Dog Parks And Prostitutes: The Top 5 Stories of 2011
Southwest Patch looks back at the year in news.
- Prostitution In Kingfield: In April, Minneapolis police stormed into a small storefront at 4302 Nicollet Ave, in Kingfield. Their task? Arrest 21-year-old Burnsville resident Dorothy Ann Leon on suspicion of prostitution as part of an undercover sting operation. The investigation had been set in motion by neighborhood complaints about the shady-seeming "spa" and "massage parlor."
- Dog Park Drama: At first, it seemed simple: Kingfield residents wanted to put a neighborhood dog park in at Dr. Martin Luther King Park. But when news of these plans traveled across the highway to residents of Central—who declared it an insult to King's legacy—the plan hit the rocks. With help from a citizen advisory board, the Park Board voted to put a replacement dog park in a parking lot next to the Lyndale Farmstead Park.
- Southwest Citizens Fight Gay Marriage Ban: When legislators debated whether or not to put an amendment on the 2012 ballot that would enshrine current law banning same-sex marriage in the state constitution, Southwest's residents sprang into action. Some showed up at the capitol in protest. Some, through their faith communities, organized the opposition. Some lead the charge from the floor of the state Senate. Southwest Patch also did a little digging into who will be paying for both sides of this year's campaign, and the history of extreme rhetoric from the Minnesota Family Council.
- Development Debate Rocks Linden Hills: This summer and fall have been tense times in Linden Hills, as developer Mark Dwyer and a grassroots opposition group have squared off in a battle for public support over Dwyer's planned Linden Corner condo building. While neighborhood support seems to be against the development, the final fate of the proposed development will come early next year, when the city Planning Commission takes up the issue.
- Schools Bursting At The Seams: After years of enrollment decline, Southwest Minneapolis' public schools are now bursting at the seams, or threatening to. Partly due to economics, and partly to some schools' popularity, the district has needed to find space for hundreds of elementary and middle school students. To solve this, they voted to expand Lake Harriet Community School and two others elsewhere in the city, and to create a new middle school in building that currently houses the Ramsey International Fine Arts Center program. Current Ramsey parents, though, say their school needs a lot of help from the district if it's going to survive a move across the city to make way for the new school.