment and duties of neighborhood board members, please email us at anacoordinator@armatage.org

Image of Armatage Park at night with lights on and snow on the ground. White text over the image says "Armatage Fire & Ice, Friday January 28th from 6:00-7:30pm. Skating, cocoa and popcorn. Hosted by Armatage Park and the Armatage Neighborhood Association"

Armatage Fire & Ice is BACK!

Friday, January 28 

Join Armatage Park’s annual Fire & Ice Family Skating party on Friday, January 28 from 6:00-7:30pm! Bundle up and enjoy a night with your family and friends skating or keep warm with hot cocoa by the bonfires. COVID-19 safety: as much of the event as possible will be held outdoors. Bring a mask if you need to step into the warming room. Learn more at https://armatage.org/2022-fire-ice-skating-party/

Winter gear donations needed: the ANA would like to gather donations that will help keep our residents, guests and unsheltered neighbors warm. Please bring any new or gently used items to donate and/or feel free to take what you need. We are looking to collect items such as wool socks, hats, mittens, winter jackets, boots and long underwear.

Lake Harriet Kite Festival

The Kite Festival returns to frozen Lake Harriet this Saturday, January 22, 12:00-4:00 pm! Check out this beautiful event that fills the sky with colorful kites and offers winter activities for all including kite flying (BYO or or enjoy the kites from Minnesota Kite Society), dog sledding, ice fishing, delicious local food trucks and free s’mores by the fire. This year, there will be no heated tents and Art Shanty Projects will be offering an exterior-only experience. All event attendees are encouraged to wear masks.

There will be no parking in the Lake Harriet Parking lot and on either side of Linden Hills Boulevard from W 43rd Street to W 40th Street on event day. A shuttle from the Calhoun Executive Center (3033 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416) will run continuously from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. Masks will be required for all shuttle passengers.

Image shows a proposed Minneapolis ward map

Participate in the Redistricting Process

After every census, Minneapolis updates the boundaries of its 13 wards and six park districts to reflect new population counts. The Redistricting Group, made up of 24 Minneapolis volunteers, builds the new maps with input from their communities. The Redistricting Group needs your help with the redistricting project to make sure all voices are heard. See below for the remaining redistricting process meetings, which you can watch on the City’s website, the City’s YouTube channel, or on Comcast channels 14 or 799.

Redistricting Group mapping meeting: Wednesday, Jan 26 at 4:00pm

Public hearings on proposed maps (register online here to speak): Wednesday, Feb 9 at 7:00pm and Thursday, Feb 24 at 4:00pm

Next steps: the Minneapolis Charter Commission is expected to approve proposed ward and park district maps at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 2. The City Council will vote on proposed voting precincts and polling places based on the new maps at its regular meeting at 9:30am on Thursday, Mar 10.

Image shows a graphic of a kangaroo holding a book and says "Armatage Elementary School"

Armatage Elementary Enrollment & Open House

School enrollment season is here! Anyone who lives in the neighborhood who has a child in grades K-5 during the 2022-2023 school year who is not already enrolled at Armatage Elementary can request Armatage as their first choice on the online school choice form at https://enrollnow.exploremps.org/onlinerequest This includes all incoming kindergartners.

Open House on Tuesday, January 25 from 5:00-6:00pm: learn about Armatage Elementary at the Open House. This is a great opportunity for prospective families to tour the building, meet Principal Steve Searl and some of the teaching staff, and hear all about the school! Per MPS policy, please wear a mask.

Kanga News: Sign up for Armatage Elementary’s e-news, Kanga News! Current families and community members are welcome to sign up for Kanga News at https://armatage.mpls.k12.mn.us/Communications

Image of a traffic circle at a Minneapolis snowy neighborhood intersection.

Take the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Survey by Jan 31

Minneapolis Public Works wants your input on a proposed process to address traffic safety concerns and traffic calming requests on neighborhood streets. The process provides a way for community members to request traffic calming and for Public Works to review those requests fairly, transparently and equitably. We know traffic calming has been a priority for neighbors for a long time and we hope you’ll weigh in!

Find more information about the proposed traffic calming process and share your feedback by Jan 31 here. After reviewing feedback, Public Works will finalize the process this year and share details in the spring about how to request traffic calming measures.

Graphic with a blue background that says "#maskupmpls at all indoor public spaces" and lists daycare, gas station, government building, grocery store, office building and library.

Mask & Restaurant Testing/Vaccination Requirements

Starting yesterday, everyone age 5 and older entering an establishment that serves food or drink in Minneapolis must show proof of either being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or having a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days. There are a few exceptions including K-12 and early childcare settings. Get all your questions answered at https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/government/programs-initiatives/coronavirus/businesses-employees/testing-vaccine-policy/

Mask Mandate: Because of the surging, highly contagious omicron variant, all patrons, employees and visitors over the age of 2 must wear a mask in Minneapolis businesses and areas of public accommodation. This includes restaurants, bars, libraries, retail stores, schools, recreation centers, rental establishments, theaters and more. Learn more at https://www2.minneapolismn.gov/government/programs-initiatives/coronavirus/masking-guidance/

Up Your Mask Game

Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a high filtration, well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public settings or crowds (whether indoors or outside) is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19. With the rapid spread of the omicron variant, now is a great time to upgrade your masks to a high filtration mask that provides the most protection. Here’s a few more tips:

  • Your mask should fit over your nose and mouth and snug against your face with no gaps.
  • If you’re using a cloth mask, wear one with multiple layers or wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask. Be sure your mask fits properly; nose wires improve fit.
  • Surgical masks provide protection against large droplets.
  • Check lists of trusted manufacturers from the CDC and Project N95 to avoid counterfeit masks.

Screenshot taken from the website to order free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government.

COVID-19 Testing Options

You can now order four totally free COVID-19 rapid tests per residential household through https://www.covidtests.gov/  Ordering takes just a couple minutes.

For more local testing options including home saliva PCR tests, visit https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/index.html

Image shows a gloved hand sprinkling blue salt crystals from a small cup onto a shoveled sidewalk. The salt distribution shown is sparse according to safe salting practices.

Using Less Sidewalk Salt Protects Water & Saves Money

Winter road and sidewalk de-icing salt is a major – and permanent – polluter of local freshwater lakes and streams. Seventy-eight percent of salt applied in the metro area ends up in groundwater or local lakes and rivers.  If de-icer is needed, people should use as little as possible. It’s easy to use too much, but more salt does not mean more melting. Removing snow and ice early and often is the best approach. Shoveling instead of using chemicals will protect our waters.

Pledge to salt wisely
Any residents and businesses can take a pledge on the City of Minneapolis website to salt wisely. A 30-minute course with self-guided readings and videos will teach anyone about the consequences of using too much salt and about how to protect beloved Minnesota waters from this permanent pollution.

Image shows children walking up a sledding hill with sleds in hand.

Socially Distanced Sledding at Armatage Park

Saturdays through February 12
10:00am – 12:00pm

Come hit the slopes! As you probably know, Armatage Park has one of *the best* sledding hills in Southwest along Penn Ave. Limited sleds are available at the recreation center, so bring one if you can and plan to distance. You can drop by any time for socially distanced sledding! Learn more here.

Image of the Armatage Community Center at dusk. The sky is inky, snow is on the ground and the building glows in the fading light.

Recreation Center & Warming Room Hours Scaled Back

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages, drop-in hours at recreation centers are discontinued and buildings are open only for pre-registered and ActivePass programs now until February 14. Existing recreation center room rentals will be honored, but no new rentals will be accepted through February 14.

Warming room hours are also reduced through the end of the skating season. New hours are Monday-Friday, 4:00-7:00pm and Saturday-Sunday, 1:00-5:00pm. Lights will continue to remain on until 9:00pm and outdoor rink-side benches and picnic tables will be added. A friendly reminder: masks are required for all park building visitors, including staff, instructors and sport spectators.

Roll up your sleeves Minnesota graphic showing a person with a mask and a bandaid to indicate recent vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

With the omicron variant now dominant in Minnesota, getting a COVID-19 booster AND getting children ages 5 and up vaccinated is more important than ever. Visit mn.gov/vaccine to use the Vaccine Locator Map (more options listed below). Learn more about who’s eligible for a booster here.

Find a Vaccine:

Vaccines work. If you haven’t been vaccinated or gotten a booster yet, get a free vaccine as soon as you can.