Parks and Wreck Interview


Corcoran Park music instructor, Eric Silva Brenneman, had a dream: take the School of Rock model (afterschool music lessons with the goal of getting students playing a concert before a paying audience) but make it accessible for all incomes in the community that he loves.  And that he has done.  Enter Minnie, 16, (Vocals/Bass), Oscar 17, (Lead Guitar), and Joe, 17, (Drums).  Together, they are the latest version of Parks & Wreck (the name Eric's wife, CNO Board chair Lisa Barajas, came up with), and they have their first recording coming out soon, courtesy of Ideawerks at Powderhorn, a non-profit recording studio for the community.

There is no release date yet, but already a tinge of 'celebrity' is sinking in.  "I can't believe it," says Oscar.  "We went from being unknowns to, 'Hey, aren't you that Corcoran Band?'  It's like a Hannah Montana to Miley Cyrus transformation, or is it the other way around?"  "Oh, we're rock stars," jokes Minnie. "Don't we have like 40 likes on Facebook?"  "Try more like 70," Joe corrects in all seriousness.

When asked what we can expect from the initial EP, Eric smiled and calmly replied, "Everybody will find something to relate to.  I'll let the band speak for itself."

Joe says he borrows from drummers Chris Pennie and Matt Garstka of the progressive metal bands Coheed & Cambria and Animals as Leaders, respectively.  I had the privilege of walking in as Joe was ripping a solo from "Zombie" by The Cranberries…taking me back to my own alt-rock days in high school.  Folks, this guy can drum!

Read more

My 14 Years at the Midtown Farmers Market: Why and How I Became Involved

It began with an informational meeting at the YWCA across the street from our market, to understand what it would take and decide what we wanted our market to be like.

People attending the meeting were asked to sign up for various volunteer positions. I signed up, but did not know what I could do. I volunteered only twice each of my first 2 years, but after that it because a priority for me.

Coming to the market was my only chance to get out of my apartment in the fresh air, socialize, and be a part of a community, which over the years grew to feel like my only family since I don’t have relatives nearby in Minnesota. As the years went on, I watched children grow, made friends, and looked forward to the opening day of the market each spring. 

Read more

Thank You for a Great 2016 Season at the Midtown Farmers Market


The 2016 Market Season is officially in the books at the Midtown Farmers Market and we would like to thank all of our customers, vendors, sponsors, partners, and other supports for another great season. Although this season saw a lot of wet weather and construction, we’re proud to have been able to bring fresh local food and a community building space to local residents for a 14th season! While we’ll miss all of our great vendors and loyal shoppers in the off season, it’s time to reflect on the season that was and begin gearing up for our much anticipated 15th anniversary season coming up in 2017. Thanks again for a great season!

If you enjoyed shopping at the Midtown Farmers Market as much as we enjoyed organizing and operating it, please consider supporting the market this month for Give to the Max Day 2016 on November 17th. Contributions can be made by visiting and are tax deductible. Your support will ensure another successful season at the market in 2017!

Apartment Shop Tenants Start a New Class Action Lawsuit


In a new lawsuit that could upend relations between tenants and owners of one of the largest landlords in Minneapolis, a local law firm representing tenants has asked Hennepin County District Court to put 62 apartments in receivership and return millions of dollars of income to tenants.

A legal team from Faegre Baker Daniels sued the owners Stephen Frenz and Spiros Zorbalas with their wives and companies, claiming that the two men engaged in "deceptive and flagrant legal violations trade practices." They are seeking a class action.

Frenz owns and oversees about 1,400 units in Minneapolis and in a recent civil trial in housing court, it is disclosed that Zorbalas still has ownership interest in its properties. The city ordered Zorbalas to shed all of his rental properties in 2012 because of a history of housing violations that led to some license revocations.


Read more

Powderhorn Empty Bowls: Celebrating Ten Years of Making Art, Providing Sustenance, and Promoting the Common Good


Join us! The Empty Bowls event will be Friday, November 4 from 11am to 7pm at the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center, 3400 15th Ave S, Minneapolis. In the last nine years, operating completely on volunteer power, Powderhorn Empty Bowls has

  • Distributed 13,400 hand-made bowls
  • Received support from 14,501 people

Resulting in . . .

  • An amazing $223,000 dedicated to feeding the hungry!

Help celebrate our 10-year milestone and continue to raise money to fight hunger in the Powderhorn Community.



Read more

Know your Candidates



Everyone knows the major party candidates for President. You can’t escape their coverage. But who are our local candidates that will be on the ballot? He Here is an un-biased run down of who will be on our local ballot so you can be an informed voter on Election Day (Nov. 8, 2016).

You can find a copy of what our ballot will look like at

Read more

New Development Blue Line Flats to Open in November


After watching the construction for much of the last year, Corcoran will soon be welcoming new neighbors at the Blue Line Flats, 3120 24th Ave South.  The first residents of the affordable rate site are scheduled to move in November 1, with others to follow later in the month.  As CNN goes to press, the landscaping and finishing touches are still underway.  The building has underground parking and a courtyard, and is located adjacent to the Midtown Farmer's Market site and the Midtown Transit station. 

Four-Way Stop at 31st Street and 22nd Avenue


On October 21, 2016, Minneapolis Public Works installed two additional stop signs at the four-way intersection of 31st Street East and 22nd Avenue South.  The seemingly trivial addition of stop signs was actually a momentous victory for our neighborhood, culminating 15 years of activism. 

Corcoran residents identified the need for the four-way stop in September 2001 during early brainstorming sessions for the Corcoran Midtown Revival small area plan.  At the time, the intersection was busy with regular traffic and visitors to the newly-built YWCA Midtown on the intersection’s northwest corner.  Parked cars often obstructed the view of cross traffic for people driving north or south. 

Read more

Corcoran Grows Storm Drain Sweep


 Saturday, November 5th

Starting at 3519 23rd Ave. for breakfast before we hit the streets.

8:30am – 12noon

Grab a hat and a rake and join us for the kick-off event of our year long focus on water in partnership with the Alliance for Sustainability!  We'll be taking the day to clear storm drains of leaves and debris and encourage neighbors to adopt their storm drain and do this throughout the year!

Breakfast will be served at 8:30am and we'll hit the streets in large teams, with music, door-knocking and of course our rakes!   On our way we will educate residents on the importance of keeping storm drains clear of leaves and have good time doing it!   

Our neighborhood storm drains flow into Lake Hiawatha and the Mississippi river depending on your location.  Leaves trash, chemicals and organic debris from streets & sidewalks flow through storm sewers adding phosphorus, nitrogen and other significant pollutants to our waterways.  This contributes to excessive algae growth and declining oxygen levels.  

Our goal over this year is to get 60 families to sign the clean water pledge.  The Pledge asks residents to do 1 of 5 items to keep phosphorus, nitrogen and other pollutants out of our waterways.   

            1.  Reduce runoff by redirecting downspouts from hard surfaces, installing a rain barrel or rain garden.

            2.  Use little or no fertilizer on your lawn and keep grass clippings and leaves away from the street.

            3.  Combat erosion by keeping grass cut 3 inches or higher and leaving grass clippings in place.

            4.  Abstain from using pesticides/herbicides in the yard during the growing season and salt in the winter.

            5.  Pick up trash regularly on the blvd and in the alley.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us on our sweep through the neighborhoood!  Bring a rake and a jovial spirit in solidarity to protect our lakes and rivers!

Join the event at our facebook page – Corcoran GROWS-- and get the most updated information! 



Shoebox Packing Party


It's 8:01am and a Nextdoor alert has just been posted: 'free stuff for the taking in alley.'  Eight minutes later, before a waking neighborhood can even manage a reply, the 'stuff' is gone.  All that's left in the alley is smoke from the tires of a Schwinn that penny.JPGpeeled off with the contents hanging out of the bike's basket.  Miscellaneous office supplies and toys have a new owner, and Penny Arcos is happy to keep it that way.  She's a collector who does not shed one tear for monopolizing Nextoor's alley alerts.  "This isn't for a science habitat project or to fulfill my lifelong pent up dream of fashioning a working 19th century camera from a shoebox.  It's for a child in need halfway across the world."

Recently I sat down with the Corcoran resident about a unique outreach that is taking place at the park building on the first Friday of this month.  It's called OCC (Operation Christmas Child), and since 1993, has delivered more than 130 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children, through people like Penny.  Billed as the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, OCC seeks to bring God's love to children who otherwise would not have gifts to open on Christmas.

Read more

Share your neighborhood news