Each year FNA recognizes individuals who make a big contribution to the neighborhood with our Friends of Fulton Awards.
Brad Johnson (nominated by Max and Anna Leither)
Rep. Jamie Long, Sen. Scott Dibble, Brad Johnson and CM Linea Palmisano
We neighbors on Chowen Avenue all joke about Brad being “Mayor of Chowen” because he truly brings us together and looks out for all of us. Brad is always doing things like cleaning out the street drains and putting WD40 on the swings across the street at the park to stop the squeaking. Brad keeps up with all the Pershing Park news and reports back to us anything that might affect us, as we all live directly across the street from the park, even going to the effort of creating a calendar of the Pershing Recreation Center events for everyone on the block to subscribe to. Brad has been actively involved with the Southwest parks master planning process and has advocated for the good of the neighborhood. He has even helped educate people on misconceptions and misinterpretations during the long process.
Brad is also active at his kids’ school and making sure that every child is being served and looks out for his neighbors by sending severe weather alerts so we all stay safe!
Brad is just a great neighbor in general and we look forward to re-electing him Mayor of Chowen for a long time to come.
Rich Nyquist (nominated by Steve Young)
Rep. Jamie Long, Sen. Scott Dibble, Rich Nyquist and CM Linea Palmisano
Rich has been serving on the Minnehaha Creek Master Plan Community Advisory Council (CAC) for the past year and a half. Although he is formally representing the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), he has also been a fierce advocate for Fulton neighborhood in making sure that the quality, amenities and access to the creek are representative of everyone’s needs. He is tireless in his willingness to engage the community, talk about maps and take feedback. This particular project has been difficult with a lot of competing interests due to the sheer length of the creek that is being considered, but Rich has handled it all with aplomb.
In addition this current planning process, Rich has also in the past represented Fulton Neighborhood on the Bde Maka Ska/Lake Harriet Master Plan and is currently also serving on an advisory council for MCWD to help protect and preserve Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka and the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Rich is also a great neighbor and helps out many people on his block each winter with shoveling and ice removal. He just can’t stay away from water, whether it is liquid or solid!
Carol Li (nominated by Ruth Olson)
Rep. Jamie Long, Sen. Scott Dibble, Carolina Li and CM Linea Palmisano
The Fulton Neighborhood News is published and delivered to every home and business in the neighborhood six times per year. It has always been very “dry” and full of announcements, but no color commentary. That is, until Carol came along!
Carol is still fairly new to the neighborhood, but got involved with Fulton Neighborhood Association right away as a way to give back to her community. Once she got her bearings, she reached out and offered to write human interest stories for the newsletter. We loved that idea, gave her free reign and haven’t looked back! She has written about Broders’ restaurants, The Loft Antiques and, most recently, about a neighborhood husband and wife who are members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, respectively. She is always mentioning other ideas for stories and is open to ideas from anyone else. Her articles have brought badly needed human interest to the newsletter and have helped it grow to more of a community building tool rather than just a communication tool.
Carol has now joined the FNA Board and we are all enjoying her participation and insight to the neighborhood from her unique perspective as a native Argentinian
Nikki Nethercot-Niermann (nominated by Emily Ziring)
Rep. Frank Hornstein, Nikki Nethercot Niermann and Sen. Scott Dibble
It’s hard to enumerate all of Nikki’s contributions to the betterment of the community, but I’ll try my best. As the Lake Harriet Community School PTA volunteer chair, she rallied and organized parent volunteers to serve all of the special event and day-to-day needs of our local elementary school. When that wasn’t enough, she became fundraising chair and through various events (including the Dragon Dash and the annual Dragon Fest carnival) raised literally tens of thousands of dollars to support the enrichment of our kids. When that STILL wasn’t enough, she became PTA President in 2018 (frankly, we are all a little afraid of what she has in store).
Nikki’s efforts for our school are plenty exhausting to think about but that’s just a fraction of what she volunteers to take on. In the summer of 2017 she threw a giant block party in honor of our 5 year-old neighbor who was battling cancer, raising over $10,000 for the Cancer Kids Fund at Children’s Hospital. She never misses an opportunity to be politically active, serving as a party delegate at conventions whenever possible and helping to campaign for candidates who share her desire to make Minneapolis a more caring and compassionate place for all kids. Did I mention she’s also a block captain? Oh, and she volunteers every year at the Fulton Fall Festival? And probably a dozen other places I don’t even know about?
Nikki’s enthusiasm and desire to help others is infectious, and even though her friends roll our eyes when we get another email begging us to stuff envelopes or lead the ring toss game, we do it because she inspires us.
Jack Harness and Kathy Palmer (nominated by Mark and Tina DeYoung)
Jack Harness, Kathy Palmer, Sen. Scott Dibble, Rep. Frank Hornstein and the DeYoung Family
We are nominating Jack and Kathy for their display of kindness, patience, and generosity. My wife and I have three kids (7th grader and twins in 5th grade). Ever since we moved into house Jack and Kathy have been incredibly welcoming and considerate of us. Even on the first day we looked at purchasing the house, Jack helped us unlock the front door so we could walk through it with our realtor. At that point, we knew we would have wonderful neighbors. Whether it be sharing her baked bread or simply entertaining our children, Kathy has acted like a pseudo grandmother to our children. She often invites our children over to her yard for gardening and special projects. Jack has welcomed our son into his world of woodworking and is always encouraging his unique engineering interests. Jack also is our neighborhood “watchdog” making sure everyone respects our neighborhood.
In summary, we could not have asked for better neighbors in Jack Harness and Kathy Palmer. We are forever grateful for the role they have played in raising our children alongside us!
Jim and Sue Tincher (nominated by the Fulton Neighborhood Association Board)
Rep. Frank Hornstein, Sen. Scott Dibble, Jim Tincher and Sue Tincher
What can we say about Jim and Sue other than…please come back! After many years as Fulton residents, Jim and Sue have recently moved to Near North Minneapolis in search of a larger house with a conference space for their growing business. And, as Jim points out, it doesn’t hurt that their new home is 100 years newer than their old one!
Jim served in various capacities of the FNA Board as a Board Member, Treasurer, Vice President and President. His thoughtful review of issues and comments were always insightful, even-keeled and respectful, even in instances of disagreement. Jim championed support of improvements along Minnehaha Creek, leading an informal group of Fulton, Lynnhurst and Armatage residents in a community engagement and survey process. He continues this work today, even after moving out of the area, as the Chair of the Minnehaha Creek Regional Trail Community Advisory Council.
Sue served as Block Leader for many years welcoming new neighbors and supporting their block in its unique challenges of being on France Avenue. Sue also worked in past years with the Environmental Committee and helped with the hugely successful Fulton Plant Sale, which raised funds for further trees and environmental improvements in the neighborhood. Lastly, but not least, Sue encouraged Jim as he started his own business to still maintain his ties to the community and enabled his ongoing work with the neighborhood association.
Jim and Sue- we miss you deeply and know that Near North will be better off with new neighbors like you.
Southwest High School Football Team, Coach Zoucha and Booster Co-Chair Julie Flaskamp (nominated by Ruth Olson)
Rep. Frank Hornstein, Sen. Scott Dibble, Coach Zoucha and team members
Due to a lack of leadership and transitional administration, the past few years have been difficult for Fulton neighborhood with several high profile incidents involving students from Southwest High School. Under the leadership of a new principal, Dr. Michael Favor, the school has now begun to establish a culture of respect to their community and neighbors.
This new culture is on display with the advent of a Service Learning Project by the SWHS Football team. The head football coach, Josh Zoucha, volunteered the team to fix the damage to a neighbor’s fence by previous students. The team knows that students from prior years were responsible for the damage to the fence, but they are being part of the change and solution to a better relationship in the community by serving a neighbor who was the unfortunate victim of careless student behavior.
Over the course of two weeks, the team removed broken fence pickets, painted the remaining fence and then painted and installed new pickets. While the kids worked, they also talked with each other, discussing how the fence was broken and why they were fixing it. Coach Zoucha and parent leaders talked with them about being role models and good neighbors, about righting wrongs and the importance of community service. The kids started to understand that they were making a small difference and that other students and neighbors were watching. Parent supervisors stood back and let the kids work and take ownership of the fence. The parents also taught the kids how to paint, saw, drill, screw, and measure – many kids had never had tools in their hands before.
The homeowner is grateful for the repair to his property, but, more importantly, for the commitment of the team to demonstrate to their peers what it means to be a good neighbor.
Mindy Barry (nominated by Jenelle Masterson)
Hennepin County Comm. Marion Greene, Mindy Barry and CM Linea Palmisano
When one takes on the responsibility of block leader, it tends to be a fairly low commitment endeavor; sending out occasional emails, welcoming new neighbors, and coordinating an annual block party. Redirecting reporters away from a grieving neighbor who lost a loved one at the hands of the police, ensuring that grieving family is fed and taken care of, scheduling trauma counseling for the neighborhood, coordinating meetings to determine how to support the neighborhood children-some who now fear the police, planning an impromptu peace march for hundreds of people, fielding regular phone calls from the mayor and city council representative, and coordinating meetings with leaders of local social justice organizations, are not normally in the job description of a block leader.
However this is exactly what Mindy Barry has done. She is the block leader of the 5000 block of Washburn, where Justine Damond lived and was killed by a Minneapolis Police officer. With the shock and loss of our neighbor Justine, Mindy bravely leaned in to her block leader duties doing all of the above and more. She even included nearby neighbors who don’t live on the block, but were also impacted by this horrific event, such as my family. Despite the terrible circumstances, I am very grateful to have met such a wonderful person and know we are very lucky to have such an incredible “Friend of Fulton” step up and lead our neighborhood through this tragedy.
Craig and Val Rittler (nominated by Mary Anne Welch Lavin and Christy Haynes)
Hennepin County Comm. Marion Greene, Craig Rittler and CM Linea Palmisano
Craig Rittler and Val Olsen Rittler have definitely made Fulton a better place and we would like to nominate them, together, for a Friend of Fulton Award.
Since the summer of 2012, Craig and Val have organized a music fest in the alley of the 4900 block between Upton and Thomas. What began as a small Summer Solstice party for the neighborhood has developed into “SW X SW” a showcase for young musicians that attracts families from our community and beyond.
SWxSW is a free, pot luck event, open to anyone. In the past few years, Brad McLemore, from The House of Music, has helped Val and Craig and gotten the word out to many of his young music students. The day takes months of planning, Val and Craig work their neighbors to insure everyone is comfortable with event; other neighbors open their garages to the food and musicians, and it is a now highlight of the year for our community.
Val and Craig are also the National Night Out chairs for Thomas and have taken out a permit to close the block on Halloween to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere on that community-centric night as well.
June Thiemann (nominated by Mike Vanderscheuren)
Hennepin County Comm. Marion Greene, June Thiemann and CM Linea Palmisano
June Thiemann is a Fulton-Neighborhood based author, speaker and mental health advocate. Since writing and self-publishing her memoir in 2014, “All in the Asylum: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Self-Preservation” she has been tirelessly working to help de-stigmatize mental illness.
She has used her powerful personal narrative and grass-roots organizing ability to help implement important wellness and mental health programs at Southwest High School for students and is a driver behind the (first-ever) Wellness Day activities which brought awareness to the issue of mental health into the school.
June is civic-minded, politically active and never satisfied to sit back and let someone else do the work. She would be an excellent choice for the Friend of Fulton Award.
Council Member Linea Palmisano, Erin Black and State Senator Scott Dibble
Council Member Linea Palmisano, Joan Hargrave, John Dillery and State Senator Scott Dibble
Council Member Linea Palmisano, Steve Lyster and State Senator Scott Dibble
Council Member Linea Palmisano, Jason Walker and State Senator Scott Dibble
Council Member Linea Palmisano, Fulton Block Contacts and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Senator Scott Dibble, Bart Phillips and State Representative Frank Hornstein
Christian Lindgren, State Senator Scott Dibble, State Representative Frank Hornstein and Eric Eickhof
State Senator Scott Dibble, Jenny Monroe and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Senator Scott Dibble, Mary Vander Leest and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Senator Scott Dibble, Scott Erazmus and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Senator Scott Dibble, Sheila Sager and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Senator Scott Dibble, Terry Sauer and State Representative Frank Hornstein
Jeff Alden (not pictured)
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Former Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, State Senator Scott Dibble and Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Charlie Hendricks Miner, State Senator Scott Dibble and Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
State Representative Frank Hornstein, State Senator Scott Dibble, Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene and the Clean Alley Campaign
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Former Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, State Senator Scott Dibble and Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
State Representative Frank Hornstein and Blaire Hartley
Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman and Cathy Karasov
State Senator Scott Dibble and Liz Froelich
Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman and Annie Olson
Boy Scout Troop 6 (Scott Newland and Ralph Greiling) and Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman
Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman and Gail Laurie
Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman and Virgil Peterson
Not Pictured: Jerry’s Foods and Super Valu and Jane Elias
State Senator Scott Dibble, State Reprsentative Frank Hornstein, Enes Arslan and Rhea Sullivan
Back Row: Steve Haslach, David Brauer, Steve Young, David Nicholson, State Representative Frank Hornstein, Meg Cowden
Front Row: State Senator Scott Dibble and Jeff Alden
Rhea Sullivan, John Finlayson, State Representative Frank Hornstein and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Senator Scott Dibble, representatives of Lake Harriet United Methodist Church and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Lynn Steele and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Molly Broder and family and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Senator Scott Dibble, Phil Rader and State Representative Frank Hornstein
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Sandy Schwanz, Pat Cook and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Terry Sauer and State Senator Scott Dibble
State Representative Frank Hornstein, Pat Steele, Richard Steele, Tom Steele and State Senator Scott Dibble
Not Pictured: Ellen Berner, Bryan Rubbelke and Mary Ellen Halvorsen
State Senator Scott Dibble, State Representative Frank Hornstein and Barb Melom
State Senator Scott Dibble, left, with State Representative Frank Hornstein and Courtney Remes, right
State Senator Scott Dibble, left, with State Representative Frank Hornstein and Kris Roe, right
State Senator Scott Dibble, left, with State Representative Frank Hornstein and Lisa McCleary, right
State Senator Scott Dibble, left with State Representative Frank Hornstein and Marc Holtey, right
Cheryl Shrader-Bogen, center, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, left, and Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble, right
Kristine Johansen, left with Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble
Mary Nolte, left, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble
Nancy Lo, center, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, left, and Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble, right
Nick Mark, center, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, left, Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble, right
Robert Thompson, center, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, left, and Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble, right
Theresa Punyko, center, with State Representative Frank Hornstein, left, and Rhea Sullivan and State Senator Scott Dibble, right
Fulton Zoning Committee: Phil Rader, Dan Sweeney, Paul Bardal, Camille Benoit, Gregg Sougstad, (State Representative Frank Hornstein), Ellen Berner, (State Senator Scott Dibble and Rhea Sullivan)