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Nokomis East Neighborhood Association Over the picket fence.
About NENA, its projects & programs, task forces, volunteers, mission, and staff. Living, shopping, and working in the four Nokomis East Neighborhoods. Issues and opinions, letters, humor, message boards, and related pieces. Useful links and contacts.
Welcome to the Back Yard

The Back Yard brings you articles, opinions, letters to NENA, and misc subjects that might effect you and the neighborhood. These are your pages. Do you have something you want to say, or news fit to publish here? Let us know.


 Out Back

Yes, it's a real shark's tooth.Shark Tales No More.  When a Minneapolis student approached a DNR biologist about three shark’s teeth she had found in Minnehaha Creek, he could only smile...until he actually examined the teeth. Story and photos. (April 1, 2006)

Mobil Homes for Mpls?

FEMA Division Installs 48 New Homes in South Minneapolis. Residents of the usually quiet Riverview Road in the southeastern tip of Minneapolis were witness to a precision Federal rapid deployment group that brought Hurricane Katrina Homes to Minneapolis--for a day or two.Story and photos. (April 1, 2006)

Diving for Nokomis

Rumored Viking Longboat Timbers Located in Lake Nokomis. In a tale reminiscent of the Da Vinci Code, a Minnesota man and researchers from Norway have proven true a long-standing rumor surrounding timbers found 90 years ago in Lake Nokomis.. Read the Story in the Lighter Side. (April 1, 2005)

Back to the future

House Committee Quietly Proposes Working Model for Cheaper Light Rail Transit Photos and story in the Lighter Side. (April 1, 2004)


Do the walleye in Lake Nokomis glow? What are those luminous patches in the lake?

Lake Nokomis walleye

A wenonah resident asked the questions. Have to admit, this was a new one to us. So, after some serious head scratching, our researchers hit the books and dug into archives to find the answers. Do our walleyes really glow? You won't believe what we found. Exclusive story and historical photos. (April 1, 2007)


Bloomington Mediation Group Proposes Settlement to Airport Noise Suit

RT Rybak trying a penards

Airport Noise Solution? A Bloomington mediation group held a press conference to propose a way to end the legal battle between the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), and three cities over continued sound mitigation of residential homes and businesses.. Exclusive story. (April 1, 2007)


How the city stacks up

By Michelle Bruch, Southwest Journal, July 28, 2008 Issue

A look at where Minneapolis lands on national lists that compare cities in all types of categories When media outlets swarm the cities in September, they will have plenty of prepackaged story ideas they can use to describe Minneapolis.

The city has collected a sizable number of national titles in recent years, some intuitive and some surprising: we’ve been named the second drunkest city, for example, as well as the smartest city. We were designated the “top tech city” in 2005, and the same year another survey called us the ninth most “unwired” city. We’re ranked in the top five for low stress, and the best place to get a good night sleep.

Literature circulated by the Republican National Convention notes that Men’s Fitness Magazine once rated Minneapolis the nation’s most athletic city. The Republicans are also alerted that Minnesota has more golfers per capita than anywhere else in the country.

Denver, likewise, is promoting its rankings in material related to the Democratic National Convention. Denver has the 10th largest Downtown, it’s home to the second largest performing arts complex, and it has the country’s only Downtown amusement park.

Here are a few of our recent designations, if you’re looking for a local ego boost.

Fifth-best city for young professionals. Says who: Forbes magazine, 2008. Why: Minneaplis has the highest concentration of the nation’s top companies, according to the magazine. We also have a low cost of living and lots of jobs that pay recent grads higher than the national average. Who beat us: New York (4th), Boston (2nd), Seattle (1st)

The best city for sleep. Says who: Sperling’s Best Places. Why: Residents reported having nearly 23 nights of good sleep each month. Minneapolis also scores high on the overall happiness index, it has short commute times and low unemployment. Who we beat: Anaheim (2nd), San Diego (3rd), Raleigh-Durham (4th)

The city that watches the least TV. Says who: Men’s Fitness, 2005. Why: According to Nielsen Media Research, the Minneapolis market spends 49 percent less time in front of the TV than the surveyed cities’ average. Who we beat: Colorado Springs (graded a C+), Albuquerque (graded a C+), Denver (graded an A-)

Fourth best city to build personal net worth. Says who:, 2008. Why: Minneapolis has a diverse economic base in commerce, finance, health care, rail and trucking services. Taken into account were salaries, cost of living, unemployment, education levels, poverty levels and commute times. Who beat us: Plano, Texas; Aurora, Colo.; and Omaha, Neb.

Seventh best city for the outdoors. Says who: Forbes magazine, Summer 2008. Why: Minneapolis devotes 15 percent of its land to more parks, and the city has a high investment per resident in parkland. Who beat us: Phoenix and Tampa (tied for 5th), San Diego (2nd), San Francisco (1st)

No. 1 Most literate city. Says who: The president of Central Connecticut State University and the university’s Center for Public Policy and Social Research in 2007. Why: Rankings are based on newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources. Who we beat: Seattle (2nd), St. Paul (3rd) and Denver (4th)

19th most livable city in the world (out of 50 analyzed). Says who: Monocle magazine (a British magazine that covers current affairs and fashion) 2008. Why: A thriving arts scene, a rising culinary reputation, and lots of recycling and green roofs. Who beat us: Copenhagen, Munich, Tokyo and Honolulu

One of the fittest mayors in America. Says who: Men’s Fitness, 2006. Why: Mayor R.T. Rybak exercises as often as five days per week, and he participates in more fitness-related events than most mayors.

One of the top five least-stressful cities. Says who: Sperling’s Best Places. Why: Low unemployment, low violent crime rate and a low suicide rate. Who we beat: Tacoma, Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York (the top five most stressful cities)

Most fun city. Says who: Bert Sperling, working on a commission for the Cranium board game in 2003. Why: Lots of pro sports teams, accessible arts and the lakes. Who we beat: Orange County (2nd), San Jose (3rd), Atlanta (4th)

Second drunkest city. Says who: Forbes magazine, 2006. Why: The city ranked No. 2 for the most adults who reported having a drink in the last month, No. 3 for binge drinkers and No. 12 for heavy drinkers. Who beat us: Milwaukee

Second fittest city. Says who: Men’s Fitness, 2008. Why: Eighty-seven percent of adults are physically active to the point where they’re not putting their health at risk, a higher percent than any other city. Donuts are 80 percent less popular here than the average city. Who beat us: Colorado Springs

Minneapolis is the top tech city in the nation!

Minneapolis is nation's top tech city according to Popular Science, the world's largest science and technology magazine.

The "unassuming yet consistently innovative Minneapolis" edged out Atlanta and Washington, D.C. for the top tech city based on the results of data gathered and evaluated by the magazine from the Census Bureau, the National Science Foundation and expert surveys. The survey results were published in the magazine's March 2005 issue and is also available online .

Popular Science is the world's largest science and technology magazine, with a circulation of 1.45 million subscribers and a readership of more than seven million people. (February 16, 2005)

And... The U.S. City With the Smartest People Is...

...Minneapolis, Minnesota. That's the word from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who studied statistics from five categories and 13 different measures of literacy to provide a ranking for all cities with a population of 250,000 or more.

The literacy profile for each city included citizens' educational level, newspaper circulation rates, library resources, number of periodicals published, and the number of booksellers.

The 11 most literate U.S. cities are: (1. Minneapolis, Minnesota (2. Seattle, Washington (3. Denver, Colorado (4. Atlanta, Georgia (5. San Francisco, California (6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (7. Washington, D.C. (8. Louisville, Kentucky (9. Portland, Oregon (10. Cincinnati, Ohio (11. St. Paul, Minnesota.

The least literate cities are (in descending order): Los Angeles, California and Toledo, Ohio (tie); Fresno, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Santa Ana, California; San Antonio, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Long Beach, California; and Corpus Christi, Texas. And the least literate city in the United States is El Paso, Texas. (07/11/03)

Parking Issues

Thanks to the 60 residents and officials who attended NENA's LRT Parking & Traffic meeting, we now have a good start on what the residents want and some available options for the 50th St. station areas. Summary of resident input is here. Already, we have some good news.  (Updated 9/25/04)

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