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The St. Paul December 2013 Volume 47 Number 12

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Local magician overcomes obstacles to entertain, inspire

Owls to replace Hawks at former Humboldt Junior High School Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


The “Amazing Jeffo” (a.k.a. Jeff Smith)

Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


bracadabra…presto-chango. From card tricks to vanishing eggs, to a wild and wacky lie detector helmet, the “Amazing Jeffo” (a.k.a. Jeff Smith, a Henry Sibley High School graduate) has been wowing audiences with his entertaining and unforgettable magic shows for nearly 20 years. That would be considered a great success for any magician, but Jeffo is no ordinary magician. His mystifying magic tricks combined with a light-hearted comedy routine are truly amazing because the wisecracking, sleight-of-hand performer can’t see. “Now you see it, now I don’t,” he quips, making light of his blindness. Only a handful of blind magicians perform in the United Sates, and Smith believes he is the only one with multiple disabilities. Not only is he blind, he also has rheumatoid arthritis, a severe gastrointestinal

Amazing Jeffo / Page 8

ext fall, the former Humboldt Junior High School building will once again be filled with students, but they will be Owls not Hawks. St. Paul Independent School District (ISD) 625 is relocating Open World Learning Community (OWL), a grade 6-12 magnet school, to that space. It’s a move that pleases some and disappoints others, as the District did not include the West Side community or OWL parents in the decision. OWL has made significant gains in student population over the last year and a half, growing from 200 students to 305. It is projected to grow to 400 students, which is more than its current space at 65 Kellogg Blvd. E. in downtown St. Paul can handle. It currently shares space with Creative Arts Magnet. After weighing all options, including leasing another building, constructing a new school, or moving Creative Arts, the District chose

Humboldt High School Principal Mike Sodomka listens to comments about OWL’s relocation at a October 29 community meeting. to relocate OWL to the vacant Humboldt space. The school board approved the move on October 15 and has allocated $4 million to refurbish the building with updated science labs, furniture and a theater department. One reason the District chose Humboldt Junior

High is because it has been mostly vacant and under utilized for five years. It has the capacity to hold more than 500 students and has a layout that will meet the needs of OWL’s grades 6-12 student population. Some parents of OWL students were angered by the news. This will be the

school’s third move in four years. “Why not move Creative Arts?” was a question raised by some parents at a community meeting in late October. Neither parents nor teachers relish going

OWL relocation / Page 2

City budget meetings set for December Mendota Heights: Dec. 3 | St. Paul: Dec. 4 | West St. Paul: Dec. 16 Mary Diedrick Hansen changed from 2013. Of proposed 2014 levy for the St. Paul Staff Writer


ver the past several weeks city finance leaders have been crunching numbers for their proposed 2014 budgets. Here is an overview of each budget that will be discussed at city council meetings in December.

Meeting: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the City Council Chambers at 300 City Hall, 15 Kellogg Blvd., W. Property owners in St. Paul will see no increase in their city property taxes in 2014. The proposed property tax levy is about $101 million, which is un-

that amount, $71.3 million will be used for the City’s General Fund, $11.9 million for debt service and $16.1 million for the City’s 14 public libraries. The City also levies taxes on behalf of the St. Paul Port Authority for construction projects like the Lafayette and Cayuga bridge projects. The

Port Authority is $1.8 million. In August, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman presented his 2014 budget to the City Council. The $510 million budget is $2.3 million higher than last year, with a big portion of that increase being directed toward police, fire

and emergency medical services. The proposed budget will increase the General Fund—which covers employee wages and benefits, police and fire, parks and recreation, and general government operations—by $8.4 million, or 3.8 percent relative to 2013. The increase will be covered by a $10 million jump in Lo-

cal Government Aid (LGA) from the State. In 2012 the City received $50 million in LGA; in 2013 it received $60 million. The City gets 21.6 percent of its funding through property taxes, 30 percent from fees and services, 16 percent from intergovernCity budgets / Page 5

E ducation OWL relocation

Your community news and information source

Decision sparks resentment

from page 1

West Siders on hand included Gilbert de le O, Jose Santos and Larry LuWhile the school reaps cio, who were blunt about accolades, the District has their views on the way the been put in the hot seat district handled the affair, for not involving parents as were others in the room. or West Siders in their re- Comments included “Not location discussions. On respectful of the West Side” October 29, the West Side and “A continuation of past Community Organization neglect.” (WSCO) and “West Siders Mark Scott, a parent for Strong Schools,” a group representative from OWL, of local parents and neigh- said, “We know the pain of bors who meet monthly to not being heard. We’ve been discuss and work on ways to pushed out without being support their neighborhood asked. We don’t want this CUSTOMER: BOCA CHICA schools, hosted a meeting (Humboldt) to be another to discuss the decision.REP A ID: pit stop.” STVK group of 30 gathered in the DESIGNER Humboldt Potteda and OWL Humboldt High library. will be side-by-side but will About 10 of the 30 includ- have separate doors, and ed administrative staff from once OWL students transthe district, including Assis- fer to the new location they tant Superintendent Steve will not mingle with HumUnowsky and school board boldt Secondary students in members. grades 7-12, except possibly for extra-curricular activi-

through the moving process and adjustment period yet another time. “It takes at least a year to get settled in at a new location,” said OWL’s Assistant Principal Dave Gundale. The District said Creative Arts must stay put because it’s a performing arts school and needs to be near downtown arts, dancing and music venues, which it uses daily as an extension of the classroom. Creative Arts is the middle school and senior high school pathway for four elementary schools, and therefore requires room for around 650 students.

OWL’s success Regardless of the changes in venue, OWL has

achieved great success. The demand for OWL enrollment began about five years ago when the school implemented an Expeditionary Learning curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, environment and math (STEM). The school also has a focus on the Mississippi River, where students conduct experimental field work. Minnesota’s 2013 Teacher of the Year, Megan Hall, is a science teacher at OWL. In addition, OWL earned a silver medal in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best High Schools, the only school in the St. Paul public school distrcit to receive a medal in the ranking.

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ties and parent conference nights. “There may also be opportunities for combined professional development, joint staff meetings, and other joint activities,” said Turner. “We look to the communities for direction and ideas.”

Humboldt still ‘community school’ Currently, 25 students from the West Side are enPROOF TIME 5/15/2013 4:18:35 PM rolled at OWL. Since it is LAST 05/16/13 district not RUN: a designated SIZE: community3.72X5.75 school, West Side parents will not receive preference to enroll their children there. They will have to enter a lottery, which disappointed parents from the “West Siders for Strong Schools” group. Humboldt Secondary is

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the community school for the West Side, as well as the Environmental Magnet School for the district. Under the District’s “Strong Schools, Strong Communities” design, West Siders get preference to their appointed community school, which is Humboldt. Currently 60 percent of Humboldt’s 1,180 students are from outside the West Side. Just 27 percent of potential West Side students are enrolled in Humboldt. The District said that even if all students on the ST-13797923 West Side decided to attend Humboldt they would still have enough space in their high school to handle them. The school is designed for 1,235 students. Its turnover is currently 13 percent, an improvement from 2008 when it was 25 percent. The student demographics for both schools are similar. OWL: English Language Learners - 14 percent; Special Education - 20 percent; free and reduced hot lunch - 70 percent. Humboldt: English Language Learners - 14 percent; Special Education - 20 percent; free and reduced hot lunch - 90 percent.

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1643 So. Robert St., West St. Paul, MN 55118 Phone: (651) 457-1177 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 2012. All rights reserved in compliance of Federal Copyright Act of 1978.

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F aith Congregations unite

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Crown of Life merges with Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


rown of Life Lutheran Church in West St. Paul is no stranger to church mergers. In fact, that is how the congregation was formed nearly ten years ago. In 2004, two of St. Paul’s oldest churches— the West Side’s Emmanuel Lutheran Church, built in 1867, and Trinity Lutheran, built in 1870—merged to form Crown of Life, and eventually built a church next to Emanuel’s pre-Keighth grade school at 115 Crusader Ave. W., West St. Paul. Now, Crown of Life has taken Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of Eagan under its wings. Beautiful Savior changed its name to Crown of Life, but both churches will stay put. The combined congregation of about 1,000 will operate as two campuses—the West St. Paul campus and Eagan Campus, 4150 Pilot Knob Rd.—but will share financial and human resources.

Pastor Mark Kom is the head pastor of Crown of Life, which is in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The church body at Beautiful Savior had been slowly dwindling over the past 10 years. The quaint little church can hold only 125, but membership was down to 40 and the congregation did not have the revenue to keep the church doors open. Their pastor had retired and vacancy pastors were filling in, one of whom was Pastor Kom. They started making plans to shut it down, with the intention of selling everything and donating the money to the WELS mission fund. That’s when the synod president stepped in and suggested they follow a plan similar to a church in Texas that was operating as two campuses. Kom remained in the circle of communication and started building consensus on both campuses to unite. It took about a year and a half to work out the legalities and logistics, which in-

cluded hiring a new pastor for the Eagan campus. Pastor Zachary Pudlo arrived in early summer, fresh from the seminary, to take over as the primary pastor there. “His first 40 hours of the week are focused on Eagan, Eagan, Eagan,” said Kom. “He also works on evangelism in West St. Paul.” Pudlo stated, “We will build on the strength of the congregation. We have a very friendly bunch here. It will happen, just one person at a time. We will let the love we have for Jesus shine for our neighbors, co-workers, relatives and friends to see.” Pudlo wants to reach out to the community in early December by offering one afternoon of free babysitting for parents who need time to themselves for Christmas shopping. He also plans to host a soccer camp this summer at which the story of Jesus will be shared for 20 minutes each day. Saturday evening church services will be offered to adapt to the Eagan

community’s zest for sports, which in many cases has activities scheduled on Sunday mornings. Pudlo hopes to host four major events throughout the year in his outreach effort. Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church was constructed in the early ’80s, and built a major addition in 2000, including a large kitchen, preschool room and spacious fellowship hall, all handicap accessible. Twin City Local Food, an online year-round marketplace for locally grown and produced food, uses the fellowship hall as one of its metro area pick-up sites. “It’s a friendly neighborhood church, with the emphasis on friendly,” said Pudlo. West St. Paul campus Services: Sundays at 8 and 10:30 a.m.; Mondays at 6:30 p.m.; Praise Service, the second Sunday and Monday of the month; Bible class and Sunday School, Sundays at 9:15

Newly ordained Pastor Zachary Pudlo will be the primary pastor at the Eagan campus. a.m. Communion is served the first and third Sundays and Mondays each month. On Christmas Eve, elementary school children will sing at the 4 p.m. service. A candlelight service will take place at 10 p.m. The Christmas Day Service is at 9 a.m. Eagan campus - Services: Sundays at 9 a.m.; Bible

class at 10:30 a.m. Sundays; Communion the second and last Sunday of the month. Christmas Eve service is at 7 p.m. Christmas Day service will be held at the West St. Paul Campus at 9 a.m. For more information, call 651-451-3832 or visit

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C ommunity Events

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WSP gears up for 125th Anniversary celebration Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

Quick – who are the Founding Fathers of West St. Paul? You should find out because that piece of trivia could very likely be used in one of several events being bandied about in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary of the City’s founding. A “West St. Paul Amazing Race” is one of those events and a tidbit

such as that could make or break your chances of winning. Also under consideration are a Mud Run and an attempt for the City to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records with a water balloon fight. The most recent record, set this past September, involved 10,984 people and 238,174 balloons. That’s half the population of West St. Paul. Perhaps a game of leap frog, would be better. It

only requires 1,300 people. Clear your calendars for June 28, 2014 for a major one-day celebration that event planners hope will go down as the best bash in the City’s 125-year history. Pat Armon, West St. Paul City Council member, is taking the lead in organizing the festivities, most of which will be held at Harmon Park, 1028 Charlton St. The City wants to showcase the redevelopment of

the park, which is expected to be completed by the end of June. Kick-off for the event will take place June 27 with movies in the park, and much more the following day. “Kids’ dance bands, and a salsa band to honor the Hispanic population living in the City will be included in the line-up,” said Armon. “We will end with a local headliner band. We’re getting great ideas but the

success of this event will depend on volunteers. We will need an army of them. Also, fundraising will play a big part in how much can be done.” Armon said longtime residents will be asked to contribute historical trivia. Giant inflatables for kids and food trucks are also on the list for consideration. “The more volunteers the more events,” said Armon. “I am hoping people can

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help out with one event and then participate in another.” He said the anniversary celebration will not be included in West St. Paul Days for two reasons. City leaders want it to stand apart as its own unique day, plus Armon mentioned that the City’s Police Reserves are already stretched to the limit for West St. Paul Days. To get involved or receive more information, contact

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C ity Government City budgets from page 1

mental revenue or Local Government Aid, and the rest from other assessments and service fees. Included in the budget is $41.2 million for capital improvement projects. If approved, the West Side will see funds for improvements at El Rio Vista field and Parque Castillo’s play area. Downtown will get funds for Pedro Park land acquisition, the Lower Landing Dog Park and improvements to Kellogg Mall Park. The tax impact on an average home valued at $133,700 is $447.

West St. Paul Meeting: 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 16, in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Center, 1616 Humboldt Ave. Residents of West St. Paul can expect a slight increase in their property taxes with the proposed 2014 city budget of $19.8 million. The budget is up three percent over last year, and the proposed tax increase is nearly four percent over last year’s tax levy. What this means for homeowners in West St. Paul with an average home

Your community news and information source priced at $159,000 is that they will pay $911 to the City, or $76 per month. Sources of revenue besides property taxes include franchise fees, licenses and permits, charges for services, Local Government Aid, interest earnings, fines and forfeitures. In the proposed 2014 budget these revenue sources add up to $9.14 million, or 47 percent of the total budget costs. Finance Director Joan Carlson reports that as of October 31, the new Regional Athletic Center, or Sports Dome, is on track to meet its projected budget. The net amount left over after expenses is $12,912. The

2013 projected net amount is $27,550. Expenses were higher than expected at the dome during the first year of operation but so was revenue. Due to the rainy and snowy spring weather, high school baseball and track teams used the dome for practice and games.

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increase will be directed toward capital improvements in the City and for debt service payments for the bonds issued to finance street projects. The owner of a median valued home ($301,750) in Mendota Heights would pay approximately $1,090 a year for the city’s portion of their property taxes in 2014.

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S ports Warriors make a sensational post-season splash

Your community news and information source

John E. Ahlstrom Staff Writer


hen the Henry Sibley High School football team assembled for two-a-day practices in mid-August, the senior class especially was looking forward to a special season. Cole Lucken, who had sat out all of 2012 because of a concussion suffered during the 2011-12 hockey season, was thrilled to be back on the football field. “We had a great season when we were ninth graders,” recalled Lucken, who saw significant action on both sides of the ball for the Warriors. “We beat St. Thomas Academy (STA) 40-12 that year, and as a group we were looking forward to duplicating that sort of success.” The Warriors opened the 2013 campaign with an impressive 41-24 victory over North High School on August 28 at Mattson Field in West St. Paul. What momentum was gained by that victory was shortlived, however, as the squad

dove spread eagle into the teeth of a giant buzz saw. Over the course of the next three weeks, the Warriors were outscored 100-20 in consecutive losses to South St. Paul, St. Thomas and Tartan. Suddenly, the team was 1-3 and many observers feared a total relapse into a lost season. “Actually, the wake-up call came after the loss to St. Thomas,” said Kenneth Jinkins, who played in the Warrior secondary on defense and as a tailback on offense. “We didn’t feel we were beaten physically in that game. We just turned the ball over and made some dumb mental errors that we needed to correct.” Two-time All-Conference running back Anastacio VandenBosch-Romo agreed. “The seniors got together after the St. Thomas loss,” he said. “We decided that game was not going to be our last game against the ‘boys in blue.’ We wanted another shot at them in the playoffs.”

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The transition was not instantaneous. “We stumbled again the next week at Tartan,” said linebacker and tight end Jake Ihrke. “But we came back home and dominated Hill-Murray (31-8) in our homecoming game. There was suddenly a whole new attitude in our locker room and a belief that our season was far from over.” Quarterback Stacey Wood said practices suddenly became more spirited and intense. “There was a new confidence, and as a team we believed we could turn things around,” said Wood. Co-head Coach Tom Orth echoed those sentiments. “From the start of the season, we liked the pieces that were in place,” he said. “Even after those three losses, we kept telling the kids not to get discouraged, that success would come if we clean up some of our mistakes, avoid breakdowns and start winning the turnover battle. I never saw any quit in their approach.”

R o c k Ta p e

Photo by Michelle Wills

Henry Sibley Warriors hoist the Section 5AAAAA championship trophy. After the homecoming victory, the Warriors went on the road and forged consecutive, convincing victories over Classic Suburban Conference rivals Simley (34-14) and Richfield (426). After leading Robbinsdale Cooper 14-10 at halftime in the regular season finale, there came another hiccup as Cooper scored 16 unanswered points in the second half and won 26-14. “That loss probably cost

us a home game in the sectional playoffs,” said Wood, “but it did nothing to diminish our resolve or lower our expectations entering the post-season.” The #5-seeded Warriors traveled to Hastings to face the #4-seeded Raiders in the Section 5AAAAA quarter-finals. “We were down 14-0 early,” said Ihrke, “but we didn’t panic or lose our composure. We kept be-

lieving and kept plugging along.” The Warriors were down 21-14 at halftime and tied the score at 21 in the third quarter. They scored the go-ahead touchdown at the end of a classic, error-free eight-minute drive late in the game and held on for the 28-21 victory. Next on the agenda was a trip to Griffin Stadium, the

Sibley Warriors / Page 15

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S ports A Friday night high school football odyssey

Your community news and information source

John E. Ahlstrom Staff Writer


here are five high school football teams within the distribution area of our newspapers and we do our best to give all of them the coverage they deserve. Quite remarkably, four of the five were scheduled to play in sectional championship games at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1. St. Croix Lutheran was hosting Columbia Heights in the Section 4AAA title game, South St. Paul was home versus Hill-Murray in the Section 4AAAA final, and St. Thomas Academy (STA) and Henry Sibley were pitted against one another in the Section 5AAAAA championship game. As the lone member of our one-person sports department, I faced a dilemma: How could I possibly cover all three games? The corporate helicopter was not available nor could I secure a chauffeur for the Lincoln stretch limousine. I would have to make do with my 2000 Buick LeSabre.

My West Side domicile is within a mile of the St. Croix Lutheran High School campus and I decided that my championship football odyssey would commence there. I donned long johns and heavy woolen socks and was fortunate to find a pair of gloves and a stocking cap in a tired, old cardboard box labeled “Winter Stuff” that is stored in the attic during the few months we are spared winter’s wrath. I arrived at the St. Croix parking lot at 6:53. A nice crowd had gathered and I was overjoyed when those toiling in the ticket booth honored my media credentials. My expense account is modest and I was not looking forward to forking over $8 at three different venues. Armed with a legal pad and a Postal Credit Union ballpoint pen (which froze up almost immediately), I took a seat at midfield on the shiny ice-cold aluminum bleachers. The St. Croix offense was firing on all cylinders from the outset. The Crusaders scored touchdowns on

their first two possessions on short off-tackle bursts by running back Joe Werz. The Highlanders’ countered with a dazzling 70-yard scamper by D’Aireus Mock to pull within 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. While the teams were changing ends, I headed for the LeSabre and watched the next Crusader possession from the cozy comfort of my car. Quarterback David Ponath scored on a one-yard sneak with 11:11 remaining in the first half to stretch the lead to 21-7. With the Crusaders in apparent control (the final was 49-20), I exited the parking lot and headed for South St. Paul. It was 7:37 p.m. Thirteen minutes later, one of the more picturesque football venues in the Twin Cities came into view. Ettinger Field, home of the Packers and fondly nicknamed “The Pit,” is nestled at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre. I parked a couple of blocks away and joined a crowd of more than 100 that had assembled on the sidewalk high above the field on the north rim of

Photo by Luke Ahlstrom

Our intrepid sports reporter John Ahlstrom poised to embark on his Friday night football playoff adventure. the stadium. It was a scenic vantage point, and better yet, a “free” vantage point. I arrived just in time to witness a 35-yard touchdown romp by running back Marco Freeman that gave the Packers a 7-0 lead over conference archrival

Hill-Murray. Neither team could muster a serious threat during the remainder of the second quarter and the score remained 7-0 at halftime. There was a large throng – I would estimate at least 1,500 – in attendance. Both

marching bands played at halftime and contributed splendidly to the playoff atmosphere. Out of nowhere, as the teams were returning to the field to start the second half, the public address

Football odyssey / Page 15

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St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 7

P eople Amazing Jeffo

Your community news and information source

from page 1

disease and a severe stutter. His performances inspire as he commands the stage and delivers a message of hope for anyone with a disability. “As in magic,” he said, “everything is not always as it appears to be. Disabilities do not need to define a person.”  Smith’s magic shows are designed to appeal to everyone, from preschoolers to corporate executives, church groups to scout troops. He has performed 3,000 shows and the question he is most asked is, “Have you written a book?” Now he has. His story of overcoming the odds to succeed at what he loves is called “Seeing Light in the Darkness: A Story of Surviving Affliction with Laughter and Grace.” Smith wrote it with John Arehart, his friend and a communications professor at University of Northwestern St. Paul in Roseville. “The most disabling thing in our lives is the thing we can do the most about— our attitude!” he says, and that’s the resounding message of his book.

A tough childhood Smith knows about disabilities. His all hit him hard before he was 10. He missed half of each school year through fifth grade while in hospitals recovering from surgeries, battling infections, lying in traction, enduring endless needle pricks and blood transfusions as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him. Finally, they determined that Smith was born with an autoimmune disorder. It surfaced at age five with a stomachache and other symptoms that quickly worsened. After a barrage of tests at the Mayo Clinic he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and became the second youngest patient in medical history at the time (1964) to have an ileostomy. His colon and small intestines were removed and a remaining part of the small intestine, the ileum, was brought out to the surface of the skin. A bag was attached to an opening in

his body next to his navel for his waste. In the middle of all this, Smith’s knee joints and fingers started to swell. He was in constant pain with rheumatoid arthritis. When his left leg started constricting at the knee he was put in traction for months to try to straighten it. It didn’t work. In order for him to walk, the bones in his left leg were fused together at the knee, leaving him with a lurching stride. In fourth grade he started seeing halos around objects, the beginning of blindness. By seventh grade he was totally blind and learning Braille, an arduous task considering his curled arthritic fingers. He was also learning to type and how to safely navigate through a room. By then he had also developed the stutter.

A grade school ‘Houdini’ Smith, however, was born with a wry sense of humor, a wild imagination and creativity that couldn’t be suppressed. As recounted in his book, his first magic tricks actually took place in St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul

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when he was a five-year-old and charmed his way into hanging out with the nurses (who were nuns) at their station. He would sit on the floor next to the in-house vacuum tube system, used for sending medications from one floor to the next. “I open this door,” he said, “now you see it,” he held up his bootie and stuck it in the tube, and swoosh it was sucked up to the next floor. “Now you don’t.” Then he would do it with his second bootie. The nuns thought this was hilarious and on occasion even let him answer the incoming intercom requests in his authoritative six-year-old voice. He loved James Bond and would pretend he was a spy sneaking and dodging orderlies and nurses as he made his way down the hall to the nurses’ station. Then he crawled under the desk and waited for the right moment to pop up and take them by surprise. At the Mayo Clinic he took apart the TV in his room and had to put it back together before the nurses told his mom. After watching a movie with Tony Curtis playing Houdini he told his parents that all he wanted for Christmas and his birthday were magic kits— magic, magic, magic. Just like Houdini his hero, when

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the nurses in desperation pinned him into a straightjacket to keep him in bed for his naps, he managed to wriggle out and escape. He kept up in his classes with the help of tutors but felt like an outsider. What helped smooth the way were all the trickster and prankster items he was ordering from the Johnson Smith catalogs, like whoopee cushions, rubber fried eggs, and fake cherry bombs. He felt a sense of power when he could catch people off guard. The pranks also landed him in the principal’s office in sixth grade with two other “partners in crime” when he was caught with a fake cherry bomb at school. Smith said that of all his maladies, the worst was his stutter. In the classroom he refused to participate in discussions or raise his hand when he knew the answer. He was embarrassed by the way he talked and frustrated at not being able to speak when he wanted to. He was also aware that his disabilities allowed him many privileges, which he took as a perk in high school. He once got out of writing 1,000 times, “I will not play poker in Economics class.” The rest of his class had to do this, after getting caught, cards in hand, when the teacher who had left the room for a few minutes returned unexpectedly. When he spotted Smith’s Braille playing cards he decided to let Smith record his penalty on tape. Smith figured the


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teacher would only listen to the tape for a minute, so that’s as long as he recorded. On the more serious side, Smith discusses how any form of treating people with disabilities differently is a form of prejudice that in the long run is damaging to their development.        Smith didn’t have to worry about prejudice at home, however. He was the second of five siblings and was expected to help with chores, and was forbidden to claim his disabilities as an excuse. He was a big tease and mischief-maker, just like the rest of his siblings. His mother and father were supportive of Smith and he was included in all kinds of family activities, including swimming and hunting trips. After he graduated from Henry Sibley High School in 1975, he was encouraged to go to vocational school to learn how to do piece-work like other blind people but his mother rejected the idea. She wanted him to go to college because he had a sharp mind. He started at Inver Hills Community College with journalism in mind. With his quick wit and the zingers he could come up with, becoming an advertising copywriter looked promising. After two years at Inver Hills he transferred to Southwest State in Marshall, Minn., with an interdisciplinary major, meaning he could customize his own major. It sounded good except none of the journalism classes appealed to him. Smith became frustrated and kept changing majors. His grades were falling and he was driving his student personal care attendant (PCA) crazy. Mark Roesler had signed up to help orient Smith around campus, to the laundry and cafeteria, and so forth. “Mark was so sincere, and I was amused and wanted to rattle his cage,” said Smith. “He was probably the nicest guy on campus and became an extraordinary friend.”

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Roesler was instrumental in Smith’s faith journey. “Mark was the one who got me headed towards Christ,” said Smith. “He said that having a personal relationship with Jesus has nothing to do with performance. It’s a love-based gift from Jesus. At some point in your life you make a decision to receive this gift.”

P eople After attending a little country church with Roesler and asking for forgiveness of his sins, he felt an indescribable brightness come alive inside of him, and had a great yearning to learn more about the Bible. He began playing tapes in his dorm room and found they brought him comfort. This newfound relationship would change the way he looked at his purpose in life. After being kicked out of Southwest State, Smith said that by God’s intervention he ended up at the University of Minnesota talking to a counselor in the Office of Disabilities about enrolling in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He made it through with a degree in Copywriting /Graphics and became the first blind student to graduate from the journalism school, he said. After an internship at a Minneapolis advertising agency he was told he would be good at radio copywriting. This posed a problem for Smith because in the radio industry most have to start at a station in a small town. If he moved, he would lose the support systems he had and needed. He searched five years for work in advertising and finally resigned himself to doing telemarketing and working in the collections department at Mayo Clinic. “I was not using my creative mind and dashing personality,” quipped Smith. “I felt like a fish out of water.”

Courage to perform During that time he was still collecting and perfecting magic tricks, and even though the idea of performing magic shows was gnawing at the back of his mind, he never dared perform because of his stutter. That was the roadblock to his success. Finally, he agreed to perform for a kindergarten class. “They were clapping before I was even done with the tricks,” recalled Smith. The important thing was that he got through it. He agreed to do another show for a tough audience of seventh graders. The teacher told Smith before he started that the class had been warned to be respectful, or else! Things began to snowball. Having gained some confidence in classrooms,

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Smith with his wife Devon and “Kypto, the wonder dog.” he volunteered to perform in the Mayo Clinic pediatric ward. At a church weekend retreat for adults, he unexpectedly landed onstage during a talent show because no one was volunteering. Each of his five tricks failed and he blamed the audience. They loved it and thought it was part of the act. Now he knew he could banter with the audience as well.  “One of the encouragers God sent my way was John Arehart,” said Smith. “I met him at the church I’ve been attending for about 10 years, Chapel Hill Baptist in Eagan. He told me, ‘Your magic is good but your story is even more compelling.’ He convinced me to take on the world as a blind magician and talk about the abilities of people with disabilities.”

Smith decided to take a year off from telemarketing to see if he could establish a career as a magician. An old high school friend produced a brochure for him, another his costume, and he used the Yellow Pages to drum up business. The first year he booked 80 shows, the second 125, and the third 365. When his dad found out how much he was making he started charging him rent. 

By his side

ess, was there to help him set up for the performance. Smith knew by their second date that she was the one. It took Devon a few more to figure it out. Seven months after they met they became engaged—on Halloween— and married in July the next year. Since then, his friend Craig Wagenknecht, (one of his 6th grade partners in crime) who became a building contractor helped build

him a home. Smith became a pet parent to “Kypto, the wonder dog,” a Goldendoodle. He also formed a new enterprise called Disability Awareness Training Seminars (DATS). In his presentations he focuses not only on the inherent value of people with disabilities, but on the value that their perspective offers to the bottom line. “The corporate world and others need to be educated about this untapped resource available to them,” said Smith. Along with his mother Martha, Smith has now begun seminars for parents of children with disabilities

called Surviving and Thriving with Disabilities. “I believe they need encouragement from those— such as my mother and I—who have gone through similar challenging circumstances, and to have a chance to laugh while in the middle of their situation,” said Smith. “We want parents to recognize that a disability does not define a child or family, and to realize that every child has purpose and significance.” To book The Amazing Jeffo, call Smith at 651457-7300. His book is available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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He met his wife, Devon, at a magic show for children. They both remember the details: March 4 at Skyview Elementary School in Oakdale. The Metro Mobility bus arrived at the school, and Smith said he came down on a lift like he was descending from the clouds. Devon, the host-

Along with some 300,000 other unique individuals.

St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 9

S ample St. Paul

Your community news and information source

On the Town Artists’ Quarter

408 St. Peter St., St. Paul 651-292-1359

The Artists’ Quarter is closing at the end of the month. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch some great jazz in downtown St. Paul and say farewell to the staff.

Children’s Museum

10 W. Seventh St. St. Paul 651-225-6000

“Blue Man Group – Making Waves,” is presented through January 12, 2014. Dance, sing and move your way

through this hands-on exhibit based on the Blue Man Group. Invent your own instrument with PVC tubes, rock out on a Theramin organ and experiment with patterns on a sand drum. “Creativity Jam” is presented through January 20, 2014. Invent, tin-

“The Wizard of Oz” is presented December 4-29 at the Ordway Center. ker, hack, design or make something cool in this constantly changing ex-

hibit that is designed to spark creative thinking, collaboration and imagination. Tickets are $9.50. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.


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Page 10 - St. Paul Voice - December 2013

10 E. Exchange St. St. Paul 651-290-1200 http://fitzgeraldtheater.

Home Free Vocal Band will present its Christmas Tour at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. Using nothing but their voices, Home Free will recreate the entire band sound set to the tunes of popular holiday songs. Tickets are $30-$35.

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“American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” is presented through March 16, 2014. Spanning from the dawn of the temperance movement, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a Constitutional amendment, this exhibition brings the story of Prohibition vividly to life. “Then Now Wow” highlights Minnesota’s history in the prairies, forests and cities. Visitors will encounter multi-media exhibits, artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse population and historic events. Ongoing exhibits include “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,” “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom,” “Grain-

land,” “Open House: If These Walls Could Talk” and “Weather Permitting.” Museum tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, and $6 for children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.

History Theatre

10 E. Tenth St., St. Paul 651-292-4323

“Christmas of Swing” is presented November 23-December 22. The Andrews Sisters are preparing to lift the spirits of America’s soldiers with a show full of Christmas songs, swing tunes and special appearances by their friends Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, and Abbott and Costello. This joyful celebration of music, family and patriotism mixes great holiday songs and comedy sketches with real letters from World War II G.I.s. Tickets are $30-$40.

Landmark Center

75 W. 5th St., St. Paul 651-292-3225

The annual Holiday Bazaar is held December 5-7. This holiday marketplace has over 70 exhibits featuring unique, handcrafted gift items from local artists. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m., December 5 and 6, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., December 7. Cost is $4; children age 12 and under are free. For more information, call 651292-3230. Pip Jazz Sundays – Nicolas Carter will perform at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8. The event is hosted by singer Pippi Ardennia. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students. For more information, visit

S ample St. Paul Ballet Tuesday is held at noon, Tuesday, Dec. 10. Meet the new company of St. Paul City Ballet dancers, learn about a typical ballet class, check out excerpts from the coming season, and do some dancing. Free. The Schubert Club is presenting a free concert at noon, Thursday, Dec. 12, featuring Dolce Wind Quintet, and at noon, Thursday, Dec. 19, featuring Carols of Minnesota Composers. Santa’s Workshop is held at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15. Children will have the opportunity to craft gift items alongside Santa Claus and learn about holiday traditions from around the world. Free. Heather Masse will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20 in the Weyerhaeuser Auditorium. Masse, a member of the Billboard-charting folk group The Wailin’ Jennys, has shared the stage with acclaimed pop, classical and jazz acts, including Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Mark O’Connor’s Hot Jazz and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

Ordway Center 345 Washington St. St. Paul 651-224-4222

“The Wizard of Oz” is presented December 4-29. Developed from the popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains all the beloved songs from the Oscarwinning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tickets are $26-$113.

Park Square Theatre

20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul 651-291-7005 www.parksquaretheatre. org

“Words by Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook” is presented through December 20. Ira Ger-

shwin’s name is not as well-known as that of his famous brother, George, but he wrote the lyrics to many unforgettable tunes. Experience the quiet character of Ira Gershwin as you explore the creative process of songwriting. Tickets are $38-$58.

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Science Museum of Minnesota 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-221-9444

“Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” is presented through January 5, 2014. This exhibit explores ancient Maya society through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the farmers, artisans, administrators and craftsmen who supported the elite. It features numerous artifacts and interactive exhibits. Tickets are $21 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, or $28 and $19 with admission to the Omnitheatre. “Mystery of the Maya” is presented in the Omnitheatre. Take a journey back in time with the explorers who unearthed this majestic ancient civilization in the jungles of Central America in the early 19th century. Filmed on location at sacred sites throughout the Maya regions, it features re-enactments of the archaeological expeditions that uncovered what we know about the Maya and showcases some of their most remarkable achievements in mathematics, writing, astronomy and calendrics. Museum tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Omnitheatre tickets are $9 and $8 respectively.

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H oliday Events A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of a Victorian Christmas 10 a.m.3:30 p.m., WednesdaySaturday, and noon-3:30 p.m., Sunday at the Alexander Ramsey House, 265 S. Exchange St., St. Paul. The house is open November 13-January 1, 2014; closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Visitors can step back in time to the Christmas season of 1875 and taste homemade

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cookies fresh from the wood-burning stove, listen to popular holiday music of the era played on the family’s Steinway piano and view original family ornaments and Christmas gifts. Discover how the Ramsey family and their friends, neighbors and servants prepared for and celebrated the Christmas season. Christmas gift items are available in the Carriage House gift store. Cost is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, and $7 for ages 6-17. Other events at the Ramsey House include:

The Annual Holiday Lights in the Park is held November 26-January 1. A “Little Women” Christmas - 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5. The world of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” comes to life in

the Ramsey house. Participants age 8 and older are invited to play Victorian parlor games, learn about fashions of the 1860s, sing

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Page 12 - St. Paul Voice - December 2013

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Christmas carols and enjoy fresh baked holiday treats and warm apple cider. A craft project is available in the carriage house before the program. Cost is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and college students, and $9 for ages 8-17. A Swedish Christmas - 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12. Discover the Christmas customs of the Swedish servants of the Ramsey household and listen to traditional Swedish stories and enjoy fresh baked Swedish treats. A craft project is available in the carriage house before the program. Cost is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and college students, and $9 for ages 8-17. The program is for ages 8 and older. Reservations are recommended for all programs. For more information or to register for any of the programs, call 651-296-8760 or visit places/sites/arh/.

Hill House holiday tours Hill House holiday tours are offered 1-3:30 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays through December 7-22. The bustle and excitement of a Victorian Christmas is brought to life as the servants of the James J. Hill House prepare for the holidays. Costumed actors portray people who worked for the Hill family in their mansion at 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul. The script is based on letters and oral histories of people who worked for the Hill family during the first decade of the 20th century. Tours begin every 30 minutes. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $8 for ages 6-17. Other events at the Hill House include: Victorian Christmas Stories - 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15. Costumed actors bring warmth and humor to their readings of 19th and early 20th century Christmas literature, including works by Mark Twain, Willa Cather, O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi”

and selections from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The performers will discuss the development of popular Christmas traditions, including Christmas literature. The event includes light refreshments and a tour of the Hill House. Cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, and $8 for children ages 6-17. Victorian Christmas Carols - 7 and 8:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20; 6 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21-22. Enjoy an hourlong concert tracing the rise and popularity of seasonal holiday songs in the 19th and early 20th century. Eight costumed singers, a musician playing the Schubert Club’s Steinway grand piano and a narrator present a broad selection of period tunes in the art gallery of the James J. Hill House. The performance begins with a rare opportunity to hear the massive Hill House pipe organ. The event includes light refreshments and a tour of the Hill House. Cost is $12. Reservations are recommended for all programs. For more information or to register, call 651-2972555 or visit www.mnhs. org/places/sites/jjhh/.

Holiday lights in the Park tour The Sixth Annual Holiday Lights in the Park begins November 26 in Phalen Park, 1615 Phalen Dr. E., St. Paul. Through January 1, 2014, the park is transformed into a wonderland of lights 5:30-10 p.m. nightly, featuring more than 60 holiday sculptures and animated displays. Cost is $8 per vehicle Sunday-Thursday, and $10 per vehicle Friday and Saturday and on the holidays. Enhance your experience by purchasing “Holidays Lights Christmas CD Vol. 5,” featuring holiday music performed by some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians. The CD is available for $10 at all Kowalski’s Markets and for $5 at Phalen Park during the tour. This event is sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury to raise funds for local charities. Proceeds support Second Harvest Heartland, the Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy, St. Paul Police Foundation and UnderConstruction, a program that helps youth

H oliday Events

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explore career opportunities in the construction field. For more information, visit

Visit Rice Park A stroll through Rice Park, located at West 5th and Market streets in Downtown St. Paul, is sure to get you in the holiday mood. A towering Christmas tree that sparkles with 15,000 lights is the signature attraction. Also featured throughout the park are nutcracker figures, angel statues and other holiday décor. Across the street is the WinterSkate outdoor skating rink. Bring your own skates and skate for free or rent skates for $2. A warming house, hot chocolate and snacks are offered to keep patrons toasty warm and well-fed. The rink is open November 30-February 2, 2014. Skating is offered 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday.; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday. A Christmas Eve Skate is offered 11 a.m.-4 p.m., December 24, and a New Year’s Eve Skate 11 a.m.-11 p.m., December 31. The

WinterSkate at Rice Park opens November 30. rink is closed December 25 and January 1. For more information, visit www. or call 651-291-5608.

Holiday classics There are numerous entertainment options during December to help make the holiday season more festive. Here are a few favorites: “It’s A Wonderful Life A Live Radio Play” - Actors present a 1946 radio broadcast of “It’s A Wonderful Life” in the famous Promenade Ballroom of the Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul. Matinee shows feature a three-course lunch, and the evening shows include a three-course dinner.

Performances are held on select dates December 1122. Cost is $65 for matinee performances and $79 for evening performances. For more information, call 651228-3860 or visit www., search special events. “The Classic Nutcracker” - Ballet Minnesota is presenting “The Classic Nutcracker” December 2022 at The O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. Andrew Rist, Ballet Minnesota’s artistic director, has taken ten of the 53 psalms in Handel’s Messiah and choreographed stories within the overarching theme of affirm-

ing faith, and transformed Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue for the dance stage. Tickets are $30-$44, with discounts for seniors and students. For more information, contact Ballet Minnesota at 651222-7919, balletmngroup, or visit “The Christmas Foundling” is presented November 29-December 29 at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, docked at Harriet Island. It is Christmas Eve, 1852 at a cabin in the Sierras and a pair of miners find their carefree existence turned topsy-turvy when they are suddenly left with an orphaned infant. Over the years, the boy binds a loose-knit group of miners into a family, as they discover that the greatest wealth sometimes comes in surprising packages. The Christmas Foundling is a heartwarming tale rich with the spirit of Christmas and filled with traditional folk music and carols. Tickets are $24-$28. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.riverrides. com.

Holiday shopping Are you looking for unique gift ideas? Several craft sales are taking place in December that offer unique, hand-crafted items that can’t be purchased at traditional retail outlets. One St. Paul favorite is the Holiday Bazaar, located at the Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. Held December 5-7, this event features over 75 artisans selling unique handcrafted gift items, festive music and food. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m., December 5 and 6, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., December 7. Cost is $4; children age 12 and under are free. For more information, call 651-292-3230. Santa’s Workshop is featured at 1 p.m., Sunday,

Dec. 15 at the Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. Children will have the opportunity to craft gift items alongside Santa Claus and learn about holiday traditions around the world. Free. For more information call 651-292-3063. Santa’s Train Shop is presented 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the first three weekends in December at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave. E., St. Paul. Participants may visit Santa, do some holiday shopping, take a train ride, and view the 100-year-old decorated roundhouse. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for ages 5-15 and seniors and $5 for ages 2-4. For more information call 651228-0263.


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St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 13





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REFLECTIONS From the Riverfront

Spending the holidays on the hill Tim Spitzack Editor


ently falling snow teased by a cool northerly breeze enhances the nostalgic charm of St. Paul’s Summit Avenue unlike any other time of the year. In the dim light of December, one can envision horses clomping along the avenue pulling carriages filled with the well-dressed and wellmannered men and women of the gilded age. Among the best known of that era is James J. Hill, who built his brooding castle on the avenue and lived there until his death on May 29, 1916. At that time he was one of the wealthiest people in America, with a personal fortune valued at $63 million. Today, his house is a pop-

ular tourist destination for those interested in that industrious era, a time when some men got rich beyond their wildest dreams. The Hill House offers holiday tours on Saturdays and Sundays, December 7-22, to offer a glimpse of the home and the family who lived there. The tours are led by costumed actors who use a script based on letters and oral histories of people who worked for the Hill family. I toured the home this fall before staff started decorating the house with pink and yellow ribbons and pink roses. It’s an unconventional choice for holiday decorations, but Mrs. Hill preferred that combination over the traditional red and green. As I toured the mansion,

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one word came to mind: ostentatious. It’s really the only word that can aptly describe the Hill House, which sits on a lovely 3-acre estate overlooking the Mississippi River. When Hill, his wife Mary and eight of their 10 children moved there in 1891 (one child died in infancy and the eldest was married by the time the home was built), the home was the largest and most luxurious residence in the state. It was then and still is today an impressive architectural wonder. How big is it? It’s big. The 36,000-square-foot, 5-story home has 20 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 22 fireplaces. That’s 3,600 square feet per inhabitant, and one bathroom each. No waiting in line for the Hill family. Even with the dozen or so servants who lived there, that’s still a lot of elbow room per person. They didn’t scrimp on

the fineries either, inside or out. Stained glass windows, crystal chandeliers, inlaid marble floors and elaborately carved oak and mahogany woodwork bear testament to that. The home also features mechanical systems that were extremely sophisticated for the day, including central heating, indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water, gas and electric lighting and an advanced ventilation system that circulated air throughout the home. But wait, there’s more. The house has a 100-foot reception hall, a two-story gallery for Hill’s significant art collection, a room with a stage and seating for 200, and a dining room that features a walk-in safe accessible only through a hidden door. How did they keep the kids entertained? They played them tunes on the grand piano or the 1,006pipe organ, or they shooed them to the fourth floor to play on the gymnastic equipment. Hill was 53 when he moved in and he lived there for a quarter-century. He spent the first 20 years of his career amassing wealth by working in shipping on the Mississippi and Red rivers. His first business, James J. Hill and Co., was headquartered near the Lower

Landing in Lowertown. He turned his efforts toward rail and eventually pushed his Great Northern Railway from St. Paul westward across North Dakota, Montana and Washington to the Pacific Ocean, opening the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest to development. His railway, which transported timber, coal, wheat and copper, is the predecessor to the BNSF railway that runs along the Mississippi through the Twin Cities today. Hill was known as a shrewd businessman with a short temper. It’s perplexing to think of all the luxuries in his home, and then learn that he was not there often to enjoy them, as he frequently traveled across the country and abroad tending to his many business affairs. Quite simply, he was a workaholic. Before he died, a newspaper reporter asked him for the secret of his success and he replied, “Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.” Hill’s bedroom has a large window that overlooks the Mississippi River. It offers a wonderful, panoramic view of the river valley, but we don’t know if he appreciated it. Did he wake up each morning and gaze upon the river or simply walk by the window with his mind clogged with other things? Even though he was involved in early conservation efforts, we have no records of whether or not he saw beauty in the land that he lived on, and in the land he

helped open to others. There is a plethora of information gleaned from diaries and personal papers about his business dealings but little is known of his personal life. What we do know, according to Hill House site manager Craig Johnson, who wrote the holiday tour script, is that Hill was usually home for the holidays but he often got sick during that time, presumably from being overworked. He enjoyed playing games with his large number of grandchildren and showing them his prized paintings. Now featured through February 9, 2014 in his art gallery is a wonderful collection of historic paintings entitled Minnesota Waters. The display allows you to see what the Mississippi River looked like in Hill’s day. Paintings include depictions of the river in St. Paul, Fort Snelling and St. Anthony Falls, including one winter landscape showing Hill’s famous Stone Arch Bridge. Hill had a large library in his home that contained volumes of books filling floor-to-ceiling cases. I wonder if he owned a copy of “A Christmas Carol,” written by Charles Dickens, a popular author of Hill’s day. I hope Hill was visited by a few Christmas ghosts of his own so he was able to enjoy his holidays on the hill and understand that a man’s true legacy extends far beyond his wealth and power.

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Page 14 - St. Paul Voice - December 2013


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N ews Briefs Football odyssey from page 7

announcer screamed, “We have a halftime score from another sectional championship game: St. Thomas Academy 7, Henry Sibley 24.” “He must have that score backwards,” I muttered to myself. I decided I would remain at “The Pit” through half of the third quarter. South St. Paul, the clear favorite, appeared a bit sluggish and out of sync. After a Packer fumble at midfield, the Pioneers’ Brennan LaFeber

kicked a 34-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 7-3 with 7:07 remaining in the third quarter. I reluctantly placed that game into the “too close to call” category (South St. Paul would eventually win 28-10) as I climbed back into the LeSabre and headed for Mendota Heights. It was 8:35 p.m. I arrived at the humongous parking lot across the street from Gerry Brown Stadium on the St. Thomas Academy campus at 8:52 and was fortunate to find

Sibley Warriors from page 6

home of the undefeated #1 seed, St. Paul Central. The Minutemen had scored an average of 46 points per game and limited their opponents to just 12. “We were very confident going into that game,” said Jinkins. “We were on a mission. The whole school was starting to get involved and we could feel the energy of our fans.” It was nip-and-tuck in the early going and Central

had a 7-6 lead at halftime. But in the second half the Warriors resorted to what they do best. They dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and their signature rushing attack manufactured two touchdowns, controlled the clock and sealed a 20-7 victory. Meanwhile, in the other sectional semi-final, St. Thomas Academy dismantled Tartan 35-14. The op-

Your community news and information source a parking spot in the third row. Probably as a result of a disgruntled STA fan exiting early, I mused. The final seconds of the third quarter were ticking away as I made my way to the metal railing along the southwest side of the stunningly beautiful artificial turf field. Both end zones were adorned in bright royal blue with the word, “Cadets,” etched in white. The “Battle of the Heights,” as this rivalry is often dubbed, remained 24-7 in favor of the visiting Warriors at the end of the third quarter. Sibley had the ball at midfield. Not

for long. Three plays later, Kenneth Jinkins scored on a 41-yard burst to increase the Sibley lead to 31-7 with 11:23 to go in the game. It was evident that this was not a good night for STA. On second down on their ensuing possession, the Cadets fumbled on their 43yard line. After six consecutive carries by Anastacio VandenBosch-Romo and a nine-yard run by Kenneth Jinkins, Zach Gottfredsen capped an eight-play drive with a 15-yard gallop to pay dirt; 38-7 with 5:06 to go. The contrast in moods on the two sides of the field could not have been more

drastic – euphoria and jubilation on the Sibley side, glum faces and eerie quiet on the STA side. Precisely seven weeks earlier, the Cadets had engineered a 31-0 shutout on Sibley’s home field. This was not supposed to happen. The Cadets scored a consolation touchdown with 3:51 to go. Following an unsuccessful onside kick, VandenBosch-Romo – rumbling behind an offensive line possessed – carried on seven consecutive plays (he would finish with 159 yards on 35 attempts) until the clock read 0:00.

The green artificial turf suddenly became a sea of red as Sibley students and supporters stormed the field in celebration. I chose not to stay for the trophy presentation. I was spent. I pulled out of the parking lot at 9:34 and eased my way back to the West Side. Three terrific football games with no TV timeouts; a couple of hundred teenagers suited up and chasing a dream; coaches and students and parents and well-wishers and a sportswriter or two urging them on. It was a magical night.

portunity that the Sibley seniors envisioned in the wake of the 31-0 loss to the Cadets on September 12 had come to fruition. The sectional championship game was played at Jerry Brown Stadium at St. Thomas Academy on November 1. No one on the Sibley sideline – coaches, players or fans – could have dreamed of a more perfect game than the one executed by the Warriors that evening. Sibley took the lead on a VandenBosch-Romo fouryard scamper with 4:40 left

to play in the first quarter. Forty-five seconds later, following a STA fumble, Wood threw a strike to running back Zack Gottfredsen, who dashed in from 46 yards out and increased the lead to 14-0. The Sibley advantage grew to 24-7 by halftime. Whatever adjustments the Cadets made during the intermission to turn the tide proved fruitless. Following a scoreless third quarter, Sibley’s running attack again took center stage. The three-headed monster – VandenBosch-Romo,

Jinkins and Gottfredsen – combined for 283 yards on 54 carries. The time of possession favored Sibley 29:27 to 18:33 and the turnover ratio, traditionally the most meaningful statistic in a football game, was five to one in favor of the Warriors. In contrast to the 31-0 loss just seven weeks earlier, it was a colossal, almost surreal, turn of events. The victory was the school’s first over St. Thomas since 2003 and propelled the Warriors into the State High School State Football

Tournament for the first time since 1980. While the 35-7 loss to Brainerd in the first round of the tournament stung, nothing could sour the jubilation that permeated the players’ locker room and the halls of Henry Sibley High School in the aftermath of such a magnificent post-season run. “It was a great ride and a dream fulfilled,” said Jinkins. “We took the school to where it had not been for a very long time and the memories will linger on for a lifetime.”

{ VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES } Neighborhood House in St. Paul is looking for volunteers to assist in the food shelf, with tutoring, youth services and other areas. For more information, contact Anders at 651-789-2524 or Neighbors, Inc., a social service agency serving Northern Dakota County, has a number of volunteer opportunities to assist local residents, including work with the food shelf and thrift store. For more information, contact David at 651-3062145 or at DARTS, a nonprofit organization in West St. Paul, has several volunteer opportunities to assist families and individuals with transportation and in-home services. For more information, call 651455-1560 or visit Guild Incorporated, a social service agency based on the West Side that serves people with mental illness, has a number of volunteer opportunities, including drivers, phone buddies and help with administrative tasks. For more information, contact 651-925-8456 or volunteer@ St. Paul Senior Chore Service is looking for senior clients age 60 and over, as well as volunteers to help these clients with basic home and outdoor projects. For more information, call 651-6495984. Ramsey County Community Human Services has volunteer opportunities for people age 16 and older. For more infor-

mation, contact 651-266-4090 or Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for men, especially Latinos, to mentor boys ages 7-12 in St. Paul. Volunteers are asked to commit just a few hours a month. To volunteer, call Jean Setley at 651-789-2479 or visit Cerenity Senior Care–Humboldt is seeking volunteers to transport residents to activities. It also needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to assist with one-onone visits. Volunteers may work weekly, monthly or at a special event. Located on the West Side, the Cerenity Residence at 514 Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care and transitional care, and the Cerenity Care Center at 512 Humboldt provides nursing care. To volunteer, contact 651-220-1789,, or visit Minnesota Literacy Council is seeking people to teach, tutor or assist in a classroom 2-3 hours per week to help adults reach their educational goals. Training and support are provided. For more information, contact Allison at 651-251-9110, or St. Paul Public Schools needs people to tutor elementary students 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 612-6177807 or Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible for free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. St. Paul Public Schools Foundation is seeking tutors to assist one hour a week at schools and community organizations throughout the city. Orientation and training are provided. For more information, contact Neighborhood House and Ellen Nikodym at ellen.nikodym@ or at 651-325-4205. The Minnesota Reading Corps is seeking reading tutors. The program provides free, one-on-one tutoring to children age three through third grade. Minnesota Reading Corps members receive a living stipend, reimbursement for college (up to $5,350), and health insurance for full-time members. For more information or to apply, visit or call 1-866859-2825. Volunteers of America is looking for volunteers age 55 and over to assist children who are struggling with homework and reading. Time commitment ranges from three to 12 hours a week. To volunteer or receive more information, contact Gil Zamora at 651-470-7416.

Building Blocks Tutorial ALC needs volunteer tutors to work with students doing activities that support reading, math and writing skills. Tutors volunteer one or two days each week on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 3-5 p.m., at Riverview Elementary, 160 E. Isabel St. Volunteers must be age 16 or older. Orientation and training are provided. For more information, contact Jill Jackson, program director, at 651-228-1378 or buildingblocks@ Riverview Elementary needs volunteer tutors to assist students in grades kindergarten through fifth in math and reading, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Volunteers are asked to tutor at least one hour a week during the school year. Training, orientation and support are provided. To apply, contact Areanna Egleston at or call Riverview at 651-239-8665. St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 15

N ews Briefs Student notes Alyssa Trejo of West St. Paul, has been promoted to the highest triple diamond rank of Cadet Colonel of the Cretin-Derham Hall JROTC. A senior at CretinDerham Hall, she is the 99th Brigade Commander and one of very few females to ever hold this rank. Bridget Doyle of Mendota Heights has been elected

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Your community news and information source to the Sigma Xi honor society at Carleton College in Northfield. Mary Mullen of Mendota Heights signed a national letter of intent to play NCAA Division I Volleyball for College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Heather Farley of Mendota Heights signed a national letter of intent to swim for NCAA Division I Villanova in Philadelphia, Penn.

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Elva Kaffe at Augustana Elva Kaffe will be celebrated 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 at Augustana Lutheran Church, 1400 S. Robert St., West St. Paul. Elva Kaffe, which is Swedish for “eleven o’clock coffee,” is a Scandinavian tradition of inviting friends for coffee, cookies and fellowship while preparing for the holidays. In addition to coffee and cookies, this free event will include craft demonstrations and samples of traditional Scandinavian holiday foods. For

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prayer and meditation. For more information on either event, call 651-457-5686.

Winter Bazaar Rep. Mariani at Dodge Nature awarded The Minnesota School Center preschool Dodge Nature Center is hosting a Winter Bazaar craft fair 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., December 5 and 6 at Dodge Nature Preschool, 1715 Charlton St., West St. Paul. The event features holiday gifts and crafts created by local artists, and a bake sale. For more information, call 651-455-4531 or visit

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Faith United Methodist Church, 1530 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul, is hosting a breakfast with Santa 9:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. The breakfast includes French toast, pancakes, sausage, bacon, milk, orange juice and coffee, and photos with Santa. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children, free for children under age 3, or $15 per family. Faith United is also hosting a Blue Christmas worship service at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 for people who have a difficult time during the holidays. The service includes music and time for

Social Workers Association (MSSWA) recently presented Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) with it 2013 Legislator of the Year award for his ongoing advocacy for Minnesota children and families. “He exemplifies the value of social justice, which is one of the core values of the profession of social work,” said MSSWA President Christy McCoy. “Representative Mariani understands the value of a multidisciplinary approach for student support services in our schools and the unique role and expertise of school social workers as the mental health professionals and practitioners of the educational team.”

Igo Named CEO West St. Paul native Terence (Terry) Igo has been named chief executive officer of the Florida-based Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, the parent company of the Tampa Bay Trust Company and the Naples Trust Company. In addition to serving as CEO of that company he will also retain his duties as president of The Tampa Bay

Trust Company. Igo joined the Trust Company at its inception in 2001 and has been instrumental in growing its asset base to over $1 billion and spearheading the successful expansion into Tampa, Naples, and its home office on Sanibel and Captiva islands. He serves as a member of the Asset Management committee, the Risk Management committee and the Strategic Planning committee.

HHW collection Ramsey County’s household hazardous waste collection site at Bay West, located near the State Capitol at 5 Empire Dr., St. Paul, is open year-round. Dropoff is free for residents of Ramsey and Dakota counties with a photo I.D. For hours and more information, call the Ramsey County Recycling and Disposal Hotline at 651-633EASY (3279) or visit www.

Laughter Yoga Laughter Yoga is offered 9:30-10:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Senior Recovery Center, located in the Masonic Lodge Building at 200 E. Plato Blvd., St. Paul. A certified Laughter Yoga instructor will lead the group. For more information, contact Katy at 651-291-8551 or aty@


December 15 - Music Sunday

8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Festival Service Advent and Christmas music presented by the Augustana choirs, handbells and Minnehaha Brass 9:45 a.m. Congregational Carol Sing Join us in the Fellowship Hall to sing your favorite Christmas Carols and enjoy refreshments

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Page 16 - St. Paul Voice - December 2013

The Optimist Club of West St. Paul meets 5-6 p.m., the first and third Wednesday of each month at Dunham’s, 173 Lothenbach Ave., West St. Paul. Visitors and new members are welcome. For more information, contact Cheryl Bergstrom at or 651-4507391. The Rotary Club of West St. Paul/ Mendota Heights hosts a weekly meeting at 7:30 a.m., Wednesdays at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota Rd., West St. Paul. Each meeting features breakfast and a guest speaker. For more information, visit The Kiwanis Club of West St. Paul hosts a weekly meeting at noon, Tuesdays at Dunham’s, 173 Lothenbach Ave., West St. Paul. Each meeting features lunch and a guest speaker. The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, which serves the cities of Eagan, Farmington, Lilydale, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Rosemount, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul, hosts a monthly meeting called the “West Saint Paul/Mendota Heights Coffee Break” 8-9 a.m. the

fourth Tuesday of the month. This event is hosted at various chamber member businesses in West St. Paul and Mendota Heights. Each meeting allows an opportunity for networking and to learn more about the business hosting the event. For more information, visit or call 651.452.9872. Veterans’ meetings - West St. Paul VFW Post 4462 hosts monthly meetings at 1 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. The Minnesota Aspergers/HFA Game Club meets at 6:30 p.m., the second and fourth Thursday of each month at Riverview Baptist Church, 14 E. Moreland Ave., West St. Paul. The club is designed to help youth ages 9-16 increase social and cognitive skills. For more information, contact Vicki at 651-552-7381 or Cost is $10, or $48 for six weeks. A parent support group is also available during the same time.

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{ THE FULLER FILES } Bake sale at the Depot The renovated Union Depot is celebrating its one year anniversary of re-opening as a multi-transit center with a holiday bake sale 1-4 p.m., December 7 and 8. The sale will feature items from local bakeries and a commemorative holiday cookie tin.

Trio at noon, Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the University Club, 420 Summit Ave. It will also host a fund-raising concert at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the McNally Smith Auditorium, 19 E. Exchange St. The following bands will perform at the Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St., in December: Marimba Bullies on Friday, Dec. 13, Fantastic Merlins on December 16 and Mike in the Wilderness on December 27. Minnesota Museum of American Art, located in the Pioneer Building at Fourth and Robert, is featuring an exhibit by Sara Hanson and the Bio Scenic Earth Laboratory, Inc. December 5-11. Karen Searle of the Textile Center will hold a workshop on crochet at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, and fiber artist Erica Sptizer Rasmussen, who teaches at Metropolitan State University, will discuss issues of identity and corporeality, using clothing as a metaphor for one’s skin. Books and Bars will host a discussion of “Submergence” by J.M. Ledgard at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17 at Amsterdam Bar and Hall at Sixth and Wabasha. The Society for Creative Anachronism will offer an exhibit of daily life in Tudor times at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Central Library. The event will feature

Crashed Ice returns Red Bull Crashed Ice will return to St. Paul February 21-22. This is the third year the city has hosted this extreme skating event. The course begins near the Cathedral of St. Paul and ends near downtown.

Holiday events Penumbra Theatre will present its holiday concert, “Black Nativity” December 12-22 at the theater, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. St. Joseph’s Hospital is hosting its annual Gingerbread Shows craft bazaar 9 a.m.-5 p.m., December 17-18 in the 3M education center in the DePaul Tower at Tenth and St. Peter. The sale will feature jewelry, toys, quilts and other items.

Music and art St. Paul Conservatory of Music will host a Coffee Concert featuring the Reed

d We are pleaese to resum our regular hours! ber 1, 2013

Effective Decem

downtown news by Roger Fuller

musicians from Warwick Consort and dancers from the Tersipchory Dance Group. St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Artists will present a musical theater collaboration piece at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17 at Lehr Theatre, 16 Fifth St. N.W. A Winter Choral Festival will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the Landmark Center.

at 340 Cedar. The speaker is Tami Lichtenberg, director of the college’s Center for Health Care Innovations.

Winter Carnival seeks senior royalty

City Passport events

The St. Paul Winter Carnival is seeking adults age 55 and older to become senior royalty. The 6-member court includes a king, queen, price, princess, prime minister and lady in waiting. Royalty are expected to make appearances at six parades in St. Paul, parades in the suburbs and attend visits to area nursing homes. To apply, contact Belinda Bergstrom at 651266-6439 by December 2.

Health care presentation The College of St. Scholastica will host a discussion on “Leading Health Care in Times of Change” at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 5 at Butler’s Restaurant, located in the St. Paul Athletic Club

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City Passport senior citizen center, located on the mezzanine level of the Alliance Bank Center, 55 E. Fifth St., is hosting the following events in December: happy birthday party, 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9; movie, 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12; trivia time, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13; Christmas sing-a-long, 10:45 a.m., Friday, Dec. 13; writer’s group, 10:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20; current events discussion, 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20; Christmas Eve party, 11 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24; ice cream float social, 1:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27; quilting group, 9 a.m., each Monday; Healing Sounds of Music, 10:45 a.m., second and fourth Friday.



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Kellogg Square food market The Kellogg Square food market will be closed until next spring because the skyway corridor near Fourth Street is being renovated. Space occupied by a jeweler, cobbler and the food market is being converted for residential use. Ben Granda, who has operated Ben’s Custom Design for about four years, has moved to 1 W. Water Street on the West Side. Jerry Whebbe, owner of Anjolen Shoe Repair, has not indicated yet if he will relocate.

Holiday lights Beginning November 30, the city of St. Paul will illuminate trees for the holidays in Rice, Mears and Kellogg parks. Funding is provided, in part, by Visit St. Paul, Friends of Mears Park and other groups.

Wabasha Street developments Wabasha Partners, a group dedicated to making improvements along Wabasha Street in downtown St. Paul, will hear updates on two projects under consideration for downtown St. Paul at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar. They

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Linwood Monroe Arts Plus theater department is presenting “Honk! Jr.,” a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling.” Linwood Monroe Arts Plus is a grade 5-8 school. Performances are held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12 and 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13 in the school’s auditorium at 810 Palace Ave., St. Paul.

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St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 17

C ommunity Columns

How much do you know about Neighborhood House? Neighborhood House has been serving the community since 1897 and we continue to evolve as we have over 116 years. But did you know this about Neighborhood House? • We now operate two food shelves, one at the Wellstone Center on the West Side and, since summer 2012, Francis Basket in the Highland Park neighborhood. • Our Basic Needs staff speaks English, Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Lao, Thai, Karen, Amharic, Tigrinya and Creole. • We have six family centers around St. Paul, located at our main campus at the Wellstone Center, on the East Side at St. Paul Music Academy, Bruce Vento Elementary, John A. Johnson Elementary and Dayton’s Bluff Elementary,

Christine Shyne executive director

Your community news and information source and in Highland Park at the Francis Basket Food Shelf. • We reached 1,177 parents for the “It’s That Easy! The Caring Adult’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children,” a program with a growing network of parent educators who help other parents make talking about sex, sexuality and relationships a little easier. • A record number of social work interns joined our ranks in September. These 13 interns will average 450 hours each this academic year and provide services for many families. • We recently partnered with RESOURCE, a non-profit that offers career counseling, training and job placement services at the Wellstone Center. • Every Sunday during the summer and into the fall volunteers collected donated produce and baked goods from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. All of this wonderful fresh food was available for families early Monday morning. • Our Lifelong Learning programs provide a long-term solution to poverty through closing the education gap. • We offer K-12 homework help and one-on-one tutoring. Kids can come for homework help early evenings or arrange for tutoring in subjects in which they have fallen behind. • We offer an array of adult education opportunities: English Language Learning, civics, computer literacy and GED classes.

• Our Baby Talks program teaches healthy behaviors and parenting skills to pregnant and parenting teens. • Our College Access program increases post-secondary awareness and enrollment for both youth and adults. • Our Early Childhood Education program helps children become kindergarten ready and engages parents in learning how to help their children. • Our Gang Reduction and Intervention (GRIP) program focuses on prevention, intervention, diversion and re-entry services to young people engaged in the juvenile justice system or at risk of becoming engaged. • We have three TOP (Teen Outreach Program) clubs running this school year in three different locations. More than 50 TOP teens meet weekly throughout the school year and participate in regular volunteer and neighborhood projects. • Nearly 175,000 people visited the Wellstone Center in 2012 for workshops, plays, sporting events and family celebrations. All proceeds raised from room rentals are used to support building operation, which helps cover programming costs. We are grateful for the amazing community support, and we welcome and look forward to your next visit. We wish you and your family health and happiness.

When the Facebook post came out about Jerabek’s New Bohemian bakery and coffee shop halting business on October 20, I know I was not alone when I found myself in the first stage of grief: denial. I couldn’t believe they were really going to close. So quickly?

Side for over a decade and Jerabek’s has been a big part of my experience. Many meetings have taken place there, whether it was with friends, new colleagues, potential employers or partners. My kids have grown up within walking distance of the bakery. It was a warm, friendly place where they could buy treats with their own hard-earned money, and the employees were always patient as they counted out what they had. And it was a warm friendly place to which we could all go. Jerabek’s was a place to go and think, to create, to meet people, to make connections. You knew people there, you knew the employees. There was good food and strong tradition. The owners were committed supporters of local artists and of the community as a whole.


At... Church of St. Matthew, 510 Hall Avenue, St. Paul Church of St. Michael at 337 E. Hurley Avenue, West St. Paul The Churches of Saint Matthew and St. Michael share in this very holy season and offer the following services and events at each church. We welcome visitors. Your presence and your prayer enrich our community. If you desire information about us, please call the church office of St. Matthew’s at 651-224-9793 or St. Michael’s at 651-457-2334. ~ Sunday, December 1~ Parish Penance Service - 2 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church ~ Saturday, December 7 ~ Bake Sale - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church ~ Sunday, December 8 ~ Parish Penance Service - 2 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church ~ Monday, December 9 ~ Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - 7 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church and 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church ~ Sunday, December 15 ~ Bake Sale and Breakfast with Santa - 9 a.m. to noon at St. Matthew’s Church ~ Sundays of Advent ~ Saturdays, 4 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church Sundays, 8 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Church and 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church ~ Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas) ~ Tuesday, December 24 4 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church and 4 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church Wednesday, December 25 Midnight and 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s 8 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Church ~ Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – January 1 ~ 8 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Church 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church Page 18 - St. Paul Voice - December 2013

The post was up a day before they officially closed. I jumped to bargaining. Maybe there was something that could be done, some way to reverse the result. And then I took a step back to anger. Not at the owners, for they are clearly going through difficult times, as are community members, too. But selfishly I wanted to know why they hadn’t let me know sooner, as though I was on their list of “first responders” in situations like this, or as though they owed me any kind of explanation. I was reeling from the loss of something very important to me and to my community and I didn’t have time to process it. I have lived on the West


I recognize this goes way beyond just my personal loss. There was a hole left in the community. I have always been a strong supporter of small, locally owned businesses. So as Jerabek’s works to re-launch their business, I would like to recommit my pledge to patronize our local businesses: to support local food, local business, local people. I want to purchase my birthday and Christmas presents from local stores and artists, my food from local growers, and I want to buy my cup of coffee from local establishments. And I hope that others in our community will make this same pledge to support our local economy because it’s not just the economy that we are supporting, it’s the people who live here. I wish for a safe, prosperous and joyous season to all of you this year and beyond.

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St. Paul Voice - December 2013 - Page 19

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