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June 2010 SCCA NEWS

Seward’s Business Community

June Meeting 2010

Board of Directors
Annual Legislative Update Chair:
Jim Welna
Wednesday, July 16th, 2010 / 11:45:am – 1:00pm Welna II Hardware
Seward Towers East / 2910 E Franklin Ave
Vice Chair:
Rick Siewert
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the latest legislative Siewert Cabinet
session from local politicians! State Senator Patricia Torres Ray;
State Representative Jim Davnie; City Council Member Gary Schiff, Treasurer:
Max Duckler
Ward 9; City Council Member Cam Gordon,Ward 2; and Hennepin CaptionMax
County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin will all be present.
Suzanne Weinstein
Raja’s Mahal will provide lunch for $10. *Lunch is optional* Coastal Seafoods

To RSVP, please contact Megan: 612.435.0279 / Jennifer Larson

Communications Design

Tracy Singleton
Birchwood Cafe

Hans Steege
May Meeting Notes Dero Bike Rack
Presenter: Scott Seiler, Seiler & Associates, PLLC
Location: Movement Arts Center, 2211 E Franklin Ave Joe Buck
by Dave Madsen Buck Bros. Construction

After owner Nina Chenault arranged the meeting space at the Movement Arts Center, 20
members of the SCCA filed in and were provided a $10 lunch from Tracy’s Saloon and Eatery. Monthly Meetings are
Megan Sheridan, Assistant Project Manager for Seward Redesign, then called the meeting to held on the 3rd Wednesday of
order at noon, beginning with introductions and announcements. each month from 11:45 - 1pm.
Sheridan announced that the selection process for the Facade Improvement Program would
Upcoming Dates
be beginning on Wednesday, May 26. Sheldon Mains, Chair of Seward Neighborhood Group,
explained that there were a total of 101 registered sales at the Annual Seward Garage Sale
Daze this year. Mains thanked the event’s sponsors: Welna II Hardware, Crown Video and Tan- July 21st
ning, Seward Coop Grocery and Deli, and the Birchwood Cafe. August 18th
September 15th
Suzanne Weinstein, owner of Coastal Seafoods, announced that the recent oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico would not be affecting her business. Owner Ben Smith of Glaciers Café then ex-

continued on page 4
SCCA Mission: to provide a forum for Seward area businesses to plan, discuss, advocate and network for mutual benefit.
Page 2 Member Updates
Nice Ride peddles into Minneapolis
New Member Profile: Nice Ride, MN 2834 10th Avenue South
by Dave Madsen

Dan Breva lights up when he discusses his work with Nice In addition to the easily-accessible kiosks, cyclists who use the
Ride Minnesota. As a 40-year veteran of the outdoor-recre- system will be treated to Minneapolis’ developing, bike-friendly
ation work environment and nearly a decade of part-time road system.
bicycle maintenance under his belt, Breva’s hands suit him
perfectly for his work as the Operations Manager for this As Breva explained, “Minneapolis is a surprisingly safe city to
subscriber-based public bike share system set to kick off in ride bike in. There are a lot of marked bike lanes and there will
June. be more put in this summer. “

The Minneapolis-based bike People interested in participat-

share program was initiated by ing in the bike-share system
Mayor R.T. Rybak about two can sign up for a subscription
years ago as a way to intro- online or pay for a bike directly
duce non-motorized trans- at a Nice Ride kiosk. Bicycle
portation to the city. After trips range in price according
developing a strategy with Alta to the length of time the bike
Planning + Design, receiving is out its kiosk.
$3 million in federal funding,
and gaining sponsorships from A one-day subscription will
various organizations, Nice Ride’s efforts will come to a cost only $5 and longer subscriptions (30 days for $30 and 1
head this summer for their introduction of 65 kiosks and year for $60) will include an encrypted key-card that bikers
700 publicly-accessible bicycles in the Minneapolis area. can use at any point in their subscriptions.

Starting at 11:00am on June 10, participants in the kick-off Behind the logistics of the system are Nice Ride’s unifying
will meet in Downtown near the Minneapolis Public Library. principles of creating a more sustainable urban environment.
Then, riders will make their way down Nicollet Mall to Peavey According to Breva, Nice Ride is primarily designed to get
Plaza in order to hear a brief presentation. At the reception, people “actively using active transport.” Due to the influx of
participants will have a chance to hear from the program’s bikers across the city, residents and pedestrians may find Min-
founding sponsors as well as representatives from the city neapolis a more welcoming and personal city.
about how the bike share system developed. The event is
sponsored, in part, by the Birchwood Café and Seward Co- Also, bike-sharers may find themselves healthier due to in-
op Grocery & Deli. creased exercise and the reduced amount of motor vehicle-
created air pollution in the area. “It’s really an alternative to
The initial inspiration for Nice Ride Minnesota came from getting in your car and driving that half mile,” Breva said.
successful models of public bicycle systems across Europe.
Nice Ride Minnesota adopted a bike-share system developed In the Seward neighborhood, Nice Ride has requested per-
in Montreal, which is currently in its second summer with mission from the city for kiosks to be placed near Franklin
over 30,000 subscribing members and over a million uses. Avenue’s Light Rail Station. Nice Ride’s initial deployment for
Seward includes several stations along Franklin, and in the
Breva had the opportunity to witness the deployment of the Cedar Riverside area. Kiosks will also be placed on the cam-
system this spring. He explained, “As soon as people saw the puses of Augsburg College and the University or Minnesota,
stuff back out on the street, they were ready to ride within as well as popular destinations like the Birchwood Cafe & the
36 to 48 hours.” Seward Co-op.

According to Breva, Nice Ride’s bikes have been designed to Breva concluded by saying that he is beginning to see Minne-
accommodate for relatively short trips. “The only real adjust- apolis as a city “where all forms of transportation are consid-
ment people will have to make is saddle height. “ Breva added. ered in street design, rather than just motor vehicles. People
“And once you know your preferred saddle height, you can who use public transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians are all part
just key the bike out and go.” of transportation.”

Crew2: Building a Firm Foundation FREE PLANTS!

Feature: Crew2 Inc., 2650 Minnehaha Avenue
by Dave Madsen It is that time of year again -
In 1986, Doug and Perry Firkus were on their knees Their diverse workforce now primarily the Minnesota Horticultural
in Doug’s Vadnais Heights garage working as floor- serves as an “installation broker” as Crew2 Society is giving free plants
ing installers. Little did they know, these two hard- Inc. is responsible for handling the individual to member organizations
working cousins and their small, family-owned busi- labor and materials associated with the in- like Seward Redesign.
ness would one day evolve into Crew2 Inc., a highly stallation process for large companies like
successful company that has now expanded into a The Home Depot.
general contractor for home services in thirteen Available plants include
states across the Upper Midwest. Crew2 Inc. is unique in the sense that they re- annuals (some in pots), per-
quire all subcontractors to be “badged” and renials, veggies and herbs, as
Crew2 Inc.’s Minneapolis headquarters is now lo- undergo a full, criminal background check. well as roses and hydrangea.
cated in the heart of the Seward neighborhood, and “So, anyone that walks across the threshold
it still keeps alive Doug and Perry’s vision to pro- in anyone’s home is guaranteed to have no
vide honest, quality work for local clients. criminal background,” Evangelist said. Please let Megan (435-0279
After the company’s 1997 expansion into a broader The Firkuses have always stood by the mot-
know what and how much
operation encompassing non-flooring products, the to that “the most important thing we’ve ever
business now serves as a player in home-improve- built is our reputation.” And their mission is you would like by
ment stores across the nation. 2003 was a pivotal evident in the way Crew2 Inc. conducts a
year for Crew2 as owner Perry Firkus designed and personable, quality experience. Friday, June 11th
built a 54,000 square foot facility to serve as the
Minneapolis headquarters. After the installation is complete, custom- Remember: these plants
ers may then inspect the work directly with
the installer in order to approve it. Following
can only be used in public
Along with the newly-designed business space came
Denise and Steve Firkus, both experienced in valu- this process, a customer has the chance to spaces, i.e. boulevards,
able corporate skills. Today, Crew2 Inc. remains a fill out a survey that corresponds to his/her planters, hanging pots, etc.
family-owned business, and the company’s dedica- level of satisfaction.“Service providers either
tion to quality and service sets it apart as a unique get work or don’t get work based on how
and indispensable service to the area. they perform,” Evangelist said. “So, if there
was not a quality installation that hap-
pened, we know about it right away.”
Write an SCCA
Crew2 Inc. also makes a commitment Newsletter Article!
to provide the most eco-friendly ser-
vice as they can. Crew2 Inc. collabo-
Is there a business in
rates with suppliers like Natural Built
Homes in order to provide home Seward that has always
owners with a home environment intrigued you? Interested in
Crew 2 Inc.’s Hub in Seward constructed from environmentally getting to know what goes
friendly materials. on inside other
According to Human Resources Director Joy Evan-
gelist, the Firkuses appreciated the centralized loca- The future looks bright for Crew2 Inc. as the
neighborhood businesses?
tion so the community’s real estate coordinators company has always been able to adapt to
and city council members worked with Crew2 Inc. economic shifts and changing needs in the If so, you would make a
in order to develop the property. construction world.Whether it’s an increase perfect author for an SCCA
in the remodeling side of the business, or newsletter article!
Employees of Crew2 Inc. are now fully committed constantly diversifying the product lines,
to the neighborhood; Systems/Operations Director Crew2 Inc. is not afraid to try new things.
No writing skills necessary,
Colleen Schmidt is a representative of Crew2 Inc. Perhaps that is what makes them so success-
for the Seward Civic and Commerce Association ful.
just an interest in your
(SCCA), and owner Steve Firkus makes donations fellow business owners
to and sits on the board of Urban Homeworks, a
housing organization that has rehabilitated proper- contact Megan: 435-0279
ties in the Seward neighborhood.
plained that the 50-seat patio is now open for diners to enjoy
the weather and the “beautiful mosaic wall.” Louisa Hext ac-
companied Smith and she explained how she plans to market
Glaciers Cafe using an alternative, one-to-one method of neigh-
borhood development.

Nina Chenault then went on to describe the 30th anniversary

of the Shotokan Karate program as well as a fundraiser for
some summer camps being offered this year. Other updates
from businesses included the new ownership of the Shell Gas
Station as well as a new pastor (David Modder) at Seward
Church, which currently meets every Friday.

Attorney in Employment Law Scott Seiler then took the floor

to discuss the topic of who receives overtime pay and how
that pay is distributed. According to Seiler, there is a misunder-
standing among employers as to which of their employees are
exempt and non-exempt from overtime pay. SCCA Members gathered in the Movement Arts Center
He commented that many businesses can avoid conflict from employees by simply taking careful steps to pay closer attention to
how employees receive their gross and net incomes, as well as their aggregate benefits.

Seiler said that in order for a worker to be exempt from overtime pay, he/she must be paid on a salary basis and must retain the
duties of a “White Collar” employee (i.e. workers with an executive or administrative position, learned/creative/computer profes-
sionals, or workers dealing with outside sales).

Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay if they are compensated on a salary basis, meaning their minimum weekly pay-
ment is equivalent or greater than $455. Seiler explained that exempt employees paid on salary must receive payment regardless
of their hours worked, and their salary cannot be reduced due to their “variations in work quantity or quality,” non-subsequent
absences, or lack of effort.
Seiler went on to explain that exempt employees must be paid for a full
week’s salary when he/she works during that week. However, exempt
employees may incur deductions from their pay if they take one or more
full, consecutive days off for personal reasons (i.e. not sickness, disability,
or vacation).

Seiler recommended that business owners clearly state in their em-

ployee handbook a plan for paid time off (PTO) in order to avoid viola-
tions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave Act.To
better specify these expectations, Seiler suggested that business owners
implement a PTO-Rolling Accrual System in order to manage their em-
ployees’ pay.

Megan Sheridan then closed the meeting by thanking Seilier for his pre-
sentation and many business owners proceeded to distribute their busi-
ness cards directly to him.

The next meeting of the Seward Civic and Commerce Association will
be held on June 16th from 11:45:am – 1:00pm in the Seward Towers
East building (2910 E Franklin Ave). State Senator Patricia Torres Ray,
State Representative Jim Davnie, City Council Member Gary Schiff, City
Council Member Cam Gordon, and Hennepin County Commissioner
Seiler talks business at the SCCA’s May meeting. Peter McLaughlin will all be present to discuss relevant legislative is-

Franklin Housing Cooperative reinforces community

Franklin Housing Cooperative, 2300 East Franklin Avenue Neighborhood
by Dave Madsen
Directory Ads
For many living in urban environments, is that members take an active role in their
it may be difficult to imagine living in an housing. Board members and volunteers are There is still ad space
densely-populated housing complex where not required to have professional training or
available in the
the concept of community is highly-valued; formal education; they simply help the com-
rarely do owners of housing developments munity and cultivate relationships throughout 2011 Neighborhood
encourage genuine communication and in- their volunteer work. Directory
vestment among their tenants.
“I would rather live in a co-op than in a regular 1/6 page - $115
Dianna Tyson is aiming to change this with apartment building,” Tyson added. “If you live
the Franklin Housing Cooperative located in a regular apartment building, you just pay 1/6 page coupon -
in the Seward neighborhood. your rent money and do what they say. If you
live in a co-op, you can make some decisions
The Franklin Housing Cooperative is about what happens with your rent money.” (4 remaining)
part of the Riverton Community Housing
initiative that was started over 30 years According to Tyson, residents of the co-op 1/3 page - $230
ago. To better accommodate the students are very comfortable with their community
of Augsburg College and the University and most of their business comes through Full Page - $575
of Minnesota, the referrals from
Franklin Hous- “Anybody who comes previous ten-
(1 remaining)
ing Cooperative ants. In her
was purchased on
Franklin and 23rd
into our building, we eight years as
the building’s
Please contact Megan as
soon as possible if you
Avenues as it was
near the college
treat them the same.” manager, Tyson
has seen the
are interested in this
campus, several lines of public transporta- Franklin Housing Cooperative develop into a
tion, as well as a variety of entertainment more livable, community-centered space. In
Ads will be accepted
venues. However, this housing complex is addition to redeveloping an underused swim-
unlike a traditional apartment. ming pool into a community garden, Tyson until Wednesday, July 21
reported that several remodeling projects or until filled.
“Basically, the residents in our building have have been undertaken to improve the living
a say in what happens,” Tyson explained. “If space.
you become a tenant in the co-op, you get
to be involved with the decision-making “We’ve come a long way,” Tyson said.
Include your
process.” business in the
Tyson has been involved with housing for 21 Member Update
Residents of the Franklin Housing Cooper- years. Since accepting her position with the Section!
ative are members of a self-run, volunteer- Franklin Housing Cooperative eight years ago,
based collective. Through the democratic Tyson explained that she has found her work If your business has news to
election of a board of directors, tenants to be fulfilling and challenging. In working with share, we want to hear about
of the co-op unite to fulfill the common such a diverse community, she said that it can
it. Let us know if you’ve won
economic, social and cultural needs of the be difficult to ensure that everyone is accom-
community. This board of directors is re- modated to their specific needs. But, as Tyson an award, are offering a new
sponsible for facilitating monthly meetings added, “Anybody who comes into our build- product or service, moved
and approving the annual budget and by- ing, we treat them the same.” your space, etc. and we’ll
laws of the co-op.The co-op also hires staff share it here.
members who assist in the building’s rou- If you are interested in receiving more in in-
tine business; that’s where Tyson comes in. formation about the Cooperative, visit River- contact Megan: 435-0279
ton’s website at for layout plans,
Tyson explained that the significant fea- contact information, and pricing details.
ture of the Franklin Housing Cooperative

Thank you to SCCA members who have contributed in 2010!

2nd Moon Cafe * A-Craft Windows * Air Engineering & Supply * Allweather Roof *
ArtiCulture * At Last Gourmet Foods * Augsburg College * Beaupre Aerial Equipment * Big Print * Blue Nile
Brownsmith Restoration * Bruce Johansen * Buck Brothers Construction * Cake Eater Bakery
Canyons Structural * CaptionMax * CCI Properties * Charles Levin Architects * Coastal Seafoods
Crew 2: Home Service Specialists * Crown Video & Tanning * Cushman Motor Company
Dave’s Riverside Shell * Decisive Moment * Dero Bike Racks * Devries Bar Grinding * DigiGraphic Photos, Inc.
Dr. Gary Miller Chiropractic Center * Employment Action Center * Franklin Accounting & Income Tax
Franklin Housing Cooperative * Garlock-French Roofing * Glacier’s Cafe * Hayat Beauty Salon
HiLine Unique Flooring * Hiawatha Metalcraft * Himalayan Restaurant * History Crafters * Imagin Studios
Infinite Real Estate Group * JC Miller & Sons Concrete * Jennifer Larson Communications Design
Jim’s Barber Shop * Kaah Home Health Cae * Koyi Sushi Too * Lehn and Posl
Madden Accounting & Tax Service * Midwest Lock & Safe * Mill City Builders * Minneapolis Maintenance
Minneapolis Speaker Company, Inc. * Minnesota Resource Center * Movement Arts Center * Pizza Luce IV
River Realty * Seward Church * Seward Community Co-op * Seward Market and Halal Meat
Seward Neighborhood Group * Seward Towers East * Seward Towers West *
Shabelle Grocery and Meat Market * Shega Bakery * Sierra Club Northstar Chapter * Speak to Solve
Swirlygig Industries * The New French Bakery * Tracy’s Saloon * True Thai * Twin City Filter Service
Twin Cities Media Alliance * United Noodle * Verde Strategies * Welna II Hardware * Whiskey Junction
Woodland Stoves & Fireplaces * World Endeavors * Worry Free Enterprises * Zipp’s Liqours

Minneapolis, MN 55406
2619 E Franklin Avenue
Seward Civic & Commerce Association

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