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Sabri bars council member from several properties

Selections from the MPLS. blog, the source for Minneapolis news at

Article by: STEVE

Updated: September 25, 2012 - 4:27 PM

If there's ever been a Minneapolis City Council member legally barred from entering a property, Council Member Robert Lilligren has heard nothing about it.

But that's just the restriction that developer Basim Sabri placed on Lilligren several months ago.

The Sixth Ward solon was served with an order that bans him from several Sabri properties in south Minneapolis under a city ordinance that allows a property owner to bar a person from a property for up to a year.

The use of a city tool against an elected officer appears to mark a new chapter in the enmity that Sabri has displayed toward Lilligren.

The developer has run afoul of city inspectors before, and he blames Lilligren for sending inspectors to harass tenants of his immigrant-oriented marketplaces. Not only was Lilligren barred, but so was his aide, Nimco Ahmed.

The matter came to light when we checked to see if relations between the two had improved at all in recent months. Sabri's response was classic Sabri. The Palestinian immigrant, who has said he bears the scar of an Israeli rubber-coated bullet on his stomach, said he's more likely willing to sit down and talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than with Lilligren.

Sabri, of course, was sent to prison for bribing former Council Member Brian Herron. Lilligren said that Ahmed had a tire slashed shortly after she was banned and went to a Sabri mall on city business.

Community event grows

Harvest Fest, a family friendly community event for the past three years at the corner of Penn and Lowry avenues, is taking a quantum leap this year, thanks to Open Streets Mpls.

The event Saturday will stretch for 23 blocks along Lowry, from Upton Avenue to N. 4th St., and that entire length of Lowry will be open for biking or pedestrian activities. The Saturday event lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ask the experts

Now here's a novel idea -- let's ask teachers about education.

That's the lesson plan for Oct. 4 at the latest community forum on education hosted by six Minneapolis civic and educational organizations. It comes as just about everybody seems to be offering prescriptions for changing how schools are run and teachers teach.

Teachers are expected to discuss topics ranging from teacher evaluation to testing. They include: Crystal Ballard, Olson Middle School teacher of college readiness skills; Jim Barnhill, a South High School special education teacher, member of the board of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and of several district groups on evaluations; Susan Bell, a retired elementary-middle grade teacher for 38 years in Minneapolis and St. Paul and now test coordinator at Hmong International Academy; Paul Hegre, a teacher working at the district office on evaluation after 23 years at Seward Montessori School and Na-Way-Ee Center School; and James Kindle, a union steward and English Language Learner teacher at Anne Sullivan Communication Center.

The forum is scheduled for 7:30-9 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Av. S.

A subsequent forum to quiz school board candidates is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 25 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Jefferson Community School, 1200 W. 26th St.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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