SUN Sailor Editions St. Louis Park

Sailor Vote of support Busy city Two dozen speakers spoke in support of ranked-choice voting at a listening session. Page 7 Council members delivered the State of the City Address March 8. Page 2 ST. LOUIS PARK Thursday, March 15, 2018 Human Rights Award winner works with the Somali community Irshat seeks to engage residents of the Oak Hill Neighborhood By SETH ROWE An icy snowstorm that canceled school activities did not prevent a crowd from supporting the lat- est St. Louis Park Hu- man Rights Award win- ner during a March 5 presentation. Multiple people nomi- nated city resident Fa- tuma Irshat for the 2017 award, which Irshat accepted during a city council meeting. Irshat gained recogni- tion for her work with the Somali and African com- munities in the Oak Hill Neighborhood. In par- ticular, she works with people living in the Oak Park Village Apartments where she lives, accord- ing to a city report about the award. Irshat works to inform residents about voting and elections, af- fordable housing and renters’ rights. Irshat helped provide information to Soma- li-American residents about communicable dis- eases through her work with the Minnesota De- partment of Health. She is a member of the St. Louis Park Affordable Housing Team and facili- Volume 48, No. 12 tated meetings for Vision 3.0, the city’s latest com- prehensive visioning pro- cess. She helps connect her neighbors to services for families and other op- portunities to be involved with the community. “She was nominated for this award in recog- nition of her ability to communicate and con- nect across cultures, her strong leadership ability, and her courage,” states the city staff report, pre- pared by Lt. Mikael Gar- land with the St. Louis Park Police Department. Irshat has close ties to the Allies of St. Louis Park advocacy group and Jewish Community Action, Garland’s report adds. In particular, her work with the Somali commu- nity in the community has encouraged people to at- tend events they may not have otherwise partici- pated in and has resulted in “a closer relationship between the city and its residents,” said Michelle Kornblit, vice chair of the St. Louis Park Hu- man Rights Commission. “We are inspired by her See Award , Page 13 Index Opinion-Page 4 Calendar-Page 6 Arts-Page 8 Sports-Pages 15-18 Classifieds-Pages 20-22 Public Safety-Page 24 The sun will come out tomorrow (SUN SAILOR STAFF PHOTO BY SETH ROWE) Annie, played by Phoebe McKinney, sings “Tomorrow” while accompanied by the dog Sandy, played by Matilda Hanson, during a March 9 rehearsal for the play named after its main character. Theatre of the Spirit will present the musical through Sunday, March 18, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in St. Louis Park. The play will be 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, and 3 p.m. March 18. For more photos, see Page 23. Changes to Wooddale Avenue bridge estimated at about $2.5 million Sight lines have been a problem since the structure opened in 2010 By SETH ROWE Eight years after a bridge at Wooddale Avenue over Highway 7 opened, St. Louis Park will spend about $2.5 million to fi x fl aws with the structure’s design. “There are sight line concerns on the ramp,” said Deb Heiser, city en- gineering director, at the March 8 State of the City Address. “Part of Sun Newspapers | 10917 Valley View Road Eden Prairie, MN 55344 @MNSunSailor PUBLIC NOTICES: See page 19 the problem is when people get to the sidewalk, they have to block the sidewalk and the bikeway in order to get around and see.” Councilmember Anne Mav- ity, who represents an area on the bridge’s south side, said in an inter- view that she has heard from Elm- wood Neighborhood residents over the years about the issue. “I completely share the frustra- tion of all the residents that this was a poorly designed bridge that created safety concerns for every- one who crossed it every single day,” Mavity said. The St. Louis Park City Council approved a plan to widen the bridge deck by about 14 feet. The plan will allow wider sidewalks and move the bridge’s concrete walls back to See Bridge , Page 19