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The St. Paul March 2010 Volume 44 Number 3

New business openings in WSP

Still Standing After All These Years…

Page 7

Even during times of prosperity, the first quarter of the year can be challenging for many businesses. Yet, many local companies continue offering goods and services through good times and bad. The Voice turned to some long-time area business owners to see how they are weathering the recession and find out what guides them toward continued success, and for their views on the local business climate. Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

Cash flow on the Mississippi Page 8 Plaza TV & Appliance ALL, Inc.

Langula Hardware

ALL, Inc. 185 Plato Blvd. W., St. Paul 651-227-6331 Owner: Mark Rutzick Years in business: 63

Business History “My brother and I started in 1988 on the sales side calling on apartment management companies and selling replacement appliances and fixtures,” said Mark Rutzick. “We started on Wabasha and Plato in the South Bridge Office Center with a tiny 800-square-foot showroom. We moved to our current location in 1993 and began to expand the

CBL Flooring showroom by taking over warehouse space. We eventually opened three showrooms outside the metro area. But three years ago, in response to the downturn in the housing market, the three showrooms were closed and consolidated into one huge destination showroom of 18,000 feet. It’s the largest in the Midwest. With our large showroom we can accommodate every countertop and appliance manufacturing line.” What accounts for your longevity in the kitchen and bath, appliance, cabinetry and countertop business? “We are as competitive as any box store or retailer.

Business Climate / Page 2

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Your community news and information source tomers with the highest level of service you won’t succeed. If our customers have an issue we will take care of it. Our mission is to have our customers tell 10 of their friends about us. One third of our customers are referrals.”

Business Climate / from page 1 I negotiate rates with the manufacturers. We also focus on a well-educated sales staff that travels around the country for training.” Why has St. Paul been such a good location for you? “We chose St. Paul because of our roots. Dad lived on the Flats and had a business right across the river from where ALL, Inc., is now located. We gravitated to this area, and bought the buildings one at a time. We are deeply entrenched and support St. Paul.” Have you ever experienced a business climate like the one we are in right now? “It’s a tremendously impossible economy. I’ve never seen anything as dramatic and hard-hitting as this. When things were booming five years ago, we were servicing half the developers in the metro area. The goal is

Plaza TV and Appliance 946 S. Robert St., West St. Paul 651-457-1196 Owners: Dave Motz, Tammey Nowacki and Scott Motz. Years in business: 57

Mark Rutzick, owner of All, Inc. on the West Side. to be here next year and for years to come. Last year, people just came in to look. Now they are finally starting to buy.” What steps do you take to adjust to forces that challenge your business? “We have to change with the times. We had a vision, and created an

atmosphere where customers can browse in our huge showroom. I watch people come in and they say, ‘Wow!’ It’s overwhelming. Designers are on staff to help customers plan kitchen and bath projects. We will gladly discuss creative ways to satisfy budgets and needs. We have 15

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1643 So. Robert St., West St. Paul, MN 55118 Phone: (651) 457-1177 sppc@stpaulpublishing.com www.stpaulpublishing.com The St. Paul Voice assumes no responsibility for the opinions expressed by contributors and for the validity of claims or items reported. Copyright St. Paul Voice 2009. All rights reserved in compliance of Federal Copyright Act of 1978.

Page 2 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

complete kitchens. Bridal showers have been held here with a personal chef. So have corporate training sessions where the kitchen is used for team building.” What is the most important aspect of your business? “You can spend millions on marketing but if you don’t treat your cus-

Business History “Our family-owned business began in 1953 when our father, Lambert, opened his first store in downtown St. Paul,” said Dave Motz. “He moved the business to 936 S. Robert St., where it was located for over 30 years. As the business grew he needed more room, so in 1994, a new store was built at our current location. Since then, we have opened

another location at 1918 Beam Ave. across from Maplewood Mall, and Lambert retired in 2001.” Why is West St. Paul such a good location? “Because it is a great community. We are heavily involved with the community, such as the West St. Paul Days Celebration.” Dave is also president of South Robert Street Business Association. What accounts for your longevity in the TV and appliance business? “We have very loyal customers. They know we can match prices with the big box stores, and that the big stores can’t even come close to matching our service. We offer same-day delivery and same-day repair on the TVs and appliances that we sell. Our company is still the only independently owned TV and appliance store in the Twin Cities area that repairs everything we sell.” Have you ever experienced a business climate

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Anyone can shop, everyone can join! Dave Motz and Tammey Nowacki, owners of Plaza TV & Appliance. like the one we are in right now? “We have been in business since 1972 and have never seen the economy in this situation. It does seem to be turning around and hopefully will keep going in the right direction.” What steps do you take to adjust to forces that challenge your

business? “We have become even more competitive with  our pricing. Our personnel are trained to be more knowledgeable with the new technology of today’s  products, to make sure that customers get the product that will do the right job for them. When customers are hap-

py they won’t hesitate to send in their friends. Repeat business is very big for us.” What is the most important aspect of your business? “The customer. Without their help we wouldn’t be here. That’s why we pride ourselves in customer service.”  

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Gary and Mary Langula pose beneath the portraits of Emil and Frida Langula, founders of Langula Hardware.

Langula Hardware Hank, Inc. 919 Robert Street South 651-457-8899 Owner: Gary Langula Years in business: 96

Business History Gary Langula’s grandfather started the business as a blacksmith shop in 1914. One side was for horses and the other for carriages. “I started working in 1950 when I was just five years old, sweeping the floor and cleaning the showcases,” said Langula. “Dad was

really a customer service kind of guy. I am more a mechanics kind of guy, just like Granddad.” Why has West St. Paul been such a good location for you? “Loyal customers, although I started seeing a shift in 2005 when Robert Street began filling up with big box home improvement stores.” What accounts for your longevity in the business? “Knowledge of the hardware and home improvement business. If you come in here we

make sure you leave with everything you need to get the job done so you don’t have to keep coming back. We also run a repair shop. We know engines and parts. Usually we have lawn mowers and snow blowers lined up for repair.” Have you ever experienced a business climate like the one we are in right now? “It’s very crummy. The 1980 recession didn’t bother us, but this one, Business Climate / Page 4

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Business Climate / from page 3 with one third of people in foreclosure — it’s bad.” How do you adjust to forces that challenge your business? “We are extending our business hours in the evening to adjust to the buying habits of our customers. We also added a hard-to-find t-shirt collection and fine-edged collectible swords, which are quite popular, to the store merchandise.”

Amanda Racine (left), Pat Elliott and Cindy Racine mark three generations of family service at Regina’s Fine Candies in West St. Paul. What is the most important aspect of your business? “Our friendly, professional staff. We like to say, ‘we are large enough to serve, small enough to care.’”

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Regina’s Fine Candies 1905 S. Robert St., West St. Paul 651-455-8864. Owner: Mark Elliott Years in business: 84

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Business History: “My grandfather started the candy company in 1926, and named it the ‘Central Candy Company,’” said spokesperson Cindy Racine. “It was a soda fountain and candy store, located in downtown St. Paul at Wabasha and Kellogg. He renamed it ‘Regina’ after Grandma, who was responsible for introducing creams and toffee and Truffés. In

the 1950s, our family was living in West St. Paul, so Dad moved the shop to the Southview Mall. We were the original tenants. That was 35 years ago. Our candy factory is located on St. Clair Avenue (in St. Paul), where we make over 400 varieties of candy that includes solid chocolate figurines, caramels, pecanettes, sweetcream fudge, sugar-free chocolates, and

Truffé. The highest quality chocolate coatings are used and each center is individually monogrammed. We give tours once a year.” Why is West St. Paul such a good location for your business? “We are at the mall, where people come for a variety of reasons. They see us and get to know our name.” What accounts for your longevity in the candy business? “Our quality has stayed the same over the years. We still use the original recipes and pure ingredients. The candy is cooked in small batches using the finest ingredients, such as fresh and frozen fruits, sweet cream butter, real whipping cream, and quality nutmeats. Tradition is important. We are into the third and fourth generation of customers. They look forward to continuing the tradition that they grew up with of receiving special Easter baskets and eggs, and at

Christmas special treats like our ribbon candy cane. We pride ourselves on customer service. We do a lot of special orders at our factory.” Have you ever experienced a business climate like the one we are in right now? “Our grandparents went through the Depression. That was a rough time with sugar rationing. I’ve always heard that candy and alcohol businesses will always get through a tough time.” What steps do you take to adjust to forces that challenge your business? “We did not raise prices, and we kept the same store hours.” What is the most important aspect of your business? “Putting out a quality product and customer service. Customers are why we are here. When our kids get behind the counter, I remind them to have ‘personality plus!’”

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Your community news and information source remodeling and making their home their castle.” What steps do you take to adjust to forces that challenge your business? “When changes occur, you have to act, you can’t sit and wait. We have done some grassroots marketing going doorto-door with promotional material. You look for business. We tweaked our in-store hours so we can go directly to our customers’ homes to get a feel for their interior colors and style. It helps us find the best fit for floor design. We offer free estimates and design sessions. The internet is what we use for marketing. The phone directory has gone away.” What is the most important aspect of your business? “The small ‘home town’ service that we offer our customers. They have a great shopping experience, with our ‘cozy boutique’ of a store. We

Frank and Diane Hanzal, owners of CBL Flooring.

CBL Flooring Creating Beautiful Living. 458 Robert St., St. Paul 651-292-1011 Owners: Diane and Frank Hanzal Years in business: 31

Business History “We started out in 1979 as ‘Carpets by Lindsey,’” said Diane Hanzal. “The business was bought from a man with the last name of Lindsey, and we kept the name since the business had been around for awhile. Starting out, we only worked in carpets, but as our business grew, we expanded into wood flooring, vinyl and laminates. Just seven years ago we changed the named to ‘CBL,’ short for ‘Creating Beautiful Living.’ Our son, who is 28, works with Frank, his Dad, on commercial customers, such as schools, restaurants and health care facilities. I work with residential customers.” Why has the West Side been such a good location for you? “Loyal customers!” What accounts for your longevity in the flooring business? “With 30 years of service, we have built a customer referral base of 7,500. Four times a year, we send out a newsletter describing new design trends and store sales. We have a great little referral program where a free dinner is our thanks to our customers for recomC

mending us. As an independent flooring retailer, we are able to scrutinize manufacturers and distributors to select specific products based on fashion, design, durability, quality and cost. We are fortunate and very blessed, since there is a lot of competition.”

Have you ever experienced a business climate like the one we are in right now? “Back in the ’80s we had a pretty big crunch. This time, the home building business is really being hit, so we are working more with residential customers who are

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P eople

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New CEO takes charge at West Side Community Health Services - La Clinica Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

M

innesota’s largest community health service organization has a new CEO. Dr. Jason Fournier became chief executive officer of the West Side Community Health Services in December, succeeding interim executive director, Dr. Terril Hart. The health service, also known as La Clinica, is a federally designated community health center serving more than 35,000 patients annually at 18 St. Paul locations, including neighborhood clinics, public housing sites, homeless shelters and public high schools. Fournier brings a wealth of experience that meshes neatly with the unique needs of the health service. Previously, he served the Ingham County Health Depart-

ment in Lansing, Mich., where, since 2004, he was deputy health officer responsible for the community health center network within its correctional health unit and supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC). “The West Side is very similar to Ingham County, which has a robust community health program with seven locations in the greater Lansing area,” said Fournier. “It’s not quite as large as the West Side, serving just 25,000 people….There is a very diverse population in Lansing as well. It was one of two screening sites for refugees in Michigan. The other was in Grand Rapids.” The Latino population represents a large portion of patients using the West Side health service, which

Page 6 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

is multilingual (English/ Spanish/Hmong), and provides culturally sensitive primary medical and dental care and social services, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Lansing had a significantly smaller population of Latinos. However, in Elgin, Ill., just outside of Chicago, where Fournier started his public health career as CEO of the Greater Elgin Family Care Center, most patients were Latino. “It was dumb luck that I found health center work in 2001,” he said. “I had gotten my master’s in public health, and a friend told me about the Elgin free clinic. It had been around since the mid-1980s. It was a burgeoning business that addressed the uninsured’s needs. It developed from a free clinic to a federally funded clinic. I learned a

lot through the practice.” Why public health service rather than private practice? “I wanted a way to contribute beyond direct interaction, or one–on– one,” said Fournier, who is a licensed chiropractor. “In public health, I contribute to literally thousands who are in some need of care. “It’s social justice,” he added. “I grew up in a single-parent family in Canada.” The health care system there, he explained, provided coverage for all, relieving his mother of worrying about what would happen if a family member were to become ill. Health care in Minnesota and around the nation has been a hot topic for some time. Fournier believes that for people to thrive, they must have access to health care. The populations served by public health centers often present challenges, such as language barriers, transportation needs, limited funds and cultural differences. “We must become linguistically and culturally sensitive with regard to nutrition and diet needs, and how we approach disease management,” said Fournier. “Locally here, we have pretty good support. In order to provide sensitive care to those in

Dr. Jason Fournier the community we need to do it from a grassroots level.” The West Side health center’s board is made up of 51 percent patients, who provide valuable input. Fournier believes there is a need for more providers reflective of populations served, as well as a shift toward prevention and primary care. For example, insurers are encouraging preventive care by providing cost reimbursement for health club membership. Fournier said he has seen a significant change in the health care delivery system over the past five years. “The emergence of limited resources pushes us into natural partnerships,” he said. “The more we do that, the better off we are as a community. We need a more coordinated system of care, especially with chronic disease. With new technology, we should be

able to exchange health information so timely, and good decisions will reduce redundant testing and result in cost savings.” The West Side service has room for more patients, and Fournier wants to reach out to the community and assist in being part of the solution to difficult health care problems. He believes that by partnering with hospitals, the county and the state, it can be done. Fournier decided to relocate to St. Paul for the quality of life, a chance for professional growth in a larger market, and the strong hockey program for his hockey-loving seven-year-old son, the eldest of three children. In the meantime, the veteran Ironman Triathlon competitor (swimming, biking and running) is looking forward to hitting the bike trails and running the community’s vast trail system.


B usiness

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Steve Gaertner, left, and Scott Golat at Computer Fixx in West St. Paul. Traci Sandstrom is passionate about customer service.

Budget Cellular and Tax Pros opens dual storefront Renée C.F. Miller Contributor

T

raci Sandstrom, owner of Budget Cellular and Tax Pros, has been preparing taxes for years. When she had problems with her cell phone plan, she was forced to become an expert in pre-paid cell phones, as well, she said. “People always ask me, ‘Why cell phones and taxes together?’ And my answer is that many of the same people who need the cost-effectiveness of a pre-paid cell phone also need a trustworthy person to do their taxes for less,” Sandstrom said. Budget Cellular and Tax Pros is now open in the Lafayette Square mall at 433 E. Mendota Rd., West St. Paul. The retail side offers pre-paid cellular phones, and the office side professional tax preparation. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” ex-

plained Sandstrom. She credits her years in the hospitality industry for bringing her passion for people and service to the forefront. “When I was planning my business, I thought about what the market needs, but also what I could offer the community.” Budget Cellular offers strictly pre-paid wireless phones, with plans from Boost, Page Plus and Virgin Mobile. Pre-paid cell phones offer much of the same technology as conventional cellular phones, but without long-term contracts. “I sell some of the newest, highest quality cell phones, but the prices are much lower,” said Sandstrom. “Pre-paid used to have a stigma, but now up-and-coming companies like Boost have made them much more popular. We offer talk, text and data plans at all price points, and if your needs

change, you can change your plan.” Tax Pros offers low-cost electronic filing of taxes. In addition to preparing taxes herself, Sandstrom relies on her small team of tax-preparers. “Everyone deserves a trustworthy, accurate person to do their taxes,” she said. “We can provide more personal service than the big guys.” Sandstrom has spent most of her adult life in the West St. Paul, South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights area, and when she looked for a place to open her new business, she knew West St. Paul would be a comfortable fit. “The area is established, and it has a strong sense of community and a small-town feel. This is where I want my business,” she said. For more information, call 651-455-6995.

Computer Fixx offers PC and laptop repair Renée C.F. Miller Contributor

A

s the owner of a building at Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, Steve Gaertner had space, visibility and a great idea. Now, he has combined the three to form Capitol City Computer Fixx, which he says is thriving. Gaertner thought of the idea while looking for a tenant for his building at 999 Smith Ave. “I’ve had to get my own computer fixed a few times in the last year and I know there is a real need for a small computer repair shop,” said Gaertner. “There are a few big companies out there, but generally, if your computer breaks, you’re stuck. You don’t have many alternatives.” Gaertner’s biggest task

was finding the right talent for his new enterprise, and happily he found Scott Golat, a former corporate computer network engineer, to do most of the repair work. “We do service calls with free pick-up and delivery of your PC, or you can bring your PC or laptop in for repair,” said Golat. “We do virus removal, hardware repair, hardware upgrades, software upgrades, optimizations, networking. We try to have as many flat-rate services as we can, and even when we have to quote prices for services, we are way below the cost of the other guys.” “We’ve been known to give free advice,” added Gaertner. “Our goal is to be a true neighborhood place. You can come in, have a cup of coffee and get your computer fixed

at a reasonable price. You don’t get that kind of service at other places, and that’s what sets us apart.” In addition to repairing home computers, Computer Fixx also works in small office settings, setting up computer networks and repairing computers. In the first few months of business, Computer Fixx has exceeded Gaertner’s expectations. Lively signs at their busy corner location have been helpful, as have customer referrals. In fact, they’ve already added an employee. “We look forward to building a rapport with people over time,” said Gaertner. “We’re here for the long haul.” For more information, call Capitol City Computer Fixx at 651-3790608.

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St. Paul Voice - March 2010 - Page 7


R iver Connections Cash flow on the Mississippi

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A look at the economic impact of the Mississippi River in St. Paul Tim Spitzack Editor

A

pleasure boater from Red Wing steers his vessel into a rental slip at the St. Paul Yacht Club. He and his friends will dock there for the night, while enjoying dinner and an evening on the town. Music lovers from across the metro area flock to Harriet Island each summer for the annual Taste of Minnesota and open up their pocketbooks to enjoy the food, drink and music at

the event. A school group from Eagan enjoys a river cruise with the Padelford Packet Boat Company and then visits the Science Museum. These are just some of the many ways the Mississippi River has a financial impact on the city of St. Paul. The Mississippi River is indeed an important economic resource for St. Paul and the surrounding metro area. In fact, it is arguably the most instrumental building block to the formation of the city itself, bringing in vast

numbers of people and trade during the mid- to late-1800s, causing St. Paul to grow rapidly from a fledging village to a city of significance. City fathers quickly realized the importance of the river and worked feverishly to establish St. Paul as the head of navigation on the river. In recent years, St. Paul city officials and boosters have used the river as a magnet to attract both tourists and commercial developers. The redevelopment of Harriet Island

Regional Park, which began in 1998, was an important first step. To date, nearly $2.2 million has been pumped into the park, which is home to such large events as the Taste of Minnesota and the Irish Fair of Minnesota, as well as the Padleford Packet Boat Company, which has served over one million visitors over the past 40 years. Padelford General Manager Gus Gaspardo said his company sees about 85,000 visitors annually for riverboat

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www.stpaulpublishing.com Page 8 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

The Padelford Packet Boat Company attracts 85,000 visitors annually for riverboat cruises. cruises, with another 13,000 visiting the Centennial Showboat, which his company manages for the University of Minnesota Theater Department. He said patrons to these venues often tell him that they couple their river experience with other area attractions, such as the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Minnesota Zoo or the Mall of America. After checking with a few organizations, such as the St. Paul Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Capitol City Partnership, it appears there are no formal studies that place a dollar figure on the financial impact of visitors to the Mississippi River locally. However, one can get an idea from a recent study conducted by the Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA), which sponsors the popular Cinco de Mayo celebration on the West Side. According to REDA Marketing Manager Brian Gioielli, attendees reported spending $32.35 at local businesses during the 2-day event, which annually attracts crowds of 100,000 people. That translates into an estimated $3 million impact. In addition, 90 percent said they planned to return to the community in the next 12 months. Similar figures were found by Mark and Monica Frazer of Hub’s Landing and Marina in Hastings. The couple did a study last year on

the economic impact of recreational boaters using the new public dock in Hastings. They determined if 10 percent of the boaters who use Pool 3 of the Mississippi and those that pass through Lock 2 spent $50 in Hastings, the city would see a $1.2 million impact. Brad Meyer of St. Paul Parks and Recreation said Harriet Island attracts up to a million visitors annually, which likely translates into a major infusion of cash into the local economy. Last year Harriet Island hosted nearly 500 events, ranging from weddings and reunions to the Taste of Minnesota, which attracts nearly 400,000 visitors annually, and the Irish Fair of Minnesota, which sees crowds of 100,000.

Commercial and residential developments

With improved green spaces and trails along the river, developers took notice. During the early 2000s, the riverfront saw significant commercial and residential development, including the Upper Landing housing development along Shepard Road and the U.S. Bank operations center on the West Side. According to the city of St. Paul’s 2015 report, future development is planned for the Ramsey County West properties on the bluff in downtown St. Paul, the Xcel Energy High Bridge site

continued on next page


R iver Connections

Your community news and information source

Library programs highlight Mississippi River The St. Paul Public Library will offer a variety of events to celebrate the Mississippi River in March. These free events will feature notable speakers, local photographers, experts on the Mississippi River, and a presentation by explorer Ann Bancroft. The Mississippi River Series begins at 2 p.m., Sun., Mar. 4, at Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St., with a presentation of photographic artist Chris Faust. Faust will share photographs taken along the Mississippi River and discuss the interaction between humans and the natural landscape. Faust has received numerous commissions for such projects as the Minnesota Historical Society’s Swenson Collection and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Minnesota 2000

Project. On Sat., Mar. 13, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Karen Campbell, education director at the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics at the University of Minnesota, will talk about the social and geologic history of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities area, particularly the retreat of St. Anthony Falls from St. Paul to Minneapolis. She will also share historic photos and information on modern river science. A presentation on national parks by Dan Dressler from the National Parks Service is offered 2 to 3 p.m., Sat., Mar. 13, at the James J. Hill Reference Library, 80 W. Fourth St. River Bird Life is presented 2 to 3 p.m., Sat., Mar. 20. Birding expert Sharon Stiteler (known

as the Birdchick) will discuss bird life on the Mississippi. She runs one of the highest rated birding blogs on the Internet, Birdchick.com, and has been in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on the NBC Nightly News. Her writing can be found in several publications, including Wild Bird Magazine, Outdoor News and Birding Business. Explorer Ann Bancroft will offer a presentation on her adventures at 7:30 p.m., Tues. Mar. 16, at the James J. Hill Reference Library, 80 W. Fourth St. On Sun., Mar. 21, from 2 to 3 p.m., Minnesota Historical Society acquisitions librarian Pat Coleman will give a presentation on the library’s diverse collection of books on the social his-

continued from page 8 and the West Side Flats. The city’s vision for the Ramsey County West property is construction of an office tower, convention hotel and housing development. The project is estimated at $200 million. The city also supports efforts by Xcel Energy to convert some of its former Xcel High Bridge Plant site into a park, and expects work to begin soon on the first phase of the $64 million plan to create a rental and mixed-use de-

velopment on the West Side Flats site, a 45-acre parcel along the river between Wabasha and Robert streets.

Work vs. Pleasure

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, both commercial and recreational boat traffic increased considerably on the Upper Mississippi River last year. Earlier this year the Corps reported that

commercial traffic in the St. Paul area increased about 29 percent, and recreational traffic about 16 percent. Shipping on the river was up dramatically this past year, as well. Dick Lambert, director of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Ports and Waterways, said tonnage through the Twin Cities increased 2.5 million tons in 2009 over 2008, with the biggest increase coming in grain.

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tory of the Mississippi. At 2 p.m., Sat., Mar. 27, Pat Nunnally, coordinator for the Institute on the Environment’s River Life program at the University of Minnesota, will give a talk about the Mississippi River’s past, present and future. He will lead program attendees in a conversation about our own stories of the river, pondering the question “What will be our 21st Century story of the Mississippi?” The Mississippi River Series concludes at 2 p.m., Sun., Mar. 28, with a program on the social and environmental history of the Mississippi River by John Anfinson, historian for the Mississippi National River and

Recreation Area and National Park Service. For those who want to explore the river, the Central Library will host

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S ample St. Paul Ordway Center for Performing Arts “August: Osage County” is presented Mar. 1621, at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Steppenwolf ’s “August: Osage County” is a new play that tells the story of the Westons, a large extended clan that comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead when the alcoholic patriarch disappears. Forced to confront unspoken truths and astonishing secrets, the family must also contend with Violet, a pill-popping, deeply unsettled woman who is at the center of the family storm. Tickets are $44$70. For more information, call the box office at 651-224-4222.

History Theatre “Hiding in the Open” is presented through Mar. 21, at the History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. For many years Sabina Zimering, a successful eye doctor in Minneapolis, held a secret close

to heart. Then she took a class at the Loft Literary Center and her amazing story of escape and survival became a truly compelling book. Sabina, a Polish Jew, came of age as Hitler and the Nazis rose to power. When Poland was invaded, Sabina and her sister survived the horrors of the Holocaust by disguising themselves as Catholics from Poland, while living in Germany. Along the way they had to rely on one another and their quick wits to keep them safe and sane as the world around them crumbled. Tickets are $25-$30 for adults, $22-$28 for seniors, $15 for students and $10 for children. For more information, call the box office at 651-292-4323.

Minnesota Children’s Museum “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” is presented through May 31 at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, 10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul. This exhibit will transport families

Page 10 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

Your community news and information source ning recording artists The Black Eyed Peas will perform at 7:30 p.m., Mon. Mar. 22. The group’s “The E.N.D. World Tour 2010” features special guest LMFAO. Tickets are $49.50-$81.50. International Irish music phenomenon Celtic Woman will present their “Songs from the Heart” tour at 7:30 p.m., Wed., Mar. 24. Tickets are $47$77. Grammy Award-winner Michael Bublé will perform at 8 p.m., Sun., Mar. 28. Tickets are $51.50-$91.50. The Xcel Center is located at 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. For more information, visit www. xcelenergycenter.com.

This scroll fragment from the book of Genesis will appear in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World, exhibit, which opens Mar. 12, at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This particular fragment will be part of the third set of five scrolls. This fragment depicts Genesis 48: 8-10, which describes the patriarch Jacob and his blessing of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

back to the Cretaceous Period (145 - 65 million years ago) to explore dinosaur habitats and better understand how these mysterious animals lived. “Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China” is presented through May 16. This exhibit is designed to en-

gage children and families in learning about one of the oldest civilizations – and now among the most modern in the world – through some of its young people. Tickets are $8.95. For more information, call 651-2256000.

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Pop-rock singer/songwriter John Mayer will perform at 8 p.m., Tues., Mar. 2. Mayer’s “Battle Studies Tour” features special guest Michael Franti & Spearhead. Tickets are $51-$71. Grammy Award-win-

Park Square Theatre “Painting Churches” is presented through Mar. 21 at Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. When Mags returns home to help her aging, eccentric parents pack up their Beacon Hill


S ample St. Paul house in Boston, she suddenly sees them in a new light. This play explores family ties and is filled with moments of bravado, mischief and intimate memories. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is presented through May 7. In this extraordinary account of eight Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne Frank emerges from history as a lyrical and intensely gifted young woman. Be inspired by this timeless account of a girl whose imagination and hope would not be stifled by adversity. Tickets are $36-$40 for adults, $31-$35 for seniors and $15 for age 30 and under. For more details, call 651-291-7005.

Science Museum of Minnesota “Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World” – This exhibit, featured Mar. 12Oct. 24, offers a rare opportunity to witness

one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century—The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the earliest known Biblical writings. The 2,000-year-old, authentic text fragments are steeped in scientific, religious and cultural significance. Complementing the exhibit is “Arabia,” showing in the Omnitheater. This new film offers a look at Arabia’s culture, history and religion. Tickets are $28 for adults and $22 for children ages 4-12 and seniors age 60 and older, or $34 and $28 respectively with admission to the Omnitheater. Omnifest 2010, a giant screen film festival, is presented through Mar. 11, at the Omnitheater, located in the Science Museum, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. The featured films are “Africa’s Elephant Kingdom,” “Into the Deep,” “Van Gogh: Brush with Genius,” “The Greatest

Your community news and information source Places,” and “Ski to the Max.” Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for children. For more information, visit www.smm.org, or call 651-221-9444.

Minnesota History Center “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” is presented through July 4, at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. You know about Benjamin Franklin’s famous experiment with a kite, a key and some lightning, but did you also know about his rebellious youth? That he pioneered wind surfing and invented swim fins? That he helped found the nation’s first hospital, was an environmentalist and charted the Gulf Stream to assist in ocean travel? In many ways Benjamin Franklin is the founding father nobody knows – misunderstood because of the sheer breadth and diversity of his accom-

plishments. Discover the many ways Franklin has affected our world today in the new exhibit. “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom” - This exhibit features more than 6,000-square-feet of artifacts, interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II, and who went on to create the phenomenal postwar boom. The exhibition features first-person narratives in recorded interviews, images, film and audio. “MN 150”- Meet 150 people, places, events and things that have sparked significant change within Minnesota and beyond. History Center tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, and $5 for children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission

on Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or visit www.mnhs.org.

Lowry Theatre “Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad!” is presented through April 26 at the Lowry Theatre, 16 W. 5 th St., St. Paul. Comedy and drama collide in this romantic comedy about two lonely, single parents who meet and fall in love while watching their kids play hockey. Tickets are $14.50-$27.50 and can be ordered by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800982-2787. For more information, call the box office at 651-227-2464.

Free ballet program

St. Paul City Ballet is offering Ballet Tuesdays at noon, the second Tuesday of the month at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. This free program runs through April 13. The majority of Ballet Tues-

days will feature St. Paul City Ballet’s Company of dancers, who will perform and educate attendees on various aspects of ballet and preview upcoming performances. March performances will include excerpts from the company’s Sister City tour to Manzanillo, Mexico, as well as the company’s performance at the Ritz in March. For more information, call 651-292-3276, or visit www.landmarkcenter. org.

Artists’ Quarter

The Artists’ Quarter, located in the Historic Hamm Building at 7th Place and St. Peter in downtown St. Paul, offers live entertainment throughout the month, including jazz bands, poetry nights and the popular B-3 organ night, held at 9 p.m. every Tuesday. For more details, call 651-292-1359 or visit www.artistsquarter.com.

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N ews Briefs St. Paul parking enforcement

The St. Paul Police Department’s Parking Enforcement Unit receives many complaints each day about vehicles abandoned on city streets. Some citizens are not aware that there is a city ordinance prohibiting vehicles being parked on a street or alley for more than 48 hours. Vehicle owners who violate this ordinance are subject to a $33 parking citation. However, anyone can park up to 48 hours on the street, and it is not a violation to park in front of another person’s home. For more information on parking regulations, visit www.stpaul.gov; click government; then city charter & code; then search for parking.

Ordway receives Joyce grant

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts received a $50,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to commission

Your community news and information source African-American choreographer Uri Sands to create a new dance work inspired by the paintings of American-American artist Ernie Barnes. According to the foundation, Sands has performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey for five years, and with the North Carolina Dance Theatre. His recent choreographic commissions include VocalEssence, Penumbra Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Sands has several film and television credits and has taught dance extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship, was a recipient of the inaugural Princess Grace Award in choreography in 2005, and was selected as one of “25 to Watch” in 2005 by Dance Magazine. In 2004, Sands and his wife Toni, also a former Ailey dancer, founded the St. Paul‐based dance com-

pany, TU Dance. The premiere performance of this work will be likely be performed by TU Dance during Ordway’s 2010– 11 season.

Saint Paul Almanac invites submissions

The publisher of the Saint Paul Almanac invites novice and professional writers alike to participate in the publication’s fifth edition. The annual publication features essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, entertainment and cultural venues. Each writer whose work is accepted receives a stipend. Most selections are 650 words or fewer, with a small number being as long as 1,500 words. Submission deadline is Mar. 31. Multiple submissions are acceptable. Guidelines are available at www. saintpaulalmanac.com on the submissions page. Submissions are accepted by email at stories@saintpaulalmanac.com.

Serafimov Dental participates in Give Kids A Smile event

Dr. Lu Serafimov visited with Aaliya Hernandez during the American Dental Association’s seventh annual Give Kids A Smile program, hosted by Serafimov Dental Clinic in West St. Paul in early February. Eighteen children received free dental care at the clinic from 8 a.m.-noon, Feb. 5. The program is supported by clinic patients who donate a visit. Dental staff also volunteered their time and Jimmy John’s donated food. Give Kids A Smile activities nationwide highlight the ongoing challenges that low-income and disabled children face in accessing dental care. The overarching concept of the initiative is to unite the many charitable education, screening, prevention and treatment programs already in existence and have them offer as many services as possible on the same day.

Cherokee Park United Church invites you to a

Photo Exhibit and Film

Affirming Diversity Among Families The photo exhibit will be open at 4 p.m., Sat., Feb. 27. There will be a chili dinner, with a vegetarian option, at 5:30 p.m. The film will be shown at 6 p.m. and followed by discussion. No charge, but a free-will offering will be received. The art exhibit, meal and video are all open to the community. In Our Family is a museum-quality traveling photo-text exhibit about 20 families representing a breadth of diversity and family configurations, including adoptive and foster families, divorced and step-families, single parent households, multiracial families, families facing chronic illness and death, families living with mental and physical disabilities, lesbian and gay-parented families; interfaith families, multigenerational households, and immigrant families. This exhibit is designed for audiences of all ages, from early childhood to adults. In Our Family challenges stereotypes and

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N ews Briefs West Side Theater Project hosts story circles

The West Side Theater project is gearing up for another original production and is hosting two “story circles” in March to solicit stories from the community. Story circles are a chance for the playwrights to meet with people to hear their unique stories about life on the West Side. Information from these meetings will be used for the script of the play. Meetings will be held 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Tues., Mar. 16, at Neighborhood House, and 3-5 p.m., Tues., Mar. 23, at El Burrito. For more information, visit westsidetheaterproject@yahoo. com or call 651-2160060.

Lenten enchilada dinner

Our Lady of Guadalupe church, 401 Concord St., St. Paul, is hosting an enchilada dinner, 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Fridays through April 2. Cost is $9 for a large plate, $7

Your community news and information source for a small plate, or $15 a dozen. Take-out is available. For more information, call 651-228-0506.

Salad and soup luncheon

Holy Family Church, 1960 Lexington Ave., Mendota Heights, is hosting a salad and soup luncheon 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Wed., Mar. 24. The event features several specialty salads, soup, bread, beverages and dessert. Cost is $10. There will also be a silent auction. For more information and reservations, call 651-459-7283 or 457-4141.

Free Family Sundays

El Rio Vista Recreation Center, 179 E. Robie St., St. Paul, is hosting Free Family Sundays 12:303:30 p.m., during March. Activities include gymnasium games, crafts, board games, table games, ping pong, air hockey, Wii games, snacks and more. For more information, call 651-789-2500.

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Constance Currie scholarships and student aid assistance

Neighborhood House is seeking applications for its Constance Currie scholarships, which are awarded to people who are seeking first-time post-secondary education. Applicants must be current or former West Side residents, workers or volunteers, or actively involved with Neighborhood House. Awards range from $1,000 to $3,500. Application deadline is Mar. 12. For application information, visit www.neighb.org or contact Tiffany RiveraPrescott at 651-7892513.

WSP Days seeks royalty candidates

Organizers of the West St. Paul Days celebration are seeking candidates for the 2010 Royalty scholarship program. Contestants must be age 17 or older and live or work in West St. Paul or the surrounding suburbs. The

winning queen candidate will receive a $2,000 educational scholarship, and two princesses will each receive a $1,000 scholarship. There is also a Junior Miss and Little Miss West St. Paul contest. Candidates must attend School District 197 and be age 7-10 for Little Miss or age 11-15 for Junior Miss. Each winner will receive a $500 savings bond. Applications are due Mar. 13 and are available at Plaza TV & Appliance, 946 S. Robert St., West St. Paul, or at www.wsproyalty.com.

Free workplace English classes

South Suburban Adult Basic Education (ABE) offers Workplace English classes to adults ages 18 and older who want to enter the workforce and wish to improve their English language and job search skills. The classes are free and open to residents of ISD 197 school district. To enroll or receive more information, call 651-457-9441.

Community meeting calendar

• Optimist Club - The Optimist Club of West St. Paul meets 4:30-5:30 p.m., the first and third Thursday of the month, at the West St. Paul Armory, 1346 South Robert St. The meeting is open to the public. The Optimist Club sponsors youth activities in West St. Paul. For more information, call 651-457-0917. • Veterans’ meetings - The RiverviewWest St. Paul VFW Post 4462 hosts monthly meetings at 7 p.m., the first Wednesday of each month, at the West St. Paul Armory. For more information, call 651437-4481. American Legion Post 521 also hosts monthly meetings at the Armory. Meeting times are 7 p.m., the fourth Tuesday of each month. • Rotary Club - The West St. Paul/Mendota Heights Rotary Club hosts a weekly meeting at 7:30 a.m., Wednesdays, at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota

Road, West St. Paul. Each meeting features breakfast and a guest speaker. For more information, visit www.rotarywspmh. org. • Kiwanis Club - The Kiwanis Club of West St. Paul hosts a weekly meeting at noon, Tuesdays, at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota Road, West St. Paul. Each meeting features lunch and a guest speaker. • Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce - The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, which serves West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Eagan, Rosemount and Farmington, hosts a monthly meeting called “The Buzz,” at 7:30 a.m., the first Thursday of each month, at the Northern Dakota County Service Center in West St. Paul. Each meeting features networking, a guest speaker and refreshments. For more information, call 651-452-9872 or visit www.dcrchamber.com.

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N ews Briefs Volunteer opportunities

Your community news and information source

• DARTS, a nonprofit organization in West St. Paul that serves families and individuals through transportation and inhome services, has several volunteer opportunities available. For more information, contact 651455-1560 or www.dart1. org. • Ramsey County Community Human Services has volunteer opportunities for people age 18 and older. For more information, contact 651-266-4090 or volunteerservices@ co.ramsey.mn.us. • Minnesota Literacy Council - Volunteers are needed to tutor adult learners, assist in an adult classroom and teach basic English and GED classes. For more information, contact Allison at 651645-2277, ext 219, or volunteer@themlc.org. • St. Paul Public Schools - Volunteers are needed to tutor elementary students in the St. Paul public schools in reading and math. Under the guidance of a classroom teacher, volunteers assist students one-on-one or in small

groups. For more information, contact Connie at 612-617-7807 or email cerickson@voamn. org. Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota.

Household hazardous waste collection

Ramsey County’s household hazardous waste collection site at Bay West is open yearround. The site, located near the State Capitol at 5 Empire Drive in St. Paul, is open 11 a.m.6 p.m. Fridays, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays in March. Drop-off is free for residents of Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, Hennepin, Anoka and Carver counties. Please bring a photo I.D. If you drop off an old mercury thermometer, you can receive a new digital thermometer for free. You can also receive a free, reusable 2.5-gallon container to hold used motor oil.

Items accepted include, is presenting the dramatbut are not limited to, ic Easter musical “For aerosol cans (no empty Such A One as This” at cans), paint (no empty 7 p.m., Fri., Mar. 26 and or dry cans), antifreeze, 27. This musical presenpaint stripper and thin- tation shows the events ner, batteries, fluorescent of the passion of Christ lights, used motor oil as seen through the eyes and oil filters, gasoline, of some of the disciples, kerosene, weed killer, Mary Magdalene, Mary, weed and feed, products the mother of Jesus, Ponwith mercury, such as tius Pilate and Simon of thermometers, and wood Cyrene. Riverview Bappreservatives. Appliances tist Church is located and electronics are not at 14 Moreland Ave. E., accepted. For more infor- West St. Paul. Call 651mation, call the Ramsey 457-3831 for more inforCounty Recycling & mation. Disposal Hotline at 651633-EASY (3279) or visit Friendly Hills www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ student wins ph (click on Home & spelling bee Yard and then HHW InNathan Thirsten, a formation & Collection Friendly Hills Middle Garnerten Inc. ahora busca guardascorrectly Sites). Schoolastudent, de seguridad para trabajar en inoculate la Fiesta to win spelled de Cinco de Mayo en San Pablo 7 de Letter to the Editor the ISD 197el & West St. mayo y el 8 de mayo de 2010. The American Legion Paul Spelling Bee, held Challenger Post o 521at Henry Sibley Los hombres las mujeres bilingües conHigh Westexperiencia St. Paul and Men- son School in late aJanuary. anterior favorecidos dotaaplicar. HeightsPor is extending Brandon Krisko, also a favor contacto Ray Granero its thanks to all the merFriendly Hills student, en 800-991-4607 o garnerten@aol.com chants and businesses in was named runner-up para recibir una aplicación. this area for the gifts do- after correctly spellnated to our recent Me- ing beige. Thirty-two morial Dinner. students from Heritage John M. Ertel Middle School, St. Croix Commander Lutheran Middle School, St. Joseph’s School, and Friendly Hills Middle Easter musical Riverview Baptist School competed in the Church in West St. Paul event, which was spon-

sored by the Optimist Club of West St. Paul. As winner, Nathan received a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, a medal and the opportunity to compete at the Minnesota Seven County Metro Area Spelling Bee, held Mar. 13 at the Minnesota History Center. The winner of that contest will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Krisko received a medal, the book “How to Spell Like a Champ” and an “Akeelah and the Bee” DVD.

Guardas de Seguridad

The Optimist Club of West St. Paul coordinates several youth programs. In March, it will hold its first oratorical contest for local students.

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WSP housing a tough sell during tough times Bill Knight Contributor

West St. Paul City Council member Ed Iago said the impact of the depressed economy on the local housing market has been substantial, but that the city is continuing to explore options to promote safe neighborhoods. Over the last 18 months, the city has spent just over $500,000 to buy nine houses that were either non-inhabitable, a substantial blight to the area or had been foreclosed on by the lender. “I don’t think the city has seen in its entire history the number of foreclosures in a short period of time as it has over the last three years,” said Iago. “What we are looking at is the condition of the property and whether there is a health hazard or a home in disrepair and blighting in the neighborhood.” In addition to his duties on the council, Iago is president of the city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), which is made up of the city council members. The EDA works on the redevelopment of older and deteriorating properties. In almost every situation these nine homes were not in a livable condition, had some damage or were in violation of multiple city codes. In such instances, the city typically buys the property, demolishes the home and then tries to sell the land.

“The primary reason we do this is to remove a blighted home from the neighborhood,” said Iago. “If left in an ‘as is’ condition, it could drag down the value of other homes.” Finding buyers has proven to be difficult, though. Some of these homes are on smaller lots, which may require a variance for redevelopment, so the city has contacted neighbors to see if they will buy the property as a way to enhance their own lots. That move produced just one sale. “All of these lots are on the north end of the city, and we’re hoping neighbors will develop an interest in them, or a builder will come along and...put a house in there,” said Iago. The city is also concerned about the impact these homes have on prospective businesses considering locating in West St. Paul. “If they see blighted houses and property in disrepair, well, that sends a message,” said Iago. “So from a future business development standpoint, we’ve got to keep control on these things.” Iago said West St. Paul, like other communities, is facing a problem of having more problem residences and properties than they can buy. “We have to be careful where we spend the EDA dollars,” he said. “We’re going to reach a point where we will have to say ‘Which of these blighted homes is causing the worst problem for our community?’”

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St. Paul Voice - March 2010 - Page 15


C ommunity

Your community news and information source

It is time again for the March Food Campaign. Neighborhood House is joining 260 organizations across Minnesota to raise 12 million pounds of food and money for the state’s food shelves. Why 12 million pounds and dollars? Because food shelves across the state are experiencing a 25 percent increase in visits, with an unprecedented number of first-time visitors. Thanks to the support of our West Side neighbors, the Neighborhood House Food Shelf has for many years been in the top ten statewide in the amount of food raised. Our goal for 2010 is 160,000 pounds and dollars. That is over one-quarter of the amount of

Smith Avenue Task Force takes shape Brian Gioielli, REDA marketing manger

It’s an electrifying time along Smith Avenue on the West Side. The cities of St. Paul and West St. Paul, Neighborhood Development Alliance, West Side Citizens Organization and the Riverview Economic Development Association have partnered to organize a task force to create a small area plan and supporting documents for the Smith Avenue corridor. The new plan will update the 1984 Smith Avenue Task Force Report. The goal is for both St. Paul and West St. Paul

Carlos Garcia-Velasco Community Organizer

WSCO is in the process of strategic planning for our next three-year cycle. With a generous grant from the St. Paul Foundation, WSCO staff are working with

Curves works to help women live healthier.

There’s never been a better time to join than during our Curves Food Drive. Our 30-minute circuit works every major muscle group so you can burn up to 500 calories. It’s good for everyone.

Join for $0 enrollment fee when you donate a bag of groceries. *Food or cash donation required to local food bank determined by club. Offer based on first visit enrollment, minimum 12 mo. c.d./e.f.t program. New members only. Not valid with any other offer. Valid only at participating locations 3/1/10-3/20/10. © 2010 Curves International, Inc.

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Page 16 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

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food we distribute in a year. All donations are welcome, but cash donations allow us to purchase more than four times as much food as you can buy at a store. Cash donations also allow us to balance our inventory to ensure that participants get a healthy variety of food. Getting involved is easy. Cmplete guides are available at www.neighb.org, with step-by-step instructions on how to raise money and food for the food shelf. Here are a few of the many ways you can help: • Send a check to Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul, MN 55107, Attention: Kalue Her. • Donate online at www.neighb.org. • Donate food at Neighborhood House. • Hold a food drive at work. It is a great way to build team morale and raise awareness of the hunger problem in the Twin Cities. • If you own or operate a business, offer your customers a discount if they donate food or cash to the Neighborhood House food shelf. These discounts are proven business generators. • Hold a party to raise money for the food shelf. • Shop at Kowalski’s on Grand Avenue 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mar. 13, 14, 26 and 27, buy some extra grocer-

ies, and give it to our wonderful volunteers collecting food at the store. For those of you unable to donate right now, and for those of you who are donating but want to become even more involved in the fight against hunger, many volunteer opportunities are available, including: • Stocking the food shelf. • Volunteering to collect and load food during the food drive at Kowalski’s on Grand Avenue, Mar. 13, 14, 26 and 27. • Picking up food at local grocery stores. • Picking up produce at the St. Paul Farmers market on Sundays during the summer. Call Adam Thompson at 651-789-2503 if you would like to volunteer or have questions about volunteering. Finally, if your family is struggling to put food on the table and pay everyday expenses, we are here to help. Call our food shelf at 651-789-3630 to make an appointment. My thanks to all who will donate and volunteer during our March campaign. The need is greater than ever but I know we are up to the challenge!

to adopt the plan once it is finished. REDA is proud to be a part of this historic process. A special congratulations goes out to the recently appointed members to the task force. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month, and meetings are open to the public. In the coming months, the task force and its steering committee will offer information about community forums and open houses related to this project. Task force members are: Jennifer Billig, Nancy Breymeier, Rick Casper, Tim Faricy, Heidi Gesell, William Hanson, Ed Hauck, Steve Komula, Glen Lucken, Linda Olsen, Ken Paulman, Nick Raleigh, Linda Ruggles, Pat Stevens, Becky Sturm, Mark Tessmer and Karen Zumach. Even in its early stages there are many notable developments in this exciting process. Thus far we have completed a Smith Avenue Advisory Report with the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. This report assesses the current condition

of the Smith Avenue corridor, envisions its future, and makes recommendations that will help the task force create a revitalization plan. Copies of the report are available at the REDA office. We are also working with a CURA program intern from Macalester College to research the history of Smith Avenue, in relation to transit, housing and business trends along the corridor from Dodd Road to the High Bridge over the last 50 years. Lastly, we are working with University of Minnesota graduate volunteer consultants on a market research study of the corridor. The findings will be presented to the task force in March. We will be looking for greater community feedback during this process. Watch for more information on meetings, community forums and open houses at www.districtdelsol.com. The Smith Avenue Task Force has exciting work to come and we look forward to updating you on our accomplishments in 2010.

Pamela Zeller, a nonprofit management consultant, and WSCO leaders and board members are working with Lynn Moline, a consultant and trainer who helps leaders improve an organization’s strategic position and achieve results through effective leadership, communication, strategic planning, and alignment of resources and processes. WSCO looks forward to completing this process and continuing to work toward empowering our residents to participate in and advocate for solutions to West Side community issues. WSCO’s resident-led committees will continue this important work through strategic planning.

Monica Carbajal, community organizer and environmental justice staff member, at the WSCO office or visit www.wsco.org. The Environmental Justice committee meets at 7 p.m., the second Thursday of the month at Riverview Public Library. West Side residents are welcome to attend and participate. WSCO’s Riverfront & Development (R&D) committee continues to review the work of the District del Sol zoning study. A public hearing is set for Mar. 26. Between now and Mar. 26, community groups and individual property owners may weigh-in on recommendations in the study. To view a copy of the plan, visit www.stpaul.gov/documentView.aspx?DID=11336. The R&D committee would also like West Side residents to know that the Green Stairs project is currently ineligible for funding due to noncompliance with ADA policies. A possible exemption is under consideration. How well do you know the West Side? WSCO challenges all West Side residents to identify various landmarks around our neighborhood and enter our contest. Visit www.wsco.org to view this month’s “Where on the West Side” photo and contest details. Winners will be announced on the WSCO website. Sign up on our mailing list now and submit your answer today.

Committee updates

Did you know that each resident of the Twin Cities creates nearly seven pounds of garbage every day? WSCO’s Environment committee is launching a  waste reduction and bulk purchasing education campaign, in partnership with Eureka Recycling and The  Solid Waste  Management Board. After a wellattended workshop in January, WSCO understands the importance of educating our residents on the importance of waste reduction. The Environmental Justice committee looks forward to organizing more educational workshops on this issue around the West Side. For dates, times and more information, contact


N ews Briefs Student notes

Alexandra Boyd, Sarah Milnar and Michael Roscher of Mendota Heights were named to the dean’s list at Marquette University. Andrew Mullan of Mendota Heights was named to the honors list at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The following students were named to the honors list at Minnesota State-Mankato: Gregory Bauman, Hannah McMenimen and Katie McMenimen of Mendota Heights, Mai Youa Lee, Brianne Semo and Bryan Weinhagen of the West Side, Michael Cain, Laura Leritz, Robert Petrasek, Adam Zapata and Gregory Rosno of West St. Paul. The following students were named to the dean’s

With one look at the maps covering the dining room table, I immediately begin imagining what my next adventure will be like. There is that beautiful campsite with a spot for a tent nestled in a grove of pines, a campfire grill strategically located for a panoramic view of the lake, a flat rock outcropping from which one can fish or take a dip. One imagines turning a corner into a bay and finding a mother moose with her calf, or a bull moose with its huge rack. Sunsets and sunrises both come to mind with their shimmering beauty, glistening on the lake. Mist rises in the morning and fish jump just as one is putting out the campfire at night, giving hope for the next day’s catch. In Minnesota, January, February and March are all months that invite dreams about the future. November and December keep us focused on holiday preparations and celebrations. But once one has turned the corner on the New Year, here

Your community news and information source list at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: Courtney Huberty and Jennifer Ross of Mendota Heights, and Samantha Howard and Thomas Werner of West St. Paul. Sarah Joswiak or Mendota Heights and Mallory Fox of West St. Paul were named to the dean’s list at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Brittany Larson of Mendota Heights and Christine Parenteau and Tiffany Bjorklund of West St. Paul graduated from St. Cloud State University. Wayne Danneker and Adam Casillas of Mendota Heights and Michelle Rosno of West St. Paul were named to the dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jacob Heller and Aaron McGown of Mendota

in Minnesota we have ample time to dream and imagine. The maps on our dining room table invite dreams about the Boundary Water Canoe Area. Other folks, no doubt, have their tables covered with magazines on gardening, brochures on summer vacation destinations, camps for their children, or any number of possibilities that the coming months might have in store. There is something both privileged and essential about imagining the future. A resource equation exists for much of this dreaming. It is difficult to imagine a future without some concrete sense that there is a place for you in that future. If one has never been camping, it is much harder to imagine what an experience in the Boundary Water Canoe Area might be like. If one lacks the financial resources, it is much harder to picture a summer vacation, or admittance to college, for that matter.

Heights were named to the dean’s list at Drake University. Jane Yackley and Rose Schwietz of Mendota Heights and Martha Enderby of West St. Paul were named to the dean’s list at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Janice Geis of Mendota Heights and Robert Ciborowski of West St. Paul were named to the dean’s list at Beloit College. Melissa Penner of West St. Paul was named to the dean’s list at Bemidji State University. Margaret Finnegan of Mendota Heights and Ashley Swanson and Michael Stone of West St. Paul graduated from the University of WisconsinStout (UWS). Emily Graf of Mendota Heights was named to the dean’s list at UWS. Yet, with or without financial resources everyone needs the capacity to imagine the future. We live in the present, but hope always lays its claim on tomorrow and what is to come. Fortunately, the historic traditions of faith are all borne out of the fully inclusive invitation to dream and imagine a better world. The dreams of faith are not limited by prior experience or how much money one has in one’s bank account. What’s more, dreams fully grounded in the historic traditions of faith always draw us toward a future giving reality to words like compassion, love and justice. Whether one is talking about health care reform, unemployment, education or life for the people of Haiti, no one gets left out of these dreams. It is, of course, tragic and heart-breaking when these large dreams of faith get reduced to an exclusive getaway for a select few, as is too often the case. Yet, there are always those who catch the vision, whose tables are covered by something more than maps, brochures or magazines of self-interest alone. It’s time to dream. What’s on your table?

Weinhagen named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Jeffrey Weinhagen, 17, was recently named Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities for his sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community. He is a member of the West Side Boys & Girls Club. According to the club, Weinhagen and his family have faced difficult times, including homelessness, yet he has remained positive and has never given up hope. He is an active member of the Keystone Club, a teen leadership group that focuses on service through community projects and learning, and is a junior at Cristo Rey High School, where he is active in student government, choir and soccer. He is also very involved in his church and volunteers more than 100 hours of

Jeffrey Weinhagen community service each year. Upon graduation, Weinhagen plans to attend Loyola University in Chicago to study sociology and pre-law, with a minor in Spanish. “Club is more than just an after-school activity for me,” said Weinhagen. “It is my second

home, a place that brings love, joy, happiness and comfort into my life. The staff are great role models and mentors to me. From them I have learned about leadership, life skills, teamwork and helping others.”

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H ome Improvement What consumers should know before remodeling I

Your community news and information source

mproving your home to better fit your needs will also increase the value of your investment – and for a lot less than the cost of a new home. Finding a qualified professional remodeling contractor is critical to your satisfaction with the project. This doesn’t have to be a difficult task, but it is important to take the time to find a qualified and ethical contractor to do the work.

Hiring contractors

• Check references in the community; local firms can be checked more easily. • Is the contractor licensed by the State of Minnesota, and are they bonded? Their letter-

head needs to include their license number. • Check with the local office of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of the certified contractors that are members. • Ask for verification of the contractor’s certifications of insurance. • If obtaining bids from several contractors, be certain that you provide the same information in a written document so that they are bidding on the same thing.

Planning

Think through the entire project from start to finish. Consider repairs needed, improvements desired and what your

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future needs might be. Professional remodeling contractors can help you in your planning by outlining options and discussing the improvements you can make within your budget.

Design & function

• Design and function should be foremost in your mind when adding a room or converting an existing room. Design/ build contractors are those who can provide both quality design and construction services within the same company. • Major remodeling requires construction drawings to define contracts and permits procurement. If your professional remodeler does not provide design services, you can use a professionally trained architect that

specializes in home remodeling.

The contract

• A well-written contract is essential. Carefully read the bid document or consult an attorney to be certain you understand the points being made about cost, materials used, warranties, your rights, start and end dates and terms of payment. • Various financing plans are available to homeowners. Among the most popular is the equity line of credit that bases the loan amount on the equity in your home. Consulting your mortgage holder before starting the remodeling process will help you determine your budget. • A professional remodeling contractor is familiar with available financing options and can help.

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Page 18 - St. Paul651.230.1272 Voice - March 2010

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H ome Improvement

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A pruning primer for beautiful lawns and gardens While some may think of gardening as getting down on your hands and knees, dirtying your hands in the soil and hopefully sprouting a nice batch of flowers or vegetables, any good gardener will tell you there’s plenty of additional work that goes into keeping your garden both beautiful and bountiful. For instance, take the pruning of your trees, bushes and shrubs. Many a garden is made even more aesthetically appealing by surrounding trees, bushes or shrubs, but only if they are well-pruned. Knowing when to prune is essential when trying to maintain a healthy and beautiful garden. To help you do just that, here’s a guideline you can follow that should keep your trees, shrubs and gardens looking as good as can be. • Rose bushes: Old shoots should be removed

by late winter or early spring at the very latest. Leave between four and eight canes but remove any that are growing inward. When cutting them down, try to cut them to about two feet above ground, and cut to an inch above a bud or strong shoot. • Deciduous trees: For deciduous trees, pruning for growth typically is unnecessary. If you’re looking to shape your trees, then do your pruning/shaping in mid- to late winter. • Deciduous shrubs: Once your shrubs have flowered (typically by mid- to late spring), that’s the best time for pruning. These shrubs may also have unruly or unsightly branches that should be removed. • Evergreen shrubs: Unlike deciduous shrubs, evergreens won’t flower. But you can prune once

they’ve produced cones, which typically happens between late winter and early spring. • Evergreen trees: More often than not, evergreen trees do not need to be pruned. If you do need to prune an evergreen tree, wait until the tree has grown substantially, or you’ll just end up pruning again. Late spring and early summer are typically good times to prune evergreens, as they likely won’t grow much afterward. • Fruit trees: You’ll want to prune fruit trees in late winter or early spring, before any buds start swelling. Branches growing inward and limbs growing straight up should be removed. • Berry bushes: Once you have finished harvesting the berries, prune the bushes. Often, waiting until late fall or early winter is necessary.

445 Broadway Ave., St. Paul Park

• Painting and Home Repairs • Inside and Exterior • Residential and Commercial • Handyman work Please call for a free estimate

We promise to be fair and upfront with our pricing

Al: 651-494-7071 • Luis: 651-494-7072

Adapt your home to fit your current wants and future needs Your home provides security in a neighborhood you know, with friends you trust. At a time when housing values are down, why not save the cost of selling your home and do updates for your enjoyment instead. • Bathroom Remodeling • Kitchen Updating • Lower Level Finishing • Retirement Accessibility

Contact: Kirk Dahlstrom

651-455-2245

kirk.dahlstrom@comcast.net Licensed and insured

Dahlstrom Construction

State Contractors Lic. 3508

St. Paul Voice - March 2010 - Page 19


Wilder Senior Dental Clinic

Smile! Award Winning

Dental Care

Mmmmmmm... I wonder... What should we name our NEW Humboldt? We want your input! Go to www.humboldt.spps.org and cast your vote.

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Convenient location at 516 Humboldt Full range of dental services Specialized care for seniors age 55+ Wheelchair accessible

Appointments: 651-280-2260 Partnership with the U of M School of Dentistry Competitive Pricing Medicaid, MN Care, Insurance, Private Pay

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2/16/2010 12:50:36 PM

Help The Youngest Children Learn To Read A Public Service Message to Mom:

Delivery of early reading skills is a Critical Gift. Without this gift, children are behind before they start kindergarten.

March 8, 4-5:30 p.m.

http://usavalues.therenegadenetworkmarketer.com/

Home and Smaller Businesses USE This with the Internet to Network for Prospects and Customers

Page 20 - St. Paul Voice - March 2010

Please visit to learn about our new financial programs helping families use Montessori education.

We partner with the county assistance programs. We partner with several churches, apartments, and businesses with permanent marketing level discounts.

http://www.usavalues-character.com/sponsors.shtml

http://www.usavalues-character.com/contactform.shtml

Open house every second Monday of the month 4-5:30 p.m.

Infants (6 weeks to 15 months) Toddlers (16 to 32 months) Preschool and Kindergarten (33 months to 6 years) Latch Key (ages 6 to 8) before- and after-school School hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday

See our Post It Offers!

Sign-up for our twice a month coupon publishing

I’ll be ready to read before kindergarten!

Enroll Today!

Independent Personal Business Advisor

Are you an executive out of work and need a real opportunity? Are you a small business or service with an opportunity but no cash to pursue it? Are you interested in a professional level franchise or hybrid employment/ownership? Call me and I will help you initiate an opportunity that fits you.

Preschool & Child Care www.peacefulheightsmontessori.com

Open house

Deliver Early Reading Skills RINGING ADVANTAGES

Thomas D. Wolfgram 7879 Somerset Ct Woodbury, MN. 55125 651-735-3018 Tdwpba-hr@qwestoffice.net

Peaceful Heights Montessori

Consumers and Business Make your contacts and follow-up DISTINCTIVELY PERSONAL with cards and the mail

Call today for information! 651-451-1498 375 Marie Ave. E. West St. Paul (easy access from Hwys. 52, 110, 35E, 494)

SPV Mar 10  

Page 10 Page 8 Page 7 Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer ALL, Inc. 185 Plato Blvd. W., St. Paul 651-227-6331 Owner: Mark Rutzick Years in bus...

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